Prep Baseball Report

AL/MS Border Battle: Alabama Quick Hits

PBR Alabama Staff

BOONEVILLE, MS - The AL/MS Border Battle was held on October 14th-15th at Northeast Mississippi CC in Booneville, MS. This was an invite-only event that consisted of prospects in the 2025, 2026, & 2027 classes from both Alabama & Mississippi. These players went through a pro-style workout on Saturday and took batting practice using Trackman to record hitting metrics, then followed it up with gameplay on Sunday with pitchers throwing multiple innings. To see full statistics gathered from the event, CLICK HERE. There were some players who showed up and continued to build off of prior performances, but there were also some new names who jumped onto our radar with a strong showing this weekend.

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Continuing off our post-event coverage for this event, we take a look back at some of the top Alabama performers and standouts from the event. Continuing over the course of the next week or so, we will release various leaderboards from the event then transition into releasing individual scouting reports for each player in attendance.

Caleb Barnett 3B / RHP / Mountain Brook, AL / 2025

Alabama recruit. 6-foot-5, 190-pounds. Large, highly-projectable build with still tons of development to come in the future. Currently ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the 2025 class in AL, the junior seemingly stole the show displaying his elite two-way capabilties on Sunday. Getting the start on the mound for the 2025 squad, the right-hander tossed two relatively stree-free innings and accumulated five strikeouts over that span while showing a polished three-pitch mix. Barnett uses a compact, high 3/4 arm slot with gradual build of pace to his delivery, and poured in strikes working 87-89 mph with his fastball during the outing. There's plenty of quickness to the arm stroke, and with such a projectable frame and athletic delivery, it's easy to suggest there's more in the tank and on the way for the right-hander. He showed excellent feel for spin on a low-70's breaking ball that showcased tons of horizontal bite to it, and also turned over a few changeups at 79-80 mph with good fade to the offering. He seemed to be able to throw any pitch in any count, and consistently kept hitters off-balanced with all three pitches. Also getting some at-bats during gameplay, the physical right-hander showed why he's regarded as one of the top power hitters in the class as he launched a missile into a fairly stiff wind for a home run over the right-field wall. He possesses a fairly simple offensive operation, and allows his strength to do most of the work. There's effortless pop to all fields, and it doesn't take much effort to generate high exits, as he's showed in the past. It remains to be seen which route he'll choose in the future in terms of a two-way prospect, but he certainly looks like a future impact player at the next level with immense upside, whether it be on the mound or at the plate. 

Zackary Johnson C / OF / Bob Jones , AL / 2025

Alabama recruit. 6-foot-0, 185-pounds. Medium, athletic build with proportional strength. Another Top-10 ranked prospect in the 2025 class in AL that was seemingly on the barrel for the entirety of the weekend. It's been well documented Johnson's ascension over the past year as a relative unknown going into his sophomore season, but he quickly cemented himself as one of the top pure hitters in the class after bursting onto the scene last spring for Bob Jones and a standout performance at the PBR Future Games. Currently ranked as the No. 7 prospect in the 2025 class in AL, the right-hander began his weekend taking an eye-opening round of BP, where he sprayed high exits to all fields with a top EV at 102.9 mph, an event-best. He has a keen understanding of finding the sweet spot which nearly each swing he takes using a balanced, athletic setup with loose, quick hands that leads a heavy barrel to contact. He carried over that approach to gameplay, where he accumulated multiple hits and looked comfortable against some quality arms. He's equally as talented on the defensive side, whether it be behind the plate or in the outfield. There's plenty of athleticism and flexibility behind the plate and he's an above-average receiver being able to steal strikes for his pitchers, while also posting 1.94-2.00 pop times with a velocity of 79 mph. Johnson also looked comfortable in the grass, where he made all the routine plays in addition to a diving grab in foul territory. He's quickly made himself one of the top names in the junior class in AL, and if he continues to perform at such a high level, Johnson will continue to see his name climb up the rankings.

