Prep Baseball Report

Fall Upperclass Games: Quick Hits

Phil Kerber
PBR Georgia

On Nov. 10, the PBR Georgia staff hosted its final upperclass showcase of 2019, the Upperclass Games, at Piedmont College in Demorest, GA, that featured nearly 80 prospects primarily representing the 2020 and 2021 classes. Today, we will be spending time highlighting some of the best things we saw from Sunday in the form of our Quick Hits post.

Keep an eye out tomorrow for a Statistical Analysis, detailing the day’s top performers in each of the measured categories. Within the next few weeks, videos from this event will be posted into profiles and we will have scouting reports on each of the prospects in attendance. For now, here are the highlights from Sunday.

Quick Hits
Left-Handed Arms

+ The top uncommitted 2020 arm in the state, LHP Brendan Parks (North Atlanta, 2020) has been picking up steam all fall as he continues to show consistent gains in velocity, touching 89 earlier last month, and in his overall command. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound southpaw was on his game was once more Sunday, working 85-88 mph with his fastball while mixing in a devastating breaking ball that showed sharp two plane break to it. The very first batter of the game he was able to get looking on a perfectly placed curveball in on the hands, leading to the first of three strikeouts he recorded over a five batter appearance.

+ A recent transplant from New York, LHP/OF Justin Larrea (Rabun Gap Nacoochee, 2021) impressed defensively with his arm strength and defensive ability in the outfield, playing through the ball with athletic feet. Where he really stood out, though, was on the mound. At 5-foot-11, 165-pounds, the left-handed pitcher ran his fastball up to 84 before dropping in, arguably the best breaking ball of the event, a definitive swing and miss 12/6 hammer at 69-70.

Right-Handed Arms

+ One of the more projectable frames in attendance, 6-foot-3, 195-pound RHP Nathan Williams (North Cobb, 2020) put together a clean inning of work. Working with a short, quick arm action out a high ¾ slot, he consistently repeated his delivery. Williams’ fastball came in at 82-84, touching 85, with more in the tank, at-times the pitched flash cut action, creating a difficult challenge for hitters. He also mixed in a curveball and a straight changeup. 

+ RHP Ethan Fry (North Cobb, 2020) showcased one of the strongest arms off the mound, topping out at 86 mph. Built with a long, lean frame at 5-foot-11, 160-pounds, Fry’s arm operates loosely from a low ¾ slot, creating all kinds of movement in his four-pitch arsenal. Both his fastball and changeup features hard armside run and he mixed in a curveball and slider with similar shapes, but enough of a velocity difference to be effective. Fry collected two strikeouts over his five batter appearance.

+ The cleanest, and one of the most impressive innings of work belonged to RHP Hunter Parks (Apalachee, 2020). Parks faced four batters in his inning, not allowing a runner to reach base, striking out three of the four. He was able to get swings and misses on his running fastball that sat 80-83 while creating deception in his delivery by changing timing and looks. On top of that he showed a legitimate feel for three pitches, throwing a sharp 11/5 curveball and sinking changeup for strikes consistently.

Two-Way Talents

+ 3B/RHP Glenn Green (Sandy Springs, 2021) entered the event as the highest ranked prospect in attendance, coming in at No. 26 in the 2021 class. His showing solidified himself as one of the top two-way prospects in the state. On the mound he offered up the top fastball, reaching 91 mph with run and mixed in a tight slider at 79 that gives him a potent 1-2 punch. While his pitching prowess was impressive, it was his ability to swing the bat that was really an eye opener. The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder has a swagger about him in the box. Green gains extension through the zone on an uphill plane with his swing, tapping into the length and strength of his frame, and attacks the ball with controlled aggression, driving it with force. In game he recorded a multi-hit day, including a laser over the center fielder head for a standup double.

+ 5-foot-11, 168-pound, SS/RHP Christian Harmon (Norcross, 2021) was one of the slickest infielders at the event, showcasing a soft glove, athletic footwork and a capable arm from the left-side of the infield. On the mound, he sat 84-85, touching 86, mixing in a tight 11/5 breaking ball at 77-80.

+ 3B/RHP Logan Hare (Habersham Central, 2021) displayed one of the top power swings at the event during batting practice and carried it over into gameplay where he blasted a pull-side solo home run his very first at-bat. Hare went on to pitch a clean inning on the mound, walking one and striking out two as he touched 83 mph.

Switch-Hitters to Follow

+ OF/INF Eli Ledford (Buford, 2020) had one of the most electric arms on display, posting an event best 92 mph from the outfield and a runner-up with his 87 mph throw across the infield. In the outfield, he showed feel for the position, attacking the ball with fluid movements and keep his throws low and on a line. At the plate, he took line drive approach, roping the ball to the pull-side consistently. Athletically built at 5-foot-11, 175-pounds, ran a 7.25 60 yard dash.

+ The long, lanky 6-foot-2, 175-pound 1B/OF Cam Suto (Union Grove, 2021) showed off an overall athletic game. Started his day by running a 7.07 60 and then proved he is more than capable of manning the outfield or first base, covering ground with his long strides and playing through the ball with a quick release. Offensively, a natural lefty, he is able to get more power out of his swing, feasting on pitches low and in. From the right-side, he keeps it simple with a line drive pull approach. IN gameplay he was one of the few prospects with a multi-hit day, collecting two singles.

+ SS/3B Michael Zarrillo (Holy Innocents Episcopal, 2021) quickly emerged as one of the top infield prospects at the event. The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder displayed all the actions one is looking for defensively. He attacked ground balls with confidence and fluidity, showed off a quick, loose arm from multiple slots and was accurate from them all. At the plate, his swing operated in a similar fashion from both sides as he took a line drive gap-to-gap approach.

Position Player Round-Up

+ OF Caleb Spikes (Mill Creek, 2021) had some of the more memorable swings of the event, both during batting practice and in gameplay. At 5-foot-10, 175-pounds, the right-handed hitter is equipped with a strong lower half that he does a good job of utilizing in his swing. He routinely gained extension through the zone and barreled balls up gap-to-gap. During the gameplay portion he went 1-for-1 with a double, three RBI and two stolen bases.

+ C Hunner Lawrence (Strong Rock Christian, 2021) stands a powerful 6-foot, 190-pounds with strength and athleticism throughout his frame. A 2019 Future Games participant with Team Georgia, Lawrence’s bat is what will carry him to the next level and he proved once again why Sunday, blasting balls gap-to-gap with an aggressive swing.

+ Putting together one of the best days at the plate was C Jaylen Dickey (McEachern, 2020). Dickey went a perfect 2-for-2 with a double into the gap, scoring a run for Red Team in Game 1. A strong 5-foot-11, 185-pounds, he takes a line drive approach with a level barrel path.

+ SS/3B Jarrett Burney (North Gwinnett, 2020) continues to impress as a high-level defender on the left-side of the infield. He shows good range, a soft glove hand and the ability to make plays while on the run. Offensively, he keeps things simple with a line drive approach, gaining good extension through the zone.

+ One of the strongest prospects in attendance at 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, 1B Dillon Dankowski (Denmark, 2021) uses his physicality to his advantage offensively. With an uphill barrel path, he looks to elevate the ball with force and drive it a long way, recorded an 87 mph exit velocity.