CARY, N.C. -- The best matchup of the day came in the final game of Day One of the National High School Invitational, with Cathedral Catholic from California playing Grayson from Georgia. Scouts poured into the main stadium here specifically to watch Cathedral's Stephen Gonsalves pitch to Grayson's Austin Meadows.
It was an opportunity to see Meadows, a left-handed hitter ranked No. 3 on MLB.com's Top 50 Draft Prospects list, take some swings against the southpaw Gonsalves, who comes in at No. 27. In the end, scouts may have been a bit disappointed by the outcome.
Gonsalves, who has struggled with his command for much of the spring, hit Meadows the first time he faced him in the bottom of the first inning. Meadows came up again in the bottom of the second, with two runners on and two outs. This time, Gonsalves walked him on five pitches. The collective groan from the scouts in attendance after the first two plate appearances was nearly palpable.
There was more to see in plate appearance No. 3. Meadows, swinging a wooden bat, went the other way and flared a double to left-center. The center fielder went 1-for-2 with a run scored on a day that didn't go very well for his team. Cathedral Catholic won in a rout, 14-2.
Gonsalves got the win, going four innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks while striking out five. He battled his overall command, especially with his secondary stuff, all afternoon. He threw his fastball right around 90 mph, touching 91 and 92 a time or two. His slow curve was around 70 mph and he threw the splitter he uses for an offspeed pitch in the 72-74 mph range. It wasn't as strong an evaluation opportunity as anticipated, but that doesn't mean there weren't any takeaways from the day's finale.
"There shouldn't be any question about Meadows handling left-handers," said one scout who's seen the Georgia outfielder other times against lesser competition. "He stayed in there against an above-average fastball."