continues wealth of Puerto Rican talent
Hernandez entered the 2012 PG National Showcase Thursday morning
following the footsteps of Carlos Correa, the No. 1 overall pick in
last week’s MLB Draft.
Hernandez to Correa—while unfair, perhaps—is inevitable. Both are
from Puerto Rico. Both play shortstop. Correa impressed scouts at
last year’s event, and Hernandez is trying his best to do the same
with his opportunity this year.
has tools,” said Edwin Rodriguez, the director and coach for Team
Mizuno Puerto Rico, on which Hernandez plays. “The one that stands
out is his bat. He can hit.”
proved that at the PG World Showcase earlier this year, ranking among
the top infielders who attended the event, most of whom were 2012
grads. Since then, Hernandez has worked hard to improve his game.
Hernandez said. “A lot of practice.”
was clocked at 89 mph during the infield throw drill Thursday
morning, tied for eighth best among the 40 players who participated.
He ran a 6.81 in the 60-yard dash.
a lean, loose athlete,” said PG Scouting Coordinator, Ben Collman.
“He has plus defensive actions, power potential at the plate and
easy bat speed.”
Hernandez’s tools create plenty of buzz, there’s always room to
doesn’t always understand that a hit to right field is as good as a
hit to left,” Rodriguez said. “I think that’s where he needs to
improve to become a better hitter. Other teams try to pitch him away
and throw a lot of curveballs. He has to show them that he can go the
other way and become a better hitter.”
been coming to Perfect Game events for a couple of years now,”
Rodriguez continued. “From my point of view, this is the best
showcase in the U.S to show your guys, especially from Puerto Rico.
When they’re in Puerto Rico, they tend to stand out because there
isn’t anyone to compare you with. But here, it’s the best of the
best in the U.S. You have to showcase what you have against the other
guys. It gives the scouts an opportunity to compare you and see where
asked what he hopes to gain by attending the event, Hernandez paused.
he confessed. “I want to move up in the rankings.”
returns to mound with strong results
Williams, a left-handed pitcher from Shreveport, La., arrived in
Minneapolis after midnight on the first day of Perfect Game’s
National Showcase. He flew in for one reason, to pitch two innings in
front of the scouts and college coaches that had gathered at the
Metrodome for the showcase.
left the Metrodome immediately after pitching his two innings and was
on a plane home the same day that he arrived. Williams’ short trip
speaks volumes to the magnitude of this event for young players.
a lot of good talent here, there’s gonna be a lot of tough people
to face,” Williams said. He listed being able to take the field
with so many other top players as one of his top reasons for making
the trip to Minneapolis for the event.
earned the right to be in the Metrodome with many of the nation’s
top prospects. He is the No. 2 ranked player for the class of 2013 in
his home state of Louisiana and comes in at 87th nationally.
is Williams’ first summer on the mound after being forced to take
last summer off. He was diagnosed with rare medical condition called
thoracic outlet syndrome. The condition resulted in doctors having
to remove one of his ribs to relieve pain from a compressed nerve.
is optimistic about the recovery he’s made since the surgery,
“Since then my arms been healthy, and everything’s been great.”
kicked off the first game of the National Showcase with the Purple
team and showed a loose, projectable arm while throwing 88-91 mph
with a mid-70s curve. He was able to settle down after the first
inning and was much sharper while pitching more efficiently in the
Williams was in Minneapolis for less than a day before heading back
to Lousiana. He felt the short trip was well worth it.
just blessed for them to allow me to come here and play.”
you haven't seen the links off of Perfect Game's homepage, every part
of this year's National Showcase will be available live, and for
free, thanks to Perfect Game's partnership with the eCoach Sports Network
and iHigh. This touches a variety of people on different levels.
of the players travelled together, without parents or other family
members, giving friends and family to watch those close to them
perform at a high level with their peers on a national level.
have already heard from numerous scouts that aren't in attendance
(there were over 300 here on Day 1) that have tuned into the
broadcasts to get a read on the top players from the 2013 class.
if you don't tune into the action live, all of the games will be
archived and available to be viewed at any time. You can view all of
the action here at www.perfectgame.org and by visiting the
iHigh.com Perfect Game page.
no event records were set on the first day of the 2012 National
Showcase, there were as always plenty of measurables that were
60-yard dash was the first drill conducted, and outfielder Carlos
Williams (Covington HS, Tenn.) ran a blazing 6.18 time. Mitchell
Schiffelt, who is currently playing for the Virginia Cavaliers, holds
the event record at 6.11.
outfielder Hunter Webb (Russell County HS, Ala.) also showed sub-6.5
speed, with a record time of 6.36 seconds.
strongest outfield arm on display came from Eric Williams (Sachse HS,
Rowell Texas), who hit 97 on the gun while firing seeds to both third
and home. Anfernee Grier, who also ran a 6.63 60, showed the second
best reading on his outfield throws at 94 mph. Grier is a long and
loose quick-twitch athlete who had a promising round of BP as well,
showcasing his impressive bat speed. It's easy to envision him
taking off as he continues to add strength, and continues to improve
by leaps and bounds each and every time we see him.
Rican infielder Roy Morales (Colegio Nuestra Sra del Carmen, San
Juan) showed the best arm strength across the infield at 92 mph, and
Jextin Pugh (Bishop
Guilfoyle HS, Duncansville, Pa.)
threw 90 from first base. Behind the plate, Andrew Dunlap (Westbury
Christian HS, Houston, Texas) registered 88 mph while Brian Navarreto
(Arlington Country Day HS, Jacksonville, Fla.) posted the best POP
time at 1.80 seconds. Both Dunlap and Navarreto had good BP showings
view all of the workout results, be sure to visit the Perfect Game
National Showcase blog:
Justin Williams (Terrebonne HS, Houma, La.) had the most memorable
batting practice performance on the day. The powerfully built
left-handed slugger showed easy power by jacking three long home
runs, one that landed in the upper deck in right field at the
Metrodome, with the other two bouncing off the facade just below.
