Prep Baseball Report

2024 East TN: Five Names to Know

Colton Provey
TN Scouting Director

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2024 East TN: Five Names to Know

Rex Pendergrass, 3B/OF, Rhea County, 2024
(Committed to MTSU on 11/3), 6-foot-1, 175-lb proportional frame w/ wide shoulders and lower half strength. Balanced, tall stance w/ leg kick and bat tip load. Generates top notch bat speed (T 81.9; Avg: 77.8) w/ uphill plane and strength thru contact. Works short to long through the zone and looks to do damage w/ gap to gap power (T 95.3 exit velo; T 358 ft). Easy pull side pop, hitting multiple balls out to LF-LCF at 2022 PBR Future Games. Hitterish tendencies and confidence in the box. Defensively, solid hands on the infield w/ accurate arm (T 82 INF velo) and ability to make the plays. Sneaky athleticism as he logged a 7.18 sixty w/ potential to slide into a corner OF spot moving forward to get the bat in the lineup. Pendergrass has been a highly valued bat as he is a consistent offensive contributor with looks of sticking in the middle of the order regardless of his defensive position.

Cade Batchelor, SS/RHP, Maryville, 2024
Uncommitted, 6-foot, 183-lb athletic, lean frame w/ some strength and room to add mass. At the plate, balanced, strong setup w/ quiet hand load and leg kick. Generates above average bat speed w/ whip in the barrel. Strong rotational acceleration (Avg: 22.5) and short compact bat path getting on plane while controlling the barrel through the zone. Line drive hitter with middle approach w/ flashes of future gap power (T 94.9; Avg: 85.3 exit velo). Defensively, sound actions up the middle w/ great arm strength (91 INF Velo). Consistent footwork and solid hands w/ good range (6.97 sixty). Loose, whippy arm working up to 3/4 slot. On the bump, athletic delivery w/ tempo. Quick arm into 3/4 slot. Heavy low spin FB at 81-85 T86 w/ slight sink at times. Mixes slurvy breaking ball at 70-74 w/ 10/4 action and late bite. Batchelor has shown two way upside serving as Maryville’s ace and starting SS. 

Andrew Hill, SS/RHP, Knoxville Central, 2024
Uncommitted, 6-foot-4, 190-lb two-way prospect. 6-foot-4, 190-pound tall, lean frame w/ projection and room to add strength. Tall, balanced stance w/ leg kick and small hand load. Generates average bat speed, so easy bump in exit velo w/ more bat speed development. Level, direct bat path w/ line drive spray and occasional gap power (T 93; Avg: 85.1 exit velo). Plenty of future power to project as he continues to fill out. Defensively, soft hands and long, fluid arm action w/ solid strength (80 INF Velo) & 7.13 sixty. Shown the ability to make the routine plays and even make more difficult ones both up the middle and in the six hole. Potential to stay at shortstop, but most likely to slide over to 3B/2B due to his towering frame. On the mound, low spin FB at 77-80 and slurry breaking ball at 64-65, so there is some two-way upside there. 

Jake Merrick, 2B/RHP, Farragut, 2024
Uncommitted, 6-foot, 180-lb compact frame w/ strength throughout and athleticism. At the plate, tall, slightly open stance w/ high hands. Quick stride while dropping his hands into load. Generates great bat speed (T 77.6; Avg: 74.5) w/ strong rotation (T 23.4) and does an outstanding job getting on plane (87%). Consistent hard contact (T 94.2; Avg: 85.1 exit velo), spraying line drives to all fields and flashes of more power (T 325 ft). Defensively, consistent footwork w/ sure hands and clean transfers. Presents the glove early and gets it out quick w/ accurate arm (78 INF velo). On the mound, quick arm w/ FB at 81-84. Shows some life up in the zone (T 2200 rpm) w/ occasional late arm side life. Mixes CB at 66-67 to keep hitters off balance.

Landon Smelser, OF, Science Hill, 2024
Uncommitted, 6-1, 175-pounds. Tall, lean, narrow frame w/ good projection to build & athleticism. At the dish, LHH slightly open, crouched stance w/ small leg kick and slight hand load. Generates great bat speed while sequencing well and maintaining plane. Level swing thru the zone, spraying it around w/ pull side approach. Line drive hitter w/ flashes of gap pop and future projection 89 max exit velocity, averaged 79.5 MPH. 307' max distance. Solid transfers and above average range. Light feet and moves well, profiles best in corner spot. Fair arm speed w/ stabby drag action at 3/4 slot and solid arm strength (82 OF velo). 7.16 runner in the 60.Top 80 prospect in the class, making steady improvements to a well rounded game.


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