Phoenix - The 14U and 16U Rawlings Elite programs from Southern California are having quite a week in Phoenix.
The Team Rawlings Elite 14U program won the gold medal Wednesday with a convincing 14-1 championship game victory against the San Diego Show. They also won their quarterfinal and semi-final games by scores of 18-2 and 8-0.
The Rawlings Elite 16U team earned the number one overall seed in the 72-team tournament. Play continues Thursday with the championship game slated for Saturday at noon.
Here are the top-five seeds in the 16U tournament:
San Diego Show
Scouting the Top Pitchers
Often during the USA Baseball 16U Championships, there were 12-16 total games being played at once at multiple locations. Scouting pitchers in such a situation is a challenge. Usually a scout will keep an eye on four fields at once. If they see a pitcher they are intrigued by, then it’s over to that field for an inning or so.
What happens is you get a brief snapshot of the pitcher. You have to keep moving around in hopes that you see as many quality arms as possible.
There were two of us in Phoenix moving around fields to see both pitchers and position players. That being said, we saw lots of quality pitchers, but obviously not everyone. We compiled a list of more than three dozen pitching prospects that are all solid follows for college coaches. Every pitcher listed below was someone we saw first-hand.
Our apologies to all the players we missed seeing due to the sheer volume of simultaneous games. Remember, even if we saw a team play and a player appears on the list, we may not have seen all of his teammates pitch. Such is the case with a talented team like the San Diego Show. We saw two of their pitchers throw the ball well and included them on the list. However, there were at least two others on that same team that have early round draft potential that we didn’t see throw (Stephen Gonsalves and Cory Oswalt). If we didn’t personally see a pitcher throw, they are not on this particular list.
Most right-handed pitchers on this list were guys throwing 83MPH+ fastballs. Most left-handers on the list were in the 78-82MPH range and had at least one above-average secondary pitch. Some pitching prospects we included are listed on their team roster as primary position players/secondary pitchers.
Jayson Balades, LHP, 5-10, 150 (ABD Bulldogs)
J.C. Cloney, LHP, 6-2, 190 (ABD Bulldogs)
Brett Worthen, RHP, 5-10, 155 (Albuquerque Baseball Academy)
Blake Gidney, RHP, 6-2, 180 (Angels Amateur Baseball Program)
Justin McAllister, LHP, 6-4, 175 (Angels Amateur Baseball Program)
James Kaprielian, RHP, 6-2, 183 (Blue Wave)
Bryan Marberry, RHP, 6-0, 185 (Conejo Oaks)
Reed Bastie, RHP, 5-11, 145 (Dallas Tigers-Griffin)
Dalton Blaser, LHP, 6-0, 180 (EDH Vipers)
Max Cordy, RHP, 6-4, 190 (EDH Vipers)
Ryan Mason, RHP, 6-4, 179 (Hard 90)
Shane Jackson, RHP, 6-3, 230 (EJ Sports Warriors)
Parker Bugg, RHP, 6-1, 160 (Liberty Lions)
Alex Estrella, LHP, 5-10, 150 (LVBA Lightening)
Chris Plitt, Info Not Available (Mountain West)
Kieran Lovegrove, RHP, 6-3, 180 (NCTB Stars)
Cameron Keysor, RHP, 6-2, 185 (NorCal-2012)
Trevin Haseltine, RHP, 6-1, 170 (NorCal-2013)
Guillermo Salazar, RHP, 6-0, 175 (NorCal-2013)
Jake Steffens, RHP, 6-0, 175 (Nutty Buddy)
Hunter Rodriguez, LHP, 6-3, 195 (Nutty Buddy)
Alex Hardy, RHP, 6-0, 170 (NW Timberjacks)
Felipe Perez, RHP, 6-2, 175 (Placentia Mustangs)
Chris Rivera, RHP, 5-10, 175 (Placentia Mustangs)
Aaron Porter, RHP, 6-1, 225 (Rawlings Elite)
Cristian Salina, RHP, 6-0, 170 (Rawlings Elite)
Sam Moore, RHP, 6-0, 190 (Rox Baseball)
Conner Baits, RHP, 6-4, 160 (San Diego Show)
Michael Martin, RHP, 6-2, 190 (San Diego Show)
Lucas Giolito, RHP, 6-6, 210 (San Gabriel Valley Arsenel)
Daniel Pena, RHP, 5-11, 175 (SoCal NTT)
Brent Wheatley, RHP, 6-3, 200 (Team Anderson 2012)
Kenny Corey, LHP, 5-7, 165 (Team Anderson 2013)
Matt Hammonds, LHP, 6-0, 160 (Team Anderson 2013)
Cortlen Nielsen, RHP, 5-11, 175 (UBA Blue)
Brady Lail, RHP, 6-0, 145 (UBA Blue)