5 for Friday (A weekly look at 5 amateurs)
Video I took at St. Louis Pirates showcase on Tuesday the 29th of January, 2013
Devin Williams (on left in video)
6’3 165, Florissant, MO (Hazelwood Central after a transfer from CBC)
The Stats: He was 2nd team all-conference as an OF last year.
The Skinny: Has accepted a scholarship to Missouri while turning down Nebraska, Missouri State, Ole Miss, and Indiana State. Fastball has been clocked from 89-93. Well rounded kid who I was told could be dropped off in the middle of nowhere and find his way home. Basically, he is a kid who can take care of himself. (so important in the low minors) He looks like he is 15 so he could definitely be a guy who grows more and develops more power in his arm. A Perfect Game scout said he has a “Dominican Body.” His money pitch is his change up. He really has an advanced feel for a high school prospect.
At the workout in St Louis I visited with a few scouts on Williams. Opinions, as always, vary. I asked one that had a late 1st round pick if he would recommend him and he did not consider him a 1st rounder so that answered the question. Another felt he was pushing his way into the first round.
The Scout’s Eye with Don Olsen: “I came away impressed with him during the WWBA in the fall. I consider him a high follow this spring. If he hits 96, like I think he will this spring, he is not getting out of round 1.
Royals chances: Very good if he slips to that 2nd pick at 31.
Jake Brentz ¬†(on right in video)
6’2 190 Ballwin, Mo (Parkway South HS but will play this season for the perfect Game Spring Wood Bat League in Iowa)
The Stats: Junior season as an OF, he hit .397 (37-94) with 13 db, 4 HR, 31 RBI, 26 RS, and a .482 OBP. Off the mound he got into just 4.1 IP going 1-1 with a 11.31 e.r.a
The Skinny: This kid is an excellent story. He was known as a speedy OF prospect who had pitched very little before last fall. He was given very few chances to pitch at Parkway South but, after attending some workouts at the Sandlot in Bridgeton a suburb of St. Louis he caught the eye of Coach Brian DeLunas. Some baseball guys can see a position player and see a pitcher. More times than not, it is a kid with the arm. Well, Brentz had the power arm from the OF and he is a lefty. He has a solid build at 6’2 with a strong physique. So, for a kid that was not allowed any development as a P in high school due to a lack of command he might of ever been given the chance to be a professional if it wasn’t for the trained eye of DeLunas and the head of the St. Louis Pirates baseball program Rick Strickland. DeLunas basically gave Brentz a 6 week boot camp last summer and he went down to Jupiter as a member of the St Louis Pirates.
In Jupiter he was still going to concentrate on playing the field. But, one more moment changed the course of this young man’s life. I challenge you to google “Jupiter” and “Jake Brentz” go into the discussion tab and see respected scouts talk about how this kid just came out of nowhere throwing 96. He was brought into relief late in a game and popped that 96 immediately. A lefty throwing 96 and “boom” scouts were paying attention. He was raw, sure but very coachable and from Jupiter he was given a workout in colder weather to give scouts a better look. This time he hit 94 and the buzz was growing.
I saw a solid build lefty with clean arm action and an above average curve (you can see the break in the video) a good feel for a cutter-change. While the velocity was 90-92 it is easy to dream on this kid for the spring.
He will not pitch for Parkway South this spring as he will instead pitch for the Perfect Game Wood Bat Scout League in Iowa. They play on the weekends from March 16th thru April 28th. This will allow Brentz to go once a week as he prepares for the draft. He is committed to Missouri but if he maintains that 93-94 velocity and continues to develop those secondary pitches he could fly up draft boards in June.
Royals chances: Very good and remember they like those unworked arms. Last year the first 2 pitchers taken by the Royals (Zimmer and Selman) were guys that either developed into a P late or were not used much before the draft. I could see him being taken from the 3rd-5th round.
6’7 255, Junior at Fresno State (from Linden, CA and Linden HS)
The Stats: 2011 67-187, 12 DB, 1 3B, 2 HR, 30 RBI, 38 RS, 11-12 SB-ATT, 42 K, 25 BB, .358/.437/.465/.902
2012 62-201, 14 DB, 2 3B, 4 HR, 27 RBI, 47 RS, 13-15 SB-ATT, 42 K, 48 BB, .308/.453/.458/.911
2012 Summer Cape Cod (Brewster White Caps) 27-100, 3 DB, 5 HR, 16 RBI, 33 K, 14 BB, 6 SB, .270
Originally drafted in the 30th round out of HS by the A’s.
Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American
Won the TD Ameritrade Home Run Derby in July 2012 (16 total including 4 straight and the bonus ball)
The Scout’s Eye from Don Olsen:
6’4 215 Junior at The University of Florida (Chipley, FLA, Chipley HS)
The Stats: 2011- 19 GS, 97 IP, 92/28 K/BB, 8-1, 2.40
2012- 14 G, 1o GS, 33 IP, 20/18 K/BB, 4-0, 3.51
He pitched in 2 more games for Orleans Firebirds on the Cape striking out 5 in 3.1 IP.
1st round selection of the Padres (9th overall out of high school)
Senior year in HS he was 7-3 with a .62 e.r.a and 123 K and just 15 walks in 55 IP.
AFLAC All-American, Junior season was 6-4 with a 1.49 e.r.a and 73 K in 42 IP.
The Scout’s Eye with Don Olsen:
athletic ability than his father at the same stage of development, a
bit more psychically imposing that his father. Decent frame, athletic
build, good development in the forearms and wrists, more of wiry power
at this stage, not much in the one of muscular development, but he
should sit about 20 pounds heavier than his father‚Äôs playing weight.
There is enough lateral quickness both to his left and right that he
could play 2B in the professional ranks, but his quick reaction with
the glove and arm strength provide more defensive traits to profile at
3B. His footwork is clean, turns well, fairly agile, obviously would
have more value if he could play up the middle. Slightly open stance,
that shows good lower half weight transfer and has a nice hip/torso
ratio, real sound fundamentally. Extremely high hands and a bit noisy
bat, a little load and drift, but in ideal slot at toe touch. Hands
are inside, above the barrel and solid swing plane, smooth swing, good
barrel awareness and makes loud contact for size. Plate awareness and
contact potential are sound, shows a bit of pull power, power could
factor with additional strength and size
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