DP’s Pre-Season Invite/Scout Day: Conway Site

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By: Austin Alexander – February 14, 2009

After a week of flawless weather and temps in the 70’s, we were forced into an ‘iffy’ radar that created some preliminary concern over playing conditions.

ciscod-sign08acf.jpgBut we started on time, suffered no delays and the day went off without a hitch as six teams converged on Conway High School Saturday for part of Diamond Prospects’ Valentine’s Day doubleheader.

CarsonS-stance07.JPGJust looking at the resume that was set to roll in, we had three teams ranked in the Top 5 of their respective classifications and Diamond Prospects’ top junior in Wando’s Drew Cisco (right) and #1 sophomore Shon Carson (left) of Lake City. We also were privy to a viewing of arguably the top unsigned senior in Dillon’s Travis Murphy. Oh by the way, elite players who are also nationally ranked and were on hand, Conway senior Colby Holmes and Wando’s power-hitting ’09 Daniel Aldrich.

While the exploits of the aforementioned standouts did not disappoint, it was the bat of Wando sophomore Connor Bright and the arm of Carolina Forest senior Josh Knab that turned in, perhaps, the best performances of the day.

-Game Summary-

Game 1: Carolina Forest 7 Dillon 2

knab.josh.jpgCarolina Forest jumped out front early with a 5-run first inning, paced by Justin Turbeville and Travis Parker on two RBI singles by both. Josh Knab (right) was dominant in his two innings as the Panther starter.

Game 2: Wando 19 Socastee 0, 8 innings

brightc-stance09.jpgThe Warriors unloaded for 10 runs in the first inning on a pair of homers by Connor Bright (left) and a 2-run shot by Robbie Dodds. They never looked back as five Wando pitchers kept Socastee at bay.

Game 3: Conway 17 Lake City 9, 8 innings

A see-saw affair for the balance of the nightcap turned a bit sloppy when the sun began to set. Conway’s Michael Frazier and Cannon Jordan turned in big night’s with the bat as the Tigers late surge turning this affair into a convincing victory.

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-Lake City Panthers- 

weatherfordr-stance08.jpgThe Panthers have athletes galore, are well-coached and can grind out at bats. Plenty of speed graces the Lake City line-up, led by sophomore sensation Shon Carson, who turned in a 6.37/60 on a side field Saturday and he spent eight innings showing off his array of skills. Two seniors have already signed to play at the next level, Shane Miles (Charleston Southern) and Reggie Weatherford (Spartanburg Methodist), pictured right. Question marks on the mound will be something that skipper Jason Cook will deal with for balance of the season and could eventually determine what kind of playoff run they make. 

60’s

 Name  Class  60
 Shon Carson  So  6.37
 Shane Miles  Sr  6.84
 Devan Barr  Jr  7.22
 Andrew Hall  So  7.78
 Sheldon Robinson  Jr  6.69
 Brice James  Sr  7.40
 Reggie Weatherford  Sr  6.87
 Michael Hyman  Jr  6.84
 Patrick Floyd  Jr  7.70
 Elliott Braxton  Sr  7.09
 Tyler McClam  Jr  7.94
 Justin Owens  Fr  7.69
 Antwon Wallace  Jr  7.00
 Shareef Green  Fr  7.28
 Zach Holt  Jr  7.54

Pitchers

 Name  Class  R/L  FB  CB/SL  CH
 Shane Miles  Sr  R  78-81  67  –
 Shon Carson  So  R  77-80  –  –
 Zach Holt  Jr  R  75  68  –
 Justin Owens  Fr  R  78-79  59  –

Top Prospects

 Rank  Name  Class  Pos  Scout Notes
 1  Shon Carson  So  INF/OF  Can really run and his speed translates on the basepaths and in the field; Serious bat-speed and power with a very high ceiling
 2  Shane Miles  Sr  OF  Improved bat with some pop and speed to go with good baseball savvy
 3  Reggie Weatherford  Sr  INF  LHH that profiles at 2B or LF; added strength to his frame will lend itself to extra base pop down the road
 4  Zach Holt  Jr  1B/3B  Juice in bat, centered some balls in the middle of the field that had plenty of "carry"; recent transfer to Lake City will prove to be a quality pick-up
 5  Sheldon Robinson  Jr  OF  Tremendous athlete with speed and the hint that he’ll hit; like many multi-sport athletes, amount of time on baseball field will determine his ceiling
 6  Elliott Braxton  Sr  C  Very small frame but plays big; good receiver with solid and accurate arm; would be a good pick-up for smaller school needing athleticism behind the plate

-Dillon Wildcats-

murphy1.jpgThe Wildcats overcame an early deficit on Saturday and never stopped battling as they used four arms, led by Travis Murphy (right), that should be able to pull valuable outs in 2009. Dillon is very strong up the middle defensively and has good athletes up and down the line-up. Ranked as DP’s Pre-season #1 in 2A baseball, they will need to get Jay Harrison back to form and answer some questions at shortstop when Murphy moves to the mound. Expect to see this club right in the post-season hunt again this spring.

