Central Illinois Open: Infielder Analysis


By Illinois Scouting Staff

On Aug. 8, we hosted the Central Illinois Open in Normal, Ill., at The Corn Crib. There were over 70 prospects in attendance representing the middle of the state, one of whom has already committed to play at the next level, and there’s bound to be more from this group in the coming weeks and months.

Today, we’ll continue our showcase analysis with a deeper look into the infielders who attended the Normal event.

Our top three below consists of a group of four juniors, including Lyons Township’s Matt Schuler (2020) and Normal West’s Sean Shook (2020) The 6-foot-1, left-handed hitting Schuler put on a solid round of batting practice at The Corn Crib, showing a gap-to-gap profile. Shook, on the other hand, hit right-handed and displayed consistently hard contact with a line-drive approach. Both he and Schuler both looked clean and smooth on defense, too.

We previously published our Statistical Analysis from the showcase, as well as a look at the day’s catchers and outfielders, but keep an eye out tomorrow when we continue our analysis with an examination of the event’s pitchers. For now, read reports on all 30 outfielders from the Central Illinois Open.

TOP PROSPECTS

1. Matt Schuler, INF, Lyons Township, 2020
6-foot-1, 175-pound, athletically-built, well-proportioned, left-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, balanced setup, pre-pitch load, short stride and maintains balance throughout. Simple swing, extension through contact, natural lift in swing and gap-to-gap approach. 84 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, fundamentally sound infielder, fluid footwork, soft hands, clean transfer and plays through the baseball. Long, loose arm action, high ¾ slot, accurate arm, flashed carry and topped at 85 mph. 7.25 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

2. Sean Shook, INF, Normal West, 2020
5-foot-10, 185-pound, strong, solidly-built, right-handed hitting infielder. Balanced setup, pre-pitch rhythm, short stride and maintains balance through contact. Loose hands, compact swing, uphill path, line-drive approach, hard contact and 88 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, profiles as a third baseman. Natural infield actions, steady defender, maintains body control, soft hands and clean transfer. Short, loose arm action, high ¾ slot, accurate throws, topped at 78 mph across the diamond. 7.56 runner in the 60.

3. Jackson Blemler, INF, Normal U-High, 2020
5-foot-7, 150-pound, well-proportioned, left-handed hitting infielder. Ran a 7.10 laser-timed 60. Balanced, athletic setup, smooth load, leg-kick trigger and fluid rhythm throughout. Loose hands, uphill bat path, line-drive approach and consistent hard contact. 83 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, fluid footwork, natural infield actions, soft hands. Transfer occasionally gets long, short, high ¾ arm action, accurate throws, flashed carry at 79 mph.

3. Kade Lassen, INF, Robinson, 2020
5-foot-8, 150-pound, athletically-built, right-handed hitting infielder. 7.24 runner in the 60, laser-timed. At the plate, balanced setup, big pre-pitch load and leg-kick timing trigger. Aggressive swing, attacks the baseball, some effort and fast bat. Long, level bat path, line-drive approach and registered a 91 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, fluid footwork, lets ball get deep occasionally, steady hands. Short arm action, high ¾ slot, accurate arm, topped at 77 mph across the infield.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Dalton Askew, INF, Kaneland, 2019
6-foot, 180-pound, strong, muscle-bound, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, static, balanced setup, short stride and short bat path. 78 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, reliable hands, short, firm arm action and throws topped at 74 mph across the diamond. 7.56 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Bryce Brown, INF, Morton, 2020
6-foot-3, 170-pound, high-waisted, long, lean, right-handed hitting infielder. 7.26 runner in the 60, laser-timed. Offensively, open, tall setup, toe-tap stride and maintains balance throughout. Easy, loose hands at times, long bat path, line-drive and pull approach; 82 mph exit velocity from a tee. On the infield, steady hands, maintains body control on the move, clean exchange, occasional pack, short, loose arm action, ¾ to low ¾ slot and throws clocked at 77 mph across the diamond.

Ezekyal Brown, INF, Urbana, 2020
5-foot-7, 140-pound, wiry, right-handed hitting infielder. 7.16 runner in the 60, laser-timed. At the plate, balanced, wide setup, pre-pitch load and short stride. Level bat path and 70 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, ranged well to both sides. Short arm action, high ¾ slot and clocked at 75 mph.

