Alabama Scout Blog: Week 4 Games


PBR Alabama Staff

The Alabama Scout Blog provides insider information and scouting notes from the PBR Scouting Staff during the season. This running blog will feature information on underclass prospects, unsigned seniors, draft prospects, and anything else that is notable. We will provide a wide range of information, including player evaluations, velocities, pop times, home to first times, and more. 

Continue to check back over the course of the week, as the Alabama Scouting Staff will add scouting reports daily.

Week 4 Reports

 

6A No. 4 Cullman (5) vs. 5A No. 3 Madison Academy (3)

Friday March 12th @ Cullman HS

+ RHP/3B Hayden Stancil (2022) is a definite two-way talent, but on Friday night he had the chance to show his prowess on the mound and he did not disappoint. The junior right-hander always seemed to be in control and show advanced poise. Seemed as though he could spot up at will with anything he threw. Low effort delivery from a ¾ slot resulted in the fastball really taking off into RH hitters. Stancil kept his velocity though his eight inning stint and was consistent 82-85 mph with impeccable command down to the glove side. The fastball played even quicker, as Stancil was able to flip in a quality break to any zone in any count. Did a nice job pitching backwards when he wanted to. For the night, Stancil finished with 17 Ks and only two walks while giving up two earned runs on five hits. True feel on how to pitch. Also 3-7 with a double in the doubleheader sweep. 

RHP Hayden Stancil (3/12/21)

+ IF/UTL Brennen Norton (2021, Jacksonville State) We are quickly running out of adjectives to describe the way Norton is seeing the ball to start the 2021 season. For the day (doubleheader), Norton was 4-8 with three home runs and four RBIs, including the game winning homer in the 10th inning. Norton is not just a big power bat as he shows the ability to handle multiple pitches to all facets on the field. His 1st home run in Game 2 was a fastball over the heart of the plate that he rocketed over the center field wall. With the game on the line, Norton stayed back on a breaking ball on the inner half and hammered over the fence in left. The future Gamecock can obviously hit for power but can also hit for average as well. 

IF Brennen Norton (3/12/21)

+ RHP Avery Seaton (2021, Alabama A&M) The future 2 sport star for the Bulldogs took on a potent Cullman lineup and did a nice job keeping them off balance and forcing a lot of soft contact. Seaton (who will also play QB on “The Hill”) is best known for his bat but he is a quality arm on the mound for the Mustangs as well. Seaton works quick on the mound and pounds the bottom half of the zone with multiple pitches. The arm action stays the same with everything he throws as the fastball was consistently 83-84 mph, bumping 85 mph on occasion with a good deal of arm side action. The breaking ball showed true depth and seemed to break late at 75-76 mph. Much like his counterpart (Stancil), Seaton continued to pound the lower, outer half quadrant. 

RHP Avery Seaton (3/12/21)

 

 

7A James Clemens (3) vs. 7A Huntsville (2)

Thursday, March 11th @ Huntsville HS

+ RHP Ethan Kohler (2021) Kohler was called on for a 2 inning save on Thursday night after the James Clemens Jets scored 3 runs in the top half of the 6th inning and he made quick work of the Panther hitters. Showcasing a high tempo delivery and a short arm action, the ball seemed to really explode out of the hand. In his first inning of work, the uncommitted RHP worked mainly 85-87 mph and flipped in a couple of sharp breaking balls at 67-68 mph that showed late depth. The fastball showed a ton of different movement as most of the offerings showed arm side action while a few showed late cut away from right-handed hitters (check out the last pitch of the video). Kohler showed an increase in velocity in his second inning of work as he touched 88 mph multiple times and bumped 89 mph on one pitch. Did not pitch last year due to a hand injury and the COVID-19 shortened season. The changeup is also a quality pitch that he did not need to use Thursday night. A guy who may see his recruitment pick up substantially after his showing on Thursday night. 

