Prep Baseball Report

Memorable in the Madness

Justin Goetz
PBR Georgia Assistant Scouting Director

Light breeze flowing, leaves starting to drop, with warm coffee and competition in the air. This competition not only came from the players & coaches, but from the college recruiters and pro scouts that were spread out at all fields in Emerson, GA. Oh what an event. The Future Games of the Fall as we like to call it, and it did not disappoint.

We had multiple scouting directors, teams of cross checkers, and dozens of area scouts flowing locked in at both ends of the LakePoint Complex. There were full college staff from power 5’s, mid majors, d2’s, and everything beyond. This is one of the most talent dense events in the country, and its quickly gained prestige. There was no shortage of top round talent, and sleepers were popping left and right! Here are 12 players I’d never seen before who wrote books of tools and intangibles in my baseball library.

Billy Carlson, SS, Corona (CA), BPA, 2025
Vandy Commit. 6 foot, 165 pounds. This do it all prospect with 5 tool potential just might be the best player in the entire country regardless of age. Not only is he loaded with every tool in the box, he’s got all the intangibles needed to be great. Confidence, focus, tools, and mechanics stood out to me most when locking in on Carlson for the first extended look. When this dude steps up to the plate, he expects to get a hit. With some of the most controlled, quiet actions I’ve ever seen in a 16 year old, he has elite quick twitch to go with it. The fluidity and timing in his swing are unreal, and the mechanics are MLB refined already. This means there’s no wasted movement, everything happens efficiently in perfect sequence & balance, and he can match plane and manipulate the barrel to any pitch in any zone. If there’s such a thing as perfect hip/shoulder separation and timing of said separation, Billy is top shelf. He’s able to create elite torque or “rubber band effect” without a big load or stride, creating explosiveness in one compact spot. He instead trusts his precise timing, linear connection, advanced lower half mechanics, and lightning quick hands/core with a knob led path. This allows him to hit elite velo and make adjustments on the fly. His pitch recognition & plate discipline are on another level, spitting on breaking balls and working himself into hitters counts. He has just as much pop oppo as he does pull side. As a defender Carlson has exceptional footwork, instincts, hands, exchange, and arm strength. His range will improve along with his speed as he continues to fill into his frame, but he can already make accurate throws in uncomfortable positions. The arm is already close to top of the scale, and is just electric on the mound. The FB sat 88-91 this week near 2500 rpm, with a mid 70’s CB at 2800! I feel it’s Billy Carlson at the top, with everyone else following in the 2025 draft.

Dillon Head, OF, Homewood Flossmoor (IL), Aggies, 2023
Clemson Commit. 5 foot 11, 180 pounds. The best way to explain this big time draft prospects game is controlled explosiveness. Head is able to produce incredible quick twitch actions in all facets of the game while maintaining balance and without wasting any movement. The efficiency he works with in his forward is so much different. The hip pace is very precise and he never strays far from his center of balance. This simplifies his ability to time up high quality arms and is a big part of why he’s proven himself against high level arms at every big event. The energy in his game makes it so tough to take your eyes off him, because if you blink you might miss him. I liken his game to a counter puncher in boxing. He baits pitchers into feeling comfortable with his patient approach, and as soon as they make a mistake he punishes them in a violent flash with lightning quick hands. He rarely chases pitches out of the zone - his swing path is built for high contact, with minimal barrel angle. His chest loads the hands for him, creating a balanced knob led path where the barrel stays in the zone for an extended amount of time. This flows perfectly with his left center to right center approach, and there are no holes in his swing to exploit by opposing arms. He has innate feel for making mid swing adjustments - he wasn’t over matched by any arm in the PBR Cup and his hands stay inside the ball so well, even when he doesn’t barrel something its more likely to fall. Dillon is an exceptional base runner with plus or better speed and instincts, and will surely make a huge impact there for the rest of his lengthy career. This also gives him plus or better range in the vast outfield grass, and he runs extremely impressive routes. He’s what's called a “glider” as he seems to float above the ground when he runs with serious initial burst and long speed.

