Underclass Games: Quick Hits


Phil Kerber
Georgia Scouting Director

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PBR Georgia hosted its second annual Underclass Games on Tuesday, June 2nd at LakePoint Sports in Emerson, GA. The event brought together nearly 110 of the top uncommitted 2022-2024 prospects in the entire state for a pro-style workout and simulated game. Today, we will be spending some time highlighting the best things we saw from Tuesday in the form of our Quick Hits post.

We already took a look at the top statistical performers with leaderboards and full stats on every prospect in attendance in our Statistical Analysis. 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 Tuesday.

Big Arms

+ RHP Colin Linder (Lambert, 2022) and RHP Caden Spivey (Vidalia, 2022) showed two of the more explosive arms on the mound. Linder stands an imposing 6-foot-3, 205-pounds with a strong, developed lower half. The big right-hander posted an event best 91 mph fastball (2550 rpm) and made quick work of batters during game play, racking up four strikeouts and one walk over six batters. Spivey has a live body and a quick arm, as he ran his fastball up to 90 mph. Although we did not see his slider often, it is a nice complimentary pitch at 78-79, that has tight horizontal movement. Spivey is still learning how to pitch, and will gain more comfort on the mound with time.

+ Quite possibly the biggest winner of the event, LHP Dawson Coe (Loganville, 2022) blew our staff away with the progress and development he has made on the mound. Coe has seen a five mph velo jump in the past six months, going from 84-85 to touching 90 now. Even more impressive is the addition of a hard slider to his arsenal. The southpaw was already tough to deal with, with a sweeping curveball, but now he has  two distinct breaking balls that will play at the next level.

+ RHP Adrian Roman (East Coweta, 2022) and LHP Tristan Nguyen (Johnson, 2022) were two underclass arms brought up to the Top Prospect Games with the 2021s, and they showed they belonged. Roman is a projectable arm working up to 89, but what really impressed was his offspeed. His breaking ball is a present swing and miss pitch, and he has great feel for the pitch. His arm works long and loose, and given his athleticism on the mound, there is more velo to come. Nguyen has been on our radar for some time. The left-hander continues to show steady gains in his fastball, working up to 87 now. He did a nice job of tunneling his fastball and curveball, controlling the zone.

+ RHP Connor VanSumeren (Tift County, 2022) made quite the impression in his event debut. One of the most projectable frames in attendance, he stands 6-foot-4, 195-pounds. VanSumeren does a good job of keeping his arm action short with his long frame, and it plays with looseness. He topped out at 86 mph during the event, but we have seen him up to 87 in the spring. VanSumeren complimented it with a sinking changeup and an 11/5 breaking ball.

Backstops

+ C Ariston Veasey (2024) was one of the youngest prospects in attendance and had, arguably, the best showing out of any of the catchers. His defensive skill set is far advanced for his age, posting pop times of 1.94-1.97 with arm strength measuring 77 mph. A right-handed hitter, he has a real chance to be a two-way contributor with the present ability to drive the ball to all fields. Veasey was so impressive that one week following the event he announced his commitment to the University of Georgia.

+ Coming all the way down from Illinois, C Will Plattner (Glenwood, 2022) had one of the top offensive displays on the day, especially in the game portion of the event. In his first at-bat, Plattner took an upper-80s fastball to right field, blasting it over the outfielder's head for an RBI double. He collected a single, that got past the second baseman, in his second at-bat and then had a hard hit groundout to third base to finish off his day. Plattner’s bat will be his carrying tool down the road as he has the ability to hit for power to all fields. Defensively, he continues to show improvements behind the dish, and is versatile enough to handle first base.

Infielders

+ MIF Tyler Triche (North Forsyth, 2022) is an offensive minded infielder. During BP he showed an easy effort swing and a gap-to-gap approach, driving balls routinely. We saw in the spring that Triche can handle velocity with no problem, and the game portion was no different. Triche barreled up multiple pitches, collecting a single up the middle and two flyouts to center field. Triche is a middle of the order type bat, and has enough arm to stick on the left-side of the infield. A move to third base may be in his future, but the bat will play wherever he ends up.

+ 3B Casual Kay (Alpharetta, 2022) put on an impressive offensive display both during BP and in game. He hammered baseballs in his round of BP, posting a high exit velocity on TrackMan of 96.7 with wood. A strong, sturdy 6-foot-2, 190-pounds, Kay gains momentum through his swing, aiding in the immense power he possesses. In game, the right-handed hitter had a huge hit as he turned on a fastball and one hopped the ball over the fence for a ground rule double.

+ MIF Taylor Shultz (Allatoona, 2022), a member of Team Georgia at the 2019 PBR Future Games, maximizes his game with his athleticism and speed, which plays well above his 60 time. Shultz takes a line drive approach, looking to put the ball in play and use his speed to disrupt the defense. He led the game play portion off with a single, and then promptly stole second and third base.

Outfielders

+ OF Will Fincher (Kennesaw Mountain, 2022) and OF Blake Matthews (Bremen, 2022) share a number of similarities throughout their games. Fincher carries himself at 6-foot-3, 205-pounds while Matthews comes in at 6-foot-3, 185-pounds. Despite carrying all that strength, both of them posted two of the top 60 times. Fincher came in at 6.61, an event best. Matthews was not far behind at 6.86. Given their speed and arm strength, the two of them profile as center fielders at the next level. At the plate, both possess projectable bats, impacting the game with a gap-to-gap approach and speed.

