Player Evals: Team 2 - Top Underclass Games


Brandon Hall & Matt Payne
Executive Director & Director of Scouting, PBR NC

Each year the North Carolina Top Underclass Games is a must see for college coaches and pro scouts.  The 2020 event featured close to 50 of the top uncommitted underclass players in the state.  Hosted at the Burlington Royals Stadium in Burlington, NC, players were treated to a 1st class playing surface to compliment the talent on hand.

The day featured a full pro-style workout for position players with a laser timed 60, full offensive and defensive workout, plus an 8 inning controlled scrimmage.  Pitchers threw live to hitters, allowing scouts to gauge stuff and pitch-ability. 

Today we take our 1st look at the event with an analysis of some of the stats produced, as well as leaders from several traditional statistics.  As PBR Scouts continue to pour over the efforts from the day, there will be more information released and more player analysis coming.

CLICK HERE to see the full roster and stats from the Top Underclass Games.

 

By the Numbers:

  • 44 players participated in the full pro-style workout
  • 2 players ran sub-7.00 sixties
  • 9 players ran sub-7.20 sixties
  • 12 hitters posted exit velocities of 90mph or higher off the tee
  • 23 hitters were at 85mph or better off the tee
  • 5 hitters flashed an exit velocity of 85mph or higher in live BP
  • 9 INF or OF showed arm strength of at least 83mph from their position
  • 3 catchers threw pop times of under 2.00 in the workout
  • 6 catchers flashed at least one pop time under 2.20 in the workout
  • 20 pitchers threw live in the game setting
  • 8 pitchers worked at 83 or higher
  • 87mph was the top bolt of the day

 

Team 2 Player Evaluations

 

 

 

Tyson Merritt C / 1B / West Forsyth , NC / 2023


Positional Profile: C/1B.
Body: 5/11, 170 pounds. Athletic build, strength to frame.
Defense: 2.21-2.26 pop times. Quick, fluid feet gain ground to target, transfers across midsection.
Arm: R. C - 70 mph. Accurate, medium arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Hit: R. Wide base, sits in legs, hands at back shoulder. Weight loads back, no stride, quiet hands. Weight pushes through ball, stands up through contact, hands work straight through the middle with some looseness, mostly level barrel path with extension, uses the whole field, some barrel feel.
Power: 82 mph exit velocity from the tee.  Average bat speed, doubled down the left field line in game action.
Run: 7.37 runner in the 60.

 

 

Owen Bynum RHP / Western Alamance, NC / 2022


Positional Profile: RHP.
Body: 5/11, 178 pounds.
Delivery: Heavy coil as the leg lifts and rotates to the low chest.  Swings back to an on-line and square landing.  High front side.  Stable head.  Average extension.  Finishes athletically, occasionally re-coiling away from the hitter.
Arm Action: R. Long arm swing, laid off away from the body, working to an over-the-top slot.  Average arm speed. 
FB: T81, 78-81 mph. 1706 rpm. 12:45 spin tilt out of the hand.  Elevated, showed feel for his glove side.  Did create some swing and miss when elevated with average to above carry through the zone. 
CB: 61-66 mph. 1660 rpm. Slight hump out of the hand but quickly gains some depth with late downer action.  Working for 12/6 tilt, did show more 11/5 or 10/4 arc when located to the glove side. 

 

 

Nigel Robinson OF / Dudley, NC / 2023

 

Positional Profile: OF/RHP.
Body: 5/11, 192 pounds. Strong, athletic frame, quick twitch present.
Defense: Plays through the ball, relaxed hands, catches the ball off his left foot, clean transfers.
Arm: R. OF - 86 mph. Accurate, some carry, long arm action, over the top slot.
Hit: R. Balanced, even base, hands at back shoulder, vertical barrel. Weight loads back, small stride, quiet hands. Quick, strong hands, barrel is level through zone, extension out front, above average barrel awareness.
Power: 91 mph exit velocity from the tee.  Raw power is present, drove ball deep to center in BP and tripled off the center field wall in game action, above average bat speed.
Run: 6.78 runner in the 60. 

 

 

Brantley Truitt OF / SS / East Mecklenburg, NC / 2023

 

Positional Profile: OF/SS.
Body: 5/8, 150 pounds. Thin, athletic frame, room for plenty of growth ahead.
Defense: Relaxed through the ball, catches ball off left foot, clean transfers.
Arm: R. OF - 85 mph. Loose, quick arm, high 3/4 slot, accurate.
Hit: L. Relaxed, even base, barrel flat above back shoulder. Smooth load, short stride, quiet barrel. Loose and fluid, quick hands, short to ball, barrel stays through the zone, uses the whole field, plenty of barrel awareness.
Power: 82 mph exit velocity from the tee.  Drove a ball to the righ center gap in game action, better than average bat speed, has projection left.
Run: 7.45 runner in the 60. 

