With 67 travel teams primarily from the West Coast, as well as strong representation from Canada and New Zealand, and around 300 scouts and college coaches, the 18th annual Arizona Senior Fall Classic makes the 13 fields at the Peoria Sports Complex (home of the Mariners and Padres spring training facilities) the center of the amateur baseball world this week.
The event began Thursday with three pitchers impressing on the first day.
Trosky Baseball, comprised largely of players from California, lefthander Jeider Rincon had one of the quickest outings of the day, retiring all six hitters he faced, five via the strikeout. The athletic Rincon has a strong, compact build at 5-foot-11, 170 pounds. He sat 87-91 mph with his fastball, which has been up to 93 at previous events, with downhill plane from an arm slot close to over the top. He relied on a 72-76 mph curveball with good depth, and got numerous swings and misses on the offering. Rincon mixed in a 78 mph slider as well.
Rincon, also an outfielder, attends Overfelt High School, in San Jose, Calif. Rincon, born and raised in Colombia, moved to the U.S. entering high school three years ago and is currently uncommitted.
Angels Red Scout Team righthander James Harrington had a strong showing. The athletic 6-foot-2, 170-pound Harrington has broad shoulders with a flat chest, a slender build and with a very lean lower half and offers considerable projection. Harrington sat 88-89 mph and touched 90 with minimal effort in his delivery. His fastball stood out of because of his above-average armside run and sink. In Harrington’s first inning, he relied mostly on a 73-75 mph curveball with 11-5 tilt that had the makings of a solid offering and only threw one changeup. But he showed good feel for a high-70s changeup with considerable fade that generated five whiffs in the six times he threw the pitch in the second inning. He struck out three over two innings.
The lefthanded hitting Harrington (Mesquite High, Gilbert, Ariz.) then played shortstop and had an opposite-field single that drove in two, as well as a walk in three plate appearances.
D’Backs Elite Scout Team righthander Billy Oxford sat 89-90 mph with downhill plane from a high three-quarters arm slot in his first inning of work, during which he struck out two. His velocity dipped to a grade lower in his second inning as he worked out of the stretch after giving up back-to-back base hits and then walked two straight hitters to begin the inning. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Oxford (Sunrise Mountain High, Peoria, Ariz.) mixed in a 71-72 mph curveball. The uncommitted Oxford ended with three strikeouts and two walks in two innings.
The D’Backs Elite Scout Team is constructed of players from Arizona, and because many current and former big leaguers have settled in the Copper State, the team has many big league bloodlines. Junior infielder A.J. Graffanino is the son of Tony, a 13-year major league veteran. 6-foot-1, 190-pound lefthander/outfielder Garvin Alston Jr., is the son of the former Rockies righthander of the same name. Righthander/outfielder Jesus Daal is the son of Omar. Shortstop Jamie Brewington is the son of the righthander of the same name. Senior shortstop Jedd Fagg and junior outfielder/first baseman Jaxxon Fagg are the sons of Texas Rangers scouting director Kip Fagg.
This has been an emerging trend in Arizona. High picks from the 2013 draft–Rays second-rounder Riley Unroe (Tim) and Dodgers fourth-rounder Cody Bellinger (Clay)–also had big league bloodlines.