2018 Draft Notes:

Sean Guilbe had another reason to come to Arizona. Hailing from Reading, Pennsylvania, the Tennessee commit was just glad to get out of the harsh winter weather for a few days. At this time of year about all he and his high school teammates can do is work out in the weight room and take cuts in the cages.

With a strong, athletic build and a hard swing that gets good loft, Guilbe projects as a middle-of-the-order power bat, but he tends to overswing at times. While playing both middle infield positions in the MLK tournament, Guilbe profiles better as a third baseman if the power continues to develop, with his average arm being enough for the position. He’s a tick below-average runner now.

Kaleb Hill made two appearances for Sticks over the weekend, taking a break from his high school basketball team to come to Arizona, which he said was fine because he’s a baseball player first. The 6-foot-4 projectable southpaw is athletic on the mound with some deception in his delivery. His four-seam fastball was sitting at 87 mph, down a few ticks from his usual low-90s velocity but not surprising for a January tournament. The Ole Miss commit also shows a promising 11-to-4 curveball and uses both a split-finger changeup and a circle change.

Phoenix area high school product Jonathan Ornelas, a Tennessee commit, joined the Sticks team for this tournament, and turned out to be one of the bigger surprises of the event. The righthanded hitting shortstop has gotten noticeably stronger since last summer, consistently making hard contact to the pull side including an impressive home run over the left field fence in the Sticks last game. Scouts are mixed as to whether Ornelas will have the range and arm to stay at shortstop, which could put more pressure on the bat to continue to develop, but some observers see a potential plus runner with an average arm and future average range.

While not currently ranked in the Baseball America Top 200 for 2018, North East Baseball National infielder Justyn-Henry Malloy was one of the keys to his team making it to the Upperclass finals. The well-spoken and intelligent Malloy, who goes by “JHen,” is committed to Vanderbilt. Malloy has a strong, athletic build and projects to hit for power to all fields using a swing with some length to it. At third base, Malloy has good footwork and a strong arm.

Like many young baseball players committed to Vanderbilt, he may be a tough sign depending on where he’s drafted. Malloy said that he started building a good relationship with Vandy coach Tim Corbin while playing on USA Baseball teams as a 15-year-old. He’s developed a similar relationship in his time playing for North East Baseball’s travel teams, appreciating the opportunities and the style of play that the organization promotes in its players.

“North East Baseball brings a ‘blue collar’ attitude,” Malloy said. “It’s just a lot of tough guys, a lot of guys that have a lot of grit. We just go out there every single day and we do our thing . . . We try to do our best in every single category and mainly we just try to get wins.”