Prep Baseball Report

East Coast Pro Tryout Highlights

By Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

With the conclusion of the 2016 MLB Draft last Saturday, the summer season and look ahead to 2017 unofficially kicked off. At North Carolina’s Boshamer Stadium on Monday, a few dozen high school players took the field for one of the East Coast Pro Showcase’s tryouts. There were 24 from North Carolina, five from South Carolina three from Virginia and one from Maryland. Position players ran the 60-yard dash, took infield/outfield and batting practice, then stepped in for live batting practice against pitchers. Here are a few quick highlights from the day…

+ OF Kier Meredith (Glenn HS, NC) is one of the state’s top prospects. A Clemson recruit, he’s listed at 5-foot-11, 175 pounds with a wiry strong frame. He ran the best 60, turning in a 6.64 and 6.61. He flashed strong contact in BP with solid bat speed. His arm should improve with physical maturation.

+ Another Clemson recruit, SS/OF Sam Hall (Topsail HS, NC) looks the part with his projectable 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame. He’s an average runner with an average arm and showed solid bat speed with a fundamental swing in BP. In live BP, he smoked a triple into the left-field corner.

+ SS Garrett Blaylock (Roberson HS, NC) ran a 7.18 and has a good, strong frame at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds. His arm strength and defense has room for improvement, but he showed at least average power from the left side in BP. He takes a short stride with a slight arm bar and consistently squared pitches up. The ball jumped off his bat and sounded different than others. He is committed to Vanderbilt.

+ SS Noah Campbell (Cardinal Gibbons HS, NC) has been on the prospect radar for a while, committing to South Carolina early in his high school career. He ran a 6.8 in the 60 and then showed average tools on defense. He has loose hands and bat speed at the plate. He is listed at 6 feet, 190 pounds.

+ IF Ashton McGee (Aycock HS, NC) was listed as a second baseman on the roster, but may be able to handle third base with his offensive profile and arm strength. The arm is average now, but the ball comes out easily and he should only improve as he gets stronger. He has solid hands and a quick exchange. He’s static at the plate with an upright stance. He takes a short stride and smooth path to the ball. In live BP, he squared a single back up the middle. He is committed to North Carolina.

+ The one Maryland prospect in attendance was SS Jeremy Arocho (Old Mill HS, MD). A Maryland recruit, he is listed at 5-foot-10, 170 pounds. He ran a 6.87 and then stood out defensively, show easy, soft hands, a clean transfer and average arm strength. He has a loose swing with bat speed from the right side, which looks to be his natural side. He consistently hit line drives from the right in BP. His bat speed is down a tick from the left, though he looks capable from that side.

+ C/UT Spencer Smith (Northern Durham HS, NC) has a strong frame at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds. An East Carolina recruit, he hits from the right side with a medium leg kick and average bat speed. He tended to drift out front in BP, but stayed back in the live BP session and hit a home run to right-center field. His pop times hovered in the 2.0-2.1 second range and his throws were online with carry.

+ LHP MacKenzie Gore (Whiteville HS, NC) has a long, lanky frame at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds. He incorporates a high leg kick in his delivery and is exaggerated with his hands, bringing them high above his head at his balance point. His delivery is loose, athletic and easy. In his appearance, he broke a bat, induced a weak groundout and struck out two. His fastball was mostly 87-88 mph, though he touched 89-90 with some arm-side run. He mixed in a slider at 76 and a curveball at 71-72. He is committed to East Carolina.

+ RHP John Dancy (Ardrey Kell HS, NC) stands at 6 feet, 170 pounds. He pitches through a high-3/4 slot with some effort in his delivery. His fastball had arm-side life at 85-87 and he mixed in a sharp slider at 75-78, inducing weak contact. He is committed to North Carolina.

+ RHP Gavin Williams (Cape Fear HS, NC) stands at 6-foot-6, 200 pounds and is committed to East Carolina. He employs a high leg kick in his delivery and hides the ball well. He lacked command in this outing and had trouble spinning his breaking ball, but sat 88-91 and showed fade to a changeup in the low 80s. He is slightly closed in his delivery, starting to the first base side of the rubber and landing in the middle.

+ C Drew Donathan (Charlotte Christian School, NC), a Clemson recruit, showed arm strength behind the plate during defensive workouts. His throws were strong and online with carry. His pop times were around 2.15 seconds, but could be improved with a quicker exchange and release.