Prep Baseball Report

Summer College Crosscheck- Week One

David Seifert
Director of College Scouting

The summer of 2020 has seen the creation of several new collegiate leagues across the country. One of those is the Grand Park Summer Collegiate League, located just north of Indianapolis. With team names such as the Turf Monsters, Snapping Turtles and Screwballs, the league has plenty of creativity to go along with impressive talent on the field.

With my head on a swivel attempting to watch four games simultaneously, there was plenty of action. One position player who stuck out was catcher Hayden Jones. He was ranked No. 55 overall in the 2018 prep class and is now at Illinois State after transferring from Mississippi State at semester break this past winter. Jones showed a plus arm from his knees, strong receiving skills and the ability to put the bat on the ball. He showed a balanced approach and level swing with above average raw power to all fields. He is sure to attract plenty of scouting attention this fall and next spring for the 2021 draft.

Additionally, there were several pitchers who caught my eye on my initial look at the GPSCL, including a couple potential top 10 round talents for 2021 and 2022.

Jared Poland, RHP, Louisville (2021)- Showing the biggest heater of the day at 96 mph, Poland is strong and matured bodied at 6-foot, 205 pounds. He works downhill and in good direction to the plate. With good arm speed he generates above average fastball spin rates ranging from 2350-2550 rpm. His top pitch was a hard-breaking slider at 87 mph, while also showing a low-spin (1640-1835 rpm) change-of-pace in the 86-88 mph range. In the past I’ve also seen an above-average 78-80 mph curve that shifts between 12-to-6 and 11-to-5 action, but that pitch was shelved on this latest look. Poland ranked No. 124 overall in the 2018 prep class as a SS/RHP. With plus fastball velocity, two above average breaking balls and a useable fourth pitch in his change, look for Poland to challenge for a weekend rotation spot for the Cardinals next spring, or as a cornerstone in the backend of their bullpen. With continued good health and uptick in velocity, he’s a likely top five round pick next June.

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