Fall Prospect Showcase: Quick Hits (Part I)


Jordon Banfield
Arizona Scouting Director

The Fall Prospect Showcase took place on Sunday, October 14th at Brazell Field, home of the Grand Canyon Antelopes. The event freshman through junior prospects an opportunity to be evaluated in a college stadium in front of a number of college coaches. The showcase marked the biggest event to date in Arizona, with nearly 140 players registered. This event will become a staple for PBR every October, due to the response and large number of college coaches that travel to the area this week every year. Today, we continue our event analysis with the first portion of our Quick Hits on a few prospects who stood out. We'll continue tomorrow with more notes on 2021 and 2022 grads. As with all our top events, it is impossible to include every prospect who showed well in this article. We also posted tons of brief notes and videos throughout the day on Twitter. 

Complete video, data and pictures will be posted soon to players' individual profiles with scouting reports to follow in the coming weeks. As always contact [email protected] or direct message @PBRArizona on Twitter with any questions and/or information.

FUTURE GAMES ALUMS SHINE

-2020 Efrain Manzo continues to show that he's the top available junior bat in Arizona. Gliding forward to foot strike, Manzo creates a strong base and solid separation, keeping his hands back as well as anyone before showing elite bat speed to drive the ball with authority to all fields. The physical 6-foot-1, 181-pound prospect consistently produces in game action and i have no problem saying he could hit for any program in the country. He also posted a better 60-yard dash time that we've seen previously with a 7.24.

-2020 RHP Matt Bachelier turned heads with a dominant outing on the last day of Future Games, where he was completely unhittable for two innings and showed the same type of stuff Sunday at GCU. Bachelier sat 89-90 with a very heavy fastball and flashed a 71-73 mph slider that has the makings of a future average or better secondary pitch as it becomes more consistent and is thrown with more velo. Bachelier's broad 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame and high-end makeup make him an ideal fit at the back end of a D1 bullpen. There's some funk in the backside of his arm action, but he is able to repeat and get downhill. Every time we see him, the opposing hitters indicate that the arm action is just fine and he's established himself as the top uncommitted arm in AZ's 2020 class.

-2020 MIF Ryan Ellis may not be physically imposing, but he is consistently able to barrel the baseball and packs a significant punch. Although his leg kick appears to have been toned down some, he uses it effectively to arrive to time and drive the ball with a slight uphill path. Ellis' likely college future is at 2B where he excels turning the double play (83 mph IF velo), but is a component defender virtually anywhere on the diamond.

-We have 2021 RHP Cayden Collins rated as the top uncommitted sophomore arm in AZ and his bullpen at this event made it clear why. Collins effortlessly pounded the zone with 83-86 mph fastballs from a low 3/4 arm slot. Tons of physical projection remains in his 6-foot-2, 165-pound frame and it's easy to see Collins sitting comfortably in the low-90's or better a few years from now. The pitch that stood out even more on this look was his 72-75 mph changeup that was thrown in the zone with fastball arm speed and big fading action, projecting as a future plus pitch.

-2020 C Kenneth Jimenez is the type of player you like more every time you see him and this was no different as he was clearly the top defensive catcher at the event and took one of the day's louder rounds of BP. Jimenez turned in pop times from 1.90-2.02 with 80 mph velo from the crouch and showed terrific footwork as he effectively gains ground towards 2B. It's a bigger swing for an undersized prospect and he could benefit from quieting the lower half in game action, but there's certainly some juice in the bat as he turned in an event best 94 mph exit velo, pretty impressive for a 5-foot-7, 170-pound junior.

-While the fastball velo (81-83) hasn't quite ticked up yet for 6-foot-4, 205-pound 2020 LHP Drew Calloway, he showed by far the best control we've seen from him in awhile and also flashed an improved 69-72 mph breaking ball with tight rotation and hard downward break. 

2020

-Recent Grand Canyon commit RHP Zach Rogers sat 83-84, touching 87 mph with his fastball from an arm slot that's now just above sidearm that should make life very difficult on right-handed hitters, especially if he slides to the 3B side of the rubber to increase the angle. Rogers also showed the tightest breaking ball we've seen from him, a 67-69 mph slurve that he was able to throw both in and below the zone. The 76-77 mph changeup should also give him a chance to be more than a right-handed specialist at the college level, especially when you consider his track record of success as a young varsity closer at Mountain Ridge.

-5-foot-11, 190-pound catcher Ben Click has a strong, stocky build and seems to have really worked to improve physically since we last saw him 10 months ago. His 7.31 60-yard dash, 90 mph exit velo and 1.95 best pop time were all personal bests by a huge margin. The extremely quick transfer and solid footwork behind the plate make up for lack of elite arm strength and we're excited to see how he performs next spring at Corona Del Sol.

