Prep Baseball Report

Underclass Preview: Rapid Reaction


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By Jerry Shank
Maryland / Virginia Scouting Director

The Virginia Underclass Preview Was held on Saturday, February 18 at the Virginia Sports Complex in Ruther Glen, VA. Over 30 athletes from across the state were in attendance to perform in front of the PBR Virginia Scouting staff. Yesterday we released the Statistics from the event and today we give you our Rapid Reaction from the event on a few of the many talented players in attendance.

As expected, one of the top overall workouts on the day was from 2017 OF Khie Simms of Clover Hill. The ODU commit came this week after having a schedule conflict for the Preseason All State last week and again showed why he is one of the top outfielders in the state. We already knew of Simms ability at the plate with his simple, smooth, and balanced swing which lets his quick hands work with fast bat speed. He showed a great ability to barrel the ball during his BP with his gap-to-gap ability. Simms then ran a 6.93 60-yard dash and displayed life in his arm getting up to 89 mph from the outfield.

2018 Mark Evans of York HS was another that put together an excellent workout on the day. At the plate Evans showed fast bat speed with some pull side power potential (94 mph exit velo) in his aggressive swing at the plate. He has a strong, compact frame and displayed sound, quick actions in the field with quick exchange and release. Evans then posted the top 60-yard dash on the day with his 6.72 60 yard dash on the Bermuda in the outfield at the Virginia Sports Complex on a beautiful day in February.

Two other infielders that put together nice workouts as well was Courtland HS 2018 Garrett Howard and Chrystian Mervilus, a 2018 infielder from Riverdale Baptist in MD. Howard has some bat speed at the plate with longer path. His BP got stronger and better as the it progressed and looks to have some power potential at the plate as well and as he grows. He had sound actions in the field with nice athleticism combined with an impressive 6.84 60-yard dash. Mervilus also showed nice athleticism in the field with clean hands and some arm strength across the diamond at 82 mph. He has a short and simple swing at the plate with quick hands direct to the ball. Mervilus also posted a strong 60 yard dash time with a 6.90.

The 2019 class saw two solid catching prospects in Keenan Williams of Orange County HS and Jake Wortman of Colonial Forge. Wortman has a projectable frame with room to add some strength combined with nice switch hitting ability. He was a bit more free from the left side at the plate with quick hands and some extension. From behind the plate, Wortman had a quick exchange and was able to flash a couple sub 2.0 pops. Williams has a strong frame and showed that he has put in work since his last workout in December. Williams showed a quick exchange and release from behind the plate with a strong arm. At the plate, he his with a bigger leg kick in his load with some bat speed and some pop to the pull side.

2018 RHP/OF Hunter Hoopes give much reason for intrigue looking at his young projectable frame. During his bullpen session he was up to 84 with a late action change up that is a strong pitch. There is still more in Hoopes that should translate to the mound as the righty was at 89mph during his outfield session so there is still more in his tank. Hoopes should be one to keep an eye on this spring and summer.

Great to see 2019 LHP Logan Ransom as well. The sophomore lefty showed nice polish for his youth with nice pitchability and command of all three pitches. He showed a durable 5-foot-10 frame and quick arm from the left side. Ransom sat 83 on the day.

Quick Hits
James Steele is a raw 2018 lefty. He shows deception in his arm action with some natural arm side run up to 83 on the day. He also threw a changeup with late life to the pitch that could be a plus pitch once he harnesses it...2019 Carson McCusker was an interest 2019 prospect to keep an eye on. Showed a nice swing at the plate and athleticism around the field...2020 Shane Saunders showed some bat speed at the plate and a quick first step with a 7.08 60...2019 Zak Plageman has a projectable frame and showed bat speed at the plate...2018 Ryan Baker showed smooth actions both in the field and at the plate. He had a short swing with some balance and seems to be progressing nicely only two months removed from major surgery on his lower half.

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