60’s

 Name  Class  60
 Jarvis Breeden  Sr  7.37
 Kevin Dixon  Sr  6.78
 Travis Murphy  Sr  6.90
 Anthony Smith  Sr  7.08

Pitchers

 Name  Class  R/L  FB  CB/SL  CH
 Robbie Brown  Jr  L  80-83  –  –
 Jay Harrison  Sr  R  78-80  60-61  –
 Travis Murphy  Sr  R  85-87  65-71  66-69, solid
 Phillip Herring  Sr  R  81-83  67-68  –

Top Prospects

 Rank  Name  Class  Pos  Scout Notes
 1  Travis Murphy  Sr  RHP  Good athlete with live arm, solid CH and improving CB; Wirey frame with fastball that has been up to 90; un-signed senior with pro ability
 2  Anthony Smith  Sr  OF  Pro body and tools but very raw; more AB’s and time on the baseball field would prove huge toward his development;
 3  Phillip Herring  Sr  C  Has made big strides behind the plate, in the box and his frame has filled out; athletic catcher that can receive well and is a very accurate thrower with solid arm
 4  L’Twane Thompson  Sr  OF  LHH with flat, slashing swing that can produce backspin; knee injuries in the past have cost him AB’s but is worth a look from a school in need of some pop from the left-side
 5  Robbie Brown  Jr  LHP  Brown recovered after rough beginning; works away, away, away with tailing FB; improved secondary stuff would jump him past some other LHP’s in his class
 6  Kyle Britt  8th  C  Younger brother of former Dillon SS, Dustin; takes a good LH swing and was not over-matched behind the dish

-Carolina Forest Panthers- 

jrickman8x111.jpgJack Jolly’s club kicked off the day with five quick runs as his hitters were patient, got themselves into good counts and drove the ball the other way against a LHP that was working them away…symbolic of a well-coached club, then having the personnel to execute. This example is relevant for the Panthers because they will have to play clean, smart baseball as they move into 4A baseball and one of the premier regions in the state. Their line-up has some depth to it but lacks the firepower from a year ago. Senior Josh Knab will anchor the pitching staff and rising star Jarrod Rickman (left) should prove valuable with his bat and arm.

Pitchers

 Name  Class  R/L  FB  CB/SL  CH
 Josh Knab  Sr  R  86-87  74-78, good depth  –
 Matthew Jolly  Jr  R  77-78  61-62  –
 Jarrod Rickman  So  R  80-82  69-73  –
 Justin Turbeville  Jr  R  82-83  –  –
 Chris Shover  Sr  R  79-82  62-65  74
 Hunter Melton  Jr  R  78  –  71-72

CFHS 60’s/Top Prospects: See December 16 Scout Day, click here.

-Wando Warriors- 

AldrichD-stance.JPGThe Warriors blew out of the gate early and often as their line-up was deep and potent on Saturday. While the horses have already arrived for Jeff Blankenship, doddsr-head08.jpgmost are still underclassmen that already have a great deal of post-season experience. They send legit power threats to the plate starting with Daniel Aldrich (right) and Drew Cisco, but sophomore Connor Bright and junior Robbie Dodds  (left) flexed their muscles on this day – Bright with two shots out of the 3-hole and Dodds blasted the longest drive of the day hitting ahead of him. Cisco returns his share of big wins to the mound and provides the Warriors with potentially the best ace arm in South Carolina. If the backend of Wando’s rotation can hold up, expect to see them right in the mix for a State Championship.