Jack Davis, RHP/3B, Sacred Heart-Griffin, 2022
6-foot, 155-pound two-way player, lean athletic frame. Right-handed hitter, slightly open, balanced stance, short stride. Path worked level, opposite field contact, inside out swing at times. 82 mph exit velocity from the tee. Arm played loose out of a high ¾ slot, 72 mph across. Hands play deep at times, two-handed funnel to exchange. 7.42 runner in the 60. On the mound arm played out of a high ¾ slot, loose arm action, easy effort. Fastball found the zone, 73-76 mph, topped at 77 mph. Curveball has 12/6 shape, 61-64 mph. Changeup slightly fades to arm side, 64-67 mph.

Mitch Dye, INF, Sacred Heart-Griffin, 2022
5-foot-10, 135-pound infielder. Left-handed hitter, balanced stance, slightly crouched, hands load down and back, leg kick trigger. Path is uphill, worked to pull side, 70 mph exit velocity from the tee. Arm action is short from a high ¾ slot, 69 mph across the diamond. Actions play through the baseball, shuffles through, deliberate actions. 8.49 runner in the 60.

Colton Fearday, 1B/LHP, St. Anthony, 2022
5-foot-6, 140-pound two-way player. Left-handed hitter, open setup, drops hands back into load, short lifted stride. Pull side approach, uphill path, 66 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively showed feel around the bag, clean transfer. Arm is long out of a ¾ slot, 64 mph across the diamond. On the mound arm worked long, high ¾ slot. Fastball is straight, thrown for strikes, 63-64 mph, topped at 65 mph. Curveball has 1/7 shape, showed spin, feel for strikezone, 52-54 mph. Changeup thrown near fastball arm speed, 53-57 mph.  

Kaden Fearday, INF/RHP, St. Anthony, 2020
6-foot-4, 165-pound, long, lean, two-way prospect with plenty of room for continued physical development. At the plate, left-handed hitter, balanced, open setup and short stride. 81 mph exit velocity from a tee. On the infield, clean transfer, short arm action, ¾ slot and throws topped at 77 mph across the diamond.7.65 runner in the 60. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, tall and fall delivery, smooth rhythm. Loose arm action, high ¾ slot. Fastball works straight, sat 77-78 mph. Curveball, 11/5 shape, 63-66 mph. Changeup, fade action, 67-69 mph.

Logan Fricker, INF, Normal Community, 2019
6-foot, 195-pound, solidly-built, left-handed hitting first baseman. Balanced, quiet setup, short stride, long, uphill bat path. 83 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, comfortable around the bag at first, steady hands and clean transfer. Short arm action, ¾ to high ¾ slot and throws topped at 69 mph. 7.53 runner in the 60.

Colin Glass, INF/LHP, Yorkville, 2020
6-foot, 170-pound, athletically-built, left/left, two-way prospect. At the plate, left-handed hitter, crouched, narrow setup and long stride. Level bat path, pull approach and 77 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, at first base, long arm action, high ¾ slot and throws topped at 66 mph across the infield. 7.98 runner in the 60. On the mound, left-handed pitcher, small, side-step delivery, works on-line and lands front toe closed. Long arm action from a high ¾ window. Fastball slight running action, 69-71 mph. Curveball, 2/8 shape, 57-60 mph. Changeup, fade action, 59-63 mph.

Brady Grashoff, INF/RHP, Pekin, 2020
6-foot-1, 170-pound, athletically-built, two-way prospect. Ran a 6.94 laser-timed 60. Left-handed hitter, slightly crouched, wide setup, leg-kick timing trigger, short, level bat path, pull approach with sneaky pop. 82 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, short arm action, high ¾ slot and throws topped at 78 mph.

