Gainseville, FL - On a day where temperatures were pressing past 90, The CBC Storm (Jacksonville, FL) & Gatorball (Gainseville, FL) 16 & 18U teams got together at Santa Fe Community College for Scout Day. Over the course of the long Sunday afternoon, some surprisingly good talent was seen at both levels. Overall, it appeared that pitching ruled the day, as several solid arms were on display, especially at the 16U level. With hitters using wood, pitchers were attacking both sides of the plate and having no trouble keeping the hits to mostly seeing-eyed singles. The teams worked out in front of several college recruiters while running the 60, taking some BP, going though an INF/OF and then in live game situations. Here are some standouts and highlights from the event:
MOST SURPRISING PROSPECT
In a group that included players from the 2011-2014 graduating classes, the player that stood out the most happened to be the youngest player. In saying that, you might think that means a freshman stole the show...you'd be wrong. 2016 (yes, you read that right) Grad Austin Langworthy was a pleasant surprise among a group of pretty talented 16U kids. At just 13 years of age, Austin more than held his own against some decent pitching. Oh yeah, and all this while using wood. Austin showed advanced patience at the plate, staying back and working the count to find the right pitch to hit. Where he showed the most potential was on the mound, consistently hitting 77-78 (FB) on the gun, while showing signs of a workable CB that, at times, showed good, late break. With avg. command already, Austin is definitely going to be a fun player to watch as his tools develop over the next five years.
2014 SS Nick Agosto has the makings of a smooth fielding MIF with a lot of upside. Good, quick stroke at the plate with strong hands. He showed the ability to drive the ball the other way, a rare trait for a young ball player. Showed surprising pop for a kid his size. Displayed good defensive instincts as well, with good range and an avg arm right now. Should develop & fill out as he matures. He plays right now as a solid D1 lower end prospect, but with room to grow and develop, tools have the change to morph into a upper end D1 prospect.
2014 OF/RHP Matt Barrington displayed some talent both on the mound, and at the plate. Has a great baseball body that can take on a bit more size, but has already filled out at a young age. Displayed good gap power using wood. He stays on the ball through the zone with quick hands, even driving balls the other way with pop. Should develop plus pop as he develops as a hitter. Off the mound, his 81-82 mph FB appears harder than the radar gun showed. He throws a heavy FB as well, baring down on the hitters from a downward plane. Plus mechanics, he uses both sides of the plate effectively and command is where it should be for his skills. CB got a bit "Loopy" but takes enough off of it to be effective off his FB.
2013 3B/RHP Brett Hanewich was another two way player that caught my eye. A good, short stroke to all fields, he stays back and drives the ball off his back side well. Displayed some pop using wood with strong hands and a good level swing on everything. He was even more fun to watch off the mound, where he showed a FB ranging 85-86 with life. What I would call a power arm, he had good balance over the rubber with drive towards the plate. Uses lower half well, finishes and explodes towards hitter. Did not get to see much off-speed so hard to project where he can go off the mound. Bat has a chance to play at D1 level, but arm definitely puts him there for me.
SOME OTHER STANDOUTS
There were a few other players that stood out for various reasons. Obviously we cannot get into every player seen, but here are a few others worth noting:
2011 FSU Signee LHP Kyle Bird had a clean, live arm stroke. A good pitchers body, he is long/lanky with a bit of a herky, jerky motion. This makes it hard for hitters to pick up the baseball. He has plus arm speed on all pitches, showing above avg. command on both sides of the plate. His CB is a hard, tight pitch with late break. Devastating on LHH's, but can back-door to RHH's just as effectively.
2012 SS Kyle Brooks is a smooth fielding INF with good hands and avg. range. He plays the game as though he is about 6'3/210 (which he is not) but has an air of confidence around him on the field. Plays loose and easy. Good patience at the dish with a good understanding of his strike zone. Good, quick hands with a level swing should translate to a decent hitter at the next level. His defense is enough to qualify him there, but bat should develop as he gets stronger.
2012 INF/RHP Ryan Labrador is a switch hitter that appears more polished from the right side. Dips back shoulder at contact from left side, creating upper cut swing. Stays tall on the right side and drives through ball much better. Could stand to use his lower half more, to create even more pop. Off the mound, he showed better projection. Good, live FB with arm-side run. Has a hard, late breaking CB with good finish and extension on his pitches. CB has makings of a solid out pitch at next level with an 84-86 mph FB now. Also turned in a 6.84 60 on this day.
2014 OF/RHP Justin Smith was one of the last kids to throw on this day. After playing all day in the hot sun, he was called on to pitch. While he only registered 78-79 on the gun, it appeared he had more life in his arm than he was showing. An athletic 6.90 runner, he showed some workable skills at the plate, with a quick bat and good lower half. Once he fills out and learns better pitch selection, could develop some game pop. Solid CF prospect with good defensive instincts. Would need to see more of off the mound before grading him out as a pitcher.