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2019 NPI: 16U Notebook


PBR Staff

The National Program Invitational is taking place at LakePoint in Georgia, hosting travel teams in four age groups: 17U, 16U, 15U and 14U. Prep Baseball Report will have quick notes for each level from each day during the event.

Here is more on the action from the 16U division...

Sunday

+ Uncommitted 2021 OF Jalen Fulwood (Georgia Bombers) is a name that college coaches will want to mark down to follow this summer. The high-waisted, athletic center fielder glides on defense where he shines as a potential premium defender. His speed allows him to cover the entire outfield, including catching a routine fly ball to right field, and he has confidence in his soft hands to make plays. At the plate, there is some rawness to the approach, but he found success in both the semi-final and final game for the Bombers with multiple hits including a firm line drive double into the right-center field gap, which helped lead them to the championship of the 16U division.


+ Uncommitted 2021 SS Rob Gordon (Georgia Bombers) continued his breakout performance of the summer with a home run in the championship game against the Louisiana Knights that stole the momentum, and led ultimately to a come-from-behind victory. The athletic shortstop carries himself with confidence, and while he is still developing physically, already showcases some strength to the pull side. He is quick to the ball on an uphill plane, and looks to drive the ball in the air.

+ 2021 SS Drake Varnado (Louisiana Knights), a South Carolina recruit, continued to showcase his athleticism at the plate as he banged multiple balls throughout the Knights run to the championship game. A gifted athlete with long strides, he notched multiple extra-base hits that allowed him to demonstrate his speed. His ability to drive the ball to the back side gap stood out over the weekend.

+ Uncommitted 2021 RHP Jake Kolkhorst (Twelve Baseball) got the start in the semi-final matchup against an imposing Louisiana Knights lineup, and exhibited feel for three pitches including a fastball that worked 83-86 to both sides of the plate, and a mid-70s changeup that he turned over with confidence for some swings and misses, as well as a “get-me-over” breaking ball that he was able to land early in counts. There is some length in the back of the arm swing, but it works continuous, and he procured multiple ground balls while frustrating the talented lineup. His pitchability shined, and he should continue to add velocity as he gets stronger and develops more use of the lower-half.

+ 2021 LHP TR Williams (Louisiana Knights), a Virginia Tech recruit, was stellar in the Knights 2-1, semi-final victory over Twelve Baseball. Wiry-athletic with an elastic, whippy arm, the dynamic southpaw varied his delivery and arm slot for deception throughout the game, and featured frontline stuff overall. His fastball worked 86-88 for the majority of the outing on a hot and humid afternoon, and got on hitters in a hurry given his aggressive drive towards the plate and extension out front. He also snapped off breaking balls at 71-74 with tight spin and depth that were a swing and miss offering on the day, and project just as well in the future. He found the best success working out of a ¾ slot for the fastball and breaking ball, and was nearly unhittable.

+ 2021 SS Ty Hodge (Twelve Baseball), a Texas A&M recruit, is the type of player that every coach wants to have on their team. He plays smart which allows his high skill-level to shine, and always seems to be in the right place at the right time. He has a balanced approach from the right side with a simple, direct path, and smoked a double in the semi-finals. Still growing and maturing, Hodge will likely continue seeing progress as he adds strength.

+ 2021 INF Preston Gunnell (Georgia Bombers)
+ Uncommitted 2021 OF Brock Slaton (Louisiana Knights) tried his best to will the Knights to victory in the championship game with a booming home run in his first at-bat followed by a double to the right-center field gap later in the game. He features a compact frame with some natural strength throughout, including in the wrists and forearms, and the ball jumps off the barrel as it works flat through the zone with lag. The hands load fluently down and back as he squares from an upright, open stance, and he may have a chance to produce a power-hitting left-handed bat moving forward.

+ 2021 RHP Tyler Lee (Performance Baseball)

+ 2021 LHP Matthew Buchanan (Team Elite Scout)

Saturday

 

+ Uncommitted 2021 LHP Will Parkinson (Top Tier Roos American) has a long, lanky frame at 6-foot-2, 180-pounds, frame looks as if it is not done growing either. Arm works low and long on the back-side to a low ¾ slot. Starts on the third base side of the rubber, striding towards first base, landing square in the middle of the mound. Fastball up to 85 mph, sat mostly 82-84. Showed a sweeping breaking ball that played in the low 70s.