Ty Head, OF, Windermere (FL), Power, 2024
NC State Commit. 6 foot 3, 185 pounds. Everything this slick fielding CF does is silky smooth on the diamond. He’s cool, calm, and collected at the plate does a great job of taking whatever comes to him. He didn’t stray from his approach all weekend regardless of the arm he was facing, just looking to hit the ball hard on a line where it was pitched. I really like how patient he is at the plate, just as happy to work a walk if he doesn’t like what he sees. Mechanically he shows good hip pace which allows him to time pitchers deliveries with ease and makes hitting velo easy. He’s very smooth in & out of launch position, with good balance in his hands throughout the swing. Ty showed an innate ability to manipulate the barrel on the inside pitch - with a perfect front arm shrink to turn the barrel in tight space. Notice how smoothly and closely he tucks the back elbow (in video below) against a FB on the hands, and his core connection & rotation helps the hands get there. It's a textbook example on how to barrel balls in that location. But what really made me put a star next to his name was what he did with the outside pitch - he keeps his chest over feet and direction to the pitcher, angling his hips & shoulders late in stride to left center and letting his long levers take over with an effortless inside out swing. Head’s patience and all fields approach certainly project highly on his hit tool, and you certainly see pull side power well before he’s filled into his frame. When he gets on base, he’s a threat to steal with A/AVG speed thats soon to be plus. The Florida native has long effortless strides and real burst early in his physical development. This gives him impressive range in the outfield, with a quick first step and natural feel for reading the baseball. He has plenty of carry on his throws already with an efficient arm action, the arm should end up A/AVG. This is a player with 5 tool potential who will hit for average and become an impact defender.

Tryston McCladdie, IF, Harlem (GA), ECB Astros, 2023
Clemson Commit. 6 foot, 185 pounds. I didn’t know much about this pure hitter before the PBR Cup, as I’ve only been with Prep Baseball Report since spring. But he was high on my list of targets, as I’ve heard glowing reviews about him from trusted baseball minds and he showed well at East Coast Pro. Needless to say I was very impressed, as my first look on him contained 3 barrels at 95 exit velo or better! This is a broad shouldered, middle of the order bat who is going to hit for average and some serious raw power. McCladdie has one of the most simplified swings in the class for GA, as he has very efficient movements and his head barely moves. His hips are the engine of his swing, with plus body control from start to finish. He’s able to adjust his leg kick mid air based on FB or offspeed. When he gets FB, it's smooth with consistent pace. The balance on the inside of his back foot as the hips start moving comes from a strong lower half and allows him to slow down or “hang” the leg kick when he sees spin. You guessed it, he sees spin very well. Tryston had just as many barrels on secondary pitches as he did FB’s, and showed he’s a pure hitter with lasers all over the field in different pitch locations. His hands work close to the hitting slot, and he gets extra torque in the wrists when working into launch position. This is a player with different strength in the wrists & forearms, and his hands deliver a thump on every ball his barrel touches. Even when he doesn’t square the ball up, it’s hit ridiculously hard. McCladdie had the strongest hands through contact I saw in the PBR Cup. He’s a backside dominant hitter with insane linear connection who creates violent bat speed with just a flick of the wrists. I see him at 2B/3B at the college & pro level where he will provide serviceable defense and a standout bat you can rely on.

Jevarra Martin, LHP, Georgia Premier (GA), GBSA, 2023
South Carolina Commit. 6 foot 6, 225 pounds. Very few high school, college, or pro baseball players look like this. There are also very few with his athleticism and arm speed. Although raw pitchability wise, Martin just has so many things you can’t teach. Unsurprisingly, he’s highly intimidating to hitters on the mound. The guy looks like an NFL defensive out there, but moves through his delivery like water flows down a river. He creates good rhythm on the mound with a gradual buildup of pace that promotes stored up violence after landing. Jevarra might be raw as a pitcher, but the delivery is very well sequenced. He repeats a clean medium circle arm action with deception and vicious arm speed. This is one of the most connected deliveries I’ve seen all year, as the arm works with the largest muscles on the backside (hammy, glutes, obliques, abdominals, lats) and fire together in perfect unison. The future Gamecock has impressive separation timing which is promoted by great rhythm of his hands and lift knee. He creates big torque with a smooth coil of his knee and obliques to the back hip in stride, creating stored power over the rubber as he strides. This also creates tons of deception as you see nothing but his jersey number for most of the delivery. He works downhill very well with a long stride, good extension, and violent lead leg block. His FB sat 90-91 with the best angle I saw in the PBR Cup. It’s such a difficult pitch to track - as it seems to come straight at RHH on a steep downward trajectory. To LHH, the pitch appears to start behind them and explodes violently out of hand across the plate. This makes him very tough to barrel, as you have to account for both horizontal angle as much as you do vertical plane. He has plenty of control with the pitch and consistently locates glove side His sweeping 80-83 SL has the same strengths the FB does, coming on a very similar angle+plane. He doesn’t have a consistent feel for it yet, but when he does it flashes A/AVG life. This is an elite athlete with an almost identical delivery and frame to Royals LHP Amir Garrett.

