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2019 East Coast Pro: Day 4 Scout Notebook

Image credit: Hoover Met Complex

HOOVER, Ala. — Sunday marked the fourth and final day of the 2019 East Coast Pro Showcase in Hoover, Ala., but there were still some impressive performances to be had both on the mound and in the batter’s box.

Here are plenty of scouting notes on some of the day’s top performers, and if you missed Baseball America’s previous coverage of the event, check out our scout notebooks from Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.

Tink Hence, RHP, Watson Chapel HS, Pine Bluff, Ark.

Hence took the mound for the Rockies on the last day of East Coast Pro and threw 31 of his 42 pitches for strikes, navigating his way through three scoreless innings while allowing just two hits and striking out three batters.

The righthander has an athletic, slender frame at 6 feet and 160 pounds, but he features loose, athletic actions on the mound and generates solid arm strength from his delivery. He throws from a three-quarter arm slot, which he hits with consistency. Hence doesn’t over-stride, and he is able to generate nice hip rotation in order to help him get on track with its natural slot. For the most part, his arm circle was consistent on Sunday, and he lands on a straight front left and gets out over his front side well, which allows him to get downward angle on his offspeed offerings.

On Sunday, Hence mostly attacked hitters with his fastball. The pitch feature good plane, and he was able to locate it in order to get ahead in the count early and often. Hence’s fastball topped out at 93 mph, and he was able to throw the pitch up in the zone to change hitters’ eye levels before working down in the zone. He showed he was capable of locating the pitch to both sides of the plate, and his command enabled him to throw his secondary offerings deep into counts.

His breaking ball was a harder curveball with two-plane depth and good action. The pitch feature mostly slider movement, but it didn’t pop out of his hand. Hence doesn’t slow down his delivery, and his consistent arm circle helps him finish the pitch well out in front. His third offering is a changeup which he was able to keep down in the zone to get hitters off his fastball.

Hence works fast and shows excellent poise on the mound. He doesn’t give in to any hitters, and he has a purpose for each pitch he throws. His work was impressive on Sunday, and it should be fun to watch him pitch at Arkansas.

Carlson Reed, RHP, Marietta HS, Marietta Ga.

Reed worked in relief for the Rockies in their final game, completing 2.1 scoreless innings. He didn’t deal with any traffic on the bases, and he collected three of his seven outs via strikeouts. Reed performed well and showed interesting qualities that made the uncommitted prospect stand out.

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 183 pounds, Reed has a good frame and athletic body. He has long levers and his arm features whip-like action with plus arm speed. Reed gets his arm up quickly, which allows him to get on top of the baseball from his three-quarter arm slot. He has a long arm action with some effort in the back, but his delivery didn’t look disconnected very often.

The righthander had natural movement to his fastball, showing arm-side sink. He commanded the pitch well and was able to work it inside to batters effectively. While it topped out at 89 mph, his solid extension helped the pitch play up while his changeup kept hitters honest with solid sinking action. Overall, Reed showed good feel for his low-80s changeup, making sure to keep it down in the strike zone consistently. It generated a handful of swings and misses, giving him another effective weapon in his arsenal.

Rounding out Reed’s three-pitch arsenal was his 11-to-5 curveball which featured good depth and solid spin. He was able to drop the pitch in the zone for a strike and effectively threw it off the plate when he wanted hitters to chase. Reed’s projectable frame and whip-like arm action make him an interesting prep pitcher to watch in the future.

Robby Ashford, OF, Hoover HS, Hoover Ala.

Ashford patrolled center field for the Brewers on Sunday, and he also went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored at the plate. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound outfielder showcased immense athletic ability during the event, and his potential, both offensively and defensively, were on full display throughout.

Ashford has a strong lower half and good frame overall. In the batter’s box, he generates rhythm with hand movement and a slight leg lift as he starts his swing. Ashford transfers his weight well and manages to stay back without drifting. The loading of his hands, combined with the torque of his mid-section, allows him to get some power into his swing. He manages to stay level on high pitches, making good contact on a fastball up in the zone without getting underneath it. While he did swing out of the zone on occasion, Ashford was able to work the count and connect with pitches in the strike zone.

Ashford shows the tools to be able to stick in the outfield, reading the ball well off the bat with good foot speed as well. Ashford has an accurate throwing arm that produces good carry, and he gets rid of the ball with the footwork necessary to use an effective crow hop when needed. If he continues to get bigger, physically, it is reasonable to think he could patrol one of the corners without much issue down the road. In all, Ashford’s physicality and tools are trending positively and should make an impact at the next level.

Caleb Pendleton, C, Jensen Beach HS, Jensen Beach, Fla.
Florida Atlantic

Pendleton saw time behind home plate during the event’s final game for the Blue Jays. The catcher had one base hit in three at-bats, but it was the overall quality of his at-bats and skills behind the dish that once again proved why he is one of the better prep catchers in the country.

At 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, Pendleton showed a lot of promise at the plate. He has sound swing mechanics, using a slight leg lift as he starts his swing. His hands are in a consistent position without any hitches, and he takes a direct path to the ball. His hand movement helps him stay loose as he closes his slightly open stance. Pendleton tracks pitches well and puts the barrel on the ball, giving him natural pop. He showed good hustle on the bases, and he also has solid foot speed and is an even better runner underway.

Behind the plate, Pendleton is a quality presence. He moves around well and has an accurate arm with solid strength and a quick release. While sturdy, he is agile enough to get down quickly and block well, angling his body to deaden pitches upon arrival. While he remains quiet behind home plate, Pendleton didn’t present strikes well with his glove hand at times, which was mostly due to the occasional late set up. Regardless, his sheer athleticism and actions behind the plate show plenty of promise.

Other Players To Note

Yohandy Morales, 3B, G Holmes Braddock Senior HS, Miami, Fla. — Morales continued to show why he is one of the top prep infielders in the country. He has a loose, whip-like swing with projectable power. He also runs well and has loose actions on the infield.

Enrique Bradfield Jr., OF, American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla. Bradfield is an athletic outfielder with excellent bat-to-ball skills. He makes consistent contact and shows barrel awareness which allows him to use the whole field.

Eddie Eisert, SS,  Bishop O’Connell HS, Arlington, Va. — Eisert is an athletic middle infielder who put some swings on the ball and has a contact-oriented bat. He has a good frame and shows athletic actions on both sides of the ball.

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