Rangers Area Code Team Lose Pitching Battle to White Sox
The Rangers Area Code Team gave up only 1 hit and struck out 15 but still lost their first game of the Area Code Tournament to the White Sox Area Code Team 1-0.
Jared Kelly (2020 Refugio RHP) pitched 3 innings and struck out 6. Tanner Witt (2020 Bellaire Episcopal 3B/RHP) struck out 4 in two innings but gave up the only hit and only run in the game. Cam Brown (2020 Flower Mound RHP) pitched the last two innings and struck out 5 and did not get a hit.
Cole Foster (2020 Plano Sr High INF) picked up two hits for the Rangers.
Tuesday August 6 Games
White Sox 1
Day 2 Standings
Baseball America Day 2 Notebook
Pitcher Of The Day — Jared Kelley, RHP, Refugio (Texas) HS
Kelley—the No. 4 ranked prospect on our early top 50 high school draft list—put together the best pitching performance of the Area Code Games so far, and one that will be tough to top over the event’s final three days. The 6-foot-3, 213-pound righthander struck out six batters and allowed just one baserunner (via a walk) over three innings, throwing 25 of his 36 (69.4 percent) pitches for strikes.
The Texas commit opened up with an explosive fastball that came out of his hand at either 97 or 98 mph for each pitch in a 1-2-3 first inning. After that, his velocity dropped to the 94-96 mph range, where he remained for the next two innings. It wasn’t just the pure velocity that was impressive, but rather the ease in which Kelley generated the mid- to upper-90s heat with minimal effort in his delivery that caught evaluators’ eyes.
On top of that, Kelley had a great feel for spotting the pitch—even in the 97-98 mph range—and did a nice job using it for strikes on the edges of the strike zone to both his arm side and glove side. Kelley paired his heater with a mid-80s changeup that has to be among the best in the class. It’s a swing-and-miss pitch now, which he’s able to land consistently and throw with excellent conviction and arm speed.
Kelley’s slider is the worst pitch in his arsenal at the moment, but he landed the 81-86 mph breaker for strikes fairly consistently, though he yanked the pitch on occasion. He showed promise for the offering moving forward, but he’ll need to sharpen the pitch to get it to the caliber of his fastball and changeup, which both look like plus or better (in the case of his fastball) future offerings.
In a time where there are few workhorse starters in the major leagues, Kelley is built like you would draw them up, and his premium stuff, strike-throwing ability and the ease of his operation check plenty of boxes that make him a first-round talent.
Tanner Witt, RHP, Episcopal HS, Bellaire, Texas
After being the hitter of the day on Monday with a loud day at the plate, Witt showed that he was a legitimate two-way player on Tuesday, pairing up with Jared Kelley and Cam Brown to limit the White Sox club to just one hit and one run. Granted, Witt was the pitcher who allowed the hit and the run, but he showed solid stuff out of a surprisingly synced up 6-foot-6, 198-pound frame. Witt threw his fastball in the 89-92 mph range and touched 93 mph in the first inning before settling a tick down into the 88-90 mph range in his second frame. Witt has naturally high spin on his fastball (2500 rpm) and his curveball (2700-2900 rpm), which he threw in the 72-75 mph range with big, bending depth. He’ll need to sharpen the pitch more and add to the power of the offering, but the foundation for a solid out-pitch is there. Witt also threw a changeup in the mid-80s but predominantly used a fastball/curveball combination over his two-inning outing. Witt is committed to Texas.
Cam Brown, RHP, Flower Mound (Texas) HS
Brown was the third Texas arm to impress in Tuesday’s final game, and he showed the most balanced three-pitch arsenal of the trio, with a fastball in the low 90s, a sharp, biting 77-81 mph slider and a mid-80s changeup. He generated two whiffs on each of his three pitches in his first inning alone—a 1-2-3 frame in which he struck out the side—and then added two more strikeouts in a 1-2-3 seventh inning that also featured a groundout. Brown had excellent control of all of his offerings and has a great understanding of how to mix them in and keep hitters off-balance. A 6-foot-3, 210-pound righthander committed to Texas Christian, Brown has continued to standout throughout the summer after showing well at the PDP League, and he will have a chance to continue doing that as a member of USA Baseball’s 18U Trials roster, which gets started next week.
Perfect Game Scout Notes
The night slot was again highly anticipated with the No.7-ranked 2020 and PG All-American, Texas commit Jared Kelley (2020, Refugio, Texas) throwing. Kelley may have been the most impressive arm so far at the Area Code games as his stuff was that dominant and that impressive. He has a short arm action from a three-quarters slot and slightly turns his front side closed at his apex. Right away Kelley was 96-98 mph and no one could touch it. It has a solid spin rate to the fastball making it tougher for hitters to square up. As his outing carried on his velocity moved into the 94-96 range but was still just as effective. Despite his power arm, he still used a heavy three-pitch mix throughout his outing that had hitters spinning their gears at the plate. His 11-to-5 shaped slider doesn’t have the biggest break in the world, but when it comes in at 80-85 mph paired with his power fastball, it still can be considered a plus pitch. If he continues to develop that pitch he’ll just continue to become deadlier than he already is. His changeup sat around 82-85 mph and is downright filthy when thrown directly after his fastball. It’s a straight change that he pronates slightly but surprisingly still creates good mimicking arm action with. He also likes to pitch backwards at times, starting hitters off with his secondary stuff and saving his fastball as a kill pitch. His No.7 overall ranking could easily be higher with how impresses scouts were with his stuff.
Home Run Derby Contest
Kalai Rosario (Brewers) 4
Joe Vetrano (Yankees) 3
Albert Jennings (Royals) 0
Drake Westcott (White Sox) 1
Tanner Witt (Rangers) 2
Mike Brown (Athletics) 3
Jacob Berry (Reds) 2
Blaze Jordan (Nationals) 3
Kalai Rosario (Brewers) 7
Drake Westcott (White Sox) 0
Mike Brown (Athletics) 4
Blaze Jordan (Nationals) 5
Kalai Rosario (Brewers) 9 – Area Code Home Run Derby Winner
Blaze Jordan (Nationals) 8