Top 10 2018 Grads From The 2018 Under Armour Baseball Factory All-America Pre-Season Tournament
This week, we’re kicking off the Top 10 with a look at 2018 grads and their performances from the 2018 Under Armour Baseball Factory All-America Pre-Season Tournament, held earlier this month in Mesa, Arizona based on Baseball Factory coaches and scouts opinions. Video from this event on these prospects are coming soon.
#1 (RHP/1B) – Zac McCleve – At 6’4”, 193 pounds, Zac has an ideal frame for a pitcher and is athletic on the mound. He was dominant in his outing at the Under Armour All-America Pre-Season Tournament, striking out 12 of the hitters he faced. In addition, he did not allow a hit or walk. Zac works from a low three-quarter slot that gives his fastball (up to 90 mph) outstanding sink and tail at the hitter. His arm is quick and clean and his delivery is sound and repeatable. While his heavy fastball with life is enough to attack most hitters at the high school level, he complements it with a tight breaking ball and a deceptive, sinking change-up. Headed to the University of Utah, McCleve brings good energy to the mound and sets a quality tempo. Zac should have a big spring and will attract draft attention at Cyprus High School in Salt Lake City.
#2 (SS/RHP) – Damon Keith – Damon seems to do everything well on the field with an excellent mix of tools and ability to use them in games. At SS, he moves his 6’3”/195-pound frame well to get in position to make plays and has sure hands. He gets rid of the ball quickly and has excellent carry to his throws across the diamond (93 mph raw velocity). Damon has a short, loose right-handed swing that results in consistent hard contact. He is balanced throughout and is comfortable using the middle of the field, showing gap-to-gap power. He went 2-for-4 with a triple, walk, a stolen base and three runs batted in on the weekend. In addition, Damon jumped on the mound and retired hitters with a solid three-pitch mix and advanced command. Versatile and talented, Damon is committed to Cal Baptist.
#3 (OF/RHP) – Jordan Thompson – Jordan was one of the most dynamic players at the All-America Pre-Season Tournament, showing high-level tools and skills as a legitimate two-way prospect. His measurables were eye-opening: running a 6.70 in the 60, showing raw arm strength of 96 mph, an exit velocity of 92 mph and touching 91 mph on the mound. Add in that Jordan went 4-for-6 at the plate in game with two triples, two doubles and a walk while running balls down in the OF and the tools certainly played come game time. Jordan also struck out 8-of-15 hitters he faced on the mound using his lively fastball and a tight breaking ball. Jordan impacts a game in many different ways and should make an impact both as a position player and pitcher right away at University of Incarnate Word.
#4 (RHP) – Brendan Bell – Bell, a Florida Gulf Coast University commit, breezed through his outing at the Cubs complex out in Mesa. Pitching at Sloan Park, Bell ran his fastball up to 92 mph living down in the zone and showing the ability to pitch to both sides of the plate. He has excellent feel for his stuff and is aggressive with his quality fastball. Brendan also spun a tight slider that sat in the upper 70s and had two-plane break. He finished off his three-pitch mix with a change that had some sink. He struck out 10 hitters and was in total control throughout his time on the mound.
#5 (SS) – Savier Pinales – The quick-twitch Pinales put his loud tools on display at the Under Armour All-America Pre-Season Tournament. He ran a 6.57 in the 60-yard dash, got from home to first from the left side in 3.98 and showed an impressive raw arm strength of 95 mph. He played low at SS with sure hands, quick feet and the natural rhythm of a mature infielder. Savier swung the bat from both sides of the plate with a line drive approach both RH and LH. He showed good feel for the barrel and used the entire field from both sides. Committed to Wabash Valley College, expect Pinales to get some interest this spring during his high school season in Milwaukee.
#6 (SS/2B) – Marc Davis – One of the best pure hitters at the event in Arizona, Marc continued to show serious bat speed and made a lot of hard contact. He drove the ball to both gaps, also showing the ability to get lift at times. His exit velocity of 92 mph nearly reached his pure arm velocity of 93 mph. With a strong 6’2”, 190-pound frame, Marc has more projection in him and looks to be a middle-of-the-order run producer at the next level. Committed to Florida Southwestern State College, he also showed excellent actions in the infield with the hands and arm for the left side of the diamond.
#7 (C) – Owen Richter – Owen is an intriguing prospect as an athletic catcher with leadership skills and solid tools across the board. He has a strong, sturdy frame that can withstand innings behind the plate with the flexibility and hands to be a quality receiver. He’s also good on balls in the dirt, and he threw to 2B in as low as 1.87 in the workout. Add in a clean right-handed swing with rhythm and Owen is a complete player behind the dish. He flashes some pull-side power and hustles everywhere on the field rounding out the appealing overall package offered by this Creighton commit.
#8 (SS/OF) – Hayden Ebrecht – With a high baseball IQ, some impressive tools and the ability to make plays when it counts, Hayden showed a lot of good things at the Under Armour All-America Pre-Season Tournament. The Dallas Baptist commit ran a 6.78 in the 60-yard dash, flashed raw arm strength of 89 mph and stood out both in the defensive workout and batting practice. His smooth infield actions, ability to read hops, sure hands and strong, accurate arm make Hayden a reliable defender at any spot in the infield. At the plate he showed bat speed and feel for the barrel with the ability to square balls up consistently and drive them to all fields. In games, it seemed that Hayden was on base consistently. Overall, this is a high-level prospect with a bright future.
#9 (OF) – Cody Wagner – With easy athletic actions in everything he does on the field, Cody Wagner is a complete player. In Mesa, he showed that during the workout, recording a 6.89 in the 60, showing 87 mph raw arm strength, posting an exit velocity of 91 mph, and even jumping 9’1’ in broad jump. Come game time, Cody once again checked a lot of boxes getting on base both via the walk and hit, stealing a base, and event throwing out a runner from the OF who was trying to go first to third. Cody generates excellent bat speed with a short, compact right-handed stroke, and he should be an impact player in the future at Texas State.
#10 (RHP/OF) – Jeremy Thompson – Impacting games in nearly every way possible, Jeremy’s skill set was on display throughout the weekend. On the mound, the RHP pounded the zone with strikes with a fastball up to 89 mph, two variations of his breaking ball, and a change. He struck out eight without walking a hitter. His delivery is repeatable, and his arm stroke is clean allowing him to command his fastball well. As a position player, Jeremy recorded an exit velocity of 91 mph showing a loose, strong swing in batting practice and adding a double and triple in game play. Finally, this University of Incarnate World commit showed the instincts to play multiple OF spots.