Graduates of Junior Diamond Prospects, established in 2007, are continuing to make their mark in the SC high school ranks. How do we know? Well, we went back and did the research for the fourth year in a row and found history on our site of quite a contingent of players that have been named to the six rosters of Diamond Prospects premier event for 2013, the "Palmetto Games", which will be held this coming weekend (Aug. 10-11) in Columbia at the home of the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.
We at Junior Diamond Prospects weren't sure how this year's list would compare in numbers to 2012's, when we had over 90 players listed. But, we think even this year's final results were certainly comparable. We have uncovered quite a large group so far during this site's existence, a list this year that includes several commitments to colleges already, many at the D1 level. We knew who they were before they became names in newspapers and other publications that cover high school and college baseball. We'll miss on our share too but how's this for an eye for talent?
|Name||High School||What JrDP said...||Photo|
Tanner Adair, EH/RHP - Adair made his presence felt in this game with a nice 4-4 performance. Surprisingly, only one ball left the infield. Great body, tall and sleek, for the game. We were told he hurled a gem on...for more, click here.
Adair was featured in the Junior Diamond Spotlight in February 2010.
|Drayton Arnold||Myrtle Beach||
Drayton Arnold, SS – Drayton hit third today for a very good Coastal Crush team. He has a good approach at the plate and hits the ball with authority. He also has a very compact swing, is very athletic and has...for more, click here.
Trent Autry, SS- Autry is deceptively fast for his size. He packs plenty of power into every swing and most any kind of decent contact off his bat will drive the ball a long way. Looking at him on the field, his build does not...for more, click here.
Dallas Betsill, 2B/SS - Betsill plays the game with as much energy as you will see from anyone. Goes out on pop flies at short and second with no fear. Great bat control and solid baserunner. Gutsy kid who...for more, click here.
Betsill has committed to play college baseball for Spartanburg Methodist College.
Zach Biggers, OF - Biggers is a natural outfielder that makes a lot of difficult plays look extremely easy. He possesses a lot of speed to go along with a solid bat from the fifth spot in the Sliders' order. The hard-nosed Biggers really seems to love the game, and...for more, click here.
Grant Bodison, OF - Bodison is a tremendously gifted athlete. Patrols the outfield with speed, gracefulness and confidence. Covers a lot of ground. Runs down balls in the gaps and turns doubles into singles or outs for those daring enough to...for more, click here.
The game was fairly flawless defensively, highlighted by a first inning dive up the middle by Dogs' shortstop Zack Bowers, who was able to scramble to his knees and throw out the...for more, click here.
Bowers has committed to play college baseball for Erskine College.
|Blake Brady||Christ Church||Blake Brady, C - Impressive young backstop with advanced catch and throw skills. Not afraid to throw behind runners. Good as you will see blocking balls in the dirt. Brady (pictured right) tends to let...for more, click here.|
Sawyer Bridges, RHP - Bridges pitched a heck of a game for the Wave. It was one bad inning for the crafty righty that saddled him with the loss. Despite a bad fourth inning, Bridges showed he had some effective stuff. His fastball was not over powering but...for more, click here.
Bridges has committed to play college baseball for Clemson University.
Kep Brown - Brown is a really big kid, head and shoulders above everyone else on the baseball field today and will stand out just based on his size advantage alone. He also has a lot of power in his...for more, click here.
Brown has committed to play college baseball for the University of South Carolina.
Jordan Buster has been with us for a couple of years now. He is a great kid and a solid player. He is another kid that can (and does) play anywhere we put him. On the mound, Jordan combines a low...for more, click here.
Buster's team, the Lexington Jays, was featured in the Junior Diamond Team Spotlight in February 2008.
Buster has committed to play college baseball at The Citadel.
|Jacob Childress||Ninety Six||
Jacob Childress, C -Childress is a left-hand hitting catcher. Bats in the leadoff spot which tells you a little bit about his versatility. Has some filling out to do. Went 1-3 and drove in run in our featured game. Threw out one runner at second and was...for more, click here.
|Bryson Conner||North Augusta||
Bryson Conner, RHP - Conner (pictured right) completely baffled the Heat in this game. Not overpowering or physically imposing, he was living proof that you don't have to throw hard to win baseball games. What he did was get ahead in the count, mix his...for more, click here.
