2018 Wilson Premier Classic: Day 2 Notebook
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Day Two of the Wilson Premier Classic saw 2019 teams participate in the final day of pool play. The top 16 teams will now be seeded 1-16, with single-elimination bracket play beginning Sunday. The semifinal and championship rounds of the event will be held on Monday.
With pool play completed, here are a few of the players who stood out to Baseball America on Day 2. If you missed highlights from Day 1, be sure to check out a profile on North Carolina commit Patrick Alvarez (Canes National) and a complete Day 1 notebook as well.
Where There’s a Will...
Will Armbruester | RHP | Eastside Catholic HS, Sammamish, Wash.
Committed: New Mexico
Taking the ball for Sandlot against Exposure Saturday morning, the towering, 6-foot-6, 225-pound righthander dominated over five innings, striking out nine batters and allowing just one hit and one walk.
Armbruester peaked at 90 mph with his fastball in the middle of his outing, but located the pitch extremely well throughout, spotting it to both sides of the plate and also elevating the pitch effectively. It mostly sat in the mid- to upper 80s with some natural sink and occasional arm-side run.
Armbruester complimented his fastball with a 75-79 mph breaking ball that he also commanded effectively in the zone. The pitch ranged in shape from a three-quarter curveball to a 10-4 breaker with more of a slider look, backing up at times to the arm side but with solid horizontal and vertical movement. The New Mexico commit was extremely confident with the pitch, and as the game wore on used it as a first-pitch offering for a strike more and more frequently.
He used the two-pitch combination to strike out seven consecutive batters at one point from the second inning through the fourth. Seven on his nine strikeouts were of the looking variety, as Armbruester routinely attacked righthanded hitters in the low and away portion of the strike zone.
Armbruester broke out at least one low-80s changeup, but spiked the pitch and mostly used his fastball-breaking ball combination to great success. Another member of an increasingly strong Northwest region for the 2019 prep class, Armbruester threw with a three-quarter arm slot from the first-base side of the mound. He had some hooking action in the back of his delivery, but overall had a fairly easy arm stroke to the plate.
West Coast, Best Coast
A number of impressive position players impressed for San Diego Show, including an uncommitted catcher and a pair of 2020 prospects. The 2020 Southern California prep class should be incredibly deep.
Mike Campagna | C | Parker HS, San Diego
The backstop on a talented San Diego Show club that currently has eight Division I commits, Campagna is one of the players yet to commit, but showed an exciting skillset Saturday afternoon on both sides of the ball.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound righthanded hitter stepped to the plate in the bottom of the first inning against the Wilson Premier Scout Team and took full advantage of a 77 mph fastball that was left over the plate—depositing it well over the left-field fence. Campagna has a strong frame and a thick lower half that gives him plenty of natural strength, and while he didn’t face top-end velocity or offspeed offerings, he showed he has some raw power in the tank. Offensively, he went 1-for-1 with the homer, a sacrifice fly, a walk and four RBIs, helping lead San Diego Show to an 8-0 victory
Defensively, Campagna showed some impressive arm strength as well, and he never hesitated to let one fly from behind the dish. He caught runners attempting to steal both second and third base, getting great carry on each of his throws with accuracy as well. He seemed comfortable throwing from a standing position and from his knees—the latter he used on several back-pick attempts at first and third base.
Campagna will need to improve the quickness of his footwork and his exchange to have success controlling the running game at the next level, but he has the physical tools and frame to have success.
Kyle Casper | OF | Valhalla HS, El Cajon, Calif.
Committed: Arizona (2020)
The two-hole hitter for San Diego Show, Casper routinely made loud contact in the righthanded batter's box, going 3-for-4 with three hard singles, two runs and an RBI. He also added a stolen base for good measure. He sprayed the ball to all fields Saturday, showing no issues hitting the ball where it was pitched.
Casper sets up with a slightly wide and crouched stance, using a balanced lower half and clean bat path to consistently barrel up the baseball. He uses a small leg kick to get into his load, but his hands stay quiet throughout a simple, straightforward swing.
Check out the video below for a look at his swing, when he pulled a ball through the left side of the infield during the fifth inning.
Jordan Thompson | SS | Helix HS, La Mesa, Calif.
Committed: Louisiana State (2020)
The leadoff hitter and shortstop for San Diego Show, Thompson reached on an error in his first trip to the plate, popped up to the catcher in his second trip and was hit by a pitch during his third. In his fourth and final plate appearance, he showed off the bat that the LSU coaching staff is looking forward to seeing on campus in a few years. After getting down in a 1-2 count, Thompson fouled off a ball and took another pitch outside of the zone before driving a deep double over the right fielder's head, getting to third base when the outfielder misplayed the ball at the fence.
Thompson got one routine chance defensively at shortstop and made the play just fine, though he might have made the play a bit closer than it should have been with a slow exchange and casual but accurate throw across the diamond.
Top Louisiana 2019 MLB Draft Prospects
Kody Hoese, Josh Smith headline the best MLB draft prospects from Louisiana in the 2019 class.
Inside the Box:
- SS/3B Cade Doughty (La.) paced both teams with three hits as his Canes National club topped the Houston Heat, 11-3, Saturday morning. Batting out of the three-hole, Doughty went 3-for-3 with a trio of singles and also ran rampant on the bases with four stolen bases in five tries. A Louisiana State commit, Doughty is an exciting, offensive-oriented infielder in the 2019 prep class.
- C/OF Brennan Dubose (Tenn.) went 2-for-3 with a triple as his Knights Platinum team topped Ohio Elite, 9-0. Dubose scored a run, drove in a run and also picked up a walk during the game, while going 4-for-4 on stolen base attempts. He is committed to Memphis.
- OF Troy Schreffler (Pa.) hit a hard double to left field in his final at-bat of an afternoon game with North East Baseball. It was his only hit in a 1-for-3 day at the plate, but Schreffler also managed a sacrifice fly to help push NEB over RakeCity in an 8-2 victory. While it was a double in the box score, most players would have settled for a single on a similarly struck ball, which never got passed the left fielder in the outfield. But the Maryland commit busted it out of the box and managed to get into second thanks to his speed and a poor tag at second base. He then stole third base, which prompted a wild throw that allowed Schreffler to score.