Delaware Preseason ID: First Thoughts

Pre-Summer Trials

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By Jerry Shank
Maryland Scouting Director

The Delaware Preseason ID was held on Saturday, February 27 at Middletown Sports Complex in Middletown, DE. This was the first event of the year in Delaware and second overall. Just over 30 participants came to the event and after a couple days to dissect, here is our first take from the event.

One of the more intriguing prospects during the event was LHP Alex Barker. A two-sport athlete at Eastern Christian Academy (football) Barker picked up the baseball for one of the first times before the spring season. Barker has a projectable, athletic frame at 6-foot-4 220-pounds. The lefty showed a short quick arm action working downhill with nice temp in his delivery. He still needs to work on some mechanical aspects of the delivery, but could be an arm to keep an eye on.

Smyrna showed to have a talented roster for the upcoming 2016 season in Delaware.  Delaware State recruit Jared Gillis stole the show at the event with his quick bat and 98 mph exit velocity.  The athletic framed infielder is an interesting prospect as an infielder or could potentially move to the outfield. 

Teammates at Smyrna Brandt Penuel, Jeremy Carrow, and John Barkley also put on notable workouts during the event. Carrow showed an easy delivery and a tight 11/5 breaking ball with late break. He got up to 85 mph on the bump and looks to have more in the tank as a 2018 grad. Penuel looks to be one of the more complete catching prospects in the 2017 class after his workout. Handled pitchers very well behind the dish during the bullpens with soft hands and a quick release and registered a sub 2.0 pop during the event. He also showed good rhythm and balance at the plate with a nice left handed swing and barreled up his fair share of baseballs. Barkley is an unsigned senior that was 81 mph on the mound and showed nice command on the mound with his two-pitch arsenal.

Dover HS RHP/SS Jared Hickox improved his strength over the winter with a controlled delivery working to the plate.  A quick arm action pitching with some effort, Hickox improved his velocity at this early point of the year and could be one to show improved strength over the course of 2016.

Connor Stevens of Middletown HS in Maryland showed a quick exchange and arm strength from behind the plate. Stevens was around 80 mph on his catcher velocity and that translated to pop times around 1.90.

Catching prospects at the event who also showed well include 2017's Bryan Bell and Richard Carey. An interesting infield prospect to keep an eye on as well was 2017 Jimmy Adkins with his quick swing, sound actions and active feet.

Luke Childress of Severna Park improved his strength at the plate showing pull side pop and an increase in his exit velocity now at 90 mph.

The Delaware Preseason ID was our final event of the winter season.  Stay tuned as we will wrap up our winter event coverage in the next two weeks along with an update to the state rankings later this month.