Chicago Preseason I.D.: Infield Analysis


By Diego Solares and Drew Locascio
Illinois Staff

On Sunday, February 23, the PBR Illinois team hosted its second annual Chicago Preseason I.D. showcase at the Pullman Community Center, where over 80 prospects from all high school classes participated in this open event event. 

Shortly after the event’s conclusion we posted an early analysis of the event with our Quick Hits and Statistical Analysis pieces. We jump started our position-by-position breakdown on Monday with a deep dive into the catchers

Today we take a look at the 35-plus infielders that were in attendance. At the top of the list is Illinois State commit, INF Shai Robinson (Homewood-Flossmoor, 2022). Robinson has an athletic, projectable frame, easy actions that profile to stay at shortstop and controls the barrel at the plate. 

Behind Robinson is uncommitted 3B Giacomo Fanizza (Lake Park, 2021). Fanizza seemed to be on a mission in the batter;s box, showcasing some of the best raw bat speed and power of the event. Fanizza consistently barreled baseballs with authority into the pull-side gap and has a chance to stick on the infield moving forward. 

The top catcher of the event, Kyree Alexander (Thornwood, 2022) rounds out the top three infielders. Alexander has a twitchy, quick right-handed swing that profiles at the top of the order and smooth hands on the infield. 

Read on below for reports on all of the infielders from this event. 

TOP INFIELD PROSPECTS

1. Shai Robinson, Homewood Flossmoor, 2022 (Illinois State commit)
Positional Profile: SS Instinctual defender with a smooth swing; high follow in his class.
Body: 5-foot-10, 160-pounds. Athletic, proportional frame. High-waisted.
Hit: RHH. Tall, athletic setup, smooth load, short stride, easy balance through contact.  Loose hands, simple swing, consistently repeats, uphill path, gap-to-gap approach, easy feel for the barrel.
Power: 82 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 78 mph. Short and loose arm action, high 3/4 slot. Ball comes out easy, throws play true across the diamond.
Defense: Athletic easy infield actions, attacks the baseball, fluid footwork, fields in rhythm. Soft hands, quick and clean release, plays through the baseball.
Run: 7.59 runner in the 60. 

2. Giacomo Fanizza, Lake Park, 2021
Positional Profile: 3B/2B
Body: 6-foot-1, 190-pounds. Strong, athletic, well-proportioned frame.
Hit: RHH. Tall, open setup, active pre-pitch movement, high leg kick trigger.  Present bat speed, swings with intent, uphill path, pull-side approach, ball jumps off the bat, works with a fluid rhythm.
Power: 95 mph exit velocity from the tee. Showed some of the best raw bat speed and power at the event.
Arm: RH. INF - 83 mph. Quick arm action, 3/4 slot; accurate throws.
Defense: Profiles as an offensive third baseman. High motor, quick feet that field in rhythm, works around the baseball, comfortable going up the middle. Steady hands and clean release at times.
Run: 6.98 runner in the 60. 

3. Kyree Alexander, Thornwood, 2022
Positional Profile: C/SS Advanced defender that will stick up the middle moving forward. Emerging as a follow in his class.
Body: 5-foot-6, 140-pounds. Athletic build.
Hit: SH. Balanced setup, smooth load, short stride, maintains balance through contact.  Quick-twitch hands, short and level path, consistent hard contact, gap-to-gap approach. Feel for himself in the box, fluid rhythm throughout.
Power: 80 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. INF - 74 mph. Short arm action, over-the-top slot.
Defense: Worked out behind the plate and in the infield. Advanced actions in the infield. Showed soft hands, fluid footwork, and capable of making plays on the move. Plays athletic behind the dish with a quick release and feet that work direct to target.
Run: 7.25 runner in the 60. 

4. Darryl Loyd III, Morgan Park, 2021
Positional Profile: 1B/LHP
Body: 6-foot-2, 220-pounds. Strong, physical frame. Wide-shouldered, defined lower half.
Hit: SH. Balanced setup, smooth load, leg kick trigger.  More natural from the left side, quick bat, raw bat strength, swings with intent, uphill path, elevates the baseball, gap-to-gap approach, high power potential.
Power: 91 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: LH. INF - 80 mph. Long arm action, over-the-top slot.
Defense: Athletic feet, steady hands, feel around the bag.
Run: 7.96 runner in the 60. 

5. Colin Leslie, University of Chicago Laboratory School, 2022
Positional Profile: C/SS
Body: 5-foot-8, 140-pounds. Lean, athletic frame.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, simple load, quick leg lift timing trigger.  Easy swing, quick hands, level path, line drive approach, fluid rhythm throughout.
Power: 80 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 70 mph. INF - 69 mph. Short, loose arm action, over-the-top slot.
Defense: Worked out at catcher and in the infield. Sound actions at both positions. Showed soft hands, quick feet, and range up the middle in the field. Athletic actions behind the plate, quick out the crouch with a clean transfer, fluid feet work direct to target.
Run: 7.56 runner in the 60. 

