2015 Under Armour Pre-Season All-America Tournament: Top 10 2016 Grads
The class of 2016 top 10 includes three position players, five pitchers, and a pair of two-way players — one each L/L and R/R. This group also includes four players selected to the 2015 Under Armour All-America Game, two players committed to Pac-12 programs, and a pair of ACC commits.
Our scouts, along with the others in attendance, were treated to impressive displays from this group of players. While we cannot honor everyone that attended, we did want to highlight a few players that stood out from each graduating class.
Appearing below are the Top 10 players from the class of 2016.
3B – 6’2″/180 – R/R – 2016 – Walton HS – Marietta, GA – Clemson Univ. commit
It isn’t very often we find a corner player with actions and tools more commonly seen in guys that play in the middle of the field — normally it works the other way. That’s the case with Carter Kieboom however, he offers premium position type athleticism and defensive ability along with the offensive ability expected of corner players.
He posted 6.81 in the 60 yard dash, good enough for top 10 honors at this event, and showed defensive actions in line with all but the top shortstops we saw. His ability to generate momentum through the play on the ball, and then to apply that to a quick and strong release, gives him potential to make a large variety of plays on the hot corner.
At the plate, he featured an athletic setup and hands that wanted to move with quickness and speed. He has the makings of a high-level hit and power combination, thanks to his ability to combine hand-eye coordination, bat speed and feel for hitting. In seven at bats, he collected four hits including a triple to left field that highlighted his long and easy running stride as he rounded the bases. Additionally, he showed base running awareness and instincts with good reads on balls in the dirt.
At 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, he has a high waist with athletic proportions and room to fill out. A quality all-around player equipped to play at the highest game speed, Carter also has impressive baseball bloodlines — his dad Alswinn Kieboom played at Eastern Illinois University, his oldest brother Trevor Kieboom is a third baseman at the University of Georgia, while his middle brother Spencer Kieboom was a 5th round pick of the Washington Nationals in the 2012 draft.
Based on his performance in Mesa, Carter was selected to the 2015 Under Armour All-America Game, scheduled for August 15 at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
LHP – 6’5″/245 – L/L – 2016 – Norcross HS – Norcross, GA – Duke Univ. commit
At 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, Graeme Stinson featured a compact, simple delivery and worked from a low three-quarters arm angle. He showed feel for both his breaking ball and change, and used both 4-seam and 2-seam fastballs – giving him the ability to move the ball both ways.
With his size and length, it looked like he was almost placing the ball in the catcher’s mitt. He featured excellent body control, and worked with low effort to repeat his delivery and to get his arm back and through. Most of the time, we eyeball velocity higher than it actually reads out, but in this case it was the other way for me. I eyeballed him in the upper 80s, but turned out to be off by a few mph.
He touched 94 twice, and sat easily in the low 90s with his four-seamer, while his two-seamer was 88-89. He showed the ability to move his fastball to both edges, and threw a lot of strikes with his secondary pitches. His breaking ball was 79-81 with sharp 2-8 action, while his change was mostly a low 80s offering with fading sink.
Through three controlled innings of work, he struck out ten of the fifteen batters he faced — including eight of the first ten in what was the most dominating outing of the entire event.
Based on his performance in Mesa, Graeme was selected to the 2015 Under Armour All-America Game, scheduled for August 15 at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
SS – 5’11″/200 – R/R – 2016 – Lakewood HS – Tierra Verde, FL – Arizona State Univ. commit
Though he has a somewhat of an unorthodox approach to hit, Bo Bichette has special bat speed and standout raw power — not unlike his dad and older brother. In Mesa, he showed the best raw power of any hitter in batting practice, and showed a knack for hard contact in game at bats.
He stands a solid 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, and posted respectable run times in the 60 yard dash and down the line. Speed isn’t a strength of his, and frankly it doesn’t need to be — the value here is a potential middle of the order bat. He got the bat through the zone with true “blur” bat speed, and the resulting contact with a wood bat was loud enough to turn heads on adjacent fields at the Cubs Park quad.
