NHSI Tournament


NHSI Semifinal Day >>

3/30/2012 11:15:02 PM

Semifinal Epic

While Mater Dei moved on to the championship with a win over Sarastoa, American Heritage and Harvard Westalke had a classic ballet, the two teams battled to a 0-0 throught eight frames with Westalke scoring on a Max Fried groundball in the 9th inning. Allan Simpson has more here.

Random Notes and Observations

-Heritage RHP Shaun Anderson is going to be very good. Fastball was 86-88 comfortably up to 90. He is strong with smooth arm action. He threw an almost unhittable slider at 79-81 that HW had trouble even fouling off. He is a Florida commit and has a very bright future.

-Parkview distinguished themselves as the best team in Georgia this week. Matt Olson is their top bat and has shown light tower power. Edwin Arias is as good a shortstop as we have seen and 2013s OF Josh Hart and C Jarrett Freeland are prospects to watch.

-Russell County RHP Todd Dial was up to 89 and his arm works very well. Teammate Rock Rucker has a very solid hit tool and sprayed three hits today after showing big pop yesterday.

-George Washington 2B Marvin Campos looks the part at 2B and has loose arm strength and athleticism.

-Mater Dei’s Ryan McMahon continues to show himself very well. Long, lean, projectable and athletic, he is a strong 3B defender and a very good LH bat who can go to all fields. He projects as anyone in Cary this week.

-Mater Dei SS Brandon Perez plays a strong SS and hits for one of the top teams in the country. If there are better players in the 2015 class we have not seen them yet.

-Zach Lovvorn was very good on the mound for Oxford. 88-90 up to 91 with very good feel for 75-77 mph curveball and 80-81 mph changeup. Loose and easy arm action, good athlete.

-Harvard Westlake 1B Joe Corrigan has as good of present hit tool as you will find in the 2013 class. -Jack Flaherty continues to show why he is one of the top 2014s the country.

-Danny Zardon had a big day for American Heritage, smooth with everything, pop in bat, big arm strength at 3B.

-Gabriel Aurrocchea is a quality leadoff hitter for Heritage with a quick bat, very good approach at the plate. He also defends well and made a tough sliding catch in left-center field.

Best of Friday

Best Pitcher: Shaun Anderson, RHP American Heritage

Best Hitter: Joe Corrigan, 1B, Harvard-Westlake

Most Impressive Win: Harvard-Westlake 1-0 over American Heritage

A Look to Tomorrow

Two SoCal teams will battle for the title. Mater Dei will throw RHP Chase Radan who was 86-88 and touched 90 in a relief stint Friday against RHP Brandon Deere for HW

An argument can be made for American Heritage and Gulliver but it is same to say Mater Dei and Harvard-Westlake are the two best teams in North Carolina this week.

Bishop Gorman vs. Columbus is as good of matchup as you could ask for, as is Parkview vs. Gulliver Prep. While the top 2012 draft prospects have been thoroughly scouted, the tournament has dozens of top underclassmen that continue to make a lot of noise.
Fried, Gallo, Hawkins Highlight Day 2 >>

3/29/2012 10:32:52 PM

Hawkins, Gallo, Fried Provide Highlights

Three Perfect Game All-Americans were the talk of Thursday’s National High School Invitational. Carroll RHP Courtney Hawkins dominated a 1-0 win over Gulliver Prep with both his arm and his bat. Allan Simpson has the story here.

Hawkins threw 5+ innings working 89-91 with his fastball, topping out at 93. His curveball was a solid compliment at 76-79 and he also flashes a changeup at 80-82. The big story was Hawkins at the plate.

After popping up on a changeup in his first AB, Hawkins delivered in his 2nd plate appearance. He drove a long homer on an 86 mph Ivan Paleaz fastball just to the left of the center field batters. The ball got out quickly and carried well. The scary thing is Hawkins probably didn’t even completely square it up. His bat speed and strength are very evident at the plate.

Gallo took the mound at 1:15 and showed the hardest velo of any pitcher that has taken the mound so far in Cary. Rumors of Gallo’s top velo flew around the USA Complex as soon as he walked off the mound. Here is what my gun showed. Fastball comfortably 91-93, two 94s, one 95. He was 91-93 from the stretch, also throwing a 74-76 mph curveball and 79-81 mph slider. His curveball was his out pitch as Gulliver hitters handled his fastball very well.

