Prep Baseball Report

Mid-Atlantic State Games: Underclass Quick Hits Part IV

Jason Burton
Scouting Director PBR Virginia/DC

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Last weekend, well over 150 players from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and DC descended on War Memorial Stadium in Hampton Roads, Virginia for the 2022 Mid-Atlantic State Games. Players took part in a showcase workout on Saturday and a game throughout the day Saturday and Sunday. Some of the Region's top committed prospects were also on the field on Saturday night for the 2022 Committed Game.

Now we take a look back at some standout moments from uncommitted underclass players that were in attendance.

Underclass Quick Hits: Part IV

Ryan Barks RHP / C / Hickory , VA / 2025

Intriguing two-way piece out of Chesapeake. Kind of jumped on the scene for us in the summer of 2021. Barks continues to make gains physically and it has translated between the lines. Catcher/1B with probably more hit tool than raw power. It is a short and simple swing at the plate with doubles power in both gaps and the potential for more as the 6-foot-3 frame fills out. On the mound he works with some pace and intent. Showed some feel for secondary with a 67-70 mph breaking ball and a 72-74 mph changeup. It will be interesting to see how Barks trends and whether he becomes more bat than arm, or if he can make some velo gains on the mound and become more arm than bat. 



Peyton Beale OF / RHP / Douglas Freeman, VA / 2025

5-foot-11 athletic frame. Beale is an average runner with a solid hit tool and the ability to find the barrel on a consistent basis. Beale has above average bat and hand speed. A bigger leg lift that hovers on load. Hands separate on load, level path through contact, and has the ability to drive the ball for extra bases in both gaps. 



Jacob Eckhaus RHP / OF / Briar Woods, VA / 2025

Eckhaus was up to 84 and showed some pitchability at this past weekend's event. He was very efficient in the zone and spun a 69-72 mph slider for strikes. It has a little starter profile to it, as he is a lower effort, controlled intent arm. Couple that with his ability to keep the pitch count down with a high rate of strikes, as well as get guys out early in counts, makes him an interesting arm as he continues to make velo gains on the mound. 



Colin Lebel RHP / SS / Cape Henry Collegiate, VA / 2025

Got a chance to see Lebel this fall at a tournament and he continues to impress. This Cape Henry 2025 pitches with intent and effort and features a mostly fastball/slider combo. The fastball sat 83-85 mph and got swings and misses in the zone, especially in the upper half. The mid 70's slider shows promise and if he can land that consistently for strikes it will allow that fastball to play a tick quicker. 



Weston Lillard RHP / Highland , VA / 2025

Lillard once again showed his promise on the mound. The fastball maintained his usual low to mid 80's velo, which is a solid sign that he will see at least a small jump in the spring. Lillard has gone from a new arm trying to figure it out, to a feature arm for his travel team, and has logged his fair share of innings this summer and fall. With all that being said, it is refreshing to see him holding velo this late into the fall. The slider had a little bit of a different shape and action than when I saw it early summer. Seemed like more of a cutter with smaller horizontal action and similar vertical break. With continued work and gains Lillard should be an interesting follow this spring and beyond. 



Kaleb Smith LHP / 1B / Mechanicsville, VA / 2025

Sign me up for this one. Short quick arm that kind of jumps at you. The fastball was up to 84 and got on hitters quick. Works with some intent and spun some really, really nice breaking balls, especially a handful that backfooted right-handers. This is a big physical arm that has a chance to be a high end arm with a little tick up in the velo department, and I think that is only a matter of when. 



Blake Thomas 3B / RHP / Tallwood, VA / 2026

5-11, 160-lb frame with room to fill out. Controlled tempo and pace on the mound. The fastball got up to 81 and played well to the glove side. Showed a downer slider that sat low 70's and played well down in the zone, getting multiple swings and misses in game. Lower effort arm with a feel for spin at that age, as well as getting into the low 80's. Thomas should be an arm to watch develop.



Wells Twining RHP / Walt Whitman, MD / 2025

Long levered 6-foot-5 frame. There is some intent to the delivery and it is more of a control arm, versus a command arm. The fastball was up to 83 mph and got the fastball over for strikes pretty consistently. Showed some spin and secondary offerings during his outing, but he will need to sure up the command of those pitches as he continues to develop. 



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