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Scouting notes from LakePoint

 

Rawlings Select #4 Scouting Notes/Video >>
  

4/9/2016 1:17:12 PM

With the three days of the Rawlings Select Classic #4 winding down, the following are the players that stood out over the course of the event.

The Jordan Beetdiggers were one of the four semifinal teams in the event. Their senior shortstop, Drew Lisk, a Utah commit, showed very well over the weekend. Lisk stands at a very projectable 6-foot-2, 190 pounds with some present strength already in his frame. At the plate, he showed a quick swing with an aggressive approach. He utilized a line drive plane that he matched consistently and showed good bat speed through the zone. Most of his contact was pull side and he had the hand speed to get around on inside fastballs and drive them with authority. In the field, he showed consistent actions with soft hands and good footwork around the bag. He had enough arm strength to leave the projection for him on the left side of the infield. 

For King's Ridge, the sent out right-hander, Kyle Brnovich for their first pool play game. The Elon commit stands at 6-foot-3, 180 pounds with long limbs and is riddled with projection moving forward with lots of room to fill. He showed a short, compact arm action on the mound and almost looked like he was pushing it out of his hand. He showed impressive arm speed with a stab in the back of his arm circle and failed to generate good angle towards the plate. Brnovich worked his fastball between 88-90 mph with very slight arm side run. His command on the mound left a lot to be desired with him currently being more of a thrower than a pitcher. He did very well to generate swings and misses and recorded 18 over his six innings on the mound, but a lot of that was due to sitting in a higher velocity band than most hitters were seeing. Brnovich had a lot of trouble getting to his glove side for command, often yanking his body towards first base through his landing. He showed a lot of confidence in his slider that he threw in the upper 70's, touching 82 mph, and was confident enough to throw it for strikes. It was a looser spinning offering, but hitters did swing threw it on occasion. He also mixed in a curveball with more 11-5 shape at 72 mph that he only showed a handful of times. 

For video of Brnovich, please follow this link

The leadoff man for Russellville who faced Brnovich was senior shortstop, Reed Smith. Smith came in as one of the more highly ranked players to attend the event and did not disappoint, leading the Golden Tigers to the playoffs. For whatever reason, Smith opted to bunt almost every time a runner was on, so I only got three real looks at his swing, his first at-bat of all three games played prior to this blog. With two of those swing, Smith showed his raw strength and hand explosiveness to rip a pair of doubles that either one-hopped or went off the wall in left field. He does possess plus bat speed with the aforementioned raw strength, and those allow his swing that is built for extra bases to play up. It's a line drive swing plane with lots of natural lift that I wish he would use more often in games. When he has opted to bunt, he's shown very impressive burst out of the box from the right side of the plate. I had two times on his bunt attempts at 3.81 and 3.82 down the line on true digs, but it looked more effortless than that. He really does glide down the line and that first step quickness also helps him in the field. He gets to almost every ball hit to him at shortstop and has an average arm from the left side. He double taps his glove before throwing, but has soft, sure hands on balls to him to go with sound footwork. 

Trevor Roberson for IMG Academy showed really explosive bat speed and torque through his lower half to launch a line drive home run for the Ascenders in their second game. There is a lot of strength throughout his 6-foot-2, 210 pound frame that he gets through the ball to drive it. In other at-bats, Roberson showed a very patient approach, often laying off bad spin low in the zone and waiting for a fastball he could barrel. He showed good bat speed as well with and an approach that allowed him to utilize the whole field. 

Christian Brothers Academy played both of their pool play games on Friday afternoon and tossed out a pair of promising arms. Their game one starter is a Perfect Game regular in right-handed junior Weston Bizzle. The Vanderbilt commit came out and tossed a very strong outing with the same long, stiff arm action he has in the past and downhill action. He was much more in control this outing, with minimal head whack. He's listed at a generous 5-foot-11, 195 pounds with strength throughout and not a lot of remaining projection left in his frame. He landed mostly on-line, with slight fall off towards first base. Bizzle showed a lot of athleticism off the mound making several plays getting to soft come backers. His fastball lacked it's similar explosion on the mound that he's shown in the past, as it sat between 85-88 mph and touched 89 mph, but he had more success throwing it for strikes. Bizzle did very well to fill the zone, especially with his 12-6 breaking curveball. The pitch showed average spin with some depth, but he did miss bats with it. He allowed only three hits on the mound and recorded 10 swings and misses throughout the outing. 

For video of Bizzle, please follow this link.

The second arm that Christian Brothers tossed out was left-handed junior, Jared Shemper. Shemper stands at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds with good athleticism on the mound. The Austin Peay commit showed a clean arm action with a short, compact circle in the back. He got downhill well for his size and used his lower half well in his delivery. Shemper did well to fill the zone with his fastball that sat between 84-86 mph in the first two innings, then dipped down to 81-83 mph thereafter. He had good arm side life with the pitch that allowed him to miss bats and barrels. He was not hit hard, surrendering only four hits, but saw his glove side command leave him in the second inning when the opponent's damage was done. He worked both sides of the plate well, landing on-line with a simple, repeatable delivery. His curveball showed 1-7 break towards the plate with tight spin and depth at 73 mph, especially when kept low. He did well to maintain his arm speed on his curveball that allowed its effectiveness to play up. 

For East Paulding, as they made their run to the Championship game, they relied heavily on third basemen Nate Butterworth. Butterworth stands at 6-foot-1, 215 pounds with a lot of physicality in his frame. He uses his strength from a lower base at the plate to generate a lot of explosion through his hips. He has a lot of present feel for the barrel and timing the barrel release through his hip coil. The thing preventing him from getting more hits has been his launch angle. He gets just slightly underneath the ball, while still hitting it hard. If he could use a more consistent line drive plane, he would see a plethora of line drive base knocks with his present bat speed. What Butterworth also did that impressed was the ability to pick up and lay off bad spin. 

The starting pitcher Russellville sent out for their semifinal game was an impressive one. Right-hander Cody Greenhill, an Auburn commit, took the mound standing at a physically impressive 6-foot-4, 215 pounds with lots of raw strength. He comes to the plate with a slight bend in his upper half and utilizes a three-quarter to lower three-quarter arm slot. He was very quick to the plate, landing closed with a slight crossfire delivery. He showed very impressive arm speed on the mound and showed the ball late, adding to his deception. Greenhill cut his extension off a lot and used very little of his lower half in his delivery. He relied on his raw strength and arm speed to power the ball into the zone. His fastball worked 88-90 mph for the first several innings and then dropped slightly to 86-88 for his fifth and final inning. The pitch had good arm side run and heavy action towards the plate and helped hime escape jams throughout his outing. He was not hit particularly hard, but saw some hits drop and the result of an inconsistent strike zone saw a couple extra runners reach base via the walk. He lowered his arm slot for his curveball that he threw at 73 mph with some depth, but inconsistent break. He had trouble getting the pitch across for strikes, which limited him at times to just his fastball. Greenhill also mixed in a changeup at 80 mph that was not very effective, slowing his arm big time for the offering. He at times git changeup-happy and started throwing them more and more often and that's where his trouble lied. 

 

 

Rawlings Select Classic #3 Day 2 Notes >>
  

4/2/2016 10:01:16 AM

4/2/16

A trio of playoff games provided most of the excitement on Day 2 of the Rawlings Select Classic #3. The Championship game is now set as well with Valdosta taking on T.L. Hanna at 10:30 this morning.

In the first quarterfinal game of the day, Rock Bridge took on Greenville and a pair of offensive talents faced off. Rock Bridge senior outfielder Cole Evans played right-field and hit third with good present strength and power in his bat. He transferred his weight well to the ball and showed well above average bat speed, with one of his exit velocities checking in at 105 mph. He had some trouble matching plane and often chased pitches out of the zone, but he swung with intent to drive the ball. In the field, he had a bit of an off day bobbling a ball and taking a few less than ideal routes. He showed an average arm from the outfield, but I would like to get a look at him behind the plate. Clocked from home to first he ran a 4.33 from the right-side, showing an average run tool. He's committed to Missouri and should get a chance to further develop his bat and let his raw ability show. 

The opposing first basemen for Greenville was Carson Spiers who is listed at shortstop, but played first. Spiers, a Clemson commit, showed a really athletic, projectable build at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds. Spiers showed some bat speed at the plate with a swing that generates extension to the outer third, but occasionally will get long. 

Standing out in that game that wasn't previously on my watch list was Greenville centerfielder, Justin Bailey. Bailey stands at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds with an athletic build and lots of room to add strength moving forward. The uncommitted outfielder showed some feel for the barrel and timing its release with a pair of hard hits. With a line drive plane and some already surprising strength his hit tool was impressive. He showed a strong arm from centerfield and made good reads off the bat with playable range. In the future his run tool may force him to a corner outfield position, but he should have the bat and arm to play there. Power should come as he continues to fill out in his frame and when he gets to college. 

Another Clemson commit, this time a 2018 grad, James Parker of T.L. Hanna. The young, athletic shortstop stands at 6-foot-1, 170 pounds with present strength and athleticism in his frame. His glove is far more advanced than his bat at this point, with soft, sure hands and plus levels of athleticism. He made a couple very nice diving plays to his right, one a sinking liner that he cough, and the other a hard hit grounder where he made the play and got the runner at first. At the plate, he showed a quick bat with some ability to match plane. His barrel feel was not as present as you'd like given the quality of competition, but he has several years to continue to develop it. 

Jacob McMillan took the mound for Valdosta with a smaller build at 5-foot-9, 157 pounds and he tossed a gem. He just used a super easy, repeatable arm action from a three-quarter slot. He mixed his pitches exceptionally well and featured a 79-81 mph fastball that topped out at 83 mph on the last pitch of the game. His curveball showed 11-5 shape at 69 mph and he had very good ability to throw the pitch for strikes and was confident enough in the pitch to throw it in any count. Overall, McMillan just missed barrels. He threw a no-hitter on 70 pitches and lost his perfect game with two outs in the 7th on a hit by pitch. He only struck out two batters and got both of them in the last inning. 

Oxnard put out a trio of impressive players, starting with two outfielders, junior Kaiser Weiss, and senior Stephen Kish. Weiss stands at a lean, 6-foot, 180 pounds with plus athleticism. He looked really good in centerfield with smooth routes and good ability to pick the ball up off the bat. He showed the ability to barrel up some balls with the ability to drive it, including a three-run home run he hit on Friday. Kish is the more physical of the two with lots of present strength already in his frame. He possess good bat speed with the ability to pick up spin and work the ball to all fields. 

Lastly, freshman shortstop Andrew Tarazon had really smooth actions up the middle and projects to stay on the left side. He had a strong arm that will continue to develop with age. He had soft, sure hands lots of lateral quickness and range. He's absolutely one to keep an eye on moving forward.

Rawlings Select Classic #3 Day 1 Notes/Video >>
  

3/31/2016 6:47:20 PM

3/31/16

The Rawlings Select Classic #3 got underway on Thursday with the first round of bracket play coming to a close. The top ranked team in the event, Archbishop Moeller, was upset in the first round, despite showing a pair of quality arms. 

The first arm the Crusaders sent out was left-hander and Louisville commit, Nick Bennett. Bennett has a lanky frame that really projects well as he's listed at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds with plenty of room to fill out. He showed a short, compact arm action on the mound with good angle and present arm speed from a three-quarter slot. He was very stiff at all points in his delivery, cutting off his extension out in front, landing on a stiff front leg. His fastball worked between 88-91 mph and touched 92 mph with slight arm-side life. The pitch played better when placed low in the zone as it straightened out often when left up. Bennett also showed the ability to generate slight cut to his fastball when he tried to work glove-side. As he learns to incorporate his lower half more consistently, the Louisville commit should see his fastball improve. Bennett also showed a curveball on the mound with 1-7 shape that flashed depth and sharpness. He also showed the ability to throw the pitch for strikes and play it off of his fastball. He occasionally lowered his slot and the pitch and saw the shape drop with it to a 2-8 with less consistency. On the day, he did well to limit loud contact and showed a strong ability to miss barrels. 

For video of Bennett, please follow this link.

Advancing out of the first round was the Grandview Wolves who trotted out right-handed starter Grant Schroeder who is committed to Arkansas State. Schroeder tossed a shutout for the Wolves working from a three-quarter arm slot with good present arm speed. He had slight trouble repeating his delivery, but was still effective on the mound in missing barrels. He stands at a projectable 6-foot-2, 180 pounds with plenty of room to continue to add strength. Schroeder's fastball worked 82-86 mph and touched 87 with arm side life. He struggled getting the ball over to his glove-side, often pulling off and leading towards command issues. He did show curveball with depth at 73 mph that he was able to throw for strikes and also showed a changeup at 77 mph. His arm action really just worked on the mound and there is reason to believe more velocity is coming. 

Playing shortstop behind Schroeder in the field was Ty Smith for Grandview. The senior committed to Ohio University showed prowess defensively and at the plate. He showed smooth fielding actions going to his left with a nice back hand play and a strong arm across the field. He has good size at 6-foot, 180 pounds and should be able to remain at the position going forward. Smith at the plate showed surprising strength for his size with the ability to drive the ball. He has good bat speed with a line drive plane and can generate backspin with natural lift in his swing. 

Kicking off the 2:30PM time slot were the Valdosta Wildcats and right-hander Seth Shuman. Shuman stands at 6-foot-1, 195 pounds with some present strength in his frame. With a long, loose arm action, he got downhill with an efficient motion. He showed a very quick arm from a three-quarter slot with fairly consistent drive from his lower-half. His fastball worked 85-88 mph and touched 89 with consistent arm-side life. He did very well to pound the lower third of the zone and keep the Prairie View hitters off balance with his fastball and curveball. His breaker hit 76 mph showing consistent tight spin and working as a swing and miss offering. On the whole, he struck out nine batters over seven shutout innings with 18 swings and misses. 

