Prep Baseball Report

National Program Invitational: Game Changers

Justin Goetz, Nick Gehrke
PBR Georgia Staff

Our most epic tournament of the calendar year brings nationwide talent from not just all 50 states, but from our neighbors in different countries to the north and south. The culmination of talent is unlike any other in baseball, and this year was the deepest and most diverse group of prospects yet. It’s a true blessing to be able to scout players from other areas, and we’ve got 10+ players from outside the Peach State in this article.

This is a combination of standout performers who wrote their own story at NPI (in & out of state), and many unknown sleepers whose stories are just beginning. As the quality of talent is unmatched, it’s extremely important to put extra effort into content from this tourney. Players who put on big performances here are typically the most prepared for the next level, as one of the most important parts of player evaluation is how one performs vs top competition. We don’t want to keep you waiting any further, so here are some exceptional game changers who made a name for themselves at NPI!


Bruin Agbayani SS, 2025, Wow Factor National 16U (Iolani School, HI)

Separators - Bat Speed, Swing Mechanics, Effortlessness, Build
Best Tools - Raw Power, Run

*Uncommitted* Although he may not be a well known national name yet, he surely is a national talent. His well rounded game has already picked him up 3 Power 5 offers, and they are going to keep coming in by the handful. It’s uncommon to find an underclassmen built like a pro with a combo of loud tools and intangibles, it’s even more rare for them to be a LHH who can play SS. Long term, I see him as a CF where the future plus run tool (current A/AVG) and strong arm can be most impactful, but his ability to play all IF positions will only add to his value. At the plate Bruin really separates himself intangibly with a selective aggressive all-fields approach and good decision making. The swing is a work of art with body control, efficient negative+forward move, textbook separation timing+launch position, and a perfectly connected swing path. The bat speed & bat strength combo is already scary and his ability to match plane and timing to catch the ball consistently outside his front foot will lead to monster power production. Just like his dad Benny (former New York Mets OF), this is a future 20 HR+20 SB threat who will get on base and easily handle the best of FB’s.


Rhett Britt RHP, 2026, South Charlotte Panthers 15U (Topsail, NC)

- Spin Rates, Delivery, Pitchability

Best Tools - FB Command, FB Life

Of all the dynamite arms I’ve scouted in the 2026 class, Britt is far and away the most advanced. Not only does he have near elite MLB spin on his FB as a rising 10th grader (MLB AVG RHP 2270 RPM), but it’s true spin with no cut. Not only does it dominate at the top of the zone resisting gravity at full force, it averages 17 inches of HZB, allowing it to play just as well on the other 3 edges. This is about as close as it gets to a metrically perfect FB in a HS arm, and his ability to command it at such a young age makes it all the more lethal. In my 3 INN look, he only missed 2 spots with the FB and both were whiffs. Regardless of the velo range he ends up operating in the future, his combo of FB life and command are going to be unmatched. At 6-foot-3, 183 pounds, the velocity is nowhere near its peak. His feel to spin the SL with quite consistent shape is another easy separator, leaving hitters virtually no chance to have extensive success against him. He controls it to both edges with very similar spin numbers as the FB. He didn’t need the CH, but I have zero doubt it will be a consistent 3rd pitch. But what truly makes him so consistent at such a young age? The delivery, without question. The energy, rhythm, gradual build of pace, separation timing, and direction are all ideal. The arm action is an incredibly loose, full circle with optimal depth and scap load. His ability to control the body and paint the zone well before filling out physically mean it’s only going to get better long term. He checks every box as a future front end starter.


Jack McKernan LHP, 2025, Canes National 16U (Ridge Point, TX)

- Aggressiveness, Tunneling, Unpredictability.

Best Tools - FB Command, CH command, SL Life.

