Pitching dominated the event, and there were very few hard hit balls overall. That’s to be expected, though. This event allowed all the pitchers to show what they have in one or two inning bursts, so keep that in mind when looking at the velocity numbers. Let me know who your favorite arms were!
Jared Jones- Jones was the starting pitcher for the American team, and he pitched the first two innings. His fastball is his best pitch, and he was 93-96 for the first inning and was 91-94 in his second inning of work. His slider was his best off-speed pitch on this day, getting two swing and misses as well as being thrown for strikes. It was in the 79-80 MPH range. His changeup sat 86-88, it’s clear he prefers it over his slider although the slider was better on this day, but I am worried about the firmness of the pitch. It was the highest velocity changeup of the day. Jones was one of my favorite arms in this game and at a projectable six-foot-one, 180 pounds he has future top of the rotation stuff. The delivery is athletic and he repeats it well.
Summary: Eight swing and misses on 47 total pitches (four foul balls). Four strikeouts in ten batters faced. Three walks and one hit by pitch.
Jared Kelley- The six-foot-three, 215 pound Texan had the best fastball of any arm in this event. He threw two innings as the starting pitcher of the National team. His fastball is loud, sitting 94-96 in the first, but tapered down to 90-94 in his second inning of work. His changeup is 81-83 giving him elite separation with only a slight slowing of the arm. His curveball was 79-81. He came out of the gate strong with that loud fastball, striking out Robert Moore on four fastballs at 95, 96, 96, and 96. His changeup is a future plus pitch, as he keeps it down in the zone and will go to it often. His breaking ball had good shape, but he only threw it 2-3 times getting one swing and miss.
Summary: Eight swing and misses on 43 total pitches (ten foul balls). Five strikeouts in nine batters faced. Two hits allowed and one walk.
Cam Brown- Brown was next up for the National team, and he threw a clean inning retiring all three of the batters faced. His fastball sat 90-93, his slider was 77-79 with a 79 curveball. The radar gun was accurate enough that all the scouts put their own personal radar guns away, but I do question some of the pitch classifications by the staff at Wrigley. That said, during warmups it did look like Brown had two distinct breaking balls with his curveball having more vertical break. It’s a potential plus pitch.
Summary: Three swing and misses on 12 total pitches (one foul ball). One strikeout and two ground outs in three batters faced.
Nate Savino- Despite being six-foot-three I’d bet the lefty Savino had the lowest arm slot of any pitcher in the showcase. During his one inning of work his fastball sat 92-94 and he paired it with a plus sweeping slider that easily had the most horizontal movement of any pitch in this event. It comes in a bit on the slower side, at 75-76, but I predict this pitch becoming a huge ground ball pitch down the line. There’s some room for more velocity here with Savino, and I’m curious of the arsenal outside of his fastball and slider, which were the only pitches he showed in this appearance.
Summary: Two swing and misses on 13 total pitches. Two groundouts and a line out. He did surrender an opposite field double down the right field line to catcher Drew Romo.
Carson Montgomery- Montgomery had an eye-popping one inning appearance, striking out all three batters with his fastball and slider combination. It’s worth noting that the Wrigley scoreboard kept calling his breaking ball a curveball, but it looked more like a slider to me so I’m sticking with that. It’s a tight pitch with serious two-plane late break. I recall one that created some oohs from the crowd as he buried his two-plane slider to get a strikeout. His approach was very fastball heavy, and the pitch sat 91-93 and the breaking ball was 80-82. Five of his swing and misses came on the fastball, which he worked up in the zone.
Summary: Six swing and misses on 14 total pitches (Two foul balls). Three strikeouts in three batters faced.
Victor Mederos- The MVP of the game, Mederos put on an absolute show on the mound during his one inning of work, striking out all three batters he faced. What made Mederos stand out is he featured not one plus breaking ball, but two. Mederos’ fastball sat 92-94, his slider was 80-82, curveball was 75-78 and he even threw one change that came in at 85 that got a swing and miss to put away Dylan Crews. He got the other two strikeouts on the slider, both looking. The Cuban has a bit of flair to his delivery as he points his front foot and glove straight down before he delivers the pitch.
