note: Perfect Game recognizes that there are dozens of standout
performers at this year's 15u and 16u PG World Series. The thoughts
provided below are first-hand observations from Scouting Coordinator
Jheremy Brown during the events' first and second days.
though the 16u portion of the event only completed the 8:00 a.m.
games and began the 10:15 slot, and the 15u event wasn't able to
complete during two full slots due to rain, talent was still
bountiful in the opening day of the Perfect Game World Series. And
with the tournament featuring high caliber teams from across the
country, it’s important to get off to a strong start on day one,
which means each team sent out one of their top arms to the mound for
it was only a one-inning look due to the onset of rain, lefthander
Jordan Butler (2017, Tampa, Fla.) made his presence felt and
would have drawn college recruiters back when he took the mound
again. I say “would have” because about two hours after the game
Butler announced his commitment to Coach Kevin O’Sullivan and the
University of Florida.
a rising sophomore it’s easy to say Butler is projectable based on
his age alone, but his young face and physicality are also factored
in. At 6-foot-1, the future Gator topped out at 89 mph with his best
bullet on an 0-2 count low to his arm side. He threw about 8-12
fastballs in his one inning, ranging between 84 and 87 mph, with the
majority being either 86 or 87. Butler showed a fast arm with an
extended three-quarters slot with the ability to work both east and
west on the plate.
as though he knew the rain was coming, Butler flashed his full
arsenal on the mound, showing four different pitches for strikes. His
slider may be his best secondary, showing tight spin with sweeping
life and depth at 77 mph. The curveball showed more 1-to-7 shape at
72 and showed a feel for a changeup at 74 mph.
may only be a 2017 graduate with three more years of high school
baseball, but Weston Bizzle (2017, Lynn Haven, Fla.) has
already made a name for himself as one of the most consistent arms on
the circuit this summer. A recent Vanderbilt commit, Bizzle goes out
on the mound and puts it on cruise control for however many innings
he is needed.
the rain on this day Bizzle was only needed two innings, but he was
able show some of the better velocity this summer on his fastball.
Sitting at 87-88 mph, Bizzle topped out at 89 mph, continuously
pounding the glove-side corner while working extremely quick and
efficient on the mound. To complement his fastball, Bizzle showed a
sharp curveball in the mid-70s, which like his fastball, he showed a
strong feel for with the ability to throw for strikes.
seeing fellow 2016 Floridian Anthony Molina turn in one of his better
performances, I was able to see Austin Bergner (2016,
Windermere, Fla.) take the mound, who turned in an equally as
impressive performance of his own. Having been one of the top
prospects in the 2016 class for over two years now, Bergner has
continued to rise to the occasion when all eyes are on him, even if
the outings are brief. Limited to a handful of pitches at the Junior
National Showcase in Fort Myers over a month ago, Bergner again had
his outing shortened by rain, though this time the uncommitted
righthander was able to throw four highly impressive innings.
at 6-foot-4, Bergner has plenty of room to fill out but it isn’t a
necessity as he not only runs his fastball up to 93 mph regularly,
but he maintains his velocity both from the stretch and throughout
the outing. Working with a short and quick arm action, Bergner sat in
the 91-93 mph range for the majority of the fastballs he threw. As
impressive as the velocity was, Bergner’s ability to spot the ball
to both sides of the plate for strikes and elevate the pitch with
intent was even more impressive. The ball leaves his hand clean and
easy with limited effort and features late life to his arm side down
in the zone.
of the swings Bergner was responsible for from the opposition looked
as though he was throwing 98-99 mph. It wasn’t because he was
rearing back and airing out on certain pitches, but rather due to
Bergner showing three quality pitches and mixing them in at any given
count. Throwing it in the 75-77 mph range, Bergner offered a tight
11-to-5 curveball with sharp life and depth, which only improved over
the innings. Showing the same arm action on his changeup, Bergner has
a strong feel for the advanced offering and it showed with some of
the swings. Working in the 81-83 mph range, his first of the game may
have been the best as the hitter wasn’t expecting it, nor were the
onlooking scouts, and had the hitter way out front, thinking he was
going to get a 92 mph fastball on the inner half.
