2019 East Coast Pro: Day 1 Scout Notebook
HOOVER, Ala. — A 17-hour day at the Hoover Met Complex awaited the amateur scouting community Thursday as the 2019 edition of the East Coast Pro Showcase was delayed with showers.
However, for all those (RE: everyone) who buckled down and waited it out, there was plenty of talent to see, including a high-octane arm recently reclassified to be eligible for the 2020 draft.
Below are reports on a few standout players in the eyes of Baseball America. We’ll be checking in every day with standout players from the event throughout the weekend:
Alejandro Rosario, RHP, Miami Christian HS
Originally a member of the 2021 draft class, Rosario reclassified to be 2020 draft eligible, adding to the depth of this year’s prep pitching class. A small righthander listed at 6-foot-1, 170-pounds, Rosario showed the biggest arm of the day, pitching in the 94-96 mph range in his first inning and touching 97.
Rosario matched up with fellow reclassified 2020 prospect Blaze Jordan (Mississippi)—one of the best hitters in the high school class—and carved the Mississippi product up on three pitches. Rosario started Jordan out with a 97 mph fastball that he swung through, caught him out front on an 82-mph split-change and then finished him off with another 96 mph fastball up in the zone.
It was his best sequence of the night in a three-inning outing that featured four strikeouts, one walk and three hits surrendered—including a loud triple from Colten Keith (Mississippi), who drove a 96 mph fastball the opposite way to left field for a triple that came off the bat at 97 mph.
After the first inning, Rosario settled into the 91-94 mph range with his fastball, which featured some arm-side running life. His go-to secondary offering was a 78-81 mph changeup that had significant drop and a spinrate in the 800-1000 rpm range. The pitch looked like an above-average offering for much of the outing, and he located it well for the most part, though it is hittable when left up and over the plate. Rosario’s low-80s slider was used infrequently—as most of the batters he faced were lefthanded—and looked like a fringe-average offering that’s tight, but without much depth or biting action.
Rosario throws from a fairly clean delivery and is in-line to the plate with a balanced finish and impressive arm speed, but he’s short out in front and has fairly limited extension off the rubber at the moment.
-- Carlos Collazo
Alex Santos, RHP, Mount St. Michael Academy, Bronx, N.Y.
One of the top prep pitchers out of the northeast in the 2020 class, Santos was arguably the best pitcher on the first day of East Coast Pro. He struck out five batters over three innings of work and showed three solid pitches.
Opening up with a fastball in the 93-95 mph range in the first inning, Santos pitched off of his heater early in the outing. In the second and third innings, Santos settled into the 91-93 mph range and complemented his fastball with a 78-80 mph slider and an 84 mph changeup.
Santos’ slider showed the makings of an above-average offering at times, particularly when he buried the pitch below the strike zone and used it as a swing-and-miss breaking ball, but it was inconsistent and backed up on him when he threw it to his arm side. At its best, the slider is a darting, 10-to-5 breaking ball that flashed late biting action. Santos didn’t use many changeups, and his arm speed did slow when he went to the offering, a mid-80s pitch with decent fading life.
The Maryland commit has a good pitcher’s frame, listed at 6-foot-3, 187-pounds and got good extension down the mound, per TrackMan. His fastball is his loudest pitch at the moment, and he used it to generate five whiffs and finish three of his five strikeouts. It’s a high spin-rate offering (2500-2600 rpm), though he gets a bit scattered with his control of the pitch at times, missing to his glove side most frequently.
-- Carlos Collazo
Jalen Vasquez, SS, Fort Dorchester HS, North Charleston, S.C.
Committed: South Carolina
Vasquez took one of the most impressive infields of the day and is a slick-fielding, 5-foot-11, 165-pound shortstop. Vasquez has quick, choppy footwork and a solid first step to go along with impressive hands and above-average arm strength. He fields to his backhand confidently and has the arm strength and body control to throw on the run and away from the bath both accurately and with solid carry on the ball.
During the first game of the day, Vasquez turned a silky smooth double play: while at shortstop, Vasquez ranged to second base to turn a 4-6-3 double play, but the feed came to his left side and pulled him towards the center field side of the bag. He gloved the feed, tagged the bag and spun simultaneously, keeping his momentum moving to first base to deliver a quick, accurate throw to complete the double play.
With the bat, Vasquez didn’t show much big-time impact potential, but he did take a solid BP that featured plenty of hard hit, low line drives. During the game, Vasquez went 1-for-2 with a groundout and a single up the middle against an 87 mph fastball that came off his bat at 96 mph.
-- Carlos Collazo
Kyle Teel, C, Mahwah (N.J.) HS
One of the more impressive catchers during in and out, Teel showed off a consistently strong and accurate throwing arm, routinely putting the ball right on the bag at second base with a pop time in the 1.90-1.95 range. Teel has a quick exchange and does a nice job lining up his feet directly to second base during his transfer.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound catcher showed some pop during BP prior to the day’s games, but he did so with an operation at the plate that has plenty of moving parts. He starts with a wide, open stance and then uses a big leg kick to get started, while at the same time dropping his hands back deep before firing through the zone.
That setup worked just fine for him during the game, as Teel went 1-for-2 at the plate with a double and a pop up to shortstop. Teel’s double came against righthander Jackson Cothren (Tennessee). He drove an 82 mph pitch to deep right-center field, a towering fly ball that left his barrel at 93 mph and burned both of the outfielders to the warning track.
