PBR Alabama Kickoff Classic: Scout Blog


PBR Alabama Staff

The Scout Blog for this past weekend's PBR Alabama Kickoff Classic provides insider information and scouting notes from the PBR Scouting Staff throughout games on Friday and Saturday. This blog features information on underclass prospects, unsigned seniors, draft prospects, and anything else that is notable. We will provide a wide range of information, including player evaluations, velocities, pop times, home to first times, and more. 

Capping off what was a successful event to kick-off the 2022 high school baseball season, be sure to check out the Pitching Leaderboards that has been updated with pitching velocities from this weekend's event. 

 

+ C Grant Jay (Mobile Christian, 2022) has elevated his stock as much as anyone in the state and is possibly playing his way into a very respectable draft selection in this year’s MLB draft. One look at the 6-foot-0 210-pounder and it is evident of the power packed into the frame. The Dallas Baptist recruit has advanced his receiving skills behind the dish while also showing solid catch-and-throw skills (consistent sub 2.0’s between innings). The sub-7.0 runner has always been able to handle the bat, and this weekend was no different. Always on time with the barrel, the senior backstop handles pitches to both halves of the plate with the ability to hammer balls to both gaps, including an opposite field long ball on Friday.

Grant Jay (2/18/22)

+ MIF Josey Williamson (Hartselle, 2024) kicked off his sophomore campaign by tearing through some of the best pitching the state has to offer. After a freshman season that saw Williamson help lead the way to a 6A runner-up season, the uncommitted infielder returned to the top of the lineup this weekend and recorded multiple hits in all three contests. Although he may not stand out in stature at 5-foot-8, 170-pounds, Williamson makes up for that by showing the ability to make consistent firm contact to all fields from the left side. He’s got the ability to change planes and handle velocity using a short, compact swing that rarely swings-and-misses. Williamson continues to cement himself as one of the best pure hitters in the state.

Josey Williamson (2/19/22)

+ RHP Elliott Bray (Hartselle, 2022) took the ball in Game 1 of the Tigers’ season and delivered a gritty performance against a talented lineup littered with college commitments. An Auburn signee, Bray labored at times throughout the outing, but earned the W going 6 IP, 3 H, 3 R (1 ER), BB & 4 K’s. Bray worked 88-90 mph with his fastball throughout his outing and went to a sharp, 11-5 breaking ball in the mid-70’s for swing-and-miss. He also flashed a low-80’s changeup on occasion. Although he may not have been as sharp as he’s been in previous looks, Bray showed elite competitiveness and looks poised for another strong senior campaign serving as the ace for one of Alabama’s best starting rotations.

Elliott Bray (2/18/22)

+ 3B Charlie Keller (Mobile Christian, 2022) picked right up where he left off in 2021 as he continues to show a high-level hit tool for the Leopards. The Mississippi State signee looks to hit for power early in the count and is equally as impressive as he showed the ability to hit deep in counts. The future Bulldog appeared to cut his swing down and did a nice job staying in the middle of the field with two strikes. The juice in the barrel continues to jump out as he consistently drives balls in the gaps, while also going deep in the event.

Charlie Keller (2/19/22)

+ OF Coleman Mizell (Hartselle, 2023) continues to show high level skills across the board, as its easy to see why he has been committed to Alabama for over a year. The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder projects highly with advanced athleticism (6.8 laser 60) and a high-level bat. The left-handed hitter can smash balls to all fields and is very comfortable staying in the middle of the field and to the backside. The approach at the plate is very confident and he always appears to be under control while not trying to do too much. He will continue to have a ton of opportunities to drive in runs for the Tigers as he drove in seven this past weekend, including a back-side double and home run.

Coleman Mizell (2/19/22)

+ C Hudson Walburn (Vestavia Hills, 2023) has continued to progress as this weekend was the best we have seen him. The arm has gotten stronger with definite carry on his throws to the bag as he shows the ability to shut down opposing base stealers. The Jacksonville State commit was equally impressive with the bat this weekend as he collected multiple extra base hits. Walburn showed a slight uphill path with the bat and a mostly pull side approach while driving in multiple runs during the weekend. The junior seemed delivered in big spots with a double and a go-ahead home run late in the Friday night game.

Hudson Walburn (2/18/22)

+ RHP Garrison Kahn (Oak Mountain, 2023) was impressive in his start versus the Cullman Bearcats on Saturday. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound right-hander was able to keep opposing hitters off-balance by mainly using a solid two-pitch mix. Attacking hitters from a high ¾ slot. Kahn creates a good deal of downward tilt on the fastball with late sink while being able to command the pitch down in the zone at 87-89 mph. The breaking ball showed quality 11-5 shape which he also buried in the lower half of the zone at 74-76 mph. Really like the look of this uncommitted arm as his final line was 4 IP, H, 2 ER & 7 K’s.

