Prep Baseball Report

Bracket Play Prodigies

Justin Goetz, Sean Smith, Chaz Crawford, Paul Gies
PBR Georgia Staff

PBR 15U National bracket play was one for the ages!! It featured more close games than we’ve ever seen in a tournament, including 3 tie game walkoffs in the semi finals & finals! Two of those by the South Charlotte Panthers, the eventual winner with an incredible roster. We’d like to give a big shout out to Chicago White Sox Ace for their valiant effort. You’ll find players from both teams in this article, along with many other high potential prodigies.

Ezra Essex, CF, White Sox Ace
Uncommitted. 5’8 150 of lean muscle and pure electricity. This is a prototype leadoff hitter who’s just as likely to lace a 1st pitch in the gap as he is to work a lengthy AB. Even the best arms can rarely disrupt his timing, showing the aptitude to adjust his path or decelrate on the fly. Essex has the competitiveness and strong hands through contact to match the force of any pitch, and is a student of the game who studies every pitcher when he’s in the dugout. He creates fluid rhythm & sequence with quiet, simplified actions years ahead of his time. Lower half pace is perfect. Separation timing on point, hands work close to body for short direct path with crazy twitch. Ezra is a 6.6 runner (laser time) and is surely on his way to having top of the scale wheels. These explosive tools allow him to cover a large amount of ground in CF with a quick 1st step and long speed.

Eugene “Tro” Fellings, OF/LHP, MC Hit Dogs
Uncommitted. He’s the definition of confidence & relaxation at the plate and shows an advanced approach, with impressive strike zone awareness and early pitch recognition out of the hand. One of the smoothest, most repeatable forward moves in the tourney. The most exciting thing about him are the high level swing mechanics you’d typically see in a good college or minor league bat. His light toe tap triggers 1 piece load, effortless in & out of launch. Sweet, efficient stroke. Creates loft w/ late barrel angle in path. This is a player who runs athletically well before he’s grown into the frame. Looks to be an A/AVG or better runner that we see ending up in CF when he catches up to his feet. Sleeper!

Jesus Lopez, RHP, FS21 Baseball
Uncommitted. is a smooth operator w/ compact delivery from Sinaloa, Mexico. This is the same area Dodgers ace Julio Urias comes from. Unsurprisingly, his footwork, timing of hands/knee in overhead wind, and direction are years ahead of their time. Really stays behind the ball & drives (OH slot) downhill from an extremely clean, mid depth AA that creates deception and easy arm speed. He worked both edges with a plan for  his 84-86 T87 FB that showed heavy sink & run. The CB 73-75 is a sharp, vertical breaker that shows potential to be a power offering. He flashed a downer CH with some late fade in the upper 70’s with similar life to the FB. He’s got an advanced delivery & high baseball IQ to hitters that should put him ahead of the game as he gets stronger.

DeMaurion Butler, SS, White Sox Ace
Here we have a gamer who plays tough and smart in all facets. This ball of muscle is very twitchy in & out of launch, showing the ability to decelerate/accelerate easily. He looks to do damage early on FB’s but will battle deeper in counts and is difficult to strikeout. Butler has the look of a plus runner in the future who’s going to possess some serious raw power and stick up the middle of the field. This is a gamer who will be an asset to any college lineup in the future.

Max Huston, RHP, Seaman, 2025, Royals Scout Team
Uncommitted. Huston showed off a very exciting 3 pitch mix on the mound this weekend during bracket play. His sinking FB sat comfortably in the mid 80’s and topped out at 87mph with >2:00 spin direction that got on hitters in a hurry. The CH, his best offspeed weapon, worked in the mid 70’s w/ deadly fading life. The pitch was used heavily against left handed hitters, but could be an intriguing weapon against right handers as well. His 3rd pitch, the CB, worked in the 68-71 range with late sweep. The confidence in the CB is more apparent than the CH at the moment, despite the CH having the better metric profile. It is a funky 3/4 crossfire delivery that causes deception. Athletic frame who has shown two way ability as well!

Tyler Baird, RHP, William A Hough (NC), 2025, South Charlotte Panthers 
Uncommitted. The tall, lanky right hander impressed many during the first night of the 15u National Championship and did more of the same to start bracket play. The FB velocity was a tick up from last outing where he sat 86-88. The FB was now sitting 88-90 T91 with the usual extreme run+ride characteristics. The FB’s flat VAA proved difficult for hitters to pick up on when the FB was thrown up in the zone (a lot of IZM’s). Broke out a harder CB hovering around 80mph with sharp 2 plane depth at 2400 spin. CB has a chance to have real swing and miss potential. Flashed a CH to left handed hitters in the low 80’s with HZB numbers reaching 16 inches. One of the best right handed arms in the country only improves his stock with back to back impressive outings!

