Central Illinois Open: Infielder Analysis



By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

There was a solid crop of infielders at this year’s Central Illinois Open. Evan Fairfield took home the top spot. He stood out defensively, with his steady actions and whippy arm. Offensively, flashed a quick, short bat path. Another infielder, Dalton Hoel, was one of the better 2018 prospects at the event.  Hoel is a switch-hitting shortstop with reliable hands. Listed below our PBR scouting staff ranked the top five infielders from the event.

TOP INFIELDERS

1. Evan Fairfield, SS, Dunlap, 2017
Lean 5-foot-10, 148 pound right-handed hitting shortstop stood out as one of the best infield prospects at the event. Offensively, loose, quick hands and flashed a quick bat. Balanced, athletic setup and smooth pre-pitch load. Line-drive hitter, short path to the baseball. 79 mph exit velocity off of a tee. Defensively, impressed in many areas from the shortstop position, leading one to believe he could stick there at the next level. Above-average lateral agility and fluid footwork. Soft hands, quick and clean transfer. Short, whippy, loose arm, with carry, clocked at 81 mph across the infield.

2. Ryan Anderson, 2B/3B, Lincoln-Way North, 2016
Strong 5-foot-9, 160-pound right-handed hitting infielder. Registered one of the top exit velocities of the day, 87 mph. Also, ran a 7.35 60 yard dash. Offensively, simple swing, level bath path through the hitting zone. Slight pre-pitch rhythm, athletic and balanced setup. No load, short stride and linear lower half. Defensively, moved well in the infield and flashed some actions. Quick, fluid footwork and clean transfer. Short arm action, over-the-top slot. Clocked at 73 mph.

3. Dalton Hoel, SS, Tuscola, 2018
Undersized, switch-hitting 5-foot-6, 135-pound infielder generates plenty of bat speed for his age. Offensively, from the right side, short stroke and quick bat. Solid bat speed, good use of a linear lower half. Tall setup, short stride and good balance through contact. From the left side, balanced, tall setup short stride and slight pre-pitch load to backside. Uphill bat path. Registered an exit velocity, 75 mph. Defensively, the shortstop exhibited smooth hands and athletic fielding position. Good lateral agility and quick exchange. Short arm action from a ¾ slot, with some accuracy, 76 mph across the infield. Also, ran a 7.22 60 yard dash.

4. John  Epley, 1B, Peoria Notre Dame, 2017
Big-bodied, strong 6-foot-4, 240-pound left-handed hitting first baseman. Flashed some pull-side-pop on a few swings. Tall setup, high hands, no stride and short stride. Looks to pull, long through the zone, with an uphill swing path. Registered an exit velocity of 84 mph. Defensively, possesses a big inviting target for infielders to throw too. Carry on his throws with accuracy, clocked at 80 mph across the infield. Long arm action, high ¾ slot and a clean exchange.  

5. Aidan Cossio, 3B/RHP, Bloomington, 2016
Strong, well-proportioned 6-foot, 195-pound right-handed hitting infielder and pitcher. Connected on a home-run in batting practice. Plus strength through contact. Does not get cheated at the plate. Quick bat with pull-side power. Balanced stance, leg-kick trigger, long uphill path. 83 mph exit velocity off of a tee. Defensively, in the infield flashed an above-average arm with carry and true ball. Long-arm action, over-the-top slot, clocked at 81 mph across the infield. On the mound the right-handed pitcher flashed a curveball with good depth and spin. 12/6 action, fastball arm speed, good feel, 65-66 mph. Mixed a four-seam and two-seam fastball. Two-seam fastball showed slight run and sink. Fastball sat 78-80 mph and touched 81. Change-up flashed inconsistent action, cutting occasionally. Featured one plus change-up, with run and sink. Change-up ranged between 73-76 mph.

Best of the Rest (listed Alphabetically)

Keegan Behary, MIF, Tri-Valley, 2017
Lean body 5-foot-6, 135-pound switch-hitting infielder. Offensively, similarities in both his left and right-handed swings. Hits from an open, balanced setup. Smooth pre-pitch load, shorter stride from the left side. Gets some lower half involvement, good balance through contact. Bat stays level through the zone from the right side. Tended to work balls to the opposite field in batting practice. Recorded an exit velocity of 79 mph from the right-hand side and 73 mph from the left. Defensively, flashed quick, fluid footwork and athletic fielding position. Short arm action, high ¾ slot, clocked at 77 mph across the infield. Also, ran a 7.27 60 yard dash.

