Eastern Iowa I.D.- Evaluations and Top Prospects

By Rob Allison
Prep Baseball Report Iowa

On Sunday, March 1st, 2015- Prep Baseball Report Iowa hosted the Eastern Iowa I.D. Showcase, an event that included players from all grad classes. The event was held at the Eastern Iowa Sports Facility in Monticello, IA.

We've broken our evaluation into the top players from each grad class that stood out at the event- all prospects are listed alphabetically.

Top 2015 Prospects

Kolby Reed, OF, Muscatine, 2015
5-foot-10, 165-pound outfielder. Front to back weight shift. Pre-set hand position with shoulder load creating some length to swing. Easy swing with looseness in hands. Solid contact skills with strength. Gap to gap approach. Will sporadically flip underneath at contact. 87 mph exit velocity off tee. Ok actions in outfield. Reads ground balls and shows solid glove. Clean arm action with carry and accuracy. 83 mph arm strength from outfield. Under the radar prospect that should be receiving extensive Juco-NAIA-D2/D3 interest.

Top 2016 Prospects

Nick Hoefer, OF, Davenport West, 2016
5-foot-6, 140-pound outfielder. Prototype lead-off/ 2-hole type hitter. Good rhythm in swing. Open stance and strides to square. Some length to swing with arm bar. Quality swing plane producing solid contact with hard ground balls and line drives. Shows ability to go oppo and stay through baseball at contact. Will become pull oriented at times. 76 mph exit velocity off tee. Moves well in outfield. Shows usable hands and feet. Uses momentum on throws. Throws are on-line and true to target. Average carry. Long arm action-clean arm circle. 80 mph arm strength from outfield.

Nathan Hoth, C/RHP, Davenport West, 2016
5-foot-9, 165-pound 2-way player. Hoth continues to make strides in his game.  Neutral set-up at plate. Some dive into contact. High hands with solid bat path. Short to contact. Good hand-eye coordination and hits with his hands. Uses whole field with solid contact. 84 mph exit velocity. Ability to receive. Needs improvement in blocking mechanics. Some length to exchange but gets rid of baseball very quickly. Shows accuracy to bag. 74 mph arm strength with a 1.97 pop time. High controlled leg kick delivery. Arm stroke is clean from high ¾ slot. Fastball was 80-83 mph with late life- jumps on hitter. Curveball had tight spin and 11/6 break. Changeup is thrown at fastball arm speed with good sink at 71-73 mph.

Garrett Knutsen, C, Clinton, 2016
5-foot-11, 160-pound catcher. Toe tap to in-line stride. Uses hands in swing well. Short direct path to baseball. Gap to gap approach. Produces solid ground balls and line drives with average power. 81 mph exit velocity off tee. Soft hands behind plate. Would benefit from sticking pitch more. Blocking mechanics are adequate. Slightly late getting down causing collision with baseball. Feet and exchange are good. Quick release from mid ¾ slot effecting carry and accuracy. Gets rid of baseball quickly. 74 mph arm strength and 1.97 pop time.

Michael Rediger, RHP/1B, Davenport Central, 2016
6-foot-1, 170-pound 2-way player. Lean projectable build on mound. Clean full arm circle. High ¾ slot. High leg kick, keeps foot underneath knee, and has good direction to plate. Will stride across body at times. Fastball is 74-76 mph with late life and sink. Curveball has 12/6 shape and tended to miss arm side. Changeup has cut action at 68-70 mph. Splitter has slider type movement with late break in zone. Overall interesting follow on mound with projectable body, clean arm action, present athleticism. Will need to continue to mature and add strength.Tall upright stance. Small leg kick stride. In-line stride to pitcher. Hands drift down in load causing steep uphill swing plane. Fly ball hitter with occasional pop to pull side of field. 78 mph exit velocity off tee. Above average actions at first base. Soft hands and ability to cover ground laterally. Arm is clean and shows accuracy on throws at 72 mph.

Conner Sharp, RHP/3B, Mercer County, 2016
6-foot-2, 185-pound 2-way player. Athletic build. Balanced delivery with good extension/finish to plate. Some collapse at balance point. Arm action is long and loose from H ¾-OT slot. Average effort on fastball producing 79-80 mph velocity. Fastball has run. Curveball was loose with flashes of tight spin and sharp break at 69-71 mph. Changeup was usable at 69-73 mph with fade and sink. Front heel turn trigger into swing. Loads with back shoulder. Rotational upper half in swing. Produces hard ground balls and line drives. Uses hands at times in swing. Uses the whole field in B.P. 80 mph exit velocity off tee. Has ability with glove. Body and foot speed suited for third base. Heavy feet at times. Moves better to his left. Has carry and accuracy across the infield at 80 mph.

