2021 Games: Infield Analysis


Jordon Banfield
Arizona Scouting Director

The Invite-Only 2021 Games took place on Wednesday, June 6th at Hi Corbett Field, home of the Arizona Wildcats. The event featured many of the state's top outgoing freshman and gave players an opportunity to earn an invitation to play for Team Arizona in our premier national event, the PBR Future Games. Today, we continue the event coverage with our Infield Analysis. This list was expanded to include 20 prospects as it was a really loaded event on the infield, featuring most of the state's top 2021 players. Barrett Skaugrud heads the list and became an Arizona State commit shortly after the event. He is followed by Wes Kath, who just continues to get better and earned a Future Games invite, and Elie Kligman (NV) who really stood out offensively. Check out the full list below. Guys like Colton VercoeCayden Collins, and Kaden Schiefelbein were not included on this list but could've been as their prospect ceilings appear to be clearly highest on the mound.

Complete video, data, pictures and scouting reports have been posted to players' individual profiles. As always contact [email protected] or direct message @PBRArizona on Twitter with any questions and/or information. The next opportunity for players from the 2020-2022 classes to attend a PBR event in AZ will be 10/14 at Brazell Field, home of the Grand Canyon Antelopes. The event is open for registration at this LINK.

TOP Infield PROSPECTS:

BARRETT SKAUGRUD SS / 2B / SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR, AZ / 2021

6-foot, 135 pound frame. High-waisted, lean, projectable body. Skaugrud spent the entire spring pitching for the state champions Sandra Day O'Connor HS, but his future is on the infield where he likely profiles as an offensive second baseman at the next level; 72 mph infield velocity. Skaugrud shows an advanced rhythm in the box with loose wrists and should continue to add power as physical maturation takes place; 82 mph exit velocity at this event. Skaugrud also turned in a 7.09 60-yard dash, which marks a significant improvement from our previous looks. Remains one of the top AZ prospects in class.

 

WES KATH 3B / SS / DESERT MOUNTAIN, AZ / 2021

6-foot-1, 160-pound frame. Kath gets a little better every time we see him and this day was no different. He continues to get bigger, but also drastically improved his run time on this occasion, posting a 7.20 60-yard dash after turning in a 7.60 at a PBR event last fall. Kath shows effortless actions in the field with a loose, whippy arm action (84 mph infield velo) and soft hands. While he's currently playing more 3B, it's not out of the question that he could handle SS if the athleticism continues to tick up. Offensively he's continually showed an ability to be on the barrel with a simple, slight uphill path and should grow into some real power, which he flashed smoking a double off the wall in RF at Hi Corbett in live game action; 86 mph exit velocity. Positioning himself as one of the top 2021 prospects in the state.

 

ELIE KLIGMAN SS / RHP / CIMARRON-MEMORIAL, NV / 2021

5-foot-9, 150-pound frame. SS/RHP Elie Kligman made the trip over from Nevada and proved to be one of the more polished prospects in attendance. Kligman appears to be a true switch hitter, showing an advanced swing from both sides and found the barrel multiple times in live game action; 85 mph exit velocity. Appears be be type of guy who can just flat hit. Middle infield defensive profile. Showed range to both sides, clean transfer, and a quick arm; 81 mph infield velocity. Also posted a 7.35 60-yard dash. Kligman also pitched where he showed a smooth, effortless delivery that produced quick arm speed from a ¾ slot. Fastball ranged from 76-78 mph with life to his arm side. His change up was thrown at 68-72 mph with fastball arm speed and flashed impressive sinking action. Also showed a curveball at 58-64 mph with proper 11/5 shape and spin when released out in front of his body. 

