On Jan. 22 and 23, the third-annual Four Corners Scout Day took place in Las Vegas. The event, put on by Buck Thomas and Bat-R-Up batting cages, gives scouts the opportunity to see some of the top players in the Four Corners area take batting practice, run 60-yard dashes, throw bullpens and take infield.
Baseball America was not able to attend this year's event, but I caught up with a scout that did attend and here is what he had to say about some of the players that stood out. . .
Jake Hager, ss, Sierra Vista HS, Las Vegas (2011)
The only player at the event ranked in Baseball America's High School Top 100, Hager was the prime attraction for scouts and he lived up to the billing.
"Hager looked good," the scout said. "Jake was a little tired. He had a couple workouts before that day and then Friday he hit in the batting cage in four different intervals. So when he came out for live hitting on Sunday, he was probably a little fatigued, but that's normal. Of course he's going to get a lot of workouts because there's a lot of interest in him. He's a great kid and the makeup is off the charts. Really good kid, comes from a great family.
"The swing looked good, I think he was just tired and the bat was dragging a little bit. He turned it on in the last session he had and was getting around on the ball a little more, but he was just a little tired. But overall he looked good. He was the best one there, by far. We knew he was going to stick out and he did."
Cameron Coombs, rhp, Durango HS, Las Vegas (2011)
Like Hager, Coombs was featured in the writeup we did on the 2010 version of this event and again stood out this year. Coombs has a physical, 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame and is committed to Brigham Young.
"There were a few arms that threw pretty well and Coombs was one of them," the scout said. "He was up to 90 (mph) in the bullpen, which isn't bad, especially when you can't get anything going. You can't get your adrenaline pumping when you're just throwing a bullpen. But he was up to 90 and he's got something there. He throws a heavy ball. He threw mostly fastballs and changeups. It's early for these kids, so I wasn't expecting to see many breaking balls. But he throws a heavy ball and kind of has a Kevin Brown delivery."
Zak Qualls, lhp, Rancho HS, Las Vegas (2011)
Qualls is a talented lefthander that needs to add strength to his rail-thin, 6-foot-3, 160-pound frame. He is committed to Nevada-Las Vegas.
"It was the same Qualls," the scout said. "Qualls was up to 89. Another kid that is a little frail in the body, but he'll grow into it and get stronger. To me, his changeup is still his best pitch. He can spin a little breaking ball and he's another kid that's going to be interesting. I don't know if it's going to happen for him this year, but when that body fills out and gets stronger, you may see something from him in the next few years here."
Jordan Dunatov, of, Horizon HS, Scottsdale, Ariz. (2011)
Dunatov is an athletic outfielder from Arizona that is committed to Oregon State.
"He's a big kid," the scout said. "He's a raw kid, but the tools are there. It looks like the tools may show up. He didn't show a whole lot for me, but he's a big projection guy. He's raw, he's athletic—he's also a basketball player—and it may come out for him this season. When he swung the bat, it came off really well and he ran a 7.2."
Brooks Orton, ss, Cedar City (Utah) HS (2011)
"I thought he took a good BP with a short, quick swing," the scout said. "He just kind of uses his hands only, but he was pretty decent and he ran decent, too—6.86, one of the faster kids out there."
Orton has a dual commitment to Texas State and Lamar (Colo.) CC.
A couple underclassmen stood out at the event, as well. . .
Andrew Church, rhp, Palo Verde HS, Las Vegas (2013)
"He'll be ineligible this year because he transferred from (Bishop) Gorman to Palo Verde. So, you won't see him this year, but he's a 2013 kid and he was up to 86 with a loose arm. There's a lot more there and I've heard he's been up to 90 before. You can tell these kids aren't really in shape yet, but that's a good kid to keep an eye on."
Brandon Sherrier, rhp, Durango HS, Las Vegas (2012)
"He had a good, compact delivery and was up to 88-89, but it was nice and loose. It was mostly fastballs, but he's a 2012 kid."
A few deeper follows for scouts include 2014 lefthander/outfielder Cooper Powell, a freshman at Centennial HS in Las Vegas, and 13-year-old shortstop Nick Quintana (class of 2016), who showed a nice swing for a player his age. Nick's older brother, Zach Quintana, is a 2012 shortstop at Arbor View HS in Las Vegas and is verbally committed to San Diego State. Another 2016 player, outfielder Chris Dunn, was able to hang with the big dogs and will be followed over the next several years.
For more information on the event and YouTube videos of some of the players, including Hager and Coombs, visit the Bat-R-Up Web site.
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