Archbishop McNicholas earned a hard fought win over Greenbrier Christian Academy. Starting pitcher Sam Browning tossed a complete game shutout with seven strikeouts only allowing five hits. His fastball worked 82-85 mph and touched 86 with a very repeatable delivery that allowed him to fill the zone. He kept hitters off balance with a 76 mph slider that he showed impressive feel for with good tilt and late bite. At the plate, he also impressed roping a double to the gap late in the game. 

The last big arm of the day was another one from Archbishop Moeller, this one being Notre Dame commit, Cameron Junker. The right-hander worked aggressively downhill on the mound with good arm speed from a three-quarter arm slot. Junker stands at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds with lots of present strength in his very physical frame. He had a lot of trouble repeating his release point and was also inconsistent in his drive towards the plate. When he completed his drive he got good extension down the mound and landed mostly on-line or very slightly closed when trying to get glove-side. His fastball worked 86-88 mph and touched 89 with a very subtle arm-side wiggle. His release point woes really hampered his command as he walked five batters on the day. He showed some feel for a 11-5 shaped curveball with good, late bite. The pitch was best when he kept it low in the zone and got on top of it. He showed a changeup at 85 mph, but really slowed his arm for the pitch removing almost all deception. What did help him limit damage on the mound was the angle he created towards the plate and the slight wiggle on his fastball. It helped him generate a large number of ground balls throughout his start.

For video of Junker, please follow this link.
Day 2 Rawlings Select Classic #2 Notes/Video >>
  

3/25/2016 6:40:22 PM

3/25/16

In day two of the Rawlings Select Classic #2 a round of consolation games were played as well as a pair of semifinal match-ups to set up the Championship Game for tomorrow morning. Merritt Island advanced past Edwardsville and the Buccaneers of South Dade won over O'Fallon. The pair of Florida teams will play at 10 AM Saturday.

There were several standouts from the Merritt Island vs. Edwardsville game including a trio of talented arms. Chase Victor took to the bump for the Mustangs, the generously listed 5-foot-10, 165 pound sophomore pitched incredibly well against a far more experienced Tigers' lineup. The uncommitted Victor threw from a three-quarter arm slot with a fairly fluid arm action towards the plate. What he did exceptionally well was repeat his mechanics throughout his six and one third innings on the mound. He maintained the same drive in his lower half and did well to repeat his release point. He landed closed and utilized a slightly crossfire delivery on the mound, cutting off his downhill extension. His fastball only worked 80-82 mph and topped out at 83 mph in the second with good arm-side life, but he located it very well. He did well to get downhill for his size and created good angle towards the plate. He had no issues getting to his glove side, challenging right-handers inside during the entire outing. Victor also did well to play his fastball off of his curveball which topped out at 70 mph and had a 1-7 shape. He threw the pitch for strikes, often dropping it at the bottom of the zone for strike three and freezing hitters for most of his 10 strikeouts. 

His opposition on the mound was senior right-hander, Trey Riley who is committed to Oklahoma State. He's listed at 6-foot-3, 175 pounds with tons of physical projection remaining as he moves forward. Riley worked from a three-quarter arm slot with a long arm action and slight stab at the end of his arm circle. He had good arm speed and strength with an on-line delivery with minimal lower half involvement. Riley's fastball worked consistently between 90-92 mph and touched 93 mph with slight arm-side run, but a lot of heaviness to the pitch when he worked it low in the zone. He pitched to contact with and often left his fastball up, and over the plate, but thanks to his plus velocity, he was not hit hard. Riley mixed in a curveball at 77 mph with 10-4 shape and very tight spin with decent tilt. He also showed a changeup at 80 mph with some sink, though he rarely used it in game. In warmups he did well to come close to his normal arm speed, but lacked high end feel for it. He tossed all six innings for Edwardsville and allowed two runs on four hits, but took the tough-luck loss. 

For video of Riley, please follow this link.

Mason Denaburg came into close for Merritt Island after catching the first six innings to pick up the last two outs. Denaburg showed the very strong arm he did yesterday from behind the plate with a super loose, easy arm action. The sophomore Florida commit already stands at a super projectable 6-foot-3, 190 pounds and can continue to develop and add strength. Denaburg worked heavily downhill with good extension and lower-half drive. He worked his fastball between 90-92 mph and touched 93 mph with super heavy arm-side life. His arm slot and release point were very inconsistent on the mound as he struggled finding the zone and repeating his mechanics. He showed a slight crossfire delivery and tried to get the trio of left-handed hitters he faced to chase his fastball low and away. He showed a curveball offering with 10-4 shape that hit 78 mph with average spin that was merely a breaking ball offering. 

For video of Denaburg, please follow this link.

While the Merritt Island/Edwardsville game was a pitcher's duel that lasted under an hour and a half, the South Dade/O'Fallon game was an offensive onslaught with 22 hits and 19 runs between the two teams. 

South Dade third basemen and Charleston Southern commit, Dan Vaughan, showed very well at the plate collecting a trio of hits, with two of them being loud doubles. He showed impressive bat speed and easy weight transfer to the ball with an approach that used the whole field. Vaughan also showed impressive feel for the barrel, consistently hitting the ball hard in each at-bat. The 6-foot-1, 195 pound third basemen still has projection left in his frame as he could add strength going forward and in his time at school.

The other big bat in the Buccaneers' lineup was Alek Manoah. Far better known for his accolades as a pitcher, but Manoah put up an impressive day at the plate showing off his impressive raw strength and power. Monoah is built like a house at the plate standing at an impressive 6-foot-6, 245 pounds and physically maxed out. His swing gets long, but when he makes contact he drives it with authority. He didn't look to pull, but used an approach to get to the whole field. He delivered one of the hardest hit balls of the day in a double that one hopped the right-field wall in the sixth inning. 

For O'Fallon, Bradley Snyder manned the three-hole spot in the order and delivered with a pair of hits including a double. Snyder is listed at a belivebale at a projectable 6-foot-3, 190 pounds with present strength throughout with room still to fill out. Snyder showed clear bat speed at the plate and barrel feel, turning around both of his hits at 91+ mph off the bat per TrackMan. He has subtle lift in his swing with the ability to generate backspin from his line drive swing plane.

Rawlings Select #2 Notes/Video Day 1 >>
  

3/24/2016 4:23:05 PM

The Rawlings Select Classic #2 kicked off on Thursday at LakePoint with 11 teams from seven different states traveling to play. With an adjusted bracket, the first round of games played Thursday morning started off round one of the event.

The O'Fallon Panthers were one of the six teams to play a round one game, they sent out Southern Illinois commit, Bradley Harrison to start. The left-handed Harrison took the mound with a lean, lanky build at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds with plenty of room to continue to fill out. He worked from a three-quarter arm slot and created good angle towards the plate. His fastball was an average offering sitting between 82-85 mph and touching 86 mph a handful of times with slight arm-side wiggle. He used an upbeat delivery and filled the zone, attacking hitters. What Harrison did exceptionally well was throw a hard slider up to 79 mph with good two-plane break and tight spin. The pitch was clocked by TrackMan with a 2700 spin rate consistently throughout his start. He kept hitters off balance and did well to pitch backwards using his slider to set up his fastball. He also mixed in a looser breaking 12-6 curveball with some depth, but it was inconsistent. Harrison tossed a complete game, earning the win and recording 10 strikeouts over his seven innings.

For video of Harrison, please follow this link.

On the opposite side of the north tower was the Poplar Bluff Mules and they sent out Missouri commit, Kameron Misner. Misner is listed at a physically impressive 6-foot-4, 210 pounds with room to continue to physically develop and add strength. He started the Mules' first game on the mound, but is regarded significantly higher at the plate and showed out in both. Riddled with raw strength throughout, Misner showcased plus bat speed and smooth, easy swing plane. He showed good feel for the barrel, but his long limbs occasionally lead to his swing becoming too long. He also has trouble recognizing and laying off of bad spin, but he feasts on fastballs. He delivered four balls on the day that left the bat at 97+ mph off the bat, including a double that was 101 mph in game one. His bat speed and line drive plane allow him to drive balls, mostly pull side, in the air. In game two he roped the HR in the video below showing off his raw power. Misner also showed average speed in the game, consistently clocked between 4.25-4.27 on ground balls from the right side. In game two, Misner was not tested in the outfield, but I'll hopefully have the opportunity to see him in the games tomorrow.

A pair of University of Florida underclass commits took the field for Merrit Island as they won their quarterfinal game over the aforementioned Poplar Bluff. Shortstop Brady McConnell led off for the Mustangs and showed a really quick, easy swing through the zone. He showed plus feel for the barrel and timing of its release at the plate with an approach that worked the whole field. At shortstop, he showed really smooth actions to both sides as well as a strong arm across the infield. McConnell showed his athleticism in just about every facet of the game. He possess average speed from the right-side, but uses it well in games, taking the extra base and challenging defenders. His teammate and fellow Gator commit, Mason Denaburg, hit behind him in the order. The very physically mature sophomore catcher stands at 6-foot-3, 180 pounds with lots of projectability left in his frame. He has very athletic actions as well with developing receiving and blocking skills. What really stood out for Denaburg was his arm strength behind the plate with plus carry to the bag. At the plate, he collected three hits with a super easy swing. He uses the California glide with no hitch in his swing and showed good bat speed. 

In one of the other quarterfinal games, South Dade HS from Florida took the field after a first round bye and used highly touted right-hander Alek Manoah in relief to secure the win. The West Virginia commit has a very large, physical frame on the mound and is listed at 6-foot-6, 245 pounds and looks every bit of it. He works from a low three-quarter arm slot on the mound with heavy crossfire action. He landed closed with a heel turn finish on the mound and was severely cutting off his extension downhill. The same impressive arm speed was still there for Manoah as his fastball worked between 88-90 mph and touched 91 a handful of times with slight arm-side wiggle. The high of 91 was the top velocity of the day, but Manoah was consistently sitting in the mid-90's with a high of 95 this past summer. Manoah's curveball is still easily his best pitch, with a high of 73 mph it showed sharp, two plane break when kept low in the zone. He appeared to be trying to work on his control in his outing, rather than the dominance he's known for. Even with the emphasis on control, he still struggled to hit glove-side in the outing, either leaving the ball over the plate or way outside. On the day, he earned the save for the Buccaneers with three innings and a pair of strikeouts.

For video of Manoah, please follow this link

Scouting Notes from Rawlings Select Classic #1 >>
  

3/20/2016 3:38:39 PM

The first of the four Rawlings Select Classic Tournaments took place this past weekend at LakePoint where five out of state teams took part in the round robin tournament.

The Episcopal Knights armed with a trio of division one commits as well as a division two arm finished the tournament with a perfect 4-0 record with 42 runs scored.

Their leadoff hitter, Kobi Owen (2016, TX), a Tulane commit, showed impressive range in centerfield and at the plate showed a confident approach with a line drive plane. He had impressive raw bat speed, but showed some inability to match plane. The senior should continue to improve and add strength to an already athletic frame moving forward. 

Another standout from the Knights was junior shortstop, Trei Cruz (2017, TX). Cruz hit in the middle of the Knights lineup and was more known for his prowess in the field then at the plate currently. He was very smooth with lateral quickness and soft hands up the middle as well as good footwork around the bag. The Rice commit also showed a strong arm from the left side of the infield, allowing him to project to be able to stay there moving forward. His projectable 6-foot-1, 175 pound frame should allow him to handle additional strength. At the plate, he showed raw bat speed with a whole field approach utilizing a short, compact swing.

The runner-ups in the event finishing with a 3-1 record with their only loss coming to the eventual champs was the Hardin Valley Academy Hawks. The Hawks were led by sophomore Kentucky commit Ryder Green. Green stands has a very physically mature 6-foot, 200 pound frame with very clear present strength throughout. He already possess plus bat speed and has a swing that generates tons of natural lift and backspin. His insonsistences at the plate are a result of his present troubles with barrel timing and matching a swing plane through the zone. With his age, some of those issues are common and he has tons of time and the tools to correct them moving forward. 

Iowa vs Point >>
  

3/14/2016 5:46:16 PM

3/14/16

The Iowa Hawkeyes returned on Monday to play the fourth and final game of their weekend set against the NAIA Point University. The Hawkeyes came into the game intending to have a Johnny Wholestaff game and let some of the younger arms log some innings.

The starter was freshman right-hander Cole McDonald from New Hampton, Iowa. The 6-foot-1, 185 pound starter has good athleticism in his frame and room to continue to fill out and add strength. He threw easy from a three-quarter arm slot with a long, fluid arm action. He was balanced throughout his delivery and did well to get downhill while landing on-line with sound lower-half drive. McDonald showed good arm speed on the mound and threw strikes with his fastball that ranged from 88-90 mph and showed slight arm side life. McDonald also incorporated a curveball that had good bite and 11-5 shape that he used in any count. The confidence in his fastball and curveball allowed him to throw either pitch at any point and play them off of each other, showing strong levels of pitchibility. 

For video of McDonald, please follow this link.

Following McDonald on the bump was fellow freshman Sam Lizarraga. Lizarraga had a much taller and physical frame than his teammate standing at 6-foot-6, 220 pounds with lots of strength. He utilized a much shorter arm action though, despite his long limbs. His delivery was short and compact with some effort and sharp downhill drive. His fastball worked 87-89 mph with slight life arm-side. He really did well to work both sides of the plate, leading to lots of contact, but consistently right at his defenders. He showed some feel for a 10-4 shaped slider that flashed tilt when he used it as a weapon against right-handers, leaving it low and outside. 

