2018 PG 14u Southeast Championship MVP
The star of the tournament for Elite Squad National was Sal Stewart (2022, Miami, Fla.) who had an offensive explosion, going 15-for-19 with 11 runs scored and drove in 12. Stewart hit seven doubles and hit a home run as well. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound infielder looks to do damage at the plate, driving the ball with authority foul line to foul line. He has a compact swing with great bat speed, showing great barrel frequency. Stewart even pitched in the tournament, working two innings, striking out three batters with a fastball that touched 78 mph.
Making an immediate impact in the 2018 PG 14u Southeast Championship was Michael McAloose (2022, Fort Myers, Fla.) who is an athletic shortstop with advanced tools at the plate. He has above average bat speed for his age group and went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and four RBI. One of his hits was a hard contact double in the right-center field gap. McAloose moves well on the field and should continue to grow. He also went 2-for-4 against Palm Beach Select 2022 on Thursday and went 1-for-3 in a championship game victory over Elite Squad National. McAloose scored an important run in that ballgame.
In the opposite dugout of McAloose, playing for Florida Bats Scout team, was Vincent Kythreotis (2022, Naples, Fla.). Impressing with his bat, Kythreotis showed solid barrel frequency and a quick bat. He limits the amount of movement he has in the box while standing tall and showing ability to recognize pitches.
Kevin Riscassi (2022, Fort Myers, Fla.) served as the DH for Gulf Coast Fury 14u. A lefthanded hitter, Riscassi got a pitch up in the zone and did damage. He pulled his hands in and quickly turned on the ball, sending a line drive shot over the right fielder’s head for a triple. Riscassi could grow into pull power from the left side.
Behind the plate for Elite Squad National was Salvador Alvarez (2022, Miami, Fla.), who showed the makings of a solid defender behind the dish. Playing with advanced catching instincts, Alvarez showed off a 2.21 pop time from his knees. His plus arm strength gets throws to second in a hurry. Alvarez displayed his defensive skills all tournament, even throwing behind runners at first base.
Elite Squad National showed off impressive pitching. Their starting pitcher against US Elite was Luis Delgado (2021, Royal Palm Beach, Fla.), who worked 76-84 mph with his fastball. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot with advanced arm speed that allows for his velocity. Delgado spins an 11-to-5 curveball at 62-66 mph. He collected five strikeouts in two innings.
Teammate Sammie Sloan (2021, Lakeland, Fla.) also touched 84 mph, sitting 78-84 mph and mixing in a curveball at 63 mph. He has an athletic body with projectability and has a loose arm action while pitching in a controlled delivery.
US Elite’s Grant Paparella (2022, Merritt Island, Fla.) who topped out at 76 mph with his fastball, but sat 68-72 mph. He has a good feel for throwing the breaking ball, and his curveball spun 63-65 mph with the ability to drop it in for a strike.
Stephen Wojcik (2022, Melbourne, Fla.) impressed defensively. He is a durable, big-bodied catcher who profiles well there and has a quick release. His arm strength and release allowed him to throw out a runner attempting to steal second base, then later in the game, Wojcik threw out another runner at second trying to advance on a throw home.
Robert Ives IV (2022, Merritt Island, Fla.) threw 5 1/3 innings for US Elite, striking out five and taking control of the game. A lefty pitcher, Ives sat 66-73 mph with his fastball and attacked the zone. He sprinkled in his curveball early and often and showed great feel and trust in the pitch.
Offensively, Evan Koehler (2022, Orange City, Fla.) had success for US Elite, showing solid bat speed and making consistent hard contact. The infielder collected multiple hits, lining them with authority into the outfield with his compact swing.
Facing a left-on-left matchup against US Elite, Frankie Messina (2022, Naples, Fla.) shortened up his swing and had a good approach. Messina didn’t look to do too much or pull the ball against a tough left-handed pitcher, rather, shortened up his swing and lined a double to the opposite field to bring in a run for Southern Squeeze.
Another US Elite player made an impact in the tournament, as Andrew Korkus (2022, Debary, Fla.) made a few impactful plays at shortstop. In the same inning, Korkus ranged into the hole, fielding a grounder on the backhand, planted his foot and fired off a strong throw on a line to the first baseman for the first out of the inning. With two outs in the inning, a slow chopper was hit to shortstop and Korkus charged in, fielded it cleanly and threw the runner out at first to end the frame. He also had a hit and two runs scored against Florida Sox 14u.
Elite Squad National had a couple of offensive stars that had a nice tournament. Rene Lastres (2021, Hialeah Gardens, Fla.) is a big, physical catcher/first baseman with a powerful swing. He takes a solid bat path to the baseball and had a few loud doubles and singles in the tournament.
Teammate Yoel Tejeda Jr. (2022, Davie, Fla.) showed good rhythm at the plate from the left side of the batter’s box. He has a solid feel of the strike zone and showed plate discipline. Tejeda Jr. drove a double to left field off a curveball against US Elite, showing a good approach against a breaking ball. Against Brevard Aces 14u, he went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored, then followed that up with three RBI against Southern Squeeze 14u.
Against Palm Beach Select 2022, Logan Smith (2022, Cape Coral, Fla.) went 3-for-3 with a hard-hit single to right field in his first at-bat. A middle infielder with a quick swing, Smith has a solid bat path. In his next two at bats, he showed off his speed, legging out infield singles.
In the same game, teammate Zachary Root (2022, Fort Myers, Fla.) collected two hits. He singled to left field in his first at bat, driving a liner into the outfield. His second hit of the day came on an inside out swing to centerfield. Root does a great job keeping his hands inside the baseball and has a simplified approach at the plate.
Pitching the championship game against Elite Squad National, Root worked 6 1/3 innings, striking out five batters and giving up only two runs. His fastball topped at 82 mph, averaging 76 mph, and mixed in a 63-68 mph curveball. The 5-foot-10, 135-pound lefthanded pitcher throws from a three-quarters arm slot with loose arm action. He had solid feel for the curveball with good down action and helped lead his team to the 2018 PG 14u Southeast Championship.