Defensively, he plays the game better than he works out — as evidenced by a pair of excellent plays to his backhand side in his morning game on Sunday. Athletic and instinctual plays like these support his ability to remain in the middle infield, which would certainly max out his value based on his offensive prowess. Time will tell, as he will need to prove his ability to handle the routine plays required up the middle beyond his ability to make the special plays.
His dad Dante Bichette played 15 seasons in the Major Leagues after being selected in the 17th round by the California Angels out of Palm Beach State College. He hit 274 career home runs, and drove in 100+ runs in five consecutive seasons from 1995-1999 with the Colorado Rockies. He made his Major League debut with the California Angels, and also saw ML service time with the Brewers, Reds and Red Sox.
His older brother Dante Bichette Jr. — a participant in the 2010 Under Armour All-America Game — was picked 51st overall by the New York Yankees in the 2011 draft. After starting the year in the Advanced A Florida State League, where he hit 27 doubles and 9 home runs on the way to 64 RBI in 109 games, he was promoted to AA Trenton (in the Eastern League) at the end of the 2014 season.
Based on his performance in Mesa, Bo was selected to the 2015 Under Armour All-America Game, scheduled for August 15 at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
RHP – 6’3″185 – R/R – 2016 – McEachearn HS – Powder Springs, GA
Alex Speas didn’t face any hitters in Mesa, as he hadn’t progressed far enough through his off-season throwing program to take the mound live. He did draw a crowd for a bullpen session however, and during that time he showed why he was among the first thirteen players selected to the 2015 Under Armour All-America Game.
He stands a slender and long-limbed 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, and features an electric arm – almost to the point where it looks like he’s throwing a different ball than everyone else.He works from a high three-quarters arm angle, which allows him to use his length to generate good downward angle on his pitches. His fastball jumps from his hand, and he uses the looseness and quickness in his hand and wrist to spin a tight breaking ball.
On a cold November day at the Under Armour Futures South Showcase, he sat 90-91 and topped at 93. We didn’t have a radar gun up during his bullpen session in Mesa, but early reports from the Atlanta area have him up to 95 as of mid-February.
SS – 6’2″190 – R/R – 2016 – Monterey HS – Monterey, CA
Carter Aldrete played the game with an instinctual and natural approach, such that the game appeared to come to him very easily. He showed a well-rounded set of tools in workouts, though his ability to apply those abilities to the game is what makes him special.
He posted 6.87 in the 60 yard dash, and stands a 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds with a slender waist and some width to his shoulders. His right-handed stroke featured good rhythm and balance, and he showed the ability to make hard contact to all fields. He collected a pair of singles, including one to the opposite field, and a walk in eight trips to the plate.
Defensively, he moved his feet with quickness and showed the body control necessary to make plays off-balance and on the move. He instinctually picked good hops and positioned his body such that he was able to catch and throw with momentum working towards the target.
His combination of natural skill and instincts should come as no surprise considering his baseball bloodlines. His dad Rich Aldrete played at the University of California, and reached the AAA level as a 31st round pick of San Fransisco Giants. He was also the head coach of California State University – Monterey Bay from 2006-2010. His uncle Mike Aldrete was a 7th round pick by the San Fransisco Giants out of Stanford University, and went on to play 10 Major League seasons with seven teams (Giants, Expos, Padres, Indians, Athletics, Angels and the 1996 World Series champion New York Yankees). He also served as the first base coach for the Seattle Mariners, hitting coach for the Diamondbacks, hitting coach and bench coach for the Cardinals, and is currently the bench coach for the Oakland Athletics.
LHP – 6’5″/205 – L/L – Village Christian HS – Burbank, CA
David Barta, a 6-foot-4 left-handed pitcher from Southern California, featured a devastating breaking ball along with an upper 80s fastball. He had just enough funk in his delivery to offer deception, and worked from a low three-quarters arm angle that allowed him to move the ball both ways.
He commanded his fastball up to 89, and got late arm side run when he worked it away to right-handers (or in to lefties). He showed similar command with his breaking ball, which he threw in the low 70s and with 2-8 shape down and across the zone. Though he didn’t use it much — and frankly, he didn’t need to — his change showed promise as a third pitch that could get to the level of his fastball and breaking ball.
