Freshmen Free Showcase: Quick Hits

Jordon Banfield
Arizona Scouting Director

The Freshmen Free Showcase took place on Sunday, December 19th at Sunrise Mountain High School in Peoria. The event featured nearly 50 regsitered players from the 2021 class. Today, we start the event analysis with some Quick Hits on a few of the top performers. Complete data and pictures are already posted with video and scouting reports soon to follow for those who purchased them. As always contact [email protected] or direct message @PBRArizona on Twitter with any questions and/or information.

Ranked Prospects Cement Their Standing

-OF/LHP Brock Selvidge (Hamilton) showed why he’s PBR’s top 2021 prospect in Arizona by a wide margin. He posted the best 60-yard dash time of the day (7.08), best outfield velo of the day (85) and showed off elite bat speed during his round of BP. Despite all of that, Selvidge may have been even more impressive on the mound, where he possesses a lightning quick arm and projectable, athletic 6-foot-2 frame. Selvidge topped out at 87 mph with his fastball and showed an ability to throw three pitches in the zone. At this point we are looking at an elite level national prospect in the 2021 class and a future pro. 

-1B Beau Ankeney (Desert Vista) has high-end raw power, but what stands out even more is the bat speed he shows for a prospect of his size. Ankeney posted the top exit velocity at the event at 89 mph as well as the top infield velo (80 mph). Standing 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, he has all the makings of a big time power bat as he continues to develop. 

Zdimal, Kearney and Valentine Burst On The Scene

-LHP/OF Max Zdimal (Notre Dame Prep) is an impressive two-way prospect. Showing off excellent bat speed with some loft, despite a somewhat crude swing, Zdimal posted the second highest exit velocity at the event (85 mph). On the mound the young lefty reached 83 mph with some effort, also showing off a solid mid-70’s changeup. Very high-level follow moving forward. 

-We got a brief look at SS Tyler Kearney (Mountain Pointe) earlier in the fall and he did not disappoint in this extended evaluation. With solid tools across the board, including a 7.25 60-yard dash, 75 mph infield velocity and 81 mph exit velocity, Kearney is an advanced all around prospect. Showing good defensive footwork and some softness in his hands, Kearney has a chance to stay up the middle where his offensive ability will stand out. His combination of solid bat speed and an extremely advanced feel for the barrel make him a very strong prospect to follow.

-SS/RHP Chase Valentine (Sandra Day O’Connor) is a baseball player. He showed off very advanced defensive actions with good footwork, the ability to throw from multiple angles and solid carry on his throws. Valentine made lots of hard contact during his round of BP with a simple swing and advanced feel for the barrel. He also hopped on the mound and pounded the zone with three pitches, topping out at 79 mph.

Young Catchers Impress

-Zach Kress (Corona del Sol) was easily the top defender on the day, with a very quick transfer and elite accuracy on his throws to 2B. Kress posted a top pop time of 2.01 with 70 mph velocity and also excelled as a receiver, showing quiet hands and good flexibility. 

-Steven Stewart (Centennial) has a very projectable 6-foot, 135-pound frame with a high waist and long limbs. At first glance he looks more like a SS or CF, but is very comfortable behind the plate and has a loose swing with loft that projects for at least gap power as his body fills out. 2.13 best pop time.

-Austin Thomason (Sunrise Mountain) was significantly improved after seeing him at the AZ Athletics Scout Day a few weeks prior. He shows outstanding physical strength for a young prospect and posted one of the best exit velocities on the day (81 mph).