June 4, 2020
Three words. Baseball. Is. Back. We finally got to see some baseball over the past week and we were fortunate to be able to cover the opening weekend for summer ball in the Panhandle. There were a variety of players from the D1 level all the way down to rising juniors. Here’s a look at the top performing players and some names to watch as the summer rolls on.
Collier had a great weekend at the plate. Considering there hasn’t been competitive baseball in months his weekend was even more impressive. He possesses a matured, athletic frame with long limbs and above average body control. Can track balls in the outfield with enough arm to play all 3 outfield positions. At the plate it’s a simple approach as he trusts his strength in the wrists and hands to eliminate cheating or getting big. The uncommitted juco product drove balls to the gap and over the wall all weekend and should be a big boost wherever he lands in the fall.
Hemenway didn’t disappoint in his start this weekend. The arm action was clean and loose with a rhythmic delivery both in the wind up and stretch. He gets the weight balanced and maximizes extension with a longer stride than most. Fastballs really jumped on hitters and he rode the four-seam through the zone and came back with a short, sharp slider that falls off the table when he gets the release point right. The USF product was up to 88 mph with the fastball coupling it with a 78-81 mph SL/CB combo.
Ard had his repertoire working early and often in his outing. Ard struck out the first 7 batters faced over the weekend utilizing a commanded fastball that he could throw wherever he wanted. Kept hitters off balanced each at bat with a plus breaking ball that had some nasty bite to it. Ard stuck out with the feel on the mound after a long hiatus. He got ahead in the count with consistency and put hitters away in a hurry with both the fastball up 86-88 mph and the curveball at 73-75 mph. Also added a few change ups at 80 mph.
A pitcher only for the Troy Trojans, Snell definitely looked the part on the mound. With a stocky, strong build he could transfer the energy from the bottom half efficiently enough to put almost no strain on the upper half and the arm. An easy arm action aided by the extension he gets upon release really made the FB pop as most hitters just couldn’t catch up. He sat 84-85 touching 86 mph with a quick 74-75 mph breaking ball. Snell really impressed at the plate too with back spun extra base hits all throughout the weekend as the athleticism stood out.
Dillmore has battled some inconsistencies in the past but it looks like he’s moved on from those issues. He has matured in his long body and big frame. With high hips and long legs he has the prototypical starting pitcher frame. With a methodical windup he has the body control to get towards the plate and be balanced all the way through release. This keeps him on line and allows for an efficient workload. Dillmore didn’t disappoint and turned a few heads topping out at 92 mph with his heater. He comes over the top with some downhill action making it even tougher on hitters and counters with a 74-75 mph curveball that he throws off the plate or on the corners with confidence.
Rudd looks the part when he shows up to the field. Athletic build with strong legs and wrists perfect for a baseball player. Rudd has a mature approach at the plate looking for his pitch and works the count well. The lefty has quick hands at the plate with a smooth bat path that stays in the zone as long as possible. He maximizes extension after contact to generate lots of back spin as balls have a lot of carry off his bat. In the outfield, he takes efficient routes to the ball and tracks down fly balls with no fear. He has the speed and quickness to play center and the arm is good but there is more in the tank evidenced by his outing on the mound.
Turrell gets on base at a high rate and wreaks havoc on the bases. He’s lean and uber-athletic with some stiffness at times but it rarely hinders him. Hitting from the left side, he’s very confident at the plate and battles. Can handle the left on left match up with enough success to suggest he’s comfortable and finds the barrel more times than not. Maybe the best outfielder of the weekend, Turrell has plus reaction time with a quick burst for a first step and plus ball skills. Balls rarely fall when he’s roaming center field.
One of the more advanced hitters over the weekend, Horne is a matured left handed hitter. With a fully filled out, stout frame. Horne handles the bat well enough for consistent contact and has the strength to hit it out to all parts of the field. With a tall stance and loose hands, he can get a lot of separation in the load maximizing his coil and bat speed. A potential mid-round draft pick before Covid-19, Horne commands the attention of pro scouts as it remains to be seen whether he goes back to Columbus State or perhaps inks a deal.
A free swinger who rarely gets cheated and barrels balls up with authority, Law projects well at the dish as well as behind it defensively. Great combination of strength and quickness with a stout, thick frame and enough athleticism to play the catcher position. At the plate, Law gets through the ball at contact and it jumps off his bat in a hurry. He does a good job at keeping the front side closed and the hands inside the baseball as he looks comfortable going the other way and can do it with authority. As he progresses he could vie for some innings as a Freshman at South Alabama.
Dorsey was one of the most impressive players of the weekend. A rising Junior, Dorsey is starting to grow into the long lanky frame, yet hasn’t lost any athleticism. The body control stands out as he keeps the wind up and delivery tight, staying on line through the catcher. Dorsey might have the most potential of anyone over the weekend not only due to the steadily climbing velocity from the left side but the advanced pitchability he showcased with command of the fastball 86-88 mph, curveball at 75-77 mph, and change up at 80 mph.