Peyton Dillingham, SS/RHP, Normal West, 2017
Solidly built, strong 5-foot-10, 175-pound right handed hitting infielder and pitcher. Offensively, he impressed with one of the better exit velocities of the event, 86 mph. Strong swing, with a lot of upper body involvement. Balanced setup, slight pre-pitch rhythm in hands and a short stride. Linear lower half at times. Defensively, athletic fielding position, hands out front and good body control. Long-arm action, high ¾ slot with accuracy and carry. Clocked at 80 mph across the diamond. On the mound flashed repeatable delivery and feel for both of his off-speed offerings. Operates with a quick, clean arm action and high ¾ slot. On-line direction, square landing and athletic finish. Fastball ranged between 75-79 mph, touching 80, sneaky life. His best secondary offering looked to be his change-up. Good feel, slight fade, 66-69 mph. Also, featured a curveball with 11/5 action, thrown with near fastball arm speed, sitting 61-64 mph.

Kevin Duffy, 2B/RHP, Pontiac, 2017
5-foot-9, 110-pound smaller build right-handed hitting second-basemen and right-handed pitcher. Offensively, starts from a balanced setup, short stride. Registered a 68 mph exit velocity. Defensively, has a short arm action, from a ¾ slot. Clean exchange and showed some accuracy across the diamond, 66 mph. On the mound the right-hander operated from a high ¾ slot, short arm action and some rhythm throughout the delivery and lands square. Fastball ranged between 68-72 mph with some arm-side-run. Curveball had 10/4 action, 57-60 mph. Change-up sat 67-70 mph.

Chase Hacker, 1B/OF/LHP, Normal West, 2018
Lanky 5-foot-11, 150-pound right-handed hitting first-baseman, outfielder and left-handed pitcher. Offensively, starts from a tall, closed and balanced setup. Slight pre-pitch load, short stride and a linear lower half. Long and level bat path through the hitting zone and average balance throughout contact. Defensively, worked out at first base and in the outfield. In the outfield plays through the baseball, throws from a ¾ arm slot and long-arm action. Clocked at 70 mph from the outfield. On the infield the left-handed thrower, fields tall with average hands. Throws from the same ¾ arm slot that he showed in the outfield. 67 mph across the infield. On the mound operates with a long-arm action, tall and fall delivery. Online, square landing with an upright finish. Fastball sat 70-71 mph. Curveball ranged between 55-61 mph. Change-up was 55-57 mph.

Sam Heaton, SS/C, Central Catholic, 2017
Switch hitting 5-foot-9, 150-pound athletic build shortstop and catcher. Offensively, keeps it very simple and quiet from both sides of the plate. Athletic, wide setup from the left side, hands in a powerful pre-pitch position. Short stride, linear lower half, uphill bat path, loose hands and good balance throughout contact. 83 mph exit velocity off of a tee from the left side. As a right-handed hitter, short, level, compact swing. Balanced setup, short stride and good balance. Lower half isn’t as involved from the right side of the plate compared to the left. Exit velocity, 78 mph from the right side. Defensively, from the middle infield quick, clean exchange with fluid feet. Short arm action, over-the-top slot, true four-seam flight on his throws across the infield clocked at 75 mph. Also, worked out behind the plate as a catcher. Pop times ranged from 2.2-2.38 and 72 mph velocity on his throws.

Zack Jones, LHP/1B, Normal West, 2018
Athletically built 6-foot-1, 185-pound well-proportioned, left-handed hitting first baseman and pitcher. Offensively, loads hands back pre-pitch. Level bat path through the hitting zone. Tall setup, short stride. Registered an exit velocity of 79 mph. Defensively, the left-handed first baseman featured a clean exchange. Short-arm action from an over-the-top slot with some accuracy. Clocked at 63 mph on the infield. On the mound, throws similarly to what he showed on the infield, high ¾ slot and short-arm action. Best pitch appeared to be his curveball, flashing good feel and pretty tight spin with some depth. 12/6 action and ranged between 65-69 mph. Fastball worked 72-74 mph, touching 75. Change-up sat 68-72 mph with slight fade.

CJ Lewis, 3B, Normal West, 2019
Solid lower half 5-foot-9, 160-pound infielder and right-handed hitter. Offensively, flashed some rhythm throughout swing. Closed, tall setup. Slight pre-pitch load, short stride and linear lower half. Long, uphill swing path. Registered an 80 mph exit velocity. Defensively, quick exchange on the infield. Short arm action, over-the-top slot with some accuracy. Clocked at 69 mph across the infield.

