LONG BEACH—A large portion of the best players in the high school class attended the Area Code Games, making for a very competitive top prospects list. The only top players absent Blair Field were from across the country and participated in East Coast Pro the week before the Area Code Games began. Six of the players on the top 10 list attended the Tournament of Stars and received extensive reports at time. For those players, a skinny of how they performed in Long Beach and a thumbnail sketch of their capabilities is provided.
1. Tyler Kolek, rhp, Shepherd (Texas) High/Houston Heat
The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Kolek separated himself from the rest of the high school crop early in the summer and retained his billing as the top hurler in the class after showing his mid-90s fastball that touched 96 mph in Long Beach. His high-70s breaking ball showed two-plane break and depth. Although he gave up five hits in three innings and his fastball velocity fell to the low-90s in his third frame, four of his nine outs came via the strikeout. The Texas Christian commit will be the first player ever drafted from his high school.
2. Jacob Gatewood, ss/3b/of, Clovis (Calif.) High/SGV Arsenal/San Diego Show
The athletic 6-foot-4, 190-pound Gatewood gained national recognition by winning the Junior Select Home Run Derby with 14 home runs at Citi Field during the MLB All-Star Game in July. In Long Beach, Gatewood showed some of the best power in class during batting practice, making Blair Field look small. He was geared up to hit the fastball in game action and his timing was a little off, causing him to hit into a few double plays. The Southern California commit gave scouts an extended look in the field and showed fluid actions and an above-average arm.
3. Alex Jackson, c, Rancho Bernardo, Escondido, Calif./San Diego Show
After standing out as an underclassman at the Tournament of Stars, Area Code Games and Under Armour All-America Game last summer, Jackson is one of the most famous players in the class. At 6-foot-1, 224-pounds, Jackson has a strong build with muscular legs and a wide back. The Oregon commit has above-average bat speed and feel to hit, although he has a deeper load and more of a bat wrap than he used to, lengthening his swing. Jackson has plus raw power. He has one of the strongest arms in the class, a plus weapon capable of pop times in the low-1.80 range. Jackson is more athletic than most catchers and runs well for the position. He has gotten some time in the outfield and could profile as a right fielder. Jackson will likely be the sixth first-rounder in the last 20 drafts out of Rancho Bernardo, a powerhouse program that produced Hank Blalock and Cole Hamels.
4. Luis Ortiz, rhp, Sanger (Calif.) High/San Diego Show
The 6-foot, 223-pound Ortiz has been one of the most consistent arms this summer. Working from the stretch with an easy delivery and three-quarter arm slot, Ortiz sat 91-94 mph, filling up the strike zone in two quick innings. The Fresno State commit has a mid-80s slider that flashes plus, low-80s changeup and has started integrating a curveball into his repertoire.
5. Kodi Medeiros, lhp, Waiakea, Hilo, Hawaii/Big Island Wood Bat League
The 6-foot-1, 191-pound Medeiros has a compact, muscular build with broad, sloped shoulders, a wide chest and strong lower half. He is one of the most interesting players in the class because although he is unconventional and he comes from a remote location, his stuff is electric. Medeiros has a leg kick that pushes toward center field, and his arm path is high in the back with a whip-like action before releasing at a slot just above sidearm. This angle gives all of his pitches tremendous movement. His 90-92 mph fastball that touched 93 has at least plus armside run and sink. Hitters were unable to lift the ball out of the infield in his two innings. His upper-70s slider is a plus pitch with abrupt movement, 3-to-7 lateral tilt and power. Medeiros also mixes in a 78-80 changeup with lots of armside fade that has above-average potential. He is currently uncommitted and will choose between Pepperdine, Oregon, Arizona and UCLA in the fall. If Medeiros is drafted in the first round, he will be the highest drafted Hawaiian high schooler ever, a title currently held by Bronson Sardinha, who was drafted 34th overall in the 2001 supplemental first round.
