Border Battle Games: Black Team Analysis

By Mike Penn and PBR Michigan Staff

The Black Team at the Border Battle Games was loaded with talent.  In fact, so loaded with talent that it was difficult to narrow down the top prospects to just five players.  Canice Ejoh (St. Aquinas, 2014) was the lone Canadian on the roster and put on an impressive offensive display, but it was the young bucks who stole the show.  Matt Clark (Adrian HS, 2015), Jack Weisenberger (Rockford HS, 2016), Tyler Butzin (Taylor Kennedy HS, 2015) were three arms that jumped out to everyone in attendance. 

Take a look at the complete analysis below.

Top Prospects

1. Jack Weisenberger, RHP/OF, Rockford HS, 2016
Weisenberger proved why he is one of the most talented players in the Class of 2016.  The 6-foot-2, 190-pound RHP/OF has more room to grow and is by no means filled out.  Ran 7.29 and was 88mph from the outfield.  Ball has good carry and life. Advanced plus arm for his age.  At the plate has simple no load approach but lighting quick hands.  Had consistent contact. Had a impressive 92mph exit velocity.  On the mound he has big potential as well.  84-86mph.  Fastballs were consistently down at the knees.  Slider was 70-72mph and short in nature.  Well above average feel for the change at his age.  Smooth arm action and quick arm.  Will be one of the most highly sought after recruits in Michigan.

2. Tyler Butzin, LHP, Taylor Kennedy HS, 2015
A pleasant surprise on the mound.  Butzin has a good frame to build on at 5-foot-11, 175-pounds.  Clean easy arm action. Uses body well.  Certainly more in the tank.  84-86mph on the mound.  Ball got up in the zone from time to time.  When located down away from armside has life.  Breaking ball spins right and has some sharpness too it when thrown correctly.  A bit soft right now but should tighten up over time (64-66mph).  Showed good feel for the change.  Near fastball with armspeed (71-72mph). Should be another highly sought after lefty in the already deep Class of 2015.

3. Matt Clark, RHP/INF, Adrian HS, 2015
Clark showed big time potential and promise at the Border Battle Games.  A 6-foot-3, 180-pound right-hander with power arm potential.  Primarily he sat 84-85mph but touched 88mph on his last two pitches.  Arm works well.  Clean action with looseness.  Higher arm slot and tips out a bit at the top.  Breaking ball was the best we have seen it in terms of sharpness.(70-71). Needs to command it and develop more feel.  Kept it down.  Change showed above average feel.  Stock will rise quickly.

4. CJ. Drogosch, 3B/OF, Country Day HS, 2017
The youngest participant in Border Battle Games had a good day.  6-foot-3, 175-pound 3B/OF as a freshman in high school. Long levers to build on.   Ran a 7.08.  Still raw but has a ton of upside.  76mph across the diamond with over the top slot. At the plate has good shoulder trigger and load.  Gets a little long at times but should shorten over time. Mechanics work well.  All of the tools are there just a matter of adding strength and polish.

5. Jacob Garbarino, C, Grandville HS, 2015
At this point it is well documented that Garbarino has made a big jump this summer.  Threw the ball extraordinarily well.  1.87 pop time at its best but ranged between 1.87-1.95.  Quick feet and transfer allow him to make accurate quick throws on the bag. Physically built at 5-foot-11, 195-pounds.  Pop is starting to come in the bat.  Sit and spin hitter.  Compact swing.


Best of the Rest (Alphabetically)

Parker Barnett, LHP,  Faith Baptist HS, 2014
Unsigned senior lefty.  6-foot-4, 180-pounds with good frame that can add weight. Barnett throws from a lower ¾ slot almost side arm.  Fastball ranged from 73-77mph.   Secondary stuff  spun well.  Back doored the breaking ball a bit (62-63mph). Has chappy deceptive delivery. Ball seems to pop out late.

Canice Ejoh,, OF, St. Thomas Aquinas (CAN), 2014
Ejoh was one of our favorite players from Canada.  6-foot, 215-pound physically built outfielder.  Man among boys in terms of stature.  Solid runner (7.2). Projects as an offensive corner outfielder.  Ball jumped off the bat.  Just sounded different. 88mph exit velo with wood.  In the outfield has short arm action but is 82mph.  Softer hands with clean transfers.  Well coached and has natural instincts.  Repeatable swing and the plate.  Needs a place.  Can really play.

Zach Etzin, MIF/OF, Farmington HS, 2014
Etzin seems to be a solid gritty middle infielder.  Smaller in size at 5-foot-9, 175-pounds.  Shorter arm action in the outfield.  Ball came out well (79mph).  Soft hands in the middle infield.  Took good routes and angles to the ball.  At the plate has short compact swing.  Path can be in and out of the zone quick at times.  Sit and spin type of hitter.  Consistent contact.  Solid runner (7.21) gives him versatility to the outfield and the infield alike.

Davis Feldman, INF/RHP, Brother Rice HS, 2015
Feldman showed well once again.  Like him more and more over time. 5-foot-11, 170-pounds.  Debate is what position will he play.  Most likely if he stays in the infield he will be a third baseman.  Soft hands and strong arm across the diamond (81mph).  Good feet and hands.  Natural instincts as a player.  At the plate has little to no load.  Simple approach needs to incorporate legs more to see more power.  On the mound, has loose easy arm action.  Fastball ranges between 81-83mph.  Smooth delivery online and on time.  Right now best upside is probably on the mound but has more time to progress.

Tanner Kaplan, C, Traverse City St. Francis HS, 2015
Smaller framed catcher from Traverse City St. Francis HS (5-foot-9, 160-pounds). Time is on his side. Shows good actions and smooth release behind the plate. Rakes ball across body well. Little wasted movement.  Pop times hovered around 2.0 with 1.98 as his best.  Ball carried well. At the plate has good shoulder trigger.  Fast bat produces backspin.  Aggressive and carries himself well.

Nick Lepore, INF, De La Salle Collegiate, 2015
Good looking 5-foot-10, 160-pound middle infielder from good De LaSalle Collegiate program.  Short arm action in the outfield, throws like an infielder. Made all of the plate.  Shows soft hands.  Seems to be offensively minded.  Fast bat. Looks to drive the ball.  Keeps it simple with little to no stride.  Expect him to hit.  

Elijah Scott, SS/RHP, New Boston Huron HS, 2014
Scott is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound stronger bodied player.  Projects best at thirdbase with the potential to pitch at the next level.  Smooth delivery on the mound. Loads up on front side and works downhill Fastball 79-81mph. Breaking ball has good sharpness to it with 11/5 shape (70mph).  Ran a 7.89 in the 60 and was 74mph across the diamond. Shows some power potential at the plate.  Good load and balance.  Looks to drive the baseball.