Prep Baseball Report

Florida Underclass Games: Class of 2020 Breakdown

By Doug Freeman
Florida Scouting Director

The Underclass Games is one of the premier underclass events in the state. Over the last year, there have been 29 commitments from the 2018-2020 classes with 23 of those being to Division I programs. Past events have featured players like Jackson Miller (Wake Forest), Juson Fabian (Florida), Brandon Walker (Florida State), Ryan McCauley (Tennessee) and McGwire Holbrook (West Virginia) to name a few.

This year’s event is filled with talented players from the 2019-2021 classes. Today we break down the players from the class of 2020 in attendance, starting with the top five performers:

Jaden Bruno RHP / OF / American Heritage, FL / 2020

The 6-foot-2, 155 pound right hander looks both taller and stronger than what is currently listed. On the mound he works from a high 3/4 slot. There is some effort, but seems to be more from trying to throw hard as opposed to staying tall on his back side and letting his quick, strong arm work. The fastball worked 84-86 mph early and dropped off some in the second inning. There is a lot of potential and as he learns to stay tall over the backside, let the arm work and continue to add strength, the sky's the limit. The slider shows potential at 70-71 mph and a feel for a straight changeup at 77-78 mph. There is a ton of upside on the mound and will continue to get better with added strength and experience on the mound. 



Jacob Lojewski SS / 3B / American Heritage, FL / 2020

The stocky and strong 5-foot-10, 170 pound infielder has a lot to like the more you watch him play. Defensively, all of the action work in the middle. Although, the frame and actions may have him sliding to second or third as he continues to grow and become stronger. Either way, he should be an above average defender. Offensively is where he has really  impressed. He starts slightly wider than shoulder width uses a leg kick trigger and shows the ability to turn the barrel, get his elbow to his hip and show an adjustable path that stays in the zone. He consistently found hard contact and had a double in the game. There is above average bat to ball skills, advanced approach and gap-to-gap power potential that makes him a very high follow. 



Ryan Bruno LHP / OF / American Heritage, FL / 2020

After standing out at the Future Games, the 6-foot-2, 165 pound left hander has an extremely high ceiling. There are some present mechanical issues, as he tends to over throw causing the arm not to work as freely as it can work from the outfield. From a high 3/4 slot, he has an extremely quick arm and as he learn to stay tall down the mound and let his arm work more freely, he will make some major strides. The fastball worked 83-85 mph and was 87 mph from the outfield, there is a lot of life,especially down in the zone. The curveball shows potential at 71-72 mph and a feel for the changeup at 75-76 mph. Offensively, the is an uphill path and some feel for the barrel. Overall,there is a lot of tools and room for growth which makes his ceiling extremely high. 



Mason Miller LHP / 1B / JW Mitchell, FL / 2020

At 6-foot-2, 175 pound, the lefty has a long limbs on a very projectable prototypical pitcher frame. Throwing from a true 3/4 slot, he says balanced and lands in line. Staying tall over the backside, he could see some more jumps in velocity as he adds strength and gets add leg drive. He has made a nice jump since January, now working 82-84 mph with  his fastball with much more to come. He shows a curveball with some quality shape and potential at 66-67 mph and a feel for a fading changeup at 77-78 mph. There is a high upside and is trending in the right direction on the mound. 



Matthew Menendez C / 1B / Pace , FL / 2020

6-foot, 175 pound catcher has a projectable frame and a very young face. Defensively, there is a lot to like. He is flexible and the hands work, receiving well. It will continue to improve as he learns to get in better, stronger receiving positions, to allow him to utilize his hands. Pop times were 2.1-2.2 on the day as he was rushed. When he trusts his footwork, transfer and strong arm which topped out at 75 mph, the pop time have been in the 1.95 range. The is a lot of upside offensively as well. He stands tall with a lot of quality pre-swing rhythm and uses a leg kick trigger. His hands aren’t static, but could benefit with separation. He shows loose wrists and present bal speed, with present bat to ball skills. Translated to an opposite field RBI double. High upside and high follow moving forward.


Now we take a look at the best of the rest in the class of 2020 from the Underclass Games in no particular order:

Matt Cristol C / IMG Academy, FL / 2020

5-foot-10, 175 pound stocky, square shouldered catcher. Defensively, the hands work and mechanically sound. Will benefit from added flexibility and arm strength. Pop times ranged from 2.25-2.3  with the best velocity being 70 mph. Offensively, the right handed hitter has a strong lower half. He has compact swing and is aggressive through the zone. Level through the zone the path works and has a simple, balanced swing with a feel for the barrel. Produced a single in the game. 



