Prep Baseball Report

Underclass Invitational: Quick Hits

Phil Kerber
Georgia Scouting Director

PBR Georgia hosted its second annual Underclass Invitational at LakePoint Sports in Emerson, GA this past Sunday, January 10th. The event brought together nearly 50 of the state's top prospects in the 2023 and 2024 class. Our staff put these prospects through a pro-style workout.

We started the event analysis by looking at the statistical leaders. Today, we will spend some time highlighting the best things we saw from Sunday’s workout. This is our staff’s initial thoughts, rapid reaction, to the Underclass Invitational.

Advanced Toolsets

+ The top-ranked shortstop in the 2023 class, Mississippi State commit Dylan Cupp (Cedartown) did not disappoint on Sunday. His frame continues to get longer and he has just started to fill it out, now standing 6-foot-2, 180-pounds. As we mentioned in the preview, Cupp is an elite defender up the middle, there is no question about that. What really stood out was what he did in his two rounds of batting practice. Cupp consistently drove the ball with force gap-to-gap. The added strength to his frame has added thump to his bat as well. He led the event in exit velocity at 98.44, and averaged 90.64.

+ This was our first look at the 12th-ranked prospect in the 2024 class, OF Kameron Davis (Dougherty). Davis is a physical specimen, standing a muscularly built 5-foot-10, 180-pounds. He is not short on athleticism either, running an event best 6.79. At the plate, he creates elite level bat speed, registering a max bat speed of 80.9 via Blast. Davis struggled some with his timing during batting practice. Yet, everything that he hit came off the barrel hot, driving the ball with ease. He recorded a max exit velocity of a 91.03.

+ Oklahoma commit SS/OF Bryce Clavon (Dutchtown), the No.65-ranked prospect in the 2024 class, is a dynamic prospect. He is a high end athlete, ran a 6.83 60, who can play shortstop or center field, and fit in at the top of the order. Clavon has advanced arm strength, throwing 86 across the infield and 91 from the outfield. He has a quick first step and smooth hands. At the plate, he has quick hands, 25.90 max hand speed and 79.70 max bat speed, and great barrel control. Clavon drives the ball gap-to-gap with force, 96.63 exit velocity.

+ A prospect who was not on our radar before the event, but certainly is now is SS/OF Jackson Frank (Alpharetta, 2023). Frank is an all around good athlete, standing 5-foot-9, 160-pounds with quick twitch muscle. He ran one of the top 60 times at the event at 6.87. Offensively, he put together two of the best rounds of batting practice all day. Frank showed great feel for the bat, barreling up nearly every pitch. He drove balls gap-to-gap with quick, athletic hands, 26.40 max hand speed. 


+ RHP Blake Dean (North Cobb Christian, 2023) spent all summer getting batters to whiff on his impressive offspeed arsenal. On Saturday, we saw it once again and got the data to show just how good his slider and curveball are. Dean’s slider played up to 74 mph with a 2543 rpm spin rate while his curveball was up to 76 with a 2529 rpm spin rate. The slider has sharp downer action; the curveball takes a 12/6 shape with depth and big break. He has a good feel for both pitches. His fastball was up to 84.5 on the day. A good athlete, there is plenty more velocity in the tank as he develops his 6-foot-1, 160-pound frame.

+ One of the top 2024s in the state, RHP/OF Montrell Christian Jr. (Forest Park) physically stands out amongst his peers, checking in at 6-foot-4, 219-pounds. Christian has all the makings of the next big power pitcher to come out of the state. On Sunday, he ran his fastball up to 84. He also dropped in a 12/6 breaking ball for strikes. As he continues to mature, look for the velocity to take big jumps and his offspeed to improve.

+ RHP Fisher Cantrell (Harris County, 2024) towers over his peers, standing a long, lean 6-foot-4, 175-pounds. There is a ton of upside in his frame as he has not even begun to fill out. He works with a long, loose arm action to a high ¾ slot. Cantrell topped out at 82 at the event, but given his frame and how well the arm works, plenty more velo is on the way. He also spun a 12/6 breaking ball that showed depth and some bite, 2286 rpm.


+ Georgia commit C Ariston Veasey (Starr’s Mill, 2024) may have left the most lasting impression from Sunday’s event. He showed improvements across the board. Physically, he has grown and added significant strength to his frame. He improved on his 60 time, from a 7.82 to a 7.47. Defensively, he has always been highly thought of and he further cemented that line of thing. Veasey led the event in pop time, recording a 1.92 to 2.00, and catcher velocity, clocking in at 79 mph. This most noticeable improvement was at the plate. In two rounds, he consistently created hard contact to all fields, 94.77 max exit velocity. Veasey whips the barrel through the zone with intent, generating quick bat speed at 79.80 via Blast.

+ C Cale Stricklin (North Oconee, 2023) has added noticeable strength to his frame, standing a sturdy 5-foot-10, 180-pounds. He took one of the loudest rounds of batting practice, driving the ball gap to gap, 95.97 max exit velocity. Stricklin did a nice job of repeating his swing and barreling the ball. Defensively, he is an athletic receiver with soft hands. He has a strong, accurate arm and he continues to quicken his catch and throw skills, posting a personal best 1.97.

