GEORGIA PITCHERS SCOUT BLOG: DEEP SOUTH INVITE


Blake Davis
State Director, Georgia

Georgia Pitcher Analysis From the Deep South Invite:

 

What a talented group of young prospects. The arms at this event offered an impressive mix of present ability and projection. The following is a brief write up of all the arms in attendance. We look forward to following the progress of these young arms over the coming year.

Ryan Spikes 2B / RHP / Alcovy, GA / 2021

Ryan Spikes has long been a young 2021 we wanted to see and he did not disappoint at the Deep South Invite. Spikes is a strong medium framed kid with a powerful build and explosiveness to what he does both at the plate and on the mound. The first thing that jumps out at you with Spikes on the mound is his hand-speed, he uses a full arm action to get to his high-3/4 slot and his hand accelerates with good tempo all the way through. His delivery works well and he appears to be a good strike thrower. Spikes does fall off the first-base side when he tries to do too much and will occasional loose extension and pull the baseball. His easy fast arm produced consistent upper 80's velocity at the event. He also flashes shape to his curve-ball at (72-74), but has not added the finish it projects to have in the future. All arrows are pointing up for this strong, compact and athletic right-hander. We are looking forward to watching him continue to build upon what is already an outstanding set of skills.

 

Geoffrey Watkins RHP / 1B / Lassiter, GA / 2020

It was good to finally see Geoffrey Watkins at the Deep South Invite. He is a long lanky 6-foot-6 right handed pitcher that stays tall and flashes good angle to a fastball that he runs into the upper 80's with plenty of room for strength gains. On top of a tall frame and good arm strength Watkins shows feel for 2-different breaking ball shapes. He can bury a true 12-6 curve-ball in and out of the zone or add length and tilt to more of a hard slurve. Both offerings show good promise. The young right-hander is already showing velocity and will not be surprised if he adds to it over the coming years. Watkins will be a close follow for us going forward and as he gets stronger could really emerge in our 2020 rankings.

 

Tanner Folds LHP / OF / Sonoravillle, GA / 2021

Folds is a strong kid at 6-foot 180-pounds he had easily his best outing in front of the Prep Baseball staff at the Deep South Invite. His fastball was up to 80 MPH and continues to show a good potential future out-pitch in his 12-6 curve-ball. Folds is aggressive to the plate even when he pitches backwards, and carved hitters up in the live game portion of the event. Look for a future quality three pitch mix in the future and an aggressive bulldog type demeanor.

 

Dalton Strickland OF / RHP / Loganville Christian , GA / 2020

Strickland is no stranger to Prep Baseball Report and continues to show progress on the mound. He has always shown the ability to get hitters out, but is getting stronger and has seen his velocity climb into the mid 80's. Strickland has an excellent build and is very young for his 2020 class. Strickland has always shown the ability to use his secondary pitches effectively and as velocity and strength grow, look for more swings and misses. Still untapped ability coming and will continue to be a close follow as he closes in on the right fit at the next level.

 

Will Pearson RHP / SS / North Oconee, GA / 2020

Will Pearson was a nice surprise a the Deep South event. He is a medium framed kid with room to grow and fill out.  He is already running his fastball up in the 84 MPH range with more in the tank.  It is not often you use projectable with a side-arm pitcher, but that is exactly what he is. He has big hands and long arms and is going to create some funky angles in the future. His slider is a length pitch, but shows promising shape and ability to land.  It looks like the kind of pitch that will expand hitters zones in the future, using it away from hitters and expanding. Pearson looks like a strike thrower and has good presence on the mound. Pearson will need to continue find his true arm slot from down there and maximize his sink, because when his slot wonders too low, he looses the ability to sink the baseball. Will not be surprised to see him climb into the upper 80's in the future and make himself a commodity as a bullpen type side-armer. Will be a close follow for us over the next year, as we look for him to get stronger, because the ingredients to progress are in place.

 

Rett Edwards RHP / 2B / Model, GA / 2021

Rett Edwards is a medium framed right-hander with some moxie. He is athletic kid with a repeatable compact delivery. He has not started to climb from a velocity standpoint, but make no mistake there are strong ingredients to be a very productive pitcher at the next level. Edwards is aggressive to the zone with a clean arm stroke, that stays on line to the point hitters do not see the baseball until the last possible moment. He can really spin the ball with some finish too it. His combination of deception and breaking ball are going to allow Edwards to change eye levels with his fastball up in the zone. This kid has an idea of who he is on the mound and as you see his velocity climb, look for Edwards to be a tough one to handle.

 

Jake Garner RHP / 1B / Whitewater , GA / 2021

Garner is a lean lanky projectable right-handed pitcher, with solid rhythm and flow to his delivery. His arm works well, and stay online behind him for added deception. Would like to see Garner stay tall over the rubber and not collapse on his back-side, as he looses natural leverage and angle to his fastball. That being said the ingredients are very good and love how everything works from a projection standpoint. It is not hard to see his stuff climb with needed strength gains, but have little doubt he will progress on the mound if he puts in the work. The young right-hander is already running his fastball up to 82 MPH and sitting in the (79-80) range. He will climb into a little higher slot than his natural high-3/4 with his breaking ball trying to give it shape, but has plenty of time to overcome and work through what kind of breaking ball he will end up with. Bright future on the mound for Garner and will be a close follow for us over the coming years.

