The biggest annual event in the high school ranks, the Perfect Game All-American Classic, is just a couple of days away. Prospects Worldwide will provide you great coverage of the event, with previews on both hitters and pitchers, in-game reactions, and post-game reviews!
I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am to watch this game. Featuring 54 of the nation’s best High School players, all getting together to show off their skills against some of the best the 2021 class has to offer.
Here I break down every single player you will see on the roster for the event. All 54. Some good info on all players on how I see them at this stage of the draft process, and things I may be looking for during the game and workout. 2 hitter and 2 pitcher draft crushes that I expect to make some noise and start climbing boards as much as they have mine.
Some quick info… Teams typically add a DH and 2 EX (Extra Hitters) to the starting lineup. Meaning each lineup will consist of 11 batters.
The lineup builds below are purely my speculation, and what I would do if this was a team I had with intentions of putting the best roster and lineup out there, mix and match L/R, etc. We will see how they look come game day!
West All-American Team
** = Projected Starter
**Ian Moller – (6’1, 200) – C – Walhert HS, IA – Commit: LSU
Joe Mack – (6’1, 203) – C/1B – Williamsville East, NY – Commit: Clemson
Carter Jensen – (6’1, 210) – C/1B – Park Hill HS, MO – Commit: LSU
WEST 1ST BASEMAN
**Joe Mack – (6’1, 203) – C/1B – Williamsville East, NY – Commit: Clemson
Max McGwire – (6’2, 185) – 1B – Capistrano Valley HS, CA – Commit: Oklahoma St
Carter Jensen – (6’1, 210) – C/1B – Park Hill HS, MO – Commit: LSU
**Jordan Lawler – (6’2, 185) – SS/3B – Jesuit College Prep HS, TX – Commit: Vanderbilt
**Marcelo Meyer – (6’3, 188) – SS/3B – East Lake HS, CA – Commit: USC
**Khalil Watson – (5’11, 168) – SS/2B – Wake Forest HS, NC – Commit: North Carolina St
**Izaac Pacheco – (6’4, 220) – 3B – Friendswood HS, TX – Commit: Texas A&M
**Cody Schrier – (6’1, 195) – 2B/SS/3B – JSerra HS, CA – Commit: UCLA
Alex Mooney – (6’1, 175) – 2B/SS – Orchard Lake St Marys Prep HS, MI – Commit: Duke
Luke Heefner – (5’11, 160) – 2B – Home School, TX – Commit: Dallas Baptist
**Tyree Reed – (6’2, 185) – CF – American Canyon HS, CA – Commit: Oregon St
**Braylon Bishop – (6’1, 195) – CF/LF – Arkansas HS, AR – Commit: Arkansas
**Malahki Knight – (6’3, 190) – CF/RF – Archbishop Murphy HS, WA – Commit: Oregon St
**Daylen Lile – (6’0, 195) – LF – Trinity HS, KY – Commit: Louisville
Camden Hayslip – (6’3, 205) – RF – Friendship Christian HS, TN – Commit: Alabama
Drew Gray – (6’3, 180) – OF/LHP – Belleville East, IL – Commit: Arkansas
**RHP Christian Little – (6’4, 210) – Christian Brothers HS, MO – Commit: Vanderbilt
RHP Jackson Jobe – (6’2, 190) – Heritage Hall HS, OK – Commit: Mississippi
RHP Chase Burns – (6’4, 215) – Station Camp HS, TN – Commit: Tennessee
RHP James Peyton Smith – (6’4, 228) – East Robertson, TN – Commit: Vanderbilt
RHP Cale Lansville – (6,0, 210) – Thunder Ridge HS, CO – Commit: LSU
RHP Eric Hammond – (6’4, 185) – Keller HS, TX – Commit: USC
RHP Max Debiec – (6’7, 202) – O’Dea HS, WA- Commit: Washington
RHP Gray Thomas – (6’4, 205) – Heritage Hall HS, OK – Commit: TCU
LHP/OF Drew Gray – (6’3, 180) – Belleville East, IL – Commit: Arkansas
LHP Brock Selvidge – (6’3, 205) – Hamilton HS, AZ – Commit: LSU
LHP Ryan Ginther – (5’11, 201) – Station Camp HS, TN – Commit: Vanderbilt
WEST PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
1. DH Daylen Lile
2. CF Tyree Reed
3. SS Jordan Lawler
4. 1B Joe Mack
5. C Ian Moller
6. 3B Marcelo Meyer
7 EH Izaac Pacheco
8. RF Malahki Knight
9. 2B Khalil Watson
10. LF Braylon Bishop
11. EH Cody Schrier
SP Christian Little
The West Team has the #1 and #2 catchers on my board, Ian Moller (6’1, 200) and Joe Mack (6’1, 203). Both with extraordinary bats, and power projection, to go with some strong hit-ability as well. Both showing tools to stick behind the plate, with plus catch and throw potential, and showing improvements throughout the summer in terms of receiving, blocking, and framing. Still, work to be done for each, but have solidified themselves as the Top 2 Overall prep backstops in my eyes.
