Prep Baseball Report

Arkansas Insider: 2018

By: Zac Bottoms
Arkansas Scouting Director

The spring season is rapidly approaching, today I want to take a look at a few of the Super Sophomores that will have a big impact on their teams overall success.

2018, Connor Noland, RHP, Greenwood HS
Noland is a 6-foot-2 180-pound, right-hander with a large frame and an athletic build. Noland anchored a Greenwood pitching staff as freshmen. He competes in the strike zone with a fastball 84-86 mph. His breaking ball has 11/5 shape and is thrown with near fastball arm speed. Mechanically he is sound with repeatable mechanics and rhythm. He pitches from an H ¾ arm slot with a quick loose arm. Noland is a good athlete with a big arm and advanced ability to throw strikes. Noland was the No. 1 in the Bulldog rotation as a freshman and is expected to carry the load for them again.

2018, Jakobi Jackson, OF/LHP, Watson Chapel HS
Jackson is a 6-foot 190-pound athlete with a large frame and an athletic build. He is an advanced offensive player with ability to hit for power to both fields. He starts from an athletic stance with a fluid load, he attacks the baseball with fast bat speed. He has slight uphill bat path. He does a sound job maintaining rhythm and balance throughout his swing. Defensively he shows good instincts on balls in the air. He plays through the baseball with a fluid exchange and a strong arm with carry. As a pitcher Jackson pounds the strike zone with a fastball 79-82 mph. He compliments the fastball with a 1/7 curveball with sharp late break. Jackson hit at the top of the lineup for Watson Chapel, not only being a threat to get on base and steal bases, he led the team in home runs giving them instant offense from that spot. On the mound he should add depth to a very talented staff.

2018, Evan Hiatt, LHP, Catholic HS
Hiatt is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound left-hander with a large frame and average build. He works from a High ¾ arm slot with a fluid repeatable delivery. He has a quick clean arm action. He locates his fastball 81-84 mph with slight arm side run. He compliments his fastball with a curveball and changeup. His curveball has 1/7 shape with late break thrown at 70-71 mph. The change up is thrown with near fastball arm speed, with velocity 72-74 mph. His repeatable mechanics, frame, and arm action makes Hiatt an intriguing prospect over the next few years. Hiatt should pitch second in the Rockets rotation behind 2016 LHP Dylon Thompson. He was 9-1 during his freshman campaign, this one two punch will fit in well in the 7A Central.

2018, Jordan, LHP, Conway HS
Wicks is 6-foot-1 180 pound left-hander with a large frame and an athletic build.  He works from a 3/4 arm slot with a quick clean arm. He has smooth rhythm and good extension. His fastball is thrown 79-81 mph with arm-side run. He commands a curveball with 1/7 action thrown at 70 mph. His changeup was thrown 68-70 mph with arm-side run. Wicks is a polished pitcher, who projects to throw harder as he continues to mature. Wicks will be relied on again heavily this spring for the Wampus Cats. A pitching staff loaded with talent returning from a State Runner Up finish, note that Wicks was given the ball in the State Finals with all arms rested.

2018, Nick Farkouri, Sylvan Hills HS
Farkouri is a 6-foot 190-pound catcher with a wide frame and a physical build. He produces exit velocities as high as 90 mph. He has an athletic stance with a hand load, he attacks the baseball with a fast bat speed, and raw strength. The swing has some stiffness and rotation. Defensively he is solid behind the plate he receives well maintaining proper glove angles. He shows proper technique and adequate effort while catching. He throws pop times consistently below 2.0. Overall Farkouri is a physical player with raw tools. He started at catcher as a freshman and I expect he will do the same and anchor the middle of the line up for a Sylvan Hills team looking for their annual trip to the state tournament.

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