Class of 2016 Showcase: Middle Infield Analysis



By Ryan Quigley
Illinois Scouting Director

The Prep Baseball Report’s Class of 2016 Showcase took place on Sunday October 19th indoors at the MAX in McCook, IL. The event featured 100 uncommitted prospects in the junior class and also saw several Division-I coaches in attendance.

CLICK HERE to see complete statistics from the event in PDF format.

Over the past two days we highlighted catchers and corner infielders. Today we will take a look at the top middle infield prospects at this year’s Class of 2016 Showcase.

Oak Park-River Forest’s Andrew Hennings impressed as the top overall middle infielder with his solid all-around game. Hennings showed a balanced approach at the plate, soft, steady hands in the field, and the athleticism to stay in the middle of the diamond.

Barrington’s Jimmy Day took one of the most impressive rounds of batting practice at the event, and his overall strength shows in all facets of his game.

Edwardsville’s Jake Garella shows an advanced approach at the plate, a common theme for years when it comes to Tigers’ hitters.

La Salle Peru’s Brady Huebbe may have stood out more on the mound, but his performance with the bat and in the field showed off his overall athleticism.

Morgan Park’s Darius Hill impressed in running a 6.76 60-yard dash, tops among middle infielders and second overall at the event behind his high school teammate Christian Bullock.

Let’s take a look at the Top Middle Infielders at this October’s Class of 2016 Showcase:

Top Middle Infielders

1. Andrew Hennings, SS, Oak Park-River Forest, 2016
6-foot, 175-pound athletic shortstop impressed as one of the top middle infield prospects at the Class of 2016 Showcase. Hits from a balanced, crouch setup, short stride, above average bat speed with lift, short, level bat path gets extension, pull tendencies, 81 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively, threw 82 mph across the diamond from short, loose, high ¾ arm slot with accuracy. Hands are soft, fields ball out front, fluid footwork. Ran a 7.18 60.

2. Jimmy Day, SS, Barrington, 2016
6-foot-1, 190-pound muscular and athletic right-handed hitting shortstop currently ranked No. 82 in Illinois’ 2016 class. Hits from a balanced slightly open setup, quiet hands load smoothly, short stride, simple approach, short path feel for barrel, line drives from gap-to-gap, one of the top rounds of batting practice at the event, 84 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 80 mph across the diamond from short, high ¾ slot with accuracy. Profiles at third base, but hands work fielding the baseball, fluid footwork. Ran a 7.17 60.

3. Jake Garella, SS, Edwardsville, 2016
6-foot-1, 175-pound athletic right-handed hitting shortstop currently ranked No. 86 in Illinois’ 2016 class. Hits from a balanced setup, slightly crouched, hands are quiet, load smoothly, short stride, short, level bat path produced line drives from gap-to-gap with backspin, 85 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 81 mph across the diamond from short, high ¾ arm slot with carry and accuracy. Showcased soft hands fielding, fluid footwork, plays through the baseball. Ran a 7.4 60.

4. Brady Huebbe, RHP/SS, La Salle Peru, 2016
6-foot, 165-pound strong, lanky, and athletic right-handed pitcher/shortstop impressed both in the field and on the mound as one of the top prospects in attendance at the Class of 2016 showcase. Offensively, hits from an open setup, high back elbow, hands load back smoothly, toe tap/rock back stride, took a solid round of batting practice with several line drives to right center field, 81 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 87 mph across the infield from short, loose, high ¾ arm slot, highly athletic arm. Average hands, fluid footwork, exchange takes time to get rid of baseball due to gearing up to throw. On the mound, fastball sat mostly 84-85 mph from short, quick, high ¾ slot, simple up and down leg lift to toe up balance point, tall/fall delivery, regular effort, shoulders stay level throughout, lower half stride direction is in line with home plate, lands square. Spike curveball shows sharp 11/5 shape at 68-70 mph. Slowed arm slightly on 69-70 mph changeup with sinking action. 69-71 mph knuckleball is a true plus pitch with unpredictable, late, hard downward action. The PBR scouting staff sees below average knuckleballs from younger prospects all the time, but Huebbe’s drew audible gasps and comments from us as well as college coaches in attendance. It’s a legitimate out pitch. Ran a 7.21 60.

5. Darius Hill, MIF, Morgan Park, 2016
5-foot-8, 155-pound middle infielder, thin athletic frame currently ranked No. 100 in Illinois’ 2016 class. Quick athlete, runs a fluid 6.76 in the 60. Offensively hits from tall narrow setup, slightly open, short stride. Handsy swing, path works well, stays flat through zone, line drive approach, spray hitter. 84 mph exit velocity from the tee. Showed soft hands defensively, projects at second base, quick feet, excellent transfer, hands work quick. 77 mph across the diamond, 80 mph from the outfield.

6. Tyler Dallio, MIF/RHP, Lincoln-Way West, 2016
6-foot, 185-pound athletic right-handed hitting middle infielder/right-handed pitcher hits from an open setup, hands start high and back, load back smoothly, short stride, level bat path, line drive type hitter with opposite field tendencies, 84 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, showcased athletic arm action at short throwing 80 mph across the diamond from long, loose, high ¾ slot with accuracy. Fielded the baseball out front with soft hands, takes time getting rid of it. Made impressive sliding play to his right in the hole. Ran a 7.59 60. On the mound threw strikes will all three pitches from tall and fall type delivery, lands closed, slightly across his body. Fastball sat 75-76 mph with occasional cutting action from same loose arm action. Threw strikes with gradual breaking 11/5 curveball at 62-64 mph. 72-73 mph changeup exhibited sinking action and occasional cut.

