Prep Baseball Report

Diamond Notes with Ian Smith

Ian Smith
Regional Advisor: Draft HQ


New home. Same grind.

This marks my first week down with PBR, and I cannot emphasize enough how fired up I am to be a part of this fantastic team we have here! 

With five games across Central Florida last week, I was able to hit the ground running and see quite a bit of talent across multiple draft classes with both uncommitted and D1 talent. Of course there is always going to be draft implications when talking about Florida high school talent, and this current crop of talent proves to be no different. Let’s dive into what stood out as the regular season starts to wind down. 


RHP Garrett Baumann, Hagerty HS, UCF commit
We start with one of the top pitchers in the state in the Hagerty ace. Baumann was impressive in his first start since an up-and-down outing at NHSI, touching 96 in the 1st while sitting 92-94 for a majority of the night, including running it back up to 93 in the 4th and 5th after having a near 45-minute wait going into the fourth inning. Very effective sink and run from a steep plane, especially in the lower half of the zone. Command of the fastball was sharp throughout the zone overall and showed the ability to pitch to soft contact. Slider showed promise throughout the evening in the low-80s with tighter horizontal break and command to land for strikes consistently. It may never be an above-average pitch, but can be a serviceable third pitch in the arsenal as it continues to develop. Changeup is a present above-average offering with real plus potential in his prime. 84-86 with parachute-like glove side tumble that tunnels extremely well off of the fastball. Will be a primary put-away pitch for Baumann throughout his career. Body control of the 6-foot-8, 225 pound frame continues to make strides and has leaned out since I last saw him this past fall. Lower-half will add muscle as he matures and the mid-90s velocity should hold deep into games. It’s been a strong spring so far for Baumann and has positioned him for strong consideration as a top 3 arm in the state.

C Alex Sosa, Viera HS, NC State commit
Sosa has done nothing but hit in the looks I’ve had this spring, and that didn’t change in this outing. Simple left-handed load that gets deep into his lower half and shows advanced ability to manipulate the barrel throughout the zone. Roped a couple of base hits to the opposite field and a pull-side liner that off the glove and past the second baseman to drive in a run. There’s some strength in the frame and ability to create loft that leads me to believe there’s 50 power in the profile, but the hit tool will be the strength for the NC State commit at the plate. Behind the dish, Sosa is an advanced blocker and has shown much-improved framing. Arm strength has some question marks but consistent accuracy and athleticism allow it to play up. Remains one of the premier catching prospects in Florida’s 2023 draft class, and continues to bring big-league scouts on a nightly basis.

OF Michael Petite, Melbourne HS, UAB commit
With the loudest performance I’ve seen this spring, Michael Petite went OFF on his Senior night last week. The UAB commit finished the night going 4-for-4 including three home runs and a whopping 10 RBI. Ended up with 6 XBH (4 HR) and 14 RBI on the week. The most impressive part of the night for me was two of the home runs came off of really good two-strike swings. Slightly more spread base, no leg kick while really using his lower half well and pairing with above-average bat speed created easy pull-side power. It’s a very tooled-up profile, and there’s even a real chance Petite could have two plus tools in the power and arm strength. A physical 6-foot, 190 pound frame who continues to check more and more boxes of a prototype corner outfielder at the next level.


RHP Camden Wicker, Viera HS, Wofford commit
A bit of a pop-up this spring in the central Florida area with a big velo boost this past fall. After touching 89 in October, Wicker was comfortable in the low-90s with much more in the tank in a pair of bullpen looks for me. Standing 6-foot-6, 205 pounds with a long and loose arm action out of a lower three-quarters slot with deception. Gets heavy sink and arm-side run on the fastball and can pepper the inner-half of the zone glove-side. The slider sits 76-80 and is a quickly improving pitch with ability to add and subtract sweep and swing-and-miss abilities. 81-83 mph changeup has flashed as a quality offering on more than one occasion with some devastating glove-side tumble. The upside that the pitch displays easily hints at a quality third offering which might ultimately allow Wicker to hold starter upside.The overall command can vary at times, but with a starter’s pitch mix that's ticking up and projectable 6-6 frame, it’s hard to not be intrigued by the Wofford commit. 



