Commentary

Talent shines in Valley of the Sun

Originally Published: June 21, 2011
By Andrew Knepper | ESPNHS.com

Willie Ethington, Area Code Baseball Games, New Balance Baseball, New Balance, high school baseballKirsten Leetch/ESPNHSWillie Ethington of Moutain View (Mesa, Ariz.) was one of the standout players at the Cincinnati Reds workout in Arizona.

CHANDLER, ARIZ. -- The second Cincinnati Reds Area Code tryouts stayed scorching, as the temperature was over 100 degrees at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Players braved the elements for a shot at a trip to Long Beach.

Always the largest of the three tryouts, Arizona has been the main destination for the Reds team to find pitching. With ninety players in attendance and 30 of those players were pitchers, the Reds would have good looks at their potential staff for this summer.

Here are some of the players who stood out at the workout.

Willie Ethington
Mountain View (Mesa, Ariz.) 2012
He was the best dual position player at the tryout. A power hitting third baseman and advanced pitching prospect, Ethington sat at 90-91 on the gun with his heater and showed advanced secondary pitches. His changeup had good sink and while his curveball was a true swing and miss pitch.

David Graybill
Brophy College Prep (Phoeniz, Ariz.) 2012
Graybill instantly passes the eye test standing in at 6-foot-4, 235 pounds. On the mound he is an imposing figure and tosses his fastball at 89-91 mph with heavy sink.

Zach Hoffpauir
Centennial (Peoria, Ariz.) 2012
He is primarily known as a top football recruit, but on the diamond he showed impressive tools. Playing in the outfield, he displayed a solid arm in the defensive evaluations and at the plate he was belting balls all over the yard. Standing in at 6-foot-0, 195 pounds he has filled into his frame already.

Joey Currletta
Mountain Point (Mesa, Ariz.) 2012
He was one of the better players in the state of Arizona and is know for his power bat and his ability to knock in runs. The first baseman has a big time frame at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds which leads people to think he will stick to first. The one thing most people do not know is that his future might be on the mound. His fastball was steadily sitting at 91-92 mph and looks to be starting conversations of having him on the mound a bit more.

Tony Blanford
Boulder Cree (Anthem, Ariz.) 2012
Blanford is another dual position player who covers the ground in the outfield and blows batters away when on the mound. Hitting the fastest velocity of the day, Blanford was sitting between 90-93 mph.

The Cincinnati Reds Area Code Baseball tryouts will wrap up in Colorado at the Colorado School of Mines and the team will be released within the next two weeks.

Follow Area Code Baseball on twitter @ACBaseballGames