JFG Recap : The Future is Bright in the Hoosier State
August 1, 2023
If we learned anything from watching our Junior Futures Games groups compete this week, it was that the future of baseball within the Hoosier State is very bright. Our 14u squad went 7-0 on the week and beat a loaded Team Georgia squad in the championship game of the Gold Bracket. This was the first Indiana group to win the 14u JFG since 2018, a roster that ended up having 14 future college players, including 9 division one players, and featured eventual superstars in RHP Andrew Dutkanych (Vanderbilt) and SS Tyler Cerny (Indiana). Our 13u squad made the Final Four of the 13u JFG Gold Bracket and also featured some players that we are super excited to watch grow up.
Bringing Home the Hardware
Our 2027 group featured 18 players from the 2027 class and every player had a hand in helping us win the tournament. The group featured offensive star-power, along with outstanding pitching & defense, which helped us outscore opponents 49 to 12 - including wins over Missouri, Canada, Texas (2x), Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Georgia.
Arms to Watch
‘27 RHP’s Gavin Markus (Greenfield-Central HS) and Carter Lowe (Zionsville) emerged as the “aces” of the staff. Markus, a 6-foot-1, 155 pounder, worked his fastball up to 84 mph with lots of feel for a 68-72 mph slider. Gavin tossed six scoreless innings on the week, including seven strikeouts, and looks the part of a future star with loads of upside due to his athleticism, arm action, and feel for the strike-zone. Lowe, a 6-foot-1, 150 pounder, was up to 85 mph on his fastball and flashed three pitches for strikes en route to seven scoreless innings, including a complete game shutout vs Pennsylvania in the quarterfinal round. Expect to hear about these two projectable right-handers for years to come.
‘27 RHP Gavin Markus (@markus_gavin09) got the start for #TeamIndiana & tossed 3 scoreless innings.— PBR Indiana (@PBRIndiana) July 26, 2023
Lanky, athletic, 6’1/154 pounder.
Quick, loose arm w/ lots of feel for spin. M2C.
CB 68-72#PBRJFG23 || #TeamIndiana pic.twitter.com/OlP5EIgpxQ
‘27 RHP Carter Lowe (@CarterLowe33) got the start for #TeamIndiana and tossed 2 scoreless innings.— PBR Indiana (@PBRIndiana) July 27, 2023
6’1/150 pounder. Quick, clean arm w/ some feel for his CB.
CH 72-73#PBRJFG23 || #TeamIndiana pic.twitter.com/PRQWtFV12V
‘27 RHP Brady Keck (Fort Wayne Snider HS) showed some of the best pure stuff on the staff over the course of his five innings of work. The 5-foot-11, 165 pound right-hander looks the part of a future power sinker/slider guy - working his fastball up to 85 mph with ASR & flashing a tight SL at 70-73 mph. ‘27 RHP Connor Kenjic (Hobart HS) made two appearances on the mound and showcased a clean arm with a fastball up to 81 mph. Kenjic flashed feel for his breaking ball and the 6-foot, 165 pounder is a good follow in the 2027 class.
‘27 RHP/3B Brady Keck (@BradyKeck3) came on in relief for #TeamIndiana.— PBR Indiana (@PBRIndiana) July 26, 2023
5’11/165 pounder. Short, quick arm w/ an easy effort delivery. More velo in the ⛽️.
CB 70-73#PBRJFG23 || #TeamIndiana pic.twitter.com/Tl4j5J3BIy
A stable of LHP’s were phenomenal for 14u Team Indiana. ‘27 LHP Gunner Wade (Indian Creek HS) looks the part of a future star with his 6-foot-1, 160 pound frame, clean and easy operation, and three-pitch mix for strikes. Wade shutout Team Texas for 4 innings, allowing just 1 H and 1 BB, with a fastball that has been up to 80 mph and an outstanding changeup that induced soft contact & swing-and-miss. ‘27 LHP Davis Moore (Zionsville HS) earned the win in the championship game - using a quality breaking ball to spin Team Georgia in circles. Moore tossed 4 scoreless innings throughout the week and showed toughness and competitiveness with the ball in his hand during the biggest game of the weekend. ‘27 LHP Gavin Jenkins (Eastern Hancock HS) was also huge for Team Indiana, earning a save against Missouri as well as tossing 3 scoreless innings to finish a 2-1 win over Kentucky. Jenkins showed a fastball that was up to 81 mph, along with a 68-71 mph curveball, and filled the strike-zone over the course of his 4 scoreless IP. ‘27 LHP Preston Seidl (Evansville Memorial HS) showed command of an upper-70s fastball over the course of two appearances and will be another ‘27 southpaw that we follow closely over the course of the next four years.