As you will see in the tweet below, I have Moller as my #1 catcher and likely a Top 15 overall Talent in the Draft. High School catchers are generally very risky that early in the draft, but Ian is different then most HS catchers, the makeup, and want to be great separates him from most. I’ll take my chances with this one.
Don’t sleep on the final catcher on the squad, Carter Jensen (6’1, 210), who I have ranked inside my Top 5 catchers as well. Less likely to stick behind the plate then Moller or Mack, but shows plus athleticism back there with strong catch and throw skills, and does flash some 50 Grade defense behind the plate at times, but do think he settles in at a position away from Catcher with the bat being the calling card here, and athleticism should prove to be an easy transition to 3B, 1B or a corner OF position.
The West Infield is led by the likes of Shortstops Jordan Lawler, Marcelo Meyer, and Khalil Watson. Who all land in the projected starting infield. In order, those are my Top 3 prep SS heading into the PG All American Game for the 2021 Class. Each showing potential for Plus defense at the position, and a bat to pair with it. Lawlar and Meyer each show above-average to potential plus hit tools at their peak to go with 50 grade in Game Power.
Throughout the summer, Lawlar (6’2, 185)has started to tap that power more consistently which has cemented himself as a Top 3 and very likely #1 overall Prep player at this stage of the draft process, as the tweet below shows back in July he was giving me those same vibes, nothing has changed a month later.
Meyer (6’3, 188) has a rather flat bat path and line-drive heavy focused swing presently but is working at adding more loft in his swing, and so far seems to driving the ball, and getting more lift on balls with the reports I have been hearing from those getting live looks in the recent months. And have every reason to believe he will tap into that RAW Power he possesses.
Let’s not forget about Khalil Watson (5’11, 168), perhaps the summers biggest riser, with that strong defense, speed, hitability, plus bat speed, and projectable body with some power to come. A player I slowly am falling for throughout the draft process.
But the infield depth doesn’t end there..
Izaac Pacheco (6’4, 220) is right up there with any for most RAW Power in the class. Standing 6’4 with plus athleticism, shows tools to stick at SS, but will undoubtedly shift to 3B with his size, where he has a chance to be a plus defender at his peak. Similar player to a Joey Gallo, high HR totals, strikeouts, and walks, with a chance to provide a hit tool that has some respect moving forward. When you pair that with athleticism, ability to play SS, 3B, RF, and LF, Pacheco brings a lot to the table. If that hit tool can show come consistency and improvements, we could be seeing his name creep closer and closer to the back end of the 1st Round.
Next up are two similar SS prospects in my opinion. Cody Schrier (6’1, 195) and Alex Mooney (6’1, 175).
I rank Schrier just ahead of Mooney in my ranks. Both have developing bats, and while Schrier grades out slightly higher with the bat, each has been coming on strong the past few months with strong mechanical adjustments and the ability to drive the ball consistently. I see both as 55 defenders at the SS position, with Mooney having the better arm strength (60 Grade)
🚨Draft Crush Alert🚨 – Luke Heefner (5’10, 160) a Home School kid, but he can flat out rake. Simple. As you will see in the video thread below. Very quick hands can handle velo up in the zone so well. Probably a 2B long term, but I see so much Jeff McNeil in Heefner. Has one of the better pure hit tools in the class. Getting to see him go up against the potential arms on the East team will be a great chance for Heefner to show he can handle any pitching as he has throughout the summer.
