An Abundance of Quality Arms Took the Mound at 2016 UA Pre-Season
In most cases at the Under Armour All-America Pre-Season Tournament, the pitchers are ahead of the hitters. After all, the event is held in January with players from all over the country – not just the warm weather spots – so many of the hitters are facing live pitching for the first time all year. With that in mind, many arms showed very well in Arizona — here are a few that stood out to our scouts.
Perhaps the most impressive outing of the entire weekend was turned in by Georgia Tech commit Chase Patrick (Buena Vista, GA). The 2017 right-hander struck out 11 through four innings by pounding the strike zone with his fastball that touched 88 and commanding an outstanding breaking ball. He also has a nice feel for a change and is in total control on the mound.
Another Georgia native with a solid showing was 2017 RHP Mason Frady (Turin, GA). Frady used a low 80s fastball and a hammer, swing-and-miss curve to breeze through his outing in the stadium.
Luke Drummond (Temple Terrace, FL) threw the ball very well. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound RHP ran his fastball up to 87 and threw a high volume of strikes on his way to 9 K’s in 3 innings pitched.
Two 2017 Texas right-handers also had dominant, nearly identical, outings. Jordan Powell (Montgomery, TX) threw three hitless innings and recorded 8 strikeouts with excellent command of a two-pitch mix, including a fastball up to 88 mph. Also tossing three innings without allowing a hit was Thomas Santos (Burleson, TX). He was up to 87 mph and struck out 6.
We also saw 3 hitless innings from 6-foot-3, 205-pound 2017 right-hander Jack Harris (Mill Valley, CA). Harris threw his low-to-mid 80s fastball to both sides of the plate and mixed in a curve with good tw0-plane break to record outs.
One pitcher who hadn’t logged much time outside before this event was Maine resident Cam Guarino (Falmouth, ME). That didn’t affect him adversely at all, as Cam was aggressive with his fastball – not afraid to throw it inside – and got ahead of hitters repeatedly. He complemented his fastball that topped at 82 with a curve and change, both of which showed promise. This is one of those LHP that just seems to get outs.
Striking out 8 in four innings was 2017 RHP Tucker Kuykendall (Candler, NC). He showed one of the best changeups at the event along with two different, and equally effective, breaking balls.
2017 RHP Chase Pattin (Tomball, TX) is a strike thrower who posted 4 quality innings with his fastball/slider/change combination. He reached 86 mph with his fastball, while his breaking ball was in the mid 70s and his change came in around 80 mph.
Arguably the top overall prospect in Mesa, 2016 RHP Austin Franklin (Paxton, FL) certainly deserves mention in this section. He earned top 10 honors among 2016 graduates, you can read more about him by clicking here.
Similarly, we wrote previously about 2017 right-handers Jack Conlon (Sugar Land, TX) and Christian Santana (Hialeah, FL) — both top 10 selections — click here for their scouting reports and video clips.
Scouts and coaches love to dream about what guys will become when they reach their potential. We saw several of these high-end projection arms in Arizona. While many of them had quality outings like the pitchers already mentioned, these arms stood out even more for their future ceiling.
Dalton Laney (Rockville, IN) combined a projectable 6-foot-4, 185 pound frame with a quick, loose arm and a rhythmic delivery. His fastball touched 88 mph with life and his slider had three-quarter tilt with late break. It’s easy to see more velocity coming from Laney, an Indiana State commit.
University of Oregon commit 2016 RHP Declan Kearney (Pacific Palisades, CA) oozes athleticism (6.89 runner) and upside on the mound. His mid 80s fastball explodes at the plate and his secondary offerings show outstanding promise – a curve that is a potential out pitch and a tailing, deceptive change. He throws strikes, and as his 6-foot-2 frame fills out he could be dominant on the mound.
Two more projectable RHPs were 2016 Grant King (Anaheim Hills, CA) and 2017 Collin Storms (Lewisville, TX). Grant, a Pepperdine commit, uses his 6-foot-4 frame to get excellent downhill plane to his mid 80s fastball. His arm is loose and he gets good finish to all of his pitches. Storms is long and lean with good plane to his mid 80s fastball, and sharp bite to his breaking ball.