+ 2021 RHP Bryce Saylor (Legends Sun Devils) got the start in the early time slots for Legends against BigStix. An athletic prospect at 6-foot, 190-pounds, carries proportional strength throughout frame. Drop and drive delivery, works on-line, lands toe closed, effort throughout. Long arm action, shows low on the back-side, accelerates arm to ¾ slot with some force. Fastball sat 84-86 mph, flashed glove-side cut. Slider showed depth and late break, got batters to swing and miss on, 72-74.
+ 2022 RHP Riley Stanford’s (Georgia Bombers) Stanford’s impressive arm provided for high-end velocity at 88-92 for the Georgia Bombers that might have been even more impressive for its lower spin rate (mostly 1800-1900). Physically-gifted at 6-foot-3, 180-pounds with some lean strength throughout an athletic frame, he was aggressive in the zone with the fastball, challenging hitters with more control than command of the fastball. He pitches “mean” with a competitive nature, and while the arm slowed some on a 76-77 slider, he threw it for strikes and it worked as an out pitch as well as early in counts. He utilizes a controlled, slower-tempoed delivery before working through a medium-sized arm stroke leading to a high ¾ slot with quick hand speed out front. Though the velocity is already elite, there are still signs of more growth on the way as his frame continues filling out. Later in the day, Stanford smoked a double in the playoff round to showcase his two-way potential as an athlete.
+ 2022 RHP/3B Isaiah Lowe’s (5 Star National NC) short outing on Day 2 allowed him to come back for another quick inning on Day 3. He worked 84-87 after playing third base for the first six innings, and bumped 90 mph with his final two pitches which featured considerable sink. The arm works clean and loose with quickness out front, and there is a good chance that he makes another jump in the near future. His frame features defined strength throughout both the upper and lower-half, and he took athletic swings at the plate with the potential to continue as a two-way player.
+ 2021 OF Stewart Evans (5 Star National NC)  continued to torch opposing pitchers with his bat, and smashed a triple to right field before putting an exclamation his day with a no-doubt home run. His strong wrists provide for strength through the zone with the barrel from a more quiet approach. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder has squared up everything in the tournament, and continues to impress all those watching.

+ 2021 SS Peyton Stovall (Performance Baseball) has been impressive throughout the tournament, locking down the shortstop position for Performance Baseball out of Texas. Possessing some proportional strength throughout an athletic, 5-foot-11, 170-pound frame, he moves well laterally while showcasing confident, soft hands with quick glove-to-hand skill and a quick, accurate arm. He singled up the middle to leadoff the game, and later blasted a double into the left-center field gap. He sits relaxed in a slight crouch with a smoother load and his quick hands provide for some surprising strength through the zone.
+ 2021 RHP Rem Maxwell (Team Georgia)
+ 2021 LHP Luke Ellis (Team Georgia)
+ 2021 OF Chase Jans’ (Royals Scout Team) elite athleticism has been on full display throughout the weekend, and his raw-tools stood out in the early morning game on Day 3. The highly-athletic, 6-foot, 187-pounder blasted a home run and double, and continued to show off his plus-speed with sub-4.1 times down the line. There is some inconsistency to the path, but the hand quickness is evident and there is plenty of twitch to work with. He has shined throughout, and is a player that coaches will want to see multiple times this summer.
+ 2021 C/1B Carter Jensen (Royals Scout Team)
+ 2021 1B Brant Smith (Louisiana Knights)
+ 2021 RHP Pete Heubeck (Louisiana Knights)
+ Louisville recruit Jack Tinberg (Building Champions - Jones; Blue Valley HS, KS) is quickly solidifying himself as one of the most polished left-handed bats in the 2021 class. Currently ranked No. 274 nationally, the solidly built 6-foot-2, 200-pound 1B makes consistent hard contact and seemingly barrels everything thrown his way. He has a patient, relaxed approach, and is compact, balanced and explosive at launch. There’s rhythm and balance throughout, and the barrel stays in the zone. He solidified the victory against the Top Tier Roos by delivering a two-run single up the middle and also had a sharp single to right field.
+ Building Champions (Jones) lineup is threaded with loose, athletic left-handed hitters. Tate Gillen (Creighton), Jackson Nicklaus (Wichita State) and Drew Townsend all have shown well throughout the tournament.   

+ Uncommitted 2021 OF/C Victor Quinn (St. Louis Prospects) connected for his second home run of the tournament in the 8 am game when he deposited a fastball 366 field feet to left field, 98 mph off the bat. Victor, from Liberty HS (MO), is an athletically built 6-foot-1, 190-pound right-handed hitter was also up to 91 on the mound later in the day. Raw and new to pitching, but the arm is ultra-quick.

+ 2021 RHP David White (Georgia Bombers; The Heritage School, GA) had a crowd of coaches for his start against the Royals Scout Team. At 6-foot-1, 187 pounds, White has wide shoulders and a solid lower half. Fastball ranged chiefly between 87-89 mph, topping at 91. Mixed in a 76-79 slider with erratic shape and 77-79 changeup. Drop-and-drive delivery, high-3/4 slot, the ball comes out of the hand with ease. Currently ranked No. 297 in the 2021 class. 