-RHP/OF Gillis Champagne plays with a noticeable energy and is another guy who has clearly worked hard to make a jump. Still very thin at 5-foot-10, 140-pounds, everything Champagne does is quick twitch and that makes it easy to dream on what he could become despite the slight frame. He ran a solid 6.88 60-yard dash and posted the top outfield velo at the event of 89 mph. On the mound he shows excellent arm speed and and threw easily the top breaking ball at the event, a 68-70 mph hammer curveball with 11-5 shape and tight rotation that looks like a true out pitch.

-Jacob Stockton is listed as a primary middle IF, but looks like he could have a role in college as a 3B. He's listed at only 5-foot-7, 160-pounds, but stood out during BP, finding the barrel nearly every swing with his line drive plane. Stockton posted an impressive 86 mph infield velo and 92 mph exit velo.

-SS Vinnie LaGatta is right in the middle of football season, but dusted off his spikes to remind us that he's a D1 caliber defender on the middle infield. LaGatta has twitchy actions when moving to both side, shows an extremely quick transfer and enough carry on his throws (84 mph IF velo) to stick at short. He also posted a solid 6.94 60-yard dash.

 

 

-Griffen Chewning is another guy who's right in the middle of football that continues to show college ability on the infield and in the box. His quiet approach in the box produces line drive contact to all fields and he should be able to defend second or third at the next level depending on the program.

-MIF Shane Anderson showed well on defense, with athletic actions and a quick transfer/release. Anderson throws from a near sidearm slot with a whip action and should profile very well defensively to 2B. It will be interesting to see if he can break into a loaded Hamilton infield this spring.Also posted a 6.82 60-yard dash.

-Big 6-foot-2, 200-pound RHP David Utagawa has always intrigued with his physical presence, strong lower half and short, clean arm action. He has battled some inconsistencies in the past, but if this performance is any indication he has absolutely turned the corner and was without a doubt the breakout performer of the entire event. Utagawa pounded the zone with a heavy 84-87 mph fastball, tight 73-74 mph curveball and flashed a 76-77 mph changeup that has the look of a solid third offering. He was completely under control during his bullpen and if this sort of stuff/command continues D1's will be lining up to sign the Ivy-level student.

-Colton Kucera turned in the event's top 60-yard dash time with an impressive 6.69. He also showed off some bat speed in the box, with a somewhat unorthodox swing, loading has hands very deep to a near arm bar with a high back elbow into a very linear bat bath. Kucera lists himself as a primary MIF, but may profile better to the OF at the next level.

-Hunter Bagshaw stood out during BP with a round that included loud contact to all fields. Listed as 3B/2B, but may profile best to 1B where the bat could still play.

-6-foot-3, 170-pound Morgan Albrecht came over from Utah and impressed with his combination of projectable frame and measurable (90 mph exit velo, 7.25 60-yard dash).

-6-foot-6, 200-pound Noah Olson really stood out as a projectable arm in our first look at him. Olson used a long arm action, high 3/4 slot and short stride to drive his 83-85 mph fastball downhill, flashing hard sink at times. His 77-79 mph changeup is his most refined secondary offering at present, thrown confidently with fastball arm speed and producing some late tumbling action. The breaking pitch varied from short cutter-type action to a true curveball at 71-74 mph and with continued refinement should develop into a quality third pitch. Olson established himself as a definite follow come spring time with a potentially very high ceiling.

Jace Young shows an intriguing combination of offensive ability and athleticism in his immature 5-foot-11, 152-pound frame. Young turned in a 7.09 60-yard dash and 84 mph exit velocity with the type of swing that should produce as he fills out and adds strength. There's some work to be done on the infield, but it appears he could certainly handle LF if necessary.

-A quick look at Brock Peery's velocity numbers wouldn't indicate anything to get excited about, until you realize that he throws from a below sidearm slot and works in the low-80's with heavy sink. Perry also shows a frisbee slider in the low-70's and could be an absolute nightmare for right-handed hitters coming out of the bullpen.

 

 

-6-foot-3, 220-pound Trevor Desiderio is an absolute physical monster. His solid, proportional frame with sloped shoulders shows significant present strength and gives him a serious presence in the box. Desiderio has some mechanical power leaks with his swing, leaking his hands forward, instead of separating and uncoiling, but he was still able to make some hard contact and the power potential appears to be significant. He will be an interesting follow this spring.