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Early Draft Prep: The High School Lefties of the 2013 Draft Class

Written By on 15th October, 2012

It’s never too early to start looking at the talent for the upcoming draft, so Don has started a series where he takes a look at the top high school talent for the June draft. The first installment takes a look at the top left handed starters that were on the High School Showcase Circuit.
2013 HS Left Handed Pitcher profiles – Summer Showcases

Rob Kaminsky LHP St Joseph HS NJ
Committed to UNC

Overall good muscular development of an average athletic frame. 5’10” and the overall size in the hips and upper legs, there may not be as much projection as others in class. Developed a mature craft and pitchability is high at this stage, with the arsenal to match. One inning sets he can reach back for 93-94 mph, but mainly he sits 87-91 mph with good natural hand side movement from his slot. Solid 11/5 break offering sits 78-81 mph, shows good depth and slight be of slurve action. The offering can get a bit loopy because of the slurve feel and needs to get consistently tight, flashes 6 (7) grade. He has a show me circle change, but the foundation is present to make it a third offering as professional, want to see progression of offering in spring, could push him up the board a bit. Refined mechanically, repeats well. Solid arm action, uses lower half well with a good push and stride. Inline and weight gets over well, good solid relaxed extension.

Slot: Late 1st to Compensatory 1st

AJ Puk Washington HS IA
Committed to UF

6’6” with wide shoulder frame, slim frame that can easily pack on size. One can see him sitting 245-250 pounds down the line. Uses his height extremely well and his extension cuts off a few feet that allows his pitches to play up, feels about two mph faster than offering. Very balanced and coordinated for his size and age, not showing many big man mechanical traits similar to pedigree. Delivery is clean and repeats it well, there are some loading aspects that can quite down, but very good foundation for one of the best ceilings in the high school class. Power pitcher that routinely hits 89-91 and can touch 92. Shows a quality break, spin can be difficult to pick up and lacks consistency. Grip strength can make this a plus offering, maybe more down the road with the plane and action that shows glimpses. There is not much of a change up at this stage, any progression or flash offering could see a huge jump in his slot well into the 1st round.

Slot: Compensatory 1st to Early 2nd

Trey Ball LHP New Castle HS IN
Committed to UT

6’6” with wide shoulder frame. Very light in the pants and limited amount of present overall muscular development, he shows a ton of projection physically. 89-91 mph and can touch 93 in a one inning set at the moment. The offering has hard and heavy tail, even more plane considering the attack angle. Throws a potential nasty 2S, with that attack angle it could be a heavy diet offering. The arm plays a bit of catch up, but clean a transition. It adds to the natural deception in his approach, given his lack of experience, it is a non issue and proper instruction will polish the ever so slight issues. Throws a solid circle change offering from 78-82 mph with a good amount of fade, action is a bit deliberative, but shows deception as well. Uses his tall frame well and good plane on all of the offerings. His follow through and extension could improve, getting weight over would cut off the plate. Plane and extended release could make him nasty on the hill.

Slot: Mid to Late 1st Round

Ian Clarkin James Madison HS CA
Committed to USD

6’2” with solid medium athletic frame, good development in the upper quads and hips, solid development in the upper body that looks to continue to fill out and it is easy to see him sitting 205 as a professional. His arm speed stands out and uses his lower half extremely well to use it as most of the effort. His lower half stride and push give him a look almost 1 to 2 inches. He gets his weight over well, but tends to pull up his entire body and drift, I prefer to maintain the downhill action, but he uses the body and not the arm to slow, which is slightly better for arm health. Arm jarring happens occasionally. The bit of pause and high leg kick give a touch of deception. Offers the best change up from the left side in his class, one of the better ones in his class. The late fade and better action off his natural 2S make it very deceptive and a solid swing/miss offering. 89-91 mph and can touch 93 mph with a bit of tail and sink it the offering, could improve action down the line. Solid curve that shows a bit of slurvy offering from his slot, mainly sits 72-74 mph, currently 5 with a bit of potential to be above average.

Slot: Late 1st Round

Jonah Wesely Tracy HS CA
Committed to UCLA

Good size, 6’2” and overall frame, looks more of a larger frame power pitcher that should sit roughly 230 down the line. Advanced developed lower half is the main driving force and foundation, strong and sturdy hip/thigh development. Johan shows the clear ability to pitch forward and backwards to both sides of the plate. Balanced and in line delivery that get a great push, impressive drive from the lower half, solid downhill, and a sound extension that allows his pitches to play up. FB sits mainly 90-91 and can touch 93 mph at this stage. His curve flashes a 6 grade with ideal depth and location, just needs to gain more consistency in the offering, sits better at his softer speed. Change shows some promise to sit above average, just not a real feel and requires work to play up deception to match the action. He pitches better with a bit of aggression and the two pitch mix with maturation could seem a logical fit for the back of the bullpen, does not take away from starter upside.

