Prep Baseball Report

2018 Top Prospect Games: Corner Infielder Analysis

Brandon Hall, Matt Payne, & Lee Miller
North Carolina Director of Scouting & PBR NC Scouts

On Monday August 6th, at Campbell’s Jim Perry Stadium PBR held one of the must-see events of the year in North Carolina.  In its second year, the Top Prospect Games have become a marked event for college coaches and pro scouts. This year’s event saw 66 players perform in front of over 25 evaluators from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Divided into four teams, position players were able to go through a complete pro-style workout, followed by an 8 inning controlled scrimmage.  Pitchers threw two controlled innings. This format allowed coaches and scouts to see players take BP, run a 60, workout at their defensive position, and still evaluate them in game situations.

Over the coming week, we will take a deep dive into the players that took part in the PBR Top Prospect Games.  Next up are the corner infielders that attended. Several 1B and 3B showed advanced strength with exit velocities topping 93 mph. A couple of the prospects also look to project to be dual guys at the next level. The full evaluations include a look at each player's statistics from the day as well as a link to their profile and PBR video.

CLICK HERE for the complete roster from the 2018 PBR Top Prospect Games

CLICK HERE for the complete statistical look at the 2018 PBR Top Prospect Games


PBR Top Prospect Games: By The Numbers
+ 66 of the Top Players in NC attended the 2018 Top Prospect Games
+ PBR received over 120 request for invite to the event, working with the state’s high school coaches, area scouts, and PBR’s staff to limit it to players that received a recommendation
+ 27 players ran a sub-7.25 sixty… 16 sub-7.10… 9 sub-7.00
+ The top infield velocity was 88 mph across the diamond… 12 players were 80 mph or better
+ The top outfield velocity was 89 mph… 13 players were 80 mph or better
+ All 10 catchers posted a workout pop time under 2.10
+ 21 hitters had an exit velocity of 90 mph or better with the high getting to 99 mph
+ 20 arms threw with 1 above 90mph… 9 above 85 mph… 16 above 81 mph.


2018 Top Prospect Games: Corner Infielders


Landon Frye 3B / 2B / Northwest Guilford , NC / 2020

Athletic build with a strong lower half, standing 5-foot-11, 175 pounds.  Strength is present. Exit velocity peaked at 85 mph off the barrel. Open stance from the right side with a slight crouch.  Weight shift back to load. Flat barrel with some waggle through to launch position. Short stride. Creates power with fast hands and extension through the zone.  Pull side tendency. Good rhythm in the box. Works around the ball, playing through the catch. Tends to catch off inside right hip. Some rhythm to a short arm action and high-¾ release.  Accurate at 74 mph across the diamond. Ran a 7.95 sixty.

Allden Horne 3B / 2B / East Lincoln , NC / 2019

Large, athletic frame with room to grow into the 6-foot-2, 180 pound build.  Room to continue to add strength. Quickness exists running a 6.89 sixty. Right handed hitter displays feel for the barrel and power potential with an exit velocity of 93 mph off the barrel.  Balanced, closed stance. Some waggle, loading with a slight leg kick and the barrel working to a vertical position. Looks to drive ball to the gap. Some stiffness due to altered barrel position pitch to pitch.  Limits some feel for the barrel. Average quickness with the strength showing when on the barrel. . Active feet on the infield. Hands work with a quick, clean exchange. Base can be narrow at the catch causing the body to get vertical through the exchange and release.  Short arm action loads the scapular with a high-¾ slot. Accurate arm with average carry at 81 mph across the diamond. Some feel for the game, transitioned to multiple positions in game play with ease.

Matthew Hancock 3B / 2B / St. Stephen's, NC / 2020

5 feet 11, 190-pound build. Hits from the right side using a tall, open setup. Dives to the plate during his load keeping him from fully getting his lower half through the ball. Barrel works short to the ball while maintaining balance throughout his swing. Exit velocity recorded at 86 mph and should improve with added looseness to his swing. Average hands on the infield, playing through the ball with quick exchanges.  Short arm action, throwing from a high ¾ slot with some accuracy to his throws.  Arm topped at 71 mph across the diamond.  Recorded a 7.49 in the 60-yard dash.

