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Battle for The Arch: Quick Hits


By: Drew Locascio & Diego Solares
PBR Staff

On Tuesday, September 27th, the PBR Illinois and PBR Missouri staffs converged at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Illinois, to host the second annual Battle for The Arch event. This invite-only showcase featured prospects from Illinois and Missouri split into their respective teams, starting with a workout portion that was followed by gameplay.

To see which prospects attended this event, click HERE. For all the statistics collected at the event, click HERE

Now, at the event’s conclusion, our staff has compiled our scout notes from the day and highlighted some of the day’s biggest highlights within this ‘Quick Hits’ piece. See which prospects popped at this year’s Battle for The Arch below. 

TEAM ILLINOIS

+ Two uncommitted 2023s out of Columbia HS, OF Reed Drabant and INF Alex Schreckenberg, had strong showings for Team Illinois: 

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound, athletically-built, left-handed hitting Drabant stayed compact and on plane during BP, driving balls into both gaps and staying on the barrel for the majority of his round. He carried over his BP into game play taking a number of good swings finishing game play 2-for-3 with a double to left-center field and an RBI. Also, ran a 7.12 and topped at 87 mph from the outfield. 

Schreckenberg is listed at a physical, wide-shouldered, 6-foot-2, 195-pounds and started his day running a 6.94 laser-timed 60. At the plate the right-handed hitter has strong hands with present barrel strength and got some sneaky jump off the barrel. The unsigned senior also finished game play 1-for-2 and profiles at second base or somewhere in the outfield at the next level.


+ One of the top prospects on the Illinois squad was Wabash Valley commit C Jayden Diaz (Alton, 2023). The 5-foot-9, 188-pound left-handed hitter with strength throughout his frame took arguably the most polished and dynamic round of BP in attendance. Diaz averaged 90.2 mph off the bat with a max of 97.1 and led the event with the furthest batted ball of 380’. Diaz is calm and relaxed in the box with minimal wasted movement, creating advanced jump off the barrel with minimal effort. Diaz took a ball off the scoreboard in right-center field during BP and then carried it over to game play finishing 1-for-3 with a double, RBI and number of quality swings throughout. Defensively, he has natural catcher actions, is clean and easy out of the crouch and his arm played true and on the bag with a low pop time of 2.07.


+ The lone two-way prospect on Team Illinois, Seth Impson (Springfield, 2024) continues to impress everytime we get our eyes on him and came away a winner once again. Impson has a lean, athletic, 6-foot, 165-pound frame with more physicality to come and athleticism to all parts of his game. At the plate he stayed loose and easy, lining hard contact back up the middle with fluid rhythm throughout BP, flashing sneaky juice with his furthest batted ball traveling 356’. He finished game play 2-for-2 with a double and HBP. Behind the plate, he is an active, bouncy defender and his arm plays clean and quick with accuracy and a 2.02 low pop time. He also hopped on the mound and struck out four, walked one and did not give up a hit in two innings of work, running his fastball up to 84.5 mph with a three-pitch repertoire.


+ C/OF Griffin Graue (Glenwood, 2023), a versatile defender at 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, delivered one of the biggest swings of game play, a double to the wall that looked like it may leave the yard when it left the bat. Graue was yet another quality catcher for Team Illinois and showed clean actions behind the plate with an arm that played true at 74 mph from the crouch. 

+ OF Trevor Geis (Mascoutah, 2024) showed upside and athleticism attached to a projectable 6-foot-2, 170-pound frame. Geis routinely elevated the baseball to the pull-side from a loose right-handed stroke in BP and recorded the day’s hardest throw home from the outfield, topping at 88 mph in his workout. He showed that arm strength in game, gunning down a would-be baserunner at home on an accurate bullet to maintain Team Illinois’ lead late in the game. 


+ Twin 2024 RHPs from O’Fallon HS, Michael and David Barker, made a strong impression at their first PBR event. Both have long-levered, lean, projectable frames at 6-foot-3, 160+ pounds and ran their fastball up to 85.5+ at the event:

+ David struck out five in his two innings of work; he works fluidly down the mound with a long, loose, upside arm action and gets all kinds of late arm-side-life and run on his fastball that plays from a ¾ slot. He complemented his fastball with a slurvy breaking ball that played off an 11/5 plane with feel for the zone. 


+ Michael has a simple, efficient stretch-only delivery and his arm plays short from a high ¾ slot. His fastball played clean out of the hand with straight action and late hop through the zone at times, going to an 11/5 breaking ball with ability to land it for strikes. Michael had an extremely efficient two innings of work, going 1-2-3 both innings. 


