Area Code Games Friday Notebook

Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

LONG BEACH, CA—The fifth and final day of the 2019 Area Code Games wrapped up Friday. Most of the arms were making their second appearance and it was obvious players were worn out. Even so, we’ve got the highlights…

+ Tanner Witt (Episcopal HS, TX) is a legitimate two-way player with projectable power and strength in his right-handed swing, but at 6-foot-5, 199 pounds with long limbs, the needle was probably tipping toward him being an arm. It may be leaning even more that way after this week. He tossed two innings Tuesday, allowing a run on a hit and two walks while striking out four and running his fastball up to 93. He was even better Friday, starting the Texas Rangers’ final game. He tossed two innings against the Oakland Athletics, allowing a hit and walk while striking out four. He was 90-92 mph, working downhill well and getting a high spin rate on his fastball. His breaking ball ranged from 72-77, varying in shape and showing a spin rate in the 2700-3000 range. He also showed feel for a changeup in the low 80s, as he maintained his arm speed on the pitch and got swings and misses.

+ 1B Jack Moss (Cherry Creek HS, CO) had tremendous results this week. In five games, he was 8-for-16 with four doubles, a triple, four RBIs and three runs scored. Two of those hits came on Friday. He has a tall, long frame, but stays relatively short and drives the ball to all fields, as his bat stays in the zone.

+ RHP Joey Dixon (Bingham HS, UT) is an athletic Stanford recruit with considerable upside. He stands at 6-foot-1, 187 pounds with a loose, easy and athletic delivery. Making his second appearance Friday, he was 89-92 with feel for a low-80s changeup with sink and fade, as well as two breaking balls—a curveball at 75-77 with 12/6 depth and a slider at 79-83. He tossed three innings, allowng a run on three hits and a walk while striking out three.

+ In the final game of the event, MIF D’Andre Smith (San Dimas HS, CA) had a big day. The Southern California recruit hit a hard flyout to center in his first at-bat. The then had an inside-out swing that produced a double to the opposite field. In his third at-bat, he had a hustle double, busting out of the box and never breaking stride to take an extra bag on what should have been a routine single. He had a single in his fourth at-bat and took second on a throw to home. He also scored two runs and showed athletic actions defensively.

+ OF/RHP Jonathan Vaughns (St. John Bosco HS, CA) has a physical frame at 6-foot-1, 214 pounds. He’s known for his left-handed bat, but he logged two innings on the mound to close out the Brewers’ win and dominated opposing hitters with a fastball-splitter combination. He pitched in the high 80s, but his splitter seemingly had a parachute on it with a super low spin rate (below 1000 rpm) and had hitters spinning themselves into the ground. However, before he took the hill, he demolished a pitch for a three-run home run to right field. It was 101 mph off the bat and traveled 336 feet. He finished Friday 1-for-4 with the home run and a flyout that was 99 off the bat while logging two perfect innings and striking out the final four batters he faced.

Next are the Area Code Underclass Games. Stay tuned…

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