East TN Fall Prospect Games: Team Maroon Position Players



By Matt Byrd
PBR Tennessee

The East Tennessee Fall Prospect Games event took place on Sunday, October 25 and afforded players from around the state the opportunity to showcase their abilities in a combination showcase/game play event. There were many solid performances turned in, including some by players attending their first PBR event who opened some eyes. The complete statistics and top statistical performers from the event were previously posted. You can CLICK HERE to view that information.

The following is a look at the Team Maroon position players who participated in the event. This is position analysis only. Those position players who also pitched at the event will have their pitching performance featured in a subsequent article.

Middle Infielders

Thomas Zazzaro, 2017, Station Camp, SS
The 6 foot 1, 175-pound prospect posted a 6.95 60 time and had an 85 mph position velocity across the infield. Defensively Zazzaro shows short arm action, some accuracy, good arm strength, soft hands, fluid footwork, clean exchange, plays through the ball, has quick instincts, and moves well laterally with his athletic ability. Zazzaro has the ability to stay at the shortstop position at the next level. Offensively Zazzaro shows fast bat speed from the right side. He hits from a balanced setup, has a short stride, uses his lower half, shows good overall balance, has a good approach, level path, is a line drive type hitter with gap to gap power potential at times. He went 0 for 3 during game play. Zazzaro committed to Lee University following the event.

Parker Hill, 2017, Dobyns- Bennett, SS
The 5 foot 11, 165-pound prospect posted a 7.37 60 time and had a 82 mph position velocity across the infield. Defensively Hill shows short arm action with a high-3/4 release, accurate throws, good arm strength, soft hands, fluid footwork and works through the baseball well, has a quick release, plays through the ball, natural/athletic defender.  Offensively Hill has average bat speed from the left side and had a 70 mph exit velocity off the tee. Hill hits from a balanced setup with a slight leg kick and short stride, excellent balance through contact, very solid swing that produces line drives to all fields, fluid rhythm and is a line drive type hitter. Hill went 3 for 4 in game play with three singles, one of the more impressive middle infielders of the event.

Tilo Skole, 2017, Science Hill, SS
The 5 foot 10, 165-pound prospect posted a 7.41 60 time and had an 81 mph position velocity across the infield. Defensively Skole shows short arm action with the ability to throw from multiple arm slots, accuracy on throws, good arm strength, soft hands, fluid footwork and works through the ball well. Offensively, Skole shows average bat speed from the left side and had a 79 mph exit velocity off the tee. Skole hits from a balanced setup, has a short stride, maintains good balance, gets the barrel on plane quickly and keeps it in the zone, line drive type hitter with ability to use all fields. Skole went 2 for 4 during game play with a single and a triple in showing his solid left-handed bat.

Brock Fortner, 2016, Mt. Juliet, 2B/OF
The 5 foot 9, 160-pound prospect posted a 7.09 60 time and had a 74 mph position velocity across the infield and a 80 mph position velocity from the outfield. Defensively from the outfield, Fortner showed short arm action, some accuracy, good arm strength, fluid footwork and a clean exchange From the infield, Fortner showed a quick low-3/4 release, soft hands, fields out front and funnels to body, fluid footwork, and average arm strength. Offensively, Fortner hits from the right side and had a 72 mph exit velocity off the tee. Fortner hits from an open setup, has a short stride, uses his lower half, overall good balance, confident approach, solid and repeatable swing that is direct to the ball, fluid rhythm, line drive type hitter had a very good round of batting practice. Fortner went 2 for 4 during game play with a single and a double.

Mack Stephenson, 2018, Knoxville Catholic, 2B
The 5 foot 10, 165-pound prospect posted a 7.78 60 time and had a 68 mph position velocity across the infield.  Defensively Stephenson shows long arm action with a high-3/4 release, some accuracy, below average arm strength that is still developing, average hands, shows decent lateral movement in both directions. Offensively, Stephenson shows above average bat speed for his age from the right side and had an 80 mph exit velocity off the tee. Stephenson hits from an open setup, has a short stride, gets his lower half involved, took a solid round of BP with line drives in a middle to opposite field approach, Stephenson went 0 for 4 during game play.

Corner Infielders

Noah Absher, 2016, Sullivan Central, 3B
The 6 foot 1, 175-pound prospect posted a 7.03 60 time and had an 83 mph position velocity across the infield. Defensively Absher  shows short arm action, some accuracy, good arm strength, soft hands, fluid footwork, clean exchange, plays through the ball, and has natural corner instincts. Absher plays a very solid third base. Offensively Absher shows some bat speed from the right side and had an 80 mph exit velocity off the tee. Absher hits from a balanced setup with a leg kick involved, gets some use out of his lower half, shows good overall balance, has an aggressive approach at the plate, has a level path with a pull side approach. Absher went 2 for 3 in game play with a double and a single and stole two bases. He committed to Maryville College following the event.

