PDP League Scout Notebook: Dylan Crews Stands Out On Day 2
BRADENTON, Fla. — We broke down Day 1 of the inaugural Prospect Development Pipeline League yesterday. If you missed that post, you can catch up on the players who impressed Thursday here.
Below are reports of players who made their presence felt on the field in Friday’s action:
Dylan Crews, OF, Lake Mary (Fla.) HS
Committed: Louisiana State
While Crews had one hit in four at-bats, the outfielder showed tools both in the outfield and at the plate. The 6-foot, 180-pound outfielder showed maturity on the field and had an impact for Team Jeter.
Crews is strong for a prep outfielder, with a thick lower half and good upper body strength. He is quiet at the core area during his at-bats, using a slight crouch and minimal pre-swing movement. Crews stays balanced during his swing, using a slight leg kick and modest load of the hands before getting the barrel through the zone. His ability to stay on his back side while loading his hands and putting his front foot down allows Crews to generate plus bat speed through the torque of his mid-section, which allows him a clean path to fire his hands and barrel through the zone.
Crews has good foot speed and understands how to play the outfield, showing an arm that works in the corners and shows the wherewithal and accuracy to hit the cutoff man and make the proper decisions.
Crews is clearly a special talent with his athleticism and ability to impact the ball, making him one of the premier players at the PDP League.
Austin Hendrick, OF, West Alleghany HS, Imperial, Pa.
Committed: Mississippi State
Hendrick had a big impact with the bat for Team Howard, lacing two doubles in four at-bats. The outfielder drove in a run and came around the score once, and he was able to put his tools on display both in the field and at the plate.
The 6-foot Hendrick stands with some weight already on his back leg with a slightly higher hand set up. He doesn’t push off his back leg much, choosing to gently push his front leg forward by using a toe-tap before dropping the barrel in the zone. He has some pre-swing hand movement that quiets down as he drops his hands a bit lower from his high-hand position in an effort to get his bat on plane. Although his swing is a bit different, he doesn’t drift out over his front side and tracks pitches well. He showed off plus bat speed and made loud contact, but he did pull off the zone with his swing from time to time. While he doesn’t load his hands during the swing process, he is careful not to lock up his front arm during his swing, which would make it difficult for him to put the barrel on the ball.
Hendrick is also a hustler in the field and on the bases. He has a plus arm that is accurate, and he is an average runner. Hendrick shows feel for the game and his all-around toolset make for a quality draft prospect.
Liam Norris, LHP, Green Hope HS, Cary, N.C.
Committed: North Carolina
Norris came on in relief for Team Jones in the second game on Friday afternoon. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound lefthander got whacked around a bit, but he did show glimpses of what could be a promising future.
Norris has a clean delivery that makes the most of his large frame. He is able to repeat it and gets off the mound well, showing off good athleticism and arm strength. Norris doesn’t tuck his glove hand in after he separates his hands during his delivery, opting to pull his glove-side hand across his body in order to push his throwing arm up and into the correct slot.
His fastball command came and went on Friday, but he did manage to dart it down in the strike zone from time to time. While the pitch was sitting 88-90 mph, he touched 92 mph on a few occasions. This command got him in trouble, as he often worked behind in the count and registered four walks.
While he attacked hitters with his fastball, Norris did flash a plus breaking ball. His slider had some downward bite, but similar to his fastball, he had difficulty throwing any for strikes. In addition to his low-80s slider, the lefty was able to snap off a good curveball in the low 70s that had nice shape and routinely landed for a strike.
His final line wasn’t great, but Norris’ body, stuff and competitiveness make for an intriguing arm to watch as he matures.
Final Line: 3 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO
Charez Butcher, RHP, Kokomo (Ind.) HS
Butcher took the ball for Team Jones and had a similar line to Norris. But while he did allow three runs in his stint, his athleticism and raw stuff stood out on the mound.
Butcher has an athletic, projectable 6-foot-4 frame with a strong lower half and plenty of room to add weight as he matures. The righthander has a loose body on the mound and whip-like arm action. While he has a long arm circle in the back, Butcher’s plus arm speed allows him to get through on time. His athleticism shines in two different ways during his delivery. He has some drop-and-drive, which helps him to reach his full extension, and he also makes the most of a slight power-V position with his hips, which allows him to stay back and generate hip rotation which works to help spike up his velocity.
Butcher worked hitters with a fastball that topped out at 93 mph. It had some plane to it, and flashed above-average command of it early on, making quick work of hitters down in the strike zone. He particularly hit his glove-side well, working on the edges of the plate with the heater.
He also threw a mid-70s curveball that had some shape but lacked command, often bouncing them on the plate. His arm speed helps him to create spin and downward break on the pitch, but he hasn’t found the range to control the shape and drop it into the strike zone just yet.
Butcher also showed feel to throw a changeup. The pitch had sinking action and arm-side fade to it, but Butcher slowed his motion down at times which gave it away to the batter. Regardless, the pitch was an effective strikeout pitch that he worked off his fastball later on in counts.
His final line wasn’t pretty, but Butcher showed premium raw stuff on the mound.
Final line: 3 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO
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Kyle Teel, C, Mahwah (N.J.) HS
Teel was behind the plate for Team Jeter on Friday and made an impact in all areas of the game. The 6-foot, 175-pound catcher doesn’t have a big frame, but he showed off skills that could help him to be an impact bat and above-average defender in the future.
Teel is a high-energy player, and he showed off serious bat speed in his at-bats. The backstop works from a slightly crouched stance with pre-swing hand movement before using a leg kick to get his swing started. The aggressive hand movements can cause the barrel of his bat to be positioned at different angles as his swing starts, which can affect the timing at which the barrel travels through the zone. While the bat speed is plus, he did swing through a few pitches with some over swings.
Not only does he run well for a catcher, but his athletic frame allows him to be agile behind the plate. His arm flashed above-average, with some good carry and accuracy. He showed strong enough hands to stick behind the plate down the road, and he usually gives a clean target to his pitchers. Teel was impressive in the lower half of the strike zone, showing feel to present the ball properly for called strikes.
-- Yohandy Morales, SS/3B, Braddock HS, Miami — Morales had two hits in five at-bats for Team Jones. The infielder has excellent swing mechanics, with an easiness to how he syncs up the lower and upper halves of his body. While he was out in front on some offspeed pitches, Morales’ athleticism and swing mechanics showed during the game.
-- Ed Howard, SS, Mount Carmel (Ill.) HS — Howard went hitless in four at-bats for Team Howard, but he did put on a show on the infield. The 6-foot-2 shortstop is light on his feet, showing good range and awareness at the position. He has good footwork and a strong arm with the ability to make throws from multiple angles on the diamond.
-- Alex Santos, RHP, Mount Saint Michael’s Academy, Bronx, N.Y. — Santos allowed two runs on three hits in his three innings of work for Team Larkin. The righthander has a lanky build and some effort to his delivery, coming at the batter with some moving parts. He topped out at 90 mph with his fastball and got some swing-and-miss with an upper-70s breaking ball which he was able to command and use as a chase pitch when he wanted to.