Andrew Purdy, 3B/RHP, Calhoun (GA), 2025, Georgia Jackets
Alabama Commit. Purdy has been one of the best players in the state and it has been for good reason. The strength is displayed almost every time we see him whether it be hard singles to the opposite field or mammoth home runs to pull side. Imposing left handed stick at the plate who changed his swing for this tournament where we saw him get the foot down super early and attempt to use the hands more effectively. Unique stance, but the results appeared the same. Also impressed with his two way ability on the mound where we saw him at 83-86 with the FB and a CB in the low 70’s with sudden sweep. Ranked top 35 in the nation and top 5 in the state!  
Steele Hall, IF/RHP, Daphne (AL), 2026, Excel Blue Wave 
Uncommitted. We are looking at one of the best 2026 prospects in the country both in the field and on the mound. Wiry, lean 5’10 145lbs with a lightning quick arm on the mound. Funky downhill 3/4 slot that created some deceptive angle to the hitters. FB sat 84-86 and touched 88mph with crazy high spin numbers that we saw touch as high as 2600. He mixed in a CB in the low 70’s with late sweep at 2600 spin as well and a CH at 75 with fading life. The command was an little sporadic, but one of the more explosive ‘26 arm talents we have seen at Lakepoint this summer! Not to mention Steele’s ability both in the field and at the plate. It is an advanced approach we will be talking about for years to come. The defensive ability is nothing to shy away from as there is + athleticism, instincts, reactions, and ability to change throwing slots. 6.9 runner whose speed will only get better as he gets stronger!  
Kaden Hart, OF, Oak Grove HS (NC), 2025, South Charlotte Panthers 
Powerful strong frame. The outfielder found barrels all weekend for the Panthers. His front hip clears early and he has good knee to knee drive. Back elbow drives his hands through the zone. He has loose relaxed hands at the plate and throughout his swing. Quick twitch muscles and able to hit good velocity. Ball really launches off his bat, power to all fields. Witnessed a no doubter home run from the outfielder, able to produce a lot of runs in the middle of the lineup.

Jay O’Neal, RHP, Cedartown HS (GA), 2025, East Cobb Astros 
The Gamecocks commit was dominant in his outing. Has fantastic rhythm on the mound. Rocks his hips back and forth until he’s ready to start his delivery. Stays loose and relaxed on the mound at all times. Short circle arm action from a high ¾ arm slot. Live arm, the ball jumps out of his hand. Relied on his fastball with bore 87-89 T90 to get ahead and stay ahead. Showed a wipeout slider 76-78, great strikeout pitch. Nearly unhittable, only giving up 1 hit in his outing of work.

Jack Quetschenbach, OF, Liberty HS (MO), 2025, Competitive Edge 
The outfielder for Competitive Edge was putting the team on his back this weekend. A plethora of doubles coming from him in the middle of the lineup. He has a quick leg kick and lands with a strong front side. Has an aggressive barrel path that creates backspin on the baseball. Good approach at the plate, looking to attack fastballs and having no issue with the mid to upper 80’s fastballs he was seeing. Big power potential as he continues to mature. A bat to keep an eye on.  
Xavier Mitchell, LHP, Naaman HS (TX), 2025, North Texas Longhorns 
Tall lean frame at 6-foot-3 150-pounds. Works exclusively out of the stretch. Gets down the mound well and his glove side works efficiently. Has a long circle arm action from an over the top arm slot. Really teaches the ball back in his delivery. Creates good angle on the fastball 84-86 T87 with sink. Showed a nasty two plane 12-6 curveball that was very effective in getting swings and misses. Has much more in his arm as he continues to mature, will be exciting to watch in the future.
Skylar Hegler, C, Andrew Jackson (SC), 2025, South Charlotte Panthers
Clemson commit. Lean frame at 6-foot-2, 170-pounds with present strength and plenty of room to continues adding on. At the plate, stands athletically with flex in his knees and a high back elbow. Balanced load as he sinks into his back knee with a bigger leg lift, has to be sure he lands softly on his plant foot to avoid getting too far out front, but when he maintains his weight in lower half can drive balls to all fields. Strong and quick hands with good barrel direction, easily times up pitches when everything stays in sync. Athletic behind the plate as well.

Owen Hancock, RHP, Worth County (GA), 2024, Team Elite Scout
Ole Miss commit. High-waisted, lanky frame at 6-foot-3, 165-pounds. On the mound, works at a very fast pace, getting right back on the mound after treceiving the ball from his catcher, stays ready to go and locked in at all times. ¾ circle action with an over-the-top slot, lightning quick arm speed from a steep angle. Predominately used his FB during outing, sitting 89-91 with explosiveness out of his hand, located in any quadrant and generated several s/m and uncomfortable ABs against a potent lineup. Also flashed a CB at 79-80, completely fooling hitters as it comes from the same slot as FB before snapping off its sharp break. A top-five arm in the state.
William Tonsmeire, OF, Vestavia Hills (AL), 2025, Excel Baseball
Uncommitted. Smaller but powerful frame at 5-foot-9, 170-pounds. Stands strong at the plate with a high back elbow. Cleanly shifts his weight into back hip as he loads with a big leg kick. Impressive job of staying balanced throughout before unleashing all of his power through contact. Easy juice in his quick and short swing with serious bat speed, will be able to produce against any velo. Big time present power with tons more in the tank. An exciting ballplayer.

Parker Lakey, RHP/INF, Hickory Ridge (NC), 2025, South Charlotte Panthers
North Carolina commit. Athletic and proportionate build at 6-foot, 180-pounds. Methodical delivery, then amps it up with his aggression at release point. ¾ circle arm action with a H3Q slot and a quick arm. Outing was cut short to 2 IP due to rain, but attacked with his FB while on the bump. Pitch sat 86-88 and touched 89 with ride, locating best on outer half and up in the zone for s/m. High-level arm talent with more in the tank as he continues to mature. Also delivered the walk-off knock in the 15u National title game to secure the championship. Related Content