Prep Baseball Report

South AL Preseason All-State: Quick Hits

PBR Alabama Staff

SARALAND, AL - The South AL Preseason All-State was held on Sunday, January 8th at Saraland High School in Saraland, AL. This event was an invite-only event that consisted of some of the top prospects from the 2023-2026 classes. These players went through extended pro-style workout that included batting practice using Trackman and Blast Motion, ran the 60 yard dash using Swift Performance, and much more. Pitchers were able to throw in simulated bullpens during the workout 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 Sunday. Continuing over the course of the next week or so, we will release different statistical leaderboards for the event then transition into releasing individual scouting reports for each player in attendance.


+ RHP Connor Gatwood (Baker, 2024) burst onto the scene in early 2022 with a standout showing at the South AL Preseason All-State, which eventually led to his invite to the PBR Future Games last summer. Although he was stellar on the mound pitching for Team Alabama at that event, he's already showing the progress and physical gains that he's made in the offseason. A South Alabama recruit, Gatwood was one of the final pitchers of the day to throw his bullpen, but those who stuck around long enough to watch were not disappointed. The 6-foot-4, 185-pounder displayed some electric stuff in this extended look, as he never threw a pitch under 91 mph and sat 91-93 mph (2500 rpm) while touching 93.7 mph multiple times in his outing. For his secondary offerings, the right-hander spun a hard slider at 84-85 mph (2250 rpm) that showed two-plane break and sharp lateral movement while turning over a few quality changeups at 86-88 mph with fading action. Gatwood easily cemented himself as one of the top prospects in the junior class and will only continue to improve as he continues to fill out his strong, athletic frame on the mound.

+ C/3B Tanner Waldrop (Auburn, 2024) turned in the most impressive round of BP at yesterday's event and was easily one of the top performers in the offensive portion of the workout. An Auburn recruit and former PBR Future Gamer, Waldrop stands 6-foot-0, 190-pounds with some proportional strength throughout his frame that translates well to his offensive profile. The left-hander took effortless swings in the box and consistently drove balls to the pull-side gap registering in the mid-90's using present bat speed and showing the ability to change planes. While still showing his impressive hit tool that he's displayed over the past couple years, Waldrop showed sizable power and will only continue see more as he grows into his frame with more physicality. He's begin to shift towards the catching position defensively, but certainly showed the bat is a big piece that makes him one of the top left-handed hitters in the state, regardless of graduation class.

+ RHP Zach Stevens (Stanhope Elmore, 2023), another former PBR Future Gamer, showcased an overpowering arsenal of pitches in his extended viewing on the mound and why his breaking ball is one of the top secondary offerings in the state. A South Alabama signee, the senior right-hander has made noticeable strides his frame in terms of strength as he now stands 6-foot-0, 200-pounds. Stevens used that added strength to his advantage on the mound pumping his fastball in the zone for strikes at 90-92 mph while being as high as 92.3 mph with late life. Both of his breaking balls are as good as we've seen, especially the slider at 76-78 mph that registered spin rates near the 2800 rpm range. He also showed a power breaking ball at 75-76 mph (2700 rpm) with sharp 11-5 depth and a changeup at 80-81 mph. He spins both the slider and the breaking ball with intent and aggression using a very fast arm that comes out of a H 3/4 arm slot. Stevens also posted the top INF velocity at 100 mph on a ball to his glove side where he reset his feet and fired a strike to 1st base during the defensive portion of the workout. He looks poised to lead one of the state's top pitching rotations this spring after a strong showing at yesterday's event.

+ RHP/SS Connor Gehr (Gulf Shores, 2024) may not have had the same overpowering stuff in terms of velocity compared to the pitchers mentioned above, but his command for a four-pitch arsenal continues to make him a must-follow on the mound heading into his junior season this spring. Gehr showcases intriguing athleticism in his slim, projectable 6-foot-0, 160-pound frame that will carry much more strength in the future. After lining balls to both parts of the field and showing well in the defensive portion of the afternoon workout, Gehr was one of the first pitchers to hop on the mound was equally as impressive, if not more. The uncommitted junior pumped his fastball to both sides of the plate at 85-87 mph (2300 rpm) while showing quality command for his secondary offerings, as well. Gehr featured a firm, tight slider at 76-79 mph (2600 rpm) with more horizontal break and a sharp breaking ball at 74-75 mph (2600 rpm) with more top-to-bottom break. The right-hander also displayed solid feel for a fading changeup at 79-80 mph that works well off his fastball using the same run/sink for both. Another outstanding event for the the uncommitted junior.

+ SS/RHP Drey Barrett (Holtville, 2024), like Gehr, was another two-way prospect to stand out both at the plate and on the mound at yesterday's event. A Southern Miss recruit, Barrett has continued to make noticeable improvements both to his gain and to his stature and physicality, as he now stands a strong and athletic 6-foot-3, 200-pounds. The junior is a true two-way prospect that seemed to do everything at a high level at the event, and started off by taking aggressive and quality swings from the right side of the plate. The infielder hits from an athletic, well-balanced stance and has fluid actions throughout his swing that consistently found firm contact during his round of BP using a gap-to-gap approach. On the mound, the right-hander was equally as impressive in this viewing as he worked consistently at the 88-89 mph range with his fastball that creates run to the arm-side. Both the slider and the changeup were landed for strikes, as well, with the slider showing late break in the zone and the changeup creating action similar to his fastball. A Top-20 prospect in the junior class that looks to poised for a strong spring in both facets.