With an approach to pitching so far ahead of most HS arms, it’s legitimately difficult to believe he’s not already in college. What’s even more shocking is, McKernan still has 2 more years to develop his arsenal before becoming an immediate contributor for the Longhorns. As long as an MLB team doesn’t find his advanced pitchability and arsenal too hard to pass up. This is a stocky frame built for balance that can hold much more strength. The compactness in the delivery and connection of his arm action (to the largest muscles on the backside) will undoubtedly bring more arm speed in the next couple years, and I have no doubt he will be sitting in the low 90’s before leaving HS with more in the tank when he needs it. While he may not have the most projectable frame, it’s extremely easy to project on his future success. The trio of angle from his low slot, heavy low spin FB, and willingness+command to bury the pitch on hitters hands make him an absolutely miserable guy to face. Hitters are forced to protect themselves from the FB in, only to get diced by 2 advanced offspeed pitches that come from an identical release point and drop off the plane of his heater late. He doesn’t just pitch in with the FB, he can paint the outer edge just as well and elevate with no effort. Just when hitters think they’ve got him figured out he can pitch backwards, or work the outer half early with the FB and come in late. Every combo of pitch sequencing you can throw with 3 pitches, Jack has. His SL has edge to edge sweep w/ late 2 plane depth, and the SPL CH stops time just before reaching the plate with endless depth. This is one of the highest floor arms in the country for his class.


Daniel Pierce SS, 2025, Team Elite Scout Black 16U (Mill Creek, GA)

- Pitch Recognition, Swing Mechanics, Baseball IQ

Best Tools - Hit for Avg, Field

From the tools to the intangibles, you’d be hard pressed to find a more complete player. Pierce has been producing in all facets since he 1st set foot on a HS baseball field, and he’s done so in Georgia’s highest classification (7A). He’s been owning power 5 arms for well over a year now with his natural ability to precisely time up release points. The most difficult skill in sports is to barrel a baseball consistently, and Daniel makes it look easy. He pairs rare vision with incredibly quick pitch processing, and routinely makes correct swing decisions. The UGA commit has an ideal all fields approach and his ability to manipulate the barrel allows him to cover any part of the zone nowhere to beat him. This is a player who pitchers can’t plan for. He makes proper mid-swing adjustments in a split second, and can waste pitches until a mistake is made. When he receives a mistake pitch there’s no hesitation, he will catch the barrel accurately out front time and time again. Pierce is the truest form of SS who will be able to stick at the premium position for a variety of reasons. His anticipation, reads, and hands are elite. The arm already plays MLB average as his quick exchange, internal clock, carry, and accuracy allow him to put out even the fastest of runners. He knows exactly when to make throws on the bounce and changes angles with ease depending on the play. Every action he takes on the field is on a different level of fluid, and his tools continue to tick up as he gets stronger. The hit, run, field, and throw all have a legitimate chance to be A/AVG. He’s also T88 on the bump with a nasty mid 70’s SL! Pierce may not have any top of the scale tools in the future but is a sure bet to hit and defend at a premium position. The floor is extremely high and he has a considerable ceiling.


Josh Gibbs SS, 2025, East Cobb Astros 16U (Forsyth Central, GA)

- Bat Speed, Fast Twitch Fibers, Swing Mechanics

Best Tools - Raw Power, Arm, Run

Although he may not have a prototype frame, he sure has prototype tools. Watching Gibbs play is surely a sight to see, and if you blink you can easily miss something incredible. His bat makes a different sound as it whips through the zone, and the ball absolutely jumps off his bat with routine 95+ EV’s every time he catches a barrel. Even when he doesn’t, more hits fall due to the force in his hands at impact. He is obviously blessed with rare explosiveness, but his swing mechanics are a huge reason the sound off his bat is different than most. The rhythm between his hips & hands is perfect. Josh has a preset hip hinge keeps his negative move controlled and minimal, and it keeps him very well connected in the forward move. His smooth coil allows his front hip to direct the stride and creates a backside stack as he separates. What truly separates his swing is the vast hip/shoulder separation and unreal timing of it by landing that creates shocking torque. This along with his precise linear connection results in an absolute blur through the zone, and his perfect lower half momentum and direction keeps him through the middle of the field. Things don’t get easier for the opposition once he gets on base, as his near plus run tool wreaks havoc. Defensively the burners lead to current above average range and his arm is already better than most in the state regardless of class, quickly approaching the mid 90’s and a lock for plus or better. He plays with good body balance and his loud tools allow him to make every play needed at a premium defensive position. This dude is a walking web gem and is one of the best bets for 5 tool potential in the entire state. He can truly play any position on the field, including the mound where he can easily ramp up the FB past 90+. While he’s already headed for the SEC, the next challenge Gibbs will be sure to attack is his status as a draft prospect.


