VA/DC Scout Blog: Highland & Greenbrier Christian


Jason Burton
PBR Virginia/DC Scouting Coordinator

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On Saturday the Highland Hawks made the trip to Chesapeake to take on the Greenbrier Christian Gators. GCA jumped out to a 1-0 lead early, but the Hawks would take the lead back with RBI singles from Ed Wagner (George Washington commit) and Garrett Pancione (Radford commit) in the top of the third. In the bottom of the fifth GCA took the lead back with solid base running from Ethan Ott (UNC-Pembroke commit) and a Luke Culpepper sac fly to left field. The Hawks would try to tie it up in the top of the seventh, but James McGrady (Western Carolina commit) would strike out back to back hitters and leave three Hawks on base to seal a 4-3 win for Greenbrier Christian.


Highland School:

Jackson Gimbel RHP / OF / Highland School, VA / 2022

Gimbel came on in relief of Kaltreider in the fourth inning. Gimbel picked up three strikeouts during his outing, two on breaking balls and one on a fastball up in the zone. That was the story of the day. The fastball stayed up in the zone and tended towards the arm side and the slider finished to the glove side. The arm circle is full and offers arm speed from a three-quarter slot. Normal pace delivery that builds up some late intent. I thought there were a few distinct takeaways with Gimbel. First he pitches with emotion and is not afraid to attack hitters. Secondly, the fastball was not consistent around the zone and tended to play up and back to the arm side. I think that if he can get it to the glove side and down in the zone it will allow the slider to get many more swings and misses, even when not in the zone. The slider is a legitimate out pitch and has good arm speed and shape, but it seemed as though hitters picked up on when they saw a pitch down they knew it was the slider and did not bite on a lot of breaking balls out of the zone. 

 

 

Tyler Kaltreider 3B / RHP / Highland, VA / 2021

Long limbed projectable frame. Kaltreider showed two solid secondary offerings on the day and that allowed the fastball to play up a little from the 80-85 range it was on Saturday. The fastball had nice arm side run and he did a nice job running it back over the outer third. The breaking ball was his go to pitch. It varied shapes, starting with a slurvy 11/5 shape and then tightened up with more depth later into his start. He had four strikeouts on the day, all via the breaking ball. He used the changeup sparingly, but it may arguably be the pitch with the most potential in his arsenal. Hard arm side fade, present arm speed, and ability to work it to both sides of the plate can be a separator for a right handed arm. 

 

 

Julian La Bella OF / RHP / Highland School, VA / 2022

Athletic frame and possesses a really nice run tool. Had two hard hit balls on the day, with a line out to left field in his first at bat and a double down the left field line in his final at bat, which started the rally in the seventh. Stance is square and athletic, level path to contact, and barrel is out of the zone quick. Shows some pull side tendency to the swing. La Bella is a rangy defender in the outfield with more of a left field/center field profile. 

 

 

Greenbrier Christian:

Bailey Matela LHP / 1B / Greenbrier Christian, VA / 2022

Matela stands around 6-foot-3 with a projectable frame and plenty of room to add strength. Hands break into a slight stab behind the back leg and moves into a short whippy arm action. Throws from an over the top slot and creates nice downhill plane with working down in the zone. Matela was best when the fastball worked to the arm side. He topped at 82, mainly staying 80-81 during his outing. Used secondary pitches sparingly. The breaking ball had 2/8 shape with a bigger break to it. 

 

 

James McGrady SS / 3B / Greenbrier Christian Academy, VA / 2021

McGrady had possibly the biggest impact of any player on either team. Started at shortstop and did not get too much action, but had a big day on the mound for the Gators. Came on to pitch in relief of Matela and McGrady was very strong. Three pitch mix with two secondary offerings that were legitimate high school out pitches. Had the ability to throw the curveball for a strike about whenever he wanted and could finish counts with the curveball or slider at any time. The curveball had 12/6 shape and depth while the slider varied in shapes, but threw one early on at 73 mph with frisbee like shape and got a swing and miss for a strikeout on that. At the plate he struck out twice versus Kaltreider early in the game, but saw it well in his next two at bats. Barreled up a line drive to left field, but it was caught and then came through with a clutch single in the sixth inning. McGrady, along with Younce and Ott, is a leader on this team and one of the Gators' important pieces should they have a chance to make a deep run in VISAA D2.