LAKE WORTH - After another successful 18U FSF, the dust has settled. Here are some random thoughts from around the 2010 FSF:
1. The West Florida Shockers are for real. Although I can't see any of their players being pro prospects right now, two have an outside chance at late round consideration: 2011 Joey Krehbiel (pictured left)(who was 88-90mph off the mound in two relief appearances from a 3/4 slot), and 2012 Jimmy Herget (who was 86-87mph with a rangy build in two starts). Krehbiel may be better offensively, and Herget would need to see a velo jump. Both look more to be D1 prospects. However, the Shockers play good team baseball. Their middle infield of Negron and Muniz is just nasty. They both are D1 prospects defensively, but they are somewhat undersized. Their whole team is a bunch of winners, and they proved that this week going 7-0 against Florida's best talent.
2. Joey Krehbiel became the first player in PW history to win a 16U ring and an 18U ring. Joey helped pace the PW 16U state champs from last year, and helped pace the West Florida Shockers this year. Congrats to Joey for making PW History.
3. One year later, the PW 16U state champs from 2009 had a solid roster. Kyle Smith, Dominic Jose, Joey Krehbiel, Roche Woodard, are all AT LEAST fringe pro prospects. Throw in the perfrmances from co-MVPs Jacob O'Keefe and Javier Remigio. Jordan Doyle will be a D1 arm on the mound. Key contributors such as Joey Hall, Kirby Retzer, Lucas Carman, etc have turned out to be all solid players. We were scratching our heads how a team put together 1 week before the event could do such damage in that event last year, but it is pretty obvious now.
4. Palm Beach PAL 16U - When PAL informed us earlier this year that they felt they could compete for the 18U state title, we were hesistant to put a 16U team in the 18U state finals. Turns out there was never any doubt that they could compete. PBC PAL (the Police Athletic League for Palm Beach County) pulls all of the best players from the Palm Beach County area and they not only competed in the 18U State Finals, they did extremely well falling just short in the rain-shortened championship. In fact, both of PAL 16U's losses were rain-shortened, as their pool play loss was not complete, and their championship game loss was not complete. I can only wonder what this team may have done if mother nature gave them a full 7 innings in their losses. A special thanks to Scott Scrivner, Craig Gero and the PBC Staff for understanding the weather and cooperating with the hand they were dealt.
5. Two Straight Final Four Finishes for the Orlando Scorpions Program - The PW 18U Final Four has become Orlando Scorpion territory as the Scorpions finished their 2nd consecutive FSF 18U in the Final Four. Last year, the Scorpions 17U Purple paced by Austin Slater finished as the runner up to the SF Elite Squad, with their 17U Black also making the Final Four. This year, it was the Orlando Scorpions Black that fell just short of the championship game in the Final 4. After jumping on top 5-0 over the Shockers, the Black eventually fell victim to a series of controversial calls on the bases, and a comeback effort from the eventual state champs. Both the Purple and the Black trailed by 1 run in their respective elimination games, but aggressive baserunning and the resulting controversial calls did both teams in. The Orlando Scorpions Purple had the better team on paper, and made it to the Elite 8, but the Black caught fire this week and that's why you play the games. Congrats to the Scorpions program for another great showing this year and having the depth to send two teams deep into the tournment again.
6. JR Amion Breaks Out - Falcon Baseball Club, which is basically Killian High School's varsity program, pulled an outfielder named Richard (JR) Amion from rival high school Southridge in Miami to play in the FSF 18U. The result was a potential pro prospect. Amion hit 2 triples in 1 game, added another triple in the next game, caught fire offensively, ran a 6.7 60 during the combine, and put himself on the map in a big way. Many of the PW Scouts played with the fact that he may have been the best player in a tournament that included pro prospects Michael Kelly, and Hudson Boyd. Amion will debut on the PW National Top 100 later this month when they are released for the first time in Prospect Wire's 6-year history.
7. Drew Weeks Gets His First Offers - The CBC Storm 16U had a loaded lineup in the PW 16U event in July, and their 18U added another interesting player in SS Drew Weeks. Weeks came into the event as an unknown with zero scholarship offers, and left a different person. Weeks went something like 15 for 21 during the event, ran a 6.9 during the combine and registered 87mph across the infield on the gun. He has a projectable frame, and hit high levels of pitching. Two examples are when he turned around a 92mph Hudson Boyd fastball for a sharp basehit, and then went oppo bomb off an 85mph Trevor Maloney fastball from PAL. Both Boyd and Maloney are outstanding young arms, and Weeks was able to hold his own against them.
8. Rivera & Rivera - Two players, similar positions at 3B, similar builds, similar last names, hitting in the same 3-hole in their respective lineups. PBC PAL's Peter Rivera (pictured right) and Cape Coral Cannon Nick Rivera both look to be mid D1 prospects and had great events. Peter hit 2 doubles in the championship game and was an extra basehit machine. Nick Rivera had a good week, highlighted by his 3-run walkoff homerun to cap a 7 run 7th in their elimination game vs. the SF Clippers. Nick had 2 homeruns during the week. Both players are stocky, offensive forces that have some batspeed and hit balls with authority. Both players lack projection for professional baseball and may be maxed out physically, but will make oustanding D1 college players.