Bill Pospisil, RHP/3B/C, Pomona, 2019
Athletic and versatile 5-foot-8, 170-pound right-handed hitter and pitcher. Ran one of the better 60 yard dashes at the event, 7.26. Offensively, incorporates his lower half into his swing. Closed, tall setup and a short, toe-tap trigger. Flattens bat during his pre-pitch load. Long, uphill bat path through the zone. Exit velocity registered 78 mph. Defensively, worked out as an infielder and a catcher. On the infield, flashed clean transfer and good feet on the play in the hole. High ¾ arm slot with average hands. Clocked at 71 mph across the infield. As a catcher recorded pop times ranging from 2.29-2.36. Velocity from behind the plate was clocked at 71 mph. On the mound the 2019 graduate sat 76-78 mph with his fastball, flashing slight run and thrown for strikes. Curveball featured 10/4 shape, sitting 66-68 mph. Also, mixed in a change-up, near fastball arm speed, ranging between 64-67 mph.

James Raffauf, RHP/OF/INF, Marian Central Catholic, 2017
Projectable, lanky 6-foot-2, 155-pound right-handed hitter and pitcher. On the mound showed projectability and throws four pitches for a strike. Deliberate windup, repeatable, with some effort and rhythm. Over-the-top lot, short-arm action, quick and loose arm. Fires off towards first base on his finish.  Threw a heavy fastball for strikes, 78-80 mph. Slider was firm, with feel at 70-71 mph, with two-plane action. Curveball has 12/6 action, occasionally backed up, 65-67 mph. Plus feel for his change-up, fastball arm speed, sitting 71-73 mph. Offensively, short, level bat path through the zone. Wide, closed and balanced setup. Slight pre-pitch load, short stride and average balance through contact. Opposite field approach during batting practice. Registered an exit velocity of 78 mph. Defensively, worked out on the infield and outfield. Handled both positions effectively. Quick and fluid footwork on both the infield and outfield. Played through the baseball, clean exchange from the outfield. Long arm action, over-the-top slot and clocked at 78 mph with slight carry from the outfield. On the infield flashed plus feet on his exchange. Reliable hands and clocked at 75 mph across the infield.

Tanner Regez, MIF, Herscher, 2016
5-foot-8, 150-pound left-handed hitting middle infielder, good all-around feel for the game. Offensively, balanced setup, hands get in a good position to hit and slight load. Short stride and leg-lift trigger. Linear lower half, slightly uphill bat path and took balls to the opposite field effectively. Registered a 75 mph exit velocity. Defensively, athletic fielding position, with hands out front, flashed soft hands and a clean transfer.  Short arm action, high ¾ slot, accuracy across the infield at 71 mph.

Andrew Roberts, 2B, Williamsville, 2017
Lean 5-foot-9, 130-pound right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, open, tall setup. Short, slight leg lift trigger. Some pre-pitch rhythm in hands. Registered a 71 mph exit velocity. Defensively, flashed soft hands with a quick exchange. Short arm action, over-the-top slot with some accuracy. Clocked at 80 mph across the infield. Ran a 7.65 60 yard dash.

Brandon Roth, 2B/RHP, Normal West, 2019
Lean build 5-foot-9, 130-pound infielder and right-handed pitcher. Offensively, some rhythm in hands throughout swing. Wide, closed setup. Slight pre-pitch load to his backside. Long stride, leg-kick trigger. Recorded a 73 mph exit velocity. Defensively, flashed solid hands in the infield and a clean exchange. Short-arm action, high ¾ slot and some accuracy. Clocked at 69 mph across the infield. On the mound the right hander throws from a high ¾ arm slot. Up-tempo delivery, level shoulders, on-line direction. Fastball sat 66-69 mph. Curveball, thrown with fastball arm speed, 11/5 action ranging between 52-56 mph. Change-up was 58-61 mph.

Maxwell Rumpf, 3B/RHP, Peoria Richwoods, 2017
Athletically built 5-foot-11, 175-pound right-handed hitting infielder and pitcher. Offensively, hits from a balanced, slightly closed setup. Pre-pitch rhythm and load. Level bat path through the zone and generates some bat speed. Inconsistent use of the lower half in swing. Defensively, short-arm action from a high ¾ slot and some accuracy. Clean, quick exchange. Clocked at 73 mph across the infield. On the mound the right-handed pitcher has a loose, clean arm. Ability to repeat his delivery consistently. High ¾ arm slot, regular effort and smooth rhythm. On-line delivery, square landing and an upright finish. Fastball was 75-76 mph, up in the zone at times. Feel for his curveball, 11/5 shape ranging between 62-65 mph. Change-up had inconsistent action, with cutting actions at times, 67-70 mph. When good, flashed some sink.

