Friday Five: High School Prospects Who Are Performing

In the second new high school installment of the week here at Baseball America, we’re going to focus on five prep players who have had big performances, and showcase the best videos we’ve seen this week. Earlier this week we debuted our Five High School Teams To Watch  segment, where we look at things from a team perspective, but here we want to look at individual players.

We’ll take a look at some of the most impressive videos of the week, regardless of prospect status, and then also hit on a few of the top 2017 MLB Draft prospects who are either moving up draft boards, or putting up big performances.

Joe Perez HR — RHP/INF — Archbishop McCarthy (Southwest Ranches, Fla.)

There’s something extremely impressive about watching a high school player destroy a baseball, and then watching that baseball soar over the fence. What might be even more impressive, though, is watching a high school player hit a ball so hard it goes into the clouds and just disappears. That’s exactly what Joe Perez—the No. 75 draft prospect on our Top 200 list, which came out Thursday—does in this video.

While sure, the clouds might have been low-hanging, there’s no doubting the power that Perez brings to the table. In addition to this home run that appears to leave Earth’s orbit, Perez is leading No. 3 Archbishop McCarthy in every major offensive category: AVG (.515), OBP (.577), runs (22), home runs (eight), RBIs (34), doubles (13) and triples (two). On top of that, Perez posted the fifth-highest average exit velocity at the National High School Invitational, at 96.5 mph.

Perez is one of the many two-way prospects in this year’s draft class, and peaked the interests of the entire scouting community by putting up huge velocity numbers, getting his fastball up to 97 or 98 mph. He’s a risky prospect from a pitching standpoint, simply because he’s only pitched for a few years now, but his upside on the mound is tremendous. His performance at the plate this season is only going to help his draft stock, and some teams might be willing to go after him as a hitter instead.

Perez dealt with shoulder tendinitis after the National High School Invitational, but threw to seven live batters on Wednesday, throwing 27 pitches and allowing one hit. He’s scheduled to throw again next Tuesday.

Jacob Brown — RHP/3B/OF — Northeast Guilford (N.C.)

Brown isn’t one of the top draft prospects in a loaded state of North Carolina, but that doesn’t make his home run above any less impressive. The fans knew it was gone, the opposing pitcher knew it was gone, and Brown certainly knew it was gone. In addition to that, you can see the effectiveness of Brown’s curveball, getting two swings and misses around a fastball away for a strikeout.

Brown is committed to High Point, and with Northeast Guilford this season is hitting .500/.568/.937 and has posted a 1.09 ERA in 25.2 innings with 36 strikeouts to 10 walks.

Knoxville Christian (Tenn.) High goes back-to-back-to-back

Perhaps the only thing more impressive than homering three consecutive times, is the way in which the team and players involved seem so calm about the entire situation. The umpire wasn’t even forced to hold players back from celebrating around the plate after the third bomb.

It was an impressive display of team power, and an even more impressive display of team restraint.

The players responsible here are Ryder Green (INF/OF/RHP), Paul Komistek (3B/OF) and Jerry Hammons (INF/OF/RHP), all juniors. Green is committed to Vanderbilt and Komistek is committed to Tennessee, while Hammons has yet to commit to a program.

Two More:

• Lefthander D.L. Hall took the ball for Valdosta (Ga.) High last week in the first round of the Georgia 6A State playoffs. With Georgia using a best-of-three format in the playoffs, Hall and Valdosta managed to take two out of three games from Lakeside (Evans, Ga.) High to advance to the second round. Hall led the Wildcats to an 8-2 victory during the game he took the mound, throwing six innings and allowing just one earned run. Hall, who is the No. 14 prospect in the 2017 MLB Draft Prospects, struck out 12 batters and walked four. It was the second straight start where Hall fanned 12 and walked four, doing the same against Lee County (Leesburg, Ga.) in a 7-1 win on April 18. Through 45.1 innings with Valdosta this season, Hall has posted a 1.24 ERA, struck out 89 batters and walked 21, good for a 0.95 WHIP.

• Righthander Hans Crouse turned in another excellent outing for Dana Hills (Dana Point, Calif.) High this week, although it wasn’t enough to lift the Dolphins over Trabuco Hills (Mission Viejo, Calif.), who won 2-0. Crouse allowed both runs in 6.1 innings on the mound, although just one of those was earned. The 6-5 flamethrower struck out 12 batters—tying his season-high—and walked none, scattering six hits. On the season, he’s up to 78 strikeouts compared to 14 walks (5.57 K/BB) while posting a 0.83 ERA. It’s a tough break for Dana Hills to pick up the loss with their ace on the mound, as Trabuco Hills is right behind them in the Sea View League standings. Crouse is the No. 5 prep righty in the 2017 MLB Draft class and the No. 35 prospect overall. At the NHSI—which Dana Hills finished as runner-up—Crouse had the highest fastball velocity (97.2) and average fastball velocity (94.4) of any arm, according to TrackMan.

If you feel like you have clips of home runs, strikeouts, web gems or other high school baseball highlights that should be included, send a direct message to @CarlosACollazo on Twitter. While we can’t guarantee a spot in this particular post, we’d be more than happy to promote and share on social media.

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