By: Gary Randall – September 20, 2021
The Week 2 schedule of DP’s Greater Rock Hill League brought on a flurry of Sunday rescheduling action to get ahead of the imminent rain forecasted for Tuesday–Wednesday games. Two sites and three total games were moved to Monday night.
At York Comprehensive HS, the Warriors and Cougars split with Warriors 2 victorious over Cougars 2 and Cougars 1 winning the nightcap over Warriors 1. The game covered by the writer saw the Yellow Jackets travelling to South Pointe HS to square off against the Stallions. In that well-played game, the Stallions came out ahead in an official time of 1 hour, 32 minutes. There has been and still is a lot to be said for pitchers throwing strikes and fielders making the large majority of routine plays. It makes for both a better and a quicker game.
It was good to visit with the two head coaches prior to the game – Hank Harris of the Yellow Jackets and Mel Wearing of the home team Stallions. Thank you, men, for working to allow your players to develop and we appreciate your continued involvement in the DP Fall Leagues.
In advance, bear with me on this left turn: Scouting this game was a reminder often received over 32 years of professional scouting and 11 years of college recruiting. That reminder was - “scouting” - figuring out what players have in their tool/skill/heart box now and then taking your best guess as to where their abilities will end up is a most difficult process. Now, the scout who has the most time, within reason, to scout a player, in general has a better chance of evaluating the player’s present ability and perhaps then projecting his future ability accurately (ceiling).
Now, in the case of last night, and most nights of DP Fall League coverage, not having pre-game events such as infield/outfield (I/O) and batting practice (BP), makes the evaluation of players quite a bit more challenging. And even though we scouts are well-aware that we are primarily scouting “tools” (hitting ability, power, speed, arm strength, fielding) that may or may not evolve into game skills, occasions in the game may not be afforded to ascertain what a player’s tools are at present. And, that will make it even more cloudy to predict where a certain players “package” will end up. Add in the player’s desire, work habits, game instincts and physical projection and…you get the picture. I could go on, but will leave it at that before this article to be posted on the DP website runs out of available room and the editor starts whacking off portions (just kidding, I think).
-Prospect Info: Yellow Jackets-
Noah Rabon – Buford HS, 2022, CF, Uncommitted: Not a big body, but well-structured with an athletic physical arrangement. Looseness in the stroke, a drag bunt SAC caught my attention. Worth a look by JC’s & small colleges for ability to play CF alone. Got a good jump to run down a liner into the RCF gap. Can’t speak to available arm strength but, as per usual, strength gains are needed and expected to improve all tools. Come take a look colleges.
Will Rape – Buford HS, 2023, 2B, Uncommitted: Loose, high-waisted and quite slender w/ not that big a bone structure. Capable though of strength gains. Speed caught the eye here. Ran a 4.44 home-1B turn and then a 3.35 SB. Didn’t get a read on arm strength or fielding ability, but perhaps that speed might fit in CF if accurate reads off the bat can materialize. Has work to do as a hitter – don’t care for the bail stride – which gives him virtually no chance for solid contact on outer 1/3. Not sure what the whole package is here, but the speed is a good starting point.
Eli Sistare – Buford HS, 2024, RHP, Uncommitted: Youngster with a quick arm out front and a feel for spinning the CB. Not fond of the arm path, half-circle and off line, but what comes out of hand at this point is intriguing for the future. FB 77-79, very active tail/run/sink. CB 65-67, 10-4 break, tight and quick at times. Cruised in first inning of work, struggled considerably his second inning. We have a work in progress here, but one that will improve in the coming years.
Landon Deese – Buford HS, 2022, Uncommitted: May not have been a “fair” look at Deese. Pitched over the weekend in travel ball and likely wasn’t at his very best. FB 79-81 MPH, CB 69-70, quick, 10-8 break, threw strikes. Chance to be a smaller college program fit if dedicates himself to getting the most out his physical ability.
-Gamers: Yellow Jackets-
Noah Rabon – drag bunt single/SAC, HBP, quality CF play.
Will Rape – singled over 3B bag, added a SB.
Adam Wright – made plays at SS, 1-2 on the night.
Austin Blackmon – pitched 2 scoreless innings and had an infield hit.
Austin Blackmon – 72-74, Landon Deese – 79-81, Eli Sistare – 77-79, Hunter Gainey – 73-75, Shane Stacks – 67-69.
-Prospect Info: Stallions-
Joshua Jackson – South Pointe HS, 2023, MIF, Uncommitted: Athletic but smaller statured, still age 16, potential to stay in middle of field, betting 2B over SS long term. Wouldn’t doubt ability to play a fine CF given some experience. Plus speed, fair arm strength, decent hands and feet. Will help in batter’s box also, bat speed will be there, just needs to stay back a bit more. Good fit for mid-level D-1 programs. Size will hinder overall talent ceiling, but plenty of tools to make a pro future a possibility.
Addison Roland – Homeschool, 2026, C/3B, Uncommitted: Really made a good first impression – from chatting for a moment as he was catching the starting pitcher in the bullpen, to his overall body language, to his confident and aggressive game approach, to his ability as a 14 or 15 year old. Threw the ball well, moved athletically and received well. Plenty of bat speed on the way, drove ball into CF fairly deep. This one is expected to make noise in D-1 circles quite soon I would think. I will not forget his name relative to pro scouting either.
Isaiah Torres – South Pointe HS, 2022, RHP, Uncommitted: Liked more as a pitcher this night than as a position player, though I wouldn’t rule out as a two-way option for a small college program. Had 81+ when wanted with the FB, range was 78-83 MPH. Did not see him throw a breaking pitch of any kind, so that leaves an obvious hole in where he is overall. FB found the k-zone w/ consistency and had active movement. Uses a ¾ slot w/ some effort involved. Solid chance to find a program for playing baseball beyond high school.
Ethan Wilson – South Pointe HS, 2022, RHP/OF, SMC Commit: Conspicuous by his absence this night. Was looking forward to seeing this talented two-way player.
Joshua Jackson – couple of base knocks and RBI’s.
Cole Montgomery – double, Sac Fly, couple RBI’s.
Ben Rehkow – single w/ 2 RBI’s, hard hit ball to CF and on base via HBP.
Kenyon Addie – on base two of three trips to the plate.
Joey Cheeks – 1.2 innings of scoreless pitching.
Joey Cheeks 68-71, Cohen Faile 74-78, Jasiah Torres 78-83, Elijah Sanders 71-75.