+ C John Stowers (St. Paul's Episcopal, 2026) was one of the more high-profile names coming into yesterday's event, as he's currently ranked inside the Top-5 in the freshman class in AL and Top-100 nationally. Stowers, an Auburn recruit, showed why he's deserving of that recognition with a loud round of BP and a solid showing behind the plate in the defensive portion of the workout. Stowers, who is listed at 5-foot-11, 195-pounds with much more physical development to come, possesses some of the best power in his class and looks the part of a left-handed hitting middle-of-the-order hitter. Stowers caught numerous barrels out front working with a mostly upward bat path and extension as he drove multiple deep drives to the pull-side during his round of BP, resulting in one of the top EV's of the event at 98.2 mph. Stowers is obviously still a young prospect with much more development to come, but he already has advanced skills for his age and a left-handed bat that will be fun to watch develop over the course of the next few years.

+ LHP/1B Jackson Stallworth (Stanhope Elmore, 2025) was a sophomore prospect that our staff was eager to see in his PBR showcase debut. The two-way prospect was thoroughly impressive in multiple facets, both at the plate and on the mound at yesterday's event. Standing 6-foot-1, 215-pounds with room for added strength, Stallworth was one of the first hitters to take his round of BP in the offensive portion of the workout and showed intriguing pull-side power hitting from the left side. Looking to lift and drive the ball with nearly each swing, the sophomore showed some of the best bat speed at the event and has the potential to be a significant power threat. On the mound, there's just as much, if not more, to like. The southpaw operated around 83-85 mph mostly with his fastball and reached 86.8 mph towards the end of his outing. Showed some feel for two breaking ball, one being a firmer slider at 73-75 mph (2300 rpm) and the other being a curveball at 68-70 mph more vertical, 1-7 break. The ball comes out the hand fairly effortlessly thanks to a strong frame that will only continue to develop.

+ SS/RHP Brady Richardson (Enterprise, 2025) continues to one-up his prior performances and raise his stock with each viewing. Richardson, a Troy recruit who is ranked inside the Top-15 in the AL sophomore class, has made noticeable strides to his frame in terms of added physicality and strength, and now stands 6-foot-0, 195-pounds. Richardson was easily one of the top performers from the offensive portion of yesterday's event, posting a mature round of BP while being on the barrel with nearly every swing. The right-hander, who also ran one of the best 60 YD's from the event at 6.94, uses controlled aggression and stays synched up efficiently with present bat speed to hit for some power. He repeats his swing well and drove balls consistently to the pull-side gap during his round of BP, resulting in a top EV at 96.9 mph. Richardson also showed some pitch-ability on the mound, working his fastball up to 83 mph with solid secondaries. Another strong day for one of the top prospects in the sophomore class.

+ SS Brooks Womble (Saraland, 2024) is a two-sport athlete that is coming off a Class 6A State Title run as a WR in football just a few weeks ago, and looked like he was in mid-season form on the diamond at yesterday's event. In his PBR showcase debut, Womble was near the top every nearly ever statistical leaderboard while showing a gap-to-gap approach during his round of BP. The uncommitted junior began his day running one of the top 60 YD's from the event at 6.94 60 YD, and then was a standout during the offensive portion of the workout with a 93.8 mph EV. Womble starts in an open stance and uses a leg kick for timing before firing a quick, strong barrel through the zone with some extension out front resulting in firm contact to all fields. Showed some lateral range defensively on the infield and steady glove work and accurate throws across the infield. One of the top uncommitted juniors in the state.

+ INF Bryce Rivers (Mobile Christian, 2026) continues to show as one of the top hitters in the young freshman class with another strong outing at yesterday's event. Although smaller in stature at 5-foot-7, 170-pounds right now with certainly more filling out to do, Rivers is as advanced as they come in terms of offensive skills and abilities in his young class hitting from the right side of the plate. The infielder takes aggressive swings but always in control with explosive bat speed and sizable gap-to-gap juice. The ball seems to come off his barrel differently for a player at his age, and is going to be fun to watch him continue to develop as a player in the coming years.

+ SS Cam Warren (Saraland, 2024) showed signs of being back to full-strength at yesterday's event after missing all of last spring due to an injury. Before his injury, Warren was a major contributor for the 6A Spartans both at the plate and on the mound during his freshman season, and he'll be looking to provide that same type of production this spring. The uncommitted junior stands 5-foot-10, 180-pounds with a stronger lower-half and with still some flashes of athleticism, as well. The right-hander uses a quick leg kick for timing/trigger and drove balls back up the middle during his round of BP. resulting in a top EV at 94.6 mph. Profiles well as a defender up the middle with crisp footwork and a steady glove with accurate throws and some arm strength across the infield. Quality uncommitted junior prospect to follow this spring.


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