The lone pure 1st Baseman on the Roster is a name many will gravitate towards, and recognize immediately with this last name in the baseball world. That would be Max McGwire (6’2, 185). You guessed it, “Big Mac”, Mark McGwire’s son is ready to make a name for himself. Big right-handed power, as you would expect, but does come with some big swing and miss concerns. Above-average defender at 1st Base. Could really use a big showing at the All American game to boost his stock
If you thought this is where the West lineup might ease up a bit and see some talent drop off, guess again. This entire team is juiced with talent top to bottom. Led by my #2 and #3 ranked Tyree Reed and Braylon Bishop.
Slightly different players, Reed (6’2, 185), extremely toolsy, wiry, athletic, and projectable, has a pure ability to hit to all fields you can dream on to go with that athleticism, plus speed, arm, and defense with every indication of sticking in CF long term.
Braylon Bishop (6’1, 195) has more power of the two and the approach dictates that a strong athlete, shows plus speed, above-average defender, shows tools to stick in CF, although I see him as a corner OF long-term. Some concerns with the overall hit tool and swing and miss long term, but has been showing improvements throughout the summer, shortening up his swing.
Malakhi Knight (6’3, 190) is another riser throughout this summer, really caught my eye at PG National with his performance on both sides of the ball. Projectable, athletic, with above avg to potential plus power projection. Ability to stick in CF Long-term as a plus defender would profile great in RF as well where his toolset is a perfect match. A Top 7 prep OF.
I’ve been saying it for a while now, but Daylen Lile (6’0, 195) very likely possesses the best hit tool in the prep class. His ability to consistently barrel balls in any quadrant of the strike zone, turn on the inside fastball at velocity, impressive bat control, plate coverage, and pitch recognition. I’m absolutely sold on Lile. The speed, defense, and arm grade as average to above avg at their best, but that won’t stop him from being ranked inside the Top 7 prep OF as well. (If your counting at home, that’s 4 outfielders on the West squad inside my Top 7: (Reed, Bishop, Knight, and Lile).
The last true OF of the team will be Camden Hayslip (6’3, 205). A powerful Left-Handed Hitter. Corner OF profile. I have Hayslip graded as a 55 future power at the moment. If he can find some more consistency with making contact, he very well could see himself climb up to 60 Grade power by the time draft day rolls around. Something I will be looking for during this game.
Expected Starting pitcher RHP Christian Little (6’4, 210) who won’t even turn 18 before hearing his name called on draft day, a projected 1st-2nd round pick, is one of the best pitchers in the country. Strong starter traits you can dream on moving forward with a strong 3 pitch mix FB-CB-CH. I’ll be looking for the improved command from Little in his outing as he had some spotty command at times this summer, and I do expect him to start showing that consistency moving forward.
RHP Jackson Jobe (6’2, 190) was a SS heading into the PG National a few months ago, now a primary pitcher after his showing with a Fastball 91-95 T96 MPH with some arm side run, a Slider 78-82 MPH consistently reading (3,000-3200 RPM) with late bite and a developing Changeup. You can expect some ugly swings and takes on that Slider from even the best hitters against Jobe.
If your someone who likes pure power pitching, look no further then RHP Chase Burns (6’4, 215). Who regularly pumps his Fastball in at 95+ and touching 100. With Plus spin rates (2400-2650 RPM) working up in the zone as he should, generating a ton of swing and misses. 70 Grade pitch. Mixed in with a Curveball that flashes wipe out potential, a Slider, and Changeup.
🚨Draft Crush Alert🚨 On the pitcher side that would be RHP James Peyton Smith (6’4, 228). Sitting low-mid 90s with an above-average Slider and Changeup that show swing and miss potential. Has a 4th pitch, a curveball that grades as a 45 at the moment but shows a willingness to go to it, and could develop into a quality 4th pitch down the line. Coming from a low 3/4 almost sidearm slot. More control over command at this point, but do think he settles as a 50 command SP prospect with a 4 pitch mix.
RHP Cale Lansville (6’0 210) is another fun pitching prospect (games filled with them) that flashes an Above-average Fastball, Plus Slider with sharp late bite, a curveball, and a changeup. Not a ton of projection left here but there is a lot to like moving forward as he adds strength and ability to work deeper into games.
RHP Eric Hammond (6’4, 185) is another interesting prospect with really good stuff. He has a less pronounced Grienke-Esque delivery and hesitation near the top of his leg kick that can slightly mess with timing for hitters, helps him stay balanced and repeatable mechanics. North/South pitcher, with arm speed, working his Fastball up in the zone, getting swing and misses, an 11/5 Curveball, Slider with horizontal movement, and an impressive changeup with late fading action.