6. Alexander Gonzalo, Maine South, 2021
Positional Profile: SS/3B
Body: 6-foot, 180-pounds. Athletic build.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, smooth load, short stride, drives lower half, maintains balance through contact.  Simple, fast hands, swings with intent, level path, extension through contact, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 89 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 82 mph. Long arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Hands play under center, long to release at times.
Run: 7.39 runner in the 60. 

7. Asa Waites, Morgan Park, 2021
Positional Profile: INF
Body: 5-foot-11, 200-pounds. Strong, wide-shouldered frame. Defined lower half.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, wide base, active pre-pitch movement in hands, short stride to even.  Quick bat, long and uphill path, extension through contact, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 78 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 77 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Athletic fielding position, feet work in rhythm, comfortable going up the middle, steady hands, quick and clean release.
Run: 7.89 runner in the 60. 

8. Drew Horne, Fenwick, 2022
Positional Profile: RHP/SS
Body: 6-foot-2, 147-pounds. Lean, lanky frame. Highly projects.
Hit: RHH. Balanced, athletic setup, loads quick, leg lift trigger.   Simple swing, long and uphill path, gap-to-gap approach, works in rhythm.
Power: 81 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 78 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot. Accurate throws.
Defense: Covers ground, steady hands, quick and clean funnels.
Run: 7.69 runner in the 60. 

9. Matt Walsh, St. Ignatius, 2023
Positional Profile: 2B/3B
Body: 5-foot-9, 148-pounds. Lean, athletic build.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, minimal load, short stride, drives lower half.  Simple, loose hands, level path, consistently repeats, line drive approach, fluid rhythm throughout.
Power: 83 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 78 mph. Long arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Fields out in front, steady hands, long to release.
Run: 7.85 runner in the 60. 

10. Kevin Thunderbird Jr, Kenwood Academy, 2023
Positional Profile: 3B/1B
Body: 5-foot-9, 198-pounds. Strong, wide-shouldered build. Defined lower half.
Hit: RHH. Balanced, slightly open setup, smooth load, short stride to close.  Simple swing, fast hands, short and level path, extension through contact, easy gap-to-gap power. 
Power: 82 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 66 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot. 
Defense: Attacks the ball, quick feet work in fluid rhythm, hands play under center, clean exchange, plays through the baseball at times. Second base profile.
Run: 7.65 runner in the 60. 

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Adan Abarca, Munster (IN), 2023
Positional Profile: 2B/OF
Body: 5-foot-2, 120-pounds. Compact, high-waisted frame.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, smooth load, leg lift trigger.  Long and level path, line drive approach.
Power: 75 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 69 mph. Long arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Fields out in front, steady hands, secure exchange, plays through the baseball. 
Run: 7.87 runner in the 60. 

Omar Alday Jr, St. Rita, 2023
Positional Profile: SS/2B
Body: 5-foot-9, 160-pounds. Strong, athletic frame. Broad shoulders.
Hit: RHH. Balanced, athletic setup, hands slightly drop, quick leg lift trigger.  Swings with intent, short and level path, gap-to-gap approach, produced hard contact. 
Power: 87 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 78 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Patient to the baseball, two-hand gather under center of body.
Run: 7.83 runner in the 60. 

Matthew Bressler, Stevenson, 2023
Positional Profile: SS/RHP
Body: 5-foot-9, 145-pounds. Lean, athletic build.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, smooth load, short stride to even, stays balanced through contact.  Simple swing, short and uphill path, gap-to-gap approach with a pull-side tendency.
Power: 83 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 72 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot. Quick arm, accurate throws.
Defense: Quick feet up the middle, fields out in front, steady hands, long to release at time.
Run: 7.27 runner in the 60. 

Peyton Burgh, Prospect, 2022
Positional Profile: SS/RHP
Body: 5-foot-11, 165-pounds. Athletic, well-proportioned build.
Hit: RHH. Crouched, slightly open setup, short stride to even.  Long and uphill path, loud pull-side contact.
Power: 83 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 80 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Moves well up the middle, hands play under center of body.
Run: 7.16 runner in the 60. 

Christian Carr, Kenwood, 2023
Positional Profile: 2B/3B
Body: 5-foot-10, 115-pounds. Lean, lanky, high-waisted build.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, active pre-pitch movement, short stride.  Long and level path.
Power: 69 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. Long arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Attacks the baseball, fields with two hands under center of body.
Run: 8.11 runner in the 60. 

