Fall Prospect Showcase: Infield Analysis


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 the event coverage with our Infield Analysis. Uncommitted 2020 Efrain Manzo grabs the top spot after taking clearly the top BP round of the day and continuing to show that he's the top unsigned bat in Arizona's 2020 class. At an event of this size and quality we were forced to leave a number of college-level prospects off this list, including Aaron Limon, Kaden Schiefelbein (primary RHP), TJ Oster, Shane Anderson, Ruben Villaescusa, Morgan Albrecht, Spencer Horwath, Jace Young, Trevor Desiderio, Trenton Harrington, Masen Schechterle (position unclear), Nick Lustig and many more. Full reports on those prospects are in their individual profiles.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.

 

Top Infield Prospects:

 

Efrain Manzo SS / 3B / Chandler, AZ / 2020

6-foot-1, 181-pound frame. Extremely advanced physicality. Manzo continues to show that he's the top available junior bat in Arizona. Posted 93 mph exit velocity. 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. Defensive future remains somewhat in question (LF/1B or possibly 3B), but the bat will play anywhere on the diamond including DH.

 

 

 

Chase Valentine SS / 2B / Sandra Day O'Connor , AZ / 2021

5-foot-10, 135-pound frame. Valentine continues to prove himself as the top infield defender in the class. The combinations of elite hands, ability to throw accurately from all angles and instincts that consistently show up in game action have earned him that distinction. Very confident in his hands; expects ball to go in his glove. Showed 79 mph velocity across the diamond. Should be able to make an impact offensively when he adds strength as he shows a solid swing with loose wrists. Posted an 80 mph exit velocity. The run time will need to continue to come down. Ran 7.37 60-yard dash. Body has started to get longer, but remains thin without much present strength. All tools project to tick up considerably with continued physical maturation.

 

 

 

Ayden Markovich 3B / SS / Casteel, AZ / 2021

5-foot-11, 165-pound frame. Fast twitch athlete, posting 6.86 60-yard dash, with strength throughout. Slightly open, upright setup. Uses stride to create separation before lower half starts swing. 90 mph exit velocity produced by present strength and bat speed which he generates easily. Currently a left side infielder, Markovich likely projects to LF or possibly 2B without premium arm strength (77 mph. Bat will be carrying tool and play at a number of positions. Extremely high ceiling and intriguing 2021 prospect.

 

 

 

Ryan Ellis SS / C / Mountain Ridge, AZ / 2020

E5-foot-7, 140-pound frame. Ellis may not be physically imposing, but he is consistently able to barrel the baseball and packs a significant punch. Clears lower half early, looking to lift and pull. 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. Future raw power grade will dictate whether pull power approach continues to be in his best interest. Ellis' likely college future is at 2B where he excels turning the double play (83 mph IF velo), but is a playable defender virtually anywhere on the diamond, including behind the plate. Ran 7.03 60-yard dash.

 

 

 

Mason White SS / 2B / Salpointe Catholic, AZ / 2022

5-foot-9, 155-pound frame. Showed off possibly the prettiest swing of the day, regardless of class. Extremely rhythmic and smooth left-handed swing with easy power. Can really hit and should be able to turn gap power into home run power with continued physical development. Gets in to a firm front side early in swing and hits against it. Ran 7.88 60-yard dash. Will be interesting to see how he develops physically and athletically, but he's already made big improvements defensively since we last saw him and profiles as a future 3B. Continues to display smooth actions and soft hands. Feet have improved. Arm strength (79 mph) and short arm action help White be an accurate thrower. Defensive future is uncertain, but White is one of the top bats in his class.

 

 

 

Nick Arias 2B / RHP / Tucson, AZ / 2022

5-foot-10, 145-pound frame. Arias looks like one of the top prospects in AZ's 2022 class. With a projectable, high-waisted body, Arias looks the part as an infielder and also on the mound. Offensively Arias shows an advanced rhythm, getting started early with a balanced, knee-knock trigger and projects to develop power as he matures physically. Defensively, has the look of a future 3B, generating impressive carry on his throws across the diamond. Foot speed has improved since we last saw him and appears to be the type that will continue to get faster as he gets stronger. Arias is even more advanced on the mound, where he sat 80-81 mph with an under control delivery and very clean arm circle from a 3/4 slot. Arias flashed a true curveball with tight rotation and 11-5 break when at it's best. He also mixed is a very short slider, with more cutter-type break. May benefit from being shelved in favor of a changeup that will give him a weapon against LHH as he matures. Future position will depend on continued development of run tool (7.57), which has come down significantly since we saw him in the spring. 

 

 

 

Beau Ankeney 1B / 3B / Desert Vista, AZ / 2021

 6-foot-3, 220-pound, large frame. Has really started to improve his body. Showed improved 60 and better footwork around the bag as well, also posting 80 mph infield velo. Ankeney is a serious physical presence and showed the most raw power of any prospect at the event, regardless of class. Posted very impressive 93 mph exit velocity. Bat is clearly the carry tool, making consistent, hard contact out front with loose wrists and natural loft in swing. Potential premium power prospect. Want to see the raw power continue to show up in game action as he matures.

 

 

 

Vinnie LaGatta SS / OF / Valley Christian, AZ / 2020

5-foot-9, 150-pound frame. 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. Lean, athletic, fast twitch athlete. Open set-up, starts tall, leads to a dive type approach to the baseball. Swing creates some lift and has shown ability to be on time. Lack of physical projection may force some adjustments to a slightly more contact-oriented line drive approach/swing plane. Gets the most out of his frame with his 83 mph exit velocity. Also ran the best 60-yard dash we’ve seen from him with a 6.94. LaGatta continues to improve as a defender with twitchy actions and a quick transfer; arm strength displayed (85 mph) suggests he’ll be able to stick at shortstop long term.

 

 

 

Griffen Chewning SS / 2B / Notre Dame Prep, AZ / 2020

5-foot-10, 175-pound frame. Another guy who's right in the middle of football that continues to show college ability on the infield and on offense. His quiet approach in the box produces line drive contact to all fields. Posted 88 mph exit velocity and appears stronger every time we see him. Loose, easy rhythm in the box with flat path and impressive bat speed. In the field, his feet work well and he should be able to defend second or third at the next level depending on the program. Fights playing high at times. 81 mph infield velo with quick arm and slightly longer action. 

 

 

Jacob Stockton SS / 2B / Sunrise Mountain, AZ / 2020

5-foot-7, 160 pound frame. Is listed as a primary middle IF, but looks like he could have a role in college as a 3B. Stood out during BP, finding the barrel nearly every swing with his line drive plane. Shows advanced rhythm and approach as well. Posted impressive 92 mph exit velocity. As a defender, has deliberate actions and plays with a low center of gravity. Stockton posted an impressive 86 mph infield velocity. By far the best performance we’ve seen from him. There isn’t much physical projection remaining, but Stockton is a solid prospect who will be ready to help someone early in his career at the next level.