Preseason All-State: Top 10 Performers



By Doug Freeman
Florida Scouting Director

An extremely impressive and highly touted group of 2017-2020's came to the Preseason All-State at IMG Academy on Saturday January 21st and did not disappoint. Over the course of the next few week we will break down every single player in attendance. The players ran through a pro-style defensive workout and game for the Preseason All-State.Today we take a look of the Top 10 Performers from the Preseason All-State event.

No. 1

Michael Bacica, RHP, Windermere Prep, FL (2018)
The 6-foot-4, 185 pound right handed pitcher was extremely impressive in his two innings of work striking out all six batters he faced. Uncommitted at the time and recently committing to South Carolina, the righty has a free and easy arm action with the fastball really jumping out of h is hands at 87-90 mph. Showed a feel for a slider at 76-81 mph. He pitched consistently down in the zone to both sides of the plate with swing and miss stuff. A very impressive performance and has a lot of upside going forward.

No. 2

Brandon Walker, RHP/SS, North Florida Christian HS, FL (2019)
FSU Commit. The 6-foot, 180 pound RHP/SS was extremely impressive with big time tools, especially on the mound. Very physical with big back side and strong legs. Arm swing was medium to long, but super easy and effortless. Repeated his motion flawlessly and fastball was 90-92 mph in the later part of the game after going through a full workout, plus it got a bit colder by his inning of work.. Slider was 74-76 mph, and will be a plus pitch if not already. Fastball has late life, and jumped on hitters. There was so little effort that the ball looked to explode out of his hand with a flick of the wrist.  One of the younger players in attendance, he showed the tools to be a potential day one draft pick by his senior season.

No. 3

Nick Pogue, RHP, Eau Gallie HS, FL (2018)
Florida commit. The big, strong 6-foot-5, 180 pound right handed pitcher showed a big time arm and a feel for pitching. While striking out 5 of 6 hitters he faced, the fastball showed late heavy life at 87-88 mph. He shows a really good slider that has the potential to be a plus pitch at 74-75 mph and a changeup at 79-80. He was extremely impressive on the day and has a big time upside with broad shoulders and a strong lower half. Has all of the makings of a frontline starter at the next level.

No. 4

Dylan Crews, OF/C, Lake Mary HS, FL (2020)
The uncommitted freshman stands at 5-foot-11, 160 pounds and hits from the right side. During the game he crushed a double as well as a single. He shows an advanced approach, especially for his age. With a great lower half, he generates present with power and projects to have above average to plus power as he fills out. He consistently found the barrel in batting practice generating hard line drive after line drive. He is athletic enough to play the outfield and moved around well. Behind the plate he also showed his athleticism with pop times ranging 2.02-2.07. He is athletic enough to project at either position, but the advanced bat and present feel for the barrel already translates into the game and he will continue to get better as he fills out.

No. 5

Jackson Miller, C, JW Mitchell HS, FL (2020)
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound left handed hitting catcher did not to fail to impress again at the Preseason All-State. With two hits on the day, multiple scouts in attendance believed he was a Junior or Senior currently. He has an advanced approach offensively and the path through the zone works well. At times he can cut himself off, but he has a feel for the barrel and as he learns to clear his hips it will generate power has he already has a strong lower half and will continue to fill out. Defensively is where he really impresses. He easily received high velocity arms without dragging ball out of the zone. He has above average hands, a quality setup and will be a plus defensive catcher. Very easy 2.0-2.05 with clean transfer and accurate throws. Could become a bit more quick to release as everything is very smooth and under control. Overall another impressive day both offensively and defensively handling much older, premium arms.

No. 6

Matthew Dickey, RHP/INF, North Florida Christian HS, FL (2018)
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound  RHP/INF with a mature body, broad shoulders, very strong and athletically gifted. Overpowered hitters on the mound with a fastball that sat in the 87-88 mph range and touched 89mph. Arm is quick, ball comes out of the hand well. SL 78-81 hard and very late, CH 77-79. Showed surprising feel for three pitches throwing a lot of strikes in his inning of work. Showed how athletic he is with a 60 yard dash time of 6.88. He shows all around tools tracking the ball down well in the outfield and topping out at 89 mph. Offensively there is a tons of quick twitch as well as strength putting on one of the best two round of batting practice as well as an exit velocity of 95 mph. Dickey shows all the tools to be a high-end two-way player at the next level.

No. 7

Roberto Pena, 3B/RHP, Flanagan HS, FL (2018)
Florida commit. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound 3B/RHP is physically impressive. Another two-way player, Pena began the day standing out in batting practice. He consistently found the barrel, driving multiple balls out to the pull side. He creates a lot of whip in the bat with a strong lower half. Prototypical third baseman build and shows sound hands with an above average arm topping out at 87 mph. On the mound, he shows a clean, easy arm action with fastball ranging from 87-89 mph. Ball comes out of his hand well. He also showed a feel for a slider and a changeup. Overall, was very impressive on both sides of the ball and has the potential to be a true two-way player at Florida.

No. 8

Casey Daiss, RHP/1B, East Ridge HS, FL (2019)
The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder has a big, strong frame that still can lean out showed impressive fastball command and dominated the lower half of the zone especially to the glove side. Fastball command was extremely impressive for his age. 84-87 and touched 88 a couple times with more to come.  Free and easy with a long arm swing.  Repeated arm slot and delivery very well.  Premium arm in college. Only threw one slider at 74 mph, but did not throw this fall and will make a big jump this spring.

No. 9

Joshua Rivera, 3B/SS, Avon Park HS, FL (2019)
Rice commit. The 6-foot, 165-pound looks to be bigger and stronger with a good frame. With a triple in the game all of the tools consistently translate into the game. The right handed hitting infielder has a  short , compact swing and set up is balanced and everything works together.  Ball jumps off the bat to all fields. He showed a quality short path in both batting practice and the game and projects to make a big jump in power as he fills out. He showed very sounds defensive actions and projects to be able to be an above average defensive third baseman. The tools currently play at a high level and showed that he can project to be a potential draft pick as well.

No. 10

Carson Beck, 3B/RHP, Providence HS, FL (2020)
The 6-foot-4, 195-pound right handed pitcher, third baseman has a high waisted, very projectable build. On the mound he was very impressive with a clean, easy repeatable arm action. The fastball came out well and worked with a downward angle from 82-84 mph. He also showed a feel for the slider with the ability to spin it well at 74-76 mph. He has long arms, stays balanced and loaded in the lower has and overall has very easily projectable actions for a big jump. Offensively she showed a wide arms in setup with quality pre-pitch rhythm. Shows the chance to be a very solid hitter as well. Overall he showed a lot of very intriguing tools that played well in the game with big time upside.