Easily the most athletic player on the field at any given time was Iowa's centerfielder Joel Booker. The speedy centerfielder posted another home to first time of 4.15 showing his plus speed from the right side. He also uses it exceptionally well in the game, stealing a base early on and gliding with ease to balls hit deep to the gap. His range and ability to get good reads off the bat help him profile as a centerfielder at higher levels. At the plate, Booker collected a pair of hits including a roped double that left the bat at 101.2 mph, following a ground ball that left the bat at 104.7 mph. His plus bat speed should allow his hit tool to play up, but the senior does have a slightly difficult time matching his plane through the zone. When he does though, he drives the ball consistently in the air using a pull oriented approach. 

Weekend College Recap from LakePoint >>
  

3/13/2016 8:49:29 PM

3/11-3/13

Around the complex and in between the High School Showdown going on, College Spring Swing was in full effect with Divison 1 programs abundant. Iowa, Presbyterian, Bowling Green, Savanah State, Seton Hall and Nebraska-Omaha all played games this weekend. In addition to those, JUCOs Georgia Highlands, Central Alabama, Jefferson County and Triton were all in action. 

The following players stood out over the course of the weekend:

On Friday night, Iowa took on Nebraska-Omaha in a close matchup that ended in the Mavericks earning a 3-2 victory. Pitching for the Hawkeyes was redshirt sophomore CJ Eldred. Eldred tossed six innings on the mound. He stands with a 6-foot-1, 220 pound frame with present strength and filled the zone over the course of his outing. His fastball worked 86-88 mph and topped out at 90. He also mixed in a tight spinning curveball at 77 mph that he showed the ability to get over for strikes and the confidence to throw in any count. He did have trouble with leaving the ball over the plate as he gave up 10 hits in the outing and should work on keeping the ball lower in the zone.

Once Eldred's six innings were completed, the Hawkeyes called on freshman left-hander Zach Daniels. The young lefty impressed on the mound in his one inning of relief throwing from a three-quarter arm slot with a loose arm action. His fastball sat 90-92 mph and hit 93 mph on a couple occasions. He showed some feel for a changeup at 84 mph and got a pair of strikeouts.

On the opposite field of the north tower, a pair of Georgia Highlands sluggers Zach McCrum and Daniel Gooden each showed their impressive raw power with back-to-back home runs in their second game of the day. In the fifth inning, after a leadoff singe, McCrum launched a deep fly ball to left field that left the bat at 97.7 mph to extend the lead to 4-0. Gooden followed with a solo blast to right with an exit speed of 93.2 mph. 

Seton Hall thoroughly impressed this weekend with a quality lineup as well as a number of high quality arms. Their Friday night starter was sophomore right-hander Shane McCarthy. McCarthy stood at a projectable 6-foot-2, 190 pounds with room to fill in his frame. He showed a loose arm action and did well to repeat his simple mechanics and fill the zone. His threw his fastball 90-92 mph with slight arm-side wiggle and showed some feel for a 10-4 breaking slider. The slider had some sweeping action, but the righty was able to throw it for strikes and it worked as weapon when thrown low and away to right-handed hitters. He tossed seven innings for the Pirates and struck out 10 batters.

Bowling Green sent out left-hander CJ Schildt for their Friday game against Presbyterian. Schildt was hardly the hardest throwing pitcher at LakePoint this weekend, but what he did was show high levels of pitchibility. He threw from a low three-quarter arm slot with some strength in his smaller frame with a fluid arm and very repeatable mechanics. His fastball worked 83-86 mph with slight arm-side life and the ability to work low in the zone consistently. He also showed feel for a curveball at 67 mph with depth and the ability to drop it in for strikes. He led the Eagles to a 6-1 win allowing one run over 6 2/3 innings with five strikeouts. 

Moving to Saturday's full day of games, we start with Jefferson County CC and left-handed starter Doug Still. The sophomore lefty came into the game with plenty of buzz as a two-time draft pick of the Atlanta Braves, both after high school and his freshman season. He showed a clean arm action with some arm speed from a three-quarter arm slot. He landed closed with a crossfire delivery and was well balanced throughout. His fastball worked 84-88 mph and touched 89 on numerous occasions with heavy sinking life. His curveball was slow breaking with 12-6 shape and some depth. He flashed a changeup in the game with sink, but did not show confidence in it.

For video of Still, please follow this link.

In the same game for Jefferson County, University of Arkansas transfer, Matt Brown showed a vicious amount of bat speed launching a 412 foot home run that left the bat at 98 mph and landed by the scoreboard of another field. His quick hands and strength allowed him to turn on the ball with such authority and drive it. 

Back on the north quad, right-hander Bryan Quillens took the mound for Georgia Highlands and easily turned in his most impressive start of the season. Quillens showed the same plus arm speed he has all season, but added something new, consistency. He threw his fastball with authority and worked it on both sides of the plate for strikes. It sat 90-92 mph with impressive arm-side life and touched 93 mph on several occasions. Quillens stayed on-line and did a much better job of incorporating his lower half on the mound, generating good, downhill plane towards the plate. His slider showed some tilt up to 78 mph and proved to be effective as a backdoor pitch against left-handers. His changeup was up to 85 mph with some sink, but he slows his arm slightly for the pitch reducing its deceptiveness. 

For video of Quillens, please follow this link.

Facing off against Quillens and Georgia Highlands, was Jefferson County completing the second game of their double header. The game proved to be a pitcher's duel, with the Vikings earning the 2-0 win behind starter Anthony Herron. Herron worked extremely effectively on the mound tossing a complete game shutout with 15 strikeouts. He showed very impressive arm speed from his 6-foot-1, 215 pound frame with good downhill action. He used a short, compact arm action and pitched to garner the swing and miss, rather than to contact and using a lot of pitches to get there. Herron's fastball worked 86-89 mph and hit 90 mph with arm-side wiggle. His slider was extremely effective as it got nine swings and misses, including eight as strikeout pitch. His two pitch mix dominated the Chargers and kept them off balance throughout the game.

Clayton Taylor is on the verge of being a weekly mention in this blog, both of for his raw power and Nebraska-Omaha's multiple visits to LakePoint early on this season. On Saturday night, he delivered a two-run home run to right-center that left the bat at 94.5 mph. Taylor has very consistent raw power and strength in his swing as noted in his now five homers here in three trips on a variety of different pitches. This one was off of a breaking ball, which he had shown the ability to wait on and recognize out of the pitcher's hand, but this time he turned on it with his hands exploding through the zone with intent.

Closing out the night in more ways than one was sophomore right-hander Zach Schellenger for the Seton Hall Pirates. Schellenger has a very physical 6-foot-5, 210 pound frame with clear present strength. He worked aggressively downhill from a lower three-quarter arm slot with plus, plus arm speed. His fastball sat 94-96 mph consistently with sharp downhill life and kept it low. His release point and drive varied and that hampered his command. What he did do incredibly well was spin his slider with authority and 10-4 shape with lots of tilt. 

For video of Schellenger, please follow this link.

Not to leave Georgia without providing another quality arm, Seton Hall returned on Sunday with sophomore right-hander Chris Morris. Morris possess a very athletic and projectable 6-foot-2, 175 pound frame. He worked quickly and threw strikes from a three-quarter arm slot and easy arm action. Morris showed good arm speed as well with a fastball that worked 90-92 mph and hit 93 mph with good arm-side life. He did exceptionally well to change speeds and sequence his pitches and did so not allowing a hit going into the fifth inning. His curveball showed 12-6 shape with heavy tumbling action at 78 mph. His changeup saw him slow his arm slightly for the pitch with slight fade, buit was very inconsistent. Morris worked on-line with repeatable mechanics and did so over 6 2/3 innings allowing just three hits and striking out 8 batters. 

The Triton Trojans sent out big right-hander Will Kincanon to the hill. Kincanon stands at 6-foot-5 and used every inch of it on the mound with a hard, downhill delivery. He has a good, projectable frame that could handle additional strength. He used a short, compact arm action with good plane towards the plate. His fastball looked firm sitting 89-91 mph and hitting 93 mph with slight arm-side life. Kincanon showed decent lower half drive, but showed very fringy off-speed and breaking ball offerings that hurt him on the mound. 

In the final game of the day, Iowa took on Savanah State and leadoff hitter, Joel Booker turned in a very impressive outing. Booker is a plus athlete in centerfield with a lean, projectable build at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds. He dropped a bunt down in the first inning and posted an incredible home to first time of 3.65 that was confirmed with another scout in attendance. He runs without effort and long strides that plays in game. He was consistently clocked in the 4.1's down the line from the right side throughout the weekend, solidifying his status as a plus runner. At the plate, he showed plus bat speed with strength and some feel for the barrel. He delivered a loud home run to deep left on an absolute rope that left the stadium in a hurry. He followed that up with a single through the left side later showing his line drive approach. The senior delivered on all fronts on Sunday as Iowa picked up a big 14-4 win over the Tigers. 

D1/DII/JUCO/HS Notes >>
  

3/8/2016 9:33:22 PM

3/8/2016

Today was a full day of baseball at LakePoint, starting with JUCO games at 3:30, with Division II following, and Division I at 6 all taking place on the north quad. A pair of High School games with first pitches slated for 5:55 occupied the south quad.

The notable standouts from today's action included:

So. RHP Makenzie Stills, Home Plate Citadels (HS)

The slightly built Stills took the mound for the Citadels as the #23 ranked player in the 2018 class. Stills on the mound stands out for his height, and not in the prototypical fashion. Listed at 5-foot-11, 175 pounds, he may be 5-foot-9, but plays big on the mound. He works from a three-quarter arm slot and strides quickly towards the plate. Stills breaks his hands early with a long, loose arm action and lands on-line with slight heel turn finish causing a fall off towards the first-base side. Stills' arm speed has never been in doubt, but it showed off with a new high on Wednesday. In the first inning he hit 94 mph and worked 89-92 mph after. He showed the ability to generate good cut action when trying to work glove side and saw slight arm-side run lower in the zone inside. He struggled with finding the strike zone in his two innings on the mound, but was able to battle and generate a swing and miss when needed. At this level, Stills will be able to cover a large number of mistakes with velocity alone, but he should continue to work on pitch location and sequencing. Stills also showed some feel for a curveball at 76 mph with short breaking action and 11-5 shape. He only mixed in a couple breakers in the outing, but he did show the ability to throw it for strikes and change the eye level of hitters, often setting them up for an elevated fastball. He still has plenty of time to continue to grow and add additional strength, but with his current arsenal of pitches he can dominate his competition. 

 For video of Stills, please follow this link.

RS Fr. RHP Zach Kendall, Bowling Green University

The freshman Kendall took the mid-week start for the Falcons and did well in his 4 2/3 innings on the mound. Kendall stands at a believable 6-foot-1 with good projection left in his frame as he continues to add strength. He worked very quickly on the mound with an up tempo delivery that was oriented on throwing strikes and challenging hitters inside. He threw from a three-quarter arm slot with simple mechanics and a loose arm action. His fastball worked 87-89 mph and touched 90 mph with good arm-side life. His command was significantly better arm-side and he often struggled working the black without having it tail too far out. Kendall showed good feel for a power breaking ball with 11-5 shape and tight spin. He was confident in the pitch and willing to burry it in the turf in any count. 

Jr. RHP Nick Coudret, University of Southern Indiana 

The strongly build, 6-foot-3, 210 pound Coudret came on in relief for the Screaming Eagles in their 13-2 win on Tuesday. Coudret worked from a three-quarter slot with good, downhill drive and on-line landing with a slightly hyperextended front leg. He utilized a short, compact arm action that he repeated well with modest lower-half incorporation. He worked aggressively downhill with a fastball that touched 92 mph and consistently worked 88-90 mph over the life of his three innings with good arm-side life. Coudret allowed only one hit and a walk in his three scoreless innings of relief. He filled the zone and did very well to keep the ball low. Coudret mixed in a handful of hard breaking 12-6 curveballs that showed good depth.

For video of Coudret, please follow this link.
DII & JUCO series come to close >>
  

3/6/2016 5:05:58 PM

3/6/2016

So. 1B/LHP Daniel Gooden, Georgia Highlands

The former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket had an impressive day at the plate on Sunday collecting a pair of opposite field hits. His first, a double that one hopped the left-field wall, came early on in the first inning, driving in the second run of the game. The second hit was a deep fly home run to left that left the bat at 96.1 mph in the sixth inning. Gooden's baseball future remains on the mound, but he has been on a hot streak of late collecting his fifth home run and second in three days. He generates good extension with his long limbs and has the strength in his frame to drive the ball to any part of the field. He does have an aggressive approach that at times leaves him off balance, but he did well to stay back today.

Jr. RHP Kevin Smith, University of Missouri-St. Louis

The listed 6-foot-3, 200 pound right hander took the mound for the Tritons in their fourth and final game of the weekend. He looks slightly shorter than his listed size, but still has an athletic frame that projects well with additional strength. Smith showed a smooth, compact arm action with a slight stab in the back of his circle and threw from a three-quarter arm slot. He lands on-line with a slight heel turn finish and fall-off towards first base. He features a sight crossfire delivery, but did well to attack hitters and fill the strike zone. Smith featured a fastball that worked in the upper 80's and touched 89 mph several times, topping out at 90 mph and showed slight arm-side wiggle. His curveball flashed some depth, but was inconsistent with the offering as he troubled repeating his release point and staying on top of the pitch. When he did, he showed good tumbling action with 11-5 shape at 80 mph. Smith earned the win tossing seven strong innings allowing just two runs and striking out eight batters. 

