2018 Top Underclass Games: Middle Infielder Analysis

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

Wednesday August 8th saw some of the Top Underclass players from across North Carolina converged on Jim Perry stadium on the campus of Campbell University.  The Top Underclass Games culminated PBR’s three days at Campbell and the talent on hand was impressive.

Close to 45 players took part in the day.  Position players ran through a full pro-style workout, running a laser timed 60, going through offensive testing, taking live BP, and working out defensively.  PBR was able to take statistics on each player throughout the workout. Video has been added to each player's profiles on PBR in the coming week.  Pitchers threw in live game situations, working two controlled innings, allowing hitters to get live at-bats.

The middle infielder group features several advanced defenders in the 2020 class. As the underclass group continues to develop this crop could have several players with multiple tools that play at advanced levels. Eleven total middle infielders are profiled below with links to their individual prospect videos.

PBR Top Underclass Games: By the Numbers
+ 44 Players worked out on the day… 39 took part as position players and 15 pitchers threw in live game action.
+ Top Underclass Games Record - Laser timed 60 of 6.48… Topped a record time of 6.52 recorded earlier in the day
+ 42 Players ran the 60.  4 ran under 7.00. Median time of 7.42.
+ 8 of 21 infielders had a positional velocity across the infield topping 80 mph
+ 7 of 15 outfielders posted a positional velocity of 80 mph or better
+ 5 of 9 catchers recorded workout pop times under 2.10
+ 15 hitters with an exit velocity of 85 mph or better… 9 above 88… 5 above 90 and the leader at 94.
+ Median fastball of 81 with two arms reaching 87 mph on the day.

CLICK HERE for a complete roster from the 2018 Top Underclass Games


CLICK HERE for a the complete statistical results from the Top Underclass Games.


Top Underclass Games: Middle Infielder Analysis

Colby Wilkerson SS / 2B / Kerr Vance Academy, NC / 2020


5 feet 11, 155-pound lanky, athletic build. Switch hitter who shows feel from both sides of the plate.  Smooth load with a small leg kick and gets his lower half through the ball. Athletic hitter with a fluid swing and generates above average bat speed from the right side.  Works gap to gap with a line drive approach from the right side. Uses a more pull approach from the left side. Currently stronger from the right side.  Exit velocity recorded at 78 mph.  Ball carried better than exit velocity reflected in BP and in game.  BP swing translated to games as well with high barrel awareness and advanced approach.  On the infield he athletically plays through balls with quick, fluid feet and soft hands.  Clean exchanges, with a short arm action and the ability to throw from different slots.  Good trust in his hands.  Accurate arm with carry to his throws topping at 81 mph across the diamond.  Showed well in game with feel for playing shortstop.  High Baseball IQ with an ability to adapt to game situations and play several different spots if needed.  Recorded a 7.21 in the 60-yard dash.

Connor Mangum SS / 2B / Harnett Central , NC / 2020


6 feet 2, 160-pound lanky build.  Athletic switch hitter with a balanced setup.  Smooth load with a short stride and balance from both sides of the plate.  Fluid swing with a gap to gap approach.  Currently better right handed with more bat speed and feel for his barrel.  Exit velocity recorded at 83 mph.  Plays through balls on the infield with fluid feet and average hands, funneling to the center of his body after catch.  Short arm action throwing form a ¾ slot.  Accurate arm that peaked at 74 mph across the diamond.  Athletic ability shows in game and uses an aggressive approach at the plate.  Has upside and game will get better as he adds strength to his frame. 

Ryan Smith SS / 2B / Apex Friendship, NC / 2021


5 feet 10, 160-pound athletic build. Hits from the right side using an open setup.  Dives in to the plate during his load keeping his lower half from fulling getting through the ball. Some bat wrap but his barrel works short to the ball. Works mostly pull side, showing the ability to drive the ball. Exit velocity recorded at 77 mph.  Plays through balls on the infield with fluid feet and average hands.  Transfers to the midsection after catch using a short arm action, throwing from a ¾ slot.  Accurate arm that topped at 75 mph across the diamond.  Fluid swing in game with an aggressive approach, driving the ball to the gap. Recorded a 7.84 in the 60-yard dash.

Devin Tonkins SS / 2B / Greensboro Day School, NC / 2021


5 feet 8, 145-pound athletic build.  Offensively he works from the right side with an open setup.  Smooth back in his load with a short stride.  Gets his lower half through the ball with above average bat speed.  Fluid swing with his barrel working short to the ball.  Cuts swing off at times losing extension through the zone.  Works mostly to his pull side during batting practice with his exit velocity peaking at 76 mph.  Athletically plays through balls on the infield with quick, fluid feet.  Average hands with clean exchanges, leading to a long arm action, throwing from a high ¾ slot.  Some accuracy to his throws with his arm peaking at 73 mph across the infield.  Showed barrel awareness in game.  Recorded a 7.1 in the 60-yard dash.

Jackson Lisk 2B / OF / Hickory Grove Christian School, NC / 2022


5 feet 10, 147-pound build.  Offensively he works from the right side using a tall setup. Uses a leg kick for his load.  Doesn’t fully get his lower half through the ball causing his barrel to work long to the ball. Uses a slap-type approach during batting practice.  Exit velocity recorded at 71 mph.  Average hands on the infield. Waits on the ball, then funnels to the mid-section after catch.  Short arm action throwing from a high ¾ slot. Arm peaked at 63 mph across the diamond.  Still recovering from a hamstring issue at this event.  Should be back to full strength in the fall. 

