FORT MYERS, Fla.—Promising young arms defined the third day of the Perfect Game National Showcase. Tanner Burns (Decatur (Ala.) High) was arguably the most impressive pitcher of the day.
Burns has some previous national exposure. He plays with the often-scouted FTB Mizuno travel team, and he also pitched at last year’s East Coast Pro as an underclassman.
Burns was on fire on Friday night, pounding the strike zone and working extremely quickly. The righthander’s fastball sat comfortably at 93-95 and he showed a hard and tight breaking ball with slurvy shape at 78-82. He was able to locate both pitches to either side of the plate.
The Alabama native has a slight wrap in the back of his arm action, but his arm action remains relatively short, and he found his three-quarters arm slot consistently. Burns’ release for his curveball was identical to that of his fastball. He struck out four batters in two innings and was in complete control of the game.
Burns has a country-strong build. He’s listed at 6 foot, 205 pounds, and has wide shoulders and hips, with present physicality. Burns showed command of two pitches, both of which are at least above-average. He’s established himself as one of the must-see arms in the 2017 class.
Burns was originally committed to Alabama, but last night on Twitter said he has de-committed from the Crimson Tide, and will instead commit to Auburn.
But the fire coming out of Burns’ hand wasn’t the only exciting thing we saw on the mound on Day Three, as several arms catapulted themselves onto follow lists.
• Brandon McCabe (Trinity Christian Academy, Lake Worth, Fla.) was screaming for attention. The righthander showed excellent pure stuff, but it was his Maria Sharapova-esque grunt that will stick out in the minds of evaluators. His fastball bumped 95 mph and he pitched at 92-94, mixing in a sharp 12-to-6 curveball. McCabe has some effort to his delivery, but the stuff coming out of his hand will certainly warrant a close follow going forward.
• A day after a dazzling batting practice session in which he showed at least plus raw power, Nick Storz (Poly Prep Country Day School, New York) took the mound. He’s 6-foot-6 with more muscles than a seafood restaurant, his biceps stretching his sleeves to their limits. Storz showed the potential for an above-average fastball, sitting at 88-91 and (in his first inning) touching 92 and 93. He filled the zone with his fastball, showing the ability to locate it to either side of the plate. Storz also showed a hard, three-quarter breaking ball with tight spin and late break.
• Jake Eder (Atlantic High, Delray Beach, Fla.) showed off a loose and live left arm. He has an excellent pitcher’s body, listed at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds. Eder pitched at 88-91. His arm action was excellent; it was short, accelerated well and finished cleanly. Eder struggled to stay on top of his curveball, and his arm slot could be better suited for a slider in the future.
• Tyler Ahearn (Dwyer High, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) pitched at 90-91 and touched 92, showing the arm speed to indicate a potential velocity gain in his future. Ahearn showed a slider and deep curveball as well.
• Jordon Adell (Ballard High, Louisville, Ky.) showed promise with his fastball and breaking ball. He sat at 92-94 with his fastball, and showed the ability to locate a tight 78-81 mph curveball.
• D.L. Hall