Thoughts on the Under Armour All-American Game

Thoughts on the Under Armour All-American Game
RHP Robert Tyler and local product OF Corey Ray

Some of the nation's best high school talent was on display yesterday at Wrigley Field at the Under Armour All-America Game.   It was something of a sloppy game, featuring a few misplays and errant throws early on, but there were also many flashes of the kind of ability that makes many of these players potential high round draft picks.

We've seen plenty of scouting reports, particularly on the more heralded players, so I'll just focus on players that made an impression on me, one way or the other, on this particular Saturday.

Clint Frazier showed why he's considered one of the more exciting players in this class.  He showed all kinds of tools, including good speed on the bases and in the OF, as well as a strong throwing arm. He was not one of the bigger players on the field, standing at about 6'0 190 lbs.,  but he displayed some serious bat speed.  During the HR derby, he deposited 3 into the LF bleachers before losing in the next round to OF Justin Williams, who showed great raw power, hitting one on to Sheffield Ave. into the teeth of a strong wind.

OF Austin Meadows was the most heralded player but did not stand out until he tripled down the LF line, showing outstanding effortless speed from 1st to 3rd.  He is a physical specimen, much bigger than fellow Georgia prospect Frazier. He has the same speed and quick hands, but his superior size gives him more power potential.  Meadows is a 5 tool talent with a solid approach.  He's a potential top 3-5 pick in the draft, putting him squarely in the Cubs range.

OF Ivan Wilson looks like he was carved out of granite.  He runs very well and although he didn't showcase his raw power, he did show strong hands by fighting off a couple of tough pitches and depositing them in the OF for singles.  I think with some more experience he could be interesting.  The physical tools are there but he's pretty raw right now, even for a high school player.

Chris Rivera showed some smooth actions and a powerful arm at SS.

1B-OF Dominic Smith had the  most natural, picturesque swing of the group.  It's a clean and effortless stroke from the left side and he was able generate very good power, hitting 2 HRs against the wind during the HR derby and also hit a key single during the game.

Brian Navaretto is a catcher who hails from the same high school as Cubs top prospect Javier Baez.  He's athletic for a catcher and has great size with a 6'3", 215 lbs frame that looks like it was made for baseball.  He displayed tremendous quickness coming out of the chute and a powerful, accurate arm, throwing out 2 baserunners trying to steal.  Showed some bat potential as well, but it was his work behind the plate that really stood out.

Was disappointed in LHP Trey Ball in terms of velocity and his breaking stuff.  Their were earlier reports of the  tall (6'6"), lanky pitcher sitting in the low 90s but that wasn't the case on Saturday. He was mostly 87-89 and could not get a feel for his breaking pitch.  He was actually better at the plate, showing good power when he hit a double deep into the right-center field gap.  Ball is the kind of guy you dream on.  He's got great size, has shown he can throw in the 90s already, athletic, and plenty of room to fill out.  But from what I saw, he's much more projection than polish right now.

I was pleasantly surprised by Hunter Green, who had a nice clean delivery with good arm speed.  He was 88-91, touched 92, and showed good command of a big-breaking curve.  He's tall and lean, listed at 6'4", 160 lbs.  I'm not sure those measurements are accurate as he didn't appear that lean to me.  Still, there's room to add velocity as he matures physically.

Robert Tyler was also about 88-91 but was not as consistent as Green with his curveball, but he did throw a couple of sharp knee-bucklers that drew some oohs from the crowd.  Overall, he had trouble with command, but you could see his potential when things were working for him.

The best raw stuff that day came from Brett Morales who hit 93 mph with a power curve that may have been the best single pitch on display Saturday.

Comments

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  • fb_avatar

    Pretending the Cubs have the 2nd or 3rd pick and Austin Meadows and Mark Appel are both available, who do you think the Cubs should take John?

  • In reply to Demarrer:

    I think the Cubs should take a college pitcher if one of the top 3 (Appel, Stanek, Manea) are available. If they get the 4th pick I think I'd go with Meadows at this point.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Clever how the Cubs intentionally overused Shawn Camp so he can help us get Appel, Stanek, or Manea, huh?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It's all part of the plan.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It's fair!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It's sad the way they are loosing games, but getting the
    3-4 pick is very important because of the lack of college
    talent in the draft.

  • My favorite HS pitcher I saw was Morales in the "Aflac" game and at the UA game. Love his change up. I will to a write up for John.

  • In reply to WickitCub:

    He had the best stuff there.

  • Navaretto stood out to me more than anyone else. Obviously the bat isn't there yet, but he could still be a solid hitter. The defense, though, was amazing, given the obvious challenges catcher provides.

    If he's there in the second or third rounds, I hope the Cubs grab him. By the time he's ready, Welington Castillo will be finishing off his peak, and we all know Steve Clevenger is a future backup, albeit a quality one.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    Wouldn't mind taking a chance on him at all after the first round.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    I split my time between NW IN and NE FL. I will have a couple chances to see Navaretto play. I know his coach pretty well. I call a lot of HS & travel games in & around Jax. I'll update the board here if I learn anything new about him.

    For what it's worth, the Braves 3rd round selection last year was Bryan De La Rosa. He was the catcher for Arlington Country Day H.S. in Jacksonville, FL the year they won the National Championship (Baez's senior year). The coach there said De Le Rosa left for his Sr year because Navaretto transferred. Even though Navaretto would've played Outfield or 3B. Ron described him as a 5 tool "baseball player". He said defensively, he was as good as De LE Rosa behind the plate, but had more speed and a much better bat.... just an FYI.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Interesting. Thanks for posting!

  • fb_avatar

    Question about the draft. Does the total amount of money you are allowed to spend on the entire draft depend on your draft position in the first round? Example: The 2nd pick has more money to spend over the course of the draft than the 4th pick?

  • In reply to Demarrer:

    For the most part, it works out like that, though that's not how the system works. Every pick from the 1st overall to the 30th pick in the 10th round has a set bonus value assigned to it. You add up the value of every team's picks, and that's the draft pool.

    For example a team with the 5th overall pick could wind up with a smaller bonus pool than the team with the 6th overall pick, if the team with the 6th pick has compensation/competitive balance lottery picks.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Demarrer:

    Yes. For the first 10 rounds, each pick has a dollar amount associated with it, which decreases every pick. (i.e., 1 has more money assigned to it than 2, 2 more than 3, etc). These added up are the total amount you can spend on your picks in the first 10 rounds. So, #1 has more money to spend than #2, and on.

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