-- Carlos Collazo
Brady House, 3B/RHP, Winder-Barrow HS, Winder, Ga. (Class of 2021)
One of the top players in the 2021 draft class, House looked right at home among the field of 2020 prospects on day one of ECP and was arguably the most impressive hitter of the day. House went 2-for-2 with a single and the first (and after one day, only) home run of the showcase.
A mature-bodied, 6-foot-3, 217-pound righthanded hitter and pitcher, House has legitimate pro potential on both sides of the ball, but it was his impact bat that stood out on Thursday. During BP, House showed off huge raw power to left field, with a pull-oriented approach. That translated to game action, as House jumped on a 76-mph hanging curveball from righthander Koen Moreno (N.C.) that caught too much of the plate. He sent the pitch out over the left field fence with a 101-mph exit velocity.
During House’s first at-bat, he squared up a 93-mph fastball and drove a tailing line drive up the middle into center field. He’s a player to note if you want to get a head start on the 2021 draft class, and is already making sure evaluators know who he is this summer.
-- Carlos Collazo
Liam Norris, LHP, Green Hope HS, Chapel Hill, NC
Committed: University of North Carolina.
Norris took the mound for the Dbacks against the Red Sox, and while the lefty did allow one run across 2 2/3 innings, he showed off a complete arsenal.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound lefthander works from a three-quarters delivery, making the most of his strong frame. He holds his glove hand up high during his delivery and yanks it down to ensure that his arm gets through on time. Norris will vary the tempo of his delivery, rushing it later on in counts to catch batters off guard. When his delivery was out of sync, he tended to throw uphill and lacked command of his pitches.
Norris tended to work better arm side with his fastball which topped out at 93 mph. It sat in the lower 90’s with good spin. While he was able to throw some strikes to his glove side with the heater, he began to miss the zone when he rushed his delivery.
As he worked through his first few batters, Norris broke out a curveball which was a true off-speed pitch, sitting in the mid-70s with top-to-bottom break on it. Norris landed the pitch for strikes, and helped to get hitters off his fastball. He also snapped off a slider which had slurve movement and solid depth. Norris did throw a handful of changeups, but most of them were straight and didn’t have enough velocity separation to be truly effective.
While he lost the strike zone as the outing went on, Norris has a good arm and could take steps forward if he improves his command.
-- Justin Coleman
Koen Moreno, RHP, Panther Creek HS, Cary, NC
Committed: East Carolina University.
Moreno worked three innings out of the bullpen for the Diamondbacks. While the righthander allowed two runs, his feel for pitching and pure stuff did stand out.
Moreno uses an athletic pitching delivery with plenty of moving parts. His delivery has some effort to it and isn’t very fluid, but the righthander finishes his pitches well out in front. Moreno wraps his arm a bit in the back, making for a longer action without much of an arm circle. Even so, his arm speed allows him to get through on time.
His fastball topped out at 92 mph, showing fringe command. As a result, he fell behind plenty of batters initially. Moreno didn’t have a problem going to his secondary offerings to even up the count and later put hitters away.
Moreno’s arm action allows him to throw a sharp breaking ball, with a short break in the upper-70s. He is able to throw it mostly from the same arm slot as his fastball. The righthander gets good extension off the mound which helps him to get consistent downward tilt on his breaking offerings.
His most impressive pitch was his changeup. Moreno showed feel for when to use it, and the changeup had good arm side sinking action. He disguised it well, and made sure to work it off his fastball. Moreno kept it down in the zone, which allowed him to work his fastball up in order to give hitters a different look.
While the pitching line wasn’t great, Moreno showed plenty of promise and a feel to throw some solid secondary offerings.
-- Justin Coleman
Joe Vetrano, LHP/DH, Shrub Oak HS, Bronx, NY
Committed: Boston College
Vetrano saw time as the designated hitter for the Red Sox and also took the mound later on in the game. The cleanup showed off a solid hit tool and promise on the mound.
At the plate, Vetrano shows off above-average bat speed. He uses little pre-swing hand movement and is slightly pre-loaded onto his back leg. This allows him to wait back on pitches a bit longer without having to commit too early. While his swing path did get a bit long, Vetrano managed to make hard contact on a line drive into center field.
On the mound, Vetrano works from a three-quarter arm slot with a quick delivery. While he doesn’t always get his energy completely towards home plate, the lefthander is able to throw strikes and mix his pitches effectively.
He worked hitters with a fastball that topped out in the upper 80’s. Vetrano moved his fastball around, working the inner half of the plate when necessary. He showed feel for a sinking changeup in the lower 70’s and a softer curveball that he could throw for strikes as well.
Vetrano’s athleticism and two-way ability make him an interesting player to watch moving forward.
-- Justin Coleman
Coby Mayo, 3B, Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS, Parkland, FL
Mayo didn’t have a hit for the Jays, but he did manage to drive in a run and come around to score. The infielder is athletic and showed good actions in the field and at the plate.
Mayo is a 6-foot-5, 215-pound third baseman who is a threat at the plate. He uses a crouched stance with minimal loading of the hands. He weight is slightly shifted onto his back leg and tracks pitches well. Mayo did have a long swing at times, but shortened up to make contact and drive in a run. He was able to adjust the barrel path in order to put the bat on the ball.
In the field, Mayo showed good actions for a bigger guy. His hands are workable at the position and has good arm strength with carry to it. Mayo is aware in the field and has a good internal clock for making the proper play.
Mayo’s physicality and tools are intriguing and should help him to be successful in college ball.
-- Justin Coleman