In the Weeds: North Carolina



By Shooter Hunt
National Crosschecker

 

In a new segment at the state level called, In the Weeds, PBR National Crosschecker, Shooter Hunt, takes a look at uncommitted players regardless of class whose skills and intangibles sometimes get missed in a showcase setting, but whose value to a good team at the next level is immeasurable. Some of the players included in this segment are under the radar, others have been overlooked, and some are late bloomers and fast-rising. Whatever the reason, our boots-on-the-ground scouting staff has identified many uncommitted prospects who can thrive with the right fit at some collegiate level. This week, In the Weeds, takes a look at six talented players with a chance to play in college out of North Carolina. Each player brings a unique skillset that has a chance to help a program at some level. This crew out of North Carolina is highly academic along with being solid on the field. Included in the group are two infielders, an outfielder, a catcher, a pitcher, and a two-way talent.

 

Bryce Vestal, SS, East Wilkes HS, NC, 2018
Vestal’s left-handed bat will play in college at some level. Hitters can be so hard to find, these days, with so much emphasis being placed on velocity and pitching, so finding a player with a nice stroke is important for coaches at all levels. Standing 6-foot, 180-pounds, Vestal is proportionally strong throughout his frame. At the plate, he starts slightly closed and crouched with his hands held out in front of his shoulder. From there, Vestal has a classic load that includes a leg kick with his hands working down, back, and slightly up at the end before driving through the zone on an uphill plane. While his exit velocity was 85 mph off the tee, Vestal’s swing looks like it plays up in games, and he appears to have more power than that number. His hands are quick, and his overall swing shows strength with average hip drive. Recruiters should be encouraged by the possibility that Vestal grows into a gap to gap hitter in the future. In the field, Vestal’s feet play a bit heavy (7.35 60-yard dash) with an average arm (75 mph), but his hands are sure and he has a chance to play second or third base at some level. His solid athleticism may also allow him to play the corner outfield positions. With an outstanding 4.1 GPA, Vestal shows commitment in the classroom to go along with his work on the diamond. Because of his combination of a strong left-handed stick and excellent work in the classroom, Vestal should be highlighted by highly academic institutions.

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