Tampa, FL - The 2015 grad class is starting to emerge as a pretty good overall class. I wouldn't say it's as good as the 2016 grad class yet but it's getting better the more players I see.
Raul Cabrera SS/3B Lake Nona HS
As I was on my way to get my Subway sandwich for lunch at the complex I caught a glimpse of Cabrera taking ground balls at shortstop. I immediately stopped and starting looking through my notes to find out who he was. Cabrera may have had the best defensive actions of any position player at the camp. He’s an athletic looking kid that makes everything look easy defensively. Cabrera’s a player I need to definitely bear down on more at the plate in game situations but with his defensive tools and athleticism he’ll be high on many colleges recruiting lists.
Santino Miozzi C Venezuela
Miozzi was definitely one of the best catch and throw catchers I’ve seen this past year. He may have THE quickest transfer and release I’ve seen. Miozzi has a very projectable body that will only get stronger. He moves well behind the plate and takes charge of the game vocally. I had him at a 1.87 POP time and think he’ll improve that a bit over the next couple of years. One of the things that impressed me the most about Miozzi was his love for the game and hustle. I think he actually beat a kid down the line running to back up the first basemen on a ground ball. It’s refreshing to see kids that truly love the game. A lot of kids today have a sense of entitlement based on rankings or awards. To watch kids play that love the game and stay humble is why I love what I do.
Alex Dorso LHP Olympia HS
I didn’t get to see Dorso pitch but during bp he showed some batspeed and squared almost every pitch up. Although he throws left, he bats right. Dorso is a wiry player with some upside at the plate. I need to see more of him.
Anthony George Catcher/3B Hagerty HS
George showed a quick bat during bp but it was in and out of the zone pretty quick as well. If he can work on staying through the hitting zone longer and getting better extension I think he’ll become a more consistent hitter. I need to see more of George’s catch and throw skills to evaluate him better as a defender.
Braden Rollins RHP/3B Lake Mary HS
Rollins is a player I’ve seen plenty of this past summer and fall. He has a very projectable and athletic body and seems to get taller every time I see him. Braden showed me more of an ability to be a true two-way player at the college level. Defensively, he’s fine just about anywhere you put him. At the plate is where he needs to improve a bit but the batspeed and tools are there. Rollins struggles to get his backside through the baseball at the plate but when he does he generates good batspeed and there’s a noticeable difference in the sound the bat makes at contact with the baseball. As a pitcher, I really like Rollins arm. It’s clean, easy, minimal effort and he gets great extension. He showed an improved slider with tighter spin but it was inconsistent in his bullpen session. The good thing is that he finally flashed a tight slider at 75mph and ran his fastball up to 89mph with life. Rollins has plenty of projection and upside and should have professional interest from scouts over the next couple of years.
Jacob Corso LHP/1B Lake Mary HS
Corso has a chance to be a legitimate two-way player in college and get plenty of draft interest going into his senior year if he puts the time and work in to get better. I’ve seen Corso very good as a pitcher in the past sitting in the upper 80’s with a sharp, nasty 12 to 6 curveball. With that said, I haven’t seen that out of Corso since last fall. I believe he still has the talent to be a great player but right now he’s been inconsistent. I liked what I saw out of Corso as a hitter. He has effortless power which is rare and uses all fields. Jacob gets great extension and had natural loft and backspin on balls he hit during bp and in the game. I didn’t consider Corso to be an elite hitter at the next level until I saw him at FTB’s instructional camp. If Corso can show me he wants to be great, I think he can be.
Colton Chupp LHP/1B Lakewood Ranch HS
For me, Chupp can be a two-way player at the next level but I think when his velocity jumps a bit he’ll have more value as a LHP for college coaches. He has great mechanics and gets great extension with a very loose arm. Colton’s always going to be able to repeat his delivery and throw strikes. He needs to continue to develop his secondary pitches and I think that will be a difference maker for him at the next level. Right now his secondary pitches are inconsistent but that’s correctable with some work.
Dylan Burns RHP/MIF Vero Beach HS
I’ve seen a lot of Burns and he continues to get better. I still think his future is as a pitcher. Dylan was up to 87mph in his bullpen but I’ve seen him up to 89-90mph in the past. What impressed me the most was that it was obvious he’s been working on his curveball. I talked to Dylan for a few minutes during the camp and let him know I liked the spin and depth on his curveball compared to the times before I’d seen him pitch. Burns still showed inconsistency with his curveball but flashed more depth and tighter spin at 75mph. I think it can eventually be an out pitch for him. Burns has a great pitchers body, he’s athletic with a live, loose arm and hs velocity should make a jump in the near future.