Garrison Kahn (2/19/22)

+ RHP/SS Carter Johnson (Oxford, 2024) is one of the state’s best two-way prospects in the sophomore class and he put both abilities on display this weekend. Johnson is a projectable 6-foot-2, 160-pounder who delivered some quality innings facing a tough lineup in his start on Saturday morning. Operating at a quick pace, the right-hander worked at 85-87 mph with his fastball with quality glove-side command during his outing. His breaking ball in the low-70’s had good, late downer action and tunneled well off of his fastball, and also mixed in a heavy changeup at 81-82 mph. Although it wasn’t his best stuff, the sophomore still held a potent offense to just one run throughout four innings of work. He also flashed some pop from the left side of the plate, splitting the gap in the middle innings for a RBI double that turned out to be the only offense for the Yellow Jackets.

Carter Johnson (2/19/22)

+ C/1B Brady McAbee (Northridge, 2023) had a big summer circuit last summer, including a good showing at the PBR Future Games with Team Alabama, and carried it over into his first couple games this spring. Standing a physical 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, McAbee has the looks of a future middle-of-the-order hitter down the road at the next level. The uncommitted junior got off some really good swings in their lone game of the weekend, including a run-scoring double in the middle innings. After getting off some aggressive swings early in the count, McAbee put a quality two-strike approach on display and found the barrel resulting in firm contact to the back-side.

Brady McAbee (2/18/22)

+ SS Seth Smith (Mobile Christian, 2023) may not get as much attention hitting in a lineup that features a pair of potential MLB Draft prospects, but the Southern Miss recruit showed this weekend why he’s one of the top left-handed hitting juniors in Alabama. Smith has good balance at the plate with the ability to create lag in his left-handed swing allowing him to cover all parts of the zone. He picked up a pair of hits on Saturday with a few swings over the weekend that didn’t have much to show for. He’s a smooth defender up the middle with range to his left and right and adequate arm strength to stick there in the future.

Seth Smith (2/19/22)

+ 3B Davis Gillespie (Oak Mountain, 2022) may not look like your prototypical leadoff hitter at 6-foot-2, 195-pounds, but he will get plenty of at-bat's for the Eagles, and that is a good thing. Gillespie seems to always be on time with the barrel as he uses a toe-tap trigger for the swing. The bat speed is electric and the bat path shows an uphill plane with carry off the barrel. Gillespie is an extra-base hit machine as that was evident this weekend. The Southern Miss signee delivered in a big way with two doubles and a no-doubt missile on Saturday that travelled way over the left-field wall on Saturday. Gillespie was part of Team Alabama at the 2020 PBR Future Games.

Davis Gillespie (2/19/22)

+ RHP Tyler Wilson (Hoover, 2023) should be the ace for Hoover this spring after emerging as one of the top arms on last year’s team as a sophomore. Now a junior, the Auburn recruit delivered some strong innings in his first outing of the season against a loaded lineup on Friday. Working mainly 85-87 mph, Wilson worked in and out of trouble well for the most part throughout his outing. He also showed some feel for a sharp 72-74 mph breaking ball and turned over a few good changeups at 74-76 mph to solidify a quality three-pitch mix. Although he didn’t have his best stuff in frigid temperatures in his first start, he showed that same competitiveness that made him successful last spring. He finished going 6 IP, 4 H, 4 R (2 ER), 3 BB & a K.

Tyler Wilson (2/18/22)

+ C/1B Lucas Steele (Hoover, 2022) has been an offensive staple for the Buccaneers program over the past few years and looks primed for his best year yet this spring. A switch-hitter with gap-to-gap power from both sides, the Samford recruit got off some quality swings throughout the weekend including a pair of extra-base hits. Steele has excellent zone awareness and plate discipline, allowing him to work into plus counts and take walks when given. In the video below featuring one of his doubles on the weekend, Steele adjusts well to an off-speed offering and shows the ability to find solid contact from the left side.

Lucas Steele (2/19/22)

+ SS Peyton Watts (Oxford, 2023) is a player we have seen a great deal of as he attended this past year’s PBR Future Games where he committed to Troy soon afterwards. Watts has changed his body by adding needed strength and weight but that hasn’t taken away his lateral movement and speed. Hitting out of the leadoff spot, the left-handed hitter shows a very simple set-up but does a great job of working his hands and barrel inside contact. The barrel path is slightly uphill and he does a solid job of staying through contact, creating carry off of the barrel. High baseball IQ player.

Peyton Watts (2/18/22)

+ RHP Jack Campbell (Hoover, 2022) turned in one of the more impressive pitching performances on the weekend against a quality opponent on Saturday. He may not possess the same overpowering stuff other pitchers have, but Campbell mixed & matched three quality offerings during his outing en route to a W. Working in the low-80’s (2400 rpm’s), the Snead State CC recruit generated plenty of whiffs on his fastball that featured late cutting action to it, and was best when to his glove side. Working off that fastball, Campbell showed the ability to command his sharp, tunneling breaking ball that got quality 11-5 depth. He ended up going 5 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB & 9 K’s to cap off a solid first outing of the spring.

