East Tennessee Preseason Preview Middle Infielder Evaluations



Adam Akin
Director of Scouting




The 2017 PBR Tennessee East Tennessee Preseason Preview took place on Sunday, January 29 at Chattanooga Sports Complex, in Hixson, Tennessee and included a position player workout, followed by pitcher bullpens.  Players were afforded the opportunity to showcase their abilities in front of the PBR Tennessee staff and college coaches in attendance. The following is our evaluation of every middle infielder that participated in the event.

 

Drew Lowry, SS/RHP, Signal Mountain, 2019
Home-1st: 4.69, Position Velocity:  IF-81, Exit Velocity: 87
6-foot-2, 170-pound, RHH hits from a balanced and open stance with some waggle in his hands to begin, uses a short stride with a lowering and push back of his hands to get loaded, lower half explodes early to create some very strong torque and separation for him, gets a little cut off by a closed front foot, bat path is slightly up through the zone and combines with his strength to create some gap-to-gap pop that is hard to teach.  Defensively, showed good hands and footwork in the infield, gets a little stiff but gets the job done with a short arm action through a high ¾ release point, throws were firm.  A solid 2019 prospect that could project as a 2-way player.  

Noah Gent, SS, Grace Christian Academy, 2019
Home-1st: 4.77, Position Velocity:  IF-82, Exit Velocity: 88
5-foot-10, 180-pound, RHH hit from a slightly wider stance than we saw from him at the Underclass Games last July, slightly open stance and loose hands remain the same, uses a short but smooth stride with a subtle movement back with his hands to get loaded, lower half fires through with some aggressiveness, bat path is flat to slightly up through contact and provides him some pop to his pull side, likes to turn on the ball but can hit it everywhere.  Defensively, has some of the best hands in his class along with fluid and confident footwork, plays through the ball with momentum, exchange leads to a loose arm action through a high ¾ slot, throws are very firm and accurate. Continues to impress.   

Casey Haire, SS, Heritage, 2018
Home-1st: 4.31, Position Velocity:  IF-78, Exit Velocity: 86
6-foot-1, 160-pound, LHH hit from the same slightly open and balanced stance with that upright posture we’ve seen from him in the past, longer and smooth stride with a slight movement back of his hands combine to get him loaded, lower half fires through and attacks the ball but keeps him tall, swing plane can be a little steep into the zone but gets the barrel to and through the ball consistently, great round of BP with hard line drives toward the right-center gap.  Defensively, showed sure hands and good footwork in the infield, uses his athleticism to his advantage at all times, plays through it well and uses an efficient exchange and a short arm action through a high ¾ slot. Runs well and continues to improve all areas of his game. 

Pete Williams, SS, Bradley, 2018
Home-1st: 4.25, Position Velocity:  IF-77, Exit Velocity: 79
5-foot-10, 145-pound, SHH has very much the same mechanics and approach from both sides of the plate, hits from a balanced and even stance with his hands loosely held in a quiet position, uses an abbreviated leg kick and a cock of the barrel with his hands to get loaded, lower half fires very well and creates some good separation and stability from both sides of the late, singles approach with the ability to hit the ball to all fields.  Defensively, showed good hands and quick footwork in the infield, played through the ball well and showed the ability to make every play, exchange is efficient and leads to a short arm action through a nearly over-the-top release, throws were very accurate, runs very well.

Ashton King, SS, Farragut, 2019
Home-1st: 4.65, Position Velocity:  IF-78, Exit Velocity: 77
5-foot-11, 150-pound, RHH hit from the same wider and slightly open stance we’ve seen from him in the past with loose hands, uses a short stride and a subtle movement back with his hands to get loaded, lower half stays wide and creates some good separation, bat path is flat and stays through the zone for a pretty long time, approach allows him to spray the ball around the field.  Defensively, continues to show soft hands and good footwork in the infield, has a good feel for the position, arm action is long through a high ¾ slot, throws are consistent with accuracy.

Ben Willcoxon, SS/RHP, Sevier County, 2020
Home-1st: 4.84, Position Velocity:  IF-77, Exit Velocity: 83
5-foot-9, 175-pound, RHH hit from a slightly more narrow stance than we saw from him at the Top Prospect Games last July with the same open alignment, hands lean the barrel back a little bit to begin, uses a longer stride with a subtle movement of his hands to get loaded, lower half has improved a ton by becoming much more active and getting his hips cleared out while remaining balanced, swing plane is mostly flat with some slight lift at the end but can get steep on balls low in the zone, showed a middle-oppo approach.  Defensively, showed active hands and fluid footwork in the infield, played through the ball with confidence and uses a short arm action through a high ¾ slot. Continues to get better.

CJ Hess, 2B, TN High, 2019
Home-1st: 4.68, Position Velocity:  IF-75, Exit Velocity: 72
6-foot-1, 150-pound, RHH hits from a balanced and slightly open stance and begins with the barrel laid off behind his back, uses a gathering and short stride with a pushback of his hands to get loaded, lower half works well and clears his hips well while staying wide and pretty balanced, bat path is flat through the zone and creates some solid contact toward the gaps.  Defensively, showed solid hands and good footwork in the infield, played through the ball with some confidence, exchange takes a glove pat at times but leads to a slightly shorter arm action comes through a high ¾ slot, throws had some accuracy.

Aaron Worrell, SS/RHP, White House, 2019
Home-1st: 4.81, Position Velocity:  IF-70, Exit Velocity: 72
5-foot-8, 135-pound, RHH hits from a narrow and open stance with upright posture and the bat rested quietly on his back shoulder, uses a long but early stride with a cock of his hands that slightly wraps the bat to get loaded, lower half snaps through but can sometimes get a little cut off, bat path begins a little steep and can flatten out around contact every now and then, stayed up the middle with his singles approach, a lot of ground balls.  Defensively, showed above average hands and average footwork, could have played through the ball more actively and with a little more fluidity, sometimes let himself get stuck, arm action is short through a high ¾ release point.