Perfect Game MLK Tournament
I spent the weekend covering the Perfect Game MLK tournament, they did a great job. The tournament has some of the best travel teams in the country; The San Diego Show, Garciaparra Baseball Group, AZ Prowlers, Minnesota Blizzard, So Cal Cavs and others. I unfortunately didn’t get to see all of these teams, I am only one man, but there were a few players that stuck out for me during the tournament that I saw.
Let’s start with the San Diego Show I got a chance to see their 18u team which had good mixture of players including Jason Potter who is a 2015 player that I covered on UTR. They also had some good 2013 players like Josh Adams (OF from Pleasant Grove HS in Elk Grove, CA) who looks like he has some very good raw tools and also looks like he can handle CF. Anthony Balderas is a 2013 Catcher that showed some good raw power, bat and raw defensive skills behind the plate, the funny thing is he goes to school 15 minutes from where I live at La Costa Canyon in Encinitas, CA. They also had some very interesting 2014 players like Andy Rios, Niko Holm, Chase Bushor and others. It was a good solid team with a lot of players with upside.
My favorite group of players to watch over the weekend was the Garciaparra Baseball Group, both the 18U and 16U had very interesting players. The 18u team has 3 guys I really like, 1 will be part of the 2013 draft. They won’t be top picks, but they are players that could make an impact in the draft. One of those players is Elijah Skipps (Cypress HS, Cypress, CA), a 2014 switch hitting Ofer that shows good pop and speed but is still raw in his approach. The 18U also had a very impressive Catcher by the name Jacob Nottingham from Redlands HS in Redlands, CA. Nottingham shows an advance approach at and behind the plate. He is a player to watch during the draft in the 5 to 10 rounds. The last player is a 2014 Catcher named Tommy Pincin (Upland HS in Upland, CA) who is raw behind the plate but shows great potential and very good bat speed.
The GBG 16U team was not just impressive, they were the dominant 16U team in the tournament. Up the middle, they were amazing and it starts with their center fielder Kyle Dean (Poway HS, in Poway, CA), who shows a combination of speed, power, contact, and overall athleticism. Dean was also a member of the 15U USA Team last year. Their SS Brandon Perez (Mater Dei HS in Ladera Ranch, CA) showed ability to take the ball the opposite way with power and good athletic ability. Perez is a player I will be looking into during the season and will be watching over the next couple seasons. The player I knew nothing about but really caught my eye was their catcher Michael Hickman (Fountain Valley HS in Fountain Valley, CA). Hickman impressed me on a number of levels. The first thing I noticed when he was catching was the fact he was calling his own game, which is very rare for a player at his age. Then his tools jump out, like his arm, raw power, and good receiving ability.
There were 2 players that also caught my eye on other teams. The first was a player on Lamorinda Monarchs named Nico Hoerner (Head Royce in Oakland, CA) a SS with an impressive bat and who looked good in the field. I learned later that Hoerner was a member of the USA 15U team. Another player that caught my eye was a player from Illinois Indians Tribe Geoff Duckmann (Maine West HS in Des Plaines, IL) a SS with a very slick glove and who moved very well to both sides.
If you have any questions about any of these players please ask in the comments section.