all that said about his four innings, what stands out the most was
the ease of which he was throwing strikes, throwing 32 pitches
through three innings and finishing under 50 pitches prior to the
though the 15u portion of the event is filled with a majority of
rising sophomore’s, shortstop Garrett Blaylock (2017,
Asheville, N.C.) finds himself playing in the 16u tournament. And
he’s not a young player on the bench hoping to get an at-bat,
Blaylock is the cleanup hitter for the Dirtbags, splitting time
between shortstop and third base. With a long and lean projectable
build, the 6-foot-1 Blaylock shows a fluid swing from the left side
with natural lift, and as he continues to add strength, he’s going
to be able to hit the ball that much further.
out of the bullpen for the Indiana Prospects, Sean Mooney
(2016, Marmora, N.J.) came out popping the catcher’s glove, showing
velocity in warmups that transferred over into game play. Listed at
6-foot-1, the St. John’s commit showed a long, fast arm action,
which produced a fastball that sat at 87-90 mph from a low
three-quarters arm action. His arm action allows Mooney to generate
arm-side life to his fastball, giving him two pitches that are not
straight once they leave his hand. The other is his tight spinning
slider at 77-78 mph with late 10-to-4 break which he commanded well
to his glove side.
Bizzle above, righthanded pitcher Altoon Coleman (2017,
Sanford, Fla.) has made a name for himself on the national scene
already, despite only playing one season of high school baseball. At
6-foot-2, 215-pounds, Coleman is hard to miss with his physical
build, as is his fastball when it pops into the catcher’s glove.
playing catch with the catcher at the beginning of the inning,
Coleman flipped a switch once the ump said “play” pumping a
fastball in the consistent upper-80s, needing only three pitches to
bump 90 mph. With a short arm circle in the back, the uncommitted
Coleman throws with a very easy arm action with life to his arm side
while working down in the zone. Showing a lot of 90’s on the radar
gun in the first inning, Coleman topped out at 91 mph, only to outdo
himself in the second, touching a 92. With a simple and repeatable
delivery, he is able to maintain his velocity from the stretch, and
as he continues to incorporate his lower half, the velocity will
continue to climb.
he has the big fastball and showed a feel for a 12-to-6 curveball,
his off-speed is still a bit of a work in progress. Throwing his
curveball primarily in the upper-60s, climbing as high as 72, the
pitch shows depth and will continue to develop once he maintains his
arm speed on the pitch.
may only be an incoming freshman, but second baseman Alec Sanchez
(2018, Jacksonville, Fla.) has already shown off his lefthanded swing
at multiple Perfect Game events. With a big leg raise timing trigger,
Sanchez shows an exceptional feel for the barrel, along with fast,
loose hands and seems to consistently square the ball up, just as he
did in today’s action.
Brecht (2016, Wilmette, Ill.) stands head and shoulders above
everybody else on the Elite Baseball Training Chicago team,
literally, checking in at 6-foot-7. Along with his lean, projectable
frame, Brecht is lefthanded, giving him two attributes that college
recruiters covet in young pitching prospects.
may not light up the radars guns just yet, working in the 83-86 mph
range while peaking at 87 on Sunday, but Brecht showed other things to
indicate the velocity may be on its way. Throwing with little effort
from a three-quarters arm slot, the uncommitted Brecht consistently
worked low in the zone with a quick arm action while creating angle
to his fastball. The more time he spends on the mound, the more fluid
his delivery will become, allowing for his arm to work even easier
and produce more velocity on his fastball. His curveball may only be
65-66 mph right now, but he is able to generate nice tight spin and
create depth, two things that aren’t generally associated with
softer breaking balls.
Reitz (2016, Ocala, Fla.) has pitched in a handful of Perfect
Game events this summer and has shown the same high quality stuff
each and every time he takes the mound, with yesterday’s outing
being no different. The Florida State commit pounds the lower
quadrants of the strike zone while showing a fast arm from a
three-quarters arm slot.
a fastball that topped out at 89 mph over the course of his seven
innings, Reitz showed an advanced feel for his plus slider, showing
the ability to locate the pitch to both sides of the plate. Just when
hitters thought they were going to get an upper-80s fastball, the
future Seminole would locate a tight slider somewhere in the 77-79
mph range. And just to show the full arsenal, Reitz brought out a
changeup in the second half of the game, throwing it at 81 mph while
maintaining his arm action and showing the same late, arm-side life
as his fastball.
weeks ago at the 16u WWBA National Championship, righthander Austin
Bodrato (2016, Northvale, N.J.) took the mound at LakePoint and
made a strong impression, topping out at 91 mph with fastball while
working exclusively from the stretch. Jump to the 16u PG World Series
and Bodrato has begun to work out of the windup. As one may expect it
isn’t a finished product as he will need to lengthen his stride a
bit and stay over his front side, but for the first time working out
of the windup Bodrato did well. He worked in the mid- to upper-80s,
topping out at 89 mph, while showing the same loose and easy arm
action he did in his start prior. To go along with his fastball, the
uncommitted Bodrato showed a nice feel for a sharp 11-to-5 curveball
with big depth at 75 mph. For a frame of reference, the video below
shows Bodrato working out of the windup and the video of his last
start out of the stretch can be found here.
