Prep Baseball Report

2019 Top Underclass Games - 2022 & 2023 Pitcher Analysis

Brandon Hall & Matt Payne
NC Executive Director & Scouting Director

On back-to-back days in August, PBR hosted the Top Prospect Games and the Top Underclass Games at Campbell’s Jim Perry Stadium.  The Top Underclass Games featured players from the 2021, 2022, and 2023 classes, working out for PBR scouts and close to 20 college programs in attendance.  Position players participated in a full pro-style workout followed by a live scrimmage with pitchers throwing in a controlled environment to the hitters.

The Top Underclass Games saw plenty of high end talent.  Today we look at the primary pitchers from the 2022 & 2023 classes that attended the Top Underclass Games.  Several arms project to be high end follows in the coming seasons.

CLICK HERE to see the full statistical results from the Top Underclass Games.


Top Underclass Games - 2022 & 2023 Grads



Casey Gouge LHP / OF / West Rowan, NC / 2022


Average frame with length in the limbs at 6-foot-1, 150 pounds.  Simple delivery, stable over the rubber.  Small side step, lifting to the low chest.  Long arm swing, clean, with average to above arm speed, working to a high-3/4 slot.  Level through the shoulder, working on-line, landing in-line and square.   Front side can be soft at foot strike, occasionally falling toward 3B.  Fastball has arm side run, attacking the zone at 74-77.  Gradual tilt on the breaking ball with 1/7 shape at 64-66.  Body tends to fall away from breaking ball on release creating some command issues.  Flashed a solid change with some deception out of the hand at 70.

Jackson Niedel RHP / OF / Durham Academy, NC / 2022


Lanky frame with room for growth at 5 foot 10, 150-pounds.  “Old school” delivery with good rhythm over the rubber, loading the backside on the leg kick and creating hip lead down the hill with an early hand break and long arm swing.  Uphill leverage through the shoulders at balance.  Lands on-line and square.  Long, loose arm swing.  Average hand speed that should improve with more strength, especially with as easy as the arm works.  Over-the-top slot.  Fastball pounded the zone at 73-77.  Big, rolling 12/6 breaking ball with early, gradual arc at 67-69.  Breaking ball spins, coming out of the hand with a hump.  As arm speed increases, stuff is in position to take a jump.
Offensively, tall setup from the right side with his barrel starting flat above his back shoulder.  Slow leg kick during his load with his barrel going to an upright position.  Looks to lift the ball with an uphill bat path.  Swing can get long at times.  Exit velocity recorded at 77 mph.  Works through balls in the outfield with average hands.  Clean exchanges with a long arm action, throwing form a high ¾ slot.  Some accuracy to his throws that topped at 71 mph.  Recorded a 7.77 in the 60. 

Jackson Roberts RHP / OF / Northern Guilford , NC / 2022


Average 6-foot, 150 pound frame.  Thin, there is length in the limbs.  Compact, stable delivery that is repeated.  Smooth, level rhythm, working in-line.  Long, loose arm swing with average arm speed to a high-3/4 slot.  Lands on-line and square with average extension.  Fastball attacked the zone at 81-82.  Flashed an ability to elevate the fastball and pitch with it down in the zone.  Breaking ball is a little soft with early, gradual 11/5 tilt at 69-71.  Landed the breaking ball and showed an ability to expand to create chase.  If arm speed continues to tick up, the body and frame are in positions to take jumps.

Larson Scholtz OF / RHP / Asheville, NC / 2022


Long, lanky build at 6 foot 5, 194-pounds.  Some effort on the mound with above average arm speed.  Fights for rhythm and repeat-ability over the rubber.  Works level and on-line, landing with a closed foot at foot strike.  Tall through balance, long arm swing fights some stiffness, getting to a ¾ slot.  Ball works out of the sleeve at release.  Finishes with the throwing arm across his chest, lacking some extension.  Fastball ranged 82-84, finding the zone more and more throughout the outing.  Has feel for a splitfinger change-up at 72-74.  Slows the arm some.  Split has heavy sink as it nears the plate.  Works around the breaking ball, ranging 63-67.
Hits from the right side with a balanced setup.  Hands drop during his load and he sinks down into his back leg.  Long, uphill bat path.  Has strength with his exit velocity recorded at 95 mph.  Crushed a double to center field during game action.  Works through balls in the outfield with average hands.  Longer exchange throwing from a more ¾ arm slot.  Some accuracy to his throws that topped at 82 mph.  Catches the ball with higher hips on the infield, with the feet and hands working to get in sync.  Accurate arm that topped at 74 mph on the infield.  Recorded a 7.08 in the 60. 

H.L. Smith 1B / LHP / Fuquay Varina, NC / 2023


Thin and lanky at 6-foot-3, 140 pounds.  Frame is still maturing and will handle a lot of strength games in the coming years.  Slight coil at balance, working to stay tall with some rhythm.  Level, lands on-line and square.  Slight fall to the 3B side.  Easy effort with a long, loose arm swing to a ¾ slot.  Early, heavy arm side run to the arm side on the fastball at 76-83.  Breaking ball works with a sweepy 2/7 arc at 64-68.  Good arm speed on the breaking ball.  Flashed a change-up at 74.  Lots to like as the long frame continues to mature.

Danny Staley 1B / LHP / Walkertown, NC / 2022

Lanky 6-foot, 150 pound frame.  Plenty of room to continue to add strength in the coming years.  Some rhythm through the delivery, working through some stiffness at release.  Works level, landing on-line and square.  Front side opens early, falls to the 3B side on finish.  Long arm swing with average hand speed at a high-3/4 slot.  Fastball ranged 72-74, cutting to the glove side.  Breaking ball worked with 2/5 tilt, occasionally bigger sweep out of the hand at 62-64.  Early, gradual arc with decent arm speed.  In the zone with the breaking ball.

Cameron Williams RHP / 3B / Apex Friendship, NC / 2022


Physical frame with strength in the lower half and a high waist at 6-foot, 175 pounds.  Some effort in the delivery with some rhythm, working level and on-line, landing square with an athletic finish.  Short arm swing, working to load the scapular.  Quick hand through a high-3/4 slot.  Fastball has hard, early run out of the hand.  Created chase at 80-83.  Breaking ball works with solid arm speed, ranging 68-70 with 10/4 shape.  Slows the arm a bit on the change-up.  Change was in the zone at 77.