O'kevius Conway, SS/RHP - "Big O" (pictured right) is the vocal leader of this talented team. When the Lightning needs something to happen, they turn to him. When they need to close the door on an opponent, they turn to him. And he responds time after time after...for more, click here.
Conway has committed to play college baseball for the University of South Carolina.
Grant Cox, 2B - Cox has as good of a pair of hands as anyone you will see this age. Makes tough plays look effortless. Singles hitter who handles the bat well and...for more, click here.
Cox has committed to play college baseball for Clemson University.
Henry Davis, CF/RHP - Davis has a lean, muscular build. He showcased his great physical attributes running, jumping and throwing. Davis tracked down balls nicely in center field. Had a good day at the plate as he went...for more, click here.
Bradley Dixon, 3B - We really liked the way Dixon (pictured right) carried himself on the field. Got himself in position with every pitch from the hot corner. Showed off a strong gun that could easily handle distances much greater...for more, click here.
Dixon has committed to play college baseball for the College of Charleston.
Thomas Durant would shut the door in the top of the seventh for the Sharks. Apart from an error by the second baseman, the only thing Easley could muster was three fly balls to center field, ending the game with...for more, click here.
Durant has committed to play college baseball for Coastal Carolina University.
Jared Firmstone, OF - Firmstone was, in my opinion, the best player on the Palmetto Elite and has the brightest future. I first noticed him when he appeared in the on deck circle in the first inning. I could see that he was not only set apart physically from the other players (stood at around 5 '10' and about 150 pounds) but...for more, click here.
|Will Fuqua||JL Mann||
Will Fuqua, LHP - Fuqua (pictured right) turned in a nice performance under adverse conditions in the Gladiator's first game of the tournament. Though saddled with the loss, he yielded only one hit in 3 2/3 innings. Control and command were...for more, click here.
Fuqua has committed to play college baseball for Wofford College.
|Donald Gillespie||AC Flora||
Donald Gillespie, IF/OF - On a ballclub with several strong-looking kids over 6-feet tall, Gillespie packs a lot of punch from his 5-foot-3 frame out of the cleanup spot for the Smokers. Gillespie is an aggressive swinger and...for more, click here.
|Shannon Glover||Richland Northeast||
Shannon Glover, C/OF - Glover is a promising right-handed hitting power prospect and has excellent tools behind the plate. As a catcher, Glover handles his pitching staff nicely, does a solid job blocking balls in the dirt, and has a quick release and cannon arm to deter base stealers. Built like a...for more, click here.
Glover was featured in the Junior Diamond Spotlight in November 2011.
Dupree Hart, RHP/C/CF/SS - Hart can do it all and plays with strength and speed. His fastball was clocked at 75 MPH this weekend and his arm in center held several...for more, click here.
Hart was featured in the Junior Diamond Spotlight in August 2010.
|Jacob Hennessy||Boiling Springs||
Jacob Hennessy, 1B/LHP - The familiar term "crafty lefthander" seems to sum up Hennessy (pictured right) in a nutshell. Hennessy does not have overpowering stuff, and relies almost exclusively on his fastball. But that fastball has some decent late movement and he does a nice job...for more, click here.
|Blake Holliday||Belton-Honea Path||
Blake Holliday, 3B/RHP - It isn't everyday that a pitcher throws a one-hitter and comes away with a loss. Holliday (pictured left) had the dubious honor of that happening to him in the Cats loss to the River Rats. His wildness and lack of...for more, click here.
Grant Holmes, RHP/OF - Grant received the loss in this one, but he was no less than dominant on the bump. His mechanics are very impressive for a kid of this age, and he is a bulldog on the mound, striking out...for more, click here.
Holmes has committed to play college baseball for the University of Florida.
T.J. Hopkins, (CF) - Hopkins led the Shockwave offensively, going two for three with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored. Hopkins is a great two hole hitter. Putting the ball in play isn't hard for this speed demon. He works the count well, hits to all fields and has...for more, click here.
Daniel Johnson, LHP/OF - Hand Johnson the ball and you get consistent effort and pretty much the same results every game. Delights in seeing right-hand hitters attempt to pull his pitches. Works in an area...for more, click here.
|Robert Jolly||Carolina Forest||
Robert Jolly, 3B/RHP - Jolly (pictured right) is a player who really knows the game well for his age. He shows advanced base running skills, even though he isn't the fastest twelve year old around. Hitting the baseball just seems to come easy to Jolly. When he comes to the...for more, click here.
