Friday, March 16, 2012

Scouting Reports on Rockwall-Heath and Lake Highlands

On Wednesday, March 14th I went and saw Rockwall-Heath play Lake Highlands at the Ballpark in Arlington.

Jake Baxter started for Rockwall-Heath (who I will refer to as Heath from now on). Baxter is relatively tall and lanky, and there seemed to be some effort in his delivery. For the most part, he was throwing really soft, and away to righties (although most of it was for strikes), with a high unimpressive heat. He changed speeds with breaking balls, really fooling hitters at this level. He hung the breaking ball for a ground-ball hit, but when he located it, which was most of the time, it was a pretty good pitch. He got a lot of grounders through out the game, with some weak contact. At first I thought it might have just been because of a weak line-up (they didn't seem to have a good eye or bat speed) , but they got some hard contact off the other Heath a pitcher (who I will profile in a moment). He was getting swings and misses off both pitches, he did have the ball hit hard in the 4th I believe (there was no scoreboard and I wasn't keeping close track of the score or innings or anything because it didn't matter for this post).

Heath's other pitcher was Christian Sanders, who wasn't real tall, but was big. He did have some velocity on his fastball, with a hard breaking ball. He got two quick strikes to the first hitter and then hit him with a pitch. He gave up hard contact, with a walk then 2 ground-balls (on consecutive pitches, one being hard and one being soft). He then gave up a hard line drive on a long at-bat.

Lake Highland's starter was Salvador Sanchez, who possessed a weird arm action and was extremely wild in warm-ups. However, he was throwing strikes early and keeping everything low. Overall, he didn't have a good idea where the ball was going and lost control, and ended up hanging some in the strike zone. He was basically all deception and breaking stuff with no real velocity. He had some plate to plate movement and there were a lot of balls in the dirt. He occasionally zipped a fastball that was not fast but worked as a reverse change-up, and I really would like to see him throw that pitch more so hitters can't just focus on his breaking stuff. He wasn't hitting the corners like he wanted to and seemed to be tipping his pitches with his arm action.

The first reliever Lake Highland used was Jeris Medina, who was very large. He had a kind of low arm action and was basically all off speed pitches. He was pretty wild but got decent movement. He hit a batter with the first pitch he threw. He later played first, and he looked awful out there in warm-ups before the game, but had a decent pick during the game. With the bat, he swung at a low pitch but he ended up driving it pretty well (below is video of him pitching to Jake Bledsoe)

Gregg Calvin came in with a high leg kick and his arm cocked way back. He seemed somewhat deceptive as hitters couldn't pull the trigger. He faced a lot of backups it seemed, and gave up a lot of fly-balls. He was very curveball heavy, it seems like this team has a lot of junk ballers. He had control problems, and when he faced some regulars a few batters in, his pitches started getting hit hard.

Brandon Cook was skipping pitches well short in warm-ups, but during actual game time he was keeping the ball low and it translated to ground-balls. He was throwing mostly fastballs, and while it wasn't real hard, it wasn't soft either. With his breaking ball, he had nice speed differential, but he was staying in the middle of the plate. He isn't real tall, and he had some control issues where he was just missing with pitches, getting a walk and a HBP.

Now for the lineups:

For Heath, the pitcher Jake Baxter got a walk, but doesn't have an impressive swing and it doesn't look like he has power. He did run decent though. Jovan Hernandez has a short stout frame, but was fooled on the breaking ball. He did have power potential and drew a walk. Jake Thompson played 1st Base, and is a TCU commit and the top prospect in the game. He has good size, and the ball just jumps off his bat. However, he had some swings and misses and he is not a good base runner. He doesn't seem to have the greatest eye or patience at the plate, but did draw a walk and smoked a line drive in the gap. Bret Boswell played shortstop, and hit a ball to the left field wall and showed nice range defensively. Jake Bledsoe was the bulky catcher that showed off a decent arm. He also crushed a ball to the wall and walked and showed that he was pretty decent behind the plate. Grayson Lewis played in left field, and is small but made some decent contact and had a walk. Blake Brown played 2nd and is also small. He chased some pitches and looked totally fooled at the plate. Cade Flory made some good contact on a low pitch.

For Lake Highlands, the first two hitters, Alex Irion and Sean Guion showed good eyes at the plate. Irion had a short ground-ball type swing and simaltonously had some big whiffs. Both Irion and Guion were short in stature. Bo Vaughn played shortstop, and was also short but hit a ball hard. Michael Ketchmark had solid to okay contact, while Colton Bradley was the right fielder who was slightly bigger than many of his teammates. Richie Laurin was the catcher, and he had all kinds of problems with the wild breaking pitches. He had an ugly swing with no real eye or pitch recognition. Hayden Huey played in the outfield and didn't show any kind of bat. Trevor Curtis started at first and had an ugly drop. Hudson Taylor took over at first later on, and while he was little for a first baseman, he hit a ground-ball single on a hanging breaking pitch. Alan Boss had a nice swing and contact, even with a weird stance. He didn't have much speed though. Chris Dyer, who is a sophomore, had a nice line drive.

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