Final NHSI Thoughts
• The collection of teams and talent was impressive as each team had at least one player who projects to play at the Division I level with most teams having five or six such players.
• It was clear that the best baseball is played in South Florida and Southern California. Those teams had the top prospects, the most depth and were the best teams overall by a significant margin.
• Talking to other scouts in attendance, the consensus opinion was that the Mater Dei offense was the best anyone had seen from a high school team. One through nine the Monarchs hit, all their approaches were strong and they showed the ability to hit the ball to all fields while identifying offspeed pitches.
NSHI Team Power Rankings
Based on a combination of results, overall talent and prospects.
- Mater Dei (CA)
- Harvard-Westlake (CA)
- American Heritage (FL)
- Gulliver Prep (FL)
- Parkview (GA)
- Bishop Gorman (NV)
- Orange Lutheran (CA)
- Columbus (GA)
- Corpus Christi Carroll (TX)
- Russell County (AL)
- Sarasota (FL)
- Brookwood (GA)
- Oxford (AL)
- George Washington (NY)
- Highlands Ranch (CO)
- Lee County (NC)
NHSI Top Prospects
1. Max Fried, 2012, LHP/RF, Harvard-Westlake (CA)
The long, loose lefty was up to 94, holding that velocity into the fifth inning and hitting 92 in the seventh. He showed good feel for his 12/6 curveball that had good shape. There aren’t many LHPs with Fried’s combination of projectability, athleticism, and arm strength which is why he is projected to be a very high draft pick in June.
2. Courtney Hawkins, 2012, CF/RHP, Corpus Christi Carroll (TX)
Hawkins was a one-man wrecking crew in Carroll’s opening day over Gulliver, pitching a shutout and hitting a homerun for the only run in a 1-0 victory. Hawkins power is very easy and his blast to CF off Ivan Paleaz was one of the more impressive takeaway moments from the tournament. Hawkins is an OF prospect but pitched 90-92, topping at 93 with feel for a curveball. There are still some questions about Hawkins swing and ability to hit offspeed pitches, but his athleticism and strength allows him to dominate now and projects well in the future.
3. Lucas Sims, 2012, RHP, Brookwood (GA)
Sims did not have his best stuff Wednesday, but he was still impressive, working 90-92 with a couple of 93s and one 94. He didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning and found feel for his curveball in the middle innings, throwing it at 74-76 with late break. His 81-83 mph changeup has good arm action, but due to his dominance with the FB/CB combo he doesn’t have to use the change much and therefore doesn’t have consistent feel for the pitch. Strong and athletic with room to add strength, Sims figures to be a high round draft pick.
4. Joey Gallo, 2012, 3B/RHP, Bishop Gorman (NV)
Gallo struggled at the plate in Cary, swinging and missing a lot, especially against soft stuff away. His bat speed and power potential are evident and some of the best in the class. He is a very good defensive 3B with a cannon arm and figures to stay at the position. Gallo’s most impressive moments came on the mound, where he showed the highest velos of the week. His fastball sat 93-95, with reports of 96, 97 and 98 on some guns. His arm is very fast and he also showed a hard curveball at 74-76 with depth and solid two-plane break as well as a 79-81 slider. Gallo has been thought of as mostly a position player in the past, but he is a premium pick at either position.
5. Jeremy Martinez, 2013, C, Mater Dei (CA)
Martinez continues to show why he is one of the top ranked players in the 2013 class. Strong with athleticism, Martinez has an ideal catcher’s frame. He receives and blocks very well and has easy arm strength. Most teams didn’t dare run on him, as he was consistently 1.91 to 1.95 in between innings. Martinez’s skills behind the plate overshadow his hitting skills, but he has strength bat speed and a very good approach at the plate. Martinez has all the tools to be a very high pick next year.
