Nebraska Scout Blog: Spring Season 2021


Brian Feekin & Brandon Winkelmann
PBR Nebraska Staff


Prep Baseball Report Nebraska will continue to work to be the #1 news source for Prep Baseball across the state of Nebraska. Remember to follow us on twitter @PBR_Nebraska and reach out to us with any news, commitments, or relevant information.

The Nebraska Scout Blog provides insider information and scouting notes from the PBR Scouting Staff during the season. This running blog will feature information on underclass prospects, unsigned seniors, draft prospects, and anything else that is notable. We will provide a wide range of information, including player evaluations, velocities, pop times, home to first times, and more. Simply put, the Nebraska Scout Blog is loaded.

 

Lincoln Southeast vs. Omaha Westside

Uncommitted ‘22 Connor Wilken got the start for Southeast.  His fastball was in the 79-81 range with some slight cut action. His curveball is gradually breaking 68-70 mph with a 1/7 shape. He threw the curveball mostly late in the count early before mixing it in early in the count the second time through the lineup. He commanded the zone and often came inside to hitters on either side of the plate. Wilken also had a pair of hits at the plate while driving in one for the Knights. 

Nebraska commit Max Buettenback (LSE, 2023) showed a mature approach at the plate. He’s patient to find a pitch he’s looking for and isn’t afraid to go deep into the count to get it. His slightly uphill bat path keeps him on plane with the baseball with a middle/pull approach. In the outfield Buettenback showed athleticism and ability to track the baseball. This was apparent on a diving catch he made to end the 4th inning that saved 2 runs from scoring.

Westside was led at the plate by ‘21 Fort Scott CC commit Aidan Jackson and ‘21 North Central Missouri CC commit Simon Stover. Jackson had 2 hits and an RBI while Stover connected for a 3-run homer in the Warriors 5 run 5th inning.

 

Millard West vs. Millard South 

Barton CC signee Kael Dumont threw a complete game 4-hitter for the Wildcats in the second round of the Metro tournament. He commanded the zone throughout, walking only two with two punch-out's. His fastball was in the 84-85 mph range with some arm side run. He used his 74-75 mph tight breaking curveball as a put away pitch early before using it early in the count later in the game to get ahead.

 

 


Uncommitted ‘22 Braden Cannon took the tough loss for the Patriots. He competed well, allowing 4 hits over 6+ innings while working around 4 errors. Cannon has good rhythm in his delivery with an athletic finish. He commanded his 81-83 mph fastball which topped out at 84 mph with slight cut action. He showed a 69-71 mph curveball that played well off his fastball. Pounded the zone (66% strike%) to a final line of 8 K’s vs. only two walks. 

 

 

 

Bats were kept in check on both sides throughout. No multi-hit games for players on either side. Rice Whitaker, Avery Moore, and Ty Kalb all collected RBI’s for the Wildcats.

 

Millard South vs. Papillion LaVista

Millard South's Cam Kozeal came into the 2021 season as one of the top uncommitted prospects in the Nebraska 2023 class and at this point in the season has become one of the top players in the state. He's got a sweet left-handed stroke with easy bat speed through the zone. Against Papillion, Kozeal was 0-2 at the plate with a SAC bunt and HBP but worked deep into counts and putting the ball in play to the right side. At shortstop, he shows feel for an internal clock with quick actions .Through 16 games this spring he's hitting .416 with 22 hits. (4HRs, 17 RBIs, 2K/4BB).

Homerun video via Alex Hale

 

Nebraska commit Nate Moquin made the start for Millard South going 4.2 innings on 89 pitches. Moquin surrender 7 hits and 5 earn runs while striking out four and walking three. Moquin worked mostly 81-84 mph with his fastball and mid 70's 11/7 shaped breaking ball. 

 

 

Millard South's offense pounded out 13 hits on the day. Braden Sweet and Christain Hobbs had three hits a piece, Ashton Jorges and Braden Cannon each added two. 

For Papillion LaVista, Jacoby Hurst and Tyler Jeffus each had a pair of hits and Ethan Nissen hit a three run homerun. 

