Missouri Fall Upperclass Games: Takeaways


By: Diego Solares
Area Scout, Illinois & Missouri

On Sunday, September 11th, the PBR Missouri staff traveled to Atkins Field in Columbia, Missouri, to host the biggest event on our fall calendar - the Missouri Fall Underclass and Upperclass Games. These two events ran in conjunction with each other, starting with the former and finishing with the latter, and featured 2023-to-2026 prospects invited by the PBR Missouri staff to participate in a workout, followed up by gameplay.

To see which prospects attended the Underclass event, click HERE

Now, at the event’s conclusion, our staff will roll-out several content related pieces from the event, starting with today’s takeaways. Read below to see which 2023 and 2024 prospects popped to our scouts from the Upperclass Games.

POSITION PLAYERS

+ OF Dylan Atherton (Lee’s Summit North, 2023) turned heads in his PBR event debut. At 6-foot, 170-pounds, Atherton reached a peak exit velocity of 97.5 mph, averaging 87.5 mph per batted ball, while finding the sweet spot 85% of the time, per TrackMan. He also posted some of the day’s more impressive Blast Motion metrics, averaging 73.8 mph of bat speed and 22.4 mph of hand speed throughout BP. Atherton’s bat strength showed later on, as he blasted an opposite field double off the right-center field wall in-game, and got off several quality hacks throughout the event’s gameplay portion. He’s certainly an uncommitted name-to-know offensive follow from this event.

+ OF Kaden Kinsler (Elsberry, 2023) is a quick twitch athlete who showed well at the St. Louis Open earlier this summer and yet again at this event. Kinsler posted, yet again, some of the event’s top Blast Motion metrics, averaging 23.1 mph of hand speed and 74.3 mph of bat speed, respectively. Kinsler generated quality contact off the barrel throughout BP as a result, posting several 90+ mph batted balls with a 94.3 mph max, per TrackMan. His athleticism translates to the outfield, where Kinsler is a fluid mover that attacks the baseball with lower half rhythm.

+ C Peyton Braile (Liberty-Wentzville, 2023) boasts a physical 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame with middle-of-the-order bat strength, clobbering a handful of 90+ mph batted balls throughout his round of BP at this event. Braile also recorded the hardest throw from behind the plate during his defensive workout, peaking at 79 mph and popping a 1.94 on his best bullet.

+ INF Hayden Boyd (Seckman, 2024) was one of the top position prospects in Columbia on Sunday. Boyd comfortably fills out a uniform, standing at 6-foot-1, 180-pounds with clear strength, particularly in the lower half. Boyd’s most valuable asset may ultimately be his glove, and he profiles to stick somewhere on the left side of the infield moving forward. He took a clean round of infield defense during his workout and routinely showed our staff crisp actions with the glove in between innings, making a handful of plays throughout the game as well. Boyd paced this event’s infield crop in throwing velocity and he uncorked a few firm throws across the diamond from the six-spot, too. His athleticism translates to the plate, where Boyd got off a few quality hacks from the right side. Boyd’s long-term future with the glove coupled with an upside offensive profile has him trending in the right direction into his junior year.

+ A top prospect in the state’s junior group, C/INF Brek Sloan (Grain Valley, 2024) continued to impress our staff at this event. A 5-foot-11, 172-pound athlete with compact strength, Sloan stayed on the barrel and covered the plate during BP, spraying quality line drive contact from a clean right-handed swing. He’s an apt defender behind the plate as well, working accurately to the bag with a 75 mph high.

+ 1B Nathan Higgins (Seckman, 2024) proved to be one of the day’s most physically intriguing prospects, harnessing strength attached to a 6-foot-2, 240-pound frame. A left-handed hitter, Higgins hammered balls throughout his BP round, elevating hard contact off the barrel to the pull-side. He translated that natural raw power to the gameplay portion of this event, crushing a double that nearly bounced off the right field wall.

+ UTL Jack Kesler (Lees Summit North, 2024) put together one of the more polished workouts at yesterday’s event. Kesler’s round of defense behind the plate was especially impressive, as the 6-foot, 170-pound junior peppered the second base bag with accurate bullets, popping in the 1.90-to-2.03 range from a loose, quick arm. He took a quality round of BP, peppering line drives back up the middle with an athletic right-handed swing to pair.

+ OF/RHP Lucas Redd (Rockhurst, 2024) has plenty of upside attached to a well-proportioned 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame. Redd generates bat speed from the right side offensively, averaging 76 mph per Blast Motion, and worked gap-to-gap throughout his round from a consistently uphill attack angle. Redd also led all outfielders in throwing velocity at this event, firing an 89 mph strike home on his strongest bullet.

+ 1B/OF Kaelin Tindall (Hickman, 2024) looks the part, standing at a proportionally strong 5-foot-11, 165-pounds with room to add more. He flashed bat strength at the plate during gameplay, squaring up a double to right field with ease.