Ashton Gray, INF, Limestone, 2020
6-foot-3, 160-pound, long, lean, right-handed hitting infielder. At the plate, tall setup, minimal load and short stride. Long bat path, line-drive contact at times and registered an 87 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, steady hands, long arm action, high ¾ slot and throws topped 70 mph across the infield. 7.34 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Jake Jacek, RHP/INF, Normal Community, 2019
6-foot-4, 200-pound, long-limbed, strong, two-way prospect. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, tall and fall delivery, high front side, works on-line and lands front toe closed. Long arm action out of an over-the-top slot. Fastball works straight, sat 78-80 mph, touched 82. Curveball, 12/6 shape, 69-70 mph. Changeup, ranged between 70-75 mph. Offensively, right-handed hitter, registered a 90 mph exit velocity from a tee. Balanced, tall setup, short stride and long, level bat path. Defensively, on the infield, reliable hands and a quick, clean transfer. Long arm action, over-the-top slot and throws carried across the diamond, topping at 80 mph. 7.39 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Sergio Marchizza, RHP/INF, Glenwood, 2020
6-foot-3, 190-pound, two-way prospect, athletic, strong-build. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, repeatable delivery, works on-line, lands front toe slightly closed. Long, loose arm action, out of a high ¾ window, regular effort throughout. Fastball, worked straight, 83-84 mph. Curveball, 11/5 shape, inconsistent action, 63-66 mph. Changeup, occasional sinking action, 71-73 mph. Offensively, balanced setup, long stride, aggressive swing, present bat speed, long, level bat path and hard contact at times; 93 mph exit velocity from a tee. 7.34 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Noah Matheny, RHP/INF, Galesburg, 2020
6-foot-2, 175-pound, two-way prospect, athletic, well-proportioned build. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, smooth tall and fall delivery, works on-line and lands front toe open. Easy effort throughout, arm works short, clean and loose from a high ¾ slot. Fastball, arm-side-run, 79-81 mph, touched 82. Curveball, 12/6 shape, 67-71 mph. Changeup, fade action, 71-72 mph. Offensively, left-handed hitter, balanced wide setup, short stride and maintains balance through contact. Uphill bat path, pull approach, ball jumped off the barrel at times; 82 mph exit velocity from a tee. On the infield, clean transfer, quick at times, short, loose arm action and throws 81 mph across the infield. 8.14 runner in the 60.

Ben Monge, LHP/1B, Roanoke Benson, 2019
6-foot-2, 210-pound, thick, sturdy lower-half, two-way prospect. On the mound, left-handed pitcher, repeats delivery, works on-line, lands square. Long arm action, high ¾ slot. Fastball 75-77 mph, touched 78. Curveball worked 10/4, around the zone, 61-62 mph. Changeup, sat 68-70 mph. At the plate, balanced, open setup, short stride, long, level bat path, opposite field approach. 87 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, long arm action, high ¾ slot and throws clocked at 76 mph across the infield. 8.09 runner in the 60.   

Patrick Mulcahey, INF, Bloomington Central Catholic, 2021
6-foot-1, 210-pound infielder, solid strong build. Right-handed hitter with strong hands, balanced setup and short stride. Level path got occasional extension, pull side pop approach. 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm played at 72 mph across the diamond, long high ¾ arm action. 7.91 runner in the 60. Defensively profiles at a corner infield spot, deliberate actions, clean exchange.

Mitchell Murphy, INF, Normal Community, 2021
5-foot-9, 160-pound, right-handed hitting infielder. 7.38 runner in the 60, laser-timed. At the plate, open, crouched setup, minimal pre-pitch load and long stride. Short, level bat path at times, line-drive approach and 81 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, reliable hands, short arm action, high ¾ slot and throws topped at 70 mph. 7.38 runner in the 60, laser-timed.  

Logan Peterson, RHP/INF, LeRoy, 2021
6-foot-2, 165-pound two-way player, long limbed frame. Profiles best on the mound, tall and fall type delivery, loose and low effort, slightly across body and lands closed, uses slide step in the stretch. Arm action is long and loose, projects well for added velo, high ¾ slot. Fastball played with run to arm side, 79-80 mph, touched 81 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, 67-71 mph. Changeup has fade and sink action to arm side, 71-73 mph. Right-handed hitter, tall setup, minimal load action, short stride. Path has length, slight uphill path, 82 mph exit velocity from the tee. Plays tall defensively, average hands at his age. 7.37 runner in the 60. Arm action is long and loose, high ¾ slot, 72 mph across the diamond.

Evan Pogioli, INF, Pekin, 2020
6-foot-2, 220-pound, thick, strong, right-handed hitting infielder. At the plate, open setup, minimal pre-pitch load, and short leg-kick timing trigger. Long, uphill bat path, pull approach, present bat strength; 86 mph exit velocity from a tee. On the infield, reliable hands, long arm action, over-the-top slot and throws topped at 70 mph. 8.04 runner in the 60.