 

Cole McDaniel LHP / OF / East Paulding, GA / 2021

Cole is a rangy young left-handed pitcher with very good ingredients and projection on the mound. We have had a chance to see McDaniel toe the rubber numerous times and he continues to be a player we are keeping a close eye on in the 2021 class. McDaniel's traditionally pitches with very good angle and extension to the plate and uses a tight window for all three of his pitches for good deception. At the Deep South Invite Cole worked more underneath the baseball more than usual, and fell off to the third-base side on release. This cost him extension to the plate and did not allow his fastball to play as well as in earlier outings. His fastball topped out at 79 MPH and sat in the (77-78) range. Have no doubt in this young left-handers projection and ingredients, and will benefit from a good off-season of strength training. We will be keeping a close eye on McDaniel this Spring, as it is just a matter of time before we see his stuff start to climb. Very good ingredients in length, delivery and ability to pitch.

 

Jim Lauson Walls RHP / OF / Whitewater, GA / 2021

Walls has an athletic look to his 5-foot-8 frame and is aggressive to plate from the mound. Using a high-3/4 slot, showing a good high front side and shoulder tilt for leverage. Would like to see Walls be more aggressive bring his front side in and generating more power pulling his arm through. But overall he has solid fastball components and intent in trying to get to his stuff. Walls fastball touched 77 MPH and pitched in that (74-76) range. Walls projects best as a sinker ball guy type, pitching down in the zone. He shows the athleticism to repeat his delivery and be a quality strike thrower. Walls also shows some shape to a curve-ball at 60-61 but will need to work on finishing the pitch with more intent down the line. While he did not feature a change-up in live situations Walls high front side and up-temp finish will give him good deception as he incorporates a change-up.


Justice Cromwell 3B / RHP / River Ridge, GA / 2021

Cromwell is a stocky strong 5-foot-9 190-pound two-way prospect. On the mound he continues to show a repeatable under control delivery. A proven strike thrower, Cromwell is a sneaky athletic kid. He shows feel for all three pitches and lacks fear on the field.  As he progresses I would like to see Cromwell add some finish to his secondary pitches to give him more of an in the zone, out of the zone swing and miss type pitch. He has good shape to his pitches, but will need more bite in the future. I see no reason Cromwell will not find the aggression to finish his pitches because he is also a strong middle linebacker at River Ridge High School, and those guys usually know a little about aggression. Cromwell will be a close follow for us, because of his pitchability, and as he adds more finish he has a chance to emerge as a solid pitching option for someone at the next level.

Ashton Faulk RHP / 2B / St. Anne Pacelli , GA / 2020

Faulk is an athletic 6-foot right-hander who also shows some ability as a position player. He shows solid hand-speed and intent coming down the mound.  Faulk's arm works clean and projects to throw harder with strength because of the arm stroke and intent. From a delivery standpoint I like his ability to become unhinged and throw hard, but he often times he runs away from his arm on release and looses extension out front. This will limit his ability to spin the baseball and repeat his delivery. Faulk ran his fastball up to 82 MPH and sat in the (78-80) range.  Faulk's delivery and intent line up with a pitcher that uses a slider and though he did not use a slider in the live portion, I see no reason that he will not incorporate and be effective with one based on his hand-speed and delivery.

Christian White 2B / RHP / Eagle's Landing Christian, GA / 2022

Christian is an athletic medium framed pitcher with some projectable ingredients. He has a solid delivery, with good direction to the plate. He uses a hip load to stay over the rubber and allows his arm time to work behind him. As the young right-hander matures and adds strength these delivery mechanics project well in all aspects. White's fastball topped out at 72 MPH and flashed angle down in the zone. His curve-ball flashed shape at (68-71) and has the ability to use early in counts and as he adds needed strength look for his breaking ball to add sharpness and even more depth. White uses a change-up as his third offering and while he presently lacks commitment to the pitch, he does use the same release point and will give him added deception as he gets more comfortable with the pitch.

 

Bryce Hale RHP / 1B / Whitewater, GA / 2021

Bryce is a lanky young 6-foot right-hander who looks as though he has more size coming and is still growing into his body. He has long arms and offers projectable features on the mound. He is an under control type of pitcher at this point and is noticeably aware of his mechanics. He will flash angle to his fastball out of his high-3/4 arm slot and when his timing is right his arm worked free and easy. As he adds needed strength Hale will need to be more aggressive with his lower half, coming down the mound. Right now he does not use his lower half as much as he needs too. His fastball flashed good angle and topped out at 74 MPH, while sitting in the 71-73 range. I would like to see Hale show more intent/aggression on the mound and get to his stuff. As he adds strength and becomes more confident in his delivery, I look for Hale to be more aggressive with his actions toward the plate. Hale did not show a breaking ball in the game and will need to add to his arsenal in the future, but overall frame and ingredients look good and has a chance to progress on the mound using his long arms and natural leverage.

 

Dylan Wright OF / LHP / Ringgold, GA / 2020

Dylan is an athletic medium framed left-hander who is primarily an outfielder. On the mound Dylan uses a high-3/4 arm slot that allows him to flash angle to the plate. His delivery is raw and needs repetition on the mound. He collapses his back side and does not stay tall over the rubber and will loose natural angle created by his high arm slot. He is also a short strider and limits his extension toward the plate. His fastball topped out at 73 MPH and sat in (70-72) range. Wright did not show a secondary pitch in this outing and will obviously need to develop in that regard. the Wright flashes some interesting ingredients in terms of his athleticism, but will need to work to progress as a pitcher and gain needed mound time.

 

We will have more position player analysis for Georgia from the Deep South Invite over the next week. Check out our website at www.prepbaseballreport.com and follow us on Twitter at @PBR_Georgia.

 

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