18U Wood Bat Championship: Day 1 Notes

By TJ Hunt

Scouting Director, New Jersey

The first day of the 18U Wood Bat Championship at Diamond Nation saw a bunch of travel teams showcasing their talents. We saw some great pitching performances, including a perfect game. Take a look at some of the players that stood out:

+ Cole Patten, RHP, Sparta HS, NJ 2018 (Seton Hall commit)
Patten has a long, wiry frame. Threw a perfect game in his outing. 83-86 with FB with some run from a high-3/4 angle. Curveball and changeup were both between 73-75 mph. Slow start to windup with a big leg kick to bring him to the top of his balance point. Gets very good extension over his front leg, making his fastball seem even harder than it is. Plus changeup for his age, can throw for strikes to both lefties and righties. Swing-and-miss pitch.

+ Wilfredo Valenzuela, LHP, Eastside HS, NJ, 2017 (uncommitted)
Valenzuela  was the hard luck loser to Cole Patten's perfect game, a 2-0 loss. Valenzuela has an athletic body with a quick arm. sat 82-83 up to 84 mph with FB. Three pitch mix for strikes. 68-69 1/7 curveball with 69 mph straight changeup. Delivery is slow and under control. At balance point, tucks head into front shoulder. High-3/4 to over-the-top arm slot. Short, quick action, hides ball well.

+ James Steindl, LHP. Old Tappan HS, NJ (uncommitted)
Steindl has a long lanky body at 6-foot-1. Has some funk to delivery, hides baseball well from both lefties and righties. Sat 78-80 mph with FB and flashed a big, sweeping 1/7 slider at 70 mph. One of the top uncommitted arms in the state. Showcases some feel for a changeup and an idea of how to pitch and get outs.

+ Evan Giordano, SS, Gloucester Catholic HS, NJ (Stony Brook commit)
Giordano has a lean, athletic frame. Middle infielder with plus hands, range, and arm for age. One of the top shortstops in the NJ 2018 class. Offensively- tall, strong stance with hands just above back ear to start. Uses a short leg kick to start swing. Flat bat bath and violent hip torque give him an advanced feel for the barrel for his age. Already a gap to gap hitter, potential power hitting middle infielder at the next level. Defensively, agile feet, very smooth with glove. Able to make firm throws on target from multiple arm slots. 

+ Chris Bascunan, RHP, Seton Hall Prep HS, NJ, 2017 (uncommitted)
Bascunan has a tall, lanky frame at 6-foot-3. Sat 80-81 with FB and showcased a swing-and-miss splitter with heavy sink. Up tempo windup/delivery, gets gloveside extremely high going down the mound. Drastic glove movement creates funk/deception in delivery. Throws from over-the-top slot.

+ Matt McDermott, SS/2B, St. Peter's Prep HS, NJ (William & Mary commit)
McDermott has a physical build and is a sparkplug for any lineup. Strong looking swing with feel for barrel. Wide stance with slight crouch, hands just above shoulder. Short stride to start swing, hips move fluidly. Unlimited motor on the field, always trying to take the extra base. 

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