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 2014, the "Palmetto Games", which was held last weekend (Aug. 9-10) 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 to the numbers for the 2013 event, when we had over 80 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 numerous 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|
|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...for more, click here.|
|Trent Autry||Chester||Trent Autry, SS - Autry was the best defensive talent we saw in Charlotte due to his range. That alone gets you onto teams, but his bat propels...for more, click here.|
|Wilson Beattie||Summerville||Wilson Beattie, 1B - Beattie is a heads up player and knows how to manufacture runs when needed. Beattie made a nice line drive snag and tag double play at first along with a few picks in the dirt. He was also impressive at...for more, click here.|
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...for more, click here.
Grant Bodison, SS/RHP - Bodison covers a lot of ground from his shortstop position. Hitting in the 2 hole, he sprays the ball around. Like Riggins, he has...for more, click here.
Bodison has committed to play baseball at the University of South Carolina.
|Blake Brady||JL Mann||Blake Brady, C/RHP - Brady, who played up in age division this spring with the Greenville Giants, was behind the plate in game one against the Maniacs. Blocked his tail off in the first game and...for more, click here.|
Sawyer Bridges, RHP - This wasn't the first time we saw this crafty right hander on the mound. We saw him last month against the same club, and in this outing he increased his velocity another 3 more MPH. Bridges sat in the...for more, click here.
Bridges has committed to play baseball at Clemson University.
Nick Burns – Burns continued his hot hitting from Saturday against the Select on Sunday. He went two for three with two balls that hit the fence in left field. Up until now, we had seen Burns mainly drive the ball up the middle or to right center. In this game, he showed that he can...for more, click here.
|Tanner Cain||Chesnee||Tanner Cain, OF - Our first viewing of this left-hand hitter and we quickly saw his value to the team. Put a charge into a couple of pitches and came away with a couple of base knocks and...for more, click here.|
|Dallas Callahan||Byrnes||Dallas Callahan, OF - Callahan (pictured right) has teetered on greatness in JrDP's previous viewings of him. Our jury was still out on him as a really, consistent power hitter. But the more we see of him, the more we are convinced that this is...for more, click here.|
Duncan Callahan - Callahan was the CBA pitcher in this game. He had a lot of velocity on his fastball and a good curveball to go along with it. What was even more impressive than his velocity was...for more, click here.
Callahan has committed to play baseball at the University of South Carolina.
|Ridge Chapman||Wade Hampton||
Ridge Chapman, OF/RHP - Chapman (pictured right) bats in the 3 hole for his team. Did not have any hits on this day, but if the height of his fly balls are an indication of his...for more, click here.
Chapman has committed to play baseball at Spartanburg Methodist.
|Josh Church||Ashley Ridge||
Josh Church, 3B - Church is an excellent hitter for his age. He can take the ball to any field from the right side of the plate. In his first AB, he roped a liner into left-center. In his next AB he took an 0-2 outside pitch and...for more, click here.
Grant Cox - P/2B: Grant is a very skilled player for an 11 year old. He uses his feet very well to get to balls under control and quickly sets himself to make the throw. When paired with...for more, click here.
Cox has committed to play baseball at Clemson University.
|Andrew Crook||Blythewood||Andrew Crook, C - Crook was behind the plate for the first game. His best pop-time behind the dish was 2.17 seconds. Crook threw a runner out at second in this game. That was all he needed to...for more, click here.|
|Tripper Ergle||Blythewood||The Longhorns put their two runs on the board in the bottom of the frame. Leftfielder Lee Shelton doubled in shortstop Tripper Ergle who...for more, click here.|
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...for more, click here.
|Patrick Frick||JL Mann||The Giants got the first run of the game in the top of the first. Patrick Frick, batting in the leadoff spot, singled to...for more, click here.|
|Harrison Frickman||Porter Gaud||Harrison Frickman - Harrison is small in stature and has very short compact swing. He can be a hassle for pitchers and is a very scrappy guy. He plays the game...for more, click here.|
Tyler Fuhr, 1B/RHP - Fuhr (pictured right) lit up the radar gun on Saturday. Clocked at 64 MPH on one occasion, consistently 60 MPH or faster for the inning of work on our gun. May be...for more, click here.
|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...for more, click here.
Gillespie has committed to play baseball at Spartanburg Methodist.
|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...for more, click here.|
|Jeff Gottesman||Wando||Jeff Gottesman, P/3B - Gottesman pitched three dominant innings for his team in this game. We clocked a sneaky fastball coming in at 64-66 MPH with a curveball that had all the hitters...for more, click here.|
Connor Grant-OF: Batted behind Romanik in the order on Saturday and lived up to the responsibility all three times we saw him at the plate. Grant has a lean, light build with plus speed as he...for more, click here.
