Prep Baseball Report

Underclass Invitational Analysis: Pitchers

Phil Kerber
Georgia Scouting Director

PBR Georgia's first ever Underclass Invitational took place on Jan. 12 at Mike Cameron Baseball Academy in Stockbridge, GA. The event brought together some of the top 2022 and 2023 prospects in the state of Georgia for a pro-style workout. Today, we will be spending some time highlighting the best things we saw from Sunday 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. We followed our release of the stats by giving our instant reaction and thoughts from the day's events in the form of a Quick Hits story. We continue our event analysis with a look at a very strong group of pitchers.

Top Prospects

Hayden Murphy RHP / SS / Tiftarea Academy, GA / 2022

Auburn commit. 6-foot-3, 180-pound lanky, athletic right-handed two-way prospect, projectable frame, one of the most electric and loose arms in the state of Georgia. On the mound, he works from a low ¾ slot with elite arm speed, the arm action is on the longer side but with how quick his arm is, he has no difficulty getting out front on time. Little to no effort in a highly athletic drop and drive delivery, works on-line, lands toe closed, finishes square to home most of the time. Fastball sat 86-89 with run, does a good job of getting on top of the ball from a lower slot. Curveball, slurve-like shape, good feel for at 74-77, sharp action, swing and miss pitch, type of pitch that will carry over extremely well to the next level. Changeup, fade action, still working on feel for, 76-77. At the plate, slightly open setup, short stride, hands load back smoothly, great balance. Does a really good job of getting his hands back and the barrel erect to create a short barrel path to the zone, with quick hands and plenty of bat speed he is able to drive the ball from gap-to-gap, 92 exit velocity, even more power will come as he continues to fill out his lanky frame. Defensively, loose, easy arm that plays accurately from multiple slots, elite hand speed, ball comes out in a flash, 84 across the diamond on this day but there is much more in tank for Murphy. Uses his long frame well to range to both sides, smooth actions as he fields and makes transfers.

Luke Fernandez RHP / OF / West Forsyth, GA / 2022

6-foot-3, 190-pound right-handed pitcher and outfielder, strong, projectable frame, strength throughout, has been highly thought of on the mound since his freshman year at West Forsyth. Showed more polish and command of his stuff during the event. Arm works clean and loose on the back-side, accelerates quickly with whip-like action through a high ¾ slot. Drop and drive delivery, gets into his powerful lower half, working on-line towards home. Fastball sat 87-88, gets on top of, working downhill with, controls the zone. Changeup, flashed fade and sink action, 76-81. Curveball, 68-72, true out-pitch, sharp 11/5 action, has shown a consistent ability to get swing and misses with in-game. Offensively, balanced setup, leg lift stride, hands load back smoothly, stays balanced. Takes a power approach, keeps hands inside, working the middle and pull side, elevates with force, 89 exit velocity off a tee. Defensively, big arm strength, arm action works similarly as off the mound, 93 from the outfield. Profiles as a corner outfielder, keeps the ball in front, fielding towards glove-side of the body.

Jackson Gaspard SS / C / Buford, GA / 2022

Georgia Tech commit. 6-foot, 175-pound right-handed hitting two-way prospect, athletically built with a strong lower half, continues to make steady improvements across the board, fundamental approach in everything he does, high IQ, an elite defender. On the mound arm works loose and clean on the back side with quick arm speed out to a high ¾ slot. Tall and fall delivery, uses his legs well to get down the mound, lands and finishes square to home. Fastball sat 83-85, touched 86, armside run action. His feel for his changeup and curveball really set him apart from the rest. The changeup is a power pitch coming in at 80-82 and has heavy run and sinking action, a swing and miss type pitch. Curveball is a true 12/6 that has depth and late bite to it, 74-77. The juxtaposition of the movement of his three pitch arsenal will make any at-bat difficult. Offensively, balanced setup, hands load back and drop smoothly, short stride, great balance throughout. Gap-to-gap hitter who can pepper line drives to all fields, quick hands and easy effort in swing, 87 exit velocity, more to come as he continues to trend upwards. Defensively is a true utility player, we have seen him all around the infield and behind the dish in-game, given his natural athletic ability could handle the outfield as well. Arm works short and loose from multiple slots, 87 across the infield, accurate on throws. Very fundamental fielder, plays through the ball, keeping it in front of him, quick and clean with his footwork and transfers. High follow prospect.

Dawson Coe LHP / Loganville, GA / 2022

6-foot-1, 195-pound left-handed pitcher, athletically built, strong upper body, has plenty of room in lower half to add additional mass/muscle, projects well. On the mound, arm works long with some wrist-wrap on the back-side, quickness of arm allows for him to get out front on time and reach ¾ slot consistently, throws cross-body. Drop and drive delivery, really gets into his athletic frame, strides across the mound, remaining closed, whips back-side through release. Fastball sat 83-84 with running action, more in the tank as he continues to physically mature and fill out his frame. Curveball, 2/8 shape, slurve like with bite and depth to it, 67-68. Changeup, sinking action, 76-78. Has feel for three pitches and their individual actions compliment each other well, offering up different looks.