Fried’s start had a ton of buzz and the lean, lanky Cali lefty lived up to it. He allowed a pair of first inning runs to a very good Parkview but bore down and was impressive the rest of the way. He sat comfortably 89-91, but showed the ability to reach back and get a little more when needed, hitting a number of 92 and 93s and a few 94s. The most impressive part might have been his 94 mph velo in the 5th and 92 in the 7th. Fried’s curveball was a solid out pitch with 12/6 downer break with average sharpness. He controlled it well and kept it low in the zone, mostly using it with two strikes. He also showed a usable changeup at 78-80 with some arm side run.

Here is video of Fried from Thursday

Random Notes and Observations

-Hawkins bomb was not the only homer of the day. Ty Moore went deep on the stadium in Mater Dei’s thrashing of Carroll and Matt Olson took Fried deep in the 4th inning. No surprise that these players are considered the top bats in their restrictive states.

-Mater Dei pounded out 12 runs on 16 hits in their win over Carroll. Other than the top prospects in attendance, the biggest storyline continues to be Mater Dei’s offense. The approach, bat speed and strength up and down the lineup is the best I’ve seen from a HS team.

-Gulliver’s bats are for real. They were completely unfazed by Gallo’s low to mid 90s heat. Two underclassmen stood out at the plate. RF Henry Hernandez and 3B Joe Dunand. LF Eric Neitzel is strong and loose with the bat and has looked very good at the plate, and C Chris Chinea and SS Adrian Marin are two of the most talented and steadiest players in the state.

-American Heritage may have the most complete team here with a combination of hitting ability, power, speed, defense and pitching. Domenick Mancini was very impressive on the mound sitting 88-90 with an arm that works very well. They still have Florida commit RHP Shaun Anderson and LHP Brandon Diaz, a Stetson commit available for the next two days. Anderson figures to get the start tomorrow, and Diaz threw an inning of impressive relief yesterday and two more today.

Best of Thursday

Best Pitcher: Max Fried, LHP Harvard-Westlake

Best Hitter: Counrtney Hawkins, Carroll

Most Impressive Win: Mater Dei 12-0 over Carroll

A Look to Tomorrow

Semifinal matchups are Sarasota vs. Mater Dei and Harvard-Westlake vs. American Heritage. Both semifinals will be streamed live on MLB.com.v Heritage, Mater Dei and Westlake have been the consensus three best teams so far.

Parkview vs. Russell County and Columbus vs. Gulliver are two very intriguing matchups, as is Bishop Gorman vs. Carroll.

All the top pitching has thrown so scouts will zero in more on the top position prospects in action. @PGbcollman for updates throughout the day

Burr, Sims, SoCal Teams Highlight NHSI Day One >>

3/28/2012 9:53:36 PM

Burr vs. Sims

Wednesday’s main attraction was Highlands Ranch (CO) vs. Brookwood (GA) and more specifically the pitching matchup featuring two Perfect Game All-Americans, Ryan Burr and Lucas Sims. Here are brief scouting reports on each pitcher.

Burr looked physically leaner than in August’s All-American game and could add some muscle to his frame. In the first inning he worked 89-91 with his fastball touching 92 once. He was back up to 91 in the 2nd before settling in at 88-90. He worked mostly off his fastball , also showing a curveball at 74-76 with solid shape although most ended up in the left-handed batters box. He also showed a changeup at 80-82 that came out of his hand fairly well and had some fade at the tail end. His command was a bit inconsistent throughout and he shows arm quickness, although a deep, stiff grab in the back hinders the path of his arm circle and affects the arm speed on his off-speed pitches. He moved well off the mound and fielded his position.

Here is video of Burr from Wednesday

Sims has an athletic build with present strength. There is some leanness and he projects to fill out a bit more in the future. His fastball touched 94 in the first and bumped a 93 in the 2nd and 4th, sitting consistently 90-92. His curveball was inconsistent early but he settled in to throw some with late horizontal break, but minimal depth at 74-76. He also threw a changeup at 81-83 with solid arm speed although the pitch was inconsistent coming out of the hand. Sims has a slow tempo delivery in which he speeds up and slows down a couple of times and has a short arm circle in the back. His arm is loose, but not quite free and easy as he seems to let up a bit in order to save control. His finish is also abbreviated for this reason. Sims is a good athlete who fields his position and is one of Brookwood’s best hitters.