Kaleb Rogers, 1B/RHP, Springfield, 2021
6-foot-1, 170-pound two-way player, lean lanky frame. Right-handed hitter, balanced setup with smooth loading action, leg kick stride. Aggressive swing with some effort, level path through contact, worked line drives to both sides of the field. Defensively arm played at 64 mph across the diamond, short high ¾ slot. Deliberate actions around the bag. 8.33 runner in the 60. On the mound arm plays out of a high ¾ slot, regular effort. Fastball is straight, 73-74 mph. Curveball played 11/5, 58-61 mph. Straight changeup worked 63-66 mph.

Jaime Sandoval, INF, Morton West, 2019
5-foot-4, 125-pound, right-handed hitting infielder. Defensively, natural infield actions, fluid footwork, plays with bounce, soft hands and clean release. Short, high ¾ slot and throws clocked at 79 mph across the infield. Offensively, balanced setup, pre-pitch load and leg-kick timing trigger. Long bat path and 76 mph exit velocity from a tee. 7.47 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Tom Smith, 1B, East Peoria, 2019
Illinois Central JC commit. 6-foot-4, 225-pound, extra-large, strong, right-handed hitting first baseman. At the plate, crouched, open setup, pre-pitch load, short leg-kick trigger. Loose, strong hands, present bat strength, line-drive, gap-to-gap approach; 86 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, has some feel around the bag at first, clean transfer, firm arm action from a high ¾ slot and clocked at 71 mph 7.46 runner in the 60.

Sam Tallen, INF/RHP, Bloomington Central Catholic, 2021
6-foot-2, 170-pound two-way player. Right-handed hitter, wide setup, short stride. Uphill path, produced occasional line drives through the middle, 75 mph exit velocity from the tee. Corner infield profile, actions work at the waist, clean long exchange. Arm played 69 mph across the diamond, ¾ slot. 7.45 runner in the 60. Arm worked similar on the mound, wide sweeping toe lift to balance point, lands closed. Fastball showed sink, 72-74 mph, touched 75 mph. Changeup fades to arm side, thrown with arm speed, 68-70 mph. Knuckleball played 63-67 mph.

Alex Talley, RHP/INF, Cumberland, 2019
6-foot-3, 165-pound, wiry, live-bodied, two-way prospect. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, tall and fall delivery, works on-line and lands square. Short, loose, live arm works out of a high ¾ slot. Fastball, occasional running action, 79-80 mph. Curveball, 11/5 shape, sharp spin at times, 66-69 mph. Changeup, sink and fade action, 74-76 mph. Offensively, balanced setup, long stride, level bat path and 80 mph exit velocity from a tee. On the infield, steady hands, long, loose arm action, high ¾ slot, throws carried and topped at 80 mph across the diamond. 7.17 laser-timed 60.

Evan Wallgren, RHP/INF, Normal West, 2020
5-foot-9, 170-pound, well-proportioned, two-way prospect. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, tall and fall delivery, works with rhythm, stays on-line and lands front-toe closed. Short draw out of the glove, high ¾ slot. Fastball works straight, occasional running action, 79-80 mph. Curveball, action, 12/6 shape, depth at times, 65-69 mph. Changeup, maintains arm speed, sinking action, 71-72 mph. At the plate, balanced setup, pre-pitch load, toe-tap stride and maintains balance through contact. Aggressive swing, solid contact, long, uphill bat path at times. 75 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, steady defender, fluid footwork, soft hands and throws from multiple slots. Throws clocked at 74 mph across the infield. 7.27 runner in the 60.

Alex Zogg, INF, Normal Community, 2019
6-foot-1, 180-pound, athletically-built, well-proportioned, two-way prospect. Offensively, right-handed hitter, balanced, quiet setup, smooth load and short stride. Path works uphill, pull approach and registered an 86 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, steady hands, clean transfer, long arm action, high ¾ slot and throws topped at 75 mph across the infield. 7.81 runner in the 60. On the mound, repeatable tall and fall delivery with regular effort. Long arm action, over-the-top slot. Fastball works straight, get downhill at times, 75-76 mph. Curveball, 11/5 shape, sat 67 mph. Changeup, maintains arm speed, fade action, 71-73 mph.

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