RHP Ethan Kohler (3/11/21)
+ C Walker Hoskins (2021) Hoskins stepped up in the biggest moment of the game on Thursday night but his skills behind the plate had already been noticed before the big moment in the 6th inning. He was a relatively quiet receiver behind the plate and handled two pitchers that showcased a lot of movement on their pitches. The uncommitted senior did a particularly solid job on receiving borderline strikes down in the zone. Showed solid blocking skills on balls in the dirt and there is some arm strength on throws to the bag shown between innings (no base stealing attempts versus him in the game). No doubt the biggest moment in the game was the bases clearing double that he served to the backside gap that gave the Jets the lead, and ultimate game winning runs. Hoskins got into a hitter’s count and got a fastball middle to outer half and promptly delivered the decisive blow.
C Walker Hoskins (3/11/21)

 

 

7A No. 4 Vestavia Hills (4) vs. 7A Hoover (2)

Tuesday, March 9th @ Vestavia Hills HS

+ RHP Caleb Shofner (2022) was called on in relief to bridge the 5th & 6th innings for the Rebels, and he delivered with two scoreless innings on the mound. Shofner filled up the zone well using a 82-83 mph fastball, and flipped in a few sliders that were enough to keep hitters off balance. Shofner had to navigate his way through the heart of the Hoover order, facing a Samford, Vanderbilt, and Alabama recruit and holding them all at bay. At 6-0, 170 pounds, the right-handed pitcher possesses a quick arm with intent to drive the fastball through the zone for strikes. Shofner finished allowing only one hit, while striking out two and walking zero in two scoreless innings of relief.

RHP Caleb Shofner (3/9/21)

+ RHP/3B Jacob Newman (2021) jumped out with the bat in a look in February, but what stood out here was the arm for Newman. Getting the start for the Rebels in an intense game versus Hoover, the unsigned senior worked efficiently through a talented lineup for four innings. He worked 85-86, 88 mph in the first two innings, and settled into more 83-85 mph in the 3rd and 4th frames. Pitching from a true ¾ arm slot, Newman generates heavy sink on the fastball with effort, especially when it’s to the arm side, and complimented that with a slider for strikes. He continues to be a two-way threat and has played a big role for the talented Vestavia Hills Rebels so far. 

RHP Jacob Newman (3/9/21)

+ RHP Tyler Wilson (2023) has been an arm that the Bucs have relied on in big situations so far in 2021. He was given the ball in a high-pressure situation in relief against Vestavia HIlls, and he did his part on the mound in a short stint to keep his team within striking distance. Wilson limited hard contact and had to work around an error and an infield single. He worked 83-84 mph with the fastball and located it well to the glove side with consistency. Generated some swings and misses on a sharp breaking ball that stayed on the same plane as the fastball. Obviously, there is still more velocity in the tank as he continues to add strength to a fairly slim 6-1, 165 pound frame. He punched out two, allowed two hits and two unearned runs, and walked one in 1 ⅔ innings

RHP Tyler Wilson (3/9/21)

 

 

6A Homewood (8) vs. 6A No. 4 Cullman (4)

Tuesday, March 9th @ Homewood HS

+ RHP Josh Beasley (2022) had been an unknown for us coming into the game, spending his time in the fall playing defense for the Patriots on the gridiron. Beasely was handed the ball for the start against a talented Cullman lineup and was perfect besides one blemish in the 1st inning. At a projectable 6-5, 185 pounds, Beasley is certainly an imposing figure standing on the mound. He pounded the zone at 83-84 mph and showed a feel for getting to the glove side with ease. Beasely worked off of two different breaking balls in this outing. He showed more of a 12/6, slower breaking ball at 68-69 mph in the 1st, then added a slider at 70-71 mph with lateral movement. The only blemish to Beasley came in the second hitter of the game when a fastball leaked back over the plate and he surrendered a solo shot. Beasley locked back in quickly and was perfect the rest of the outing. He got the W on the mound after posting 2 IP, H, R, 0 BB, & 4 K’s.

