Editor’s Note: Earlier this month, the inaugural Wilson Premier Classic was held in Sarasota, Florida. Some of the best travel programs in the country brought their best prospects from the 2017, 2018, and 2019 draft classes (here’s the Classic’s complete class roster) to compete in front of 70-plus college coaches and professional scouts. When the dust settled, the powerhouse Orlando Scorpions took home both the class of 2017 and 2019 championships, and the East Cobb Astros captured the class of 2018 title.
The class of 2017’s Most Valuable Pitcher was Stanford commit Austin Weiermiller (LHP, Cambridge (Milton, GA)), from the runner-up Evoshield Canes. Weiermiller performed well throughout the summer off the strength of an upper-80s fastball that reaches the low 90s, and a mid- to upper-70s breaking ball with two-plane action, and he pushed the Canes into the championship game with an 11-strikeout performance in which he allowed no runs, no walks, and six hits.
The class of 2017’s Most Valuable Player was Orlando Scorpion Anthony Servideo (SS/2B, Jupiter (Jupiter, FL)), who didn’t play in the field but served as a more-than-capable EH (extra hitter) for the championship squad. Servideo swung it well throughout the event, including the championship game in which he launched a long triple to right-center that short-hopped the wall. Servideo hits out of narrow setup with high hands, utilizing quick-twitch actions and quick hands to work line drives consistently from gap-to-gap. Though he didn’t have his glove on display during this event, he generally shows smooth actions up the middle, quality hands, and a workable arm, albeit with a slightly slower release than is generally desired from the six-spot.
2080 Baseball’s Billy Henley was on hand for the Classic, and shares his thoughts on two more standouts from the event’s 2017 class finalists – Evoshield Canes outfielder and pitcher Jordon “Jo” Adell and Orlando Scorpions third baseman Tim Elko.
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Adell, who was also a 2016 Perfect Game All-American Classic participant, has some of the best overall tools in the 2017 draft class. He has elite speed (6.19 in the 60), and elite arm strength from the outfield (97 mph). He has a long, physical, high-waisted build, with room to add some weight to his frame as he continues to mature, and compares physically to Kyle Lewis (OF, Mariners), who was this year’s NCAA Golden Spikes award winner and 11th overall selection in the 2016 MLB Draft.
The Louisville commit hits from a slightly open stance, but lands square and balanced most of the time, with a very slight hitch in his hand load. Despite the hitch, the swing itself is compact, violent, and stays on a good plane, and Adell generates good torque with his lower half, making loud contact and showing the potential to consistently drive balls into the gaps and over the fence.
While he will almost certainly be drafted as a hitter, Adell also profiles as a top-shelf pitching prospect. He has clean mechanics and a fluid arm that works well on the mound. His fastball has reached 96 mph, although in this most recent viewing he sat in the 90-to-92 mph range, also featuring a swing and miss slider at 76-to-81 mph with late, two plane movement.
Overall, Adell profiles as one of the top prospects in the 2017 class. With true center field tools and the potential to be an above-average hitter for average and with power, look for Adell to go in the early rounds of the MLB Draft come June.
Another 2016 Perfect Game All-American Classic participant, Elko is a muscular, athletic, physical corner infielder. He still looks young in the face and has the potential to add even more strength and physicality as he continues to mature. Elko is currently playing third base, where he shows quality hands and feet to go with good instincts and a true first step on ground balls. While he handled some very difficult chances during this event, including an in-between hop backhand and a difficult slow roller, there’s some risk that Elko’s size could ultimately force him off of third base. Should he shift across the diamond, Elko would be a quality defender at first given his athleticism.
In the box, the Ole Miss commit has a simple and repeatable swing, starting square and landing balanced with a simple stride and easy, fluid takeaway. His barrel gets in the zone quickly and stays on plane for a long time, maximizing his opportunities for contact. He also has the potential to be a true power threat, with a powerful lower half and a hand path that generates both backspin and natural lift. In an event loaded with power arms, Elko showed he handles velocity well, and consistently found the ball with the barrel while demonstrating a solid approach in the box.
While he is not as flashy as other prospects in this class, Elko’s power potential and quality hit tool make him an interesting follow leading up to the draft next spring.