East Coast Pro: Day 2 Notebook
August 3, 2016
By Nathan Rode
TAMPA, FL—The second day of the East Coast Professional Showcase went smoothly, as scattered thunderstorms were dodged for the most part. There was a short lightning delay toward the end of the second game, but other than that, we escaped unscathed. There was a good balance of offensive and pitching highlights for the day. Things got started with the Royals and Orioles facing off in the morning. RHP Mason Hickman (Pope John Paul II HS, TN) was the Royals’ started and breezed through his three innings with ease. The 6-foot-6, 230-pound, Vanderbilt recruit was 89-91 mph with arm-side run to his fastball while mixing in a slider at 79-81. It has sharp, tight break and he three with it in the first two innings. He finished with eight total strikeouts and walked just one. He works quickly and has a long, stabbing arm action.
Opposite of Hickman was 2018 RHP Ethan Hankins (Forsyth Central HS, GA). Also a Vanderbilt recruit, he was 89-93 with an easy, loose delivery from a simplified windup. His fastball had arm-side life and induced weak contact. He also mixed in a 71-74 curveball and allowed a hit and walk in three innings while striking out four. Through the first five innings, Orioles hitters struck out 13 times, but got some offense going in the fifth. SS Mark Vientos (American Heritage HS, FL) squared up a double to left-center field and then had a hard single in his third at-bat. For the Royals, 3B Buddy Kennedy (Millville HS, NJ) squared up a triple to the wall in right center.
Here are some more highlights from Tuesday’s action…