Preseason All-State Showcase: Class of 2017/2018 Pitcher Analysis

By Matt Byrd
Tennessee Director of Scouting

The Preseason All-State Showcase took place on February 7 at Showtime Sports Academy in Franklin and proved to be the most talented group of players we have assembled since we began running events in the state in August.

With a total of 25 pitchers who took the mound at the event, we are going to break down the group of pitchers by class. All told, 13 of the 25 pitchers, which consisted mostly of 2016 and 2017 prospects, touched 80 mph or better.

The following is a look at the Class of 2017 and 2018 pitchers who took the mound for the event. This is pitcher analysis only. Those players who also participated as a position player at the event will have that evaluation featured in a subsequent article.

class of 2017 pitchers

Brandon Garland, 2017, Unicoi County HS, LHP
The 6-foot-2, 182-pound LHP shows  great baseball size with a tall and strong athletic frame. The lefty has a balanced delivery that creates momentum and torque to create his velocity. Shows a high-level caliber fastball that sits at 89-90mph with good arm-side run topping out at 91mph, Due to Garland’s long release the ball seems to explode from his hand and jumps on the hitter very quickly. Garland does an outstanding job driving through the pitcher’s plane. His curveball shows depth with a 1/7 fast but late break at 75-77mph, Garland’s changeup 69-71 mph can be very effective with a 20 mph pitch differential with gradual movement. 

Corbin Brooksbank, 2017, McCallie HS, RHP
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound RHP has an athletically strong frame. Brooksbank has a very powerful delivery and does an outstanding job at using his entire body when generating velocity. All of Brooksbank’s pitches will be effective at the next level. Throws a fastball sitting at 88-90mph topping out at 91mph with an occasional run, a 10/4 curveball at 77-78mph with a very fast exploding break, throws a hard changeup 80-82mph that finishes with slight sinking action, and a sharp slider at78-80mph that will also be effective at the next level, unquestionably one of the top arms in Tennessee’s 2017 class.

Chandler Schultz, 2017, Ensworth HS, RHP
The 5-foot-11, 155-pound RHP shows an average athletic frame. Expressing a smooth windup the righty has a quick arm through a high-3/4 slot, shows a fastball sitting from 82-84mph and topping out at 85mph with some arm-side run and sink. Has good command of his fastball throwing it for strikes. Schultz’s curveball has a 10/4 sweeping motion that sits 71-72mph. His final pitch, a changeup 74-75mph is a great candidate for a strikeout pitch delivering just like his fastball however a 10mph difference in velocity and consists of good sinking action.

Ethan Tressler, 2017, Davidson Academy HS, RHP
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound RHP shows an athletic frame, throwing from a 3/4 arm angle with a long arm action. Expresses a dominated flat fastball that sits 80-83mph, topped at 84 mph at previous event,  Tressler’s curveball is a 12/6 style diving into the strike zone at 67-69mph, he spots up his changeup well at the strike zone at 73-75mph, also deliveries a sharp cutting slider 73-75 with late break. Tressler’s secondary pitches have shown goo development since we saw him in the fall, prospect to keep a close eye on.

Luke Reno, 2017, Christian Brothers HS, RHP
The 6-foot-4, 173-pound RHP has a tall and lanky frame with good projection, works through a high-3/4 arm slot, Reno establishes his fastball well for strikes sitting at 77-79mph and topping out at 82mph. Due to his long release and tall size the ball seems to jump out to the hitters and get into the strike zone quickly. His curveball 65-67mph has a sharp 11/5 break across the plate; Reno’s changeup sits at 67-69mph and has a gradual downward sinking action, frame and current velocity make him a prospect to keep a close eye on.

Reece Heagarty, 2017, Pope John Paul II HS, RHP
The 6-foot-4, 175-pound RHP shows a tall, lanky frame with good projection, works through both a high-3/4 arm slot and a sidearm slot, He throws a fastball for strikes from both arm slots sitting from 75-77mph topping out at 78mph, he shows an 11/5 curveball from both slots with gradual break sitting from 66-68mph, Heagarty’s changeup has good sink and fade at 69-70mph, he also throws a 65-66 mph slider that shows a gradual sweeping movement across the plate, good upside and arm works well.

