Notes From the Yard (3-13-18)
2019 uncommitted RHP Zach Zdimal threw against Hamilton on the first day of the season for Notre Dame. The fastball was 84-86 without a lot of movement. He showed a good changeup with some fading armside action at 74-76 that has the makings of a nice pitch. He also mixed in a 68-71 MPH slider shaped breaking ball that will need some firming up. He’s a college pitcher for sure for someone.
2020 Notre Dame uncommitted SS Griffen Chewning is a high energy athletic type. He plays football as well, and you can see the competitiveness in him. He carries himself like he wants to be a dude, and there’s some athletic actions to his game. I’ve gotten 4.6 times down the line a couple of times so the run tool will hold him back as a high level prospect if it doesn’t improve.
2020 uncommitted NDP OF Tag Bross played with the Dbacks Scout Team in the fall. He has a lean 5-11 160 pound frame at present but his older brother and his father are big guys so look for a growth spurt. I’m struck by his will to compete in the box. He sets up with a wide stance and the stride is basically a little foot tap. He’s a high level hockey player as well which I love. Bross is an interesting follow over the next couple of years.
Uncommitted Sunnyslope SS/RHP Drew Bond is one of the better athletes in the 2020 class. He’s shows good quickness and soft hands as a middle infielder. I saw him on the mound in the fall and he was mid 80s with a quick arm.
One of the guys who has caught my eye is 2018 catcher Brandon Todd at Mesa Mountain View. I’ve seen the Toros twice, and I’ve loved his on field demeanor. He’s a take charge type who controls the game well. He shown good arm strength and has been 2.0 on the bag in game action. He’s also leading the team with a .455 average and has taken very competitive at bats when I’ve seen him. He’s a Chandler Gilbert C Commit.
I saw Cactus Shadows 2019 LHP Matt Bohnert the other night against a good hitting Estrella Foothills team. He had a rough first inning, giving up 5 runs and a long homer. His curveball was MIA in the first inning but he found it in the second and settled in nicely the rest of the way. The fastball velo was sitting 83, but he touched 85 a couple of times. He’s not a big guy (5-9 160 ish) but the arm is quick and the delivery is athletic. His curveball was 68-70 with some good tilt, but could use some firming up. I didn’t see a changeup.
Campo Verde 2019 Uncommitted Cameron Pehrson is an interesting guy. I saw him on the mound against Gilbert and he threw well. He’s athletic with very good balance. The arm action is loose and clean and he repeats real well. The velo was 82-83, but there’s more in there. He also featured a slow curveball in the mid 60s. Pehrson is also a middle infielder who may play SS for the Coyotes next season.
The more I see of him, the more I like Kellis 2018 3B/RHP Damien McElroy, who is uncommitted as of now. He was right in the middle of the Cougar’s run to the 2017 5A title, both on the mound and at the plate. I saw him again recently against Boulder Creek, and he made a number of tough plays at 3B showing excellent quickness. He’s a good runner. I’ve gotten him down the line at 4.13 from the right side. He probably profiles best as a second baseman at the next level, and there’s plenty of athleticism here.
I’m also a fan of Kellis CF Sam Curran, who is a high energy guy who handles the bat real well. At 5-9 155 he’s not the most physical guy on the field, but the tools are strong. He ran a 6.8 60 at the AZDR Fall Showcase, throwing 81 from the OF with a good 88 MPH exit velo with wood. He will definitely help a college program.
Corona del Sol 2019 uncommitted 3B Brian Kalmer is off to a red hot start at the plate. He swapped positions with teammate Wyatt Berry this season, a move that seems to suit both players well. Kalmer was hitting .700 (14-20) with 3 bombs, 2 triples and 6 doubles as of late last week. Defensively he looks much more comfortable at the hot corner.
Liberty CF/LHP JD Wadleigh moved into the area from Colorado this off season, and he’s made an immediate impact with the Lions. The South Mountain CC commit can run (sub 4.2 down the line) and he’s hitting .393 with a team leading 4 homers 11 RBIs and 2 doubles. He has a short quick lefthanded swing with very good tempo and rhythm.
It’s going to be a tough year for Chaparral, who graduated most of their starting lineup and pitching staff. I saw the Firebirds at Queen Creek last week, and a couple of guys drew my attention.
I saw RHP Mason Dillow a couple of times in the fall and filmed a bullpen session over the holidays. He’s 6-1 185 pounds with a loose arm. He was 83-85 on the gun and throws a mid 70s slider that has very good depth. He has good feel for the pitch and isn’t afraid to throw it in fastball counts. I love how his arm works and there will be much more velo to come in the future.
Uncommitted 2020 1B Tyler Stone took a couple of really nice at bats against the QC. He shows an advanced approach with a left handed swing that gets the barrel in the zone early and keeps it there. He smoked a ball to the fence in right center for a double and also barreled a line drive single that came off the bat hot.
I had an opportunity to see uncommitted Pinnacle 2019 RHP Max Kendall in relief last week. I had seen him a couple of times in the fall and liked what I saw. First off he’s a physical specimen at 6-5 215, and he does a good job of taking advantage of his height with a hi ¾ delivery that creates a lot of downhill plane. His fastball velo was up to 91 on my gun which is usually one MPH slow. The majority of FBs were at 89-90 and he also throws a plus slider at 76-78 that is a very good out pitch. He worked 4 innings and allowed only 2 hits against a very tough Red Mountain lineup. This is a high level D1 follow for sure.