Pitchers star at Wrigley All-American game

Pitchers star at Wrigley All-American game

Northsiders Report’s Rob Willler attended Saturday night’s Under Armour All-American game with some of the top high school players in the country playing at Wrigley Field. The American League downed the NL squad 2-1 in a game dominated by pitching, including Anthony Molina, pictured.

Overall there were 21 strikeouts throughout the two teams and it would be an understatement that pitching dominated this game as most of these hitters don't see this amount of quality in pitching.The pitchers that stood out to me were Ashe Russell, Justin Hooper and Corey Zangari as they showed a lot of poise on the mound with some quality pitches.

The home-run derby was a great event and it had a great showcase for the high school players. The top three finishers were Chris Betts, Luken Baker and Starling Heredia since Betts and Baker were in the same division Baker represented the American team with 7 Hr's while Heredia represented the National League with 3 Hr's. Baker then in the finals outlasted Heredia with 5 hr's and absolute bomb to deep left center to clinch the home-run derby title.

The American League defeated the National League 2-1 in a pitchers duel throughout showcasing the best high school talent across the country. 

Here’s notes on some of the pitchers:

Corey Zangari, RHP, Oklahoma City, Carl Albert HIgh School—Zangari was one of two pitchers to go two innings. His fastball sat at 90-92 very easy delivery with a slider that sat around 80-83. He seemed to struggle out of the stretch but once the bases were loaded he reverted back to the windup and retired the final six he faced.

Mike Nikorak, RHP, Stroudsburg High School, PA—Nikorak showed a fastball with a bit more life sitting in the 92-94 range while topping out at 95 with a 12-6 curve that was around 76-79 mph. Of the three hitters he faced he struck out two and retired one via a ground-out to the shortstop.

Ashe Russell, RHP, Indianapolis, Cathedral High School—Russell looked like the real deal out there one player that stood out with great velocity on his fastball consistently hitting 92-93 with a very sharp curve ball that was around 76-78. I could see him being an early round pick in the 2015 draft and was one of the only players outside the southern part of the US from Indiana.  

Beau Burrows, RHP, Waetherford HIgh School, Texas—Burrows' fastball had a lot of life on it mostly low nineties but showed great command with the pitch. 

Luken Baker, RHP, Spring Texas, Oak Ridge High School—Baker the home-run derby winner also pitches and regularly threw 92-93 with an easy delivery. His slider was a swing and miss pitch that the stadium gun clocked at 83-84 regularly. 

Austin Riley, RHP, Hernando, MS, DeSoto Central HIgh School—Riley sat more in high eighties range but did mix in a great 12-6 curveball to keep hitters off balance. 

Justin Hooper, LHP, San Ramon, CA, De La Salle High School—Hooper showed an impressive arsenal from the left side hitting 93 to 95 on the stadium radar gun and flashing an impressive curve at 75 mph as a a swing and miss pitch. Very tall pitcher at 6-7 looked like similar size to Aroldis Chapman

Cole Sands, RHP, Tallahassee, FL, North Florida Christian High School—Sands the younger brother of Cubs pitcher Carson Sands sat in the low nineties for his fastball and 79-81 on his curve while striking out two batters in the one inning he pitched. He showed good command of the strike zone and kept hitters off balance with the two pitches. 

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