RHP Josh Beasley (3/9/21)

+ C/IF Brennen Norton (2021, Jacksonville State) has always been a big performer whether it’s in-game or in a showcase setting. It’s clear to see the strides that Norton has made offensively since we last saw him. Hitting from the right-side, Norton seems to be the engine for that Bearcast offense in the 2-hole. He wasted no time making his presence known in the 1st. Facing a solid arm, Norton took advantage of an inner-half fastball and showed quick hand speed to get the barrel in front and hook it just inside the left field foul pole for a solo home run. He also singled to left field in his next at-bat, and was a consistent performer like he’s always been in this game. Possesses an impressive combination of strength and twitch at 5-9, 175 pounds. Started defending behind the plate before moving to shortstop, but showed no issue back-picking runners with above average arm strength. 

C/IF Brennen Norton (3/9/21)

+ MIF Paxton Ponder (2023) seems to be on his way to continuing the recent trend of talented shortstops coming out of Cullman HS. He jumped out to us both offensively and defensively at the Excel Scout Day this past fall. Hitting in the leadoff spot for No. 4 Cullman as a sophomore, Ponder didn’t have his best day at the plate, but you can see the athletic ability and overall makeup he possesses. Just missed extra bases on a diving play in CF in his 3rd at-bat, but settled with a RBI sacrifice fly. Defended well at shortstop before he shifted over to 2nd base later in the game, and is a sophomore to keep an eye on over the next 2 ½ years. 

MIF Paxton Ponder (3/9/21)

+ 3B/RHP Hayden Stancil (2022) is another player who has played a big role for the Bearcats over the past couple of years, both offensively and on the mound. Standing at an athletic 6-0, roughly 180 pounds, Stancil made hard contact with all pitches he connected with. In his 1st at-bat, the right-handed hitter caught a breaking ball over the plate and just missed extra bases on a deep fly out to center field. In the 2nd at-bat, however, he connected with another hanging breaking ball vs. a left-handed arm for a ground-rule double over the left field fence. Both of these at-bat’s stood out, but the most impressive at-bat came in the 5th inning with the bases loaded. Stancil worked the count to 3-2 and fouled off multiple pitches off the plate, then showed excellent body control by staying back and lining a fastball off the plate right at the right fielder for a RBI sacrifice fly. It’s a balanced, low-effort swing with the ability to hit to all fields. He also doubles as one of the better arms for the Bearcats with a mid-to-upper 80’s fastball.

3B Hayden Stancil (3/9/21)

 

 

7A Huntsville (4) vs. 6A Hazel Green (2)

Tuesday, March 9th @ Huntsville HS

+ C Stone Lawless (2023) Lawless is one of the premier bats in the 2023 class and has continued to progress behind the plate and that improvement jumped out in the 1st inning on Tuesday night. Lawless showed a super quick exchange behind the plate and threw a laser on the bag to 2B from his knees to easily cut down a potential base stealer. The receiving skills have also continued to progress as he was easily able to “steal” some strikes for his pitchers. There wasn’t much to report on the bat other than a solid single to the pull side in his first plate appearance. In his two additional at-bats he was intentionally walked both times. The bat continues to excel in game situations. Lawless is a Tennessee recruit. 

C Stone Lawless (3/9/21)

+ SS Blake Hall (2023) & C/OF Parker Hall (2023) Much has been said about the “makeup” of the sophomore brothers and the way they go about playing the game with a hard-nosed mentality. Blake showed his ability to handle the barrel in all zones at the plate as he singled to right field on a pitch on the outer half in his first at-bat. Later he got a fastball over the heart of the plate and promptly deposited the pitch into the left- centerfield gap for a double. Later in the game, Parker barely missed leaving the yard as he too showed nice barrel control and hammered a pitch on the outer half over the right fielder’s head for a stand up double of his own. 

SS Blake Hall (3/9/21)

+ RHP/3B Jackson Hunter (2024) The freshman continues to trend upward. There is a lot to like in his long, loose arm action and simple mechanics. The delivery is easy and very athletic and there will be additional velocity added as he continues to mature and add strength. The fastball was 82-84 mph and topped at 85 mph which he seemed to locate very well down and to the arm side. Mixed in a breaking ball at 68-70 mph that he occasionally located down in the zone. This pitch can eventually be major weapon as the consistency improves. Mixed in just a few change-ups on the night but the pitch had definite deception and was a weapon at 73-74 mph. Does not look like a freshman on the mound. He is also a solid 3B that can swing the bat. 

