Prep Baseball Report

Preseason All-State: Preview

Austin Sharp
Director of Scouting

With the high school season quickly approaching, it is time for our 3rd edition of the Preseason All-State event. This year, this event will be held at the spacious All Star Sports Training Facility which is located in Cullman, Alabama. There are some huge names registered for the event and our staff is ecstatic to get to Cullman and check out all these players.

On this Sunday (January 17th), some of the state's top players from the 2021-2024 graduation classes will roll into Cullman for this huge event. The past two events of this kind have been nothing but spectacular, with 25 commitments coming from 2019 and 19 commitments coming from 2020's Preseason All-State event. We fully expect to exceed these numbers in 2021. This event provides the opportunity for players to show the PBR scouts the progress that they have made over the past months in a showcase setting. It is also the last event for players to attend before they begin their respective high school seasons.

If you missed the latest Around The State podcast episode, CLICK HERE to listen to State Director David Sharp and Director of Scouting Austin Sharp discuss and preview this upcoming event.

Below, you will find important information pertaining to this event, including players in attendance, itinerary, history of the event, and much more.

Headline Names

Walter Ford 3B / RHP / Hoover, AL / 2023

Ford is currently ranked as the No. 1 player in the '23 Alabama Player Rankings thanks to his elite two-way status as a pitcher and a hitter. Fastball has been up to the lower-90's with a sharp breaking ball & a changeup. He hits for power at the plate, using his 6-foot-3, 195 strong frame. The numbers across the board are ultra impressive, and the Alabama recruit will look to top those numbers come this Sunday.

Alex Wade OF / RHP / Madison Academy, AL / 2022

Wade has been ranked inside the Top 3 for as long as the '22 Alabama Player Rankings have existed, as he currently sits at No. 3. A mainstay at PBR events over the past couple of years, the Auburn recruit and former Future Gamer has some elite bat speed and some power in that 6-foot-3, 185 pound frame. He has a great feel for finding the barrel, both during batting practice & in gameplay.

Seth Farni OF / LHP / UMS-Wright, AL / 2023

Farni is another guy that has been inside the Top 10 of the '23 Alabama Player Rankings for some time, and is currently committed to Ole Miss. A switch-hitter at the plate, he displays some big-time power & juice from both sides of the dish that translate to gameplay. Posted a 97 mph EV at the East Coast Sox Scout Day this summer, and will look to exceed that this weekend.

Sam Robertson SS / 2B / Oxford , AL / 2023

Robertson certainly checks off every box for what you look for in a college prospect. He brings some premium speed to the table (6.61 laser 60 YD) while also hitting for average and extra bases. A top performer at the Underclass Games this summer, which led to him getting an invite to the Future Games as a 2023 graduate. The sky seems to be the limit for Robertson with the athleticism he brings to the table.

Austin Morris RHP / OF / Mortimer Jordan , AL / 2022

Morris had a big summer for the East Coast Sox on the mound, which ultimately led to him committing to Alabama. Standing at 6-foot-4, 182 pounds, he pitches from a low 3/4 arm slot and has significant horizontal & vertical movement on the fastball, which bumped 89 mph at our Border Battle with PBR Mississippi. The secondary offerings have come on as of late, which has led to his success. He offers more of an untraditional look with that arm slot, and he's an arm that we're excited to see more of this Sunday.

Cade Carr C / SS / Hoover, AL / 2023

Carr has quickly grown into one of our favorite players in the 2023 class in Alabama. Played for Team Alabama at the Border Battle with PBR Mississippi this summer and was one of the top hitters on a strong team. Extremely versatile skill set defensively, as he can catch & throw at a high level (1.90-1.94) behind the plate and play a solid shortstop. Handles the bat well and just seems to have the "it" factor. 

Christopher Johnston 3B / SS / Vestavia Hills, AL / 2023

Johnston enjoyed one of the biggest summers of 2020 and hopes to keep that momentum with a strong performance at this event. Physical, but athletic player that ran a 6.76 laser-timed 60 YD this summer. Sprays the ball all over the field during batting practice and in gameplay. Another impressive player from that 2023 team at the Border Battle with PBR Mississippi this fall.

Walker Zapp C / 1B / Auburn, AL / 2022

Zapp was known best for his defensive ability this summer, but put together one of the better offensive showings that we have seen from him at the Excel Scout Day this fall. Hit multiple balls out of the yard during batting practice and logged a 98.06 EV off the Trackman. 1.86-1.94 pop times at the Future Games this summer and recorded an 82 mph C velocity also. He will be one to watch this Sunday, as well in the spring with the Auburn Tigers.

