Preseason All State : Eye Opening Arms

Justin Goetz
PBR Georgia Assistant Scouting Director

PBR Georgia hosted our Preseason All-State event on Sunday, January 8th at LakePoint Sports in Emerson, GA. This event featured approximately 80+ prospects from the 2023-2027 classes. Prospects participated in a pro-style workout that included the 60 yard dash, batting practice, in and out, and pitcher bullpens.

We began the post event analysis last week with a look at the traditional stats collected in our “Stats Story.” Today, we reveal our staff's initial thoughts and reactions from the event, in particular, prospects that caught their eye. Yet to come is deeper dive into the advanced analytics as well. But for the time being, check out the arms with the most electric performances.

RHP Connor Shouse (Pickens County, 2024) not only is the Pickens County star one of the best pitching prospects in his class, he’s an elite athlete. Connor’s blast numbers, 6.88 60 yd, and fielding were some of the best in the entire event. He has a very impressive routine and approach to pitching, completely locked in on the mound like baseball is his job. Sooner rather than later, it will be his job professionally. His impeccably clean, elite delivery leads to 3 pitches with A/AVG to plus life & strikes. The exceptional body control, good tempo and plus ease of operation. The FB was 90-92 T93 with electric bore. His low release height & elite arm spd allows FB to play best up in zone, where he can throw the future hammer SL off it. Shouse will command the edges w/ FB low for it to play there, esp as CH continues to develop. It’s one of my favorite arm actions in the class - loose garden hose type w/ no wrap & optimal depth. Shouse has perfect separation timing, flexibility in back knee creates exceptional stack of backside in stride with no wasted upper half movement. Angle of back knee allows hips roll freely as he creates considerable momentum thru “up, down, and out” phases(creates good ground force into firm front side). Love the posture in front knee @ landing (slight bend, prevents collapse from aggressive backside clearance).

RHP Dayson Griffis (Appling County, 2025) had one of the most impressive event performances in recent memory. After standing (not sitting) through 35 bullpens in the rain and cold, it was time for the Appling Animal to toe the rubber. With his stocky frame, Kenny Powers-like hair, and a towel in his back pocket to dry off the ball, he was ready to go. The rain had gone from mist to pouring, and his FB is sitting 90-91 with serious bore that will undoubtedly dominate hitters all spring. He cruised in that range until the last two pitches. Then he said, “Be ready for these catch.” Griffis proceeded to throw two pitches back to back at 93.5 and 93.7 that moved at the speed of an actual missile. I’ve never seen a player this age who can just reach back for 2 more mph on command. Despite unreal physical strength (315 power clean), Dayson has a very low effort delivery and is an efficient mover. The pace builds gradually from the windup - slow to square up, medium through up+down+out phases, and fast (controlled violence) post landing which is a big reason his delivery is so effortless. It's an advanced lower half with elite backside connection in stride. He creates power from the ground up by putting all the pressure on his legs, and holding his upper half over the rubber during stride.
The arm action is a mid depth, full circle with an efficient arm spiral. Compact yet smooth, a great combo to have in a delivery. He’s also a closed foot lander who rotates on the ball of his feet - causes more acceleration in the kinetic chain & leads to more violent rotation (clearance) post landing into lead leg block. This is a trait that many high velocity arms have in MLB. These traits are undoubtedly helped by playing QB (3AA Offensive Player of the Year) for Appling. Playing QB and throwing hard on the mound are an often occurrence in top prospects across the country.

RHP Ryan Renfroe (Thomasville, 2023) has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the fall/winter with two standout performances in our events. His Thomasville squad went to the 2A State Championship in 2022, and with his amazing jump in velocity they will surely be contenders again. Renfroe has only been pitching for one year, and is already putting up ridiculous velo numbers! Despite his minimal time on the mound, he already has one of the most explosive deliveries in the class. The way his arm action connects with the largest muscles on the back side (post hand break) is elite mechanically, and they fire violently to the plate together post landing. It's a very clean, lengthy full circle OH AA that will only get more efficient over time. The arm speed is loud, as the ball comes out of the hand screaming. This fall at our Campus Tour : Georgia Southern he was 88-90 T91 and put himself on the map with a sharp SLV in the 72-75 range up to 2500 rpm. Just two months later the FB is 89-92 T93!! He has a unique approach angle due to a lean in his delivery that keeps him inside the ball and creates not only bore in on RHH, but a very steep plane down in the zone. It’s different, but I feel it adds something unique and shouldn’t really be adjusted. In his uber athletic 6’3 200 lb frame and lightning quick arm speed, the sky is truly the limit on Renfroe’s velo potential. His sharp SLV is further developing into a SL now with a 3 mph increase in velo, sitting 75-78. The shape on the pitch is still similar, with sharp sweeping action and some depth. Only having a short time to develop the pitch, it surely has hammer potential in the future. Innings are what Renfroe needs most, and he will get that at Thomasville this year and at the next level. He has a chance to be a sneaky draft prospect this year before being committed to a college. Late bloomers are part of what make baseball great.