Summary: Four swing and misses on 13 total pitches (one foul ball). Three strikeouts in three batters faced.
Nolan McLean- McLean also played some infield and hit during the event. He threw an inning in the game getting two strikeouts. His fastball is the headliner, sitting 91-95 and he supplements it with a 73-75 curveball and 81 MPH changeup. He has a short arm action with strong legs. In addition to being a two-way player he’s also a star QB.
Summary: Four swing and misses on 18 total pitches (five foul balls). Two strikeouts in three batters faced.
Jared Gonzalez- Gonzalez was 88-90 with his heater with a 75-76 sweeping curveball during his one inning of work. He found himself in some trouble early as he gave up a hit to Tanner Witt, and then Robby Ashford reached on an error, but he settled in and retired the next three hitters.
Summary: Five swing and misses on 18 total pitches (three foul balls). One strikeout and one hit in five batters faced.
Alejandro Rosario- Rosario has an extremely athletic and loose delivery and was showing part of his back to hitters. Rosario struck out the side in his one inning of work showing a 91-95 heater and a 79-82 changeup. The changeup is a good pitch with late dive, but he was leaving it up in his one inning.
Summary: Two swing and misses on 18 total pitches (two foul balls).Three strikeouts, one BB and one HBP in five batters faced.
Andrew Painter- Painter is 2021 draft eligible out of Calvary Christian Academy in Pompano Beach, Florida. At six-foot-six he has plenty of room to add good weight to his frame. Painter sat 90-92 with the fastball and has a big slow 69-73 curveball.
Summary: Two swing and misses on 16 total pitches (three foul balls). Two strikeouts, two singles in five batters faced.
Christian Little- Little is also a 2021 draft eligible prospect out of Christian Brothers College in St. Louis, Missouri. Little had some issues with his command to start his appearance, hitting the first batter and then walking the next, but he recovered to strikeout three of the next five hitters. His fastball was 87-90 and he has a 71-76 curveball with a 80-81 changeup.
Summary: Two swing and misses on 24 total pitches (two foul balls). Three strikeouts, two walks, a double and a HBP in seven batters faced.
Theo Millas- Millas had an uneventful, quick appearance totaling only five pitches but getting three outs. His fastball was 88-89 and he threw one curveball at 74 MPH. He registered two groundouts and one lineout.
Summary: 0 swing and misses on five total pitches. Two groundouts and a line out in three batters faced.
Will Sanders- Sanders showed off his three pitch mix in his one inning of work. His fastball was 89-87 with a future plus changeup at 78-82 and a curveball at 78-80. Sanders started his appearance with back-to-back swing and misses on a pair of changeups to Zac Veen, before finishing him off on a curveball. There’s more velocity here, and he already has a plus changeup. Sanders is a name to track.
Summary: Four swing and misses on 18 total pitches (five foul balls). Two strikeouts and one walk in four batters faced.
Ben Hernandez- The hometown kid, Hernandez had a fantastic inning for the American squad, getting three swinging strikeouts. Hernandez was 91-93 with the fastball and 80-83 on the changeup. It was a unique pitch mix for Hernandez as 11 of the 17 pitches he threw were the changeup, and for good reason. It’s a strong pitch with late depth, and he was pitching backwards, using it to set up the fastball.
Summary: Four swing and misses on 17 total pitches (eight foul balls). Three strikeouts in three batters faced.
Max Rajcic- This was one of the arms I was most anxious to see, and I had to wait until the 8th to see Mad Max. He has a quick tempo, and was on the mound ready to pitch as soon as the ball came back to him. Max struggled in this outing, facing eleven hitters and throwing 54 pitches. He wore down as his outing went on, as he came out of the chute with a 91-94 fastball, but at the end of his outing it was down into the 87-90 range. He fought his command all day with a walk and a hit batter, but he had deep counts all day. I’m intrigued by what I saw though as the curveball (78-80 early, 74-76 late) has good shape.
Summary: Three swing and misses on 55 total pitches (16 foul balls). Two strikeouts, one walk, three hits and a HBP in 11 batters faced.