7. Patrick McGowan, MIF, Lincoln-Way East, 2016
6-foot-2, 170-pound lanky and athletic right-handed hitting shortstop hits from a tall, open setup, hands load back smoothly, long stride, long, fluid uphill bat path with 82 mph exit velocity, extremely projectable. Defensively, rangy fielder threw 83 mph across the diamond from short, loose high ¾ arm slot with carry, fluid footwork, soft hands, plays through the baseball. Ran a 7.15 60.

8. Conner Lovely, SS, Matea Valley, 2016
6-foot-2, 180-pound athletic right-handed hitting shortstop currently ranked No. 81 in Illinois’ 2016 class, hits from an open setup, hands load smoothly, short stride, advanced approach, right center approach with line drives during batting practice, 82 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 79 mph across the diamond from short, loose, high ¾ arm slot with some accuracy. Showcased soft hands fielding the baseball. Ran a 7.41 60.

9. Colin Rivard, MIF, Naperville North, 2016
5-foot-10, 145-pound middle infielder, thin lanky frame, highly projectable showed athleticism. Long-strided runner, ran the 60 in 6.82. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, leg kick trigger, good timing and rhythm, long high finish after contact. Line drive approach, bat speed present, creates whip with loose hands and athleticism. 82 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively plays with a longer arm action, over the top slot, showed arm strength at 78 mph across the diamond. Showed decent body control on run through with athletic arm action. Could also project in the outfield with his 6.82 speed.

10. Tyler Pauly, RHP/MIF, Stevenson, 2016
5-foot-10, 162-pound two-way player, athletic build. On the mound works with a long arm action, high ¾ slot, athletic delivery, stays closed. Fastball has run, 76-78 mph, touched 79 mph. Curveball has sweeping action, 10/4 plane, 67-69 mph. Changeup has arm side action, 69-71 mph. Showed better command of secondary stuff when in the stretch. Offensively hits from a tall setup, balanced stance, short stride, maintains balance through contact. Loose hands, stays on top of the baseball, hits with rhythm, path stays short and works both gaps. Defensively plays with a loose arm action, short an accurate arm across the diamond, 77 mph. Showed the ability to play through the baseball clean exchanges and athletic hands. Ran a 7.38 60.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Quinn Andrews, SS, St. Ignatius, 2016
6-foot-2, 185-pound right-handed hitting shortstop hits from a balanced setup, long stride, short, slightly uphill bat path with high finish, 81 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 81 mph across the diamond from short, ¾ arm slot with some effort. Showcased average hands fielding the baseball. Ran a 7.45 60.

Zack Balogh, SS, Barrington, 2016
6-foot-2, 160-pound lanky right-handed hitting shortstop hit from a balanced setup, short stride, level bat path, middle of the field approach during batting practice with 72 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively, threw 75 mph across the diamond from short, high ¾ arm slot with some accuracy. Ran a 7.56 60.

Anthony Berdecia, MIF, Roberto Clemente, 2016
5-foot-11, 175-pound right-handed hitting middle infielder hits from a narrow, open setup, hands load back smoothly, short stride, above average bat speed with short, level bat path. Impressed with several line drives back up the middle off the screen during batting practice with 77 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 70 mph across the diamond from short, high ¾ arm slot, pushes the baseball. Soft hands, foot speed may fit better at a corner infield position. Ran an 8.36 60.

Patrick Cudney, MIF, Fremd, 2016
6-foot, 160-pound athletic left-handed middle infielder hits from a crouched setup, short stride, short bat path, opposite field tendencies, timing was late during batting practice, 80 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 81 mph across the diamond from short, over-the-top arm slot with carry and accuracy. Average hands fielding the baseball, third base type. Ran a 7.26 60.

Luke DeBenedetti, MIF, Joliet Central, 2016
5-foot-9, 150-pound middle infielder, athletic build, showed a raw athleticism on the field. Defensively showed body control, moved well on the infield, played through the baseball with a clean exchange that can be made quicker. Arm action has length, high ¾ slot, accurate arm, 76 mph across the diamond. Offensively hits from the right side, balanced stance, slightly open, slight leg kick stride, good balance through contact. Has offensively athleticism, hands work, shows some quickness. Line drive gap to gap approach, level path. 72 mph exit velocity from the tee. Ran the 60 at 7.51.

Ryan Ferreri, MIF/RHP, Downers Grove South, 2016
5-foot-9, 170-pound two-way player, average build with strength. Left-handed hitter, balanced stance, longer stride with slight leg kick. Aggressive hitter, made hard contact, got extension, 71 mph exit velocity from the tee. 8.45 runner in the 60. Defensively plays with a short arm action, high ¾ slot, showed accuracy across the diamond, tendency to field deep. On the mound arm action is similar to that on the infield. Fastball has control, 72-74 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, 58-60 mph. Changeup sat 66-67 mph.

Brett Harris, SS, Hersey, 2016
6-foot-1, 165-pound lanky right-handed hitting shortstop hits from a balanced setup, short heel lift stride, hands load back smoothly, long, fluid, level bat path produced 82 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 77 mph across the infield from short, loose, high ¾ arm slot with some accuracy. Ran a 7.55 60.

Kyle Kirschenmann, MIF, Moline, 2016
5-foot-9, 165-pound switch-hitting middle infielder. Offensively hits from a wide setup, no stride approach, sways to load, can get more out of lower half. Appears to be natural from the right side, opposite field contact, 77 mph exit velocity from the right side, 71 mph exit velocity from the left side. Defensively uses a short arm action across the diamond, 76 mph. Set feet up to play through the baseball, quick exchange on body control play.