+ OF Robert DuVall (Brookwood, 2023) and OF Nicholas Allen (Woodward Academy, 2023) are two physical prospects to keep an eye on. DuVall, a left-handed hitter, possesses advanced strength in his 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame, posting a 91 mph exit velocity off a tee. Allen looks well on his way to having a similar skill set as his older brother, 2020 Georgia commit OF Dwight Allen. There is already plenty of power in the frame, standing 6-foot, 180-pounds. The swing will only continue to improve over and time, and he will continue to add to his already gap-to-gap swing.

Two-Way Talents

+ OF/RHP Luke Boone (Richmond Hills, 2022) and OF/RHP Matthew Hoskins (Peachtree Ridge, 2022) put up some of the best overall numbers over the course of the day. Boone, at 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, has a projectable build that will carry serious strength, and he is light on his feet, running a 7.08 60 yard dash. He possesses a big arm, topping out at 86 in his one inning stint on the mound and throwing 90 from the outfield. At the plate, he swings a big stick, hitting for power. In much the same way, Hoskins is an athletically built 6-foot-1, 190-pounds and has some major tools. Hoskins is an explosive athlete who does everything with ease. He ran a 6.94 60 yard dash, and then followed it up with a 95 exit velocity. He has power to the pull-side and middle of the field, driving the ball with force. Hoskins also hopped on the mound and showed an easy arm action, reaching 88 with his fastball. Boone and Hoskins both have real two-way capabilities.

+ C/RHP David Bell (Greenbrier, 2022) had a big day all around. Bell came away as one of the top catcher prospects in attendance at the event. He has premium arm strength behind the plate, 79 from the crouch, and quick, fluid actions on his throw downs, posting pop times of 1.93-2.00. At the plate, Bell uses the middle of the field with a gap-to-gap approach. As he adds to the frame, even more power will come, making him a dual threat in the field. On the mound, he has a short, clean arm action and good feel for his fastball, up to 86, and 11/5 curveball that has swing and miss characteristics.

+ 3B/RHP Jax Phillips (East Cobb Baseball Academy, 2024) and C/RHP Luca Perriello (Greenbrier, 2024) are two 2024s that are going to warrant heavy attention, if not now, in the years to come. Phillips is a physically gifted athlete at 6-foot-3, 180-pounds. A right-handed hitter, he has one of the most advanced bats and power in the 2024 class, putting up an 88 exit velocity off a tee. The swing plays in a live setting, as well, as evidenced by him hitting a double into the right center gap during game play. Not only is the offensive skill set advanced, so is the arm, as Phillips went 86 across the infield and topped out at 83 on the mound. Perriello is an athletic defender, and has polish behind the plate. Pitching against mostly 2022s, he looked like he belonged out there. With a quick arm and heavy drop and drive delivery, he pounded the zone with his fastball up to 83 and flipped over an 11/5 curveball for strikes. 

+ RHP Luke Fernandez (West Forsyth, 2022) has been highly thought of in the state and nationally for quite some time now, and he did not disappoint in his outing. A physical right-hander at 6-foot-3, 205-pounds, Fernandez has some of the best stuff in the state. He routinely sits in the upper 80s with his fastball and has a swing and miss 11/5 curveball that has sharp break to it. Fernandez has a definite future on the mound, but his development on the offensive side of things is something to keep an eye. He swings a power bat, 92 exit velocity, looking to elevate the ball and do damage.

+ SS/RHP Kayne Jinks (Franklin County, 2022) and SS/RHP Champ Davis (Marist, 2022) had big debuts in their first PBR events. Jinks has a strong tool set on the offensive side of things, driving the ball with easy effort from gap-to-gap. What was even more impressive were his abilities on the mound. Jinks went right after hitters, attacking the zone with his fastball, up to 86, and curveball combination. In a one inning stint, he collected four strikeouts and one walk. Davis is a lean, lanky 6-foot-1, 175-pounds, but don’t let the frame fool you, as he packs a punch at the plate, posting an event high 97 exit velocity. He has good range up the middle and arm strength to stick. On the mound, Davis is highly competitive. The right-hander showed feel for a fastball that sat 81-84 and spun a nice slider at 70-74.

+ Two 2023s to keep an eye on as potential two-way prospects at the next level are OF/RHP Garrett Garner (Franklin County, 2023) and RHP/OF Blake Dean (North Cobb Christian, 2023). Garner is equipped one of the biggest arms in the outfield for his class, topping out at 88, and not even started to reach physical maturation, standing a lean, lanky 6-foot-2, 170-pounds. At the plate, the swing is athletic and smooth with aggression. As he fills out, Garner will add major power to his repertoire. On the mound, the ball comes out crisp, presently sitting 80-82 with sink. Expect a velo jump for Garner in the near future. Dean had an eye opening performance at the event. Coming in at 6-foot-1, 155-pounds, he has present arm strength and bat speed, with more in the tank as he matures. Dean posted some of the best numbers for his class, putting up an 87 exit velocity and 87 from the outfield. The arm strength translates to the mound, where he topped out at 84.