Prep Baseball Report

Nationwide Ballers

Justin Goetz
PBR Georgia Assistant Scouting Director

Here at PBR Georgia we have the privilege of players coming to LakePoint’s state of the art complex from all around the country, progressing their careers and building a track record in the industry. There are few places in the country where high school prospects can be evaluated in air conditioned rooms well above field level against the best of the best. This setup is next level and very similar to the player development complexes of all 30 MLB teams. It allows college, pro, and PBR scouts to watch 4 games & 8 rosters all at once, making the success rate on finding good players much higher.

I credit the towers for allowing us to find so many players that are up next to help shape the future of America’s Pastime, in the shortest amount of time. Every game slate has something worth running up & down the steps for. The talent was incredible this summer from states large and small. Many bombs and strikeouts, as they balled into Fall. These are the best 10 out of state difference makers I scouted this summer in Emerson!

Colin Guerra, SS, Olathe South, Building Champions, 2024
Texas Commit. 5 foot 10, 150 pounds. This is one of the best defensive SS I’ve seen since the Marlins 2019 Rd 2 pick Nasim Nunez, who was PBR Georgia’s No. 3 player overall. Why should you trust this bold statement? Because I was privileged enough to be one of Nunez first developmental coaches and closely watched his amazing progression from age 12-18. It’s eerily similar to the progression of Guerra. The instincts are identical but he won't quite have the raw defensive tools of Nunez who had unquestioned top of the scale run, range, and arm. He will be plus in all of those tools, and the bat is more advanced at the same age from both sides. We’re talking an IDENTICAL swing from both sides of the plate. He sees spin quickly out of hand and consistently makes the right decisions on pitch location. Colin has a slow flow in his hands as the hips get underway, back knee angled for his dynamic forward move and the hands go patiently along for the ride. After landing it's a lightning quick stroke with the hands working through the path close to his body for perfect barrel lag. It’s a foul line to foul line approach from both sides that will produce double digit triples year after year at the games highest level. He consistently hits the ball where it's pitched with ease, which isn’t common in a HS prospect. Defensively he has incredible instincts, reading the ball by pitch and location so well he will even start moving before the ball is hit. Coupled with good footwork and a lightning quick exchange, he rarely has to show off his full arm strength but knows exactly when to let it rip. With his passion for the game and God given abilities, Guerra has a real chance to separate himself from all others at the #6 position by 2024.

AJ Ewing, SS, Springboro, Five Star Nat’l, 2023
Bama Commit. 6 foot, 160 pounds. It’s very rare to see a player of this size have such an incredible output of power production. Seeing a baseball miss his barrel is like seeing a unicorn in the middle of the afternoon. He dominated NPI & 17U Natty, hitting over .500 with 4 HR and 9 XBH. Other than athleticism, there are many special traits that allow AJ to find this level of consistency. Elite timing (1. pitchers delivery with hips 2. separation timing & quality of stretch), swing mechanics, pitch recognition & discipline, hand eye coordination, approach, and ability to manipulate the barrel to any pitch in any zone. Ewing has it all, but his unreal swing mechanics stand out most. Everything happens in perfect sequence - 1. Hips rock back activating leg kick. 2. Front hip separates in stride from shoulders & hands (as they coil to back hip) at the exact same pace until landing. 3. Hips uncoil, hands effortless in+out of launch, perfect knob led path that extends barrel time in zone. There’s no elevated FB he can’t reach (hands above ball, flattens path), no inside FB he can’t beat (front arm shrink), and no low ball he can't match plane with (barrel angle late w/ top hand, gradual backside bend). The torque he creates in separation is shocking every AB you see him. But what's the most impressive thing about him? His inside-out power to left center created by his patient ability to angle his hips & shoulders to the gap at the last possible second before landing. The patience to let things develop & come to him at the plate separate him from nearly everyone else in the class. Plus runner with an A/AVG arm and serious range+instincts combo!

Brady Louck, LHP, Plainfield East, USA Prime Nat’l, 2023
FSU Commit. 5 foot 11, 170 pounds. After seeing most of his class, I can safely say this will be one of the most impactful incoming ‘23 arms to step on a college campus. If his stuff continues to climb like it has every year since 2020, he might not even go to college. The energy and confidence Louck brings to the bump is different than almost every pitcher I’ve seen at the HS level. It's a very repeatable & easy paced delivery with exceptional balance, and his leg swings into a consistent line to the plate in the down and out phases. It's a loose, lengthy mid depth arm swing from a very low release height that creates a ridiculous amount of swing & miss ride on the FB up in the zone. It sits in the 89-91 range T93 from a nasty angle in the LHH box creating ++ deception to both lefties and righties. Due to this unique combo, it’s just as difficult to hit the heater at the bottom of the zone. He should command it above average at the game's highest level, and it's going to play up nearly a full grade his entire career thanks to release height and angle. The explosive lefty has one of the better hooks in the country, a power sweeping SLV with elite HZB numbers in the 73-75 range. It maintains sharpness and will have as much depth as sweep at times. Easily the makings of a plus pitch in the future. Louck can turn over his 80-82 CH like a flapjack on a Sunday morning, as the late fader has shown the progression over time to end up an average MLB pitch in the future. The slot will occasionally drop on the pitch, but it's got consistent action. When the time comes, he has the athleticism and feel to add either devastating cutter in the future that could really vault him to a different level of effectiveness as a starter.