Declan McDermott C / OF / Viera , FL / 2020

5-foot-9, 155 pound catcher. Defensively, he has some stiffness in his setup, but the hands work. He shows simple footwork, topped out at 64 mph, but has a clean, quick transfer with pop times ranging from 2.1-2.2 pop times. Offensively, the right handed hitter starts with the bat on his shoulder, gets quality separation, but tends to drop his hands in the load. There is some rotation in the swing, but it is level through the zone. Ran a 7.21 60 yard dash and shows some athleticism and an exit velocity of 82 mph.



Channing Young C / RHP / Palm Harbor University, FL / 2019

6-foot-3, 240 pound C/RHP is a big and strong and has continued to lean down the big frame since last year. Defensively, he moves well, especially for his size. There is flexibility and strength with a strong arm, topping out at 79 mph and pop times ranging from 2.09-2.14. Offensively, the big right handed hitter uses his hands well. A leg kick trigger and rhythm in his hands pre pitch. The hands work well out in front, but could see big benefits in power with better use from the lower half which would level out the path some too. On the mound, he lands in line throwing from a 3/4 slot. He could use more leg drive, but the fastball worked 80-82 mph, with a curveball at 69-71 mph and a changeup at 65-58 mph. He struck out two in his one innings of work. 



Zach DeVito SS / 2B / Newsome, FL / 2020

The 5-foot-9, 140 pound INF/OF has some present athleticism. Running a 7.41 60 yard dash, the athleticism plays better than his time in game play. From the outfield, he shows a loose, accurate arm topping out at 82 mph. In the infield, he works with rhythm to and through the ball, his hands work well and the defense played well in game play. Offensively, he has a small leg kick and simple approach to the ball. Slightly rotational, he is level through the zone with present bat to ball skills. He had a hard hit line drive out in game and would look to see the athleticism improve with a growth spurt and added strength. 



Christian Boyles 2B / SS / Riverdale, FL / 2020

At 5-foot-10, 145 pound he has a wiry frame with room to fill out. Defensively, he shows sund actions in the middle and could benefit from some rhythm to and through the ball with throws topping out at 75 mph. Offensively, the right handed hitter has a medium leg kick trigger. He gets separation, but is a little stiff and rotational through the zone. The path is level and has some feel for the barrel. There is present athleticism and will continue to improve with added strength to his frame. 



Alec Ducasse SS / OF / Flanagan , FL / 2020

The right handed hitting middle infielder has a  toe-tap load and short load with his hands offensively. With the little separation, he has to use mostly hands. His hands work well, but the steepness of the path and minimal use of his lower half has him in the zone for a shorter period of time. If he has get into the lower half more and level the path, the hands work well and will translate to more consistency. What really stands out is his defensive ability. He is twitchy and athletic and plays better than the 7.33 speed. He shows the ability to range well to both sides and has a lot of faith in his above average hands. The defense really plays and there is potential offensively. 



Joel Haskin 2B / RHP / Real Life Christian Academy, FL / 2020

The stocky 5-foot-10, 17 pound MIF/RHP ran a 7.51 60 yard dash while showing sound defensive actions in the infield topping out at 78 mph. Offensively, he has a wide base and tends to not clear his back side, leading to him cutting himself off. The path is short and direct to the ball with an exit velocity of 78 mph. On the mound, he worked a fastball at 78-81 mph. Showed the ability to spin a curveball with depth at 66-68 mph and a changeup at 70-72 mph. Struck out one during his inning of work. 



Ian Farrow OF / SS / Merritt Island, FL / 2020

The 5-foot-11, 185 pound outfield has a high-waist, athletic build. Running a 7.27 60 yard dash, there is athleticism with more to come as he continues to grow and learn how to sync his actions. Defensively, he comes through the ball well and shows accurate throws at 79 mph. Offensively, there is a toe to heel load and he tends to stay upright and hit from a weaker front side. The hands work well and are loose out front , he will see benefits as he learns how to hit off of a strong front side and work into his lower half. The power potential and loose hands and bat speed shows up in the 89 mph exit velocity. This translated to the game with an RBI double that jumped off of his bat. Very athletic and intriguing bat to follow.