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2022 Appy League All-Star Game: Scouting notes

August 11, 2022

The 2022 Appalachian League All-Star Game, played on July 26 at Burlington Athletic Stadium in Burlington, N.C., saw the East defeat the West, 6-5, on a two-out walk-off single in the ninth inning. There were many notable performances by rising prospects in the back-and-forth contest, as 10 different pitchers touched

The 2022 Appalachian League All-Star Game, played on July 26 at Burlington Athletic Stadium in Burlington, N.C., saw the East defeat the West, 6-5, on a two-out walk-off single in the ninth inning. There were many notable performances by rising prospects in the back-and-forth contest, as 10 different pitchers touched 91 mph or higher, and five different hitters generated exit velocities of at least 100 mph. Here are scouting notes on the All-Star Game’s pitchers and several standout hitters.

East Pitching Reports

RHP Gavin Bates | Johnson City | Age: 22 | 6-2/250 | Iona

A strong-bodied righty, Bates had the highest average velocity of the night, sitting 93-94 mph and touching a game-best 96. Throwing from a straight over-the-top slot, his stuff plays up when in the zone. He complemented his fastball with a sharp 12-6 curveball, ranging from 80-82.

RHP Jacob Bockenstedt | Johnson City | Age: 22 | 6-1/190 | SIU Edwardsville

Using a high three-quarters release point, Bockenstedt had good command of a 92-93 mph fastball, averaging more than 18 inches of Induced Vertical Break with some late cutting action. A long, loose delivery allowed him to spin two different breaking pitches, an 84-86 mph cutter/slider (more of a strike pitch) and an 81-82 breaker that hitters chased out of the zone. The former featured the highest spin rate (3236 rpm) in the game, while the latter (2869) ranked third-highest.

LHP Matthew Cornelius | Kingsport | Age: 19 | 6-1/180 | Pima CC (AZ)

A three-quarters lefty with a short arm swing and closed delivery, Cornelius featured an 84-87 mph fastball and an average changeup at 78-80.

RHP Brandon Decker | Bristol | Age: 20 | 6-3/175 | Oakland

Throwing from a three-quarters slot, Decker generates arm side run on his 88-91 mph fastball, spinning it up to nearly 2500 rpm. He complemented his fastball with a 73-75 mph curveball that had more than 18 inches of vertical break.

RHP Jackson Holmes | Elizabethton | Age: 19 | 6-4/195 | St. Louis

With a high-waisted frame and a whippy arm, Holmes has a chance to take another jump. His 90-93 mph fastball has cutting action and pairs nicely with his 74-80 mph slider. He can change the speed and shape of the latter, and he also has an average changeup at 84-86 mph.

LHP Jack Liberio Jr. | Greeneville | Age: 21 | 6-1/185 | RCSJ-Cumberland (NJ)

Liberio worked corner to corner from a high three-quarters slot with an 85-86 mph fastball that featured arm-side run. Landing slightly closed when releasing the ball helped him create a good angle on his 72-74 mph breaking ball.

RHP Ryan Murphy | Kingsport | Age: 20 | 6-3/187 | James Madison

Murphy’s fastball sat 88-90 mph and he spun some sharp 73-74 mph curveballs with 11-to-5 depth while mixing in several 75-77 mph sliders

RHP Collin Rothermel | Elizabethton | Age: 19 | 6-1/175 | Kansas St.

Rothermel showcased a live arm with an 89-92 mph fastball. He has two breaking balls in an 83-85 mph, 2600-rpm slider with short biting action that he threw for strikes and a sharper breaking ball at 76-78 that he used for inducing swinging strikes.

RHP Riley Taylor | Greeneville | Age: 23 | 6-3/225 | Oklahoma St.

Taylor struck out the side in the game’s best pitching performance. He worked at 86-89 mph to the bottom of the zone, creating late riding action with his short arm swing and over-the-top release. He also showcased a deep arsenal, mixing his heater with a 77-78 mph breaking ball and an 84-85 mph changeup.

West Pitching Reports

LHP Trey Cooper | Burlington | Age: 19 | 6-0/200 | Liberty

Working from a slightly closed delivery and three-quarters release, Cooper averaged more than 18 inches of Induced Vertical Break on his 89-91 mph riding fastball. The slider, at 78-80 mph, has a good shape, with swing-and-miss potential.

