Prep Baseball Report

In the Weeds: Right-Handed Pitchers

By Shooter Hunt
National Crosschecker

In a new segment on the national level called, In the Weeds, PBR National Crosschecker, Shooter Hunt, takes a look at uncommitted players regardless of class whose skills and intangibles sometimes get missed in a showcase setting, but whose value to a good team at the next level is immeasurable. Some of the players included in this segment are under the radar, others have been overlooked, and some are late bloomers and fast-rising. Whatever the reason, our boots-on-the-ground scouting staff has identified many uncommitted prospects who can thrive with the right fit at some collegiate level.

This week, In the Weeds, takes a look at some highly talented right-handed pitchers in the 2018 class. The players come from all over PBR’s coverage area including an introduction to a future collegiate starter from newly added Arizona. Each prospect brings with him the talent needed to make an impact at some level, and given the right situation could thrive, and blossom into even more in the future. States represented on the list of 13 are Arizona, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.

Troy Balko RHP / 1B / Sunrise Mountain , AZ / 2018

Balko has the prototypical tall, loose, athletic, pitcher’s build at 6-foot-3, 185-pounds, and he has the stuff, as well as a clean arm, to match it. Sporting proportional strength throughout his frame, Balko gets strong drive from his back side as he gets far down the mound with a longer drag line. His polish stands out as he efficiently repeats his high ¾ release point while working linear down the mound. What stands out, to me, about Balko is the quickness that his arm moves with while delivering a fastball at 85-88 that touches 89 mph, and also the hand speed that he utilizes to snap off his slider at 75-77. He shows feel for the slider in and out of the zone, and throws the pitch with confidence. Balko’s frame looks like it will continue to pack on strength, and it is easy to dream on him becoming a starter at the next level as he smoothly repeats his mechanics, and may end up having a swing and miss slider in the future.

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Matt Taylor RHP / Dobyns-Bennett, TN / 2018

The big, durable Taylor has the look of a bulldog as he pumps fastballs through the zone while on the mound. A physically intimidating 6-foot-6, 225-pounds, Taylor’s fastball sits 85-87 as he throws it with intent, and receives many swings and misses. He has a polished delivery as he strides slightly open, and his strong, quick arm delivers with effort out front. His changeup is thrown with fastball hand speed at 78-79, and has late, sinking action, thus receiving swings and misses as well as poor contact. To counter his fastball/changeup combination, Taylor also shows feel for a slider/slurve at 72-75 that features tight spin, and has a chance to be a swing and miss pitch in the future. Given his quick, strong arm, and durable frame, Taylor has a chance to progress at a more rapid pace. Plus, with his strong mechanics, he has the foundation to build himself into a contributor at the next level.

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Matthew Boase RHP / OF / Tomball Memorial, TX / 2018

Boase comes at hitters from an over the top slot where his head clears to allow the arm to pull down. He is lanky lanky and athletic with long legs on a 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame. His delivery is efficient and smooth with a high front shoulder as he gets down the mound, almost catapulting the ball to the plate. Boase pounds the zone with a fastball that sits 83-86. More intriguingly, Boase showed command of a firm, 12/6 curveball at 74-75 that exhibited tight spin, and played well off his fastball. Because Boase has a chance to get swings and misses with his curveball, and demonstrates control of his fastball, he should be looked at as a guy who can get outs on his own, and who, given the time to mature, may become a starter in the future.

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PLUS, 10 More Uncommitted Standouts:

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