Jupiter Recap: Day Four

Liberty commit RHP Blake Bivens

Kiley shares notes and video from day four of PG's WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, FL with final notes on the arms, including one of the the biggest breakout pitchers of the event, before getting to the hitters in a few parts tomorrow.

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RHP Blake Bivens (unranked on 2014 draft top 100, Liberty commit) was the breakout star of the day and one area scout told me during Bivens' start that this is why he comes to Jupiter, as he hadn't seen Bivens before. I knew Bivens name from the Perfect Game staff as he was a standout at a regional showcase earlier in the summer (and put a 5th round grade on him in the regional rankings) but was otherwise little known. He worked late into the game, sitting 89-93 the whole game and spotting his fastball well, keeping it down and hitting the corners. Bivens' velo was a tick or two higher than it was at that PG showcase, but since he lacks projection at 6'2/200, there likely won't be much more coming, so the improved curveball became the separator.

The pitch was above average like many of the top prospects here but was arguably the best current pitch, a 55 on the 20-80 scale nearly every time he threw it and it was a hard, tight downer with depth at 76-81 mph, flashing 60 a few times. Bivens didn't throw many changeups but has feel to pitch and looks to have an average one from a limited look. He missed the top 100 and when I ranked prep prospects last month, he wouldn't have made any clubs' top 100, but now he's securely around the middle of that list, making him one of the biggest risers at the event.

Texas prep RHP Garrett Fulenchek (#60 prospect, Dallas Baptist commit) pitched an erratic inning earlier in the week but started a game yesterday, giving scouts' a better look at the late pop-up arm that reportedly him 95 mph recently but hasn't been seen much. Fulenchek's fastball was about what I was told, sitting 89-93 mph but it was a four-seamer that was pretty straight and up in the zone more than I'd like to see. His 77-80 mph changeup looks like it could be average but was below average to fringy in this outing and his slider, which I heard was an above average pitch, graded out as fringy as well at 78-79 mph. I think there's a little more in the tank as he didn't seem to be at his best in Jupiter, but he'll be moving down in the rankings.

LHP Carson Sands (#80 prospect, Florida State commit) and LHP Alex Destino (#79 prospect, South Carolina commit) are two similar lefties that I ranked back-to-back in my last rankings and continued the status quo this week. Sands worked in the upper-80's and touched the low 90's with an above average changeup and good command while Destino, also a standout hitter, sat 89-92 with three average to slightly above pitches. RHP Weston Davis (unranked, Florida commit) had his velo tick up a bit recently, sitting 89-92 and hitting 93 at Diamond Club last week and working in relief in Jupiter, sat 90-93 and hit 94 mph. Davis has good size and is young for the class but has some funk in his delivery that tempers scouts' enthusiams. His changeup has progressed and flashes plus potential and his fringy breaking ball also flashed solid average potential with the added arm speed. Davis would be a shutdown multi-inning reliever for the Gators like Paco Rodriguez but may tempt a club in the top 3 rounds with continued improvement.

I'll cover 3B/RHP Jake Jarvis (#65 prospect, Texas A&M commit) more in the hitter portion as I prefer him as a position player but he also has some upside on the mound, working 90-91 with a slider that was average to slightly above. A big attraction for scouts on day four was RHP Gabriel Gonzalez (unranked, uncommitted), who sat 88-91 mph at Area Codes in August but ticked up at the recent Arizona Fall Senior Tournament and hit 94 mph, which he did again at Jupiter. The things that tempered my enthusiasm are still present (below average command, fringy breaking ball, long arm action) but he's got some projection at 6'4/200 and could be a factor with continued development.

Of the other arms worth mentioning, RHP Brendan Spagnuolo (unranked, Vanderbilt commit) was the least expected to make the list. He was a bit of an afterthought after working 85-88 mph in June with a well below average breaking ball but came out of nowhere to tick up in Jupiter. Spagnuolo sat 91-94 mph early before settling in the upper 80's with a breaking ball that was much improved and could be average. He's still fresh off of a velo spike, so if he can stay healthy and consolidate these gains, he could be a threat in the top 3 rounds but is at least another northeast arm to keep an eye on. RHP Alex Lange (unranked, LSU commit) still looks like more of a solid college arm to me, sitting 87-90 in Jupiter while RHP Grant Hockin (#58 prospect, UCLA commit) took a bit of a step backward, working 85-89 and will need to get back around 90 to recoup his draft stock. Lastly, 2015 RHP Donnie Everett hit 95 mph (unranked, Vanderbilt commit) but still has some work to do in the feel department while RHP Garrett Hutson (#38 prospect in 2015 class, Wichita State commit) worked 88-91 mph with a solid breaking ball but looks more like a reliever after my first look at him.

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