Central Illinois Open: Infielder Analysis



By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

The Central Illinois Open took place on August 16th at the Corn Crib in Normal, IL. Following the event the PBR scouting staff compiled all of the notes from the workout and over the next week we will break down the event position by position.

Today we rollout the infield analysis from the event. One prospect to keep an eye on moving forward is right-handed hitting Nathan Hardman. Hardman is a physical, 6-foot-1, 180-pound, 2019 with high upside at the plate. He has present bat speed, fluid rhythm and looks to drive the baseball with authority.

2017 Braedon Blackford is a switch-hitting second baseman with quick feet who can make plays on the move and has soft hands.

2017 Andrew Peters may have more upside the mound but also showed well as a position player. Peters is a right-handed hitter with a loose, handsy swing at the plate and a gap-to-gap approach. Defensively, he has soft hands, a strong arm and good body control.

INFIELD Prospects (Listed Alphabetically)

Braedon Blackford, INF, Peoria Notre Dame, 2017
5-foot-10, 165-pound, switch-hitting infielder. Looks more natural from the left-side of the plate, present bat speed, path works uphill, gap-to-gap approach and fluid rhythm; exit velocity clocked at 85 mph from the left side and 81 mph from the right. Starts more open from the left side, short leg-lift timing trigger and average balance throughout. Defensively, plays with bounce, soft hands, fluid footwork, clean exchange and athletic fielding position on the infield. Ability to throw from multiple angles, looks natural on the move, maintains body control. Arm works short and throws clocked at 75 mph across the diamond. 7.65 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Austin Collinson, INF/RHP, Normal West, 2019
5-foot-10, 170-pound, wiry, projectable, two-way prospect. Offensively, right-handed hitter. Pull approach with a long and level path; exit velocity clocked at 81 mph. Balanced setup, slight pre-pitch load and short stride. Defensively, steady hands and a clean exchange on the infield. Long arm action, ¾ slot and clocked at 75 mph across the diamond. 7.65 runner in the 60. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, tall and fall delivery, regular effort, stays in line and lands slightly closed. Arm works long and out of a high ¾ window. Fastball, thrown for strikes, varying action, occasional cut and flashed run to the arm side at times, sat 77 mph. Curveball flashed 11/5 shape and sat 62-64 mph. Changeup flashed cutting action at times, 69-73 mph.

Avery Dean, INF/RHP, Canton, 2018
6-foot-3, 220-pound, two-way prospect with a large frame. Offensively, right-handed hitter, balanced setup, no load, short stride and long path into the hitting zone; 80 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, worked out at first base. Throws from a ¾ slot, short arm action, clocked at 71 mph across the infield. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, stays in line, lands square and easy effort throughout. Arm works short and out of ¾ slot. Fastball sat 73-74 mph, touching 75. Curveball comes out of a slightly higher slot, 57-59 mph. Changeup flashed fade and sink action, 64-67 mph.

Jeremy Fischer, INF/RHP, Normal West, 2018
5-foot-9. 155-pound, right-handed hitting two-way prospect. Offensively, pull approach at the plate; 71 mph exit velocity from a tee. Balanced setup, hands load pre-pitch, short stride and average balance through contact. Defensively, clean exchange on the infield. Short arm action, high ¾ slot, some accuracy and clocked at 67 mph across the diamond. 7.69 runner in the 60. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, high ¾ slot and regular effort throughout. Fastball thrown for strikes, arm-side-run and sat 67-69 mph, touching 70. Curveball, 12/6 shape, feel, 52-53 mph. Changeup, works mainly straight and sat 59-61 mph.