Here’s a tall drink of water RHP Max Debiec (6’7, 202). Lots of projection left and room to fill into the frame. Debiec sits in the low-mid 90s T97 MPH with impressive arm side run on his 2 seams. Has a tendency to overthrow and miss up in the zone, which stems from inconsistent ability to repeat his mechanics (tough to do at 6’7) something I will be looking to see if he has taken a step in the right direction. Also throws a Curveball, Slider, and changeup. Changeup grades as the best overall pitch in my opinion in the arsenal.
RHP Gray Thomas (6’4, 205) is an interesting pitcher, has a deceptive delivery, funky arm action that comes out of a sidearm slot. Fastball is 90-93 T95 MPH with heavy sinking action. The Slider gets late movement and maintains his arm speed. Mixes in a Changeup, but is a ways off his FB/SL Combo. Some pen risk here, interested how he does vs some of the better hitters in the country.
That brings us the West Left-Handers. And who better than 2-way LHP/OF Drew Gray (6’3, 180). You could say he and Jackson Jobe are similar in the fact they both were looked at as hitters first going into the PG National, by the time they packed their bags to go home, they were both seen as primary pitchers with legit 2-way potential. Gray offers similar high spin rates on his Slider (2750-2850 RPM), tough on both RHH/LHH. Has a heavy fastball approach at times 90-93 MPH (2550 RPM) challenges hitters up in the zone until they prove they can handle it. Would like to see more usage of the Slider and a 3rd pitch which could be developed as he focuses more on pitching moving forward. And remember he’s a 2-way guy, with a ton of athleticism in the outfield, and some pull side power. An all-around exciting player.
LHP Brock Selvidge (6’3, 205) is another left-hander who I would like to see more usage of a 3rd pitch and find a way to get some more movement on his Slider, which plays a bit like a cutter. He’s deceptive, produces tons of swing and misses with his fastball. Above-average command of his pitches, but the secondaries are what I will be looking for during his outing, which will elevate his game to the next level.
If you like high tempo, no wasted time, and a potential blink of your eye and you could miss the inning, and dislike the slow antics of Dodgers Reliever Pedro Baez, look no further then LHP Ryan Ginther (5’11, 201) as your new favorite pitcher. He works insanely fast, is undersized but uses that to his advantage with great extension and a heavy fastball 89-92 T94 MPH with sub (1900-2,200 RPM) that he uses often. And a Slider he uses vs Lefties and righties that he can command fairly well. Ginther really dominates RHH from the times I have seen him with his deception and ability to locate his pitches on the inner half.
East All-American Team
** = Projected Starter
**Harry Ford – (5’10, 200) – C – North Cobb HS, GA – Commit: Georgia Tech
Rene Lastres – (6’3, 205) – C – Miami Christian HS, FL – Commit: Florida
Jayden Melendez – (5’9, 170) – C – Westminster Christian HS, FL – Commit: Florida International
EAST 1ST BASEMAN
**Tommy White – (6’2, 220) – 3B/1B – IMG Academy HS, FL – Commit: North Carolina St
Jac Caglianone – (6’5, 210) – 1B/LHP – Plant HS, FL – Commit: Florida
Casey Saucke – (6’3, 190) – 3B/1B – Athena HS, NY – Commit: Virginia
**Brady House – (6’3, 217) – 3B – Winder-Barrow HS, GA – Commit: Tennessee
**Michael Braswell – (6’2,180) – SS – Campbell HS, GA – Commit: South Carolina
**Luke Leto – (6’2, 190) – 3B/OF – Portage Central HS, MI – Commit: LSU
**Rob Gordon – (6’1, 174) – SS – Ben Franklin Academy HS, GA – Commit: Vanderbilt
Tommy White – (6’2, 220) – 3B/1B – IMG Academy HS, FL – Commit: North Carolina St
Edwin Arroyo – (6’0, 170) – 2B/SS – Arecibo Baseball Academy HS, PR – Commit: Florida St
Casey Saucke – (6’3, 190) – 3B/1B – Athena HS, NY – Commit: Virginia
**James Wood – (6’6, 230) – RF – IMG Academy HS, FL – Commit: Mississippi St
**Benny Montgomery – (6’4, 200) – CF – Red Land HS, PA – Commit: Virginia
**Joshua Baez – (6’3, 220) – LF – Dexter Southland HS, MA – Commit: Vanderbilt
**Thaddeus Ector – (6’2, 190) – CF – Starrs Mill HS, GA – Commit: South Carolina
Jay Allen II – (6’3, 190) – CF – John Carroll Catholic HS, FL – Commit: Florida