Top 2017 Prospects 

Brett McCleary, C/RHP, Iowa City, 2017
6-foot-1, 200-pound 2-way player. Physical 2017 grad. Shows bat speed and strength. Gap to gap approach. Shows above average power. Hands will drift down into swing causing uphill swing plane. Quality job of staying inside ball at contact. Produces hard fly balls and line drives. 89 mph exit velocity off tee. Solid receiving ability. Flexible lower half. Blocking stance is wide; effects quickness. Clean exchanges. Exchange is low creating length to release. Above average arm strength for age. 77 mph arm strength with 2.00 pop time. Good direction to plate. Arm is clean. Falls down the mound at times. Moderate effort in delivery. Fastball has life; gains velocity towards plate. Fastball is straight with occasional run at 81-84 mph. Flashes of above average breaking ball with tight rotation, 11/5 shape, and late break at 69-70 mph. Firm changeup with feel for strike zone and fade at 75-77 mph. Strong Follow for 2017 class.

Cameron Steffen, IF/RHP, Dubuque Senior, 2017
5-foot-11, 155-pound 2-way player. Physical build. Produces bat speed. Has strength in swing. Hitch in load. Struggles to get to consistent slot to hit. Wide base. Uphill swing plane. Fly ball hitter. Power to pull side of field. 87 mph exit velocity off tee. Plays low to ground with average actions. Fields out front and shows ability to make routine plays. 78 mph arm strength across infield. 2-piece arm action on mound. Arm is fast out front. Effort in release from H ¾- OT slot. Fastball was 78-79 mph with late life and slight run. Curveball is firm with late break and 11/5 shape. Changeup has arm side sink at 70-72 mph.

Joshua Stivers, IF/RHP, Pleasant Valley, 2017
6-foot-2, 205-pound 2-way player. Physical. Aggressive swing. In-line stride. Ok balance. Slight negative weight shift through swing. Low hand set with uphill plane. Shows power to gaps with strength in bat. Loud contact. 90 mph exit velocity off tee. Stiff average actions at third base. Makes routine plays. Shows accuracy across infield with average carry at 75 mph. Medium leg kick, lands open to plate, and falls down mound after release. Arm is clean and loose on mound. Shows effort in release. Fastball is 73-76 mph with late sink. Curveball shows loose gradual break at 65-68 mph. Strong physical player who flashes ability with bat. Projects as primary bat and possibly first baseman in future.

Top 2018 Prospects

Connor Bedell, RHP/2B, Davenport Central, 2018
6-foot-1, 150-pound 2-way player. High ¾ slot on mound. Fastball was straight with flashes of sink and life at 75-79 mph. Curveball showed sharp break with 12/6 shape at 61-64 mph. Slider had loose spin with 11/6 shape at 66-69 mph. Changeup has run with tumble spin at 70-71 mph. Balanced swing with proper mechanics. Short load and quiet head at contact. Shows some power to pull side of field. 83 mph exit velocity off tee. Plays tall at times at shortstop. Makes routine plays with glove. Fields deep in stance occasionally. Would benefit from following throws across diamond and using more momentum. Throws were accurate to bag at 73 mph.

Ian Bedell, RHP/OF, Davenport Central, 2018
6-foot-2, 158-pound 2-way player. Fastball has life with slight sinking action in zone for strikes at 79-81 mph. Curveball showed loose spin at 65-67 mph. Slider had 11/5 shape and short break; similar to a cutter at 70-73 mph. Changeup had sink. Loose actions and athleticism. High Follow for 2018 class. Tall stance with in-line stride and short load. Showed average pop in the bat with a gap to gap approach. Shows ability to pull hands inside pitches middle-in. 82 mph exit velocity off tee. Moves well in outfield. Shows athleticism. Arm is long and clean with plus accuracy and carry. 81 mph arm strength from outfield.

Jacob Bockenstedt, OF/RHP, Cedar Rapids Washington, 2018
5-foot-11, 155-pound 2-way player. No stride approach with front heel turn trigger. Some looseness in swing and uses hands to hit. Average pop in bat with gap to gap approach. 74 mph exit velocity off tee. Ok actions in outfield with long loose arm action. Uses momentum to throw. Throws are on-line and have carry at 81 mph. Mid ¾ slot on mound. Fastball has late life with arm-side fade at 74-77 mph. Slider shows loose spin and varying 10/4-11/5 shape. Showed flashes of tighter spin and depth. Slider was 67-69 mph. Throws an above average changeup with late arm-side sink and action at 67-69 mph.

Trevor Burkhart, SS, Davenport West, 2018
5-foot-9, 160-pound shortstop. Front heel turn trigger into swing. Open stance and dives into plate at contact. Rotational swing mechanics with limited weight shift through contact. Inverted uphill swing plane. 79 mph exit velocity. Easy actions in infield. Works down to up and has sure hands. Shows some arm quickness and is very accurate across the infield. 81 mph arm strength across the diamond. Strong Follow defensively. Bat should continue to develop as he progresses through high school.

