Prep Baseball Report

Burton's Best: USG Part 1

PBR Staff
VA/DC Coverage

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Last week, over 70 players from the all corners of Virginia, DC, and Delaware descended on the Pitt Field on the campus of the University of Richmond for the 2023 PBR VA/DC Unsigned Senior Games. In today's story, PBR VA/DC Scouting Director Jason Burton breaks down 10 players who popped for him at last week's event. Look for Part 2 tomorrow and notes on 10 more players.




Caleb Ammons SS / RHP / Jamestown, VA / 2024

A solid athlete that we saw on the day is Jamestown infielder, Caleb Ammons. I got a chance to see Ammons once this high school season and left impressed. Not a big, physical athlete, just well put together and the actions in the infield display his athleticism. Hands work, range to stay on the left side, and accurate arm across. He has been a little dinged up this summer, but when healthy, he has more than enough arm to stay on the left side. Ammons had four at bats on the day and collected hits in three of them. Simple setup, hands stay inside, and the swing has some adjustability. When fully healthy, two-way potential, and has some added value with his ability to potentially stay in the dirt.

Kellen Clark 3B / RHP / Robinson Secondary, VA / 2024

6-foot, 200-pound solid frame. Clark had a strong day on both sides of the ball. At the plate he simply does not get cheated. Hands set back, small lift to stride, and controlled aggression in the swing. Third best hand speed (23.1 mph), second best max hand speed (78 mph), and best average hand speed (75.3 mph). Rotates extremely well with some off the chart numbers (<30.1 g). Was up to 82 on the mound, but at the plate is where I think he will have his biggest impact at the next level. Corner/corner projection with an offensive first profile.

Braeden Cooch RHP / 3B / Colgan, VA / 2024

One of the premier arms on the day, Cooch stands at a long 6-foot-2, 170-pound frame. Slower buildup, normal effort, and is long and loose through release. Sinker profile to the 85-88 mph fastball and dotted the outside corner in his outing. Featured two secondary pitches, with his slider being the out pitch for Cooch. Some depth to the 11/5 breaking ball and worked well when he got it out front. Up to 18” of horizontal movement on the upper 70’s changeup that has solid makeup as a third pitch. Intriguing arm that has a chance to be the frontline guy at Colgan this year.

Brady Gibson 1B / 3B / Westfield, VA / 2024

Projectable 6-foot-3 frame for the Westfield first baseman. Square stance, finishes slightly closed, and has some funk to his bottom hand on setup and load. However, the right hander produced in game and in BP. Heavy barrel, feel for hard contact, and some hit tool mixed into the 6-foot-3 frame. Did not produce big distance or big exit velo, but simply produced loud contact consistently all day long. Will need to show more power numbers with his first base projection, but as he continues to grow into the lanky frame, he should continue to grow into the power.

Donovan Newell OF / RHP / Lightridge, VA / 2024

Had a chance to see Newell once this spring season and the biggest thing that stood out was mature at bats, some bat to ball ability, and the run tool. Came away feeling pretty firm with the initial look. Left handed hitter, level path through the zone, and feel for timing. Has a medium leg lift that he hangs in, but has done a solid job proving he can stay centered moving into the swing. Above average defender in center, serviceable arm strength (more CF/LF), and the bat has a chance to play.

Henry Stewart C / OF / West Springfield, VA / 2024

Stewart continues to show his value with in-game production, to go along with his athleticism and physical tools. 6-foot-2, 195-pound long lean frame. Square stance, wider base, and some uphill path to the barrel. Loses connection early, but is strong enough to get the barrel through and handle the inner half. Average arm strength behind the plate and probably enough arm to play both corners in the outfield with a little extra range. During BP he had a hard time getting to the barrel consistently and I am not quite sure if it was fatigue, but regardless he produced in game and showed his athleticism and versatility in the field.

Carter Tuft UTILITY / 2B / James Madison, VA / 2024

Having not really seen Tuft, we did not really know what to expect coming into Wednesday, outside of the fact that there is a good athletic bloodline there, with older brother Colin Tuft (Tulane). Carter did not disappoint. 6.68 60, the footspeed and instincts to potentially stay in center (profiles either CF or LF), and the ability to find the barrel at the plate. Square stance, simple stride on line, level path, and produced loud contact throughout the day. The Madison rising senior had multiple hits on the day and managed to turn out ten balls in BP that registered 90+ mph on Trackman.

Parker Wight 1B / OF / Cox , VA / 2024

Newly uncommitted left handed hitter that has taken full advantage of the new opportunity. Had a stellar week at two events in the Richmond area. For now, we will focus on Wednesday at Unsigned Senior Games. Wight had three hits, ran a 7.01, best bat speed (81.2 mph), and best exit velocity (100.7 mph). The offense is real and it is more than just power. He has shown the ability to hit for average, and handle velo across the board. Faced low 80’s-high 70’s on Wednesday and upper 80’s-low 90’s on Sunday, handling them all with ease. First base/DH profile and depending on the level could potentially be serviceable in a corner outfield spot. Regardless, he can hit.

Jacob Wright OF / OF / Western Branch, VA / 2024

I have talked about Ja. Wright at length, but obviously could not write something about the top performers at Unsigned Senior Games without including him. Had three hits on the day, including a ground rule double, in what I believe was his final at bat of the day. Bat to ball, knack for the barrel, and a quick short path to allow for some pitch recognition. Small and simple lift to stride and just delivers the barrel on time, at bat after at bat. Slightly below average runner and more suited for left field, but regardless, this is a bat that you need to have in the lineup. 

Joshua Wright SS / 2B / Western Branch, VA / 2024

5-foot-7, 150-pound compact frame. Undersized, average runner, average arm strength, but can absolutely get it done in game. Similar to his twin, Jacob, there are no big tools for the middle infielder, but he is the guy you want in the box, or getting the ground ball, when it means the most. Defensively, he is probably more suited for second base at the next level, but the biggest attribute for Jo. Wright is that he understands the position and angles of approach he needs to be in, in order to make plays. Sets up throws when working into the catch and has a solid internal clock and knows when to get the ball out of the glove and hand. Short and compact swing at the plate, level path, and line drive tendencies to the swing. More hit tool type of bat with the ability to hit for average and solid bat to ball skills.