Rookie Review: '24 3B/RHP Cainen Atherton (Mt. Union)
April 29, 2023
As we make our way through the spring and into the summer months, our staff will be rolling out a series of in-depth pieces on uncommitted talent across the keystone state.
We hosted (70) players on February 17 for the annual Flood City Elite scout day, where newcomer '24 3B/RHP Cainen Atherton stood out amongst the crowd with advanced power and raw physicality in a muscular 6-foot, 189-pound frame.
Cainen Atherton 3B / RHP / Mount Union , PA / 2024
Rankings StateRank: 141 / POS: 11
What We Liked: Though the size and measurables were easy to be "wowed" by, the overall feel for the barrel impressed most (83% sweet spot). The RH hitter turned it naturally through a deeper slot with plenty of hand-speed into the zone. Reached both a T95MPH exit velocity on his hardest hit and drove a couple booming swings to the LCF gap, up to an estimated 353FT. Also showed "quad greens" on blast motion while creating instant acceleration and the ability to match plane. A primary third baseman, Atherton made throws on the run and reached back for 85MPH (2x) from a H 3/4 slot. Displayed occasional range to the backhand side with a chance to finish. For the finale, the RHP worked up to T87MPH from a fluid release, imparting ASR on the ball. Life to the FB and mixed developing low-70's CB with a 76-77MPH faded CH; can really pronate.
What to Improve: Offensively, the tools are there to be successful. The 7.21 runner did generate length at times while hitting off the backside, though the bat path steepened enough to keep direction. It's a mostly pull-side approach that leveraged often, which could benefit from holding front-elbow shrink on his forward move. There's confidence he could stick at either 3B/1B at the next level, as the hands funnel softly, but pace needs to quicken into the 4.00-4.20 range. On the mound, the arm-action suggests additional velocity coming. A sharpened breaking ball would give him an option to pitch east/west, alongside the usual up/down eye-level attack.
Spring Update: The uncommitted bat is currently among the statewide leaders in home runs (5) and RBI (23) for a Mount Union team that's earned a seat at the table at 14-0. Slashing a ridiculous .467/.520/.866 this spring and has yet to make an error defensively over 17TC.
Video: February 17, 2023. Flood City Elite Scout Day.
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