Since Tuesday, the ABCL Top 20 Championships have been taking place at various fields in Southern California. The event features some of the top summer teams in the West and several players have stood out. All-Americans Showcase, a scouting partner of Baseball America, filed the following report from the final day of the event.
By Blaine Clemmens
San Bernardino, Calif. — The final day at the ABCL Top 20 Championships brought some hot weather and some tense, competitive games. Mountain West Baseball and ABD Bulldogs 2012 team advanced to face off in the finals. Ultimately the inaugural ABCL Top 20 Championships was won by ABD, 14-3.
Tanner Rahier, a 2012 shortstop/righthander from Palm Desert (Calif.) High was named tournament MVP and his teammate, 2012 lefthander Jayson Balades from Oxnard (Calif.) High was named Most Valuable Pitcher. Rahier was not only a hitting and fielding star, he also got the win on the mound in the semi-final game.
The championship game ended up being a blow out, with the mercy rule applied in the eighth inning. Rahier had a big game, going 3-for-4 with with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBIs, but it was 2012 second baseman Darian McLemore of Carroll High in Southlake, Texas who ended the game with a home run in the eighth. McLemore, whose father Mark played in the major leagues for 19 years, is a switch-hitting middle infielder with strength at the plate and a chance to hit.
In the early game, Mountain West defeated SoCal Elite by a score of 3-1, behind the outstanding pitching performance from 2012 righthander Brady Lail of Bingham High in South Jordan, Utah.
Lail gave up a run in the first inning then gave up nothing over the next 8 1/3. When he exited due to cramps, with an 0-2 count and two outs in the ninth inning, he had amassed nine strikeouts, allowed three hits and only two walks. Lail was steadily in the 86-88 mph range all day and had mastery of his sharp curveball. He largely lived off those two pitches after giving up a ringing double on a high changeup for the only SoCal Elite run in the top of the first inning.
Lail is listed at 6-feet, 165 pounds but seems a bit taller and heavier. His arm is quite quick, he fields his position exceptionally well, holds runners and has a quick pick-off move. He displays good athleticism, which translates even better to the mound.