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High School Baseball Showcase All-Star Team

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Corbin Carroll (Photo by Bill Mitchell)

Scouts evaluate player performances on the high school summer showcase circuit differently than they do in the spring.  But it never hurts a player’s stock to perform against the best possible competition at one or more of the premier summer showcases.

That mindset informs our first-ever showcase all-star team, where selections are weighted toward summer performance and in consultation with scouts. Every player selected to the all-star team is eligible for the 2019 draft and appeared in at least one of the big four showcases, which are the Area Code Games, East Coast Pro, the Perfect Game All-American Classic and the Under Armour All-America Game.

CATCHER

JONATHAN FRENCH
Parkview HS, Lilburn, Ga.

No high school catcher in the 2019 class can match the potential of 2018 picks like Will Banfield, Noah Naylor or Anthony Seigler, but French has shown an intriguing tool set with strength at the plate and a strong arm behind it. He has some rough edges to his game, but he routinely puts on impressive batting practice displays and makes loud contact in games against top arms. French clocks pop times as low as 1.9 seconds on throws to second base in warmups and has obvious arm strength, but he needs to improve his blocking. He hit .355 with nine doubles, two triples and three home runs as a junior at Parkview, the reigning High School Team of the Year.

CORNER INFIELD


SPENCER JONES, 1B
La Costa Canyon HS, Carlsbad, Calif.

Perhaps the top two-way player in the 2019 prep class, Jones has surprising athleticism and speed for a 6-foot-7, 210-pound first baseman and will be one of the most intriguing players to watch in another down year for Southern California. He likely has the most upside on the mound as a lefthander who throws in the low 90s with a 78-80 mph curveball with 12-to-6 break. But Jones barreled a 92 mph fastball for a line drive single during the PG All-American Classic and proved to be an aggressive and effective basestealer. The lefthanded hitter also posted multiple exit velocities of 100 mph or greater during the Area Code Games.

RECE HINDS, 3B
Niceville (Fla.) HS

The premier power hitter in the 2019 class, Hinds could grow into plus-plus raw power,and he won a pair of home run derbies (Under Armour and PG Classic) this summer because of what he has presently. His power shows up in games with hard-hit balls and towering flies, but a high swinging-strike rate mitigates his overall production. Some scouts attribute that to a leg lift and a hitch in his swing. Hinds has work to do defensively at third base but has one of the strongest arms in the prep class. He clocked in at 98 mph across the diamond at the PG National Showcase early this summer.

MIDDLE INFIELD

CJ ABRAMS, SS
Blessed Trinity HS, Roswell, Ga.

Abrams will give Texas prep Bobby Witt Jr.—the top overall high school prospect for 2019 competition at shortstop this year. He can impact the game with his bat, his glove or his speed. Abrams routinely posts plus-plus run times to first base and uses his speed in the field, where he has excellent range, a solid arm and a quick exchange with impressive body control. The one hole in his game is raw power,
given his thin, 185-pound frame, but Abrams shows gap power, even to the opposite field. He has seen time in center field this summer but profiles best at shortstop.

BROOKS LEE, SS
San Luis Obispo (Calif.) HS

The switch-hitting Californian was one of the top players at the Area Code Games and a standout on the Brewers’ SoCal squad for squaring up baseballs the entire week in Long Beach. A Cal Poly commit, Lee raised his stock in a big way by making hard and loud contact against elite pitchers, including showcase all-stars Daniel Espino and Jack Leiter. Lee also impacted games up the middle at both shortstop and second base. Playing above his 6-foot-1, 180-pound size, he showed quick hands and an above-average exchange on double plays during warmups and range to both sides in games. While his defensive work was impressive, Lee’s ability with the bat against some of the top arms in the class stood out even more.

OUTFIELD

RILEY GREENE
Hagerty HS, Oviedo, Fla.

Greene entered the 2019 draft cycle as one of the top hitters in the class and has reinforced that notion at every event he attended this summer. He homered in the first inning of the Under Armour Game, doubled to deep left-center field in the PG Classic and also put up a few 100 mph exit velocities at the Area Code Games. In addition to his ability to hit for extra bases and square up both velocity and offspeed pitches, Greene has a selective approach at the plate with a great awareness of the strike zone. He had a 23-to-9 walk-tostrikeout ratio as a high school junior. A likely corner outfielder in pro ball, his bat should be more than loud enough to profile there.

CORBIN CARROLL
Lakeside HS, Seattle

Another lefthanded-hitting outfielder with a sweet swing, Carroll showed an impressive hit tool and surprising power this summer. Standing in at 5-foot-10, 165 pounds, Carroll is a plus runner who should have a chance to stick in center field. He homered during the trials for USA Baseball’s 18U National Team and was one of the only players to square up a ball for extra bases against Daniel Espino by tripling against a 97 mph fastball in the PG Classic, en route to winning MVP honors. One of the top players from Washington in a strong year for the state, Carroll has proven to be a disruptive and instinctual baserunner in addition to a selective hitter at the plate.

