Scout Blog: W.F. West
March 18, 2019
Ridgefield, WA-- One of the top prospects in the 2019 class, who was recently featured at number 96 in PBR’s updated overall rankings, LHP Brock Jones (W.F. West HS, WA) took the mound for his first start of the spring at the beautiful new confines of the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex. The 6-foot, 170-pounder looked a bit stronger than when he was last seen on the diamond in October, and his athleticism stood out on the mound throughout. His fastball sat 87-89 early on as it jumped out of a high ¾ slot and was delivered over a high front shoulder. The pitch featured some arm side life, and he showed control of it, especially later on in the outing as he drove it in on right-handed hitters. He needed just 54 pitches to get through 5 innings of work striking out 8 along the way to go along with zero walks or hits. Working quickly between pitches while remaining in control of a balanced, even-tempo delivery, Jones pounded the zone to the tune of 74 percent strikes that included impressive feel for a tightly spun breaking ball. Ripping it off at anywhere from 73-77, Jones demonstrated the ability to get sweeping, multi-tier, 2/8 break across the zone for strikes, and was also able to bury the pitch at the back leg of right-handed hitters for swings and misses. He confidently threw it, and it shows signs of continuing to develop into a weapon moving forward.
It was an early look at the southpaw, and there is a good chance that the velocity will see an uptick in future outings as he continues to log more innings and get in shape after a vicious winter in the Evergreen State. His ability to throw both the fastball and breaking ball for consistent strikes was impressive for the first outing of the spring. Interesting to note: Jones also flashed feel for a faded changeup between innings in warmups. He did not need to go to it in live action, but it appeared to be a viable third pitch. Although his frame might be a bit smaller than that of the “prototypical” starter, Jones’ potential to throw three pitches for strikes with a loose, quick arm may ultimately allow him to stick in the role, especially as he continues filling out the frame.
Tanner Vaughn 3B / RHP / W.F. West, WA / 2021
Vaughn began the game at third base where his frame stood out on the field at 6-foot, 190-pounds with broad shoulders, especially for a sophomore. However, it was his work on the mound in closing the game out for W.F. West that was eye-opening and highly intriguing. His fastball blew through the zone at 87-88 with riding life. Utilizing a compact, methodical delivery to begin, Vaughn gets impressive drive off his back side to work far down the mound with an aggressive and short arm stroke that delivers out of a near over-the-top slot as his head clears. He struck out two batters on just ten pitches in a 1-2-3 inning, and was able to do so much due to a sharp, multi-tier power-curveball that was thrown at 76-77. Tightly spun, Vaughn showed impressive feel for the pitch, and it is likely to get even better throughout the spring.
Drew Reynolds C / RHP / W.F. West, WA / 2021
One of the more interesting takeaways from the W.F. West’s first game of action was a sturdy-looking sophomore catcher who not only handled a couple high-level arms, but also showcased a strong left-handed stroke. Reynolds, carries some durable strength in both his upper and lower-half, still appears to be growing into his big frame, but did a nice job behind the dish where he blocked many balls while also doing a solid job receiving. His was consistently around a 2.1 with pop-times between innings with quick footwork and transfer. The throws were accurate and on the bag with a bit of a longer release, which could be tied to the fact that he is also a pitcher. At the plate, the left-handed hitter showcased some strong pitch recognition as he did not back down at facing a tough southpaw on the mound. He is balanced throughout, and utilizes a short stride to separate his hands back before working flat through the zone. His strong wrists and quick hands should continue to combine with the physical frame to produce more power in the future, and he finished the day 1-for-2 with a single and a run.
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