Prep Baseball Report

College Crosscheck, Week 9: Virginia, Louisville, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Presbyterian

By: David Seifert
Director of College Scouting

After much prospecting the past three weeks has been focused on the SEC, Week Nine of the Scouting Trail begins a multi-week focus on the ACC which boasts three of our top 11 and four of our top 13 prospects on our most recent Draft Board for the 2024 MLB Draft.


Ethan Anderson, C- Emerging as one of college baseball’s top run producers as a sophomore in 2023 when he hit .375/.469/.649 with 15 home runs, 26 doubles and 66 RBI, Anderson was a two-year starter at DH and first base. With Kyle Teel’s departure to pro ball, Anderson has transitioned back to his prep position behind the plate where he currently splits time with Jacob Ference. Anderson showed average arm strength, but it played a bit less than average. He has thrown out four of sixteen base runners this season. At times he will stab and carry the ball out of the strike zone at times and he’s not an elite defender by any means, but there is certainly enough to work with for a career behind the plate at the next level. At the plate he’s a switch-hitter with keen control of the strike zone — he drew 42 walks against 32 strikeouts in 309 plate appearances last year and is on similar pace this season with 24 walks vs 14 strikeouts to date. His highlight of the Louisville series was 5-for-5 (all singles) with a walk and multiple hits from each side on Friday. His left-handed swing is more polished, powerful and productive than from the right side (LH-.360 AVG/.584 SLG vs RH-.255/.333), but both are flat through the zone resulting in a collective 50% ground ball rate this season. His top exit velocity is 106.5 mph which equates to near average. This lack of raw power (for a catcher and corner infielder) is somewhat offset by an elite 6.8% strikeout rate and just a 2.1 whiff% (99th percentile) from the right side. Anderson is also one of the best in college baseball with making contact on pitches in the zone (96%, 98th percentile). With that said, he will need to tap into every bit of his power for improved ISO (isolated power) to further increase his draft value. At the end of the day, the team that believes Anderson will have a pro career behind the plate will likely select him in the top-three rounds.

Harrison Didawick, OF- The draft-eligible sophomore center fielder has top five round potential with defense, speed and power as his top tools. He’s a sure-handed defender with plus speed and above-average range, but well below average arm strength. He plays both left and center field, which is where he also profiles at the pro level; a fourth outfielder with the ability to play center on a part-time basis. In the batter’s box the left-handed hitter has a maximum exit velocity of 107.5 mph this season, which equates to average raw power. This power should continue to improve as he continues to fill out his lanky 6-foot-4, 205-pound frame. He set up in an upright stance and showed a rotational swing with some length, but also showed an ability to pull in his hands and get to the inside fastball as was the case against a Carson Liggett 90 mph fastball in game three.

Didawick violently turned it around for a home run down the right field line. It was his 15th round-tripper of the season in 179 plate appearances, a huge jump from four in 201 PAs last spring. Possessing more than enough tools for a pro career, Didawick will need to cut down on his strikeout rate (23.5%) to maximize his draft value this summer.

Griff O’Ferrall, SS- College baseball’s top defensive shortstop is a Major League ready defender with above-average arm strength and when combined with a quick transfer and the ability to throw from all angles and body postures, gives him plus range in all directions. O'Ferrall's hands are soft and sure. He has all the tools and abilities for a long career as a run-preventer up the middle. He makes the routine play look easy, the good play look routine and the great play, well take a look at his latest web gem…

Offensively, he started the season slowly, but has picked it up recently and is currently slashing .320/.359/.436. He has very good bat-to-ball skills and controls the strike zone. The 6-foot-1 right-handed hitter has struck out in just 7.8% of his plate appearances this season which is boosted by an excellent two-strike approach where he simply throws his hands and puts the ball in play. However, a maximum exit velocity of only 105 mph this season is the primary concern of the scouting industry. In pro baseball, opposing pitchers will simply pound him inside with the hard stuff. He’s viewed by many as a Nick Madrigal-esque type whose value will be solely on defense. Regardless, O’Ferrall is a second half of Day One prospect.

Casey Saucke, OF- The Cavaliers’ rightfielder started slowly against Louisville, going 1-for-10 in the first two games before putting together several quality at-bats during the series finale. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound right-handed hitter hammered his eighth home run of the season, turning a high fastball into a line drive shot to dead center field. With a season maximum 111 mph exit velocity he has plus raw power and is currently in the process of tapping into it more often. His eight home runs are a career high after belting four last season and seven during a sensational freshman season (.360/.438/.557). Saucke does not have the best-looking swing, but does have quick hands and natural strength. From a hunched and spread setup he tended to get out front and struggled against spin. However, he does get on-plane early and is relatively flat through the zone. A top-five round draft talent, Saucke is a plus runner who also has plus to better arm strength. He’s also a solid defender who could increase his range by simply being more aggressive.

