Carlos Cortes OF/2B Oviedo, Florida – Perfect Game All-American Classic 8/16/15
The MVP of the 2015 Perfect Game All-American Classic, Cortes is quite simply a pure hitter, as his left-handed swing is smoother than a politician. Cortes has quick, loose wrists and excellent bat speed, allowing him to barrel the baseball and spray line drives to all fields. Listed at 5-8 185lbs there are questions how much power Cortes will develop in the future, but his hit tool projects as plus.
Defensively Cortes is particularly unique, as he plays second base right-handed but plays the corner outfield positions as a lefty. He has above-average speed and a strong arm with each, including rumored upper-80s velocity from the left side. In only one viewing it is difficult to confidently project where he future lies defensively, but teams covet this South Carolina commit due to his polished lefty bat. With teams desperately seeking bats in the draft, it would be surprising to see Cortes play college baseball.
Forrest Whitley RHP San Antonio, Texas HS – Under Armour All-America Game 8/15/15
Entering in the top of the 2nd for the National team was massive 6-7 230lbs Texan Forrest Whitley. He overpowered the opposing hitters, needing only 12 pitches to retire the side 1-2-3 with two strikeouts and a ground out to second base. Whitley featured a 94-96mph fastball with exceptional life and some arm-side movement, along with a firm 87-90mph changeup with some sinking action and an 82-85mph hard-biting curveball. His motion has some excess movement and needs refinement, though he uses his long frame and limbs well to get good extension toward home plate through his delivery. Whitley looks like a top prospect on the mound and projects as a potential early 1st round selection next June.
Spencer Kieboom Catcher Potomac Nationals
Washington’s 5th round pick in 2012, the 24-year-old Kieboom is an absolute pleasure to watch defensively behind the dish. Kieboom possesses a plus throwing arm, a quick release and excellent feet, which allow him to routinely post 1.85-1.93 second pop times to second base. In addition, he is extremely quiet receiving the baseball and shows the ability to block pitches in the dirt. Overall Kieboom profiles as a plus (“60) defensive major league catcher.
Offensively the right-handed hitting Kieboom lags behind his defense, but he does possess skills. He shows good raw pull power in batting practice and the ability to draw a walk, as evidenced by his .352 career on-base percentage. He also has a knack for making contact and does not strike out much, but this does not translate to much hard contact during game action. Perhaps I am optimistic, but I think Kieboom could develop into a “35” hit – “30/35” power major league hitter.
Kieboom should see major league time simply because of his defensive wizardry; however his below-average potential at the plate likely limits his ceiling to a backup capacity. He could begin 2016 in Double-A and reach the major leagues sometime in 2017.