+ Chase Rubenacker (Hamilton County, 2023) has a 6-foot-5, 150-pound, high-waisted, long-levered frame with all kinds of room for continued physical development. Rubenacker works deliberately and controlled down the mound with a long, full arm circle and comes out of a high ¾ with arm speed at foot strike. Rubenacker’s fastball was lively out of the hand at times, topped at 85.4 with the feel to spin a slider and curveball. HIs slider played at 74 mph with short, late, lateral action and


TEAM MISSOURI 

+ C/INF Carson McCaleb (Timberland, 2023) had one of the more impressive showings on the day for Team Missouri. A strong 5-foot-9, 195-pound switch hitter, McCaleb generated easy juice from both sides of the plate, barreling up multiple balls at 95+ mph while peaking at 98.6 mph. His ability to repeat his swing from both sides of the plate is evident and so is his knack for the barrel, nearly leading the event in hard-hit percentage (56%). McCaleb is a quality receiver behind the plate as well, working down-to-up with his glove and utilizing his strong wrists to stick the baseball. He recorded the event’s quickest pop time (1.94) and was accurate on the bag throughout his defensive workout. McCaleb is one of the top uncommitted prospects in Missouri’s senior class. 


+ INF Edward Uschold (Parkway South, 2023) is another name-to-know uncommitted senior from this event. Built at a sturdy 6-foot-1, 192-pounds with room to tack on muscle, Uschold blasted the day’s hardest hit ball, screaming one off his barrel at 99.2 mph without much effort. His furthest batted ball traveled 366 feet, amongst the day’s best, and his ability to repeat a relatively loose right-handed swing is evident. Uschold projects as a middle-of-the-order type bat at the next level who’s still on the market. 

+ OF Luke Burns (Desmet, 2023) took arguably the event’s most polished BP round, repeating quality contact from an athletic right-handed stroke. Burns was all over the barrel throughout, regularly producing 90+ mph exit velocities with a 350 ft. peak batted distance. He’s improved since the St. Louis Top Prospect Games in June, where he was also a standout, and has added muscle onto a 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame. Burns is another top prospect to note in Missouri’s 2023 class that’s still uncommitted. 


+ C Ayden Rogers (Francis Howell, 2023) looked the part of a physical right-handed bat throughout yesterday’s event. A 5-foot-11, 200-pound athlete with strength throughout, Rogers handled a few pitches in BP with authority, thumping them into the pull-side gap on the regular. He hammered a pitch deep off the left field wall in game for a double and repeatedly got off aggressive hacks, looking to do damage out of his load. Rogers also recorded the hardest throw from behind the plate of all catchers in attendance, topping at 80 mph on his hardest bullet. 

+ RHP Ajani Henke (Home School, 2023) has been a winner on our fall circuit thus far and strung together yet another loud look over three innings of work. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Henke pumped his fastball up to 88.3 mph, pitching in the mid-80s with upper-quadrant life from a high release point (6.2 ft.) on average. He primarily featured a heavy dosage of fastballs, though occasionally spun a high-60s breaking ball as a change of pace pitch. Henke’s arm strength on the hill is evident and it appears he’s just starting to scratch the surface of what his future outlook may be. 

+ RHP Charlie Mussorici (Liberty, 2023) has been an arrow-up uncommitted arm throughout the fall and continued to show power stuff potential in brief stints last night. At 6-foot-1, 180-pounds, Mussorici spun the day’s highest breaking ball of the event, averaging nearly 2,400+ RPM on the pitch with a 2,424 RPM max. He pounded the zone with a mid-to-high-80s fastball as well, comfortably working to the arm-side corner of the plate in particular. Mussorici is an athletic arm with dynamic potential and remains one of the top pitching prospects in the state’s 2023 class that’s still on the market. 

+ RHP Danny Lindsey (Vianney, 2023) cruised through his two innings of work to start things off for Team Missouri, punching out five batters in total. The 6-foot, 195-pound right-hander worked east-to-west with his fastball, consistently throwing it for strikes, while occasionally flipping in a tighter 66-67 mph breaking ball with depth.

+ C/OF Kody Brown (Seckman, 2024) was another winner from this event, showing well in multiple facets of his game. Brown, who also emerged the St. Louis Top Prospect Games back in June as a name-to-know, ran this event’s fastest 60-yard dash at 6.83 seconds. He took a clean round of batting practice, staying on the barrel while working back up the middle and to the pull-side on occasion. Brown averaged 89 mph per batted ball, the second-highest mark of this event, and peaked at 96.9 mph with a 366 ft. peak distance - the hardest and furthest of all 2024 prospects in attendance. He worked quickly and accurately to the bag from behind the plate during his workout, popping at a 1.98 on his best bullet at 75 mph. Brown is one of the top catching prospects in Missouri’s junior class. 


+ INF/RHP Hayden Boyd (Seckman, 2024) proved to be one of the day’s more intriguing two-way follows. Boyd really looks the part in a uniform, standing at 6-foot-2, 180-pounds with present strength and room for more. He’s a savvy defender on the infield with swift feet and soft hands to boot, moving comfortably around the turf while covering ground. He’s projectable at the plate with a long right-handed swing, elevating the baseball to the pull-side with a 341 ft. max batted distance. Boyd threw the final two innings for Team Missouri on the mound, pitching at 82-85 mph with a fastball that featured heavy run and sink. His primary secondary pitch appeared to be a 72-73 mph changeup that stayed on fastball plane and worked down in the zone. 

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