Written by: Jake Tweedie
Follow him on Twitter: @MLBUKAnalysis1
Follow Prospects Worldwide on Twitter: @ProspectsWorldW
The Perfect Game All-American Game 2019 was loaded with the players hoping to be selected in this year’s Draft.
In this Battle of East vs West, we will look through the best for each positions, split into 2 articles. The first part of the 2 part series is Infielders.
We will take a look at each player per position, their Draft stock and who comes out on top in each area. We are limiting it to just hitters, so will be the 8 positions plus the best group of 3 Designated Hitters that each team had.
Catchers – Jack Bulger (East) vs Drew Romo (West)
On first look this would be an easy pick, Drew Romo was touted to be a first-round pick in our Mock Draft 1.0, whilst Bulger was slightly overlooked. However, with Romo committing to LSU, things become a lot more interesting.
|Bulger||35 / 50||40 / 55||35 / 50||35 / 30||40 / 50||30 / 40||40|
|Romo||30 / 45||25 / 45||25 / 40||35 / 30||45 / 60||45 / 60||50|
Offensive: Bulger is the more rounded hitter. With an exit velocity of 105mph compared to Romo’s 91mph, there is a significant difference in the power produced. They both have very good hitting stances, with varying techniques.
Bulger uses his medium leg kick to shift his weight onto his front leg when making contact with the ball, with a clean swing. This allows him to generate cleaner contact and produce more power when barreling the ball. His 87.5mph barrel speed shows this plus average power.
Romo’s swing is less conventional and this could be down to his switch-hitting ability. He generates better power from his right side, but a much smoother swing with his left. He has good discipline and hits line drives more comfortably but doesn’t have the power Bulger has.
Defensive: This is where Romo shines. His arm strength is much better than Bulger’s, and he looks far more comfortable in the position. He is low and compact, before showcasing his quick reactions and his accurate, strong throws to pick off runners.
Although Bulger is positionally very good, and has solid handling, there is a significant difference between the 2 behind the plate.
Draft Verdict: Drew Romo was expected to go first round and although he committed to LSU for 3 years, he will no doubt be a first rounder again come 2023. @drakemann2000 did an awesome piece on him in preparation for the upcoming Draft, and although our opinions differ slightly on grading, we both rate him very highly. Check it out here: https://prospectsworldwide.com/2020/05/29/draft-profile-c-drew-romo-woodlands-high-school/
Bulger could be one that is underrated in some aspects. He didn’t make the Top 200 on the MLB Draft Prospects list but definitely has the potential to be a mid-lower 2nd round pick.
Verdict: Drew Romo (West)
If we are going with attacking threat then Bulger is the clear winner. However, a catcher is an integral part of any team so the defensive qualities that Romo possesses edges him in this match up.
First Basemen – Blaze Jordan (East) vs Michael Brown (West)
Both physical specimens, they are big hitting corner infielders that may lack a little defensively. Both are valuable assets to any team offensively.
|Jordan||30 / 40||50 / 80||40 / 60||35 / 30||35 / 50||35 / 45||45|
|Brown||25 / 35||45 / 70||30 / 45||30 / 25||25 / 35||35 / 45||40|
Offensive: They are both extremely powerful hitters. They have very differing stances and swings but can both generate enormous power. Whilst Jordan has more control and a lot more pop in his bat, Brown can generate significant power from a swing that needs some work.
Jordan has a low kick and a short, quick swing that generates big power. He pulls the ball well but has the tendency to swing and miss regularly. His ability to reach an exit velocity of 102mph led to him winning the HR Derby, whilst his 88mph barrel speed shows how much force he can put through the ball. He makes these hits look effortless, but will need some improvement in his ability to translate this into games. His 10 yard sprint of 1.60 is hugely impressive for a player his size, but will decrease as he bulks up.
Brown is a stronger build that generates his power from his hips. His swing is slower and focuses more on power, but this can sometimes lead to his timing being off. He uses a small rock and kick before shifting his momentum to his front foot with a strong rotation of the hips. The swing is an area he needs to work on as he has the ability to produce an exit velocity of 95mph, but can’t regularly do this in games. Due to his size he is slow between the bases, but his power should cover this problem.
Defensive: From a fielding perspective they are probably around equal. They position themselves well, and make good catches on the base. Brown has more reach and is a bigger target due to his size, but Jordan is a lot more athletic and could easily adjust to a change to 3B if needed. From a throwing perspective, Jordan is much better. He has strong, accurate throws that relate to his ability to switch positions down the line if needed, whilst Brown struggles with his accuracy and power.
Draft Verdict: Jordan is more than likely going to be a mid-early 2nd round pick, whilst Brown could find himself mid-3rd round.
Verdict: Blaze Jordan (East)
There’s a big difference between where they are both at currently. Jordan is the more consistent hitter and the better defender, but Brown has potential as he progresses as a player.
Second Basemen: Yohandy Morales (East) vs Milan Tolentino (West)
A Battle between 2 of my favorite players for the 2020 Draft. Check out my previous article on Yohandy Morales here. This one is a tough one. Morales is an SS by nature and potentially a 3B in the future, but played 2B in the All-American Game, whilst Tolentino is an SS but played there.
|Morales||30 / 40||40 / 60||35 / 55||40 / 35||45 / 50||45 / 55||45|
|Tolentino||30 / 40||35 / 50||30 / 45||40 / 35||45 / 55||45 / 55||45|
Offensive: Morales has the slight edge offensively, he has more power and an incredible ceiling if he can continue to develop.