Nathan Hardman, INF/RHP, Normal University, 2019
6-foot-1, 180-pound, athletically built, physically advanced, two-way prospect. Right-handed hitter, his bat is currently his best tool. Fluid rhythm in swing, present bat speed, aggressive with some looseness in hands; 85 mph exit velocity from a tee. Balanced setup, smooth deep pre-pitch load, leg-lift timing trigger, uphill path and a gap-to-gap approach. Defensively, steady hands on the infield with some effort on throws. Arm works long and over-the-top and clocked at 75 mph across the infield. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, uptempo delivery, high front side and some effort throughout.  Arm works out of a high ¾ window. Fastball, occasional arm-side-run and sat 75-76 mph. Curveball flashed sharp, late action at times, worked 11/5 and sat 67-68 mph. Feel for a changeup, maintains arm speed, cutting action at times, 72-74 mph. 2019 right-handed hitter to follow.  

Ryan Harty, LHP/1B/OF, Plainfield South, 2018
6-foot, 150-pound left-handed hitting utility player. On the mound works from a high ¾ arm angle with a loose, quick arm action. Tall and fall delivery with a square landing. Features four pitches. Fastball was straight at 75-76 topping out at 78 mph. Has both a slider and a curveball. Slider is a better pitch with short breaking action at 70-71 mph. Curveball has no action at 66-67 mph. Threw a knuckleball at 63-66 mph. At the plate hits from an open stance with a short stride and collapse on the backside. Pull hitter with an uphill swing path. 80 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively has a long arm action from an over the top slot. Threw 74 mph from the outfield and 69 mph across the infield.

Griff Lukes, INF, Hartford Union (WI), 2017
6-foot-1, 190-pound, strong, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, fluid rhythm, loose hands, present bat speed and hard contact; exit velocity clocked at 85 mph from a tee. Open setup, leg-kick timing trigger, good balance and a gap-to-gap approach. Defensively, plays through the baseball at times on the infield. Short arm action from a ¾ to high ¾ slot, clocked at 79 mph across the diamond. Also, ran a 7.56 laser-timed 60.

Mason Marquis, INF/RHP, Olympia, 2018
6-foot-4, 195-pound, strong, athletically built, projectable, two-way prospect. On the mound, right-handed pitcher with a loose, quick arm out of a high ¾ slot. Delivery works with rhythm, stays on-line and lands square. Fastball heavy, cutting action, thrown for strikes and clocked 80-81, touching 82 mph. Curveball worked 11/5, flashed downer action at times, better action out of the stretch and sat 68-71 mph. Changeup thrown for strikes, down in the zone, straight action, 74-77 mph. Offensively, right-handed hitter, long, uphill path and finishes off his back side. Tall, closed setup, pre-pitch load and toe-turn stride. Registered an 80 mph exit velocity off a tee. Defensively, feel for first base; body control, reliable hands and clean exchange. Long, loose and quick arm, high ¾ slot, clocked at 80 mph across the diamond. Also, ran a 7.44 60, laser-timed.

Jacob Marti, INF, Normal West, 2018
6-foot-2, 215-pound, strong, athletically built, switch-hitting infielder. 7.35 runner in the 60, laser-timed. Offensively, pre-pitch movement, aggressive swings, loose hands and natural lift in swing from both sides of the plate; 90 mph exit velocity from the right and 82 mph from the left. Balanced setup, toe-turn stride, and pull approach. Defensively, steady hands and clean exchange at first base. Arm works over-the-top and clocked at 68 mph across the diamond.

Owen Martin, INF/RHP, Normal University, 2018
5-foot-11, 180-pound, strong, two-way prospect. Offensively, right-handed hitter, simple, pull approach. Balanced setup, short stride and long, uphill bat path; 76 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, flashed a quick exchange on the infield. Arm works short, over-the-top to high ¾, accurate throws clocked at 78 mph across the diamond. 7.73 runner in the 60, laser-timed. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, same over-the-top short arm action as shown on the infield. Slow paced delivery and high effort throughout. Fastball, straight action clocked at 76-77 mph, touching 78 once. Curveball worked 11/5 with depth at times and sat 64-65 mph. Changeup thrown near fastball arm speed and ranged between 64-68 mph.  