LHP Colin White (Dominion Christian, 2026) when he stepped on the mound, you could’ve mistaken him for a skyscraper. With a high waist and long legs/arms, the projection in the frame is endless. White easily had one of the most eye opening performances at PAS23, both on the mound and at the plate. His delivery is very well sequenced for his age & length, with clean footwork promoting a well balanced, efficient move to the plate. He repeats his loose, mid depth arm action with an effortless gradual build of momentum that works simultaneously with his largest muscles on the back side. It’s very rare to find such a young player with this type of frame repeating the delivery, pitch life, and location so well, and it speaks to the high end athleticism he has. The most noticeable traits he had on the mound was the combo of aggression and fearlessness. Not often do you see an underclassmen ripping their breaking ball with 100% intent. The 74-77 SL he repeatedly threw is already an MLB avg pitch, flashing A/AVG. So you can only imagine what this sharp 2 plane breaker with late sweep will be when he takes another jump in velo. His FB sat in the 85-85 range with late tail, and he showed feel of it to both edges. It’s not a stretch to see him with two plus pitches by the end of his HS career. The pitch showed fade in the 76-78 range and he was able to repeat a couple for strikes. With his athletic upside, we should be looking at a solid 3rd pitch in a few years.

LHP Jake Howell (Worth County, 2025) was one of the arms that “blew up” due to his performance. He put himself on the “Spin Rate Master” Watch List with eye popping amounts of RPM’s. With D1 schools not able to recruit again until the end of the dead period (March 1st), Howell garnered heavy interest from D1 schools after his tweet was put out from PAS23. The FB hovered into the zone in the 2400 (T2444) range with considerable carry up in the zone, with some tail arm side. He has impressive feel for the pitch and attacks both edges with it. He stays behind the ball very well with good direction in his base, allowing him to attack the glove side edge without creating any cut. Consistent use in all 4 quadrants with this pitch will continue to make the rest of his repertoire even more devastating. Although his four pitch arsenal is pretty balanced and rapidly developing, the 68-71 CB right now is what stands out most. This is a true air bender that averaged 2631 RPM (T2703). It’s a two plane CB with tight rotation and sharp vertical shape. There’s also some HZB to the pitch, giving it added finish (for S & M) even if it’s well tracked by a hitter. He located the pitch time and time again glove side, a pitch that will create equally bad swings to both RHH & LHH. If that's not enough, he also has a shorter SLV/SL in the low 70’s at 2700 RPM as well! It’s a shorter, later breaking version of the CB with more sweep, and is easier to locate back door to RHH. This pitch has exciting potential and only adds to the sequences he can create for unpredictability. Last but not least is his 75-76 CH with equal parts fade and depth. It’s a very good pairing with his arm side FB and gives him potential for a true four pitch mix, a rarity even at the college level.

LHP Cooper Underwood (Allatoona, 2025) has some of the best pitchability I can remember in an underclassmen. But in his 6’1 150 lb frame with easy arm speed, there is considerable projection for velocity in the future. There’s so much to like about his simple, non manufactured delivery. The footwork is exceptionally clean, he’s well balanced with a gradual build of pace, and creates a very good rhythm between upper & lower half that leads to a smooth break of the hands. He has a simple yet advanced lower half, holding the bend in his back knee from start to finish - this creates downhill trajectory on all pitches and evenly distributed weight at landing (55% back side, 45% front). This makes for an effortless lead leg block that will only create more explosive rotation and velocity as he gets stronger. This is another special southpaw in the 2025 class with a four pitch arsenal. The FB sat in the 80-83 range at PAS23 and he dotted both edges with a gradual tail. His efficient, short circle L3/4 arm action gives him plus deception and plays up his FB tremendously. Underwood has two different breaking balls with consistent shape and command. The 69-71 CB is 2700 RPM, showing gradual vertical shape and plenty of depth. The 71-73 SL tunnels very well with his FB, showing sharp sweep and late depth. The 75-77 CH has equal parts fade & depth, and absolutely dies at the plate when on. If he continues on this pace, Underwood could end up with 3 avg or better MLB secondary pitches down the line.

