Prep Baseball Report

Area Code Games Tuesday Notebook

Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

LONG BEACH, CA—After four more BP sessions at the 2019 Area Code Games Tuesday, another three games were played and the theme of the day was pitching. And the Texas Rangers stole the show...

+ Starting for the Rangers against the Chicago White Sox was RHP Jared Kelley (Refugio HS, TX). He’s known for his extra-large frame, blazing fastball and ease of operation. All of that was on display Tuesday evening. He retired the first eight batters he faced, walked one and struck out six in his three innings of work. In the first inning, he spotted up 96-98 mph. Both strikeouts came on 98 mph fastballs. He didn’t need any help behind him in the second, sitting on 96, striking out one and fielding two comebackers. He struck out three and walked one in the third, sitting at 93-95. Kelly’s slider has been inconsistent in the past, but he has developed another plus pitch in his changeup. He has excellent feel for it, as it sits in the 80-84 range with power sink and fade. His slider was 80-83.

+ Relieving Kelly was RHP Tanner Witt (Episcopal HS, TX), who has a tall, long and lean frame. He sat 89-93 with above average spin, while mixing in a curveball that ranged from 72-76 with 10/4-11/5 break and a spin rate in the 2600-2900 rpm range, as well as a straight changeup at 84-85. He allowed a run on one hit and two walks while striking out four in two innings.

+ Closing things out for the Rangers was RHP Cam Brown (Flower Mound HS, TX), who showed off the same plus slider he did at the PDP League in June. It has sharp, late break and sits in the 77-81 range. He also has an above average changeup at 85-86. His fastball was 90-93. He struck out the first five he faced in his two innings of work and didn’t allow a baserunner.

+ While the White Sox won 1-0, they were largely dominated by the Rangers arms. However, their defense shined with a middle infield combo of Ed Howard (Mount Carmel HS, IL) and Robert Moore (Shawnee Mission East HS, KS). Both are plus defenders with all of their movements oozing athleticism. Moore has arguably the best and quickest hands in the country. Before the game, he made a double play turn and threw a strike to first base, without even looking at the first baseman. Their defense showed up immediately in the game when Howard charged a ball up the middle for a 6-3 double play and then Moore took a chopper of his own and made a throw on the run, moving away from first base.

+ RHP Alex Santos (Mount St. Michael Academy, NY) started for the New York Yankees and went four innings, walking two and striking out three. His fastball was 89-93 with elite spin (2500-2700 rpm). His curveball is a hard, downer breaking ball at 76-80, but it was inconsistent in this outing, as he was spiking it a fair amount. He did show good feel for a changeup, however, turning it over with sink and fade at 83-84.

+ RHP Hunter Barnhart (St. Joseph HS, CA) started for the Milwaukee Brewers, but had an abbreviated appearance, exiting with what seemed like a minor injury after one batter in his second inning. Of the four batters he faced, he struck out two. He has a strong frame and sat 89-92 with low spin (1700-2000). He can spin a curveball, showing an above average one at 74-77 with 11/5 break and depth. He has heavy sink on a changeup, which was 81-83 and also has above average potential.

+ LHP Dylan MacLean (Central Catholic HS, OR) isn’t going to light up the radar guns, but don’t forget his name. The Washington recruit has an easy, athletic delivery and can really spin a breaking ball. He sat 84-87 from a high slot and his curveball was 69-73 with big break and depth.

+ While the day was mostly about pitching, it’s hard to hold down a bat like 1B Blaze Jordan (DeSoto Central HS, MS). He was 1-for-2, grounding out to shortstop with a 100 mph exit velocity and then singling to right-center field (101) and advancing third as the ball got by the right fielder.

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