CATAWBA, N.C. — Jim Carrey was just rubbing it in.
Righthander Hunter Harvey from Bandys High in Catawba, N.C., went 6 2/3 innings last night against South Iredell High (Statesville, N.C.), while giving up one run on two hits. He walked one and struck out 11.
After each one of the strikeouts, a clip of Jim Carrey yelling, “Smokin’!” from “The Mask” played over the sound system.
Harvey sat in the 90-92 mph range with his fastball and touched 93 several times, even as late as the sixth inning. His fastball had good boring action and he overmatched the South Iredell lineup. Harvey didn’t allow good contact all night. Nine of the 20 outs he recorded came on batted balls—seven groundballs and two weak fly balls to right field.
He took a no-hitter into the final inning, but gave up a one-out single on a weak groundball up the middle. He started laboring at around 90 pitches and gave up a walk, hit a batter and then another single with two outs, finally exiting the game with the bases loaded at 105 pitches.
Of those 105 pitches, 70 were fastballs, 31 were curveballs, mostly in the 74-76 mph range, and he threw four changeups between 80-83 mph.
[...] Continue Reading »
Subscribers can read a feature about Virginia Tech third baseman Chad Pinder here. Pinder is off to a hot start for the Hokies, hitting .398/.505/.530 with five doubles and two home runs over the team's first 22 games. Here he is taking batting practice at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park on March 16 before a game against Duke . . .
We have a game recap on the High School Blog and will have more on the outstanding matchup between Clint Frazier's Loganville High and Austin Meadows' Grayson High later this week. To whet your appetite, here is footage of Frazier's first home run on the evening—an epic, three-run blast to put Loganville up 6-3, on their way to winning 14-4. This home run came on the first pitch he saw and was absolutely destroyed. It was filmed with a GoPro camera by Alyson Boyer Rode.
UPDATED: Friday, March 8
The baseball industry knew in the fall that Drew Ward would try, and rumors circulated a month ago that he had gone and done it. But now his father has confirmed that the Oklahoma high school shortstop, previously a member of the Class of 2014, is reclassifying as a member of the Class of 2013, which would make him eligible for the draft come June. The family received instructions from Major League Baseball detailing what he needs to do in order to enter the 2013 draft, according to his father Gregg Ward.
"We got an e-mail that had four different things he had to go by to be eligible," Ward's father Gregg said. "He classifies in each one of them, so all he has to do is graduate. His age was on his side because he just turned 18 and when he graduates he won't have any eligibility left."
Graduation for Leedey is on May 17. Leedey is a tiny town of less than 500 people in western Oklahoma and the high school's student body doesn't crack triple digits. When Ward was a freshman, there were 12 kids in his class—eight boys and four girls.
Ward made another move for his baseball future a few weeks ago by verbally committing to Oklahoma. "We can't sign the letter until April 1 because he's coming out early," Gregg Ward said.
GREENSBORO, N.C.—Las Vegas had a banner year for baseball talent in 2010. Bryce Harper was the headliner, destroying junior college competition as a 17-year-old on the way to a National League rookie of the year campaign two years later.
Then there are players currently enjoying success in the minor leagues like Padres righthander Donn Roach and Red Sox righthander Aaron Kurcz (who were both teammates with Harper at Southern Nevada CC), Pirates righthander Nick Kingham and Rangers third baseman Drew Robinson.
Two players—third baseman Kris Bryant and righthander Michael Wagner—are now juniors at San Diego. But what happens in Vegas, sometimes winds up in West Virginia.
Righthander Aaron Blair from Marshall is one of the top righthanders in this year's draft class. How does a high school player from Nevada wind up at a college nearly 2,000 miles from home?
"I went to Jupiter, Florida, my senior year and I played with the Ohio Warhawks," Blair said. "And they saw saw me throw out there. I came on a visit and committed the next day. I had a lot of fun on my recruiting visit. I really liked the coaches and the players I was with. Everything was great."
Blair's emergence at Marshall capped a fine year for the program's pitchers. Athletics righthander Dan Straily led the minor leagues in strikeouts (190) and became the first Marshall pitcher to pitch in the big leagues since Rick Reed in 1988. Other recent picks like Padres righthander Joe Church (17th round, 2012), Rockies lefthander Mike Mason (24th, 2012), Rangers lefthander Greg Williams (12th, 2011) and Blue Jays righthanders Arik Sikula (36th, 2011) Ian Kadish (NDFA, 2011) had solid minor league seasons in 2012.
[...] Continue Reading »
Kentwood High catcher Reese McGuire ($) isn’t Washington’s only marquee talent for the 2013 draft. But that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Over the past 10 years, the only states to produce more high school picks from the top three rounds than Washington are California, Florida, Texas, Georgia and Puerto Rico.