Malik Brooks, 2019, Ensworth, 1B
The 5 foot 9, 180-pound prospect posted a 7.91 60 time and had a 78 mph position velocity across the infield. Defensively Brooks shows short arm action, accuracy on throws, average arm strength, average hands and footwork around the bag. Offensively Brooks showed better bat speed in BP from the left side than 72 mph exit velocity indicates. Brooks hits from a balanced setup, has a short stride, shows some hand quickness, good use of lower half, has good balance, has an aggressive approach and attacks the baseball, Brooks went 1 for 4 at the plate with a double and will be a left-handed bat to watch over the next few years.

Riley Williams, 2018, Gibbs, 3B
The 5 foot 11, 175-pound prospect posted a 7.31 60 time and had a 68 mph position velocity across the infield. Defensively Williams shows short arm action, some accuracy on throws, below average arm strength for the left side of the infield, average hands with good lateral movement. Offensively, Williams has average bat speed from the right side and had a 79 mph exit velocity off the tee. Williams hits from a balanced setup with minimal load, mid-length stride, has an aggressive approach, line drive type hitter with gap to gap approach. Williams went 0 for 3 during game play.

Jacob Ferguson, 2017, David Crockett, 3B
The 6 foot 1, 145-pound prospect posted a 7.83 60 time and had a 74 mph position velocity across the infield.  Defensively Ferguson shows long arm action with a high-3/4 release, some accuracy, average arm strength, hands are adequate but tends to field the ball with one hand at times. Offensively, Ferguson shows average bat speed from the right side and had a 70 mph exit velocity off the tee. Ferguson hits from a balanced setup, has a short stride, uses his lower, has a level path but will drop his hands at times to trigger swing, line drive type hitter with a middle of the field approach, went 0 for 3 during game play.

Catchers

Ryan Moses, 2018, Forrest, C
The 6 foot 1, 170-pound prospect posted an 8.29 60 time and showed very good arm strength at 80 mph from behind the plate with a 2.09-2.16 pop time. Defensively, Moses shows short arm action, accuracy on throws, average hands receiving the ball, the arm strength is present and pop times will undoubtedly improve as footwork and release gets more consistent. Offensively, Moses shows average bat speed from the right side, and had a 74 mph exit velocity off the tee. Moses hits from a balanced setup, has a short stride, short and direct swing with ability to use all fields, line drive type hitter whose offensive game will continue to evolve as he fills out frame. Moses went 0 for 3 with a single during game play. His arm strength makes him a catcher to keep a close eye on in the 2018 class.

Outfielders

Rob Patterson, 2017, East Robertson, OF
The 5 foot 9, 175-pound prospect posted a 7.25 60 time and had an 80 mph position velocity from the outfield.  Defensively Patterson shows long arm action with a high-3/4 release, accuracy on his throws, good arm strength, soft hands, fluid footwork that allows him to play through the ball and take precise routes. Offensively, Patterson had a 75 mph exit velocity off the tee from the right side. He hits from balanced setup, has a short stride, explodes with lower half and shows quickness in hands to generate bat speed, aggressive approach at the plate and shows flashes of gap to gap power. Patterson went 0 for 3 during game play and had a good round of batting practice where he consistently squared up the baseball.

Brandon Mason , 2016, Chattanooga Christian, OF
The 5 foot 9, 168-pound prospect posted a 6.98 60 time and had a 81 mph position velocity from the outfield. Defensively Mason shows long arm action with a ¾ release, accuracy on throws, above average arm strength, quick footwork, quick release, attacks the ball aggressively with good athleticism. Offensively, Mason  had a 74 mph exit velocity from the left side and 66 mph from the right side.  Mason shows a similar approach from both sides of the plate, generates better bat speed with quicker hands from the left side, hits from a balanced setup, has a short stride, uses his lower half, has good overall balance, line drive type hitter that flashes occasional pop from the left side. Mason went 1 for 4 during game play with a single.

Garret Hamilton, 2018, Knoxville Central, OF
The 5 foot 9, 160-pound prospect posted a 7.76 60 time and had a 70 mph positon velocity from the outfield (75 previous best). Defensively Hamilton shows long arm action, some accuracy on throws, average arm strength, soft to average hands, fluid footwork, clean exchange, plays through the ball, and has natural outfield instincts. Offensively Hamilton shows average bat speed from the right side and had a 77 mph exit velocity off the tee. Hamilton hits from a balanced setup with a leg kick involved , uses some of his lower half, shows good overall balance, line drive type hitter can be more aggressive. Hamilton is an oppo type hitter and went 2 for 4 during game play with two singles.

Alex Hoppe, 2017, Unity Christian School, OF
The 6 foot 1, 160-pound prospect posted a 7.20 60 time and had a 79 mph position velocity from the outfield. Defensively Hoppe shows long arm action with a high-3/4 release, some accuracy, works through the ball well. Offensively Hoppe shows average bat speed from the right side and had a 66 mph exit velocity off the tee. Hoppe hits from a balance setup with a leg kick involved, gets some use out of his lower half, shows average overall balance, level swing path, line drive type hitter. Hoppe went 2 for 4 during game play with a double and a triple.