Top performers from Day 2 of Oxford ECP-PDP

June 20th, 2018

OXFORD, Ala. -- The joint event put on by East Coast Pro and Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) for top high school baseball players across Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Georgia wrapped up on Wednesday after two days of exposure for the student athletes.
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Players showcased their talents in batting practice, bullpen sessions and a live game on the second day of the event at Choccolocco Park after undergoing assessments and doing defensive drills at the ECP-PDP on Tuesday.
The PDP is a collaborative effort between USA Baseball and Major League Baseball to create and identify a player development pathway for amateur baseball players in the United States.
Here is a list of players who stood out on the second day of the two-day event:
Blake Bennett, LHP (2019)
As one of only a handful of left-handed pitchers to participate at the ECP-PDP event Wednesday, Bennett impressed scouts with his potential. The rising senior out of Haleyville (Ala.) High School throws a fastball that lives around 85- to- 88 mph, but has the probability to increase in velocity as he matures. He also throws an off-speed breaking ball with tight spin that he lands for strikes in the low 70s. Bennett's follow through falls towards third base, but one scout said he has the potential to be a backend starter if he can work on staying in control through his pitch.
Hayden Dunhurst, C (2019)
A catcher out of River Central (Miss.) High School, Dunhurst was featured as one of the top performers Tuesday, but some scouts felt he was hot on Wednesday, too, earning him a spot on this list. One scout said Dunhurst had the most accurate throws from behind the plate of any prospect at Choccolocco Park over the event's two days of play. With a 1.96 pop time to second, Dunhurst has scouts believing he won't be moving from his position behind the plate anytime soon. The upcoming senior also put together a couple good at-bats on Wednesday, showing off quality hand-eye coordination and good balance, which benefits him both in the batter's box and behind the plate.

RJ Franklin Jr., 2B/OF (2019)
It was when Franklin went up against one of the left-handed pitchers during Wednesday's game that he garnered the most attention from scouts. With exceptionally quick hands, the senior from Archbishop Rummel (La.) High School stayed with every pitch thrown his way. Franklin got on top of the ball a few times during his round in batting practice, but scouts believe once Franklin grows into his strengths and learns to lift the ball, he could hit for over-the-fence home run power.
Cole Fryman, SS/RHP (2020)
Though lean in stature, Fryman connected on a few hard-hit balls thanks in part to a balanced swing during the live game Wednesday. The rising junior from J.M. Tate (Fla.) High School was listed as a shortstop for the ECP-PDP event, but he struggled to develop with his hands throughout the two days of play. However, scouts believe he could find a better-suited position in left field, where he could focus on his bat, especially as he grows into his frame and gains strength to hit for even more power.
Christian Johnson, OF (2019)
Johnson showcased some of the best raw speed at the ECP-PDP event. Though not as sound fundamentally as some of the other outfielders, scouts liked the versatility Johnson brings to the field. An accomplished football player at Clinton (Miss.) High School, Johnson can easily use his speed to outrun bad jumps. One scout felt that Johnson might be better suited switching to the left side of the plate where he could smack ground balls through the opposite side for singles and then use his speed to steal, turning those singles into a doubles.
Nate LaRue, C (2019)
LaRue, an Auburn commit, displayed major upside with his raw power during Wednesday's batting practice session. The ability to drive the ball and produce runs is likely in the cards for LaRue in the future. And while LaRue looked skilled behind the plate, scouts who had seen him before couldn't help but notice how he had grown within a year. Listed at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, LaRue's size impressed some scouts while others felt that he lacked a certain type of flexibility other catchers possess. However, one scout thought if LaRue could work on his fluidity as well as accuracy to second, he could be an All-Star caliber talent at the big league level.

Drew McDaniel, RHP (2019)
As one of the most consistent pitchers to take the mound Wednesday, McDaniel had scouts touting him as a potential backend starter. The rising senior from Lafayette, La., showed a tailing fastball that topped out at 92 mph. But it was McDaniel's curve that served the most use against batters from both sides of the plate. The offspeed pitch sat between 74- to- 79 mph and was paced well between McDaniel's downhill fastball.