Jack Campbell (2/19/22)

+ INF Zane Stokes (Mobile Christian, 2022) is yet another quality senior bat packed into a loaded lineup for the Leopards who enjoyed a solid start to his final season. A Coastal Alabama (South) CC signee, Stokes has a compact frame at 5-foot-10, 170-pound frame with good athleticism and versatility. The senior took some healthy swings throughout the weekend and was one of the leaders offensively for the Leopards, including a few extra-base hits and a no-doubt home run in their final game on Saturday. Although it may get overshadowed by his right-handed bat at times, Stokes also made some really tough plays look routine playing second base throughout the weekend.

Zane Stokes (2/19/22)

+ SS/C Cade Carr (Hoover, 2023) recorded a pair of multi-hit games throughout the weekend hitting towards the top of the lineup for the Buccaneers. A Samford recruit, Carr went 4-11 with two doubles and a RBI in three games going up against some quality pitching. A versatile defender, Carr plays the game with an edge and is a gamer-type player with confidence in the right side of the box. The junior carries a quality approach to the plate using a level path that consistently makes solid contact. His biggest swing of the weekend came on a perfectly executed hit-and-run in the late innings that resulted in an RBI double into the gap that proved to be the game-winning run in a 2-1 win in Game 3. He also played multiple positions at a high level this weekend with a versatile skill set at 5-foot-11, 165-pounds.

Cade Carr (2/19/22)

+ RHP/UTL Bodie Vail (Northridge, 2022) led the charge both on the mound and at the plate in the Jaguars’ lone game of the weekend. Vail, a Shelton State CC signee, is a dynamic two-sport (basketball) athlete that can do a variety of things at a high level on the diamond, as he showed on Friday. Getting the start on the mound, Vail worked 82-85 mph to the bottom of the zone with his fastball and paired it with a low-70’s breaking ball with late break and 11-5 shape throughout his outing. He was also consistently on the barrel at the top of the order with quality swings in each at-bat. He ended up going 4 IP, 4 H, 0 R, BB & 5 K’s on the mound to earn the win, and also pitched in at the plate going 2-for-4 with three RBI’s from the leadoff spot.

Bodie Vail (2/18/22)

+ RHP Camden Diamond (Mobile Christian, 2022) really settled in nicely in his start on Saturday morning for the Leopards after allowing two runs in his 1st inning. A Southern Union CC signee, Diamond operated with a clean and polished delivery that produced a fastball that worked 85-88 mph (2300 rpm’s) with good life to both sides throughout the majority of his outing. He also flashed two above average off-speed offerings with a mid-70’s slider with quality shape and an upper-80’s changeup with fading action, both generated plenty of swing-and-miss rounding out a quality three-pitch mix. He settled in to toss three consecutive scoreless frames, and earned the W on the mound going 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB & 5 K’s in a quality start to begin his senior campaign.

Camden Diamond (2/19/22)

+ SS Cade Miles (Hartselle, 2024) is another quality sophomore playing a big role for the Hartselle Tigers this spring. Lean & projectable 6-foot-0, 165-pounder, Miles has really made some significant strides over the past year and really has a chance to be a top-shelf infielder in the class once its all said and done. Miles took some good swings this weekend against some quality opponents, including a run-scoring single back up the middle that seemed to jump off the bat. He's got a confidence approach in the box with a flat path and easy lag from the left side of the plate. Quality defender playing shortstop for one of the top teams in Alabama as a sophomore should speak volumes.

Cade Miles (2/18/22)

+ INF Kevin Jasinski (Oak Mountain, 2024) is a name that will be interesting to follow over the next few years, as he held his own as a sophomore versus elite competition. Jasinski has a projectable frame and should certainly continue to develop over the years. He showed a simple setup at the plate with a direct path to contact with the barrel. Showed some looseness in the hands from a mostly level bat path as the ball seemed to jump off the barrel really well. The youngster didn’t seem overmatched at all and looks to have tools to make him a follow moving forward.  

Kevin Jasinski (2/19/22)

+ 1B/RHP Kaleb Heatherly (Cullman, 2022) has made a name for himself on the football field and baseball field for the Bearcats, but this weekend his bat did all of the talking. No doubt Heatherly has unlimited power to all fields in his 6-foot-7, 250-pound frame but he showed to be a very disciplined hitter as he routinely shortened up and was able to drive balls to the back-side. Heatherly collected six hits over the two days with a couple of doubles and several RBI’s. The UNA football signee delivered a huge bases-clearing double on Friday night that helped the Bearcats defeat 6A #2 Oxford. 

Kaleb Heatherly (2/18/22)

+ 3B Eli Tidwell (Hartselle, 2023) hits out of the leadoff spot for a loaded Hartselle lineup, which says all you need to know about the uncommitted junior. When the switch-hitting Tidwell gets on, there are plenty of high-profile bats behind him to drive him in. The swing form the left side is compact, but he generates plenty of power and carry off the barrel. Hard-nosed player that can play numerous positions on the field. He showed off the versatility by hoping on the mound on Saturday and tossing 2 2/3 innings of no-hit ball with four strikeouts. The fastball was 81-83 mph with a ton of arm-side action but without question, his best pitch was the breaking ball at 72-73 mph with nasty 12/6 shape. Tidwell is a name that may be a bit under-the-radar, but that should change very soon.

Eli Tidwell (2/18/22)

 


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