JUPITER, Fla. — After the first day of the World Wood Bat Championship was cut short, the second day got off to a late start with heavy rains and strong winds whipping through the area. Scheduled to start at 8 a.m., games finally got rolling around noon and players and scouts battled through intermittent rain the rest of the day.
While a lot of scouts called it a night before the final slate of games started—after 9:30 p.m.—they stuck around long enough to line up several rows deep to see Casey Shane pitch for the Houston Banditos. He pitched four innings, allowing one hit and two walks while striking out six.
Shane is a big-bodied righthander from Centennial High (Burleson, Texas) that stands at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds. His fastball is a nasty pitch that sits 89-93 mph with heavy sink and run. He also mixed in a low-80s breaking ball and mid-80s changeup that featured good sink and fade. The breaking ball flashed tight break, but he only threw it a a couple times and has a slider as well.
"I've been throwing both lately," Shane said. "I only threw a couple curveballs tonight and they worked well. My changeup looked great. It was tailing a lot and stayed low."
He stuck to throwing mostly fastballs in his outing. He simply overmatched hitters with it, but also battled his command some and had to pitch out of a couple of jams. In his four innings of work, Shane threw 65 pitches. He has a hip turn in his delivery that may be causing an inconsistent release point.
"Really I just want to stay smooth and balanced," he said. "Biggest thing I need to work on is my balance and keeping my arm slot the same."
Shane is committed to Texas A&M.
• Team Elite will be followed closely by scouts all weekend as its lineup features three attractive hitters in outfielders Austin Meadows (Grayson HS, Loganville, Ga.) and Terry McClure (Riverwood International Charter School, Atlanta) as well as first baseman Rowdy Tellez (Elk Grove, Calif., HS). McClure collected a couple of hits, squaring up a single and triple in his first two at-bats. Meadows didn't get a hit, but knocked in a run on a sacrifice fly and got down the line in 4.1 seconds on a groundout. Tellez walked in his first two at-bats and then went with an outside pitch and smoked a double down the left field line.
• Lefthander Evan Anderson (Dale, Okla., HS) started for D-Bat/MSL All-Stars against East Cobb Baseball. He sat 87-89 in his first inning, with some armside life. He has some deception to his delivery as hitters didn't get great swings on his fastball. Anderson's command escaped him after the first and he settled in around 85 with his fastball. He flashed a nasty, tight slider, but it was inconsistent and he buried a few changeups.
• Third baseman Travis Demerritte (Winder-Barrow HS, Winder, Ga.) looks to be one of the top infielders in Georgia this year, but he had trouble catching up to fastballs today. He has some excess movement in his setup that kept his timing off. Wesley Jones (Redan HS, Stone Mountain, Ga.) showed nice hands at shortstop and good bat speed at the plate, smoking a double over the center fielder's head.
• Ryder Ryan is a two-way threat from North Mecklenburg High in Huntersville, N.C. A member of the 2014 class, Ryan took the hill for the South Charlotte Panthers today and the righthander ranged from 87-93 mph with his fastball. He was 90-93 early, but settled into the 88-91 range with good life. He lacked command and his curveball was loopy, but he flashed a couple with tight break. He remains uncommitted, but the buzz is he's narrowed his choices and the frontrunners are North Carolina and South Carolina.
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