Steele Hall, SS/RHP, Daphne, Excel Blue Wave, 2026
Tennessee Commit. 5 foot 10, 145 pounds. I gave it to you straight up at the State Games of GA in late May, saying “This gamer is going to be one of the best HS hitters in the southeast very soon.” Well, it’s already happening. Just 2 weeks later at NPI he sent a 90 mph FB to Lake Allatoona, immediately got the Shooter blessing, and proceeded to rake the rest of the tourney. Hall not only fits right in high end talents 3-4 years older than him, he stands out! Not only does he have five tool potential as a position player, the ceiling is nearly as high on the mound. Offensively, its elite hand hand-eye with incredible body control for his age. When a player can control the body like a college bat before even taking a class in high school, it’s going to be pro level body control in the next few years as he physically develops. Steele seems to be right on every single pitch he swings at. Good balance over backside when hips start, smooth separation timing. Creates perfect lag off back shoulder as he throws hands, barrel stays in zone forever. Defensively, Hall has all the required tools, and they’re on the same pace as his bat. Instincts, footwork, range, glove, exchange, and arm strength are all years ahead of his age. He’s naturally able to put his body in uncomfortable positions to get outs, and has the ability to redirect momentum with ease. His arm is already upper 80’s across the diamond and he throws from all angles like he was born doing it. He can occasionally get over aggressive at the position but only because he’s so explosive and fearless. Hold on we’re not done! On the bump, Hall has a dynamic delivery and a loose & explosive mid depth arm action that is really the icing on the cake for him as a prospect. The FB sits 84-86 T88 with 2400-2600 rpm and gets plenty of swing & miss. For his age, the CB has very nice shape in the 69-71 range with identical rpm’s to the FB. This will be a devastating combo in the coming years. He also has an impressive fading CH in the mid 70’s!

Carter Johnson, SS/RHP, Oxford, Excel Blue Wave, 2024
Bama Commit. 6 foot 2, 175 pounds. Currently the No. 11 player in AL for PBR, and 441 nationally. Judging by his performances at LakePoint & how our entire company loves him, I can all but guarantee you he’ll be catapulted up those rankings! I honestly can’t think of a hitter this summer who performed better than him at the plate. This is no contest, my favorite swing I’ve seen this summer. There’s nothing to adjust/fix mechanically, which will allow the mental side of his hit tool to develop much quicker as he rises to each level. Carter would fit right into extended spring training games without notice, and his approach & intangibles (pitch recognition, plate discipline, hand-eye, reaction time) would give him immediate success. Like all good hitters his hips control the lower half, using momentum for knee 2 knee clearance. This creates proper direction up the middle of the field, and keeps his barrel in the zone forever. Carter has fluid rhythm in hands, perfect separation timing, and he repeats launch position. The entire body works together in sequence for optimal linear connection as he throws the hands. He has advanced lower half mechanics, adjusting knee bend on the low ball. He’s got a smooth, lofty path and consistently hits the inner half of the baseball for backspin doubles in the gaps. The recent power 5 commit can adjust path to any pitch in any zone That’s far from all Carter Johnson is. This is a fluid defender who can stick at SS due to athleticism to make low probability plays, and cannon for an arm that will surely end up plus or better. He’s also a problem on the mound, up to 91 mph!