6. Zach Collins, 2013, C, American Heritage (FL)
One of the debates over the summer and through next spring figures to be who is top catcher in the 2013 class. Martinez, Collins, Resse McGuire (WA) and Chris Okey (FL) are all ranked in the Top 25 of PG’s rankings. Based on what they showed in Cary I have Martinez slightly ahead. Collins has more bat speed and squares pitches up more regularly, but is behind Martinez defensively. The results that Collins produces cannot be argued, but there is a some worry about a late bat waggle. At present, his hands are quick and strong enough for it to work, although it remains to be seen if he can do so consistently against low-90s fastballs. The tools are evident and on pure bat speed no one in the tournament can match Collins.
7. Ryan McMahon, 2013, 3B, Mater Dei (CA)
A relative unknown before the tournament, McMahon jumped out in a big way. A quarterback on the Mater Dei football team, McMahon has a long, lean 6-foot-3, 180-pound build. He projects to fill out more and already has good strength. McMahon first stood out with his instincts, quick twitch athleticism and arm strength at 3B. He has a strong approach and smooth swing at the plate, and was circled on most scout’s rosters before he crushed a long home run to right center field in Saturday’s championship game. McMahon put his name on the map in a big way in Cary.
8. Adrian Marin, 2012, SS, Gulliver Prep (FL)
9. Brandon Lopez, 2012, SS, American Heritage (FL)
I tend to group Marin and Lopez together as they have a similar build and both play SS for a top team in Miami as well as being double play partners as members of South Florida Elite Squad. Lopez is the better defender by a slim margin with more range and arm strength. Marin runs a little better and has a very quick bat, evidenced once again as he ripped a line drive to center field off of a 93 mph Joey Gallo fastball. Lopez projects to stay at SS and be a plus defender while Marin could stay at short but might profile better at second. Marin gets the slight nod here as his feel for the game is so good, as one scout pointed out when he and I were comparing and contrasting the two and he said, “They are pretty even to me, but Marin has that internal clock that you can’t teach. He never has to rush anything and he is always in the right place at the right time.”
10. Matt Olson, 2012, 1B/RHP, Parkview (GA)
Big time power is what Olson brings to the table. He had one of the biggest eye opening hits of the tournament, taking Max Fried out to right-center field off of a low-90s fastball. Olson’s body looks better than last summer, and he is a solid runner and good first base defender. He also is a very good high school pitcher, touching 90 in a six inning, one run performance. With Olson and Jason Sierra, Vanderbilt has two of the top bats in attendance locked up.
11. Jack Flaherty, 2014, 3B/RHP, Harvard-Westlake (CA)
Flaherty is a young prospect who has earned rave reviews for over a year now. This was the first time PG had seen him live, and he didn’t disappoint, pitching at 85-87 with a very good changeup in Wednesday’s opener, before showing arm strength, speed, and very good infield tools the rest of the tournament while playing 3B. Flaherty can really run and center field might be a good spot to use his speed and athleticism. He is raw with the bat but has a good approach and loose bat speed. It is easy to dream on Flaherty throwing in the low-90s, running a 6.6 and showing over the fence power in a showcase setting in the next two years.
12. Anfernee Grier, 2013, SS/RF/RHP, Russell County (AL)
Grier brings lots of athleticism and bat speed to the table. He currently plays SS, but profiles well in RF as his arm plays there. Some also see him as a second baseman with Brandon Phillips being the comp. I had heard about Grier’s power but he impressed with his overall hit tool. He made adjustments, had a very good idea and showed the ability to use the whole field, although it is evident his intent is to pull the ball.
13. Ty Moore, 2012, OF/RHP, Mater Dei (CA)
Moore is a pure hitter, plain and simple. His approach and swing are a bit unorthodox, but he hits. Moore was also the emotional leader of Mater Dei and he is one of the more intense and animated players you will see on the field. He also showed over the fence power with a homer to right field that was probably the farthest hit ball of the tournament. Moore’s bat will carry him, but he is also a solid runner and OF defender and was up to 87 on the mound.
14. Joe Corrigan, 2013, 1B, Harvard-Westlake (CA)
I have seen nearly all the players ranked in the Top 100 of Perfect Game’s 2013 rankings and for my money I can’t find a right-handed hitter with a better present hit tool. Corrigan is strong, balanced, uses the whole field and feasts on mistakes, driving the ball to both alleys. He hit leadoff, but was HW’s best hitter over the week. Corrigan played 1B and has the athleticism to play third base or left field.
