Jupiter, Florida tends to be flooded with hundreds of scouts each year in late October. Why? Well, it's home to the deepest and most talented prep baseball tournament in the country. Nearly 60 players who competed in the 2011 WWBA World Championship were drafted in the top five rounds of the 2012 draft. Many players will make names for themselves this week, and some are already on the radar.
The WWBA World Championship is an event of discovery. Yes, there are some high profile names attending, as they always do, but this week will be about players putting themselves on the map with scouts and scouting directors going into next spring. With that being said, I won't make declarations on players I have yet to scout. On the other hand, there are a number of players in Jupiter this week that are already squarely on my radar.
This is by no means a scientific list, but it's a group of players I'm highly eager to get another look at.
Cavan Biggio, 3B/OF, Houston Heat
When you watch Biggio swing the bat in game action, it doesn't shock you one bit that his father was a great big league player. He has highly intelligent at-bats and takes his batting practice sessions like a seasoned pro. His position may be a question mark, but this young man looks like he's going to hit.
Zack Collins, C/1B, South Florida Elite Squad
Jupiter is going to be a big event for Collins. His physical size, easy power potential and ability to use the opposite field are going to make him an intriguing left-handed commodity, but he has to find his consistency. He has a buggy whip in his swing and sometimes appears to struggle with the iming of it.
Nick Ciuffo, C, Diamond Devils
Prep catchers are frequently picked apart regarding their ability to stay behind the dish. Ciuffo looks he absolutely has the skill set to not only stay there but thrive as a professional catcher. The arm, the agility and physique all fit the profile very neatly. And, his bat stacked up well against top pitching over the summer quite well.
Chris Oakley, RHP, South Florida Bandits
Oakley is all about projection. He's listed at 6-foot-8 and scouts know they are looking at him with an eye toward the future. And, what stands out right now is that his command and mechanics are fairly under control for a young pitcher his size. You'll mostly see him around 90-91 mph right now, but he's an arm that scouts can dream on.
Ryan Boldt, OF, Ohio Warhawks
Like Cavan Biggio, you see a lot of very professional attributes in Ryan Boldt. He takes his pre-game preparation like a big leaguer, and his easy, smooth stroke has translated exceptionally well against good pitching. His at-bats have been as consistent as any prep player I've seen in the 2013 class.
Ian Clarkin, LHP, Ohio Warhawks
Robert Kaminsky is getting most of the buzz as the best prep lefty in the 2013 class, but Clarkin is not that far behind. He lived at 90-93 mph over the summer, flashing an outstanding curveball as well as a changeup.
Chris Okey, C, Cardinals Scout Team/FTB Chandler
The early feel of this prep class is that the catching will be a strength. Okey's advanced feel, strength and power potential put him right near the top of that group. And, he appears to be the type of bat that will steadily win over scouts in the coming months.
Nick Longhi, 1B/OF, Cardinals Scout Team/FTB Chandler
Longhi's right-handed bat stood out this summer in a big way. He's not the most physical player in the world, but he flashes impressive bat speed and uses the whole field well.