Alec McGinnis, INF, Normal West, 2020
5-foot-6, 122-pound, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, tall, upright setup and leg-kick timing trigger. Bat path works long and flat through the hitting zone; exit velocity clocked at 66 mph off of a tee. Defensively, steady hands, gets rid of the ball quickly and cleanly on the infield. Arm works from a high ¾ slot, some accuracy, and clocked at 64 mph across the diamond. Also, ran a 7.83 60.

Matthew Mier, 2B/C, Normal University, 2018
5-foot-10, 155-pound left-handed hitting 2B/C. At the plate hits from a balanced, open stance with a short toe tap stride. Line drive pull hitter with a level swing path. 72 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively in the infield has a short arm action from a high ¾ slot. Athletic actions with a quick exchange and soft hands. Threw 73 mph across the infield. Behind the plate showed a quick transfer and good blocking ability, Popped 2.12-2.19 and threw 68 mph from the crouch.

Chris Monroe, INF, Champaign Centennial, 2017
6-foot-4, 220-pound, extra-large, strong, right-handed hitting infielder.  At the plate, takes aggressive strong swings, does not get cheated and flashed pull power. Flashed looseness throughout, pull approach, natural lift in swing, and present bat speed; 90 mph exit velocity from a tee. Starts from a wide, balanced setup position, loads pre-pitch, short toe-tap stride and average balance. Defensively, big target at first base. Fields in the middle of his body and throws from a high ¾ slot, clocked at 71 mph across the diamond. Also, ran a 7.61 runner in the 60.

Jayden Myren, INF, Rochester, 2020
5-foot-6, 135-pound, switch-hitting infielder. Offensively, from the left-side flashed looseness and fluid rhythm. Balanced setup, short stride, smooth pre-pitch load and pull approach from both sides. Exit velocity clocked at 73 mph from the right and 72 mph from the left. Defensively, flashed softness in hands and fluid feet on the infield. Athletic fielding position, occasionally gets deep. Short arm action, high ¾ slot and clocked at 62 mph across the diamond. Also, 8.29 runner in the 60.

Mark Ogden, INF/RHP, Normal West, 2018
6-foot-2, 180-pound, two-way prospect with a solid lower half. Offensively, pull approach and uphill path through the hitting zone. Tall setup, crouched load and leg-lift timing trigger. 77 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, quick exchange on the infield. Short arm action from a ¾ slot, some accuracy clocked at 66 mph across the diamond. Also, ran a 7.64 60. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, tall and fall delivery, regular effort throughout. Feel for three pitches. Fastball, on top, slight tilt, straight and sat 74-75, touching 77 mph. Curveball worked 11/5 to 12/6 some depth at times, 62-63 mph. Changeup, located at the bottom of the zone, sink and fade action at times and clocked at 71-73 mph.

Andrew Peters, RHP/INF, Morris, 2017
5-foot-10, 155-pound, lean, plenty of room for added strength, two-way prospect. One of the better 2017 right-handed pitchers still uncommitted. Quick, loose arm action from a high ¾ slot, projects. Rhythm works with rhythm, slight tuck, coil at balance point, creates slight deception, regular effort, stays in line and closed toe landing. Fastball, thrown for strikes, arm-side-run and flashed sink, sat 85-86 mph. Curveball works 11/5 when best, backed up at times, sharp action, 69-72 mph. Changeup, thrown with near fastball arm speed, arm-side-run action, ranged between 76-79 mph. Also, showed a knuckleball, 71-72 mph. Offensively, right-handed hitter, loose, handsy swing and fluid rhythm throughout. Path works uphill, gap-to-gap approach, 85 mph exit velocity from a tee. Balanced, open setup, smooth pre-pitch load and short leg-lift timing trigger. Defensively, soft hands, athletic fielding position, clean exchange and body control on the infield. Arm works loose, high ¾ slot, throws flashed carry, clocked at 83 mph across the infield. 7.68 runner in the 60. High follow 2017 right-handed pitcher.