Braden Montgomery – (6’3, 203) – RF/LF – Madison Central HS, MS – Commit: Stanford
RHP Andrew Painter – (6’7, 230) – Calvary Christian Academy HS, FL – Commit: Florida
RHP Chase Petty – (6’1, 185) – Mainland Reg HS, NJ – Commit: Florida
RHP Irving Carter – (6’4, 200) – Calvary Christian Academy HS, FL – Commit: Miami
RHP Shane Panzini – (6’3, 220) – Red Blank Catholic HS, NJ – Commit: Virginia
RHP Drew Christo – (6’4, 225) – Elkhorn HS, NE – Commit: Nebraska
LHP Josh Hartle – (6’5, 200) – Reagen HS, NC – Commit: Wake Forest
LHP Maddux Bruns – (6’2, 210) – UMS Wright Prep, AL – Commit: Mississippi St
LHP Mason Albright – (6’0, 190) – IMG Academy HS, MD – Commit: Virginia Tech
LHP Carter Holton – (5’11, 175) – Benedictine Military HS, GA – Commit: Vanderbilt
LHP Pierce Coppola – (6’9, 215) – Verona HS, NJ – Commit: Virginia
LHP Jac Caglianone – (6’5, 210) – Plant HS, FL – Commit: Florida
EAST PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
1. SS Michael Braswell
2. 3B Brady House
3. RF James Wood
4. LF Joshua Baez
5. CF Benny Montgomery
6. DH Luke Leto
7. 1B Tommy White
8. C Harry Ford
9. 2B Rob Gordon
10. EH Jay Allen II
11. EH Thaddeus Ector
SP Andrew Painter
🚨Draft Crush Alert🚨 – Harry Ford is without a question the most athletic catcher in this year’s class. The toolset is just off the charts. From the plus speed and arm. To the Above-average defense and RAW Power, which he can tap into a decent bit to the pull side (45 Grade Game Power) and a league-average Hit tool. With every indication of sticking behind the plate, I see a ton of JT Realmuto in Harry Ford. It’s not often we see a catcher with this type of athleticism, defense, and hitability. A Top 3 prep catcher.
One of the bigger sized catchers in the class, Rene Lastres (6’3 205) shows legitimate tools behind the plate. Possibly the top catch and throw guy in the class. And shows some legitimate power potential with 60 Grade Raw Power, 50 Grade Game Power. Young, will be 17 on Draft Day, some projection left in the body, tools to stick behind the plate, there’s a lot to like here.
From one of the bigger catchers in the class to one of the smallest Jayden Melendez (5’9 170). One of the best overall defenders at the position. And in my eyes, the best we have at the Classic. Plus defender. What I’m looking for here is the bat to show some improvements. He has some abilities to show a hit tool but has some timing issues with a big leg kick. His father is the Head Coach at his college commitment, Florida International.
Brady House (6’3, 217) player that has been talked about as going as high as Top 5 in the draft by many. And someone who very likely may find his way to that spot of the draft. The power is a potential plus moving forward, as well as the arm grading as Plus. A Shortstop now, House will slide over to 3B as he develops, and should be a 50-55 defender at his best there. The only concerns with House in my eyes are with the Hit tool. Something I will be looking at during his ABs. I have House as my #1 overall 3B.
Energetic, passionate, toolsy, projectable, twitchy, that’s how I would explain Michael Braswell (6’2, 180). Different players, so not a strict player comp here, but a lot of Javier Baez vibes from Braswell in the field, and the energy, passion for the game. He brings that flashy defense to the table with quick tags not many others can make. A very strong GAP-GAP line drive approach with a very projectable frame. I absolutely love the all-around game here from Braswell. My 4th ranked SS for the prep class.
Luke Leto (6’2, 190) has been a name many scouts and evaluators have had their eyes, video cameras, and stopwatches glued to for years. At PG National, Leto looked a bit slow to the ball at SS, not showing much urgency in the field, and still not showing the ability to turn and lift balls with that frame we all expect to see some power from. The hitability is extremely strong, however, showing a plus ability to use the whole field. A 3 sport athlete, so you know the athleticism is there, with a 55 Speed Grade. I think the defensive home for Leto is 3B or possibly even in the OF where he can use that athleticism and Above-average arm strength. I’ll be looking for some improvements to the swing.
