Prep Baseball Report

Labor Day Challenge - Top Performers

Justin Goetz
PBR Georgia Assistant Scouting Director

The quality of talent at the Labor Day Challenge was absolutely shocking for a 30 team tourney. With it being a smaller tournament than our usual, it was good to get to bear down on specific organizations for a multiple game stretch. This group of Top Performers contains a power 5 prodigy and 6 uncommitted players with standout tools who will undoubtedly have a home soon.

Montrell Christian, OF/RHP, Forest Park, ATL Padres Scout, 2024
Uncommitted. 6 foot 4, 220 pounds. This two way, dual sport beast was without a doubt the offensive MVP of the tourney. This was only the 2nd tournament this year I’ve been able to evaluate him as a bat, and he left a lasting impression. With a limited look this spring (1 game) at the PBR MBP Tourney, he hit a HR. It was more of the same at the Labor Day Open, but this time with a wood bat. Montrell hit a one hop shot to CF AB1, and a 98 EV HR on AB1 the next day! His quiet rhythm & simplified move into launch position really impressed me. Even more noticeable was his efficient hand path that allows the knob to lead and get to the ball quickly, keeping both hands balanced thru zone. He’s a pro at getting to the low ball, as he gets barrel angle late in the swing with the top hand, keeping the barrel in the zone forever. His hips control the swing with good pace and he does a great job of timing that pace with the pitcher's delivery, two of the biggest keys to hitting. You just can't teach his swing mechanics, bat speed, and strength. Trell also showed a rejuvenated arm with some rest after a long summer, sitting 87-89 T90 and flashed a serious SL that has plenty of potential.

Quaterrion Walton, SS, Langston Hughes, ATL Padres Scout, 2023
Uncommitted. 5 foot 10, 150 pounds. This high twitch athlete brings serious energy to the field and is one of the more underrated players in the state. He brings an impact to the game in a variety of ways, and here’s what stood out to me in order : 1. Speed - Multiple home to 1st times in the 4.1’s, and showed off above average range at both SS & 2B. 2. Instincts - Very good reaction time off the bat and on the basepaths, explodes to his spot defensively with consistent reads. 3. Bat Speed - Although there is some length to the swing, you can hear his bat whip thru the zone and he looks to do damage. I have zero concerns about him as a competitor and he gives consistent effort. His game can take another big step with tightening up his offensive approach and learning to take what the pitcher gives him. Walton just needs to continue to develop an inside out swing, and learn to love hitting oppo singles. Quaterrion has 5 tool potential that can take off with more physical strength.

Ajay “Turbo” Jones, CF, North Hall, US Elite, 2024
Uncommitted. 5 foot 9, 150 pounds. Quite simply, Turbo did what Turbo does. The absolute blur from Hall County swiped 6 bags in his first 3 games, and also scored on a passed ball from 2nd base! He’s continuing to refine his hitting approach, showing more restraint on pitches outside the zone. The fact that Jones was out here ballin 'while playing football Mon-Fri every week was no surprise to us. The super charged CF continues to build his legend from his incredible HS season, unreal Future Games performances, and already made tons of noise in the 1st tourney of the PBR fall. Jonesy started off game 1 with a missile double over the 3B head, showing the strength in his hands thru contact. This is a hitter who’s one adjustment away from hitting for power production. When he can learn to separate/clear his front hip in stride there will be much more power in every swing. Don’t mistake his speed and small ball game for weakness, because he’s one of the strongest players in the class pound for pound & has tons of natural bat speed.

