2018 Southern Academic Games - Pitcher Analysis

Brandon Hall & Matt Payne
North Carolina Director of Scouting & PBR Assoc Scout

Wednesday June 20th, at Davidson College, Prep Baseball Report of North Carolina hosted the 2018 Southern Academic Games, featuring high academic players from as far away as Texas and West Virginia, with a majority of the players from North Carolina.  On an unbelievably hot day, position players took part in an extended workout prior to controlled scrimmages. Pitchers were able to throw to live hitters with the staff of PBR controlling the length of the innings as most players were gearing up for another weekend of contests.  

With close to 40 high academic players in attendance, several took the opportunity to separate themselves in front of college coaches in attendance and the PBR staff.  As part of the event, PBR will be breaking down each player, presenting the statistics from the day, with an evaluation from a PBR scout and video.

The event was planned to have 8 primary pitchers throw live to hitters, but in the week leading up to the event, several arms got "nicked up". The three primary pitchers that were left each showed an ability to have two or more pitches that project to getting hitters out at the next level. While the heat may have affected top end stuff on the day, each flashed an ability to compete with multiple pitches. All three have body types that will continue to add strength as they continue to mature.


Below we take an in-depth look at each arm with their evaluations and stats from the day. Links in their bio will take you to video on each guy from the day as well.

CLICK HERE for a complete look at the Southern Academic Games Roster

CLICK HERE for a comprehensive look at the statistics collected on every player in attendance.

+ 5 Players ran a sub 7.10 sixty, with 2 under 7.00… 11 ran under 7.30 seconds.
+ Accuracy was on display from the OF and INF workout sessions with several players showing carry as well.  Two outfielders were 84 or better and 6 infielders touched 79 across the diamond
+ 5 catchers turned in POP times of 2.10 or better, with three catchers carrying their throws out of the crouch at 75 mph or higher.
+ 4 hitters with exit velocities of 90 mph or higher… 11 above 85… 23 above 80.
+ In game action, 6 arms touched 80 or better with two 2019 grads working at 86 and 87.



Primary Pitcher Analysis

Jack Stroud LHP / OF / IMG Academy, TX / 2019

5 feet 10, 183-pound build. Strong lower half with some athleticism present.  Good feel for his body. Threw only from the stretch with some him and shoulder turn during an abbreviated leg lift,  working slightly across his body to the plate. Good extension over the front side. Long arm action, throwing from a high ¾ slot. Average arm speed that tends to increase as he gained feel for his release throughout the outing.  Fastball sits at 79-83 mph, topping at 84 mph with run to his arm side at times. Commands fastball best to his arm side but shows ability to get it to his glove side. Elevated early, settled to create some angle on the fastball. Fastball seemed to jump on hitters, especially when up in the zone.  Near fastball arm speed with his change-up, working around the zone. Change has fade at 74-76 mph with some feel for locating to the arm side. Big arcing curveball with 1/7 tilt at 64-67 mph. More chase than command with the breaker. Works with similar hand speed to the fastball but the window tends to shift to a slightly lower area out of the hand.  More feel for change than curveball right now but does show the ability to spin the ball. Chance to work with three pitches, allowing some projection to continue to work front end of games. Fastball should have growth as the arm continues to quicken.

John Torroella RHP / Mount Saint Joseph, MD / 2019

6 feet 3, 170-pound lanky, projectable build. Long limbs.  Plenty of room to continue to add strength and quickness to the frame.  Uses a simple delivery with a slower tempo, getting loaded good on his back leg during leg lift. Slight coil at balance, swinging the front leg down the hill, landing flat on the front foot with a square toe.  Front side lands with some bend in the leg as he drives through his line. On-line to the plate with a long arm action, throwing from an over the top slot. Arm speed can adjust pitch to pitch, but there is whip when it is on time.  Angle and down in the zone with his fastball sitting at 82-86 mph, topping at 87 mph. Fastball has late run to his arm side at times. At times falls to the 1B side, dragging the arm a bit, forcing misses up and to the arm side. Seemed able to make corrections on the fly throughout the outing.  Good feel for slider with 11/5 tilt at 75-78 mph. Has trust in the slider. Throws the slider for strikes and has the ability to expand with it down and away to right hand hitters. Slow curveball for strikes at 70 mph. Curveball works with a slight hump out of the hand and gradual 11/5 tilt. Slider and curveball have defined differences in velocity and tilt.  Works around the zone with his change-up at 78 mph. Growth and projection exist in the fastball and slider. As he matures and adds strengths to the frame, both pitches will continue to create issues for hitters.

Matthew Upchurch LHP / OF / Lincoln Charter, NC / 2019


6 feet, 170-pound strong, athletic build.  Quickness exists, running a solid 7.06 sixty on an oppressively hot day.  Frame will continue to add strength and quickness with maturity. On the mound, uses a fluid delivery with a high leg left. Gets some lean with his upper half to the third base side coming out of balance.  The lean causes some up-down issues with location. Good stride length, working athletic and loose over the front side. Long, athletic arm action throwing from a high ¾ slot with above average arm quickness.  Occasionally slightly open at foot-strike the body tends to roll over the front foot, falling slightly to the 3B side. Fastball ranged 77-80 mph, topping at 81 mph. Elevated during this outing, there is occasional run to the fastball when located down to the arm side.  Breaking ball ranged 62-70 mph with 11/5 break. Seems to change speeds on the breaking ball with tighter spin and tilt at 68-70. At times a little early, better extension through the line may create more depth on the pitch. Slower curveball has a hump out of the hand and rolls through the zone at 62-63.  Aggressive with his arm speed on change-up, mimicking the fastball. Change was straight but may fade with more extension through the pitch. Creating soft contact and some swing and miss with the offspeed pitch sitting at 69.
Potential dual player at the next level.  Hits from the left side using a tall, balanced, athletic setup. Smooth back in his load with a short stride, creating some momentum and getting his lower half through the ball. Loose hands with above average bat speed and some feel for his barrel. Barrel stays in the zone getting extension out front. Fluid swing with good balance and ball off the bat topping at 84 mph. Athletically plays through balls in the outfield with fluid feet and average hands. Long arm action throwing from an over the top slot. Accurate arm with carry to his throws topping at 80 mph.