Johnny Sanchez, 3B/RHP, Rockford Lutheran, 2016
Strong lower-half 5-foot-10, 195-pound right-handed hitting infielder and pitcher. On the mound the right-handed pitcher featured some arm strength. Registered the highest velocity of the event, 86 mph. Fastball had late life, sitting 84-85 mph and touched 86. Deliberate delivery with some rhythm. Short-arm action, over-the-top slot and some effort. Curveball thrown for strikes, 11/5 action, 70-71 mph. Change-up featured inconsistent action ranging 73-77 mph. One flashed arm-side-run and slight sink. Interesting arm that is currently uncommitted in the 2016 class. Offensively, strength through contact, evidenced by one of the better exit velocities of the event, 90 mph. Flashed a quick bat at times with a level bat path through the zone. Balanced, tall setup, no load and short stride. Gap-to-gap type hitter. Defensively, arm strength across the infield, carry and a true flight on his throws. Short-arm action, high ¾ slot, with some accuracy. Clocked at 82 mph across the infield.

Bryson Swift, SS/RHP, Pekin, 2018
Lean build 5-foot-9, 140-pound shortstop and right-handed pitcher. Ran the best 60 yard dash of the event, 7.17, above average for his age. Offensively, flashed a level bat path through the zone. Tall, open setup, toe tap stride. Pull-side approach during batting practice. 77 mph exit velocity. Defensively, body control going to his left and right. Short arm action, high ¾ slot. Clocked at 68 mph across the infield. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, on-line direction, square landing and athletic finish. High ¾ slot, short-arm action and regular effort in delivery. Fastball ranged between 74-76 mph. Feel for curveball, featured 11/5 shape and sat 59-62 mph. Change-up worked from 67-69 mph.

Julian Uribe, 3B, Normal West, 2019
Big-bodied 5-foot-7, 190-pound right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, closed, tall setup. Short stride, some pre-pitch movement in hands. Registered an exit velocity of 78 mph. Defensively, throws from an over-the-top slot, short-arm action. Clocked at 60 mph across the infield.

Kyle Werries, 3B/RHP, Glenwood, 2018
Big bodied 5-foot-9, 175-pound right-handed hitting infielder and pitcher. Projects well as a right-handed pitcher. Smooth, slow-paced delivery that is very repeatable. On-line delivery, square landing and athletic finish. Big, balanced leg-lift. Over-the-top slot, clean, short-arm action. Regular effort in his delivery. Fastball, when located down in the zone, had some tilt, ranging between 74-77 mph, touching 78. Feel for his curveball which worked mostly 11/5, quality spin, depth, sitting 62-65 mph. Change-up had inconsistent action but when good had sink, fade and was down in the zone, 63-65 mph. Offensively, bat stays flat through the hitting zone. Some pop in bat to the pull side. Balanced, tall stance, pre-pitch load onto his back side. Short stride, long path, with early rhythm. 76 mph exit velocity off of a tee. Defensively, flashed reliable hands on the infield with a clean exchange. Short arm action, over-the-top slot and some accuracy, clocked at 70 mph.

Ben Williamson, 3B/RHP, Blue Ridge, 2016
5-foot-11, 165-pound athletically built right handed hitting third baseman and right-handed pitcher. Offensively, simple swing, with an uphill path. Crouched, wide stance, loaded hands back pre-pitch and utilized a leg-lift trigger. Registered an 82 mph exit velocity. Defensively, flashed good body control and the arm plays from the left side of the infield. Long arm action, high ¾ arm slot with carry across the infield. Clocked at 83 mph on the infield. On the mound the right-handed pitcher operated from the same high ¾ slot he had on the infield. Slow, deliberate delivery, extremely repeatable and quick arm. Ability to throw all four of his offerings for a strike. Fastball sat 79-80 mph, touching 81. Plus feel for his change-up, down in the zone, worked at 70-74 mph. Curveball and slider had similar action. Curveball featured 11/5 shape, sweeping action and ranged between 64-66 mph. Slider flashed sharper action and spin, 11/5 shape, sitting 66-67 mph. Showed feel for both breaking balls.

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