Righthander Dustin Driver from Wenatchee (Wash.) High first put his name on the map as a rising junior at the 2011 Area Code Games. With teams hand-picked by scouts, any time an underclassman makes one of the squads, it typically means they’re pretty special. Just consider some of the other rising juniors at the 2011 event and where they wound up on Baseball America’s High School Top 100 rankings more than a year later: outfielder/lefthander Trey Ball (3), shortstop J.P. Crawford (5), first baseman Dominic Smith (6), lefthander Rob Kaminsky (12) and first baseman Rowdy Tellez (16).
Driver checked in at No. 22 thanks to his 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame as well as his fastball that sits in the 90-92 mph range and tops out at 94.
[...] Continue Reading »
CULLOWHEE, N.C. — Washington State outfielder/first baseman Jason Monda was born to be a Cougar.
His Washington State roots run deep. Both of his parents attended the university before his father, Greg, spent six years in the minor leagues after the Reds made him their 15th-round pick in 1983.
"Obviously I've been a Coug since day one, so it means a lot to me," Monda said about wearing the crimson and grey. "I'll be a Coug until the day I die and hopefully the Cougar tradition stays in the Monda family for a while."
"His entire family, they all go to Washington State," Washington State head coach Donnie Marbut said with a chuckle. "I think he lives with three cousins and his twin brother (Michael), who is on the team now as a backup catcher for us. Jason's biggest fan is Michael and Michael's biggest fan is Jason, and I think they bring out the best in each other."
[...] Continue Reading »
It's a bit of a light year in the Northeast for college pitchers. One of the most exciting draft-eligible arms in the region was on display in Cary, N.C., on Opening Day, so there were about a dozen scouts taking in the 2013 Ron Fraser Classic at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.
Righthander Pat Young from Villanova took the mound against Monmouth to open the season. Young, who stands 6-foot-7 and 208 pounds, gave up three runs on nine hits with a walk and three strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings for a no-decision.
Young sat in the 92-94 mph range and topped out at 95 with some natural sinking action. His 79-81 mph breaking ball is developing right now, but showed signs of becoming an average slider. He only threw a couple changeups during his first outing.
[...] Continue Reading »
RALEIGH — Appalachian State senior Rob Marcello wasn't drafted out of Royal Palm Beach (Fla.) High. He wasn't drafted out of Indian River State (Fla.) JC as a teammate of Padres 2011 first-rounder Cory Spangenberg. And he wasn't drafted as the Mountaineers' Sunday starter last year, after the 6-foot-3, 245-pound lefthander went 6-5, 5.31 with 48 strikeouts and 30 walks over 83 innings.
This year, his role has changed and has boosted his draft stock. Marcello is now in the closer's role, a move that has boosted his fastball into the 91-93 mph range and getting as high as 95.
[...] Continue Reading »
Here are a few videos taken at the World Wood Bat Association's World Championship in Jupiter, Fla., last week.
Rowdy Tellez, 1b, Elk Grove (Calif.) HS
Tellez was mentioned in a few blog posts during the event because he mashed. Over his six games at the event, Tellez went 5-for-12 with three doubles and a triple. He drew nine walks and did not strike out at all.
Mater Academy High (Hialeah Gardens, Fla.) outfielder Albert Almora has been on the prospect scene for a long time, having already played on six USA Baseball national teams. He recently ranked No. 7 on Baseball America's predraft Top 200 rankings and subscribers can read his scouting report here. Below is video of Almora from the summer and fall.
Oregon hasn't produced a high school player in the first three rounds since 1998 when righthander Steve Bechler went to the Orioles, but Westview High (Portland) third baseman/righthander Carson Kelly has the talent to end that streak. Kelly recently ranked No. 43 on Baseball America's predraft Top 200 rankings and subscribers can read his scouting report here. Below is video of Kelly from last summer and fall.
It's rare for a high school pitcher from Minnesota to be selected in the top two rounds of the draft. The only three so far who have been picked that high are Dan Carey (2nd round, 1967), Michael Olson (2, 1980) and Brad Hand (2, 2008). Righthander Mitch Brown from Century High in Rochester will likely join that club this year.
Subscribers can read Brown’s scouting report here, but below is video of the San Diego recruit shot during a Team One Midwest workout last July. The video was provided by our scouting partner, Baseball Factory.
With a body like Cameron Maybin and an intriguing power-speed combination, outfielder Lewis Brinson from Coral Springs (Fla.) High is one of the top prep outfielders for the 2012 draft. Subscribers can read his scouting report here, but below is some video of Brinson from the summer. The video was provided by our scouting partner, Baseball Factory, and was shot at the 2011 Under Armour All-America Game.