Jay Woolfolk, RHP- After retiring from football last summer and earning a spot on the USA Collegiate National Team, expectations were sky high for the uber-athletic righthander. I personally thought he could develop into a late Day One talent. However, to date this spring the 6-foot, 190-pound righthander has scuffled with his command, and as a result, his performance. His relief outing on Saturday was solid as he allowed one earned run in 3.1 innings, and he also walked four and struck out four. Featuring a two-seamer last summer, Woolfolk relied on a 92-95 mph four-seamer against Louisville and instead of a plus, swing/miss changeup he has now replaced it with a 86-88 splitter. The splitter was solid on Saturday, but nowhere near the quality of the change-of-pace he displayed for the USA CNT. Adding to his arsenal is an 87-88 cutter and a slower version slider at 81-82. Woolfolk no doubt has the athleticism, talent and pitch weapons to become a Major Leaguer, but his 16.1% walk rate this season will likely keep him out of the top-ten rounds this summer.


Sebastian Gongora, LHP- This past fall the Wright State transfer pushed his fastball into the mid-90s, a few ticks more than his 2023 season average of 90 mph. This increase came after an average of 88 mph during his 2022 season and the scouting buzz was on for Gongora becoming the next top round pick and Friday night ACC ace for the Cardinals. It hasn’t been the smoothest of sailing so far this spring for the 6-foot-5, 240-pound lefthander, but he has posted strong strikeout totals with 57 (26.8% K rate) in 48 innings, while walking just 17 (8.0% BB rate). Both are improvements from 2023 in the Horizon League with marks of 22.4% and 8.3%, respectively. On Friday against Virginia, Gongora touched 93 with his fastball, while mostly sitting 90-91. He also showed a hard curve in the upper-70s, a slider/cutter at 84 and a similar velocity changeup which was his primary secondary offering. He could not consistently find his otherwise reliable curve ball, normally at least an average pitch and although he did throw his fastball for a strike 69% of the time, it was often elevated and center cut. He was roughed up for six earned runs on seven hits in five innings. Entering the season as a potential top five round prospect, Gongora has slid a bit, but should remain in consideration for the later rounds of Day Two.

Other ‘24 Draft Names to Know

A couple of other draft-eligible Louisville pitching prospects include Riley Phillips and Will Koger. Phillips is a low-90s lefty with a pair of hard breaking balls and swing/miss ability. His curve is the best of his two breakers, amassing a 65.6% whiff rate (100th percentile) this season. Somewhat surprisingly he wasn’t drafted last summer after a strong junior season with 46 strikeouts in 35 innings and a 3.82 ERA. This spring his ERA has ballooned to 6.56 despite maintaining his strikeout rate while lowering his walk rate. Koger is a strong-bodied, quick-armed righthander who has been an enigma with his performance throughout his Louisville career. It’s “A” level stuff with less than average results. Against Virginia his fastball peaked at 97 mph a handful of times with a comfort zone of 93-96. His main secondary offering is a mid-80s slider, but also showed a 77 mph curve and 84-85 changeup. Overall, a lack of command has been his shortcoming, but when he’s locked in he can be a dominant bullpen option.

Position player-wise for the Cardinals, senior first baseman Ryan McCoy had a big weekend. After holes in his swing and approach were exposed last season as a first-year juco transfer, McCoy has shown recent improvements with his swing path and the ability to stay on and drive the ball the other way. He had three hits on Saturday, including two home runs and another three hits on Sunday with one more round-tripper. For the series the lefthanded slugger batted .500 (6-for-12) with three home runs and eight RBI, seven of which were from Saturday’s game alone. Isaac Humphrey and Eddie King, Jr. are two more Louisville hitters that scouts continue to evaluate this spring. Humphrey is looking to recapture the form he showed two seasons ago, when he batted .328/.458/.490. Last season, those numbers dipped to .246/.406/.396, but this spring he’s back on track, batting .324 with five home runs and most impressively, more walks (20) than strikeouts (19). At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds Humphrey has the size and many of the tools needed for the next level, but his present power production limits his profile. A cousin to former Louisville great Corey Ray, King also has all of the tools (other than a well below average arm) to be a college superstar and pro prospect. Last season, he batted .274/.349/.457 and then blossomed over the summer in the Cape Cod League, where he had a .408 on-base percentage and showed power to all fields. Against Virginia, King showed a long swing and a late pitch ID. He also gives away too many at-bats by swinging at a pitcher’s pitch in a hitter’s count. He did homer (96 mph exit velocity, 366’) and plate three RBI on Sunday, but for the series went 1-for-7 to bring his season slash to .305/.374/.476.

