AZ Preseason ID: First Impressions


Brett Thorney
State Scouting Director

The high school baseball season in Arizona is coming up quickly with many prospects around the state gearing up for their seasons. This past weekend, PBR Arizona had a chance to wrap up its preseason schedule with its Arizona Preseason ID. This open event continues to be a huge identifier of new prospects in Arizona and to get quality prospect updates on players we have seen in the past. 

PBR Arizona held its Arizona Preseason ID on Saturday, February 13th at Desert Ridge High School in Mesa, AZ. This event featured 50+ prospects from the 2021-2025 grad classes from all across the state of Arizona with a few players trickling in from other stats. This event has become a popular event as players go into their high school seasons. 

Today, we will be taking a look at some of our first impressions from our last event before the spring season. Be sure to stay tuned over the next few weeks for more post-event coverage. 

To view the full event stats click here.

ARIZONA PRESEASON ID: FIRST IMPRESSIONS

KEATON WALKER

3B / 1B / CORONA DEL SOL, AZ / 2022

Our PBR Arizona staff went into the event not knowing much about Keaton Walker. After talking to his HS coach, we learned that Walker moved to Arizona from Colorado at the beginning of the school year. His physical presence stands out with a strong defined body at 6-0/192-pounds. It showed in BP with natural strength through contact to the pullside, showing power potential with advanced bat speed. He hit several balls out in his session with one at 98.23mph via trackman at 389ft. Defensively, he showed some athleticism and slightly above average arm strength. There is some firmness in his footwork and torso. Improving his flexibility could help his defensive skills greatly. Walker's development should be followed. 

 

 

ASHTON ZACHER

C / 3B / CANYON VIEW, AZ / 2023

Ashton Zacher is a player that we have discovered previously through our live game coverage. In the past, we have seen quite a bit of versatility out of him, being able to play the left side of the INF and even pitch. During this workout, he showed even more of that ability by working out behind the plate where he will be seeing some more innings this spring. Zacher shows natural athleticism back there with a strong body at 6-0 195-pounds, hes also the QB on the Canyon View football team. In our eyes, catcher could be a permanent spot for him going forward. He already worked up to 77mph with 1.99-2.09 pop times on the bag. His feel for handling pitchers also gave an impression that he's been doing it for awhile. Offensively, hes a switch hitter that has shown some ability to hit from both side of the plate with bat speed. Strong follow into the spring.

 

 

CAIDEN PADGET

LHP / OF / CANYON VIEW, AZ / 2022

Padget is another player with upside coming to us from a a young Canyon View HS program that is gaining momentum. Padget stands at 6-0/155-pounds in athletic projectable body. He put his athleticism on display in the OF showing us some above average arm strength at 85mph combined with an easy left-handed swing. His future potential might be on the mound though where he showed us a clean athletic delivery, throwing out of a H3/4 arm slot. Threw 3 pitches with separation. His FB sat 81-83 with some ride through the zone. Should gain some velocity as the season gets going on a more consistent schedule. His SL showed some sweep, averaging 13in of HM. Development should be followed.

 

 

SEAN JEFFRIES

SS / RHP / GILBERT, AZ / 2022

Jeffries wasn't one of the biggest or strongest guys out there are our Preseason ID but he had a solid day across the board. He has plenty of room to add weight in a thin 6-0/140-pound frame. Started the day off running a solid 60-yard dash time. The Gilbert HS coach speaks highly of him as shortstop and he should be one of the leaders on that team this spring. His defensive skills might be his best attribute until more strength and maturity comes. His footwork was clean and easy with sure hands. Arm strength is developing at 80mph while showing us accurate throws to the bag. Offensively, there is some extra moving parts in an open stance but he showed some feel for the barrel with some quickness in the hands. He also pitched on the day while showing 3 quality pitches. His FB and CH showed significant run while his CV had some depth. 

 

 

BRYCE MCKNIGHT

RHP / RHP / DESERT VISTA, AZ / 2023

Bryce McKnight arguably had the best day on the mound at our Preseason ID, working out as a Pitcher Only. He has made some big strides over the last year, adding good strength in a lean athletic frame which translated on the mound. Threw from an athletic delivery that got stronger over the course of the session. Showed us a solid 3-pitch mix with separation of his pitches while pounding the strike zone. His FB sat 84-86, topping at 88mph with ride through the zone. SL showed sweeping action at 8:15 tilt with an average of 18inches of HM. Plus potential on his frisbee CH that showed sink at 75-76mph. McKnight should make a big jump in the class of 2023 in AZ. 

 

 

KADE THOMPSON

C / SS / CASTEEL, AZ / 2024

In a young athletic frame at 5-8/140-pounds, there is a lot to look forward to with Thompson. We love his work ethic and baseball instincts. He's been to a couple of different events now but may have stood out the most at this one. He turned in one of his best BP rounds with a quiet controlled approach, finding the barrel consistently with line drive contact. While the round didnt have some of the loud powerful contact some guys had, it arguably was the most well put together. His bat speed is getting better over time and should see an increase in pop as he continues to mature. Where he stands out the most right now is behind the plate. Has a natural low center of gravity, quick accurate throws at 75mph, 2.03-2.24 pop times. Works with pitchers well with good flexibility and blocking ability. Should be a catching prospect to follow over next couple years.

 

 

HENRY BRAUCKMILLER

3B / RHP / MILLENNIUM, AZ / 2022

Brauckmller is another player that recently moved to the state of AZ, coming from Oregon, attending Millennium High School. Balanced strength & athleticism throughout his frame at 6-1/170-pounds. Shows some capabilities on both sides of the ball. Hits with a squared stance, creating some leverage with a leg kick trigger. Accelerates onto the swing plane quickly with quick hands. On the mound, Throws from a H3/4 arm slot with slightly lower release, worked up to 81mph with his FB. Should be a nice addition to the Millennium program. 

 

 

MASON KRZNARICH

1B / OF / RED MOUNTAIN, AZ / 2022

Krznarich moved to Arizona from Wisconsin which isnt surprising as he shows a strong presence in the box at 6-5/235-pounds. Krznarch is a left-handing hitting first basemen that displays significant power potential. In his round of BP, He showed some present pop to RCF field, hitting a ball close to 100mph at 374ft. He has above average bat speed while rotating quickly. Defensively, he will stick to first base in the future, although he has a strong arm and could have the ability to eat some innings on the mound in HS. As always with the big strong first basemen, his ability to hit will surly be followed into the spring.

 

Related Content