CARY, N.C. -- Before Brennan Malone threw his first pitch in the Tournament of Stars, he was certainly was a prospect of interest. His outing Tuesday morning in the opening game of the week-long event may have moved him into "dude" territory, to use a technical scouting term.:: 2018 USA
CARY, N.C. -- Before Brennan Malone threw his first pitch in the Tournament of Stars, he was certainly was a prospect of interest. His outing Tuesday morning in the opening game of the week-long event may have moved him into "dude" territory, to use a technical scouting term.
:: 2018 USA Baseball Tournament of Stars ::
The right-hander from Porter Ridge (N.C.) High School, just outside of Charlotte, entered the game with two outs in the fourth inning for the Brave and announced his presence with authority, striking out Pride leadoff hitter Kyren Paris to end the inning.
The University of North Carolina commit struck out two in the fifth and one more in the sixth, getting three weak groundball outs as well to retire the first seven batters he faced. Fatigue and loss of command hurt Malone in the seventh, as did an error by shortstop Anthony Volpe, as he gave up three unearned runs, finishing with a line of 3 1/3 innings pitched, two hits, two walks and four strikeouts while getting saddled with the 5-4 loss.
"My outing went alright," Malone said. "I could've finished a little bit better. My curveball was actually really good, my fastball had a lot of movement, my changeup was working. All three of my pitches were working pretty well. It just could've finished up at the end a little better."
Malone's fastball was up to 94 mph and was consistently in the 91- to 93-mph range throughout his outing. He mixed in a very effective curve, thrown about 76 mph, as well as his solid 83-mph changeup. One scout in attendance threw a Dave Stewart comparison on Malone and wasn't concerned at all about the two walks he issued in that final inning of work. And he gets high marks for working quickly on the mound and not letting things faze him.
"I just lost feel," Malone said. "I tried to come back and focus a little bit more. I kind of got a little bit tired. There are some things I can work on, conditioning, some of that type of stuff. Hydration.
"That's just one of my things. It's easy to bounce back. Focus on the next play is the big thing for me."
Focus is definitely key at an event like this. In addition to trying out for Team USA's 18 and under squad, dozens of scouts from all 30 Major League organizations were on hand watching Malone, a potential first-round talent, get his work in.
"It's crazy, I love it," Malone said. "You don't really notice all of the scouts until you're either entering the field or leaving the field. You're kind of all focused. It's a crazy event. I love it out here, spending time with all the guys, getting to know one another. It's been great."
Other standouts from the first game:
Sammy Siani, OF, William Penn (Pa.) Charter -- Siani's older brother, Mike, is a Team USA alum and was a fourth-rounder pick of the Reds in this year's Draft. The younger Siani went 1-for-3 with a pair of walks and is seen as slightly less toolsy than his older sibling, but with a more advanced bat.
Tyler Callihan, 3B, Providence (Fla.) HS -- Callihan picked up a pair of base hits, going 2-for-4 for Pride with a stolen base. The South Carolina commit showed excellent barrel control and an advanced approach at the plate.
Corbin Carroll, OF, Lakeside (Wash.) HS -- Committed to UCLA, Carroll also went 2-for-4 for Brave. He tripled to right-center field and drove in a run with a single and reminded some of a Brett Butler type of catalyst.
United 7, Free 2
In the second game of the day, United got a pair of RBIs from Matt McCormick and Kurtis Byrne, and rode some strong pitching performances to a 7-2 win.
Right-hander Will Rigney (Midway HS, Texas) used his 90- to 93-mph fastball and 81- 84-mph slider to start things off with three shutout innings. He allowed two hits and three walks, striking out four. Victor Mederos (Monsignor Pace HS, Fla.) followed with four shutout frames of his own. The right-hander was up to 94 mph with his fastball and effectively mixed in his 75- 80-mph curveball to allow just one hit on two walks while also fanning four.
Outfielder Riley Greene (Hagerty HS, Fla.) had a perfect day, going 2-for-2 with three walks. Both singles weren't exactly scorched, but he had some of the best at-bats of any hitter during the first day of TOS action.
United largely kept top prospect Bobby Witt Jr. (Colleyville Heritage HS, Texas) in check, though he did go 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.
Play continues at the National Training Complex on Wednesday, with United vs. Brave at 10:15 a.m. ET and Pride taking on Free at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.