Shawn Ligocki, RHP/SS, St. Charles East, 2016
6-foot, 155-pound athletic right-handed hitting shortstop/right-handed pitcher hits from a balanced, spread out stance, hands load smoothly, short stride, short, level bat path, line drives during batting practice, gap-to-gap approach with 76 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 79 mph across the infield from long, over the top arm action, takes time getting rid of the baseball, winds up, average hands, plays through the baseball. On the mound fastball sat 75-76 mph from same arm slot. Coils over the rubber to load lower half, shoulders work uphill, lower half flies open, lands towards first base side. 67-69 mph curveball flashed 11/5 shape. 69-71 mph slider displayed the same movement, no separation between pitches. 66-68 mph changeup was thrown near fastball arm speed.

Nathan Meland, MIF, Jacobs, 2016
5-foot-11, 165-pound right-handed hitting middle infielder hits from a narrow, open setup, hands drop during load, drove line drives from gap-to-gap during batting practice with pull tendencies and 72 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively, threw 72 mph across the diamond from long ¾ arm slot, getting underneath throws at times. Ran a 7.44 60.

Steven Meyer, MIF, Lake Central (IN), 2016
5-foot-10, 160-pound right-handed hitting middle infielder hits from a balanced setup, short reverse toe tap stride, loads hands with raised back elbow, slightly uphill bat path, barrel shows some whip, producing 79 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 77 mph across the diamond from a long, over-the-top arm slot with some accuracy. Hands played average fielding the baseball. Ran a 7.43 60.

Ben Moran, MIF, Buffalo Grove, 2016
5-foot-7, 165-pound left-handed hitting middle infielder, stocky build with strength. Offensively hits from an open stance, leg kick trigger, pre pitch bat waggle. Aggressive approach, swings hard, hands looked quick, slightly uphill path, created hard contact, occasionally lunges. Defensively uses a longer arm action from shortstop, ¾ arm slot, 75 mph across the diamond. Ran a 7.44 in the 60.

Jose Perez, MIF, Morgan Park, 2016
5-foot-5, 135-pound middle infielder, smaller frame, average build. 7.22 runner in the 60. Defensively showed soft hands, and body control, showed the ability to make plays on the move, projects as a second base type, above average actions for his age. Arm plays athletically, loose arm action, over the top slot, short arm action, 75 mph arm strength across the diamond. Right-handed hitter, tall setup, leg kick trigger, good balance through contact. Compact approach, dominated by his hands, minimal lower half involvement, hands play well, efficient path to the baseball. Hits with rhythm and athleticism. 73 mph exit velocity from the tee.  

Max Swiatek, MIF, Lakes Community, 2016
5-foot-7, 175-pound middle infielder, strong build, muscled actions. Offensively hits from an open stance, short leg lift stride. Line drive gap to gap approach, showed good barrel control, produced line drives up the middle. 82 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively uses a long arm action, over the top slot, rigid arm action, 69 mph arm across the diamond. 7.69 runner in the 60.

Jack Trotter, MIF, Stevenson, 2016
5-foot-10, 150-pound middle infielder, medium frame. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, minimal loading action, short stride, quiet setup. Bat path works, line drive gap to gap approach. 79 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively uses a long rigid arm action across the diamond, high ¾ slot, showed some accuracy, 78 mph across the diamond.

Zachary Zarifian, 3B/SS, Kenosha Tremper (WI), 2016
6-foot, 175-pound right-handed hitting third baseman/shortstop hits from a slightly closed, balanced setup, hands load back smoothly, short leg kick, above average bat speed, slightly uphill bat path, several line drives up the middle during batting practice, 77 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 78 mph across the diamond from short, high ¾ arm slot with accuracy. Average hands fielding, took infield at third and short, profiles better feet wise at third. Ran a 7.33 60.

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1.18.15 IL Underclass Slide

By Ryan Quigley
Illinois Scouting Director

The Prep Baseball Report’s Class of 2016 Showcase took place on Sunday October 19th indoors at the MAX in McCook, IL. The event featured 100 uncommitted prospects in the junior class and also saw several Division-I coaches in attendance.

CLICK HERE to see complete statistics from the event in PDF format.

Over the past two days we highlighted catchers and corner infielders. Today we will take a look at the top middle infield prospects at this year’s Class of 2016 Showcase.

Oak Park-River Forest’s Andrew Hennings impressed as the top overall middle infielder with his solid all-around game. Hennings showed a balanced approach at the plate, soft, steady hands in the field, and the athleticism to stay in the middle of the diamond.

Barrington’s Jimmy Day took one of the most impressive rounds of batting practice at the event, and his overall strength shows in all facets of his game.

Edwardsville’s Jake Garella shows an advanced approach at the plate, a common theme for years when it comes to Tigers’ hitters.

La Salle Peru’s Brady Huebbe may have stood out more on the mound, but his performance with the bat and in the field showed off his overall athleticism.

Morgan Park’s Darius Hill impressed in running a 6.76 60-yard dash, tops among middle infielders and second overall at the event behind his high school teammate Christian Bullock.

Let’s take a look at the Top Middle Infielders at this October’s Class of 2016 Showcase:

Top Middle Infielders

1.Andrew Hennings, SS, Oak Park-River Forest, 2016
6-foot, 175-pound athletic shortstop impressed as one of the top middle infield prospects at the Class of 2016 Showcase. Hits from a balanced, crouch setup, short stride, above average bat speed with lift, short, level bat path gets extension, pull tendencies, 81 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively, threw 82 mph across the diamond from short, loose, high ¾ arm slot with accuracy. Hands are soft, fields ball out front, fluid footwork. Ran a 7.18 60.

