Prep Baseball Report

June 19 Top Prospect Games Scout Analysis: Infielders

PBR Alabama Staff

June 19 Top Prospect Games Scout Analysis: Infielders

There were a total of 23 infielders that participated in the infield portion of the workout for the Top Prospect Games at Troy University. The group flashed some nice leather in the field and showed nice athleticism on the day. This positional analysis will wrap up or coverage of the impressive work put in by the players at the Top Prospect Games. So, let's check in on the infielders:

Elliott Bray (2022, RHP/3B, Hartselle)  was one of the more impressive players at the event as he showed plus skills at several different places. The glove works very well on the infield and the arm strength is already considered plus at 87 mph across the diamond. The set up at the plate is solid with and even stance with the feet and the hands are set high in the stance. The toe tap approach allows for good rhythm in the swing with a slightly tilted bat path. The hands work and he showed plenty of pop middle to pull side. His stuff on the mound is real with a fastball already up to 85 mph and a hammer breaking ball that shows true 12/6 action. The changeup showed serious tumble into right handed hitters and he was able to locate all three pitches at any time. A big time name to follow in the ‘20 to class.

Walker Stallworth (2021, RHP/1B, Charles Henderson)  A legit two way guy that showed nice stuff on the mound. The fastball sat 81- 83 and topped at 84 showing a nice long arm action. Created some tilt on the fastball and located down in the zone and had an effective quick inning.   The mechanics were clean and the breaking ball took nice shape in the upper 60’s.  Showed an open stance at the plate and utilized a high leg kick approach to create some juice with the barrel through the zone. Did a nice job staying through the ball and showed some tilt in the barrel path. Very clean footwork around the bag at 1B and showed athleticism starting the 3-6-1 double play. 

Cade Easterbrook (2021, SS/3B, Saraland) Nice looking athlete that showed nice speed parentheses (7.03 60 yard dash). Tall, lean build with a very nice set up at the plate. The hands show some strength through the zone and the approach at the plate is well synced. He did a nice job using his lower half in the swing which resulted in consistent hard contact to the middle of the field. Showed a nice, easy swing.Moved extremely well on the infield and the glove action is legit. Did a nice job resetting the feet and showed plenty of arm strength across the diamond. Nice feel and play making ability to this 2021 grand.

Braden Hughes (2020, 3B/RHP, Springville) Physical player that is just a solid baseball player and does a ton of things right. Showed plenty of strength in his game but was very impressive with the feet and glove presentation at IIIB. Showed nice flexibility of the hips and a quick transfer in the throws. On the mound he simply spotted up with the FB and breaking ball and kept hitters off balance going in/ out and changing speed. The FB was up to 82 mph but this guy just competes. No doubt, his biggest attribute is the bat. Not a lot of movement in the approach from an even stance of the feet and a small toe tap set up with the hands and barrel working inside the ball. He shows more than enough bat speed and serious juice to both gaps and the pull side. A top uncommitted player in the state ‘20 class. 

JC Wilburn (2020, 1B/RHP, Helena) Has really gotten stronger he in the body and showed much more athleticism than the previous time we saw him. As an upright approach at the plate with a slightly open stance and short toe tap approach. The hands and the barrel really show quick action with some strength. Really liked his ability to stay on the ball to the hitting zone and finish the swing. Showed nice middle to pull side bat control. Played low to the ground at 1B and moved easily around the bag. Really presented the glove out in front of him and also looked good picking balls in the dirt at the bag.

Jim Lawler (2021, SS/2B, Demopolis) Hands are set high in the stance and the feet are slightly open to start. Has a definite load of the hands and the front side gets down on time. Showed the ability to handle pitches on both halves of the plate. The hands show some strength and the bat path was flat through the zone. Showed nice lateral range during IF drills and excelled with the fat before and after the ball was in the glove. The ram strength is nice and should continue to get stronger. Also showed nice balance in the swing and a middle to oppo approach. 

Davis Gaston (2020, SS/C, Fort Dale) Athletic MIF that can run (7.04 60 yard dash) and shows solid actions all over the field. Stands tall at the plate and has a definite load of the hands before the swing happens. Has slight tilt in the swing path and does a very nice job getting his back side through the swing. The swing is well synched and he had a definite middle of the field approach. Had 2 loud AB’s during the game and also turned in an ultra athletic play at SS. The glove is solid and there is some flair in the approach, but the actions back it up. The arm works as well. 

