This week, both Jack Sommers and I have attended the Perfect Game showcase event that’s taken place in Phoenix. Jack gave a solid outline of what was to be expected at the event and I offered my Day 1 observations of the top prospects in the showcase.
The top high school draft prospects actually went first, completing their workouts and exhibition games in the first two days of the event. Part of that is those guys will be quickly turning around and flying to Bradenton, FL to compete in the PDP Summer League.
These were my Day 2 thoughts on the players on Teams 1-4:
- LHP Nicholas Griffin has a similar profile to Diamondbacks 1st rounder Blake Walston. Griffin is 6’4” 175 with a projectable body and plus athleticism on the mound. Fastball sat 88-90 but he was able to hit the edges of the zone with it while also mixing in a slider (78-80), a pitch he has a solid feel for, and a slower curve. Griffin is a guy to keep an eye on as a potential 1st/CBA pick.
- RHP Maxwell Carson wasn’t ranked highly going into the event, but he impressed me with his ability to command the ball down in the zone while also mixing in a change-up and a curveball for strikes. Fastball sat about 90-92 for Carson and despite a 6’1” height was able to drive it down to the bottom of the zone with consistency. Like with the case of Levi Kelly in the 2018 draft, Carson could be a Day 2 arm to pick up and move quicker than your typical HS arm.
- Michael Brown hit the only home run of the day with a deep drive to straightaway right field for a solo shot. The 6’5” 230 first baseman profiles as a 1B/DH type with plus raw power although curiously enough his max exit velocity wasn’t special compared to other players in the showcase.
- I interviewed outfielder Chase Davis after the 1 vs. 3 game, and am currently working on getting that up ASAP. My first impression is he’s a smart and confident guy. When I asked him about his favorite player to watch or model his game after, the name Carlos Gonzalez came up. After 5-6 hours of thinking about the interview and starting up the article itself, there are a lot of similarities between Davis and CarGo, not just swings.
- Davis had 2 ABs against lefties in the second game. He was frozen on the outside black against Griffin, but against Frank Vetrano he was able to stay back on a 68 MPH curveball and bloop a single to right-center (fell 5 feet in front of the RF). The left on left matchup came up in the interview as well and fortunately that matchup was fresh in his mind from the game itself.
- Frank Vetrano was a late addition to the roster, but he didn’t leave the showcase empty-handed as he had a solid showing at the plate with 3 hits (to the opposite field) and 2 solid innings on the mound.
- C/1B Kemp Alderman led the first group of players in exit velocity for the event at 108 MPH. He profiles as a 6’4” 240 slugger with plus plus power if he can hit the ball in the air. When I first saw him take BP, my first thought was Billy Butler of the Royals. Coby Mayo and Austin Hendrick both recorded EVs of 105 for the contest, both of whom were Top 20 guys.
- C Kevin Parada had a strong second game with a pair of frozen ropes for doubles. Parada smoked a ball down the LF line and plugged the RCF gap for another double. Parada fared well in the group in terms of exit velocity measurements.
- M-INF prospect Masyn Winn was a player who caught my attention because of his speed on the bases and willingness to take off. His 60 yard dash time was 6.51 with a 1.63 10 split. The 10 split time was a bit disappointing, his long term position may be center field instead of middle infield as a result of his speed. Wynn is a guy who could slip in the draft due to being 5’10” and right-handed. For comparison, the Dbacks have only drafted two right-handed bats in the Top 100 since 2015: Dansby Swanson and Drew Ellis. Swanson and Ellis were both over 6 feet tall and came out of college. From the HS ranks, they drafted a switch hitter (Matt McLain) and two left-handed hitters (Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas).
- C Corey Collins had a second solid day, throwing out another basestealer on the bases and lacing a line drive single to RF. He ranked pretty well in the exit velocity department with a top EV of 98.
- Robert Hassell III pitched one inning and faced three LHB. He retired them without any issues with a high 80s heater and 10/4 slider that was tough for the hitters he faced to pick up. He’s a guy who I expect to end up going to college, but if he pushes the velo into the 90s, he becomes a lot more interesting.
- Jordan Walker was another player who was good at hammering mistakes, achieving an EV of 100. His lack of speed makes him a corner infielder moving forward, where he’ll have to consistently mash the ball. He’s got a projectable body at 6’4” 210 as could be another Day 2 HS bat to target next year.