For video of Smith, please follow this link
3/5 DII, JUCO & HS Recap >>
  

3/5/2016 7:53:11 PM

3/5/2016

Jr. SS Ivan Johnson, Kennesaw Mountain HS (GA)

The 89th ranked player in the 2017 class, Johnson and his Mustangs teammates took the field early this morning for a one game matchup with Virgil Grissom. Johnson showed the same smooth actions in the infield as well as a strong arm and good footwork around the bag during infield drills as well as in game. At the plate, he collected a pair of hits using a line drive swing plane showing plus bat speed. The Georgia Bulldogs commit is exceptionally balanced through his swing and showed the ability to drive the ball to all fields with a short, compact swing. 

So. RHP Abe Young, Three Rivers CC

The 6-foot-2, 190 pound right-hander took the mound for the Raiders in the first game of their split double header. He has a good build with present strength in his frame, but looks slightly shorter than his listed size. What Young lacked in prototypical size he made up for with intensity and pace on the mound. He used a short, compact arm action from a three-quarter release and generated good downhill plane. His fastball showed good arm-side wiggle and filled the zone with it, working inside and out changing the eye levels of hitters. He hit 89 mph numerous times and routinely sat 86-89 mph throughout his 8 1/3 innings. At times he would lose his release point, allowing a walk or two, but he battled well on the mound, working quickly and mixing pitches well. He also mixed in a power downward breaking slider with an 11-5 shape that hit 75 mph. Young also showed a changeup at 80 mph that showed some sink, but was very inconsistent in both its shape and break. 

For video of Young, please follow this link

Sr. 3B Gabriel Acevedo, University of Illinois-Springfield

The senior infielder delivered some of the loudest hit balls of anyone today at LakePoint collecting four hits including a line drive homer to left and a double off the outfield wall. On the day, Acevedo delivered four balls in play that left his bat 96.5 mph or higher, including the homer that was 100.1 mph. He starts with a wide base and high hand set, relying on a leg lift timing mechanism. His line drive swing plane, and ability to match that plane, allow him to deliver such hard contact when squared up. Acevedo also showed strong feel for the barrel and when to time its release into the swing. He also showed good explosion in his lower half with quick hands through the zone.

For video of Acevedo, please follow this link.

Fr. SS Michael Garvey, Guilford Technical CC

The talented freshman shortstop led off for the Titans and opened the first game with a loud double that one hopped the left-center field wall. Garvey has plenty of room to fill in his athletic 5-11, 170 pound frame and should continue to physically develop. He showed a quick bat and level plane with slight lift when his barrel release is timed appropriately. His quick twitch athleticism in the infield was also present with sound footwork and soft, sure hands. 

RS So. 1B Zach McCrum, Georgia Highlands

It had been almost a full week since he last made an appearance in this blog, but McCrum returned in a big way in Highlands' second game of their double header. He followed up a pitching changed by blasting his eighth homer of the season, a 369 foot homer that left the bat at 92.5 mph. McCrum broke out of his mini-slump in loud fashion. He showed his same bat speed and big strength as well as his natural lift in his swing. 

Sr. RHP Gavin Collins, University of Illinois-Springfield

Collins came in for the Stars in the eighth inning to try and lock down a split of their doubleheader with USML. Collins worked from an over-the-top arm angle with heavy downhill action from his 6-foot-2, 205 pound frame. He landed online, with a deliberate delivery towards the plate and long slightly stiff arm action. His fastball worked from 87-90 mph and touched 92, showing slight arm-side life low in the zone. He mixed in a hard breaking slider as well, but the pitch showed inconsistent at best. His command often varied between batters, challenging hitters inside well, then missing up the zone or outside. Collins battled well on the mound and ultimately earned the save for the Stars. 

For video of Collins, please follow this link
Evoshield Invitational and JUCO Filled Evening >>
  

3/4/2016 8:25:49 PM

3/4/2016

The Evoshield Invitational kicked off on Friday afternoon as well as a set of JUCO games featuring Georgia Highlands Chargers, Cuyahoga CC Challengers, and the Macomb CC Monarchs.

The standouts from today's action include:

So. LHP Tristan Roberts, Georgia Highlands

The 6-foot-1, 190 pound Roberts looks his listed height and weight on the mound with an athletic frame and room to continue to fill out and add strength. Roberts utilized a short, compact arm action with good, downhill extension. He landed on-line and did very well to repeat his delivery, helping him consistently throw strikes. He worked his fastball 87-89 mph, topping out at 90 mph, and showed the ability to generate arm-side life working inside well on right-handers. Roberts opened the game striking out the side, filling the zone and challenging hitters to chase his fastball up and out of the zone. His velocity held well sitting 86-88 mph in his fourth and final inning. Roberts mixed in a 11-5 shaped curveball a handful of times as well, showing some depth and sharpness. The pitch was used sparingly, but showed the ability to keep hitters off balance. 

So. 1B/LHP Daniel Gooden, Georgia Highlands

When he's not on the mound with his fastball that touches 90 mph, Gooden reprises his role as clean-up hitter for the Chargers and has been mentioned several times for each in this blog. Today at the plate Gooden delivered a trio of hard hit balls, leaving the bat at 97.6, 92.1, and 93.5 mph respectively. The third and final one left the yard for his fourth home run of the year. 

Sr. SS Palmer Ford, Virgil Grissom HS (AL)

The senior committed to Wallace State, listed at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds with plenty of room to fill out in his athletic frame. Ford showed a really simple swing at the plate with above average bat speed. Starting tall in the box with a high hand set, Ford did well to match his swing plane through the zone and look to drive the ball. He collected a pair of base hits including a loud triple that left the bat at 93.8 mph and another hard hit single. Ford showed clean actions at short stop with soft hands and a good arm across the infield. 

Jr. 3B Tyler Nichols, Ringgold HS (GA)

Nichols impressed for the Tigers in their come-from-behind win over Virgil Grissom on Friday night. Nichols showed smooth actions at the hot corner with very soft hands a quick transfer. He made a fantastic play on a slow roller that was the final out of the game. He also collected a pair of hits at the plate using a level swing and showed some bat speed through the zone. 

 

 

 

 

Speas and Kieboom take LakePoint >>
  

3/2/2016 8:37:27 PM

3/2/2016

A trio of High School games moved over to LakePoint on Wednesday night after heavy rains the night before. Walton took on North Paulding, Cass played Creekview and McEachern played East Paulding. A pair of talented players, Alex Speas of McEachern and Carter Kieboom of Walton, ranked #2 and #3 respectively in the state of Georgia were both in action.

The standouts from tonight's action include:

Sr. RHP Alex Speas, Mceachern High School

Speas has been on the national scene as a potential day one draft pick for some time. The tall, lean right-hander stand at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds and is doused in physical projection.  Speas works from a high three-quarter arm slot with a long, loose arm action on the mound and lands on-line. He does not incorporate his lower-half much in delivery, hurting his extension. Speas' trademark has always been his electrifying arm speed with a fastball that touched 97 mph at this past June's PG National Showcase. On Wednesday night, Speas showed the same arm speed and strength, working his fastball between 93-95 mph and topping out at 96 several times throughout his four innings on the mound. His fastball showed good arm-side wiggle as well as heavy action down in the zone allowing him to miss barrels. What has hampered Speas in the past is his fastball command, tonight was no different. He struggled locating to either side of the plate at the start of the game and was hurt by leaving the ball over the middle of the plate and giving up loud double. His command did improve throughout and he battled on the mound, elevating his fastball to generate a swing and miss. The most impressive thing Speas did tonight was show his curveball had the potential to be a plus pitch. He snapped off a pair of 11-5 shaped 80 mph breakers that froze two East Paulding hitters for strikeouts looking. Both of those curveballs were picked up with an RPM at or near 3000, showing exceptionally tight spin. For as good as the pitch looked in flashes, it also looked like it could just be a spinner offering. The consistency with his arm-speed at release will determine how effective the pitch ultimately is. Speas also worked in a changeup in the outing topping out at 90 mph and flashed sink. Like the curveball, the changeup was inconsistent as he often changed his arm-speed, but he did do well to keep the pitch low in the zone. Not a single person in attendance on Wednesday night believes that Speas' is future is anywhere but the mound, but the right-hander did deliver a pair of extra base hits, including the go-ahead homer in extra innings to secure the McEachern win. 

For video of Speas, please follow this link.

Sr. SS Carter Kieboom, Walton High School

The 6-foot-2 185 pound, strongly built Kieboom delivered as the Raiders' three-hole hitter with a 1/3 day at the plate with a single. Kieboom showed the same very impressive bat speed he's had since he first started attending PG events. His ability to match plane through the zone and to time his barrel release allow him to consistently make hard contact, with an all-fields approach. He's well balanced through his weight transfer with good explosion in his lower half to the ball. In the field, Kieboom showed really smooth actions at short with a strong arm across the infield. He should be able to stay on the left side of the infield at Clemson or in pro-ball, but if he adds strength and muscle he could easily move over to third. He moves well down the line with average speed, clocked at 4.25 from home to first base. He uses that speed well on the bases, going first to third very easily. 

For video of Kieboom, please follow this link.
D1's wrap up their series >>
  

2/28/2016 4:34:25 PM

2/28/16

While PG's youth tournaments were taking place on surrounding fields, the four division one programs that were in town this weekend took the field to play their fourth and final game. Nebraska Omaha took on Arkansas State in a thrilling affair that wasn't decided until the 11th inning, while the Eagles of Morehead State played St. Louis. 

The standouts from today's action included:

Fr. RHP Peyton Culbertson, Arkansas State University

The talented freshman earned the start for the Red Wolves to try and earn them a winning record on the weekend. Culbertson showed a long, loose arm action on the mound and threw from a three-quarter arm slot. He attacked hitters and worked downhill well getting good extension down the mound. He utilized a four pitch mix featuring a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup. He worked his fastball very well and was actually incredibly effective against left handed hitters with sharp arm-side run away from them, or running under their hands. Culbertson maintained his velocity well sitting 87-90 mph and running it up to 91 mph on several pitches. His curveball worked with a 11-5 shape and often came across as a get-me-over offering just to change the site lines of hitters. His slider however flashed some sharpness up to 81 mph with a 10-4 shape that showed tightness and good downward plane. Culbertson also was supremely confident in his changeup, throwing it in any count and did show feel for it at 83 mph with slight arm-side fade. Culbertson had high levels of pitchibility on the mound, working a groundball to escape a jam when he needed to and often pitching hitters backwards by letting both breaking balls and changeup set up his fastball. 

For video of Culbertson, please follow this link.

So. LHP Aaron Leasher, Morehead State University

The very projectable 6-foot-3, 190 pound lefty has plenty of room to fill left in his frame. Leasher worked quickly, starting from the third base side landing on a stiff front leg with athletic actions off the mound. He showed a loose, live arm and worked from a three-quarter arm slot. His fastball offered slight arm-side life and sat between 87-89 mph throughout his start, topping out at 90 mph. His command worked in and out during his seven innings, occasionally being hurt by a fastball left over the middle of the plate, but its heavy action led to most of those being hit on the ground, albeit hard. His curveball worked up to 78 mph with good depth and 2-8 shape. He also flashed a changeup with sink, but threw it with irregularity. The Sophomore left-hander did really well to let his fielders work for him, he mixed pitches well and generated lots of ground balls. 

For video of Leasher, please follow this link.

Jr. C Jimmy Wright, Morehead State University

The Eagles' starting catcher, listed at 6-foot, 205 pound has very clear strength in his frame and moves well for his size behind the plate. What he did at the plate gets Wright a nod in today's edition of the blog, following up a three-run home run in yesterday's game, Wright delivered a solo shot in the first inning of today's. Wright generates good leverage and shows off his aforementioned strength throughout his swing with the ability to drive the ball. His swing plane and bat speed allow him to hit the ball to all parts of the field with power. Wright collected four hits in his two games, including both home runs and had 5 RBI.

Fr. SS Reid Leonard, Morehead State University

Sunday was the talented freshman's first game action of the weekend as he had been battling an injury he sustained earlier in the week. He showed no ill-effects as he collected a pair of hits in three at-bats utilizing a short, compact swing. Leonard made his biggest impression in the infield with soft, sure hands and quick actions as well as a strong arm across the infield. He showed good footwork around the bag as well on a double play ball with good instincts. 

Sr. OF Michael Bozarth, St. Louis University

It had been a rough go of it for the senior and pre-season conference POY candidate, but he rallied on Sunday.  At the plate, Bozarth starts with a wide base and very high hand set. He showed good bat speed with a line drive plane and ripped a double down the left-field line that left the bat at 103 mph per TrackMan. He has a strong ability to recognize and lay off bad spin with the barrel timing skills to drive the ball very well. Bozarth moves well on the bases clocked with a home-to-first time of 4.14 which is above average for a right-handed hitter. In the field he showed good instincts in center getting strong reads off the bat and showing an average arm. 

Sr. RHP Tyler Keele, Morehead State University

The strongly built, 6-foot-3, 210 pound senior came in to secure the 4-1 win for the Eagles and did just that. Keele worked sharply downhill from a three-quarter arm slot with good lower half incorporation. He landed slightly open on an athletic front leg in a good position to field. His fastball showed good, heavy action and worked between 92-94 mph and touched 95 mph. Keele did well to hit his spots for the most part, occasionally struggling to work glove-side and leaving the ball up. The heavy action on his fastball works better when low in the zone and helped generate a pair of ground balls. He flashed a curveball offering at 81 mph, but should continue to develop the pitch to increase his effectiveness from the bullpen. With the type of arm speed and strength Keele possesses he should be a name to watch in June's MLB Draft.

For video of Keele, please follow this link

Sr. 3B Clayton Taylor, University of Nebraska Omaha

Taylor has become a mainstay feature of this blog when UNO is in town. He's seeing the ball exceptionally well at the plate right now and on Sunday clobbered his third homer in as many days. This one was on an inside changeup that Taylor was able to get his hands around on and pull over the right-field fence to tie the game in the sixth inning. Taylor has every makings of a high quality senior sign for a team in June with his raw power and barrel feel. 

