2021 Games: Pitching 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 Pitching Analysis. The list was expanded to include 15 prospects with a really strong group of arms in attendance, led by RHP Cayden Collins who possesses the best combination of present stuff and projection in the class. Guys like Aaron Limon and Jose Lopez also would've been strong candidates for this list but didn't pitch at the event. Also players like Elie Kligman and Quade Swearingen are almost certainly position players at the next level and weren't included. Others like Trace Laudenschlager and Nick Lustig are rapidly improving and will be a factor in the future. 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 Pitching PROSPECTS:

 

 

Cayden Collins RHP / SS / Mountain Ridge , AZ / 2021

6-foot-1, 165-pound frame. Wiry body.  RHP/IF Cayden Collins is intriguing as a position player, but has a chance to be a premium prospect on the mound. Collins ran his fastball up to 85 mph with virtually no effort and a clean arm action from a low 3/4 slot. He showed the ability to throw his breaking ball for a strike and has plenty more in the tank as he continues to mature. With the recent jump, Collins has established himself as one of the top couple arms in the AZ 2021 class. Offensively Collins used a short, compact stroke and a linear swing path. Hands remained close to body throughout the swing, minimal extension; 77 mph exit velocity. Impressed with his actions on the infield. Positioned body and played through the ball very well. Kept feet moving the whole time, solid rhythm. Arm strength was apparent posting an 86 mph infield velocity. Also posted a 7.19 60-yard dash.  

 

 

 

Augie Walters RHP / OF / Brophy College Prep, AZ / 2021

RHP Augie Walters has been on our radar since last fall and continues to climb with his athletic 6-foot-4, 170-pound projectable frame and the type of effortless arm speed that could make him a very high velo day down the road. On this day he did nothing to hurt that status, running his fastball up to 85 mph. Curveball worked 61-62 mph with gradual 11/5 break. Could be thrown with more arm speed, presently more of a get me over pitch. Change up showed some fade at 70-74. Also worked out as a position player. Posted an 83 mph exit velocity, 80 mph outfield velocity, and ran a 7.24 60-yard dash. 

 

 

 

Joey Collier LHP / Paradise Honors, AZ / 2021

6-foot, 160 pound-frame with considerable projection remaining. Collier showed more of what stood out at the recent D-Backs Academy Scout Day where we got our first look at the young lefty. He sat 81-83 mph with his fastball, pounding the strike zone with only average effort and the type of athletic delivery that should project for more velo down the line. Long, loose arm action with present arm speed. He also flashed a harder 76 mph slider with tight rotation and established himself as one of the top arms in the class. Also showed a 72-75 mph change up with some sink. 

 

 

 

Max Zdimal LHP / OF / Notre Dame Preparatory, AZ / 2021

5-foot-11, 155-pound frame. Projectable body, room to fill out.  Zdimal also showed some hitting ability at an event last fall, but missed the spring with injury and elected only to pitch on this day, shaking off the rust to touch 83 mph with his fastball from the left side. Occasionally cut the ball to glove side. Full extension arm swing before driving into scap retraction. High ¾ release, downhill plane. Interesting front leg mechanics. Knee rapidly rebounded in and out of hyperextension around the time of ball release. Curveball was thrown at 61-64 mph. Changed showed varying movement at 70-71 mph. Developing secondary will be key. Interesting follow given the present velocity and projectability. 

 

 

 

Kaden Schiefelbein RHP / 3B / Liberty, AZ / 2021

6-foot, 130-pound frame. High waist, very long legs. Schiefelbein has always shown an interesting combination of athleticism and projection and it appears that’s starting to come to fruition. With his ceiling likely highest on the mound, Schiefelbein ran his fastball up to 82 mph with a short, clean arm action from a high ¾ arm slot. Dynamic lower half, long stride, separates well. Very linear to the plate, cuts off rotation/deceleration path some. Changed up was thrown at 68-69 mph flashing sinking action. Curveball ranged from 62-65 mph with some depth. At the plate, hit from a wide base with minimal weight transfer and stride. Barrel works down and away from body some, gets on plane early. Looking to get extended at contact; 78 mph exit velocity. Showed solid actions on the infield. Looked comfortable ranging to balls to both sides of his body; 78 mph infield velocity. Schiefelbein also turned in an impressive 6.99 60-yard dash, which makes ceiling on mound potentially very high.

 

 

 

Cade Westerlund C / RHP / Mountain Pointe, AZ / 2021

C/RHP Cade Westerlund posted the top catcher velo at the event (76 mph) and brings a true physical presence with his 6-foot, 190-pound frame, highlighted by posting an impressive 87 mph exit velocity. Uses an aggressive swing from the right side. Some stiffness in the lower half. Pop times ranged from 2.17 - 2.28 behind the plate. Received ball with two hands, low transfer, quick arm action. He may profile even better on the mound, where he touched 84 mph with his fastball and consistently pounded the zone with intent and some arm speed.Fastball featured fade to his arm side. Keeps torso stacked over back side for a long time. Releases ball over a very bent front leg, chest is almost touching front knee. Curveball was thrown at 68 mph with some depth.  

