View the 2013 Prospect Watch List
View the 2013 Prospect Watch List
by Nathan Rode via www.baseballamerica.com
Under Armour has announced the date and initial player selections for the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game, powered by Baseball Factory. The game will be played Saturday, Aug. 24, at Chicago’s Wrigley Field and it will air live on MLB Network at 2:30 p.m. EST.
Many top prospects have played in the game, including Jameson Taillon, Bubba Starling and Byron Buxton, who were all selected in the top five picks of the draft. Seven players from the 2011 contest were drafted in the first round in the 2012 draft. Brady Aiken, Alex Jackson and Gareth Morgan will become the first players in the game’s history to be two-time participants when they take the field this summer.
In addition to playing in the All-America Game, players will participate in other activities as part of a four-day weekend. A formal workout will take place for amateur scouts to watch and the players will receive instruction from major league players while also giving back to the community by helping with a youth clinic for Chicago-area kids. As in previous years, there will be a home run derby with the preliminary rounds taking place after the workout and the finals coming before first pitch at Wrigley.
The Under Armour All-America Game showcases 36 of the best high school players in the country, who are selected by a committee of Baseball Factory scouts. The players will be split into two teams for an American vs. National matchup.
“Every year we scout worldwide to find the best high school players to represent Under Armour and Baseball Factory in the Under Armour All-America Game,” said Steve Bernhardt, Executive Vice President of Baseball Factory and Chairman of the Under Armour All-America Game Selection Committee. “We are thrilled to choose these nine initial players as we begin the process of filling the 2013 roster. An extremely talented group, we expect this class to meet or surpass the success that Under Armour All-Americans have found in previous years.”
Rosters are not finalized, but the first nine commitments have been named:
Brady Aiken, lhp, Cathedral Catholic HS, San Diego
Aiken is a physical lefthander at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, and he’s part of a pitching staff at Cathedral Catholic that boasts five Division I signees. Verbally committed to UCLA, Aiken pitched in 2012 Under Armour Game and can sit in the high 80s with his fastball. He has a fluid delivery and good command of his pitches. He shows a good feel for a curveball and changeup.
Ryan Castellani, rhp, Brophy College Prep, Phoenix
A UCLA recruit, Castellani has an ideal pitcher’s frame at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds with projection, long legs and broad shoulders. At his best, Castellani can sit 88-90 mph with his fastball while offering a solid set of secondary pitches. He has two breaking balls, a curveball and slider, and a solid changeup. His curveball showed sharper break in a recent outing, but Castellani says his slider is his go-to secondary pitch.
“You hear about the Under Armour All-America Game for football and now for baseball,” Castellani said. “Under Armour is a huge name in sports so it’s pretty cool to be able to play in their game with the best kids in the nation. And especially to get the experience at Wrigley Field, it sums up a baseball kid’s dream. You get to play with the best kids in the nation at a major league stadium.”
Stone Garrett, of, George Ranch HS, Richmond, Texas
At 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, Garrett stands out for his physical projection. He has a lean build with big shoulders and evaluators get excited about his ceiling. His swing seems effortless and the ball jumps off his bat for easy power. He would benefit from incorporating his lower half more, but it should be a minor adjustment for him.
“This means a lot,” Garrett said. “I’ve been putting the work in and hard work pays off. The night before I got the call, I put down my goals for 2013. One was to be in the Under Armour All-America Game and the next day I got the call.”
Jacob Gatewood, ss/rhp, Clovis (Calif.) HS
Along with Alex Jackson, Gatewood was one of a few underclassmen to stand out at last year’s Area Code Games. He has a loose and athletic frame with tons of projection at 6-foot-4, 180 pounds. He has excellent power, evident at the Area Code Games when he got his arms extended and hit a home run at the cavernous Blair Field. According to TrackMan, the ball’s exit velocity on the homer was 107 mph. The Southern California recruit has a strong arm and may move off shortstop because of his size, but would still profile while at corner positions.
Nick Gordon, ss/rhp, Olympia HS, Orlando
The son of Tom and brother of Dee, Nick has played on Olympia’s varsity squad since his freshman year and was teammates with Walker Weickel and Jesse Winker. He has quick-twitch athleticism that produces excellent bat speed in his righthanded swing and a quick arm on the mound. He has good actions at short with a strong arm. As a pitcher, he can sit in the high 80s with more in the tank and mixes in a good, hard breaking ball in the high 70s. He is verbally committed to Florida State.
Alex Jackson, c, Rancho Bernardo HS, San Diego
Jackson had a torrid showing at the Area Code Games in 2012 and was one of two underclassmen in last year’s game—along with Aiken. He simply punishes baseballs, registering an exit velocity of 102 mph on Easton’s Hit Lab with one of their metal bat models. He gets his pop from a physical, 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame, and led California prep players with 17 home runs during the 2012 season. Scouts think he can stay behind the plate, but he has the athleticism and bat to handle a corner outfield spot.
“It’s one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had,” Jackson said. “Thinking about all the people and legends that have played in Wrigley Field, just being able to put yourself in their shoes, not a lot of people get to do that. To be able to go out there and live a dream at 16 years old. I can’t really describe the experience I had. Being able to come back again, do the same thing and take what I learned from the older guys of last year and help spread it out through all these guys—make sure that everything that was accomplished, how much fun was had, all the information that we were given by the coaches—we can take it and just give it to them.”
Gareth Morgan, of, North Toronto Collegiate Institute
A participant in the 2011 Under Armour Game, Morgan returns to headline Canada’s 2014 draft class. He is a physical specimen at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, with present strength that he has displayed with the Canadian junior national team. Morgan has plus power and a plus arm, giving him a future right field profile.
