Prep Baseball Report

PBR Future Games: Hammer+ Score Leaderboard & Insight

Shooter Hunt
Vice President, Scouting

+ Click for Hammer Score Introduction
+ Click for Hop Score Introduction

The evolution of data-driven baseball has hardly been on a slow rise in the industry, and to say that it is not at the forefront of the sport is to see the game pass you by. Data and analytics are here to stay (though they were always present). New departments have been developed within organizations, as the drive to perfect the sport, a sport that so famously deals in failure and the overcoming of it, rages on daily.

But how do these new metrics and possibilities fit into amateur baseball? Is there a need for such detail oriented specifications? Is it possible to unite data-driven analytics with a human element?

Since it was first established in 2005, the Prep Baseball Report has been built around the promise to provide the most comprehensive coverage of amateur baseball in the country. Accomplishing this goal is a process that is never finished and perpetually evolving. Just as college recruiting and scouting have made advancements, PBR aims to be at the forefront of all things amateur baseball, and help connect the player/parent along the line.

Demonstrating its commitment to the player, family, recruit and scout, PBR’s Trackman and data initiatives have helped shrink the baseball world even more by providing the most credible and comprehensive platform for all parties to meet on.

Thanks to the work of PBR’s analytics department, with some of the top thinkers in the space, the quantification of Trackman’s pitching metrics into separate scores (Hop, Hop+, Sink, Hammer) aims to help players shoot for future advancements while making it easier for college coaches and scouts to sift through data sets that they deem most valuable.

Below is an initial look at some of the players and top Hammer+ Scores from the country’s most prolific underclass event, the PBR Future Games:

2021 PBR Future Games Hammer+ Leaders

1  Paschke, Tanner Slider 106 MO  
2  Kirby, Jacob Curveball 99 NC North Carolina
3  Stevens, Zach Curveball 99 AL South Alabama
4  Morris, Zach Slider 98 MA Rhode Island
5  May, Brayden Curveball 96 GA  
6  Schweitzer, Jake Curveball 96 KY Louisville
7  McKnight, Bryce Slider 96 AZ Arizona
8  Graham, Drew Slider 94 OH
9  Morton, Isaac Slider 93 MN  
10  Graham, Drew Curveball 92 OH
11   DeValk, Jake Slider 92 AL South Alabama
12   Soder, Kaden Slider 91 NV  
13   Davis, Tague Slider 91 PA Louisville
14   Morton, Isaac Curveball 91 MN  
15   Smith, Grant Slider 89 AZ Arizona State
16   Conradt, Jonah Curveball 88 WI Arkansas
17   Cross, Colton Slider 88 TX Texas Tech
18   Prescott, Peyton Curveball 88 FL Jacksonville
19   McCarthy, Dylan Slider 87 VT George Mason
20 Marx, Brayden Curveball 87 UT  
21 Benes, Seth Curveball 87 MO  
22 Smith, Tate Curveball 87 CO  
23 Manley, Matt Curveball 87 AL Samford
24 Morris, Zach Curveball 86 MA Rhode Island
25 Dowdle, Colin Slider 85 MA Northwestern
26 Strachan, Ryan Curveball 85 AL  
27 McKnight, Bryce Curveball 85 AZ Arizona
28 Galusha, Thomas Slider 85 CT UConn
29 Deremer, Drew Curveball 85 NE  
30 Sims, Aiden Slider 84 TX  
31 Harris, Leighton Curveball 84 KY Kentucky
32 Berger, Mitchell Curveball 84 KY  
33 Round, Samuel Slider 84 AZ  
34 Palencia, Fernando Curveball 84 CA  
35 Hall, Owen Curveball 84 OK  
36 Dean, Blake Curveball 83 GA Kansas State
37 DeValk, Jake Curveball 83 AL South Alabama
38 Round, Samuel Curveball 83 AZ  
39 Conradt, Jonah Slider 83 WI Arkansas
40 Geraghty, Ryan Curveball 83 IL Wichita State
41 Thomas, Kaleb Curveball 83 CAN Missouri State
42 Marx, Brayden Slider 83 UT  
43 Galusha, Thomas Curveball 83 CT UConn
44 Jones, Maddox Curveball 83 TN  
45 Dean, Blake Slider 82 GA Kansas State
46 O'Brien, Blake Curveball 82 KS  
47 Baynes, Hunter Slider 81 FL Maryland
48 Johnson, Keegan Curveball 81 MD  
49 James, Ryan (RJ) Slider 81 CAN  
50 Parham, Nick Slider 81 NC East Carolina

