Petco Park hosts nation's top high school Draft prospects
By Carlos Collazo
SAN DIEGO -- The West Coast team soundly defeated the East Coast in the 2016 Perfect Game All-American Classic on Sunday, 13-0.
The game marked the eighth straight year that San Diego has hosted the event, which showcases the nation's top high school talent.
Fifteen former All-Americans were selected in the 2016 MLB Draft, including No. 1 overall pick Mickey Moniak, and many more from the pool of 52 players in this year's game are likely to follow in 2017.
Here are a few of the players who stood out during Sunday's game:
Hunter Greene, RHP/OF, Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
After being honored with the Jackie Robinson Player of the Year Award during Saturday night's Perfect Game awards banquet, Greene continued to claim honors.
Greene became the 2016 Perfect Game Home Run Challenge champion after taking down a final field of five hitters. In the final round, Greene surpassed Calvin Mitchell's four home runs by hitting five straight on the first five swings he took with a wood bat.
Greene's 11 home runs during the first round were the most of the group as well, with two of his homers reaching the third deck of Petco Park's Western Metal Supply Co. building -- likely the two farthest-hit balls of the event. But he wasn't done there.
Greene, who may be the top two-way player in the 2017 class, started on the mound for the West team, throwing 96-97 mph with his fastball and striking out Jordon Adell with a 78-mph slider to end a scoreless first inning.
TrackMan was a big fan of Greene, as the 6-foot-4 righty was credited with both the hardest-struck ball of the game -- 105.1 mph exit velocity -- as well as the fastest pitch, at 97.2 mph.
Royce Lewis, SS, JSerra Catholic HS (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
Lewis was named the MVP of the game, thanks to the mayhem he caused on the bases and with the bat. Lewis went 2-for-3 with a walk, three stolen bases, two RBIs and a triple.
"The game felt like an All-Star Game, for sure," Lewis said. "These are the top 52 best players in the country. It was fun. You could definitely feel that going into the game, and during the game, I just started playing my game, started worrying about myself. I had a lot of fun doing it, too."
Lewis' game revolves around speed, and that was apparent from the first time he got on base after a first-inning single. He showed good anticipation by taking second on a ball in the dirt, and shortly after, he stole third base with such ease that East catcher Luis Campusano-Bracero didn't attempt a throw.
"[Speed] changes the game dramatically for me, everywhere," Lewis said. "I can hit a ground ball, beat it out. I can steal a base in time of need for the team. Get a triple when I want to. It's just there for me everywhere."
Trevor Rogers, LHP, Carlsbad (N.M.) HS
Rogers hasn't been as highly touted as many others on these two rosters, but he showed the clean delivery and command that allowed him to perform well during the Area Code Games last week. Rogers has a smooth, easy delivery that allows him to get a lot of extension and helps his low-90s fastball play up with the help of a 6-foot-5 frame.
Rogers worked a 1-2-3 second inning that was perhaps the best showing from a pitcher all day, picking up the win. His best at-bat came against Terry Fuller, using a low-70s curve with good shape down in the zone before elevating with a 91-mph fastball to get a swinging strikeout.
Rogers retired one batter on a popup to third base and was helped out by right fielder Garrett Mitchell, who threw out Campusano-Bracero at second base when he tried to stretch a single.
Nick Allen, SS, Torrey Pines HS (San Diego)
The recipient of the Rawlings Defensive Player of the Year Award showed why he was deserving of that honor in the first inning. Allen started the game at shortstop and made the top defensive play of the game with a diving stop on a ball to his right, following it up with a strong, accurate throw to rob Adam Hall of a single.
"It was struck off the bat and I knew I had to do something," Allen said. "At least lay out, show a good effort. If I wasn't going to be able to get it, that happens, but luckily I was fortunate enough I had it go in my glove. And then I knew I had to get rid of it somehow … I knew the only shot I had was at first. I just tried to get it over there as quick as possible."
Allen also showed how quick his hands were up the middle, receiving a throw from catcher M.J. Melendez in front of second base and then immediately firing a strike back to the plate to nail Quentin Holmes trying to score.
And while Allen is known primarily for his work with the leather -- the San Diego native impressed out of the leadoff spot, going 2-for-3 with a walk and showing good instincts on the basepaths.
"It's all a work in progress, slowly just trying to keep having quality at-bats," Allen said. "I've put in a lot of time and effort in the cage so I can build that up, my hitting. [What] a lot of people may not know is I can line a couple deep in the gaps. It's not what I try to do. I just try to stick to my game, line drives, run the bases as best I can."
Alex Scherff, RHP, Prestonwood Christian Academy (Plano, Texas)
The recipient of Baseball America's Pitcher of the Year Award showed the healthy mix of offspeed pitches that have helped him stand out this summer with a scoreless inning.
On his first offering in the fifth, Scherff started Alejandro Toral off with an 84-mph changeup that showed a good amount of arm-side run. Scherff then threw back-to-back 95-mph fastballs before getting Toral swinging on another changeup.
Scherff started off the next batter with a 74-mph breaking ball and wound up surrendering back-to-back singles, before ending the fifth the way he started it, with an 83-mph changeup that ran back over the plate to get Fuller looking.
Scherff sat in the mid-90s with his fastball, coupled with heavy usage of a mid-to-low 80s changeup. He occasionally left the pitch up in the zone, but he managed to get away with it on several occasions thanks to the difference in velocity.
Carlos Collazo is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.