JB Upton SS / OF / Auburn , AL / 2027

Uncommitted. 6-foot-0, 175-pounds. Athletic build with compact strength and quick twitch. Already has cemented himself as one of the top hitters in the 2027 class in AL, and showcased the bat well from both sides on the weekend. A true switch-hitter with advanced ability from both sides of the plate, the freshman possesses a quick stroke that leads a heavy barrel on an upward path through the zone. High contact rate hitter with good feel to hit and solid bat-to-ball skills. Consistent in-game performer and delivered firm contact to all fields during his round of BP. Early movement to back side during load and utilizes a toe-tap trigger that allows him to be on-time with each pitch. Possesses quick hands and creates good extension out front with use of his strong lower-half. Smooth defender at the shortstop position with an 80 mph arm across the diamond and will continue to tick up as he develops. Well-rounded athlete across the board and clocked a 7.08 60 YD to go along with a 93.8 mph EV during BP. Certainly one to keep close tabs on over the next couple of years as the young freshman continues to develop. 

Payton Hunsaker LHP / Chelsea, AL / 2025

Uncommitted. 6-foot-4, 170-pounds. Long, highly-projectable frame. Turned in arguably one of the the top performances on the mound in gameplay, tossing three strong scoreless innings for Team Alabama 2025. From our standpoint, the southpaw was one that we were eager to see after an intriguing look at 33s Baseball Scout Day this summer. He certainly lived up to the billing and exceeded expectations in this outing, showing excellent command for his three-pitch mix. While his off-speed offerings already show above-average potential, Hunsaker dominated in the zone with his fastball that operated 80-83 mph, but with an average of 19.5 in. of IVB and -14.9 in. of HZM, he induced tons of swings-and-misses in the zone with the heater. While the fastball was so efficient and will continue to make bigger jumps in the future, the junior displayed good feel for spin on a low-70's slider that spun anywhere in the 2200-2450 rpm range. The offerings possesses good bite with 10/4 shape and the ability to be mixed in effectively against both-sided hitters. He also had one of the better third offerings from the event using a mid-70's changeup that induced tons of fade and arm-side action to mimick the fastball; average of -17.7 in. of HZM, which led the event. Really intriguing uncommitted southpaw in the 2025 class in AL and is one of our "picks to click" in the near future.

Wyatt Williams C / 3B / Thompson, AL / 2026

Uncommitted. 6-foot-3, 190-pounds. Physical build with tons of strength and room to add in the future. One of the top backstops in the 2026 class in AL and really made his impact during the workout on Saturday, where he boasted some big numbers across the board and ranked near the top of most statistical categories. Coming off a strong freshman campaign this past spring where he helped one of the top teams in AL on a historic season on the offensive side, and is sure to be a key centerpiece for the future of Thompson's program. Took an impressive, eye-opening round of BP during the workout, where he launched mulitple drives over the left-field wall with consistent high exits with a top EV at 95.0 mph and a max distance of 362 ft. While the bat and ability to hit for power looks to be the carrying tool early on in his career, he can also defend behind the plate with consistent 1.97-2.03 pop times and a C velocity of 76 mph. He can stick pitches at the bottom of the zone using strong wrists and is an above-average blocker, while also showing the ability to play a corner spot on the infield, as well. Another uncommitted prospect in the 2026 class in AL to keep close tabs on in the future.

Jack Ross 3B / RHP / Homewood , AL / 2025

Uncommitted. 6-foot-1, 185-pounds. Thick, physical build with proportional strength. Utilizies strength well in his offensive approach; looks to drive the ball to pull-side gap. Another strong two-way talent in the 2025 class in AL that showcased well during the workout and gameplay on Saturday. Began his weekend delivering firm contact to the pull-side with consistent low-90 EV's and a top EV of 97.0 mph, one of the top readings from the event. Balanced stance hitting from the right side and has a controlled stride for trigger; good extension out front and linear connection with consistent two-handed finish. Intriguing pull-side pop with power potential and has a feel for the sweet spot; tons of bat speed with an average of 75.0 mph. Slightly above-average athlete that clocked a 7.25 60 YD. Profiles to stick at the hot corner defenisvely with some arm strength across the diamond. Also intriguing on the mound working in the low-80's with high-spin heater; 2396 rpm max and 2254 rpm average. Can really spin slider at 73-77 mph with hard bite and spin rates ranging 2400-2600 rpm. Another intriguing two-way prospect in the 2025 class in AL.