15. Chris Chinea, 2012, C, Gulliver Prep (FL)
Chinea is a rock solid performer. He has been to over a dozen PG events and seems to always perform. Strong and athletic, he was one of the top defensive catchers in Cary, and while he didn’t square many pitches up, he is strong with a quick bat and has very good pitch recognition. Chinea throws well and is the steady leader on a Gulliver team that, while supremely talented, has a lot of youth on its roster.
16. Arden Pabst, 2013, C, Harvard-Westlake (CA)
Pabst doesn’t have the raw tools of Martinez or Collins but he has a very strong, well-rounded tool set. He could catch for most DI colleges right now as he is a very good receiver with strong hands and quick feet. At the plate he makes a lot of contact, squaring up balls and driving line drives to most gaps. Pabst is the type of players who coaches love and is a competitor and leader on the field.
17. Ryan Burr, 2012, RHP, Highlands Ranch (CO)
Burr is very early in his high school season, and is almost two months behind the players from California, Florida and Georgia as the long Colorado winter prevents much until mid-March. Burr sat 89-91 touching 92 and threw his curve at 74-76 and his change at 80-82. Burr was physically leaner than last summer and has room to add strength. Burr’s velocity was a couple of ticks below his normal range. Troublesome for most scouts is his deep, stiff grab in back, which hinders the path of his arm. He does show solid arm quickness and figures to gain more velo as gets a few more innings under his belt.
18. Davis Tominaga, RHP/1B, Mater Dei (CA)
Tominaga was another player who was a revelation in North Carolina. He was 87-89 on the mound, touching 91 with an easy arm action. He has a long, smooth arm action and showed the ability to repeat that arm action on his curveball and changeup. While not a standout athlete, Tominaga can really hit too. He has loose bat speed and drove the ball to left-center during the first two days before dropping the bat head and driving a game tying homer out of Coleman Field in the championship game.
19. Shaun Anderson, 2013, RHP, American Heritage (FL)
Anderson projects to be very good. The current product is strong as he sits comfortably 86-88, and will touch an 89 and 90 on occasion. Anderson is strong with a big lower half and broad shoulders and projects to gain more strength as he continues to mature physically. There were at least a dozen pitchers who showed comparable velocity to Anderson, but what set him apart was a swing-and-miss slider at 78-81 that baffled Harvard-Westlake. The pitch has sharp break and is thrown on an angle that makes it almost impossible to hit. Anderson has good command of it, throwing it low and away to right-handers, making it very tough to lay off of or make hard contact with.
20. Eric Neitzel, 2012, LF/3B, Gulliver Prep (FL)
Netizel played both LF and 3B and has the athleticism to play both, although his arm might push him to left. Neitzel can really swing it. He has a loose swing and projects to hit for both average and power in the future. Like his teammate Chinea, Neitzel has been a steady performer at numerous PG events. The most impressive at-bats Neitzel took were against Gallo. Gulliver is a very good fastball hitting team and even their 7-9 batters fouled off nearly all of Gallo’s 92-94 mph fastballs. Neitzel saw Gallo’s curveball well and took some of the best swings against it, a very good sign as he will be facing that type of pitching a lot in the future.
21. Zach Lovvorn, 2012, RHP/RF, Oxford (AL)
Lovvorn threw Friday afternoon after most MLB scouts had already hit the road, and they missed an impressive performance by the athletic righty. Lovvorn was 88-90 and up to 91 with a loose, easy arm action and very good arm quickness. As impressive as his velocity was he also throws two very good off-speed pitches, a 75-77 mph curveball with depth and an 80-81 mph changeup that comes out of his hand well. Lovvorn had command of everything he threw and showed the ability to pitch backwards.
