Prep Baseball Report

On the Hunt: Fort Myers Day 1 Notebook

By Shooter Hunt
National Crosschecker

FORT MYERS, FL - With Hurricane Matthew slamming into Florida’s eastern coast, the World Wood Bat Underclassmen Championship kicked off on the west coast of Florida on Thursday, with the threat of heavy rain and wind on the horizon.  Although there was a three-hour rain delay midway into the second slate of games, the tournament was able to go on, under the lights, and showcase some premier talent.

The highlight of the day came post rain delay, as scouts from all major schools in attendance gathered at Terry Park to get a glimpse of the uncommitted ultra-athletic 2018 RHP Owen White (Jesse Carson HS, NC) on the mound for the South Charlotte Panthers.  White, ranked No. 12 nationally in PBR’s 2018 class, did not fail to impress. On a predetermined 30-pitch limit, White carved up the opposition, striking out five in just an inning and a third. The sole runner to reach base came on a dropped third strike, which gave the onlookers a chance to evaluate him from the stretch.  

After sitting 88-91 for most of the first inning with a firm, put-away slider with tilt ranging from 75-78, White was able to reach back for 93 to get a big strikeout. The 6-foot-2, 175-pounder bounces around on the mound like an athletic shortstop (where he would move after pitching), and he attacks hitters with the ferocity of natural winner. While he is already producing big-time velocity at a young age, it is easy to project more to come as he continues to mature and add strength to his wiry, athletic body.  Showcasing his athleticism even more, White stroked a long triple to right field that landed near the wall, and then dove head first into home plate after a passed ball. There is no question that White was the big draw of the day, and he certainly did not disappoint. 

Joining White on the South Charlotte Panthers in their 10-0 victory were a few position players that showed well on the night. 2018 infielders Nick Solomita (North Lincoln HS, NC) and Jaylen Guy (Southeast Guilford HS, NC), ranked No. 13 and No. 17 respectively in North Carolina, set the tone for the game at the top of the lineup. Each went 2-for-3 at the plate and moved around the infield with crisp motions. Solomita laced a single in his first at-bat, had an infield single, and then smoked a line drive that was tracked down in the leftfield gap. Guy hit a missile line drive into the left-center field gap in his third at-bat, and showed off an easy speed tool. 2019 outfielder Quin Ferguson went 2-for-2 with a short left-handed stroke that produced opposite field line drives allowing him to showcase his good speed on the base paths.

Other players of note on the day:

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