Prep Baseball Report

LakePoint Fall Invite - Fab 5, Part 1

Justin Goetz
PBR Georgia Assistant Scouting Director

If you blink, you might miss it. That's how I feel in every time slot at LakePoint, always worried if the next superstar snuck by me while filming a pitcher/hitter in a lengthy at bat. The PBR Fall Invite was no different. Although the baseball library is currently loaded with 2023-2027 prospects, there are still many players I haven’t seen.

That's why my focus of uncovering “new” players consists of finding the most athletic delivery or swing in the line of sight, and filming immediately as long as there are noticeable tools. You can bare down on the player after the 1st inning/AB. It’s too risky to check the lineup for the players name and possibly miss a first pitch bomb or top velo that could get a player offers. Three of the players on this list I had never seen before, and a trio of them are uncommitted. Here are the 5 most eye-catching players I saw at the PBR Fall Invite.

Bishop Quarles OF, Goodpasture Christian (TN), 5 Star MidSouth, 2024
Ohio State Commit. 5 foot 11, 165 pounds. A former Junior Future Gamer for PBR Tennessee, this is a player with an extensive history at PBR events. Unsurprisingly, he leaves a lasting impression in every appearance at LakePoint. His raw power potential far exceeds his lean muscled, medium frame. He creates shocking force with his hands through contact, back spinning baseballs to all fields with what seems like just a flick of his wrists. He has elite bat speed for his age, which will soon be top of the scale for any age. But it's not only due to genetics & athleticism. Some very hard work has gone into improving his swing mechanics in the past 2 years. Quarles said in a 2021 interview with LakePoint’s Cory McCartney, “my approach is to stay middle-away. What I really focus on is my challenge of hitting outside pitches.” A little over a year later, this is no longer a challenge for the Madison, TN native. The basis of the swing is the same, he hasn’t changed what makes him Bishop Quarles. His two biggest improvements in the swing have been direction and torque. He’s gone from a more rotational hitter who was most comfortable pulling the ball to a linear hitter with all fields power in a short amount of time. His chest+shoulders+hands used to load more west to east, taking his direction & momentum away from CF. This causes the barrel to be more in and out of the zone, making it tough to stay on an outside pitch. Now, Bishop’s chest+shoulders+hands work south to north in separation, promoting a knob led path for a lengthy stay in the zone with all momentum working directly through the baseball. His swing now produces more backspin or “loft”, driving the ball to all fields with authority. This has led to a big increase in torque at landing with much more efficient, timed up separation. The move from the toe-tap to small leg kick has activated much more lower half momentum and force in his swing. He’s a menace on the basepaths and already a plus runner, with 3 stolen bases thru the first 3 innings I saw him play. That speed translates perfectly to CF, where his plus range and instincts make a huge impact on his pitching staff.

Carter Johnson SS, Oxford (AL), Excel, 2024
Alabama Commit. 6 foot 2, 175 pounds. As I predicted in Nationwide Ballers, an article written on the best 10 out-of-state players seen at LakePoint this summer, the recent Roll Tide commit flew up PBR’s State & National Rankings last month. From No. 11 in AL (No. 441 Nationally), to No. 6 in AL (No. 123 Nationally). Virtually no one deserves it more than the projectable SS with 5 tool potential. Carter had a big breakout at Future Games for our VP of Scouting Shooter Hunt, but our PBR Georgia staff were shocked he even made it to the most electric amateur baseball event in the country. That’s because his first memorable showing was in our 16U National Championship, a month before FG. Everything seemed to develop just like he’d planned though, as he went from a LakePoint Legend to a nationally recognized name post Future Games. Every AB I see of him seems to be better than the previous. That's very tough to do, as I’ve seen him get hits in every gap off every type of quality arm there is. Johnson has every possible trait needed for a pure hitter - 1. Rare pitch recognition 2. Advanced approach 3. Special bat to ball skills 4. Proper plate discipline, correct swing decisions 5. Elite, pro ready swing mechanics. 6. Aptitude to manipulate the body/barrel to any pitch in any location 7. Athleticism & preparation that lead to elite muscle memory. All of these special traits Johnson has at the plate show he knows how to prepare at a high level, which leads to an insane amount of confidence in his overall game. Few players I’ve seen in 2022 repeat their swing like Johnson, as every cut is a carbon copy of the next in terms of sequence, ease of effort, bat speed and balance. Each look I get on him, there are subtle improvements in the game. He seems to get faster, smoother, and taller! When a player is as hungry & advanced as Johnson, the improvements don’t stop. His raw power and run tools will continue to rise as he gets stronger, this is no doubt a 5 tool player on an MLB scouting scale before he leaves HS.

