Stars of tomorrow on back fields in South Florida today
WWBA World Championship Perfect Game event in Jupiter, Fla., has lured top prep talent to South Florida for marquee showcase event
By Joe Frisaro @ManOn2nd
JUPITER, Fla. — Hundreds of the top prep baseball players from around the country converged on Jupiter, Fla., this past weekend to showcase their talents at one of the marquee Perfect Game events of the year.
The annual WWBA World Championship was hosted at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, the Spring Training home and Minor League complex of the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals.
For baseball junkies, the best of the best participated, and plenty of scouts from all 30 MLB clubs and dozens of college coaches were on hand to chart their every move.
The wood bat tournament is yet another reminder that South Florida is a hotbed for amateur baseball. There’s plenty of history with this showcase event in Jupiter. To name a few, Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Zack Greinke participated. More than a decade ago, Christian Yelich and Nolan Arenado were teammates on a California-based club that won the tournament.
In recent years, I’ve seen current Marlins’ minor leaguers Will Banfield and Nasim Nunez in this event, as well as Bobby Witt Jr. of the Royals, who just might be the best overall prospect in the sport.
Marlins rookie infielder Jazz Chisholm Jr., who also played in the event, was a guest at the tournament this weekend. Jazz spoke with players, signed autographs and stopped for photos for pretty much anyone who asked.
ManOn2nd attended as we continue to build our brand, and provide the highest baseball coverage at all levels as it relates to the state of Florida, with an emphasis on South Florida.
From what we saw and gathered, the two names to pay closest attention to from this weekend are left-handed hitting shortstop Termarr Johnson and outfielder Druw Jones. Both could go in the top 10 of the 2022 MLB Draft.
Johnson, who plays for the MLB Breakthrough Series 2022 squad, is from Atlanta, Ga. Speculation is he could go first overall.
An advanced left-handed hitter with a compact swing, Johnson is a natural at shortstop, who makes all aspects of the game look easy.
The Baltimore Orioles pick first overall with the Arizona Diamondbacks going second. The Texas Rangers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Washington Nationals and Marlins round out the top six.
It’s not a given Johnson will fall to the Marlins at No. 6. If he does, it may be difficult to pass him up. Druw Jones, meanwhile, is the son of former Atlanta Braves Gold Glove-winning outfielder Andruw Jones.
From Suwanee, Ga., Jones is a Vanderbilt commit. He played for the FTB/Philadelphia Phillies Scout Team 2022 in Jupiter.
Like his father, Jones is a slick-fielding centerfielder. He even wore No. 25, his dad’s number.
Listed at 6-foot-4, Jones has a long frame and power potential at the plate.
To MO2, the Phillies team featured one of the more interesting players at the event. Jurrangelo Cijntje, who attends Champagnat Catholic in Broward County, is a “switch-pitcher.” Throwing right-handed, his fastball was 92-96 mph in the first inning. His velo dropped from that side in the second inning to more 92 mph. As a lefty, he was throwing 86-89 mph.
A Stetson commit, Cijntje projects to go in the 4th-8th round range. His pro career probably is as a reliever. MO2 certainly will be following Cijntje, as we feel he is an interesting weapon for any big league club’s bullpen.
He could be an opener, or a specialized one to two inning pitcher.
As well as pitching effectively, he showed athleticism and hustle when I saw him. On one foul ball, he sprinted from the mound to the dugout fence, charging hard and crashing into the fence in an attempt to make the play.
A couple of South Florida left-handers to monitor are Chris Scinta, a University of Miami commit, and Alex Walsh, who is committed to Texas Tech.
Scinta goes to Taravella High School, and he sported an 87-88 mph fastball that touched 91 mph. Not overpowering, he relies more on changing speeds, and he has an excellent feel for pitching.
Walsh, from Boynton Beach, showed an 86-90 fastball, and he offers deception with his lefty delivery.
Two of the notable no-shows at the event were Sal Stewart and Elijah Green. Stewart, from Westminster Christian in Miami, plays third base, first, shortstop and occasionally pitches. He’s a Vanderbilt commit.
Green, a top five draft candidate, is an elite athlete with exceptional power. He’s another candidate to go first or second overall in the 2022 Draft. A concern for some clubs is his swing-and-miss rate, which was a big high. Still, it’s hard to imagine he will slip very far when the first few teams are on the clock.