Lincoln East vs. Westside 

Iowa Western commit Kadyn VanHill continue his strong senior campaign for the Warriors tossing 6 innings of one run baseball. Fastball was in the low to mid 80s paired change up and breaking ball. The breaking ball wasn't as consistent as we had seen earlier in the season but he made big pitches when he needed too. 

Jackson Yeager led the way offensively for Westside with a two hits and two RBIs. 

Ryan Clementi made the start for Lincoln East allowing three runs over five inning striking out 6. Clementi's fastball was 83-84 (T86) and he paired it with a low 70's mph breaking ball with short 11/7 shape. He shows feel for a plus low 70s change up with late fade action to his arm side. 

 

Millard West vs. Papillion South

Southeast CC commit Brayden Curtis had another strong outing from Papillion South going 6 innings, giving up three hits, 1 unearned runs at 8ks on 94 pitches. (64% Strikes). Watching Curtis was refreshing, he's uber competitive with his three pitch mix and consistently around the strike zone. Fastball was 83-87 and can throw it to both sides of the plate. Early on he was pulling his breaking ball a bit so he relied on a 76-77 mph change up to keep hitters honest drawing soft ground ball contact. '22, Nick Ripple (RHP) finished off the 7th inning with a pair of strikeouts, fastball was up to 83 mph and showed feel of lower 70's 11/7 shaped breaking ball he can throw at anytime in the count. 

Offensively for Papillion South Josh Green & Jackson Trout had the big hits for Papillion South each driving in a pair of runs. 

Brayden Curtis & Nick Ripple

 

Millard West threw a trio of projectable underclass arms in Jaxon Cahoy, Drew Deremer & Mason Koch. Cahoy threw 4.1 mostly working off a 81-86 mph fastball, he'd mix in a 76-77 slurve that has average shape/depth. He's got an athletic frame with broad shoulders, the arm works long on the backside with a slight wrist wrap on backside. He repeats well, just struggled finding consistency in the strike zone at times. Deremer was up to 86 mph this his fastball and paired in with a 75-77 mph breaking ball. Koch struck a pair in his inning working mostly off a mid 70's breaking ball and fastball that topped at 87. 

 

Jaxon Cahoy

 

 

Norris vs. Blair

 In his 3rd outing of the 2021 season, Nebraska commit CJ Hood labored his way through 3.1 innings of work on the mound. Hood came out 90-92 (T93) in the 1st before settling in the upper 80s. He left a lot of pitches up and battled throwing consistent strikes. The breaking ball is unhittable at times and tunnels extremely well off his fastball. On the day, Hood struck out 9, walked 9 and gave up 5 earned runs on 2 hits. 

 

 

Norris showed offensively why they are one of the top Class B team in the state pounding out 22 hits. Ryan Gouldin and Bryson Mueller lead the way with four hits each. Landon Meyer added three hits and three RBIs. Florida State commit Kale Fountain added a homerun. Working his way back from a knee injury in football, Eaden Holt had three hits including a homerun in his first actions of the 2021 season. 

For Blair, '24 Jay Unger hit a three run homerun off a 92 mph fastball early in the game.  Unger is an uber athletic athlete who should have a chance to be a mainstay in the Blair lineup and on the mound for the next couple of years. 

 


Creighton Prep vs. Omaha Westside

The trio of Max Sanders, Michael Meckna and Thomas Leiden combined to strike out 11 and only allow one hit in a 4-1 win. Sanders worked mostly 81-85 mph throughout his four innings with a 70-71 mph 11/7 shaped breaking ball and mid 70s change up. In the 3rd innings his command got sporadic leading to Westside's lone run but he came back in the 4th with a quick 1-2-3 inning.

Meckna worked two scoreless innings for Prep striking out two. He's got an athletic 6-foot-2 frame with a live arm for the 2024 class, his fastball was up to 85 mph multiple times in his outing while showing a developing upper 60s breaking ball. Thomas Leiden ('22/LHP) struck out two in the 7th to close in out for Prep. He's got a compact athletic build with athletic repeatable actions on the mound. His 81-82 mph fastball comes out of a H3/4 slot with natural cut action. As Leiden continues to develop it wouldn't be surprising if he's mid to upper 80s with his natural athleticism. 

