Scout Blog: Milton vs Flowery Branch

Justin Goetz
Assistant Scouting Director

If you love pitching like us, then Milton vs Flowery Branch was a game for the ages. I can’t remember the last time I saw 1 total hit in 4 innings from both sides. This duel featured high powered ammunition from both sides. This was one of the most memorable performances I’ve seen in the past year from big time draft prospect Luke McNeillie. The best two words to describe his 1st outing would be controlled violence. On the other side, Wofford commit Mason Compton was playing chess while Milton’s offense was playing checkers, finessing his way to 4 no hit innings. The Branch pulled out a monumental 3-1 victory.

2023, RHP, Luke McNeillie, Milton
Florida Commit. 6-foot-3, 175 pounds. This flamethrower pitches like gazelles run, with perfect form, balance, grace, and explosiveness. But it wasn’t always like this, Luke has taken unbelievable strides since last February, where we had him at 86-89 with inconsistency in the delivery. To go from that to a top round draft prospect known for an ultra athletic delivery is absolutely shocking. Everything is just more clean and efficient. His gradual build of pace/momentum in the delivery and arm action, rhythm between upper & lower half, up+down+out phases, direction, I could go all day. When he squares up, it’s almost an identical delivery to Royals 100+ mph thrower of baseballs, Josh Staumont. I’ve got to be honest, McNeillie looks much much better at the same stage in his career. From what I see mechanically, this is a sure bet for triple digits in the future. Luke shows impressive feel of his low-mid 90’s FB, and I love how he uses it glove side with comeback life. The SL shape is definitely well advanced compared to most HS draft prospects, and I see it easily having mid 80’s velocity creeping into upper in the future. His CH has shown well in the past and is interesting for the future. If he can continue to have this quality of outings, I can see him being a late 2nd Rd arm in the 2023 draft.

2023, RHP, Gavin Lynch, Milton
Uncommitted. 6-foot-7, 220 pounds. When Lynch toes the bump and I press record, he barely fits in the frame. With the height and mass of a Conference USA power forward, what also stands out is the athleticism. No, it’s not easy to repeat the delivery at his size, especially in HS. But when Lynch controls his body, the delivery is extremely clean. I’d much rather him be tip toeing the line of grace and wild with 100% intent, than repeat the delivery better at 85% effort and throw 85. That gets you absolutely nowhere in life, and Big Gavin is going places. Despite his full intent pitch by pitch, it actually looks quite effortless for his size. We had a good look on him last week at 90-93 as a starter, and he was a lot more consistent there. Last night, he gave up only 1 barrel so it wasn’t like anyone hit him. The FB has easy mid 90’s potential, and wouldn’t be surprised to see him climbing even higher in the future. The pitch shows a different level bore at times, showing me he can eventually mow college hitters with just that pitch. The SLV definitely needs sharpening, but showed some promising shape at times. His SPLT had considerable depth on the one I saw, and with a little more intent/trust in the pitch, I think it can develop into a weapon in college.

2024, CF, Henry Rumph, Milton
Uncommitted. 6-foot-1, 175 pounds. Although it wasn’t his night offensively, it wasn’t anyone elses either. This is an eye opening athlete at the top of the lineup for Milton. Not only do I like the swing and there’s noticeable bat speed, the approach is there as well. Rumph’s standout tool is his ridiculous speed. This is a ++ runner who’s an absolute blur on the basepaths. He has long strides with an upright running form that covers ground quickly and powerfully. Rumph is a big time defender at a premium position, using his lightning quick first step, fluid hips, and tracking ability to cover a large portion of the outfield. He also showscased an absolute cannon in I/O. We look forward to seeing more of him this spring.

2023, RHP, Mason Compton, Flowery Branch

Wofford Commit. 6-foot-3, 205 pounds. When this springs season ends, I wouldn’t be surprised if this outing is still one of the most impressive performances I saw. He began the game with strike after strike, finishing each hitter off in 3-4 pitches with a surgical precision. Hitters had an extremely tough time picking up his FB or SL, as his nearly invisible short circle arm action comes out of the depths. He painted both edges with ease using his disgusting running FB as a real weapon. He was aggressive in on RHH hands all night, making them conscious of the inside FB only to get sliced and diced by his sharp upper 70’s SL. The pitch showed a short vertical shape that had some sudden bite, and he located it arm side the entire outing. Compton also showed some feel for the pitch backdoor to LHH. This is a perfect fit for Wofford and makes total sense he’s committed there, as he throws a high level of strikes with plenty of movement. This is a player who can be counted on early in his college career for quality outings.

2026, IF, Javy Ojeda, Flowery Branch
Uncommitted. 6-foot, 160 pounds. This was an impressive left handed bat for his age. While he didnt get any hits, he had multiple competitive AB’s vs 2 90+ arms. There was no fear in him and he was looking for barrels, not hoping he got walked. Which is what most freshman would do when facing 95! Its an athletic swing and he should become even more interesting as he gets stronger and gets more experience at the HS level. The approach is present and consistent, as he’s looking to hit the ball on a line thru the hole at SS. His hip pace out of the hole is impressive and allowed him to make contact each time vs these high level arms. His separation timing is on the money and he’s smooth in & out of launch position.

2023’s Riley Mitchell, Aaron Attaway, and Ethan Mieldezis had a big impact on the Falcons and were all key pieces in their 3-1 victory. Mitchell came in pumping mid 80’s sinkers and missed a multitude of barrels, he also played well defensively. Attaway came in throwing riding FB’s into the mid 80’s with a short SL that missed a few bats. He got a clutch save and brought energy to his fans that traveled as well as the team. Mieldezis made the key play of the game with a quick thinking force at home to kill all hopes for a Milton comeback.

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