Prep Baseball Report

On the Hunt: Day 1 Sophomore Underclass From Ft. Myers

By Shooter Hunt

National Crosschecker


The Sophomore World Championship kicked off Friday in Ft. Myers, and although it was cut short by rain in the late evening, there were a plethora of standout performances beforehand. Stealing the show was a big left-handed arm out of Pennsylvania. 2020 LHP Grant Umberger (Downingtown East Campus HS, PA) is all of 6-foot-4, 210-pounds with a thick upper and lower half. The durable southpaw was dominant in a complete game, six-inning no-hitter. Umberger struck out seven while walking just two. He also hit two batters, but with the work that he did on the inner half, those were aggressive mistakes that he was willing to make. Utilizing a compact, efficient delivery with a short, quick arm swing, the ball seems to jump out of Umberger’s hand as he spotted his fastball at 80-83 to both sides of the plate. He also showed some feel for a breaking ball at 67-69 with somewhat sweeping action, though he manipulated the shape of the pitch depending on what the count was. The pitch is more of an average pitch right now, but played up at times because of the success he had with his fastball. His fastball effortlessly came out of his hand, and he showed an advanced ability to repeat his high-3/4 arm slot, which allowed him to be in the zone all game. With a short, quick arm and physical frame, there still looks to be much more in the tank for Umberger, and as he continues to progress with more innings in the future, he has a chance to be a starter at a high level.


Jordan Carrion SS / RHP / American Heritage, FL / 2020

Carrion has a chance to be one of those rare players who can defend at the highest level without losing anything on offense. Standing at an athletic 6 feet, 150 pounds, the Florida recruit has natural actions at shortstop with a quick first step, and the arm strength to make all throws while releasing from any angle. He made an excellent play on the run while charging a slow roller early on in the game, but it was a play late in a close game that makes me believe he has a chance to be an elite defender. With runners on first and second, Carrion went deep in the hole for a backhand, and without hesitation whisked the ball to the third baseman for a key out. At the plate, he has a simple stroke with easy rhythm, and his quick hands allowed him to lace a line drive single to right-center field. Still maturing physically, Carrion has a chance to become one of the more exciting players in the 2020 class.

Jake Harwood SS / RHP / Whiteville, NC / 2020

It should have been difficult to get much attention in the shadow of first-round MLB draft pick and PBR National High School Player of the Year MacKenzie Gore, yet Harwood was constantly being talked about all spring as he played shortstop behind Gore. The Clemson recruit continued to show why he is one of the top players in the 2020 class, as he smashed a double to right-center field. The ball jumped off his bat, and it is easy to envision him continuing to add even more power in the future as his 6-foot, 170-pound frame matures. Starting with his hands held low, below his shoulder, Harwood rocks back with a leg kick that loads his hands up before working quickly through the zone on a level plane. He has a physical presence at the plate, and with his ability to drive balls to the gap right now, could develop into a middle-of-the-order type guy at the next level.



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