Prep Baseball Report

TN 2021: October Arms Report

Colton Provey
Tennessee Scouting Director

With Fall Break in full swing for Tennesseans, we dive into the uncommitted pitching landscape for the 2021 class as their senior seasons quickly approach.  Currently there are 14 uncommitted arms from our database who have topped 87+ that are still seeking a collegiate home, so below we break down notes on the hottest arms on the board.  


Arms Report (Alphabetical)

Blake Bradley, RHP Huntingdon (TN), 2021
6-foot-2, 195-pound righty presented a very intriguing starter kit, showcasing frame, velocity and feel for spin.  Tall, high-waisted with some present lower half strength and super projectable.  Full wind-up delivery with super quick arm working to over the top release, intriguing velo ceiling.  Finding consistency in his delivery mechanics, mainly in lower half to give arm time to catch up.  Good downhill plane on FB flashed some run/cut variations at 86-90.  Tight, big downer CB with late bite when right, potential out pitch at 73-75.  More thrower like, but developing control of some natural stuff.   

Chris Campanella, RHP, Baylor School (TN), 2021
Uncommitted, 2019 PBR Future Games participant.  5-foot-10, 150-pound wiry, lean frame. Worked from 1B side of rubber.  The arm is quick, loose out of 3/4 slot. Lands heel first, square/slight closed with firm front leg for good extension.  His FB was 84-87 with steady of mix of natural cut, or occasional sink. Pitch could really cut in on LHH or turn over for late sink action away from LHH, impacting his command a bit.  His CB worked 69-72 with 11/5 action, steady improvement from over the summer. Mixed CH 76-79 with some fade and depth, utilized to mostly LHH. A clean, raw arm w/ some natural stuff, looks to put it all together during 2021 season. 

Avery Crabtree, RHP, William Blount (TN), 2021
Uncommitted, 6-foot-2, 185-pound right hander has a solid, proportional frame and a long, smooth arm stroke.  A bit of a sleeper based on rank, but a rising arm looking for a home. Feel in delivery while attacking hitters with FB.  Leaned heavily on FB at 83-87 with good life.  Occasionally mixed downer CB at 73-76, which he tended to bury looking for chases of FB tunnel. 

Luke Ferguson, LHP, Knoxville Central (TN), 2021
The 6-foot-4, 188-pound southpaw prospect jumped up the board after a stand-out performance at Unsigned Senior Showcase in late May.  Tall, lanky projectable frame with plenty of room to add strength.  Smooth, athletic delivery with consistency.  Long, quick arm that works up to high 3/4 slot.  FB works 83-86 (Max Spin: 2111 rpm | Avg: 2008 rpm via Trackman) w/ slight sinking action and commands it well around the zone.  Best secondary is a hard SL at 77-79 w/ good 10/4 bite.  Had some feel for the pitch, spotting some down in the zone while showing ability to expand the zone for chase.  Mixed CH at 79-81 w/ some depth and command.  Solid third offering that Ferguson threw for strikes and kept down, chance to be a polished offering in future. The sink-FB/SL combo creates a challenging tunnel, especially for lefty bats, while a third offering to keep righties honest.  At the Upperclass World Series, Ferguson bumped 85-88 to go with 73-76 mph CB, leaving him as the top uncommitted lefty on the board as we approach 2021.  

Jack Fortner, RHP/3B, Mt.Juliet (TN), 2021
6-foot, 170-pound two-way prospect has been a steady climber throughout the summer.  Lean, projectable frame with good athleticism.  Featured mostly a high spin FB in the mid 80s (Max: 2430 rpm | Avg: 2158 rpm via Trackman) throughout the summer paired with 1/7 CB in the upper 60s. Mixing speeds and tunneling elevated FBs with downer CB, helped Fortner twirl a no-hitter at the PBR Kentucky limited series.  Fortner has continued to work and now sits 84-87 T88 w/ a touch more sharpness in his breaking ball at 67-70.  On the other side, provides versatility at 3B/2B and a solid bat that draws consistent hard contact and plenty of bat speed.  

Elijah Henderson, RHP, Trousdale Co (TN), 2021
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound right hander had a strong outing at the PBR 17U National Championship at Lakepoint.  Average, compact frame with some proportional strength. Works from a staggered windup with quiet first move and delivery repeatability.  Mixes timing on windup w/ pause after first step.  Short, quick arm path with ball coming out from behind his ear.  Fastball works 84-88 with good late life, generating some swing and miss.  Attacks with the fastball, pounding the zone in and out while elevating for chase. Good feel for glove side command.  Occasionally mixed CB at 72-74 with some depth to round out solid two-pitch mix. Some athleticism as a middle infielder as well, but projects to be a two-pitch bullpen arm at next level.

Tanner Loyd, RHP, CAK (TN), 2021
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound right hander jumped into the rankings after a strong start with TN Nationals this summer. Average build w/ proportional strength.  Quiet, repeatable delivery with quick arm that works to 3/4 slot.  Some effort in the delivery but gets the arm up with fluid follow-through.  FB works 84-87 with good life (Max Spin: 2243 rpm | Avg: 2145 rpm via Trackman) while working more arm side, but uses both sides of the plate.  Mixed results on the breaking ball, looking more SL at 76-79 in May to more CB at 73-74 in June, regardless a nice offering with good shape and late bite.  Interesting to see which way the breaking ball develops, but some high spin upside (Max Spin: 2404 rpm | Avg: 2387 rpm via Trackman) as it gets more consistent.  Occasionally mixes hard CH at 79-81 w/ slight fade and around the zone.  Loyd continues to search for a collegiate home while establishing himself as a key piece for TN Nationals and CAK’s state title defense during their 21’ campaign. 

