Richmond Braves 16U/2022 Scout Notes

Jason Burton
Richmond Scouting Coordinator

Follow @PBRVirginiaDC 

Facebook + Instagram

On Sunday June 7th we were able to take in the Richmond Braves organizational workouts. This is the second of three scout blogs highlighting some of the players that stood out on the day. Todays blog we will talk about a few of the 2022's that stood out on the day.

Kyle Fields RHP/1B Rustburg 2022

Strong athletic frame at 6-foot-2, 220-pounds. First thing that stood out on the day was Fields ability to defend at first base. Moves really well around the bag. Comfortable coming off and turning the double play with solid footwork and a quick short arm that is comfortable from multiple slots. On the mound Fields was probably the most impressive uncommitted arm on the day. Very quick work of the five or so batters he faced. Delivery is slower paced and has ability to repeat. The arm circle is full and works from a high three-quarter slot. While some arms and bats appeared to be rusty from the layoff this was not the case with Fields. Displayed tremendous command to the glove side placing the 85-87 mph fastball wherever he wanted. Spin rate on the fastball was between 2200-2300 rpm. Breaking ball was 70-71 mph, but did not feature it much as he dominated with the fastball.



Bailey Matela LHP Greenbrier Christian 2022

Projectable 6-foot-3, 187-pound frame. The left hander has some rhythm and intent in the delivery. Matela gets down the mound landing on line and has a full whippy arm action from a three-quarter arm slot. The fastball sat 82-84 mph and was able to locate on both sides of the plate. The breaking ball sat 69-70 mph with 1/7 shape. The spin was loose at times, but the arm speed is there and it should continue to tighten up as he gets back in the swing of things.



Jake Flippen RHP St. Christopher's 2022

6-foot-2, 180-pound frame with projection left to it. Flippen works with pace on the mound, high balance point, and high hand break. Lands on line at foot strike and shows a long loose arm swing throwing from a three-quarter arm slot. The fastball sat 82-86 mph and flashed ability to get in on right handers, as well as running it away from the righties. Changeup had really nice arm speed sitting 78-80 mph. Slider was 69-72 mph and had average feel.



Kaden Hilburger OF/RHP Tabb 2022

Hilburger stands 5-foot-11, 170-pounds with an athletic frame. Defensively he possesses the speed and arm strength to play three outfield positions. Ran a 7.0 60 on the day, but is a better in game runner than what the time would indicate. Was 92 mph from the outfield so there is plenty of raw arm strength. Has recently transitioned into a switch hitter, was previously primarily from the right side. Small step to stride from both sides of the plate. Is short to the ball and a slight uphill tilt to the swing from both sides. It appeared as though he needs to see more right handed arms because there seemed to be some pitch recognition issues, but that is understandable and should not be a problem in the long run. The swing is more fluid from the left side and when the timing is on he seems to be more balanced from the left side with the head and the rotation of the body. Offers some two-way potential as he was 80-83 on the mound, but I think long term he will be positional only because of his ability to defend and the athleticism in the swing.



CJ DiNapoli OF/RHP Lee-Davis 2022

Athletic 6-foot, 170-pound frame. Has high end speed turning out a 6.85 60 on what tends to be a somewhat slow track. Raw arm strength from the outfield with a 87 mph positional velocity. Is a really solid defender in the outfield with the range and arm strength to defend multiple positions. Had the most complete day of any hitter turning out a 3-3 performance with a line drive single down the third base line in his first at bat. Second at bat he hit a ball out of left center. Followed that at bat up a few minutes later with a no doubter out of left center that cleared by an easy thirty feet. Starts from a square athletic stance, toe tap to stride, and minimal hand load with short path to contact. Gets out of the box really well and is a threat on the bases. DiNapoli also offers some two-way ability. On the mound he was 82-86 mph with the fastball and flashed a 74-76 mph breaking ball with 11/5 shape.



Michael Joyce RHP/C Lee-Davis 2022 (JMU)

Strong athletic frame at 6-foot, 195-pounds. Strong catch and throw tendencies from behind the plate. Physical hitter with power potential to all fields. Doesn't have a lot of swing and miss to the swing and is physical enough that any bad contact still has a chance to get through because of his strength. On the mound Joyce threw three pitches for strikes and commanded the glove side with a 84-87 mph fastball. Slider was 75-78 mph with tight shape and 11/5 break. The curveball lacked arm speed at times, but still showed above average feel for the 11/5 breaker that sat at 69-72 mph.



Bennett Shealor C Blacksburg 2022 (George Mason)

Projectable 6-foot-1, 178-pound frame. I have had a chance to see Shealor on a few occasions and he continues to impress with the bat. Low swing and miss rate with the physical strength to produce power to all fields. Hit one off the top of the fence in left field for a double. Shealor stays inside the ball well and displays advanced feel for the barrel with loft built into the swing. Solid catch & throw behind the plate, but long term may wind up at first base or corner outfield because of his ability to impact the game at the plate.

Dallas Hairfield RHP/OF Lee-Davis 2022

Athletic 5-foot-10, 170-pound frame. Athletic mover on the mound throwing from a three-quarter arm slot with plenty of arm speed. Had seen Hairfield last spring and the arm strength was there, but he lacked ability to throw strikes consistently. That was not the case on this day. Fastball sat 85-86 mph in what was a short outing. Filled up the zone with the fastball and made quick work in this appearance. Breaking ball has 11/5 shape and if he can locate the breaker consistently he will be an arm to watch going forward.

AJ Labrusciano RHP/SS North Stafford 2022

Long athletic frame with projection left to it. Labrusciano was 78-80 mph on the mound with a fastball that worked to both sides of the plate and showed arm side run. The breaking ball flashed 11/5 shape sitting at 67-70 mph and feel for the zone. Sound defender on the left side of the infield with an accurate arm across. At the plate he is a tough out. Battles deep into counts and fouls pitches off. Contact driven swing that shows ability to use the whole field with a line drive approach. One of the biggest things that stands out about Labrusciano is the IQ. Is not afraid of getting deep into a count and turning the at bat into a team AB. Is a heads up baserunner with solid instincts all over the field.

Lucas Manning C/3B West Forsyth (NC) 2022

Athletic frame standing 5-foot-11, 162-pounds. Really liked what I saw behind the plate from Manning. Advanced receiver with accuracy around the bag on throws. Has arm strength and carry on throws with a positional velocity of 76 mph on pops. Solid blocking ability and recovers well. At the plate the stance is open and upright with a small leg kick to stride. Kept the hands in well on a couple pitches in from a lefty and kept them fair down the left field line. It is a contact driven swing and approach with ability to hit for average while flashing doubles power.