Ryan Thomas, 2017, Christian Brothers HS, LHP
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound LHP has an average athletic frame, Thomas does a great job by creating momentum with his hips throughout his delivery, has a crafty fastball that he establishes for strikes with a good amount of arm-side run sitting at 77-79 mph and topping out at 80 mph, has a 1/7 big breaking curveball 67-69mph that develops quickly through the pitcher’s plane, Thomas also throws a very deceiving changeup 69-72 mph that mirrors his fastball with minimal run.

Nate Pianto, 2017, Pope John Paul II HS, LHP
The 5-foot-11, 143-pound, lanky submarine style LHP shows a complete definition of craftiness on the mound. Not overpowering, however with each pitch he releases has an above average amount of break or run with great location. Steady fastball at 69-70mph that he showed the ability to both cut and run, secondary pitch arsenal consists of a slow changeup that runs away from the plate at 61-62 mph, and a 64-66 mph slider that he has great feel for. The slider is his best pitch showing late break and can be a very effective pitch at the next level, very interesting prospect on the mound.

Tait Phillips, 2017, Heritage HS, RHP
The 5-foot-11 175-pound RHP has an average athletic frame, Phillips has a sidearm to submarine delivery with many of his pitches showing good movement, his fastball sits from 69-72mph topping out at 73mph with some arm-side run and sink, his curveball 59-61mph has a 10/4 gradual movement and he does a good job of locating it at the bottom of the zone,  changeup 66-69mph shows some late sinking action, ability to throw strikes from his arm slot makes him an interesting prospect.

Josh Buck, 2017, Sycamore HS, LHP
The 6-foot, 165-pound LHP has a lanky frame, from the windup throws from a high-3/4 to over the top arm slot and shows to have a crafty delivery with gradual movement on his pitches. Throws his fastball sitting at 74-77mph topping out at 78mph with gradual amount of arm-side run, a 1/7 curveball at 63-64mph with a long-plane developing 1/7 break, and a changeup sitting from 59-61mph that mirrors the delivery of his fastball.

James (Tre) Balliez, 2017, Stewarts Creek HS, RHP
The 5-foot-11, 183-pound RHP has a strong athletic frame, has a smooth, 3/4 delivery, throws a flat fastball sitting at 77-79mph and topping out at 80mph, establishes his fastball for strikes, throws a sharp 11/5 curveball 65-66mph with a late break, also throws a changeup 71-73mph that does a great job at mirroring his fastball, Balliez does a good job at establishing the strike zone throughout all of his pitches.

Andrew Miller, 2017, Blackman HS, RHP
The 5-foot-11 175-pound RHP has an average athletic frame. Miller works through an over the top arm slot, good balance, delivers a slightly running fastball at 75-76 mph topping out at 77 mph. His curveball shows 12/6 action with a diving gradual break sitting at 65-66mph, Miller also throws a changeup with gradual movement at 71-73mph. Miller also demonstrates good quickness to the plate from the stretch that should translate to him controlling the running game well.

Andy Hale, 2017, Spring Hill HS, LHP
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound LHP has an average athletic build, shows a crafty delivery spotting up on most of his pitches, fastball has some arm-side run sitting at 74-75mph, his curveball expresses a 1/7, long break from 65-67mph, Hale’s changeup 69-70mph has gradual movement and works well with mirroring his fastball with a 5mph velocity difference.    

Mason Garcia, RHP, Collierville HS, 2017
The 6-foot, 215-pound RHP has a strong lower half, uses short arm action through a high-3/4 arm slot, opens front side early and lands open, throws 68-69 mph fastball for strikes, throws a 57-59 mph curveball with gradual 11/5 action, 65-66 mph changeup is thrown for strikes and shows some tumbling action.

class of 2018 pitchers

Carter Sells, 2018, Brentwood HS, RHP
The 6-foot, 180-pound RHP has an athletic frame, shows an unconventional but effective delivery, throws from a violent over the top motion but manages to show good velocity for age, 79-80 mph fastball is straight, curveball 67-68mph with a 12/6 sharp break through the zone, and a changeup at 69-70mph that shows late arm-side run, good arm speed for age and a prospect to follow from the 2018 class.

Tyler Flynn, 2018, Tipton-Rosemark Academy HS, RHP
The 5-foot-11, 156-pound RHP has an athletic frame. His delivery is very smooth and works through an over the top arm slot, Flynn’s fastball sits at 75-76 mph topping out at 77 mph. Fastball seems to stay flat throughout his delivery but does spot up very well. His curveball is a slower 12/6 with a long drop that sits at 62-64mph. He also shows some feel for a changeup that sits 69-71mph and has slight arm-side run.

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