Prep Baseball Report

2017 TOS: Day 1 Notebook

By Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

The USA Baseball Tournament of Stars began Tuesday with 80 players from around the country gathering at the National Training Complex in Cary, NC. The event was reduced to four teams so there are just two games a day. Each team took on-field batting practice and infield/outfield before their game with hundreds of scouts in attendance. At the conclusion of the event, a 40-man roster will be selected to attend the 18U National Team trials in August.

Things started hot with two high-level southpaws taking the mound in the first game. LHP Ryan Weathers (Loretto HS, TN) was up to 95 mph for Brave, sitting 92-94 for four innings. A Vanderbilt recruit, he has a thick frame at 6-foot-1, 226 pounds and pitches with a short arm action through a 3/4 slot. His fastball showed arm-side life and finish. Weathers’ breaking ball was 75-79 and flashed depth, though it got sweepy at times. He also mixed in a changeup at 79-82. Weathers showed solid athleticism, hopping off the mound and making a couple difficult plays. In the four innings, Weathers allowed just three hits and struck out three.

On the other side, LHP Matthew Liberatore (Mountain Ridge HS, AZ) also went four innings and allowed a run on three hits while striking out six. The Arizona recruit has a long, lean frame at 6-foot-5, 185 pounds and pitches with an easy, loose delivery. He lands slightly open and tended to leave his fastball up and to his arm side, but started out at 90-92 with some arm-side action and finished at 88-90. He flashed spin to his curveball, which sat 72-75 with 12/6 shape and depth. He also has feel for his 83-85 changeup, which features fading action. Liberatore showed a knack for pounding the outside corner against right-handed hitters, getting several swings-and-misses on pitches away.

Here are more notes from the first day of action…

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