Flashback At The 2018 Junior Future Games Roster: The Commitments


Dylan Hefflinger and PBR Ohio Staff
PBR Ohio Editor in Chief/NW Scout

----2018 JFG Slide - JFG2018.jpg

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Flashback At The 2018 Junior Future Games Roster: The Commitments

To view the commitment tracker, click here.
To view the uncommitted spotlights, click here

We knew after seeing Team Ohio's 2018 Junior Future Games' workouts and games that this was a special group. Within a year of the 2018 JFG, six of the prospects on the team have since committed to high-level Division 1 schools in Louisville, Vanderbilt, Duke, Indiana, Michigan and Tennessee.

Below we look at these six commits and also look ahead at 'Who's Next" ... College coaches, you will want to take a look at that section!

Jacob Miller RHP / OF / Liberty Union, OH / 2022

** Technically didn't participate in the JFG as he committed the week prior, but was originally on the team.

Commitment: Louisville (click here for commitment story)

  • Summer Team: Tri State Arsenal Scout Team 2022
  • Height: 6-2
  • Weight: 160lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

2/10/19 Report: The event was dominated by upperclassmen, but freshman Jacob Miller, a Louisville commit, put together another strong performance. At 6-foot 160-pounds, Miller isn’t particularly big for a high profile pitching prospect. He has a thin, athletic build with long arms for his frame. What he lacks in shear size he makes up for with pitchability, feel, and secondary offerings well advanced for his age. On the day, his fastball was 83-86 mph, although we’ve seen him higher than this. Throwing from a ¾ slot, the fastball showed some fade and sink to the arm side, and he showed good ability to command the fastball to both sides of the plate. His 67-70 mph curveball is his primary breaking ball. It shows tight spin with nearly 12/6 break and good depth. He also flashed a 77-78 mph changeup with good fade and arm side run. He maintained good arm speed on the pitch and seemed to have the ability to throw it for strikes or use it as a swing and miss type pitch. Completes the arsenal with a true slider at 74-76 mph with good lateral break that worked well off the fastball. This new and improved slider showed both a legit above average breaking ball for his class, along with being completely distinct from his curveball. Overall, Miller flashed a true four-pitch mix, with all four pitches showing swing and miss potential.

Showcase Stats:

  • Fastball: 88-92 (07.25.19)
  • Curveball: 70-72
  • Changeup: 77-78 (02.10.19)
  • Slider: 74-76 (02.10.19)
  • Splitter: 71-73
  • Knuckle: 63-64
  • 60 Time: 7.32 (02.10.19)
  • Position Velocity- Outfield: 88 (02.10.19)
  • Exit Velocity: 85

Matthew Wolfe SS / RHP / Olentangy Orange, OH / 2022

Commitment: Vanderbilt (click here for commitment story)

  • Summer Team: Bo Jackson Elite - Schaffer
  • Height: 6-1
  • Weight: 166lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

2/17/19 Report: 6-foot-1, 160-pound physical, lean athlete. Hits from an open, wider-based stance. Uphill bat path that stays in the zone long with plenty of bat speed. Attacks each pitch with intent to do damage. Made solid contact overall producing hard line-drive action with some deeper shots. 87 mph exit velocity. Saw more strength pull-side and middle of the field with some ball that had carry. Top of the lineup, table-setter.
Field: At shortstop his actions were extremely fluid. Glovework displayed was effortless and showed as one of the best at the event and among the organization. Feet were quick and very efficient as well. Got it up to 80 mph across the diamond and on target each time. Solid arm strength for his class that will only progress as he gets stronger. 6.81 60-yard displaying another skill to add to his already likeable tools. Kid can flat out play. Bright future ahead as eyes will be on him.

Showcase Stats:

  • 60 Time: 6.81 (02.17.19)
  • Position Velocity- Infield: 80 (02.17.19)
  • Exit Velocity: 87

Gabriel Nard SS / RHP / St. Ignatius - Cleveland, OH / 2022

Commitment: Duke (click here for commitment story)

  • Summer Team: Release Baseball 17U
  • Height: 5-11
  • Weight: 160lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

7/31/19 Report: 5-foot-11, 160-pound athletic framed two-way prospect. Simple moves with a confident, athletic presence in the box. Continues to impress with his ability to generate easy pop. 96 mph off the tee and off the bat in BP. Has a chance to hit for some power as he continues to fill out. Run Producer. Runs a 7.06 60-yard dash. As a defender he plays with easy, fluid actions. Looks the part out there. Stays smooth throughout and can really pick it.  Arm plays as a big time tool. Ball jumps out of hand. Speaking of his arm, the arm translates to the mound with an effortless 88 mph fastball (sitting 84-88). Showcases two breaking balls to compliment the fastball, a 72-73 mph curveball and a 70-73 mph slider. Projects as a two-way guy. From Junior Future Games to Future Games to Duke.

