Bootheel Open Player Analysis


Kevin Moulder
Missouri Scouting Director

The Bootheel Open in Kennett Missouri at the Ultimate Fitness facility Saturday January 30th showcased some of the top end talent from the area. A number of players stood out offensively including four players registering exit vlo's 90 plus. 2023's UALR commit Trey Gardner (Kennett), Hayden Nazarenus (Cooter) and Tanner Pierce (Kennett) showed they are players to know in the class having big days both performance and metrics wise. 2021 uncommitted Bodey Ellis (Kennett) was 93+ off the bat and had the top Blast Motion hand speed at the event. Behind the plate 2023 Carter Crosnoe (Cape Central) demonstrated soft hands and good receiving skills with a pop time as low as 2.04.

On the mound a couple of 2021 LHP's led the way.  Lindenwood signee Eli Brown (Saxony Lutheran) is a projectable framed arm that was up to 85 and showed plus feel for both his curveball and slider. Three Rivers CC signee Payton Heinley had one of the top curveballs at the event while topping out at 84 on the gun. A trio of 2022 arms showed upside and will be guys to follow this spring/summer. Kannon Carr (Poplar Bluff), Cayden Drum (Jackson Drum) and Ben Bledsoe (Charleston) all checked in in the top 5 in max fastball and fastball spin rate making them young arms to keep an eye on.

Player Analysis

 

Ben Bledsoe RHP / SS / Charleston, MO / 2022

Lanky 6-foot-2, 165-pound frame that can stand to add more weight as he continues to physically mature. Worked out both on the mound and in the infield at this event. Starts balanced at the plate, front arm bars slightly at load with a back head bat wrap, short path to contact, works on top of the baseball. Sits back on the baseball defensively, glove works slightly out front of body, two-hand gather to release. Arm plays from a short ¾ window. Hopped on the mound later in his workout and impressed. Tempo’d drop/drive type delivery with some rhythm, level shoulders, works in line to target, falls towards first base side after release. Arm plays long and finishes from a high ¾ slot. Fastball sat at 78-80 mph with four-seam action that played straight. Mixed in a changeup and curveball as well, the former being the more advanced pitch of the two flashing sink at 74-77 mph. Likely projects as an arm moving forward. 


Eli Brown LHP / Saxony Lutheran, MO / 2021

Projectable 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame with proportional athleticism scattered throughout. Ranked 150th in Missouri’s senior class and also committed to pitch at Lindenwood University (MO). Starts from the third base side of the rubber and initiates motion with a quick side step that funnels into an athletic downhill hip turn. Drop/drive type delivery, front side stays closed until footstrike, works in line to target with an athletic finish through release. Clean all-around operation, maintains a smooth rhythm. Long arm action, high ¾ slot. Fastball sat at 81-85 mph, created some downhill plane from an elevated release angle, pumped strikes at the knees. Changeup plays at 68-72 mph, thrown with near fastball arm speed, stayed elevated. Threw both a curveball and slider. The former flashed sharp spin off a 1/7 plane, clocked in at 68-72 mph. Latter was thrown with a tighter shape and wrinkle to it, more bullet spin at 72-75 mph. Both breaking balls were thrown with fastball intent and conviction. Brings intriguing future upside to the mound. 


Kannon Carr RHP / OF / Poplar Bluff, MO / 2022

Lean, athletic 6-foot, 175-pound frame. Room to add strength as he continues to physically mature. Worked out both on the mound and in the outfield. Tall start in the box offensively with an open lower half, hands slightly load back, bat wraps at load, short stride to footstrike. Short path that travels on an uphill plane through the zone, line drive approach with some feel to work the other way. Attacks the baseball in the outfield, sure-handed glove that works out front, clean exchange to release, plays through after release. Long arm circle finishes out of a high ¾ slot. Athletic drop/drive type delivery on the mound, high front side, lead leg swings into a hard front footstrike, works in line to target with a square landing. Arm plays with some length in the back, finishes from a high ¾ slot. Fastball sat 81-84 mph with advanced carry into the zone (averaged 21.4 inches of Induced Vertical Break, per TrackMan) and flashed slight arm-side action at times; strikes. Changeup sat 69-71 mph, thrown with near fastball arm speed, and played straight. Curveball played at 65-67 mph, mostly thrown with a loose wrist flick, spun off an 11/5 plane with some depth. 


