NWAC Baseball Showcase Displays Rich Talent in Area to 68 Recruiters and Scouts
BELLEVUE - The NWAC Baseball Showcase was played Saturday September 22 at Bellevue College in front of 68 recruiters and scouts from both professional baseball organizations and four-year colleges. The event was most heavily-attended by professional baseball scouts, as 24 were in attendance. 22 NCAA division I schools were represented along with 13 division II and nine NAIA schools. Recruiters from across the country, from the home state schools Washington and Washington State, to as far away as Marshall University in West Virginia, came to Bellevue to see the best prospects in the northwest. The smaller rosters, featuring only the best prospects, regardless of class, were well-received by the scouts and recruiters. Although there was a brief rain period during the latter half of the South vs. East region scrimmage portion, there were no delays and was completed over an hour earlier than expected.
The South Region was highlighted by several players from Linn-Benton. Marcus Lydon had the top 60 yard dash time in the South at 6.84 seconds. Jacob Melton had the top overall evaluation numbers of the outfielders, running a 6.94 and a throwing velocity of 86 mph. Richard Mascarenas had well-balanced numbers as well, running a 6.95 and displayed an arm strength measurement of 84 mph from shortstop. Linn-Benton’s catcher, Cole Hamilton, who was drafted last year in the 23rd round by the Washington Nationals, was the standout catcher in the entire NWAC throwing 84 mph and recorded the best throwdown time of 1.94 seconds. The lefty hitter also showed well during batting practice. On the mound, Linn-Benton’s Daniel Ferrario topped out at 92 mph.
The East region was highlighted by a pair from Spokane as left-handed pitcher Marcus Cain struck out three batters, while teammate Jaden Vandervert had the top tools of the East position players running a 6.75 6o time and had a top speed of 85 mph on throws from right field. Reed Harrington, also of Spokane, and Wenatchee Valley’s Aleks Hanson both touched 90 mph on the mound.
The West region displayed the best pitching depth, as Lower Columbia’s Yancy Bird topped out at 90-91 mph. Tacoma’s Jon Fortner, a transfer from High Point University, hit 90 mph as did the Titans’ Alex McBee, who as a left-hander sat in the 88-90 mph range and displayed three pitches for strikes. Pierce’s phenom from Hawaii, Anthony Hoopii, showed he was the top two-way player. The Maui native was drafted last year in the 16th round by the Minnesota Twins and went unsigned. He showed scouts there is reason to follow him this spring, throwing 90 mph off the mound, 93 mph from right field, and running a region-best time of 6.58 in the 60. Other top position players who displayed outstanding tools were Hoopii’s Pierce teammate, Mason Hoover and Lower Columbia’s Noah Andrews. Hoover, a two-way shortstop and pitcher for the Raiders, threw 86 mph across the diamond and ran a 6.86 60. Andrews also garnered attention from recruiters, running a 7.0 60 coupled with a 90 mph arm from the outfield.
The North region, thin on pitching to start with as only five arms were selected for the showcase, was highlighted by Bellevue’s Michael Attalah. The Oregon State transfer pitched in the 90-91 mph range and showed good feel for both the fast ball and advanced change up.
The North did display good depth in the field with athleticism as Douglas College’s Matteo Porcellato ran a 6.9 60 and flashed an 86 mph arm from shortstop, while Edmonds’ Nik Sokol ran a 6.83 60 and was 85 mph across the diamond. Everett’s Sam Linscott ran a 6.8 60 and threw 87 mph from right field. The highlight of the event was the surprise factor of Shoreline’s Zane Zurbrugg. A converted catcher, Zurbrugg was injured in 2018 and was an unknown to all before he blew away the field, running an all-time NWAC Showcase best of 6.3 seconds in the 60 and displayed a 94 mph arm from right field. As his coach, Dave Snell remarked, “After we moved him to outfield, everything just took off.”