Wilberto Rivera, RHP, Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy, Naranjito, PR
Rivera has gained notoriety over the past few months as a notable player to watch in advance of the next draft. He has a lot of things you like to look for in young arms including athleticism, size, and explosiveness. Standing 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, he still has quite a bit of room for physical growth, especially in his lower half. Wilberto pitches from a full windup with a quick, deep but loose arm action, with good arm speed from a three-quarters slot. His fastball ranged from 93-95, touching 96. In prior outings this summer, he would struggle to command his arsenal as he would lose his balance and overall delivery. In Jupiter his delivery showed slight improvement, which led to more control over his fastball and being able to put away opposing hitters. His command is a work in progress as he was still rather loose in the zone, but still generated six strikeouts over three innings, as well as 14 swings-and-misses with his fastball. His curveball is a 75-76 offering with 11/5 shape, but he has struggled with the pitch in my viewings. At times it shows impressive depth and consistent shape, but is far too inconsistent currently and lacks premium action.
Sam Carlson, RHP, Burnsville HS, Burnsville, MN
While Minnesota is traditionally not a strong baseball state, Carlson and 2016 third-rounder Nick Hanson have made a case for themselves as power arms to keep an eye on. Similar to Rivera, Carlson has a lot of positives going for him including his overall athleticism, arsenal, size, and his clean delivery. Standing 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, he is still lean and has potential for added good weight. Pitching from a full windup, Carlson has a simple pump-and-go delivery with a clean, loose arm action from a three-quarters slot. His fastball averaged 91-93, touching 94 with late life, jumping on hitters. He commanded the pitch especially well, spotting to both sides of the plate. His curveball, which was 78-79, had consistent 11/5 shape with above-average depth and bite, although he struggled to command the pitch at the necessary times. His changeup could be a potential plus offering; coming in between 81-83, he shows advanced feel for it, while showcasing above-average depth and break. He is able to replicate the arm speed necessary and with further advancement could be even better.
Jake Eder, LHP, Atlantic HS, Ocean Ridge, FL
A large left-hander, Eder put himself on the map following a strong performance at the annual Florida Diamond Club event coming into Jupiter. Standing 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, the Vanderbilt commit is an impressive athlete. He pitches from a full-windup with a simple pump-and-go delivery and a smooth, compact arm action with above-average arm speed from a high-three-quarters slot. His fastball came in from 89-92, touching 94 with good sinking action. It is a tough pitch for hitters to square up given his size, plane, and the natural sink it offers. What got him in trouble in the past was his command. In Jupiter it showed improvement, although it still has some roughness as he would still miss down or on the other side of the plate. His curveball also improved, ranging from 70-74 with more bite and depth than what he has shown in the past. Big, athletic left-handers are always a prized commodity come draft day, and Eder has emerged as perhaps a big one.
Hugh Fisher, LHP, Briarcrest Christian, Eads, TN
A lanky lefty, Fisher stands out for his size and athleticism. Standing 6-foot-5, 175 pounds, Fisher has a tall, wiry body with room for added growth, but still has present physicality. Pitching from a full windup, he has a big leg kick with a small, tight arm action, with a full circle and above-average arm speed, but some stiffness before releasing the ball from a high-three-quarters slot. His fastball this outing was 89-91, touching 92. When I saw Fisher at East Coast Pro, he was sitting 87-89 and struggled with maintaining balance in his delivery, so I was excited to see the gains he had made thus far. His curve, coming in between 72-73 has 1/7 shape and while he shows feel for the pitch, he was inconsistent with his execution. He struggled with the control and shape, often becoming slurvy. At its best it flashed average with average depth and action. His changeup is thrown from 77-81, and while the arm speed isn’t the same, he still has a feel for the pitch and is further along in the development process than other arms.
Austin Martin, SS, Trinity Christian Academy, Orange Park, FL
Martin has made a name for himself as one of the more athletic middle infielders heading into next spring. A Jacksonville commit, Martin showcased what makes him a special player. Standing 6-foot, 170 pounds, the right-handed hitter has above-average bat speed from a short, compact swing, and he knocked hard-hit balls all over the park. During the event he had one of the highest exit velocities, pulling a ball to left off the bat at 98 miles per hour. He has a good idea of the strike zone as well, laying off tough pitches and showing adjustments to pitches on the outer half. He posts above-average run times, translating to plus lateral range in the field, as well as above-average arm strength. While he can get out of control at times, but he still shows an ability to get to balls most other guys have no chance of corralling.
Drew Waters, OF, Etowah HS, Woodstock, GA
When I first saw Waters at East Coast Pro, his plus throwing arm and running ability were impressive, and I was intrigued to see how well those skills translated to the field. In Jupiter, those skills still stood out, but his hitting ability also shined during the event. At 6-foot-1, 165 pound, Waters still has the ability to add weight, and potentially power without sacrificing his speed or athleticism. He has a loose whippy swing with quick hands with present strength from the left side. One of his best hit balls was a triple to the left-center gap that left the bat at over 97 miles per hour. As a right-handed batter he has a slightly longer swing and the bat speed isn’t as evident. While he has some wiry strength and can lace a ball, he doesn’t project to have much over-the-fence power. Given his speed and his current strength though, he should still get a lot of extra base hits. He takes smooth routes to the ball and while his arm wasn’t challenged, he still showed off his plus throwing arm.
Sam Weatherly, LHP, Howell HS, Howell, MI
A projectable lefty, Weatherly has a good fastball that has fooled hitters all summer. A Clemson commit, he pitches from a semi-windup with a quick but messy arm action from a high-three-quarters slot. His fastball arrives in the upper 80s, but features late, rising action which jumps on hitters, making it a difficult pitch to square up. His curve comes in 75-78 and flashes average with good depth and bite, but tended to get slurvy out of hand.
Russell Smith, LHP, Midlothian HS, Midlothian, TX
Standing 6-foot-8, 220 pounds, Smith is your prototypical “big Texas pitcher of the draft” and, while he has some current stuff, he also has projectability left. A TCU commit, He pitches from a full wind with a deep arm action and average arm speed from a three-quarters slot. His heater came arrives at 87-88, but has natural sink and takes advantage of his height. His slider and change both came in at 78, and while he shows some feel for the former, the latter lags presently.
Jordan “Jo” Adell, OF/RHP Ballard HS, Louisville, KY)
I touched on Adell as both a pitcher and as a hitter earlier this year, and he still showcases the tools that make him a very intriguing player. He was up to 94 with the fastball and had tightened up his slider, which had featured more depth than in prior viewings. In the field he still has the plus athleticism, plus arm, plus-plus run, and potential for plus power. This viewing won’t change anything in that he still has a ways to go before proving himself with the stick.
Boyd Vander Kooi, RHP, Skyline HS, Mesa, AZ
Boyd, an Oregon commit has the potential for three average to above-average offerings. Pitching from a full windup, he has a herky-jerky delivery with a slight crossfire and a soft-stab arm action, with above-average arm speed from a three-quarters slot. His fastball was 88-90 and had mild sink. His curve came in at 75-77 and featured 11/5 shape with depth and promising potential. His change, at 82-83 is still in development, but he shows a feel for the offering.
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