Florida Top Prospect Games Standouts



By Doug Freeman
Florida Scouting Director

The Top Prospect Games at Florida Atlantic was a great success, which included 57 uncommitted prospects from the 2017-2020 classes and two committed 2017 prospects. There were several players who stood out either in the workout portion, the game or both. Leading the way were the two committed prospects—OF Rafael Santos (Stoneman Douglas HS, FL) and OF Gabriel Rivera (Columbus HS, FL)). They are committed to Florida Atlantic and Miami respectively.

Santos’ strong lower half and advanced approach showed up in batting practice, as he sprayed line drives and drove a ball out of right field. He also did well in the game, producing a single and double to right field. Rivera is extremely physical at 6 feet, 202 pounds. He has a lot of quick twitch to his game and present power, which showed up during batting practice when he drove multiple balls over the left field fence.

While Santos and Rivera stood out, OF/RHP Tyler Esplin (IMG Academy, FL) was equally impressive. Esplin, who stands at 6-foot-3 210 pounds, sprayed balls from gap to gap during batting practice and collected three hits, including a double, in the game. Esplin was not only solid at the plate, but he also topped out at 89 mph from the outfield with consistently low and accurate throws.

Two other standouts were RHP Joseph Quintal (IMG Academy, FL) and RHP Matthew Tadlock (South Sumter HS, FL), who threw back-to-back for the Team Black in the first game.  Quintal started off the game and showed a loose and easy arm action from a 3/4 slot with his fastball ranging from 85-87 mph and the slider ranging from 70-73 mph with tight spin and depth. Tadlock followed up Quintal with a deceptive delivery and pitched at 80-82 mph with his fastball in his first inning and continued to get better each inning, settling in at 81-84 in his third inning of work. Tadlock also boasted an impressive 73-74 mph slider with tight spin and late break with which he showed above average command.

Here are the full scouting reports on the players above:

Rafael Santos, OF/1B, Stoneman Douglas, FL (2017)
Florida Atlantic recruit, the 6-foot-3 200-pound left-handed hitting first baseman/outfielder drove balls from gap to gap in batting practice, while also driving a ball deep over the right field wall. Santos has a strong lower half, which he utilizes well and creates a lot of bat speed. Santos has an advanced approach, with a clean simple path directly to the ball that stays in the zone. The fluid swing and advanced approach led to a double and single during the game. Defensively, Santos topped at 90 mph from the outfield with consistent, low and accurate throws. At first base he worked well out in front of his body with soft hands and a good feel for the bag while also showing some athleticism.

Gabriel Rivera, OF/RHP, Columbus HS, FL (2017)
Miami recruit, the 6-foot, 202-pound outfielder is extremely physical and quick twitch. Rivera has quick hands while still being able to create a quality path through the zone. Rivera has a strong lower half with a pull-side approach and pull-side power. Rivera showed some of this power with a home run in batting practice as well as the highest exit velocity of the event at 96 mph.

Tyler Esplin, OF/RHP, IMG Academy, FL (2017)
The 6-foot-3 210-pounder is already physical with room to continue to get stronger. Esplin has good rhythm and looks very comfortable in the box. He has a balanced, strong lower half which he uses well while also being able to keep his hands back and create a slightly uphill swing with a good path through the zone creating some present power. In the game, Esplin had three hits, including a double, showing an advanced approach. In the outfield Esplin has a good arm, topping at 89 mph, and takes good routes to ball.

Joseph Quintal, RHP, IMG Academy, FL (2017)
The 6-foot-1, 160-pounder had a loose and easy arm action from a 3/4 slot on an athletic and projectable frame. Quintal worked down in the zone to both sides of the plate with a fastball ranging from 85-87 mph with arm-side action. The slider worked from 70-73 mph with late depth and tight spin, which he threw from the same slot and with the same arm speed inducing multiple swings and misses during the game. The arm works and Quintal has a feel for pitching with more velocity to come making him a very interesting follow.

Matthew Tadlock, RHP, South Sumter HS, FL (2018)
The 5-foot-11, 157-pounder noticeably worked with a great pace while filling up the strike zone. Tadlock has a slightly jerky delivery and pitches from a 3/4 slot with some deception. The fastball ranged from 81-84 mph with late arm side run and stayed consistently down in the zone to both sides of the plate. Tadlock’s best pitch was a 73-74 mph slider with tight spin and late break, which he threw for a strike and for a strikeout pitch. Tadlock also had a changeup that ranged from 69-71 mph. Showed a feel for the game and pitch, will be a very interesting follow.