How FSU commits fared at the PG WWBA World Championship

Perfect Game’s WWBA World Championship is often the last chance for high school seniors to show scouts and colleges what they can do on the travel ball stage. The WWBA in Jupiter is the biggest travel ball tournament every year and holds all the best prospects in the country. This year, the tournament included 92 teams and 18 FSU commits took part in the tournament. FSU had lots of impressive performances at the tournament and a lot to be happy about for Junior, Mike Metcalf, and Jimmy Belanger.

FSU’s pitching commits accumulated an impressive ERA of 1.03 and a K/7 (high school games are 7 innings) of 7.8. The Noles’ hitting commits struggled a bit more, but that is expected at tournaments like this where high school hitters are using wood bats and they’re facing the best high school pitchers in the world. The hitting commits combined for a .252 batting average and a .345 OBP.

FSU had many good performances throughout the tournament but 2 individuals really stood out. 2020 INF commit Vince Smith was on the World Champion Burn, who would not have won the tournament without him. In a 1-1, extra innings game in the semifinals, Smith stepped into the plate and launched a walk-off HR to send the Burn to the finals.

The Clearwater native finished the tournament with an impressive slash line of .350 AVG/.435 OBP/1.035 OPS. Smith was a spark plug at the top of the Burn lineup as he also stole 3 bases throughout the tournament. If Nander De Sedas is drafted next year as he is sophomore draft eligible, Smith is a guy who could be an impact freshman and start in his freshman year somewhere on the INF.

Smith’s walk off HR was a Nole-on-Nole crime as he hit it off FSU commit Andrew Armstrong. But it was nothing for Armstrong to be down on as he was in his 9th inning of work, throwing a 1-run ball game. Armstrong was one of, if not the most impressive pitcher in the entire tournament. The lanky lefty finished the tournament with a stat line of 13.2 IP, 8 H, 15 K’s, 2 BB’s, and 2 ER’s while throwing 69% strikes. The Georgia native threw 3 more innings than anyone else in the entire tournament. The lefty comes from a low arm slot that is very deceptive and hard for opponents to pickup. Armstrong works with a 3-pitch mix of a 83-87 MPH fastball, curveball, and changeup and already has plus command of feel of all 3 pitches. The 2020 commit doesn’t have the flashiest stuff, but is one of the hardest high schoolers to hit in the nation.

Another ‘Nole that Smith got a hit off of was 2021 commit Preston Wetherell. Wetherell stepped up for the Scorpions Honor the Game club in the 2nd round as he threw 5 innings of 0 ER’s. Wetherell put up a line of 5.1 IP, 5 H, 5 K’s, 0 BB’s, 3 R’s, and 0 ER’s. He was coming off a 5-inning performance in the underclass tournament championship game in which he faced the minimum of 15 batters. Wetherell and his 85-88 MPH FB have a lot of room to grow, but he’s already showing how effective he can be on the big stage.

2020 commits Bazz Jimenez and Anthony Shaver were paired on the Giants scout team which reached the quarterfinals of the tournament. Jimenez had a strong tournament, going 4/9 with a double and driving in 3 runs. Jimenez is known for his defense but his bat is becoming a big factor in his development as well. If Mat Nelson, who’s sophomore draft-eligible, is drafted in 2o2o, Jimenez will have the opportunity to compete for the starting job as a freshman.

Shaver didn’t put up quite the numbers as Jimenez, reaching base 3 times in 13 PA’s, but stole a bag every time he got on base. Shaver is an extremely toolsy player, as he can run a mid 6.4 60-time and throw in the 90’s from the outfield. With the likely departure of Reese Albert and Elijah Cabell being sophomore draft-eligible, Shaver is another potential impact freshman if he reaches FSU’s campus.

2020 INF commit Richie Morales had a successful tournament for the Scorpions Founder club as he helped them to the semifinals. Morales finished his tournament going 5/14 with a double, 2 RBI’s, and 3 runs. Morales is the Noles’ 2nd rated INF recruit behind Smith for the 2020 class. Morales has the making on both sides of the ball to be a very good player in the ACC at a middle INF position.

James Tibbs had a very productive tournament for the East Cobb team, as he reached base in 7 of his 10 plate appearances. Tibbs missed out on a tournament cycle as he didn’t hit a homer, but he was the only FSU commit to hit a triple. The 2021 OF has lots of upside with his bat, as he is rated the number 3 OF in Georgia by PG. Tibbs was top 15 in the tournament with an OPS of 1.700. The Georgia native is a strong kid who could end up manning a corner OF spot at FSU.

Recent 2021 commit Mitch Bratt had 2 strong relief appearances for the Blue Jays scout team. Bratt threw 4.1 innings while giving up just 2 hits and a walk. Bratt also struck out 4 batters while throwing his FB at 84-89. But the Canadian’s best pitch and out pitch is his curveball. Bratt is very advanced for his age and will likely be a quick impact guy with the FB-CB combo he has.

Brodie Chestnutt put up a really strong performance for 5-star national in the pool play round, with 4.1 scoreless innings. The 2021 commit is one of the best RHP’s in the class and showed why at the WWBA. Chestnutt topped out at 90 as his FB ranged from 85-90 while featuring a slider. Most importantly, Chestnutt showed his feel for the strike zone as he threw 81% strikes while walking no batters.

Satchell Norman is primarily a catcher but showed what he can do on the mound at the WWBA. Norman was on the mound for the Burn as he closed out the Championship game. The 2021 commit totaled 4 IP while giving up no earned runs and allowing just 1 hit. Norman is the 6th rated catcher in the class, but showed he has the ability to be a 2-way player, topping out at 89 with the fastball.

Najer Victor struggled with his command and efficiency in his one outing, but showed how high his ceiling is. Victor gave up 2 runs in 2.2 innings, walking 3 batters and throwing 71 pitches. But with fine-tuning of mechanics and the development of his physical maturity Victor will be just fine with his FB that topped out at 95. The 2020 commit has one of the livelier fastballs in the nation, and with some development, he will be electric.

2021 commit Edwin Arroyo-Agosto showed his advanced maturity on the diamond as he drew 4 walks in just 15 plate appearances. The PR native also added 2 hits and 2 runs to his state line. Recent 2020 commit Luke Hatcher showed his physical maturity with a double in just 6 AB’s for the tournament. OF Colin Apgar only had 6 PA’s for the loaded Scorpions Founder team but reached base twice on 2 walks. Luke Osteen threw 1.1 innings for the South Charlotte Panthers giving up 0 ER’s and adding 1 hit in 4 AB’s. 2021 1B commit Cade Bush struggled for the tournament, with 2 hits in 16 AB’s, but hit in the middle of the loaded Scorpions honor the game team for the entire tournament. Top 2020 rated position player commit Trey Carter added a hit, 2 BB’s, and a SB in 11 PA’s for the 5-star National team. RHP Gavin Smith flashed his potential in one scoreless inning for the Astros Scout team as he topped out at 89 MPH.

Overall, there were lots of good things for FSU’s staff to take away from Jupiter. The staff has been working extremely hard at getting the 2020 recruiting class patched up and the results already started to show this past week. FSU’s 2020 class is currently ranked 14th while the 2021 class is rated the 7th best class in the nation by PG. This staff is going to recruit a ton and at a very high level.

Here are the final stats for all FSU commits that participated in the WWBA.

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