6. Brady Aiken, lhp, Cathedral Catholic, San Diego/San Diego Show
A 6-foot-3, 207-pound lefthander with broad shoulders, a trim waist and long legs, the athletic Aiken has a projectable pitcher’s build. His fastball sat 87-91 mph from a high three-quarter arm slot. The UCLA commit has a 71-75 mph curveball with 1-7 tilt that is one of the better breaking balls in the class. Aiken threw three innings in Long Beach, allowing one hit and striking out eight.
7. Mac Marshall, lhp, Parkview, Lilburn, Ga./Team Elite
At 6-foot, 187-pounds, Marshall has an athletic, angular build. Marshall offers athleticism, some present polish and projection. He gets downhill plane from a high three-quarter arm slot and sat 89-91 mph his fastball, which was up to 94 earlier in the summer. Marshall has feel for a high-70s changeup with fade that has the makings of an above-average offering and has shown the ability to spin a mid-70s curveball with 1-to-7 tilt. Originally committed to Georgia, where both of his parents attended, Marshall changed his commitment to Louisiana State lasted month. He attends the school that entered the 2013 season as No. 1 on the Baseball America High School Top 25, Parkview, which produced a 2013 first-rounder, outfielder Josh Hart, and a 2012 supplemental first-rounder in first baseman Matt Olson.
8. Touki Toussaint, rhp, Coral Springs Christian (Fla.)/ Atlanta Blue Jays
Toussaint burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old last summer at Tournament of Stars before an otherworldly performance at the WWBA in Jupiter in October, when he struck out 18 in six innings and showed a mid-90s fastball and plus curveball. Toussaint, who was a soccer player until he started playing baseball four years ago and lived in Haiti for six years, offers rare athleticism for a pitcher and has one of the highest upsides of any high school pitcher. At 6-foot-1, 198-pounds, Toussaint has a wiry, athletic build with long limbs. He has loose, whip-like action from a three-quarter slot and gets extension out front. His fastball sat 90-94 mph and touched 95 with natural cut in Long Beach. Toussaint threw some above-average curveballs with depth but the low-to-mid 70s pitch was inconsistent. He is working a high-80s cutter/slider and low-80s changeup into his repertoire. With three walks in as many innings, Toussaint’s command was not sharp. His lower half has been leaking in his delivery this summer and he has a late hand break. But Toussiant, once committed to Miami but currently uncommitted, has the athleticism necessary to improve his control. He will form one of the top batteries in the country with Benito Santiago, a lefthanded-hitting catcher who is one of the top catchers in the country, the son of the former big league by the same name.
9. Alex Verdugo, lhp/of, Sahuaro, Tucson, Ariz./Chi Town Cream
One of the top two-way players in the class, Verdugo had a tremendous showing in Area Codes with the bat and on the mound. He took an impressive batting practice, hit well in games and showed above-average speed. With bat speed, power and a patient approach, Verdugo has feel to hit and good bat control. He was one of the most impressive pitchers of the event with a control of an 89-92 mph fastball that touched 93 with movement. The Arizona State commit commanded his curveball, a plus offering with 12-to-6 tilt and depth at its best. He will vary the shape of the offering depending upon the hitter and mixed in a low-80s changeup. His delivery and arm action are free and easy. Verdugo struck out eight against one walk in his four innings and is young for the class.
10. Sean Reid-Foley, rhp, Sandalwood High, Jacksonville/FTB Chandler
A physical 6-foot-1, 222-pound Florida State recruit, Reid-Foley came to the Area Code Games off a very strong showing at East Coast Pro, where he filled up the strike zone with command of four offerings and looked like one of the top arms in the class. Throughout a long summer, nearly every pitcher has an occasional hiccup with his control and Reid-Foley’s came in Long Beach. His fastball sat 91-94 mph from a three-quarter slot, but he issued three walks and allowed two runs in an inning. At his best, Reid-Foley offers an above-average low-80s slider, an 82-84 mph changeup with tumble that has the makings of an average pitch and a mid-70s curveball.