Avery Evans, STEM Academy, 2021
Positional Profile: 3B/RHP
Body: 6-foot-2, 190-pounds. Athletic, high-waisted build.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, smooth load, short stride to even, balanced through contact.  Raw bat strength, long and level path, line drive approach.
Power: 71 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 66 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot. Accurate throws.
Defense: Fields low to the ground, clean exchange.
Run: 7.66 runner in the 60. 

AJ Gaca, St. Charles East, 2022
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-foot-11, 200-pounds. Strong, well-proportioned frame.
Hit: RHH. Open setup, long stride to even, stays balanced through contact.  Fast hands, swings with intent, level path, pull-side power, consistent barrels.
Power: 91 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 73 mph. INF - 76 mph. Long arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Worked out in the infield and behind the plate. Showed quick feet, steady hands, and range in the field. Athletic behind the plate, quick to release, fluid footwork direct to target, adept blocker. 
Run: 7.92 runner in the 60. 

Nicholas Gniedziejko, Taft, 2022
Positional Profile: RHP/1B
Body: 6-foot-4, 185-pounds. Lanky, athletic build. Projects.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, wide base, active pre-pitch movement in hands, quick leg kick trigger.  Long and uphill path, pull-side approach.
Power: 83 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 71 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Fields with two hands out in front of body.
Run: 8.16 runner in the 60. 

Will Hayes, New Trier, 2022
Positional Profile: 1B/RHP
Body: 6-foot, 180-pounds. Strong, proportional build. Wide-shouldered.
Hit: RHH. Slightly open setup, wide base, hands load back, toe-tap timing trigger.  Uphill path, elevates the baseball, upright finish.
Power: 78 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 79 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot. Accurate throws.
Defense: Comes to the baseball, two-hand gather, some feel for the bag.
Run: 7.82 runner in the 60. 

Iyari Hill, Simeon, 2021
Positional Profile: 1B/LHP
Body: 6-foot-1, 183-pounds. Athletic build. Strong lower half.
Hit: RHH. Tall, slightly balanced setup, smooth load, short stride.  Twitchy hands, uphill path, extension through contact, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 82 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: LH. INF - 79 mph. Long arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Fields out in front, steady hands, feel for the bag.
Run: 7.48 runner in the 60. 

Sean Holbrook, Niles West, 2021
Positional Profile: SS/2B
Body: 5-foot-8, 145-pounds. Athletic build.
Hit: RHH. Crouched, slightly open setup, hands load back, short stride.  Short and uphill path, line drive approach.
Power: 89 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 75 mph. Short and loose arm action, high 3/4 slot. Some accuracy on throws.
Defense: Athletic actions, bouncey defender, feet field in rhythm, confident up the middle. Smooth hands, fields low to the ground, quick and clean release, plays through the baseball.
Run: 7.40 runner in the 60. 

Gunnar Howes, Hanover Central (IN), 2022
Positional Profile: SS/2B
Body: 5-foot-7, 130-pounds. Lean, athletic build.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, smooth load, short stride, stays balanced through contact.  Quiet, simple swing, quick hands, short and level path, sprayed line drives to all fields, controls barrel.
Power: 81 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 75 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Athletic feet, rangy defender, steady hands, clean release.
Run: 7.26 runner in the 60. 

Harrison Kennicott, Barrington, 2021
Positional Profile: 1B/OF
Body: 5-foot-11, 177-pounds. Strong, well-defined frame. Sturdy lower half.
Hit: LHH. Balanced setup, minimal load, quick leg lift timing trigger.  Quick hands, raw bat strength, short and uphill path, easily elevates the baseball, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 90 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 75 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Fields with two hands out in front of body, some feel for the bag.
Run: 7.54 runner in the 60. 

Ryan Koehler, Barrington, 2021
Positional Profile: 2B/RHP
Body: 5-foot-9, 165-pounds. Strong, athletic build.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, hands load high, quick leg lift trigger.  Swings with intent, long and level path, gap-to-gap approach, consistent hard contact.
Power: 89 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 82 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot. Accurate throws.
Defense: Gets around the baseball, fluid footwork at times, steady hands, quick to release.
Run: 7.54 runner in the 60. 

Ryan Kramer, Latin School of Chicago, 2022
Positional Profile: 3B/RHP
Body: 6-foot, 199-pounds. Strong, wide-shouldered build.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, hands load back, quick leg kick trigger.  Long and uphill path, gap-to-gap approach, occasional hard contact.
Power: 89 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 76 mph. Short and loose arm action, 3/4 slot.
Defense: Hands play under center, long to release at times, third base profile.
Run: 7.82 runner in the 60. 