Brooks McDonnough, RHP, Brentwood (TN), 2021
The 6-foot-4, 170-pound right hander jumped into the rankings after a strong showing at the PBR Mid-South State Games at the end of June.  Slim, wiry frame with lanky limbs and plenty of projection.  Quick, whippy arm that works to a low 3/4 slot, leading to some uncomfortable at bats.  Gets good extension off the rubber with squared landing.  FB worked 80-86 with good spin (2156-2407 rpm via Stalker) and some arm side action while throwing it to both sides of the plate.  Mixed sweeping breaking ball at 71-74 with good shape and decent bite.  McDonnough has continued to improve throughout the fall helping toss a combined no-hitter, while sitting 84-88 with the same sharp breaking ball.  

Devyn McEachron, RHP, Stewarts Creek (TN), 2021
5-foot-11, 180-pound right hander made a big time jump towards the end of 2019, and came out firing during the 2020 HS season.  McEachron worked 85-87 T88 with a low 70s CB in March, before climbing to 89 in May.  Made multiple starts at Lakepoint throughout the summer while maintaining his mid 80s velo and running it up when needed.  Flashes of sharp CB that can be a putaway pitch when thrown with conviction.  Lean, wiry frame with a quick arm and a low effort delivery.  

Tyler Nettles, 1B/RHP, CAK (TN), 2021
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound two-way prospect possess some big upside on both sides of the ball, as a power first baseman and an upper 80s arm.  Big, strong frame with room to carry additional muscle.  At the dish, quiet, simple setup with minor leg kick and quick hands.  Heavy dose of barrels, driving the ball into the gaps (Max Exit Velo: 93.8 mph | AVG: 90.3 mph via Trackman).  On plane early and often (83% on plane efficiency) paired with ample bat speed (Max: 69.5 mph via Blast) and strong rotational acceleration data (Max: 19.8 G | AVG: 16.74 G).  Defensively, moves well around the bag at first and above average runner (7.05 laser 60) with solid arm (82 INF Velo).  On the bump, quiet repeatable delivery with glove tap timing cue to get the arm up.  Shows the ball a bit, but disruptive timing in delivery makes for an uncomfortable at bat, especially for righties.  Gets good shoulder-hip separation allowing for his arm to clear and whip through his delivery.  FB comes out of the hand clean and jumps on hitters at 84-88 mph (Max Spin: 2127 rpm | AVG: 1951 rpm via Trackman).  Bears down w/ slight sink action and showed ability to dot pitches down in the zone while extending up for chase.  Mixed solid SL at 72-74 (Max Spin: 2130 rpm) with proper shape and flashes of good bite.  Showed some feel for the pitch with good tunnels off FB, and should be a S/M offering in the near future.  Overall, Nettles has established himself as one of the top uncommitted two-way prospects on the board.

Jake Wurms, RHP, Farragut (TN), 2021
The 6-foot-3, 170-pound right-hander made quite the impression at the Unsigned Senior Showcase in late May.  Although Wurms is relatively new to pitching, he possess some big time arm strength and future upside.  High-waisted projectable frame with room to add strength.  Simple repeatable delivery with strong gathering at top of balance point.  Does a nice job getting downhill.  FB worked 86-88 with good life and spin (Max: 2289 rpm | Avg: 2140 rpm via Trackman). Solid command, keeping it down in the zone.  Mixed hard downer CB at 74-76 with decent shape/bite.  Wurms also showed feel for CH at 80-82 w/ some depth and fade. Wurms followed the summer by sitting 86-90, T91 at Lakepoint Fall Invite with same tight breaking ball.  Wurms’s fresh arm and new emphasis on pitching makes him an intriguing late add as the number one uncommitted arm in the class.  

William Zebick, RHP, Tullahoma (TN), 2021
Uncommitted; 6-foot-2, 175-pound lanky, lean frame with good projection.  Big, long arm swing creating strong leverage with the front side; then working nicely downhill into a soft square landing. FB made a jump in velo, sitting 83-86, T87 with arm side run.  Commanded nicely to the glove side.  Leaned on his 65-67 mph 12/6 CB, which had good shape and consistently threw for competitive strikes. Long awaited velo bump for the high-upside Zebick, who showed a solid 4-pitch mix in 2019 at Top Prospect Games.  Mostly working two pitches this fall, but the return of his SL could round out his arsenal with a true put away pitch.


Two Notables

RHP Caleb Warta (Knights Academy) showcased some big time stuff in February of 2019 with a 5-pitch mix, highlighted by a 87-89 mph FB to go with a large, projectable frame.  Unfortunately, Warta has been sidelined for substantial time due to injury and will look to return to form in a make or break year in 2021, which will be intriguing to follow.  

RHP Owen Holbert (Home School) will be a late add to the 2021 rankings after popping up at the PBR Cup at Lakepoint this fall.  6-foot, 210-pound righty has a sturdy frame to maintain velo, showcased a 85-89 mph FB with slight arm side action to go with a 2/7 action CB at 70-75.  Occasionally mixing CH with some fade.  A late bloomer looking to make some noise down the homestretch.  


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