RHP Dylan Cumming | Burlington | Age: 23 | 6-4/175 | Liberty

Cumming showcased an 89-93 mph fastball with arm side run, commanding it to both sides of the plate. He threw his 75-78 mph breaking ball with nearly 19 inches of sweep and should get a ton of swinging strikes with the pitch moving forward. Cumming also showed the makings of a quality changeup that plays nicely off his fastball in the mid-80s.

RHP Andrew Dye | Bluefield | Age: 22 | 5-10/190 | Limestone University (SC)

Dye relied on advanced pitchability and deception and proved adept at changing the timing in his delivery. He paired his 86-88 mph, 2600-plus spin fastball with a promising low-80s changeup with bat-missing horizontal movement.

RHP Peter Gallo | Burlington | Age: 21 | 6-4/238 | St. Joseph’s

A strongly built righty, Gallo has a short arm swing and an over-the-top delivery. His fastball topped out at 95 mph and 2500-plus spin, with the combination giving the pitch tremendous life. Gallo also showed a sharp slider, ranging 79-81 mph, but overall was fastball-dominant in his outing.

RHP Colby Guy | Bluefield | Age: 19 | 5-10/175 | Jackson St.

Guy showcased his athleticism on the mound as he worked 88-90 and touched 91 with over 2600 spin from a high-three-quarters slot. He has an advanced changeup that he throws with fastball-like arm speed at 84-85 and creates good shape on his 79-81 mph breaking ball.

LHP Cole McDaniel | Princeton | Age: 19 | 6-4/195 | Shorter University (GA)

A lanky lefty with a clean, low-effort delivery, Cole worked his fastball into the mid-80s and could see his velocity jump in the future. His breaking ball at 72-74 mph also showed promise.

RHP Rece Parker | Princeton | Age: 21 | 6-1/175 | Rogers St. (OK)

Parker, a good athlete with a very effortless delivery, showcased plus arm speed while getting whiffs up in the zone with an 88-90 mph fastball. He paired his heater with a quality slider at 82-84.

RHP Tanner Smith | Danville | Age: 21 | 6-2/195 | Presbyterian (SC)

Smith showed one of the best breaking balls in the event, a true downer in the low 80s with tremendous shape and depth. He worked consistently in the low 90s, touching 92, averaged 20.5 inches of Induced Vertical Break and recorded a game-best spin rate of 2656 rpm.

West Hitters

C Henry Hunter | Kingsport | Age: 19 | 6-2/210 | L/R | Alabama-Birmingham

Hunter found barrels in both of his at-bats, hitting a 96.8-mph line-drive single to right field in his first at-bat and then lining out to first base (89 mph) his next time up. Behind the plate, he produced pop times in the 2.03-2.1 seconds range during warmups.

MIF Brock Daniels | Greeneville | Age: 19 | 6-1/185 | Missouri

Daniels had a game-high three hits (3-for-5), including a game-tying single in the ninth. He utilized a small leg lift and was direct to the ball with his path, spraying the ball all around the yard. He also showed average speed, running 4.35- and 4.38-second home-to-first times from the right side.

INF Roberto Peña | Johnson City | Age: 23 | R/R | 6-1/200 | Stetson

Peña had the loudest swing of the day, hitting a 107.1 mph solo home run in the third inning that traveled 395 feet to left-center field. Pena gets to his hitting position very quickly and tries to do damage every swing.

East Hitters

MIF Woody Hadeen | Princeton | Age: 20 | 6-2/185 | S/R | UC Irvine

The All-Star Game MVP showcased multiple tools while going 2-for-3 with a walk. Using a small toe-tap load, Hadeen deposited a ball over the right-field fence in the fourth inning, hitting the two-run shot at 385 feet at 104 mph off the bat. He put his speed on full display as well, tallying four stolen bases including two in the ninth inning before scoring the game-winning run.

OF Kole Myers | Burlington | Age: 21 | 6-1/185 | L/R | Troy

Myers showcased a smooth left-handed swing, smashing a 94 mph opposite-field double in the fourth inning. That Myers’ swing is both loose and compact allows him to handle velocity. He ran a 4.25-second home-to-first time from the left side.