Prep Baseball Report

Scout Blog: Woodstock vs #3 Blessed Trinity

Justin Goetz
Assistant Scouting Director

Opening Day was pure electricity. You had a classic David vs Goliath matchup. Shockingly, the 6A State Champions (Woodstock) were David in this matchup. Their 2-1 win was classic for the Wolverines, always finding a way to pull it out regardless of who they’re facing. They faced three Power 5 arms in a row, and had some great AB’s. Regardless of the outcome of this game, the future is bright for both clubs.

2023, RHP, Porter Buursema, Blessed Trinity
Georgia Southern Commit. 6-foot, 185 pounds. It was exactly the 1st outing we were hoping for from this samurai of spin. When he toes the bump, there’s no energy like Buursema energy. When you see him power skipping after a big K, you see the star power written all over him. Porter has the aura of a prize fighter, and sure gets the crowd going like one. There was a noticeable shift in the park as soon as he came into the game. His first 2 pitches were 92, with a vicious cut ride. One a take strike, one a swing & miss. He’s known for whiffs in the zone, and this night was no different. The velocity did dial back inning 2, but it’s what you expect in a first outing on a crisp night. His FB filled the zone with mostly 89-92. The SL was just as good in the 80-81 range, with the sweep+depth combo being so sudden it’s almost blurry. He flashed a promising CH to LHH. He’s still fine tuning his 3k RPM CB, and we look forward to seeing him at GDC.

2023, CF, Cooper Milford, Blessed Trinity
UGA Commit. 6-foot-1, 180 pounds. This elite athlete absolutely stole the show on Opening Day, and was far and away the most impressive position player on the field. It was a sight to see Milford showcasing every single tool in the shed on this night. Firstly, he showed raw power potential and improved ability to turn the barrel in tight space with a near bomb to left center inning 1. His smooth toe tap is the basis of his timing in hip/shoulder separation, allowing his impressive reaction time to take over and let him know whether he should pick up the pace on a FB, or decelerate to get on time with offspeed. It’s a noticeably more fluid, connected swing than in years past. His chest loads the hands for him, and allows the twitch in his core and legs to create the bat speed for him. Secondly, his unreal play in CF saved would be extra bases, which could’ve put BT out of the game late. He did an exceptional job of reading backspin and staying under control while tracking, and his unreal jump throw with perfect accuracy on a line to the cut off man would’ve made Jeter jealous. Next was the ++ run time in the 4.06 - 4.10 range, as he was shot out of a cannon after a full swing. Just when I thought the look couldn’t be any better, he let the ball travel to the front corner of the plate and cooked it oppo for a hustle double. With the near top of scale speed, future top of the scale defense, and rocket arm, it’s hard not to see former Angels CF Peter Bourjos in his game.

2023, RHP, Jake Lankie, Blessed Trinity
UGA Commit. 6-foot-1, 180 pounds. Everything you’ve heard about Lankie was on display on Opening Day. Known for his pitchability and advanced CH, it was nothing different on this night. He got ahead in the count quickly with his FB, working both the upper & lower quadrants with profound success. Surprisingly, the 79-81 SL was his go to early off the heater. I haven’t had many looks on him yet, but was quite impressed with the consistent shape and location of the pitch. He was able to locate it on the glove side edge with ease, keeping hitters guessing with some sweep. Jake also showed some more vertical SL’s with late depth and was able to throw them in the center of the dish without getting hurt because of the suddenness. Every CH he threw was MLB avg, and some flashed A/AVG. It was used mostly against LHH, but did show a couple impressive ones to RHH. I would like to see him attack early in the count with the CH vs RHH like we saw in big moments in 2022.

2023, RHP, Evan O'Neill, Blessed Trinity
Indiana Commit. 6-foot-3, 200 pounds. This was a classic O’Neill outing, with tons of strikes and quite a bit of unpredictability in his repertoire. There’s so much to like here but the ease of operation, smooth repeatable delivery, and high amount of strikes bode extremely well for his college success. The 85-88 FB had the textbook bore we’re used to seeing out of him, and the pitch has an explosive, unique profile. He didn’t create as much leverage with the upper half as my look last February, and the velocity was a little down because of it. Instead of his shoulders tilting gradually uphill in stride (to centralize all power over backside, create a lever, more connectivity), he worked with the shoulders flat and that took some intent & power out of his delivery. He will undoubtedly learn to create consistent explosiveness over time, but I absolutely LOVE the arm action and delivery in general. O’Neill’s SLV showed very consistent sweep and late depth, getting some whiffs. Working with Full Count he will be more aggressive with this pitch as he gets more reps. His confidence in the CH was highly impressive, as he threw a handful of them with live fading action.

2024, OF, Caden Tuck, Woodstock
Uncommitted. 5-foot-9, 170 pounds. This is the grinder of grinders, and a consummate professional at the plate with his approach and efficient actions. Tuck has one of the cleanest, most repeatable forward moves I've seen in quite some time. Not only did he barrel multiple Power 5 arms, but he did the same thing all summer and fall at LakePoint. His sink into the backside creates an incline plane for his hips to work on, allowing him to match even the steepest planes with ease. The repeatable little c load is absolutely textbook and flows like water, promoting a dynamic knob led path that can adjust to any pitch in any zone. This is a backside dominant hitter who focuses on timing and precision. The linear connection he creates only works when a hitter has an innate ability to time up a pitcher’s delivery with their hips, which Tuck does at a high level. The core strength and balance in his hands allow the elbows to work close to the ribs, which only makes it easier for him to attack the inside seam of the baseball. What he doesn’t have in size, he makes up for with all fields barrels!

2023, LHP, Coogan Bombard, Woodstock
Uncommitted. 6-foot-1, 170 pounds. This crafty lefty sliced and diced the BT lineup with eye opening feel for his secondary pitches. It’s an upright delivery with a unique crossfire created by not only his stride, but unique arm action and slot. It’s long in the back, but shorter at release point from an L3/4 slot. Hitters had a very tough time picking it up, especially with the barrage of strikes he threw with 3 pitches. His FB worked in the mid-upper 70’s range with gradual tail and he peppered the arm side edge time and again. His sweeping CB in the mid 60’s showed consistent shape and proved very tough for Titans hitters to wait on. But his most impressive pitch is the mid 60’s bugs bunny CH that nearly stops time near the plate and falls off the table.

2023, C, Jack Hartman, Woodstock
Uncommited. 6-foot-1, 215 pounds. This a tough, elite competitor who is the engine of this Woodstock team. Defensively, Hartman is one of the more willing blockers in the state and taking a regular beating behind the plate is of no concern to him. He leads the pitching staff well, and showed off his catch & throw ability and arm accuracy with a caught stealing dime to 2B inning 1. This throw set the tempo of the game and created shocking momentum for the Wolverines. He also had a clutch barrel thru the left side of the field that got one of their rallies started. Plenty of power potential in this bat.

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