In addition to great mound presence, he showed a good pickoff move that held runners close at first base.
3B/RHP – 6’3″/223 – R/R – Westview HS – Beaverton, OR – Univ. of Oregon commit
Named the #4 prospect among 2016 graduates at the 2014 Under Armour All-America Pre-Season Tournament as a pitcher, Kenyon Yovan appears in the Top 10 again this year — only this time as a two-way player.
He showed arguably the top infield arm strength at the event, and it would later show up again on the mound. His hands worked well to field, and he showed the ability to get off quick throws when needed on double play feeds or on softer hit balls to his glove side.
At the plate, he made an aggressive and full move through the zone. He generated good bat speed, but seemed to produce his raw power more from strength applied through contact than pure speed through the zone. In seven trips to the plate, he collected three hits and a walk — including a firm double to the pull side in game one.
Last year, he topped at 87 with his fastball and spun a mid 70s breaking ball. This year, the low end of his fastball range was 87, and he topped at 92 – an impressive five mph jump in one calendar year. He threw his slider up to 84 mph, showed good feel for a low to mid 70s curve with defined 11-5 shape, and mixed in some 79-81 mph splitters. He worked from a compact, coordinated delivery with a full finish out front after medium depth from the glove.
He has made a lot of progress since last year in Tucson, and now seems a good bet for a two-way role at the University of Oregon.
RHP – 6’3″/190 – R/R – Arlington Heights HS – Fort Worth, TX
Among right-handers, Blair Henley showed arguably the best control, command, and combination of stuff and feel for pitching. He featured a low effort delivery, and maintained a relaxed and poised mound presence throughout his outing. Through three controlled innings of work, he issued just one walk, allowed one hit, and struck out eight hitters — including a stretch of three in a row, and six of the last ten hitters he faced.
His fastball sat 86-88 and touched 89 with arm side run. He worked to both edges of the plate with this offering, and showed command of his secondary stuff as well. His breaking ball had sharp two-plane action in the upper 70s from his three-quarters arm angle, while he was able to effectively turn over his low to mid 70s changeup. He surrendered very few good swings, and generally had hitters uncomfortable and off balance.
RHP – 6’4″/210 – R/R – St. Stanislaus HS – Long Beach, MS
Standing at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds with long features and room to fill out, Greer Holston featured advanced feel for two quality pitches, and has the makings of a third.
He worked on a good downhill plane, and generally pitched ahead in the count. Through three controlled innings of work, he struck out eight of fifteen hitters he faced, allowed just a single base runner on a walk.
His fastball had arm side run in the 86-89 mph range, and was featured in combination with a breaking ball he added and subtracted with. His firmer version was 77-79 mph with more fastball plane from his hand while his softer version was still a low 70s offering with action with more downward action and a little less tilt. The change was 77-82 mph, and was thrown with good arm speed — it has potential as a quality third pitch.
OF/LHP – 5’10″/170 – L/L – Flint Hill HS – Centreville, VA – Liberty Univ. commit
Khalil Lee made the most of his opportunity in Mesa, turning in arguably the best performance of the weekend. He backed it up with a very well-rounded set of tools, including among the top outfield throwing arms and a high level hit tool.
In eight at bats, he walked once and collected five hits — including two triples, and hits in his first four consecutive trips to the plate. He was only retired twice, and even in those instances he made hard contact and got out of the box hard and with a purpose. His long stride and angles around the bases allowed him to play faster between the lines than in testing. He posted a respectable 7.08 60 yard dash, but ran a full grade better down the line at 4.26.
He kept the barrel working through the zone a long time, and was able to accelerate the barrel through contact. This combined with hand-eye coordination and a keen ability to track pitches allowed him to find the barrel with such success in both BP and game at bats.
In a short mound outing, he retired all five hitters he faced — including two via strikeout. He topped at 86 mph from a low effort delivery, spun a 74-78 mph breaking ball, and showed feel for a mid to upper 70s changeup. A strike thrower with all three pitches, he certainly appears to be headed for a two-way role at Liberty University.