WWBA 17U: Hoeing Dominates

EMERSON, Ga.—In what is shaping up to potentially be an above-average year for high school pitchers in the Midwest, righthander Bryan Hoeing made his summer showcase season debut at the Perfect Game World Wood Bat Association 17U event after not attending PG National or the Tournament of Stars.

He produced one of the most impressive outings of the event.

The Batesville (Ind.) High product and Louisville commit started in the first round of the playoffs that began Wednesday and twirled an eight-inning gem in a very competitive affair to push the Lids Indiana Bulls past the Long Island Body Armour Titans 3-2. Hoeing showed the qualities scouts look for in a starting pitcher—the body, athleticism, stuff and strike-throwing ability—to strike out 10 (with 19 swinging strikes) without walking a hitter and allowing only three hits.

Hoeing’s fastball sat 90-91, touching 92 in the first few frames before settling into the 89-91 range in the middle innings and finishing at 88-90 in the last two innings. Hoeing has a quick arm with some whippiness to his arm action and throws from an arm slot a tick lower than three-quarters.

The ball comes out of his hand well with extension out front, and he gets downhill plane. His fastball showed heaviness through the zone with sink and arm-side run, boring in on the hands of righthanded hitters. To end the third inning, Hoeing broke the bat of a righthanded hitter on a 91-mph fastball with late life.

His angle, life and control made Hoeing a groundball-inducing machine, garnering 10 groundouts against a lone flyout.

In addition to Hoeing’s fastball velocity and life, he demonstrated control of his heater to both sides of the plate. The Louisville commit was in command from the start and threw strikes on 78 percent of his 94 pitches and did not walk a hitter.

Hoeing showed command of his curveball that he threw at any point in the count, using it to get ahead early in the count as well as to put hitters away. His 74-78 mph curveball showed at least average potential, flashing above-average with depth. He showed the ability to vary the shape of his curveball and got 14 swinging strikes on the offering.

He also sparsely mixed in low-80s sliders. His 77-80 mph changeup was not a key weapon in his repertoire, throwing it less than five times in the game. But one changeup did flash average potential.

Hoeing has a body that piques the interest of scouts before he even throws a pitch in game action. With an extra-large frame, Hoeing is listed at 6-foot-9, 185 pounds but is likely closer to 6-foot-6. The high-waisted Hoeing has long extremities and significant projectability.

Hoeing retired the first 11 hitters of the game and his first hit allowed was on a flare that barely exceeded the range of the infield. His next hit came in the sixth inning on a groundball that was not hit hard but found a hole.

Despite Hoeing’s impressive results, the Lids squad was hitless and involved in the scoreless game into the seventh of the seven-inning contest.

The Long Island Titans created their first hard contact of the day against Hoeing on a single to left field. The batter ended up on third because of a defensive misplay.

But Hoeing reached back for something extra with his next two hitters, striking out both with his velocity pushing toward the upper bound of its range. Then Hoeing induced a groundball to send the game into extra innings.

Extra inning rules dictate that the inning will begin with the bases loaded and one out for both teams. The first hitter Hoeing faced in extras laid down a bunt. Hoeing exhibited his athleticism off the mound in leaping at the bounding ball pushed in front of the plate and to his right. Hoeing made a sliding stop to barehand the ball, realized it was too late to get the runner at home and fired a strike to first to get the second out.

A dropped third strike to the next hitter allowed the hitter to reach base and a second run to be scored. He was again able to induce a groundball to end the inning. The Lids squad, however, scored three in the bottom half of the inning to advance to the second round of the playoffs.