Underclass Spotlight - 5 to know in the 2024 class


Dan Jurik
Scouting Director - Pacific Northwest

In the last year or so, we've had the opportunity to get a much deeper, more in-depth look at the 2024 class across the state. Between various showcase events and game play, there's been a wide collection of talent on display. 

PBR events events provide players with the opportunity to build their profile with the most up-to-date information and video footage. All players in attendance receive an online profile with their verified statistics, player report, picture and video. Additionally, all subsequent stories written about a prospect will be linked to the player’s profile, ultimately creating a one-stop shop for recruiters.

Showcases help identify which prospects have asserted themselves towards the top of their class as well as who might be one of the next youngsters to emerge onto the scene. They also serve as potential identifiers for invite-only events such as our Future GamesJunior Future Games and West Coast Games 

Here are notes on 5 standouts from the 2024 class to keep an eye on heading into the 2022 season

underclass spotlight

2024 PROSPECTS

 

Max Ellerbrook SS / RHP / Sunset , OR / 2024

Compact frame at 5-foot-9, 155 lbs with proportional size between upper and lower half. Balanced, athletic set-up in the box with lower half narrowly open. Takes a low leg lift into forward stride. Extends into a wider hitting base. Subtle scap load with upper half prior to landing. Levers shorten up and stay inside of the ball. Worked mostly middle of the field with line-drive contact, showcasing feel for the barrel and consistent timing. Stays balanced as he rotates through contact with a high finish against a strong front side. Defensively has the look of a natural infielder and roams the dirt with noticeable confidence. Light, active feet when working through the baseball. Soft glove hand while funneling ball in. Stays balanced while on the move laterally, avoids getting flat footed. Quick, easy exchange into throwing motion with a compact arm path. Keeps momentum behind the ball. Hands work quickly on DP feeds.

 

Luke Fulkerson LHP / 1B / Tigard, OR / 2024

6-foot-2, 170 lbs with long levers and a projectable frame that can handle more strength. Offensively sets up with a square, balanced stance. Alignment working directly towards pitcher as barrel rests on rear shoulder in relaxed position. Short forward stride as hands stretch down and back to create separation against front side. Barrel gets into the zone early, covering depth and staying behind the baseball. Flat path into contact with a high finish. Overall, keeps it very simple at the plate, stays tall with lower half and lets hands work freely to control the barrel. Defensively, profiles well at 1B with L/L skillset. Sound actions around the bag with a deliberate, steady tempo and consistent footwork. Size/length helps him present a quality catch radius. Sinks into hips as he works down to the ball. Stays centered and receives ball deep into his set-up. Clean, continuous arm action from ¾ slot. Shows quicker release when turning 3-6-3 DP. On the mound, has considerable upside to tap into. Worked exclusively from the stretch in the center of the rubber. Low, balanced leg lift to gather while staying tall on backside. Slight flexion on back leg as hands break and he gets into stride down the slope. Shorter stride length for his height with cross action landing. Easy arm action with a loose, whippy finish out front. Stays tall at release as he gets over front leg. Eyes stay on target throughout. Could see a big jump in 2022 with a productive off-season.

 

Lucas Geren RHP / 1B / Cleveland, OR / 2024

Strong and durable at 6-foot, 200 lbs with a frame that can handle more strength. Starts very narrow in the box with upright posture and low, relaxed hand placement. Gathers weight back with a controlled leg lift as hands stretch up and back to rear shoulder. Balanced landing. Shortens up and gets barrel to the ball with tight rotation from upper half. Creates leverage with a strong lead leg. Catches ball out front to get consistent lift and line-drive contact. Power potential to pull-side. Strong at the point of contact. Defensively, size and strength fits well at 1B. Starts up with a crouched, narrow base in his pre-pitch set up. Solid footwork around the bag. Soft glove hand while receiving the ball. Showed ability to let ball travel into his stance as well as coming in more aggressively and fielding on the move. Short, compact arm action from high ¾ release. On the mound, moves very well down the slope with consistent, clean actions and a repeatable delivery. Medium height leg lift while working from far left side of the rubber. Leads with hip at hand break while creating some upward angle with his shoulders. Slight cross action at landing as shoulders level out. Consistent arm path. Avoids wrapping or getting too long. Quick release out front with some hand speed as he finishes. Glove side stays tight as backside comes through and he keeps eyes on target. Solid feel for FB/CB combo. Solid 2-way prospect in 2024 class.

 

Ethan Matsuoka SS / 3B / Tualatin, OR / 2024

Standout performer in the 2024 class who vaulted into our Top 10 in the latest rankings update. Matsuoka is a well put together 6-foot-1, 190 lbs with advanced strength. Offensively, sets up tall with lower half narrowly open. Uses a knee-knock load to shift weight back. Short forward stride with soft landing. Hands stay quiet with limited movement prior to launching swing. Rotates easily through his core, creating bat speed with minimal effort. Barrel covers plenty of zone and allows him to spray hard contact to all fields. Impacts the baseball with authority and has chance to emerge as a major power threat in the 2024 class. Defensively the actions really play well for a big-bodied defender on the dirt. Smooth on his feet with balance and body control. Handles glove hand with confidence. Works down to the ball with a solid hip hinge and clean exchange into throwing motion. Keeps momentum working through the throw. Releases from a low ¾ slot with tight, bent arm action. Has the athleticism and coordination to float around and handle multiple positions as needed.

 

Nolan McCormack RHP / 1B / Tualatin, OR / 2024

6-foot-3, 165 lbs with long levers and length throughout his frame. Wiry strength with chance to fill out considerably more in the future. At the plate, starts tall with direct alignment towards the pitcher. Hands start just below rear shoulder with barrel in an upright position. Low leg lift that syncs up with rhythm in hands to create separation as he gets into forward stride. Flat, level path thru the zone. Easy barrel action into contact. Leverage from lower half helps him lift the ball when he catches it out front. Present gap-to-gap power. Sound defender over at 1B. Short, active footwork around the bag. Does a solid job to work around the ball and avoids getting flat footed. Plays low with ease for a taller prospect and doesn’t struggle to get down to the ball. Clean arm path with a whippy finish out front. On the mound, size and actions project well and make him one of the more intriguing arms in the 2024 class. Quick tempo’d delivery. High leg lift at balance point with some flexion on back leg. Keeps shoulders level as hands separate and he works down the mound. Hips open up easily as he gets clean direction towards target. Compact arm action. Works freely out front and keeps release point behind the baseball. Gets solid extension over front side with an aggressive finish and strong brace up on front leg.

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
Pacific Northwest Preseason All-State (Invite-Only) OR 02/05 NW Sports Hub - Centralia, WA
Super 60 Pro Showcase NATIONAL 02/06 The MAX - McCook, Ill.
Pacific Northwest Preseason ID OR 02/06 NW Sports Hub - Centralia, WA