Pitchers

 Name  Class  R/L  FB  CB/SL  CH
 Kyle Christian  Sr  R  78-81  –  67-68
 Reid Langdale  Jr  R  78-79  –  –
 Drew Cisco  Jr  R  86-88  72-73  74-76
 Charles Hill  Sr  R  78  –  63-64, + knuckeball

Top Prospects

 Rank  Name  Class  Pos  Scout Notes
 1  Drew Cisco  Jr  P/INF  Good arm, secondary stuff, command, poise and make-up, what else is there to say?
 2  Connor Bright  So  SS  Bright is not only his last name, it’s also the best word to describe his future; good runner with bat-speed and baseball instincts; very big upside, especially as his body fills out
 3  Daniel Aldrich  Sr  OF  Big power, solid arm and is an above average runner for clean-up hitter
 4  Robbie Dodds  Jr  OF  His swings produce hard contact and occasional power; good runner with solid arm strength; should demand considerable college attention in ’09
 5  Reid Langdale  Jr  UTL  Very projectable frame and versatile player that can anchor either infield corner and is better than adequate behind the plate
 6  Bradley Evsich  Sr  3B  Unsiged senior with very good grades; very good defender at 3B; best tool is a being a dependable glove and handler of the bat
 7  Kyle Christian  Sr  P/INF  Atletic player and strike-thrower on the bump; should get a shot to play past HS
 8  Jordan Eysen  So  OF  Smallish LHH who really fills out the Wando line-up nicely, serving as another lead-off type in the 9-hole
 9  Charles Hill  Sr  C/P  Good handler of Wando staff, solid thrower; Worked an inning on the mound with a filthy knuckleball – the kind that is any catcher’s nightmare
 10  Taylor Forcier  So  C  Will have the unenviable task of receiving Hill’s knuckleball!

 

-Socastee Braves- 

rickenbackerd-stance08.jpgSaturday proved to be a long afternoon for Socastee as they ran into a buzzsaw in Wando. John Daurity and his staff remained positive throughout the affair continuing to teach and coach their squad. Pitching will be an issue for the Braves in a very competitive conference but they have some talent at key positions and at the top of their line-up. Senior David Rickenbacker and junior Tim Starkey must be big for Socastee if a post-season bid is in the cards.

60’s

 Name  Class  60
 Tomlinson  Sr  6.88
 Renfrow  Sr  6.81
 Rice  Sr  7.98
 Rickenbacker  Sr  6.98
 Bonawitz  Sr  7.31
 Presley  Jr  7.77
 Starkey  Jr  7.05
 Vance  Jr  7.22
 Vreeland  Jr  7.78
 Carmichael  Jr  7.47
 Fowler  Jr  7.45
 Kines  So  8.25
 McKinney  So  7.59
 Gullbeau  –  7.19
 Taylor  –  7.85

Pitchers

 Name  Class  R/L  FB  CB/SL  CH
 Tomlinson  Sr  R  74-78  67  63
 Renfrow  Sr  R  70-71  –  –
 Kines  So  L  73-74  62  –
 McKinney  So  R  68  –  –
 Rice  Sr  R  82-83  –  –

Top Prospects

 Rank  Name  Class  Pos  Scout Notes
 1  David Rickenbacker  Sr  SS/C  Good defender that plays with energy; solid runner with an interesting bat; versatility should be valuable to colleges looking for utility help
 2  Tim Starkey  Jr  C  Very athletic catcher that threw well, was accurate and always looking to steal outs on the bases; presents a good target and can receive; a definite "follow" for schools
 3  Kines  So  LHP  Soft-tossing lefty that could be effective vs aggresive clubs

 

-Conway Tigers- 

hardwick.ryne.jpgOne of South Carolina’s top pitching staff’s took a major hit last week when senior RHP Bobby Watford was lost for the majority of the regular season with broken bones in his pitching hand. While Colby Holmes presents a challenge for any line-up, a void remains on the staff. Matt Brown was a viable candidate to fill in but left Saturday’s scrimmage with an apparent shoulder injury to his left arm while sliding. Which means, both of them must mend quickly and a host of dilemma’s will make 2009 very interesting for Conway. Ryne Hardwick (right) takes over behind the plate and was very impressive. Michael Frazier, Cannon Jordan and Josh Hardwick will serve much more prominant roles this spring if the Tigers are to return to familiar territory.

Pitchers

 Name  Class  R/L  FB  CB/SL  CH
 Colby Holmes  Sr  R  86-87  74-77  75
 Hayden Watkins  Sr  R  78-79  67  70
 Clay Altman  So  R  75-80  67  –
 Eric Graham  Jr  R  76-77  –  –
 Rob Brown  Sr  R  76-77  –  –

60’s/Top Prospects: Conway’s complete Scout Day will be conducted this week…

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DP Notes: All MPH’s were recorded with a Stalker radar gun…60’s times were recorded on a practice football field.

DP Kudos & Thanks: Diamond Prospects would like to thank Anthony Carroll, Ricky Hardwick, Richie Causey and Conway High School for their hospitality on Saturday and the days leading up to the weekend!