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Tournaments  | Story  | 11/9/2022

Fall Regional Review: Midwest

Blaine Peterson     
Photo: Nazzan Zanetello (Perfect Game)
Individual Standouts From the Region

Nazzan Zanetello (2023, Florissant, Mo.), the top-ranked position player in the state of Missouri, has had a busy fall. It began with a trip to the 2022 Perfect Game All-American Classic in late August, a commitment to the University of Arkansas, a standout performance that saw him hit .500 at the WWBA World Championships and numerous other notable accolades. A premium athlete with the speed, quickness and arm strength to play defense at a high level all over the field, as well as the explosive hand speed, barrel control and ability to use the whole field that give him the upside of a true dynamic potential 5-tool talent. His final batting line from some of the most talented events in the country this fall: a .444 average, four hits including two doubles, three RBI, two walks and zero strikeouts. And most definitely a name that will be highly thought-of for the 2023 MLB Draft.

Ashton Larson (2023, Overland Park, Kan.), the outfielder and LSU commit, has a track record of hitting well and swinging an impact bat at big events, a trend that continued this fall, first by hitting .400 with six hits including a double and a home run at the WWBA South Qualifier, followed by another four-hit, two extra-base hit performance at the WWBA World Championships. The top-ranked player in the state of Kansas 2023 class and top-100 player nationally has the speed and arm strength to have an opportunity to play center field at the next level. The smooth left-handed swing with balance and quiet explosive movements, however, is his best asset on the baseball field. He has shown the ability to handle velocity, impact the baseball, and be an impact player when playing against other top level competition. He’ll be the premier bat to watch in Kansas during the 2023 high school season before heading to LSU.

Jack Radel (2023, Sioux Falls, S.D.), a Notre Dame commit, has the makings of a true power arm out of the state of South Dakota. The 6-foot-4 right-hander has a three-pitch mix that features a low-90s fastball that has touched 94 on multiple occasions, a breaking ball that tunnels off of the fastball and feel for a fading changeup that is especially effective getting left-handed batters out. Put together a dominant performance at the WWBA World Championship with four scoreless innings, allowing just one baserunner and striking out five. Will play his senior high school season as the top-ranked player in the 2023 class in the state of South Dakota.

Kale Fountain (2024, Lincoln, Neb.), a physical 6-foot-5, 225-pound corner infielder put his right-handed power bat on display at WWBA World Championship with a no-doubt shot to left field in his first game of the tournament. Got on base at a .450 clip over seven games at the tournament showing his well-rounded offensive profile. Committed to LSU shortly after the conclusion of the WWBA World Championship where he will take his run-producing power bat and have a chance to become an impact bat in the SEC. Made strong developmental strides this summer and fall and continues to improve his stock at big events.

Brandon Stone (2023, Lenexa, Kan.), a Johnson County Community College (Kan.) commit, burst onto the scene this fall at the WWBA Midwest Invitational with a 16-strikeout perfect game in the semifinal game of the tournament, a performance that saw his fastball top out at 95 and mix in a breaking ball and changeup to overpower hitters. Followed up that performance with another seven-strikeout performance in over five innings on the mound at the WWBA World Championship. The physical 6-foot-6 right-hander had never touched 90 at a Perfect Game event before this fall. He has now worked in the low- to mid-90s in consecutive events this fall while showing the ability to throw strikes and mix pitches. He’s a very intriguing arm on a steep upward trajectory after his performances this fall.

Camden Bates (2023, Washington, Okla.), an athletic middle infielder and Tennessee commit, has shown the ability to do a little bit of everything well on the baseball field, something that continued this fall at the WWBA World Championship where he hit .300 over seven games. A pure all-fields hitter that covers the strike zone well and has some pop in his bat, collecting three extra-base hits at the tournament as well. One of the top-ranked seniors in the state of Oklahoma this year with the tools and baseball intangibles to make him a winning player at the next level.

Johnny Carver (2026, Raymore, Mo.) is another player that has shown two-way potential on the baseball field. The advancements he has made on the mound as a left-handed pitcher over the last year, however, is what stands out most. Featuring a three-pitch mix with a fastball in the low- to mid-80s, a breaking ball with swing-and-miss qualities and a changeup that he locates well. Has a very advanced feel for locating pitches and has shown the ability to throw quality strikes for well over a year now. Had a busy and productive fall; was named the MV-Pitcher of the WWBA Freshman World Championship with a final line of 8 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 13 K, 0 BB. Was named to 17 All-Tournament teams or Top Prospect Lists during Perfect Game events so far in 2022, all culminating in a commitment to the University of Arkansas this fall.

Ty Thompson (2025, Columbia, Mo.) is a high-level two-way performer who showed well on both sides of the ball at the WWBA Sophomore World Championship. Hit .458 with 11 hits over eight games at the tournament and threw five scoreless innings with six strikeouts on the mound. The Tennessee commit then became one of the youngest player to play in this year's WWBA World Championship. Has shown plenty of ability to drive the baseball so far and with a fastball that has been all the way up to 91, he’s one of the more intriguing two-way prospects in the 2025 class.