HS and College games fill the day at LP >>
  

2/27/2016 10:25:12 PM

2/27/16

The full slate of games started at 1PM and carried through the afternoon. Morehead State split their double header with Nebraska-Omaha, while Arkansas State swept St. Louis for the D1 action. Sinclair CC and Volunteer State CC each earned sweeps of their double headers on the JUCO side. 

Standouts from today's action include:

Sr. RHP Matt Anderson, Morehead State University

The 6-foot-2, 195 pound right-hander toed the rubber for the Eagles in the first game of their double header on Saturday. Anderson looks slightly smaller than his listed build, but he managed to effectively work downhill from a high three-quarter arm slot. Anderson landed online on a stiff front leg, but managed to be controlled and balanced with his delivery, generating good extension down the mound. He worked his fastball consistently 89-92 mph throughout his outing and topped out at 94 mph with very sharp cut action. The movement on the pitch allowed him to work away to right-handed hitters and inside to lefties. The only three hits he gave up were of the slap variety and not well struck. He also relied heavily on a sharp 11-5 breaking curveball that hit 84 mph. The curveball showed good depth and tight spin and he often pitched hitters backwards, working his fastball off the breaker. Anderson had easily the most impressive outing of any pitcher on the day and should be a name to watch this spring as a MLB prospect.

For video of Anderson, please follow this link.

Jr. OF Ryan Kent, Morehead State University

Kent served as one of the igniters for an Eagles' offense that scored 14 runs in their opening game. Kent utilized a very short, compact swing at the plate geared towards line drives. His level plane and fast hands allow him to work the ball in the middle of the field. Kent showed good present bat speed and a good, quick step out of the box with a time of 4.14 down the line from the right-handed batter's box. 

RS Jr. Alex Stephens, Morehead State University

The Eagles from Morehead State were hardly light on offense in either game of their double header with a combined 20 runs being scored. Stephens collected eight hits on the day including five in the second game where he finished a mere triple shy of the cycle. Stephens showed good present bat speed as well as feel for barrel timing allowing him to consistently drive the ball in the air. He showed strong, loose wrists with the ability to pull, but also drive the ball to the opposite field. 

RS So. Bryan Ayers, Arkansas State University

The 6-foot-2, 200 pound right-hander showed a good, athletic build on the mound and even looks slightly bigger than his listed height and weight. Ayers worked from a low three-quarter slot on the mound with a loose arm action and crossfire delivery. He landed closed on the mound with a slight fall off towards first base. Ayers generated good arm-side life on his fastball that worked in the upper 80's and topped out at 90 mph. He also showed some feel for a 10-4 shaped curveball that had some elements of slurvy action. The pitch flashed two-plane break and tightness, but was inconsistent for the most part for the righty.  

For video of Ayers, please follow this link.

Sr. 3B Tanner Ring, Arkansas State University

Not many people swung as hard or with as much intent as Ring did on Saturday. The 6-foot-1, 170 pound third basemen led the Red Wolves' offense going 3/9 with a double at the plate. Ring probably could have had an additional four hits at the plate if it weren't for the Billikens' sound defense. He generates very good torque through his lower half and has leverage in his swing allowing for hard, consistent contact. He utilizes an all-fields approach with quick hands and a line drive swing plane through the zone. His swing may not look like it's built for home run power, but what Ring does exceptionally well is generate backspin on the ball when hit in the air. 

Sr. LHP Josh Moore, St. Louis University

The senior left-hander helped ease the burden on a taxed bullpen in the Billikens' second game Saturday. Moore threw easy starting from a medium leg raise and three-quarter slot. He lands slightly closed showing a slight crossfire in his delivery and landing on a stiff front leg. Moore worked his fastball between 87-89 mph with good arm-side life. He flashed the ability to control the pitch arm-side and on the outside corner to right-handed hitters, but struggled with his glove-side command. Moore mixed in a 1-7 breaking curveball that showed some tightness and depth, but the pitch was inconsistent, but he did do well to maintain his arm speed for the pitch. 

For video of Moore, please follow this link.

RS So. RHP Ricky Krieger, Sinclair CC

The Tiffin University commit took the mound for Sinclair in the second game of their double header against Georgia Highlands. Coming back from Tommy John surgery, Krieger showed a smooth, long arm action with a three-quarter arm slot. He showed very impressive arm speed with a fastball that ran up to 93 mph in the first inning, but worked between 87-91 mph throughout his five innings on the mound. His fastball worked much better when thrown low in the zone when he showed slight run, but it straighten out when he left it up. Krieger had some issues with command, most stemming from his upper body position at foot strike and his release point. He mixed in a 11-5 breaking curveball that showed some depth up to 76 with tight spin. He also showed a changeup in warmups that had slight sinking action, but was intermittent with its usage in game. 

For video of Krieger, please follow this link.

Sr. 3B Clayton Taylor, University of Nebraska Omaha

This is Taylor's third mention on this blog as he continues to show very strong ability at the plate. In the Mavericks' second game of the day Taylor launched a grand slam over the right field wall that left the bat at 105 mph per TrackMan. That marked Taylor's second home run in as many days showing the same strength in his 6-foot-4, 220 pound frame as well as his plus bat speed and natural lift.
D1/JUCO notes from LakePoint >>
  

2/26/2016 10:34:19 PM

2/26/16

In a full slate of games at LakePoint on Friday, the action kicked off with a JUCO match-up, then transitioned to a pair of D1 games, then rounded out the day with High School games and the Georgia Highlands.

The standouts from today's action included:

Fr. RHP Justin Wilson, Volunteer State CC

Wilson, for the second straight week, handled the closer's role for the Pioneers after serving as the team's catcher for the first eight innings. Wilson showed the same online delivery and downhill action on the mound, with impressive arm speed. The 6-foot-2 right-hander showed the same lively fastball that touched 92 mph and comfortably worked 89-91 mph in his inning on the mound showing slight cutting action. The same command issues plagued Wilson on the mound as he struggled repeating his release point. In this outing he flashed a 77 mph curveball, but did not show much feel for the pitch, merely acting as a spin offering. 

For video of Wilson, please follow this link

Sr. 3B Clayton Taylor, University of Nebraska-Omaha

The smooth-swinging Taylor earned a nod in last weekend's edition of the blog and returns after leading the Mavericks' offense to a big win on Friday. Taylor continued to show strong plate discipline and ability to recognize and lay off spin. He also demonstrated his strong feel for barrel timing as well as plus bat speed with a three-run home run and single at the plate. Taylor utilizes a pull oriented approach with quick, strong hands through the zone. 

For video of Taylor, please follow this link.

Sr. RHP Tyler Fox, University of Nebraska-Omaha

The Senior once again earned the Friday start for the Mavericks, following last week's outing against Eastern Michigan. This outing went considerably better for Fox as he fired seven scoreless innings allowing just three hits, no runs, and striking out seven batters. Fox utilized a similar four pitch mix that he did a week ago, relying on a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup. His fastball worked in the same 85-88 mph range, topping out at 90 mph and generating good cut action when thrown glove side. His curveball showed considerably better than a week ago, showing tighter spin and depth. Fox did exceptionally well to keep hitters off balance using all four of his pitches and setting them up off of the curveball. He also showed more feel for his changeup with good arm-side fade and keeping the pitch low in the zone. 

Jr. RHP Tyler Zuber, Arkansas State University

The slightly built Zuber stands very realistically to his listed 5-foot-11, 175 pound frame on the mound. What he lacks in height, the right-hander makes up for in pitchibility. Zuber used a short, compact arm action with a smooth three-quarter release point. He generated good downhill action with a very efficient delivery. He held his fastball velocity well throughout the outing, with it sitting 89-91 mph and hitting 92 mph with regularity. Zuber showed good arm-side life with his fastball and filling the bottom of the strike zone. His best pitch however was his very sharp 10-4 breaking slider that showed good tilt and tight spin. Working the pitch aggressively and in any count, he relied on it frequently and it showed as a true swing and miss offering. 

For video of Zuber, please follow this link.

Sr. RHP Matt Eckelman, St. Louis University

The strongly built 6-foot-4, 240 pound right-hander showed a loose arm action from a three-quarter arm slot. Eckelman worked his fastball up to 92 mph and routinely sat 89-91 mph with slight arm-side life, but saw it level out up in the zone. Leaving the ball up was part of the downfall for Eckleman as the Maverick hitters jumped on his elevated offerings. He mixed in a 11-5 slow breaking 78 mph curveball that showed some depth and a changeup that flashed sink.

For video of Eckelman, please follow this link

Jr. RHP Zach Girrens, St. Louis University

Girrens started on the mound from the first base side with a medium leg raise and closed landing down the mound with a heel turn finish. He worked from a three-quarter arm slot and showed good arm speed and downhill action with a fastball that hit 90 mph and sat between 86-89 mph with heavy life. He featured a pair of breaking balls, a 12-6 curveball and a harder thrown 11-5 downward slider. He lacked feel for the slider often trying to overthrow it and seeing it bounce before the plate. Girrens had trouble replicating his release point on the mound, hurting his command and leaving balls up and out over the plate.

For video of Girrens, please follow this link.
2/25 NAIA and HS Notes >>
  

2/25/2016 9:03:12 PM

It was a light day of action at LakePoint on Thursday, with only a handful of practices and a pair of games. The first game of the afternoon saw a pair of NAIA schools, Goshen and Tennessee Wesleyan, and then Lovett and Hillgrove high school in the evening.

The standouts from tonight's action include:

Sr. RHP/SS Aaron Schunk, Lovett High School

The 6-foot-2, 180 pound right-hander made the start and fired 3 1/3 scoreless innings for the Lions. He easily lives up to his listed height and weight and has plenty of room to fill out in his frame with additional strength. The University of Georgia commit, started from the first base side of the rubber with a medium leg raise and three-quarter arm slot on the mound. He lands slightly closed on the mound with a heal turn finish during his follow through. He showed a very quick arm with short action and circle in the back and easy downhill action. Schunk worked his fastball between 85-87 mph, with slight cutting action and saw it touch 88 mph in the first inning. He showed the ability to work both sides of the plate and change the eye level of hitters with his 76 mph curveball. His breaking ball offering had 11-5 shape with hard, tight spin and showed depth. He had exceptional confidence in the pitch, frequently opening counts and using it when behind. Schunk additionally showed a fringe changeup in warm-ups, but did not feature it in game.   

For video of Schunk, please follow this link.

Jr. RHP Austin Goss, Tennessee Wesleyan College

The tall, 6-foot-8 right-hander took the mound in relief for the Bulldogs and showed a loose arm action and online delivery. Goss worked extremely downhill as his height would hint at, with a flat fastball that worked 87-90 mph on the mound. He failed to show a breaking ball offering, but was aggressive with his fastball, challenging hitters up in the zone. 

Jr. RHP Tyler Thorton, Tennessee Wesleyan College

Thorton, like Gross, worked out of the bullpen in something of a Johnny Wholestaff game for the Bulldogs. Thorton showed a thick, strong build on the mound from his 6-foot-4, 280 pound frame. He utilizes a quick delivery from a three-quarter arm slot and short arm action. He has some present arm speed, evident in his fastball that ran between 87-89 mph fastball, but lacked movement. His breaking ball offering was merely of the get-me-over variety, and would need to continue to be developed. 

For video of Thorton, please follow this link.

Sr. RHP Reed Bright, Tennessee Wesleyan College

Bright was called on to close the door for the Bulldogs coming in from the pen utilizing a 87-89 mph fastball with good arm-side life. Bright worked from a three-quarter arm slot with good arm speed and a clean arm action. What separated the 6-foot-1, 200 pound righty from his teammates, was his impressive 11-5 shaped curveball. The pitch showed impressive tilt and depth and complimented his fastball. He was very confident in the pitch, throwing it in any count. 

Lowe takes over LakePoint >>
  

2/24/2016 9:24:36 PM

In a rainy and windy night at LakePoint, a litter of high school teams filled the park. Georgia Highlands also took part in a double header against Southern Union University. 

The standouts from tonight's action included:

Sr. 3B/RHP Josh Lowe, Pope High School

It's hard to not start with the talented Lowe, who entered the high school season as PG's 4th ranked high school player with lofty expectations at the plate and on the mound. The Florida State commit lauded on a national scale for his 95 mph fastball as well as hitting ability, did not disappoint. Lowe showed a very simple approach, geared towards up the middle and opposite field contact. His easily plus bat speed and balance through his swing combined with his present feel for barrel timing allow him to square balls up with ease and drive them. In Wednesday's action, Lowe casaually delivered a 3/3 day at the plate with a walk, pair of home runs and a double. The latter of the two homers and the double were each of the opposite field variety, with the first home run clearing the batter's eye with ease.

For additional video of Lowe, please follow this link.

Sr. LHP Cameron Allison, Pope HS

The Middle Tennessee State commit took the mound to start for Pope showing a cross-fire oriented delivery from a three quarter arm slot. The 6-foot-4, 185 pound Allison is incredibly projectable on the mound with lots of room to fill out in his frame. He ran his fastball up to 88 mph in the first inning before settling in at 84-86 mph thereafter with arm-side life. He struggled replicating his release point on the mound often falling behind hitters, but Allison battled on the mound. Allison showed a good bit of confidence in his 10-4 shaped curveball that showed good bite and flashed two-plane break. The pitched worked its best when he stayed on top of it and kept it low in the zone, changing the eye level of hitters. 

For video of Allison, please follow this link.

So. 1B/LHP Daniel Gooden, Georgia Highlands

The Sophomore Gooden delivered a 376 foot grand slam in the first game of Highlands' double header against Southern Union that left the bat at 101 mph per TrackMan. The Georgia Tech transfer continues his hot streak at the plate after a two-homer performance a week ago. Gooden at times has trouble recognizing tough spin, but when he times his barrel release allows his plus bat speed and strength to drive the ball in the air. 

