NHSI Recap: Day One

Kiley shares notes on 15 prep prospects from the first day of the NHSI tournament in Cary, NC.

Recent Draft Content: Draft Rankings: Southern California, Draft Rankings: Florida, Scout's Notebook: New/Rising Prospects, Scout's Notebook: Prep Prospects ($) & Scout's Notebook: FIU ($)

The day started with Huntsville HS (AL) junior RHP Whitt Davis facing T.C. Roberson HS (NC) 1B Braxton Davidson (North Carolina commit) in the first inning. I'd heard before the game that Davis was a solid follow and he looked the part: 85-87 mph, hitting 90 mph with a curveball at 72-75 mph that flashed average potential. His delivery was solid and the body could add another 15-20 pounds, so there's more in there. Davidson was 0-for-1 with 2 walks in another patient/pitched around performance against solid pitching, like in Jupiter last October.

The main event came in the second game when Vanderbilt commit RHP Touki Toussaint (and rumored top 10 pick) matched up against Nebraska commit RHP Garett King when Coral Springs Christian (FL) faced Orange Lutheran (CA). Toussaint continues to trend up and looked like a top 15 pick for the first time in the many times I've seen him, flashing his customary two plus pitches (91-94 fastball with occasional plus life and big curveball) but also flashing big league command and an above average changeup that may eventually be plus for the first time.

King was 86-88 with a potentially above average slider in the high-70's and a very projectable frame--a guy to watch in college. Jeremiah Muhammad closed out the 1-0 win for Coral Springs Christian but was just 85-89 mph after sitting 88-92 and hitting 94 mph in a short stint for me a few weeks ago.

C Benito Santiago (Tennessee commit) did a solid job catching Toussaint and got a single later in the game but had some trouble at the plate, swinging through three straight fastballs from King in an early at bat--he's got top 3 round tools but lacks consistency. Orange Lutheran SS Josh Morgan (UCLA commit) had some solid at bats with an 0-for-2 day with two walks: he still looks like a solid 2nd-3rd round pick as a potential everyday shortstop that could hang with Toussaint at the plate.

I heard early this spring that Clovis HS (CA) SS Jacob Gatewood (USC commit) was still the same player from the summer: couldn't dial down his hit-a-hole-in-the-left-field-wall approach and a problem to evaluate. He got a single but generally looked to be continuing to squander his impressive tools. He's a top 10 pick if he can show an ability to adjust his swing and will likely still find a home in the top 30 picks regardless, but won't be in my top 30 as is.

Mountain Pointe HS (AZ) SS Cole Tucker (Arizona commit) is a legit at least 6'3 and still is a bit awkward at the plate. He's a rare projection case as a hitter as when he puts on weight, if he can add strength and keep his speed, he's a guy, but he also could become a corner guy without enough power. He's talented enough to go as high as the 3rd round right now but may be best served going to college, where he could become a first rounder if things fall right.

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First Academy HS (FL) LHP Foster Griffin (Ole Miss commit) looked about the same as when I saw him a few weeks back: 89-91, touching 92 mph, with a curveball flashing 55 and a changeup consistently at 55. His velo was down a little early, likely due to the weather, but the command was good and he went the distance for a complete game shutout; he still looks like a sandwich pick to me. CF Adam Haseley (Virginia commit) just keeps hitting despite a weird setup and scouts seem to be slowly coming around on him. He isn't for everyone and is still just a 3rd rounder at best, but may be a pro guy if he keeps hitting in front of high end evaluators.

Parkview HS (GA) 1B Isiah Gilliam appears to be newly-added to the 2014 class and looked solid in his first high-profile game. He grounded out in his first at bat in an arm-heavy swing, but had line drive singles in his next two at bats. Those next two swings were much better, but still a little upright and in need of more lower half incorporation. It's not a great sign that he's playing 1B in high school, but he looks impressive physically, has some tools and still some room for improvement later this spring.

Gainesville HS (GA) CF/RHP Michael Gettys (Georgia commit) pitched (90-91, touching 93, above average curve at times at 74-76 mph) and more importantly for scouts also hit, but not giving scouts much to see: walk, hit by pitch, pop up. There's still real concerns on his ability to hit that right now have him in the bottom half of the first round but could still be turned around this week (he's preferred as a hitter by nearly every scout).

Regis Jesuit HS (CO) SS Max George (Oregon State commit) looked solid defensively, with a chance to play the position at the pro level, though he's considered a 2B long-term. He's still a grinder that makes a lot of contact, going 3-for-3 with 3 singles yesterday; He's a 4th-5th round fit that likely goes to school. Lastly, Venice HS (FL) 2B Dalton Guthrie (Florida commit) didn't get a chance to show much (2 walks, double in 3 PA) but still looks like a high-end college player and possible 3-4 year starter.

I'll be at NHSI for a recently re-scheduled double day today (to avoid weather later in the week), with some college games added this weekend that I don't want to hype to avoid jinxing them, along with an elite high school game Monday before I fly home.


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