Underclass Games Pitcher Evaluations: Day 1, Team 2 (White)



Adam Akin
Director of Scouting


The 2016 PBR Tennessee Underclass Games took place on Tuesday, July 26 and Wednesday, July 27 and included a position player workout, followed by two 7 or 8 inning games each day. Players were afforded the opportunity to showcase their abilities to the PBR Tennessee staff and many college coaches in attendance. The following is our evaluation of every pitcher that was assigned to the White Team in Tuesday’s action.

 

Jake Rucker, SS/RHP, Pope John Paul II, 2018
Max FB: 86, FB: 83-86, CH: 75-76, 77-79 SL
6-foot-2, 170-pound, RHP is simply an athlete and uses it to his advantage on the mound, uses a simple, rhythmic, and very repeatable motion to deliver pitches through a high ¾ arm slot, loose arm translates from shortstop and helps in his ability to locate down in the zone, Rucker stays in line and has a quick arm out front.  Fastball showed some late and heavy run through the zone that makes it hard for hitters to square him up, breaking pitch acts as a slider and showed some sharp run with 10/4 shape that is extremely hard to hit the first time through the order, changeup was thrown with fastball arm speed and ran with a little fade once it entered the zone, all three pitches were thrown for strikes.  Rucker is one of the top uncommitted players left in the 2018 class.

Elijah Pleasants, OF/RHP, Rossview, 2018
Max FB: 85, FB: 82-85, CB: 62-65, CH: 67-68,
6-foot-4, 160-pound, RHP uses a smooth and rhythmic motion and stays very much in sync throughout, one of the longest and lankiest pitchers you will see, Pleasants shows some serious athleticism on the mound and uses a very long and loose arm action to deliver pitches from a high ¾ to over-the-top release point, gets down the mound very will and uses his length and release point to put his pitches on a down ward plane toward the plate, stays in line and only slightly falls toward 1B on occasion.  Fastball was thrown for strikes and showed the ability to both cut and run, curveball had some sharp 11/5 shape with the potential to be a big time out pitch, changeup was a simple change of speeds.  Pleasants was one of the top performers of the event and earned himself a spot on Tennessee’s Future Games team.

Hayden Mullins, LHP, Hendersonville, 2019
Max FB: 84, FB: 81-84, CB: 70-72,
5-foot-11, 145-pound, LHP was one of the best surprises in the entire event, uses a very active and athletic motion that takes advantage of his ability on the mound, a high and fast-paced leg lift and hand raise keep a lot of parts moving in action, leads with his front hip toward the plate and lands very much in line, lets his momentum take his body toward the 3B side on his finish at times, quick arm comes through a ¾ release point with some zip.  Fastball showed some sharp run and was thrown consistently for strikes, although he missed up and in on lefties a few times, curveball was thrown with good arm speed and showed the potential to be a big time out pitch with some powerful 1/8 movement.  Mullins was very impressive, overall, and struck out 3 in his 2 innings of work.

Joshua South, RHP/1B, Cookeville, 2018
Max FB: 84, FB: 80-84, CB: 66-69, CH: 72-74,
6-foot-2, 156-pound, RHP is a physically developed 2018 grad with strong and stead presence on the mound, uses a controlled motion in which he gets a good gather at the top and really gets into his hips before heading toward the plate, South stays in line and finishes very balanced on almost every pitch, athletic arm action comes through a high ¾ to over-the-top release point that helps him locate down in the zone.  Fastball was mostly straight but showed some slight run late in the zone, curveball had gradual 11/5 shape but could improve its sharpness, changeup was thrown efficiently for strikes and showed some fade at the plate with good arm speed.

Tanner Morgan, LHP, Christ Presbyterian Academy, 2019
Max FB: 80, FB: 77-80, CB: 64-66, CH: 64-65,
6-foot-1, 165-pound, LHP uses a collected delivery that includes a very small hitch in the middle that is just different enough to throw a hitter off, Morgan give his glove a little tilt when his leg reaches the top of his lift and then begins toward the plate, lands slightly closed but does a good job of getting out front and on target, finishes very balanced the majority of the time, arm comes through a high ¾ slot.  Fastball was mostly straight but showed some life and seemed heavy through the zone, curveball was a plus pitch, thrown for strikes, and showed some powerful 1/7 shape.  Morgan struck out 4 hitters in his 2 innings of work.  Definitely a 2019 that will draw a lot of interest once his velo creeps up a little more.

Andrew Threatt, RHP, Stewart County, 2018
Max FB: 82, FB: 78-82, CB: 60-61, CH: 72-73,
6-foot-0, 165-pound, RHP uses a compact motion that stays pretty well connected throughout and puts him in pretty good positions in his delivery, Threatt moves his hands in sync with his leg lift and does a good job of leading with his front hip toward the plate, strides open but it seems to help him utilize his lower half in his release and he still stays balanced and pretty well in line, over-the-top release point uses quite a bit of effort.  Fastball was mostly straight with some slight run at the end, curveball showed 12/6 shape with some consistent movement, changeup was utilized well in game play and faded at the plate for a solid change of speed. 

William Stewart, LHP, Montgomery Bell Academy, 2019
Max FB: 73, FB: 71-73, CB: 62-63,
5-foot-11, 135-pound, LHP is a skinny lefty that gets very tall at the top of his delivery and gets his front side very closed off before he attacks the plate, gets some good shoulder tilt that helps him add some downward angle on his pitches, lands slightly closed and causes himself to fall toward the 3B side on occasion, long arm action comes almost directly over the top with some effort.  Fastball was mostly straight but had that downward angle that was mentioned because of his release point, curveball with 11/5 shape was sometimes loopy but showed potential to be very good.  Stewart struck out 2 in his 2 innings.

Connor Pinkard, LHP/OF, Knoxville Catholic, 2018
Max FB: 73, FB: 70-73, CB: 54-55, CH: 55-56,
5-foot-11, 149-pound, LHP uses a smooth and rhythmic delivery that sees his hands drop down and come back up with his leg raise at the beginning, Pinkard stays tall throughout almost his entire delivery and sticks with pretty minimal effort throughout, long arm action comes through a high ¾ to over-the-top slot, finishes very balanced and under control. Fastball was typically straight and was left up in the zone a couple of times, curveball showed 12/6 shape and gradual movement, changeup was a simple change of speeds and faded at the plate.

Cole Heinze, SS/RHP, Franklin-Simpson (KY), 2019
Max FB: 73, FB: 69-73, CB: 63-64,
6-foot-0, 150-pound, RHP uses a funky motion in which he has a lot of moving parts throughout, he begins with his hands set and low and brings them up with a swinging leg lift that hitters don’t often get to see, he regroups in motion to get aligned and does finish balanced and in line with his target, low ¾ to sidearm  release point is used to add some deception as well, threw strikes but didn’t always spot up like he’d like.  Fastball was better when down in the zone, slider showed some gradual movement across the zone with 10/4 shape.