Best Tools: Uncommitted 2016 Pitchers

By Jacob Gill
Pennsylvania Assistant Director of Scouting

With the fall season coming to a close and the NCAA Signing Period just over two weeks away, we will highlight the top uncommitted prospects in the senior class this week.  We begin with virtually every program's top priority: pitching.

Best Fastball Velocity: Williamsport Area RHP Evan Steele

Steele touched 91-mph with his fastball back in September. Still raw as a pitcher, he works entirely from the stretch and settled in at 85-88. Slider command will need to improve, but it has a chance to be a good pitch for him. Also a right-handed hitter with bat speed and good wheels, the 5-foot-11, 165-pounder is a good enough athlete to make the necessary adjusts on the mound.

Best Fastball Movement: Penn Charter RHP Harrison Timberlake

Standing at 6-foot-2, 175-pounds and pitching from a three-quarter slot entirely from the stretch, Timberlake has shown the ability to generate hard, late run and sink on his low-80s fastball. When he stays under control and around the zone, he generates groundballs and weak contact. He has also shown the ability to spin his low-70s curveball with 11/5 action for strikes.

Best Curveball: Franklin Regional LHP Luciano Besh

There are certainly others who throw their breaking ball harder than Besh, but what makes his so effective is that he doesn't just use it to get left-handed hitters out, but also purposefully backdoors and backfoots it to right-handed hitters. The pitch has solid 11/5 action and checked in at 72-74 at the Top Prospect Games in June. At that event, the 5-foot-10, 175-pounder worked down in the zone with a low-80s fastball that has consistent armside run, and mixed in a low-70s change-up with good sell. [Note: skip to 0:43 mark of video for pitching]

Best Slider: Marple Newtown RHP Ricky Collings

At the Eastern PA Fall Review in September, Collings was aggressive out of a short, quick arm action with his mid-70s slider, which has late darting action that keeps it off the barrel. The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder also features a low-80s fastball that has topped at 86. In addition, he is a quality athlete with good footspeed and solid defensive skills on the infield.

Best Change-up: Eastern York RHP Colby Shimmel

An imposing presence at 6-foot-4, 200-pounds, at the Unsigned Senior Showcase, Shimmel maintained fastball armspeed on his mid-70s change-up with armside run. He coupled the pitch with a low-80s fastball, low-70s curveball, and low-70s splitter to rack up 53 strikeouts against 37 hits and 9 walks in 44 innings pitched as a junior.

Best Command: Boyertown Area RHP Andrew Bauer

At 5-foot-8, 160-pounds, Bauer doesn't stand out physically, but watching him in game action reveals a competitor who knows how to pitch on the edges of the zone and stay out of the middle of the plate. His fastball typically sits 78-82, he locates to both sides, and can reach back for 84 when he wants it in two-strike counts. He has also utilized two distinct breaking balls, a curveball at 70-71 and a slider at 74-75, as well as a change-up at 70-71 that bottoms out at the plate.

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