James Lucas C / 3B / Vestavia Hills, AL / 2025

Uncommitted. 5-foot-10, 195-pounds. Thick, durable build with really strong lower-half. Really asserted himself onto the recruiting scene this past summer, where consistently hit at a high rate for Excel Baseball in numerous PBR tournaments/showcases, and may be coming off his best showing yet after this weekend's event. Offense-first type prospect with thunderous barrel through the zone that lended loud contact throughout his round of BP; posted a top EV of 102.0 mph and an average of 98.4 mph, an event-best. Swings with plenty of intent and looks to hammer balls to the pull-side gap and create damage. Showcased some elite bat speed with an average of 75.9 mph, per Blast Motion. Uses strength well throughout his swing and doesn't take much to generate hard contact; impacts it at a high level. Solid defender at the catcher position, posting 2.03-2.13 pop times and a C velocity of 71 mph. Can also move to a corner spot on the infield in the future to get the impressive right-handed bat in the lineup. Another close follow in the 2025 class in AL.

Charlie Cassingham SS / RHP / Grissom , AL / 2025

Uncommitted. 5-foot-8, 155-pounds. Athletic skill set with room to add. A well-known name and Top-40 prospect in the 2025 class in AL. Possesses dynamic two-way abilities and showed the ability to impact the game on both sides during this weekend's event. Utility-type defender that can play multiple spots on the infield, and can also catch, but the left-handed swing was what carried him throughout the weekend. Took a mature round of BP lining balls to all parts of the field while showing a quick, compact stroke with good bat-to-ball skills; posted a top EV of 93.3 mph. Carried that showing into gameplay where he recorded multiple hits, including a triple on Sunday, and never looks uncomfortable in the left-handed batter's box. Also took the mound in relief on Sunday, and was dominant throughout his two innings of work. Worked up to 86 mph with the fastball, but the calling card was his wipeout low-70's breaking ball that spun up to the 2700 rpm mark with tons of depth to it. Showed the ability to land it in the zone and bury it below the zone for chase with two strikes. One of the top uncommitted infielders in the 2025 class in AL and shouldn't be for long.

Levi Pinder 3B / RHP / Glenwood , AL / 2025

Uncommitted. 6-foot-0, 190-pounds. Strong build with some overall athleticism. One of the top performers from gameplay, where he went a perfect 6-for-6 at the plate and tossed two strong innings for Team Alabama 2025 en route to a 2-0 sweep on the weekend. Has quickly made a name for himself after a standout showing at this summer's Top Prospect Games, and continues to show signs of making strides at each look. Consistently drove hard contact to all fields using a mostly level path to contact; looks to get on-plane early and creates good extension out front. Controls the barrel throughout the swing and generated a top EV of 94.4 mph. Has quick hands and lets them work and lead the barrel to the point of contact. Also worked in the low-80's on the mound with two distinctly different breaking balls showing big depth with both pitches. Another uncommitted junior to follow throughout the next year.

Joshua Burrell Jr SS / Grissom, AL / 2025

Uncommitted. 6-foot-0, 140-pounds. Lean, athletic build with more strength coming in the future. Another uncommitted prospect in the 2025 class in AL that has really made a name for himself over the past year after stepping into a large role as a sophomore for Grissom and showcasing well throughout the summer circuit. This weekend's showing may have been the most impressive from Burrell, as he performed at a high level in nearly every facet of the game. Hits from a balanced, athletic setup from the right side, and uses a simple stride to get down square and on-time. Barrel works clean through the zone with a fluid path; can lag the barrel and has present bat speed. Line-drive type hitter with a low chase, high contact rate. Smooth defender at the shortstop position with some arm strength, can easily move to second base in the future, if needed. Well-rounded athlete that clocked a 7.15 60 YD during the workout. Recorded multiple hits throughout gameplay, including a loud pull-side double on Saturday. High-follow uncommitted prospect in the 2025 class in AL that will only continue to improve.