2. Jimmy Day, SS, Barrington, 2016
6-foot-1, 190-pound muscular and athletic right-handed hitting shortstop currently ranked No. 82 in Illinois’ 2016 class. Hits from a balanced slightly open setup, quiet hands load smoothly, short stride, simple approach, short path feel for barrel, line drives from gap-to-gap, one of the top rounds of batting practice at the event, 84 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 80 mph across the diamond from short, high ¾ slot with accuracy. Profiles at third base, but hands work fielding the baseball, fluid footwork. Ran a 7.17 60.

3. Jake Garella, SS, Edwardsville, 2016
6-foot-1, 175-pound athletic right-handed hitting shortstop currently ranked No. 86 in Illinois’ 2016 class. Hits from a balanced setup, slightly crouched, hands are quiet, load smoothly, short stride, short, level bat path produced line drives from gap-to-gap with backspin, 85 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 81 mph across the diamond from short, high ¾ arm slot with carry and accuracy. Showcased soft hands fielding, fluid footwork, plays through the baseball. Ran a 7.4 60.

4. Brady Huebbe, RHP/SS, La Salle Peru, 2016
6-foot, 165-pound strong, lanky, and athletic right-handed pitcher/shortstop impressed both in the field and on the mound as one of the top prospects in attendance at the Class of 2016 showcase. Offensively, hits from an open setup, high back elbow, hands load back smoothly, toe tap/rock back stride, took a solid round of batting practice with several line drives to right center field, 81 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 87 mph across the infield from short, loose, high ¾ arm slot, highly athletic arm. Average hands, fluid footwork, exchange takes time to get rid of baseball due to gearing up to throw. On the mound, fastball sat mostly 84-85 mph from short, quick, high ¾ slot, simple up and down leg lift to toe up balance point, tall/fall delivery, regular effort, shoulders stay level throughout, lower half stride direction is in line with home plate, lands square. Spike curveball shows sharp 11/5 shape at 68-70 mph. Slowed arm slightly on 69-70 mph changeup with sinking action. 69-71 mph knuckleball is a true plus pitch with unpredictable, late, hard downward action. The PBR scouting staff sees below average knuckleballs from younger prospects all the time, but Huebbe’s drew audible gasps and comments from us as well as college coaches in attendance. It’s a legitimate out pitch. Ran a 7.21 60.

5. Darius Hill, MIF, Morgan Park, 2016
5-foot-8, 155-pound middle infielder, thin athletic frame currently ranked No. 100 in Illinois’ 2016 class. Quick athlete, runs a fluid 6.76 in the 60. Offensively hits from tall narrow setup, slightly open, short stride. Handsy swing, path works well, stays flat through zone, line drive approach, spray hitter. 84 mph exit velocity from the tee. Showed soft hands defensively, projects at second base, quick feet, excellent transfer, hands work quick. 77 mph across the diamond, 80 mph from the outfield.

6. Tyler Dallio, MIF/RHP, Lincoln-Way West, 2016
6-foot, 185-pound athletic right-handed hitting middle infielder/right-handed pitcher hits from an open setup, hands start high and back, load back smoothly, short stride, level bat path, line drive type hitter with opposite field tendencies, 84 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, showcased athletic arm action at short throwing 80 mph across the diamond from long, loose, high ¾ slot with accuracy. Fielded the baseball out front with soft hands, takes time getting rid of it. Made impressive sliding play to his right in the hole. Ran a 7.59 60. On the mound threw strikes will all three pitches from tall and fall type delivery, lands closed, slightly across his body. Fastball sat 75-76 mph with occasional cutting action from same loose arm action. Threw strikes with gradual breaking 11/5 curveball at 62-64 mph. 72-73 mph changeup exhibited sinking action and occasional cut.

7. Patrick McGowan, MIF, Lincoln-Way East, 2016
6-foot-2, 170-pound lanky and athletic right-handed hitting shortstop hits from a tall, open setup, hands load back smoothly, long stride, long, fluid uphill bat path with 82 mph exit velocity, extremely projectable. Defensively, rangy fielder threw 83 mph across the diamond from short, loose high ¾ arm slot with carry, fluid footwork, soft hands, plays through the baseball. Ran a 7.15 60.

8. Conner Lovely, SS, Matea Valley, 2016
6-foot-2, 180-pound athletic right-handed hitting shortstop currently ranked No. 81 in Illinois’ 2016 class, hits from an open setup, hands load smoothly, short stride, advanced approach, right center approach with line drives during batting practice, 82 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 79 mph across the diamond from short, loose, high ¾ arm slot with some accuracy. Showcased soft hands fielding the baseball. Ran a 7.41 60.

9. Colin Rivard, MIF, Naperville North, 2016
5-foot-10, 145-pound middle infielder, thin lanky frame, highly projectable showed athleticism. Long-strided runner, ran the 60 in 6.82. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, leg kick trigger, good timing and rhythm, long high finish after contact. Line drive approach, bat speed present, creates whip with loose hands and athleticism. 82 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively plays with a longer arm action, over the top slot, showed arm strength at 78 mph across the diamond. Showed decent body control on run through with athletic arm action. Could also project in the outfield with his 6.82 speed.

