The WWBA World Championship is an event held annually by Perfect Game. It is known universally among the baseball world and front offices as simply “Jupiter.” Each October, hundreds of scouts and college coaches from across the country make the trek down to pour into the backfields of sunny, Jupiter, Florida, to get a glimpse at the nation’s top high school talent. It is a baseball evaluator’s paradise. I was able to spend a couple of days down in Jupiter where my time mostly consisted of spending money on overpriced drinks and concession food, slapping on SPF 50, and dodging armies of racing golf carts driven by hungry scouts to check out the lefty who’s touching 94 on Marlins field 4. Oh yeah, and I was also able to catch some looks and video on some of the highest regarded prospects of the upcoming drafts. I decided to put together a list of the top ten bats, in no particular order, that really stood out to me during the tournament. So, to all those prospect and draft nerds out there, this one’s for you.
Riley Greene, OF, Giants Scout Team/FTB
Greene, as expected, raked for the entire tournament, batting .429 with three extra-base hits. In the three games that I got a look at him, he looked to be as polished as it gets in terms of prep bats. Greene is very disciplined at the plate, spitting on off-speed and pitches out of the zone. Seemingly whenever he took a cut, he barreled it up for hard contact. The swing is geared mostly for contact, but there’s big power in the bat as well. Greene continued to solidify his status as the top prep hitter of the class.
Corbin Carroll, OF, Canes National
Corbin Carroll is one of the more interesting bats in the coming draft. The UCLA commit only hit .150 during the tournament, but the stats don’t give the sweet-swinging lefty justice. Carroll showed off a silky-smooth stroke and plus speed (4.03 home-1B time). Carroll has a wiry body with plenty of room for strength and added power, standing at 5-foot-10, 165 pounds. The pure hitter has a track record against top competition, taking home the MVP honors at the Perfect Game All-American Classic in August. Keep an eye on Carroll to be near the top of draft boards.
Hayden Dunhurst, C, East Coast Sox Select
Dunhurst, was one of the many highly-touted prospects on the East Coast Sox Select team that also included Bobby Witt Jr., Jake Holland, and Rece Hinds. Dunhurst normally switch hits, but chose to bat strictly from the left side during the tournament. The result? He mashed. Among his seven hits and eight RBI were a 402-foot blast and a double that soared over the left fielder’s head. Behind the plate, Dunhurst excels, popping 1.9’s to second. With continued success Dunhurst could emerge as the class’s best prep catcher this spring.
Bobby Witt Jr., SS, East Coast Select
Surprise, surprise. Witt Jr., the nation’s top prep prospect continued to do what he does, going 9-for-25 along with six stolen bags. He was rumored to have beat out one infield hit with a home-to-first time of 3.87. Along with Witt Jr.’s blazing speed, he also showed off a knack for effortlessly shooting seeds to the opposite field. He also held one of the top exit velocities in the tournament of 103.4 mph. He has the pedigree, with his father having pitched in the bigs for 16 seasons. His uncle, Doug Witt, is also a pro scout for the Orioles, who hold the number one overall pick in June. He certainly is in contention for that denomination along with Rutschman, Abrams, Greene, and others.
Robert Moore, MIF, Royals Scout Team
Robert Moore is one of the two players on this list from the 2020 class. The switch-hitter from Kansas went 8-for-11 with three doubles and a triple. He has a very small and slender build at 5-foot-9, 160 pounds, but that doesn’t take away from his plus defense and ability to consistently barrel the ball. There is plenty room for him to add muscle for future power. Moore is one bat to watch leading into the 2020 draft.
Nasim Nunez, SS, MLB Breakthrough Series
Nasim Nunez is one of the top high school shortstops in the class. Nunez is a quick-twitch athlete, an outstanding defender, and an absolute burner on the basepaths (clocked at a 6.28-second 60). Thanks to 80-grade speed, he has excellent range with plus arm strength. Nunez is another switch-hitter and at this point his swing is more geared for contact. However, with added strength to his wiry frame, that could quickly change. Nunez has day-one draft potential for June.
Darius Perry, C, MLB Breakthrough Series
A teammate of the aforementioned Nunez, Perry showcased plus power at the plate and strong defensive tools from behind the plate. He smacked .500 with a pair of doubles and a homer (a 406-foot shot). Perry has a sturdy build at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, with a strong lower half. He is also deceptively quick with a cannon for an arm. Perry is another backstop that could shoot up draft boards with a strong Spring, as there is always a need for a power bat that can stick behind the plate.
Anthony Volpe, SS, Canes National
Volpe, another shortstop, is one of the most polished players in the 2019 class. He has a short and quick swing, with lightning-fast wrists that produce constant line drives. Volpe stands at 5-foot-11, but there is present strength. In the field, he has good footwork and natural actions. His future may be at second, where the profile fits better. Volpe possesses a high baseball IQ and a high floor. The All-American may not have any super loud tools like many other top draft prospects, but he’s definitely one of the safer bets to continue to hit at the next level.
Alex Freeland, SS, Giants Scout Team/FTB
On a team flooded with top prospects, the 2020 Florida grad Freeland really stood out. Freeland is yet another switch-hitting shortstop. He looked smooth at both short and third, showing very soft hands. At the plate, Freeland hit his way to a .400 clip. Most of his power is from the left side, where he has good rhythm and a smooth swing with easy loft. From the right side, his swing is quick and more line drive oriented. Freeland was one of my favorite bats that I saw in Jupiter. I look for him to be among the conversation for top bats in the 2020 draft.
Rece Hinds, 3B, East Coast Sox Select
Rece Hinds is a physical monster, standing at an athletic 6-foot-4, 210 pounds. Hinds has the best raw power in the prep ranks of the draft class. In Jupiter, he hit .318 with a trio of doubles and a laser that he deposited over the right-field fence. The swing can get long at times, which leads to some swing and miss. Hinds showed off plus range at third and good first-step quickness. He also wields a rocket of an arm that has been clocked at 98 across the diamond. With Hinds extremely high ceiling, he should be very high on many team’s boards in the coming draft.