Here is video of Sims from Wednesday

SoCal Dominance

The biggest storyline of Wednesday was the impressive wins by three Southern California teams. Harvard Westlake took down Russell County (AL), Orange Lutheran handed Columbus (GA) their first loss and Mater Dei had a statement win by pounding No.1 ranked Bishop Gorman (NV).

Westlake got a big performance from sophomore RHP Jack Flaherty, which is recapped by PG’s Allan Simpson and also boast OF Joe Corrigan (2013), 1B Kenny Grodin (2013), SS Brian Ginsberg (2014), and C Arden Pabst (2013) all high D1 talents and impact hitters. LHP Max Fried takes the mound tomorrow for HW. Wednesday’s pitcher’s duel was the 1-0 battle won by Orange Lutheran over Columbus (GA). Kyle Carter (Columbus) and Art Moran Vidrio (Orange) battled for seven innings with Vidrio picking up the win as he was 84-86 with his fastball, pitching to both sides and also throwing a 72-74 mph curveball and 76-77 mph changeup. Orange has their share of top position prospects as 3B Josh Morgan (2014) and Jason Martin (2013) have lots of athleticism and 1B Tommy Bell (2012) a lot of strength in his swing. They have their ace of their own for tomorrow, USC commit RHP Brent Wheatley.

Mater Dei flat out rakes. One thru nine the Monarchs may have the top lineup in Cary. RF Ty Moore (2012) and Jeremy Martinez (2013) lead the way, but 2B Austin Monte (2013) 1B Ryan McMahon (2013), LF Tyler Adkinson (2013) and CF Austin Grebeck (2013) all can handle the bat. 2015 SS Brandon Perez is a name to remember as you will be hearing a lot about him over the next four years. There are very few freshman in the country as talented as him.

Random Notes and Observations

-American Heritage Brandon Lopez can really play SS. Quick twitch athleticism, hands, feel, arm strength, he’s got it.

-American Heritage C Zach Collins and Russell County SS Anfernee Grier have as much bat speed as any of the players I saw today. Another 2013, Jeremy Martinez should also be thrown in that group.

-Joey Gallo showed off his cannon of an arm twice in the later innings, bringing a slight hush over the crowd.

-After the SoCal teams, American Heritage was the most impressive. Beat Tucker Simpson, all nine players hit, run and defend, and all three arms they threw can beat the potent offenses here.

-George Washington has seven players with the surname Rodriguez which has to be a record.

-Highlands Ranch=Ryan Burr in most people’s minds but Tony Audino and Adam Gauthier are very good players who will play at the next level.v -Tucker Simpson was solid 89-90 up to 91. Jackson Stephens had three hits and looked good at the plate. Stephens and CF Matthew Goodson pass the eye test as well as anyone. Other top bodies: American Heritage OF Kevin Williams, Gallo, HW Joe Corrigan, Mater Dei Ryan McMahon, Orange Jason Martin, Russell County OF BJ Brooks and Rock Rucker.

-Oxford SS Tanner Gardner had one of plays of days going to hold and showing arm strength on a 6-3.

-Russell County RHP Jesse Nelson was 86-88 with loose and easy arm action, easy to see the 89-91 we have heard.

Best of Wednesday

Best Pitcher: Lucas Sims, Brookwood Best Hitter: Ty Moore, Mater Dei

Most Impressive Win: Mater Dei 10-3 over Bishop Gorman

A Look to Tomorrow

Four teams (Carroll, Gulliver Prep, Sarasota, and Lee County) kick off their tournament tomorrow morning.

A few of the probable pitchers for Thursday: Courtney Hawkins, Jackson Stephens, Rock Rucker, Domenick Mancini, Mac Marshall, Max Fried, Brent Wheatley.

Three games stand out: Mater Dei awaits winner of Carroll/Gulliver, Bishop Gorman awaits the loser of that game, Parkview vs. Harvard-Westalke.

Three more games will be broadcast on MLB.com, with early returns very positive.

Follow @PGbcollman for updates throughout the day

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