MAURICE HAMPTON
Memphis University HS

One of the most athletic players in the 2019 class, Hampton is a two-sport commit to Louisiana State as an outfielder and four-star cornerback. He has a lot of upside, with power, speed and arm strength all in evidence. He posted the fourth-best 60-yard dash time at East Coast Pro (6.53 seconds) and also hit a no-doubt home run at the event, sitting back on a hanging, 81 mph breaking ball. Hampton must smooth his rough edges, particularly with his route-running in the outfield and tendencies to expand the strike zone at the plate. Still, he showed an ability to make hitting adjustments and offers plenty of projection if he were to focus on baseball.

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Coastal Carolina Commit Will Smith Dominates At Wilson Premier Classic

Smith turned in one of the best pitching performances of the tournament, striking out 12 batters over five innings.

PITCHER

DANIEL ESPINO, RHP
Bulloch Academy, Statesboro, Ga.

The 6-foot-3 Louisiana State commit was routinely the hardest-throwing pitcher throughout the summer, sitting in the upper 90s in short outings and touching 100 mph at East Coast Pro. But Espino isn’t just a flamethrower. He showed an intriguing mix of offspeed offerings, with a breaking ball that blends at times but has shown distinct curveball or slider shape at others. At his best, Espino has a plus breaking ball and an 80 fastball on the 20-80 scouting scale. His heater features slight running movement to his arm side and cutting action to his glove side. The Panama-born righty has also sporadically thrown a mid-to-upper-80s changeup. Some scouts have concerns with Espino’s long arm stroke, but he has the best “now” stuff of any prep pitcher in the 2019 class.

BRENNAN MALONE, RHP
IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.

Malone announced that he would be moving from North Carolina to attend IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., for his senior season, which delighted area scouts in the Southeast. A North Carolina commit, Malone routinely sits in the mid-90s with his heavy fastball and touches 97 mph with an up tempo delivery. His 6-foot-3, 203-pound frame already looks ready for the major leagues. His most consistent secondary pitch is a mid-80s changeup that he spots well with good fading action. Malone has toyed with multiple breaking balls this summer, using a mid-70s curveball with downer shape at times and a tighter, low-80s slider at others. Scouts were impressed with the improvement of his slider at East Coast Pro, but both offerings remain inconsistent because he struggles to get on top consistently. The looseness of Malone’s arm action allows teams to project more on him than many other pitchers in his class.

JACK LEITER, RHP
Delbarton HS, Morristown, N.J.

The son of 19-year major leaguer and all-star lefthander Al Leiter impressed scouts this summer with an advanced pitch mix and improved fastball velocity. After solid outings at the Under Armour Game and East Coast Pro with an 89-93 mph fastball, Leiter sat in the 91-94 range and touched 95 at the Area Code Games. The Vanderbilt commit routinely mixes in three solid secondaries, headlined by a 12-to-6 curveball in the mid-70s with plus depth and an elite spin rate in the range of 2500-2600 rotations per minute. Leiter also spots a 9-to-4 slider in the low 80s and a low-80s changeup that has been more hit or miss. His command fluctuates because his landing foot and delivery to the plate tend to vary, but he has shown the ability to make in-game adjustments.

MATTHEW THOMPSON, RHP
Cypress Ranch HS, Houston 

One of the most athletic pitchers in the 2019 draft class, Thompson popped on the national scene as an underclassmen after touching 96 mph in Jupiter, Fla., prior to his junior season. He hasn’t shown that velocity this summer, sitting mostly in the low 90s and in the 93-95 mph range in one-inning looks. Thompson’s feel for spin has been the separator throughout the summer, whether that’s with a sharp, upper-70s curveball with 11-to-5 action or an 83-85 mph slider with late, two-plane break. The latter offering was the most impressive breaking ball at the PG Classic, fooling hitters with whiffs both in the zone and on chases in the dirt. The Texas A&M commit’s fast arm, projectable frame and ability to spin should overshadow concerns that he scatters the zone too much presently.

MATTHEW ALLAN, RHP
Seminole (Fla.) HS

A 6-foot-3, 210-pound righthander committed to Florida, Allan has impressive physicality to go along with a strong fastball/curveball combination that left hitters flailing this summer. He routinely pitched in the 91-94 mph range, and he touched 96 in the first inning of an early PG National Showcase outing. He works out of a slow windup and throws from a three-quarters slot, showing below-average fastball command by regularly yanking the ball to his glove side. His curveball is his best present offering. It has developed into a top-tobottom hammer breaking ball after showing occasional three quarter break or slider shape earlier in the summer. Allan throws the pitch in the 77-80 mph range and uses it as a swingand- miss offering to both lefties and righties, locating it more effectively than his heater. He occasionally throws a firm changeup as well.

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