Prep Baseball Report

Junior Sunbelt Classic Tryout Middle Infield Analysis

By John Cackowski
State Director 

The Junior Sunbelt Classic Tryout took place Sunday May 3rd at ThunderRidge High School.  75 players from the 2016 and 2017 classes were on display at this event.  Prep Baseball Report Colorado will bring you analysis by position of the players who participated in the showcase.  We kicked off our tryout analysis with the catchers, corners, and outfielders. Next up is the middle infielders

To check to see who made the Junior Sunbelt Classic Team click here

To see the overall stats of the event click here.

Players are listed in Alphabetical Order

Aaron Dammel, Highlands Ranch, 2016, MIF/OF
6-foot-0, 170-pound two-way player. Left-handed hitter, athletic balanced stance, tall setup. Short load back with short stride. Bottom hand dominant. Dammel's exit velocity was 85 MPH from the tee, but we have had as high as 88. Dammel has a nice smooth swing through the zone with good plate coverage. Line drive hitter with opposite field power. Defensively Dammel has nice fundamentals, plays smooth through the ball,  and threw 83 MPH across the infield which was higher from the last event we did. Ran a 7.36 60 time. Dammel continues to impress us as a steady player who can start at 3 infield positions, outfield, and could probably pitch if needed. 

Tommy Gillman, Columbine, 2016, SS/2B
5-foot-10, 170-pound switch-hitting shortstop.  Hits from a wide base with a short stride and simple approach from both side. Left-handed swing is fluid, short to the baseball, with several line drives to the opposite field gap during batting practice. From the right side Gillman has one handed high finish with good extension, hands go right to ball with short stride. Same approach from left but stands taller.  Gillman shows more bat speed from the right side then the left then the right. Was 90 mph exit velo off tee from right, and 82 mph from the left off the tee.   Defensively, threw 83 MPH across the diamond from short, loose, ¾ arm slot with accuracy and more in the tank arm strength wise.  Possesses plus fielding actions for the middle infield, with a good feel for when to use full arm. Good actions.  Hands are soft, quick footwork, ranges well both up the middle and in the hole, solid body control on run through ball.  Ran a flat 7.00 60 time. Gillman is as versatile player there is in Colorado.

Dane Grounds, Ponderosa, 2016, SS/OF
6-foot, 150 pounds. Bats and throws right. Showed versatility at the tryout as an outfielder and a middle infielder. In both spots throws from an over top motion and displayed a good arm throwing 85 mph from OF and SS. Showed solid fundamentals in both positions. At the plate has very slight opened stance, slight leg-kick with medium sride, loads back, and generates good bat-whip and speed through the zone. Sometimes finishes with two hands, sometimes with one. Lower half Has gap to gap line drive power that produced 87 mph exit velocity off the tee. Ran a 7.46 60 time. Liked his arm strength.

Brandon Hahn, Fort Collins, 2016, 2B/C
5-foot-9, 145 pounds. Bats and throws right. Hahn has an open balanced, opened stance with slight load. Hands move down to the ball and swing is level through the zone. At times cuts off swing through extension. Line drive hitter, gap to gap. Produced a 79 exit velocity off a tee with potential to be faster. Showed versatility at the tryout. From SS showed smooth actions to the ball and threw from a high 3/4 arm slot at 80 mph. Quick actions. Also went behind the plate during pop times to catch and registered a 1.95 pop time with quick over the top exchange. Ran a 7.06 60 time. Like his versatility.

Ty Lightley, Dakota Ridge, 2016, MIF
5-foot-9, 160 pound right-handed hitting MIF. Lightley has good hands and shows versatility in the infield up the middle. Moves to ball well with fluid feet.  Clean exchange, quick release and plays through the baseball with athleticism.  Accurate arm across the field at 81 which was faster then we had him at last event.  Ran a 7.61 60 time.  At the plate starts athletic and balanced with high hands.  Got rid of toe tap, now has short stride,  Has minimal load, and showed more gap to gap power at the tryout. Shorter to the ball with high one hand finish. Registered an exit velocity of 75 MPH, but we have had him as high as 79. Lightley can also pitch but did not pitch at the tryout. In live games we have seen Lightley has high as 84 mph on the mound.

Cole McKissock, Air Academy, 2016, SS/3B
6-foot-1, 180-pound right-handed hitting SS/3B. We love McKissock's skills. Cole hits from a tall slightly open balanced stance, short stride with slight leg kick, and lets hands do the work in the swing which is simple, bottom hand dominant with one hand finish. Has fast bat speed and registered an 89 MPH exit velocity off the tee.  Defensively, threw 83 MPH across the diamond from short, ¾ arm slot with accuracy.  McKissock can play any infield position. Might project as a 3B, but can handle SS, 2B, 3B, and even 1B in a pinch due to skills. Athletic and showed good feet during defensive portion of the event.  Ran a 6.96 60 time. 2016 player to follow.

Brendan Paul, Rocky Mountain, 2016, MIF/3B
5-foot-7, 150 pounds. Bats and throws right. Has a lot of rhythm at the plate. Athletic stance, load is smooth back, toe-tap stride. Generates good bat speed through the zone, nice strength in the wrists. Finishes at times with two hands and one with uphill swing for gap to gap power. Produces good bat speed with his frame at 88 mph. Nice fundamentals and versatility in the infield. Was at 3B, but also looks like he could spell shortstop and 2B as well. Smooth to the ball with high 3/4 arm slot at 71 mph across the infield. Ran a 7.6 60 time.

Evan Richards, Smoky Hill, 2016, 2B/SS
5-foot-8, 175 pounds. Bats left and throws right. At the plate has balanced stance, hands load straight back, short stride, level swing through zone for line drive, gap to gap power. Bottom hand dominant.  Bat speed produced 82 mph exit velocity through the zone. Showed versatility by also going to OF in the tryout. Arm velocity was 77 mph with good actions to the ball. Ran a 7.84 60 time.

Tyler Smith, Grandview, 2016, 2B/SS
6-foot, 170 pounds. Bats and throws right. Smith is a very athletic looking MIF who has good skills. Athletic stance with smooth load back, toe tap approach, level swing through zone with bat speed with good extension through the ball. Power potential. Had 82 mph exit velo at tryout, but in past events as high as 89 mph. Gap to gap power. Has good skills and some flash in the infield. Strong enough arm to play SS. Threw 82 mph across the infield. Ran a 6.94 60 time, one of the best times at the tryout. Smith is a player to follow in 2016.

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