Prep Baseball Report

Launching Florida's Summer Scout Blog

The spring season is in the books and as we head to the summer months we turn the page on our spring scout blog and open up the summer scout blog. Here’s a taste of what you can expect from our scouting staff as they hit the road this summer.

CLICK HERE for Florida Summer Scout Blog.

By Doug Freeman
Area Scout – South Florida

After a rain shortened first day at Jupiter, the weather cleared out and there was a lot of good 16U and 18U baseball to see in Jupiter, FL. The big takeaway from this weekend was the fact that FTB is loaded again. Not only did Tucci impress, the newly added FTB Rockets came out and impressed as well, winning the 18U age bracket with a few very impressive two-way guys and a very well-rounded team. The 18U Rockets were not the only ones to impress, as the 16U Rockets, led by Vanderbilt commit TJ McKenzie, were very talented as well.

FTB was not the only team to impress this weekend though. The Elite Squad North teams in both the 16 and 18 bracket had some very intriguing athletes and talent that we will definitely have to follow closely this summer. The 16U winner, Team Spartan, is filled with young Miami Southridge talent that will be very interesting to see how they continue to play going forward.

FTB Rockets 16u

T.J. McKenzie, SS, The Benjamin School, FL (2019)
Vanderbilt commit. Tall, very lean 6-foot, 150-pound frame with plenty of room to grow. At shortstop showed very good first step, plenty of range, made very impressive plays to both his right and left. Hands work very well, shows a clean, easy arm action. Quick-twitch athlete. Good feel on the bases. Right-handed hitter, shows quick hands through the zone with signs of power.  Tall stance, can get a little long. As he continues to develop his approach, has more at-bats against good arms, the athleticism should lead to a more consistent short path to the ball. Present tools are impressive, projects. Likely to be a very interesting prospect as he becomes more physical and continues to refine his current skillset.

Zach Mazur, C, The Benjamin School, FL (2018)
Uncommitted 2018. 5-foot-10, 160-pound frame. Impressive performance this weekend, showed a very calm, confident demeanor both at the plate and catching. Right-handed hitter, slightly open stance, hands set below his shoulders, gets good separation. Stays balanced and connected through the zone. Showed a calm, patient approach that led to three hits (two doubles) the first day. Some present gap-to-gap power, frame could easily add weight to help generate more power as his path and bat speed indicate it will come. Defensively has a low set-up, showed flexibility both receiving and blocking. Hands work well, did not let many balls beat him while handling low strikes.  Quick feet, clean transfer and strong arm led to consistent 2.00- 2.10 pop times. Times should improve a notch as he gets stronger and more efficient. Solid follow.

Nate Housen, C/IF, Taravella HS, FL (2018)
Stocky 5-foot-10, 204-pound frame. Physical and athletic. Right-handed hitter, showed quick hands, some pull-side power. Slightly open stance, showed some present strength, clean path to the ball. Interesting follow.

Elite Squad North 16u

Diego Ramos, CF/SS/3B, Elev|8 Sports Institute, FL (2018)
Multi-positional athlete. Tall, lean 6-foot-2, 170-pound frame. Right-handed hitter, showed a short swing with very little wasted movement. Gap-to-gap approach, tall stance, signs of present power with power projection. Legged-out a double showing long, fluid strikes and easily stole bases. Tracks the ball well in the outfield, showed an average arm. Impressive athlete with advanced approach at the plate with projection. 

Alexander Creighton, LHP, Boca Raton Community HS, FL (2018)
Projectable 6-foot-2, 180-pound frame. Fastball in the 75-77 mph range from the left side, showed clean and easy arm action and fastball command. More in the tank velocity-wise as he continues to fill out his tall frame. Present feel for pitching, works fast and uses his change-up effectively. Left-hander to follow.

Palm Beach Select 15

Matthew Corlew, SS, Trinity Christian Academy, FL (2019)
Athletic shortstop with lean 5-foot-10, 155-pound frame. Showed first step quickness at shortstop, soft hands and an above average arm for his age at shortstop. Right-handed hitter, a little rotational at times occasionally creating some length in his swing, but when on time it was quick and direct. Hands work well, as he matures physically and develops body control bat path should get shorter.

Team Spartan

EJ Doskow, 3B/1B, Miami Southridge HS, FL (2018)
Very physical at 6-foot, 220-pound corner infielder. Mostly saw play first base. Showed athletic footwork with good hands, would like to see more at third base. Right-handed hitter, very good approach and showed quick hands. Occasionally chases breaking ball out of zone, struggling with pitch recognition at times but maintains his balance well and looks like he will continue to get better as he adjusts to better pitching. Swing works well, interesting prospect to follow going forward.

Elite Squad North 17u

Leonardo Torres, 1B, West Broward HS, FL (2017)
Torres is a strong, physical 6-foot-1, 185-pound first basemen. Defensively he moves well around the bag, showed a solid defensive ability. Right-handed hitter, short swing with quick hands, still does not fully activate his lower half, but is athletic with some present power.

Nathan Zuckerman, C, American Heritage Delray HS, FL (2017)
Zuckerman is an athletic 5-foot-11, 175-pound catcher with a quick transfer and arm strength. He showed consistent 2.00 pop times with the physical tools to cut this down some more. Right-handed hitter, used his lower half well, tended to get a little long at times but when he is on time and keeps a direct path to the ball he shows good barrel control and pull-side pop.