Sr. RHP Zach Graveno, Lambert HS

The senior right-hander earned the start for Lambert against Cartersville on Wednesday night and impressed. He generated good downhill action on the mound with a deceptive delivery that incorporated a slight crouch in his top half. Graveano relied on a three-pitch mix that primarily featured his 85-87 mph fastball that touched 89 mph in the first inning. It showed good life and he mixed it well with his curveball and changeup. His curveball showed good, 11-5 shape with depth that was up to 76 mph. Graveno worked his changeup at 79 mph and showed some fade while doing well to replicate his arm speed. 

For video of Graveno, please follow this link.
2/21 Action at LakePoint >>
  

2/21/2016 5:46:09 PM

All three D1 programs that visited LakePoint this weekend wrapped up their series and hit the road. Eastern Michigan starts the year 3-1 after taking the rubber match against University of Nebraska Omaha. NJIT earned their first win of the year against Point University and Georgia Highlands won over St. Louis CC. In today's D3 action, LaGrange topped Wabash to complete their series sweep.

The standouts from today's action include:

So. 1B Zach McCrum, Georgia Highlands

A frequent mention in this blog, McCrum kept up his outstanding pace at the plate and tallied another three hits in Highlands' victory. He also delivered his sixth home run of the year, this one of the 400 foot variety over the left field wall. McCrum is beyond locked in at the plate right now, already doubling his homer total from last year, and continuing to see the ball well. 

For 2/21's video of McCrum, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOp8UKwBzEM

So. LHP Daniel Gooden, Georgia Highlands

Gooden toed the rubber for his third start of the year for the Chargers and turned in his best outing to date. He still showed his loose, whippy arm action from a low three-quarter slot and plus arm speed. His fastball topped out at 90 with it's same sharp, arm-side life and held consistently in the 87-89 mph range. He showed improved control on the mound, despite bursts of wildness, he located well on both sides of the plate and benefited from his strong receiving catcher, Drew Davis. His slider showed sharp, sweeping action and worked in the mid 70's. He also showed a changeup that he flashed feel for at 78 mph with fade. Gooden was incredibly efficient on the mound only allowing one hit over six innings, holding the Archers of St. Louis CC scoreless. 

Sr. RHP Luis Florentino, Point University

The 6-foot-4, 215 pound right-hander lived up to his listed height and weight on the mound with a strong lower half. He earned the start for the Skyhawks, working from a three-quarter arm slot with a very sharp downhill action and showed outstanding arm speed. He does not currently involve his lower half in his delivery, but still managed to run his fastball up to 89 mph with very heavy arm-side life. He struggled with his release point, hurting his command both arm and glove-side. The inconsistencies in his delivery hampered his fastball, causing its velocity to dip into the 83-85 mph range. He flashed a very tight breaking 11-5 curveball on the mound, but lacked present feel. Florentino is a very raw prospect on the mound, but he did stand out in Sunday's action. 

For 2/21's video of Florentino, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miEuFABf8VA

So. RHP Sean Lubreski, NJIT

The Sophomore from North Plainfield, NJ started the game for NJIT and pitched a strong 5 1/3 innings allowing only one run. He worked from a three-quarter arm slot with a slight crouch of his upper half through his delivery. He landed sharply closed with a heel turn finish on a stiff front leg. He showed present arm speed and saw his fastball hit 89 mph with good arm-side run and ranged from 85-87 mph. He showed a loose breaking 11-5 curveball that lacked feel and sharpness. The 6-foot, 180 pound right-hander competed on the mound and earned NJIT their first win of the 2016 season. 

For 2/21's video of Lubreski, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERirBDkmHzQ

So. RHP Brent Mattson, Eastern Michigan University

The very tall and lean, 6-foot-6, 190 pound Mattson pitched in relief for Eastern Michigan and tossed 2 2/3 innings on the mound. The very projectable Mattson pitched from a three-quarter arm slot and showed a very hard downhill, cross-fire delivery. His fastball worked consistently in the upper 80's, topping out at 89 mph with impressive arm-side life. The lanky right-hander lacks lower half incorporation and could show additional velocity with it. Mattson showed inconsistency in his release point at foot strike on the mound, hurting his ability to command his fastball. He was aggressive with it, challenging hitters up in the zone routinely. Mattson also worked in a 71 mph curveball with 11-5 shape that flashed tightness. 

For 2/21's video of Mattson, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjJ04XHeJEE

Sr. OF Jackson Martin, Eastern Michigan University

Martin received a mention in the Friday edition of this blog, and receives a second mention for his Sunday performance launching a deep home run to left field. Martin's long limbs allow him to generate good extension. With his present strength and bat speed in his 6-foot-5, 220 pound frame, Martin drives the ball with ease, primarily pull side. The senior looks to build off of his strong opening weekend as the Eagles head down to Gainsville to take part in a mid-week series against the Gators. 

So. RHP David Flattery, University of Nebraska Omaha

The Mavericks called on the 6-foot-3, 200 pound righty in relief of their rubber match against EMU. Coming in to a bases loaded, one out jam, Flattery delivered two big strikeouts to keep the Mavs in the game. The right-hander looks slightly taller than his listed height and uses it to his advantage on the mound. Featuring a three-quarter arm slot and sharp downhill action, Flattery attacked hitters aggressively inside with his fastball and changed eye level well with his curveball. His fastball worked 87-89 mph and topped out at 91 with good life. His 12-6 shaped curveball had very tight spin with good depth, and maintained arm speed well to aid in deception. Flattery showed very high levels of pitchibility on the mound with the knowledge of how to sequence and keep hitters off balance. 

For 2/21's video of Flattery, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ls5WIcoGYQ
2/20/16 at LakePoint >>
  

2/20/2016 11:16:36 PM

Saturday's action brought D1's Eastern Michigan, NJIT & Nebraska Omaha as well as Georgia Highlands, St. Louis CC, Volunteer State CC, and Alice Loyd handling the JUCO slate.  

Notable standouts from today's action include:

Fr. RHP Davis Feldman, Eastern Michigan University

The 6-foot, 180 pound Freshman toed the rubber for the Eagles' first game of the day. Feldman worked from a three-quarter arm slot with good raw arm speed and a loose arm action. He showed good hip rotation and repeated his mechanics well through the duration of his start. He slightly cuts off his extension in his delivery, but manages to land on-line. He threw a pair of fastballs, his four-seam showed good life and hit 90 mph in the first inning, while then sitting in the upper 80's thereafter. His two-seam fastball worked in the 84-86 mph range with impressive arm-side run. He showed feel and confidence for his 80 mph changeup that showed good fade and depth. His fourth pitch was an 11-5 shaped curveball that hit 76 mph that he used sparingly, but showed some tightness and feel for the pitch.

For 2/20's video of Feldman, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNRWu58Zh7o

Sr. 3B Clayton Taylor, University of Nebraska Omaha 

As noted in yesterday's edition of this blog, Taylor stands with a very strong 6-foot-4, 220 pound frame at the plate. He showed an impressive ability to pick up spin and lay off when it's thrown low and out of the zone. His bat speed and strength allows him to use his pull oriented approach to drive the ball through the right side with ease. His swing features a level plane with natural lift, as well as present feel for the barrel leads to a high number line drives. At the plate, he led the team with five hits in the Mavericks' pair of games on Saturday.

For 2/20's video of Taylor, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnpKeJyGMCc

So. OF Cory Canterbury, St. Louis CC

The 5-foot-9 Canterbury didn't let height get in the way of making a large impact to start off the game for the Archers. With a quick swing and surprising strength for his size, he lifted a 344 foot solo home run over the left field fence on just the second pitch of the game. Canterbury showed good bat speed and plane in his swing with a line drive oriented approach.

RS Jr. C/OF Michael Mioduszewski, Eastern Michigan University

Mioduszewski notched two hits in Saturday's action for the Eagles, with both leaving his bat at greater than 101 mph. He showed very impressive bat speed out of his 6-foot-4, 240 pound frame with strong barrel timing ability. He incorporates his lower half well and generates good torque through the ball allowing for such hard contact with a balanced swing. 

So. RHP Bryan Quillens, Georgia Highlands

Saturday marked Quillens third start of the year for the Chargers and to date it was easily his most consistent outing. He still worked from his three-quarter arm slot with the same impressive arm speed and downhill action. His fastball topped out at 91 mph with good life and he improved significantly with his command, working arm-side well. His slider also appeared to be sharper, spinning up to 2500 RPM, per TrackMan. It maintained it's usual 10-4 shape, but Quillens threw it harder, up to 80 mph, and generated more swings and misses. 

For 2/20's video of Quillens, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-yviBtmJvo

Fr. C/RHP Justin Wilson, Volunteer State CC

Yesterday I looked at Wilson as a pitcher where he touched 94 mph with his fastball, today we look at him behind and at the plate. One thing Wilson is assuredly not lacking of is arm strength. In warm-ups, he routinely popped in the low 2.00's from his knees, with his best coming at 1.89 in game action. He has raw receiving skills, but does show the ability to steal strikes on outside pitches. At the plate, he utilizes a level swing path and flashes bat speed, but lacks intent at the plate, often opting to attempt to bunt. He moves well down the line and has very athletic actions all over the field.  

For 2/20's video of Wilson, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSP7qA6-vlM

So. RHP Corey Binger, University of Nebraska Omaha

The 6-foot-3, 190 pound Binger certainly looks the part on the mound with broad shoulders and a very projectable frame. Binger showed a very clean, loose arm action on the mound that generated sharp downhill action. He doesn't currently rely on his lower-half much in his delivery, but could see an additional tick or two in his fastball by incorporating it. Binger showed a strong four pitch mix on the mound, primarily relying on his 86-88 mph fastball that topped out at 89 mph. His fastball showed heavy life with good arm-side run that allowed him to miss barrels. He featured a pair of breaking balls, a 11-5 shaped curveball offering that flashed depth, as well as a sharp, sweeping slider that touched 82 mph. He also mixed a changeup that touched 80 mph with slight sinking life. 

For 2/20's video of Binger, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXx3EAT0Tao

RS So. OF Jesse Uttendorfer, New Jersey Institute of Technology

The generously listed 5-foot-9, 165 pound Uttendorfer acted as a catalyst for the Highalnders' offense. He used a slash-and-dash approach at the plate, with a quick inside out swing that was contact oriented. He showed raw bat speed at the plate with a line drive swing plane as he roped two doubles in NJIT's second game. Uttendorfer also showed impressive speed on the bases as well as in the field, being clocked at 4.20 down the first base line. 

For 2/20's video of Uttendorfer, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSU1bAgQ4_4
Opening Weekend at LakePoint >>
  

2/19/2016 10:31:37 PM

It was a full day of baseball Friday at LakePoint with a D1 programs Eastern Michigan and Nebraska-Omaha, two talented JUCO’s in Volunteer State and Lincoln Trail, as well as the tough NAIA Point University.

Notable standouts from today’s action include:

Sr. RHP Sam Delaplane, University of Eastern Michigan

The Eagles’ closer in 2015 took the mound to open up their season and didn’t disappoint showing a very loose arm action and working from a three-quarters slot. The 5-foot-11, 175 pound right-hander started with a medium leg raise into a slight drop and drive, Delaplane utilized an online delivery with good extension down the mound. Delaplane worked quickly and opened the game hitting 91 mph on the gun and held his velocity well throughout his outing, sitting in the 88-90 mph range. His fastball primarily worked straight, but when he threw it low in the zone it generated slight arm-side run. His best pitch was his 12-6 shaped curveball that showed tight spin and impressive depth. He filled the strike zone and was able to locate arm-side exceptionally and flashed well glove side. Delaplane had the occasional problem leaving his fastball up in the zone, getting hit hard when he did, but he competed on the mound and left after 6 2/3 innings allowing three runs.

For 2/19's video of Delaplane, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FIr3PV4Ifs

Sr. OF Cole Gruber, University of Nebraska Omaha

Coming in to the game as PG’s pre-season conference player of the year, Gruber showed impressive tools across the diamond. He opened the game with a double to right field, aggressively challenging the fielders with his legs and safely making it to second. In the field, he managed to get fantastic jumps on the ball with good range. Gruber is a truly elite runner clocking a 4.13 home to first time that’d fit around the 70 range in the professional 20-80 scouting scale. His speed plays very clearly in games as he swiped two bags and beat out an infield hit. At the plate, Gruber showed very impressive bat speed with a short, compact stroke. His advanced feel for barrel timing and pitch recognition allow him to square up pitches with consistency.

For 2/19's video of Gruber, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liag2Zy9cHc

Sr. 3B/SS Clayton Taylor, University of Nebraska Omaha

Taylor didn’t wait long to make his presence felt in the game with a first-pitch-swinging two-run home run in the top of the first inning. Taylor showed really consistent plane through the zone with his swing that generated natural lift and back spin. In his following two at-bats, Taylor utilized a more patient approach working two walks and showing the ability to pick up spin. Taylor’s bat speed stood out as well, turning on an inside fastball with the present strength to keep the ball fair, rather than pulling it foul.

Sr. RHP Tyler Fox, University of Nebraska Omaha

The 6-foot-2, 190 pound right-hander is the third member of this Maverick’s team to make PG’s all-conference selections, joining his teammates Taylor and Gruber. Taylor worked from a three-quarter slot with a short arm action and quick circle through the back. He lands slightly closed on the mound, giving him a slight cross-fire delivery down the mound. His fastball worked in the upper 80’s throughout the start with a floor of 85 and a high of 80 mph. With his cross-fire action, his fastball showed slight cut action to it low in the zone. Fox worked in an 11-5 shaped curveball as well on the mound flashing depth up to 76 mph, but his better of the two breaking pitches was his 10-4 shaped slider. He showed slightly more feel for his slider with short breaking action that he threw harder, up to 80 mph. Fox also showed a changeup in warm-ups with slight fade and depth.

