Dugout Chatter: Southern Ohio Prospect Games



By Reid Maus
PBR Ohio Staff Writer

Dugout Chatter features news, notes, and quotes from PBR Ohio summer events. 

First up, the Southern Ohio Prospect Games.

To view the complete statistical results from this event, please click here.

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+ JT Finehout, C/RHP, Licking Valley, 2018

The righty attacked hitters early in the count with fastball that touched up to 85 mph.

“My go-to pitch is my fastball and it was working today,” he continued “my curve was working and I didn’t get to throw my cutter much, but my game-plan is to attack early with a fastball.”

Well he didn’t only attack early, but put down six of the ten batters he faced on strikes, while not giving up a baserunner.

+ Luke Richardson, SS, Clinton Massie, 2018

The rising senior drew attention by making a “Jeter-esque” play in the hole from shortstop and then continued to flash leather on the subsequent two plays. He impressed with his speed and hustle when he scored from second on a routine hit to the second baseman, sliding into home barely beating out the throw at the plate.

+ Brandon Barnette, C/OF, Lancaster, 2018

Aggressiveness worked out for Barnette.

“My first previous at-bats didn’t go how I wanted them to, so I went up there with an aggressive mindset. Saw a pitch real low and didn’t swing at it, then the next one was something I could drive and I took it backside.” 

+ Warren McCord, RHP/3B, Heath, 2018

Shined on both on offense and defense, hitting a double early in the day and dealing later on throwing mid-80s. The double was the smoked over the right fielders head.

“I was looking for a good pitch to hit” said McCord, “I found it, so I drove it.”

McCord said he typically hits the ball for power on the backside.

And on the mound? He is modest saying that he just typically tries to throw the ball over the plate and let the field do the work but with mid-80s fastball he struck out three of the five batters he faced.  

+ Caleb Biederharn, RHP, Toledo St. Johns, 2018

Striking out half of the batters he faced, nearly everything was working for Biederharn.

“Fastball command was there, and the 12-6 curve was breaking a lot, so it was giving me a good “1-2” today,” said Biederharn.

“Pound the zone,” he replied when describing his mentality on the mound. He continued, "the least amount of pitches I can use to get outs, the better.”

+ Preston Tofstad, 2B/SS, Vandalia Butler, 2018

The second game of the day started off with some excitement when Tofstad made a sliding catch on the line to save a bloop base-hit from sneaking in down the right field line. The defensive standout continued to shine through as the next two ground balls tried to eat him up but his gloved prevailed.

“Defense is half the game” said Tofstad, “so it is an important part of my game.”

Tofstad showed that he isn’t a one trick pony as in his last at bat he laced a ball into the right-centerfield gap.

+ Benjamin Stacy, RHP/1B, St. Xavier, 2019

The 6-foot-5 prospect offers plenty of projectability for the future. He put together a multi-hit performance and an impressive showing on the bump.

“I’m just trying to think middle to right center, but if I get one inside im going to pull it” said Stacy about his mental approach each at-bat.

This worked as his first hit went through the “six-hole” when he turned on an inside fastball. Then, later in the game he showed just how dangerous he can be to all fields as he smoked a ball to right center.

+ Michael Bittner, 3B/C, Elder, 2019

Showed an affluent amount of back side power as he hit two of the hardest balls of the day (both being to the right side of the field). The first came against the hard throwing Caleb Biederharn, and the latter turned into a triple over the right fielders head.

+ Grant Lohmeier, LHP, Princeton, 2018

The southpaw has a big 12/6 curveball that drew attention of the college coaches in attendance.

“My curveball was working” said Lohmeier, “I was getting the batters deep in the count so I can throw them the curve.”

He struck out 4 batters on his curveball, after setting them up with his fastball that Lohmeier says can go either way depending on which way he wanted it to go.

+ Gavin Pitts, LHP/OF, Anderson, 2019

The first thing we saw from Gavin Pitts was pulling a shot to right center field off a pitcher with above average velocity.

For the rest of the day, Pitts continued to display a short, violent swing that drew the attention of college coaches in attendance.

The smooth swinging lefty can only improve as he has plenty of room to grow physically.

+ Jake Silverstein, OF/RHP, Turpin, 2018

Silverstein impressed early and often with a multiple hits, hitting the ball hard during each plate appearance.

This culminated in an at bat where he drilled a ball into left center field and was able to come all the way around the bases to score.

“I was thinking fastball, first pitch and I got it. So I took advantage.”

That same aggressive mindset translated to the bump as he dominated the batters he faced throwing mid-80s and not allowing a base runner.  

+ Justin Bierbaum, RHP/3B, La Salle, 2018

The hardest hurler of the day Bierbaum showed the ability to pitch at the next level. He sat in the mid 80's with his fastball and sent hitters packing with a wicked curveball.