Connor Chicoli, RHP, Pro5 Academy (NC), Dirtbags, 2024
Uncommitted. 6 foot 3, 175 pounds. Named “Chico” by his teammates, his pitching style is just as electric as his nickname. He has a very funky, high tempo delivery that suffocates hitters with his constant pace. This is one of the most passionate, high energy arms I’ve seen this year. I loved watching him give an intense glove pat every time he dotted a hitter looking on the outside corner with his live 87-88 T90 FB. The pitch is very heavy at 1700 rpm with edge to edge run arm side, and come back life glove side. It showed A/AVG movement and will certainly end up plus in the life category. This coupled with his interesting slightly open stride direction, gets tons of freezes on the outer edge vs RHH. It also uniquely allows his hand to get inside the baseball, being a big part of him getting big time HZB. He has a very deceptive & well connected short circle arm action that hitters have a difficult time picking up before it comes out of the hand. Chicoli has exciting intent in his arm swing, as it comes out of the glove fast and increases to near warp speed by the time it comes out of hand. As he gets stronger, this will no doubt help him in his quest for the mid 90’s. His 75-78 CH is a very good bet for plus potential in the future, with an identical edge to edge fade as his FB. He can throw it for strikes to both sides hitters, and make it fall off the table for K’s. His 72-75 CB has consistent shape, nice two plane depth and he can throw it for strikes. Very interesting arm who undoubtedly has an increase in velo coming.

Corey Battey, LHP, TNXL Academy (FL), Aggies, 2023
Uncommitted. 5 foot 8, 140 pounds. Purely based off uniqueness and excitement, I had more fun watching Battey than anyone this entire tournament. It's very rare to see a player this size with the stuff he has. This was without a doubt the most electric arm in the PBR Cup pound for pound. As soon as I saw a pitch out of the corner of my eye, I nearly sprinted behind the plate to start videoing. What Corey lacks in height/weight he makes up for with ridiculous athleticism, arm speed, and stuff. It’s the most balanced delivery I saw in the entire tournament, as he’s able to move through it effortlessly with high tempo and very good direction. He has a perfect build up of momentum - slow to square up, medium thru up+down phases with the knee, and pure explosion from the stride thru post landing. I have not seen an arm all year move this quickly on the mound with body control. His loose, deep arm action is very well connected to his largest muscles and an absolute blur to the eye as it whips through its progression. Battey has impressive lower half mechanics, as he stays slightly bent on his knees from start to finish (60% weight back knee, 40% front). The knee to knee clearance is very explosive and timed up with his release. This dude is completely fearless and will attack any hitter regardless of their skillset. There’s good reason for him to trust his stuff, as he possesses one of the most live FB’s I saw from a movement standpoint. It's very heavy down in the zone with unbelievably late tail, causing 2 broken bats in his outing. The pitch will look like its going middle away and dart to the edge at the last second, even when hitters look for it barreling is difficult. Corey has lots of command for the pitch arm side and is developing it glove side. His 73-75 CB has tight rotation with consistent shape and plenty of sweep that he can locate arm side. I didn’t see any CH, but with his athleticism and feel to pitch I see him developing a solid offering there.