For 2/19's video of Fox, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Sq3j3W379A

RS Jr. SS Marquise Gil, Eastern Michigan University

The toolsy Eagles’ shortstop showed very clean, quick actions in the infield with smooth transfer skills and strong arm across the diamond. Gil looks taller than listed at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds with good present strength. He moves well on the bases consistently requiring a pick-off attempt from opposing pitchers and taking the extra bag with ease. At the plate, Gil is slightly inconsistent with his bat path, but his bat speed helps him recover and continue to make hard contact.

Sr. OF/3B Jackson Martin, Eastern Michigan University

It’s hard to lose Martin on the field, as he easily lives up to his listed 6-foot-5, 220 pound frame. Martin has clear present strength and has filled out his large frame well. His long limbs work both for him and against him, occasionally making his swing long, but also allowing him to get to the outside pitch and drive it. He works with a pull oriented approach with raw power and quick hands. He netted three of the 17 hits recorded by Eastern Michigan Friday afternoon with four RBI and three runs scored.

So. 3B/OF Brennan Williams, Eastern Michigan University

Not to be outdone by his teammate, Williams delivered a big day of his own showing easy, pure bat speed at the plate with a line drive swing plane. Williams cleared the left-field wall with a deep home run to further expand the Eagles’ lead. With clear strength in his 6-foot-4, 225 pound frame, Williams generates good leverage and torque through his lower half to drive the ball to all fields.

Sr. RHP Dylan Griffin, Point University

Taking the mound for Point University, the 6-foot-3, 220 pound senior looks the part on the mound. With strength throughout his frame, the tall right-hander works with a sharp downhill action and impressive arm speed. Working from a high three-quarter slot, Griffin features a long arm action with a hard stab at the end of his circle. Landing slightly closed with a heel turn in his landing, Griffin showed a fastball that topped out at 93 mph with cutting action, and sat in the 90-92 range for the first two innings, then settled in in the upper 80’s. He struggled with command, but occasionally flashed the ability to work arm-side. Griffin also featured a sharp, 10-4 shaped slider that hit 84 mph with sharp bite and tilt.

For 2/19's video of Griffin, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RePvEHaK0Zk

So. OF DeAires Moses, Volunteer State CC

A 31st round pick of the Mariners in the 2014, the 5-foot-9, 170 pound Moses showed exceptional quick twitch athleticism and top notch speed. In the field, Moses displayed really good ability to track balls and flashed his impressive speed and range to make a diving catch in the right-center field gap. At the plate, he starts with a slightly open stance and a hand set that rests close to the body. He ripped a double in his second at-bat, but had some trouble matching plane at the plate in his following at-bats. His speed will always allow him a chance to beat out a base hit, registering a 4.03 home to first time on a bunt puts him in a special class.

For 2/19's video of Moses, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hmae6mwoJ14

So. RHP Josh Krupinski, Volunteer State CC

The 6-foot-5, 240 pound Krupinski came in the game in relief for Volunteer State. He worked quickly from a three-quarter arm slot with a long arm action. Krupinski showed good lower half incorporation with good hip drive down towards the plate. His fastball had heavy action and touched 90 mph. With a slightly closed landing and heel turn finish, he generates slight cut action on his fastball. He worked both sides of the plate well and showed the ability to generate swings. Would like to see him work on a secondary offering to play off his fastball.

For 2/19's video of Krupinski, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGgmBlDF2H8

So. LHP Austin Batka, Lincoln Trail College

The University of Michigan commit came in to fire a pair of relief innings for Lincoln Trail College. With an extreme cross-fire delivery, Batka relies on a long, loose arm action and plus arm speed on the mound. His fastball showed good cut action and topped out at 91 mph and sitting 88-90 mph in throughout his outing. His inconsistencies in release point hindered command, but he flashed the ability to locate arm-side. In warm-ups he showed both a changeup and slider, but did not throw either in game. The changeup flashed some fade and depth, showing some potential to be a weapon.

For 2/19's video of Batka, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6Av3GbKrPE

Fr. RHP/C Justin Wilson, Volunteer State CC

The 6-foot-2, 170 pound right-handed Wilson came in to close the game for Volunteer State after catching the first eight innings. Behind the plate, he showed an exceptionally strong arm that translated well on the mound as well as sound receiving skills. As a pitcher, he started with a medium leg raise and high over the top arm angle. He landed online and showed a very quick arm with sharp downhill action. He featured a fastball that touched 93 mph and sat in the low 90’s. He also struggled slightly with repeating his delivery leading to occasional wildness, but he attacked hitters and did not hesitate to elevate his fastball to garner a swing and miss. 

For 2/19's video of Wilson, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFbMY9egwtQ
Georgia Highlands vs Cleveland State >>
  

2/17/2016 6:38:56 PM

2/17/2016

Georgia Highlands took on Cleveland State in some Wednesday afternoon JUCO action at LakePoint. Highlands put on an impressive power display with a 12-2 rout backed by three big home runs. 

Some standouts from today's action include:

So. LHP/1B Daniel Gooden

The 6-foot-2, 205 pound strongly built Gooden unleashed two home runs, the second of which was captured in the video below. The Georgia Tech transfer showed very impressive bat speed at the plate and the ability to generate back spin. He struggled at times letting his hips leak out and hitting off his front side, but when he waits back, he can use his strength to drive the ball with authority. 

For 2/17's video of Gooden, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnZc6gXluJA

So. 1B Zach McCrum

There may not be a hitter in the country seeing the ball as well as McCrum has the last week. The 6-foot-4, 230 pound slugger delivered a massive home run and a missed a second by a matter of feet, that was only stopped by the batter's eye. As previously noted in this blog, McCrum uses an incredibly patient approach at the plate and shows the ability to pick up spin and lay off what would be a chase pitch. He has very present raw power and strength, coupled with his bat speed and natural lift in his swing. His advanced barrel timing and feel allow him to consistently make hard contact. 

For 2/17's video of McCrum, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTCdeQ0u6qg

Fr. 3B Brandon Bell

The talented freshman has been a frequent feature on these recaps and not without accident. Bell continued his hot start to the season with a pair of doubles at the plate on Wednesday. Bell has very impressive bat speed at the plate. His explosive hands through the zone and ability to match plane allow him to drive the ball to all fields. He had the hardest hit ball of the game registered at 105 mph off the bat per TrackMan data in his second at-bat of the game. 

For 2/17's video of Bell, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4slLfFG42k

So. LHP Casey Collins

Collins took the mound for his third outing of the year and arguably his best. He tossed five innings allowing two unearned runs on just two hits. His fastball was down slightly from his last appearance sitting in the mid-80's, but also with improved command. He pitched quickly and effectively in route to earning his first win of the season. 

Georgia Highlands vs Walters State >>
  

2/13/2016 11:22:28 PM

2/13/2016

The Georgia Highlands Chargers and the Walters State CC Senators took part in a two day-three game series at LakePoint between Friday and Saturday. The Senators earned a series sweep behind a very potent offense.

The standouts from this weekend include:

So. C Weston McArthur, Walters State CC

It's hard to not leadoff with the 6-foot 200 pound catcher from Calhoun, GA. The power hitting right-hander led the Senators' offense single handedly with three home runs, one in each game. McArthur uses a slight crouch in his stance, but really works through the ball well with his lower half generating impressive torque through ball. He also showed off impressive bat speed with strong hands through the zone creating lift to drive the ball in the air. 

RS So. OF Ramon Osuna, Walters State CC

The 6-foot-2 240 pound strongly build red shirt sophomore came into the series as the #92 ranked JUCO prospect by Perfect Game. Osuna really impressed with both his approach, and power at the plate. He showed an easy ability to recognize spin and wait for his pitch, and when he gets it, he doesn't miss. In his fourth at-bat of the first game on Saturday, Osuna launched a ball in the direction of several cars well beyond the right-center field fence. He showed an easy ability to generate back spin and impressive bat speed to the ball. His current approach, combined with his power, could make him a riser on MLB draft boards. 

For 2/13's video of Osuna, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5p1Mo7MSug

RS So. RHP Reed Hayes, Walters State CC

A 28th round pick of the Royals in 2015, Hayes returned to Walters State to take on his red shirt sophomore season. The right-hander stands at 6-foot-3 on the mound and works from the first base side of the rubber. Utilizing a three-quarter arm slot and short arm action, Hayes worked quickly and filled the zone. He primarily relied on his fastball that touched 90 mph, but routinely sat 86-88 mph throughout his outing. His fastball had good, heavy life that generated several swings and misses, but the righty struggled with location, often times leaving the ball up. In his delivery, Hayes lacked complete involvement in his lower half and cut off his extension routinely. If incorporated, he could see his fastball jump several ticks. He showed a curveball that hit 74 mph that flashed sharpness and depth with an 11-5 shape. His changeup was the better of his two off-speed pitches, showing fade low and out of the zone hitting 81 mph. 

For 2/13's video of Hayes, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wy5r4tNxoic

Fr. RHP Nile Ball, Walters State CC

The 6-foot 200 pound righty took over in relief for the Senators in the first game on Saturday and impressed. Ball utilizes a low three-quarters arm slot on the mound with a short arm action and circle. He worked with an up tempo pace on the bump and utilized a fastball that touched 90 mph. He worked easier in the 86-88 mph range on the mound and his fastball showed very impressive armside life. His swing and miss weapon, most effective against righties, was his 74 mph slider that showed good late bite. 

For 2/13's video of Ball, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Egbc3NJin6o

So. LHP Daniel Gooden, Georgia Highlands

Gooden took the mound for his second start of the season for Highlands. The Georgia Tech transfer showed an online delivery working from a three-quarters arm slot with a long arm action in the back. What he improved on from his last start was sequencing his pitches more effectively. Gooden featured a four pitch mix on the mound, primarily a fastball that touched 90 mph once again with good armside run. He featured two breaking balls, a curveball with a 1-7 shape that showed some depth but lacked sharpness and a 2-8 shaped slider that he threw slightly harder that hit 74 mph. The slider was the more impressive offering flashing two-plane break and generating more swings and misses. His forth pitch was a changeup that showed deceptive sink and depth.

So. 1B Zach McCrum, Georgia Highlands

McCrum continued his power streak with his second homer in the last three days. McCrum's strength and bat speed continue to feast on fastballs over the middle of the plate. His easy raw power and extension will help him maintain his presence in the middle of the Highlands' lineup. 

Highlands Chargers vs Chattanooga State >>
  

2/11/2016 8:12:05 PM

The Georgia Highlands Chargers took to LakePoint on Thursday afternoon to start off their busy weekend of action with a doubleheader against the Chattanooga State CC Tigers. The Tigers earned a victory in the first game, 4-1, with Highlands earning a split of the series with a 3-2 walk-off win in game two.

Some of the standouts from today's action were:

Fr. RHP Andy Rivera, Chattanooga State CC

Rivera has medium frame with long limbs and worked from a low three-quarters arm slot on the mound. He utilized a long arm action and quick circle with an online delivery on the mound. He mixed his pitches well and kept hitters off balance at the plate with a fastball, changeup, and slurve offering. Rivera's fastball topped out at 88 mph in the first inning with good armside life and held his velocity throughout his seven innings on the mound in the 84-86 mph range. His changeup was the better of his two off-speed pitches, showing deceptive fade with the ability to keep it low in the zone and hitting 80 mph. His slurve offering was short breaking at 75 mph, but inconsistent and was occasionally left up in the zone. 

For 2/11's video of Rivera, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mbeeNsQ6LE

Fr. RHP Hugo Casilla, Chattanooga State CC

Casilla looks his listed 5-foot-10 on the mound, but uses it to his advantage. The freshman right-hander worked efficiently and quickly on the mound with a long arm action and big circle. Working from a three quarters arm slot, he generated extension down the mound. He threw a straight fastball that topped out at 87 mph and sat comfortably between 84-86 mph throughout his start. What he did well with his fastball was fill the zone and change the eye level of hitters. He worked the pitch very well with his big breaking 70 mph 12-6 curveball. The pitched showed excellent depth and Casilla routinely threw the pitch for a called strike. He occasionally mixed in a changeup that showed slight fade, but needed polish. 

For 2/11's video of Casilla, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llOqs0zBA9g

So. 1B Zach McCrum, Georgia Highalnds

The big right-hander looks every bit of his listed 6-foot-4 235 pound frame. With very clear present strength and raw power, McCrum lifted a towering 348 foot home run to left that had an exit speed of 97.7 mph, per TrackMan. He has the natural ability to generate backspin in his swing, with present bat speed and lift. McCrum utilizes a patient approach at the plate and has shown the ability to recognize spin and wait for his pitch, much like tonight. 

For 2/11's video of McCrum, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uOMJEX9QJ0

So. LHP Tristan Roberts, Georgia Highlands

The 6-foot-1 190 pound Roberts took the mound to start game two for Highlands. Roberts showed a loose, short arm action with a sharp downhill drive towards the plate. Using an online delivery and three quarter arm slot, he showed good pitchibility and an aggressive mentality on the mound. Roberts utilized a fastball that touched 90 mph in the first inning with good armside life that had heavy action, generating a lot of ground balls. With the heaviness of the pitch, he worked out of any jams with relative ease thanks to the help of his infield. He also mixed in a 1-7 shaped curveball that flashed depth, but was slow breaking. He also flashed a changeup, but did not use it outside of warm-ups. 

