Chicagoland Open: Pitching Analysis



By Ryan Quigley
Illinois Scouting Director

The Chicagoland Open took place on Sunday August 17th on the campus of Saint Xavier University and included prospects from the 2015-2018 classes.  Several impressed, and over the next few days we will roll out a position-by-position analysis and finally the top overall prospects from the event.  Today we’ll take a look at the pitchers, led by Brother Rice’s Mike Schalasky, a talented two-way prospect who was also ranked as the No. 1 catching prospect at the event.  Schalasky may have more upside on the mound, thanks to an 86-88 mph fastball that has reportedly touched 90 mph this summer.  Fenwick’s Jay Militello opened the eyes of the PBR scouting staff with his projectable frame and three-pitch feel, with a fastball touching 87 mph.  Shepard’s Brett Smith touched 87 from the windup, rounding out the top three which was extremely difficult to judge, as all three project as Division-I caliber arms.  Rounding out the top-ten were several projectable 2016’s and 2017’s who will be prospects to follow over the next few years. 

Let’s take a look at the top pitching prospects from this year’s Chicagoland Open.

Top Pitching Prospects

1. Michael Schalasky, RHP/C, Brother Rice, 2015
6-foot, 180-pound right-handed hitting RHP/C currently ranked No. 57 in Illinois’ 2015 class impressed as the top overall two-way prospect in attendance at the Chicagoland Open.  Schalasky is receiving Division-1 interest on the mound, but he also can swing it as evidenced by his 93 mph exit velocity.  Hits from an open setup, hands start high, load back smoothly, short stride, good feel for finding barrel, natural lift to short swing with some power projection, especially to his pull side.  Defensively behind the plate, rattled off the top pop time at the event at 1.98 seconds and threw 78 mph from the crouch.  On the mound, shows a feel for three pitches highlighted by an 86-88 mph fastball that has reportedly touched 90 mph on occasion.  Works from a long, loose, high ¾ arm slot; easy effort from a tall-and-fall delivery, toe down at balance point, level shoulders throughout, stride direction stays in line with home plate, athletic finish.  12/6 curveball had occasional sharp, late action thrown for strikes at 71-73 mph.  Also threw 77-79 mph changeup with arm side run for strikes.  Ran a 7.66 60 and 5.18 from home to first.

2. Jay Militello, RHP/SS, Fenwick, 2016
6-foot-2, 175-pound, two-way player, projects higher on the mound, athletic frame, projectable body, multi-sport athlete. Tall and fall delivery, regular effort, works online, slightly loaded balance point with toe down, squared landing, works athletically from the stretch. Arm action is long and loose, high ¾ slot, quick arm, room for more. Fastball touched 87 mph, settled in at 83-85 mph, projects to have the ability to sit in the 87 mph range, showed control of the zone. Straight changeup has feel, excellent control of the zone, fastball arm action, 72-76 mph. Breaking ball has some sweeping action, he calls it a cutter, 68-72 mph, velocity not comparable to cutter, showed feel for the pitch, should develop into a slider. Offensively hits from a right handed, balanced stance, heel lift stride. Line drive approach, 76 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively showed athleticism defensively, hands worked. Arm action is loose, works similarly to that on the mound. High follow pitching prospect.

3. Brett Smith, RHP, Shepard, 2015
6-foot-3, 180-pound right-handed pitcher, currently ranked No. 103 in Illinois’ 2015 class.  Works from a tall and fall delivery with a long, loose, high ¾ arm slot, toe up at balance point, level shoulders throughout delivery, throws slightly across body and lands closed on front foot.  Utilizes a hand bump (raises hands during delivery) for rhythm, which gets above head when throwing fastballs, tones it down on off speed with not as much movement.  Fastball ranged 85-87 mph from the windup, 82-85 mph from the stretch.  Throws strikes with occasional arm side run.  Throws a knuckle curve, but with two fingers knuckled, so essentially a knuckle ball, with erratic shape from 73-77 mph.  At times has slider shape, at times has 12/6 curveball action, but does throw it aggressively.  74-76 mph changeup missed to his arm side, but has fade to it.  Smith has an extremely athletic frame, and smoothing out his mechanics and breaking ball could lead to a future workhorse with upper 80’s/low 90’s velocity.

