Prep Baseball Report

VA/DC Scout Blog: NOVA Notes

Jason Burton
Scouting Director PBR Virginia/DC

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We take a look at fifteen players from five teams from the Northern Virginia region.


Jackson Garland RHP / 3B / Courtland , VA / 2025

The UVA commit showed his added arm strength, getting up to 90 mph early in the outing. He sat 87-89 mph in his first two innings and would settle more in the 85-87 range touching an occasional 88. The slider was not used very often early on, but when he used it he saw success, getting the most swings and misses in zone and chases out of zone. Started to mix a few more changeups as he got deeper into the outing. The 76-79 mph offering had gradual fade and really worked inside of it with a slightly lower slot. Garland attacked hitters early with the fastball, but was unable to generate swings and misses in the zone. He would try to add at times and when he did he would tend to run it up and in on right handed hitters. Last year when I saw him it seemed to be a bit more under control and pitchability, while this year was more power tendencies to the delivery and how he was trying to attack hitters. 




Nathan Jackson MIF / RHP / Courtland, VA / 2025

Really liked what I saw from the sophomore shortstop. First thing you notice are the actions in pregame I/O. Hands work, solid angles of approach, and comfortable throwing on the run. Had a couple of miscues in game, but they were on balls right at him and I thought he got complacent with footwork and being active through the catch. When he had to move side to side on balls in game, you could see those actions show up again. Led off for Courtland and was very aggressive at the plate. Had a first pitch fly ball in his first at bat, a double down the line in his second at bat, and then two fly balls in his next two at bats. In his third at bat he worked a nine pitch AB before flying out to left field. It is a contact bat with some occasional doubles power and should continue to progress as he adds strength to the lean athletic frame. Looks to be a slightly above average run tool and would like to see it shown more often out of the box. 4.7 turn on his double down the line. 



Lukas Miller, Jr OF / RHP / Courtland, VA / 2025

The JMU commit has been advanced in physicality for the year plus that I have had an opportunity to see him. The offense and overall game have caught up to the physical tools. Miller was very aggressive in the zone during my look last week. He did not expand and chase out of the zone in the four at bats that I saw, while swinging at virtually everything in the zone and not missing. Had some foul balls early in counts to get behind, but never chased in negative counts. More average length to the swing, but gets flat through the zone and has some ideal natural loft in the swing. Backside double that found its way down in his first at bat, homerun out of straight away center in his second at bat, first pitch single in his third, and had a loud line drive single in his fourth at bat. Liked the plane and accurate barrel to go along with the filled out, athletic frame. 





Briar Woods

Max Lawson SS / 2B / Briar Woods , VA / 2025

Lawson has had a really solid sophomore campaign for Briar Woods. Switch hitter that appears to have settled in on the right side for the time being. Square stance, simple lift, and slight squat in the setup. The swing path has some uphill plane to it and can get a little long at times. When he is on time, it is a good looking swing, but will need to show some plate coverage and ability to adjust to spin versus higher level arms. Hands are quiet and quick, while the the upper half does more of the loading with a slight coil. A lower setup at shortstop and hands hang down front getting stagnant at times. Liked the arm action. Centered hand break, short on the backside, and ball comes out well with accuracy. The swing plane has a chance to play and will need to show that he can produce the offense consistently. 




Jake Ludwig RHP / 1B / Briar Woods, VA / 2024

6-foot-4, 230-pound XL frame. Slower pace and normal effort. Longer three-quarter arm and he just pitches and competes. Not an overpowering arm, but moves it in and out and uses secondary for strikes. The fastball worked in the low 80's and would hit an occasional 83 in the first two innings. Ludwig had some sink to the fastball when working to the arm side and showed the ability to get under right handed hitters hands. The breaking ball had a bigger 11/5 shape sitting 65-68 mph and threw it for strikes. Ludwig is not going to strike out twelve hitters in six innings, but you are going to look up in the sixth and see that he has allowed two or three hits, one run, with five strikeouts. Knows how to pitch and get outs with what he has, which is something that is very underrated in this day and age.  






