Prep Baseball Report

Who are the most tooled-up prospects of the Preseason ID circuit?

By Andy Sroka
Managing Editor, Scouting

The ‘Hotlist’ is a series that provides weekly insight into the high school baseball scene spanning the country, curated by Prep Baseball’s state directors who are situated nationwide, with vital intel on the prospects who are in their own backyards. Each week, we’ll publish our ‘Hotlist’ on varying topics that are timeliest to the national baseball calendar at that point in time.

This week’s topic: Many of us are wrapping up or in the thick of our winter's Preseason ID, Preseason All-State, and Scout Day events. Our directors were asked to share one a player who they considered to be a 'Data Darling' of the winter – a.k.a. a player who's shown huge tools across numerous stat categories.

+ Learn of our directors stationed nationwide by visiting the staff directory.
+ View which Prep Baseball events are headed your way next at this page.
+ Read about previously published ‘Hotlist’ topics here.

♨️ The ‘Hotlist’ (2/22):



+ Brady Richardson, SS/RHP (Enterprise HS, 2025) | Troy commit:

“Measured 6-foot, 196 pounds at the South Alabama Preseason All-State event on Jan. 7; athletic, strong frame with brute strength; broad-shouldered. One of the top infielders in the junior class in AL and can double as a two-way prospect with possibly a higher ceiling from the right side of the plate. High baseball IQ and good makeup. Powerful right-handed swing that routinely delivers loud contact gap-to-gap. Stays fairly compact and connected throughout the swing; possesses elite bat speed with max of 88.4 mph and an average of 79.0 mph, some of the best from the event per Blast Motion. Consistent firm contact to all fields and recorded a max EV of 96.7 mph during his round of BP. Quality defender up the middle on the infield with good footwork and a strong arm across at 89 mph, an event-best. Laser 6.65 60 with a run speed of 21.1 mph (both event bests).

“Also toed the rubber and pounded the zone using a compact arm action with a fastball that reached 86 mph and complimented it with two above-average secondary offerings.”

David Sharp, Deep South Supervisor



+ Cooper Vais, SS/RHP (Arvada West HS, 2027) | Uncommitted:

“We can't say enough good things about Cooper Vais. The freshman led the Northern Colorado Preseason ID in numerous categories and he is currently in the middle of his 5A varsity basketball season. Vais comes with a 94.4 mph max exit velocity, a 76.2 mph average bat speed, throws over 87 mph on the mound, spins his breaking balls each around 2,600 rpm, and he his throws reach the 88 mph mark from both the infield and outfield. The young athlete also flashed exceptional feel in the infield while being incredibly twitchy and electric across the board. If Vais continues to develop his game, he could have one of the highest ceilings as an underclassman in the state.”

Caleb Dameron, Colorado Staff



+ Elliott Alicea, OF/RHP (Burlington Central HS, 2024) | Triton JC commit:

“Alicea opened some eyes this past weekend at the Lockport Preseason ID, providing impressive looks both as a position player and an arm. The left-handed hitter took arguably the loudest round of BP on the day, reaching up to 104.8 mph for his max EV with a max distance of 409 feet, the farthest in attendance by a wide margin. He also put up an impressive 6.83 time in the 60-yard dash to create a dangerous power/speed combination. To finish off his day, the right-hander hopped on the mound and reached up to 90.2 mph with quality carry through the zone. Impressive all-around athlete who's best days are still ahead of him.”

Peter Hamot, Assistant Director Illinois & Wisconsin



+ Reed Hayes, OF (Fort Wayne Canterbury HS, 2025) | Uncommitted:

“Hayes walked away as the biggest winner of the event. Hayes immediately passed the eye test at check-in, boasting a muscular, physical, 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame that looks the part of a true prospect.

