Prep Baseball Report

Battle for The Arch: Missouri Quick Hits

By: Diego Solares
Area Scout, Illinois & Missouri

On Tuesday, September 26th, the PBR Illinois and PBR Missouri staffs converged on the campus of Saint Louis University to host the annual Battle for The Arch showcase. This invite-only event featured 2024 and 2025 graduates from Missouri and the Metro East area as a whole, pitting participants in a pro-style workout, followed by a simulated eight-inning game.

For a list of all of those that attended, click HERE.

Yesterday, we posted our traditional ‘Stat Story’, highlighting some of the day’s stat leaders. You can find that HERE.

Today we’re recapping the day as a whole and shining some light on a multitude of standouts from this event. Below you’ll learn more about the names that popped at this year’s ‘Battle for the Arch’. 


+ OF Slater Hooke (Vianney, 2024) is an uncommitted 6-foot-1, 185-pound left-handed hitter with upside to multiple areas of his game that showed well at this event. Hooke kicked his day off by running a 6.93 60, his best time at an event yet, and he recorded the day’s furthest batted ball (366 ft.), while also posting the third firmest peak exit velocity (96 mph). It’s a long, level left-handed swing that naturally creates leverage to the pull-side, and he was able to repeat it consistently throughout BP. Hooke’s arm played loose from the outfield, touching 86 mph on his hardest throw home.

+ OF Brennon Wibbenmeyer (Francis Howell, 2024) doesn’t lack any size or strength on a highly physical 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame. The left/left uncommitted senior ran the fastest 60 of any Missouri player in attendance (6.80) and did so while reaching a peak speed of 20.8 mph, the event’s second highest mark. Wibbenmeyer routinely belted balls into the right-center gap (273 ft. avg) during his round, and he hammered a triple to center field in-game, too. His inherent strength translated to the outfield, where he led the event in peak throwing velocity, popping a 90 mph on his firmest throw home.

+ 1B Nathan Higgins (Seckman, 2024) brings a physical 6-foot-2, 225-pound presence into the left-handed batter’s box. Higgins showed easy bat speed from a leveraged swing that intently worked to the pull-side, squaring his hardest ball up at 92.6 mph while averaging 89.8 mph per batted ball.

+ C Nicholas Livingston (Chaminade College Prep, 2024) led the event in average hand speed (23.8 mph), finishing second in peak hand speed (24.9 mph), too. He showed a strong right-handed barrel with an uphill, pull-side approach, posting a peak exit velocity of 91.6 mph.

+ Making the trip over from the state’s western part, RHP Gavin Caldwell (Sacred Heart, 2024) threw three pitches around the zone across his two-inning stint. An athletic, well-proportioned yet still projectable 6-foot-1, 180-pound athlete, Caldwell’s fastball played in the low-80s, touching 84 mph. He spun a tight, short wrinkle breaking ball at 73-76 mph (T2362 RPM) for strikes and showed a 78-80 mph changeup, too.

+ 1B Matthew States (Father Tolton Catholic, 2025) continues to show a simple and polished approach at the plate. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound junior stayed on his barrel and up the middle throughout his round, backspinning baseballs from a smooth, level right-handed swing. He posted the second highest average exit velocity (90 mph) on the day, hitting his hardest ball at 95 mph, with a peak batted distance of 338 ft., per TrackMan. States is an athletic mover at first base that has clean hands, footwork feel, and bounce off the bag.

+ The lone two-way player for Team Missouri, RHP/OF Brody Kleffner (Fatima, 2025) keeps giving our staff an intriguing look to pair with a 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame. Kleffner’s fastball played in the low-80s and touched 85 mph, though he was recently up to 87 at the Missouri Fall Upperclass Games, from a long and loose arm draw. He landed a slurvy-type breaking ball at 73-76 mph for strikes and, though he didn’t turn to it much in-game, showed a naturally fading upper-70s changeup thrown at arm speed. Offensively, Kleffner generated noticeable bat speed and whip out of his load, working uphill through the zone to contact. 

+ C/OF James Dolley (Lafayette, 2025) is a wiry 6-foot-1, 170-pound athlete with present lean strength and room to tack on more. Dolley’s hands played loose at the plate with bat speed, staying on plane with natural lift through the zone. He stayed on the barrel to his pull-side throughout his round, squaring his hardest ball up at 94.4 mph, while averaging 86.9 mph per batted ball - two numbers that are likely to climb as he continues to physically fill out his frame.