4. Jordan Walden, RHP, Reed-Custer, 2016
Extra-large frame, 6-foot-5, 187-pound right handed pitcher, slender build, highly projectable frame, raw abilities. Tall and fall delivery, works directional, upright delivery, tendency to work uphill on occasion. Arm action is long and loose, high ¾ slot. Showed the ability to get his fastball downhill, control of the zone, 81-82 mph, occasional sink. Curveball worked on 12/6 plane, showed depth, gradual action with control of the zone, 62-65 mph. Straight changeup has feel, controlled the zone, 72-75 mph. High ceiling RHP is a strong follow in the 2016 class.

5. Jake Jones, RHP, Brother Rice, 2017
Long lanky frame, thin build, 6-foot-2, 175-pound right handed pitcher, projectable frame. Delivery has loaded balance point, coils in balance point, lead leg swings to heel strike landing. Arm action is long, some looseness, high ¾ arm slot. Showed the ability to control his fastball, 77-81 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, slower arm action, 61-62 mph, potential to be plus down the road, changeup has fading action, 67-69 mph. Projectable 2017 right-handed pitcher.

6. Ranko Stevanovic, RHP/1B, Notre Dame, 2016
Solid build with strength, 6-foot-2, 205-pound two-way player. On the mound delivery works with some direction, some effort, recoil finish. Long arm action, over the top slot, slight glove pat separation. Fastball has slight sinking action, pitched at 82-83 mph, touched 84 mph. Breaking ball worked at 60-64 mph. Changeup revealed slightly slower arm action, 67-69 mph. Right handed hitter, balanced stance, short stride, partial lower half involvement, maintained balance. Pull side hitter, showed strength, 89 mph exit velocity from the tee. Arm played at 71 mph across the infield from first base, good feet around the bag, fluid actions. 

7. Carter Turnquist, RHP/SS, Oswego, 2015
6-foot-1, 155-pound two-way player, long thin frame. On the mound uses tall and fall delivery, works on line, easy effort, high ¾ arm slot. Fastball sat 80-81 mph, touched 82 mph, flashed sink. Slider showed short action, 74-75 mph. Changeup ranged 75-78 mph. Secondary pitches thrown with good arm speed, hard splits off of fastball. Hits from a tall stance, open stance, short stride, lower half, works, good balance throughout. Path is short and level, gap to gap approach. 74 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively uses a short arm action, high ¾ slot, accurate arm, 82 mph across the diamond. 7.27 runner in the 60.

8. Ryan Andrews, RHP, Downers Grove South, 2015
6-foot-3, 180-pound right-handed pitcher works from a long, loose, high ¾ arm slot delivering sinking two-seam fastballs in the 78-80 mph range, touching 83 mph on his final pitch.  Easy effort in delivery, slide steps from stretch occasionally, shoulders stay level throughout delivery, loads lower half over rubber, breaks hands early, lands square staying in line with home plate with stride direction.  Showed feel for strikes of 62-65 mph curveball with 11/5 shape.  Also showed some feel for sinking 71-72 mph changeup that he gets underneath at times.

9. Matthew Taller, RHP, Plainfield South, 2015
5-foot-10, 153-pound right-handed pitcher works from a short, quick, ¾ slinging arm action, drop and drive delivery, high leg kick from the windup stays over the rubber at balance point, shoulders stay level, lower half stride direction stays in line with home plate, lands square, stride is shorter.  Fastball sat 81-82 mph, touching 84 mph.  Short slider with late break and 11/5 shape was best secondary offering sitting 71-72 mph.  Sweeping curveball was thrown at 69 mph and resembled slider without as much power.