Jackson Barberi RHP, 2024, TG DBacks 17U (Brookwood, GA)

- Age at Draft, Delivery+Arm Action, FB Metrics, Athleticism.

Best Tools - FB Life, SL control, CH Life

*Uncommitted* Scouting projection isn’t always easy, but whoever is in on Barberi early is going to make it look that way. His unteachables, separators, and current stuff are just a different level of interesting. Before even speaking on his unique mound talent, there are 2 details you must know.  He is the youngest player in GA’s ‘24 draft call (16 yrs, 9 mo), and he’s grown 2 inches in height since last fall. As MLB teams show and the entire scouting industry knows, players lose value as they age. With the most common age range in MLB being 26-29, the clock is always ticking. The closer a player gets to that age and isn’t established in MLB, the closer they are to being NP (non prospect). In Barberi, you are getting a 2025 a year early. When he makes his next jump in velo, he will catapult his competition in value. He already has rare FB metrics across the board, and they match up visually. The FB regularly works in the 2400-2500 RPM range T2700, with consistently 18-20 IVB and 10-12 HZB. It has true ride up in the zone, sudden run+sink down. The metrics are good for MLB right now, and as soon Jackson is working in the 91-94 range that’s how it’ll play. His SL right on pace to become an 84-87 power sweeper. It’s currently in the 78-81 range with aggressive sweep flashing 2 plane depth. To be spinning it this sharply from a near sidearm slot is rare, giving it a different shape than most SL’s.


Josh Lim UTIL, 2025, Knights Knation National 16U (Dunham, LA)

- Pitch Recognition, Bat 2 Ball, Versatility, Switch Hitter

Best Tools - Run, Hit for Avg, Field.

*Uncommitted* If you’re looking for a true Swiss Army knife, Lim is HIM. This is not only a coaches dream, but a scouts dream as well. There’s not a single intangible he’s missing, and the tools & rare traits are truly endless. It starts with an identical swing from both sides of the plate with an innate ability to repeat. As you can see in the tweet below, this is one of the toughest players in the country to strike out. Even getting him to whiff on a pitch is an uncommon occurrence, and he proved that at NPI having zero problem with a handful of serious mound prospects. Whether 0-0 or 0-2, his determination and confidence do not waver. His pitch recognition and plate discipline are so advanced that his numbers actually get impacted negatively by the strike zones of HS umpires. As crazy as it seems his walk rates, K rates, and OBP may actually improve as he reaches D1 baseball where the zones are tighter and more consistent. Of all the players I’ve seen in 2023, Josh decelerates to get on time with offspeed pitches better than any of them. Not only is his vision elite, but so is his reaction time. He’s a pitcher’s worst nightmare, and will never have to worry about a CB/SL breaking away from him. Not that he would have any problem with it, because he can barrel CH’s just as easy as FB’s. When he gets on the basepaths (happens often), opposing teams have to deal with 6.47-6.51 speed and incredible jumps that play his wheels up even more. This is a run scoring machine in the purest form, and everything about his offensive game is perfect for the leadoff spot. On the dirt it’s ideal anticipation, clean footwork, near perfect body balance, soft hands, lightning quick exchange and the ability to throw from all angles accurately. His baseball IQ is elite, and puts him 1 step ahead of every other player on the field. In CF it’s more of the same with elite anticipation, change of direction and range. His arm is strong & accurate, and he’s mid 80’s off the bump with 2 consistent offspeed pitches. There’s just nothing Lim can’t do, and he has the bloodlines to match (dad played for 2 WS teams at LSU). He’s nowhere near his eventual strength, and the body control & rare traits will only get more precise and explosive as he fills out.


Dean Livingston RHP, 2025, Team Elite Scout Black 16U (Hebron Christian, GA)

- Frame, Athleticism, Projection, VAA (down in zone)

Best Tools - FB Plane, FB Control, CB Shape.