+ The 10th-ranked 2024 in Georgia, C/RHP Luca Perriello (Greenbrier) is a dynamic prospect. He is a legit switch-hitter who can pound the ball to the pull-side from both sides. He aggressively attacks the ball, looking to do damage with each swing. Defensively, he has an advanced arm, 78 out of the crouch. A lean, 5-foot-11, 164-pounds, Perriello is a flexible defender who has shown he has soft hands and quick actions. Plus, he can hop on the mound where he was up to 85. He offers up two breaking balls with 2500+ rpm spin rates. The curveball works 70.5-72.7 and the slider came in at 71.3-73.6.  

+ C/RHP Daegan Strickland (Savannah Christian Prep, 2023) hit the ball with authority, his average exit velocity during batting practice led the event at 92.10 mph. The swing works with some length to the zone, but he gets it there in a hurry, creating a max bat speed of 76.0. Over two rounds, Strickland peppered the left-center ga with hard hit balls. Behind the plate, he showed a quick catch and throw tool, positing a best pop time of 1.94. Strickland is also a solid athlete, running a 7.24. In addition, he has a quick, clean arm on the mound, working 82-83. His slider has the makings of a swing and miss pitch, showing hard downer action, 2429 rpm spin rate.

Left-Handed Hitters

+ SS Tryston McCladdie (Harlem, 2023) a twitchy athlete who is built with wiry strength at 5-foot-11, 170-pounds. He posted the fastest bat speed that we have ever seen at an event in the state, at 87.40. In addition, he recorded a max iext velocity of 98.07 during batting practice. McCladdie’s swing works short and quick to the zone, 25.80 max hand speed. He created hard contact up the middle, varying between driven liners and fly balls. McCladdie also ran a 6.91 60 and was 80 across the infield.

+ OF Tyler Bak (North Gwinnett, 2023) was a standout at the Fall Underclass Trials two months ago and he finds himself once again amongst the standouts. A lean athlete, 6.9 runner, he stands 5-foot-11, 150-pounds with plenty of development left. His swing is ultra quick, 77.90 max bat speed, and level through zone. Bak creates hard line drive contact gap-to-gap, 92.09 max exit velocity.

+ OF Zach Lyles (Sonoraville, 2023) put together a big fall at the plate at LakePoint Sports. He showed more on Sunday. Lyles takes a pull approach with a level barrel path through the zone, creating driven balls. His quick hands, 24.50 max hand speed, allow for him to consistently get the barrel out front.

Power Bats

+ Left-handed hitting OF Thomas Brooks (Mary Persons, 2023) has a wide frame with a strong, sturdy build at 5-foot-9, 185-pounds. He showed quick, strong hands at the plate, putting up some of the top bat speed, 80.7, and hand speed, 25.8, numbers. He drove pitches gap-to-gap with advanced power, 98.32 exit velocity. There is big power potential from Brooks.

+ Another big stick from the left-side, 1B/OF Landon Stripling (Parkview, 2023) aggressively hits for power to the pull-side. He showed intent in his swing, looking to elevate and drive the ball. He produced a 76.70 max bat speed and 93.4 max exit velocity.

+ UTL Reid Harvey (Thomas County Central, 2023) continues to do just above everything at a high level. During batting practice he let the ball fly out of the park to the pull-side. His swing works short and quick to the zone as he gets the barrel out early. Harvey generates hard contact, 95.9 max exit velocity, with relatively little effort. The arm strength is undeniable in Harvey. He was clocked at 86 across the infield, 90 from the outfield, and a new personal high 85.6 on the mound.

+ 3B/OF Andrew Wells (Columbus, 2023) continues to impress with his bat. He has a big, strong 6-foot, 193-pound frame. He showed big power potential at the plate, giving the ball a ride middle/pull. When Wells gets extension and turns on a pitch, the ball jumps off the bat, 94.1 max exit velocity. Defensively, he can fit in at either corner on the infield or outfield.

A pair of 2024s, 3B/OF KJ Moon (North Oconee) and C/1B Carson Royal (Winder-Barrow), were two of the top power hitters in attendance for their class. Moon has a projectable 6-foot, 180-pound frame with broad shoulders. He creates whippy barrel speed, 26.3 max hand speed, 76.7 max bat speed, lifts the ball to the pull-side. Royal creates a similar amount of hand speed, 26.1, but he takes a more gap-to-gap approach. He has a strong, broad 5-foot-10, 185-pound frame.

High Upside 2024s

+ 3B Cade Brown (Parkview, 2024) led the entire event in max hand speed at 26.50. He has physically developed over the past couple, adding more length and strength to his frame at 6-foot, 175-pounds. He has a looseness about him at the plate and a smooth rhythm. Brown gets his quick hands through the zone with aggressive intent, working gap-to-gap. Power will continue to come as he physically matures further.

+ MIF Adrian Jimenez (Lanier, 2024) showed a free and easy swing, athletic hands. He takes a mostly line drive approach, at-times he can elevate and drive gap-to-gap. A confident defender, Jimenez has quick feet and soft hands.

+ SS William Maginnis (Newnan, 2024) has a lean, projectable 6-foot-1, 154-pound frame with wiry strength throughout. Maginnis took some of the best swings in batting practice we saw all day. He worked gap-to-gap and flashed pull-side pop, recording a max exit velocity of 93.7. There is much more to come as he fills out. Defensively he showed clean, smooth actions.

+ C/3B Cayden Sheffield (North Paulding, 2024) took some violent hacks during batting practice. He throws his hands and the barrel aggressively through the zone. Sheffield generates hard line drive contact to all fields and he can really let the ball fly when he elevates to the pull-side. He recorded a max exit velocity of a 94 and max bat speed of 77.7. There is a lot to like in the intent and aggressiveness with which Sheffield attacks the baseball.

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