Notes From The Yard (11-21-17)
Nick Agacki- 2020 RHP Cactus Shadows: So I’m waiting for a game to start at a Southwest Wood Bat tournament a couple of weeks ago when I see this lanky RH pitcher make his way to the bullpen. Nick is a 6-6 righty with a very loose arm and a frame that screams out projection. Make no mistake, he is very raw at this point in time. He needs work on the fundamentals of controlling the running game, the repeatability of his delivery must improve, but the ball comes out of his hand very easily. The fastball touched 80 and there is so much more in there. Like most tall pitchers, it may take a while for all the parts to synch up, but this is a guy to follow no doubt.
Max Callarman-2019 C Casteel HS: The Edge Club Team is made up primarily of players from Casteel High Schhol. Callarman is a converted middle infielder and it show in his receiving skills. He has very soft hands, frames well and you can see the middle infield athlete in everything he does. The arm is playable and he has a decent transfer which should only improve with more experience behind the dish.
Tanner Keeley- 2019 RHP Casteel HS: Tanner is a big bodied RH pitcher with a quick arm. He showed off a very good changeup with some fade and a slider that had some good depth. The fastball was in the high 70s, but he really cuts himself off with his lower half. Getting his plant foot online to the plate and allowing his hips to explode will add a lot of velocity down the road. The arm works and there is good raw material here.
Reid McLaughlin- 2018 RHP Desert Mountain HS: Had another chance to see Reid again at the Splinterfest Tournament against Desert Ridge. He looked in mid-season form, touching 90 with a ton of run and sink on the fastball. His changeup has developed into a big time out pitch. He does an excellent job of maintaining arm speed and gets a lot of armside fade. The pitch is death to left handed hitters.
Holden Boyce- 2018 OF Desert Mountain HS: Holden is one of the uncommitted 2018 players who should get a lot of scrutiny when the spring rolls around. He’s a switch hitter with good bat speed and a lot of athleticism. I saw him play a pair of games and he made a couple of highlight reel defensive plays in left field. He’s been on some people’s radar for a while now, if he can show quality game production with the bat in the spring he’ll find a good college home.
Caden Gustafson- 2020 LHP Desert Ridge: A 6-2 lefty with an arm that works, Caden worked in the upper 70s with the fastball and showed a mid 60s curveball that had very good tilt to it. He’s balanced and athletic in the delivery and should be a go to guy for Ridge in the spring.
I saw a good pitching matchup at Tolleson when T Town’s Kevin Ortega (2018 RHP Tolleson HS) matched up with Sunrise Mountain’s Troy Balko (2018 UNLV signee) in a Splinterfest game.
I hadn’t seen Ortega since early in the summer and he’s come a ways since then. He pitched at 87-90 with the fastball with some armside movement. He’s a physical guy who will continue to add strength. The curveball was 72-73 and a bit inconsistent, but he spun a couple of nasty ones with very good depth and downward movement. He’s one of the top uncommitted arms in the 2018 class.
Balko was his normal 85-87 topping at 88. I’ve seen his slider better, but he threw a couple that had good late bite that buckled the hitter. There’s a lot of arms and legs in his delivery but it seems to work for him as he always seems to be around the zone
St. Mary’s at Saguaro:
Right off the bat I was treated to a web-gem play by Saguaro SS Nick Barendrick. He ranged far behind the bag at second to make a play and do a 360 pirouette to throw out a runner. He just keeps getting better.
Jack Slominski- 2019 RHP Saguaro HS: Jack is a 6-2 RHP with a lean projectable frame. He comes at hitters with a short arm stroke that creates good deception. The arm is quick and the fastball was 81-83 with some run to it. I didn’t see any offspeed stuff.
Gino Caperon- 2018 MIF St. Mary’s HS : This is one of the hidden gems in this class and another top uncommitted senior. He plays 2B and CF for the Knights and handles the bat very well. He’s a 6.6 runner who creates a lot of havoc on the base paths.
Matthew Armendariz- 2018 SS/ RHP St. Mary’s HS: Matt is a solid bodied middle guy but I like him best on the mound. He came in and breezed through 2 innings against the Saguaro lineup. He was 83-85 from a ¾ arm slot. He hides the ball well and showed the ability to get to both sides of the plate with the fastball. The breaking ball is a 2 planer with some late life and he can throw it for a strike. Hitters took a lot of bad swings against him.
Sunnyslope at Brophy:
Drew Bond- 2020 SS /RHP Sunnyslope HS: Drew started on the mound for ‘slope and sat at 83 for 2 innings. He features a low 70s slider shaped breaking ball. I like him as a position players, where he will be one of the more highly coveted infielders in this class. He is super athletic with clean hands and quick feet.
Tommy Trudeau- 2018 RHP/1B Brophy Prep: Tommy is a statuesque 6-4 220 and is a mound performer to keep an eye on in the spring. He is shut down for the fall as a pitcher, but he will be looked at as a possible 2 way guy by colleges. He has a lot of pop in that bat.
Josh Combs- 2020 LHP Sunnyslope HS: This is one of the best looking sophomore left handed arms that I have seen so far. Josh was 81-83 with the fastball with a quick arm that loos capable of producing a lot more gas. He was consistently around the plate and is very athletic on the mound. He even worked in a couple of quick pitches to keep hitters off balance.
Brophy also has one of the top returning middle infield combos with 2019 SS Will Worthington ( Univ Of San Diego Commit) and 2018 2B Lucas Grennan (Univ of Colorado- Colorado Springs).