By: Cory Welch – September 14, 2017
As the first week of the Upstate Fall Week came to a close, DP altered its route due to a schedule change and made the trip to Anderson, SC to check on two clubs that are making their inaugural appearance in the league. A stop for a couple bird dogs (delicious as always) was made before settling in for some September baseball under clear skies and a first pitch temperature of 75 degrees. The Bobcats of Seneca are coming off a season that ended in tough loss in the AAA State Championship game while the Westside Rams fell in the AAAAA Upper State bracket. Both teams are looking to build on successful 2017 campaigns and DP was in the house to take a sneak peek.
Hats off to Westside head coach Brett Davis for having the field in excellent condition, music playing between innings and both teams were on the field ready to go right at game time. As we wrap up a successful first week, a big thank you goes to all coaches, players, umpires, and parents that make this league a success each year!
Walker Lathrop - 2020, Seneca HS, Uncommitted, OF: Though only a sophomore, it seems as if Lathrop (pictured at top) has been on map for much longer. First viewing of Lathrop since last spring and still continued to be impressed with the strides he has made on the diamond. It appears he is more relaxed at the plate and is very confident in his abilities. Arm strength continues to improve in the field and will continue to grow into his projectable frame. Lathrop is a player that colleges will keep an eye on. In the viewings over the years he always brings an aggressive yet positive approach to the ballpark which in the long run will pay off.
Matthew Burgess – 2019, Seneca HS, Uncommitted, INF: Burgess is another one of those high energy kids who draws attention when he steps on the diamond. He is small in stature but displays tremendous confidence when playing. Glove checks out on the infield and is a plus runner. Tonight, he displayed the ability to run the ball out of the yard by poking one over the leftfield fence. However, his meal ticket in the future is going to be using his speed to his advantage. In the spring, when Burgess gets on the basepaths, he is going to create havoc which will lead to successful nights at the park for his club.
Gil Senn – 2018, Westside HS, Uncommitted, INF/RHP: Senn is one of the few pieces of the 2017 team that returned. He will be relied upon this spring to play a bigger role in the offense and his number will be called upon on the bump as well. Senn swings the pole from the left side and is a tough out. He displays good plate discipline and does a nice job of spoiling pitches until he gets one he can handle. On the mound, Senn is not going to overpower anyone. Though he was rusty tonight, he can throw multiple pitches for strikes. With improvement on his footspeed, Senn could draw some interest from some college programs.
Furman Wilson – 2018, Seneca HS, Uncommitted, OF/RHP: Like his teammates, Wilson is a high motor kid that plays the game with intent. Tonight, he collected three base hits and each time out of the box he was busting it down the line and forced the issue with aggressive turns (4.50-4.57). His swing is unorthodox with a lot of moving parts but does get in a good position to hit at the point of contact, and with some pop. Along with the success Wilson had tonight he also took his failures in stride. In his final at bat, he took a tough strike three call. Rather than taking his time to get off the field, he took the backwards K in stride and continued to go about his business. To my eyes, that speaks volumes about this young man’s character. Wilson shows tremendous arm strength in the field and toed the rubber and his fastball up to 84 MPH. Interested to see where Wilson lands at the next level.
Matthew Marchal – 2019, St. Joseph’s HS, Uncommitted, RHP/INF: In Marchal’s two innings of work tonight he threw the ball well and worked at an excellent pace. Tonight, he showed a fastball that sat 81-83 MPH and flashed some 84’s. Marchal spun the breaking ball in at 71-72 MPH with late break. With his frame, I expect there to be more velocity in the tank in the years to come. Continuing to improve on his body and focusing on improving arm speed will pay dividends down the road. Looking forward to checking in on Marchal later in the fall and spring to see where his progression is.
Trent Land – 2020, Seneca HS, Uncommitted, UTL: Land caught my eye right away when stepping in the box tonight. He swings the stick from the left side and was very impressed with his plate coverage for someone his age. Down the road it appears that he could hit for some pop. Right now, he sprays the ball well around the yard but does have a tendency to get a little greedy at times. For a kid at his age, it is always easier to pull in the reins rather than push them to be more aggressive. Cannot pinpoint a position on the diamond just yet for Land, but could be serviceable anywhere on the diamond; that will iron itself out in time.
Notables: Cameron Carey, Westside HS, 2018, LHP; Jack Fassino, Seneca HS, 2018, INF, Anderson University commit; Bryson Waley, Seneca HS, 2018, RHP, Anderson University commit; Hunter Land, Seneca HS, 2020, UTL