John Rice (2020, 3B/2B, UMS Wright) The swing is there and the bat plays with a loud barrel. Showed very nice rhythm with the hands and the lower half of the body was synched nicely with the top half. Showed an even stance and a toe tap approach to generate plenty of juice in the swing. The hands and barrel stayed short to the hitting zone. Showed a line drive approach to all fields. Defensively, he moves very well and showed the ability to throw from different arm angles and did a nice job working through his throws. Made a nice backhand play and a nice play on a slow roller in front of him during the game. 

Bryant Andrews (2020, 1B/OF, Faith Academy) Strong, physical player that has some definite thunder in the hands to go along with plenty of bat speed. Some definite pop off of the barrel with a slightly open stance. The bat path has some tilt in it and he showed plenty of middle to pull side juice. Really does a nice job of staying through the hitting zone a long time with the barrel. Plus defender at the 1B bag with plenty of arm strength as well. The feet are nimble around the bag and he showed nice feel receiving throws at the bag. Glove presentation is nice and he did a nice job of moving laterally. 

Deuntae Childers (2021, 3B/RHP, Chilton County) The kid can flat rake! A slightly open stance triggers the hands with a small toe tap approach. The swing looked effortless and he was very compact with hands. Stays short to the contact point and does a very nice job staying on the ball at contact. Very strong with the hands and lower half and doesn’t have to try and do too much. Again, loud and easy contact. Had a loud L6 during the game. Does a nice job of fielding baseballs out in front and getting the feet set to make the throw across. Moved well to his glove side as well. Make no mistake about it, the bat plays for this ‘21 grad. 

Trey Lewis (2020, SS/2B, Millry) Athletic SS that also has some power to his game. Love the set up at the plate with the elbow slightly which leads to a short swing path. The stance starts slightly open and the barrel has some juice in it. Nice use of his lower half and really showed loud contact to the pull side. Has some “whip” in the barrel. The arm shows plenty of strength to 1B and he showed advanced ability to throw from different arm slots. Very strong in the shoulders and core. Fluid actions and feet on the IF and things looked easy to him. Did a nice job of keeping the glove out in front and using his momentum to make throws across. Like this ‘20 grad. 

Brock Ford (2020, 2B/RHP, Southside) 7.01 60 yard dash runner that definitely transferred athleticism over to his game. Used the whole field during BP and showed consistent barrel that included some juice to the pull side. Slightly open stance with the hands set back in the stance and did a nice job of getting his front foot down on time so the barrel could follow. Should some slight tilt in the swing path. The glove is smooth and the feet work easy. Very fluid actions on the IF with enough arm strength to play on the left side of the infield. Showed a patient approach in the game with a line out and also drew 2 BB’s. On the mound he was up to 76 mph with the FB and he seemed to be “heavy”. Attacked the zone and showed the ability to repeat his solid mechanics. Did a nice job of forcing soft contact. 

Cole Strachan (2020, 1B/3B, Sparkman) Solid core strength corner infielder that has some pop in the barrel. He started with a slightly open stance with the hands set fairly low. Showed really nice rhythm in the swing with plenty of middle of the field juice off of the barrel (92 mph exit velocity off of the tee). There is some tilt in the swing path and a definite middle of the approach. The bat plays! Had a loud 2B down the LF line in the game. Solid 1B that shows nice footwork around the bag and did a phenomenal job of digging throws out of the dirt. The arm strength is nice and he is good enough defensively to play either corner infield position. A big bat in the ‘20 class. 

Blake Helton (2021, 2B/3B, Madison Academy) A ‘21 grad that really jumped out to our staff as having made significant improvements since we saw him last. His improved athleticism was evident. Starts with an even stance at the plate and the hands are set back in the stance with a small crouch. A very simple inside out approach that really peppered the backside gap in BP. The lower half was heavily involved with the swing and he was able to create power off of the back side. Moved very well on the IF and the hands worked and he did a nice job of resetting his feet for the throw. The ball seemed to really come out of the hand well. 

