BLWS Qualifier: Riverside, Mauldin, JL Mann

By: Nick Nickles-January 8, 2008


DP headed back over to Eastside High School in anticipation of seeing some of the better uncommitted arms left in the upstate get some work on the mound. This would be the second time most of these pitchers have thrown this year and the third day the hitters have tuned into some live pitching. As always when schools like Mauldin, Riverside, and suddenly J.L. Mann (a new hot bed for talent) get together, plenty of talent is turning over and flipping baseballs around the yard.

Prospect Info:

Rob Kish-Unsigned senior, Riverside HS, RHP: Kish can pitch. When he mixes up his pitches, working off the fastball, he can be as good as anybody Riverside can run out there on any given day. Kish worked inside and out with the fastball at 83-84 topping out at 85 several times. His breaking ball is a “get me over” variety that Kish used effectively in the 64-67 range and located in great spots. If Kish was ahead, he broke it off the plate, when he was in even counts or behind threw it for a strike. He dropped down to a high to mid-3/4 slot to possibly get some more action on his change-up, and it was quite effective on the night. Kish had it all working tonight and was dialing up strikeouts frequently. By throwing all his pitches for strikes and mixing it up effectively, the Eastside hitters were uncomfortable and over-matched tonight. Kish is from a good program and plays for a respected skipper in Chris Bates who demands a lot out of his players, and would serve as a good pick up for a smaller college looking for a senior arm.

Robert Hardaway-Unsigned senior, Mauldin HS, RHP/3B: The senior consistently stays in the 84-85 range with his fastball and projects to have a little more gas in the tank down the road. With a good solid build, Hardaway moves well enough to play a corner infield position as well for his high school. There are several things to like about Hardaway. He features an out-pitch in a slide-piece that he throws in the 74-76 range. The slider was a plus pitch at times tonight. Hardaway has a decent change-piece with some sinking action down and away to right-handed hitters that was consistently 73. Hardaway would be a nice late pick-up for a school looking for pitching.

Emilio Pagan-Junior, J.L. Mann HS, RHP/SS: Pagan was 83-85 and topped out at 86 multiple times tonight from a high to mid-3/4 slot. His arm looked fresh on a cool night in January. Pagan had a late breaking 12-6 curveball that was also very good on this night in the 68-70 range. His breaking pitch is going to be effective because of his arm angle and that he gets on top of the ball while his arm is extended away from his body. It gives right-handed hitters an unusual release point with some decent speed in the same slot as the fastball. Pagan may be the most improved underclassmen in the state since last high school season. Pagan has not reached his ceiling at this point and continued improvements seem imminent.

Andy Thompson-Unsigned senior, Eastside HS, LHP: The senior worked his fastball 80-81 on the night with good command. He forced contact with the hitters early in counts while mixing in a curveball (66 MPH) and change-up (71 MPH) for strikes. Thompson was effective when he was locating his pitches down in the zone and his change-up had some nice run down and away to right-handers. Thompson could cause some problems for teams in 2008.

Chris Cox-Junior, Mauldin HS, LHP: Cox is a crafty lefty. He was crossing his body slightly tonight, and it seemed to hinder his velocity. He corrected the problem toward the end of his outing and he picked up a little more velo. He worked at 80-81, but he has legit movement on his pitches and had a very good curveball going toward the end of his outing. Cox has a long and athletic build at around 6’2” with a good wing span. His curveball had a big arch coming inside to right-handed hitters at 67-68 and it was money tonight. Cox is a guy to watch his progressions into the summer. The life on the fastball again is worth noting.

Colby Corn-Junior, Mauldin HS, C/OF: Corn is a guy that is easy to like. He is a smaller player and uses his speed and athleticism to make things happen. Corn was the catcher, lead-off hitter, and even swiped a couple of bases tonight. Corn is a jump-starter for a baseball team and he is a fun guy to watch. Corn is a very versatile player and he has some speed. Corn is a guy to follow.

David Donald-Sophomore, J.L. Mann HS, OF: Donald led-off the game with a triple and has only made one out in the two games DP has attended. Donald is drawing walks and showing signs of maturity by not getting himself out and taking what is given. He has gotten almost eerie quiet in the box that is followed by serious bat-speed and laser line drives. Donald is starting to look like a very special player.

Jordan Scott-Sophomore, Riverside HS, INF/RHP: Scott swings the bat left-handed and has a sweet swing. He jerked a double in the right-center gap on this night. The sophomore got on the bump and was 76-79 topping out at 80. Scott had some cutting action away and some sink to his fastball in a high-3/4 slot. His curveball was serviceable in the 65-68 range. Scott threw strikes and was effective tonight.

Will Leathers-Sophomore, Riverside HS, INF/RHP: Leathers hit again in this viewing, he has good infield actions and stands out as a sophomore. Leathers plays the game the right way and his fundamentals are sharp and well-groomed.  He got on the bump and was 78-81 with the fastball and 67-68 with the breaking pitch. Leathers will fall in line as another solid player for the Warriors and looks ready to contribute when it’s his time.

Clay Evans-Unsigned senior, Greenville HS, RHP: Evans is not an over-powering pitcher, but he does keep the hitters unbalanced by working his off-speed pitches frequently. Evans was 76-78 with the fastball. Evans is a guy who can give teams in his region fits when he is on this season. He must stay ahead in counts and keep his predictability minimal to be successful.

Bo Thomason-Junior, Eastside HS, RHP: Thomason worked at 79-80 but featured a nice curveball anywhere from 62-67. A classic junker, Thomason worked off two different speeds of curveballs and slipped in fastballs at around 80 to keep the hitters on their toes. That’s why they call it baseball and though it’s not traditional, Thomason got results from it. His fastball has some movement and he was effectively wild at times. Thomason had some success last year in region play and the Eagles will be counting on his contributions again this season.