22. Brandon Perez, 2015, SS, Mater Dei (CA)
The 2015 is not a typo as Perez does everything like a 2012 grad, and he looks the part with an athletic build that has with some stockiness in the lower half. He shows easy defensive actions and plenty of arm strength. At the plate he showed a very good approach and handled 90 mph velocity with ease. A college coach in attendance remarked, “He could play at most mid-major DIs right now.” Perez is 15-years old and doesn’t turn 16 until November. He might be the best freshman baseball player in the country.
23. Domenick Mancini, RHP, American Heritage (FL)
Another member of Heritage’s strong stable of arms, Mancini can really pitch. Long and athletic with strength, Mancini sat 87-89 touching 90. His arm works very well and his cutter was also a very good pitch. Mancini’s arm works very well and he has showed a velocity jump each of the last two summers, meaning more could be in store.
24. Josh Hart, 2013, CF, Parkview (GA).
Hart is no stranger to PG scouts and he has continued to progress since we first saw him dominating as a 14-year old. Hart is an above average runner, with a solid arm in CF that plays a bit better because of a quick release, and he has a very good overall feel for the game. He led off Thursday’s game with a hit to the left-center gap off of Max Fried and proved to be a terror on the bases. Once Hart learns to hit the ball on the ground and use his legs rather than try to elevate pitches he could be a dynamic player at the top of a lineup.
25. Rock Rucker, 2012, RF/LHP, Russell County (AL)
We had heard reports that Rucker had been in the low-90s on the mound this spring, where we have seen him at times in the past. He was 85-87 Thursday, but the ball jumps out of hand. Rucker stood out more as a positional prospect, as he projects as an average runner and an arm that will play in right field. At the plate he has loose bat speed, is very aggressive and shows power to the pull side as well as the other way.
Others Deserving Mention
Edwin Arias, 2012, SS, Parkview (GA)
Gabriel Aurrecoechea, 2012, CF, American Heritage (FL)
Marvin Campos, 2012, 2B, George Washington (NY)
Michael Cantu, 2014, C, Corpus Christi Carroll (TX)
Clint Carr, 2012, C, Brookwood (GA)
Kyle Carter, 2012, LHP/CF, Columbus (GA)
Todd Dial, 2013, RHP, Russell County (AL)
Brandon Diaz, 2012, LHP, American Heritage (FL)
Spencer Draws, 2012, SS, Columbus (GA)
Joe Dunand, 2014, 3B/1B, Gulliver Prep (FL)
Nick Durazo, 2012, LHP, Lee County (NC)
Ricky Eusebio, 2012, CF, Gulliver Prep (FL)
Jarrett Freeland, 2013, C, Parkview (GA)
Matthew Goodson, 2012, CF, Oxford (AL)
JJ Gould, 2012, SS, Sarasota (FL)
Tanner Gardner, SS, Oxford (AL)
Henry Hernandez, RF, Gulliver Prep (FL)
Danny Mars, 2012, CF, Sarasota (FL)
Mac Marshall, 2014, LHP, Parkview (GA)
Jason Martin, 2013, LF, Orange Lutheran (CA)
Josh Morgan, 2014, 3B, Orange Lutheran (CA)
Jesse Nelson, 2013, RHP/3B, Russell County (AL)
Ivan Pelaez, 2012, LHP, Gulliver Prep (FL)
Esteban Puerta, 2012, LF, American Heritage (FL)
Chase Radan, 2012, RHP, Mater Dei (CA)
Nelson Rodriguez, 2012, C, George Washington (NY)
Alex Seibold, 2012, RHP, American Heritage (FL)
Jason Sierra, 2013, 1B, Sarasota (FL)
Johny Sewald, 2012, CF, Bishop Gorman (NV)
Tucker Simpson, 2012, RHP, Oxford (AL)
Jackson Stephens, 3B/RHP, Oxford (AL)
Hunter Swilling, 2013, RHP/2B, Columbus (GA)
AJ Van Meetren, 2012, LF, Bishop Gorman (NV)
Art Moran-Vidrio, 2012, LHP, Orange Lutheran (CA)
Hunter Webb, 2013, CF, Russell County (AL)
Brent Wheatley, 2012, RHP, Orange Lutheran (CA)
Danny Zardon, 2013, 3B, American Heritage (FL)