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Scouting the UA All-American Game

The talent at the Under Armour All-American Game at Wrigley Field this past Saturday was very similar to the talent at the Perfect Game All-American Game from the previous Sunday, losing a small number of players to USA Baseball's U18 (18-and-under) team and adding a few names from the eastern half of the country as well as two Dominican prospects who can sign next July. The bigger difference was that the players generally looked fatigued on Sunday, probably the result of the game appearing at the end of a long summer calendar.

• One player who actually made himself some money was Jonathan Denney, a catcher from Yukon, Okla., who squared up three balls after a strong performance the previous week at the Area Code Games (where he hit a long home run and followed it with some major league-caliber showboating).

Denney's swing is very short and simple with enough rotation for him to drive the ball out; it's short enough from load to contact that he can hit pitches up in the zone on a line or rotate more to hit pitches down in the zone for power. He's a better hitter than receiver but it doesn't look to me like he has no chance to catch -- that is, there's at least enough of a possibility to consider him as a catcher heading into next spring.

Kevin "KJ" Woods Jr., of Fort Mill, S.C., showed big power in BP but didn't have great at-bats during the game, and I am a little concerned that his swing is much more geared for power than for contact. It's very rotational and he has the strength to back it up when he squares the ball up, but he doesn't have great bat speed and you can see his hands drag slightly as he gets the bat head through the zone. His swing reminds me of that of Larry Greene, the Phillies' supplemental first-rounder in 2011, although Woods is taller and leaner and a better runner.

• The two star bats from Georgia, Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier, both looked tired, as well, with less bat speed than they had the previous weekend, although still more than anyone else in the game. Frazier hit two doubles hard out to the gaps, including one on a left-handed pitcher's slider, although he was hobbled by leg cramps for much of the game. Meadows had a rougher day at the plate, with one hard-hit fly out and then a triple in the ninth of a curveball that righty Brett Morales left up in the zone, allowing Meadows to stay with it and line it down the left-field line.

• Catcher Brian Navarreto of Jacksonville plays for the same school (Arlington Country Day) that produced Cubs 2011 first-rounder Javier Baez, and he showed an average arm (above-average arm strength losing a little time on his release) and quick hands at the plate, adding to an already deep class of high school backstops.

• I didn't see a fastball clocked higher 92 mph all day, even though most pitchers were throwing just an inning and had the chance to air it out, a sign both of a weak crop of prep arms and of fatigue from the end of a long season. Of pitchers I haven't mentioned previously, Connor Jones of Great Bridge, Va., was solid, 88-91 with lots of hip rotation to generate arm speed; he gets on the side of the ball and as a result his slider was backing up on him during his outing. Lefty Chris Kohler of Los Osos, Calif., was 86-89 with a 71-73 mph curveball that had good shape but needed more velocity; his delivery looks pretty easy and he's got a good three-quarters arm slot to maintain depth on the breaking ball.

• Kentucky right-hander Clinton Hollon did not pitch as he continues to rehab from flexor tendonitis, making his outing at the East Coast Professional Showcase three weeks ago his last appearance of the summer. He'll still be a name to watch for next spring but teams will bear down on his medicals, as well.

• I'll wrap up the summer season on Tuesday with a brief ranking of the top players for next year's draft.