Jolly has committed to play college baseball for Liberty University.
Thomas Jones, CF - Jones hits in the three hole and was one of the few Lightning hitters that looked comfortable against a solid arm. He took pitches in the right situations and really worked the count until he got his pitch to handle. He roams in centerfield, and looks to have above average...for more, click here.
Brandon Justice, RHP - This was about the third time we have seen Justice (pictured right) perform on the bump in the last couple of years and despite taking the loss in this one, we think his future is bright. His velocity is above average for his age...for more, click here.
|Ryan Lark||North Augusta||
Ryan Lark, C - Lark had the big hit leading off the second inning, a double that traveled a long way in the off field gap. Cleanup hitter with an aggressive approach. Skills behind the plate...for more, click here.
KiJana Quante Madden - How many 12U teams would call upon a 5th grader to pitch the "big game" of the tournament? That's what Madden was called upon to do against the Spartanburg Phillies. But Madden is not your every day 5th grader. Relies primarily on "ol' number one". Pitching from a high slot, Madden came to the plate...for more, click here.
Madden has committed to play college baseball for the College of Charleston.
|Alex Malsch||St, Joseph's||
Alex Malsch, SS, Malsch is a slick fielding athletic shortstop. Batting in the leadoff spot, he displays good plate coverage and knowledge of the strike zone. We saw an example of his power when he was fooled on a pitch, reached out and...for more, click here.
|Clay Martin||Pee Dee Academy||
Clay Martin-OF: One of my favorite players of the day. He just looks the part. So many kids at this level have no clue how to carry themselves or just how to look like a baseball player. Martin (left) wore his uniform the right way and...for more, click here.
Johnston McCurry, SS - McCurry has to be one of the best defensive players in the 14U division in South Carolina. He made some ridiculous back hand plays in the hole and on some slow rollers as well. He has an average arm but his ability to get to the ball and get rid of it...for more, click here.
McCurry was featured in the Junior Diamond Spotlight in July 2009.
|Logan McRae||West Florence||
Logan McRae, 1B - Good skills at 1B. Hits for power. Good OBP. Consistent...for more, click here.
|Jason Miller||Ashley Ridge||
Jason Miller, 2B - Miller has the appearance of a ballplayer. He carries himself well, hustling on and off the field and really has a lot of baseball savvy. Miller makes plays in a composed, confident fashion. At the plate he was...for more, click here.
Cody Mitchell, OF/RHP - Mitchell is your prototypical utility guy. Moves around the outfield depending on who is on the hill. Showed nice skill and effort in tracking down some well hit balls this past weekend. At the plate, Mitchell displayed a...for more, click here.
Mitchell has committed to play college baseball for the Citadel.
Jamison Mobbs, 3B - Mobbs hit the ball with some authority today for the Diamondbacks. He has a steady head with a quick swing. At the hot corner, he is very agile and has a strong arm and smooth glove. He showed his...for more, click here.
|Jake Mueller||Wake Forest||
Jake Mueller, SS/2B - After playing for the Columbia Heat in the spring, Mueller (pictured right) joined the Express in September and has been a great addition to the top of the lineup. Batting out of the leadoff spot and No. 2-hole, Mueller is a disciplined hitter with a quick bat and...for more, click here.
Mueller was featured in the Junior Diamond Spotlight in February 2009. He has committed to play college baseball for Wake Forest University.
Travis New, P - New was definitely one of the best playing in this one. On the hill, he went three innings, giving up just three runs on five hits while striking out five and walking just one. New has an excellent fastball and solid slider to go along...for more, click here.
|Hank Nichols||JL Mann||
Hank Nichols, LHP - Nichols came to the rescue after his teammate left the game due to injury. This southpaw controlled the zone throughout his appearance. He tossed up a Barry Zito-like looping breaking ball. Hitters couldn't wait on it and...for more, click here.
Nichols has committed to play college baseball for the Citadel.
Billy Peatross, RHP/SS - Looks like a man among boys. This kid possesses a great build. He started on the bump for the shockwave. He has an above average fastball though his lower half works faster than his upper half leaving his arm dragging. He definitely showed great projectability. Peatross then moved to...for more, click here.
Blake Peterson, RHP - Peterson (pictured right) did just about everything that one player can do in the two games that we saw him play last weekend. Peterson excited many with his two home runs in two straight at bats, including a...for more, click here.
