VA/DC Scout Blog: Madison at Westfield

John Nolan
NOVA Scouting Coordinator

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Last Wednesday saw James Madison travel to Westfield for a Concorde District showdown, and the game also saw well over 40 MLB scouts, crosscheckers, and front office employees crowd the stands to watch the top two 2023 MLB Draft prospects in Virginia/DC take the field. Madison 1B/RHP Bryce Eldridge (Alabama) started on the mound, giving scouts a look at him there and at the plate. Westfield OF Jonny Farmelo (Virginia) was also slated to face the most representative pitching he would see for scouts to evaluate him.

Both players put on a show in the game. Farmelo had 3 hits in 3 at-bats against Eldridge, falling behind in all 3 at-bats 0-2, before battling into deep counts and getting knocks. Eldridge was dominant in six innings on the mound and hit a towering home run late in the game. Madison cruised to a win, but the scouts in attendance had plenty to break down after the game.


Bryce Eldridge RHP / James Madison, VA / 2023

Eldridge is an Alabama commit and has monster 6-7+ frame. He has strength present, but is mostly just very long and loose. Let's start with offense, he hits from the left side and has a ton of raw power, as he showed during his fourth plate appearance of the game:

In Eldridge's other at bats, he singled to center on a first pitch, had an intentional walk, and lined a ball to left that went for a SAC fly. He has a smooth swing from the left side, is short to contact with an uphill path, he relies on his size and long levers to generate power, so it looks like an easier swing for hitting the ball as far as he routinely does. I liked the approach in game, using the whole field instead of just trying to pull balls very far. He doesn't need to pull balls to hit home runs. Also, the line drive SAC fly was the first pitch after runners moved up to second and third on a wild pitch. I liked this because instead of hunting a home run pitch, in an RBI situation he drove the first ball he could hit with authority into play. It just happened to be right at a very deep leftfielder, it could have easily been a two-run double. Personally, I read that as an unselfish at-bat, the team needed those insurance runs, and he adjusted his approach to try and deliver that. The present power is already there and believe it or not there is more he can access as he adds more strength.


On the mound, Eldridge was also pretty good. Its a shorter arm action on the back side but he gets long and loose during arm stroke. Throws from a higher three-quarters arm slot, effort is easier, uses his long levers to drive the baseball to the target. Pretty simple repeatable delivery, creates a bit of deception with the closed off shoulders as he strides out. Fastball was 91-93, topping at 95 once in the first, mostly sitting at 93 during the outing. Pitch has a bit of late armside run and some ride to it when thrown in at the belt. Used his slider a lot, pitch was 81-84 with good armspeed and late sharp 10/4 break to it. True slider that got swing and misses. Also showed a few straight changes at 86. 9 strikeouts in the game, 7 of them with the slider as the finish pitch, most of his swing and misses were on sliders. Would have like to see him attack in with the fastball more, especially against weaker hitters. Personally, I think he is bat first at the next level, but I can see a scenario where team might let him do both at the lower level of the minors to see if he can do both or to see which one he is most likely to stick at long term.







Kase Cochran C / 3B / Westfield, VA / 2025

Cochran is uncommitted and has a strong athletic 5-10 frame. Shows arm strength and a quick release behind the plate. At it as a hitter, simple set-up, short slightly uphill line drive swing. Showed a gap to gap approach, working the middle of the field. Lined this ball up the right-center gap for a double, did a good job of keeping his hands in and letting the barrel work.


Jonny Farmelo OF / SS / Westfield, VA / 2023

Farmelo is a Virginia commit and has an athletic 6-3 frame with strength present. His frame is a prototypical pro frame. In the outfield, arm is average to slightly above, but he is quick and gets good jumps and can cover a ton of ground. Centerfield/leftfield profile in the future for him. At the plate, hits from the left side, short quick slightly uphill swing. More of a line drive hitter with gap power to all fields, can drive the ball if his line drives carry. His strongest tool is probably his contact skill followed closely by his speed and athleticism. Probably the most jarring number from this game is that in his three at-bats against Eldridge, Farmelo was down 0-2 in all three and probably swung at least 15 times in those three at-bats, and did not swing and miss once. For his second hit of the game, it's really close to him having hit it on a short hop. He is very comfortable in a two strike count and did a good job of spoiling pitches before finding something he could put in play. He is a quick accelerator as a runner and glides once he is moving. He will eventually need to start accessing a bit more power, but that contact tool and his hand-eye coordination are special, add that to his speed and you have two very attractive tools to pros, probably a third if you count his defense.