FTB Rockets 17u

Shane Drohan, LHP, Cardinal Newman HS, FL (2017)
Drohan is a tall, wiry 6-foot-2, 170-pound left-handed pitcher with loose and free arm action. He worked 83-86 mph with his fastball with more velocity to come. When he gets extension and stays on top of the breaking ball it shows a good late depth and comes out on the same plane as the fastball. Very interesting uncommitted lefty who will continue to get better throughout the summer.

Michael Rothenberg, C, Pine Crest HS, FL (2017)
Duke commitment. Rothenberg is a 6-foot-3, 210-pound catcher that showed an impressive tool-set this weekend. The switch-hitter showed a balanced set up at the plate left-handed which led to a short, quick swing with a clean path through the zone and present gap-to-gap power. Strong lower half and physical frame make him very projectable offensively. Defensively, Rothenberg showed noticeable energy and presence behind the plate. He has a flexible, low set-up which puts him in position to use his soft hands well.

James Marinan- 2017- RHP/1B- Park Vista
Miami (FL) commit. Marinan is a physical 6-foot-4, 200-pound first basemen with an impressive presence in the box. Right-handed hitter, very comfortable in the box and showed serious bat speed, present power with more to come down the road.

Jacob Mercado, RHP, Royal Palm Beach HS, FL (2017)
Jacob is an athletic 6-foot-2, 180-pound right-handed pitcher with a working fastball at 82-86 mph, topping out at 88.  Clean and easy arm action but lacks extension at times, not letting it loose, causing control issues instead of letting it loose. In warm ups he showed a free and easy 85-86 mph fastball velocity, but backed off at times in the game. Arm works and showed a 75-76 mph breaking ball with proper shape.  There is a lot to like about Mercado, not the least of which is his overall projection. Very interesting arm to follow.

Kris Armstrong, RHP/SS, Benjamin HS, FL (2018)
Florida commit. Armstrong is a very physical, athletic 6-foot-3, 200-pound right-handed pitcher and switch-hitting shortstop (also pitches left-handed). On the mound worked 88-90 mph from the right side and 80-83 mph from the left side with a controllable breaking ball from both sides. Hitting left-handed can get a little long, but when he stays closed and works the middle of the field he has a very quick bat with some present power. Could have some of the highest potential in the 2018 class and look forward to seeing how he continues to develop this summer.

FTB Tucci

M.J. Melendez, C, St. James HS, AL (2017)
6-foot-1, 180-pound frame. Melendez is one of the most impressive defensive catchers in the country. Showed flexibility behind the plate, advanced receiving skills and a very strong arm with a quick, clean transfer. Flashed a 1.89 pop time in game action. Left-handed hitter, very quick hands with some present power and a very balanced approach. Melendez impressed the entire weekend and there is a reason he is one of the top catchers in the country.

Bryce Hutchinson, RHP/1B, Spruce Creek HS, FL (2017)
Kentucky commit. Bryce is a big, strong 6-foot-6, 250-pound right-handed pitcher and first baseman. Fastball 88-90 mph with a 76-77 mph slider with depth. Pounded the bottom of the zone with his fastball, most with late life.  late life and good depth on the slider. At the plate the right-handed hitter showed serious bat speed and power from the left side.

Matthew Golda, IF,  Inspiration Academy, FL (2017)
Florida Atlantic commit. Showed extremely well this weekend both offensively and defensively. 6-foot, 170-pound frame. Very athletic and showed athletic actions at both middle infield spots, has very good range in both directions and showed soft hands. Worked well around the bag from both positions and seems comfortable at both. Right-handed hitter with a balanced set-up and rhythm. Worked the middle of the field with a short, quick swing making consistent hard contact.

Francis Villaman, IF, Olympia HS, FL (2017)
Florida state commit. 6-foot-1, 180-pound frame. Showed athletic actions in the infield with impressive range and soft hands. Right-handed hitter, comfortable in the box, balanced set-up and gap-to-gap approach. Short, quick swing that led to several line drives and consistent hard contact.

Oraj Anu, Home School, OF, (2017)
Alabama State commit. Switch-hitting outfielder. Anu is one of the more interesting prospects in the Florida class of 2017. 6-foot, 200-pound frame. Looks like he has put on 15 pounds since the fall, but continues to move very well. Anu can get long on both sides of the plate, but his hands are quick, creating noticeable power from both sides. Did not play this spring, will be interesting to follow as he continues to get more at bats throughout the summer.

Christian Robinson, LHP/OF, Viera HS, FL (2017) 6-3, 205
Florida commit. Robison’s very physical 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame jumps out at you when you first see him. Left-handed hitter, has an early load with a disciplined approach at the plate. Covers the entire plate and creates leverage with a clean path through the zone. Present power with projection.

Tanner Burns, RHP, Decatur HS, AL (2017)
Alabama-commit. 6-foot-1, 205-pound frame. Showed clean, easy, yet explosive arm action. Fastball ranged from 90-92 mph, touched 94. Located fastball with good angle, worked down and to both sides of the plate. Worked bottom of the zone with 75-79 mph slider, commands it well, late action. Very impressive prospect.

Team Florida 18

Eli Garcia, LHP, South Dade HS, FL (2017)
6-1, 175-pound frame with long arms and room to grow. Short and slightly funky arm action, ball comes out of his hand well, worked at 83-86 mph with fastball, located fastball to both sides of the plate. Showed an average breaking ball and change up. Projectable, will be interesting to see how he develops this summer.


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