As I mentioned on Twitter late last night, my flight out of Tucson prevented me from talking to the players I wanted yesterday, but here are some final highlights from the Under Armour All-America Preseason Tournament, powered by Baseball Factory:
• While most of the players to watch in this event were underclassmen, there were a few seniors that should be worth watching as we approach the 2013 draft. Righthander Kacy Clemens (Memorial High, Houston) stood out on the first day and a couple lesser-known names had intriguing outings on the second. Nicholas Green, a righthander from Fountain-Fort Carson High (Fountain, Colo.), has a skinny frame at 6-foot-1, 160 pounds. He has a quick, loose arm, a short stride and upright delivery. He sat 86-88 mph early and settled into the mid 80s toward the end of his outing. He has a curveball in the low 70s that has potential, but he needs to command it better. His fastball also gets some good armside sink.
• The weather in Tucson was cool in the mornings and warmed up throughout the day, much better than the 16 degrees that righthander Zach Winn woke up to in Show Low, Ariz. Nearly 200 miles north of Tucson, Show Low High sits at about 7,000 feet above sea level and has around 800 students. Winn is a relatively big fish in a small pond. He sat 87-89 and touched 91 a couple times, though he lacked command. His curveball was 73-74 and had good shape. He is committed to Howard (Texas) JC and some scouts said they’ve seen him sit 90-93 before.
• Alex Verdugo is an outfielder/lefthander from Sahuaro High in Tucson with good power and a strong arm. He started on the mound in the final time slot and sat around 87 with a good breaking ball in the low 70s. Scouts said he also can sit in the low 90s when he’s in midseason form.
• Easton set up their Hit Lab in the batting cages and measured players’ exit velocities all weekend as they tested different metal bat models. Fellow BA staffer Ryan Johnson and I jumped in for a couple rounds, but we didn’t come close to any of the top speeds. Easton gave an engraved wood bat to the players with the top six exit velocities. They were: catcher/outfielder Alex Jackson (102 mph; Rancho Bernardo HS, San Diego), Verdugo (100), shortstop/outfielder Jonathan Ducoff (99.3; Kingwood Park HS, Kingwood, Texas), outfielder/first baseman Gerard Hernandez (99; Pinnacle HS, Phoenix), outfielder Stone Garrett (97.4; George Ranch HS, Richmond, Texas), and first baseman/outfielder Taylor Fajardo (97.3; West Tech Academy, Las Vegas). All of them are juniors.