Shy Phillips, RF/P - Great ball tracking skills, very strong arm. Consistent on the mound and at...for more, click here.
Mark Pipkin, 3B/RHP - Pipkin is a strong young man and projects as a power right-hander on the mound, and a power bat at either corner infield position. Defensively at third base, Pipkin showed good reactions and...for more, click here.
Pipkin was featured in the Junior Diamond Spotlight in September 2010. He has committed to play college baseball at the Citadel.
Linc Powell, RHP/2B/OF - Powell (pictured right) has been well schooled on the fundamentals of pitching and displays great composure on the hill. Solid frame and strong right arm. Opposing teams should be aware of his...for more, click here.
|Corey Rawlings||Fort Dorchester||
Corey Rawlings, LF/RHP - Rawlings (pictured right) was very impressive with his foot speed and glove work in left. He moved to the ball well and made several catches that saved his team runs. He displayed strength and...for more, click here.
|Lukas Ray||Myrtle Beach||
Lukas Ray, RHP/C - Showed a lot of versatility as he started the game on the hill and then put on the gear and caught the last inning. He is a solid all around ball player with...for more, click here.
Sheldon Reed, RHP - Reed came on in relief and kept his team in the game until the last inning. Displayed a low 70's heater and a breaking ball...for more, click here.
Reed has committed to play college baseball for the College of Charleston.
|Will Reid||Rock Hill||
Will Reid, RHP/3B/SS/1B/CF - Reid is a do-it-all player, hitting for power, running with great speed and fielding almost every position naturally. He is the team leader in homeruns and power hits in the gaps, legging out...for more, click here.
Adam Renwick, SS - Though we've seen him in the past, Renwick (pictured right) continues to impress each time he steps on the field. Not only is he physically imposing to his opponents, but he also plays the game the right way: extremely hard with a lot of hustle. Renwick is one of the most...for more, click here.
Renwick has committed to play college baseball for Clemson University.
|John Mason Reynolds||Blue Ridge||
John Mason Reynolds, (SS/2B/OF/P) - Dynamite player to have on our team. More hustle and enthusiasm combined with solid skills. Works the strike zone well as a hitter, good solid hands and...for more, click here.
Austin Riggins, RHP, 2B - Riggins (pictured right) started on the bump for the Cubs against the Shock and worked two solid innings, striking out four opposing hitters. Showcased a fastball...for more, click here.
|Tyler Rio||Goose Creek||
Tyler Rio, 2B – Rio is a scrappy player. He recorded a triple and a double with two RBI on this day. He handled himself well at second base. Rio isn't the biggest...for more, click here.
Rio was featured in the Junior Diamond Spotlight in February 2010.
|Michael Rochester||Belton-Honea Path||
Michael Rochester, RHP/1B - We did not get to see Rochester (pictured right) pitch in this tournament other than from a distance, but his ability on the bump has been well documented. We'll be sure to follow his progression there at a later date. Showed a little more...for more, click here.
Tyler Romanik, 3B - Romanik is a big guy who shows up with a big arsenal. The tall-stocky third baseman sucked up 5 ground balls today and was flawless on every play. He made one play was more than impressive for someone his size. A hard ground ball was hit down the line. Romanik reached down with a backhand and his momentum going towards the dugout and made a...for more, click here.
Romanik was featured in the Junior Diamond Spotlight in December 2008. He has committed to play college baseball for the University of South Carolina.
|Dax Roper||Belton-Honea Path||
Dax Roper, C - Roper may have found a real home behind the plate. Seen him on the bump and at the hot corner before but might be a natural back there. Looks like a fit mainly because of his body type and rugged mentality. Roper is the son of...for more, click here.
Clark Scolamiero, OF - Being the son of a coach (Greenville High School's Steve Scolamiero) really comes out in "Scully". He plays the game hard and he does what it takes for his team to win. I saw him come up twice with a runner on third and...for more, click here.
Scolamiero has committed to play college baseball for the University of South Carolina.
Cody Smiley, Laurens Middle, Laurens, 3B, Smiley is a stocky third baseman who reminded me a lot of former Laurens standout Max Greer. He fielded the ball out away from his body with great confidence and showed the calmness and...for more, click here.
|Cody Smith||Goose Creek||
Cody Smith, P/SS/OF - Great speed & good reaction, decent glove with a strong arm. Strong contact hitter, very consistent at...for more, click here.
Smith's team, the Goose Creek Diamondbacks, was featured in the Junior Diamond Team Spotlight in December 2008.