Grant has committed to play baseball at the College of Charleston.
|Hunter Grover||Ashley Ridge||Hunter Grover, 2B - Grover is your dream second baseman. He's quick, fields the ball smoothly, has range, hits for contact, and is patient at the plate. Grover had an impressive game at the plate as he went...for more, click here.|
|Reid Hardwick||Conway||Reid Hardwick, INF - Hardwick played all over the infield today, playing on both sides of the diamond, but it was his stick that caught people's eyes today. He was instrumental in...for more, click here.
|Jacob Hennessy||Boiling Springs||
Jacob Hennessy, 1B/LHP - Hennessy is a left-handed first baseman/pitcher. Showed good footwork around the sack to position himself to receive throws from his mates on the infield. Came on in relief in a 2-1 game on Sunday. Worked with one...for more, click here.
Hennessy has committed to play baseball at Clemson University.
|Josh Hernandez||AC Flora||The Mavericks fared differently at the dish. Elijah Henderson rapped a full count single and Brendan Greene walked. Josh Hernandez hit an RBI single and Jacob Wilbanks singled next. Two outs were recorded by the Sox...for more, click here.|
Adam Hill, RHP - Hill turned some heads this past weekend with his work on the mound. A tall right hander with good presence on the mound, we clocked his fastball at 58-59 MPH, with a top reading of...for more, click here.
Hill has committed to play baseball at the University of South Carolina.
Jordan Holladay – Holladay is an absolute stud. After showing off his power on Saturday, Holladay showed his ability to hit for average on Sunday. He was two for three with two singles in this contest. His swing is quick and...for more, click here.
|Blake Holliday||Belton-Honea Path||
Blake Holliday,RHP - Holliday struggled with command today but was good enough to get his team in position to win. Went primarily with his fastball (57-58 MPH). You're looking at a pitcher who should be in the low-mid 60's by next summer, which is pretty good...for more, click here.
TJ 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...for more, click here.
TJ Hopkins has committed to play baseball at the University of South Carolina.
|Bryar Johnson||Carolina Forest||
Bryar Johnson - Johnson is the power threat of the Cannons. Of the two big hits we witnessed, he blasted one out of the park and earned a...for more, click here.
Thomas Jones, OF - Jones is a tall, athletic outfielder. Shows signs of raw power, evident by the inside pitch that he stroked down the left field line for a...for more, click here.
|Josh Kiser||South Aiken||Josh Kiser, UTL - We can't get enough of this kid. He used a fastball mostly today and every now and then, he mixed in a changeup. He only gave up two...for more, click here.|
|Ryan Knowles||Gilbert||Ryan Knowles, CF/2B/SS - Knowles is a sparkplug for the Heat out of the leadoff spot as a high on-base percentage guy with excellent speed. He is also a very smart baserunner who can...for more, click here.|
Graham Lawson, 3B - Lawson is "country boy strong". Tall and powerful right-hand hitter, he easily opens up on pitches on the inner half of the plate. Fielded his position...for more, click here.
Lawson has committed to play baseball at Clemson University.
|Hunter Lipscomb||Boiling Springs||
Things got started very quickly in the top of the first for the Bulldogs as Austin Brackett led off with a single to rightfield and was immediately driven home on a double to left center by Hunter Lipscomb...for more, click here.
Lipscomb has committed to play baseball at Winthrop University.
The Warriors would strike first in the top of the second as back to back to back singles were delivered byNoah Locascio, Barrett Walton, and Owen Ravenel. Locascio and Walton would...for more, click here.
LoCascio has committed to play baseball at William & Mary University.
Tanner Mack, RHP - Mack settled in after the homer in the first against the Bombers. A slick right hander, Mack showed us three different pitches: a fastball ranging from 59-62 MPH, a...for more, click here.
Chase McCroskey, RHP - Throwing 63 MPH from the mound, McCroskey threw four strong innings before running into trouble. His biggest contribution on the day, however, was his...for more, click here.
|Jordan Merritt||West Ashley||
Jordan Merritt, 3B - Merritt played a very smooth hot corner today displaying great fielding form, a quick release and a plus arm. Merritt is very unique in that he is the first...for more, click here.
Merritt has committed to play baseball at the Citadel.
|Mitchell Mikes||JL Mann||
Mitchell Mikes, 1B - Mikes also showcased a lot of power for JrDP on Saturday. Mikes hits in the third spot in the order for the Longhorns, and just like McNamara, he had two hits on Saturday. Mikes is a solid...for more, click here.
Graham Mitchell, 1B - Mitchell packs a lot of wallop for an eleven year old. Had quite a day with three ringing doubles in consecutive at bats. Each went to...for more, click here.
Jamison Mobbs, 1B/RHP - Mobbs is your typical first baseman, a bigger guy who can hit for power. Mobbs displayed great patience at the plate in this game as he drew a walk in his first at bat. His second at bat was a...for more, click here.
Mobbs has committed to play baseball at Clemson University.
|Caleb Morris||Airport||Caleb Morris, C - Morris is a solid catcher with good receiving and plus throwing (2.28 pop time) skills. Hits up in the order. Must work on his...for more, click here.|
|Jake Mueller||Richland Northeast||
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...for more, click here.
Mueller has committed to play baseball at Wake Forest University.