Noah McCreary, 2B/RHP, Davenport West, 2018
5-foot-10, 145-pound 2-way player. Front heel turn trigger. Rotational lower half. Works to keep hands inside ball at contact. Inverted swing plane at times. Will inside/out pitches away. Has good hands and swing is relatively loose. Solid strength in bat for freshman with 81 mph exit velocity. Average actions defensively. Has some lateral quickness to his left. Will play tall at times. Would benefit from playing through ball more and following throws. 72 mph arm strength across with average accuracy. On the mound shows a controlled delivery with good direction and body control. Fastball shows run with slight sink. Breaking ball is loose with 12/6 shape. Changeup has above average fade and run.

Clayton Nettleton, RHP/1B, Davenport West, 2018
6-foot, 190-pound 2-way player. Solid build. Shows good mechanics on mound. Throws from long clean high ¾ slot. Leaks out of balance point early at times. Lands closed and with good direction to plate. Fastball shows heavy late cutting action at 79-82 mph with life. Curveball has tight spin with varying 12/6-11/5 shape and late break. Changeup has good life with late arm side fade at 72-73 mph. Good present ability. Athletic set-up in box. Open stance, strides to square. Shows loose hands and stays inside ball well. Quality rhythm and control in swing. Short to contact. Would benefit from greater extension through hitting zone after contact. Shows ability to drive baseball gap to gap. Has strength in bat with 86 mph exit velocity off tee. High Follow for 2018 class.

Blaise Rosson, OF, Burlington, 2018
6-foot, 162-pound outfielder. Slight leg lift trigger into stride. Works to use lower half in swing. Has good hands at plate. Creates some bat speed. Inverted swing plane. Will inside/out balls at times. 80 mph exit velocity. Interesting Follow for 2018 class with projectable ability at plate. Ok actions in outfield. Fields well. Needs to improve footwork/ crow-hop on throws. Uses momentum and has some arm quickness. 79 mph arm strength with flashes of carry and decent accuracy. Shows above average present ability for freshman in high school.

Best of the rest (listed alphabetically)

Taylor Ambort, LHP/OF, North Scott, 2015
6-foot-2, 190-pound 2-way player. On the mound, lands slightly open to plate. 2-piece arm action producing fastballs in 74-78 mph range with sink and run. Curveball shows tight spin and 1/7 shape at 62-65 mph. Cutter had 2/8 shape with average break at 71-73 mph. Toe tap trigger to swing. Limited use of backside in swing. Mid-oppo approach with stiff finish after contact. Shows flashes of pop to oppo gap. Strength in bat with 90 mph exit velocity off tee. Moves well in outfield and shows good hands on groundballs. High ¾ arm action with accuracy to target at 75 mph.

Gage Burkhart, 2B/RHP, Davenport West, 2016
5-foot-11, 155-pound 2-way player. Double tap stride into swing. Hands are close to chest creating inside/out swing plane at contact. Oppo approach with an exit velocity of 83 mph. Stop and go mechanics defensively. Has some loose actions. Shows average hands with plus accuracy across the diamond at 73 mph. Short mid ¾ arm action on mound. Fastball shows late run and sink at 72-76 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape and tight rotation at 63-65 mph. Changeup shows flashes of run and sink at 70-71 mph.

Noah Catron, C, Martensdale St. Mary’s, 2016
5-foot-10, 165-pound catcher. Solid build. Inverted C load. Slight swoop in bat path. Finds the barrel and makes solid contact. Gap to gap approach. Uses hands well in swing. 74 mph exit velocity off tee. Has some hand strength receiving. Receives with thumb underneath and elbow up. Works hard behind the plate. Stands up to throw. Loses momentum and strength from lower half. 64 mph arm strength with pop times in 2.4-2.5 range.

Addison Coram, 2B, Ottumwa, 2018
5-foot-10, 140-pound second baseman. Heel turn with small leg kick trigger into swing. Limited use of back side in swing. Some length to swing with slight uphill swing plane. Solid contact with mid-away approach. 71 mph exit velocity off tee. Stop and go through baseball. Shows average hands. Fields deep in stance at times. Ok accuracy to target. 62 mph arm strength across infield.

Alan Davids, RHP/2B, Blue Earth Area, 2016
6-foot-1, 160-pound 2-way player. Shows proper direction to plate. Short arm action from high ¾ slot. Fastball velocity was 75-76 mph with slight late life. Slider shows loose spin, 11/5 shape, and gradual break at 61-62 mph. Changeup was straight at 67-69 mph. Crouched stance with balanced swing. In-line stride to pitcher. Proper load and stays short to contact. Inverted swing plane with average pop to the gaps. 78 mph exit velocity.