Wake Forest

Nick Kurtz, 1B- Some of the easiest raw power that I have seen. Comfortable plus-plus power and it plays to all fields, during BP and in game. The bat speed matches and like the power, he gets to it so easily. Taller and balanced setup with evenly distributed weight. It is a quiet load with minimal moving parts, and it gets even simpler with two strikes. In the two games that I took in, Kurtz had two home runs, two deep flyouts to left, three walks, a single, and a double. Above average runner for his size. First base is obviously the first position, but shows some athleticism that leaves some hope and belief that he can potentially play some left field in his future. Solid footwork around the bag, reads hops, and had a flare in foul territory that he opened up the hips and went and got showing some of that athleticism. Biggest takeaway(s) outside of his in-game power was the hit tool and how invested he was in his approach. He doesn’t really expand and chase (early or late), he has a solid contact rate to pair with his elite ability to impact the baseball, and is willing to take walks when presented with them. This is most likely a 55-60 hit tool to go along with his 70-power and feel comfortable saying this is a guy you can project to hit 30-35+ home runs at the big league level.

Seaver King, Super UTL- Could not have had two more opposite days from Friday to Saturday. Friday there did not seem to be much approach. Swinging out of the hand, expanding early, and just looked to be out of sorts. Was 0-4 with a walk and two strikeouts. Saturday was a new day and a new Seaver King. Looked to be much more in tune with what he wanted to do. Thought we were going to get a little of the same after he cut loose on a first pitch slider in his initial at bat, but he didn’t get fooled on the next one. Sent it out of right center field and was locked in from there on. Sharp lineout on the first pitch in his next at-bat, walked, and grounded out to third where he showed his elite run tool and athleticism. On that particular home to first, he floated a 4.0. He was out front and it was a little bit of a jailbreak time that he got out of the box, but had also turned a 4.07 on Friday night on a ground ball back up the middle. He is a high-end athlete with a 70 grade or better run tool from the right side. An athletic defender with above-average hands, lateral quickness, and showed the athleticism to make off platform throws with accuracy. Maybe more suited for second base as an everyday position, but can plug and play just about anywhere. It is not a big arm and plays that are deep in the hole on the left side could be a concern at the next level, but seemed to have some feel for timing and got it out quickly. Versatile defender in the infield and certainly capable of being an above-average defender in the outfield. Day One tools and athleticism.

Chase Burns, RHP- As electric of an arm as I have ever seen. Plus-plus fastball that plays anywhere in the zone. Held velo on a frigid night, still grabbing some 98-99 mph in the 6th and 7th innings. Touched 100 four times on the night, all coming in the first two innings. Had a three pitch secondary mix consisting of curveball, slider, and changeup. Ripped one changeup at 94 early, otherwise the changeup worked mostly 87-90 and was used more so to left-handers. The slider is elite. Carries a present 70-grade for me. Mostly 86-88 on that pitch and touching 89-90 a couple of times. Showed the ability to use on hitters from both sides of the plate and threw it early, late, ahead, and behind. More control than command, but the 3000~ RPM slider sitting in the upper 80s does all the work for him and he simply needs to land it, as opposed to command it. Like the slider, Burns used the curveball whenever he wanted. The curveball is more average, but may play a bit better because of hitters having to try and cover upper 90s fastballs and an upper 80s slider. The span of 16-20 mph coverage gap between those pitches with an elite slider in between is a tough task for any hitter. The changeup, similar to the curveball, is more average to slightly above, but it may be one of his best command pitches. Stayed arm side with it and showed some advanced feel. Starter makeup that can hold velo and has elite stuff. It would be hard to imagine that there is another right-hander in this draft class that is near his ability.

