With over 260 players participating in the 2011 Under Armour Pre-Season All-America Tournament, powered by Baseball Factory, our scouts were treated to players from across the country that had many tools including sub seven second speed, sub two second pop time and above 89mph velocities. While we cannot honor everyone that attended we did want to highlight a few players that stood out.
The following are the Top 10 2012 Grads from the 2011 Under Armour Pre-Season All-America Tournament.
1. Tomas Nido | C | Guaynabo, PR | Orangewood Christian (FL)
Tomas put on an extremely impressive display during both the workouts and games. He is a solidly built young man (6’0”/195) with present strength. That strength leads to plus bat speed – he can whistle it through the zone. He takes a healthy hack each time he swings and the ball comes off his bat with authority. He squared up several balls in games. Behind the plate, Tomas shows a great feel for the position. He is a quiet receiver with good hands and shows surprising flexibility for his build. He threw out one runner during a game with a 1.90 release time showing off a combination of quick feet, clean exchange and arm strength. It is no surprise that he was selected to the USA Baseball 16U Team Trials. Tomas is a bona-fide prospect at a premium position.
2. Kieran Lovegrove | RHP | Mission Viejo, CA | Mission Viejo
Kieran is an athletic young RHP with a good pitcher’s frame (6’4”/180). He throws a fastball that sits in the upper 80s, low 90s range. His arm works free and easy, but there is some deception to his delivery that makes for uncomfortable at-bats for hitters facing him. His mix of a tailing FB, sharp breaking ball and fading change made things very difficult for the hitters he faced at the event. Kieran was also selected to USA Baseball 16U Team Trials last year and has already committed to Arizona State University.
3. Ty Culbreth | LHP | Bryan, TX | Bryan
Ty is an under-the-radar LHP with serious stuff and polish. He fills up the zone with effortless high 80s velocity that has late life to it. He adds a sharp-breaking curveball that has good depth and tilt and serves as his out-pitch and a change that fades and sinks. Ty commands all three of these pitches from a balanced, repeatable delivery. He is a good enough athlete to also play the OF in college as he is a 7.03 runner and swings the bat well from the left side, but his highest ceiling is as a LH starter.
4. Alex Bregman | SS | Albuquerque, NM | Albuquerque Academy
Alex showed off the skills that made him the first youth player to ever win USA Baseball’s Player of the Year honors. Alex led the 16U National Team to the Gold Medal in the Pan Am Championships. At the UAPSAA, he showed that he is one of the country’s most polished hitters. His plate discipline and short, quick stroke produce quality at-bats and line drive after line drive. He is confident in the box and seems to square up any level of pitching. Alex is also a relaxed and reliable fielder who moves well laterally and can play on either side of the bag. His skill set will probably make him an offensive 2B in the future at the high levels he will reach.
5. Carson Kelly | 3B/RHP | Portland, OR | Westview
Carson is a tremendous two-way athlete who was also a member of USA Baseball’s 16U Gold Medal winning team last year. On the mound Carson pounds the zone with a heavy high 80s fastball and has more in the tank. He complements that with a sharp breaking ball that has good tilt and is a swing-and-miss pitch and a developing change-up. At the plate, Carson uses his strong build to generate bat speed in a powerful stroke. His approach is quiet and rhythmic – something you usually see in hitters much further along in their careers than Carson. The ball is loud off his bat and he has some loft power. In the field his athleticism allows him to make all the plays at 3B and he has plenty of arm for that spot. Overall, Carson is one of the country’s top 2-way talents.
6. Ryan Koziol | SS/RHP | Orland Park, IL | Brother Rice
Ryan is another talented two-way player, excelling both at SS and as a RHP. His LH stroke is quick and pure allowing him to shoot line drives to all fields. He also shows flashes of pull-side power. In the field his hands are sure and he has plenty of arm for the left side of the infield, though 3B may be his spot at higher levels. On the mound Ryan throws a 90 mph fastball with deception that lets his fastball jump on hitters. He also mixes in a tight slider in the 80-82 mph range. Ryan was chosen to compete in USA Baseball’s Team Trials for their 18U National Team.
7. Andrew Potter | RHP | Lancaster, CA | Eastside
Andrew is an aggressive strike thrower on the mound that attacks hitters with his fastball. That fastball has some late life and sits in the 88-91 mph range. He also throws a good, tight slider that has tilt and depth. Andrew also shows a lot of confidence (and plus feel) in his change that has some tail. Overall, he’s mechanically sound – loose, quick and clean with his arm – and competes on the mound with a quality three pitch mix.
8. Byron Ferguson | OF/RHP | Lake Worth, FL | Trinty Christian Academy
Byron is another of the talented two-way players that were in Arizona. He is a tremendous athlete with a set of tools that is hard to find. As a position player, he has a well-proportioned, strong frame (5’11”/185) and runs well (6.75 on the grass in AZ). The speed is useable allowing him to be a true CF. His approach at the plate still needs some refining, but the ball comes off the bat loud and he has present power that will continue to develop further. Byron also touched 88 mph on the mound with a sharp breaking ball. All of this in a player who hustles and plays hard makes Byron a young player to follow closely.
9. James Kaprielian | RHP/OF | Tustin, CA | Beckman
James is another of the athletic two-way players at the UAPSAA in Arizona. On the mound James flashes a high 80s fastball that is sneaky quick, a swing-and-miss slider that breaks sharp at late, an 11/5 curveball with good depth and a very effective change with slight cut. He shows advanced command of all four of these offerings. As a position player, James uses his strong frame (6’2”/185) to drive balls to all fields. He also covers some ground in the OF as evidenced by his 6.96 time in the 60. Overall, the tools, instincts and hustle will play anywhere, though we see his highest ceiling on the mound at present.
10. Troy Ruggiero | RHP | Chandler, AZ | Seton Catholic
Troy is a tall, lean athlete on the mound with a great pitcher’s frame (6’5”/190) and long arms and legs. The ball comes out of his hand easy and his high 80s fastball has natural run to it along with some late life. He complements his FB with a curveball with good tilt and rotation and a sinking change. He works quickly, attacks hitters with his fastball and throws strikes. Overall, the body, stuff and make-up are an outstanding total package.
Be sure to check back because we will be posting the Top 10 Players for the 2011 class (as well as honorable mentions).
All Top 10s and event postings will be updated on the 2011 Event Page.