*Uncommitted* When I think of GA’s 2025 class, one of the 1st things that come to mind is projection RHP’s. We have some truly special ones in, and Livingston is right in the mix with all of them talent wise. In fact, he might have more fast twitch fibers than any of them. In a high waisted, lean muscled frame with coat hanger shoulders, very few are built like this. He looks even more like a basketball player than a pitcher. The rhythm he creates and tempo he moves at through the delivery is on point, and it looks like he’s just playing catch out there. His hip hinge holds very well through up+down+out phases with ideal bend that allows him to be hammy+glute dominant and connects the lower half to his core and arm action. Speaking of his arm action, it truly might be my favorite in the entire class. The path is beyond efficient+connected and builds momentum lightning quick. He repeats the depth extremely well, has one of the cleaner scap loads you’ll see that only adds torque, and the elbow spiral is near perfect. His separation timing leads to the arm being on time+in good position to throw at foot strike, and the weight is well distributed with zero wasted movement throughout. His near OH slot and posture at landing make for one of the steepest FB’s in the state regardless of class. Dean’s FB VAA of -7.0 to -7.3 down in the zone is near elite MLB, and is a nightmare for hitters to match plane with. Stuff wise this is his rarest trait, and he can use it to his advantage even more often by pitching almost exclusively at the bottom of the zone. Although he still needs to trust the CB more, it’s about as close as it gets to a 12-6 with pure downer action. The pitch has big time potential and the velo will continue to increase as he learns to rip it. While he is raw, Livingston is a no doubt D1 prospect with sky high potential. He’s my pick to click sleeper to make a rise into draft prospect status over the next 1-2 years.


John Loudon OF, 2025, Ninth Inning Royals 16U (Marist School, GA)

- Fast Twitch Fibers, Swing Mechanics, Body Control, Raw Strength

Best Tools - Raw Power, Run, Field

*Uncommitted* A player who I hadn’t seen prior to this summer, Loudon is quickly becoming one of my favorite sleepers in GA for 2025. He’s been running LakePoint since the end of May, wowing crowds with loud barrels in 3 different tournaments. This under the radar beast absolutely took over our Underclass showcase in the workout portion with a 6.64 60 yd, multiple 350+ ft HR in BP, and was at the top of nearly every hitting metric. The game was even more impressive, where he had 2 95+ EV’s (1 wood, 1 metal) vs quality arms. He continued his hot streak at NPI with 4 barrels that were 93+ EV. But physical tools don’t make a hitter, it’s Loudon’s intangibles and incredibly clean swing mechanics that separate him. In a class loaded with dynamic bats, his swing is easily in the top 5 of most efficient. The swing starts and ends with perfect weight distribution (57% backside, 43% front side), allowing him to stack every ounce of his power with the backside post foot strike. The negative move is just as ideal, allowing him to time up pitchers release points easily without leaving his center of balance. The forward move is the most efficient I’ve seen in a long time - No head movement, optimal lower half momentum from ground gained, chest loads hands for him, perfect separation timing that continues his great sequence and creates easy torque. Textbook launch position at foot strike promotes one of the cleanest turns of the barrel you will see, with perfect connection in his linear path and minimal barrel angle allowing him to match all planes naturally. This swing is built to last in todays game and will keep strikeouts to a minimum, hard constant to a maximum. John has an all fields approach with impressive plate discipline and works himself into FB counts often. He has fluid hips in CF where his plus run tool and closing speed lead to standout range. He plays the game with ease all around, and never gets too high or too low. This is a priority D1 player with a future in the game beyond the college level.


Danny Wallace OF, 2025, Nebraska Prospects Scout Team 2025 (Papillion LaVista South HS, NE)

Separators - Bat Speed, Swing Mechanics, Athleticism
Best Tools - Run, Hit for Avg, Pwr production

*Uncommitted* This tooled out RHH OF, who is doubtful to be uncommitted past August, showing exactly why this past weekend at NPI. Wallace possesses some of the loudest tools in his class as he packs a 6.6 run (plus), and 93 mph arm (plus) giving him 2 tools that will play every day. His advanced bat speed/hand speed combo didn’t just flash, it showed all weekend. His ability to impact the baseball at a high rate stood out as he was consistently turning in 95+ exit velocities and was on the barrel to the pull side just as well as he was to the RCF gap. We watched him get the barrel out on an inside FB for a Grand Slam to LF and then adjust with his back knee post landing and stay through a below the zone FB on the outer third for a triple to deep RCF. Aside from his loud tools, it’s his dynamic swing mechanics that will ultimately separate him from kids his age. His ability to hold the hip hinge in stride during his forward move allows him to keep his head perfectly still throughout and is very impressive, pointing to him having the ability to adjust to different pitch locations and ultimately recognize spin. Danny’s ability to stay connected and turn the barrel in tight space throughout all phases of the swing put him in the strongest positions to impact the baseball at a consistent rate. It is going to be exciting to watch his growth as he continues to mature. This is a very exciting OF that will be on endless college's big boards come August.
Braden Caito RHP, 2026, Nebraska Prospects (Creighton Prep HS, NE)

