Draft prospects on display at WWBA World Championship

Adell, Bonnin, Rivera among those to stand out on Day 1 of Perfect Game's five-day tournament

Draft prospects on display at WWBA World Championship

Perfect Game's World Wood Bat Association World Championship began Thursday and will run through Monday, with 88 teams scheduled to play at least four games each across 22 pools of four teams.

Held annually Jupiter, Fla., the event is the culmination of a long high school summer showcase circuit and scouted heavily by every Major League organization. This year, roughly 1,800 sophomores, juniors and seniors are set to showcase their talents at Roger Dean Stadium, the Spring Training home of the Cardinals and Marlins.

The 18 previous editions of the tournament have featured 4,067 players that have gone on to be selected in the Draft, with 566 of those players ultimately reaching the Major Leagues. 

Many former participants are currently on the display in the 2016 postseason, including Javier Baez, Dexter Fowler, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber, Francisco Lindor, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell and Corey Seager. Other alumni include Nolan Arenado, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Buster Posey, David Price and Mike Trout.

Here's a look at some of the top prospects and other notable standouts from Thursday's Opening Day action.

Jordon "Jo" Adell, CF/RHP (Louisville, Ky.)
One of the top high school prospects in the 2017 Draft, Adell is considered by many to be the best athlete in his class, standing out for his potential at the plate as well as his upside as a pitcher. On Thursday the 6-foot-3, 205-pounder showcased his talents on the mound, as he struck out the side in his lone inning of work for the EvoShield Canes 17U while hitting 94 mph with his fastball. The Louisville commit also received positive reviews for his hard slider, with some scouts pegging it as a true out pitch, and he even worked in several changeups. Meanwhile, Adell capped his day by going 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs in game two of EvoShield's double dip.

Bryce Bonnin, RHP (Baytown, Texas)
Bonnin boosted his Draft stock with a strong showing for the Texas Scout Team Yankees. The 6-foot-1 right-hander struck out six and allowed just one hit over three scoreless innings, and he did so while recording the game's top fastball velocity (92.7 mph) and fastball spin rate (2401 rpm) according to Trackman. Meanwhile, scouts in attendance also spoke highly about the pitch's late life and potential for additional velocity down the road.

Wilberto Rivera, RHP (Naranjito, P.R.)
Pitching in relief for the Toronto Blue Jays Scout Team, Rivera, a Florida International commit, recorded the top fastball velocity on Thursday as he hit 97 mph while sitting in the 93-96 range, according to Trackman. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound right-hander also generated the fifth-highest spin rate on his heater and reportedly demonstrated feel for a mid-70s breaking ball. Overall, Rivera scattered two hits over three scoreless innings, walking two and striking out six.

Caleb Sloan, RHP (Aurora, Col.)
Sloan reportedly drew a large crowd for his Thursday start, and while the results weren't great (2.2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K), the Mountain West Slammers' right-hander did nothing to hurt his Draft stock. The No. 8 prep prospect operated at 90-93 mph with his heater in the outing, throwing the pitch with good downhill plane and finish but also with below-average command. Scouts expect the latter to improve as Sloan refines his mechanics and overall delivery, and it's widely believed that the TCU commit will experience an uptick in velocity in the coming years.

Drew Waters, OF (Woodstock, Ga.)
Waters stood out in the leadoff spot during his two games for Braves Scout Team/Ohio Warhawks, finishing a combined 3-for-5 with a double and a triple, the latter exiting his bat at 98 mph, per Trackman. A Georgia commit, Waters is a 6-foot-2 switch-hitter with above-average speed and an advanced feel to hit from both sides of the plate.

Cole Winn, RHP (Longmont, Colo.)
Notre Dame commit Winn established himself as a name to watch in the 2018 Draft by recording eight of his nine outs via the strikeout over three hitless innings in his start for Astros Scout Team/Elite Prime Squad. With a smooth delivery and loose arm action, the 6-foot-1, 170-pound right-hander generated easy velocity in a fastball that sat at 89-92 mph, while also impressing with his feel for spinning a curveball that average 2548 rpm, per Trackman.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero