With the 2013 MLB Draft a week in our rearview, the 2014 draft class is already under industry surveillance, as the 2013 summer circuit kicks off this weekend with the Perfect Game National Showcase. Joe Hamrahi and I are taking in the event along with our partners at Perfect Game, and will be bringing you more detailed write-ups early next week. For now, here are five loud performances from Day 1 you should know about.
On the Bump: Cameron Varga (Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (Cincinnati, OH))
Varga was primarily 94 to 95 mph in the first inning out of the wind-up, dropping down to 91-93 mph out of the stretch and settling into that range for his second inning of work. His power curve can bleed into a slider, and it remains to be seen whether he will develop those two looks as distinct offerings. There is a lot to like here, including the potential for multiple plus or better offerings coming out of a big, strong build. Varga is the next in a long line of talented arms committing to UNC.
Behind the Dish: Alex Jackson (Rancho Bernardo HS (San Diego, CA))
Alex Jackson is one of the top prospects in the draft class, and we will have much more on him in our wrap of the full event. Our focus here is his catch-and-throw game, which was prominently on display yesterday. Jackson posted an incredible 1.77 pop time during workouts, then followed it up with sub-1.9 pops between innings during game action. He also back-picked a runner at first base, with the tag being delivered as the runner was still mid-dive back to the bag. Jackson is an Oregon commit.
At the Plate: Justin Bellinger (St. Sebastian's School (Needham, MS)) and Braxton Davidson (TC Roberson HS (Asheville, NC))
Perhaps the most exciting few minutes of yesterday's morning BP came when Bellinger and Davidson took back-to-back cuts from the left side, launching missle after missle over the right field wall. Bellinger showcased perhaps the best raw power of the day, with muliple balls landing in the upper deck of the Metrodome, bouncing off the facade, or silently passing through the gap between above the folded rows of seats and the upper level. There was less majesty to Davidson's blasts, but his swing is more conducive to game action, making him perhaps a better candidate for his plus power to play. Early in the cycle, these look like two of the best power bats in the prep ranks. Bellinger is committed to Vanderbilt; Davidson is committed to UNC.
Down the Line: Michael Gettys (Gainesville HS (Gainesville, GA))
Gettys first wowed during the morning workout, where he clocked 100 mph from right field and ran a 6.45 60-yard dash. In game, however, the Georgia commit caused the first wide-eyed solicitation for stopwatch confirmation amongst the evaluators behind home. From the right side, Gettys clocked a 3.94 home-to-first time (with some evaluators insisting on a 3.89 and others 4.00 flat) — an easy "80" in any event. He then followed that up with a clocked 3.19 on a steal of second. To put that in perspective, assuming a solid 1.30 to home from a pitcher, the catcher would need a perfectly accurate throw with a top tier sub-1.9 pop time in order to have a shot at throwing out Gettys on that particular swipe.
Day 2 of the Perfect Game National Showcase kicks off today at 10am.