Massachusetts Western Preview Showcase: 2017/'18 Evaluations

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Massachusetts Western Preview Showcase

By Dennis Healy

Massachusetts Scouting Director

We would like to thank all who participated in PBR Massachusetts' Western Preview Showcase. This was a great opportunity for unsigned senior prospects to be put on college radars. Many players impressed during their individual workouts at the showcase. Below we have the complete statistical results from the event as well as the top performers across various different categories. 

In the coming weeks, we will be adding and updating profiles for each of the players in attendance, including complete analysis and video.

Interested in attending a PBR Massachusetts event? Check out our schedule by clicking here.

For now, please take a look at the statistical results from the event by clicking here.

Also please take a look at the Top 11 Article, which highlights the top performers using 11 commonly used criteria for analyzing prospects, by clicking here.

To view the 2015/'16 evaluations from the event please click here.

Massachusetts Western Preview Showcase: 2017/'18 Evaluations

2017 Evaluations

Top Pitcher
: Ryan Towle, RHP, Westfield, 2017
Top Positional Player
: Trevor Gustavson, C, St John’s, 2017

Anthony Clark, C, Westfield, 2017

5-foot-10, 190-pound build and solid. The left-handed hitting catcher has tools to be a good.  Pop time of 1.97 with a clean high arm slot and accurate. The feet are simple and quick. The arm strength behind the dish was 73 mph. His receiving is average at this point but with work he could be a plus receiver. Ran a 5.36 40-yard dash and has an easy gait. The left-handed swing is loose and clean. Pulls the ball a bit too much now but his swing is compact and direct to the ball  Power potential is there on the pull side but for now he is a gap-to-gap hitter. Tee exit velocity was 82 mph. Big follow in these coming months as left-handed hitting catchers are hard to find.

Jacob Balderston, C, Amherst Regional, 2017

5-foot-7, 175-pounds athletic build. Right-handed hitter with an open stance and early hip action. Setup is with a high elbow and barrel which is a tick long to the ball. Feet do get into position, so his base is fine. With added strength, the handling of the bat should come easy. Behind the plate, a low-¾ arm angle, with some head shifting in his throwing causes the ball to run on him. The feet are good as the pop time was 2.06 at his best. 40 time was 5.57 which can improve with work. Exit velocity off the tee was 77 mph.

Matt Barrett, RHP/3B, East Longmeadow, 2017

5-foot-11, 183-pound two-way prospect that showed well for himself with his versatility. Positionally, at third he was 77 mph across the diamond with an arm action that was long. Foot speed will need to improve in the infield as he ran a 5.50 40-yard dash. The swing is loose and the barrel needs to flatten through the zone. Exit velocity off the tee was 87 mph so the bat speed is there. On the mound, is a bit higher than ¾ slot with a nice clean arm swing. There is life in his arm and he has deception as he pitches against his feet so the ball has angle to it. Touched 81 mph with life to it. Spun a breaking ball at 68 mph with depth. The changeup was at 73 mph and needs a rotational clean but he could advance that in time. Matt is a nice looking pitcher who should be followed throughout this coming spring and summer.

Nathan Ayala, C/3B, Chicopee, 2017

5-foot-8, 175-pound strong, athletic build. Swung the bat with strength and length in the barrel. Wide base in his stance he showed a flat path and the ability to stay behind the ball. Exit velocity off the tee was 68 mph. Ran a 5.13 40-yard dash. Arm velocity from the infield and behind the dish were both 72 mph. The catching skills are there as his arm will play as he showed a 2.09 pop time. Behind the dish the arm path is a bit higher and cleaner and foot work is workable. At third, he showed a playable glove and a low-¾ arm angle with carry on the throws. Catching is more than likely in his future.

Ryan Towle, RHP, Westfield, 2017

6-foot-3, 185-pound long and lanky right-handed pitcher. A bit higher than ¾ arm slot. Pitched at 79 mph for most of the showcase with a heavy ball and sink. The plane of the ball is downhill. The breaking ball is 68 mph with the correct spin. In time, the spin could be a plus pitch for him. The changeup is really good, spin was there while being thrown with good arm speed at 72 mph. The delivery is a bit deceptive as the front side goes high-to-low and he pushes with the backside towards home. In the stretch, he repeated a slide step at 1.37 and looked good doing so. Great deal to like with this guy as his body and arm are loose. The frame will fill out and get stronger.

Trevor Gustavson, C/1B, St. John’s, 2017

Power in the bat is the first thing that comes to the forefront when watching this 6-foot-1, 215-pound catcher. Tee exit velocity of 89 mph and the bat is long and strong. The barrel is flat through the zone and the feet are quiet, stable out of a semi-crouched stance. The hand path is simple and clean. The body needs some strength and growth but he could be a dangerous offensive player these next couple years. Threw 76 mph in the infield and 73 behind the dish. Ran a 5.53 40-yard dash and showed loose actions while moving around at the showcase. Pop time of 1.98 with a long arm path and feet that are happy back there. The tools to catch are there, just needs some cleaning of technique and experience. Probably an offensive catcher/first baseman in the future. Definite follow across the board.

2018 Evaluation

Jonathan Morrison, RHP, Hopkins Academy, 2018

Long and lean, 6-foot-3,190-pound right-handed pitcher who has a great deal of potential. Slightly higher than 3/4 slot with a little head lean during arm swing. Fastball was 79-82 mph with good arm-side action and life. Showed a 69 mph breaking ball and also an above average slider at 74 mph. Changeup was 71 mph but still has a ways to go. Nice easy leg lift and frame to work with as he matures. Impressive showing for a young 2018 arm.

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