For 2/11's video of Roberts, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uOMJEX9QJ0

So. OF Brandon Etheridge, Georgia Highlands

Etheridge impressed in all three facets of the game on Thursday. He started by making a very impressive catch on a line drive to the left-center gap to prevent a run from scoring. He showed a strong arm from the outfield as well, holding would be challenging runners in place. At the plate, he utilized a short, level swing to the ball and present bat speed. He also displayed good speed with a 4.32 time from home to first base. 

Georgia Highlands Chargers vs Surry Knights >>
  

2/6/2016 6:16:09 PM

2/6/2016

Games two and three of the four game set between the Georgia Highlands Chargers and the Surry Knights took place Saturday afternoon at LakePoint. The Chargers took both games on Saturday and look to complete the sweep on Sunday.

Some of the notable standouts from Saturday's action include:

So. LHP Daniel Gooden, Georgia Highlands

Gooden's listed 6-foot-3 frame may be a tad generous, but the former Georgia Tech left-hander is still loaded with projection. Working from a low three-quarter slot, his fastball topped out at 90 mph and comfortably worked between 86-89 mph throughout the outing. His fastball had good present life, with hard armside run away from right-handed batters. He struggled with command early, but improved throughout his four inning stint with control, especially armside. He incorporated a pair of breaking ball offerings. The first, a curveball, showing depth and a 1-7 shape he worked in the low 70's topping out at 73 mph. He showed present feel for the pitch, with the ability to bury low in the zone. Gooden also worked in a slider he threw slightly harder in the high 70's with a short break and 2-9 shape. 

For 2/6's video of Gooden, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoDH7BJFFds

So. LHP Casey Collins, Georgia Highlands

The second lefty for the Chargers came into the game in the 5th and picked up where Gooden left off. Collins worked quickly and efficiently on the mound from a three-quarter arm slot and attacked hitters with a 85-88 mph fastball that topped out at 89 mph in the second inning. He showed the ability to generate good armside run and cut the ball when closing off his delivery. Collins' curveball topped out at 80 mph and showed good depth with a 1-7 shape. He generated good drive with his lower half towards and generated good extension down the mound. He repeated his delivery well and controlled the ball to both sides of the plate. 

For 2/6's video of Collins, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNVEGNABnZ4

So. LHP Tristan Roberts, Georgia Highlands

Highlands' third lefty of the game was another impressive one. The 6-foot 175 pound Roberts has a good, athletic frame on the mound and utilizes a deceptive, high three-quarter arm slot. With a quick arm and good extension down the mound, he ran his fastball up to 89 mph and sat 85-88 mph. He flashed a curveball during warm-ups that showed good depth and sharpness, but did not feature it in game. 

Fr. 3B Brandon Bell, Georgia Highlands

The freshman continued his torrid weekend with another strong performance. Bell tallied up another three hits in four trips to the plate including a roped double to the right-center field fence that left the bat 103 mph per TrackMan. His advanced feel for the barrel and ability to drive the ball should allow him to continue to hit for a high average with power to consistently deliver extra base hits. 

Georgia Highlands vs Surry Knights >>
  

2/5/2016 9:48:15 PM

2/5/2016

The Georgia Highlands Chargers took on the Surry Knights on Friday in the first game of a four part series this weekend at LakePoint. Below are some of the scouting notes from the players from Friday's game. 

So. Bryan Quillens RHP

Quillens most impressive attribute on the mound is his arm speed. The 6-foot-1 right-hander has room still to fill in his frame and with added strength he should be able to maintain his velocity easier into starts. He opened the game firing a fastball that touched 93 mph and sat comfortably in the inning between 89-91 mph. Through the start, he struggled holding velocity, and in the 2nd through the 4th inning he settled in between 86-89 mph. The command of the pitch varied. At times showing the ability to work armside, but often missing glove side, or in the middle of the plate. What saved the sophomore was his ability to miss barrels. He generated numerous groundballs in the start, escaping self-induced jams with weak contact working all of the infielders. His quick arm action and fast paced delivery, he used his fastballs to attack hitters. He worked in a short breaking slider that sat in the high 70's and touched the low 80's in the start. The pitch flashed some tightness, but was mostly thrown outside, in the turf to right handed batters. In warm-ups and occasionally in the game, he showed a changeup at 80 mph that flashed fade. 

For 2/5's video of Quillens, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OapTHdqGBGA

Fr. Brandon Bell 3B

The first year Chargers' third basemen handled leadoff duties on Friday, and failed to disappoint. Bell, who stands at 6-foot-2 with a 210 pound frame looks the part at the plate. With impressively quick hands through the zone with an aggressive approach at the plate. He showed impressive present bat speed and line drive oriented approach that worked all fields. Bell showed a distinctive feel for the barrel at the plate, highlighted with a line drive triple to right-center field that one hopped the wall, landing 370 feet from the plate, per TrackMan. He reached base three of four trips to the plate with a hard hit single in addition to the triple. Another facet of his game that impressed, was his in-game speed. He moved very well down the line clocking a 4.23 time from home to first.

For 2/5's video of Bell, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69uzGyDSLQk

So. Ross Hoffner 2B

The Knights' infielder showed some impressive defensive actions in the field as well as quick twitch actions at the plate. Hoffner with the infield in, snared a hot shot ground ball to prevent a run from scoring with a diving play to his right. He showed soft hands and sound defensive actions around the bag throughout the game. 

At the plate, Temple used a narrow base with a tall, upright stance. He showed some bat speed with a slap oriented approach to utilize his speed on the base paths. His in game speed played well and was used as a weapon, both down the line and stealing bases.

#13 Mercyhurst Lakers vs Stillman Tigers >>
  

1/31/2016 7:37:53 PM

The #13 ranked Mercyhurst Lakers and Stillman Tigers returned to LakePoint on Sunday to play their second doubleheader in as many days.

Mercyhurst slugger, Hank Morrison, picked up where he left off last year with a home run in the day's second game. Morrison utilizes a very wide base and quiet hand set at the plate. With a toe tap timing mechanism, he generates strong torque through his lower half, with quick wrists and impressive bat speed. He has natural lift in his swing, that allows his pull oriented approach to drive the ball consistently to left field.

For video of Morrison, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agcFNsBII2A

Lakers' game one starter was 6'5" right hander Joe Gnacinski. The tall, lanky Senior generated impressive downhill action from a three-quarter release point. His fastball topped out at 90 mph in the first inning and comfortably sat in the upper 80's with good armside run. He commanded the pitch well armside, while struggling slightly to work inside to lefties.

Gnacinski generated some deception in his delivery with a slight crouch in his upper-half as he came to the plate. He mixed his pitches well and kept hitters off balance, working his changeup and curveball in with ease.

His curveball showed good depth with an 11-5 shape and some feel for the pitch. He was able to throw it for strikes consistently and bury it in the dirt when necessary to finish an at-bat. Gnacinski's changeup topped out at 83 mph and showed good fading action away from right-handed batters. He slowed his arm slightly for the pitch, but it was still difficult for hitters to pick up. 

The game two starter for the Lakers was Senior right-hander Cam Knott. The 5'10" starter worked quickly and attacked the strikezone aggressively with a three pitch mix that generated very weak contact. He showed good, quick downhill action towards the plate with a three-quarter armslot. He worked his fastball in the upper 80's for the first several innings and topped out at 89 mph with good armside wiggle. 

Knott's off-speed stuff was highlighted by his 80 mph downward breaking slider that showed good depth and tight spin. He showed good feel for the pitch and was able to throw it for strikes early in the count as well as late to keep hitters off balance. He flashed feel for a changeup that showed slight fade armside and the ability to spot it on the corners. 

Infielder Brendan Cox showed impressive bat speed and lift in his swing with several loud outs on the day. The Senior showed quick hands through the zone and he ability to drive the ball up the middle. 

Mckee shines in Mercyhurst opener >>
  

1/30/2016 6:39:40 PM

1/30/2016

College Baseball season kicked off at LakePoint on Saturday as a part of Perfect Game's Spring Swing series. Following a DII World Series trip in 2015, Mercyhurst University traveled down from Pennsylvania to take on Stillman College for a four game set, the first two of which took place on Saturday. Recently ranked #13 in PG's 2016 DII rankings, Mercyhurst returns star right-hander Colin Mckee as well as slugger Hank Morrison. 

Coming off their strong finish a year ago, Mercyhurst Head Coach Joe Spano, remembered it fondly, "For me personally, coaching it was the greatest thing we've ever accomplished on the field." He added that, "We're hoping to build off it and keep going. We have some returners that are going to make us very deep, it's just a matter of how you mange those innings." The innings Spano mentioned are due to the graduation of starter Jon Klein who led the team in wins and was second in innings pitched. When asked about how they would adjust, Spano said, "We've always had a great bullpen, we believe in our bullpen and may have to go to it more." The core strength of Merchurst's team has always been pitching and defense. This year, Spano notes that an unlikely help could be from a deep, talented lineup. "It's definitely not going to be easy" he added, who now in his 16th year at the head of the program has his eyes set on a repeat trip to the World Series. 

Top starter, Colin Mckee, toed the rubber for game one. Starting his windup from the third base side and utilizing a strong, 6'3" 230 pound frame, he worked quickly and efficiently on the mound. He opened the game hitting 92 mph with his fastball before settling in at 88-91 mph and maintaining that velocity throughout the game. He showed excellent command of the pitch, working both sides of the plate and attacking hitters up in the zone. His fastball generated consistent swings and misses as well as weak contact with good life and riding action.

Working from a three-quarter arm slot, Mckee showed a quick arm, with sharp downhill action. He started with a medium leg raise and sharp drive from his lower half towards the plate. With a short arm action and quick arm circle, he kept hitters off balance with a true three pitch mix. His slider worked in the upper 70's for most of the game, and topped out at 81 mph. With a sharp, vertical 11-5 break, the pitch acted as his put away offering. When kept low, it complimented his fastball and left hitters off-balance. For his third pitch, he worked in a changeup with good sinking action. He kept the pitch low, setting hitters up with his explosive fastball up in the strike zone. The draft eligible red shirt Junior, navigated a Stillman lineup with ease tossing five scoreless innings allowing just three hits and striking out 10 batters. His impressive control of all three pitches allowed him to not allow a walk. He left the game after the fifth inning with his club maintaining a 2-0 lead.

For video of Mckee, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyFVkmNvdtA

For Stillman, sophomore catcher Josh McDaniel led their offense. He utilized a tall frame and medium build at the plate and showed very impressive bat speed. His broad shoulders are a good sign of present strength and there is room to additionally fill out in his frame. Generating good torque through his lower half he drove a 90 mph fastball from Mckee to deep left-center field for a double that registered 105 mph off the bat. He followed that up in the 7th inning with a towering home run to left field that registered a 100 mph exit speed. His line drive swing plane and quick hands through the zone allow for consistent, hard contact with a pull oriented approach. 

Right-handed senior Josh Freeman earned the start for the Tigers. With a lean, wiry frame, Freeman shows present room to fill with added strength. He opened the game with an 87 mph fastball that showed good armside run and routinely sat in the mid 80's for the rest of his outing. Showing a loose arm action from a three-quarter arm slot, Freeman attacked hitters inside earning weak contact off the bats of Mercyhurst hitters. He worked in a slider that worked in the mid 70's slider that he flashed feel for, when kept low in the zone. Freeman tossed all seven innings on the mound, allowing only two runs to earn the 4-2 win for Stillman. 

In game two, Mercyhurst sent out left-handed sophomore Matthew Minnick. The 6'1" 200 pound lefty looks thinner than his listed size, and with his projectable frame, he should be able to put on additional weight and strength. A true sophomore, he opened the first inning by popping the mitt with an 89 mph fastball and saw it comfortably sit in the 84-87 mph range. His fastball showed good armside life that generated weak contact throughout the start. 

Minnick showed very smooth mechanics throughout his delivery, repeating well during his start. With a quick arm and loose arm action, he filled the strike zone with his assortment of pitches. He generated good extension downhill and could even incorporate more drive with his lower half down the mound. 

His curveball showed to be his best secondary offering. with a 1-7 shape from the left side. With good depth and tight spin, he flashes feel for the pitch. In addition to the curveball, he mixed in a slider as a second breaking pitch. He threw his curveball consistently in the low 70's with regularity. With sweeping action across the zone, he utilized it as a way to work inside to right-handed batters. Minnick appeared to have more control of his slider, that touched 80 mph, but worked primarily with his curveball and changeup after the first inning. His changeup showed late fade and sink and was able to maintain his arm speed for added deception. 

In his fourth and final inning of work, Minnick escaped a two on, no out jam. He generated a weak grounder to the shortstop who quickly turned a double play and then a fly out to work out of trouble. He only allowed one hit in his four innings, but struggled with command as the game went on. He struck out two with an idea to pitch to contact. 

Behind Minnick's strong outing, Mercyhurst evened the opening weeekend series with a 2-0 win. The two teams will face off for another double header tomorrow at LakePoint. 

#13 Mercyhurst Lakers vs Stillman Tigers >>
  

1/30/2016 10:14:42 AM

Game #1

Colin McKee (RHP, JR, Mercyhurst) pitched in the 89-91 range with his FB, and kept hitters off balance with a mid 70's SL. McKee maintained his velocity still touching 91 in the 5th inning. 

Josh McDaniel (C, So, Stillman) impressed with a LD 2B in the left field gap. Trackman registered the exit speed at 105 MPH off the bat. McDaniel later homered in the 7th to left field. The homerun traveled 362.7 feet and left the bat at 100.1 MPH via Trackman. 

Game #2

Matthew Minnick (LHP, So, Mercyhurst) pitched with a clean easy mechanics and loose AA. Minnick pitched in the 87-89 range with his FB. The lefty mixed in a CU at 79 with good sink and a SL at 79. 

Jamie Lauria (RHP, RJr, Mercyhurst) ran his FB up to 90 while pitching in the 87-89 range. 

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