RHP Jackson Hunter (3/9/21)

 

 

4A No. 5 Bibb County (5) vs. 6A Northridge (3)

Tuesday, March 9th @ Northridge HS

+ LHP Steven Cash (2022) Clinging to a 5-3 lead with two runners on and one out in the 7th inning, Bibb County turned to the junior southpaw to finish off a win against a very good Northridge team on Tuesday. As has become the norm, Cash delivered for the Choctaws by striking out the first batter he saw locating the fastball down in the zone and finishing him off with one of his two different breaking balls. This one showed that late depth of a true curveball. After a walk, Cash would then end the night on a punchout where he showed his complete arsenal of pitches and different arm slots. Cash is high quality ’22 arm that simply misses barrels and keeps hitters off balance. We have seen a ton of improvement out of the left hander in the last year.

LHP Steven Cash (3/9/21)

 

 

6A Wetumpka (10) vs. 6A Valley (0)

Monday, March 8th @ Wetumpka HS

+ MIF Noah Jones (2022) is regarded as one of the top uncommitted hitters still left in the 2022 class in Alabama, and he continued to show why he deserved that status. Jones had four quality at-bats during this game, barreling up all three pitches that he made contact with and walking in another at-bat. At 5-10, 175 pounds, Jones hits from an upright, balanced position with a short & subtle pre-pitch stride to get into power position, and fires some quick hands and uses a strong lower-half in his swing. The uncommitted junior infielder looks to drive to the gaps on each swing and doesn’t seem to miss his pitch. After driving a hanging breaking ball to center field and just missing extra bases in his first at-bat, Jones smoked a pitch down the left field line for a two RBI double in his second at-bat. Continuing to swing a hot bat after homering last week, Jones stepped up again in the 4th and deposited another hanging breaking ball over the left field wall. Off the bat, it didn’t seem like he got all of it, but it goes to show how much pop is in the right-handed bat. He played a clean second base defensively, and could easily move to shortstop, as he saw time there this past summer for a talented Excel Blue Wave squad. 

MIF Noah Jones (3/8/21)

+ LHP Dawson Fuller (2022) jumped out to our Scouting Director in a preseason scrimmage this February, and he continued to trend upward in his start on Monday. Fuller really fits that persona of a prototypical left-handed pitcher that just pounds the zone with all pitches and limits hard contact. With a fastball ranging from 80-83 mph, it’s not overpowering stuff, but what separates Fuller and really elevates his game is a fading changeup at 66-70 mph. He’s got loads of confidence in it, and can throw it in any count to any-sided hitter. Both of these pitches played well off of each other with pinpoint accuracy to the arm side in this outing. Due to the confidence in his changeup, it allows his fastball to play up a few more ticks than it really is. He flipped in a few average/slightly above average breaking balls that showed potential, but the steady diet of the FB/CH mix was what made him so successful in this outing. He tossed a no-hitter in five innings due to mercy rule, and punched out 11 while only walking two.

LHP Dawson Fuller (3/8/21)

+ MIF Ty Brooks (2023) has a chance to be one of the top defenders up the middle in Alabama when it’s all said and done. During this look on Monday, Brooks handled the bat fairly well out of the leadoff spot for the Indians. At roughly 5-9, 165 pounds, the left-handed middle infielder got things going in the 1st when he pulled a fastball over the plate and served it into right field for his first base hit of the game. In his third at-bat, Brooks showed poise and maturity by handling a pitch on the outer-half of the plate and driving it the other way for another base knock in the contest. While still being fairly slim, Brooks plays to his strengths with a line drive/base hit type approach at the plate. He gets short to contact, and extends nicely throughout the swing and stays on the baseball efficiently. Defensively, Brooks possesses excellent feet that allows him to receive that correct hop, and uses soft & reliable hands to defend. He moves exceptionally well laterally, and could easily move to 2nd base in the future or stick at shortstop.

MIF Ty Brooks (3/8/21)

 

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