+ 2021 SS Rob Gordon (Georgia Bombers) is a fluid quick-twitch athlete who plays with rhythm and pace. The 6-foot, 176-pound right-handed hitter delivered the game-winning hit, a line drive down the left field line to give the Bombers a comeback victory over the Royals Scout Team in the first round of the playoffs. Gordon generates easy bat speed with his hands and runs well. High-follow prospect in the 2021 class.

+ 2021 3B Preston Gunnell (Georgia Bombers) is a 6-foot-1, 175-pound wiry athlete with quick-twitch tendencies. He has loose, athletic hands and is aggressive in the box. Defensively, he ranges well to both sides and is sure-handed. Showed solid arm across the infield from a lower slot.

+ Pick a name, any name in Twelve’s 16U lineup, and they likely pounded the baseball. In short, Twelve hitters all have advanced approaches and swing with intent to damage. Chief among them is Chanden Scamardo, a strong 6-foot, 195-pound right-handed hitting catcher committed to Texas A&M. Scamardo is relaxed and aggressive in the box, generates bat speed and swings with controlled aggression while maintaining balance throughout. He has barreled up baseballs all weekend long, and picked up a couple more hits during the team’s run-rule victory over Dinger Nation. Currently ranked No. 265 in the 2021 class.


+ 2021 left-handed hitting infielder John Spikerman (Twelve Baseball) is an under-the-radar prospect who opened eyes in the morning game on Saturday. The wiry-thin 5-foot-11, 165-pound has loose, quick hands at the plate and runs the bases fast and hard, as he showcased on a triple to right-center field. Earlier in the month, Spikerman ran a 6.5 60 and was 90 across the infield at a PBR event.

+ 2021 RHP Brad Rudis (Twelve)  + At 6-foot-3, 240-pounds, Vytas Valincius (Top Tier American) immediately stands out on the diamond, and he also does so with the bat. His balance and smooth load allow him to slow the game down, and promote a relaxed approach before aggressively driving that barrel through the zone. He singled twice including one where he was able to keep his hands back on a breaking ball before lining it up the middle. His great size provides for effortless power, and combined with the hit-tool he has a chance to quickly progress as a prospect.
+ C/RHP Brian Rapanan (Top Tier Americans) turned in a stellar performance by throwing a no-hitter against a loaded Team Elite Scout team. The 5-foot-7, 150-pounder from Warren HS (IL), shuffled three pitches for strikes all game long in his 81-pitch gem. A primary catcher, Rapanan spotted his low-80s fastball to land Top Tier Americans a No. 1 seed heading into the 16U playoffs.

+ Uncommitted 2021 1B George Korompilas (Top Tier American)
+ Uncommitted 2021 LHP Charlie Cmiel (Top Tier American) stands a long, lanky 5-foot-11, 165-pounds with room for continued physical development. Arm works loosely with whip to a ¾ slot. Drop and drive delivery, stride carries him towards the first base side of the rubber, landing toe-closed. Fastball sat 82-83 mph (1800-1900 rpm) early on, painted the outside corner to right-handed hitters, getting swing and misses frequently. Changeup showed sink at 75-76, good feel for. Curveball had 2/8 shape at 65-66.
+ Uncommitted 2021 LHP Drew Blake (Building Champions Pena) took to the mound against Top Tier in the quarterfinals. The southpaw has a strong build at 6-foot-1, 185-pounds. Works with a short arm action from an over-the-top slot, hides the ball well low on the bake-side. Fastball played up to 87 mph, sitting mostly 84-86 early on. Curveball featured 12/6 shape at 66-69, still developing pitch. More of a power arm currently, attacked with fastball routinely.
+ Wichita State commit 2021 C/DH Ivan Witt (Building Champions Pena) carried the offensive load early on before the rest of the lineup caught up. Hitting from a balanced setup with a leg lift stride, remains well balanced through contact. Generates easy hand speed, barrel works level through the zone, driving the ball to all fields. Had himself a career day against Top Tier in the quarterfinals, collecting three hits, two doubles, five RBI and two runs scored.
+ 2023 OF Rohand Putz (Building Champions Pena) fit in on the field despite being two full grad years younger than his competition. Still physically maturing at 5-foot-8, 145-pounds with an overall athletic build. Hit out of the ten hole and held his own. Swing works smooth and athletically, made consistent contact. A right-handed hitter, collected multiple hits in the quarterfinals including an opposite field single in his first at-bat and an RBI single later in the game.

