Even though I'm unable to be in Jupiter this year, I'll still be passing along updates on how things go down there through my contacts. For those who don't know, the World Wood Bat Association championship each October is generally considered the best place to see all the best prep talent on fields at one time, and scouts flock to see the games by the dozens. Every team will be there, and pretty much every top prospect will be too, so that's why this weekend is so important. Here's a quick preview of day one:
There are 15 games today to start off the tournament, and there are plenty of notable names to track. The first notable 2010 name will be on the mound in the first round of games today at 3 eastern, with Daniel Palka, a lefty from South Carolina that's committed to Clemson. He's participating with the Carolina Cyclones, and he's an interesting two-way player to watch, with his bat being pro quality, as well. Another 2010 name takes the mound half an hour later with the New Jersey Twins, and that's Jordan Tabakman, the best arm in the New Jersey 2010 class as of now. He's committed to North Carolina, and he could be part of the next wave of college names from New Jersey to explode in a major program, Anthony Ranaudo being that guy in this year's college class. Also at 3:30, we'll see British Columbia's best arm in Steve McKinnon, a 6'4''/220 righty playing with Team British Columbia.
However, the best matchup of the night will definitely be a 5:30 match between the Ontario Blue Jays and the Royals Baseball Club, with Evan Grills facing Robbie Aviles. Those are two top 100 guys for the entire 2010 class, with Aviles having major helium right now. A dominating performance could really send him into possible first-round status, as he's a cold-weather prospect who should thrive when given the opportunity to play more.
Other interesting names include 2011 prospect Dylan Bundy (Texas Scout Team Yankees) and John Magliozzi (East Cobb Baseball), another 2011 prospect who is from Massachusetts, but is committed to Florida.