Prep Baseball Report

Noland Headlines Four Arkansas Prospects at Super 60

Sean Duncan

It's a banner year in Arkansas, as the top end of the 2018 class features high-end draft prospects. Four of the top 10 prospects in the state performed in front of nearly 200 pro scouts at the 16th Annual Super 60 Pro Showcase at The Max in McCook, IL on Feb. 4.

With top draft prospects attending from all across the country, the four Arkansas prospects showed well, with two-sport standout Connor Noland clearly elevating his status after a near spotless bullpen.

Here's an in-depth look at all four Arkansas prospects at the Super 60:


Connor Noland RHP / 3B / Greenwood, AR / 2018

Arkansas recruit. 6-foot-3, 210-pound right-handed pitcher, athletic build with well-proportioned strength. Thoroughbred athlete, four-star quarterback, signed at Arkansas to play both football and baseball. Never seen him on the gridiron, but Noland certainly has a bright future on the mound. Noland threw a near spotless bullpen at the Super 60. Confident, calm mound demeanor, repeats his simple, low-effort side-step delivery, moves with rhythm and tempo, everything works athletically, easily and in-line. Compact arm swing with slight plunge in the back, comes out of a high-3/4 slot, quick and athletic out front. Consistent strike-pumper; controlled the zone with four pitches. Fastball sat 90-91, topping at 92, with late arm-side life; easy out of the hand while filling up the lower-half of the zone. According to FlightScope, registered the fifth-best fastball carry at the event of 8.18 (difference between fastball velocity and fastball zone speed). Changeup is an advanced offering. Throws it with fastball arm action, aggressive with it, 83-84 mph, with late arm-side action. Registered three of the top 10 lowest spin rates on his changeup (1,340, 1,456 and 1,458). Offers both a curveball (79-80 mph) and slider (82-83), both flashing similar 11/5 shape and around the zone. Throws all four pitches with similar arm action and out of the same window. Overall, starter-type stuff - and mentality - at the next level.






PJ Hilson OF / RHP / Nettleton , AR / 2018

Alabama recruit. 5-foot-11, 170-pound right-handed hitting outfielder with lean, muscular strength. Advanced quick-twitch athlete with premium raw tools. Ran a 6.77 laser-timed 60 and was clocked at 95 mph from the outfield. Shows natural outfield actions, moves with fluidity and purpose, fields the ball in rhythm, comes up firing with true carry to target. Offensively, generates plus bat speed with ease. Tall setup, rotational approach, loose hands with hitch at load, inconsistent swing path with inconsistent results. When synced up, the ball jumped off the barrel with carry. With more refinement, can be a leadoff/centerfield type prospect at the next level.






Wade Beasley RHP / 3B / Horatio, AR / 2018

Arkansas recruit. 6-foot-2, 220-pound right-handed pitcher, wide-bodied, physically mature frame with broad shoulders and strong lower half. Works between high-¾ to over-the-top slot, long takeaway with some stiffness in the back, quick hand out front. Timing issues in delivery led to inconsistency around the zone with the fastball. Topped at 92 mph, sitting mostly 90 out of the windup, 88 from the stretch; tendency to miss up. Changeup was best pitch, flashing heavy sink at times between 80-83 mph. Throws changeup with intent; registered one of the better changeup spin rates per FlightScope, 1,454 rph. Breaking ball ranged between 75-78 mph, erratic shape and inconsistent around the zone. With more refinement in the delivery, it wouldn't be surprising if Beasley was pumping consistent mid-to-upper-90s after three years at Arkansas.






Kaleb Hill LHP / Watson Chapel, AR / 2018

Ole Miss recruit. 6-foot-4, 205-pound left-handed pitcher with lean, athletic build and plenty of room for continued physical development. Considerable upside in the frame and athleticism. Works from a high-3/4 slot, short, quick takeaway in the back, hides it well. Works downhill, creates angle, some deception in low-effort delivery: short-strider, opens front side early with small ninja-kick nearing foot strike. Works fast. Short quick arm action, lacks extension out front. Fastball sat 86-87 mph with darting arm-side life in the strike zone. (We've seen more velocity in the past). Per FlightScope data, Hill registered the two lowest fastball spin rates (1,550 rpm and 1,556 rpm) and seven of the top 10 (all under 1,850), which would indicate that he's a sinkerballer, though that's not how the ball was behaving. Curveball flashed depth and sharpness at times, but inconsistent in action at 71-72 mph. Also threw a splitter that ranged between 74-76 mph. Overall, with more refinement, Hill should develop into a high-interest draft prospect in the coming years.




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