4 scoreless IP w/ just 1 hit allowed for ‘27 LHP Gunner Wade (@GunnerWade13)— PBR Indiana (@PBRIndiana) July 28, 2023
6’1” 160 lb athlete. Long, loose, clean arm action.
FB ⬆️ to 78 w/ M2C. Advanced feel for a 69-71 mph CH. Upper 60s CB at will.
Promising future👍#PBRJFG23 || #TeamIndiana pic.twitter.com/Niq83ucsGQ
Big strikeout for ‘27 LHP Davis Moore (@davislmoore115) as he works his 3rd scoreless inning of the game. #TeamIndiana looks to win it all in the bottom half.— PBR Indiana (@PBRIndiana) July 30, 2023
Team Indiana 3
Team Georgia 3#PBRJFG23 || #TeamIndiana pic.twitter.com/4QPNxEXCg7
Offensive Star Power
There was no shortage of offense from this group - and it started with ‘27 3B/C Crewe Hasenour (Gibson Southern HS) and ‘27 UTL Mason Meyer (Mt. Vernon HS). Hasenour had six hits, including 3 for extra-bases, while Meyer had five hits, and they both scored 8 runs a piece throughout seven games. Hasenour is a physical athlete that can really defend the hot-corner and has advanced bat-speed for the class. Meyer is a versatile defender that can play all three outfield positions, middle infield, and catcher while offering advanced bat-to-ball skills and quality foot-speed. Hasenour and Meyer were mainstays atop the Team Indiana lineup and were a big reason that this group came out on top.
Big swing from ‘27 UTL Mason Meyer (@mason_meyer5)— PBR Indiana (@PBRIndiana) July 28, 2023
5’8/145 pounder. Simple swing w/ bat speed. On the barrel all week long👍👍
Team Indiana 8
Team Texas 0#PBRJFG23 || #TeamIndiana pic.twitter.com/lVs0nhDekX
‘27 1B/OF Grady Nelson (Warsaw HS) and ‘27 3B/1B Camden Moore (Zionsville HS) were the big run producers in the middle of the order. Moore, a projectable, 6-foot-1, 160 pounder, picked up four extra-base hits and eleven RBI’s on the week due to outstanding feel for the barrel and developing power potential. Nelson, an uber-physical 6-foot-3, 220 pounder, had the highest exit velocity of any player from Indiana, including our 16u Team, at 98 mph. Nelson went 4 for 5 on championship Sunday with 5 RBIs and 2 2Bs and will be a must-know name moving forward. ‘27 OF Jackson Sorgi (Tri-West HS) is another future power bat from Team Indiana - an athletic, 6-foot-1, 170 pounder that has one of the highest ceilings of any position player on the roster.
Bases clearing double for ‘27 INF Camden Moore (@camdencmoore)— PBR Indiana (@PBRIndiana) July 26, 2023
3 for 3 w/ 7 RBI’s on the day😎‼️
Team Indiana leads 8-3 as we head to the bottom of the 6th. #PBRJFG23 || #TeamIndiana pic.twitter.com/OKZfrVgBtK
Defense Wins Championships
The pitching had a large part in the fact that we only allowed twelve runs over the course of seven games, however there were a few defenders on this team that could’ve easily made the walk over to the 16u quad and defended at that level right now - starting with ‘27 C Cooper Collins (Vincennes Lincoln HS). Collins was hands-down the best ‘27 catcher we saw this week, and it was not particularly close. His catch & throw metrics are beyond advanced for a 14 year old, turning in a 2.00 pop & 77 mph arm from the crouch. Collins’ ability to catch and throw allowed him to back-pick multiple baserunners and keep the running game at bay all week. Also a standout on the wrestling mat - Collins’ hips allow him to move exceptionally well laterally and his hands are very soft when receiving. The 5-foot-10, 165 pounder has instincts well-beyond his years & I can confidently say that he is the best defensive catcher, for his age, in the state of Indiana. Cooper also added five hits, including three doubles, on the week.
