Chicagoland Open: Top Overall Prospects

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 after rolling out position-by-position rankings, it’s time to look at the Top Ten Overall Prospects from this year’s Chicagoland Open.  Brother Rice’s Michael Schalasky takes home top honors thanks to his work both on the mound and behind the plate.  Schalasky’s future may lie on the mound thanks to a fastball that can touch 90 mph, but he also posts sub-2.0 pop times to second and 93 mph exit velocity with the bat.  Fenwick’s Jay Militello is also a talented two-way prospect who showed an impressive three-pitch feel, with more in the tank based on his lanky, projectable frame.  Brother Rice’s Ryan King rounds out the top three, impressing with his fluid middle infield actions and switch-hitting ability. 

Enough talking about, let’s take a look at the Top Overall Prospects from this year’s Chicagoland Open. 

Top Overall Prospects

1. Michael Schalasky, RHP/C, Brother Rice, 2015Michael Schalasky
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, 2016Jay Militello
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. Ryan King, SS, Brother Rice, 2017Ryan King
5-foot-8, 140-pound small and athletic switch-hitting shortstop currently ranked No. 19 in Illinois’ 2017 class.  Hits from a wide base with a short stride and simple approach from both side.  Right handed swing may be a bit stiffer and more uphill, but still short and to the ball.  Left handed swing is fluid, short to the baseball, with several line drives to the opposite field gap during batting practice.  Hands load smoothly, minimal/quiet pre-pitch movement from both sides of the plate.  Defensively, threw 71 mph across the diamond from short, loose, ¾ arm slot with accuracy and more in the tank arm strength wise.  Possesses plus fielding actions for the middle infield, with a good feel for when to use full arm, or flip the ball to first base getting rid of it quickly.  Hands are soft, quick footwork, ranges well both up the middle and in the hole, solid body control on run through ball.  Ran a 7.08 60, 4.69 from home to first.  King was the top defensive infielder in attendance, and as he physically matures will only get better as his all-around feel for the game is advanced for his age.

4. Brett Smith, RHP, Shepard, 2015Brett Smith
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.

5. Jordan Walden, RHP, Reed-Custer, 2016Jordan Walden
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.

6. Justin Blasinksi, C/MIF, Lakes, 2015Justin Blasinski
5-foot-11, 185-pound muscular left-handed hitting C/MIF hits from an open setup, hands start lower around letters, producing slightly uphill bat path, with power to his pull side and good rhythm throughout.  Posted 92 mph exit velocity, the second highest recorded at the Chicagoland Open.  Defensively, threw 79 mph across the diamond from short, high ¾ arm slot; showcased average hands, and fluid, clean actions playing through the baseball.  Behind the plate, rattled off pop times between 2.12-2.25 seconds at 72 mph from the crouch.  Ran a 7.32 60 and 4.83 seconds from home to first.

7. Dylan Molek, OF, Stevenson, 2016Dylan Molek
5-foot-8, 180-pound switch-hitting outfielder impressed with the top outfield arm strength at the Chicagoland Open, throwing 88 mph from the outfield from a long, loose, high ¾ arm slot with carry and accuracy.  Switch-hitter impresses more from his natural right side hitting from a wide, balanced setup, hands load back smoothly, short stride, short bat path, strength through the zone hitting several line drives mostly to his pull side.  Left-side approach is similar, but a bit more rotational with a longer swing, but legitimately has a chance to keep switch-hitting.  Ran a 7.1 60 and 4.44 seconds from home to first.

8. Dantrell Lucas, SS, Morgan Park, 2016Dantrell Lucas
5-foot-10, 155-pound shortstop, medium build, shows athleticism. Above average runner, 6.98 laser timed 60. Defensively displayed soft hands, feet work quickly and athletically, played through the baseball showing body control. Arm action is short, high ¾ slot, 74 mph across the diamond. Right handed hitter, open stance, short stride, sets up with weight to front side good balance with high one handed finish. Flashed quick twitch in swing, above average bat speed, line drive approach with some extension, worked both gaps, 79 mph exit velocity from the tee.

9. Jake Jones, RHP, Brother Rice, 2017Jake Jones
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.

10. Ronald Applewhite, MIF, Rich East, 2017Ronald Applewhite
5-foot-9, 135-pound small, lanky, and athletic right-handed hitting middle infielder hits from a slightly crouched, open setup, short stride; short, level bat path with pull tendencies and 69 mph exit velocity off the tee.  Defensively, threw 72 mph across the diamond from a short, loose, high ¾ arm slot with accuracy and carry.  Also flashed soft hands, and fluid footwork playing through the baseball when fielding.  Ran a 7.24 60 and 5.04 from home to first.

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