Posted by Mack Ade at 12:00 PM
From Baseball America - USA Baseball’s National High School Invitational, now in its sixth year, has become the top high school regular-season event in the country. This year’s event features 16 of the country’s top teams, populated with 11 members of Baseball America’s Top 100 High School Prospects. Records and rankings are through games of March 19.
American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla. - Heritage has one of the most talented offenses in the country this season. Senior shortstop Mark Vientos was a first team All-American, thanks largely to his explosive bat speed and power potential.
PG - Mark Vientos is a 2017 SS/3B with a 6-4 190 lb. frame from Pembroke Pines, FL who attends Charles W Flanagan HS. Tall and lanky athletic build, narrow waist and broad shoulders, young athlete who is very projectable physically. Very smooth actions defensively, light on his feet with soft and quick hands at the ball, compact arm action with good arm strength, has the athleticism to stay at shortstop even as he matures physically. Right handed hitter, deep hand load, has strength and lift in his swing, hands will occasionally get under the ball, can create carry to the opposite field ally, swing mechanics and timing weren't consistent but the tools are there to develop. Is the type of player who scouts dream about his potential. Good student, verbal commitment to Miami. Selected for the Perfect Game All-American Classic.
Archbishop McCarthy HS, SW Ranches, Fla. - McCarthy is as deep as high school teams come. The Mavericks have two of Baseball America’s preseason Top 100 Prospects in Miami recruits Alex Toral (No. 46) and Joe Perez (No. 57).
PG - Alejandro Toral is a 2017 1B/OF/LHP with a 6-2 220 lb. frame from Davie, FL who attends Archbishop Edward McCarthy HS. Big and strong build, mature physically. Left handed hitter, creates big bat speed with ideal lower half use, hands are loose and smooth coming through the zone, has some lift in his swing without selling out for power, will hit the ball the other way and drive it with authority, polished and mature hitter with outstanding swing mechanics. 7.37 runner, moves well for his size at first base, advanced footwork with soft hands and good balance, will be an asset defensively at first. Can also play left field. Very good student, verbal commitment to Miami. Selected for the Perfect Game All-American Classic.
PG - Joseph Perez is a 2017 3B/1B/RHP with a 6-3 205 lb. frame from Pembroke Pines, FL who attends Archbishop Edward McCarthy HS. Big and strong athletic build, pretty mature physically. Right handed hitter, took an outstanding BP, showed big bat speed and raw pull power, used his lower half very well, ball explodes off the bat. Swings were more tentative in the games without the same aggressiveness and bat speed. Big arm strength at third base, stays balanced well and fields the ball out front, also plays first base. Potential primary pitcher in the future, has limited present experience on the mound. Shows big arm strength from a high energy delivery, big downhill plane to the plate, fastball topped out at 96 mph early before settling down. Slider flashed big vertical depth at times. Power arm with a power bat. Good student, verbal commitment to South Florida.
Cullman (Ala.) HS - Led by head coach Brent Patterson, the Bearcats have been a consistent power in Alabama, and they have an elite senior class this season. Lefthander Jacob Heatherly, the No. 6 prospect in Baseball America’s preseason rankings, gives Cullman a chance to win every time he toes the rubber.
PG - Jacob Heatherly is a 2017 LHP/OF with a 6-3 200 lb. frame from Cullman, AL who attends Cullman HS. Big and strong athletic build, especially in the lower half. Creates good angle to the plate from a high 3/4's arm slot, some upper body lean on release, slightly closed landing out front, repeats delivery well and the arm works cleanly. Fastball topped at 92 mph, can get the ball to both sides of the plate and has some sink down in the zone. Slider is the better of his two breaking balls, has a sharp bite and good spin, curveball shows good shape at times and he has feel for throwing it for strikes. Tends to slow his arm and body on his change up. Interesting southpaw with arm strength and two present legit breaking balls. Good student, verbal commitment to Alabama. Selected for the Perfect Game All-American Classic.
Dana Hills HS, Dana Point, Calif. - On the mound, senior righthander Hans Crouse is a fiery competitor; he turned in a masterful performance for the 18U national team in the gold medal game of last summer’s COPABE Pan Am Championships.
PG - Can run his fastball up to 97 mph! Very good and up to 96 at PG All American Classic. Fun to watch him pitch