Jacob Shafer 1B / RHP / Southwest Guilford, NC / 2020


6 feet 6, 190-pound lanky build. Room to continue to add strength.  Hits from the right side with an athletic setup and short stride during his load. Balanced swing with above average bat speed. Gets out of his legs at times causing his barrel to work long and uphill through the zone. Shows pull power during batting practice that will only improve with added leverage to his swing. Exit velocity recorded at 87 mph. Plays athletic at first base with fluid feet and average hands.  Short arm action with his arm topping at 76 mph across the diamond. Showed power in game driving a ball to left center field. Projectable 2-way player with plus power potential.  Recorded a 7.32 in the 60-yard dash.
Frame continues to project on the mound.  Fastball played harder than gun reading, sitting 82-85.  Breaking ball can create swing and miss with downer 12/6 tilt at 67-71 maintaining the hand speed seen on fastball.  Slight hump out of the hand that should tunnel better as he matures.  Good feel for both pitches.  Strike thrower with above average arm speed and a high-3/4 release from an average arm swing that can get length away from the body as it climbs to its high point.  High leg kick turns the lower half slightly.  Tends to fall through balance, down the hill slightly early but recovers with the arm swing.  Average stride length may lengthen with better balance point and strength in the lower half.  Slightly across his body at landing working to create angle. 

Dominick D'Ercole 3B / RHP / Middle Creek, NC / 2019


Strong body with tools at 6-foot-1, 185 pounds.  Potential dual player at the next level. Athletic in the box.  Balanced stance from the right side. Lagged bat position. Leg kick loads the body back.  Short stride. Direct bat path working for extension with above average bat speed. Lower half explodes through contact.  Good balance throughout. Hands finish high. Exit velocity of 92 mph off the barrel. Defensively, fluid feet can get heavy at times, but works to move through the ball.  Soft hands and easy transitions at the mid-section. Medium arm swing to a high-¾ slot. Carry and accuracy are present at 86 mph across the diamond.

On the mound the fastball bumped 87, sitting 82-85.  Feel for three pitches in the zone with the change-up and slider creating discomfort and swing and miss.  Strong lower half with an average leg kick working level with a slight coil at balance. Long arm action, bottoms out slightly as it works to a high-¾ release.  Breaking ball ranged 70-73 with 11/5 tilt. Slight hump out of the hand. Change-up mimics the fastball hand speed. Straight, it sat 77-79.

Nick Leonard 1B / OF / Ronald Reagan, NC / 2019


Big bodied and strong at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds. Strength over quickness with better than average bat speed produced an exit velocity of 98 mph off the barrel.  Nimble feet for a big guy, ran a 7.21 sixty. Right handed hitter sits balanced and tall with a vertical bat. Quiet setup. Weight shift back to load the weight.  Short stride. Lower half works to get through each swing. Wants extension. Worked gap to gap, driving the baseball to the pull side. Cautious to the ball in the outfield with clean transitions to a short arm swing.  Over-the-top release created carry and accuracy. Positional velocity touched 82 mph from the outfield. Working through an illness, did not workout at 1B or play in the game action.

Ronald Evans II 3B / 1B / Crossroads Flex / Pro5 Academy, NC / 2019


Physically imposing 6-foot-2, 215 pound frame.  Moves well for his size and the strength translates to several parts of his game.  Ran a 7.23 sixty. Explosive strength from the right side with an exit velocity of 99 mph off the barrel.  Balanced and athletic the bat head remains flat through the launch position. Short stride with good head discipline.  Works for extension with an ability to drive the baseball to all fields. Defensively confident with good rhythm between his feet and hands.  Balanced setup at the catch with the left foot slightly dropped and the hands working off the inside left hip. Transitions to the belt with a funnel.  Clean exchanges. Medium arm swing with easy carry from an over-the-top slot. Positional velocity peaked at 79 mph across the diamond. Will manipulate the release slightly when on the move, maintaining accuracy.

Alex Sniffen 3B / RHP / New Hanover, NC / 2019


Physical presence at 6-foot-4, 220-pounds.  Good athlete with feel for his body, especially at his size.  Hits from the right side using a balanced, athletic setup.  Smooth load using a small leg kick and getting his lower half through the ball.  Fluid swing with good balance and looks to get extension.  Line drive, gap to gap approach, looking to drive the ball.  Strength over bat speed with his exit velocity peaking at 98 mph. Average hands on the infield, occasionally catching from the inside right hip.  Transfers to the midsection after catch with a short arm action, throwing from a high ¾ slot.  Accurate arm that peaked at 88 mph across the diamond.  Looks to drive the ball in game.  Swing got a little longer at times cutting off some of his strength in game action.  Recorded a 7.75 60-yard dash.
Potential dual guy at the next level, the fastball ranged 83-87 on the mound.  Breaking ball has tight, hard, late 11/5 tilt at 70-74.  Potential out pitch as he continues to mature.  Change-up has fade but is the third pitch touching 78.  All three pitches work in the zone.  Working from the stretch only, uses an average leg kick working on-line and landing square.  Long arm swing to a high-3/4 release with good hand speed.  Level there is good rhythm in the delivery.