10. Tyler Pauly, RHP/MIF, Stevenson, 2016
5-foot-10, 162-pound two-way player, athletic build. On the mound works with a long arm action, high ¾ slot, athletic delivery, stays closed. Fastball has run, 76-78 mph, touched 79 mph. Curveball has sweeping action, 10/4 plane, 67-69 mph. Changeup has arm side action, 69-71 mph. Showed better command of secondary stuff when in the stretch. Offensively hits from a tall setup, balanced stance, short stride, maintains balance through contact. Loose hands, stays on top of the baseball, hits with rhythm, path stays short and works both gaps. Defensively plays with a loose arm action, short an accurate arm across the diamond, 77 mph. Showed the ability to play through the baseball clean exchanges and athletic hands. Ran a 7.38 60.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Quinn Andrews, SS, St. Ignatius, 2016
6-foot-2, 185-pound right-handed hitting shortstop hits from a balanced setup, long stride, short, slightly uphill bat path with high finish, 81 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 81 mph across the diamond from short, ¾ arm slot with some effort. Showcased average hands fielding the baseball. Ran a 7.45 60.

Zack Balogh, SS, Barrington, 2016
6-foot-2, 160-pound lanky right-handed hitting shortstop hit from a balanced setup, short stride, level bat path, middle of the field approach during batting practice with 72 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively, threw 75 mph across the diamond from short, high ¾ arm slot with some accuracy. Ran a 7.56 60.

Anthony Berdecia, MIF, Roberto Clemente, 2016
5-foot-11, 175-pound right-handed hitting middle infielder hits from a narrow, open setup, hands load back smoothly, short stride, above average bat speed with short, level bat path. Impressed with several line drives back up the middle off the screen during batting practice with 77 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 70 mph across the diamond from short, high ¾ arm slot, pushes the baseball. Soft hands, foot speed may fit better at a corner infield position. Ran an 8.36 60.

Patrick Cudney, MIF, Fremd, 2016
6-foot, 160-pound athletic left-handed middle infielder hits from a crouched setup, short stride, short bat path, opposite field tendencies, timing was late during batting practice, 80 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 81 mph across the diamond from short, over-the-top arm slot with carry and accuracy. Average hands fielding the baseball, third base type. Ran a 7.26 60.

Luke DeBenedetti, MIF, Joliet Central, 2016
5-foot-9, 150-pound middle infielder, athletic build, showed a raw athleticism on the field. Defensively showed body control, moved well on the infield, played through the baseball with a clean exchange that can be made quicker. Arm action has length, high ¾ slot, accurate arm, 76 mph across the diamond. Offensively hits from the right side, balanced stance, slightly open, slight leg kick stride, good balance through contact. Has offensively athleticism, hands work, shows some quickness. Line drive gap to gap approach, level path. 72 mph exit velocity from the tee. Ran the 60 at 7.51.

Ryan Ferreri, MIF/RHP, Downers Grove South, 2016
5-foot-9, 170-pound two-way player, average build with strength. Left-handed hitter, balanced stance, longer stride with slight leg kick. Aggressive hitter, made hard contact, got extension, 71 mph exit velocity from the tee. 8.45 runner in the 60. Defensively plays with a short arm action, high ¾ slot, showed accuracy across the diamond, tendency to field deep. On the mound arm action is similar to that on the infield. Fastball has control, 72-74 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, 58-60 mph. Changeup sat 66-67 mph.

Brett Harris, SS, Hersey, 2016
6-foot-1, 165-pound lanky right-handed hitting shortstop hits from a balanced setup, short heel lift stride, hands load back smoothly, long, fluid, level bat path produced 82 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 77 mph across the infield from short, loose, high ¾ arm slot with some accuracy. Ran a 7.55 60.

Kyle Kirschenmann, MIF, Moline, 2016
5-foot-9, 165-pound switch-hitting middle infielder. Offensively hits from a wide setup, no stride approach, sways to load, can get more out of lower half. Appears to be natural from the right side, opposite field contact, 77 mph exit velocity from the right side, 71 mph exit velocity from the left side. Defensively uses a short arm action across the diamond, 76 mph. Set feet up to play through the baseball, quick exchange on body control play.

Shawn Ligocki, RHP/SS, St. Charles East, 2016
6-foot, 155-pound athletic right-handed hitting shortstop/right-handed pitcher hits from a balanced, spread out stance, hands load smoothly, short stride, short, level bat path, line drives during batting practice, gap-to-gap approach with 76 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 79 mph across the infield from long, over the top arm action, takes time getting rid of the baseball, winds up, average hands, plays through the baseball. On the mound fastball sat 75-76 mph from same arm slot. Coils over the rubber to load lower half, shoulders work uphill, lower half flies open, lands towards first base side. 67-69 mph curveball flashed 11/5 shape. 69-71 mph slider displayed the same movement, no separation between pitches. 66-68 mph changeup was thrown near fastball arm speed.

Nathan Meland, MIF, Jacobs, 2016
5-foot-11, 165-pound right-handed hitting middle infielder hits from a narrow, open setup, hands drop during load, drove line drives from gap-to-gap during batting practice with pull tendencies and 72 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively, threw 72 mph across the diamond from long ¾ arm slot, getting underneath throws at times. Ran a 7.44 60.

Steven Meyer, MIF, Lake Central (IN), 2016
5-foot-10, 160-pound right-handed hitting middle infielder hits from a balanced setup, short reverse toe tap stride, loads hands with raised back elbow, slightly uphill bat path, barrel shows some whip, producing 79 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 77 mph across the diamond from a long, over-the-top arm slot with some accuracy. Hands played average fielding the baseball. Ran a 7.43 60.

Ben Moran, MIF, Buffalo Grove, 2016
5-foot-7, 165-pound left-handed hitting middle infielder, stocky build with strength. Offensively hits from an open stance, leg kick trigger, pre pitch bat waggle. Aggressive approach, swings hard, hands looked quick, slightly uphill path, created hard contact, occasionally lunges. Defensively uses a longer arm action from shortstop, ¾ arm slot, 75 mph across the diamond. Ran a 7.44 in the 60.