Someone who has the tools to stick at SS is Rob Gordon (6’1, 174). The only thing stopping his could be the overall range but shows a fantastic 1st step to make up for some of it. The body has some projection left, and there is potential to see above-average grades moving forward. A well-rounded profile.
One of the better bats in the class belongs to Tommy White (6’2, 220). A 3B by trade but will likely see his time at 1B in this game. One of the most consistent Hit tools, and approaches in the class. The Hit tool could grab 60 Grades, but I have it listed at a 55 at the moment. Shows well to all fields, a knack for finding barrels on balls all over the strike zone. A professional hitter.
This is a fun one. One of my all-around favorites in the class Edwin Arroyo (6’0, 170). A switch-hitting, switch THROWING, shortstop, with the tools to stick at the position. We saw this a few years ago behind the plate with Anthony Siegler, 1st round pick of the New York Yankees, Arroyo might have a better toolset overall. A plus runner and arm(s), to an above-average defender at SS, with some projectable power, I have graded as a 50+. Strong Vertical bat angle, explosive hips, and an impact hitter from both sides. Young for the class, 17 years old on draft day. I’ll be looking for a bit more consistent approach at the plate, and staying within himself a bit more. The toolset is there for Arroyo to make a massive impact on rising boards very quickly with a strong showing.
Casey Saucke (6’3, 190) is listed as a SS but his future is very likely at 3B. Athletic, projectable, and shows well in the box. Has some movement and a hitch to keep an eye on as he faces some top tier pitching here, but he seems to make it work for now.
What a summer it has been for James Wood (6’6 230). There was a 2 week stretch after National you couldn’t check Twitter, without seeing a new highlight of him destroying a baseball. And Wood is so much more than just a power bat. As you will read below. Tools, size, and athleticism that will make any evaluator foam at the mouth with the potential that he possesses. Wood stands as the #1 prep OF in my rankings at this time. Plus power, arm, defender, shows plus running times now, will slow down as he matures, but very well might be the best all-around toolset in the draft. Oh yeah, he is 6’6 230 lbs. Dare I say some Left-handed Aaron Judge vibes?
Last year we had a Hunter Pence comp in OF Hudson Haskin (Orioles draft pick) this year we have an even similar build and comp to Pence. That’s Benny Montgomery (6’4, 200). I mentioned James Wood may have to best all-around toolset in the class, well Benny is also on that shortlist. Wiry and just oozes athleticism. With 2 tools grading as plus-plus: run, and arm. And a plus fielder. The bat will be what dictates Benny’s draft position. Currently, I see Benny as a 45+ Hit, 50 Power, likely could get a bump with strong showings here, and throughout the HS season. He knowingly has a hitch and tons of movement to work through and he seems to be improving week by week. Seeing him matchup with some top arms in the country will be a strong test for the adjustments he has made. A Top 5 OF Prospect.
The athleticism the East has on display in their OF is quite honestly astonishing. Some of the best athletes in the class we will see together in the starting Outfield, capped off by Joshua Baez (6’3 220). With a 60 Grade Power/Speed combo that will get anyone excited, and young for the class, just 17 on Draft Day, that’s another bonus. The bat speed, paired with his consistent bat path is putting him in prime position to be selected early in the 2021 MLB Draft. Baez will likely grow into an RF in the future, where his toolset fits perfectly.
🚨Draft Crush Alert🚨 – Thaddeus Ector (6’2, 190) can do so much on the field. A switch hitter who can play all 3 OF positions, as well as 2B/3B. Is a plus runner, with an Above-average Hit tool. The power is likely a 45, which if he can reach that mark, (15-19 HR a season) can provide so much to a team. Ketel Marte would be my player comp here. Versatile with a similar toolset, both switch hitters, and likely a late bloomer with the power.
Jay Allen (6’3, 190) a standout football player on his way to Florida to play WR unless an MLB team can sway him away with an early draft selection. Fits right in with this athletic, projectable OF we have on the East squad. Really has everything you want. Natural plus defender in CF, Plus speed, and a projectable bat that shows a chance to be a middle of the order producer. And if he ever gets to 100% focus on baseball, the tools might take another leap forward.
