PLAYER SPOTLIGHT

  • Ashe Russell

    Russell drew arguably the biggest crowd of the first day at the World Wood Bat Championship in Jupiter, FL. The 6-foot-4, 195-pounder started for the Evoshield Canes on Thursday and pitched in relief on Monday. He allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk over six innings. He struck out five. A Texas A&M recruit and the No. 2 prospect in the Overall Rankings, Russell did not disappoint with his stuff. His fastball topped out at 94 several times, sitting comfortably in the 91-92 range. He also spotted his low-80s slider for consistent strikes, including a few in the first inning that touched 83 mph. Russell’s performance only solidified his status as one of the top right-handed draft prospects in the 2015 class.

     

  • Donny Everett

    On Saturday at the World Wood Bat Championship, dozens of scouts crowded behind home plate long before the a game started to reserve a good view of Everett. The Vanderbilt recruit came out firing low-90s bullets in warm-ups and sat 93-95 mph, touching 96, in the first inning. He hit the first batter and surrendered a single to start. A wild pitch moved the runners up, but he struck out two and was poised to escape with no damage as he induced a weak ground ball to the first baseman. But an error brought two runs home. Everett allowed the two unearned runs and two hits in three innings while striking out five. He settled into the 92-94 range, touching 95 a few times. He has a little bit of effort, but nothing alarming, and left his fastball up at times. When he kept it down, it showed some life. His best secondary pitch is a sharp slider at 79-82 that dives away from right-handed hitters. He also flashed a curveball that showed more depth at 77 and mixed in a low-80s changeup.

     

  • Sam Bordner

    One of the top highlights for Friday at the World Wood Bat Championship was saved for the final game, Bordner squared off against Chet Lemon’s Juice. Pitching for the Kentucky Baseball Club, the hulking 6-foot-6, 220-pound Bordner established himself as a high-follow draft prospect with his performance. Bordner came out the gates hot, sitting 89-91 in the first inning, and topping at 92. In the second inning, the Louisville recruit worked at 89-90 before dipping a few ticks in the third and fourth innings. In the fifth inning, Bordner, was still pitching at 87-89. Early on, Bordner also flashed a solid 78-82 mph slider, to go along with a promising 81-83 mph changeup. In 4.2 innings, Bordner allowed two runs on three hits and four walks while striking out four.

     

  • Bryan Hudson

    Hudson wasn’t a complete unknown in the scouting community, but he broke out at the World Wood Bat Championship when he started for the Toronto Blue Jays Scout Team on Sunday. After walking the first batter of the game, Hudson recorded two strikeouts on a pair of wicked sliders at 78 and 75, respectively. Hudson then yielded a double – his only hit he would allow in 2.1 innings – before striking out the next batter on an 87-mph fastball. Hudson retired the next four batters he faced, which included another strikeout. Still uncommitted, Hudson is surprisingly athletic for his size, pitches in the upper-80s, features a nasty 75-78 mph slider, repeats his delivery and, above all, pumps consistent strikes.

     

  • Ryan Madden

    Madden, an uncommitted senior, opened eyes in his start against the St. Louis Pirates at the World Wood Bat Championship. Pitching for Mountain West, the lanky 6-foot-2, 180-pound Madden showcased an impressive three-pitch mix, including an 88-90 mph fastball in the first inning. He settled in at 86-88 for the remainder of his five-inning stint. Madden’s choppy delivery proved deceptive early on, and his 77-79 mph slider served as an effective out-pitch. Madden struck out seven and allowed one run on four hits and a walk in five innings.

     

  • Joey Polak

    Polak is rapidly establishing himself as one of the premier right-handed power bats in the 2016 class. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder has an aggressive approach at the plate. He has been on fire this fall and kept rolling at the World Wood Bat Championship, going 5-for-12 (.417) with a double, RBI, five runs and two walks in five games.

     

  • Chris Holba

    Holba has quickly become one of the hotter names in Illinois, especially after his lights-out performance on Friday of the World Wood Bat Championship. The athletic, 6-foot-2 East Carolina recruit topped out at 91 mph with his fastball, and sat 87-89 with late arm-side life and occasional sink. Working from a 3/4 slot and across his body, Holba’s 75-76 mph slider has potential to become a big swing-and-miss pitch in the future.

     

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2015 PBR Overall Rankings

Rank Name State School Class Position
1 Mike Nikorak PA Stroudsburg 2015 RHP
2 Ashe Russell IN Cathedral 2015 RHP
3 Nick Plummer MI Brother Rice 2015 OF
4 Demi Orimoloye ON St. Matthew 2015 OF
5 Donny Everett TN Clarksville 2015 RHP
6 Chandler Day OH Watkins Memorial 2015 RHP
7 Nick Shumpert CO Highlands Ranch 2015 SS
8 Bryan Hoeing IN Batesville 2015 RHP
9 Garrett Whitley NY Niskayuna 2015 OF
10 Nic Enright VA Steward 2015 RHP
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