Alex D'Agostino 1B / OF / Middle Creek, NC / 2019

Physical 6-foot-2, 225-pound build.  Hits from the right side using a tall, balanced setup.  Small leg kick in his load with a short stride.  Works mostly middle to pull side during batting practice.  Looks to drive the ball, with his swing getting long at times causing him to work around the ball.  Strength over bat speed with his exit velocity recorded at 96 mph.  Shows feel for playing first base, athletically playing through the ball with fluid feet and average hands.  Clean exchanges, with a short arm action throwing from a high ¾ slot.  Some accuracy to his throws topping at 75 mph across the infield.  Showed strength at the plate with a home run to left field during the coach pitch part of the game.  Recorded a 7.56 in 60-yard dash. 

Dominic Ciccone 1B / RHP / Piedmont, NC / 2019

Physical, athletic frame.  Stands 6-foot-3, 210 pounds.  Strength played into the swing where the exit velocity peaked at 95 mph.  Right handed hitter has some stiffness in his setup, with the weight pushed back and a slight crouch.  Flat bat has some waggle pre-pitch but gets to a consistent launch point. Short stride. Aggressive back side.  Good head discipline. Balanced throughout. Good bat speed with strength. Has barrel awareness. Approaches at bats well, looking to drive in the gaps early. Swing plane has good extension.  Pitch recognition and timing should continue to improve with reps. Fights for rhythm defensively. Feet can anchor down as the hands work through any hop. Long transitions to a long arm swing and over-the-top release.  71 mph positional velocity. Ran a 7.65 sixty.
Right handed pitcher is still working back into form after some down time.  Fastball - change-up only at this time. Fastball ranged 69-72. Long arm action, works behind the body line to an over-the-top slot.  Works level with some effort through the release. Strike thrower attacked hitters. Change-up has some sink with decent arm speed at 65-67.

Javier Martinez 3B / RHP / Cresset Christian Academy , NC / 2019


Winston-Salem State commit made his pledge shortly after the Top Prospect Games.  Large frame with strength at 6-foot, 230 pounds. Good athlete for the size, with good bend and nimble feet.  Ran a 7.28 sixty. Right handed hitter is tall with waggle and rhythm in his setup. Uses a leg kick to load while the hands drop slightly.  Glides to his front side on an average stride. Direct path with barrel awareness and good bat speed. Lower half gets through the ball. Wants extension with a pull emphasis.  Swing translated into games as well where he homered to left. Defensively, trusts his hands. Works to set the left foot slightly behind the right, catching with a funnel to the midsection and strong arm swing to a high-¾ release.  Some effort through the release. Good carry at 77 mph across the diamond. Accuracy waned when on the move. Has a feel for slot manipulation when needed.

On the mound the righty peaked at 85, sitting 81-84.  Occasionally cut the fastball to the glove side. Occasional arm side run to the arm side.  Breaking ball has a slight hump out of the hand with 12/6 tilt. Flashes feel for spin and an ability to throw it for a strike and to expand with it later in counts.  Average leg kick and easy transition with head discipline to his foot strike. Works level and on-line. Long arm swing with average hand speed and a high-¾ release. Rotational finish at times, falling toward 1B as he works to get extra at times.

Bryson Smith OF / 3B / Apex Friendship, NC / 2019

Lenoir Rhyne commit. 6 feet 1, 180-pound strong, athletic build. Hits from the right side using a tall, slightly open setup. Dives in to the plate, keeping his lower half from fully getting through the ball. Works gap to gap during batting practice with his barrel getting extension through the zone. Barrel awareness is present.  Above average bat speed with exit velocity recorded at 92 mph. Plays through the ball in the outfield with average hands and fluid feet. Clean exchanges, with a short arm action, throwing from a high ¾ slot. Accurate arm that peaked at 83 mph. Fluid feet, playing through the ball on the infield, with average hands and quick release, throwing from different slots. Arm topped at 76 mph across the diamond. Lacked some of his workout rhythm on the infield in games situations, affecting his accuracy slightly.  Looks to drive the ball in game, with an uphill swing and showed the ability to drive the ball to all fields. Recorded a 7.21 in the 60-yard dash.