 

 

Alex Ramirez RHP / 3B / Sierra Linda, AZ / 2021

5-foot-9, 150-pound frame. Ramirez showed some of the most arm strength at the event, topping out at 85 mph on the mound with despite some effort in the delivery. Brings hands overhead during rocker step, big counter rotation of torso and hips upon leg lift, efficient arm action. Could greatly improve lead leg stabilization to transfer more force up his body to the ball. Front knee continued going into knee flexion into release as body never stopped moving forward. Fastball showed some life to his arm side. Curveball was firm thrown at 71-74 with 11/5 shape. Change up showed impressive sinking action. Shows enough feel that should warrant some strong college interest down the road.

 

 

 

Trevor Toland LHP / 1B / Liberty, AZ / 2021

5-foot-11, 140-pounds. Toland is starting to make a big jump, despite his still very thin frame. Significant projection remaining. Very long stride, holds counter rotation of the torso into foot plant, separates well. Big scap load during the pick up phase. Aggressively extends trunk forward into ball release. Sat 76-79 mph with his fastball from a ¾ arm slot. Fastball life varied quite a bit, sometimes running and occasionally cutting to his glove side. Threw an overhand curveball at 65-66 mph that was one of the better breaking balls at the entire event with feel to throw it both in and below the zone. The pitch features very tight spin and sharp downer break. Also showed a change up at 70-72 with solid sinking action. Very interesting follow as LHP with present feel and future projection.

 

 

 

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. 

 

 

 

Michael Riley C / 3B / Pinnacle, AZ / 2021

6-foot-1, 205-pound frame. Sturdy lower half. On the mound Riley worked 78-81 topping at 82 mph from a ¾ arm slot. Uses a forward drift upon leg lift to take advantage of momentum down the mound. Short, clean arm action. Shoulders angled down going into foot plant. Never fully blocks energy moving forward with the lead leg. Change up ranged from 73-75 mph with solid sink and fade. Slider was thrown at 68-70 mph with slurvy shape. Tall, balanced set up at the plate. Hands do a good job working rearward during stride resulting in separation. Upper and lower half appeared a bit disconnected at times. When synched up, Riley produces an aggressive, powerful swing; 84 mph exit velocity. Defensively Riley worked out as both a third baseman and behind the plate. On the infield he showed solid actions and steady hands; 83 mph infield velocity. Also showed some intriguing skills behind the plate highlighted by his arm strength, although footwork doesn’t allow him to fully take advantage of it on throws to 2B. Also ran a 8.10 60-yard dash.  

 

 

Matthew Fike LHP / OF / Casteel, AZ / 2021

5-foot-11, 165-pound frame. Fike touched 80 from a ¾ arm slot from the left side. Arm appeared late getting up at times. Intriguing arm speed. Overly linear to the plate, doesn’t fully rotate into lead hip, lead leg fails to fully stabilize as a result. Spike curveball was thrown at 63-64 mph with proper spin and shape. Could be thrown harder to produce tighter spin and break. Showed feel for his change up at 71 mph with some sink. Fike also showed ability as a position player where he showed a short, efficient swing from the right side, posting a 77 mph exit velocity. Also recorded a 79 mph outfield velocity and a solid 7.15 60-yard dash, making him an intriguing follow with the combination of size and athleticism. 

 

 

 

Steven Stewart C / RHP / Ironwood, AZ / 2021

6-foot, 135-pounds. Highly projectable frame. Interesting skill set as a two-way player. Switch hitting catcher with his left handed swing being much more advanced. Generates loft with bat speed. Right handed swing had a flatter swing path and less bat speed; 75 mph exit velocity. Intriguing skill set behind the plate. Showed quick feet and transfer posting pop times ranging from 2.06 - 2.13 with a 73 mph catcher velocity. Good mobility. Also ran a 7.48 60-yard dash. On the mound Stewart showed very repeatable, clean mechanics running his fastball up to 80 mph. Dynamic lower half, back leg does a good job creating ground reaction forces, hips get fully through as upper half remains closed. Short, clean arm action. Solid forward trunk tilt at release. Featured two breaking balls, a curveball and a slider. Curveball worked 62-64 mph with 11/5 shape and gradual break. Slider was a bit harder at 66-67 mph with shorter two plane break. Change up was thrown at 70-73 mph that flashed solid sinking action.

 

 

 

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. 

 

 

 

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. 

 

 

 

Colton Vercoe RHP / 3B / Poston Butte, AZ / 2021

6-foot-3, 165-pound frame. Intriguing frame with considerable projection remaining. Unique set of mechanics on the mound. Takes ball of out glove at head height with both arms moving in bow-and-arrow type fashion before fully extending. Stays tall throughout delivery generating downhill angle to the plate. Ran his fastball up to 80 mph from a high ¾ arm slot. Curveball was thrown at 64-66 mph with some feel. Change up showed some life to his arm side at 70 mph. Offensively, Vercoe hit a very wide base from the right side. Barrel works away from body as hands move forward creating some length. Long levers; 81 mph exit velocity. Defensively profiles as a corner infielder; 76 mph infield velocity. Also ran a 7.65 60-yard dash.