Riverside, CA - Randy Curtis and the ABD program had another great turnout for their fall scout day this year. The players received more individual attention than any camp/scout day we’ve ever covered.
There were training/workout stations set up all over the facility. All the stations were run by ABD coaches and instruction was provided by former MLB players. There was a hitting station set up in one cage with Zepp and Pocket Radar testing, video for hitters set up in another cage. Bullpens were set up for pitchers, catchers had real baseball situational drills and POP times. Infielders and Outfielders had hands-on instruction as well. Players ran 60’s throughout the first day.
The hitting stations and bullpens were operating at the same time, then followed by I/O and 60’s. Players were brought in two separate groups, a morning group and an afternoon group both days.
Saturday night featured ABD’s tryout for their summer teams. It was a pro-style workout followed by a game.
On Sunday night, we helped pick players for an ABD/PW All-Star game.
With as many moving parts that there were with this scout day, we’d like to commend Curtis and his ABD staff, as well as the former MLB instructors, scouts and coaches that ran the event. It ran like clockwork.
Below are the 2016 prospects that stood out either in drills or the game and the first part of the 2017 prospects that stood out. The second half of the reports will be out by Monday.
Keola Viloria OF L/R Diamond Bar HS - Viloria has tools and is a wiry, quick-twitch, athletic player. His best tool is his speed, running a 6.72 60 which actually translated better in the game. Down the line we clocked Viloria at a 4.09 from the left side. He definitely has a beat it into the ground, slap it and run approach at the plate. Keola just looks to put the ball in play and use his speed. From the OF, he showed a solid 45-50 arm with some carry and accuracy. Viloria showed enough tools and is a good enough student that schools looking for a lead-off hitter should be watching him closely this spring.
Max Mircovich OF R/R Dana Hills HS - Mircovich may have been the most impressive player at the camp. He’s athletic, projectable, quick-twitch, runs and really hits. Max ran a camp best 6.62 60 and hit three balls hard in the game. One at-bat seemed like it was about a 10 pitch at-bat before he squared one up. Mircovich springs out of the box from the right side and on a hard turn was a 4.3 down the line on a single. Max has a lot of upside and his best baseball is still years away. Colleges should be on him as a leadoff or #2 hitter and CF. He’ll be one to watch closely over the next few years in college.
Zack Bowman 3B L/R Aliso Niguel HS - Bowman, doesn’t have the best body, but he continues to rake. He showed above average batspeed for a 2016 grad and has a knack for finding the barrel consistently. His bat gets through the zone quick, but stays in the zone for a long time. Bowman stays behind the ball well and uses his strong lower half to generate power. Like last year at the camp, Zack hit the hardest ball again, drilling a low inside fastball and short-hopping the RF fence. He’s an average defender at best, but his bat will play in college and he may start to show power by his sophomore year. At worst, a college needs to take him and play him at 1B and let him hit. At a smaller college, Bowman could make an impact with his bat as a freshman.
Eddie Kutt RHP Westlake HS - Kutt may of had the most upside of any player at the camp. At 6’2” 215, Kutt is a strong kid and has a great lower half for pitching. His arm is quick and his fastball touched 87mph, but there’s plenty more in his tank. He pounded the strike zone with 3-4 pitches including a nasty forkball that fell off the table several times. There’s no doubt that Kutt will be a 90mph arm soon and the more he learns how to pitch the more success he’ll have. College’s need to be on him now, MLB scouts will start to take interest going into his senior year, especially when his velocity jumps a bit. Eddie has a chance to be a D1 starter or maybe even better a closer. If he turns into a closer at the next level, his fastball may reach the low to mid 90’s.
Gabe Ramos LHP Woodcrest Christian - Ramos was the most polished and college ready pitcher at the camp. His fastball sat in the mid 80’s and he was able to throw his curveball for strikes at anytime in the count. He was dominate in his work on the mound, maybe throwing one ball out of 15-20 pitches. He attacks hitters, and isn’t afraid to pitch backwards. Gabe showed confidence on the mound as he carved up hitters. There’s no doubt Ramos can be a front line smaller D1 starter right now. If his velocity jumps to the upper 80’s, he’ll be a frontline starter at a major D1 and maybe a potential draft pic. Polished LHP’s that attack hitters in high school are hard to find.
Hunter Espinoza RHP Southlands Christian - In his bullpen, Espinoza showed a good three pitch mix. His mechanics were sound and he was around the strike zone with all three pitches. There’s a little bit of projection with Hunter, but we don’t think he’ll be a high velocity arm. He’ll have to use his pitchability to get hitters out at the next level. He struggled a little bit in the game, but he never showed that he was struggling, he kept competing. His fastball was in the low 80’s, but again, Espinoza is a pitcher and if he’s 84-87mph his senior year, he’ll be able to be a starter at a smaller D1 or D2 college.
Cole Slater C R/R Campbell Hall HS - Slater was a bit of a surprise. Behind the plate Slater needs to continue to get better with his catch and throw skills, but the athleticism is there. Cole hit the ball as well as anyone in the game, making hard contact in about every at-bat. None of his tools jump off the chart, but he’s just a solid “baseball player.” We only got to see Slater in the game, but can’t wait to see more of him next summer. College coaches need to take a look at him next spring.
Casey Dykstra OF/RHP Santiago HS - Dyksta continues to get better, last year he struggled a bit to make adjustments at the plate. This year, he made more contact and had a better approach. He’s one of the better pure athletes in ABD’s program. Casey was 93mph from the OF and sat 85-87mph on the mound with a “here it is, hit it if you can,” mentality. He’s a gamer. Dykstra’s bat is still a little behind, but seeing the improvement was encouraging. He could be a legitimate two-way player at the college level and with his athleticism and quick-twitch, MLB scouts will be looking at him soon. If his velocity jumps on the mound, which it may, it will make college coaches decisions on him as a pitcher more difficult. Casey loves to play the game and it shows.
Kevin Moscoso 3B/1B R/R Paloma Valley HS - Moscoso is a strong, physical bodied kid. His Zepp batspeed (95mph) and Pocket Radar exit velocity (91mph) were the best at the camp. Defensively, Kevin may need to move to 1B at the next level. His actions and arm are good enough to play 3B, but at 1B he would be an above average defender. In the game, he struggled some to get his front foot down early and jammed himself on a few pitches. The batspeed and raw power is there, Moscoso just needs to keep working on his rhythm and timing and he’ll begin to square up balls in games on a more consistent basis.
Alex Bejjani C R/R Shadow Hills HS - Bejjani is another ABD catcher that can catch and throw a bit and hit. Bejjani showed some of the best batspeed (plus for a 2017 grad) at the camp. He looks the part physically and made some good swings in the game. We didn’t get to see as much of him as we would’ve liked, but Alex has the tools to be a D1 caliber catcher.