Waco Preseason ID: Pitching Analysis


Toby Bicknell
Texas Scouting Director

WACO, TX - Following a great trip to the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Convention, Prep Baseball Report hosted the second Preseason ID Event of the early spring at Waco ISD Stadium. Cool and rainy weather cleared the way for sunshine and breeze to host forty players for a great day of baseball. Here is the pitching analysis from that event.


PITCHERS

 

Top Performers

Mason Brandenberger, LHP, Clifton HS, 2020
It’s still early, but Brandenberger had no trouble commanding four pitches for a strike. The left-hander has sharpened up his slider a bit since football season ended, now throwing that pitch at 72-73 mph with 2/8 shape. He still dotted up his fastball to both sides of the plate at 80-81 mph, and has elite feel for pitching. His curveball has 1/7 shape with good rotation and depth, while his change up was also quality at 72-73 mph. Brandenberger is one of our favorite arms in the ‘20 class because he can throw any pitch in any count, and whichever school pulls the trigger on him is going to be glad they got him. He plays multiple sports, while his competitiveness and presence also set him apart.

Wesley Mitchell, 3B/RHP, Houston Christian, 2020
Mitchell already looks like a college baseball player at 6-foot-3, 182-pounds, with a high-waisted, athletic, lean-strong frame. The right-hander topped out at 86 mph on the bump, sitting mostly 82-83 mph, working from a high-¾ slot with an athletic, cross-body delivery. Flashed a quality curveball with tight 11/5 rotation for a strike, and showed feel for his changeup at 72-77 mph. Lots of upside moving forward. Offensively, the right-handed hitter took a solid round of BP, showing rhythm and strength as he drove the ball with gap power. His hands work easy through contact as he generates a leveraged hack with a loose finish and powerful transfer, posting a top exit velocity of 90 mph. On the infield, the footwork, actions and arm strength make him an intriguing, projectable corner bat.

Logan Pace, RHP, Midway HS, 2020
Pace has a projectable, long-limbed pitchers frame at 6-foot-4, 193-pounds. The right-hander threw works from a ¾ slot with a long arm swing and reach out of the glove. High leg lift at the top of a drop and drive delivery. He threw strikes with his fastball at 84-85 mph, mixing in a 70-73 mph slurve with short break, along with a quality changeup at 76-78 mph


Best of the Rest (Aphabetical)

Keagan Alejo, RHP/1B, Connally HS, 2021
Alejo has a long-limbed, high-waisted frame at 6-foot-1, 170-pounds. The right-hander works from a ¾ slot with a medium arm swing. Tall-and-fall delivery with a short stride down the mound, lands square. His fastball sat mostly 72-74 mph, topping out at 75. Curveball has early break with 11/5 shape at 59-61 mph. Changeup came in at 66-69 mph.

Tanner Creel, OF/LHP, Troy HS, 2021
5-foot-11, 145-pound, lean frame. The left-hander works from a ¾ slot with a short arm circle and smooth tempo down the mound. His fastball was 73-76 mph. He pumped strikes with his changeup at 69-70 mph. Curveball flashed depth with 1/7 rotation at 68 mph. Offensively, the left-handed hitter starts from a neutral, tall stance with relaxed hands. Smooth load back using a leg kick as he coils his front hip and cocks the barrel behind his head. Mostly flat path through the zone with contact to the pull side during BP and a top exit velocity of 76 mph. In the outfield, he plays through the ball with soft hands and threw 77 mph to the dish.

Johnny Follett, C/RHP, Hebron HS, 2020
5-foot-11, 175-pounds. On the mound, the right-hander works from a high-¾ slot with high leg lift at the top before using a drop and drive delivery down the mound. Late hand separation with a long arm swing creates some deception. His fastball flashed some sink at the bottom of the zone at 78-80 mph. Curveball had early 11/5 break at 66-69 mph. Changeup came in at 74-76 mph. Behind the plate, Follett has tons of carry in his arm with a top velocity from the crouch of 77 mph and posted pop times of 2.05-2.26 seconds. The right-handed hitter also has an aggressive hack and throws the barrel through contact. Starting from a wide base then loads back deep into his back leg as he triggers his hands down and cocks the barrel over the plate. Quick-twitch hands get through the zone on a slightly up hill plane with a loose finish as he drove the ball well to the pull side of the field and posting an 82 mph exit velocity.

