3/16/17

Mack – Draft 5-Pack – MJ Melendez, Brady McConnell, Hunter Ruth, Connor Churchill, Luis Gonzalez

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MJ Melendez, C, Westminster Academy (FIU) –

           PrepBaseball Report  - The 6-foot-1, 180-pound left handed hitting catcher has consistently proven to be one of the best defensive catchers in the class with even more potential.  Behind the plate, he shows a feel for the game, he calls his own game and handles the staff well. He has a flexible setup and consistently is in a quality position to receive the ball. He has soft hands and strong wrists, giving him the ability to handle any arm. He has a plus arm behind the plate. He has solid footwork and feet. The transfer is clean, but the arm action can get long. He still is consistently 1.90-2.0 pop times, that will continue to improve as the arm action shortens. At the plate, he has a feel for the strike zone. He shows a feel for the barrel and has shown some present power from a strong lower half. Overall, he has consistently improved and has a lot of potential both behind the plate and next to it.

                      



Brady McConnell, SS, Merritt Island (Florida)

PrepBaseball Report – PrepBaseball Report  -  Stands at 6-foot-2, 170 pounds with a lean, athletic, projectable build. Possesses high baseball IQ and shows athletic actions all over the field. At the plate he stays balanced with a confident approach and good hand eye coordination. Has loose hands with a short, quick stroke that results in line drives all over the field and into the gaps. Aggressive base runner who not only gets good jumps and makes good turns, but also looks to take advantage of mistakes in the field. Overall, McConnell has a ton of athleticism and upside.

           



Hunter Ruth, RHP, Buchholz (Florida) –

           PrepBaseball Report  - The right handed pitcher looks to have filled out and gained some strength over the offseason. The arm slot is still over-the-top, but a bit lower than before and much more fluid. The fastball came out of his hand extremely well, sitting 94-96 mph the first inning. He also showed a plus slider at 84-85 mph and a changeup at 87 mph. The velocity dropped off a bit in the third and fourth to 88-91 mph. The arm is extremely quick and the slider has turned into a plus pitch with sharp, late action. Overall one of the quickest arms with the best slider in the state.

                      



Doug Freeman‏ @DougFreeman -  2017 UF Commit RHP Connor Churchill (East Lake HS) impressive this summer/fall. Continues this spring. 4-0 41Ks in 20.1ip w/3 BB.

            The Suncoast News - As locked in as Connor Churchill was Friday night, it didn’t take long to see he wouldn’t need much in terms of offensive support. His Eagles teammates went ahead a threw up a crooked number, anyway. East Lake improved to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in Class 8A District 7 play with a solid 6-0 win over visiting St. Petersburg (4-3, 0-2).

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 D1 Baseball - Sometimes the maturation process is a subtle thing. It wasn’t so subtle for Luis Gonzalez, whose pronounced growth in several obvious ways over the last three years at New Mexico has helped turn him into one of college baseball’s best hitters and most valuable players. For starters, there’s Gonzalez’s growth as a hitter. He could always swing the bat, and he hit a very respectable .299 with a .496 slugging percentage as a freshman. But he didn’t really take off until changing his mental approach — and moving from the 3-hole to the leadoff spot — as a sophomore, when he led the Lobos with a .381 batting average and 21 doubles.

                      


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