Jared Middleton LHP Georg Jenkins HS
It seems like Jenkins HS always has an arm or two every few years. Middleton is a strong, stocky LHP that really knows how to pitch and had better command of three pitches than just about every pitcher I’d seen this past summer and fall. Jared repeats his delivery extremely well and goes right after hitters attacking the strike zone. His fastball sat 85-87mph with late life. Middleton showed an advanced ability to pitch with his curveball basically placing it wherever he wanted. It had great depth and very tight spin. Jared drew a crowd of college coaches and pro scouts during his time on the mound. He’s one to definitely keep a close eye on over the next couple of years.
Dylan Ivory RHP Ocoee HS
Ivory isn’t a big kid but he has a quick arm and runs his fastball into the upper 80’s. He had been shut down most of the summer/fall which is why I hadn’t seen him before. I’ve always been ok with pitchers that aren’t 6’2” as long as they have a strong base and Ivory does. I didn’t get to see much of Dylan but what I did see, I liked. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him this fall, next spring and summer.
Jason Heinrich 1B/RHP River Ridge HS
Heinrich is a physical kid with a chance to be a legitimate two-way player at the next level. I’ve seen plenty of Jason in the past and have always liked him as a short reliever. I saw more at the plate from him this time. Heinrich has plus batspeed and showed a patient approach at the plate. I think he struggled a bit with pitch recognition but has a good idea of the strike zone. I look at Jason as a power arm/power bat. He was up to 89mph with his fastball. He’ll have the ability to win games at the plate and close out games on the mound. Heinrich’s going to be an interesting professional prospect because of his two-way talent and deciding what scouts like him better as.
Jordan Gubelman RHP Sarasota HS
Gubleman showed me a better slider with sharp late break in his bullpen. He’d been inconsistent in the past when I’d seen him pitch. He’s got a good pitchers frame and a live arm. Jordan’s fastball was up to 88mph but what impressed me more was his slider at 81mph. It had serious depth and can become a power out pitch at the next level. He’ll get some professional interest over the next couple of years especially if he can become more consistent with his slider and develop a change-up.
Keshawn Lynch MIF Haines City HS
Lynch has always been one of my favorite players. I like the way he plays the game and handles himself on and off the field. Lynch has become more physical and the ball jumps off his bat better now than it did a year ago. He’s gotten faster as a runner and his defensive actions are some of the best I’ve seen this year. Keshawn has an obvious love for the game and continues to get better and better as a player. He’s always going to make contact and be a tough out. With his combination of speed, athleticism and consistent contact at the plate, Lynch will definitely be on the professional scouts radar the next couple of years.
Kirk Sidwell OF Olympia HS
Sidwell had one of the better bodies at the camp. He is both athletic and physical. At the plate, Kirk’s a little stiff but has a patient approach and plenty of batspeed. For a bigger, stronger kid Sidwell runs very well. I didn’t get to see his arm strength or defense but I think the tools are there for him to become a legitimate college player and professional prospect. I’d like to see better pitch recognition and more consistent hard contact from Kirk. I didn’t get to see enough of Sidwell but he’s definitely a player I need to follow and see more of his tool set.
Michael Zimmerman LHP Gulf Coast HS
Zimmerman’s velocity made a jump from last year to this year like I thought it would. He was up to 88mph and still has more in the tank. There’s not a lot I don’t like about Zimmerman. He’s projectable, has two pitches he throws for strikes right now, a deceptive delivery and clean arm action. Michael is definitely a professional prospect and when he can show the ability to throw three pitches for strikes he’ll be extremely difficult to hit at any level.
Etienne Maldonado RHP/IF Bishop Moore HS
Maldonado didn’t stand out physically last year or this year but he’s a wiry player with some projectability and upside. On the mound his delivery is very smooth with an easy arm action and throws strikes. The velocity isn’t quite there yet but I think it will be at some point. At the plate, Etienne has some batspeed and gets good extension but struggles in games at times to make consistent contact. I can’t put my finger on it yet, but there’s something there with Maldonado.
Robert Lopez MIF George Jenkins HS
Lopez has an athletic body with plenty of room to grow. There’s definitely upside both at the plate and defensively with Lopez. At shortstop he showed great actions that were very easy and loose. Lopez reminds me a little of Keshawn Lynch in how he approaches and loves the game. He plays hard and has fun. At the plate, his bat stays through the hitting zone with extension but it’s not always consistent right now. Robert will get plenty of college and professional attention over the next couple of years. The tools are there for him to be a great player.
On a side note, Tyrone Perry (Avon Park HS) took bp and hit every ball hard and hit his last one well over 400ft and it still may be going today which is nearly a month later. Perry is the definition of a "man child," with tremendous raw power.