Caden Krystofiak, Glenbard East, 2022
Positional Profile: RHP/3B
Body: 5-foot-10, 160-pounds. Strong, well-proportioned frame.
Hit: RHH. Balanced, slightly open setup, steady load, minimal stride.  Loose hands, quick bat, short and uphill path, line drive approach.
Power: 85 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 74 mph. Long arm action, low 3/4 slot.
Defense: Hands field out in front, clean exchange, corner infield profile.
Run: 8.94 runner in the 60. 

Nick Lagges, Lane tech, 2022
Positional Profile: SS/RHP
Body: 5-foot-10, 163-pounds. Athletic, high-waisted frame.
Hit: RHH. Balanced, slightly crouched setup, hands load back, short stride.  Quick hands, uphill path, flashed raw pull-side power.
Power: 80 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 76 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Active feet, quick up the middle, fields upright, steady hands, clean exchange, smooth actions on double play turn.
Run: 7.44 runner in the 60. 

Alexander Las, Marian Catholic, 2022
Positional Profile: 2B/OF
Body: 5-foot-11, 163-pounds. Athletic build.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, hands stay back, toe-tap timing trigger.  Loose hands, raw bat strength, short and uphill path.
Power: 80 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 67 mph. OF - 68 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Worked out both in the infield and outfield. Hands play out in front with active feet on the infield. More natural defensively in the outfield, attacks the baseball and fields in rhythm.
Run: 7.22 runner in the 60. 

Ezekiel Lopez, Morton West, 2022
Positional Profile: 3B/RHP
Body: 5-foot-6, 154-pounds. Compact frame. Strong lower half.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, active pre-pitch movement in hands, short stride to open.  Long and level path, line drive approach, knack for the barrel.
Power: 82 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 73 mph. Long arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Quick feet, hands play out in front, clean exchange, plays through the baseball.
Run: 7.93 runner in the 60. 

Daniel Mulcare, Glenbard West, 2021
Positional Profile: 1B/RHP
Body: 6-foot-5, 200-pounds. Lanky, long-levered build. Projects.
Hit: RHH. Balanced, slightly open setup, smooth load, quick leg kick trigger.  Quick hands, short and uphill path, steady hard contact, works in rhythm. 
Power: 85 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 74 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Fields out in front with two hands. Some feel for the bag at first base.
Run: 7.54 runner in the 60. 

Kaden Murphy, Champaign Centennial, 2021
Positional Profile: RHP/3B
Body: 6-foot-1, 165-pounds. Lean, lanky frame.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, hands load back, short stride.  Long and uphill path.
Power: 75 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 74 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Attacks the baseball, hands play out in front of body.
Run: 7.50 runner in the 60. 

Carson Patchett, Mount Carmel, 2021
Positional Profile: 2B/SS
Body: 5-foot-11, 160-pounds. Athletic, proportioned build.
Hit: RHH. Confident and relaxed setup, smooth load, short stride.  Long and uphill path, line drive approach.
Power: 79 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 70 mph. Short, compact arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Active feet, attacks the baseball, quick on the move, steady hands.
Run: 7.66 runner in the 60. 

Samuel Rhodes, Lane Tech, 2021
Positional Profile: 2B/C
Body: 5-foot-9, 165-pounds. Athletic, well-proportioned frame.
Hit: RHH. Tall setup, narrow base, steady load, long stride.  Uphill path, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 82 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 78 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot. Accurate throws.
Defense: Quick feet, moves well up the middle, steady hands, long to release at times.
Run: 7.73 runner in the 60. 

Brandon Rojas, Mount Carmel, 2021
Positional Profile: 3B/2B
Body: 5-foot-10, 170-pounds. Strong, athletic build. Projects.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, smooth load, short stride to even, stays balanced through contact.  Simple swing, loose hands, level path, gap-to-gap approach, knack for the barrel.
Power: 82 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 72 mph. Long arm action, 3/4 slot.
Defense: Patient to the baseball, hands play low to the ground, two-hand gather.
Run: 7.74 runner in the 60. 

Trey Sykes, Thornwood, 2021
Positional Profile: SS/OF
Body: 5-foot-10, 170-pounds. Wiry build.
Hit: RHH. Crouched slightly open setup, short stride. Short direct path, quick hands, line-drive approach and uses the middle of the field.
Power: 77 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 74 mph. Short firm arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Reliable hands, plays from the ground up, maintains body control on the move.
Run: 7.70 runner in the 60. 

Charlie Wolf, St. Ignatius, 2023
Positional Profile: SS/RHP
Body: 6-foot, 150-pounds. Lean, athletic frame. Projects.
Hit: RHH. Tall setup, hands load back and tight to back shoulder, toe-tap trigger.  Uphill path, pull-side approach.
Power: 84 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 77 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Fluid footwork, steady on the move, quick release, plays through the baseball.
Run: 7.40 runner in the 60. 

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