The final OF on the team will be another really interesting prospect, Braden Montgomery (6’3, 203). A Switch hitter, with a cannon of an arm, that grabs the attention of everyone in the building. Throwing strikes from the OF grass to nail runners. I really like the toolset here. A corner OF due to the 45 Grade speed, but should show Above-average defense at either position. Has some experience and tools on the infield dirt as well. And, it is not listed, but Braden is a pretty impressive pitcher and a legit 2-way prospect in his own right. His stuff on the mound has really elevated itself. Lastly, you probably won’t find a kid with better makeup in the draft.
Projected Starting Pitcher for the East is an easy choice. RHP Andrew Painter (6’7, 230). The size clearly jumps out at you, but the pitchability and command of a 4 pitch mix are what sets him apart from the rest. A 93-96 MPH fastball with Above-average spin rates. With a Slider/Curveball combo that both show the ability to be landed for strikes, and as a strikeout pitch. The Slider grading slightly better, grabbing plus grades. Rounded off by a nasty Changeup that could arguably settle in as plus offering as well. The plus command makes this a complete package with starter traits written all over him. The #1 Prep pitcher in the class. No question.
We go from the most complete arm in the prep class to the most electric arm, RHP Chase Petty (6’1, 185). Sporting a 3 pitch mix, no pitcher gets as much movement and ugly swings then Petty will. A fastball rushing up to 100, that sits in the mid to upper 90s, and flashes some natural cut at times. An absolutely deadly Slider/Changeup combo that has incredible late movement and hitters “Chasing” out of the zone (no pun intended). A rather high effort delivery, but works so hard at maintaining it. Has a ways to go to reach to ceiling Max Meyer, but I get some vibes of him here with the movement and arsenal. Pitching Ninja, get ready for this one. Looking like my #2 Prep RHP at this moment in time.
🚨Draft Crush Alert🚨 We move to my final draft crush of the article, RHP Irving Carter (6’4, 180) who has a very projectable frame, an electric arm, and absolutely melts hitters with his different looks and leg kick variations. He is a whole lot of fun to watch go about his business. With a plus fastball with strong-arm side sink and Slider combo and a changeup that flashes a chance to be more than just a league average pitch with his ability to locate and miss bats with it.
**Fun Note** Irving Carter and Andrew Painter are HS Teammates at Calvary Christian Academy High School in Florida. Good luck to those hitters having to face them back to back.
RHP Shane Panzini (6’3, 220) is such a wild card come Draft Day for a few reasons. He has clean mechanics and some of the better stuff in the class, with 2 pitches (Fastball, Slider) grading above average, with Above average command of each. His changeup is his best pitch grading as a plus offering. With a developing Curveball. The downside, he will be 19.6 years old on draft day, an older HS prospect. But there no denying his talent.
The final righty on the team goes by the name RHP Drew Christo (6’4, 225). With a Fastball in the low 90s T94 with sink, and a power Slider at 87 MPH with late bite that both grade as Above-average offerings. Christo has 2 other developing secondaries in a Curveball & Changeup. The Curve, in the mid-70s that’s a bit loopy and lowers his arm angle on. Will need to show some consistency with these 2 pitches moving forward with hopes of being a starter at the next level.
Onto the left-handers. And who better than the #1 Prep LHP Josh Hartle (6’5, 200). With an easy, repeatable delivery, sitting 89-92 with that easy release, and a projectable frame, you can expect him to be sitting mid-90s at his peak. To go with a 60 Grade wipeout Slider that makes LHH or RHH look silly, and a Changeup that shows Above-average potential. Pair that arsenal with some of the best command of the class, and you have yourself the #1 Lefty on the block. Easy enough?
Video shows 1st batter of his outing at PG National dropped a 3-2 Slider on Cody Schrier. Confidence in his secondaries.
LHP Maddux Bruns (6’2, 210) brings the heat. Fastball sits around 92-95 T97. Off-speed pitches you can project, lead by a Curveball with plus spin rates (2650-2800 RPM) I have seen with as good as 90% Spin efficiency. He has a slider, some call a cutter with (2600 RPM), That could benefit from a bit more movement, and a developing Changeup to round out the arsenal. Bruns has some command issues, which in my opinion stems mostly from his massive velo jump from last season, where he has gained 7-10 MPH on his Fastball and is for the most part a different pitcher now. Give him time to learn how to hone that Fastball command in, and watch the draft stock continue to soar.
