PBR Scout Day: 5 Star Carolina Vipers - 2020 Grads

Brandon Hall
North Carolina Director of Scouting

Prep Baseball Report of North Carolina kicked off its 2018 coverage at The Athletic Barn in Waxhaw, NC with the 5 Star Carolina Vipers on Sunday January 14th.  The Athletic Barn is a spacious indoor / outdoor facility that allowed PBR to run a modified pro-style workout with the players from the 5 Star Viper program. 

Each position player went through some speed and agility testing.  The areas covered included a 20 yard dash, a 5-10-5 agility test, and a standing broad jump.  Players then went through a defensive workout where PBR’s staff evaluated them and took radar readings on positional throws.  Offensively, players worked in several cage settings, being evaluated, and getting some analytical readings like exit velocity off the bat.

Pitchers were able to go through similar speed and agility testing prior to their bullpen sessions.  The bullpens were controlled with an understanding that most of the arms are still ramping up their aggression and pitch counts.  Radar readings were taken and pitchers had the option to unleash their full repertoire during the bullpen session.

Today we take a look at eleven 2020 graduates from the 5 Star workout.  Several put up intriguing numbers in the mid-January session.  Many should be follows for the next couple of seasons.

5 Star Carolina Vipers Evaluations: 2020 Grads



Matthew Bodden 3B / OF / Cuthbertson, NC / 2020

Lanky 6-foot-2, 165-pounder with room to add strength as he continues to age.  Right handed hitter works from an open stance, utilizing a leg kick and short stride to get back to even with good rhythm.  Waggle in the hands and bat head, working to load the bat to a vertical position at launch.  The waggle creates some barrel awareness issues at launch and through the swing.  Average to above bat speed produced an exit velocity of 82 off the barrel.  Working to be fluid and stay in the middle of the field with a line drive approach, did work around balls at times.  Defensively, works to funnel to the mid-section and transitions to a long arm action and high-3/4 slot.  There is some effort in the transition to the release, but he showed some feel for accuracy on throws measuring 69 mph out of his hand.  Ran a 3.00 in the twenty-yard dash and a 5.05 in the 5-10-5 agility shuttle.  Marked an 8’2” in the standing broad jump.



Carson Davis OF / RHP / Parkwood, NC / 2020

Average build at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds.  Right handed hitter is balanced, using a leg kick and short stride to create a short path and average barrel awareness.  Works the middle of the field with some rhythm and good balance.  Exit velocity peaked at 79 mph off the barrel.  Aggressive through the ball in the outfield, shows soft hands and a clean exchange.  Consistent mechanics lead to a long arm swing and high-3/4 slot with some accuracy on the throws.  Some carry at 78 mph out of the hand.  Ran a 3.04 in a laser timed 20.  Also turned in a 4.82 time in the 5-10-5 agility test.  Standing broad jump measured 8’7”.



Jackson Finger SS / 2B / North Gaston, NC / 2020

Very young frame with a lot of maturation ahead at 5-foot-10, 150 pounds.  Showed quickness with a 2.92 twenty-yard dash and a 4.58 5-10-5 agility test.  Also impressed with a 9’6” standing broad jump.  Solid defender that tends to catch the ball deep in his stance.  Funnels back to the midsection for easy transfers to a short arm swing and high-3/4 slot.  Advanced accuracy on throws peaking at 77 across the diamond.  Offensively, the righty works to be flat through the zone, producing some length in the swing at times.  Smooth load back, wrapping the bat head occasionally.  Shows barrel feel with average bat speed and an exit velocity of 79 mph.



Jesse Hartis 2B / SS / Union Academy, NC / 2020

Average 5-foot-9, 135-pound frame that is still maturing.  Will be able to handle strength gains in the coming years.  Right handed hitter keeps it simple with an athletic, balanced setup and rhythmic load back to a short stride.  Fundamentally sound, the bat path is flat through the zone and repeatable pitch-after-pitch.  Shows a feel for the barrel.  Bat speed and exit velocity will mature with physical strength.  Exit velocity peaked at 76.  Works with minimal effort and stays clean through his catch and exchange on the infield.  Fundamentally sound through the catch with rhythm in the feet.  Long arm action loads a high-3/4 slot.  Accurate at 69 mph on his positional throws.  Quickness should improve with age.  Ran a 3.09 twenty-yard dash and a 5.00, 5-10-5 agility test.  Standing broad jump of 8’11”.



Robbie Leary 3B / RHP / South Meck High School, NC / 2020

Average frame at 5-foot-8, 165 pounds.  Right handed hitter works with early rhythm, settling the stride as the pitch leaves the hand.  Balanced and loaded, works to stay inside the ball with a short path, creating line drives to the opposite field.  Good barrel awareness and average bat speed with an exit velocity of 75 mph.  Defensively, works to play through the ball, catching the ball deep at times.  Rushed through an exchange, transfers to a long arm stroke and high-3/4 slot.  Showed some accuracy on throws measuring 72 mph across the diamond.  Twenty-yard dash time of 3.14 was followed by a 5-10-5 agility test timed at 5.36.  Standing broad jump measured 8’3”.
On the mound, the righty has some rhythm working with ease and staying tall through balance.  A strike thrower, he showed feel of the zone with all three pitches.  The fastball ranged 72-74 with slight run.  The change-up featured as the 2nd pitch in this preseason bullpen, sitting 67-68.  Straight, it did mimic the fastball out of the hand, filing the zone up consistently.  The breaking ball has a gradual 10/4 tilt at 65-68.  At times, the hand speed on the spin pitch would dip below that of a fastball.  Level and on-line, the long arm swing allows the elbow to work above the shoulder line slightly and the hand to hook under the elbow, producing average arm speed.