Jose Perez, MIF, Morgan Park, 2016
5-foot-5, 135-pound middle infielder, smaller frame, average build. 7.22 runner in the 60. Defensively showed soft hands, and body control, showed the ability to make plays on the move, projects as a second base type, above average actions for his age. Arm plays athletically, loose arm action, over the top slot, short arm action, 75 mph arm strength across the diamond. Right-handed hitter, tall setup, leg kick trigger, good balance through contact. Compact approach, dominated by his hands, minimal lower half involvement, hands play well, efficient path to the baseball. Hits with rhythm and athleticism. 73 mph exit velocity from the tee.  

Max Swiatek, MIF, Lakes Community, 2016
5-foot-7, 175-pound middle infielder, strong build, muscled actions. Offensively hits from an open stance, short leg lift stride. Line drive gap to gap approach, showed good barrel control, produced line drives up the middle. 82 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively uses a long arm action, over the top slot, rigid arm action, 69 mph arm across the diamond. 7.69 runner in the 60.

Jack Trotter, MIF, Stevenson, 2016
5-foot-10, 150-pound middle infielder, medium frame. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, minimal loading action, short stride, quiet setup. Bat path works, line drive gap to gap approach. 79 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively uses a long rigid arm action across the diamond, high ¾ slot, showed some accuracy, 78 mph across the diamond.

Zachary Zarifian, 3B/SS, Kenosha Tremper (WI), 2016
6-foot, 175-pound right-handed hitting third baseman/shortstop hits from a slightly closed, balanced setup, hands load back smoothly, short leg kick, above average bat speed, slightly uphill bat path, several line drives up the middle during batting practice, 77 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 78 mph across the diamond from short, high ¾ arm slot with accuracy. Average hands fielding, took infield at third and short, profiles better feet wise at third. Ran a 7.33 60.

 

 

By Ryan Quigley
Illinois Scouting Director

The Prep Baseball Report’s Class of 2016 Showcase took place on Sunday October 19th indoors at the MAX in McCook, IL. The event featured 100 uncommitted prospects in the junior class and also saw several Division-I coaches in attendance.

CLICK HERE to see complete statistics from the event in PDF format.

Over the past two days we highlighted catchers and corner infielders. Today we will take a look at the top middle infield prospects at this year’s Class of 2016 Showcase.

Oak Park-River Forest’s Andrew Hennings impressed as the top overall middle infielder with his solid all-around game. Hennings showed a balanced approach at the plate, soft, steady hands in the field, and the athleticism to stay in the middle of the diamond.

Barrington’s Jimmy Day took one of the most impressive rounds of batting practice at the event, and his overall strength shows in all facets of his game.

Edwardsville’s Jake Garella shows an advanced approach at the plate, a common theme for years when it comes to Tigers’ hitters.

La Salle Peru’s Brady Huebbe may have stood out more on the mound, but his performance with the bat and in the field showed off his overall athleticism.

Morgan Park’s Darius Hill impressed in running a 6.76 60-yard dash, tops among middle infielders and second overall at the event behind his high school teammate Christian Bullock.

Let’s take a look at the Top Middle Infielders at this October’s Class of 2016 Showcase:

Top Middle Infielders

1.Andrew Hennings, SS, Oak Park-River Forest, 2016
6-foot, 175-pound athletic shortstop impressed as one of the top middle infield prospects at the Class of 2016 Showcase. Hits from a balanced, crouch setup, short stride, above average bat speed with lift, short, level bat path gets extension, pull tendencies, 81 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively, threw 82 mph across the diamond from short, loose, high ¾ arm slot with accuracy. Hands are soft, fields ball out front, fluid footwork. Ran a 7.18 60.

2. Jimmy Day, SS, Barrington, 2016
6-foot-1, 190-pound muscular and athletic right-handed hitting shortstop currently ranked No. 82 in Illinois’ 2016 class. Hits from a balanced slightly open setup, quiet hands load smoothly, short stride, simple approach, short path feel for barrel, line drives from gap-to-gap, one of the top rounds of batting practice at the event, 84 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 80 mph across the diamond from short, high ¾ slot with accuracy. Profiles at third base, but hands work fielding the baseball, fluid footwork. Ran a 7.17 60.

3. Jake Garella, SS, Edwardsville, 2016
6-foot-1, 175-pound athletic right-handed hitting shortstop currently ranked No. 86 in Illinois’ 2016 class. Hits from a balanced setup, slightly crouched, hands are quiet, load smoothly, short stride, short, level bat path produced line drives from gap-to-gap with backspin, 85 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 81 mph across the diamond from short, high ¾ arm slot with carry and accuracy. Showcased soft hands fielding, fluid footwork, plays through the baseball. Ran a 7.4 60.

4. Brady Huebbe, RHP/SS, La Salle Peru, 2016
6-foot, 165-pound strong, lanky, and athletic right-handed pitcher/shortstop impressed both in the field and on the mound as one of the top prospects in attendance at the Class of 2016 showcase. Offensively, hits from an open setup, high back elbow, hands load back smoothly, toe tap/rock back stride, took a solid round of batting practice with several line drives to right center field, 81 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 87 mph across the infield from short, loose, high ¾ arm slot, highly athletic arm. Average hands, fluid footwork, exchange takes time to get rid of baseball due to gearing up to throw. On the mound, fastball sat mostly 84-85 mph from short, quick, high ¾ slot, simple up and down leg lift to toe up balance point, tall/fall delivery, regular effort, shoulders stay level throughout, lower half stride direction is in line with home plate, lands square. Spike curveball shows sharp 11/5 shape at 68-70 mph. Slowed arm slightly on 69-70 mph changeup with sinking action. 69-71 mph knuckleball is a true plus pitch with unpredictable, late, hard downward action. The PBR scouting staff sees below average knuckleballs from younger prospects all the time, but Huebbe’s drew audible gasps and comments from us as well as college coaches in attendance. It’s a legitimate out pitch. Ran a 7.21 60.