Williams also ran 6.75 in the 60 and thew 91 mph from the outfield.
teammates Kevin Franklin (Gahr HS, Cerritos, Calif.) and Dominic
Smith (Serra HS, Los Angeles, Calif.) also looked very impressive in
BP today. Smith in particular displayed the second best display of
power after Williams, with one PG scout pointing out that his upside
is tremendous, and just needs added reps and overall experience to
live up to his lofty potential.
the first inning of Game 2, starter Thomas Hatch (Jenks HS, Tulsa,
Okla.) used an upper-80s fastball and a handful of breaking balls to
retire the first three batters he faced. Those three batters came in
the form of three of the top prospects from the 2013 class,
infielders Oscar Mercado (Gaither HS, Tampa Fla.) and Christopher
Rivera (El Dorado HS, Fullerton, Calif.) and the aforementioned
Justin Williams. Mercado is the type of player that makes the game
look incredibly easy, displaying silky smooth defensive actions as
part of the morning's infield drills. Rivera had a strong BP
performance of his own, consistently squaring up the ball well,
making Hatch's accomplishment even more impressive.
of top prospects, catcher Chris Okey (Eustis HS, Mt. Dora, Fla.)
continued to cement his name among the best in the 2013 class. One
of PG's scouts thought Okey was the best defensive catcher in
attendance on Day 1, showing very easy, smooth actions, descriptive
terms usually reserved for middle infielders. He showed ery good arm
strength and a quick transfer behind the plate, registering a POP
time of 1.85 during the workouts and 1.90 and 1.94 in game action.
He also smoked a low, outside low-90s fastball back up the middle in
the first inning of Game 3 for a single.
Austin (Forest HS, Ocala, Fla.) was one of the more impressive
all-around athletes during Day 1 of the event, showing very good
speed (6.55 in the 60) and a strong outfield arm (88 mph) and had an
impressive power display during BP.
Sandberg (Manatee HS, Bradenton, Fla.) is another impressive athlete
who turned heads as soon as he entered the building given his
6-foot-3, 225-pound physique. He too is a little raw, with promise
as a quarterback on the gridiron. He ran and threw well, and hit a
booming triple off the wall in right field.
pitcher Austin Sexton (Sparkman HS, Madison, Ala.) was also sharp in
Game 2, using a 87-89 fastball, a low-70s curve and a couple of 79-81
changeups to strikeout the side in the sixth.
infielder Dalton Dulin (Memphis University, Tenn.) drove a pitch to
deep right-centerfield in the eighth inning of Game 2, turning on the
jets to leg out a triple. He later scored a run by stealing home,
showing off his hustling, aggressive approach to the game. Dulin has
made very good development since the last time we have seen him.
pitcher Tanner Draper (Riverton HS, West Jordan, Utah) pitched in
Game 2 for the Maroon squad, working in the 84-88 range while showing
an overall advanced sense for pitching.
Andrew Dunlap (Westbury Christian HS, Houston Texas), has looked very
impressive on the day, from the workouts to batting practice to
in-game action, he has been impressive on all levels.
pitcher Bryce Welborn (Northland Christian HS, The Woodlands, Texas)
was one of the day's hardest throwers, working in the 90-92 range
while throwing strikes and mixing in a sharp, low-80s slider in Game
2 starter Trey Cobb was also impressive for the Green team. Cobb
showed very good pitchability with a fastball that peaked at 90.
Kramer Robertson (Midway HS, McGregor, Texas), son of the Kim
Mulkey-Robertson , the Head Coach for the Baylor's women's basketball
team that claimed the national title this spring, showed very
promising defensive actions up the middle. He's a good overall
athlete that had a promising round of BP as well.
pitcher Robert Tyler (Crisp County HS, Cordele, Ga.) looked sharp
taking the mound for Columbia Blue in Game 3. Tyler worked at 89-91,
peaking at 92 mph, while mixing in a polished changeup and a 72-74
breaking ball. He has a projectable frame and loose, live arm.
Barrera (Sharyland HS, McAllen, Texas) had two of the hardest hit
balls on the day in Game 3, the more notable of the two when he
smoked the ball to deep left-centerfield in the seventh.
pitcher Ian McKinney (Boone HS, Orlando, Fla.) earned a comparison to
2011 National participant and PG All-American Matthew Crownover given
their impressive pitchability. McKinney employs an over the top
delivery to create good downhill plane on his 87-88 mph fastball,
while mixing in a sharp low-80s cutter.
Jordan Howard (Crisp Academy, Cordele, Ga.) size is evident on the
mound given his listed 6-foot-2, 220-pound frame. He showed the
ability to hit his spots with a 86-90 mph fastball, and his size and
big, broad shoulders makes it easy to project more velocity moving
• Primary infielder Ryder Jones (Stillwater HS, Okla.) was the last player to take the mound on Thursday, tossing five outs in order to give some of the Columbia Blue hitters additional at-bats. With very good size at 6-foot-3, 185-pounds it looked as though Jones could excel as a pitcher if he wanted to, showing a nice, balanced delivery while easily pumping 87-91 fastballs. He only threw a pair of curveballs, but they too showed promise. Jones was also impressive during BP as a left-handed hitter, and profiles well at third base.
sure to read Jeff Dahn's player features on Green teammates Oscar Mercado and Christopher Rivera.