Fall Prospect Showcase: Pitching 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 Pitching Analysis. 2020 Matt Bachelier and 2019 Cayden Collins were a virtual tie for the top spot, with Bachelier's superior present stuff earning him #1. A case could very easily be made for Collins as the secondary stuff is more advanced and he's more projectable. Either way both were clearly elite unsigned prospects and have since committed to high-end D1 programs that were in attendance at this event. The list was expanded to include 15 arms as the players towards the bottom were virtually indistinguishable and we're comparing players across multiple classes. Others like Mitchell Schooler, Brady Nelson and Braden Miltenberger (our top OF prospect) are also certainly deserving of mention. We also posted tons of brief notes and videos throughout the day on Twitter. 

Complete video, data, pictures and reports are posted to players' individual profiles. As always contact [email protected] or direct message @PBRArizona on Twitter with any questions and/or information.

Top Pitching Prospects:

Matthew Bachelier RHP / 1B / Nogales, AZ / 2020

6-foot-2, 190-pound frame. Physical, broad bodied right-handed pitcher. 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. High-end makeup makes 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.


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

6-foot-2, 165-pound frame. Lean projectable body. 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. Breaking ball will need to be tightened, but was thrown in zone; would like to see it developed into a shorter, hard SL.


David Utagawa RHP / 1B / Corona del Sol, AZ / 2020

E6-foot-3, 200-pound prospect. Worked out in the outfield and on the mound. Clear future on the bump. 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. Line drive hitter. At the plate has a strong lower half, hangs and sits on load. Calm and consistent approach. Stays inside balls well. Ran improved 7.46 60-yard dash.


Zach Rogers RHP / Mountain Ridge, AZ / 2020

6-foot-0, 170-pound frame. Recent Grand Canyon commit. Rogers sat 83-84, touching 87 mph with his fastball from an arm slot that's now just above sidearm and 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.


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. 


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

6-foot-1, 145 pound, projectable frame. The combination of arm strength and athleticism has always intrigued and now that he’s begun to add some broadness in his shoulders the likelihood that he becomes a high-end arm only increases. At the plate, starts from a wide set-up with some present bat speed. Consistent line drive approach, 84 mph exit velocity. On the mound showed a repeatable delivery with a FB sitting 79-82, T83 mph. Low-effort delivery with clean, quick arm circle. Easy to project velocity. Tended to pull secondary offerings to the glove side on the look, but has previously shown feel for both in game action. Breaking ball sat 68-71 mph, flashing tight spin and changeup was thrown at 73-76 mph.


Andrew Calloway LHP / 1B / Sabino, AZ / 2020

6-foot-4, 205-pound frame. Physically imposing broad shouldered projectable left-handed pitcher. While the fastball velocity (81-83) hasn't quite ticked up yet, 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. Calloway is a proven competitor with significant upside remaining. What level he fits at will depend on how soon he makes a jump and how much schools are willing to project. 


Noah Olson RHP / Verrado, AZ / 2020

Imposing 6-foot-6, 200-pound frame. 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 a short cutter-type action to a true curveball at 71-74 mph and with continued refinement should develop into a quality third offering. Olson established himself as a definite follow come spring time ,with a potentially very high ceiling.


Valentin Flores Jr LHP / OF / Mountain Pointe, AZ / 2021

5-foot-9, 160-pound frame. Flores is an intriguing 2-way prospect. On the mound, a low 3/4 arm slot and 80-82 mph fastball generates heavy arm side run and sink. A slightly closed front side help him hide the ball well and creates big angle/deception. Consistently threw sweeping curveball in zone at 65-66 mph. Change-up at 69-71 mph, is still developing and floats out of the hand at times. Profiles as left-on-left reliever at the nexy level. Offensively, shows rhythm and balance in aggressive swing; 85 mph exit velo. Possesses strong forearms and generates impressive bat speed with a short path to the ball. Ran 7.58 60-yard dash that could make Flores more of a pitching prospect or possible 1B/DH who can contribute as a two-way player.