+ C/INF Nicholas Patten (Blue Springs South, 2024) is a strong 6-foot-2, 200-pound athlete who’s caught our staff’s attention at a few stops this summer, including at this event. Patten showed inherent bat strength for his age during batting practice and translated that to the gameplay portion, finding the barrel a handful of times as well.

PITCHERS

+ After an impressive showing at the SLABA Scout Day, RHP/OF Ajani Henke (Home School, 2023) strung together another impressive all-around day in Columbia this past weekend. A strong, sturdy 5-foot-11, 185-pound athlete, Henke kicked his day off by posting one of the event’s highest max exit speeds (94.6 mph) and generating some of the highest average bat speed (73.7 mph) we saw on the day, too. Henke uncorked an 86 mph max from the outfield and translated that arm strength to the mound, pumping his fastball at 85-87 mph with 20+ inches of induced vertical break on average. The biggest takeaway from Henke’s outing on the mound, however, was the confidence and ability he had to land a 67-71 mph breaking ball for strikes at any given count. His aptitude to spin it for strikes, coupled with a lively fastball that plays up in the zone, makes for a quality one-two punch for Henke on the hill.

+ RHP Gavin Killion (Northwest-Hughesville) came away from this weekend as one of the biggest winners after a standout performance in his PBR event debut. Killion toed the rubber for two innings and dominated, pumping a lively 83-86 mph fastball for strikes from a loose, fast arm and an athletic delivery downhill. Killion turned to a low-70s slider as his primary secondary, a pitch that he comfortably landed around the zone and also out of it for swings-and-misses. At 6-foot, 175-pounds, Killion’s athleticism, clean delivery, and feel to pitch are noteworthy, and he certainly made a name for himself after a strong showing.

+ After a pop-up performance at Creekside this summer, LHP Clayton Shockley (Belle, 2024) built off that outing and impressed our scouts yet again in Columbia this weekend. A highly projectable 6-foot-3, 173-pound southpaw who’s a fluid mover downhill, Shockley worked the zone with a low-80s fastball, spinning it at 2,300+ RPM, and he turned to a 68-71 mph slider as his primary compliment. He’s an upside southpaw to follow, especially as he continues to fill out his frame and physically mature.

+ RHP Cole Evans (Timberland, 2023) was another arm that threw two clean innings of work, punching out a handful of batters en route to a scoreless outing. At 6-foot-1, 170-pounds, Evans generates natural run and sink on his fastball from a ¾ slot, pounding the bottom of the zone at 80-82 mph. He effectively spun a high-60s slider off his fastball’s plane for strikes, especially to the arm-side of the plate, and also mixed in a low spin changeup at 73-76 mph.

+ RHP Charlie Mussorici (Liberty, 2023) pumped the day’s hardest fastball, reaching back for an 89 mph high with his fastball, pitching in the mid-80s throughout his two innings of work. Mussorici averaged 2,442 RPM on his heater, peaking at 2,598 RPM, and showed a similar aptitude to spin his curveball; a low-70s offering that averaged 2,580 RPM with a 2,766 RPM peak. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Mussorici is one of the top uncommitted arms in Missouri and certainly showed power arm potential on the mound.

+ A former PBR Future Games participant, RHP Kai Bennett (Liberty, 2023) showed well yet again at Sunday’s event. At 6-foot-4, 200-pounds, Bennett boasts traditional starter’s size and uses it to produce mid-to-high-80s velocity with his fastball, topping at 88 mph yesterday. Bennett’s aptitude to spin is evident - he averaged 2,451 RPM on his fastball and spun a 73-76 mph breaking ball at 2,600+ RPM, too. It was another quality look at one of the top uncommitted pitching prospects in Missouri’s senior class.

+ Fresh off representing Team Missouri at the PBR Future Games this summer, LHP Dalton Hosack (Holt, 2024) threw well yet again in front of our staff. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound southpaw pounded the zone with a low-80s fastball, touching 85 mph, with clear run and sink (21 inches of horizontal max movement). Hosack flipped both his breaking balls consistently for strikes, something we’ve become accustomed to seeing from the sturdy southpaw. Hosack is one of the more polished arms in Missouri’s junior class and is still uncommitted.

+ Here’s a live-armed pitching prospect to follow from Sunday: RHP Sean Phillips (Elsberry, 2024). A wiry 5-foot-10, 165-pound athlete with twitchy arm speed, Phillips pitched at 81-84 mph, touching 85 mph with heavy arm-side run. He averaged 17.4 inches of horizontal action per pitch, which was amongst the highest marks of this entire event. Phillips also ripped off a handful of sharp breaking balls at 66-70 mph that spun at 2,300+ RPM with clear lateral break, also averaging 17+ inches of horizontal movement, per TrackMan.

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