By The Baseball Beginnings Guy
August 5, 2010
Rouric Bridgewater hit the hardest ball of the five-hour long BP session Thursday in the opening of the Area Code Games. Bridgewater, and some of the players who also had good rounds, are among players to keep an eye on in this event. Call it the kickoff of the new Draft cycle, even though a draft cycle never really starts, and it surely never ends.
Bridgewater, from Diamond Ranch HS, hit two balls out, including what I felt was the best hit ball of the BP session, a shot to straightaway centerfield which cleared the 400-foot mark. For good measure, Bridgewater added another shot, a pull dead to right field, right near the 387-foot marker.
Trevor Gretzky (Oaks Christian HS) probably won’t get much of a break because he didn’t hit any balls out of Blair Field, but I would argue that he is just scratching the surface of what he may be capable of. Gretzky, after relaxing a bit and letting some pitches get to him, hit a handful of hard rising line drives to the base of the wall in center field and in right field. Look in the crystal ball and you can see those balls getting out of the park in the future.
Other Brewers White hitters that I felt had solid rounds included Blake Grant-Parks (Yuba City HS) and Dante Flores (St. John Bosco HS). Parks showed bat speed and backspin on balls, and Flores showed bat speed with spray contact. Infielder Zachary Green, who I first saw when Jesuit played Christian Yelich and Westlake last spring, continues to show upside and progression. Shawon Dunston (Valley Christian HS) has his dad’s athletic actions and great hands. He’s still gaining the strength to use the wood bat, but you can see the bat speed and hear the authority.
Over on the Brewers Blue, the two known commodities are Austin Hedges (Jserra HS) and Travis Harrison (Tustin HS). Hedges did his thing – bat speed and an aggressive cut – and pulled a ball out to right field at about 370 feet. Harrison, showing a compact and fierce stroke, pretty much hits everything hard and separates himself with his body type, strength, and consistently hard contact. His final BP swing was a gunshot home run to left field, at 387 feet.
Among other Brewers Blue hitters, Christian Lopes (Edison HS) is now a guy I like better with wood. I saw him last spring with metal. This time, he looks like he’s been training and it shows. His brother, Tim, showed hard contact and a compact stroke. The same can be said for Phillip Evans (La Costa Canyon HS), though he tended to put too many balls in the air in this round for my tastes. He’s better when he works the gaps.
Outfielder Spencer O’Neil from Southridge HS showed a loose and whippy frame and power projection in his second go-around at the Area Code games. On the Yankees, Cameron Gallagher (Manheim Township HS), Nelson Rodriguez (Washington HS) and Elvin Soto (Xaverian HS) showed flashes of raw power.
On the A’s, Vance Vizcaino from Wakefield HS and Kenneth Gaines Jr. from Luella HS had solid BP rounds. On the White Sox, St. Clair HS shortstop Joel Seddon and Warsaw HS shortstop Johnny Eierman had solid rounds. Among the Texas kids, Matt Dean from The Colony HS was solid with a rather effortless swing. Nick Williams (Ball HS) has a chance to have regular power in the coming years if what he showed is any indication. Daniel Mengden (Westside HS) looks like one of the seven blocks of Granite and produced hard contact.
At this stage, both the Rangers and Brewers Blue have taken infield and Game 1 will be starting in a matter of minutes. We’ll update the site after each game.