Linginfelter (2016, Sevierville, Tenn.) has a well built
6-foot-4, 200-pound frame and attracted many of the college
recruiters in attendance to his start early yesterday. Although he
was only able to work three-plus innings due to a lightening delay,
the uncommitted Linginfelter was able to show off plenty, including a
three-pitch mix, all of which he could throw for strikes.
a long, loose arm action, Linginfelter has a little wrist wrap in the
back, but that doesn’t seem to deter his strike-throwing ability,
as he pounded the zone with his 87-90 mph fastball. Coming out of his
hand clean and easy, Linginfelter was most effective with the pitch
when he was able to get it low to glove side, knee high, something he
often did in his outing, throwing a majority of the fastballs at 90
mph. Even with the velocity he shows now and has shown – he was up
to 93 at the 16u WWBA National Championship – the Tennessee native
projects for more velocity over the next two years.
featured two off-speed pitches, both of which he showed a feel for
and the ability to throw for strikes. The stronger pitch of the two
his upper-70s slider which shows late bite and tilt from the same arm
action as his fastball. Throwing his changeup in the 80-82 mph range,
it’s not quite as advanced as his slider, but the pitch does show
proper spin with occasional late dive to it down in the strike zone.
listed as a primary shortstop, Aaron Schunk (2016, Decatur,
Ga.) showed well at third base yesterday, proving that his
athleticism can play all over the field. A quick-twitch 6-foot-1
rising junior, Schunk showed some range to his backhand, picking a
hard hit ground ball and alertly delivered a strike to home as the
runner was off on contact, helping to preserve the scoreless game.
a little more than an inning to close out the game for the Georgia
Jackets, righthander Tanner Burns (2017, Decatur, Ala.) made
an impression on the mound that will have coaches coming back for
more. With a strong, 6-foot-1 build, Burns showed a very easy and
compact arm action which produced 86-88 mph fastballs down in the
strike zone. His fastball shows occasional arm-side run, although the
life of the pitch was a bit irrelevant as hitters couldn’t see the
ball out of his hand and were taking swings as though he were
throwing 102 mph. He pounded the strike zone during his time on the
mound, missing bats with his fastball while flashing a hard, late
sweeping slider at 81 mph to pick up one of his strikeouts.
last time I reported on Drake Fellows (2016, Plainfield,
Ill.), roughly 2-3 weeks ago, the Vanderbilt commit was consistently
throwing 90-93 mph fastballs. Like most young pitchers at this late
stage of the summer circuit, Fellows’ velocity was a bit down
yesterday, topping at 90 mph while working in the upper-80s. Despite
not having his best heater, what Fellows did do on the mound was
compete and give his team an opportunity to win. While working low
with his fastball, Fellows used his slider effectively over the
outing, throwing it between 76 and 78 mph with late break, coming out
of his hand looking like a fastball which made it hard for hitters to
it’s a family thing or maybe it’s to keep everything simpler, but
Bo Weiss (2016, Castle Rock, Colo.), like his cousin Bodrato
above, worked exclusively out of the stretch when he came in to save
the Slammers game last night. The last time I saw Weiss was back in
January, where he was topping out at 84 mph, sitting comfortably in
the 80-82 range. It’s safe to say a lot has changed in those six
months for the righthander as he came into the game and sat 87-90
mph, bumping a 91 in his 1 1/3 innings of work. He has begun to fill
out his long 6-foot-2 frame, and throwing from a high three-quarters
slot, he uses his long levers well to get on top and work downhill
very well with his fastball. As he begins to incorporate more of his
lower half and stride out a little farther, Weiss will be able to
create more extension and will continue to gain velocity. He also
flashed a few 12-to-6 curveballs, all of which were at 67 mph,
showing a feel for the pitch with some depth.