Double down the LF line for ‘27 C Cooper Collins (@coopercollinss6)— PBR Indiana (@PBRIndiana) July 26, 2023
5’10/165 pounder. Quick hands w/ feel for the barrel. Advanced actions behind the dish.#PBRJFG23 || #TeamIndiana pic.twitter.com/QRx4ruXO0D
‘27 SS Brayden Ring (Zionsville HS) and ‘27 SS/CF Liam Delp (Mooresville HS) locked down the middle of the diamond all week for Team Indiana. I found myself saying “Get the ball to Brayden Ring” over & over this week, because Ring is that reliable at SS. His feet work downhill and he plays “offense on defense” - attacking the ball and always finding the right hop. Delp’s feet are elite and give him the ability to play both shortstop and centerfield at an advanced level. Delp impressed during workouts with ultra-quick feet in the infield, and tracked balls from gap-to-gap with ease during gameplay. Delp’s foot-speed translated extremely well to the base-paths, stealing multiple bases on the week including the eventual game-winner in the championship game, where he stole 3B and scored on an errant throw.
Big swing from ‘27 SS Brayden Ring (@braydenring22) to get #TeamIndiana started in the 2nd.— PBR Indiana (@PBRIndiana) July 28, 2023
5’10/140 lanky, athletic frame. Loose, upward swing w/ advanced defensive actions in the MIF. #PBRJFG23 || #TeamIndiana pic.twitter.com/nl6tdauost
‘27 SS Liam Delp (@delp_liam) steals 3rd and then scores on an error and #TeamIndiana wins 4-3‼️— PBR Indiana (@PBRIndiana) July 30, 2023
Team Indiana 4
Team Georgia 3
Team Indiana 14u are #PBRJFG23 gold bracket champions🏆⭐️#PBRJFG23 || #TeamIndiana pic.twitter.com/TLeYnneqDm
‘27 MIF Grady Grant (Center Grove HS) and ‘27 UTL Connor Christiansen (Cathedral HS) both played pivotal roles in Team Indiana’s success. Grant, an undersized middle with exceptional actions on both sides of the ball, stood out in the middle of the diamond as well as showing his ability to consistently work at-bats and get on base. Christiansen was on-base at a .600 clip throughout the week and offered defensive versatility by playing an errorless outfield & second base, along with working an inning on the mound with a fastball up to 80 mph.
The 13u group ended up going 4-2 on the week, losing to Ohio in the Final Four. The future is clearly bright with this squad, highlighted by ‘28 SS Dylan Murphy. Murphy, younger brother of ‘23 Indiana State commit Carter Murphy, is one of the most advanced players that I have seen in my time covering baseball in the Hoosier State. The 6-foot-1, 175 pounder was so dominant at the 13u level that we let him get an at-bat with our 16u team - and he did not disappoint. Murphy turned around the first upper-80s fastball that he saw for a single into RCF, and then proceeded to steal second base and score later on a sac fly. Aside from the obvious talent and athleticism, the confidence and poise that Murphy shows on the diamond speaks volumes to the makeup that he possesses. I am sure that I will be making plenty of trips to Southern Indiana in the coming years to see this potential superstar.
Get used to hearing this name.— PBR Indiana (@PBRIndiana) July 29, 2023
‘28 SS Dylan Murphy (@Murf14D)
Steps in against much older competition & proceeds to turn around an upper-80s FB for a 1B, swipes 2B, & then comes around to score
6’1” 175 pounder - already a 7.1 runner
Freakish talent#PBRFG23 || #TeamIndiana https://t.co/gSa1KWrDOR pic.twitter.com/BESly6MSBS
‘28 OF Hayden Zellers is a dynamic left-handed hitter that showed flashes of a young Cal Gates during his time at JFG. ‘28 OF/LHP Canyon Koonce is already a 7.07 runner in the 60 and showed prowess in the left-handed batter’s box, and on the mound. ‘28 C Spencer Schiff showed advanced feel for the barrel and is another Southern Indiana kid with a promising future. ‘28 RHP Cole Breeden reminded me of Gavin Markus from last year’s 13u JFG, a long & projectable arm that filled up the zone with an advanced fastball for the age. ‘28 SS Billy Miller, ‘28 3B Payton Archibald, and ‘28 SS/OF Mason Biernacki all put together great weeks, as well.
3-RBI double for ‘28 OF Hayden Zellers (@HaydenZellers7).— PBR Indiana (@PBRIndiana) July 27, 2023
5’10/135 pound LHH. 7.2 runner.
2 for 2 w/ a triple and double.
Team Indiana 7
Team Oklahoma 2#PBRJFG23 || #TeamIndiana pic.twitter.com/FqSkJAITwE