Arizona Fall Review: Top Upperclassmen


Brett Thorney
Arizona Scouting Director

As we start to wrap up our Arizona Fall Review coverage, here's a look at some of the top upperclassmen prospects from the December event. There were some strong Senior and Junior performances for this page with some strong depth throughout these classes. Here are reports from the afternoon, listed in order.

Tanner Smith C / 3B / Basha, AZ / 2021

Oregon State commit, currently ranked No. 5 in Arizona’s 2021 class, large build at 6” 200lbs, strength & durability in frame, arguably had one of the top performances at the PBR Fall Review. Has always been a pure hitter looking to do damage. Gathers energy in back leg with minimal forward move & still head, showed some real body control at the plate in his round of BP, good power to LF with upward swing plane hitting some balls out of the ballpark, event high 96mph exit velocity. Defensively, he put in some of the best pop times we have seen from him. Getting rid of it quickly with relaxed movements, Smith threw 1.85-2.06 pop times with 76 mph arm strength. Continued to show why he is a highly regarded recruit in the state of Arizona.

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

Large 6’4” 175lbs build, high waisted with good projectability. Athleticism to build off- ran a 7.03 60 yard dash. Calm collective approach to pitching. Bouncing back from an injury, Walters showed long loose arm action with low effort at 81-84mph. Off-speed was average and should improve with more time this spring. Hits from a balanced athletic set up. Short stride with hands loading slightly up and back simultaneously creating some leverage. Displayed some hard contact at 88mph. Good OF instincts. Good direction and carry on throws. Speed & athleticism give him the ability to move efficiently to the baseball. Watch for Walters to make a jump into the spring/summer as he gets comfortable on the mound, has the athleticism to make positive adjustments. 

Rocco Gump SS / 3B / Seton Catholic Prep, AZ / 2021

6’3” 175lbs frame, tall long limbed body with good athleticism and room to get stronger. Has an above average left handed bat with a middle LD approach with ability to lift occasionally. Starts from upright base shifting weight from front leg to back small leg lift slightly above ground level. Loads elbows back creating vertical barrel entry. 83mph exit velocity, more pop with more backside drive present. Comfortable fielder that fielded with effort. Long limbs combined with flexibility and athleticism gives him some extra range to work with. Played through the ball with 84mph arm strength across the diamond. Size and speed will determine if he is able to stay at SS or move to a corner position in the future. Gump has natural tools and the ability to be a high level player. Strong follow going into spring.  

Steven Stewart C / RHP / Ironwood, AZ / 2021

Large build at 6’ 150lbs, long lean frame with room to get stronger, versatile athlete- showed that he could do it all with some success. Switch hitting catcher that showed ability to barrel up baseball from both sides with 84mph exit velocity, clean repeatable swing from left side with small knee turn leg lift, from right side uses a small toe tap trigger & transfers more body weight, can also get on the mound to pitch a bit. Worked his FB 80-82 consistently, topping out at 84mph with shorter arm action, showed two breaking balls with slider showing well,  Solid overall arm strength with 1.96-2.14 pop times- standing up at times, projectable athlete that moves well behind plate.

Braden Watkins OF / RHP / Hamilton, AZ / 2021

Large athletic 5’11” 155lbs build, some fast twitch movements & projectability, one of the better athletes at the event. Turned in the top 60 yard dash time at 6.85. LHH with middle approach that hits from a narrow open base, landing square. Short inside swing with some separation, Watkins barreled up the ball consistently in his round of BP. His speed and athleticism should play in the OF. Low effort movements in OF at event with little momentum and follow through at 73mph.  

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