Jack Blanchard OF / RHP / Daphne , AL / 2026

Uncommitted. 5-foot-11, 150-pounds. Medium, athletic frame. Has some room to add strength in the future. A former PBR Jr. Future Games attendee with Team Alabama a couple years ago, Blanchard is easily coming off his best showing that we've seen at this past weekend's event, where he made plays all over the field with the bat and the glove. After a solid workout where he showcased a line-drive approach hitting from the right side of the plate, Blanchard accumulated numerous big hits for Team Alabama 2026 throughout the weekend, including two triples and a double. The sophomore outfielder also made a diving grab in left field on Saturday, then proceeded to hop on the mound and toss a clean outing while working up to 80.6 mph with his fastball. There's still plenty of development to come in the future while still being a young prospect, but he's already shown the ability to make significant strides from year-to-year.

Colin Watson OF / SS / Daphne, AL / 2027

Uncommitted. 5-foot-8, 160-pounds. Strong lower-half with some athleticism. Another former PBR Jr. Future Gamer who has continued to make noticeable strides to his game, even if it was just within a three-month window. The freshman is an advanced hitter for his age and possesses a keen understanding of how to hit and find the sweet spot with nearly each swing from the right side. He already possesses a mature approach and has shown the ability to work himself into plus counts, which is where he creates most of his damage. There's plenty of whip and bat speed to his right-handed swing using a fluid, clean path through the zone. Watson is really balanced throughout his swing and already has enough strength to generate high exits and a top EV of 92.2 mph during BP. Even more important than what he does on the diamond, he's an enjoyable kid to be around and plays the game the right way with tons of passion. Another prospect in the 2027 class in AL to keep on your radar for the coming years.

Rhys Jones SS / RHP / Spain Park, AL / 2026

Uncommitted. 5-foot-7, 140-pounds. Athletic build with still tons of physical development to come. Another former PBR Jr. Future Gamer that is an absolute gamer in everything he does on the diamond. Possesses an athletic skill set with good skills across the board, and turned in a solid weekened for Team Alabama 2026 both at the plate and on the mound. Line-drive, high-contact type hitter with good feel for the barrel. Took quality swings throughout the weekend and fits the mold of a top-of-the-order type hitter that can move the ball around in different situations. Sure-handed defender up the middle that dominates the routine play. Also has ability on the mound, where he got the start on Sunday and tossed three stress-free, scoreless innings while working up to 80.4 mph and spinning a sharp breaking ball in the upper-60's with an average spin rate of 2515 rpm. Has excellent feel for a sinking changeup in the mid-70's, as well. An elite competitor that is only going to continue to get better as he grows and develops in the coming years.

Drew Monte C / SS / Hoover, AL / 2027

Uncommitted. 5-foot-11, 155-pounds. Lean, athletic frame. Really impressive showing from the freshman across multiple facets for Team Alabama 2027. Making his PBR showcase debut this past weekend, Monte began his strong weekend with a quality showing during the workout portion, where he exhibited a smooth right-handed swing that consistently found the barrel for firm contact to the pull-side. On the defensive side, the arm strength is obviously still developing, but the quick transfer and footwork suggests he's going to be a solid catch-and-throw backstop in the future. The right-hander continued to swing it well throughout the weekend, as he recorded multiple hits and showed the ability to drive the ball to all parts of the field. Really strong first PBR showcase for the freshman and has plenty to build on moving forward over the next few years.

Nolan Hansen RHP / Auburn, AL / 2027

Uncommitted. 6-foot-2, 170-pounds. Projectable build with some proportional strength. Easily one of the top performances on the mound for Team Alabama 2027, where he tossed three shutdown innings during his start on the mound. The freshman right-hander was super-efficient needing only 25 pitches to get through his outing, and did an excellent job of keeping hitters off-balanced with his two-pitch mix. Hansen worked up to 77.5 mph and has been up to 80 mph in past outings, but his calling card was his sharp breaking ball that showcased big 11-5 shape with plenty of depth to it. The right-hander lived off of the breaking ball during the outing, and showed the ability to spin it and land it in the zone in any count. He attacks hitters on the mound and isn't afraid to challenge with both of his pitches. Still plenty of room development over the next few years, but the pitch-ability at such a young age is what stands out for the current freshman.

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