Outfielder D.J. Davis from Stone High in Wiggins, Miss., emerged this year as one of the top high school position players in the draft. He ranks No. 20 on Baseball America's predraft Top 200 rankings and subscribers can read the scouting report we recently posted about Davis here. Below is video of Davis from the World Wood Bat Association World Championships in Jupiter, Fla., last October.
This year's draft is underwhelming for scouts but, as always, there are plenty of intriguing high school power arms. Ty Hensley from Santa Fe High in Edmond, Okla., and Nick Travieso from Archbishop McCarthy in Southwest Ranches, Fla., are two of the top prep righthanders in this year's class. Hensley ranked No. 23 on Baseball America's predraft Top 100 and Travieso checked in at No. 40. Subscribers can read their scouting reports here and here. Below are videos of the two pitchers. The videos were provided by Baseball America's scouting partner, Baseball Factory, and were shot at the 2011 Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field.
Gavin Cecchini from Barbe High in Lake Charles, La. is one of the top shortstops in the draft. Subscribers can read a feature about the Cecchini family here and can read his scouting report here. Here is some video of Cecchini from the summer and fall. The first part of this video was provided by our scouting partner, Baseball Factory, and was shot at the 2011 Under Armour All-America Game. The rest of the video was shot by Baseball America at other events.
Baseball America subscribers can read a feature on Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa here. This video was taken during Correa's batting practice session at the island's annual Excellence Tournament in early May.
Baseball America intern Peter Wardell got out to see Trey Williams again last weekend and shot some video, too. . .
In a down year for Southern California position prospects, Valencia (Calif.) High’s Trey Williams leads the way as a potential first-round talent.
This past weekend, I made it out to Valencia for a double-header and my third look at the Pepperdine-commit this spring. Over the two games against Dana Hills, Williams, the son of former big leaguer Eddie Williams, went 4-for-6 with four singles and a walk.
Williams’ game begins at the plate where he rates as a solid-average pure hitter with power potential. He shows tremendous bat speed, arguably the top of his class, due to quick hands and wrists. This not only allows him to jump on pitches a split-second later than most, but also helps him generate power. Nearly every ball he puts in play is hit hard and he does a tremendous job making consistent contact and squaring up. He really only juiced one ball on Saturday (a deep flyout to center field) but has shown plenty of raw power in previous looks including a no-doubt home run against Harvard-Westlake, shown at the end of the video below.
The biggest difference I saw from Williams last weekend (and a good one at that) was in his plate approach. Back at the MLSB Compton Urban Youth Academy showcase in February and even a little bit against Harvard-Westlake, Williams was overly patient at the plate, to a fault. He was working deep into counts, often getting behind and although he rarely looked phased with two strikes, it was still concerning. On Saturday, he was much more aggressive, jumping on pitches early in the count while capitalizing on the pitcher’s mistakes. It was good to see. [...] Continue Reading »
See Also: Byron Buxton scouting report
See Also: Byron Buxton video from Under Armour game
Baseball America headed south this weekend to check out a couple games from outfielder Byron Buxton and the Appling County High (Baxley, Ga.) Pirates. Over the two games against Long County High (Ludowici, Ga.) and Calvary Day School (Savannah, Ga.), Buxton went 4-for-6 with two doubles and two walks. He showed off his well above-average speed on the bases and in the outfield, where he ran down a ball easily in the left-center gap.
Of all those things—getting a hit, stealing a base, or making a good defensive play—there's one Buxton likes better than the other two.
"Running a ball down," Buxton said. "Because you're keeping somebody else from getting on base."
Buxton—"Buck" to most of the fans in the stands, except his grandma, who has always called him "Big Boy"—is the type of athlete who makes everything look easy. He doesn't get overanxious at the plate, remaining patient and waiting for his pitch. He's a smooth, gliding runner and he got on the mound to close out the first game and ran his fastball up to 94 mph.
On top of all that, he handles everything that comes with being the top prospect in the country—the scrutiny from other teams, as well as the fan and media attention—with a relaxed grace.
Buxton, a Georgia recruit, isn't likely to wind up on campus because he projects to be picked in the first five picks of the draft. That was evident on Saturday by the teams in attendance to scout the tooled-up outfielder. The Astros (picking first), Mariners (3rd), Orioles (4th) and Pirates (8th) all had scouts at the game to see Buxton play.
With four more stolen bases over the two games, Buxton is now 21-for-21 in steals on the season. He hasn't stolen home this year yet, but he did do it once last year and always has the green light—both at the plate and on the bases.
"I tell him, if he gets a good read, he's on his own," Appling County High head coach Jeremy Smith said.
Even with all the draft hype and attention this year, Buxton's goal remains simple.
"I want to lead us to the state championships, that's it," Buxton said.
Below is video of Buxton from April 13 & 14.
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