Prep Baseball Report

Area Code Underclass Games: Saturday Notebook

By Shooter Hunt

National Crosschecker

The final day of the Area Code Underclass event in California saw many players continue to have impressive showings, but it was two top 2019’s later in the day that gave a jolt of adrenaline to all of the scouts and recruiters in attendance. Getting the start for the Rangers Scout Team in its final game, 2019 RHP Matthew Thompson (Cypress Ranch HS, TX), a Texas A&M commit, showed why he is the top arm in the class. He came out pumping 91-93 with his fastball, and controlled the pitch to the bottom of the zone while working both sides of the plate. He has a whippy, loose, and electric arm that, combined with his plus athleticism, makes him an elite prospect. While his arm strength, alone, would make him one of the highest profiled arms in the country, it is his entire arsenal that takes him to another level. Thompson showed command of a late-sinking changeup, thrown with fastball arm speed, that he felt comfortable throwing in any count. His curveball is an absolute 11/5 hammer that is thrown firmly at 79 mph, and elicited many “wow” emotions from scouts. The crowd fell hushed with each pitch that he threw with each pitch being more exciting than the last. He remains linear down the mound, and has a long stride that allows his velocity to play up even firmer. Though Thompson presently has proportional strength, there is still much more room to add to his 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame. He was at least a step above every elite arm that threw during the event, and his polish and remaining high ceiling gives him a chance to be special.

With Thompson being the main event of the day, uncommitted 2019 LHP/OF Josh Hahn was poised to play spoiler. After enjoying how Hahn performed at the Boras Classic in April, I was eager to see him again at the Area Code Underclass. I believe he is going to be an excellent two-way player at the next level, as he showcases a smooth, left-handed stroke at the plate with strength and quickness in his hands. Facing Thompson in the first inning, Hahn loudly singled through the right side before toeing the rubber in the bottom half of the inning. Hahn looked like he had something to prove on the mound, and attacked the Texas lineup from a near ¾ slot almost exclusively with a fastball that sat 88-90 throughout. He buried the pitch on the hands of right-handed hitters with multiple swings and misses, and dominated some of the best hitters in the class. He flipped just one breaking ball at 70 mph that showed 1/7 shape, but that was all. The determination in his eyes, and the way he moved around the mound stood out to me, and he looked like a gamer who will be an excellent addition to any program that he chooses to join in the future.

Here are some more highlights from Saturday’s action...

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