Grant Draper, 3B/RHP, Muscatine, 2015
5-foot-11, 205-pound 2-way player. Stiff upper-body swing with strength. Limited use of lower half. Uphill swing plane with pull approach. 95 mph exit velocity off tee. Shows below average hands and feet in infield. Stiff actions. Throws from over-the-top slot with decent accuracy. 73 mph across the diamond. High leg kick delivery. Front foot gets outside knee. Swings front leg and lands open to target. Fastball is straight with occasional cut at 68-72 mph. Curveball has 12/6 shape with loose gradual break at 58-61 mph. Changeup has flashes of fade at 64-65 mph.

Tyus Forbes, RHP/1B, Rock Island (IL), 2016
5-foot-11, 170-pound 2-way player. Good direction to plate. Some collapse at balance point. Mid ¾ slot. Arm is clean. Tends to lead with elbow. Has extension and finishes delivery. Fastball is straight at 72-75 mph. Varying velocity on curveball. Pitch is better when thrown harder; shows 11/5 break with tighter spin and late break. Leg kick trigger into in-line stride. Inverted swing plane. Transfers weight through at contact. Solid contact to pull side of field. Will inside out pitches on outer half of plate. Ok strength. 81 mph exit velocity. Shows average feet defensively and does good job of fielding low and out front. Throws from low ¾ slot with average carry and accuracy at 72 mph across infield.

Matt Goebel, 2B, Davenport West, 2015
5-foot-9, 185-pound second baseman. Deep load with front to back load with body to create rhythm in swing. Load effects timing. Solid contact. Works to stay inside baseball at contact. Short finish after contact with limited extension. 76 mph exit velocity off tee. Shows an average arm across. Fields deep in stance. Short arm action. 67 mph across infield.

Tevyn Hutcherson, OF, Davenport Central, 2016
5-foot-8, 175-pound outfielder. Square stance with leg kick trigger into in-line stride. Low hand set causing uphill swing plane. Negative weight shift at contact. Average contact with some strength in bat. 84 mph exit velocity. Shows average feet and glove in outfield. Aggressive to ball. Stiff arm action from low ¾ slot with limited carry and ok accuracy. 74 mph arm strength from outfield.

Cale Jamesson, C, Benton Community, 2016
5-foot-10, 175-pound catcher. Wide stance with aggressive swings. Pull approach with above average pop in bat. Flat bat at set-up- loses angle and whip. Transfers weight through at contact. Produces hard ground balls and line drives. 84 mph exit velocity off tee. Receives with thumb underneath and high elbow. Shows good blocking mechanics; head will get out front at times losing body control. Creates direction to target and exchanges are clean. Long release. 70 mph arm strength with pop times in 2.25-2.34 range.

Ryan Kirschman, MIF, Ankeny, 2016
6-foot, 160-pound middle infielder. Ok strength in bat with 83 mph exit velocity off tee. Narrow stance in box. Slightly open. Takes the knob to baseball well. Lower half is stiff and weight will transfer back at contact. Defensively funnels ground ball into body. Aggressive routes to baseball. Shows plus accuracy across infield with ok carry from varying arm slots. 71 mph arm strength across diamond.

Mason Leinbach, C, Burlington, 2018
5-foot-5, 115-pound catcher. Slight leg kick into in-line stride. Uses whole field with inside/out swing plane. Low hand set causing uphill swing plane. 68 mph exit velocity. Works hard behind the plate. Receives with thumb underneath at times. Quick feet when blocking. Needs to improve body position and blocking technique. Exchanges are clean. Low exchange and release point. Mid ¾ slot. 2.37-2.59 pop times with 61 mph arm strength.

Austin Simmons, RHP, North Scott, 2016
6-foot-4, 165-pound right-handed pitcher. Long limbed- lean build. High leg kick delivery. Foot gets outside knee. Swings front leg and lands open. Short 2-piece arm action. Some funk and deception to delivery. Produces 75-78 mph fastballs with slight run and sink. Curveball has tight spin and 11/5 shape with average break at 67-69 mph. Changeup was 69-71 with sideways spin and slight fade.

Addison Smothers, RHP/2B, Dubuque Senior, 2016
6-foot, 175-pound 2-way player. Simple delivery on mound. Crouch at balance point. Lands open in stride to plate. Short 2-piece arm action. Fastball is straight at 71-74 mph. Wraps curveball early and is thrown at 52-56 mph with loose gradual break. Cutter has slider spin with 11/5 shape at 60-62 mph. Changeup is thrown with stiff wrist, pushes to plate, at 62-65 mph. In-line stride. Restricted swing with high back elbow and limited extension through the zone. 75 mph exit velocity off tee. Sits back on ground balls. Average glove. Choppy rhythm. 75 mph across infield.