Two 2017 left-handed pitchers also look to have big futures. Dylan Cloonan (Cutler Bay, FL) is a silky-smooth athlete headed to the University of Miami. His arm is clean and his delivery is athletic and repeatable. He has some deception and an easy release that makes his 88 mph fastball get on hitters in a hurry. He has confidence in his big breaking curve and change as well, giving him three quality pitches that he will throw in any count.
Intimidating on the mound at 6-foot-6, 220 pounds is lefty Jack Schmidt (Cooper City, FL). His fastball/slider/change repertoire shows a lot of promise. He topped at 86 in Arizona from an effortless delivery, and it looks like there is more in the tank thanks to his athleticism and a clean arm stroke.
Kenneth Mendoza (Mullica Hill, NJ) and Aaron Weseman (Frisco, TX), also physical LHPs with high ceilings, were mentioned among the top 10 in the class of 2016 — click here for their scouting reports and video clips.
Several prospects on the mound showed well enough as position players to warrant serious consideration as two-way players at the next level.
Brendan Bean (West Wildwood, NJ), a 2017 graduate and University of Pennsylvania commit, was one such prospect. As a LHP, Brendan threw strikes with a fastball up to 86, a curve with bite and a developing change. He struck out 7 in his 3-inning stint and also was impressive in the workouts at 1B and with the bat. A left-handed hitter, he showed power in BP and a knack for the barrel in game action (singled and doubled) to complete an impressive all-around weekend in Arizona.
Another two-way prospect was 2016 RHP/1B Thomas Koloski, a native of Anchorage, Alaska. Koloski is a big, physical presence on the mound (6-foot-5, 210 pounds) with a repeatable delivery, the makings of a curve and change and a fresh arm that already produces velocity up to 85 mph. He can also swing the bat with authority and is a quality defender at 1B.
Hofstra commit 2017 RHP/3B Billy Kral (Margate City, NJ) is another complete player. With present strength on his 6-foot-2, 210 pound frame, Billy ran his fastball up to 88 while complementing it with a slider and change to record outs. He also collected a single, double and triple in game play.
2016 SS/RHP Tresten Kennard (Lubbock, TX) had a similar profile with right-handed velocity (89 mph) and intriguing tools. A right-handed hitter, he swings the bat with authority and is an athletic defender in the infield.
Connor Noland (Greenwood, AR), Brandon Birdsell (Willis, TX) and Michael Bacica (Windermere, FL) were all highlighted on the Top 10 list, but they weren’t the only 2018 grads to make noise on the mound.
Three 2018 grads showed promising 2-way potential. RHP/OF Ryan Wimbush (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) generates lots of arm speed from an over-the-top slot resulting in a fastball that touched 89 with good downhill plane. His 12-to-6 curve is also an effective pitch with swing-and-miss potential. Ryan showed his athleticism with a 6.90 in the 60 yard dash, an ability to patrol the outfield, and in getting on base in 3 of his 7 plate appearances.
Also a sophomore, LHP/1B Carson Rollins (Katy, TX) had a very impressive 3-inning stint on the mound – giving up 1 hit, and inducing a lot of weak contact with his 3-pitch mix. He is also an excellent defensive 1B with a polished left-handed swing at the plate that resulted in two hits in game play.
6-foot-5, 230 pound RHP/1B Hunter Goodwin (Sylvester, GA) was up to 86 with a sharp breaking ball and a change that showed promise. He struck out 7 in his outing and also showed power potential with his right-handed stroke.
LHP Brandon Deskins (Friendswood, TX) is an interesting follow, as he seems to have a good feel to pitch and the makings of three quality pitches. His fits the crafty lefty profile with a tailing low 80s fastball, a deceptive change and a sharp breaking ball.
Two other RHPs with similar stuff from the 2018 class deserve mention. Jared Platero (Tustin, CA) has a quick arm and late life to his fastball that touched 87. It’s an effortless delivery that is balanced and repeatable. Garrett Mullican (Humble, TX) also has a fastball/slider/change mix and some arm strength. His fastball topped at 88 with free and easy arm action and he attacked hitters with an aggressive and mature approach on the mound.
Despite the time of year and some cool early morning temperatures, plenty of the arms showed extremely well at the Under Armour All-America Pre-Season Tournament in January 2016. We look forward to big high school seasons from all of them.