Draft League Scouting Notes - May 26


Mike Rosenbaum / Zach Day / Tad Slowik
PBR Staff

Williamsport @ Trenton

Trenton starter RHP JP Williams (Nova Southeastern) was lights-out on the mound in the Thunder’s first home contest at Rider University, striking out six and scattering three hits over four scoreless frames. The fast-working, up-tempo-delivery right-hander showed advanced command of his low-90s fastball, spotting it to both sides of the plate in the outing, and he dominated same-sided hitters with his slider, a swing-and-miss offering that he throws with power and big, sharp horizontal action. RHP Keith Gabrielson’s (Princeton) imparted nice cutting action on his low-90s fastball while allowing one hit over the final three frames. 

C Shawn Vazquez (Felician) extended the Thunder’s early lead with his first homer of the season, hitting an opposite-field solo shot in the third inning. He later added a sacrifice fly to plate OF Jarred Gillen, who also homered in the contest, driving an 0-2 offering over the left-center fence. 

Williamsport CIF Kyle O’Brien flashed some easy left-handed power on his first Draft League dinger, driving an outer-half offering from southpaw Kyle Salley 416 feet (101 mph exit) well over the left-centerfield wall. He finished the contest 2-for-4, while SS Chaz Salter (Wallace Dothan) went 4-for-5 with an RBI double out of the leadoff spot and is now 5-for-7 through two games.

RHP Francisco Mateo (College of Central Florida) bounced back from a shaky Opening Day outing to strike out five of the six batters he faced over two hitless frames. The 5-foot-8, 185-pounder was up to 93 mph, pairing his heater with his usual swing-and-miss slider.    

 

West Virginia @ Frederick 

Frederick RHP Dwayne Marshall (University of Maryland Eastern Shore) piled up six strikeouts in two scoreless innings in the Keys’ home opener before the game was postponed due to rain. The 6-foot-2, 208-pound righty threw his fastball with good life in the outing, sitting 90-93 and touching 94 mph, and he demonstrated better feel for executing his 78-81 mph breaking ball in his second inning of work, albeit while pitching out of a bases-loaded jam.

C Rene Lastres, a Florida Gators commit, put the Keys on the board early, lacing a bases-loaded, RBI single to left field in the first. West Virginia commit LHP/OF Kevin Dowdell, a two-way player who started on the mound in West Virginia’s season opener, tallied a single in his first at-bat of the season.  

 

State College @ Mahoning Valley

Scrappers starter RHP Logan Boente (McKendree CC) and first-out-of-the-bullpen RHP Cole Ayers (State College of Florida) combined to strike out 12 batters while allowing one hit over the first seven innings. Boente held State College hitless over the first four frames, posting five strikeouts against one walk on 58 pitches. The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder threw his fastball at a 69.5-percent clipping in the outing, topping out at 93 mph and 2545.7 rpm, and spun his upper-70s curveball up to 2617.4 rpm with a maximum IVB of -15”. Though Ayers’ velocity was down a tick from his first outing, when he bumped 94.5 mph, he was still plenty effective at 88-91, throwing his heater with good life and tail, and complementing it with a curve, slider and changeup. With his loose, easy arm action and repeatable delivery, Ayers is a candidate to add more velocity and spin.  

RHP Alec Thomas (Clarke College) and RHP Trey Nordmann (Howard CC) handled the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, for the Scrappers, with both hurlers allowing a run but also striking out the side. Thomas posted a 62.5-percent whiff rate with his 88-91 mph fastball to improve his overall fastball whiff rate to 63.6 percent (11 swings/7 whiffs) through two outings. Nordmann, also making his second appearance, issued three walks and hit a batter before finally closing out the game. He generated whiffs on seven of nine swings (77.8 percent) with his heater, topping out at 94.2 mph, and snapped off some sharp 78-79 mph curveballs with 2400+ spin. 

Spikes starter RHP Griffin Miller was up to 95 mph in the first inning and sat 92-93 over four innings, averaging 2400-plus rpm (T 2591) with his fastball. The 6-foot-4 righty also eclipsed 2700 rpm with a curveball that flashed plus with downer bite at 77-81 mph, flashed a slider that was 2600-plus rpm and showed feel for a 79-80 mph changeup. And while Miller did allow three earned runs on five hits, he wasn’t hit particularly hard in the outing as Mahoning Valley hitters generated average exit velocities of 79.8 and 81.1 mph against his fastball and curve, respectively.   

RHP Kiernan Higgins (Shippensburg) posted elite spin rates with both his curveball (T 3002.6 rpm) and slider (2790.5) while sitting 90-92 in his second appearance of the season. RHP Jacob DeLabio (Carthage) spun his slider in the 2500-2600 rpm range, using it in tandem with his 92-94 mph riding fastball. He’s looked the part of a pro bullpen prospect in his first two outings, attacking hitters with two pitches that should both continue to tick up as he refines his delivery. 

INF Tyler Heckert’s (John Logan JC) moonshot home run (40-degree launch angle!) in the top of the eighth accounted for half of the Spikes’ two hits against Mahoning Valley. Ahead in the count, 1-0, Heckert pulled his hands in to get the barrel on an up-and-in fastball from Alec Thomas, driving 345 feet with a 98-mph exit speed. Scrappers backstop Mitch Hundley stood out defensively as he blocked numerous swinging third strikes with runners in scoring position late in the game. He also went 1-for-2 at the plate. Quebec product CF Mathieu Vallee (Northeast Oklahoma A&M) reached base three times and scored a pair of runs from the leadoff spot, finishing 2-for-4 with a walk. A plus-plus runner who makes a lot of solid, line-drive contact from the left side, Vallee is 4-for-9 with a league-leading four runs scored through three games. 

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