Carter Crosnoe C / Cape Central, MO / 2023

Lanky, projectable 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame. Narrow stance with a slightly open base, active pre-pitch hand rhythm, smooth load with a bat wrap, strides closed off from target. Uphill bat path, sees the ball deep into the barrel, some feel to lift. Upright stance behind the dish, lower half works in line to the bag, advanced catch-and-throw skills for age, quick hand transfer to release. Short arm action, high ¾ slot; arm plays true to the bag with accurate throws on a line. 


Cayden Drum RHP / 1B / Jackson, MO / 2022

Physically imposing 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame and presence on the mound. Starts from a balanced position, slight side step initiates a drop/drive type delivery, tall at balance point, shoulders stay level, stays in line to target with a hard landing at front footstrike. Long arm action with some hook in the back, high ¾ slot. Fastball sat 81-82 mph and showed true arm-side run while playing up in the zone. Threw a changeup at 75-76 mph at fastball arm speed and showed natural arm-side action down in the zone. Curveball is thrown with power and intent, played at 71-72 mph with 12/6 shape and some depth to it. Intriguing follow arm in the state’s junior class. 


Bodey Ellis SS / OF / Kennett , MO / 2021

Strong, mature 6-foot-1, 200-pound frame. Did not take any defensive reps at this event. Starts balanced in the box with his bat rested on the back shoulder, arm bars at load as hands drop above hip pocket, utilizes a toe-tap timing mechanism. Strong hands and wrists with a tooled up power skill-set. Best batted ball left his barrel at 93.47 mph and traveled 320 feet, per TrackMan. Also boasts above-average hand speed for age at 24.66 mph according to our BlastMotion sensors. Still uncommitted. 


Trey Gardner OF / 1B / Kennett , MO / 2023

6-foot-2, 180-pound proportional frame that could still stand to add more muscle as he continues to physically develop. Represented Team Missouri at the PBR Future Games this past summer, recently committed to Arkansas - Little Rock. Starts balanced in the box, hands start high and load in rhythm with his lower half, short stride to even, smooth all-around operation. Loose hands, uphill bat path, natural pull-side approach that allows him to create leverage and loft that way. Recorded a max exit speed of 92.92 mph and a max fly ball distance of 333 feet in BP, per TrackMan. Quick first step in the outfield, feet play towards the baseball, sure-hand gather funnels into a clean exchange, slight hitch hop to release. Long arm action, high ¾ slot. A high-follow prospect in the state’s sophomore class. 


Heath Glazebrook 2B / SS / Normal University, IL / 2023

Lanky, high-waisted 5-foot-11, 150-pound frame. Balanced setup, steep front shoulder, minimal hand load, short stride. Bat stays short through the zone, hits off his front side and works on top of the baseball. Worked out up the middle defensively. Stays back on the baseball, hands field slightly out front, two-hand gather. Short, compact arm action, ¾ release angle. 