Gavin Fragale SS / 2B / Southlake Christian Academy , NC / 2021


5 feet 10, 160-pound lanky build.  Hits from the right side using an open setup.  Works back in his load with a short stride.  Gets his lower half through the ball with above average bat speed.  Balanced throughout his swing, with his barrel working uphill at times.  Looks to stay gap to gap, with his exit velocity peaking at 79 mph.  Athletically plays through balls on the infield with fluid feet and above average hands.  Transfers to his midsection after catch with quick, clean exchanges throwing from different slots.  Some accuracy to his throws with carry across the diamond.  Positional velocity peaked at 76 mph.  Recorded a 7.52 in the 60-yard dash. 

Marcus Novy SS / 3B / Jack Britt, NC / 2021


Strength is present in a young, still maturing frame.  Average build at 5-foot-11, 170 pounds.  Right handed hitter is balanced and athletic, sitting in his legs in his setup.  Smooth load back with a weight shift.  Slight sweep of the barrel through the zone with average quickness.  Some strength.  Uphill leverage working for extension.  Loose through the zone.  Better than average barrel awareness.  Exit velocity of 81 mph off the barrel.   Good rhythm to the hands and feet defensively.  Active, works to play through the ball.  Occasionally works the ball off the inside right hip.  Funnels to midsection with clean exchanges to a long arm swing.  Accuracy and carry across the diamond at 82 mph.  Ran a 7.50 sixty.

On the mound there is average feel for a fastball with early arm side run at times, ranging 75-80.  Level throughout the delivery, fights for rhythm with some effort in the release.  Long, loose arm swing to an over-the-top slot.  Better than average quickness in the hand.  At release the head tilts off the line, clearing room for the slot.  Foot strike is across his line, rotational through release and fall to the 3B side slightly.  Breaking ball uses gradual 11/5 action at 62-66.  Feel for the zone.  Slows the arm slightly on the change-up, maintaining feel for the zone.

Matt Kemp SS / 2B / Randleman, NC / 2020


North Carolina State commit.  Rangy athletic frame.  Length to the limbs with strength present.  Stands 6-foot-1, 172 pounds with room to continue to mature in the coming years.  Advanced defender with great rhythm and athletic hands.  Good bend, working through the ball with balance.  Funnels to the midsection.  Quick, clean, athletic transitions to a short arm action.  Easy carry and accuracy at 81 mph across the diamond.  Better quickness on the infield than the 7.02 sixty suggests, moving with efficiency and good range.  Arm slot can match the needed throw when on the move.  Right handed hitter is balanced with waggle in his hands.  Loads with a weight shift back, slight leg kick, and a bat tip toward the pitcher.  Loose and quick through the zone.  High barrel ability.  Uphill leverage, working for extension with a slight pull tendency.  Exit velocity peaked at 94 mph off the barrel. 

Jacob Mabe SS / OF / West Stokes, NC / 2020


Good athlete in a small frame.  Stands 5-foot-7, 140 pounds.  Exit velocity off the barrel up to 86 mph.  Ran a 7.09 sixty.  Active feet, working to field through balls on the infield. Clean transitions at the midsection.  Some effort through a long arm swing and over-the-top slot.  Hands work with more freedom and looseness when on the move.  Good angles with a feel for the timing of the game.  Average carry and accuracy at 77 mph across the field.  Right handed hitter works from a tall setup with a vertical bat.  Slight leg kick and weight shift work to a short stride.  Shoulders set to uphill at launch.  Average barrel awareness working for extension with some looseness present. 

Jackson Bowman SS / 2B / Wesleyan Christian , NC / 2020


Room to continue to grow as the 5-foot-9, 162 pound frame has some strength and quickness present.  Level swing, working for extension from the right side.  Advanced feel for the barrel with an exit velocity peaking at 82 mph.  Balanced setup, with a small leg kick and weight shift to load back.  Vertical bat.  Average to above bat speed through the zone.  Good head discipline.  Sprays the ball gap-to-gap.  Pitch recognition in game situations can continue to improve.  Defensively works around balls and plays through with active feet and average hands.  Clean transition at the midsection to an average, athletic arm swing and high-3/4 release.  Highly accurate on routine balls.  Average carry with a positional velocity of 79 mph across the diamond.  Ran a 7.39 sixty. 

Gavin Mortenson SS / 2B / Northwest Guilford, NC / 2020


Lanky athletic frame at 6-foot-1, 165 pounds.  Good rhythm and feel for the game.  Advanced defender catches the ball with ease and shows better range than the 7.38 sixty suggests.  Hands work off the inside left hip, funneling to the midsection with quick, clean, athletic exchanges to a strong arm swing.  Good carry and accuracy at 81 mph across the diamond.  Has the ability to manipulate his slot based on his movement and feet, maintaining carry and accuracy.  Offensively, works from a tall base on the right side.  Leg kick and weight shift work to load the body while the bat works to a slightly lagged position.  Uphill leverage working for extension.  Barrel awareness and bat speed will improve with increased strength.  Exit velocity of 81 mph off the bat.  Good approach and feel for the barrel in game situations.