 

 

Hunter Huneycutt C / SS / Scotland, NC / 2023


Positional Profile: C/SS.
Body: 5/9, 155 pounds. Athletic frame, room for growth ahead, quickness present.
Defense: Quick feet, hands have softness, catches the ball near center, funnels to the belt, gets the ball out quickly to first base.
Arm: R. INF - 78 mph. Accurate, some carry, short arm action, over the top slot.
Hit: S. RHH-Balanced, slightly open, sits in legs, hands at back shoulder. Smooth load, short stride, hands go back. LHH-Open base, sits in legs, barrel flat over back shoulder. Hands load back, short stride back to even. RHH-Fluid, barrel is short to ball and stays through the zone, lots of barrel feel, lining balls to both gaps. LHH-Middle to pull approach, short to ball with barrel getting extension out front, has barrel feel.
Power: 79 mph exit velocity from the tee.  Hands have quickness from both sides with average to above average bat speed.
Run: 7.16 runner in the 60.

 

 

Mason Reising C / 3B / South Caldwell, NC / 2023


Positional Profile: C/3B.
Body: 6/1, 175 pounds. Lanky frame, strength present.
Defense: 1.98-2.06 pop times. Quick feet with quick, fluid transfers across chest.
Arm: R. C - 73 mph. Advanced accuracy, some carry, short arm action, over hand release.
Hit: R. Even base, hands at back shoulder with barrel waggle. Weight loads over back leg using a toe tap, small hand load. Hands have quickness, looks to lift the ball with an uphill barrel path, middle of the field approach, some feel for barrel.
Power: 86 mph exit velocity from the tee.  Above average bat speed, ball comes hard off the barrel.
Run: 7.72 runner in the 60.

 

 

Carson Morton 3B / RHP / West Stanly, NC / 2023

 

Positional Profile: 3B/RHP.
Body: 6/2, 185 pounds. Large frame, strength present with room to add more.
Defense: Short, choppy steps to get around the ball, left of center catch point, relaxed hands, funnels to the belt, clean exchanges.
Arm: R. INF - 80 mph. Compact arm action, high 3/4 release, accurate.
Hit: R. Tall, slightly open, barrel flat above back shoulder. Weight loads on back leg, short stride back to even, small hand load. Short to ball, barrel gets extension through the middle fo the field, some quickness to his hands, balanced approach through the middle, flashing barrel feel.
Power: 84 mph exit velocity from the tee.  Average to above average bat speed, has strength off the barrel.
Run: 8.29 runner in the 60. 

Delivery: Simple and stable over the rubber through balance.  Builds rhythm as he reaches to his landing.  Works on-line, landing in-line with a slightly closed foot strike.  Aggressive, has athleticism through his finish.
Arm Action: R. Medium arm swing to an over-the-top slot.  Above average arm speed.  Works to create angle.  Length in his finish.
FB: T83, 76-83 mph. 1959 rpm. 7"2' of extension.  Solid ride when backspun with an average of 12:15 spin tilt out of the hand.  Occasionally climbs the slot and cuts the fastball.   Elevated with solid feel for his arm side.
CB: 67-72 mph. 2214 rpm. Solid arm speed and tilt.  Slight hump out of the hand.  Top to bottom tilt, occasionally working around the ball creating 10/4 arc.
SL:  mph.  rpm. .
CH: 71-72 mph. 1954 rpm. Solid arm speed.  Lacks fade and movement but has deception out of the hand.

 

 

 

Will Epstein OF / OF / Chapel Hill , NC / 2022

 

Positional Profile: OF.
Body: 6/1, 180 pounds. Athletic frame, room for growth ahead.
Defense: Fluid through the ball, catches the ball off left foot, relaxed hands, clean transfers.
Arm: R. OF - 78 mph. Long, loose arm, quickness through high 3/4 release, accurate.
Hit: R. Open base, more upright, hands higher above back shoulder. Loads knee to knee, average stride in to the plate, quiet hands. Loose, quick hands, level barrel path through the zone, barrel stays through the ball with hard contact to center and left center.
Power: 89 mph exit velocity from the tee.  Above average bat speed, can drive the baseball, in game barrel awareness.
Run: 7.28 runner in the 60.

 

 

Kaden Ethier 2B / SS / Randleman, NC / 2022

 

Positional Profile: 2B/SS.
Body: 5/7, 168 pounds. Average frame.
Defense: Feet work around the ball, has hip bend playing below the ball, above average hands, catches the ball left of center, funnels to the midsection, clean transfers.
Arm: R. INF - 76 mph. Long arm action, high 3/4 slot, some accuracy.
Hit: R. Open base, sits in legs, hands at back shoulder. Loads against back leg, long stride back to even, hands get set. Level swing with quickness to his hands, body has momentum through contact, line drive approach working through the middle and right center.
Power: 82 mph exit velocity from the tee.  Barreled the ball in all 3 live at bats, uses the whole field, above average bat speed.
Run: 7.72 runner in the 60. 