RHP Dylan Jordan, Viera HS, Florida State commit
Jordan’s stellar spring continued in this look. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound right-hander has enjoyed a breakout season that has positioned him for consideration as one of the top arms in Florida as well as in the country.. His stuff is heavy at 91-94 with handle-breaking sink and run that comes from an extremely deceptive low three-quarters slot. He Pairs that with an above-average sweeper that gets vicious, consistent horizontal break with plus spin in the low-to-mid 80s. Will miss bats frequently with both pitches, with each holding the potential for making a jump in coming years. The mid-80s changeup that he has flashed on occasion might have a chance to turn into a solid third offering, but with minimal need for it this spring, a closer look is warranted.. Beyond uber-appealing arsenal and arm talent, the Command and confidence is what really stood out when watching Jordan, who holds some similar attributes to 2021 first round draft pick, and current Reds prospect, RHP Chase Petty.


SS Austin Jacobs, Hagerty HS, Florida State commit 
While Jacobs didn’t do much with the bat in this look, aside from a consistent advanced approach, I walked away beyond impressive with the glove at short. Effortless actions and confident footwork with a strong ability to bend at waist on the move. Gobbled up groundball after groundball with ease. We have seen Jacobs hit plenty in previous looks, and above-average to plus potential with the glove at shortstop will only help the Florida State commit’s stock heading into the summer. 


SS Bryson Ayala, Melbourne HS, Uncommitted
It’s all about projection when talking about Ayala, but that projection is substantial. Standing 6-foot-4,180 pounds with long levers and a high-waist, the uncommitted sophomore is a true shortstop with above-average range and athleticism. Arm can play from multiple angles with above-average to plus arm strength potential. Well-connected right handed swing with quick toe tap and ability to create loft with ease, Ayala shows ability to use the whole field and enough present juice to drive the ball into the gaps. A pair of loud extra-base hits this past week, one to opposite field for a bases-clearing triple over the RF head and an RBI double over the CF head (shown below) that might be more impressive, cause it was into 20+ mph winds. Profile reminds me of a young Peyton Graham, who was a star at Oklahoma before being a 2nd round pick in 2022. 


OF Brady Harris, Trinity Christian Academy (Jacksonville), Florida commit
It’s somewhat rare to see many “what they look like” dudes in freshman classes, but Brady Harris is just that. The 2026 Florida commit has the potential to be a five-tool player, and is already flashing loud tools at 15 years old. Lean, yet strong 6-1 frame that oozes projection with advanced hands and lightning quick bat speed for the class. Attacks balls out front and will use an advanced, all-fields approach that allows him to do damage throughout the zone. shows ability to create big separation while using his lower-half extremely well, and could grow into real power potential as he matures. Already a sub-7.0 runner, but present foot speed and athleticism shows that speed will play a factor in his game going forward. This was no question the best player I saw in my first week as a PBR employee, and Harris has set the bar for all future evaluations of 2026 players. 

RHP Brayden Harris, Trinity Christian Academy (Jacksonville), Florida State commit 
Not to be confused with fellow freshman phenom and teammate, Brady Harris, the talented right-hander got the start for Trinity Christian on the mound and was nearly equally as impressive.. Armed with a physical 6-0 frame, Brayden Harris sat in the mid-to-high 80s T87 from a near over-the-top slot that was difficult to pick up when in the zone. The real prize was a high-70s breaking ball that created ugly swings from both righ and left-handed hitterst. Showed ability to manipulate shape on command and was throwing it as a put-away pitch at will. Showed massive composure at times, pitching out of some tight jams with some 60 grade heckling coming from the stands. Having gotten a late start to the year, Harris’ stuff is likely to tick up quickly late in the spring, and a monster summer might ultimately be in store.