Friday

+ 2021 RHP Carson Liggett (Building Champions Pena), a Louisville recruit, got the morning started with a bang, punching out 10 batters against a loaded Louisiana Knights club to lead the team to victory. Liggett pounded the strike zone with a fastball that sat 86-87, topping at 88, with hard, late arm-side life. He also shuffled in an advanced 76-77 changeup that he throws aggressively. Liggett’s arm is highly athletic and works fast coming out of a high-3/4 slot. Currently ranked No. 3 in Kansas’ 2021 class, No. 260 overall.


+ 2023 RHP
Lance Williams (Louisiana Knights) opened eyes with his morning performance against Building Champions. The Virginia native has a loose, live, athletic arm. He works out of a full windup with a compact arm stroke coming out of a high-3/4 window. His fastball worked at 83-86 with sneaky arm-side life. He also mixed in an effective 67-68 slurve. He has a young, thin frame that will continue to develop. Looks to be a high-level prospect in the 2023 class.

+ South Carolina recruit, SS/RHP Drake Varnado’s (Louisiana Knights) day started off slow in the early game for the Louisiana Knight’s 2021 squad, but he did not let it affect him in game two. He launched a deep triple to left-center field that allowed him to showcase his long strides and overall speed. He later lined a single through the left side exhibiting quick hands. Lean, athletic frame with some proportional strength throughout.


+ 2021 1B/OF Gavin Kash (Louisiana Knights)

+ 2021 RHP Michael Sills (Team Georgia) appeared in relief against Georgia Bombers and wasted no time attacking hitters. Pitched with little effort, fastball came out easy from a low ¾ slot, gets extended on the back-side, showing the ball, accelerates quickly to release. Fastball played at 82-84, touching 86 with run. Mixed in an 11/5 breaking ball in the low 70s. 6-foot, 165-pound frame is still maturing, more velocity to come.
+ Uncommitted 2021 LHP Jess Ackerman (Georgia Bombers) got the start for Georgia Bombers against Team Georgia. The southpaw went 4 ⅔ innings of one run ball. Carries proportional strength in 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame. Worked from a ¾ to low ¾ slot with a clean arm action, hides the ball well on the back-side. Fastball played mostly at 82-84, touching 86, used the whole zone. Utilized a slurve-like breaking ball that flashed late sweep at 68-71.
+ Uncommitted 2021 SS Rob Gordon (Georgia Bombers) showcase elite athleticism both defensively and at the plate. Hitting from a balanced setup with a high back elbow, hands load back and drop smoothly, leg kick timing trigger, remains balanced through contact. Packs a punch in a still developing 6-foot, 176-pound frame. Generates hard contact, as evidenced by a three-run home run he hit off the scoreboard in left field.  Defensively, has great range up the middle, attacks the ball with soft hands and fluid footwork, makes quick transfers and is able to use multiple slots with little effort. High follow middle infielder.
+ Playing up, 2022 OF Riley Stanford (Georgia Bombers) looked more than comfortable at the plate hitting out of the four hole. Stands out at 6-foot-3, 180-pounds with broad shoulders, plenty of room for filling out. Present bat speed, gap-to-gap type hitter with emerging pull-side power. Defensively, showed off an high level arm from the outfield.

+ Uncommitted 2021 3B Preston Gunnell (Georgia Bombers) stands 6-foot-1, 175-pounds, athletically built with strength. Hit out of the three-hole, blasted a hard hit ball over the left fielders head in first at-bat for a triple. Played a solid defensive third base, plenty of arm strength from the left-side, fluid footwork, good body control on plays made on the run.

+ Uncommitted 2021 OF Jalen Fulwood (Georgia Bombers) is a long, lean athlete at 6-foot-3, 175-pounds, listed as a switch-hitter, took all of his at-bats from right-side. Swing works long through the zone with easy bat speed, gap-to-gap type hitter looks to elevate the ball, smacked a ground rule double to the right center gap and a hard hit single

+ 2021 LHP Luke Fladda (St. Louis Prospects) has a long, athletic build. Smooth delivery with a hip coil at balance point, arm works long to a ¾ slot, showing on the back-side. Fastball sat 81-83 with slight armside run. Went in and out with 1/7 curveball in the upper 60s. Used changeup sparingly at 75.
+ 2021 MIF Nick Krodinger (St. Louis Prospects) plays the game with a swagger in his step. An athletic 5-foot-11, 160-pounds, developing strength in frame. Offensively, short barrel path to contact, works smoothly. Defensively up the middle has good range and athletic actions.
+ Uncommitted, OF Stewart Evans (5 Star National NC)  continued a big tournament with a loud double to right-center field that hit off the wall, and later blasted a towering home run that was only rivaled by the height of the bat flip. He utilizes a deeper load of the hands before working directly to the ball exhibiting quick hands and strong wrists. Has a knack for finding the barrel against better arms.