Evan Macintyre, OF/C, Charlotte Catholic (NC), SC Panthers, 2024

Uncommitted. 6 foot, 175 pounds. There are so many words I’d like to use when describing this versatile electric factory, but the best one is gamer. I haven’t seen a player play this hard inning by inning in all of 2022. He grinds out AB’s breaking down pitchers until they make mistakes, puts relentless pressure on opposing defenses with speed and aggression on the basepaths, and flies all over the field with diving catches. He also shows great effort on blocks, toughness behind the plate, and a ridiculously fast exchange with the strong accurate throws. But this isn’t just a grinder, it’s an elite athlete. Evan has some of the most advanced swing mechanics in the entire country, and he’s a plus runner who gets to top speed very quickly once he lights up your favorite pitcher. It’s an unbelievably dynamic swing that develops in perfect sequence. It’s not only the fluidity, but he has every high level move you see in a swing at the games highest level. 1. Sinks into lower half, keeping him down thru swing and creating leverage to match plane with. Also minimizes head movement, of which he has very little. 2. Hips are the engine of swing with good pace. 3. Chest loads hands for him, taking all pressure off hands and creating connection with the hands, arms, core, and lower half. It’s purely the most connected swing I saw at the PBR Cup, and a big reason why he went 8-12 in the event. 4. Elite stretch in hip/shoulder separation that he times perfectly, working into launch position just before landing so there’s no pause in the hands. 5. Creates explosive lower half momentum and gains just enough ground to clear his hips before landing. This momentum also creates much more ground force to clear the backside thru front knee, thus producing more power. 6. Due to his linear connection and timing, his core and lower half throw the hands for him working close to the body and inside the baseball. This makes him efficient and allows him to turn the barrel violently in tight space, and adjust to any pitch height or trajectory. It also balances his hands and keeps the top hand palm up thru contact, producing all fields backspin. He grunts when he swings and when he runs, showing aggressive intent in all phases. McIntyre can make an impact anywhere on the field defensively, including on the mound where he’s up to 88! He has a plus arm from CF as well as plus instincts & range.

Brooks House, RHP, Winder-Barrow (GA), Team Elite, 2023
UAB Commit. 6 foot 5, 190 pounds. Although I have seen this high ceiling strike thrower throw before, it was at our Underclass Games event and not in a live game. So I was anxious to see him throw against quality bats on a big stage, although he already passed one of the biggest tests of the summer at East Coast Pro. He didn’t disappoint, as he carved through a very good lineup and missed only one or two spots in 3 INN of work. Other than his athleticism & nasty stuff, what intrigues me most about House is the fluidity and balance in his delivery for his height. Its extremely rare to find a pitcher so lengthy and funky who can repeat his mechanics so well with consistent strikes. Brooks approach to pitching is confident & advanced - he pitches to contact early with his 87-89 T90 bowling ball of a sinker that comes from the mountaintops. I haven't seen a hitter match plane on him when he’s low in the zone due to the movement, trajectory and low spin of the pitch. He quickly gets ahead on you 0-2, and can wipe any hitter out with his nasty SL in the 78-80 range. It’s a future hammer of a pitch that's already MLB avg and flashes A/AVG or better. The pitch has some of the best downward tilt I’ve seen in the class, and it sweeps away from RHH. Although he didn't throw a CH the inning I got video, it’s his 2nd offspeed pitch with AVG or better MLB potential. It sits in the 75-77 range and mirrors his SL almost perfectly. We would love to see him start throwing it off the SL or vice versa as he advances. But for now, hitters can't sit on either offspeed pitch. With House, all that's left to complete his puzzle is a jump in velo. He’s an absolute steal for UAB and no doubt has a pro future whether in HS or college. To make things even better, he’s got a 1st rounder in his bloodline, Washington Nationals top prospect Brady House.

Alex Hernandez, RHP, Forsyth Central (GA), ECB Astros, 2024
Georgia Tech Commit. What's the most impressive thing about this prototype RHS? Well, he can really mash and has been recruited to the Wreck Havoc crew as a legit two way! Since I haven’t seen him hit in an extended look, we’ll stick with the pitching for now. This is one of the most low effort operators in the class, and he’s quickly rising in the eyes of our PBR evaluators. His delivery is extremely smooth and relaxed, creating big velocity for his age without much stress. He’s very young looking for his age and has a well built lower half, but much more strength to gain. When I scouted him the first thing that came to mind was,  man there’s a lot more in the tank here. Hernandez attacks hitters with his high spin (2400+) 87-89 T90 FB that jumps to the plate with carry up in the zone, and bore on RHH. It plays very well up in the zone and makes his hammer CB in the 76-78 range that much more devastating. The pitch is nearly a two plane hammer already, as he consistently showed it was an A/AVG pitch in the PBR Cup. It will undoubtedly be a plus pitch in the future. This thing looks like a strike until half way to the plate, absolutely falling off the planet for consistent K’s. It’s the unquestioned separator for Hernandez, and has the chance to become unrivaled in the southeast for his class with another velo jump. He also used an 83 mph CH pretty consistently in game that did its job with fade. He does drop his slot on the pitch but has figured out how to produce consistent action on the pitch. If he can get that to match slot with his other two pitches, it will vault him to another new height in his game. We look forward to monitoring his progress.

