Prep Baseball Report

Four Team Scrimmage at West Stanly

Brandon Hall
Prep Baseball Report of NC

On Saturday, PBR was in attendance at the 3rd Annual Wage Hope Baseball Scrimmages, hosted by West Stanly HS.  The event featured four high school teams with high hopes for the spring season, each playing two scrimmage games, while raising money and awareness for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. 

Panther Creek HS, Richmond County HS, South Mecklenburg HS, and West Stanly HS each participated in the event.  In playing two games, against other schools, the coaches were able to assess and evaluate their club.  Pitchers were able to lengthen their pitch counts and hitters were able to face live pitching.  While scrimmages, and games, this early in the year can point out a lot of areas for coaches to address, it also gave each team a look at its possible identity in the coming year.

Below are some quick notes on each team from the event.  Select individual player evaluation will be added into our High School Scout Blog that will post later on Monday.  PBR will also take a little deeper look into the awareness and fundraising from the event and why this cause is close to the West Stanly Baseball family.

Panther Creek HS

+A youth movement is underway for the Catamounts from the Cary area.  Only three seniors are on the roster and they will be counted on to provide some leadership and steady the ship in turbulent times.  There were a couple of innings that got away from Panther Creek on Saturday, were they may be able to limit some damage as the team begins to mature.

+Bryceson Hernandez (OF/1B, 2018, NCCU commit) hit at the top of the order and will need a big year to set the table, and drive in runs when possible.  Hernandez has a quick bat and aggressive demeaner in the box, with the ability to drive the ball into the gaps.  Hernandez runs fairly well and stole several bases on the day

+The lineup may be a little top heavy, putting some pressure on Hernandez, and those around him, to pace the offense.  If some of the younger bats at the bottom of the order can continue to develop, the Catamounts will have better chance to string innings together.

+The defense up the middle looks to be solid.  Will Martin (SS, 2019, Winthrop commit) anchors the defense at shortstop.  Clean actions and solid arm strength played throughout the day.  Eli Woodard (C, 2018) and Jon Fain (C, 2019) both are solid options behind the plate that will give pitchers the ability to control some of the run game of opponents. 

+Three arms stoodout on the day, with a couple of others that could develop into solid contributors.  Koen Moreno (RHP, 2020, ECU commit) is the ace with a live arm.  In game two Noah Carter (RHP, 2020) gave Coach Hall a lot to smile about, pounding the zone at 78-80, touching 82 in a tight, 2 out situation.  Christian Schmidt (RHP, 2019) threw one inning with an aggressive posture, attacking hitters at 78-82.  More on each of these arms in the upcoming HS Scout Blog

+Coach Hall spoke to PBR after his two scrimmages about the day and his club.



Richmond County HS

+Jonathan Lee (LHP, 2018, UNC Pembroke commit) is an ace and can be relied on during the year.  A very polished pre-season outing, where Lee lengthened his pitch count, working on each pitch, while working to find the strike zone.  He was a little rusty in the first, working out of a jam, but really settled into a groove for his 2nd and 3rd innings.

+Trey Watkins (RHP, 2018) has improved since last spring and gives Richmond County the ability to matchup with another arm each week.  The righty worked 83-84, in the first, with a long, clean arm action.  Stuff improved in the 2nd, with command of an overhand breaking ball.  Watkins will be featured in the HS Scout Blog.

+The lineup has some familiarity from 2017.  The 2017 club ran into a good arm in the first round, but there is plenty of talent to think this team can shut others down, or out score an opponent when necessary.  Drew Loving (SS, 2018) is a steady influence on the infield, making routine plays, routinely. 

+Lee and Loving hit 1-2 on the day, and then the lineup gets physical.  Gordon Pihl (C, 2018) and Jake Ransom (1B, 2019) each have a physical presence and can change a game with one swing.  Pihl, currently uncommitted but may not remain that way for long.  Ransom may have some options moving forward as he has some definite upside on the football field as well.

South Mecklenburg HS

+This is a solid club, top to bottom.  While there may not be a lot of “star” power, the Sabres will have the chance to win games in a lot of different fashions throughout the year.

+The lineup has depth.  In game one, there were solid at-bats, against a good arm, top to bottom.  When their opponent went to the bullpen, it did not matter where South was in the order as they were ready to take advantage.  In game 2, Coach Hoop flipped several new players into the order and there was not a drop in the overall quality of the at-bats.  They will see several good arms during the year, but they will have the ability to create pressure throughout the order

+This may be a one day take, but the Sabres showed a good feel for the strike zone throughout Saturday.  Looking to be aggressive to fastball, as a team, they did not expand the zone in their two games, forcing arms to throw strikes.  With pitch counts in effect, they may win a few games by getting to the bullpen an inning early.

+Coach Hoop may be a little concerned about the defense from Saturday.  The Sabres, who have a chance to be a solid defensive club, looked like it was an early season scrimmage, with multiple mistakes costing the team runs.  Athletically, they have a chance to play better than they did on Saturday, on this side of the ball.



West Stanly HS

+First off, kudos to the Colts, their staff, and their players for the time they took to take care of their facility throughout the day.  The playing surface is in great shape and walking in, one can tell the Colts take pride in their home turf.

+Only three seniors but this club plays with experience and there is an early understanding of the style of play Coach Yow wants to institute.  Offensively, the lineup is not overly physical, but there is a chance to create some pressure with the level of athleticism.  On the bases, the Colts will look for opportunities to be aggressive.

+West was solid on defense, especially for an early season scrimmage.  For many of the players, this Saturday was a long day as they helped to setup prior to game 1, then played in games 2 and 4 on the day. The Colts stayed locked in on defense making routine plays.

+Tyler Captain (RHP, 2018, USC-Lancaster commit) gives the Colts a reliable arm to turn to.  While the stuff is not overpowering, Captain attacks the zone with a mix, keeping hitters off balance. Aggressive, he seems to pitch with confidence.