The two-way prospect had his most impressive showing during his batting practice round, where he showed the ability to move the bat at advanced speeds. Hayes posted the best bat speed numbers at the event, averaging 81.4 mph while peaking at 85.3 mph. These are some of the most impressive bat speed metrics we have seen for the class to date, so it comes as no surprise that Hayes was able to reach 106 mph for his peak exit velocity, the best exit velocity we have seen at this point from any Hoosier State native in the 2025 class. Hayes hit 6 balls that eclipsed the 100 mph mark, averaging 88.9 mph throughout the entirety of his round. The physical outfielder creates loads of linear separation as he gets to heel strike, allowing the barrel plenty of time to speed up when combined with his efficient lower-half movements. The path works downhill to create low line drive ball flight and backspin, occasionally showing the ability to catch the ball at the front of the zone to create elevation. A 7.14 runner, Hayes showcased raw arm strength from the outfield, reaching 92 mph, while also running his fastball up to 86 mph on the bump.

A potential next-level two-way with more of a reliever profile on the mound at this time, Hayes undoubtedly left a strong impression on our staff and we will monitor his development closely during the 2024 season.”

Cooper Trinkle, Indiana Lead Scout



+ Carson Umphres, OF/RHP (Great Bend HS, 2025) | Uncommitted:

“Umphres showed loud tools on both sides of the ball at the MOKAN Preseason All-State and was at or near the top of many of the leaderboards. The 6-foot-5, 195-pound uncommitted junior uses long limbs and levers to generate power at the plate, hitting multiple balls 100-plus mph, topping out at 104 mph. Umphres’ long levers showed in the field as well, posting a 87 mph peak velocity from the outfield while also sitting 82-84 mph off the mound. Umphres also was near the top of the event in grip strength (167kg), vertical jump (30 inches) and 30-yard dash (3.84s).”

Andy Urban, Central Region Supervisor



+ Jackson Reardon, SS (Covington Catholic HS, 2025) | Uncommitted:
“Reardon showed up at Preseason All-State and he was almost unrecognizable. The physicality was obvious, saying it shocked us all would be an understatement. A phone call from Brandon Ayers with the nationally recognized Midland program put him on an immediate radar for the staff and he did not disappoint. He's listed at 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, and with the athleticism to stay in the middle of the diamond. The CovCath junior put on a show with off-the-chart numbers at the event, displaying high-end bat speed averages (77.2 mph), hand speed averages (22.9 mph), to help produce an average exit velo of 93.6 mph (99.6 max).

This young man also displayed defensive attributes that will allow him to stay at a premium spot on the field. With a frame to dream on and the athleticism to back it all up, look for this young man to land a big offer in the near future. This is a premium bat and legitimate shortstop prospect who will be a name to remember.”

Jamie Tessoff, Kentucky Scouting Director

+ Kace Eastridge, 3B/P (Campbellsville HS, 2026) | Uncommitted:
“Eastridge is a college coach's dream – physical and ready to do damage in the box. Intent on finding ways to win with a confident approach is an understatement. He will be an upper 8s arm this season with much more in the tank. This is a premium bat moving forward with the physicality to be a middle-of-the-order run-producer. Everything this young man does is effortless, from the football field to the diamond. An absolute assassin between the lines that will beat you in so many ways. One of the very few five-tool potential players in Kentucky. Look for Eastridge to burst on the national scene as he is, without a doubt, a massive helium dude moving forward. He's off the charts offensively and no slouch on the bump.”

Jamie Tessoff, Kentucky Scouting Director


+ Cesar Gonzalez, C/RHP (Springfield Commonwealth HS, 2024) | Boston College commit:

“Showed as one of the best catch-and-throw guys in the country at the New England ProCase this month, with 1.80 pops and an arm up to 85 mph out of the chute. Gonzalez jumps on the bump as well and touched 94 mph, with feel.”

