Perfect Game National Showcase

Baseball America’s Conor Glassey has been all over the Perfect Game National Showcase this weekend. And he’s been filing reports over at BA.com. Here’s the best of what he has to offer on the top talent in the 2012 draft crop.

On LHP Hunter Virant, Camarillo HS (CA), a UCLA commit:

“Lefthander Hunter Virant has been one of the best arms so far through the first three days of PG National. Virant has a lean, projectable 6-foot-3, 172-pound frame and threw four pitches for strikes.

Virant’s fastball sat in the 90-91 mph range, but he touched 93 and threw the pitch for strikes to both sides of the plate.

His arm can get a little sweepy in the back, but he oozes projection and commanded his fastball to both sides of the plate. The UCLA commit mixed in a 77-79 mph slider, a 78-79 mph changeup and a 71-73 mph curveball.

Pitchers at these events generally throw two pitches, their fastball and one breaking ball. Some mix in a changeup, but seeing a player show four pitches is a rarity. The best part? Virant has only been pitching for a year. He just started taking the mound last summer. Before that, he mostly played outfield and baseball is his only sport.”

On LHP Max Fried, Montclair Prep High (CA):

“…has a projectable body at 6-foot-4 and 165 pounds. He showed a clean delivery and filled up the strike zone with his 88-91 mph fastball (topping out at 92) and a nice curveball between 71-75 mph. Fried flashed an 81 mph changeup, showed good arm-side run on his fastball and showed good athleticism, which shouldn’t be surprising because he also plays guard for the basketball team”

On C/INF Alex Bregman, Albuquerque Academy (NM), USA Baseball’s Player of the Year:

“…didn’t win the event’s home run derby, but he did steal the show by launching 14 out in the preliminary round. Although the games are played with wood bats, the home run derby participants are allowed to use aluminum. But, the hitters this year did use the new BBCOR bats and Bregman’s shots were towering no-doubters. Bregman, who led USA Baseball’s 16U gold medal team last summer by hitting .564/.596/.846 has a compact, muscular build at 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds. The righthanded hitter has a nice, compact swing and a lot of strength in his hands.”

On RHP Lucas Sims, Brookwood High (GA):

“…sat 90-91 mph with his fastball, topping out at 93. The Clemson recruit also showed one of the best curveballs at the event, a tight 12-6 breaker in the 75-77 mph range.”

On RHP Walker Weickel, Olympia HS (FL):

“…continued to show impressive stuff, including a 91-92 mph fastball that touched 93 and a hard, 80 mph slider. Weickel, a Miami recruit, uses his 6-foot-6 height well, getting great downward angle to the plate. He also flashed an 81 mph changeup and a soft, 69-73 mph curveball to keep hitters guessing.”

On RHP Ryan Burr, Highlands Ranch High (CO):

“During his two innings of work, Burr sat in the 91-93 mph range and topped out at 94. He has a little bit of a wrist wrap, but it didn’t prevent him from throwing strikes with his fastball to both sides of the plate. Burr looked fearless on the mound and also mixed in a nice, tight 75-77 mph curveball with sharp 12-6 break.

He showed flashes of an 82 mph changeup, but the pitch is something Burr knows he needs to improve.”

On RHP Clate Schmidt, Allatoona High (GA):

“Schmidt, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound righthander committed to Clemson, sat in the 92-94 mph range over his two innings and topped out at 95. He throws from a low three-quarters arm slot and has a whippy arm with incredible hand speed. Schmidt also mixed in a hammer breaking ball between 79-82 mph. He is also a switch-hitting shortstop, but his future is likely on the mound.”

On RHP Jake Cosart, Clear Creek HS (TX), the younger brother of Phillies top prospect Jarred Cosart:

“Jake has a smaller frame than Jarred, at just 6-foot-1 and 145 pounds. But he has long arms and hit 98 mph on PG’s gun on a throw from the outfield during morning workouts. Throws from the outfield are typically a few miles an hour faster than what a player would record as a pitcher, because outfielders have the benefit of getting a running start on their throws. But, scouts were still excited to see Cosart on the bump. When he did take the mound, though, he was mostly in the 85-87 mph range. The heat—combined with the fact that he’d already thrown a lot as a position player before pitching—may have taken a toll on his skinny frame, but there’s more in that arm than what he showed today.”

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