Notes from the Yard (10-5-17)
I’m a bit behind in my notes this fall so I’ll try to catch up while I’m scrambling in advance of the 2 AZDR Fall Showcase Workouts.
I checked out the Wilson Premier Tournament on the weekend of 9-22.
Saw Kai Murphy (Red Mountain 2019- Oregon State commit) with Wilson Sandlot deal against the Evoshield Canes. He was his same filthy self, working both sides of the plate with a 3 pitch mix and just not making many mistakes over the heart of the plate. The velo remains in the 81-84 range, but he has the ability to fade the change up in any count and showed command of a 2 plane slurvish breaking ball with good late life.
Kai also does a great job of varying his delivery, almost quick pitching at times. Guys just do not get comfortable ABs against him. When runners do reach his pick off move is just nasty.
I was spending more time on the adjacent field where the Sandlot 2019 group was playing.
Mountain Pointe 2020 SS/2B Carson Tucker was there, and in attendance were big brothers and Pointe alums Quinn and 2016 first rounder Cole. It was great to see the older siblings, but I was there to see the kid.
At this point in his development , Carson looks to be further along in his development than his brothers were. Physically the growth is coming, and the infield actions are silky smooth. He has soft hands and the arm projects well for staying at shortstop. Carson handles the bat well, and as the body develops further his offensive game will only improve.
This past weekend was the inaugural edition of the AZ Freshman Fall Classic.
Let me preface my comments here by saying that this age group is a very difficult one to evaluate.
No matter what anyone tells you, the significant differences in physical development in players of this age make it really hard to draw firm conclusions as to the future projection of these players.
I watched Baseball’s Next Level, Bryan Huie’s group from Tucson, on Friday.
Dylan Bradford, a 2021 LHP from Sahuaro caught my eye. He has a frame that projects (5-11 140) and the arm works really well.
I was impressed by SS Devin Alvarez, who is a 2022 player from Sahuarita. He made a couple of nice defensive plays at short and took a really good at bat that resulted in a base hit. He showed a very mature approach at the plate and is an advanced player for his age.
Sabino 2021 3B Joey Parker is a physical 6-0 180 at this age and he has some strength to his swing. He slammed a double up the gap in right field to show it off.
The Arizona Athletics 2021 group has a number of advanced players.
O’Connor 2021 SS Barrett Skaugrud caught my eye a year ago and continues to develop. He has a lean athletic build at 6-0 140 right now. Defensively the actions are super clean, the feet are quick and he has some arm strength. At the plate he’s a left handed bat with some impressive buggy whip to his swing . He has that late flick in his hands that is very hard to teach. During the game he smoked a ball to the base of the wall in right. It’s going to be interesting to watch his physical development to see if he outgrows the SS position as he has a lot of size in his family. Regardless, the bat looks to play very well at the next level.
Sunrise Mountain 2021 Andy Moreno played 2B and teamed with Skaugrud to for a formidable up the middle duo. He recently committed to Grand Canyon and its easy to see what the Lopes like. He’s a solid defender that can play either middle infield position, and he has a good baseball IQ. He has some strength in his 5-10 145 frame.
Alex Ramirez (Sierra Linda, a RHP/3B, was on the hill For the A’s showing an athletic, balanced delivery and good arm speed.
Another Sierra Linda product, OF Ruben Macias, showed off some plus arm strength from the outfield.
Joseph Lucero, a LHP from Tolleson, came on in relief. He’s a solid 5-7 185 with a good looking arm stroke.
Team Dinger was playing on an adjacent field, and they had a pair of catchers that look promising.
Luke Moeller, son of former DBack Chad, is a 6-1 160 pound backstop who is trying to grow into his lean frame. You can see the tools in play when he squats behind the plate. He has soft hands, receives the ball effortlessly and controls the game well. All of this and the body and he’s only an 8th grader.
Brophy 2021 Anthony Runfola did a nice job behind the plate as well. He’s a solid 5-10 165 and did a nice job blocking several balls in the dirt. Like Moeller he receives well.
T Rex has a number of interesting guys on their 2021 roster.
Jose Lopez is a 2021 SS from Poston Butte that has rangy actions and an athletic 5-11 140 pound frame. He also jumped on the bump in relief and was up to 80 on the gun.
I liked Chaparral 2021 Teagan Carey, who was playing 2b this day but could move to the other side of the bag as well. Good looking athlete.
Mesquite 2021 Cade Westerlund played CF, he also catches and will get on the mound as well. He’s physical for this age group at 6-0 175. He crushed a ball deep to left field showing off some plus bat speed.
Later on Sunday I sat on GBG Arizona.
2021 LHP Trevor Toland was on the bump, showing off a balanced delivery, working in the mid 70s with a really clean arm stroke. He has a chance to be a really good arm and was one of several nice looking Liberty HS players in this class.
Liberty outfielders Cade Biddle and Carson Baker patrolled center and left field respectively, and both of these guys can cover some ground.
Biddle is a plus runner at this age.
Baker is a really solid all around player who handles the bat real well. I had a chance to see him over the summer at the 15U East/West All Star Game and I liked him then. He’s also a good looking left handed arm on the hill.
I really liked 2021 Pinnacle catcher Michael Riley, who did an excellent job receiving and saved at least a couple of runs with blocked balls in the dirt and a runner at third. He showed off some arm tool as well. At 6-0 200 he’s solid as a rock.
Another Liberty product, 2021 Aaron Limon, was at shortstop. Like Baker I first saw him playing in the All Star Game, and he’s one of the best infield prospects in this class. He’s very athletic with a strong arm. Offensively he’s developing, and if he can get consistent production at the dish he’s going to be a special player. He pitched in relief on the day and has some arm strength.
Kaden Schiefelbein is another Liberty MIF with good athleticism . He has a super lean frame that projects really well.
Finally, Joy Christian 20121 Cayden Collins is a specimen at 6-1 165 already . He played third but was listed as a SS on the roster. He looks the part, making a couple of really nice plays on hard hit balls. He’ll be a solid follow in the future.
On Sunday I caught the consolation game for Wilson Sandlot, a team with a number of the better guys in this class.
Hamilton LHP/OF Brock Selvidge (6-2 165) had pitched the night before to a heathy crowd so I missed that show. He’s one of the top arms in the class, but at this stage he’s still a potential 2 way guy to me. He’s a switch hitter who produces good bat speed from both sides of the plate. There’s a lot of future juice in the stick. He played the outfield and some first base as well and is certainly athletic enough to do either at the next level.
Mountain Pointe 2021 Tyler Kearney is a good looking middle infield prospect. He’s already 5-11 145 and looks like he has some growing to do, He flashed nice infield actions. It’s easy to dream of a future Pride MIF duo with the aforementioned Carson Tucker.
Valley Christian 2021 RHP Spencer Seigworth showed some clean arm action and a projectable 6-0 140 pound body. He’s going to be a good one for VC.
Perry catcher Carter Richey looked good receiving and blocked a number of balls in the dirt with men on base. At 5-8 165 he’s a solid backstop.
Gray Bailey (Mountain Ridge 2021) who I had seen pitch a couple of weeks ago, has joined the Sandlot group. He played OF this day and should be a future 2 way contributor for Ridge.