Kyle Smith, RHP - Smith throws from a 3/4 arm slot which gave his fastball good downward movement. Sat between 66-68 MPH and topped out at...for more, click here.
|Ryan Stamler||St. Joseph's||
Ryan Stamler, 3B/RHP - Stamler (pictured right) got the starting nod and left after two scoreless innings (3 K's). Fastball had some added giddy-up (topped out at 78 MPH) from previous viewings. Took that good wing over to third and...for more, click here.
|Madison Stokes||AC Flora||
Madison Stokes, 3B - Had to make numerous plays over at the hot corner and did not have trouble with any of them. Stokes showed JrDP a strong arm and good range. Definitely has...for more, click here.
Stokes has committed to play college baseball at the Citadel.
Ryan Stoudemire, RHP - It's hard to say whether Stoudemire is better at the plate or on the hill...because he is outstanding at both. At 65 MPH, his fastball is an intimidating pitch for...for more, click here.
Stoudemire was featured in the Junior Diamond Spotlight in August 2009.
Mason Streater - Streater is a very good two-way player. He looked very good in the field for the Stars at shortstop, making a few very difficult plays look easy during the two games. He is a big, tall shortstop; kind of a...for more, click here.
Jason Taylor, RHP - Taylor got the start against the Lightning and worked four innings. Left with a lead that his mates were unable to hold onto. Possessing a good pitcher's body, the tall, lean right-hander attacks the zone with his...for more, click here.
Taylor was featured in the Junior Diamond Spotlight in March 2010.
Connor Teague: Teague is a 12-year old playing up in the 13U age division for the Mavericks. After coming in with one out in the first, Teague turned in a stellar performance, working his way out of jams throughout...for more, click here.
Ike Thalassinos, 2B/C - Thalassinos hits in the two hole and is highly productive in that spot. Build is stocky and may put him behind the plate for good eventually. His calling card right now is with...for more, click here.
|Brandon Tillmon||River Bluff||
Brandon Tillmon, 1B - Tillmon (pictured right) is a broad shouldered first baseman. His calling card is his big stick. Relaxed hitting approach gives you the impression that you can blow a fastball by him. But, not so fast my friends! Tillmon punishes...for more, click here.
Seth Wall, C - With a tall, athletic build, Wall was a "wall" behind the plate. Showed good arm strength as he threw a runner out attempting to steal early in the game, and that shut down the...for more, click here.
Jacob Watcher-RHP: Like Thomas, the mound presence was evident from the get-go. Watcher (right) oozed of confidence as he went after hitters with a fastball that sat at 58-59. Over his first couple of innings, Watcher showed he has...for more, click here.
Watcher has committed to play college baseball at the Citadel.
Phillip Watcher (C): This is the fourth tournament we have seen Phillip play and he is one that always manages to get our attention. He generally bats in the lead-off slot and is a very aggressive hitter from the left side. He has a...for more, click here.
Watcher has committed to play college baseball at the Citadel.
|Robert Westenreider||Blue Ridge||
He moved to second on a wild pitch and broke the scoring drought for the home team on a double down the left field line off the left-handed stick of Robert Westenreider. For more, click here.
|Alex Williams||Blue Ridge||
Alex Williams, (SS/2B/C/OF) - Solid utility player with developing skills on defense. Works pitchers very well and will not give in during any at bat. Good potential for...for more, click here.
Jared Williams, 2B - "J-Rod" first caught our eye as a nine year old second baseman on the Midland Dixie Youth AAA World Series team four years ago. His coach introduced him to the crowd as "the kid we call ‘money in the bank'." His defense...for more, click here.
Williams has committed to play college baseball for the University of South Carolina.
Chase Williamson, LHP/1B - This was our first viewing of Chase Williamson (pictured right). He quickly showed us an electric arm, already sitting in the mid-70's with his leather popping heater as a 13 year old. Similar build to...for more, click here.
Williamson was featured in the Junior Diamond Spotlight in October 2010.
Jake Wright (Chester) – The one to watch in this age group is Wright. Poised on the mound and one of the best hitters at this age, Wright is already looking for the big colleges to come calling. He expects...for more, click here.
Jonathan Wright, SS - Wright (pictured right) emerged as one of the top power bats we have seen in this age division. Both doubles he had were rocketed off his bat. Stocky build. Relaxed and upright in his...for more, click here.