Cade Horton (2021, 3B/1B, Bibb County) Physical build (6’2 230 lbs.) on this 2021 grad. You would expect some pop and that is exactly what he showed. Slightly open stance and he did a nice job getting the hands back to launch his swing. There is serious juice from the lower half which translated to serious jump off the barrel. Showed a middle to pull approach with a definite tilt in the bat path. Solid skills at 3B that showed nice lateral movement and the ability to throw from different arm slots. Solid glove presentation and made it look simple. 

Landen Borden (2021, SS/2B, Tuscaloosa County) Sub 7.00 runner (6.92) that showed nice athleticism and natural actions on the field. Narrow, open stance with a leg kick approach that creates “whip” with the barrel. There is some quick twitch in the hands and the path of the barrel really stays through the hitting zone. Solid, compact approach. Had two solid AB’s during the game. Showed nice rhythm at SS with the feet and did a nice job of keeping his weight moving through ground balls. The glove works. 

Coby Holmes (2020, SS/2B, Saraland) Switch hitting MIF that showed a solid approach from both sides of the plate with nice rhythm in the hands. Short, simple approach from both sides and did a nice job of keeping the hands and the barrel inside the ball. Was middle heavy on the approach from both sides. Really sprayed the ball to all fields. Moved very well at SS and fielded everything cleanly with nice momentum toward the bag on the throws. Made a very athletic play in the game on a slow roller in front of him. 

Trevor Wikerson (2022, RHP/1B, Foley) ‘22 grad that was one of the younger players at the event. On the mound, the FB was up to 76 mph and the breaking ball had tight spin with late depth vs. hitters. Has nice stuff and can really make a jump in the years to come. The mechanics were clean and easy for him. At the plate, showed a slightly open stance and really used the lower half in the swing and kept the barrel through the hitting zone a long time, creating some big juice to the pull side for a ‘22 grad. Liked the quick transition and momentum moving through the throw from the OF. The arm action works and he will only get better in years to come.  

Jackson West (2021, 1B/RHP, Lee) Physical speciman at 6’5 215 lbs. that runs very well and has nice athletic actions. On the mound the FB was up to 78 mph and he worked a very quick inning by locating down in the zone forcing soft contact. Did a nice job locating to the glove side. Has an even stance at the plate with the hands set back in the stance. Showed a simple, yet powerful approach at the plate. The power is definitely there to the pull side. Showed some tilt in the path. Big target at 1B that moved well around the bag and played low to the ground when fielding ground balls. The athleticism here is intriguing. 

Harrison Stout (2020, SS/OF, Tuscaloosa County) Speed (6.79 60 yard dash) is a big part of his game and the natural athleticism is there. The stance is open to begin with and the hands and barrel stay short and the back elbow stays slotted to contacted. Showed plus bat speed with some tilt and consistently produced pull side line drives during BP. Had 2 hits and a stolen base during game play. Smooth actions at SS with a quick arm and looked good gathering himself after the ball was in the glove. Showed nice lateral movement, can also play the outfield. 

Tyler Merritt (2020, 3B/RHP, TR Miller) The FB was up to 76 mph on the day and seemed to really locate down in the zone working a solid inning during the game. The delivery looked athletic and easy and he was able to repeat solid mechanics. Flashed a solid breaking ball that showed tight spin and the changeup showed nice deception, tumbling into RH hitters. At the plate, the stance was even and the timing was nice. The front foot got down and the bat followed with tilt through the zone. Did show the ability to use the field but had nice pop to the pull side. Defensively, the makeup was solid and he showed a quick transfer on the throw and really looked nice on the back hand. Looked athletic on the slow runner in front of him. 

Cameron Baker (2020, 1B/LHP, Chilton County) The bat plays. Love watching the rhythm of the swing and the easy work of the hands. Showed big time pull side juice with definite strength in the hands. The swing has definite tilt and the ball really comes off the bat. Had a line drive 1B and one of the harder hit balls during the game (a 2B he crushed!). Has some “whip” with the barrel. Defends well at 1B and looked very natural coming off the bag at 1B and starting the 3-6-3 DP. Like the footwork around the bag but no doubt, the bat is his ticket!

Logan Watts (2022, 3B/RHP, McAdory) Showed an open stance at the plate with a level swing path that consistently produced hard ground balls and line drives during BP. The load of the hands is simple and he does a nice job keeping the barrel through the zone a long time. Like the action off of the back side. Defensively, the set up and fundamentals are solid and he played low to the ground, showing nice flexibility in the hips. The feet work well leading up to the throw.

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