Separators - Arm Talent, Athleticism, Body Control, Feel 2 Spin
Best Tools - CB Life, FB Velo

*Uncommitted* Highly projectable long levered RHP that was very impressive for the Nebraska Prospects. Mr. Caito showed immense promise being able to comfortably pitch at 86/87 with the FB, showed the feel to spin a sharp 11/5 CB that has big shape, and got plenty of freezes and ugly swings. He was able to double up with the hammer multiple times as well as locate the FB to both sides of the plate. This is another ‘26 arm that is well advanced for his age. What stood out for me was not only his feel to spin, but the ability to control his long arms and legs in the delivery and how athletic he was throughout. This ultimately led to him being able to repeat and sync up hip/shoulder separation down the mound. This is a huge checkmark given he is still very young and developing. You may ask, how is someone this lean and youthful able to throw 86/87? Braden does a great job of hitting the brakes at foot strike and shows the makings of an efficient lead leg block. This allows him to create force from the ground up and rotate violently, which is ultimately why he is able to sit 85/88 MPH at 160 LBs as an underclassmen. Braden is still raw; however, he checks many boxes in the delivery which point to him being able to have a huge velocity jump as he continues to get stronger and mature along with continuing to sequence the body/delivery even better. High ceiling with a good chance to be a future weekend starter. Must follow RHP in the ‘26 Class.

Eamon O'Gorman 3B, 2025, Nebraska Prospects Scout Team 2025 (Elkhorn South, NE)  

Separators - Strength, Feel 2 Hit, Physicality, athleticism
Best Tools - Raw Power, Hit for Avg

*Uncommitted* As physical as they come at 6-2 205, he passes the eye test easily. O’Gorman’s presence is immediately felt as soon as he walks up to the plate or runs out to his position. Offensively, he showed well for us this past weekend showing some intriguing traits that showed he was not just a grip it and rip it guy and that he had some feel to hit and awareness in the box. We saw him show the ability to shrink the front arm and manipulate his path for an inside FB, and use the opposite field gap with a smooth inside-out swing for a long sac fly(also a 2K count). His plate discipline allows him to produce QAB’s, walks, and then of course ambush 0-0 heaters for loud barrels. Although this was a limited look (6ab); however, it was extremely intriguing to see given his age and profile. The swing is built on a strong lower half, strength in the wrists/forearms, and a tight connected turn. He shows a repeatable forward move that allows him to control the body and stay behind the baseball. As he continues to mature and develop, the present strength and raw power will turn into consistent power production. Defensively, he played a steady 3B and was able to move around the bag with noticeable athleticism given his frame. This is a great follow in the 2025 Class!

Isaac Pamaran OF, 2025, Nebraska Prospects Scout Team 2025 (Papillion LaVista, NE)

Separators - Instincts, Bat 2 Ball Skills, Athleticism
Best Tools - Hit for Avg, Run
*Uncommitted* Isaac opened eyes at NPI as he was the table setter for the Nebraska Prospects. This is a dynamic dual sport athlete who has the ability to impact the game in many different ways whether it be drawing a walk, swiping bags, scoring on a ground ball/flyball (which he did 2 times this past weekend), lacing a double in the gap, or running down balls in the OF. Isaac projects as a prototype top of the order bat with a swing that is short and repeatable with balance throughout and is built for consistent contact and handling velocity. Most importantly, it is the simple forward move that gives him optimal connection for consistent hard contact. He is not afraid to hit with 2 strikes and shows the ability to spoil pitches and prolong AB’s to make opposing arms work. This is a priority follow that college coaches will begin to be hot on the trail of as the summer progresses and he moves into his junior year. 


