TAMPA--The weather held up nicely on the first day of East Coast Pro, with no delays in the action as players on the six teams each ran 60-yard dashes, took batting practice, went through in-and-outs, and played one game each.
Here are some of the noteworthy performances from Day 1:
Ryder Green | OF | Karns High, Knoxville
Green’s first round of batting practice wasn’t anything spectacular, as he fouled off several pitches into the rollaway cage. However his second round was an improvement, as the 2018 Tennessee outfielder started spraying more line drives, using a small leg kick and a level bat path.
A similar progression occurred with Green in the batter’s box in the first game of the day, as he struck out against Florida lefthander J.P. Gates in his first at-bat--swinging through a changeup low and away--before hitting the loudest ball of the day in his second.
Green entered the box against Florida righty Levi Kelly in the bottom of the fourth, and after taking a first-pitch fastball up and in, Green squared up an 89 mph fastball over the plate and blasted it to left-center field. It was a no-doubt home run off the bat, and showcased some of the pull-side power that Green is capable of.
Carter Raffield | RHP | Bleckley County High, Cochran, Ga.
Raffield is a physical, 6-foot-5 righthander on a loaded Orioles team that includes a handful of top 2018 pitchers--including Ethan Hankins, Kumar Rocker, Luke Bartnicki and Cole Wilcox--but stood out after throwing three, two-hit innings with six strikeouts.
Raffield worked 89-91 mph for the most part, although his velocity did drop a few ticks in the third inning, where his fastball sat more 87-90. The Clemson commit uses a slow, deliberate windup taking his hands back over his head before coming forward out of a three-quarter arm slot.
In the first inning he got a pair of strikeouts with a mid-to-upper 70s breaking ball that shows 12-to-6 shape, but broke a bit early. His third strikeout in the first inning was on a 90 mph fastball that Drew Williamson swung through.
His most impressive sequence was likely to Gavin Dugas in the bottom of the second inning. Raffield started the Louisiana infielder off with his sharpest curve of the outing for a strike in the lower portion of the zone, before going in on Dugas’ hands with an 89 mph fastball with running action. He stuck with the fastball on his next pitch, a 91 mph version this time, which had the same running action, but on the opposite side of the plate, running back onto the outside corner for a called strike three.
C.J. Willis | C | Ruston (La.) High
Willis is a big-framed, lefthanded-hitting catcher from Louisiana, listed at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds.
He put his bat to work in the bottom of the fifth inning against lefthander Ben Harris, showing good plate discipline to draw a five-pitch walk, and then squaring up a hard double on an 88 mph fastball.
Willis showed solid bat speed in batting practice, using a medium leg kick to get started, with a slightly uppercut bat path.
Justin Jarvis | RHP | Lake Norman High, Mooresville, N.C.
Jarvis was one of two pitchers to throw four innings on the first day of East Coast Pro (along with Louisiana righty Landon Marceaux), striking out six batters and allowing just one hit while working 90-91 in his first inning and touching a couple 92s, before settling into an 87-90 mph range.
Jarvis has a high, three-quarter arm slot that features a stabbing action in the back, but located both his fastball and curveball well throughout. His curve is a low 70s downer that features 12-to-6 movement to his arm side, in on righthanded batters and more horizontal movement away to his glove side.
Four of his six strikeouts were finished with the breaking ball, including a 72 mph curve down in the zone to New Jersey outfielder Nick Decker in the top of the second inning that showed solid depth.
Shane Smith | RHP | The Governor’s Academy, Byfield, Mass.
Smith was one of the last pitchers to throw on Tuesday, entering the final game for the Rangers in the bottom of the fifth inning. He struck out two batters in the fifth, one in the sixth and two more in the seventh.
Smith has a slow windup to start, working from the far first base side of the rubber before coming through with a high, three-quarter arm slot with a fast arm and strong finish as his upper half gets over the ball extremely well.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound righty worked off of a 90-91 mph fastball in the first, but his frame and arm speed both seem like good indicators to project more velocity in the future. He also threw an upper 70s curve that flashed some sharp break in his second inning, and a harder 83 mph breaker in the first that looked more like a slider.
Smith lost his release point a bit in his third inning, before striking out Virginia shortstop Nick Zona to end the game, and the first day of East Coast Pro.