From a recruiting standpoint, there is no better event than the PBR Future Games. Every player is uncommitted with nearly every state in the country represented. More than 300 college coaches were in attendance at Lakepoint in 2021, and to date there are more than 200 players that have made college commitments after the event. As Vice President of Scouting, I pride myself in trying to see EVERYTHING that goes on in the amateur baseball space, but especially at the Future Games. However, for as hard as I try to do so, there is always something that slips by without me seeing. This is why I was so fascinated by the introduction of the Hop/Hammer/Sink scores as a whole, but specifically at the Future Games. Much as a college recruiting coordinator would do in reviewing notes, this list provided even greater insight to quantifying my thoughts, but even more importantly uncovering missed values.

In an age where velocity reigns supreme and its ability to be developed is flourishing, finding value in breaking balls might (sneakily) be even more valuable. As fastball use continues to fall in professional baseball, a more concerted effort to find quality breaking pitches, and especially aptitude in such “feel pitches”, is quickly becoming paramount. It is for this reason that I find PBR’s new Hammer Score such a ground-breaking feature at the amateur level. Beyond the simple velocity and spin (though both are included in the proprietary algorithm), the Hammer Score helps point to which breaking balls are best, which, for the sake of amateur baseball, helps provide a glimpse at some of the highest upsides for youth prospects.

 A look at MLB's top 25 Hammer+ Scores from the 2021 season: 

2021 MLB Hammer+ Leaders

1 Maples, Dillon Cubs 158
2 Lugo, Seth Mets 156
3 Glasnow, Tyler Rays 154
4 Richards, Garrett Red Sox 154
5 Pressly, Ryan Astros 153
6 Bauer, Trevor Dodgers 151
7 Nelson, Jimmy Dodgers 150
8 Thornton, Trent Blue Jays 148
9 Reyes, Alex Cardinals 141
10 Nance, Tommy Cubs 140
11 Kelly, Joe Dodgers 140
12 Scubb, Andre Astros 138
13 Newcomb, Sean Braves 137
14 Cease, Dylan White Sox 137
15 McCullers Jr., Lance Astros 135
16 Buehler, Walker Dodgers 134
17 May, Dustin Dodgers 133
18 Knebel, Corey Dodgers 132
19 Musgrove, Joe Padres 132
20 Morton, Charlie Braves 132
21 Pivetta, Nick Red Sox 132
22 Abreu, Bryan Astros 131
23 Cole, Gerritt Yankees 131
24 Baz, Shane Rays 131
25 Stratton, Chris Pirates 130

Separating the score from simply spin or speed was paramount to the Hammer Score’s development. So many frustrations can come from seeing youth players outpace Major League averages in velocity and spin rates, but when diving into the datasets from the PBR Future Games, there was a clear separation from the top breaking balls in MLB and that of the country’s top underclass event (as there should be!). However, the data of the youth prospects still provides valuable information, and shines a light on the upside of what might ultimately be coming. College coaches and scouts are sure to value this information as the development of a breaking ball is more difficult than that of fastball velocity.

+ Leading the way at the PBR Future, RHP/SS Tanner Paschke (Fort Zumwalt North HS, MO) brought his two-way athleticism to the mound where he demonstrated an innate ability to spin the baseball. An initial glance at the spin rates sees a max of 3033 RPM (2919 RPM avg.), and the numbers quantified what the eyes were seeing in real time. Facing off against a stout Texas lineup, Paschke produced a first at the premier event: the opposing team had the umpire check for foreign substances. A tip of the cap to just how tight the spin was, and a humorous validation to the top Hammer+ score at the event, and the only one that registered over 100 (106). Splitting his time as a position player, there is clearly some untapped potential from Paschke on the mound, and given his spin metrics and likelihood to miss bats, college coaches are likely to follow him closely moving forward.

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