 

CHASE VALENTINE SS / RHP / SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR , AZ / 2021

Valentine has started to mature some physically, as he's now more than 5-foot-8, 125-pounds and turned in a significantly improved 7.31 60-yard dash. Plays with the type of energy that absolutely stands out the moment you walk up to the field. He will be the type of player that makes everyone around him better. It also doesn't hurt that he appears to be the top infield defender in the class, moving effortlessly around the diamond and playing underneath the baseball with soft hands and the ability to make accurate throws from all angles; 78 mph infield velocity. Offensively Valentine showed solid swing mechanics that registered a 77 mph exit velocity. Exit velocity will improve with added strength. Also ran his fastball up to 80 mph on the bump with a quick arm action and some effort. Curveball worked 65-68 mph with tight spin and 11/5 shape. Change up flashed solid sink. 

 

JOSE LOPEZ SS / RHP / POSTON BUTTE, AZ / 2021

5-foot-11, 140-pounds. Athletic, lean build. Lopez has always intrigued in game action as a switch hitter with solid defensive action and arm strength, so it was exciting to get a true evaluation on his tools. Lopez did not disappoint, posting a 7.08 60-yard dash and 84 mph infield velo after a solid varsity spring at Poston Butte. Looking to lift and pull from both sides, Lopez could improve swing by staying through the baseball longer and limiting rollovers. Showed tools to hit; 80 mph exit velocity. Solid actions on the infield that should allow him to play up in middle in college. Lopez did not pitch at this event, but has previously shown college ability on the mound as well. 

BRANDON ROGERS 3B / SS / QUEEN CREEK, AZ / 2021

6-foot, 170-pounds. Lean, athletic frame. Hit from a tall, upright, open stance. Takes a long stride, creating a wide base. Explosively fires the hips before hands work fluidly to the baseball. Good extension through contact, high two-handed finish; 82 mph exit velocity. Rogers is a true utility guy who can play virtually any spot on the diamond. An impressive athlete (7.03 60-yard dash) and good build, Rogers has a chance to become a prospect in the outfield or at 3B. Recorded a 77 mph infield velocity.  

AYDEN MARKOVICH 3B / SS / CASTEEL, AZ / 2021

5-foot-11, 165-pound frame. Markovich capped a solid spring at the varsity level with a standout offensive performance on this day. Posted an 86 mph exit velocity from the left side while showing some of the better bat speed at the event. Hits from tall, slightly open setup, gliding forward to foot strike and creating solid separation. Keeps barrel in zone a long time. Markovich is an intriguing athlete highlighted by running an impressive 6.86 60-yard dash. Listed as a 3B/SS, presently profiles better as a 3B. Bat is likely strong enough to make the move to 1B or LF if necessary; 73 mph infield velocity.  

BEAU ANKENEY 1B / 3B / DESERT VISTA, AZ / 2021

6-foot-2, 215-pounds. Big, sturdy frame. Obvious present strength in swing. Hands and back elbow work back and up as he strides out creating separation. Looking to do damage in the air, posture begins to lean back at moment of contact. Posted the top exit velocity at the entire event (91 mph) and connected on a rocket double to LF in live game action which was good to see as he’s always taken impressive BP. Defensively profiles best as a first basemen. Short, choppy steps moving around the bag. Could improve his rhythm and footwork. Posted a solid 80 mph infield velocity and 8.21 60-yard dash. 

 

TYLER KEARNEY OF / 2B / MOUNTAIN POINTE, AZ / 2021

6-foot, 150-pound frame. Kearney has made some swing adjustments that will benefit him in the long run and allow him to drive the baseball more consistently. Now gains ground with his stride and keeps in his back leg longer; 78 mph exit velocity. Kearney is a solid athlete (7.10 60-yard dash) and can defend any position on the diamond. Posted a 78 mph infield velocity and an 80 mph outfield velocity with college-level actions in both spots. Now lists himself as primary outfielder and played there on varsity as freshman, but ceiling is clearly highest on the infield where he should be able to defend all three spots. Projectable body that should be able to add considerable strength moving forward. 

 

TJ OSTER 2B / SS / VALLEY CHRISTIAN, AZ / 2021

5-foot-9, 140-pound frame. Hits from a wide base from the right side. Gains minimal ground with stride as hands work rearward. Bars the lead arm. On-plane swing path. Showed good barrel control; 76 exit velocity. Defensively profiles as a middle infielder. Explosive short, choppy steps. Impressive range to both sides. Quick transfer and arm; 80 mph infield velocity with carry. Also posted a very solid 7.03 60-yard dash tat will likely improve with added strength. Quick twitch athlete.