Tynan Gunn, 1B/RHP, Vista Ridge HS, 2022
Gunn has a strong frame for a freshman, standing 6-foot, 220-pounds. The right-hander works from a high-¾ slot with a short arm circle. His fastball topped out at 78, sitting mostly in the 75-77 range. Spun his curveball at 64-66 mph with shorter break. Threw his changeup around the zone at 66-70 mph. A two way player and right-handed hitter, he has current gap power and posted a top exit velocity of 90 mph. Starts from a slightly open stance with flex in his lower half, coils his front side as he raises up to load before taking a controlled stride, landing square and firing his back hip to transfer his weight. Short path to contact with slight lift and strength in the barrel. At first base, he plays through the ball with average rhythm and clean exchange into a short arm swing with a top velocity of 79 mph across the diamond.  

MacLean Harkins, 3B/RHP, Westlake HS, 2020
5-foot-11, 170-pounds. The right-hander works from a high slot with a smooth, tall-and-fall delivery, high leg lift, and good direction down the mound. His fastball has some tilt at 78-80, topping out at 81 mph. Changeup is a solid secondary pitch at 73-74 mph with arm side fade. Curveball had early break with 12/6 rotation at 63-66 mph. Offensively, the right-handed hitter starts from a tall, relaxed stance, before using a smooth load as triggers his hands and cocks the barrel forward. Short, controlled stride, lands balanced, flat path through the zone, line drive approach and top exit velocity of 86 mph. Defensively, Harkins has smooth footwork as he plays through the ball with quality posture and soft hands out front. Quick exchange into an accurate throwing motion with a top velocity across the diamond of 79 mph.

Dillon McDaniel, RHP/3B, Salado HS, 2021
Athletic, 5-foot-11, 165-pound frame. The right-hander works from a high-¾ slot with a compact arm stroke that creates some deception and cut on his fastball at 77-80 mph. Good tempo down the mound with a drop and drive delivery, landing slightly across his body. His curveball showed tight rotation, 12/6 shape and depth to finish at 67-68 mph. Changeup came in a 76-78 mph. Threw strikes for the duration of his bullpen.

Patrick Nichols, RHP/3B, Robinson HS, 2021
Nicholas has a lean-muscular frame at 5-foot-11, 150-pounds. The right-hander has a fairly loose arm swing, working from a ¾ slot with an in-line delivery and smooth tempo down the mound and finishing with an athletic back side. His fastball sat 76-78, while his curveball had short downer break with 12/6 shape at 66-68 mph. Changeup has quality arm side fade and depth at 71-72 mph. A two-way player and right-handed hitter, Nicholas triggers his hands down and back with rhythm as he sinks into his lower half to load as he strides forward. Glides onto his front foot as he transfers his weight. Flat path to contact with a relaxed finish, he posted a top exit velocity of 77 mph. On the infield, he creates momentum on his throws with directional shuffles and threw 76 mph across the diamond.

Adam Stephenson, RHP/OF, HSAA, 2021
Stephenson has a still developing, long-limbed frame at 6-foot, 162-pounds. The right-hander works from a high slot with a long arm swing and a tall-and-fall delivery. His fastball was 67-71 mph. Threw his curveball for strikes with 12/6 rotation and gradual depth at 55-58 mph. Slider was 58-60 mph. Offensively, the right-handed hitter starts from a wide base, pushing back with a reverse leg lift to load as he triggers his hands back and cocks the barrel behind his head. Slight lift through the zone as he rotates his upper body to contact, producing a top exit velocity of 81 mph. In the outfield, he plays through the ball with an athletic crow hop and smooth footwork to throw with a top velocity to the dish of 70 mph.

Tate Van Poppel, RHP/1B, Argyle HS, 2020
Van Poppell has a strong, durable frame at 6-foot, 190-pounds. Simple, tall-and-fall delivery with an easy gather on his rocker step. Medium arm stroke from a high slot, his fastball topped out at 80, sitting mostly 76-79 mph. Throws a 12/6 curveball for strikes at 62-64 mph. Changup is a solid pitch with arm side depth for a strike at 65-68 mph. Offensively, the right-handed hitter starts from a tall, slightly open stance then triggers his hands back into a slight wrap with tilted shoulders. Easy stride forward, lands balanced, inside out path with a top exit velocity of 91 mph. At first base, he plays through the ball with a quick exchange and directional footwork. Made accurate throws to bases with a top velocity across the diamond of 78 mph.

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