Josh Hartle, LHP- This start saw the fastball sitting mostly 89-91 mph through the first two to three innings and grabbed a 92-93 early. He had above-average command of the pitch and was in the zone, but it did not overpower hitters early on. The fastball showed some cut at times and he was able to use it to both sides of the plate. Hartle did not land the low 80s slider early on, but like the rest of his outing, it got better as he got deeper into the start. Changeup sat 85-87. Overall, early on he struggled with getting some quicker outs and ran the pitch count up, but I thought as he got into the third and fourth innings he was much more efficient with his secondary and was able to finish counts. He was especially tough on left-handers and versus some bats that did not seem to struggle as much versus some other arms. Not overpowering stuff, but he did a solid job staying out of the middle and working through some early struggles to turn out a strong start. Struck out eight in four and two-thirds and worked around a couple of walks.

by Jason Burton, Director of Scouting, Prep Baseball Virginia/DC

Virginia Tech

Wyatt Parliament, RHP- Parliament came out pumping 93-95 mph and touched 96. The fastball overpowered some hitters that you did not really see get overpowered by some other arms that had similar velo. He racked up the swing-and-misses early with a four-seamer that had some riding life up and tended to play a tick quicker. Would lean 55-present value on the fastball and may grade out a tick higher just on the quality of the pitch and his ability to compete in the zone with that pitch. The slider sat 82-84 mph with short action and he was not able to land it early. He got in trouble with the slider in the second when he tried to go back-to-back with it on King and he left one up. After that he retired eleven of the next thirteen hitters he faced before giving way to the bullpen. With the mostly two-pitch mix, I would lean reliever role at the next level and he has a chance to carve out a spot with his ability to compete with the fastball. Would obviously add more value with a quality third pitch or improving shape and feel for the slider.

Carson DeMartini, 3B- The left-handed hitting third baseman was 1-for-6 with three strikeouts during this two-game look. His lone hit came in his first at-bat on a high fly ball to centerfield. The centerfielder lost it and DeMartini got out of the box well, legging out a triple to try and jumpstart the Hokies offense versus Burns. DeMartini has long shown his bat-to-ball skills and ability to hit at a high level, but this weekend it felt like he was trying to do a little too much at times. Early and late in counts he was opening up and seemed to be chasing power to the pull side. Lacked plate coverage and had some swings-and-misses. Most of the pitches that he was swinging through were fastballs. He just appeared to be trying to do a little too much, as opposed to staying on pitches and driving balls gap to gap, something I have seen him do since he was in high school. Defensively, his hands, glove, and footwork were solid, but his arm action was not. After labrum surgery last summer, his arm strength was below average at this point in the process.

He’s athletic enough to likely remain at the hot corner at the next level, but a full recovery and range of motion to his arm action is a must.

by Jason Burton, Director of Scouting, Prep Baseball Virginia/DC


Daniel Eagen, RHP- The Presbyterian ace took the bump on the road at Gardner-Webb University. At 6-foot-4, 200-pounds, Eagen still has room to continue to fill out his frame. Working off the third base side of the rubber, Eagen is controlled and stable over the rubber, lifting to the mid-chest. His hands have rhythm working with the leg kick and going from the belt to the chin where his hands break. On-line throughout, he lands square and in-line to the plate with a strong back side drive. His long arm swing remains athletic as it works to an over-the-top slot. It’s quick through release producing a fastball that ranged 92-95 mph, and he held this velo for all five innings of work. It was more control than command, the sequencing was straight forward, working off the ability to attack the zone with the fastball. The approach angle and run on the fastball allow the fastball to play up a bit from the gun reading. Eagen featured two breaking balls, attacking with the curveball in the early part of the game. Curveball ranged 79-83 with hard, downer action working from the same window as the fastball. Sequencing the curveball off of fastball locations got hitters to chase the pitch out of the zone. The more chase he created the more Eagan worked to expand the breaking ball. Later in the outing Eagen turned to a slider with the same plan. The slider sat 84-87 with late sweeping action. The slider worked to create issues by tunneling with the fastball. In this outing, the curveball graded out higher than the slider but both pitches are usable. The grade on both pitches ticks up as he shows an ability to attack the zone and expand, but with the aggressive nature of the Bulldog offense, Eagen did not need to show an ability to land the breaking pitches. At this time change-up is a down the line pitch, slightly slowing the arm, working 85-86. At 21 years of age, Eagen still has projection left with a body that should continue to add weight in the coming years. For me it is a relief profile that should allow him to refine his current stable of pitches. In his sixth start of the year Eagen has been limited to five innings of work throughout the year, working five innings on Thursday, giving up one hit and two walks, while striking out 11. On the year, he has worked 51 innings, walking just eight, with 51 strikeouts.

by Brandon Hall, Director of Scouting, Prep Baseball Mid-Atlantic