 

MARCUS HARRISON SS / RHP / CORONA DEL SOL, AZ / 2021

6-foot, 150-pound frame. Athletic build, lots of room to fill out. At the plate Harrison starts with his hands high and then shifts weight onto back leg before taking a short stride. Hands work down and to the ball resulting in a negative attack angle at times. Body remained tall after contact, high follow through; 79 mph exit velocity. Defensively Harrison impressed with solid actions as a middle infielder. Positions and angles body well. Fields ball out in front, funnels ball into body, clean exchange, keeps feet moving the whole time. Comfortable moving to both sides and throwing on the run; 76 mph infield velocity. Also posted a 7.10 60-yard dash and is a strong follow moving forward.

 

NICHOLAS LUSTIG SS / RHP / SUNRISE MOUNTAIN, AZ / 2021

5-foot-9, 140-pound frame. Room to fill out. Lustig doesn’t possess a standout tool currently, but he shows solid abilities as a two-way player. As a position player Lustig shows a solid swing and is very capable of defending on the infield. Recorded a 78 mph exit velocity and a 78 mph infield velocity. On the bump he ran his fastball up to 80 mph from a high ¾ arm slot. Short, compact arm action. Stays tall before aggressively pushing away from the rubber with the back leg. Holds counter rotation of the torso for a long time, separates well. Generates impressive arm speed. Arm recoils after release. Curveball was thrown at 63-66 mph with 11/5 shape and flashed solid depth. Also showed a change up at 72 mph. Very likely he will be able to help a college program at the next level. Improving 7.44 60-yard dash will dictate ceiling.

DEREK FIGUEROA 2B / RHP / RAY, AZ / 2021

5-foot-11, 150-pound athletic frame. Projects to add considerable strength. Impressed showing ability as both a middle infielder and a RHP. Offensively he used a leg kick loading pattern and stride and a linear swing path that got on plane early. Swing has flattened out since we last saw him. Should produce plenty of line drive contact; 86 mph exit velocity. Defensively profiles well as a second baseman. Showed solid actions and rhythm. Could stay over ball and funnel it into his body better before transfer. Replaces feet and plays through ball. Loose, quick arm action; 82 mph infield velocity. Ran an impressive 6.96 60-yard dash. Athleticism and mobility is apparent on the mound. Dynamic lower half; able to create considerable knee flexion in the rear knee and still drive out of the position, separates well, lead leg full stabilizes and extends into ball release. Short arm action, present arm speed. Sat 82-83 with his fastball. Curveball was thrown at 69-71 mph with proper 11/5 spin and shape. Change up worked 70-72 mph flashing some fade. Interesting skill set all the way around. 

 

TANNER RICE SS / 2B / RED MOUNTAIN, AZ / 2021

5-foot-9, 160-pound frame. Rice isn't a physical wow type prospect, but has impressive instincts and advanced feel for the game. Really battles in the box from the left side where he uses a simple, efficient swing that allows him to put the bat on the ball consistently; 77 mph exit velocity. Showed the type of actions on the infield to profile up the middle, with second base likely being the better fit at the next level. Also turned in a solid 7.14 60-yard dash. 

 

AARON LIMON SS / RHP / LIBERTY, AZ / 2021

5-foot-10, 165-pound frame. Limon hits from a balanced, open stance from the right side. Barrel tip timing mechanism. Has made some swing adjustments to keep his barrel in the zone longer, gets on plane early; 86 mph exit velocity. Barrel tends to leave zone quickly, has a chance to really move up rankings with improved offensive prodution. Defensively showed solid actions on the infield with a clean exchange and quick transfer; 77 mph infield velocity. Tends to push ball across diamond at time, which limits carry. Limon is an intriguing athlete, highlighted by his 6.85 60-yard dash. 