Beau Peterson (2026, Shawnee, Kan.) had a fall that began at the PG Select Baseball Festival, where he was named the top 14U two-way prospect in the country. It ended at the WWBA Freshman World Championship, where he played well on both sides of the baseball. Got on base at a .478 clip, collected seven hits and tossed two scoreless innings on the mound. A versatile defender with quick reactions and arm strength that play very well in the infield and behind the plate, as well as a left-handed hitter with present bat-to-ball skills, advanced pitch recognition and plenty of power projection going forward. On the mound he consistently works the fastball in the upper-80s and has touched 90 on multiple occasions this past summer. Combine the big fastball with feel for a breaking ball and changeup and you have the makings of a power arm. The University of Nebraska commit will begin high school as the top-ranked 2026 player in the state of Kansas.

Cole Eaton (2023, Elkhorn, Neb.) is a very athletic and toolsy outfielder with the defensive prowess to become a true plus defender in center field. The Tennessee commit hit .333 at the WWBA World Championship this fall as he continues to develop more offensive consistency. The barrel speed and compact swing produces a batted ball profile that can make him an impact bat at the next level. With 6.43 60-time speed and an outfield arm that has been all the way up to 99, he will be one of the most intriguing players to watch in Nebraska this upcoming spring.

Julius Ejike-Charles (2024, Oklahoma City, Okla.), a junior outfielder, committed to Tulane this fall and was a standout performer for a Spects National team that won the WWBA Kernels Foundation tournament in September. Hit .409 with three doubles and four stolen bases at the tournament, showing a dynamic top-of-the-order skill set. Possesses the speed and arm strength to play center field at a high level as well and is a name on an upward trajectory heading into his junior high school season.

Ty Waid (2023, Texarkana, Ark.), a catcher/infielder and University of Arkansas commit, put together a standout performance at the WWBA World Championship. Hit .556 at the tournament with 10 hits including five doubles and a home run. Followed that up with another strong performance at the High School All-State Select Championship. He has swung the bat extremely well this fall and looks to be a future impact, run-producing bat that will slot into the middle of an order at the next level.

Mark Brissey (2025, Batesville, Ark.) is a strong bodied right-hander with a fastball that was regularly in the low-90s at two events this fall, putting him amongst the hardest throwers in the 2025 class nationally. Combine that with a changeup that has depth and a breaking ball that can miss bats, he has the makings of a true power arm. Tossed a perfect inning at the WWBA World Championship and allowed just one run over six innings at the 16U Fall World Series. The Arkansas commit will continue to build upon his starter repertoire that makes him one of the more intriguing pitching prospects in the 2025 class.

Uncommitted Players who Shined

Luke Schimmels (2023, Edmond, Okla.), an uncommitted high school senior, shined on the mound and with the bat at the WWBA World Championship. He has an effective three-pitch mix that he throws a ton of quality pitches with. It’s a mid-80s fastball that gets into the upper-80s as well as a breaking ball and changeup. Tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings with no walks and seven strikeouts against a couple talented lineups. Also collected five hits including a double throughout the tournament, good for a .455 average. He’s a well-rounded player that is going to make a program better this time next season.

Keaton Neal (2026, Olathe, Kan.) is another high-level two-way player from Kansas, with the arm strength for the left side of the infield and a high offensive ceiling. Was tournament MVP of the Fall Las Vegas Super Regional after he hit .545 with two doubles, a triple and a home run over four games. Showed well on the mound at the WWBA Freshman World Championship, throwing 6 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out 10. Showed a fastball up to 88 there to go with an overhand curveball that misses bats and a changeup. An intriguing prospect with a lot of qualities that resemble an impact, next-level player on both sides of the baseball.

Danny Wallace (2025, La Vista, Neb.) is a high-level athlete with some real two-way potential that he has shown in the past and continued to show this fall. He got on base at a .455 clip at the WWBA Sophomore World Championship, as well as showcasing a fastball up to 87 and a curveball that both have the potential to get plenty outs going forward. At the plate he shows the hand speed and compact bat path to handle velocity and cover the strike zone to go with the ability to use the whole field. The overall athleticism he has gives him plenty of upside on top of what is already a very well rounded two-way prospect. Top-ranked player in Nebraska for the 2025 class.

Teams Repping the Region

3n2 Sticks Baseball Brewster/White Sox Scout Team came to Jupiter with a balance of power bats and power arms on their roster. Ty Waid and Kale Fountain both connected on home runs this fall while Mark Brissey, Kade Smith and Tyler Ridley showed intriguing upside on the mound. Finished the trip to Jupiter with a 3-2 record and played well on both sides of the ball.

Spects National won the WWBA Kernels Foundation Tournament at Prospect Meadows in September with a perfect 7-0 record. Julius Ejike-Charles and Trever Baumler led the way, making an impact on both sides of the ball. Anthony Alvarez showed an intriguing offensive profile and a smooth left-handed swing. Their trip to Jupiter didn’t go as planned despite having opportunities to win each of their first three games. They are among the most talented organizations in the Midwest and certainly left their mark by winning the Kernels tournament this fall.

Sandlot Scout Team threw the ball very well in Jupiter, finishing the tournament with a 1.97 ERA and 45 strikeouts over 32 innings. Had the opportunity to win each of their first three games but just couldn’t come up with the big hit in those games. Both Weston Rouse and Luke Schimmels really shined in their outings on the mound.