5. Darius Hill, MIF, Morgan Park, 2016
5-foot-8, 155-pound middle infielder, thin athletic frame currently ranked No. 100 in Illinois’ 2016 class. Quick athlete, runs a fluid 6.76 in the 60. Offensively hits from tall narrow setup, slightly open, short stride. Handsy swing, path works well, stays flat through zone, line drive approach, spray hitter. 84 mph exit velocity from the tee. Showed soft hands defensively, projects at second base, quick feet, excellent transfer, hands work quick. 77 mph across the diamond, 80 mph from the outfield.

6. Tyler Dallio, MIF/RHP, Lincoln-Way West, 2016
6-foot, 185-pound athletic right-handed hitting middle infielder/right-handed pitcher hits from an open setup, hands start high and back, load back smoothly, short stride, level bat path, line drive type hitter with opposite field tendencies, 84 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, showcased athletic arm action at short throwing 80 mph across the diamond from long, loose, high ¾ slot with accuracy. Fielded the baseball out front with soft hands, takes time getting rid of it. Made impressive sliding play to his right in the hole. Ran a 7.59 60. On the mound threw strikes will all three pitches from tall and fall type delivery, lands closed, slightly across his body. Fastball sat 75-76 mph with occasional cutting action from same loose arm action. Threw strikes with gradual breaking 11/5 curveball at 62-64 mph. 72-73 mph changeup exhibited sinking action and occasional cut.

7. Patrick McGowan, MIF, Lincoln-Way East, 2016
6-foot-2, 170-pound lanky and athletic right-handed hitting shortstop hits from a tall, open setup, hands load back smoothly, long stride, long, fluid uphill bat path with 82 mph exit velocity, extremely projectable. Defensively, rangy fielder threw 83 mph across the diamond from short, loose high ¾ arm slot with carry, fluid footwork, soft hands, plays through the baseball. Ran a 7.15 60.

8. Conner Lovely, SS, Matea Valley, 2016
6-foot-2, 180-pound athletic right-handed hitting shortstop currently ranked No. 81 in Illinois’ 2016 class, hits from an open setup, hands load smoothly, short stride, advanced approach, right center approach with line drives during batting practice, 82 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 79 mph across the diamond from short, loose, high ¾ arm slot with some accuracy. Showcased soft hands fielding the baseball. Ran a 7.41 60.

9. Colin Rivard, MIF, Naperville North, 2016
5-foot-10, 145-pound middle infielder, thin lanky frame, highly projectable showed athleticism. Long-strided runner, ran the 60 in 6.82. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, leg kick trigger, good timing and rhythm, long high finish after contact. Line drive approach, bat speed present, creates whip with loose hands and athleticism. 82 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively plays with a longer arm action, over the top slot, showed arm strength at 78 mph across the diamond. Showed decent body control on run through with athletic arm action. Could also project in the outfield with his 6.82 speed.

10. Tyler Pauly, RHP/MIF, Stevenson, 2016
5-foot-10, 162-pound two-way player, athletic build. On the mound works with a long arm action, high ¾ slot, athletic delivery, stays closed. Fastball has run, 76-78 mph, touched 79 mph. Curveball has sweeping action, 10/4 plane, 67-69 mph. Changeup has arm side action, 69-71 mph. Showed better command of secondary stuff when in the stretch. Offensively hits from a tall setup, balanced stance, short stride, maintains balance through contact. Loose hands, stays on top of the baseball, hits with rhythm, path stays short and works both gaps. Defensively plays with a loose arm action, short an accurate arm across the diamond, 77 mph. Showed the ability to play through the baseball clean exchanges and athletic hands. Ran a 7.38 60.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Quinn Andrews, SS, St. Ignatius, 2016
6-foot-2, 185-pound right-handed hitting shortstop hits from a balanced setup, long stride, short, slightly uphill bat path with high finish, 81 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 81 mph across the diamond from short, ¾ arm slot with some effort. Showcased average hands fielding the baseball. Ran a 7.45 60.

Zack Balogh, SS, Barrington, 2016
6-foot-2, 160-pound lanky right-handed hitting shortstop hit from a balanced setup, short stride, level bat path, middle of the field approach during batting practice with 72 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively, threw 75 mph across the diamond from short, high ¾ arm slot with some accuracy. Ran a 7.56 60.

Anthony Berdecia, MIF, Roberto Clemente, 2016
5-foot-11, 175-pound right-handed hitting middle infielder hits from a narrow, open setup, hands load back smoothly, short stride, above average bat speed with short, level bat path. Impressed with several line drives back up the middle off the screen during batting practice with 77 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 70 mph across the diamond from short, high ¾ arm slot, pushes the baseball. Soft hands, foot speed may fit better at a corner infield position. Ran an 8.36 60.

Patrick Cudney, MIF, Fremd, 2016
6-foot, 160-pound athletic left-handed middle infielder hits from a crouched setup, short stride, short bat path, opposite field tendencies, timing was late during batting practice, 80 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 81 mph across the diamond from short, over-the-top arm slot with carry and accuracy. Average hands fielding the baseball, third base type. Ran a 7.26 60.