Dennis Healy, New England Co-Scouting Director

New York


+ Nicolas Aiello, 3B/RHP (Grand Island HS, 2027) | Uncommitted:

“Aiello, a 2023 Junior Future Games participant, put together an impressive round of BP at the NY West Preseason ID, with advanced bat control and power to all fields – and he also flashed the arm talent from the hot corner:

- Max Exit Velocity: 100.5 mph
- Avg. Exit Velocity: 93.5 mph
- Max Batted Distance: 357 feet
- Top Infield Velocity: 84 mph”

Joe Walentin, New York Scouting Director

North Carolina


+ Tyce Thompson, C/1B (South Central HS, 2027) | Uncommitted:

“Thompson flooded our stat sheet at his first Prep Baseball event, the Preseason All-State East, at the start of the month. A 6-foot-1, 185-pound freshman, Thompson opened his day with a vertical of 31.4 inches, setting the tone. Moving to the positional workouts, Thompson approached elite status with a positional velocity out of the crouch of 81 mph, supplying pop times in the 2.00-2.20 range. In the box, the freshman continued to rack up high scores with a max exit velocity of 98.4 mph, paired with an average EV of 91.4.”

Brandon Hall, NC/Mid-ATL Scouting Director



+ Jude Fisher, RHP/OF (Stongsville HS, 2025) | Uncommitted:

“We like it best on the mound but there's a lot to like in every part of Fisher's game. On the mound his fastball averaged 90 mph in his 'pen, topping out at 91. Two breaking balls for strikes and a change-up with late, fading action. He also ran a 6.60, clocked throws at 93 mph from the outfield, and he maxed an exit speed of 97 mph off the bat, with a max bat speed of 85 mph, per Blast.”

Kyle Weldon, Ohio Scouting Director



+ Junior Lauaki, 1B/RHP (Springville HS, 2024) | Oregon commit:

“Posted the second highest EV in the country at the RA Baseball Scout Day with a 109.3 mph max, and he hit one of the farthest balls as well on the same swing, measured at over 420 feet. Junior also registered a hand speed of 24.1 mph and a max bat speed of 81.2 mph, per the Blast Motion sensor.

A mountain of a man and built like a nose guard, Lauaki strikes a true intimidating presence on the mound and at the plate. A threat at the plate with plus-plus raw power, he can leave the park in any direction. When he hits it, it stays hit. Junior was on pace to lead the state in homers, but opponents stopped pitching to him late in the season, as he was walked intentionally 10 times over a three-game span in the 5A regional playoffs. The one time he was pitched to in the three-game series, he belted a two-run homer and the intentional walks came at an alarming rate. On the mound, I’ve seen Junior up to 95 mph and he comfortably sits 91-93 with a 2,444 rpm spin rate measured at the ProCase. A breakout star at last year's Future Games, Lauaki was offered on the spot and committed to Oregon a week later. The slider, 80-83 mph, with a 2,426 rpm spin is hard and late with tunneling effect off the fastball. He's another two-pitch power type that needs to incorporate the change to complete a starter's mix, but with the development of the bat and the power arm, a legit two-way type in a lineup with the bat and coming out of the pen, is a real possibility at the Pac-12 level.”

Jeff Scholzen, Utah Scouting Director



+ Jackson Brewer, OF (Homestead HS, 2024) | Columbia commit:

“Brewer's a 6-foot-3, 220-pound left/left athlete who elevated his prospect status over the offseason, gaining greater physicality and explosiveness – without sacrificing any athleticism. For example, at Illinois' ProCase at the end of January, Brewer led the high-profile event with a 6.51 time in the 60-yard dash, and yet, he was also one of the event's loudest left-handed hitters, recording EVs in excess of 99 mph (93.3 average).

The Homestead senior has been one of the top in-game performers across our looks throughout his prep career, so seeing his tool kit evolve alongside it is certainly noteworthy headed into the spring. He's Wisconsin's selection for this week's 'Hotlist' for his power/speed combo, but he also reached a 92 mph high on his throws from the outfield, he jumped 31.8 inches in the vertical test, reached a 21.2 mph top speed while running the 60, and he recorded premium hand speed (22.4 mph avg.) and bat speed (73.0 mph avg.) metrics during BP.

Brewer does it all.”

Andy Sroka, Managing Editor, Scouting

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