Scout Day: Carolina Forest Panthers

Scout Day: Carolina Forest Panthers By: Austin Alexander-December 13, 2007 A better December day could not have been ordered to make the drive over to Carolina Forest High School on Thursday morning. It was 78 degrees with sunny skies and green grass covered the Panther diamond…a perfect day to be at the ballpark, especially in the winter! Carolina Forest head coach Jack Jolly had the cones out, bases in, cage rolled up and was ready to conduct Diamond Prospects’ first Scout Day. He even had a boxed pizza waiting on me! (Pictured right, senior Jeremy Knab) Most of the evaluation days that we will cover like this one will be after spring practice officially begins on January 28. However, Carolina Forest offers a baseball class to its students and DP seized the opportunity to get an early look at this year’s club. More importantly, we were able to lay eyes on every player in the baseball program and identified some names that were not on our radar. In less than 90 minutes, we ran every player in the 60-yard dash, players worked out defensively, every pitcher threw in the bullpen and each player got eight swings in BP. Well, actually if they kept requesting “one more”, their wish was usually granted by Coach Jolly. Especially the guys who were banging balls off the light poles and school buses! Over the course of my time at Carolina Forest, I walked away from the yard knowing these three things for a fact: 1) The Panthers have plenty of young talent, particularly in the sophomore class, 2) John Gump and Ryan Stewart have serious juice in their bats and 3) This club should be in the hunt for a 3A Lower State Championship. After working out every player, DP will now crunch the numbers from the day as we breakdown the 2008 Carolina Forest Panthers. -Scout Day Evaluations- 60 Times Name Grade 60 Time Matt Archer 10 8.15 Neal Falvey 10 8.17 Tim Flynn 12 7.73 John Gump 12 7.17 Dylan Hansen 10 7.97 Matthew Jolly 10 7.19 Alek King 12 7.50 Jeremy Knab 12 7.55 Josh Knab 11 7.30 Hunter Melton 10 8.06 Danny Mitchell 11 7.87 Travis Parker 10 7.74 Blake Rothenberg 11 7.47 Conor Schassler 10 8.42 Andrew Scheeler 10 7.97 Tress Shaw 12 7.31 Chris Shover 11 7.83 Ryan Stewart 12 7.07 Jacob Talbot 11 7.42 Cole Thompkins 10 7.60 Caleb Tripp 11 7.49 Justin Turbeville 10 7.36 Sam Unsworth 11 INJ Catchers: Pop Time Name POP Matt Archer 2.00-2.03 Andrew Scheeler 2.30-2.32 Outfield Arms Rank Name 1 Josh Knab 2 Justin Turbeville 3 Jeremy Knab 4 Matthew Jolly 5 Hunter Melton Infield Arm Strength Rank Name 1 John Gump (1B) 2 Jeremy Knab (1B) 3 Justin Turbeville (1B) 4 Chris Shover T5 Ryan Stewart T5 Cole Tompkins Infield Actions Rank Name 1 Cole Tompkins 2 Ryan Stewart 3 John Gump (1B) 4 Jeremy Knab (1B) 5 Travis Parker Best BP Round/Swing Rank Name T1 Ryan Stewart T1 John Gump 3 Josh Knab 4 Chris Shover 5 Justin Turbeville 6 Matthew Jolly 7 Matt Archer 8 Alek King 9 Cole Tompkins 10 Jeremy Knab Bullpens Name Fastball Breaking Ball Change-up Notes Matthew Avery 75-77 61-62 – – Neal Falvey 74-75 57-58 65-66 Late arm-side run John Gump 83-84 74-75 71-72 Improved slider, solid CH Alek King 75-77 63-64 70-71 Cuts CH Jeremy Knab 80-82 69-72 68-70 Good depth with CB Josh Knab 84 67-72 71-72 Live arm, solid slurve Hunter Melton 75-77 65-66 71-72 CB/CH and command show pitchability Danny Mitchell 68-69 52-54 62-63 – Chris Shover 80-82 64-65 61-62 Slider darts late Justin Turbeville 79-80 – 71-72 Projectable FB/CH guy Matthew Jolly 78-79 63 68-75 Fluid arm, solid stuff Note: A Stalker radar gun was used to get MPH. Top Prospects Rank Name Grade 1 John Gump 12 2 Ryan Stewart 12 3 Josh Knab 11 4 Jeremy Knab 12 5 Justin Turbeville 10 6 Matt Archer 10 7 Matthew Jolly 10 8 Chris Shover 11 9 Cole Tompkins 10 10 Hunter Melton 10 Note: Prospect Rankings are based on the player’s current ability level combined with how he projects at the next level. Diamond Prospects is appreciative to coaches Jack Jolly and Doug Soles for their hospitality and assistance during the day. .