 

 

 

Henry Mitchell SS / RHP / Albuquerque Academy, NM / 2022

 

Positional Profile: SS/RHP. Athletic with a high motor.  Sound in most aspects with quick twitch present
Body: 5/10, 180 pounds. Strong, athletic build.
Defense:   Plays with energy, quick feet, solid actions, catches ball in the center of his body, relaxed hands, funnels to belt, clean transfers with aggression into his throws.
Arm: R. INF - 83 mph. OF -  mph. Medium arm stroke, high 3/4 slot, some accuracy and carry.
Hit: S. RHH-Slightly open, more weight on back leg, hands at back shoulder with barrel waggle. Short stride back to even, hands get set. LHH-Relaxed, even base, hands at back shoulder with barrel waggle. Short stride, little hand movement.. RHH-Quick hands, short swing, barrel stays through the zone, strong hands, line drive approach, above average feel for barrel. LHH-Loose hands, some lift to the barrel path with extension out front, feel for barrel in live game action with ability to adjust to off speed.
Power: 91 mph exit velocity from the tee.  Above average bat speed, more strength right handed, barreled two balls from the left side in game action.
Run: 7.61 runner in the 60. 

Delivery: Small side step and simple turn.  Lift to the mid-chest.  Simple head.  Working on-line.  Short strider, lands on-line and square.  Good direction
Arm Action: R. Athletic arm swing.  Slot will adjust pitch to pitch, but MIF background allows for feel.  Medium arm swing works to a high-3/4 slot.  Above average arm speed.
FB: T87, 82-87 mph. 2317 rpm. Strike thrower with arm side run to the arm side.  1:15 spin tilt out of the hand.  Created swing and miss when elevated
CH: 76-78 mph. 1734 rpm. Good arm speed.  Around the zone.  Attacked hitters.

 

 

Jimmy Lovelace RHP / 3B / Wake Forest , NC / 2023

 

Positional Profile: RHP/3B.
Body: 6/1, 205 pounds. Thick frame, strength present.
Defense:  Plays to the ball, left of center catch point with bend at the waist, average hands, funnels to the belt, clean transfers.
Arm: R. INF - 84 mph.  Accurate with carry, medium arm stroke, quickness through high 3/4 release.
Hit: R. Relaxed, open base, barrel flat on back shoulder. Controlled leg lift, short stride into the plate, lifts barrel off back shoulder. Loose, strong hands with quickness, some lift to the barrel path, gets extension out front, has feel for barrel working gap to gap.
Power: 91 mph exit velocity from the tee.  Above average bat speed, has pop to both gaps.
Run: 8.32 runner in the 60. 

Delivery: Small rocker and easy turn to a controlled and stable leg lift to the high chest.  Good extension on the stride, working on-line and square at foot-strike.  Level, with easy effort, around the zone with a 3 pitches
Arm Action: R. Long arm swing with a small stab out of the glove.  Works back to a position of strength and over-the-top slot.  Average arm speed.
FB: T83, 78-83 mph. 2325 rpm. Solid ride out of the hand with 1:00 spin tilt.  Elevated, created soft contact and some swing and miss
CB: 62-67 mph. 2409 rpm. Consistent action.  10/4 tilt with average arm speed.  Slight hump out of the hand and gradual movement.  Attacked the zone.
CH: 71-72 mph. 1581 rpm. Has feel. Good arm speed creates some deception

 

 

Jake Absher OF / 1B / Hibriten, NC / 2023

 

Positional Profile: 1B/LHP.
Body: 6/2, 215 pounds. Strong frame.
Defense:  Active feet, catches the ball in the center of his body, average hands, clean exchanges.
Arm: L. INF - 76 mph.  Accurate, long arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Hit: R. Strong base, slightly close, hands just over back shoulder. Small leg lift, short stride into the plate, quiet barrel. Direct barrel path, hands have quickness, barrel gets extension at times, better than average barrel feel using the whole field.
Power: 87 mph exit velocity from the tee.  Strength present with above average bat speed.
Run: 7.66 runner in the 60. 

Delivery: Loads the back side with a kick and rock back.  Stable over the rubber as the hands break.  Works on-line, landing in-line and square.  Flooded the zone with 2 pitches.  Some rhythm throughout.  Small fall to 3B side.
Arm Action: L. Long arm swing, reaching toward 2B a bit.  Works back to be on time with a high-3/4 release.  Average arm speed.
FB: T77, 74-77 mph. 1853 rpm. Arm side run out of the hand.  11/4 inches of horizontal break.  10:30 spin tilt.  Good feel for arm side
CB: 64-65 mph. 1807 rpm. Big, sweeping action out of the hand and gradual.  Worked under some RHH.