LUKE THIELE SS / RHP / HAMILTON, AZ / 2021

5-foot-11, 155-pound frame. Plenty of projection remaining physically. Thiele showed some interesting tools, highlighted by posting a solid 7.15 60-yard dash and an impressive 83 infield velocity. At the plate Thiele hit from an open, balanced set up. Quickness of the hips and hands. Posture begins to tilt over the plate at contact, looking to get extended; 74 mph exit velocity. Lays off barrel. Solid actions on the infield. Should be able to play either spot on the left side of the infield. Kept feet moving through the ball, fielded ball out in front with body over the ball, whippy arm action that generated arm speed. On the mound Thiele worked 75-78 mph with his fastball. Up-down-and-out style of mechanics. Lands closed off stepping towards third base making it difficult to rotate into the front hip and for the lead leg to block forward momentum. Curveball was thrown at 61-63 mph with proper 11/5 shape and spin when released out in front. Change up worked 67-70 flashing solid sinking action. 

 

SPENCER HORWATH 3B / RHP / SUNRISE MOUNTAIN, AZ / 2021

5-foot-10, 155-pounds. Lean frame. Will add size and strength as he matures. Offensively Horwath presets weight onto back leg and uses a leg kick trigger. Lets the ball get deep. Arm bar action of the front arm. Hands and rear elbow stay very close to body throughout swing resulting in minimal extension. Athletic two-handed follow through and finish; 71 mph exit velocity. Defensively profiles as a corner infielder. Showed some range to both sides. Stays over the ball well. Could play through the ball more. Quick arm and able to throw from multiple arm slots; 76 mph infield velocity. Also posted a 7.16 60-yard dash. On the mound Horwath worked 74-76 mph with his fastball from a ¾ arm slot. Controlled tempo. Starts tall and uses the slope of the mound to generate momentum. Shoulders angled down into foot plant. Slightly open toe. Arm recoils after release. Curveball was thrown at 61-62 mph with 11/5 shape. Change up was thrown 62-64 mph. 

 

TYVON MOORE SS / 2B / MOUNTAIN POINTE, AZ / 2021

5-foot-8, 145-pound frame. Open stance with weight preset onto back leg. Hands remain close to head during a short stride resulting in minimal separation. Gets on plate early, high one handed finish. Moore possesses quick hands and some bat speed, so if he can learn to load/unload better, he should be able to hit the ball with more authority; 73 mph exit velocity. Middle infield defensive profile. Solid footwork, hands, and rhythm. Explosive lateral movement yields impressive range to both side. Excellent body control on the run; 72 mph infield velocity. Posted impressive 6.90 60-yard dash. 

 

RODOLFO ( RJ ) MOLINA SS / 2B / SALPOINTE CATHOLIC, AZ / 2021

Smaller 5-foot-6, 130-pound frame. Molina hit from a balanced, slightly open stance from the left side. Simple stroke with limited lower half engagement at times. Appeared to want to get extended even when going the other way, let the ball get very deep; 78 mph exit velocity. Impressive actions of the infield. Middle infield profile. Played around and through the ball replacing his feet. Light on feet, smooth hands, clean exchange, and fast arm; 76 mph infield velocity. Recorded a solid 7.09 60-yard dash. Also ran his fastball up to 78 mph from a high ¾ arm slot on the mound. Compact arm action. Accepts force on front leg and rotates into front hip well. Curveball was thrown at 61-65 mph with sharp 11/5 break. Also showed a change up at 69 mph.  

SEBASTIAN SERRANO 2B / SS / POSTON BUTTE , AZ / 2021

5-foot-7, 125-pound frame. Serrano hit from both the right and left side, with his left handed swing appearing more advanced. Opens hips early in the swing building up tension in core; 80 mph exit velocity. Defensively profiles best as a second baseman. Solid actions. Stays over ball, funnels ball into body well. Quick, clean transfer and arm action; 75 mph infield velocity. Also ran 7.63 60-yard dash.