Boca Raton, FL - There were 20 players participating in the 2011 Florida Surge combine and they ranged from 6th graders to high school juniors. The most advanced player was clearly Saint Andrew’s School junior shortstop Ronnie Rocca.
Rocca ran the fastest 60 yard-dash (7.28) and showed good actions on the field. The 5’7”, 160-pounder also showed pop in his righthanded bat and will definitely get college offers to play beyond high school.
It’s always a challenge to project the younger kids, so much changes through the teen years. But there were a handful who showed early promise and whose names I’m sure we’ll hear in the future.
Spanish River HS freshman Joal Caldera showed us a short lefthanded stroke with line-drive power. The ball came very well off his bat and he’s solidly built at 5’6”, 135 lbs. He’s definitely still growing and we’ll see if he can turn into a D1 or pro prospect by the time he’s out of high school. Caldera has the body control and athleticism to where he could become a solid outfielder as well.
Jesse Getford, a freshman from Umatilla HS, is a good young righthanded hitter who showed line-drive power and the ability to hit to the opposite field. At 5’6”, 145 lbs, Getford has very good proportions and if he grows accordingly, he will end up a prospect.
A little 8th-grader who showed good hitting actions and instincts was Myles McKissic who attends American Heritage HS in Delray. Standing only 5’3” now and under 100 lbs, McKissic has a couple of huge growth spurts ahead of him. He has quick hips and the ability to use his hands when he swings so I’m really curious to see what kind of player McKissic might become in a few years.
The best present-day raw power hitter was L.J. Hampton, the sturdy 6’0”, 160 lb freshman (American Heritage HS in Delray) who also pitches. Hampton looks like he’s still growing both ways and I expect him to be a big kid. There’s a lot of loft and pretty good bat-speed for his age and he does it from both sides of the plate. Hampton should grow into a stronger arm as well, he threw 68-72 MPH from the mound. He’s the son of former Miami Dolphins running back Lorenzo Hampton.
It was asking a lot of the younger kids to play with this group. Many of them were too young to even have experience on a field with 90-feet bases, but they held their own and gave it their all in the workout. I think in the end, we’ll be amazed at where some of these junior high kids end up because many of them showed good actions, just not the strength to carry it out.