A pitcher who has been climbing my board slowly but surely is LHP Mason Albright (6’0, 195). A shorter frame, but uses it to his advantage with his FB that plays up well getting a natural riding action. Extremely tough on LHH with his low arm slow, and long extension. Flashes a plus Slider that absolutely kills lefties, and a Changeup to round out the 3 pitch mix. A consistent performer each time I get my eyes on him, I’ll be interested to see how he handles the Right-handers and the continued development of the Changeup.
Sticking on the theme of undersized Left-handers, we got LHP Carter Holton (5’11, 175) who again uses that frame to his advantage. A bit deceptive and strong pitchability has me digging for more. His Fastball sits 90-93 T96. Gets ugly swing and misses on all his pitches, and shows an ability to command and locate all in most counts. Sits deep into his back leg nearly at a 90-degree angle on his drive to the plate and head stays pretty quiet. An easily overlooked arm with all the size and crazy spin rates some of these other arms will throw out
Well, after 2 pitchers you could label as undersized, we get a towering LHP Pierce Coppola (6’9, 215). With room to fill into that frame, Copolla has many foaming at the mouth trying to figure out what he can ultimately become. Has some trouble repeating his mechanics as you might expect with that size. His Fastball sits 88-93 generating a ton of swing and miss, with that long reach, and projection remaining you can expect it to reach the mid-90s with relative ease. A Curveball that is pretty slurvy at the moment and will need to tighten up, and a changeup he shows some feel for. Dream away the ceiling here is quite large.
Last but not least, we reach another 2-way guy LHP/1B Jac Caglianone (6’5, 210). On the mound, an impressive lefty, 91-93 MPH fastball with (2300-2500 RPM) a Slider a 76-79 MPH with similar spin rates. And a changeup to round out his 3 pitch mix. Some see him as a reliever at the moment, I think there are some starter traits here if the focus ever shifts fully to pitching. But it may not, he’s a very strong 1B prospect as well. Athletic build, with big power projection and a very smooth Plus defender at First Base. Shows the ability to step out to the corner outfield positions and provide 50-55 Grade defense. The hit tool has some concerns at present, and I will very likely get killed for saying this, but he reminds me a lot of Cody Bellinger FROM HIGH SCHOOL. Similar toolsets, Bellinger wasn’t the player he is now back then, was really proving himself as a hitter. Both hit from a tall stance with the power you could dream on moving forward if it all clicks.
Summary: The West is loaded with those highly rated bats throughout the lineup as I mentioned, that have up to 7 players that could see themselves in position to be a 1st Round talent. Will they all land there? No, but they have that type of upside up and down this lineup. Backed by a solid pitching staff that has a few top arm talents in their own right.
The East lineup has a ton of power and athleticism throughout, and some standout hitters of their own I have 1st – 3rd Round Grades on at this time. But the pitching on the East staff is just flat out ridiculous, with my #1 ranked RHP and LHP (Andrew Painter and Josh Hartle) backed by a ton of other incredibly talented pitchers ranked just behind them (Petty, Jobe, Carter, Gray, Bruns) and others who have legitimate upside themselves in a deep pitching class.
I can’t wait to see these East pitchers go up against that West lineup, we are set up to see some matchups of future 1st and other early-round draft picks. The players on both sides are prepared for a hard-fought game, tons of competitors on each team I know want to come out with a win as well as showcase their skills to the world. With that talent on display, I am expecting a close game, and likely lower scoring with the setting of these games, the talent we have on the mound, going short stints as they will make them even harder to get a beat on and string some hits together.
Pitcher vs Hitter Matchup I am most looking forward to:
Game Prediction: West 4 – East 3
I mentioned my rankings over and over throughout the article, expect to see the draft board with all those reports in full, with grades on so many of the players expected to be selected in the draft next summer. We have a lot of hard work put into it, and it’s not ending anytime soon. Draft board document with be updating live throughout the season with reports and grades as our scouts get their looks and information necessary for their evaluations.
Have any draft-related questions? Feel free to contact me on Twitter! @JTillinghast27
If you liked this article, check out my article from a few months back covering the Perfect Game National Showcase where I wrote up 24 Hitters that impressed me. I think half of which we will in the All-American Classic.
Featured Image Credit: Perfect Game