Diamond Devil Scout Day

Fall Scout Day: South Carolina Diamond Devils Compiled By: Nick Nickles-August 25-26, 2007 Prospect Info: 18U Marty Gantt, North Augusta, P/OF, USC Commit: Gantt (left) plays the game with a purpose. Don’t expect a senior season let down from Gantt, but look for him to actually improve his overall game and be a bigger offensive contributor. Gantt has developed into one of the best hitters in the class of 2008. Gantt has savvy; he’s talented, and mature. He is a good one. Gantt projects to be on ESPN in the near future pitching in a super regional for the Gamecocks. Jake Koenig, Greenville, SS, Spartanburg Methodist Commit: Koenig had a good weekend workout. A self-made player, who makes very few mistakes and maximizes his abilities by knowing his limitations, Koenig plays the game the right way and is very projectable to play a solid role at the next level. Koenig made several plays on balls that were smoked this weekend, which would be considered ‘plus’ plays on the collegiate level. A solid sign for Spartanburg Methodist.  Nick Ferguson, Lancaster, OF, Un-signed Senior: Ferguson (right) played outstanding this weekend. He struggled during the summer, and seemed to have put those days in the past as he crushed everything he saw this weekend. Ferguson has some pull power as he drove a ball in the alley off the near rotten scoreboard for a two-run job at the infamous James Island High School field where only two lights work on the scoreboard. Ferguson should catch the eye of some of the smaller schools before the early signing period. Troy Zawadzki, Dutch Fork, INF, Un-signed Senior: Zawadzki may be unfamiliar to most around the state. He moved to the Columbia area from Massachusetts this summer. Zawadzki plays an eye-catching infield with beautiful infield actions and a solid arm. Zawadzki is a contact hitter, who will develop into a solid line drive hitter with a solid batting average at the next level. John Long, T.L.Hanna, 3B, Un-signed Senior: There is no doubt that Long’s strength is in his bat. He had a solid round of BP, hitting some tape measure shots along the way. Long has improved his footwork around the bag defensively at third and has a solid arm. Long has all the tools to be a good player at the next level. Tony Micklon, Sumter, C, Un-signed Senior: Micklon is a good receiver behind the dish. He is solid at throwing out runners and plays with good instincts. He has quick hands at the plate. Micklon likes to get the bat head out and drive the ball to leftfield. Micklon is a good player to follow for the colleges looking for a solid backstop. Jarett Miller, Easley, P, Erskine Signee: Miller (left) is coming off a tremendous summer in which he refused to give up runs. He carried that right into the workout this weekend. Miller throws a heavy baseball from a high-3/4 slot that he pounds repeatedly low in the zone. Miller and Christopher Owings (USC Commit) got locked up in an 8-pitch battle, where Miller stayed with the heater and eventually got Owings to strikeout after numerous foul balls. Miller is a bulldog, with a good fastball that he can locate and induce a lot of groundballs, he has recently become much more adept at driving the ball in on hitters. Miller will be a top tier pitcher in 2008 for Easley. A great sign for the Flying Fleet. Dustin Morris, Landrum, 2B, Junior: Morris can hit it a little bit, and that makes him quite valuable as a true second baseman. Morris hits hard, line-drives all over the field. A pure hitter with good hands, and power does exist in his stroke, but he is content on driving balls and not elevating them. Morris is a definite follow guy in the class of 2009. Bo Mooneyham, Wren, OF, Un-signed Senior: Mooneyham is a left-handed hitter who has some pull-side pop. He had a solid round of BP and drove a ball off the wall in right during the scrimmage. Mooneyham’s effort on a smashed ball to the fence stood out, as he just missed the ball and slammed head first in the wall turning his whole face into a bruise. One of the few times you can miss a ball and garner respect.          Prospect Info: 17U Greg Harrison, Hilton Head, Junior, P/INF: Harrison (right) could very well be the next Division I commit in South Carolina. Harrison throws from a mid to low-3/4 slot and gets a lot of whipping, arm-side action on his fastball. Harrison can run it up in the mid to upper-80’s topping out at 89 on Sunday. Harrison is a solid stick as well, and brings an aggressive style into the batters box. His at-bats don’t last long, and he gets on and barrels his share of pitches. Harrison will be a force in high school baseball the following two seasons. Christopher Owings, Gilbert, Junior, SS, USC Commit: Owings (left) is a guy that makes everything look easy in all aspects of the game. He can run a little bit, flashing a 6.81/60 on a dew laden football field Saturday morning. He is a premium infielder, but what is deceptive about Owings is the amount of power in his swing in comparison with his frame. At, 5-10/155, Owings doesn’t blow you away physically, but watching him play quickly erases any doubt about what kind of talent this young player encompasses. Owings is a player whose instincts are tremendous and leadership traits are superior for his age. Owings could easily be labeled the best shortstop in the state.        Daniel Aldrich, Wando, Junior, OF, USC Commit: He is a pure left-handed hitting power guy. He has a chance to hit a lot of homeruns in his baseball career. His approach is solid and his mentality is great for a power hitter in the like that he’s going down swinging some, but he hits the ball out of the …

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