10. Ian McCormick, RHP/3B, Lincoln-Way East, 2017
6-foot-2, 160-pound right-handed hitting RHP/3B worked from a long, high ¾ arm slot on the mound from a tall-and-fall type delivery. Level shoulders throughout delivery, lower half stride direction stays in line with home plate, lands square, delivering fastballs in the 74-78 mph range topping at 79 mph on his final pitch.  Curveball was inconsistent with velocity and shape, 61-66 mph from the windup, 58-63 mph from the stretch with gradual, sweeping action.  Also threw 61-64 mph changeup.  Hit from an open setup, short stride, slightly uphill bat path with 76 mph exit velocity.  Defensively, threw 75 mph across the diamond from third base from long, high ¾ arm slot with accuracy.  Ran a 7.75 60, and 4.79 seconds from home to first.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Dominic Abruzzo, RHP, Naperville Central, 2016
6-foot-1, 165-pound right handed pitcher. Drop and drive delivery, up and over stride, rotational lower half. Loose arm action, ¾ slot. Fastball sat 76-79 mph. Curveball occasionally worked on 12/6 plane, loose action, 58-60 mph. Changeup worked at 63-67 mph. Flashed a cutter at 64 mph.

Zack Fick, SS/RHP, St. Charles North, 2016
5-foot-11, 140-pound two-way player. Right handed hitter, open stance, tall setup. 78 mph exit velocity from the tee. Quick swing, compact, handsy swing, line drive hitter. 78 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively showed an athletic arm action, played through the baseball with above average actions, quick exchange, athletic hands. Arm played at 76 mph across the infield. 7.41 runner in the 60. On the mound arm plays from high ¾ slot, compact delivery. Fastball flashed arm side action, 75-77 mph, showed control of the zone. Curveball ranged 64-69 mph. Changeup was 66-67 mph, straight action, works underneath.

Caleb Haddon, LHP, Libertyville, 2017
5-foot-10, 150-pound left-handed pitcher works from a short, high ¾ arm slot, regular effort, tall-and-fall delivery, up-down-and out with leg lift, shoulders stay level; stride is short, staying in-line with home plate.  Fastball sat 69-71 mph, curveball 55-58 mph, and changeup 60-61 mph.  Showed better command of changeup than other two pitches. 

Erick Hall, RHP/1B, Hononegah, 2015
6-foot-2, 210-pound right-handed hitting RHP/1B hit from a tall, open setup, hands load back smoothly, short leg kick stride, with pull tendencies during batting practice.  81 mph exit velocity off the tee.  Defensively, impressed at first base with average hands, fluid footwork, clean exchanges, and threw 79 mph across the diamond from long, over the top arm slot with accuracy.  Ran a 7.61 60 and 4.79 from home to first.  On the mound, worked at 72-75 mph from short, over the top arm slot, with uphill shoulders, lower half stride direction stays in line with home plate, lands square.  64-66 mph breaking ball backed up occasional slider shape.  Also threw a 66-68 mph changeup.

Zachary Johnson, 1B/RHP, Huntley, 2016
6-foot-2, 270-pound large-framed and strong right-handed hitting first baseman hits from an open setup, short balanced stride, slightly uphill bat path, barrel whips through the zone, slightly uphill bat path, with several line drives during batting practice and power to his pull side.  87 mph exit velocity off the tee.  Defensively, threw 70 mph across the diamond from first base from long, high ¾ arm slot.  Plays through the baseball when fielding.  Ran an 8.34 60, 5.09 from home to first.  On the mound, threw 74-76 mph, touching 78 from over the top arm slot.  70-72 mph curveball flashed 12/6 shape.  Showed feel for 69-71 mph sinking changeup.

Nikko Kotrba, RHP, De La Salle, 2016
6-foot-2, 175-pound right handed pitcher, lanky frame. Tall and fall delivery, works on line, level shoulders, toe up balance position. Short arm action, over the top slot. Fastball is mostly straight, 74-76 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, 67-68 mph, sweeping action, showed control. Changeup thrown with near fastball arm speed, slight sink and arm side action, 69-71 mph.

Jake Moeller, RHP, Richmond Burton, 2016
6-foot-3, 150-pound right handed pitcher, slender build, lanky frame. Drop and drive delivery, regular effort, collapse back side, high ¾ arm slot. Fastball is mostly straight, 76-77 mph. Curveball has 12/6 shape, 59-62 mph, decelerated arm action. Changeup flashed fading action, 64-67 mph, slightly decelerated arm action.

