By: Gary Randall – October 24, 2016
The culmination of the year one GRHL regular season took place last night at York HS as Falcons Black met up with Cougars #1. It was a pre-set 7 inning contest, a make-up of a Week #1 unplayed game due to a lighting issue. Six players who will be seen in the league’s All-Star game this Wednesday night got a bit of a tune-up & several fared pretty well. For all players involved, however, it was a night, a game, a fall league, where all players competed & were given repetitions in game situations to enjoy, learn, and improve in baseball – a.k.a. development.
Please indulge a veteran (old) scout as I go off track for a moment. As most of you well know, in baseball, as is most sports, all top players don’t necessarily shine their brightest every game, match, etc., but rather tend to show their talents over an extended time period. Take it from a 27-year veteran of professional scouting if you’d like - this is the reason why pro scouts look for “tools” in budding ballplayers over simply their performance…although performance must be considered & is being considered more & more in statistical analysis, especially at upper levels of play. A major question for a pro scout or college coach becomes – what does player “A” have now & what is he capable of having in the future, in the way of game tools or skills (not forgetting mental/emotional make-up & instincts), that will enable him to be successful at a certain level of competition. Not an easy challenge, trust me! Anyone have a crystal ball??
Now, back to the specific game of interest…
Greg Izzo, 2017, Nation Ford HS, 3B/C/RHP, Uncommitted: Strong-bodied player who offers some versatility in tools/skills. Brings sufficient bat speed & strength to contribute offensively. Takes aggressive hacks & will drive the gaps on occasion. Presently a better defensive fit at 3B than behind the dish, with adequate throw carry at both but a more receptive glove at 3B. On the mound, FB tops at 84 MPH with a comfort zone of 80-82. Flashes tight spin to CB at 70-72. Feel for K-zone comes and goes & the number of free passes must diminish. Looks like a legit fit for a junior college program or small college.
CJ Grant, 2017, York HS, C/1B, Uncommitted: First time to see Grant, but will have another opportunity in the upcoming all-star game. Was impressed most w/ his hard-nosed play, focus & energy in all aspects of the game. Hints at being a “gamer”. Arm strength won’t wow, but can be playable with finer throw accuracy & a somewhat quickened release. Caught a quality game, including working diligently on blocking & shifting…with a bunch of opportunities. Appears to have the right mentality for a catcher. I would advise a slightly closer set-up behind the hitters. Battles in the batter’s box with potential to contribute on the offensive side of the game– 3 for 3 this game, driving the ball up the middle & to RF. A JC or small college future seems reasonable.
Game’s Top Performers:
Falcons Black –
Zander Sheldon - 2017, 1B/LF, Nation Ford HS: Gets his money’s worth in the box. Came up with a single & a double, driving in 3 runs. Also made solid contact into LF where an error was made on the ball.
Greg Izzo – 2017, 3B/C/RHP, Nation Ford HS: Played all over the field, including pitcher. Registered a single & two walks in three plate appearances. KO’d 6 in two innings pitched while giving up two walks & one hit.
Matt Levy – 2018, INF, Nation Ford HS: Slapped two hits both up the middle into CF & earned an RBI in the process.
Tyler Causey – 2019, INF, Nation Ford HS: Sophomore chipped in two hits on the night, a single & a double. This 6-04/165 10th grader certainly has physical projection in his corner.
Andrew Pappalardo – 2018, C/RHP, Nation Ford HS: Punched out two Cougars in his lone inning of work, the seventh, & added a double in his first at bat.
Cougars #1 –
CJ Grant – 2017, C/1B, York HS: Collected two singles & a double resulting in two RBI. Played game the “right way”.
Mac Adams – 2019, 3B, York HS: Helped team by reaching base in each of three AB’s by virtue of two walks & being hit by a pitch.
FB Velocities…This Date:
Falcons Black: Bradley Bott (2019 LHP) 75-79; Greg Izzo (2017 RHP) 78-83, 84; Jeffrey Maidhof (2019 RHP) 75-78; Andrew Pappalardo (2018 RHP) 74-77.
Cougars #1: Jackson Fulk (2018 RHP) 63-68; Drew Carroll (2018 RHP) 74-77; Cole Brunet (2019 LHP) 65-67; Chase Sutphin (2018 RHP) 71-74.