Slot: 2nd Round

Stephan Gonsalves Cathedral Catholic HS CA
Committed to USD

Tall, long limbed, and lean frame. There is some projection, but he looks to maintain that lean frame as a professional, may sit 210 pounds, but at 6”5” he does not look to sit into the 230-240 pound range. His body, mechanical traits, and command remind me of another Southern California USD pitcher in Brian Matusz. FB sits 88-91 mph, touches 92 mph in one inning sets, and rather good ability to locate the offering at this stage. He does a solid job for the more up right release type to keep the offering down. Flashes a solid straight change that has some late dip, with action to offering that pitch could reach a 7 grade down the line. May have the most advanced mature approach out of the class, real works both way, both sides to the plate, locates offerings well. Solid slow curve with deep depth potential. This pitch has progressively improved and provides a touch of deception. Long loading, but clean arm action as he transitions, higher ¾ release, some delay action in the lower half provides a different wrinkle to hitters. A bit of high release, due to the limited upper half bend, pitches tend to ride a bit higher. Good knee bend, solid stride that could be a touch longer for his frame, balanced trailing downhill relaxed finish.

Slot: Compensatory 1st
Garrett Williams Calvary Baptist Shreveport LA
Commitment N/A

Ideal frame and size that you look for with solid development that is just a touch beyond slender. He looks to add a touch of weight and may hover around the 200 pound mark as a professional. High kick with balanced transfer, but would like to see a touch better push and stride could tick a bit further. Solid three piece arm action through the zone, nice arm speed, fluid delivery with a touch more from the lower half using the drive could push him up higher in velocity. Fastball is presently 87-91 mph and will touch 92 mph at times. He can get both sink and cut action on it, some solid late movement. Quality breaking ball that can sweep, also a tight hammer in the pocket, where the offering has two feels to it mid 70′s to very low 80′s, high grade offering that can sit at 6. Circle change has good fade and potential third quality offering to monitor. Any progress of this pitch, he could be inline as maybe the top HS lefty.

Slot: Compensatory 1st

Don Olsen
Don Olsen
About Don Olsen

Former MiLB pitcher, Wall Street Vagabond, Writer Bullpen Banter and Orioles Nation. You can follow Don on twitter at @Olsen_Don

Articles, Scouting

7 Comments on "Early Draft Prep: The High School Lefties of the 2013 Draft Class"

  1. Profile Photo
    Chuck October 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm -

    So, Don, how come there’s no listing for you in the minor league player’s database?

  2. Profile Photo
    Chuck October 18, 2012 at 7:58 am -

    So, you “hire” a former pro pitcher to write prospect reports, and to legitimize his work he uses a fake name?


    • Profile Photo
      Steve Fiorindo October 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm -

      He’s written under the pen name for a while.  We liked his work at other sites and brought him in to use Bullpen Banter as a forum.  

      Is there anything he has written that you have issues with?  Pretty much everything he has written has meshed with what I saw in person, in the video, or while rewatching the game though.  

  3. Profile Photo
    Chuck October 18, 2012 at 9:46 pm -

    No disrespect, but your opinion doesn’t carry much weight, you’re one of a million amateurs who thinks he’s a pro because he has a video camera.
    I have nothing against anything “Don” has written, I was just curious because I’m a minor league alumnus (not a player..front office) and was thinking maybe our paths have crossed at some point. 
    His bio says “former MiLB pitcher” and there was never a MiLB pitcher named “Don Olsen”, so you can see my curiosity. 
    It was nothing personal.

  4. Profile Photo
    Steve Fiorindo October 19, 2012 at 12:35 am -

    Some people value my opinion, if you choose not to, I’m ok with that.  

    I don’t think I’m a pro because I own a few cameras, but  I guess I actually lost my amateur status when I accepted payment for my services though (both scouting and video). 

    I too worked in Minor League baseball years ago, I’d like to work in the industry, but my situation prevents me from accepting a position unless it’s under my terms (and salary demands ;)  )

  5. Profile Photo
    Chuck October 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm -

    “I too worked in Minor League baseball years ago, I’d like to work in the industry, but my situation prevents me from accepting a position unless it’s under my terms (and salary demands   )”
    To that, we do have some things in common.