Nicholas Pratt, LHP, Plainfield Central, 2016
5-foot-10, 140-pound two-way player. On the mound delivery works rotationally, arm action is long, high ¾ slot. Fastball has slight running action, 71-73 mph, showed control. Curveball has gradual action, 55-59 mph, 11/5 shape. Changeup has cutting action, 57-59 mph.

Logan Rey-Talley, RHP, Oak Park-River Forest, 2016
6-foot, 155-pound right handed pitcher, thin build with long limbed frame. Delivery works with regular effort, slightly longer arm action, high ¾ slot. Fastball flashed sink, pitched at 73-75 mph touched 76 mph. Cutter ranged from 69-72 mph. Changeup has slight sink, 64-66 mph.

Jordan Rogers, OF/RHP, Brother Rice, 2016
5-foot-10, 165-pound two-way player. Right-handed hitter, athletic setup, slightly open stance, smooth loading action with short stride, maintains balance. Loose athletic swing, hits with rhythm, path is efficient. 78 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively took it both in the outfield and infield, projects more in the outfield arm action is long and over the top, showed accuracy. 78 mph from the outfield and 74 mph across the infield. 7.97 runner in the 60. On the mound delivery works easily, high ¾ slot. Fastball sat 74-76 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, sweep type action, 67-69 mph. Changeup sat 68-70 mph.

Tomas Springhetti, MIF/RHP, Geneva, 2017
6-foot-1, 165-pound right-handed hitting middle infielder/right-handed pitcher hits from an open setup, short stride, short bat path with pull tendencies and 76 mph exit velocity.  Defensively, threw 67 mph from the outfield from a long, high ¾ arm slot with some accuracy.  Ran a 7.55 60 and 4.75 seconds from home to first.  On the mound, fastball sat 74-75 mph from same arm slot as in the outfield, tall-and-fall delivery, toe down at balance point, shoulders stay level throughout, lands closed at foot strike.  60-61 mph curveball was up in the zone, 68-70 mph changeup showed occasional sink.

Nick Stallion, RHP, Minooka, 2016
5-foot-11, 155-pound right-handed pitcher works from a short, high ¾ arm slot, tall and fall type delivery, easy effort, smooth rhythm, level shoulders throughout delivery, with a balanced finish and follow through.  Threw fastball 75-77 mph.  Struggled throwing curveball with 12/6 shape for strikes at 64-66 mph.  Threw changeup for strikes consistently with sink at 69-72 mph.

Aaron Szczepanski, 1B/RHP, Naperville Central, 2017
6-foot-3, 160-pound two-way player, long lanky frame, body projects. Left handed hitter, slight open stance, arm bar load. Pull side approach, path works around the baseball, 84 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm played at 72 mph across the diamond. 7.59 runner in the 60. On the mound arm played from a long over the top slot. Fastball is mostly straight, 74-76 mph, touched 77 mph. Breaking ball has 11/5 action, gradual bend, 65-68 mph. Changeup has arm side action, 67-69 mph.

Justin Welch, RHP/SS, Romeoville, 2018
5-foot-10, 170-pound two-way player, medium frame. Offensively hits from the right side, open stance, pronounced leg kick stride. Attacks the baseball, front foot hitter, longer path, 77 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively plays with a short arm action on the infield, 75 mph arm strength across the diamond, high ¾ slot. 7.78 runner in the 60. Drop and drive style delivery, ¾ slot. Fastball sat 71-75 mph. Breaking ball has sweeping action, gradual bend, 57-59 mph. Changeup sat 58-62 mph.

John Wheaton, RHP, Minooka, 2017
5-foot-10, 185-pound right-handed pitcher works from a short, high ¾ arm slot, regular effort, drop and drive type delivery, slight pause after hands break, shoulders stay in-line with home plate, stride direction stays in line with home plate lands closed.  Fastball sat 74-75 mph, curveball was up in the zone at 64-67 mph, and changeup displayed occasional fade at 68-69 mph.

Recent Headlines

IL 9.30.14 Pitcher Analysis Showcase Slide (2)