Matthew Hoskins OF / RHP / Peachtree Ridge , GA / 2022

6-foot-1, 190-pound right-handed hitting outfielder and right-handed pitcher, broad shoulders, strength throughout frame, especially in his lower half. At the plate, athletic, crouching setup, short stride, hands load deep onto back-side into a near arm bar, finishes on back half. Barrel path is mostly uphill elevating the ball, when on time is able to gain extension and drive the ball with force gap-to-gap, 89 exit velocity off a tee, at-times will cut himself off, resulting in hard hit line drive contact. Defensively, full arm swing on the back-side to a ¾ slot, keeps throws low and on a line, 88 from the outfield. Clean footwork, plays through the ball, fields on glove-side, utilizes a crow hop, adding more strength to his throws. On the mound, long arm action, some wrist cupping on the back-side, quick arm action allows to get out front on-time to a ¾ slot, cross body. Stay tall in his delivery, works on-line, lands with lower half open, finishes upright. Fastball sat 83-84, ramped it up to 87 to close out bullpen, mostly straight. Curveball, 10/4 shape, depth with some bite, showed the ability to bend pitches onto the corners, 67-68. Changeup, fade action, 75-77, still gaining feel for pitch.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Andrew Dunford, 3B/RHP, Houston County, 2023
6-foot-6, 195-pound right-handed hitting two-way prospect, extra large projectable frame that is just showing indications of filling out, has a long way to go before he is maxed out with strength. At the plate, open setup, reverse toe-tap stride, early hand load back, good balance through. Does a good job of using his long arms and quick hands to keep the barrel path short and level to the ball, drives the ball middle/pull with force, 93 exit velocity, with added loft in his swing and back spin, projects to have big time power at the plate when he reaches physical maturation. Defensively, arm action is long to a ¾ slot, showed the ability to shorten up arm action when he needs to get rid of it quickly, accurate with throws, 80 across the infield. Moves well and has nimble feet for such a large frame, soft glove-hand, funnels ball into mid section. On the mound, arm works long and clean on the back-side with above-average arm speed, at-times pitches can get backed up on him, when he gets arm extension out front and works down on the ball there is extra life to all pitches. Fastball sat 81-83, touched 84, mostly straight. Curveball, 11/5 shape, slurve-like, 69-73. Changeup, fade action, especially effective in the middle and low parts of the zone, 75-78. 

Marques Dunn Jr., RHP/3B, Jonesboro, 2022
6-foot-3, 215-pound right-handed two-way prospect, big, strong frame, thick lower half. At the plate, wide, balanced setup, hands load back into an arm bar, short stride opens up front side, good balance. Barrel path mostly level, can be steep at-times, drives the ball gap-to-gap with hard line drive contact, 87 exit velocity off a tee. Defensively, long arm action, quick arm speed, ¾ slot, 79 across the infield. Mostly static fielder, competent glove-hand, clean on transfers. On the mound, arm action is long and quick, looseness in arm, comes out of a ¾ slot. Tall and fall delivery, speeds up on draw, works on-line, lands square, finishes down the mound. Fastball sat 78-80, running action, misses arm side when he does. Curveball, 11/5 shape, gradual break, flashed depth, 66-70. Changeup, sink and fade actions, 72-75, has the potential to be a swing and miss pitch.

Nathan Dvorsky, 1B/RHP, Lambert, 2022
6-foot-1, 180-pound right-handed hitting two-way prospect, proportional build, strong lower half, projectable. On the mound, arm works long with a soft stab on the back-side, accelerates out to a ¾ slot, despite the longer arm action is able to get out front on-time routinely, working middle/low in the zone. Drop and drive delivery, works on-line, long strider, lands square, finishes upright. Fastball sat 79-80, touched 81, pitch had heavy life with run and sink action. Changeup, some feel for, sinking action, drops out low in the zone, 70-72. Curveball, feel for, 11/5 shape, 67-78. Offensively, balanced setup, starts with hands back and barrel wrapped, little to no load, short stride, good balance. Barrel path is short to the zone, smooth gap-to-gap type swing, quick hands help gain extension through contact, 82 exit velocity. Defensively, similar arm action as on the mound, long with a soft stab to a ¾ slot, 80 across the diamond. Showed good body control and feel around the bag, fields with a wide base, ensuring the ball is kept in front.