Ian White, RHP, Haverford School (PA), US Elite, 2024
Uncommitted. 6 foot 2, 190 pounds. This Pennsylvania native has some of the better competitiveness I’ve seen this year on the bump. He’s got a strong frame that fits his compact delivery loaded with intent. White has good lower half mechanics that allow him to work downhill and take pressure off his arm, creating power from ground up. With the serious hip/shoulder separation he creates, it's no surprise he’s already touching 90. His FB at 86-88 T90 has tons of potential. It showed consistent high spin in the 2300-2400 range and almost reached 2500. This is the biggest reason for his exceptional carry on the pitch up in the zone. Even better, the pitch is multi faceted, with power sink down in the zone. This is quite unique for a high spin FB and only separates him more from the pack. Ian has some of the best feel in the class for his sweeping SL. The 2800 rpm pitch sits in the 75-77 range T78 with tight rotation and vicious downward tilt. He can repeatedly pepper both edges consistently against both LHH & RHH with consistent life, getting tons of swing & miss. Certainly a priority uncommitted arm.

Dominic Stephenson, C, Harrison, Yankees Baseball Club, 2025
Georgia Tech Commit. 6 foot 1, 175 pounds. It’s hard to believe a player who just turned 15 years old has swing mechanics better than many in pro ball, but it's true. Elite athleticism can do things like that, but it didn’t come without hard work. What are the keys that make Dom’s swing so advanced? First off is the simplicity in the swing. This is one of the biggest differences in an amateur swing to a pro swing. Most amateur swings have one or multiple wasted movements - hips load back too far, hands stray too far from hitting slot, head moves too much, swing is too rotational, separation is too big. Stephenson has zero wasted movement in the swing already, so the ceiling he can reach in his swing is elite. As he gets stronger (he’s going to be extremely strong) his quiet head will become completely motionless, bat speed more controlled & violent, forward move and bat path more efficient. His separation timing is already elite, and he’s able to create great rubberband effect without a lengthy load of the hands. This is one of the biggest reasons he hits velo so well at such a young age. He gunned down multiple runners at 2B in the Labor Day Open, registering 1.96 and 1.98 pop times. The potential to be an elite catch and throw guy is there, and everything about his mature demeanor and quiet confidence screams future star.

Jared Webb, LHP, Lassiter, Yankees Baseball Club, 2024
Uncommitted. 5 foot 11, 165 pounds. This finesse arm with advanced pitchability for his age also contains some surprising explosiveness. He moves very well through his all stretch delivery and is quickly becoming one of my personal favorites to watch. His quick, deceptive short circle arm action (OH) is very efficient and he shows more arm speed than you currently see out of his mid 80’s FB (83-84 T86). The pitch is spin efficient with gradual tail and plays in the top of the zone where he repeatedly uses his near 12-6 CB (69-70) off of it. He has the ability to throw the breaking ball with a bigger true CB shape for strikes to both sides of the plate, and is able to tighten the pitch for strikeouts and maintain it’s vertical break. It also plays down in the zone off his nasty 72-74 CH with consistent fade and depth, giving it true bugs bunny action. It’s a swing & miss pitch with no tells in the delivery and keeps hitters consistently off balance. With his solid lower half mechanics, efficient arm action, and arm speed, I see him being an upper 80’s D1 arm by the end of HS. He’s going to be a huge key for another two Lassiter playoff runs and his 3 pitch mix will have tons of success at the next level.

Jayce Jones, IF, Cherokee, Yankees Baseball Club, 2025
Uncommitted. 5 foot 8, 155 pounds. One of the more energetic and fun to watch table setters in the 2025 class. He’s got a short, direct swing path and standout bat to ball skills. I didn’t see him strike out the entire tournament and he works counts very well. There’s a lot of fight to him, as he competes pitch after pitch and refuses to be beaten. He’s extremely fun to watch as his run tool stands out in all facets. Once he’s on base it’s an auto steal. Instincts and efficient 1st step - initial burst gets him to top speed quickly. He consistently gets very good jumps, showing off his reaction time and playing his speed up a grade. Jones can make difficult plays in the middle infield, and has plenty of feel in the infield. With his quick first step and acceleration, its hard not to see him roaming CF at some point. I believe he could be a special defender there and use more of his speed. He’s going to continue to get stronger and faster, with plenty of ceiling to his game.

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