Preseason All-State Showcase: Class of 2018-2019 Corner Infielders

KY TP Games

By Chris Fuller
PBR Kentucky

The annual Preseason All-State Showcase at Champions Baseball Academy in Nicholasville included more than 120 players from all parts of the state looking to showcase their abilities prior to the high school season. In what is the premier preseason scouting event in the state, there were many standout performances which we will feature over the next week.

Complete stats for all players were posted a few days following the event.

CLICK HERE to view the stats from the event.

The following is a look at the Class of 2018 and 2019 Corner infielders who participated in the event. This is position player analysis only. Those players who also pitched at the event will have that performance featured in a subsequent article.

Trace Willhoite, 1B, Scott County, 2019
60 Time: 7.86, Position Velocity:  IF-71, Exit Velocity: 87
6-foot-2, 173-pound RHH with projectable frame, hits from a balanced stance, mid-length stride, barrel gets on plane and stays in the zone, generates well above average bat speed with good hand quickness, has good feel for the barrel and shows projectable power for age. Average hands and footwork around the first base bag, short high-3/4 release with average arm strength for age, accurate throws. Wilhoite has the potential to develop into a consistent power threat at the plate, especially as he continues to add strength to his frame.

AJ Hacker, 1B/RHP, Rowan County, 2019
60 Time: 8.43, Position Velocity:  IF-78, Exit Velocity: 80
6-foot-2, 190-pound LHH has a sound fundamental plate approach, hits from a slightly open stance, squares up with a short stride, excellent balance allows him to use all fields well, solid swing path produced consistent line drive contact, shows flashes of power and expect more to develop. Shows soft hands, decent movement around the bag, should see some improvement in foot speed, good arm strength with accurate throws. Hacker has potential to be a high-level left-handed hitter in the 2019 class.

Jase Felker, 3B, Caldwell County, 2018
60 Time: 7.50, Position Velocity:  IF-79, Exit Velocity: L-85, R-85
5-foot-11, 185-pound switch hitter made significant improvement in measurables from fall event. Hits from a sightly open stance and gets to square with a short stride, arm bar in right handed swing leads to slightly longer swing path than the left side, similar type hitter from both sides with a line drive approach and uses all fields, big jump in exit velocity from both sides. Hands are soft, fluid corner actions, high-3/4 release, nice jump in arm strength. Felker is one to watch from the 2018 class.

Josh Graves, 3B, Nelson County, 2018
60 Time: 7.86, Position Velocity:  IF-77, Exit Velocity: 93
6-foot-1, 175-pound RHH ran his best 60 to date and showed a big jump in exit velocity. Hits from a balanced stance, short stride, explodes with strong lower half, plus bat speed for age, ball jumps off his bat to the gaps, has potential to develop consistent power. Appears to have found a home defensively at 3B, shows adequate hands and lateral movement, long high-3/4 release, good body control on slow roller, slightly above average arm strength. Graves’ current best tool is his bat. He continues to make overall strides in his game.

Brennan LaBarbera, RHP/1B, South Oldham, 2018
60 Time: 6.95, Position Velocity:  IF-76, Exit Velocity: 83
6-foot-3, 165-pound RHH significantly improved all measurables from fall event, hits from a balanced stance, mid-length stride, slight wrap in load, loose hands, took a good round of BP and showed the ability to generate some lift, could develop more consistent power with added strength. Shows soft hands with average footwork around the bag, good arm strength from a high-3/4 release, accurate throws.

Brynin Boykin, 1B, Lexington Catholic, 2018
60 Time: 7.30, Position Velocity:  IF-78, Exit Velocity: 84
6-foot-2, 175-pound RHH hits from an open stance, uses a big leg kick trigger and mid-length stride to get square, line drive contact with a gap to gap approach, above average bat speed, has potential to develop some power, improved 60 time significantly from previous event. Shows soft hands to go along with some athleticism defensively, footwork can improve to get into quicker throwing position, frame provides big target at first base.

Dillon Bland, 3B/RHP, Central Hardin, 2019
60 Time: 7.94, Position Velocity:  IF-83, Exit Velocity: 80
6-foot-2, 157-pound, projectable young frame, RHH hits from an open stance, uses a leg kick trigger and short stride to get square, line drive contact, gap to gap approach, shows above average bat speed for age. Shows solid defensive actions, adequate hands, average range, arm is quick with a short high-3/4 release, very good arm strength for age, good body control and ability to throw on the move. Bland is a 2019 prospect to keep a close eye on.

Aaron Burden, 3B/RHP, Central Hardin, 2018
60 Time: 7.92, Position Velocity:  IF-79, Exit Velocity: 80
6-foot-2, 200-pound RHH hits from an even/wide base, short stride, good balance through contact, shows occasional lift at contact, projectable power especially to the pull side. Average hands and defensive corner actions, has solid arm strength across the infield from a high ¾ release, quick exchange and release gets rid of the ball efficiently. Size and current skill set make Burden one to follow in the 2018 class.

John Hicks, 1B, Greenwood, 2018
60 Time: 7.86, Position Velocity:  IF-73, Exit Velocity: 91
6-foot-1, 225-pound RHH hits from a narrow and open stance, uses a big leg kick and long stride to square up, a lot of moving parts create occasional timing issues, shows power when everything is in sync, raw strength in swing with frame-generated bat speed. Average hands and feet defensively, high-3/4 release produced accurate throws, showed better arm strength at previous event (77 mph).

Ryan Hawks, RHP/3B, Warren East, 2019
60 Time: 7.61, Position Velocity:  IF-77, Exit Velocity: 85
6-foot-1, 180-pound RHH hits from an open stance, short stride, can incorporate more consistent use of lower half, steep swing path at times gets the barrel in the zone late, has some strength in swing, line drive type hitter with gap to gap approach. Shows good hands defensively, average corner actions, slow exchange and long release, solid arm strength for age from a high-3/4 release.

Charlie Henry, 1B, Henry Clay, 2018
60 Time: 8.20, Position Velocity:  IF-67, Exit Velocity: 87
6-foot-4, 200-pound RHH with ideal corner size, hits from a balanced stance, short stride, has some hand waggle in load, uses strong frame to generate above average bat speed, shows occasional flashes of power. Shows adequate hands and average footwork, has room to improve foot speed, long ¾ release with some accuracy, current arm strength is below average. Henry’s current best tool is his bat, and he has the potential to develop into a consistent power threat.

Trenton Thomas, 1B, North Hardin, 2018
60 Time: 8.01, Position Velocity:  IF-70, Exit Velocity: 74
6-foot, 205-pound LHH hits from a balanced stance, mid-length stride, minimal load, short swing path, occasional stiffness in lower half, showed better bat speed in BP than exit velocity would indicate, ball jumps off the barrel when he squares it up, made hard mid-field contact. Adequate hands, average footwork that can be quicker, long high-3/4 release with below average arm strength. Overall, an interesting left-handed hitter with some pop.

Jackson Haddle, RHP/3B, St Henry, 2018
60 Time: 7.62, Position Velocity:  IF-67, Exit Velocity: 78
5-foot-11, 160-pound RHH hits from a balanced stance, uses a leg kick trigger and short stride to initiate swing, longer swing path, average bat speed, middle of the field contact. Average hands, breaks down and fields ball deep, some tentativeness defensively, short high-3/4 release with below average arm strength.