Matthew Mulkey, OF - Mulkey (pictured right) anchors the Sluggers' outfield from his centerfield position. Not built like prototypical CF's this age, he is longer than most. Beats the ball to the spot. Has plus...for more, click here.
Mulkey has committed to play baseball at Winthrop University.
|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...for more, click here.
Nichols has committed to play baseball at the Citadel.
|Trey Polewski||South Aiken||Trey Polewski, SS - Polewski is a sparkplug for the Panthers out of the lead-off spot and an impressive, smooth-fielding shortstop. Despite a smallish build, Polewski handles the bat well and showed surprising...for more, click here.|
|Owen Ravenel||Wando||Owen Ravenel, 3B - Ravenel proved to be a fighter up at the plate today. In his first AB, he poked a "Texas-Leaguer" over first. In his second AB he slapped a hard groundball to the right side to move the runner over to third. And in his last AB he...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 (61-62 MPH) with...for more, click here.
Reed has committed to play baseball at the College of Charleston.
|Will Reid||Rock Hill||Will Reid: RHP – Very big kid who was probably one of, if not the best, players that I saw all day. I saw him drive the ball deep to right field. Very good swing with a...for more, click here.|
|Kipp Rollings||Andrew Jackson||
Kipp Rollings - Rollings has an unusual first name, Kipp. He is also unusually fleet afoot. His speed allows him to turn singles into doubles and beyond. When on the base paths, he...for more, click here.
Rollings has committed to play baseball at Limestone College.
Tyler Romanik-C: Tyler (pictured right) puts a little chill in the opposing pitcher's blood as they watch him warm up because of his size, but as soon as the Express take the field they come to understand that there is more to this kid than size. Romanik looks...for more, click here.
Romanik has committed to play baseball at the University of South Carolina.
|Dax Roper||Belton-Honea Path||
Dax Roper, RHP/3B - Roper was the lone bright spot for the Alley Cats in a game that was not indicative of the talent on this team. Through two innings he had good command of his pitches and was working ...for more, click here.
|Jack Schofield||Christ Church||Jack Schofield, RHP - Schofield has an ability to locate and control the game very well for a thirteen year old. He had a clean motion with little wasted movement. He's not overpowering but can get in on the hands and...for more, click here.|
|TJ Shook||Dutch Fork||TJ Shook P– Shook has a tall and lanky frame that helps him tremendously when he pitches. He quickly got in a rhythm in this game and went to work on the Canes batters. Shook has an effortless delivery and the ball just seems to jump out of his hand. His fastball had...for more, click here.|
The Bulldogs struck back quickly. After a double by Evan Sisk, Jacob Wright and Brent Johnson were back to their "game one selves". Wright would club...for more, click here.
Sisk has committed to play baseball at the College of Charleston.
|Carson Spiers||Greenville||Carson Spiers, SS - Son of former Clemson standout Michael Spiers, Carson is another good player in the Spiers' family tree. Spiers (pictured right) seems to have a good head on the field, always making...for more, click here.|
|Mason Streater||Byrnes||Mason Streater, SS/RHP - Streater (pictured right) may have a big red "S" under his jersey and it doesn't stand for his last name. Well, that may be a stretch but the potential is definitely there. Runs well, has a solid stick, and...for more, click here.|
|Will Taks||AC Flora||Will Taks, IF/P - Taks showed JrDP some great infield play along with a decent arm. He possesses the basic fundamentals and knowledge of the infield positions. He is solid defensively and shows...for more, click here.|
Dylan Thompson, SS - Thompson has a really smooth swing from the left side and showed some power on this day. He went 1-3 with a HR and 3 RBI which ignited his...for more, click here.
Thompson has committed to play baseball at Coastal Carolina University.
|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...for more, click here.|
|Sterling Turmon||St. Joseph's||Sterling Turmon: OF - Looks like he has potential to be a good player. Tall and lanky kid that is athletic and fast. I think his best position is CF, although he is still...for more, click here.|
|Caleb Watkins||Gilbert||Caleb Watkins, P/IF - Watkins was locating well early in this game, hitting the corners over and over again. In the 3rd he was just barely missing his spots. He was also...for more, click here.|
|Chase Williamson||Lexington||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 Reynolds, though he is...for more, click here.|
|Connor Wohnig||West Ashley||Connor Wohnig, 3B - Talk about some serious pop in a bat. Wohnig hit to all fields with power. He showed us a great approach at the plate, just taking the ball where it was pitched. He has an effortless swing and...for more, click here.|
|Jake Wright||Chester||Jake Wright, 1B/P - Wright, who is only eleven, has very quick hands. We did not see him hit a homerun, but rumor was out that he had hit three in two games. I can believe it. The ball flew off his bat as he...for more, click here.|
|Jonathan Wright||Greenwood||Jonathan Wright, SS - Wright (pictured left) 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...for more, click here.|
|Drew Yniesta||Fort Dorchester||Drew Yniesta, 3B/OF – It’s been a couple of years since this evaluator have seen a team Yniesta has played on and he’s played a lot of baseball. What we missed out on during that time span was some rapid development of a baseball prospect. He may get overlooked some because of his size but that...for more, click here.|