Hunter Hamilton OF / RHP / Saxony Lutheran , MO / 2022

Athletic, well-proportioned 6-foot-2, 177-pound frame that projects to tack on more strength as he continues to physically develop. Worked out both in the outfield and on the mound at this event. Ranked No. 93rd overall in the state’s junior class. Starts balanced in the box with a slightly open stance, slight hand hitch at load despite still working in rhythm, quick leg lift trigger to footstrike. Short bat path with some uphill leverage at times, showed steady line drive contact to all fields. Choppy footwork towards the baseball, steady hands with a clean exchange, plays through the baseball. Long arm action with some downward reach in the back, high ¾ slot. Hopped on the mound later on in his workout. Aggressive side-step initiates a drop/drive type delivery, tall posture at balance point, level shoulders, open-toed landing at front footstrike. Compact arm stroke, high ¾ slot. Fastball worked at 69-73 mph, flashed some arm-side glide and worked around the zone. Threw both a curveball and changeup, the former looking like the more advanced current offering of the two, spinning at 56-59 mph off a loose 11/5 shape. 


Payton Heinley LHP / OF / Kennett , MO / 2021

Strong, sturdy 6-foot, 205-pound frame. Ranked 83rd overall in the state’s senior class, committed to pitch at Three Rivers Community College. Works on the first base side of the rubber, drop/drive type delivery, shoulders stay square to front foot strike, maintains linear progression towards target. Short, compact arm stroke, high ¾ slot. Fastball sat 82-84 mph and played with natural arm-side run and occasional sinking action. Threw both a curveball and slider. Curveball played at 66-67 mph with 1/7 shape and gradual spinning action. Slider was thrown with more aggression, sat 71-72 mph and showed tighter 2/8 type spin than his curveball. Flashed feel for changeup at 70-72 mph. Quality southpaw that’s capable of landing his offerings for strikes. 


Samuel �Peyton� Hodges RHP / 3B / East Prairie, MO / 2023

Strong, athletic 5-foot-10, 170-pound frame. Ranked 150th overall in the state’s sophomore class. Worked out on the infield and as a right-handed pitcher. Starts balanced from the right-handed batter’s box, slightly open stance with hands up high at the ear, subtle hand load into a short stride. Bat travels on a short path through the zone, sees the ball deep at times, line drive approach. Active feet that play to the baseball, upright fielding posture, two-hand gather that work under the center of the body. Arm plays short and finishes from a ¾ angle. Hopped on the mound later on in his workout. Works exclusively from the stretch, quick slide step, tall/fall type delivery with advanced hip/shoulder separation at front footstrike, recoil finish. Short, quick arm stroke finishes from a high ¾ slot. Fastball sat 76-78 mph, played straight and was thrown around the zone for strikes. Curveball is presently his best secondary offering, played at 64-66 mph with sharp spin off an 11/5 plane, landed for strikes. Changeup was thrown with a loose wrist at near fastball arm speed, working in the 69-72 mph range. 


Jacob Kinsman 3B / 2B / Benton , IL / 2023

5-foot-10, 220-pound frame with a thick lower half. Right-handed hitting infielder. Balanced setup in the box, hands start high with fluid pre-pitch rhythm, smooth bat tip load, long stride to front footstrike. Strong hands and quick wrists, bat travels on a short path through the zone, some feel to lift, weight works out front at times, repeats well. Lower half works in rhythm on the infield, sure-handed gather out front of body, clean hand transfer funnels into a quick release, plays through the baseball at times. Corner infield profile. Short and loose arm circle finishes out of a high ¾ slot. Hopped on the mound later on in his workout. Tempo’d drop/drive type delivery, varies timing with back leg, hand separates early and drops straight down behind right quad. Level shoulders throughout, lower half works in line to target, finishes towards first base side after release. Long arm action, high ¾ slot. Fastball played straight at 75-79 mph, flashed sinking action towards the glove-side out of the windup. Changeup was thrown with slight deceleration in the arm action, flashed sinking action and was located down in the zone. Occasionally landed his curveball for strikes, 11/5 shape, 61-65 mph. 


Mason Mayhew LHP / OF / Saxony Lutheran, MO / 2022

6-foot, 185-pound frame. Worked exclusively from the stretch in his bullpen session. Tall/fall type delivery with some minor back leg ride, front side stays level to target, works direct to target and lands square. Long, slinger-type arm action, ¾ slot. Fastball sat 67-72 mph with sinking action, primarily to the arm-side of the plate. Changeup played at 60-63 mph, flashed arm-side action, still developing a full feel for pitch. Flashed the ability to spin his curveball off a 1/7 plane at 57-59 mph. 