Mason Braun, OF, New Prarie, Indiana Mustangs Nat’l, 2024
Virginia Tech Commit. 6 foot, 185 pounds. Of all the bats I’ve seen this summer, this one is by far the most explosive through the hitting zone. Braun’s ability to accelerate on FB’s/decelerate on CB/SL is a big time separator for him. Being built like the Incredible Hulk’s son helps. This is a true masher who’s hands produce more force through contact than any amount of velocity he’ll face. In the past two years, he’s gone through a couple different stances (as many young hitters do) and consistently made small adjustments to simplify his swing so his unbelievable strength and twitch can take over. This shows good aptitude, and the swing has progressed at an impressive pace since being in HS. Mason’s swing mechanics are now able to create optimal violence and efficiency in one compact spot, keeping the head extremely still and allowing him to track and react to any pitch in any zone. He’s taken such a leap with the mechanics that when you combine his natural strength, this might be the most efficient power bat in the country for his class. Braun’s advanced lower half takes tons of pressure off his upper body and creates tons of controlled momentum to go with his freakish strength. Its touch & go off the backside so he never wastes time letting the ball come to him, he attacks with his lower half gaining ground aggressively. His hips stride for him, keeping the head still underway (foot stride = head follows front side). It allows him to catch the ball on the barrel in front of the plate and keeps him balanced with the head in the center of the base. The way his hands move in & out of launch position is just different. Both the top and bottom hand are perfectly balanced - 1. Creates perfect linear connection 2. Allows hands & elbows to work close to the body so he can front arm shrink to get to FB’s on the hands, and can just as easily work inside out to the opposite field. 3. Allows knob to lead swing, and bat path to match the plane of his hips+shoulders and most importantly pitch trajectory. The balance in his swing fits perfectly with his left center to right center approach, and the combo is going to give him top of the scale raw power to all fields! He’ll at least be an average runner on the scouting scale with potential for A/AVG. He plays hard nosed in the outfield and on the basepaths, continuing to bloom athletically year by year. This is an electric corner outfielder with a solid arm who can play solid 1B if needed, and his bat will continue to take him to the moon!

Minjae Seo, RHP, Hebron, AR Sticks, 2025
Vandy Commit. 6 foot 1, 170 pounds. The No. 7 player in all of Texas for 2025 is on track to be heavily entrenched in draft conversations when the time comes. He has a delivery that's an absolute work of art and legitimately 10 years ahead of his age. This is without question the smoothest, cleanest, healthiest delivery I’ve seen all summer. Quite simply, the perfect rhythm and sequence Minjae creates from start to finish allows him to repeat all pitches for strikes with consistent life. Great athletes have elite deliveries, and Seo is a great athlete. He has a near perfect (balanced) delivery & arm action combined with natural arm speed, focus on the craft, projectable frame, and a big brother who is an awesome player & competitor on the field to learn from. This is no doubt one of the most advanced arms in the country, and he has so much room to develop! His footwork, patience over the rubber, and compactness with knee in up+down+out phases lead to him maintaining a perfect line to the plate, which in turn allows him to effortlessly dot both edges with 3 pitches. It also allows his fluid, full arm action to gradually build momentum and on time + connected to the largest muscles for optimal arm health. He works smoothly downhill and lands in a great position to throw (with more of his weight stacked on the backside) with good flexibility/mobility leading to elite hip/shoulder separation. Seo stays down through his delivery and keeps sequence with his chest working over the front knee for good extension. Working his front knee toward lock out from landing to just after release will take his explosiveness to another level. He lands in a perfect position with it (slightly bent but firm) and it holds up very well through release, so he’s almost there. The FB was 87-88 T89 when I saw him with nasty run+sink, getting a beautiful blend of strikes looking, grounders, and swing & miss. He’s going to command this pitch plus, I have no questions about it. His bugs bunny CH is 76-78 and will follow suit as a plus pitch he can throw to both LHH and RHH in any count. His CB is much improved over the last year, throwing it with tight rotation coupled with short, late IVB. I believe it can be an average or better MLB pitch in the future. What I love most about Minjae on the mound is his ability to repeat the arm slot and tempo on all three pitches, giving zero clue to hitters on what's coming. Completely unpredictable.

MJ Seo, SS/RHP, Hebron, AR Sticks, 2023
LSU Commit. 5 foot 9, 170 pounds. The No. 22 player in the Lone Star State is a beast of a two - way player who has the talent and confidence to immediately be in consideration for the John Olerud Award (Nation’s best 2-way player) his first year on campus in the Bayou. The first thing I noticed about him was his relentless competitiveness, and how sharp he is in all facets of the game. The baseball IQ is absolutely ridiculous for MJ, I haven’t seen a player this year who is more aware of every situation than him. It’s also a big reason why he’s able to adjust in a split second at the plate, on the mound, or in the field. You’re essentially getting two elite prospects here. A hitter who can barrel any arm in the country with ease, and is just as likely to take you deep as he is to produce a clutch 2 strike knock to the opposite field. He actually blessed me with the greatest swing I’ve ever filmed at LakePoint or anywhere else - a chin height FB at 89 that everyone in the park was shocked he even got a piece of, he sent out of the park in left field. The fact he was even able to get his hands above the ball was crazy enough, but to maintain a knob led path keeping his barrel in the zone and to get fully extended on this ball was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen. I knew immediately this was a complete hitter and in 3 tournaments at our complex, still haven’t seen him strikeout. His approach at the plate starts with what made Justin Turner an All-Star - attack the ball with the lower half, catch everything in front of the plate just outside the front foot. This is pound for pound one of the strongest players in the country regardless of class. He’s going to hit for average and power at the games highest level. If you haven’t seen the MJ+Minjae Day in the Life with Youth Prospects on YT go check it out to see how hard these dudes work. There you’ll also see MJ deadlift a house. Seo sinks into his lower half very well, allowing him to stay down thru his swing and match any pitch on any plane. He manipulates the barrel better than any hitter I’ve seen and repeats his swing better than any hitter I’ve seen, it all starts with routine. It’s a very quick, compact stroke with an all fields approach. On the bump, it's one of the most balanced & efficient deliveries around. His unreal core+lower half strength allows him to create controlled violence after landing without coming off his direction one bit. Seo has a lightning quick arm created by an efficient short circle AA from a high ¾ slot that works extremely well. He gets down the mound explosively and repeats the delivery like a pro. His future plus FB sits 90-92 T94 with nasty running action from a steep plane, and he can locate to both sides of the plate automatically. His sharp SL in the 79-82 range has a sweep+depth combo ans is a big time freeze pitch to LHH and has swing & miss capability to both sides. He also has a heavy CH that should end up MLB avg. As a defender he has all of the intangibles needed as well as the smooth hands, quick exchange, and cannon for an arm. He always seems to be in the right place. This will be one of the most versatile players in the game, either in college or pro ball.

