Prep Baseball Report

PBR 16u National Championship Days 1 & 2 - Pitchers

Phil Kerber, Justin Goetz, Sean Smith, Paul Gies
PBR Georgia Staff

The first few days of PBR's 16u National Championship have shown off some exciting arms from throughout the country! Take a look at these pitchers that caught our staff's eye over Days 1 and 2 of the event. 

Brayden Gregg, LHP, Avon Grove (PA), 2024, 5 Star Mid-Atlantic

West Virginia commit. 5-foot-10, 150-pound left-handed pitcher, lean, athletic build. Short arm action to a nearly sidearm slot. Effectively wild as he tossed 4.1 shutout innings only allowing two hits and striking out four, walking five. When in the zone, stuff is swing and miss. Fastball, 83-86, touched 87, heavy sink and run. Slider, 70-73, downer. Two pitches play off each other well.

Knox Sheppard, RHP, Evans (GA), 2024, Complete Game 16u
6-foot-2, 165-pound right-handed pitcher, lean, wiry frame, athletic. Short, lightning quick arm action, soft stab on the back-side but arm motion remains continuous to a high ¾ slot. Athletic, fast paced delivery. Has put together some dominant performances at LakePoint this summer already. Creates weak contact with fastball, 86-89, touched 90 with around a 2400 rpm, good tilt on the pitch when working down. Slider, swing and miss pitch, 72-76, manipulates, around 2600 rpm.

Wesley Silas, RHP, GSIC (GA), 2025, Complete Game 16u
6-foot-1, 174-pound right-handed pitcher, proportional build, broad shoulders, athletic with room for more strength. Advanced arm strength for age. Works from a ¾ slot with a high front side, quick arm speed. Fastball sat 85-87, has been up to 90 in the past, sinking action. Curveball, 72-74, up to 2400 rpm, manipulates shape between 11/5 and sweeping.

Nate Langbehn, RHP, DC Everest (WI), 2024, GRB Rays
6-foot-3, 195-pound right-handed pitcher, long, lean frame, plenty of room to fill out, projectable. Short, compact arm action, over-the-top slot, gets out front consistently, repeatable. Feel for three pitches. Fastball sat 83-85, armside run, more in the tank. Curveball, 12/6 shpe, throws two versions, one for strikes and another he buries with more bite for swing and misses. Changeup, 76-78. Controls the zone.

Ethan Judice, RHP, Hanson Memorial (LA), 2024, United
6-foot, 170-pound right-handed pitcher, athletic build with lean strength throughout. High powered arm with a real aptitude to spin the ball. Short, clean arm action, lightning quick arm speed, gets our front in a flash with whip-like action, high ¾ slot. Fastball sat 87-90, touched 92 (approximately 2500 rpm), jumps out of hands, throws to both sides of the plate, hard armside run at-times. Slider, 77-83 (approx. 2700 rpm), manipulates, comfortable throwing in any count, swing and miss pitch with sharp actions. One of the better FB/SL combos to come through LakePoint this summer.

Saxon Roberts, RHP, Independence (TN), 2024, Knights Platinum
6-foot-3, 188-pound right-handed pitcher, strong, sturdy build, projectable, plenty of room to fill out. Power arm. Short, compact arm action, comes out of an over-the-top slot, some effort. Inconsistent command, but when in the zone, both fastball and slider are swing and miss. Will get batters to chase at this level with many not able to catch up to his stuff. Fastball sat 88-91, touched 93 in the early innings, heavy, and ate run action, swing and miss. Slider, 81-85, sharp downer action, throw with intent, swing and miss pitch.

Naulivou Lauaki, 3B/RHP, Springville (UT), 2024, Sicarios
6-foot-3, 230-pound third baseman and right-handed pitcher, strong, sturdy build, board frame with strength throughout, powerful to say the least. On the mound, short arm action with a soft stab on the back-side, arm motion remains continuous, quick arm speed, slot varies between over-the-top and low ¾. Throws his fastball from over-the-top, 88-91, touched 92, swing and misses up in the zone. Throws slider from a low ¾ slot, 78-81, sharp sweeping action, swing and miss, catches batters off guard.

Ethan Rucker, RHP, Pace Academy (GA), 2024, East Cobb Astros Navy/Frye
6-foot-2, 165-pound right-handed pitcher, lean, athletic build. Short, compact arm action to a straight over-the-top slot. Leads with a high front side. Easy effort. Fastball sat 84-87, touched 88, running action, good tilt, creates a difficult angle. Slider, 69-72, short, lateral movement.

Gaven Smith, LHP, Lee County (GA), 2024, GameOn Stealth
6-foot-4, 160-pound left-handed pitcher, long, lean frame, lots of room to add. Has seen an 8 mph velo increase since last summer, now topping out at 87, sitting 83-86 with sinking action. Consistently got strikes with fastball, located armside effectively for swing and misses, got a lot of taken strikes with as well. Curveball, 72-73, 2/8 shape.

