Prep Baseball Report

Class of 2021 Showcase: Quick Hits

Adam Panayotovich & Drew Locascio
Illinois Staff

The Class of 2021 Showcase returned to Lee Pfund Stadium in Carol Stream, IL - home to Wheaton College - on July 17, 2019. The events' purpose is to shine a brighter light on those rising soon to be Juniors and this years' 50+ prospects didn't disappoint. 

We will dissect the event, position by position, in the coming week, but today we take an early look at some of the top performances on the day.


Arrow Trending Upwards

  • RHP Drew Martin (Mt. Pulaski) has his arrow trending up on the mound as the 6-foot-1, 190-pound athletic right-hander threw perhaps the best bullpen on the day. He filled up the zone with a fastball, sitting 81-83 mph, topping 84 mph paired with a slider and a curveball that both are thrown with conviction and tight spin. Martin was recently up to 86 mph at the Badger State Battle and should be a high-follow 2021 arm moving forward.  

  • 1B Al Holguin (St. Rita) stood out as one of the best bats in attendance. Holguin looks the part at 6-foot-2, 205-pounds and took a polished, loud round of BP (93 mph exit velocity). He sports a level path with extension through the baseball resulting in lifted gap-to-gap pop with present bat speed and rhythm throughout. The left-hander looks comfortable around the bag at first and his ball carries across the diamond topping 84 mph. We’ve seen him strive on the mound last spring for the Mustangs, follow 2021 in all facets of his game. 

Backstops Stand Out

  • Kyle Hayes (St. Charles East) is a physical, imposing backstop standing at 6-foot-1, 210-pounds who showcased upside bat strength & bat speed at the dish. Hayes produced hard, lifted contact to all fields while possessing a quiet demeanor in the box (below). Sports a quick exchange to release defensively with his low pop clocked at 2.07. 

  • Danny Nuccio (Plainfield North): Nuccio who showed well all weekend long at the Illinois Limited Series, had a strong overall day. The physical, strong 6-foot, 190-pound right-handed hitting catcher ran a 6.98 60-yard dash, stays flat through the hitting zone and showed hard line drive production at the plate. Took a solid round of BP to the defensive portion where he showcased easy, natural actions, quick and clean out of the chute with true four-seam carry to his throws. 

Progressing Arm

  • RHP Aidan Kress (Fenton) showed significant strides on the mound since last time seen in November sporting long and loose arm action with hip load over the rubber. The thick-framed right-hander pushed his heater up to an event-best 85 mph, last seen at 80 mph, with finish at the bottom of the zone. The secondary offerings are still progressing, but the ball comes easy out of his hand as the Fenton product should be a follow in the 2021 class.

Hononegah Products

  • Hononegah HS has plenty to be excited about next spring with rising juniors OF Braden Sayles and INF/OF Gabe Roessler. Sayles has a 6-foot-1, 180-pound, strong, athletic frame, ran a 6.78 60 and swings a simple, easy left-handed bat (below). Sayles moves with ease in the outfield and has a clean arm. Roessler has a long, athletic 6-foot, 160-pound frame with plenty of room for added strength. Roessler showed all of the tools to stick at shortstop but showed equally as well in the outfield. Roessler has fluid actions, soft hands, is natural on the move and has a loose, easy arm. 

St. Charles North Stars Shine

  • The North Stars are coming off a Class 4A runner-up finish and despite losing a few key senior’s the expectations should be high once again in 2020. Arguably the top prospect in attendance was St. Charles North INF/RHP Andrew Jimenez. Jimenez is a physical specimen with upside at 6-foot-3, 170-pounds with room to carry added strength. Jimenez ran a 6.76 60, showed a physical, quick bat (below) and then took the mound throwing a paced, under control bullpen with a three-pitch repertoire. Jimenez sports a loose and easy arm action, pushing his heater up to 83 mph on the bump and was 84 mph across the diamond.

  • C Marco Torres, OF Alex Najera and INF Kevin White are all three St. Charles North products who stood out yesterday. Torres is flexible behind the plate, clean out of the crouch and has a strong, right-handed bat. Najera ran a 6.86 60, and controlled the barrel, spraying balls around the yard from the left-side of the plate. White, a right-handed hitter, consistently barreled baseball to the pull side, has athletic infield actions and his throws carry across the diamond.

Physical Right-Handed Bats

  • C Daniel Contreras (Rockford Boylan) showed a big swing with bat strength producing hard contact in his round of BP. A strong look behind the plate, Contreras has receptive hands and is quick and clean out of the crouch.

  • INF/OF Joshua Kendall (Andrew) took an aggressive round of BP resulting in backspun baseballs to his pull side. Kendalls’ bat stays level through the zone looking to drive the ball to his pull side, put one out to left field. Kendall finished towards the top in exit velocity testing at 92 mph from a tee.

  • 6-foot-1, 175-pound, OF Zachary Stokes (Waubonsie Valley) ran a 7.14 60 and took one of the more consistent rounds of BP on the day. Stokes has s repeatable right-handed swing and worked the middle of the field. Also, showed natural outfield actions, attacking and working through the baseball.

  • INF Mark Muta (Illiana Christian, IN) stands at 6-foot-2, 175-pounds and showed physicality with sneaky pull side pop at the plate. He possesses strong hands with a fluid bat path looking to lift the baseball, while topping 90 mph in the exit velocity testing.

  • INF Trent Lawrence (York) is another athletic framed infielder at 6-foot-2, 170-pounds with present strength in his swing. The soon to be senior took a solid round of BP, sporting a level path with some length resulting in line drive production with pull side favoritism.

Two-Way Prospects

  • INF/RHP Zachary Kim (Glenbrook North) has upside two-way ability and it showed yesterday. Kim sports a short path with looseness in his hands shooting line drives back up the middle. He pairs fluid footwork with a quick arm on defense, upside athleticism on the infield dirt. Kim then took to the mound showing a quick tempoed and efficient bullpen pushing his fastball up to 82 mph. 

  • INF/RHP Lucas Nielsen (Downers Grove North) is another two-way prospect with athletic actions on all sides of the ball. Standing at 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, Nielsen sports a short, uphill bat path with loose hands driving balls to all parts of the field in BP. He then showed feel for a solid FB/CH combo with progressing breaking balls in his afternoon bullpen session. Nielsen has a long and loose arm action sitting his fastball at 81-83 mph with a fading change in the mid 70’s maintaining fastball arm speed.

Stay tuned over the coming days for a look at the statistical analysis from the event.