Jackson McDonald RHP / Independence, VA / 2023

McDonald had a quick start on Wednesday night. The ECU commit struck out four in his first two innings, with plenty of misses on the slider. The fastball was up to 89 mph, but stayed mostly in the 85-87 range with an occasional 88. The slider was 74-77 and was the best secondary pitch and best out pitch that McDonald offered. The curveball was 72-73 mph with bigger and gradual shape and was more get over. Showed a changeup, but was his fourth pitch. There is a slow build up to the delivery and there is some effort and intent, but it is a very quick arm with pretty easy velo. 



Chase Obstgarten SS / RHP / Independence, VA / 2025

Athletic 5-foot-11 frame. Above average runner with some proportional strength throughout. Square stance, hands load to a higher setup, and hits behind a firm front side. It is a bigger stride forward and there are some moving parts, including the eyes tend to change level, but he gets does a nice job getting to contact. Flatter path through the zone with some doubles power and a little extra to the pull side. 




Carter Schuster LHP / 1B / Independence, VA / 2025

6-foot-3, 197-pound left hander with projection left to the frame. Good body that should fill out well. Liked the low slot and how the arm works. Quick worker with normal effort in the delivery. The fastball was low 80's and got up to 84 twice. The sweeping 72-74 mph slider tightened up in his second inning of relief and was a solid second pitch that will continue to progress with consistent shape and feel. The changeup was 75-77 mph. He threw very few, pulling a couple of them, but did throw one really good one that had hard late fade to the arm side. Intriguing sophomore to keep an eye on. 





Bishop O'Connell

Tommy Kanakos C / OF / Bishop O'Connell, VA / 2023

Kanakos is the backbone of this O'Connell team. He is the energy guy, he kickstarts the offense, and is the calming voice for the pitchers and team as a whole. Being able to be close to the action like you can at St. John's, you can really hear and see some things that you might night be able to in a regular setting. Undersized, average arm strength, and average runner, but he plays like a bulldog. Had a solo homerun to get the Knights on the board and singled on a breaking ball in his next at bat. Just seems to show up when it is needed the most. 




Jason Kruczek RHP / OF / Bishop O'Connell, VA / 2026

As I am writing this on Sunday night, Kruczek has committed to East Carolina. The 6-foot-4 right hander has been a very interesting arm for me, since I first saw him in the fall at a Primetime Aces Scout Day. Projection left to the frame, different arm action, and the slot works. Short whippy arm with feel for three pitches, including a sweeping slider at 76-78 mph. Uses the slider to hitters from both sides, as well as running a mid-upper 80's fastball up there. Although Kruczek is a highly ranked player in the state for the 2026 class, look for him to inch his way forward in the next update.




Jack Rampy RHP / 2B / Bishop O�Connell, VA / 2024

I had a chance to see Rampy earlier in the year and the junior right hander was impressive in this short relief outing. The fastball was low-mid 80's with heavy sink and hitters just beat it into the ground. Found success versus the left handed heavy lineup and sank fastballs to the arm side of the plate. Mixed in a few changeups that resulted in similar results as the fastball, topped groundballs and hitters swinging over the top of the pitch. Intriguing arm to watch that can pitch and get outs. 





St. John's

Nate Hawton-Henley OF / SS / St. John's College, VA / 2025

Hawton-Henley is a toolsy outfielder with an advanced run tool and seems to find contact on a regular basis. Squatted stance with high set hands. There are some moving parts and it is a little unorthodox at times, but he gets it done. Quick level path with advanced bat and hand speed. Uses the middle and backside of the field well with some gap power. Can really show the run tool off when he gets out of the box hard. Bigger arm from the outfield with carry to the bag. A toolsy outfielder to get eyes on. 




Marcus Martin SS / RHP / St. John's College, VA / 2024




Ben Thomason RHP / OF / St. John's College, VA / 2023

The UMASS commit started out strong before struggling with command in the mid-innings. Although he worked himself into some jams, he always seemed to make a few big pitches to work his way out. The fastball was up to 89 in the first and stayed 85-88 through first two before ticking down just a touch to 83-86. Higher three-quarter arm slot and producing a slight downhill plane to the fastball. The slider is a 12/6 downer at 76-79 mph with well above average spin. The slot and posture seemed to factor into the fastball jumping on hitters up in the zone and it played well up off of the downer slider. 




Adam Troch OF / St. John's College, VA / 2024