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

Lanky 5-foot-11, 165-pound frame. Continues to show the most promise on the mound, but is improving on the offensive side as well. On the mound, displays a clean delivery with a slightly closed front side upon leg lift. Aggressive, high front side and clean arm action from low ¾ slot with angle. Straight fastball sat 80-82 mph, T83. Showed a sweeping curveball at 61-64 mph, and a straight change at 73-76 mph. As a hitter, shows present strength (exit velocity of 86 mph). Has long levers in the swing. Works hard to get on plain and into the slot early. Ran 7.54 60-yard dash. Likely future remains on the mound, but continues to make strides as a position player. Athleticism is a better fit on the mound and arm is best tool.


Aaron Limon SS / RHP / Liberty, AZ / 2021

5-foot-11, 173-pound frame. Continues to develop physically. Nice to see him continue to get more physical without sacrificing speed as he posted a 6.89 60-yard dash. As a hitter, showed an 81 mph exit velocity. Creates forward tilt and really drives front shoulder down to create an upward path to his swing. Shows strength in lower half. Defensive actions have also cleaned up  as he was solid playing through the baseball.  Posted 78 mph infield velo which doesn’t match his true arm strength. Infield throwing mechanics need to be re-worked to improve carry and accuracy. On the mound, we saw a personal best 83 mph FB. An extremely quick and uptempo delivery create a ton of momentum towards home plate.69-72 mph curveball tended to back up at times. Changeup showed arm side fade at 72-76 mph. Arm works much better on the mound than at SS, however the rest of his tools and frame lend themselves toward Limon being a position player. Will be very interesting follow.


Gillis Champagne OF / RHP / Verrado, AZ / 2020

Very lean 5-foot-10, 140-pound frame with strength in forearms. Two-way prospect. Plays with a noticeable energy and is another guy who has clearly worked hard to make a jump. 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 velocity at the event of 89 mph. As a hitter contains strong forearms, good bat speed with a balanced approach and rhythm. On the mound he shows excellent arm speed 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. Shows a balanced approach in the box with intriguing bat speed, but lacking overall physical strength/mass. Development of hit tool will dictate whether Champagne is a pitcher or hitter at the next level.


Derek Figueroa RHP / SS / Ray, AZ / 2021

Listed 5-foot-11, 155-pound frame. Shows the type of tools that could project to a number of positions. His 83 mph OF velo and 85 mph exit velo were near the top for 2021 prospects and we've previously seen him run under 7.0 and work into the mid-80's on the mound. At the plate shows balance and intent. Barrel tracks out of the strike zone at times, causing inconsistent contact. Increased offensive consistency could make Figueroa a true two-way prospect. Fastball sat 82-83 mph, flashing cutting action to glove side. Some stiffness in lower half causes quick hip and him to spin off on heel at times. Mixed in 66-68 mph curveball with 11-5 shape and straight 70-72 mph changeup in zone.


Nick Suspenzi RHP / SS / Desert Mountain, AZ / 2021

5-foot-10, 145 pound frame. Very young body. Has recebtly moved from Illinois and will impact the updated AZ prospect rankings. Suspenzi shows a loose, quick arm from a low 3/4 slot and it’s easy to project more velo down the line. He does have a tendency to work underneath the baseball and throw uphill with a low elbow. Fastball jumps out of the hand at 83 mph. Delivery is effortless. Changeup mimics fastball and has arm side fade at 74 mph. Curveball sat 63-65 mph with varying shape.


Brock Jessup LHP / OF / Desert Mountain , AZ / 2021

5-foot-10, 158 pound lean and developing frame. Extremely intriguing follow in the 2021 class. The left-hander works with a quiet and slow tempo, before exploding down the mound. Maximizes strength. Timing issues exist, but his 81 mph fastball does play up. The curveball shows tight rotation at 63-65 mph and projects as a solid secondary offering. The changeup showed arm side fade and was consistently in the zone at 74 mph, giving him a weapon against RHH.  Jessup has previously shown well as an outfielder as well.