Ethan Lee, RHP, Don Bosco Prep (NJ), EC Ghost, 2026
Uncommitted. 6 foot, 150 pounds. The youngest player I saw in the entire event had shockingly some of the best pitchability in Emerson last weekend. Lee’s mannerisms on the mound were wildly impressive, as I thought he had to be a 2023 or 2024 with how well he did under pressure. He has a very impressive delivery for his age or any age, with the ability to repeat it athletically with little effort. It’s very smooth and well sequenced with exceptional balance, and Lee is always thinking one pitch ahead. Right after he finishes the pitch, he’s reading hitters' reactions and already has an idea for how to exploit them on the next one. He knows exactly how to use his heavy FB in the 87-88 range T89, getting grounder after grounder. When he misses with it, he misses low. He’s not letting anyone take him deep and the sinker keeps his pitch count down. It’s got a steep plane helped by his advanced lower half mechanics and ability to stay down thru his delivery. But in his second outing of the weekend, Ethan showed how advanced his CB is. He threw it 0-0, 3-2, 3-0 for strikes! This is the best feel for a breaking ball I’ve ever seen in a 15 year old. He can throw the two plane banger 3 times in a row, take a little off, add a little velo and shorten the break for K’s. I was absolutely shocked when I learned he was a 2026 because of this. Lee gets serious scap involvement in his long, loose H3/4 arm action that builds momentum gradually. The hip/shoulder separation is also very impressive, telling me there’s more velo coming as he gets stronger. Can’t wait to watch him pitch again.

Tom Ford, RHP, Lisle (IL), Artillery, 2024
Uncommitted. 6 foot 6, 185 pounds. This exciting thrower of baseballs looks like he’s on stilts, towering over hitters with long legs and arms. A Future Games performer for Team Illinois, it’s safe to say Ford’s velo took a bit of a jump in the PBR Cup. From 85-87 to 86-88 T91!! He’s likely come close to this velo before, but summers can be long and tiring on young arms. Especially arms that have such large frames to fill into. Ford came in throwing pure jet fuel, his high spin FB hovering in at 2400+ and dominating with it up in the zone. He moves extremely well throughout the delivery, with serious intent to throw gas. Ford gets a nice rhythm with a glove tap and rock & fire, his fluid arm action staying connected over the rubber with his largest muscles. He has extremely impressive front side mechanics, as he gets his elbow pointing north as he separates. This allows him to rotate his core and chest to the back hip in stride, creating serious torque. That front elbow also keeps him closed until the last second, using it as a heavy lever to reverse shoulder direction and throw fuming missiles to the plate as his backside, core, and arm fire thru. Tom has good lower half mechanics for his size - with a smooth move through up+down+out phases. He holds backside bend down the hill until landing, where he can explode through a strong on front side. Tom Ford is surely going to have a serious weapon on his hands in the FB, as the velo is going to the moon sooner rather than later. His sweeping CB at 72-75 showed sweep and some depth, and he located it well a few times to LHH and RHH. If he can continue to improve his intent on the pitch and throw it a bit harder, it can be a real deal weapon. The velo is already solid for his age as its not a “slow” pitch by any means. For it to be a banger though, he just needs to continue to work on trusting it like his FB. All the talent is there.

Bonus Player :

Owen Simmons RHP, Northwest Guilford (NC), 2023
Uncommitted. 6 foot 1, 150 pounds. The most fun I had all tournament was the last game when only four teams were left playing at the park. It was the “Pitching Scientist” that caught my eye, a young baller who can throw 3 pitches for strikes to both sides of the plate with no effort and great competitiveness. He has great tempo and controls the flow of the game, forcing hitters to bow down at his will by either confusion or frustration. He can truly throw any pitch in any count without hesitation. The FB in the 85-87 range has sudden late run, missing barrels last second on either edge and it plays just as well up in the zone. He works both secondary offerings with it in a variety of ways, dizzying hitters. The CH in the 78-81 range looks exactly like his FB, and falls off the table with late fade. This thing comes to a halt to a hitters eyes, and is very tough to notice any difference because of its high spin. Yes, a high spin changeup can actually make the pitch more indistinguishable from the FB. Especially when it dies just before the plate like Owen’s. He’s got an efficient and deceptive short circle arm action thats tough to pick up, and his breaker showed 12-6 action multiple times to RHH. It was more often and 11-5, but had sharpe break two plane break for strikes to both edges and both versions were very effective. He went 5 INN, 0 ER, 3 H, in 72 pitches to win Dirtbags National an 18U PBR Cup Championship! One of my favorite uncommitted arms.

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