Fall Scout Notebook: Top Uncommitted 2017 Pitchers

By Toby Bicknell
Texas Scouting Director

Prep Baseball Report Texas is working to become your #1 source for high school and travel baseball news and notes. The short fall season has given us the ability to see some excellent baseball. This week we will list the top players we have seen at each position. Be sure to visit our site daily for content and follow us on twitter @PBR_Texas. Here is a list of the top uncommitted 2017 pitchers we saw this fall.

2017 uncommitted pitchers

Garrison Taska, RHP, Kingwood Park HS, 2017
Sturdy 6-foot-5, 210-pound frame with proportional strength. Completely stymied a loaded Royals Scout Team during the Houston Heat's victory. Simple delivery, minimal side rocker step, slow, deliberate tempo. Deceptive arm action, high-¾ slot, extremely short on the backside, seemingly coming out of his ear. Ball comes out of hand easily, sat 85-87 mph early on, and actually picked up steam as the game wore on. Fastball topped at 89 mph once with several 88's. Stays tall on backside, creating good downhill plane. Lived predominately off fastball but wrinkled in 77-78 mph changeup with good arm action, and mid-70s breaking ball. At one point, he struck out four straight in the first and second innings, and consistently got weak contact.

Pepper Jones, RHP/SS, McKinney HS, 2017
The uncommitted senior stands 6-foot, 172-pounds with a live body. Jones entered the game in relief for the Dallas Tigers bumping 89-91 mph facing his first two batters, eventually settling in at 86-89 mph. The two-way player has up-tempo, aggressive delivery, working from a high ¾ arm slot. He threw his slider 74-78 mph. Defensively, Jones has the look of a versatile utility player with good, all-around athletic speed. In one baserunning opportunity he stole third on a delay steal.

William Adair, RHP, Highland Park HS
5-foot-10, 170-pound frame. Worked from a high-3/4 slot with a fastball ranging between 85-88 mph. His curveball was 70-71 mph consistently, while his changeup 74 mph. Showed fastball command and the ability to spin his breaking pitch in and out of the zone. In another we saw Adair work with some downward angle on his fastball ranging from 84-87 mph, topping out once at 90 mph. Located his fastball on both sides of the plate. Slider sat 74-75 mph with good, sharp, late life. Curveball was 70-71 mph. Allowed three runs in the first inning then came out determined in the second inning striking out the side.

Clayton Jones, RHP, Coppell HS, 2017
6-foot-1, 185-pound frame. The uncommitted senior started game three for DBAT in Jupiter. He sat 84-86 mph through the first two innings with a fastball that has some arm-side sink. His slider is a pitch that shows tight spin at 74-77 mph with 10-4 break. As we wrote about earlier this month, Jones has low miles on the arm and comes from a good pedigree. High academic student.

Zachary DeLeon, RHP, Hondo HS
Listed at 6 feet, 180 pounds with broad shoulders. Works from a ¾ slot with a repeatable delivery that has good energy getting down the mound. Fastball sits 84-87 mph with clean arm action. Slider has good downward slurvy action at 74 mph. Can move ball around the zone and throws his slider consistently moving it in and out of the zone depending on the count. Showed the ability to field his position making a nice play on a swinging bunt down the third base line.

Kyle Sweeney, RHP, Southlake Carroll HS, 2017
6-foot-4, 225-pound strong frame, wide shoulders, long arms. The projectable, uncommitted right-hander, worked from a high-¾ slot with a fastball ranging from 82-85 mph, occasionally getting on the side of his fastball creating some cut and run to his glove side. His slider was a good pitch for him at times, sitting in the 73-75 mph range with cutter-type action.

Garrett Egli, RHP, Smithson Valley HS
6-foot-4, 195-pound frame. Works from a high-¾ slot with a short, clean arm action. His fastball was 81-83 at the end of his outing, but the slider was 72-74 mph with good action and downward life. Very projectable with lots of upside, he should throw harder down the road.

Ryan Johnston, RHP, Flower Mound HS, 2017
6-foot-1, 195-pound strong frame, with well defined lower half. Works from a high-¾ slot with some shoulder tilt in the delivery that creates good angle on his pitches. His fastball ranged from 83-86 mph with some heavy action when it was at the bottom of the zone. His changeup was his most consistent offspeed pitch this day, ranging from 80-81 mph with good depth. The curveball was better in the second inning of work at 72-75 mph with 11-5 shape.

Hunter Bushnell, RHP, Marcus HS, 2017
6-foot, 185-pound frame. The uncommitted senior works from a high-¾ slot and hides the ball well with an early hand separation and easy arm action. Although the fastball only topped out at 86 mph working mostly 84-86 mph, the slider has tight spin and good 11-5 action at 75-77 mph. Bushnell showed the ability to command both pitches and threw the slider multiple times for strikes early in the count, then getting swings and misses expanding it off the plate.

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