Gavin King RHP, Liberty Creek (TN), 5 Star MidSouth, 2024
Uncommitted. 6 foot 5, 190 pounds. This is one of the most projectable arms in the southeast for his class due to many reasons - 1. Lengthy, prototype RHP frame. 2. Fluidity, sequence, ease of operation in the delivery. 3. Loose+deep+connected arm action (L3/4) that creates gradual momentum for impressive arm speed. I feel he will only become much more explosive as he gets stronger and fills into his frame. It was exciting to see his live, heavy FB working in the 86-88 range, with the best recorded velo on his PBR profile being 86. King hit a handful of 89’s early in the game, showing that he’s in the midst of what looks to be a large leap in velocity coming. His heater comes in on a very steep trajectory, with explosive run & sink to both edges of the plate. He paints the corner consistently with ease, showing an advanced trust in the pitch. It isn’t normal for an arm of his size to project A/AVG or better FB command, but King does. Pitchers with a good, repeatable delivery are much more likely to throw good, consistent strikes. That’s what will allow King to pitch early in college, as he develops his offspeed pitches. His sweeping SLV worked in the 72-74 range T75, mostly looking like blend of the harder SL and softer CB he’s thrown in the past. The best one he threw didn’t pop up out of the hand, showing a more sudden sweep with two plane depth. As long as he continues to tighten up the pitch it can be a weapon, but I have no concerns about his aptitude if he needs to move to a SL in the future. He didn’t exactly need his low 80’s CH in game, but showed impressive feel for the pitch with heavy downer action in warmups. I would like to see him develop that pitch in game, as it looks very similar to the FB and could advance his pitchability tremendously in a short amount of time. As we continue to evaluate King, it would be little surprise to see him work his way into being a draft prospect in the future. Tall, projectable pitchers do seem to grow on trees these days. But, the majority of them don’t have King’s well sequenced delivery, arm speed, or FB command at age 17.

Dillon Stiltner RHP, Trinity Christian (GA), Klutch Baseball, 2025
Uncommitted. 6 foot 2, 165 pounds. Just like any talented 15 yr old baseball in the country these days, the impatient expectations of prospects are simply unrealistic. Pitchers who start climbing into the upper 80’s as HS freshman like Dillon are expected to throw 100 before they leave HS. But that's rarely how a velo jump works - these increases typically happen in 2-3 year increments. That would put the 2022 PBR Georgia Future Gamer Stiltner’s next big move to 90 mph (hopefully beyond) on schedule for sometime in the summer/fall of 2023. Why am I so certain another big jump is coming next year? Firstly, turning from a young teenager into a man is the number one way to increase velocity. With Stiltner being tall and far from physically developed, his first jump in velo was mostly due to a growth spurt and athleticism. The second will come as he gets stronger - which will give him elite balance, explosiveness from head to toe, and the good athleticism for his age should start to become elite. Dillon already moves through his delivery as well or better than some D1 commits 2 years older than him. He works at a medium-fast pace with plus ease of operation. The delivery is well balanced and simplified, as he repeats at a high level for his age. He has solid direction to the plate, sits into his legs well, and lands in a good position to throw. There’s plenty of rawness in him as a pitcher, which I look at as a good thing. When you have the FB life Siltner has, it will be much easier to teach him an approach to pitching than most. Although he’s currently the No. 7 pitcher in our 2025 class, his FB movement is top 3 in the state for 2025. The pitch sat in the 84-85 range T86 at the PBR Fall Invite, but we’ve seen him up to 87 quite often this year. When he works low & in on RHH, the pitch is nearly impossible to match plane with. The ball takes off like a torpedo, with violent sink and edge to edge run. Due to his angle and slot it shows the most movement arm side, and plays up his 78-80 Cutter with gyro profile. The pitch has short break and depth, but has proven effective when he can repeat it.

Tre Relliford C/OF, Douglas County (GA), Ninth Inning Royals, 2024
Uncommitted. 5 foot 10, 200 pounds. This exciting blend of power and speed is built like a speedy D1 outside linebacker who covers receivers just as well as he rushes the passer. That's because he does play OLB for his HS, delivering hit after hit to opposing ball carriers. Tre does the same thing to opposing pitchers on the diamond, sending high quality FB’s to the gap on a regular basis. An old scouting belief is that hitters have to have the strength and bat speed to create equal or greater force in the hands+forearms thru contact as the pitcher velocity. Precise timing, an aggressive lower half, and making contact in front of the plate can make up for lack of force in the hands, but only so much. Relliford has elite strength and creates unreal force thru contact for any age, as he showed by punishing multiple mid to upper 80’s FB’s at the PBR Fall Invite. Couple that with his impressive hand eye coordination, and you’ve got a guy that's going to happily meet the challenge of anyone's FB. Tre has natural swing with proper & simplified swing mechanics - Still head, hips start hands & clear before landing, efficient forward move. His hands work easily in & out of the hitting slot. His swing path is balanced due to equal strength in top & bottom hands. His approach was the most impressive part of his offensive game, as he showed impressive patience on FB’s and secondary pitches out of the zone. This is a guy who loves contact in two sports, and plays the perfect position for it defensively. As a catcher - Relliford is a willing blocker, solid receiver, and has enough arm strength & accuracy for the position. I haven’t seen much of him behind the plate, but know he has a relentless work ethic. I think he could have a very high defensive ceiling as an outfielder, with his instincts and closing speed.

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