Hayden Nazarenus OF / SS / Cooter, MO / 2023

Athletic 5-foot-10, 175-pound frame with a defined, muscular lower half. Left-handed hitter that worked out in the outfield and on the infield at this event. Balanced slightly open setup, calm and controlled hand rhythm with a smooth load into a strong hitting position, short stride to front footstrike. Strong wrists and forearms, long mostly level bat path, works underneath the ball trying to lift at times. Recorded a max exit velocity of 94.88 mph and max fly ball distance of 328 feet in BP, per TrackMan. Feet work in rhythm on the outfield grass, stays low to the ground with steady hands and plays through the baseball at times. Short arm action, high ¾ slot with advanced arm strength for age, topping out at 85 mph on his best throw to home. Plays with some pre-pitch bounce on the infield, stays low to the ground with a steady glove that plays out front, secure exchange with a quick hand transfer to release, accurate throws to the bag topping out at 78 mph. A high-follow prospect in Missouri’s sophomore class. 

 

 

Andrew Nevenner OF / LHP / Francis Howell North, MO / 2023

5-foot-10, 185-pound frame. Left/left prospect that worked out in the outfield and on the mound at this event. Open stance, front foot starts pointed inward, hands start high and rested over back shoulder, leg lift timing trigger to front footstrike. Bat travels on a long uphill path through the zone. Lower half works around the baseball defensively, soft hands, steady hand transfer with some length to release. Long arm action with a windup to release, high ¾ slot. Jumped on the mound later on in his workout. Starts balanced on the rubber, steady side step initiates a methodical tall/fall type delivery, lead leg swings to a closed landing, upright finish through release. Fastball plays at 63-66 mph with gradual, fading action away from right-handed hitters into the zone. Curveball was thrown at 51-55 mph, spun off a high-arching 1/7 shape. 


Tanner Pierce SS / RHP / Kennett, MO / 2023

Highly projectable and athletic 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame. Right-handed hitter that worked out on the infield at this event. Ranked 24th overall in the state’s sophomore class. Balanced slightly open setup, hands start in a strong hitting position, simple hand load with a slight drop, short stride to even. Loose hands and wrists with whippy bat speed, bat stays short and level through the zone, gap-to-gap approach, smooth all-around operation. Recorded a max exit speed of 90.98 mph with a max fly ball distance of 326 feet in BP, per TrackMan. Athletic feet on the infield, moves in rhythm, patient to the baseball with a sound two-hand gather out front of body, clean funnels at times. Short and loose arm action, high ¾ slot - topped at 81 mph across the infield. 


Colin Tarry 2B / SS / Saxony Lutheran , MO / 2022

Lean, high-waisted 5-foot-9, 145-pound frame. Right-handed hitting middle infielder that also worked out on the mound. Showed above-average foot speed early in his workout, running a 4.12 home-to-first time. Wide setup in the box, hands load back and synchronously with the lower half, toe-tap timing trigger to footstrike. Short bat path, occasionally hits off his front side. Steady actions up the middle, glove plays out front over body, quick hand transfer with a glove pack to release. Arm travels on a short arm path, finishes from an elevated ¾ arm angle. Hopped on the mound later in his workout. Quick side-step initiates a drop/drive type delivery, aggressive front hip turn into downhill ride, closed shoulders throughout, works in line to target. Long arm stroke with some poke in the back, finishes from a high ¾ slot. Fastball came out clean, sat 74-78 mph and flashed occasional arm-side action. Circle changeup thrown at 70-71 mph with gliding arm-side run and sink. Curveball showed above-average spin and depth at times, developing comfort for pitch, spun off an 11/5 plane at 62-64 mph. 

 

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