 

 

Iowa Western commit Kadyn Van Hill was on the short end of the Westside loss and threw well. Over 6 innings of work, Van Hill struck out 8 only allowing one earned run on 73 pitches (73% strikes). His fastball was 83-86 mph throughout his outing and he paired it with a lower 70's breaking ball he could throw at any time in count. At 6-foot-3, 190 pounds Van Hill has a compact arm action with natural downhill plane on his pitches, a slight crossfire in delivery makes it tough for hitters to pick up breaking ball vs. fastball. 

 

Quiet nice offensively for both sides, Grant Hatcher had an RBI double to get Prep on the board and Cole Payton had a single for Omaha Westside. 

Papillion LaVista vs. Omaha Central 

We went to see one of the top uncommitted pitching prospects in the Nebraska 2023 class with Papillion LaVista's Brayden Jones. At 6-foot-2, 215 pounds with a strong lower half, Jones showed an uptick in velocity from when we saw him less than a month ago at the Preseason All-State. His fastball was 82-84 mph working mostly away to right handed batters getting swings and misses in the strike zone. Jones battled consistency in his breaking ball throughout the outing which can be expected in 50 degree weather put it still projects to be an above average out pitch as the season progresses.  His final line for the day was 3 IP, 2 hits, 3ks and 2 BBs ( 59% Ks). 

 

 

Papillion- LaVista was lead offensively by Wayne State football commit Jacoby Hurst with 3 hits, 2 runs scored and an RBI. 

There was a trio of uncommitted '21 who had strong nights. Omaha Central's Anthony Lind shined defensively at 3B with a pair uber athletic plays to take hits away Papillion. RHP, Eli Feekin picked up the win with 3 innings of relief for Jones and Outfielder Ethan Nissen drove in 3 runs on his pair of hits. 

Bellevue West vs. Papillion South - 3.19.2021 

Southeast CC signee Brayden Curtis had a strong first start for Papillion South. He punched out 8 over four innings of work while allowing three solo shot homeruns with the wind blowing out to left field.  His fastball was 85-87 mph with a hard sweeping up 70s breaking ball. He commanded the strike zone allowing only one walk. 

South Dakota State commit Dane Toman was a bit more sporadic in his first start but kept Bellevue West in the game. Fastball topped at 90, sat more in the 85-88 mph range and struggled with command of the breaking ball. Toman has a lean athletic frame with broad shoulders and it's easy to fall in love with his long and loose whippy ¾ arm action. Jaxon Jelkin picked up the win for Bellevue West with four innings of one run relief. 

 

Gage Allen led the way for Bellevue West offensively for a pair of hits and RBIs. Cam Madsen and Daniel Lester also added solo homeruns. Jackson Horn had a pair of hits for Papillion South. 

 

Elkhorn vs. Skutt - 3.18.2021

Making his first start of the year after transitioning from basketball just four days earlier, Drew Christo came out strong in his senior season in front of 15+ scouts on a cool Nebraska spring day. Built like a Clydesdale horse, Christo pitched well in his first outing of 2021. In the first inning he was 91-92 mph with late life to his arm side. The inning produced two soft contact outs and a strike out on a 83 front door slider. He amped it up in the second in the 92-93 mph range and worked his way around a HBP and walk to start the inning. If you were to nit-pick you'd say the slider was a bit inconsistent, left mostly to his arm side but as the weather warms and Christo settles into the spring season it will be a swing and miss pitch. Christo also showed major improvements to a change up which has heavy sink action to his arm side. Final line was 3.0 IP, on 57 pitches (61% Strikes), 1 Hit, 3Ks and 2 BBs. Overall, Christo was sharp. His composure under the circumstances was impressive, he never buckled and stayed within himself throughout his three innings of work.

 

 

 

Gage Allen led the way for Bellevue West offensively for a pair of hits and RBIs. Cam Madsen and Daniel Lester also added solo homeruns. Jackson Horn had a pair of hits for Papillion South. 

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