Prep Baseball Report

North Alabama Preseason All-State: Quick Hits

PBR Alabama Staff

The North Alabama Preseason All-State was held this past Sunday, January 16th at the Hartselle High School Indoor Facility in Hartselle, AL. This event consisted of some of the top players ranging from the classes of 2022-2025. These players went through an extended pro-style workout and took batting practice using Trackman and Blast Motion sensors. Pitchers were able to throw in simulated bullpens and were able to get numbers and metrics off of our Trackman unit, such as pitch velocity, spin rate, horizontal & vertical movement & much more. There were some players who showed up and continued to build off of prior performances, but there were also some new names who jumped onto our radar with a strong showing on Sunday.

Kicking off our post-event coverage for this event, we take a look back at some of the top performers and standouts from the event. Continuing over the course of the next week or so, we will release Statistical Leaderboards for the event then transition into releasing individual scouting reports for each player in attendance.


+ Auburn signee, OF Alex Wade (Madison Academy, 2022), will be putting his skill set on display at the Super 60 in Chicago, IL in a few short weeks, but gave our Alabama staff a sneak peek of what's to come at the North Alabama Preseason All-State. Wade is a physical specimen at 6-foot-3, 190-pounds with mature lean strength from head to toe. His right-handed bat is short and quick despite his long levers and flashed ability to generate some serious bat speed. Wade is a well above average runner and uniquely twitchy athlete from that lengthy frame, posting a 4.11 down the line and plus arm strength at 94 mph from the outfield, an event best.

+ After a breakout performance at last year's Preseason All-State, Auburn commit & RHP Christian Chatterton (Brooks, 2024) was just as good on Sunday, if not better. Chatterton stands a durable, yet athletic, 6-foot-0, 190-pounder one-upped is performance from last year but pumping 89-91 mph with some sink through the zone to both sides of the plate. Both his slider & breaking ball continues to separate him from the rest of the pitchers in his class, as he spins both at 2700 rpm's with authority in the low-70's. He also turned over a few quality changeup's while maintaining the same arm speed. Chatterton uses a clean & athletic delivery with noticeably less effort since the last viewing.

+ At 6-foot-5, 190-pounds, RHP Colin Patterson (West Limestone, 2023) showed arguably the highest upside of any uncommitted 2023 prospects in attendance. Patterson showed an extremely live arm with relative ease sitting 88-89 mph with arm side action that jumped through the zone at times. Still developing his offspeed, he did flash a mid 70's slider that showed hard downward action.

+ A top 5 prospect in Alabama's 2023 class, INF RJ Hamilton (Hoover, 2023) is a dynamic recruit heading to Vanderbilt. Even at just 5-foot-10, 165-pounds he brings an immediate presence when he steps in the building, his confidence and character jump out right away and he backs it up with equally dynamic tools. A plus runner and electric hands at the plate, he profiles as a top of the lineup run producer at the next level.

+ Another Hoover junior who made some noise on Sunday was Samford commit, 3B/C Cade Carr (Hoover, 2023). The right-handed hitting catcher keeps it simple and quiet in the box, but his contact is anything but. It's a compact and confident swing, with a gap-to-gap approach and well above average bat speed. His defensive skill set arguably showed even better with a big arm out of the crouch that carries well and posting sub 2.0 pop times.

+ One of the top 2025 prospects in attendance, SS Charlie Cassingham (Grissom, 2025) has a simple left-handed stroke that repeats well with a high rate of barreled contact, its a line drive gap to gap approach that doesn't try to do too much but works highly efficiently. Cassingham is equally smooth on the infield showing advanced actions and above average arm for his age, traits that will likely stick at shortstop at the next level.

+ A recent Troy commitment, RHP Joseph Garrison (Priceville, 2023) showed signs of being a potential frontline arm down the road. A physical 6-foot-5, 220-pounder, Garrison displayed above average command for a fastball that worked 88-89 mph & seemingly jumped out of the hand at times. He uses a quick arm action & creates plenty of tilt on his heater from a high 3/4 arm slot. He showed some feel for a slightly above average slider with shorter action in the upper-70's. The changeup at 78-80 mph gets quality fade and has a chance to be a potential out-pitch in the future.

+ In his own backyard, Alabama commit & 3B/OF Peyton Steele (Hartselle, 2024) as one of the many Hartselle Tigers who enjoyed quality outings at this event. Regarded as one of the state's top hitters in the sophomore class, Steele boasts an athletic 6-foot-1, 180-pound frame with noticeable strength throughout. The sophomore was consistently on the barrel throughout his round showing gap-to-gap pop & top exit velocity at 98.0 mph. Steele has some exciting tools & some of the quickest hands in his class that allows him to handle all parts of the plate with ease.

+ Standing at 6-foot-3, 175-pounds, SS Andrew Lawrence (James Clemens, 2023) excelled in multiple areas in this extended viewing. Using a controlled leg kick before coming back square, the junior fires a quick barrel through the zone that produced multiple hard line drives back up the middle during his BP round. From the right side, Lawrence's swing is repeatable & short with a slightly uphill path. If his BP round wasn't good enough, Lawrence was arguably one of the top defenders up the middle with rangy athleticism and smooth, reliable hands. He's a good follow for the junior class moving forward.

+ A Shelton State CC signee, C Lawson Neel (Gordo, 2022) was at the top of most leaderboards throughout the day. Standing at 5-foot-11, 170-pounds, Neel possesses some unassuming athleticism for a catcher, as he's been clocked around 7.0 in the 60 YD a couple years ago. He showed off some impressive physicality during his round with multiple low-90 mph EV's as he peppered balls into the gaps consistently. The defensive profile is equally as impressive as well, as he posted an 81 mph C velo (event best) & 1.89-1.95 pop times from the crouch with accuracy.

+ Another Hartselle native in his own backyard, MIF Josey Williamson (Hartselle, 2024) continued to look comfortable in the box in any setting during this look. A left-handed hitting middle infielder, Williamson displayed a professional approach with excellent balance and plate coverage during his round of BP. Williamson keeps his barrel through the zone well using a left-handed stroke that he repeats well. His ability to spray firm contact (98.6 mph EV) to all fields and handle all parts of the zone continues to cement himself as one of the more pure hitters in the sophomore class.

+ One of the better athletes at the event, Alabama A&M commit & SS Javen Hunter (Clay Chalkville, 2022) showed well in multiple facets of the event. Hunter has dynamic athleticism at 6-foot-0, 170-pounds with quick twitch actions and plus bat speed at the plate. The ball seemed to jump off his barrel during his round with a 99.4 mph EV and despite his quick hands, he controls the barrel well and handles all parts of the plate.  He showed solid lateral movement defensively with a strong arm (90 mph) across the diamond. The senior also ran of the top H-to-1st times at 4.00.

+ A top 30 prospect in the sophomore class, OF/RHP John Robicheaux (Mountain Brook, 2024) continues to leave a lasting impression each time we see him. Robicheaux is a 6-foot-2, 180-pounder with a projectable, slim build and a confident approach from the right side. He showed a knack for consistently finding the sweet spot of the barrel with a short & direct path to the ball. Being an easy sub-7.0 runner in previous looks, Robicheaux showed that same athleticism at this event running a 4.09 H-to-1st. He was also 90 mph from the OF, and that arm strength translated to the mound, where he touched 85 mph during his bullpen.


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