Central Illinois Open: Outfielder Analysis



By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

Two of the three ranked outfielders at this years Central Illinois Open were 2017 prospects. Ryan Poland (2017) flashed bat speed and a 92 mph exit velocity to lock down the number one ranked outfield spot. James Raffauf (2017) displayed some athletic actions and a loose arm which propelled him to be one of the top outfielders at the event. Reid Akerman (2016) was another top performer. Akerman impressed with his quick, fluid footwork and threw 84 mph from the outfield. 

Listed below our PBR scouting staff sat down and ranked the top three outfielders from the event.

TOP OUTFIELDERS

1. Ryan Poland, OF, Normal University, 2017
Compact 5-foot-7, 165-pound right-handed hitting outfielder. Had the highest exit velocity of the event, 92 mph. Offensively, quick hands and bat speed. Balanced, athletic set up. Smooth, deep pre-pitch load onto his backside and hands get into a powerful position to hit. Leg-kick trigger with good balance throughout contact. Long, uphill bat path with a gap-to-gap approach. Defensively, recorded one of the best velocities from the outfield at the event, 83 mph. Quick, fluid footwork and plays through the baseball when fielding. Short-arm action, over-the-top slot with carry on his throws. Also, ran a 7.18 60 yard dash.

2. Reid Akerman, OF, Rock Falls, 2016
Athletically built 6-foot, 175-pound left-handed hitting and right-handed throwing outfielder. Offensively, simple, compact swing that flashed occasional bat speed. Balanced, slightly closed setup with a leg-lift trigger and linear lower half. Registered an exit velocity of 76 mph. Defensively, showed some arm strength, throwing 84 mph from the outfield. Quick and fluid footwork with the ability to read hops. Athletic fielding position and plays through the baseball. Long arm action from a high ¾ slot. Also, ran a 7.36 60 yard dash.

3. 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.

BEST OF THE REST (ALPHABETICALLY)

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.

Ben Battley, OF, Zion Benton, 2017
Strong, well-proportioned 5-foot-10, 170-pound right-handed hitting outfielder. Ran a 7.25 60 yard dash. Offensively, flashed a fast bat with quick hands. Open setup, loads hands pre-pitch and short stride. Looks to pull at the plate with an uphill bat path. Exit velocity, 76 mph. Defensively, Battley displayed quick and fluid feet in the outfield. Played through the baseball when fielding. Over-the-top slot, short arm action, clocked at 72 mph from the outfield.

Elias Hernandez, LHP/OF, St. Patricks, 2018
Big-bodied 5-foot-10, 170-pound 2018 left-handed hitting outfielder and pitcher. Defensively, athletic fielding position, playing through the baseball. Quick and clean transfer with some actions. Short-arm action, high ¾ slot, clocked at 72 mph from the outfield. Offensively, pre-pitch rhythm in hands. Tall, balanced setup, slight load and leg-lift trigger. Long, uphill bat path. Registered an 81 mph exit velocity. Also, ran a 7.71 60 yard dash. On the mound the left-hander operates with a slight hitch and some deception in his delivery. Short-arm action, high ¾ slot and regular effort. In-line direction and upright finish. Fastball was thrown for strikes, featured slight tilt when located down in the zone, sitting 71-73 mph, touching 74. Curveball had 1/7 shape, thrown for strikes, sharp action, ranging between 64-66 mph. Change-up ranged between 63-66 mph.

Tyler Joaquin, OF/RHP, Normal West, 2018
Athletic build 5-foot-10, 160-pound right-handed hitting outfielder and pitcher. Offensively, short bat path through the hitting zone. Linear lower half. Balanced open stance, leg-lift trigger. Exit velocity registered 72 mph off of a tee. Defensively, quick, fluid footwork and plays through the baseball. Short-arm action from an over-the-top slot, clocked at 73 mph. On the mound the right-hander has some rhythm throughout the delivery. Drop and drive type pitcher, short-arm action with in-line, square and athletic finish. Fastball ranged between 69-72 mph. Curveball featured 12/6 action, thrown with fastball arm speed, sitting 55-60 mph. Change-up had some feel, mainly located underneath the zone, 63-64 mph.

Craig Austin, OF, Decatur Lutheran, 2016
Shorter build, strong 5-foot-8, 160-pound left-handed hitting outfielder. Offensively, barreled a few pitches to the pull side in batting practice. Simple swing, with not a lot of moving parts. Starts from a balanced, closed stance. Loads hands pre-pitch, short stride and average bat speed. Front-foot hitter who likes to pull. Registered an exit velocity of 77 mph. Defensively, short-arm action, high ¾ arm slot, with accuracy, 73 mph from the outfield. Also, ran a 7.53 60 yard dash.

Logan Corsaw, OF/C, Cuba, 2016
Projectable body 6-foot-1, 170-pound athletically built right-handed hitting outfielder. Offensively, starts from a tall, balanced stance. Loads weight onto back leg and utilizes a leg-kick trigger. Long, uphill bat path. Flashed a strong bat on a few swings. Registered an exit velocity 75 mph. Defensively, average hands, long-arm action, high ¾ slot. Accuracy on his throws, clocked at 73 mph. Also, ran a 7.48 60 yard dash.

Caden Wright, OF, Moline, 2017
Long and lean 6-foot-2, 155-pound left-handed hitting outfielder. Offensively, some pre-pitch rhythm and movement. Open, tall setup and leg-kick trigger. Incorporated lower half into swing at times. Looked to pull the ball in batting practice. Exit velocity registered 75 mph off of a tee. Defensively, flashed quick and fluid footwork in the outfield. Long-arm action, over-the-top slot, had accuracy and slight on throws, clocked at 76 mph. Also, ran a 7.93 60 yard dash.

Evan Warrington, RHP/OF, Sacred Heart-Griffin, 2018
Athletically built 5-foot-11, 150-pound well-proportioned right-handed hitting outfielder and pitcher. Has a future on the mound. Throws three pitches for a strike and showed good feel for his off-speed. Flashed quick-arm speed, smooth rhythm and a repeatable delivery. High ¾ arm slot, short-arm action, square, in-line and athletic finish. Fastball sat 75-76 mph, touching 77. Ability to spin the baseball, with feel, working his curveball 11/5 with some depth. Curveball ranged between 59-61 mph. Also showed good feel for his change-up, pounding the bottom of the zone, 69-70 mph. Offensively, short, level bat path through the hitting zone. Pre-pitch rhythm that he maintains through contact. Starts from a balanced stance, smooth deep load and a short, toe-tap stride. Incorporates lower half into swing. Registered an exit velocity of 77 mph. Defensively, short-arm action, high ¾ slot, with accuracy in his throws, 79 mph from the outfield. Ran a 7.89 60 yard dash.

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