Mitchell Berger, RHP, Beechwood, ATY Berger, 2023
EKU Commit. 6 foot, 210 pounds. This future college ace has the perfect blend of power and finesse, and plenty of ceiling to go with it. It’s not often you see a pitcher built like a D1 fullback have this loose, explosive arm that can hold velocity deep into starts without tiring. Berger is as natural as a pitcher gets. He’s got a simple, non manufactured delivery that works effortlessly down the mound with unbelievable stuff. The body has so much durability, strength and the arm action stays so well connected to the backside in stride, putting him in a great position to throw. When you find out his dad is former big league outfielder Brandon Berger (also built like a brick & also an EKU commit), the athleticism and flexibility for his size is no longer surprising. This is going to be one of the best freshman arms in college baseball as soon as he steps on campus, as long as he does arrive on campus. Scouts are going to like his high spin FB (2500+ rpm) working in the 89-91 range and regularly touching 92-93 with angry bore that saws off any RHH who tries to barrel him. It’s going to be a plus pitch and he has feel for both edges of the plate with it currently. His lower half mechanics are a big part of him holding velo late into starts, as they take all of the pressure off his arm and allow it to fire freely with the kinetic chain. Mitchell’s power CB in the 74-77 range spins loudly at 2600-2700 rpm with two plane SNAP. It has some of the sharpest vertical bite I’ve seen the class and flashes hammer already! Berger can throw it for strikes just as easily as he can bury it, both getting bad swings & freezing bats on the regular. He also has feel for a CH in the low 80’s that I feel can develop into an avg pitch down the line. I believe this is a mid rotation starter at the games highest level with 2 future plus pitches and a good shot at an average 3rd. With the frame, arm speed, and electric life it's hard not to see a starter version of David Bednar down the line. I’m all in!!

Calvin Johnson, MIF/CF, Frederick Douglass, 15U Commonwealth, 2025
Uncommitted. 5 foot 9, 140 pounds. Future five tool D1 CF for me who can make just as much of a defensive impact at 2B. He was the best hitter I scouted at our 15U National Championship, with multiple barrels in every game he played, and a handful of XBH’s and SB’s! The arm is slightly behind at SS but with his work ethic, I wouldn’t put it past him to develop the arm a ton and be a very solid SS by the time he graduates. He doesn’t just have big time bat speed for his size, he has it for any size. Even though there are plenty of great hitters with his frame (cough cough Mookie Betts), lack of size/physicality remains the easiest way to get an amazing high school prospect over another school/MLB team. Comically, when those players produce immediately at big HS events or get on a bigger stage in college they’re all the sudden on Team USA and top round picks (Nick Allen, Nick Madrigal, Travis Swaggerty, Dustin Pedrioa). Johnson has every tool needed to be one of the best hitters in the country. There’s an innate ability to track pitches and effortlessly adjust his path/body underway to any pitch in any zone. When you see him square up high level arms with lightning bat speed and incredible balance, you notice he has freakish strength in the wrists & forearms before being physically developed. He’s a plus athlete with near perfect swing mechanics & elite hand eye. Mechanically, Calvin’s hips are the engine of his swing, the barrel tilts just before separation activates twitch & momentum in wrists. Head stays quiet as he gains ground in stride, clearing hips before a soft landing on his front foot. His connected hand path works quickly and effortlessly close to the body. Core is very involved as he works to contact point with shocking force. Knob leads path, barrel replaces! Johnson is already a plus runner underway moves extremely well in all facets. I believe he will be a top of the scale runner with impact defense. It’s going mighty combo of hitting for average and power production. Most importantly he’s a great kid with a quiet confidence who leads by his team by example!

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