David Peterson, lhp, Regis Jesuit HS, Aurora, Colo.
Peterson is an intimidating presence on the mound with his 6-foot-6, 205-pound frame. His delivery has minimal effort and his fastball can touch the low 90s. He mixes in a tight curveball and changeup with sink for his secondary pitches. He is verbally committed to Oregon.
Touki Toussaint, rhp, Coral Springs (Fla.) Christian Academy
Toussaint has long been on the radar, catching attention for his long limbs and highly projectable frame. He took a big step forward last fall, going from sitting 88-91 at the Area Code Games to touching 97 and sitting 90-94 at the World Wood Bat Tournament. He also mixed in a nasty downer curveball in the mid 70s. Already one of the top arms for 2014, Toussaint can stand above the rest by simply developing his command.
We love the 20-80 scouting scale at Baseball America; we use it to assess everything from prospects to our favorite local barbecue restaurants. So we figured it would be fun and instructive to subject our preseason top 25 rankings to the same scrutiny.
Scouts grade prospects on how their tools compare with those of an average major leaguer, but we are rating teams relative to an average college baseball team with NCAA tournament aspirations. In addition to grading our top 25 teams on typical tools like hitting for average, hitting for power, speed and defense, we have divided the fifth tool (arm) into two categories: starting pitching and bullpen. We’re also giving teams a grade for Experience/Intangibles—think of it as a team’s “makeup,” if you like. For each category, a grade of 50 is average, comparable to a typical NCAA tournament contender; 60 is above-average; 70 is well above-average; 40 is below-average; and 30 is well below-average. Twenty and 80 are the extreme limits in each direction.
Finally, each team is given an Overall Future Potential (OFP) grade. The OFP scale:
80: A team for the ages. An overwhelming favorite with no obvious weaknesses. Think 1981 Arizona State or 1996 Louisiana State. There is no team like this heading into 2013.
70: Elite. A leading contender for the national title. This year, there is no clear-cut favorite that stands out dramatically from the rest of the pack
65: Well-above-average. Legitimate championship contender. (North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Louisville, Mississippi State, Oregon State, South Carolina, North Carolina State.)
60: Above-average. Strong Omaha contender. (Stanford, Louisiana State, Kentucky, UCLA, Mississippi, Texas Christian, Oregon.)
55: Slightly above-average. A threat to win a conference title and perhaps reach Omaha. (Florida, Rice, Oklahoma, Florida State, New Mexico, Cal State Fullerton, Southern Mississippi, Arizona, San Diego.)
50: Solid-average. Strong NCAA tournament teams who could make a postseason run. (None in this year’s preseason Top 25)
Our OFP grades are more tightly bunched than usual this year, with no teams in our rankings above a 65 OFP, and no team below a 55. This is a reflection of our contention that there are a lot of very solid teams heading into this season, but no overwhelming favorite that stands out from the pack.
Ranking teams is far from an exact science, and there will doubtless be surprises and disappointments as the season unfolds. But we think applying the 20-80 scale is an illuminating way to gauge each team’s projected strengths and weaknesses heading into the season.
Read full article: 2013 Preseason College Top 25 Scouting Reports
Dear Players and Parents,
The tryout will be conducted to fill out the rosters for two 14U Elite Teams. The combine style tryout will be run by Elite Baseball coaching staff and will be held on the Varsity field. Upon being selected to participate in the Elite program, the teams will consist of an Elite group of the top 7th and 8th grade baseball players in the area. This developmental team will be provided 16-20 college style practices, 6 hitting sessions at UCI and 10-12 games. Practices will begin the week of 2/3, hitting will begin the week of 2/17. All workouts will be at JSerra and UC Irvine.
Elite Baseball’s mission is to improve the awareness of potential High School baseball players and their parents on the expectations of a top High School Program. The physical and mental on-field development of these select players and conditioning them properly to achieve success at the next level is our first priority. We also look forward to assisting in the evaluations of each player after our professional staff has worked with players first hand.
The Elite Developmental Teams will be be managed by Elite Baseball Instructor and Head Baseball Coach Brett Kay. After only six years, Kay won the Trinity League in 2009, was the Orange County Coach of the Year in 2009 as well as the Trinity League Coach of the Year. In 2011, Coach Kay’s team was a mainstay in the Baseball America High School Top 25, climbing as high as the 6th ranked team in the nation. Kay has had 30 players sign Division I National Letters of Intent, and many other have continued their baseball careers at the Division II, Division II and NAIA levels in his tenure as Head Baseball Coach. Kay played his college years at Cal State Fullerton as a catcher and was selected in the 7th round of the 2001 Major League Baseball Amateur Player Draft.
Joe DeMarco, CEO
Office Line: 949-757-1673
Elite Baseball is the premier provider of amateur baseball services in the nation. Whether it is access to top talent and instructors, assisting with team and recruiting choices or learning how to become a professional, Elite Baseball will offer unlimited access. We ensure that each one of our clients will receive a COMMITMENT TO SUCCESS.
The Top Ten
Height/Weight: 6’1’’ 190 lbs.
Drafted/Acquired: 2nd round, 2011 draft, Junipero Serra Catholic High School (San Juan Capistrano, CA)
2012 Stats: .279/.334/.451 at Low-A Fort Wayne (96 games)
The Tools: Elite defensive potential; 5 hit; 5 raw
What Happened in 2012: Hedges’s bat was better than advertised, as the defensive wizard showed signs of life and promise at the plate.