RHP Carson Adomnik (South Paulding, 2026) had an awesome performance at PAS23, showing his advanced pitchability and repeated a silky smooth delivery at a high level. He has a unique, deceptive crossfire from a L3/4 slot that creates a tough angle for both RHH & LHH. Carson showcased one of the lowest spin FB’s (1500 rpm) that I’ve seen since working at PBR. This is a true bowling ball that’s going to keep his pitch count down and allow him to be aggressive from the 1st inning to last. He was 81-83 in the pouring rain but has been into the mid 80’s already. This is a definite starting pitcher who can paint his heater on both corners, but will have hitters beating the ball into the ground due to his discipline of working low in the zone. The feel for his sweeping 70-73 SLV is absolutely ideal, and the pitch gets aggressive late depth that will become a wipe out pitch to hitters on both sides as the velo ticks up. He didn’t have a ton of grip for the CH in the heavy rain, but due to his delivery and athleticism shoulde be able to make it a serviceable pitch by the time he leaves HS.

RHP Fisher Cantrell (Harris County, 2024) this ultra projection arm with plus ease of operation had all 3 pitches working with serious movement at PAS23. Cantrell has plenty of starter qualities - the delivery is clean, he’s an above average athlete, and has lots of feel for his size and frame well before filling out physically. It’s not what he is now, it’s what he will be two years from now. The physical strength he develops from here on will determine the ceiling on his arm, and we feel the potential is very high. I saw him have an amazing outing this summer and have been in on him since then. His vertically shaped KCB was locking up RHH in low 70’s (27-2800) & back dooring LHH in all counts. Worked 85-88 T90 FB run+sink to all quadrants & lived on edges, also throwing multiple nasty CH’s with sudden fade and depth. While his stuff was down a bit from this summer, that's to be expected with cold weather in a 6’5 175 lb frame. All pitches still had the traits you look for and his FB(2360 RPM), KCB(2680) both registered high spin. There is no doubt another jump in velocity is coming, the only question is when. Regardless of when he reaches his ceiling, he can get by on a very good feel for pitching and high level movement on 3 pitches.

RHP Collin Ewaldsen (Appling County, 2024) Took big steps to becoming a more complete pitcher at PAS23. Few pitchers work harder off the field than Ewaldsen, as he is very focused on strength training, arm care, and developing his pitches. It was very encouraging to see his CB with such consistent shape, which is to an extent what we’ve been waiting on for Collin to show. Keeping chest balanced over feet in stride sharpened the 70-72 CB w/ sweep & 2 plane depth. FB worked in 85-88 range up to 21 IVB. CH 74-77 fade. This is a serious athlete who’s pound for pound one of the strongest players in the class weight room wise. He has an efficient, short circle arm action with explosive arm speed. It’s only a matter of time until he keeps it connected with the back side in stride and makes a jump in velocity.

Sleeper Arms

RHP Branson Blalock (Walnut Grove, 2026) This is an exceptional athlete who oozes projection in a lengthy, 6’2 165 frame. While he didn’t have his best day at the plate, he was very impressive on the mound. Blalock has a very clean, one piece arm action that builds considerable momentum from start to finish. The 76-79 FB jumps out of his hand from a H3/4 slot on an extremely steep plane and late run. The pitch averaged 19 IVB and had one of the higher release heights in the event. His 62-65 CB was very sharp for its velocity, to the point where I expected it to be in the 65-68 range. It has tight action and considerable downward tilt

RHP Ellington Hodge (Decatur, 2024) stood out athletically, with a compact delivery and impressive arm speed. He really drove the ball downhill well and I was impressed with the balance throughout the delivery. His FB worked in the 84-87 range with steep plane and pretty violent run at times. His offspeed stuff was hit or miss, but look for his FB to garner some college interest this spring, as it will undoubtedly tick up.

RHP Timothy Clark (Ola, 2026) might not be there yet in the velocity department, but he’s very athletic and projectable with considerable feel for two pitches. His 75-78 FB jumped out of the hand with ease, showing some late cut out of his big, full circle arm action. With Clark being 6’2 140 with coat hanger shoulders, I think we could be looking at a completely different type of prospect a couple years from now. The velocity is nowhere near its official arrival, but there’s plenty of arm speed. His 62-65 CB is a little behind in the velocity department as well, but shows really nice 11-5 shape. It spun in the 2500-2600 range and flashed late depth.

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