Prep Baseball Report

Alabama Infielders Scout Blog: Deep South Invite

PBR Alabama Staff

Alabama Position by Position Analysis at the Deep South Invite: Infielders

The Deep South Invite at Auburn University, held on October 14, was attended by many athletic infielders. A lot of these players really stood out with the glove, while several others showed the ability to be offensive as well. Below are capsules for each Alabama infielder at the event:

Hunter Donaldson (2020, SS/2B, Smiths Station) A very athletic defender in the dirt with solid glove actions and nice hands. Has plenty of arm strength to play SS (85 mph IF velo) and shows plenty of range for the position. Has a very solid LH hitter approach with a small leg kick and nice load of the hands created some pull side pop. Really showed the ability to hit the ball in both gaps and showed a patient, disciplined approach during his at bats during the game. One of the top infielders in the 2020 class.

Jay Thomason (2020, 3B/1B, Auburn) Impressed all day at the event at the plate and in the field. Worked at 3B but can easily play both corner positions with the glove. The arm strength is there (83 mph across the diamond) as are the fielding actions showcasing solid footwork. Offensively, he creates violence in the swing with a high leg kick approach and a slightly tilted swing path but his hands and barrel stay inside the ball Had two missiles in the game, one being a 3B down the RF line registering 100 mph off of the bat. An Air Force commit.

Jackson Huguley (2020, 1B/3B, Russell County) Impressive performance for the big 1B/3B. A big, strong player (6’3 225 lbs.) that can HIT! His BP round was impressive as he continually showed backspin with a level plane swing and juice to all fields. Does not get cheated. In game play he was 2-2 with a 1B to LF that was 95 mph off of the bat and a 2B to RCF that was 93 off of the bat. Athletic as well and runs better than some may think (had an easy SB in the game and was 4.47 H-1B). Plenty of arm strength to play 3B and the glove is solid. Someone will get a big time hitter with this guy.

Andrew Dutton (2020, 2B/SS, Westbrook Christian) A hard nosed, throwback type player with an advanced skill set in all areas of the game. Plays the game in a confident manner, a good runner with an advanced baseball IQ. Very solid with the glove and advanced footwork to go along with plenty of arm strength to play either 2B or SS. Really plays low to the ground and stays through the ball. From the left side at the plate, he has an even stance with a nice load of the hands and is really connected with his swing. Showed a solid middle of the field approach with juice to both gaps as well. Lous barrel in game play. A game to keep an eye on, can really help a team win games.

Cole Strachan (2020, 1B/3B, Sparkman) A physical kid that showed off a big time bat. Defensively, he can play both corners but played 1B during the morning workout and showed feel around the bag with his feet and was able to pick balls in the dirt at the bag. Offensively is where he made a name for himself as he showed serious pop all day. His BP round was constant missiles to RC showing a slightly open stance and a rhythmic load and really keeping the hands and barrel inside the ball. Has a slight tilt in his swing and had 2 loud barrel AB’s in the game. He can hit.

Mikel Pryor (2021, 1B/3B, Sparkman) Another impressive corner IF at the event that can really swing it. A big, physical 2021 (6’2 210 lbs.) that showed some nice athleticism at 1B during the morning workout. Nice feet and glovework around the bag. Hits from an even stance and does a very good job of using his lower half and hands to generate juice off of the barrel. Showed the ability to use the entire field. Showed a patient approach in the game and had a loud 2B to LF. An intriguing 2021 grad.

Caleb McGinnis (2020, 3B/RHP, Hokes Bluff) Has been a very solid player at all 3 events we have seen him at and has shown definite improvement over those 3 events. Solid defensive actions at 3B and played low to the ground with good hip flexion. Plenty of arm strength across the diamond (81 mph IF velo). Could very easily make the move to 1B in the future as well. A strong kid, he creates some juice from his slightly open stance and does a good job of getting started on time. A little tilt in his swing creates some carry off of the bat, especially to the pull side. Showed patience in the game and didn’t chase balls out of the zone.

Cole Kehoe (2021, SS/3B, Central Phenix City) an athletic young MIF that showed feel in the dirt. Good glove presentation and solid footwork before and after the ball is in the glove with plenty of arm strength. From the left side he showed a leg kick approach with a short, compact swing leading to a middle of the field approach. Did a good job of staying through contact with his level swing path. This 2021 will continue to develop his solid actions over the next few years.

Jackson McKenzie (2023, 1B/LHP, Fairhope) The youngest player at the event but held his own against the older guys. Physical player (6’1 190 lbs) already that has solid actions at 1B and showed a solid offensive approach. At the bag, his glovework and ability to pick balls in the dirt is already there to go with nimble feet around the bag. His BP round showed his middle of the field to pull side juice. He really does a good job of staying through the zone with his top hand. Had a 2B to LF (90 mph off of the bat) during the game.

Bo Coleman (2020, 1B/OF, Vestavia Hills) Second time we have seen him and he continues to impress. Another LH 1B that showed true ability around the bag and a feel for the game (can also play OF). Offensively, he has a high leg kick approach with an open stance and really “whips” the barrel through the zone. Showed some pull side juice in BP and had a 1B to LF in the game. Very instinctive and aggressive on the bases.

