Border Battle Games: Red Team Analysis

By Mike Penn and PBR Michigan Staff

The final team analysis from the Border Battle Games is the Red Team.  Much like the Black Team, the pitchers on the Red Team were extraordinary.  Dion Henderson, Tommy Henry, and Ben Keizer were the headliners. The competition for the top prospect position was so close that we almost made three No. 1's. Not to be overlooked, DeShawn Cole and Zach Gordon both made good impressions on the day, as did catcher Michael Ryan and lefty Matt Wheatley.

See the complete team analysis below.

Top Prospects 

Dion Henderson, LHP/OF, Divine Child HS, 2016
One of the most gifted athletes in the Midwest.  Extremely athletic body and actions.  6-foot-3, 180-pounds with plenty of room to grow.  Ran a 6.78 in the 60.  Has long arm action with fast arm; 85mph from the outfield.  Picked it well at first base.  Most potential is on the mound.  Up to 89mph.  Erratic with his pitches but has big potential.  Arm is high over the top.  Good tilt downward.  High, high ceiling. Is one of the most highly touted prospects in the Midwest.


Ben Keizer, LHP, Portage Northern HS, 2015
Keizer put himself into a good position at the Border Battle games.  The left hander sat a consistent 84-86mph.  Effort was easy and clean.  Breaking ball stayed down in the zone (70-71mph) with 1/7 shape. Showed feel for change as well.  One of the highest upside lefties in the class.  Should garner a high level of interest from schoold across the region. 


Tommy Henry, LHP, Portage Northern HS, 2016
Perhaps our favorite lefty of the bunch. Only a sophomore, Henry stands at 6-foot-1, 160-pounds.  His arm is clean and easy.  Smooth, easy mechanics. Not a hard thrower yet but he will over time. Fastball ranged between 81-83mph.  Fluid repeatable mechanics.  Hides ball well. Works downhill and command zone.  Has a chance to be really special. Good athlete who also worked out in the OF.  Showed good actions with 84mph arm strength. 


DeShawn Cole, MIF, West Bloomfield HS, 2015
Impressive infielder from West Bloomfield HS.  Above average hands and actions in the infield.  Quick transfer and gets rid of the ball quickly.  Plays much faster than arm would indicate.  Arm strength was 78mph across the diamond.  Accurate arm.  At the plate needs to become more consistent, but all of the tools are there.  Good path and shoulder trigger.  Faster bat speed.  Should hit down the road.  Overall a rising player in the Class of 2015 with good potential.


Michael Ryan, C, Bishop Foley HS, 2016
Physical kid with big time power potential. Offensively minded with fast bat.  Can really swing it. Well balanced. Blocks the ball well. Good frame for a catcher.  Showed well in the infield as well as behing the plate.  Pop times ranged between 2.03 and 2.1, which is better than before. 

Best of the Rest (Alphabetically)

Nico Cuevas, OF, Detroit Western International HS, 2014
Unsigned senior with good actions. 5-foot-11, 170-pound outfielder with good arm (81mph).  Quick twitch movements. Arm and speed will both improve.  Ball carried well.  Clean soft transfers.  Really liked his swing path at the plate.  Barrel to the ball with ease.  Short with good long finish. Should hit.  Definitely a good find.  Needs a place. 


James Edwards, C/RHP, Howell HS, 2014
Good catcher from very good high school program.  Strong lower half. 6-foot, 195-pounds.  Arm is accurate and on the bag.  Threw the ball well but have seen him better. Pop times 2.03-2.15.  On the mound showed good arm action.  Fastball 80-81mph.  Strong, compact mechanics. Stayed on top of the ball. Curveball at 67mph; change at 71mph.

Zach Gordon, MIF, Rochester HS, 2015
Gordon’s stock continues to rise.  Solid defensive infielder.  Most likely will end up being a third baseman at the next level.  Good actions in the infield.  Threw from multiple angles with accuracy.  Good lateral mobility and positioning.  At the plate shows improvement.  A little more pop in the bat.  Level path.  Shows that he can barrel it up.


Kyle Lugar, C/RHP, Centerline HS, 2014
Unsigned senior with potential.  Liked him the most on the mound.  Fastball ranged between 80-83mph.  Breaking ball has good tilt and bite (68mph).  Nice, loose, quick arm. Throws strikes with all pitches. 68mph with the curveball; 76mph with the change with nice arm-side run. Behind the plate had pop times between 2.18-2.2.  Good hand speed at the plate.  Occasional gap pop with more to come.  Steeper path overall.


Andrew Novetsky, 3B/OF, U of D Jesuit HS, 2015
Novetsky is a good looking junior 3B prospect.  6-foot, 155-pound infielder with soft hands and good upside.  Has good overall actions.  Longer arm action. Able to throw from multiple arm angles.  Accurate across the diamond.  Hands work well at the plate.  Should hit for power down the line.  Swing works well overall.  Good bloodlines as dad played in college as well.

Gage Wiedmeyer, MIF/RHP, Saline HS, 2016
Only a sophomore, Wiedermeyer plays for a very good high school program.  Smaller middle infielder (5-foot-9, 170-pounds). Time is on his side.  Moves well laterally.  Soft hands in the infield.  Better suited for second base.  Arm needs to improve a tick or two (69mph).  On the mound has good mechanics. Not rushed with good tempo.  Fastball ranged 70-71mph.  Breaking ball 58-61mph.  Runs through it at the finish a bit.  Everything should get a tick better with time and physical maturity.


Matt Wheatley, LHP, Northville HS, 2015
Wheatley is getting stronger with time.  The 6-foot-5, 170-pound lefty has plenty of upside.  Should see velocity make jump over the next year.  78-80mph on this day.  Easy arm action.  Down in the zone.  Breaking ball at 71mph.  Good feel for change (74mph).  Makings of being a late bloomer to pop onto the scene. Also performed at first base. Showed natural instincts at first.  Athletic.  Soft hands.  Accurate throws. Long levers at the plate. Smooth simple load.  Hands worked well. More power should come with added strength.