Showcase Stats:

  • Fastball: 84-88 (07.30.19)
  • Curveball: 72-73 (07.01.19)
  • Slider: 70-73 (07.30.19)
  • 60 Time: 7.06 (07.31.19)
  • Position Velocity- Infield: 83 (07.31.19)
  • Exit Velocity: 96 (07.01.19)
  • Home to 1st: 4.22 (07.01.19)

McKay Whitaker 1B / OF / Worthington Kilbourne, OH / 2022

Commitment: Indiana (Recently committed. Commitment story coming soon) 

  • Summer Team: TNT Knights Black
  • Height: 6-1
  • Weight: 170lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/L

6/3/19 Report: 6-foot-1, 170-pound first basemen prospect. High ceiling hit tool from the left side. Swing really works and he hits every time we see him. Handsy hitter with a loose, whippy stroke that generates authority through the zone. Took a very complete BP and had a multi hit game. Excited to see what he looks like as a hitter as he fills out over the next few years. Also runs well and shows a capable skill set over at first base.

Showcase Stats:

  • 60 Time: 7.37 (06.03.19)
  • Position Velocity- Infield: 77 (06.03.19)
  • Exit Velocity: 87 (06.03.19)

Henry Kaczmar SS / C / Walsh Jesuit, OH / 2022

Commitment: Michigan 

  • Summer Team: Ohio Elite
  • Height: 5-9
  • Weight: 160lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/R

2/14/19 Report: 5-foot-10, 170-pound athletic frame. Lefty bat with a fluid, athletic load that leads to a balanced launch. Very athletic actions in the box. Takes a professional BP for his age, taking what the pitch gives him and sprays it around the yard. Advanced feel for the barrel inside his all fields approach. Smooth swinger with quick hands too and heavy hands through. 90 mph exit velocity. Present gap abilities. Runs a 4.31 home to 1st. Defensively showcases a middle infielder skill set. Ton of feel for his hands with the ability to make all the plays. Really looks the part out there. 76 mph across the diamond. Velo plays up due to quick transfer. Can use multiple arm angles and throw with ease on the move. Can play all three skill spots. Class of 2022 with a bright future. One of the more complete skill sets in his class.

Showcase Stats:

  • 60 Time: 7.32
  • Pop Time: 1.94-2.03
  • Position Velocity- Infield: 76
  • Position Velocity- Catcher: 72
  • Exit Velocity: 91
  • Home to 1st: 4.31 (02.14.19)

Payton Ebbing C / 3B / Cincinnati Country Day, OH / 2022

Commitment: Tennessee

  • Summer Team: Cincy Flames
  • Height: 5-8
  • Weight: 160lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

7/30/19 Report: 5-foot-8, 160-pound physical frame. At the plate, loads into lower half and uses entire body through contact. Swing works. Level bat path that produces natural loft to the ball. Showed pop to all fields, and more to come as he develops. 91 mph exit velocity. Defensively, shows an advanced skill set behind the dish. Does everything at a high level back there. High motor guy that can receive it and block it with ease. Catch and throw skills are also elite.  Well above average arm strength for class.Pop times in the 1.91-1.97 area. Ran a 7.45 60-yard dash. From Junior Future Games to Future Games to Tennessee.

Showcase Stats:

  • 60 Time: 7.45  (06.03.19)
  • Pop Time: 1.91-1.97  (02.16.19)
  • Position Velocity- Catcher: 77  (06.03.19)
  • Exit Velocity: 91  (07.31.19)

Who's Next?

To go along with the six big-time Division I commitments, the 2018 Junior Future Games' Team Ohio had numerous other prospects that are getting looks from across the nation. Here is a group of guys who have the work ethic and talent to get high-level looks from everywhere.

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