Sean Reed, INF, Homeschool, 2018
6-foot-1, 150-pound, wiry, left-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, path works long and level through the hitting zone with a pull approach. Open setup, short stride and exit velocity clocked at 75 mph from a tee. Defensively, arm plays from a ¾ to low ¾ slot; clocked at 65 mph across the diamond. Also, ran a 7.99 60.

Seth Reed, OF/3B, Prairie Central, 2018
5-foot-11, 180-pound right-handed hitting OF/3B. At the plate hits from a balanced setup with a heel turn stride. Pull hitter with stiff rhythm and an uphill swing path. 76 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 7.69. In the outfield has  a short arm action from an over the top slot. Uphill throws with slower actions. Threw 74 mph from the outfield. Also took drills in the infield and threw 70 mph across the diamond.

Jake Rutkowski, INF, Normal West. 2018
6-foot-2, 195-pound, strong, athletically built, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, flashed bat speed, fluid rhythm, some looseness and strength through contact; registered a 91 mph exit velocity from a tee. Wide, balanced setup, pre-pitch load and toe-tap stride. Defensively, profiles best at first base. Arm works from an over-the-top, high ¾ slot, some accuracy and clocked at 69 mph across the diamond. Also, ran a 7.68 60, laser-timed.

Sean Shook, INF/RHP, Normal West, 2020
5-foot-9, 175-pound, right-handed hitting two-way prospect with a strong lower half and squared shoulders. Offensively, fluid rhythm, compact with loose hands. Path works short and uphill; 77 mph exit velocity from a tee. Balanced setup, short leg-lift timing trigger and good balance throughout. Defensively, flashed athletic actions and body control on the infield. Clean exchange, steady hands, feet have a tendency to get flat at times. Loose arm from a high ¾ slot and throws clocked at 75 mph across the diamond. Also, ran a 8.35 60. On the mound right-handed pitcher with a uptempo delivery and some effort throughout. Tall and fall delivery, cross-fire delivery and open toe landing. Long arm action from an over-the-top slot. Fastball works straight and clocked at 73-75 mph. Changeup is best pitch, advanced fade action and feel for age, 65-67 mph. Curveball works 11/5, 12/6 and sat 63-64 mph.

Alex Smith, RHP/INF, Normal West, 2020
6-foot-1, 155-pound, long and lean, two-way prospect. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, works from a high ¾ slot and regular effort throughout. Fastball sat 61-62 mph, touched 63. Curveball sat 49-51 mph. Changeup, sat 53-55 mph. Offensively, right-handed hitter. Balanced setup position, long stride and no load. Path works long and level at times; 67 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, long arm action from a high ¾ slot on the infield, some accuracy on throws clocked at 63 mph. Also, 8.90 runner in the 60.

Kyle Werries, INF/RHP, Chatham-Glenwood, 2018
5-foot-11, 175-pound, strong, thick lower half, two-way prospect. Offensively, hits from the right side. Path works uphill with a pull approach; 79 mph exit velocity from a tee. Balanced setup position, slight pre-pitch load, short stride and average balance throughout. Defensively, projects as a third baseman. Athletic fielding position, steady hands and clean exchange on the infield. Loose arm from a high ¾ slot, throws clocked at 73 mph across the diamond. 8.11 runner in the 60, laser-timed. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, flashed the ability to throw three pitches for a strike. Slow paced, drop and drive delivery with rhythm, stays in-line, lands square and finishes athletically with regular effort throughout. Arm works clean and out of a high ¾ window. Fastball, thrown for strikes, works mainly straight, sat 75-76 mph, touched 77. Curveball, 11/5 shape, depth and feel, ranged between 61-64 mph. Changeup, feel, tendency to slow arm, straight action, 64-66 mph.

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