Reid Harvey, SS/OF/RHP, Thomas County Central, 2023
6-foot-1, 180-pound right-handed utility prospect, athletically built with broad shoulders, will only continue to fill out as he matures and hits the weight room, projectable. At the plate, balanced setup, low reverse leg sweep stride, hands load back smoothly, great balance. Fluid swing, fundamentally sound, gets hands out front and drives the ball gap-to-gap, easy effort throughout, 88 exit velocity off a tee. Defensively, arm works clean, keeps it shorter with throws on the infield, works to an over-the-top slot the majority of the time, can drop down and successfully make throws, 75 across the infield, 83 from the outfield, much more in the tank though. Athletic fielder, soft glove work, clean footwork, gets the ball out quick on transfers to release on the infield. On the mound, full arm swing on the back side, shows low and wide, is able to get out front and work down on the ball. Drop and drive delivery, works on-line, finishes square to home. Fastball sat 76-78, topped out at 79, some armside run. Curveball, 12/6 shape, depth and some late action to it, at its best when he is able to get out front with it, at-times can get backed up on him, 64-66. Changeup, good feel for the pitch, fade action, swing and miss type pitch when it gets down in the zone, 64-65.

Andon Lewis, 1B/RHP, Calhoun, 2022
6-foot-2, 195-pound right-handed two-way prospect, broad shoulders, natural strength in build that he continues to add to. Offensively, balanced setup, stays tall in his stance, short stride, hands start high, loads weight briefly onto back-side, aggressive lower half ,causes finish to be towards third base side dugout. Takes a power approach, short and quick to the ball, barrel path can be steep at-times, resulting in hard hit grounders, when on-time can drive the ball with serious force, 93 exit velocity off a tee. With improved timing, and the ability to put the ball in the air, Lewis has the advanced power to be a long ball threat. Defensively, keeps his arm short across the diamond, quick hands, 83 across the infield. Fields the ball out front, square to his body, uses both hands, showed awareness around the bag. On the mound, clean arm swing on the back-side, above average arm speed, comes out of a high ¾ slot. Drop and drive delivery, maintains height, works on-line, lands square, finishes upright with coil. Fastball sat 80-82, touched 84, natural cut action. Curveball, 12/6 shape, flashed depth, 62-64. Changeup, fade and sink action, feel for, 70-74.

McDonald McCommons, UTL, Lake Oconee, 2022
6-foot, 185-pound right-handed hitting utility man, athletically built, strength in frame, a true jack of all trades displaying the arm strength to play anywhere on the diamond. Offensively, open setup, hand load back deep, short stride, finishes over the plate. Takes a line drive approach, swing path is level through the zone, whippy bat speed, drives the ball back up the middle, 78 exit velocity. Defensively, similar arm actions on the infield and behind the plate, short with some loading on the back-side, whips through an over-the-top slot, 84 across the infield and 80 out of the crouch. From the outfield keep his arm speed while lengthening it out, 88 from the outfield. Plays through the ball athletically, keeps his feet under him and fields the ball out front, fluid footwork and transfers, pop times ranged 2.01-2.11. On the mound, arm works very short with little action on the back-side out of an over-the-top slot, quick arm speed. Tall and fall delivery, stays tall throughout, works on-line, lands square, finishes square to home. Fastball sat 81-83, touched 86,good angle on the pitch, arm-side run. Cutter, 78-79, tight sweeping action, will create weak contact with pitch. Curveball, 11/5 shape, still a developing pitch, 75. Changeup, 74-78, sinking action when down in the zone, has tendency to straighten out when up in the zone.

Nick Milbrandt, RHP, South Effingham, 2022
6-foot-2, 240-pound right-handed pitcher, broad, strong frame, large upper body. Arm works short and clean with a low draw to a ¾ slot, above-average arm speed, hides ball well on the back-side. Drop and drive delivery, rides lower half down the mound, works on-line, lands square, finishes upright square to home. Controlled the zone to the armside, was in and around the zone with everything he threw. Fastball sat 81-83, touched 84, armside run. Threw two distinct breaking balls. Slider, tight sweeping action, 70-72. Curveball, 12/6 shape, flashed depth, mostly gradual break, 68-69. Better feel for the slider, more effective pitch presently than the curveball. 

Tristan Nguyen, LHP, Johnson, 2022
5-foot-10, 200-pound left-handed pitcher, thick, strong frame, has physically added strength to his frame over the past few months. Arm works long with some quickness, showing wide on the back-side, slot varies from ¾ to low ¾. Drop and drive delivery, strides across the rubber, lands toe-closed, whips back leg through landing, finishes crossing over. Fastball sat 84-85, heavy run, feel for, threw for strikes. Curveball, 72-76, 1/7 shape, drops out of the zone when he keeps it low, located to glove-side. Changeup, kept low in the zone, zone, sinking action, 76-79. Good feel for fastball-curveball combination.     

Andrew Thacker, RHP, Creekview, 2022
5-foot-10, 140-pound right-handed pitcher, lean build, proportional frame. Arm works long, pulling the ball wide behind his back, accelerates to a ¾ slot. Tall and fall delivery, long stride down the mound, works on-line, lands square, spins off front-side towards first base side. Fastball sat 70-72, touched 73. Curveball, shape varied between 12/6 and 11/5, gradual break, 55-56. Changeup, sinking action, 62-64.

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