His exit velocity of 100mph and barrel speed of 75mph shows his ability to make solid contact and generate incredible power off his bat. His projectable growth showcases his natural ability and strength that will see him take his hitting to the next level. If he can continue to build upon his improvement with his handling of the bat and not getting ahead of the ball too much, then there will be significant development.
Tolentino is more subtle with his approach. He has a good stance, with loose hands and a low kick when he winds up. His quick bat speed helps him to generate 92mph exit velocity and 72mph barrel speed, but he has the tendency to let go of the bat through the follow through. His potential power is there due to his plus arm, but currently his mechanics need refining to allow this to show.
Defensive: They are very similar with their defensive capabilities. Positionally they are both solid and they both have incredible agility and mobility. Tolentino may just edge it with it with his potential arm strength.
Morales is more suited to the SS/3B side due to his athleticism and size. He has split time between both positions, and adapted well. He has quick hands and a great throwing technique that makes him potentially an above average defender in the Majors.
Tolentino has the better arm. He has a plus arm that has great accuracy, and has quick footwork and good movement with the ball to match this. His consistent quality positioning makes him a valuable player for any team, alongside his quick hands and ability to make plays on the move.
Draft Verdict: Morales is tipped to land in the middle of the 2nd round, whilst Tolentino could land around the same area.
Verdict: Yohandy Morales (East)
I was very up on Morales from early on so have to stick to my guns and make him my 2B. Although it isn’t his main position, his versatility gives me no doubt he could deal with it.
Third Basemen: Jordan Walker (East) vs Cayden Wallace (West)
Another competitive position. Both are powerful and good defenders, whilst both having projectable growth.
|Walker||35 / 45||45 / 65||40 / 60||40 / 35||45 / 55||40 / 50||45|
|Wallace||30 / 40||40 / 60||35 / 55||40 / 35||45 / 55||40 / 50||45|
Offensive: It is very close between the 2 and they both need improvements with their swing mechanics, but Walker just nicks it on the hitting side.
Walker has very good power, as shown by his 100mph exit velocity and 80mph barrel, but his inconsistency when hitting holds him back slightly. He has incredible ability to hit fastballs within the zone, but off-speed pitches, especially below the zone, causes problems. He has a nice wide stance, and a medium kick that compliments his loose hips. The quick bat speed generates great power, especially when hitting towards the left field corner.
Wallace, on the other hand, has a slightly open, wide stance with a low kick. He uses his body to generate his power, and although his swing can sometimes be a bit too slow, it allows him to barrel the ball well and reach 103mph exit velocity. He hits the ball hard and has a loud barrel when his timing is on point, but the inconsistencies are there due to his emphasis on using his body for power.
Defensive: They are pretty much even when it comes to fielding abilities. They both use their big frames to generate strong throws and their long actions make them extremely accurate. Despite their size, they are flexible, mobile and athletic, whilst being positionally very good.
Draft Verdict: Jordan Walker is being tipped to be high end 2nd round, whilst Wallace could be mid-late 2nd round.
Verdict: Jordan Walker (East)
They are very similar defensively, but Walker just edges it offensively. His taller frame makes him more of a presence at 3B, and there is still projectable growth with him.
Shortstop – Ed Howard (East) vs Robert Moore (West)
The tough match ups continue at SS. They are both extremely athletic, but very different players. Howard is taller and uses his frame effectively, whilst Moore is more energetic and has incredible footwork.
|Howard||35 / 45||40 / 55||35 / 50||30 / 30||45 / 55||45 / 55||50|
|Moore||35 / 45||35 / 50||30 / 45||30 / 30||40 / 50||40 / 50||45|
Offensive: Howard just edges it on power due to his frame and bigger build. They both are decent hitters of the ball, but Moore has the upside of being a switch-hitter.
Howard has a wide stance, small kick and moves his hips effectively to generate great power. He has loose hands and gets under the ball well, although he may have to work on his timing. He can reach an exit velocity of 95mph and has a loud barrel, whilst his ability to line drive well showcases his athletic build.
Moore is a small switch-hitter that can generate decent power despite his compact size. He seems to be comfortable from both sides, but his power from the right side seems much better. His left side stance has a high kick and quick bat speed, whilst his right side stance is more controlled with a medium kick.
Defensive: They are both accurate throwers, who excel at their positions. However, they vary in the way they play.
Howard is strong and athletic, who uses his decent arm strength to make plays. He can make plays on the move and is positionally very good. He has a quick release and good handling of the ball.
Moore is very light on his feet. He may not be the quickest offensively but he can move around the field with great mobility. His energy is infectious and his quick exchange on throws is exciting to watch. He seems to use his size effectively and is very good at what he does.
Draft Verdict: Our mock draft has Ed Howard at number 18, whilst Moore could come mid-low 2nd round.
Verdict: Ed Howard (East)
That finishes our infield picks from the 2019 All-American Game, tomorrow we shall conclude with the outfielders.
C – Drew Romo (West)
1B – Blaze Jordan (East)
2B – Yohandy Morales (East)
3B – Jordan Walker (East)
SS – Ed Howard (East)
LF – [To Be Determined…]
CF – [To Be Determined…]
RF – [To Be Determined…]
DH – [To Be Determined…]
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