Cade Durbin RHP, 2025, Knights Knation National 16U (Parkview Baptist, LA)

Separators - Athleticism, CB Spin Rates, Deception+Angle, MLB Bloodlines
Best Tools - FB Control, CB Life, CH Life

*Uncommitted* The way Durbin came out and dominated in relief is exactly what you would hope out of a pitcher whose dad spent 12 years in MLB. He doesn’t have his dads frame, but he sure has the rare feel 2 spin and already possesses a near elite delivery. He’s not just an efficient mover for his size, he’s an explosive mover for any size. That’s why when the lean strength comes, Durbin is going to pass many in his class. It’s tough to teach the way he moves, with a perfect build of pace and innate timing. He creates ideal kinetic energy in hip/shoulder separation, using the full length of his lead arm and hyperextension of the stride leg (during out phase) to create torque and inertia into foot strike. The combo of backside connection, keeping is upper half closed into foot strike, and crossfire landing allow him to rotate more violently during the slingshot effect. You may not see it now, but he’s going to throw hard. Whatever the eventually velo is on his FB, there are a handful of reasons it’s going to play up a full grade. The deception of his quick arm action and angle through the zone are 2 big separators, but there are many more. His L3/4 slot and late run on the FB create unique carry at the top of the zone, and will lead to some nasty bore eventually. The pitch is just as live down with snake like run+sink. Now add that he can paint all edges of the zone with it love to challenge hitters, and we’re really cooking. I know you’re interested in the crazy CB RPM’s, but the CH is just as good. The fade and depth combo is equally effective to LHH & RHH’s, and he shows the confidence to throw it in any count. His wiffle ball like 11/5 CB shows consistent 2 plane depth and he can spin it in his sleeps. This is a high pitchability arm with one of the more unpredictable arsenals you’ll find. Not to mention, he’s a year younger than most of the ‘25 class. Saying this is a likely weekend starter at the D1 level is an understatement, it’s a mortal lock for me. The path to success for Durbin will be a smooth road, all it will take is a steady progression of lean strength to the frame.

Connor Lehman LHP, 2024, 5 Star National Gold 17U (Stewart County, TN)

Separators - FB Spin Rate, Arm Speed, CB Spin Rate
Best Tools - FB Life, CB Shape

*Uncommitted* This is a fearless, energetic arm with a special FB who attacks hitters with it relentlessly. Lehman regularly spins his heater 200-300 RPM above MLB average for LHP’s, so it’s easy to see why he’s so confident in it. The pitch gets endless whiffs up in the zone vs RHH & LHH, and explodes on hitters down in the zone equally well. His high octane delivery is filled with intent and focus. Connor is the definition of locked in on the bump and nothing can get him off his game. He reaches deep in the tank with his drop & drive delivery, and his long+loose arm action works with gravity creating serious momentum out of the depths. Despite the depth of his arm action, it stays very well connected with the largest muscles on the backside. Although his FB is his biggest strength, he shows natural feel to spin his 1-7 CB and can throw it for strikes often either 0-0 or off the FB up. Although those are Connor’s 2 best pitches, it’s very intriguing to see him work on his SL/CH so often in game. The TN native doesn’t yet have consistent control with the SL, but its shape is quite sharp when he executes it. The CH doesn’t have tons of life currently, but he is able to keep it down in the zone consistently and out of harms way. Considering this was only his 4th outing back from ASIS avulsion, it’s safe to say he’s nowhere near top form yet. He’s been up to 91 before it, and will surely be there again soon. It’s much easier to get there when you already know how to. For me, this is easily one of the most intriguing uncommitted ‘24 arms left in the southeast, and he got a slew of D1 interest from his NPI outing.

Anthony Biondo LHP, 2024, TG DBacks 17U (Denmark, GA)

Separators - Angle, Ease of Operation, Deception.
Best Tools - CH overall, FB Life.

*Uncommitted* Considering this was my 1st ever look at Biondo, I came away quite impressed. While only getting to see him for an inning, I saw 3 FB whiffs and multiple hitters that had trouble barreling his FB. The crossfire angle is tough for hitters to track and there’s considerable funk in the delivery through his up phase (knee hits lead arm causing a slight timing adjustment for hitters). The extremely loose arm action also adds a bit more oddity to the table, as the ball really jumps out of his hand for the output it looks like he’s producing. PBR Georgia has seen him in the past and he’s shown impressive control of his CB, albeit from a higher slot and less smooth delivery in the past. The crossfire delivery has him rotating more violently and his shoulder rotation matches the lower 3/4 slot much better. This enables his core and largest muscles on the backside to fire simultaneously with the arm path instead of alone. I like the adjustments he’s made, and all he’ll have to do is get more reps to land the CB like he’s used to. However, the CH is already tunneling quite well off his sinking+tailing FB and he locates it quite well to the glove side. Being that he’s 6’2 and still very lean, there is considerable velo potential on the horizon as he gets stronger.