Quality Arms to Watch

This roster is littered with some quality arms that are sure to pop with impressive showings during their bullpens. One of the names that has created a ton of buzz over the past few months is '24 RHP Mac Anderson (Athens HS). It's still a fairly slim build at 6-foot-2, 155 pounds, but it's a very live arm that has reportedly been up to the upper-80's. While still being a freshman in high school, there is plenty of reason to believe that he could possibly become a high profile arm in the state, and it could start with a big performance this Sunday. Another arm that certainly has some zip on the fastball while still being an underclassmen is '23 RHP Chase Ambrose (Buckhorn HS). Ambrose was a member of this summer's Future Games team and was up to 88 mph with some hard break on the slider and some efficient spin. He will also go through the workout as a position player as well. He is currently ranked inside the Top 20 in the '23 Alabama Player Rankings. '21 RHP Brode Susce (Homewood HS) is a physical 6-foot-3, 210 right-handed pitcher that has logged some quality innings over the years for the Patriots. From a 3/4 slot, the fastball can be in the mid-80's with quality secondary stuff to compliment it. Susce is currently an uncommitted senior. '23 RHP/SS Tyler Wilson (Hoover HS) will be attending the event as a pitcher-only, and the reports coming out of Hoover is that he's seen a little jump in velocity as of late. He'll be another intriguing arm to keep an eye on come Sunday.

Position Player to Watch

While there are certainly some impressive arms that will be on display this Sunday, there are also some quality bats that are signed up for this event.

Beginning with the infield position, '23 3B Cole Edwards (Spain Park HS) was another player that participated in the Border Battle with PBR Mississippi this fall and stood out with the bat. He still has a fairly slim frame at 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, but can drive the ball to all fields at the plate. '22 MIF Cason Eubanks (Northside Methodist) was one of our favorites at the PBR at the Hank in Mobile this past summer. He is extremely athletic and brings a dynamic skill set to the table. He showed he can hit for some power while also being a burner down the line with a 6.77 laser-timed 60 YD. '23 SS Sam Silas (Holtville HS) is a player that we have grown very familiar with over the past two years. He's been very solid at events and has shown he can handle the bat & glove well. Although this is '22 SS Jake Smith's(Providence Christian) first PBR showcase, we have seen him in Montgomery at the State Championships over the past few years. He has been a rock for Providence Christian and has led them to recent success. He'll be one to watch this weekend as well. '22 3B McGwire Turner (Helena HS) was a Future Gamer this summer and has some thump in that right-handed bat. He's added some noticeable strength as of late which has translated to more power and better offensive numbers. Rounding it out, '24 SS Cameron Warren (Saraland HS) was another player from the PBR at the Hank event this summer that jumped out to us from the beginning. He's got some advanced actions for a current freshman and compliments that with some strength. He is currently inside the Top 15 of the '24 Alabama Player Rankings. Each one of these players brings their own set of unique abilities to the table and will look to impress come Sunday. As always, there will definitely be more players that will stand out aside from these players.

Moving to the outfielders, these guys certainly have some pop in their bat and will look to put up some loud numbers on our Trackman unit and Blast sensors. Starting off with a freshman '24 OF RJ Brooks (Oxford HS) can be best described as a gamer. As the son of a coach, Brooks has a high baseball IQ and plays the game hard. Hitting from both sides of the plate, Brooks is pretty athletic (7.0 laser 60 YD) and has shown some pop to all fields. Speaking of athleticism, '21 OF Chase Christian (Pelham HS) can fly around the diamond. He is currently uncommitted, but has been talking to a few schools as of late. '22 OF Garrett Day (Randolph) is another player who has put up impressive numbers and metrics at prior events. '22 OF Kellen Mashburn (Bob Jones HS) has one of the best upsides out of anyone on this list. At 6-foot-3, 202 pounds, he ran a 6.63 laser-timed 60 YD at a scout day this summer and should be a big contributor for the Patriots' offense this spring. Last but certainly not least, '22 OF Christian Sutphin (Grissom HS) is another Future Gamer from this past summer who has definite pull side strength, as he showed during batting practice. All of these guys can hit for average and some power at the plate, and will look to jump out with the stick in Cullman. 

