FanPost

A little scouting trip

So, I live about an 8 minute casual stroll from Park Hill High School here in Kansas City, MO. Lee's Summit West High School was visiting the Park Hill Trojans today at 4 PM - and the Titans of LSW have two of the top high school prospects in the country in P/1B Alex Lange and CF Monte Harrison. I've seen Harrison ranked as high as the #32 HS prospect in the country. I decided that, as big of a baseball fan as I am, I should see the two best seniors (at least) in the area while I can.

Lange was not on the mound today, but I was able to talk to the (student) manager who does the radar gun and scorekeeping for LSW throughout the game. Lange apparently throws a fastball that has topped out at about 95 miles per hour this season and sits comfortably in the low-to-mid 90s. He also has a curveball, slider, and change up - his best of the three being his curveball - according to this fellow student athlete.

Lange did play DP (designated player, much like a DH in this case, as he was hitting for the pitcher). He seems to have a nice, compact swing - although my angle was from behind the catcher. He was batting fifth in the order and had runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out when he came up in the first. Lange took a ball, then hit a fly ball into medium CF (435 foot CF wall and a 10-15 mph wind directly from CF to the plate) for out #2. It was deep enough to advance the runner on second to third, despite the wind blowing in. In his second at bat with 2 outs and a runner on second base, Lange worked a full count and ripped the 8th pitch he saw for a line drive single into left field. The only pitch he swung at outside of the strike zone out of the 8 was on a hit and run - he was asked to swing at it. He fouled it off. This single may have been the hardest hit ball of the day. It got to the fielder well before the runner could get to third, but the runner was allowed to score as it caromed off of the LF for an error allowing Lange to advance to second. In his final AB of the day (10-0 final, ended in 5 innings), Lange came up with 2 outs and nobody on base. He ripped the first pitch he saw through the hole on the ground for his 2nd hit of the day. This one may have been the second hardest hit ball of the day, past the third baseman before he could even get into a dive.

Harrison played CF today and the first thing I noticed was how shallow he played. He took away at one single today - which I completely thought was a hit off the bat, a sinking liner 40-50 feet behind the second base bat - and did so standing up. It was a great read off of the bat, but more so because of his positioning. At the plate, Harrison was even more impressive to me. He went 3 for 4 today. Batting 3rd in the order, his first AB came with runners at first and third with nobody out and he singled home the runner at third and got the guy on first to third base. He did so by swinging at the first pitch (up and away) and driving it over the second baseman's head to the RF on one bounce. Once Harrison was on base, he stole second base easily, standing up without a throw - great read off of the pitcher, catcher has no way of getting him even if he wanted to chance it with a guy on third. In his second AB, Harrison was up with 2 outs and nobody on. He hit a weak grounder to third base and beat the throw for an infield single. He then stole second base (easily, this time with a throw) and scored on a base hit to left field. His third time to the plate, he hit a sharp grounder towards third. The third baseman made a diving stop to keep it on the infield, but Harrison was on first before the ball could even be corralled. There was a new catcher in the game for Park Hill by this point and Harrison took second and third off of the kid on the first two pitches of the next at bat. The steal of second was off of a pitchout. He then scored on a ground ball to the third baseman (the throw went to first after the 3B "looked" him back and he beat the next throw home. He was the last Titan to come to the plate today, with 2 outs and a man on first in the 5th inning. On an 0-1 count, he hit a pop up to the first baseman, chasing a bad pitch for the first time I'd seen.

I was very impressed with Harrison today - a true 4 tool player (with the prospects of adding a little more power, but not great power that I saw). Lange is apparently a very good pitcher, but the hitter I saw looked quite good as well.

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