After a strong start on Friday night, the pitchers maintained their early summer edge over the hitters on the weekend.
The Easton Rockets 18 ran out a pair of aces early Saturday morning. Junior right handers Triston McKenzie (Royal Palm Beach HS) and Austin Smith (Park Vista HS) impressed in short outings. McKenzie stands at 6-foot-5 and 165 pounds, and features a loose quick arm. He commanded his fastball around 90 and as high as 92. At 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, Smith is an imposing presence on the mound. He spun a tight breaking ball and ran his fastball up to 91 with low effort.
Boca Thunder junior right hander Mitchell Carroll (Highlands Christian HS) has a smaller frame than McKenzie or Smith, but like them he ran his fastball up to 91 on the top end. We saw Carroll top at 85 in 2013, making for an impressive velocity jump in just a year. Thunder two-way guy Adam Saks topped at 88, giving them a duo of strong armed right handers. Though he’s a couple of years younger, Palm Beach PAL 15 freshman Tyler Ahearn has a similar build and similar stuff to Carroll. He topped at 87 on Saturday and then bumped his top end fastball up to 89 on Sunday.
Easton Rockets 16 2018 righty Kristopher Armstrong (Benjamin School) stands at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, and touched 86 numerous times. He reportedly throws the ball pretty well from the left side as well, making him the only switch pitcher and switch hitter I’ve ever heard of. Even with his pitching bloodlines, I’m not sure I’d take the bat out of his hands – he’s got advanced feel for hitting from both sides of the plate, and he hasn’t even started high school yet.
Florida Legends 2015 right hander Jose Gorordo flashed an impressive two pitch mix. He featured a loose, quick arm and ran his fastball up to 89 to go with a breaking ball thrown as high as 79. Standing a couple of inches taller at 6-foot-2, Easton Rockets 18 righty Dylan Gordon (American Heritage HS) also featured glimpses of impressive stuff. His fastball had late sink and sat in the 87-88 range.
In the midst of a group heavy on right handers, Clayton Morell of the South Florida Clippers 18 stood out as among the top left handers. The Kings Academy junior topped at 88 and featured heavy arm side life to his fastball.