Chase Eddings (2021, 3B/1B, Stanhope Elmore) Was solid during defensive drills with some glove feel and a strong, accurate arm across the dirt. Got himself in position to field everything. At the plate, he started with an even stance and a rhythmic load to get his hands back and started on time. Showed a level bat path and worked primarily middle to oppo. Had a 1B in his first AB during the game. A 2021 to follow the next few years.

Michael Hopkinson (2021, SS/3B, Faith Academy) A very athletic presence in the dirt with smooth glovework and the ability to get his feet set to make the throw. Really impressive on ground balls. At the plate, he had a very simple, compact approach that continually resulted in some tilt to his line drives. The ball seemed to really bounce off of his barrel, mainly staying in the middle of the field. Really worked the count in his AB’s, one resulting in a barreled ball to RF. A high level 2021.

Connor Gulledge (2021, 2B/OF, Baker) A young player (2021) with solid skills and a feel for the game. Is very athletic and can really run (4.44 H-1B) which translates well for him in the years to come. Solid infield actions during the workout portion but is athletic enough to play the OF as well. Glove presentation is solid and the arm will continue to get stronger. Had a solid approach at the plate froman even stance and showed the ability to get his bottom half involved. Had a loud ground ball out in one of his AB’s during the game.

Davis Gillespie (2022, SS/2B, Oak Mountain) Another young player (2022) at the event that showed some solid skills. He was fundamentally solid in all aspects during drills at SS. The arm slot is solid and the strength will be there down the road. Did a nice job created momentum to 1B with his feet. Offensively, he had a short, compact approach with the barrel and keep the bat through the zone. His set up was nice with an even stance and his hands get back to the launch position. 2B to the LF fence in the game.

Taylor Patterson (2022, SS/2B, Homewood)  A young but athletic middle infielder. The feet and the arm slot works as his arm strength will continue to evolve as he matures. Solid approach to the game with well taught fundamentals. Really did a good job of presenting the glove early and out front. At the plate he has an athletic set up and loose hands which create “whip” through the zone. Does a good job getting through the ball as well. Also a good runner.

Andrew Hunt (2022, 3B/RHP, Oak Mountain) Solid skill set with some arm strength, even as a young 2022 (78 mph across the dirt). Showed some lateral quickness as well at the hot corner and was able to get his feet in good fielding position before the glove worked. Offensively, he will continue to get stronger but the fundamentals are there. Showed an even stance with a bit of a toe tap load. Level swing plane and a middle of the field approach.

Landon Jernigan (2021, 2B/3B, Wilcox Academy) In line with many of the other 2021 infielders that were at the event presenting solid fundamentals with the ability to progress and mature in the next few years. Can play a number of IF positions as he showed some decent range laterally. Was able to really work through ground balls and enough arm strength to play 3B. At the plate, he will continue to add strength but his hands and barrel worked inside the ball and he did a good job of staying on the ball through the zone.

Ben Easterling (2022, 3B/RHP, Trinity Presbyterian) A physical looking (6’2 190 lbs) kid that showed some strength at the event. The glove plays at 3B but he could very easily move across to 1B as well. Did a good job of resetting his feet after fielding ground balls and gaining ground toward 1B. Showed some pop at the plate with a bit of tilt in his swing but was able to show that pop to all fields.Slightly open set up. Showed a patient approach at the plate during the game and was able to barrel a ball up the middle in an AB.

Dennis Porterfield (2020, 3B/RHP, Beauregard) Brings some athleticism to the table and a long wiry frame, showing plenty of room for strength. Showcased his speed at 4.43 H-1B after a solid round of BP in which he presented a level swing path which resulted in hard ground balls off of the bat. Appeared to be top hand strong through the zone.He did get a little long with his swing at times. Defensively, he showed well at 3B as he was able to get his feet in position for the big hop and showed the ability to throw from different arm slots on the IF.

Cole Downey (2021, SS/2B, Elmore County) A switch hitting middle infielder that seemed to be more natural from the right side. From both sides he had a small leg kick approach while trying to stay in the middle of the field. From the left side, his swing got a little long at times. Stayed on plane through the zone. Defensively, his glove presentation was solid and his arm works which will allow him to play either MIF position. An athletic build.

Blake Helton (2021, 2B/3B, Madison Academy) In the dirt, his actions were solid with the glove and played low to the ground. Impressive prep step before fielding which allowed him to field and transfer fairly quickly. Nice feet on the backhand ball and the arm strength should continue to progress. Offensively, had a slight leg kick approach and really gathered his weight over his back side. Really did a nice job of staying inside the ball and was middle/oppo heavy.  

Jackson Bassett (2021, SS/RHP, UMS-Wright)  Slightly open stance with a small leg kick load and some tilt in the swing path finishing high. His entire BP round stayed in the middle of the field and showed some decent juice. At SS, he showed good actions and short, choppy footwork while getting to ground balls. Showed some athleticism and lateral movement, and the glove works.

We will wrap up our Alabama scout blogs from the Deep South Invite in the next few days by taking a look at the pitchers that threw during the event.Check out our website at or follow us on Twitter at @PBR_Alabama .