Luke DeBenedetti, MIF, Joliet Central, 2016
5-foot-9, 150-pound middle infielder, athletic build, showed a raw athleticism on the field. Defensively showed body control, moved well on the infield, played through the baseball with a clean exchange that can be made quicker. Arm action has length, high ¾ slot, accurate arm, 76 mph across the diamond. Offensively hits from the right side, balanced stance, slightly open, slight leg kick stride, good balance through contact. Has offensively athleticism, hands work, shows some quickness. Line drive gap to gap approach, level path. 72 mph exit velocity from the tee. Ran the 60 at 7.51.

Ryan Ferreri, MIF/RHP, Downers Grove South, 2016
5-foot-9, 170-pound two-way player, average build with strength. Left-handed hitter, balanced stance, longer stride with slight leg kick. Aggressive hitter, made hard contact, got extension, 71 mph exit velocity from the tee. 8.45 runner in the 60. Defensively plays with a short arm action, high ¾ slot, showed accuracy across the diamond, tendency to field deep. On the mound arm action is similar to that on the infield. Fastball has control, 72-74 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, 58-60 mph. Changeup sat 66-67 mph.

Brett Harris, SS, Hersey, 2016
6-foot-1, 165-pound lanky right-handed hitting shortstop hits from a balanced setup, short heel lift stride, hands load back smoothly, long, fluid, level bat path produced 82 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 77 mph across the infield from short, loose, high ¾ arm slot with some accuracy. Ran a 7.55 60.

Kyle Kirschenmann, MIF, Moline, 2016
5-foot-9, 165-pound switch-hitting middle infielder. Offensively hits from a wide setup, no stride approach, sways to load, can get more out of lower half. Appears to be natural from the right side, opposite field contact, 77 mph exit velocity from the right side, 71 mph exit velocity from the left side. Defensively uses a short arm action across the diamond, 76 mph. Set feet up to play through the baseball, quick exchange on body control play.

Shawn Ligocki, RHP/SS, St. Charles East, 2016
6-foot, 155-pound athletic right-handed hitting shortstop/right-handed pitcher hits from a balanced, spread out stance, hands load smoothly, short stride, short, level bat path, line drives during batting practice, gap-to-gap approach with 76 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 79 mph across the infield from long, over the top arm action, takes time getting rid of the baseball, winds up, average hands, plays through the baseball. On the mound fastball sat 75-76 mph from same arm slot. Coils over the rubber to load lower half, shoulders work uphill, lower half flies open, lands towards first base side. 67-69 mph curveball flashed 11/5 shape. 69-71 mph slider displayed the same movement, no separation between pitches. 66-68 mph changeup was thrown near fastball arm speed.

Nathan Meland, MIF, Jacobs, 2016
5-foot-11, 165-pound right-handed hitting middle infielder hits from a narrow, open setup, hands drop during load, drove line drives from gap-to-gap during batting practice with pull tendencies and 72 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively, threw 72 mph across the diamond from long ¾ arm slot, getting underneath throws at times. Ran a 7.44 60.

Steven Meyer, MIF, Lake Central (IN), 2016
5-foot-10, 160-pound right-handed hitting middle infielder hits from a balanced setup, short reverse toe tap stride, loads hands with raised back elbow, slightly uphill bat path, barrel shows some whip, producing 79 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 77 mph across the diamond from a long, over-the-top arm slot with some accuracy. Hands played average fielding the baseball. Ran a 7.43 60.

Ben Moran, MIF, Buffalo Grove, 2016
5-foot-7, 165-pound left-handed hitting middle infielder, stocky build with strength. Offensively hits from an open stance, leg kick trigger, pre pitch bat waggle. Aggressive approach, swings hard, hands looked quick, slightly uphill path, created hard contact, occasionally lunges. Defensively uses a longer arm action from shortstop, ¾ arm slot, 75 mph across the diamond. Ran a 7.44 in the 60.

Jose Perez, MIF, Morgan Park, 2016
5-foot-5, 135-pound middle infielder, smaller frame, average build. 7.22 runner in the 60. Defensively showed soft hands, and body control, showed the ability to make plays on the move, projects as a second base type, above average actions for his age. Arm plays athletically, loose arm action, over the top slot, short arm action, 75 mph arm strength across the diamond. Right-handed hitter, tall setup, leg kick trigger, good balance through contact. Compact approach, dominated by his hands, minimal lower half involvement, hands play well, efficient path to the baseball. Hits with rhythm and athleticism. 73 mph exit velocity from the tee.  

Max Swiatek, MIF, Lakes Community, 2016
5-foot-7, 175-pound middle infielder, strong build, muscled actions. Offensively hits from an open stance, short leg lift stride. Line drive gap to gap approach, showed good barrel control, produced line drives up the middle. 82 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively uses a long arm action, over the top slot, rigid arm action, 69 mph arm across the diamond. 7.69 runner in the 60.

Jack Trotter, MIF, Stevenson, 2016
5-foot-10, 150-pound middle infielder, medium frame. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, minimal loading action, short stride, quiet setup. Bat path works, line drive gap to gap approach. 79 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively uses a long rigid arm action across the diamond, high ¾ slot, showed some accuracy, 78 mph across the diamond.

Zachary Zarifian, 3B/SS, Kenosha Tremper (WI), 2016
6-foot, 175-pound right-handed hitting third baseman/shortstop hits from a slightly closed, balanced setup, hands load back smoothly, short leg kick, above average bat speed, slightly uphill bat path, several line drives up the middle during batting practice, 77 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 78 mph across the diamond from short, high ¾ arm slot with accuracy. Average hands fielding, took infield at third and short, profiles better feet wise at third. Ran a 7.33 60.