Will Ledford 3B / 2B / Weddington, NC / 2020

Stands 5-foot-9, 150 pounds.  Lots of maturation in the frame still ahead.  Right handed hitter works from a balanced setup, with rhythm in the load and a short stride.  Bat head gets to a vertical position at launch.  Works to produce line drives with an average feel for the barrel.  Exit velocity peaked at 80.  Defensively, the footwork lacks some rhythm with the hands, but the hands fight to field and funnel the baseball producing some softness.  Clean exchanges to a long arm action and high-3/4 slot.  Has a feel for accuracy with throws peaking at 72 across the diamond.  Twenty yard-dash of 3.04 on the laser timer.  5-10-5 agility timed at 4.86 and a standing broad jump of 8’4”.



Ike Linton 2B / RHP / Parkwood, NC / 2020

Thin 5-foot-6, 120-pound frame.  Fundamental on the infield with good hands.  Can get conservative on the catch and exchange as he works to a long arm action and high-3/4 slot.  Shows accuracy but lacks some carry at 68 mph from shortstop.  Switch hitter shows a better feel for rhythm and the barrel from the left side.  Utilizes a slight leg kick and rhythmic load to set his weight back prior to a short stride.  Works for a direct path, trying to stay in the middle of the field with line drives.  From the right side, the load is segmented, setting the hands to cast, while sweeping the bat through the zone.  Exit velocity peaked at 70 mph from each side.  Ran a 3.00 twenty and a 4.76 in the 5-10-5 agility test.  Standing broad jump marked at 8’11”.
On the mound, utilizes a simple, repeatable delivery to show a feel for the strike zone in one of his first bullpens of the year.  Fastball ranged 68-70, touching 72, occasionally cutting as the front side worked early off his line.  Level and on-line through the delivery, with an average balance point, the arm swing can be long, loading the scapular with ease, and working to a high-3/4 slot.  The breaking ball lacks maturity, early in the year, at 64-65.  Gradual 11/5 tilt, the pitch works with near fastball hand speed, tending to stay to the arm side.



Sullivan Newsome C / 1B / Weddington, NC / 2020

Young player with a physical, defined 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame.  Looks to still have maturation left ahead of him.  Athletic stance from the right side, working from a tall base.  Short stride and aggressive back side allow for advanced bat speed and some feel for the barrel.  Power potential is evident with rhythm present in the swing.  Exit velocity peaked at 86 off the barrel.  Behind the plate, there is arm strength with a positional velocity of 75 mph out of the crouch, presenting good carry and some feel for accuracy.  Pop times will improve as the transition becomes quicker, ranging 2.22-2.26 in the January workout.  Easy target to throw to, with loose hips, a wide base, and good hand speed.  Presents strikes well.  On the infield, the hands work as the feet and rhythm remain cautious through the catch and exchange.  Long arm action, loading the body, gets to a high-3/4 slot producing carry at 84 mph across the diamond.  Some quickness in the body with a 3.02 twenty-yard dash and a 4.69 5-10-5 agility test.  Standing broad jump marked at 8’2”.



Luke Preslar RHP / Parkwood, NC / 2020

Average frame at 5-foot-9, 165 pounds.  Strike thrower, showing feel for all three pitches in a mid-January bullpen.  Fastball worked 73-75, occasionally cutting towards the end of the bullpen.  Some rhythm in the delivery that has some effort as he lands on the 3B side, slightly closed.  Short arm action gets to a high-3/4 slot.  Breaking ball sat 61-65 with gradual 11/5 action.  Showed a couple that were tight and late, and may become the norm as he works into the spring season.  Carries good hand speed on the pitch and flooded the zone with it.  The change-up plays straight with deception in the hand speed at 68-69.  Through the speed and agility testing, turned in a 3.43 twenty-yard dash and a 5.43 5-10-5 agility shuttle.  Standing broad jump measured 6’10”.



Jaden Sylvestre SS / 2B / Union Academy, NC / 2020

Average build at 5-foot-5, 135 pounds.  Some strength and quickness are present, producing a twenty-yard dash time of 2.92 and a 5-10-5 agility of 4.91.  Standing broad jump marked at 8’10”.  Right handed hitter has good rhythm with better than average bat speed and barrel awareness.  Athletic base with a short stride, working with good balance throughout.  Direct path to the ball, staying gap-to-gap with line drives.  Exit velocity of 77 mph off the barrel.  On the infield, hands work with softness as the exchange is quick and clean.  Tries to play through the ball, occasionally high through his hips, but still transitioning from the mid-section to a short arm swing and ¾ slot.  Some accuracy on throws at 71 mph across the infield



Dakota Zagorski 2B / SS / Metrolina Christian Academy, NC / 2020

Thin 5-foot-5, 117-pound frame that will add strength with age.  Sound swing from the right side.  Works from an open base with good rhythm and some waggle in the bat.  Strides to even as the hands relax to the launch position.  Direct path, working for extension and staying in the middle of the field.  Shows some barrel awareness and bat speed will increase with strength.  Exit velocity topped at 70 mph off the barrel.  Defensively, works with active feet playing through the baseball.  Some rhythm as his hips work low at the point of the catch.  The hands can be deep in the stance, but transfer with ease to a long arm action and high-3/4 slot.  Some accuracy on throws measuring 65 mph out of the hand.  Ran a 3.01 in the laser timed 20 yard-dash with a 4.75 in the 5-10-5 agility shuttle.  Standing broad jump measured 8’5”.