Prep Baseball Report

VA/DC Scout Blog: John Battle at Abingdon

Jason Burton
Scouting Director PBR Virginia/DC

Follow @PBRVirginiaDC 
 + Instagram

Take a look at video and notes on five players from last Thursday's game at Abingdon. 

John Battle

Evan Hankins LHP / 1B / John Battle, VA / 2025

Listed at 6-foot-4, 205-pounds and Hankins is every bit of it and then some. XL frame, athletic for his size and class, and proportional strength throughout. On the mound Hankins has a normal effort delivery and works with pace. Down and out stride, lands slightly closed, and has a short arm action. Generates solid arm speed from the short arm swing and throws from a low three-quarter arm slot. The fastball sat between 82-86 mph during his short relief outing, with mostly 83-85. The fastball varied in action at times, getting solid arm side run and then some occasional crossfire to it when working in on right handers. The breaking ball also varied in shape, showing a 1/7 breaker and then broke out a few 2/8 sliders that had a little more horizontal break to them. Also, showed some feel for a 77-79 mph changeup. 

At the plate, although he did not have anything to show for it, Hankins put some nice swings on the ball and really looked the part. Strong physical left handed bat that looks to do damage. Square setup, some pre-pitch rhythm that carries over into the swing, advanced bat speed for class, and real power potential. 






Gavin Ratliff RHP / 1B / John Battle , VA / 2024

Thin 6-foot-1 frame with long levers and projection left. Sidearm to almost submarine delivery. Did a nice job matching posture with his slot. Tough look for opposing hitters. Longer arm swing that almost pauses at the back before a whippy lower slot release. He was efficient and quick early in his work and then struggled with command as he went a little deeper into the outing.  The fastball sat between 71-74 mph and although the velo is a little down he can be effective in short stints from that slot and he should add velo as he adds strength to the frame. 





Noah Sills RHP / John Battle, VA / 2024

Lanky frame with room to fill. Normal effort delivery, longer arm swing, and works from a low three-quarter slot with feel for three plus pitches. The fastball sat between 81-83 mph for the duration of his work. Had slight run on the fastball and did a solid job working it back over the glove side edge. Had a couple of secondary offerings that were effective when around the zone. Early on he showed a 77 mph cutter that had short late action and had the makings of a nice pitch, but did not see him go to it much after that one time. Leaned on the 72-74 mph, 10/4 slider a little bit more and was effective with it. Got weak contact and some whiffs with the slider. Interesting 2024 to keep an eye on, especially as he matures physically. 





Jack Ferguson SS / RHP / Abingdon , VA / 2023

Solid 5-foot-11, 160-pound frame. Slightly open setup at the plate, weight stays centered, small pickup to stride, and hands load in rhythm. Short level path to contact and showed a really nice feel for the barrel. In what was a very pitching dominated, quick game, Ferguson was consistently on barrel. Doubled in his first at bat to left center, flew out to deep left field later on, and then delivered a RBI single to center field. 




Ethan Gibson SS / RHP / Abingdon, VA / 2023

6-foot, 158-pound frame. Athletic actions on the mound, works with pace, and was locked in from the start. Worked a six inning complete game for Abingdon, piling up eleven strikeouts, allowed only one hit, no walks, and did all of this while only totaling 78 pitches. Gibson is an athletic mover on the mound, He works with confidence and a controlled intent to the delivery. Long arm swing, low three-quarter slot, and fastball has riding life through the zone. The fastball sat between 89-91 through his first four innings of work, only fading to 87-90 in the fifth and sixth. Gibson touched 92 one time early in his outing. The fastball spin rate stayed between 2450-2512 RPM during his first three innings of work. Had solid feel for a 71-74 mph breaking ball that he could throw for strike just about whenever he wanted. Flashed an occasional changeup around 80 mph, but did not go to it much. Competitor with really solid stuff and plus makeup.