Camron Seagraves, RHP, Richmond Senior (NC), 2024, C35 Baseball
Uncommitted. 6 foot 2, 165 pounder has a lean, athletic frame with long limbs. Seagraves moves at a different level through his delivery due to his understanding of sequence and late effort. It’s a controlled yet explosive delivery w/ violent intent. Love how he separates - gets north/south tilt yet creates torque rotationally. Working his shoulders on a slight incline as hip/shoulder separation happens helps him get good direction to the plate. At the same time, he’s creating rotational torque by the core and chest rotating slowly to the back hip. There is some recoil after landing, but locking out is front side post release instead of pre will get rid of that. His 86-87 T90 FB has a chance to be special. The life on it is future +bore, with his good extension adding hop to the pitch and deception to hitters eyes. CB 74-76 is tight with sudden snap. The pitch tunnels well, and he repeats slot.

Aidan Grab, RHP, Mandeville (LA), 2024, Knights Knation
Uncommitted. The 6 foot 4, 175 pounder has a projectable frame and fast twitch from a balanced delivery that builds up gradual momentum. He’s efficient with his feet as he squares up in windup, putting him on line to the plate. His chest stays over the rubber in stride, allowing his funky 3/4 AA 2 stay connected to the back side downhill. It looks funky because of the slight stab at the bottom of the arm swing, but it doesn’t slow down momentum and maintains explosiveness. Grabs FB sat 84-85 T87 with late run, and showed consistent life throughout his outing. His 70-72 CB was sharp with tight shape and 2 plane depth, and he was able to throw it in any count. Aidan’s stuff should continue to tick up, and he makes for an interesting D1 prospect.

Grant Shepardson, RHP, Mountain Vista (CO), 2024, Slammers Quintana
Uncommitted. A wiry strong 6 foot, 170 pounds with good balance in his delivery. The righty from the Centennial State has exceptional pitchability, as he can throw 4 pitches for strikes in any count. He sits into his legs well, moving gracefully down the mound with consistent direction and good lower half mechanics before & after landing. He repeats a clean, deceptive short circle AA. The FB 85-86 T88 late tail, and dots both edges to get ahead on hitters. Has a devastating FB/CH combo in on RHH that few HS arms possess. Shepardson’s CH is a future plus or better pitch thats heavy w/ sudden fade at 74-76. His 77-78 CB has tight rotation & 2 plane shape and he already shows command to both edges with the pitch. Last but not least, his low 80’s SL tunnels well with the FB and has a short, vertical action with extremely late depth. This is a college coach's dream weekend starter.

Conner Connell, RHP, Luverne (MN), 2024, Northstar
Uncommitted. Solid and athletic frame at 6-foot-4, 220-pounds. On the mound, starts with an over-the-head motion out of the windup, bends back knee somewhat and crouches to build up power as he lifts his leg. Long arm action back and releases from a ¾ slot with quick arm speed. Aggressive down the mound, pitching with intent. Located FB well, sitting 86-88 with cut. Hitters struggled to square pitch up, and when contact was made, it routinely ended in choppers and foul balls. Set up his CB in 2-strike counts, pitch sat 73-75 with slurve like action, generating s/m when thrown at the bottom of the zone. One to keep an eye on.

Evan Hart, LHP, Mercer County (KY), 2023, Kentucky Mustangs
Kentucky commit. Lanky frame at 6-foot-4, 195-pounds. Long action with a L3Q slot and a fast arm. Does a nice job incorporating his legs in his motion and stride towards the plate, utilizing his full frame in each pitch. Generated s/m with FB in upper half of zone and on inner half to RHH. Pitch sat 87-88 and touched 89 with riding life. Located pitch well in any quadrant for Ks and induced weak contact. Throws two breaking balls, both work well off one another and throws the SL more often. Pitch sits 72-74 and tunnels nicely off his FB, can locate in the zone or just off for s/m. Also flashed a slow CB at 65-67.

Jayden Nunez, RHP/3B, Collins Hill (GA), 2024 Team 360 Hawks
Uncommitted. A lengthy 5 foot 11, 160 pounds with broad shoulders. The high projection 2 way has fluid rhythm, high energy & ease of operation on the hill. Nunez is very flexible and mobile on the mound, allowing him to create pure torque from vast hip/shoulder separation. Bats don't react well to his loose, mid depth arm act that builds arm spd from near sidearm slot. His nasty 85-87 FB creates a difficult angle for hitters. The pitch bores up in the zone, with run+sink down, and mirrors his breaking ball more often than not. Jayden’s 73-75 SLV is a future banger at 2700-2900 rpm is sharp w/ sweep, and late 2 plane snap! His brother, Marlins SS Nasim Nunez was a 2nd Rd draft ‘19. He’s a natural on the mound, and it's easy to see his future draft potential there.

Jason DeCaro, RHP, St. Anthony’s (NY), 2024, Team Francisco Notorious 9
Uncommitted. Mature frame at 6-foot-4, 200-pounds with more room to grow and tons of projection. Relaxed, drop&drive delivery with nice extension as he comes down the mound. Short AA with a ¾ slot. Mixed pitches effectively in the zone, would lose some control at times and then hone it back in when needed to get outs. FB with blow-by action at times sat 87-89 and touched both 90 and 91 with run. Most effective to RHH when started out of zone and moves back in late to freeze hitters. Also snapped off a tight CB at 71-73 (2700+ RPM), pitch appears to be in zone as it approaches the plate then sharply dives out, generating s/m. Intriguing arm with a lot of upside.

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