Knights Knation Opening Weekend - Review


Alex Armand
Louisiana Scouting Director

Summer is officially here, which means we get to see prospects come together from different high schools to compete against the best in the country.  The Knights Knation Organization is a fixture in amateur baseball, not only in Louisiana, but along the gulf coast and in the entire country.  Mandeville, LA is the "hub" for the Knights with affiliate organizations in: Lafayette, New Orleans, Northwest LA, Baton Rouge, Northeast LA, Alexandria, Mobile, Houston, Gulf Coast, Central Mississippi, and North Mississippi.  Opening weekend was held in Mandeville, LA, spread out between multiple fields and facilities.  Each team went through an on-field workout and a workout at "The Kastle", the Knights indoor training facility.  We camped out there for most of the weekend, as most teams were doing live at-bats indoors, which gave us chance to see pitchers and hitters in action.  Below, is a recap of the weekend and some of the prospects who stood out.  

 

2023 C/RHP Cameran Christ (Live Oak H.S.)

Christ has long been known as one of the top catcher's in the state, since he committed to Mississippi State two years ago.  During this past season, Christ saw time at catcher, second base, third base, outfield, and on the mound.  We got a chance to see him on the mound this weekend, live against hitters, and it was very intriguing.  His FB sat 84-85 mph, topping 86 mph with some life as it crossed the hitting zone.  Christ was able to locate to both sides of the plate, as well as up and down in the zone.  His 74-76 mph CB was the pitch that really stood out with above average spin and depth.  We definitely want to see Christ again on the mound this summer after what he showed this weekend.

 

 

 

2023 RHP/INF John Alex Walsh (Alexandria H.S.)

Physical and athletic 6'1" 180 lbs. frame with room to add strength; Walsh looked healthy this past weekend during his live bullpen session.  The FB sat 85-86 mph, topping out at 87 mph, however, we've seen him run his FB up to 90 mph and expect him to do so this summer.  He flashed an "11-5" shaped CB at 72-74 mph, as well as a 75-78 mph SL.  During the back end of the session, Walsh also worked on his 77-80 mph CH.  Now fully healthy, we are excited to see Walsh compete this summer, as he is one of the top uncommitted arms in the 2023 class. 

 

 

 

2024 John Pearson (West Monroe H.S.)

"Pearson" has become a household name for Louisiana baseball fans.  Jacob Pearson was the PBR Louisiana Player of the Year in 2017 and 2021 Josh Pearson (LSU Signee) has been the most feared hitters in high school baseball over the last 3 years.  Now, it is younger brother John's turn and he looks like the next great hitter in the Pearson family.  He was unable to compete for West Monroe H.S. this past season due to a shoulder injury that has sidelined him the past 5 months.  Just released from his doctor to hit; John looked really good swinging the bat this weekend, which should excite college recruiters this summer.

 

 

 

2024 SS Hayden Federico (West Monroe H.S.)

Our 2nd ranked player in the 2024 state rankings: Federico put together an impressive campaign for West Monroe High School.  Know for his defense, we saw Federico grow and develop as a hitter this past season for the Rebels, as he finished the year hitting in the two hole.  Power was an area that we thought would come later down the road, but it might be coming a little bit sooner after what we saw this weekend.  During the HR Derby on Saturday evening, Federico launched several balls from both the right side and the left side of the plate, on way to winning the event for the 2024 class.  Combining his defensive tool with his hit tool and now what looks to be his hit for power tool; Federico should be a name on every college recruiter's radar entering the summer circuit.

 

 

 

2022 OF Cardell Thibodeaux Jr. (Acadiana H.S.)

Thibodeaux has been a fixture in the Acadiana lineup ever since his freshman year when he hit leadoff, which is a spot where he still hits to this day.  Early on, Thibodeaux was your prototypical leadoff hitter who grinded out at-bats, put the ball in play, and got on base.  Strength and physicality have definitely been added to his frame, which has translated to increased power for Thibodeaux.  During Saturday's HR Derby, we saw some real bat speed and power on display, as he sent several balls way out of Mandeville High's ballpark with wood.  Coming into the summer, Thibodeaux is one of the top uncommitted prospects in the 2022 class, but it shouldn't be for long if he can continue to display his increased power in the bat.