Notes From Area Code Games BP

by Conor Glassey/Baseball America
LONG BEACH, Calif. — Today’s action mainly consisted of batting practice sessions for each team. Here are the players that stood out in BP . . .

• The Athletics team consists of players from Northern California and a few new names stood out. Outfielder Giovanni Brusa from St. Mary’s High in Stockton has a physical build at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds. His swing has a lot of moving parts, which can affect his timing, but he showed some strength from both sides of the plate and hit a home run from the left side. . . Outfielder Brody Russell from Centennial High in Bakersfield is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound right-handed hitter with a nice, simple swing that hit everything hard during his BP session. . . One name to keep an eye on for next year is first baseman Ryan Tellez from Elk Grove High. Tellez is anchored to first base because of his hulking, 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame, but he showed impressive strength from the left side of the plate.

• The Nationals squad features players from seven different states, from the Mid-Atlantic down through the South. Shortstop Avery Romero from Menendez High in Saint Augustine, Fla. has some noise to his swing, but it gets results. He peppered the field with line drives and sent one ball over the wall in left field. . . Shortstop Vance Vizcaino from Wakefield High in Wake Forest, N.C. showed a smooth, effortless swing from the left side of the plate. . . Outfielder Vincent Jackson from Luella High in Locust Grove, Ga. intrigued with his lean, wiry frame and left-handed swing. The ball jumps off his bat already, so he’ll be interesting to follow as he continues to get stronger.

• The Brewers team is the only team for Southern California and—at least on the hitting front—may have more interesting 2013 prospects than 2012 prospects. Rising juniors Chris Rivera, J.P. Crawford and Dominic Smith all had impressive showings. Rivera, a shortstop from El Dorado High in Placentia, showed a loose swing and the ball jumped off his bat to all fields. . . Crawford, a shortstop from Lakewood High, got caught out on his front foot at times, but was able to make up for it thanks to impressive hand strength and coordination. Crawford, a left-handed hitter, hammered the ball to all parts of the park. . . Smith, an outfielder from Serra High in Gardena, showed good strength and loft from the left side of the plate.

• The best players from the Northeast make up the Yankees’ roster and two new names—both from Massachusetts—showed impressive strength. Catcher Buck McCarthy from Everett High showed considerable upper body strength. McCarthy, who is listed at 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, uses a short stride and very little load, but displayed excellent bat speed and hit a ball way out to left field that bounced on the street. . . First baseman Christopher Shaw from Lexington showed a simple swing and hit everything hard.

• The White Sox team features players from 11 different states, mostly in the Midwest. Outfielder Bralin Jackson comes from Raytown South High in Raytown, Mo. and is one of the rare players that bats righthanded and throws lefthanded. Listed at 6 feet and 178 pounds, Jackson has a wiry build with long legs. He showed a whippy swing with a lot of bat speed that produced lots of hard contact and a big BP home run. . . Infielder Mac Seibert from Tate High in Tate High in Cantonment, Fla. showed good balance, rhythm and timing that also produced a lot of hard contact. . . Outfielder Nathan Mikolas comes from Bradford High in Kenosha, Wis. He squared everything up with a balanced swing from the left side of the plate.

• The Rangers team has players from Texas and Louisiana and the usual suspects did what they were supposed to do. Shortstops C.J. Hinojosa (Klein Collins High, Spring, Texas) and Gavin Cecchini (Barbe High, Lake Charles, La.) and catcher Stryker Trahan all raked in BP, as usual. . . Outfielder Nick Williams from Ball High in Galveston, Texas had an inconsistent session. He showed towering loft, but was getting under too many balls, resulting in big fly outs instead of towering home runs. Williams needs some refinement at the plate, but does a lot of things you can’t teach. . . Catcher Wyatt Mathisen from Calallen High in Corpus Christi showed a nice swing and some strength and infielder Sheldon Neuse from Fossil Ridge High in Fort Worth, Texas is an interesting 2013 prospect that hit a home run during his BP session.

• The Reds team represents the Four Corners region and, again, some familiar names stood out. Infielder/catcher Alex Bregman from Albuquerque Academy is a hitting machine with an extremely simple approach. . . First basemen Kayden Porter from Spanish Fork (Utah) High and Joey Gallo from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas both showed flashes of light-tower power (Porter from the right side, Gallo from the left), but were both inconsistent. Both players also show potential on the mound. . . One player that hasn’t been mentioned as much is outfielder Connor Williams from Bingham High in South Jordan, Utah. Williams has a strong, 6-foot-3, 185-pound build and put on a nice show in BP, hitting three big home runs. Williams is a good athlete that is also receiving college interest on the basketball court.

• Finally, the Royals’ roster is made up of players from the Northwest. Third baseman Carson Kelly from Westview High in Portland continued to show a good swing that resulted in lots of hard contact. . . Third baseman Dylan LaVelle f rom Lake Stevens (Wash.) High hits from a wide base with simple mechanics and showed good bat speed. . . Outfielder Theo Alexander from Lake Washington High in Kirkland, Wash. showed good bat speed and squared up everything loudly. . . Outfielder Andrew Pullin is following in the footsteps of Drew Vettleson. Like Vettleson, the former switch-pitcher now shows more promise as a lefthanded hitter. Pullin, who is from Centralia (Wash.) High has a bit of a segmented swing, pausing during his load with his bat cocked at 10-o-clock before exploding to the ball and showing big, lofty power. The pause can cause him to get caught out front, even in BP, but when his timing is on, the ball really jumps off his bat.

About Josh Fitzgerald

Enjoying life and Baseball. Playing For Team Usa San Diego,Australia 2012. Represent USA

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