2-Way Players to Watch

In addition to these hitters and pitchers mentioned above, there will also be some players who elect to go through the workout as a position player and throw a bullpen after as a two-way player. Like we have mentioned numerous times, there are going to be more players that are equally, if not more, impressive at the event.

Leading off with guys who will look to impress with the arm and the bat, '23 RHP/3B Jake DeValk (Bayside Academy) has some intriguing upside at both. National Supervisor Nathan Rode got a peak at the arm on the mound and he pounded the zone with all pitches. The fastball worked up to 87 mph and complimented it with a breaking ball/changeup mix. Standing at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, he can also hit for power at the plate as well. '24 3B/RHP Jackson Hunter (Hazel Green HS) was one of the better dual guys on our Jr Future Games team this summer. He's physically advanced and has the actions to go along with the strength. His fastball was up to 81 mph with more in the tank, obviously. '23 OF/RHP Banks Langston (Russellville HS) has some value at the plate and on the mound. He's an athletic kid (6.71 laser 60 YD) with a knack for finding the barrel. On the mound, he's also been up to 85 mph. '23 3B/RHP Matt Manley (Madison Academy) is looking to one up his performance at the PBRT Southeast Fall Championships, where he won the MVP award for the Underclass Division. '23 SS/RHP Jace Norton (Auburn HS) is attending his first PBR event and is a part of the loaded underclassmen crop at Auburn HS. He's got a chance to make a big first impression to our PBR scouts and has good bloodlines. '22 3B/RHP Noah Toney (Florence HS) has continued to progress as a two-way player over the past year. At the plate, certainly does not get cheated and swings with intent. The arm has also worked up to 86 mph and he'll play a significant role for a talented Florence team this spring. '22 3B/RHP JD Wilkins (Pelham HS) made a lasting impression on our PBR scouts this fall and elevated his status as a true two-way player. There are tons to like with both pieces, and he'll hope to carry that momentum into this event and beyond. Rounding out the dual players, '23 OF/LHP Gabriel Young (Mountain Brook HS) shouldn't be labeled a sleeper in this class, but he's a guy that has significant upside at the plate. He showed us some serious pop from the left side on the back end of the summer, so we're excited to see the progress that he's made this fall.

All of these players are uncommitted, but their stocks should rise with a great performance in Cullman.


We hosted the inaugural Preseason All-State event on January 20th, 2019 at the Top Gun Facility and it hosted 47 players from all graduation classes. The second year of the Preseason All-State came on January 18th, 2020 and was also held at the Top Gun Facility. This event had 72 players in attendance. It's easy to see that this event has certainly grown in terms on popularity, as we had to cut off the player limit to 90 players and divide it into three sessions to due to COVID-19 safety precautions. 

This event has certainly been no stranger for college commitments, as the first two years have a combined 44 players committed to college programs. This year should be no different, as there are some extremely talented uncommitted players still on the board. Let's take a look back and check out some of notable commitments that have come from this event..





Sunday, January 17th

2021-2024 Prospects

All-Star Sports Complex
1634 Childhaven Road
Cullman, AL 35055

Sunday, January 17th

Session 1: 9:00 AM (SOLD OUT)

Session 2: 12:00 PM (SOLD OUT)

Session 3: 3:00 PM (SOLD OUT)

Email us at [email protected] or request an invite to be put on a waiting list, should any spots come open. 

*30 players per session

*Time subject to change.

Infielders, Outfielders, Catchers

  • Running Times (Laser timed 60 yard dash)
  • Offensive Evaluations
    • Exit velocity (from a tee)
    • Mechanical evaluations
    • Round of BP (TrackMan and Blast Data Recorded)
  • Defensive Evaluations (Catchers, Outfielders, Infielders)
    • Arm strength
    • Agility/range
    • Positional analysis/profile

 Pitchers & Catchers

  • Pitchers' Bullpen Sessions
    • 15-20 pitch bullpen (TrackMan Data Recorded)
    • Sequence of fastball and secondary pitches from both windup and stretch
  • Catcher's Evaluations During Bullpen
    • Receiving/pitch presentation
    • Blocking/agility

*Times subject to change*


Follow us on Twitter at @PBR_Alabama.

Check out our website for more information on prep baseball in the Yellowhammer State. 

Click HERE to purchase a subscription which gives you access to additional information on the site. 

Click HERE to create a free profile.


Related Content: