Winter Haven - On December 28-29, I had the opportunity to both scout & work with about 40 high school baseball players. The camp, which was filled with players ranging from 2019 up through 2016 grads, mostly from the state of Florida. Leading the camp was Milwaukee Brewers Coordinator Charlie Greene, who has decades of experience at every level of baseball. Assisting Greene were Scott Hennessey, International Scout & Coordinator for the LA Dodgers, as well as Zach Bove (College of Central Florida) & Zac Cole (Next Level, Baltimore Orioles). The camp was divided into individual skill work, team drills, batting practice & live game situations. Below is a breakdown of some of the top players that attended, broken into specific skill areas. (Please note, I was only given a typed up roster with no HS or Grad Year information, so apologies in advance for any incomplete info or misspellings) ***The information below is in no particular order***
TOP RUNNERS (60 Yard Dash)
1.) Amari Campbell (OF/P) 6.95
2.) Joey Delgatto (Catcher) 7.05
3.) Isaac Moreno (OF) 7.10
4.) William Bradsma (OF/LHP) 7.20
5.) Ben Wilson (OF/RHP) 7.20
6.) Francisco Ramos (OF) 7.24
7.) Thursal White (OF) 7.26
TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
1.) Matthew Corlew (2019 SS/2B/RHP) – Corlew was one of several 2019 players that stood out during drill work. Corlew is a lean, athletic middle INF that could have a very high ceiling as a defender. Above average actions in the field (footwork, fielding mechanics), his only downside is he can get a bit “flashy” on some plays, especially slow rollers. Needs to develop arm strength, but again, he is only 14. Projects as a SS at the next level with a frame similar to Alex Rodriguez at same age. Will be fun one to watch in the field as he matures and continues to get stronger & gather reps.
2.) Joey Delgatto (2017 C/RHP) – Delgatto was one of several catchers who attended the camp. He consistently posted the best pop times on average in both drill work & game situations, posting a 1.98 best during the live game on Tuesday. Delgatto works hard and does all the right things in terms of receiving and blocking. Showed good carry on his throws to 2nd, with average accuracy. Athletic and runs well; can see him making the switch to the OF at some point.
3.) Tucker Weindorf (2018 MIF) – Tucker was another young prospect that stood out during his drill work. One of those players that doesn’t stick out due to being fairly quiet, with minimal flashiness in his game. He is a grinder type that just works hard; no plus tools, however he is solid in all areas of his game. Good footwork on ground balls; solid around the bag. Just needs continued reps and maturity but should develop into a solid 2B prospect.
4.) Ricky Rego (2019 3B/RHP) – Continuing with the youth theme, Rego was yet another (if not the top) 2019 player I saw during the camp. Rego was very quiet during the 2 days I saw him. He rarely spoke and just hustled in every drill/game he participated in. We found out later, he was actually in town visiting family from Hawaii and decided to just attend the camp. I am glad he did, as he definitely turned some heads. Showed quick first step and reactions at 3B. Puts his nose on the ball every time and makes all the routine plays. Displayed a strong, accurate arm across the diamond. See no reason he won’t stay at 3B due to his short, stocky frame.
5.) Blake Bennett (2019 OF/LHP) – Bennett was yet another young prospect that stood out for me. Out of Alabama and a member of the Triton Rays program, Bennett’s name will be mentioned in a few areas on this write up. During his INF/OF session, he showed the ability to track balls well in the gaps, take good routes to make up for his average speed and showed a strong arm. Has a ton of armside run on everything he throws, so will need to learn to control throws to the bases. May develop more speed as he matures, which may allow him to project as a CF, but for now would be fine at either corner.
6.) Garrett Greene (2019 Catcher) – Yes, another 2019 standout. Greene was a highly athletic, advanced skill set behind the plate. Son of Charlie Greene (Brewers catching coordinator), it was obvious he has had 1st hand experience working with advanced coaching. Strong arm (2.04 pop) to 2nd with above average accuracy, he will easily be a sub 1.9 guy when he develops. Great blocking technique to go with quick feet. (was told he is also a highly rated QB Prospect). Athletic enough to play anywhere in the field.
TOP HITTING PROSPECTS
1.) Francisco Ramos (2016 OF) – There were not many players who stood out at the plate, mostly due to not seeing live pitching for over 2 months in most cases. Ramos had a solid BP session, displaying pull power with quick hands. During the games, he was able to showcase a great 2 strike approach, as he shorted up his swing and was able to drive the ball the other way. One of the few players who wasn’t pull happy every swing, Ramos has + pull side pop, while still having the patience to drive the ball the other way. Did not see much in the way of advanced pitching, but his quick hands and ability to get the bat head through the zone to the ball should allow him to have a shot at the next level.
2.) Kole Bryan (2019 INF) – Bryan was one of the most intriguing players at the camp. When it comes to the “eye test”, Bryan might scare off a few evaluators. He wears his hat high on his head, earrings in both ears, shirt untucked. During BP, he had a long, aggressive swing that reminded a few of us of Hanley Ramirez. (Found out after camp ended that his favorite player was Hanley) His hands were blistered at the end of BP from how hard he swings. Then came the game. Kole was the only player who consistently made hard contact with + pop every time. He drove balls down & away, as well as up & away to the big part of the field. Once he easily hit a ball about 325 feet to dead center, with wood. Reminder to all, he doesn’t turn 15 until the summer. Bryan will need someone to constantly stay on him, but my guess is a lot of his “flashy” look will iron out as he simply matures. Power potential at a MIF position will allow you to look past the “eye test”. Could develop to be a potent bat.
3.) Luis Olivier (2016 C/1B) – Luis is another big bat from The Juice program in Central Florida. Athletic actions for a bigger kid, Olivier was workable behind the plate, and even ran a solid 7.34 60 for C/1B. But at the plate is where he stood out during camp. Showing the most RHH power potential, Olivier drove balls during BP and even got into a few during his games. Crushes balls up in the zone; swing got a bit long at times, but when he takes hands to the ball and keeps bat head in zone, he has ability to drive the ball with gap power. Hard swing, he attacks FB’s and doesn’t usually allow himself to get into off speed counts.
4.) Ricky Rego (2019 3B/RHP) – As mentioned, Rego did not only impress in the field. Rego was one of the few freshman who performed well at the plate during the games. A line drive hitter, he should develop a bit more pop as he begins to mature and gain strength. Only 14 currently, he showed a rare ability to go the other way and keep bat head in the zone well. Good balance in the box, with good extension at finish. High contact rate will keep him near the top of the order.
5.) Patrick Irish (2017 C/1B) – Irish is what you would call “Country Strong”. He had potentially the most power of any player at the camp. A recently turned switch hitter, he showed the surprising ability to go the other way from the left side, with average pop. His pull power from the right side is slightly above average right now; if he can cut his swing down just a little, get quicker to the ball and use his strong lower half, should develop even more backspin and create more and more power. Surprisingly patient for a power hitter; will probably move off of catcher, but athletic enough to adjust to 1B or even a DH type role in college.
6.) William Bradsma (OF/LHP) – Bradsma was another player who did not have any + tools persay, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a potential prospect either. Short, quick lefty stroke; good extension at finish; high contact rate during games; has potential to be a 4th OF type at next level, while being a solid LHH off the bench. With added strength and development, could become a starting CF.
TOP PITCHING PROSPECTS
1.) Ben Wilson (2013 RHP/OF) – Wilson was a special exception that attended the camp. A player who got into some off the field issues when he first was in HS, Wilson never completed his college eligibility. From what I saw, Wilson has most definitely gotten his life back on track. With a positive, leader mentality, Wilson showed a workable skill set on the mound. Very clean mechanics with a loose arm, he was 82-84 with some late movement. Secondary stuff was average (73-74 CH). Pounded strike zone though and with some coaching, might develop into an adequate arm out of the pen for an inning. Always good to see young men using athletics to help get their lives back in order.
2.) Matthew Krumwiede (2017 RHP) – Proof positive that lighting up a radar gun is not the only way to get a scout’s attention. Krumwiede was nothing special in terms of radar gun #’s. With a 76-79 mph FB, most scouts would not show much interest. In watching him pitch, you can tell that not only does he attack hitters in the zone, he does so with some cutting action on his FB. Then came his 66-68 mph 12/6 breaking CB. The pitch was a ++ at times, with sharp, late breaking action…as well as hard, sweeping action at times. The only problem he had was the second evaluators commented on it, he used it about 75% of each AB and hitters began to sit on it. Could fill a major role out of the pen vs. tough RHH, as well as even use his cutting FB and the harder breaking version of the CB to get lefties out. Needs to clean up mechanics some.
3.) Blake Bennett (2019 OF/LHP) – Bennett nearly made the hitting list as well, and probably should have. He also has a potentially bright future on the mound. Again, just 14, Bennett showed a low 70’s FB, but with a ton of armside run to it. The pitch was even tougher to adjust to when he balanced it out with a sharp, late breaking CB that got under righties hands consistently. Smooth, clean delivery; good extension at finish; if he can manage the tail on his pitches, he has a chance to be tough on left handed hitters out of the pen. I think he projects well as a hitter, so time may be limited as a SP…but definitely could be an above avg option out of the pen.
4.) Ricky Rego (2019 3B/RHP) – Yup, Rego is back yet again. While impressing in his other areas, none stood out as much as his pitching. Short, compacted mechanics; has a short, quick arm path. Uses lower half well, drives off the mound. Armside run on most pitches. Bottom falls out on most of his stuff; pounds the bottom of the strike zone. Very tough for any hitters to elevate his pitches. FB was 76-78 with a 68-69 SL & 70-72 CH. Does not turn 15 until this summer. Only negative I can say…he lives in Hawaii and won’t be seen by a lot of colleges unless he plays some summer ball in the states.
ADDITIONAL PLAYERS TO WATCH
1.) Daniel Rodriguez (2016 Catcher) - a member of FACTR Baseball; big bodied, strong senior with pull power. Showed around a 2.0 pop time to 2nd, flashing a 1.95 one time. Big slow with footwork behind the dish; arm accuracy needs improvement. Has power potential but needs to show more patience and strike zone recognition.
2.) Carson Stephens (2019 SS/3B/RHP) - part of the Florida Burn org, Stephens showed solid footwork during defensive drills. Hands are a bit stiff, but has quick reactions. Coupled with a frame that can handle more size, he projects to move over to 3B, where he could be an above avg. defender. Took a great round of BP, but got in the game and almost seemed to just "baby" his swing. Needs to be more aggressive and violent with his swing; too controlled right now for me. Young, plenty of room to develop and fill out.
3.) Nathaniel Eastburn (2018 C/3B) - Eastburn was a player who didn't catch my attention until the games on the final day. During BP, was a bit long with his swing for me, with not enough extension at finish. During the games, however, he showed more of a quick stroke that created hard line drives. Not sure he stays behind the plate, as his catching mechanics were a bit below average for me, but with some development at the plate, could move to 3B/1B or even LF down the road.
4.) Corbin Tsistinas (2018 Catcher) - Liked the work ethic he put in during drill work; still young with plenty of room to fill out, he has a solid skill set to build from. Gets down on dirt balls well, keeps head down, and body in front of baseball. Bat is a bit behind, but at the catcher slot that is ok. Was 2.20 on his pop times, which for his age is about par for the course. With work in the weight room, and continued development, has the makings of a good catch & throw guy at the college level.