Jaxon Lueken, 2026, Midwest Canes (Forest Park, IN)

Separators - Arm Speed, Athleticism, Competitiveness, Feel 2 spin
Best Tools - FB Velo, SL Life

*Uncommitted* Easily one of the biggest sleepers in all of NPI was Hoosier State native Jaxon Lueken. A primary catcher who just started pitching this past spring in the middle of the HS season made a statement on Championship day for the Midwest Canes. Jaxon came out of the pen Monday and was nothing short of electric and fun to watch. The quiet confidence, moxie on the mound, fearlessness, and overall comfortability was highly impressive given he was playing up 3 age groups. The delivery is built on athleticism and gradual build of pace which allows him to be easy and flow throughout all phases in the delivery for maximum explosiveness post foot strike. His proper scap load along with an arm path that worked directly with the backside allowed for a connected arm action & advanced arm speed given his age and time spent on the mound. The FB/SL combo was well advanced for his age as his ability to spin the SL at 75/77 MPH with hard sweep and late depth to land for K’s was highly impressive and is something you would see from a much older arm. The pitchability and feel for his BB will certainly need to advance; however, it was very impressive to see someone who is this new to pitching flash these traits especially at 15 years old. Sitting 85/87 and touching 88 with his FB that jumped on hitters, and if it wasn't for the catcher would have carried through the net as it rendered 7+ in zone whiffs. Jaxon possesses all of the ingredients to be a starter at the next level given the ease of his operation and athleticism along with the confidence and feel. There is plenty of projection left which is why it will be very exciting to track his ascent up! High follow 2026 arm that will be heavily recruited when his junior year comes around.

Reid Howard SS, 2024, Canes Midwest (Forest Park, IN)

Separators - Baseball IQ, Instincts, Athleticism, Makeup
Best Tools - Field, Hit for Avg

This is a highly athletic RHH SS that has all the intangibles to play up the middle for a long time. Immediately, the advanced defensive actions stand out as the feet and hands are always in sync. He shows the ability to field with one hand, play on the run, change his arm & body angles along with being able to range to the 6 hole or behind the 2nd base bag. What really separates Reid from most kids his age is just the overall confidence and instincts he possesses on the field, which is going to benefit him the most come time to play D1 SS. Offensively, it is a balanced RH swing with rhythm in the hands paired with a repeatable trigger/load and a controlled forward move that allows his head to be centered in the middle of his body. This gives him the best chance to track at a high level and make consistent contact, but it will ultimately benefit him at the next level when velocity ticks up and breaking balls get sharper.

Cooper Tinkey RHP/SS, 2025, Legacy Baseball Group 15u (St. Bonaventure HS, CA) 

Separators - Athleticism, Feel to spin, Pitchability
Best Tools - CB Life, FB/CB Control

*Uncommitted* Someone who came out of nowhere last weekend at the NPI was RHP Cooper Tinkey. Pitching up an age group on Sunday for extra reps, he was nothing short of eye opening. Cooper’s advanced ability to spin the CB was something that immediately caught my attention, but as I continued to watch what really intrigued me was the ability to control his FB/CB mix with ease. This along with his advanced ability to spin in any count is something that is going to separate him as his velocity continues to increase and he continues to physically mature. He sat 82/85 with the FB, painting it to both edges of the plate to both LHH & RHH. He featured the future snap dragon at 72/74 mph with upwards of 2800 RPM (T 2945 per trackman) that was beyond intriguing. What was even more impressive was the ability to land it arm side or glove side, and use it early for strikes or late to put guys away by expanding off the plate or burying. His control and command will certainly need to advance; however, it was interesting and exciting to see someone his age have the feel to spin and pitch. Follow in the 2025 class that will blow up as soon as his velocity ticks up.

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