Port St. Lucie, FL - PORT ST. LUCIE, FL- It was a long but exciting day filled with four state semifinal games. The winners move on to tomorrow’s state final matchup for Class 1A and Class 3A.
The Class 1A Finals will feature a Trinity Christian versus Trinity Christian matchup, as the namesake schools from Lake Worth and Deltona square off at 4 PM Thursday. Don’t be misled by their small school status, both teams are loaded and have a load of future Division I college players and pro prospects. Trinity Christian-Lake Worth defeated Eagle’s View Academy (Jacksonville) 3-0 in the opening game while TC-Deltona run-ruled Highlands Christian by a 12-2 score after five innings right after.
The Class 3A Final to be played tomorrow night will feature Miami Gulliver Prep against Jacksonville Bolles at 7 PM. Gulliver defeated Cocoa 2-0 today while Bolles beat Tampa Catholic in a 3-1 heartbreaker where two very controversial umpire calls erased at least two runs off the board for Tampa Catholic.
As I’d suspected, there weren’t many scouts in the stands. Throughout the four games, there were only two pro scouts who showed briefly while a number of college coaches stayed most of the way. Today didn’t feature any projected high drafts for 2010, but there were a few players who could be selected in June.
Trinity Christian-Lake Worth righty Adaric Kelly pitched a complete game shutout with six strikeouts and two walks. The 5’9”, 160 lb Kelly threw 88-90 MPH early, then settled into the 84-87 MPH range for most of his start. At times, the curveball showed a nice spin and the potential to become a big league pitch. His delivery is eerily similar to Chicago White Sox righty Jake Peavy, the former Cy Young Award winner who is also undersized, but still a few inches taller than Kelly.
There is a chance someone drafts Kelly as a shortstop. He went 0-3 with a walk today and didn’t really hit anything solid, but he showed some bat-speed and quick hands. An average runner, Kelly moves okay at shortstop and may also project at second. He’s committed to St. Petersburg JC.
Tampa Catholic catcher Shane Rowland would stand a good chance of going in the first-ten rounds, but he’s only signable early and is likely to end up at the University of Miami. The 5’8 ½” lefthanded hitter is a polished receiver with very quick hands and a good crouch. His arm-stroke is longer than average, but he has average arm-strength and quick feet. Rowland hit the ball solidly in three at-bats, including a triple to right field. His swing mechanics are sound; good balance and short to the ball. His bat-speed is below-average by big league standards when projected to wood, but has a chance to become average when he fills out his roughly 160 lb. frame. Rowland’s father Don is a scout for the New York Yankees; he runs their international program and also crosschecks domestically.
There were a number of juniors and sophomores whom will be players to watch for the 2011 and 2012 draft.
The best of the juniors on Wednesday were a couple of Trinity Christian-Deltona players, righthanded pitcher Evin Lynch and leftfielder Matt Wisniewski. Lynch is 6’6” and about 185 lbs with a very clean arm-stroke. He threw mostly in the mid-80s and had a mid-70s curve with a little spin. There’s lots of projection and he threw a good game to beat Highlands Christian.
Wisniewski hit the longest homerun of the day, well up on the berm past the right field fence and almost over a second fence at the edge of the property. It was at least on a 430-foot trajectory. Wisniewski has a strong lefthanded stroke, with the bat-speed, leverage, and extension that gives him such power despite his immature 6’1”, 165 lb build. He has a chance to become a very good hitter. His other hit was a dump double to the opposite field.
The sophomore class was really exceptional.
In the sophomore class, Bolles first baseman (and righthanded pitcher) Hayden Hurst is a 6’4”, 200 lb righthanded hitter with a big power swing. He didn’t get a hit today, but his upside is obvious. I hope to see him on the mound tomorrow, where he’s also a prospect.
Gulliver Prep is unusually loaded in the Class of 2012. Four players have already verbally committed to the University of Miami and are at least pro follows: shortstop Adrian Marin, DH/LHP Chris Diaz, 1B Chris Chinea, and OF Ricky Eusebio. Marin is a slick-fielding 5’9”, 150 lb shortstop with some quickness in his bat. Diaz is a strong lefthanded hitter and hopefully I’ll see him pitch tomorrow. Chinea is a power plant 5’10”, 200 lb righthanded hitter with an advanced approach, I imagine he’s one of the very top bats in the class nationwide. Eusebio runs and throws very well, though he has a ways to go with the swing and the body (5’8”, 155 lb).
One more promising sophomore is Phildrick Llewellyn, the catcher for Trinity Christian-Lake Worth. He showed some shiftiness behind the dish and nearly an average arm. His bat is very quick for his age. The Curacao native stands about 5’9”, 165 lbs.
There were plenty of additional underclassmen to interest D1 and high D2 coaches, it was quite a display of talent.
Check back tomorrow as I report on the Class 1A and 3A Finals. Then on Friday, the Class 6A and 4A Semifinals will feature potential 1st-rounder Nick Castellanos (3B, Archbishop McCarthy) and lefty prospect Daniel Gibson (Tampa Jesuit).