Class of 2023 Showcase: Outfield Analysis


By: Illinois Scouting Staff

On Sunday, October 10, the PBR Illinois staff returned to The MAX Sports Complex to host the Class of 2023 Showcase. This annual event served as an opportunity for prospects in the state’s current junior class to display their talents in front of our scouting staff prior to the start of the off-season. There were more than 60+ prospects that made the trip to The MAX on Sunday and participated in a pro-style workout in front of our evaluators.

Shortly after the event’s conclusion we published several post-event content related pieces, highlighting some of the day’s biggest winners while also looking at the data we collected throughout the day. You can find those by clicking HERE.

Earlier today we began our position-by-position analysis with the catchers and we’ll keep working around the diamond today with the outfield group. Before we do so, here are a few names that stood out:

+ A top-65 player in the class, per our state rankings, impressed this past Sunday: OF Luke Stulga (St. Laurence). The multi-faceted athleticism that Stulga has inside a highly projectable 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame is evident when he’s on the diamond. He ran a 6.72 in the 60-yard dash, peaked at 86 mph from the outfield, and nearly all of his Blast Motion numbers are in the upper-echelon of our new “Performance Tiers” feature inside each specific player profile. Stulga’s operation in the batter’s box is extremely controlled as he stays short to the baseball and comfortably sprays line drives right back up the middle.

+ OF Gianni Royer (Lake Forest) paced the entire event in the 60-yard dash, running a 6.69 on our lasers, and there’s plenty to project on his current game when paired with that level of athleticism. Royer’s comfort in the batter’s box is evident, as he confidently stepped in and took a polished round of BP, repeating a loose right-handed swing throughout while back spinning line drives off the barrel. His athleticism was evident in the outfield, as he attacked the baseball in a controlled manner and topped at 85 mph to home, which was one of the day’s best bullets.

+ OF Kevin Hall Jr. (Munster, IN) put together a strong all-around showing at The MAX on Sunday. Built at an athletic 5-foot-8, 160-pounds with clear compact strength attached, the left-handed hitting Hall kicked his day off with a fluid, athletic round of outfield defense. He showed impressive rotational acceleration in the batter’s box (25.1 g avg.) and attacked the pull-side gap with barrel after barrel during his BP round. Hall is a top-75 prospect in the current Indiana junior class.

+ Making his PBR debut at this event, OF Amarion Paxton (Clifton Central) is an intriguing athlete that boasts an extremely physical and sturdy 6-foot-3, 230-pound frame. Paxton ran a 7.04 in the 60-yard dash, a noteworthy number given his size, and recorded the day’s hardest throw from the outfield at an 87 mph high. He produced multiple hard hit line drives in batting practice by simply flicking his wrists and throwing his hands at the baseball, squaring his best ball up at 93.40 mph.

+ OF Michael Penzone (Oswego) is a projectable 5-foot-11, 180-pound athlete that looked the part during BP. He repeated a simple right-handed stroke with loose feel for the barrel and a knack for staying on plane through the zone, all while peppering line drives back up the middle.

Read below for all of the outfield scouting reports from this event. 

TOP OUTFIELD PROSPECTS

1. Luke Stulga, St. Laurence  (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF/3B
Body: 6-2, 165-pounds. Lean, athletic frame.
Hit: R. Wide, balance stance, quiet hands, smooth load, short stride. Direct, compact swing, hits the ball where it's pitched, line drive type hitter.
Power: 89.12 max exit velocity, averaged 83.35 mph. 297’ max distance.
Arm: R. OF - 86 mph. Long, loose arm action, 3/4 slot.
Defense: Athletic action, controlled body to the baseball, soft hands, clean exchange.
Run: 6.72 runner in the 60. 

2. Gianni Royer, Lake Forest (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF/2B
Body: 5-9, 162-pounds. Athletic build.
Hit: R. Simple, balance stance, vertical bat to start, bat tilt trigger, short stride. Short to the baseball with a slight uphill swing, quick hands, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 91.8 max exit velocity, averaged 84.72 mph. 309’ max distance.
Arm: R. OF - 85 mph. Short, loose arm action, 3/4 slot.
Defense: Athletic movement, fluid footwork, plays to the baseball, soft hands, clean transfer.
Run: 6.69 runner in the 60. Best 60 time of the event.

3. Kevin Hall Jr, Munster (IN), 2023
Positional Profile: OF/SS
Body: 5-8, 160-pounds.
Hit: L. Athletic, balance stance, open feet, bat wrapping load, leg kick stride. Aggressive, short swing, ball jumps of the bat, middle/pull side tendencies.
Power: 93.19 max exit velocity, averaged 86.6 mph. 306’ max distance.
Arm: R. OF - 76 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Athletic actions, quick feet, gains ground to the target.
Run: 7.00 runner in the 60. 

4. Amarion Paxton, Clifton Central (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF
Body: 6-3, 230-pounds. Strong build.
Hit: R. Open, wide stance, active hands, minimal load, short stride to even. Strong, quick hands, compact swing, ball jumps off the bat, power swing to the gaps.
Power: 93.35 max exit velocity, averaged 82.85 mph. 329’ max distance.
Arm: R. OF - 87 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Charges hard to the baseball, fields with two hands, clean exchange.
Run: 7.04 runner in the 60. 

5. Michael Penzone, Oswego (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF/2B
Body: 5-11, 180-pounds. Muscular fit.
Hit: R. Balance, wide stance, quiet movement, smooth load, short stride. Athletic hands, compact swing, gets extended after contact, hits the ball where it's pitched, line drive type.
Power: 82.96 max exit velocity, averaged 71.32 mph. 258’ max distance.
Arm: R. OF - 76 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Athletic, fluid, controlled footwork, soft hands, clean glove to hand transfer.
Run: 7.24 runner in the 60. 

BEST OF THE REST (LISTED ALPHABETICALLY)

Matthew Drumke, Libertyville (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF
Body: 5-7, 195-pounds.
Hit: R. Balance, open setup, vertical bat, smooth load, toe tap stride. Flashed bat speed, direct to the ball, level swing plane, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 87.06 max exit velocity, averaged 72.5 mph. 297’ max distance.
Arm: R. OF - 74 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Corner outfielder, fields with two hands at times, clean exchange.
Run: 7.66 runner in the 60. 

Ben Flerlage, Latin School of Chicago (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF/RHP
Body: 5-11, 155-pounds.
Hit: R. Weight on the back leg, shoulder slightly uphill, big leg lift load. Direct to the baseball, level swing plane, high finish, pull side tendencies.
Power: 88.54 max exit velocity, averaged 82.08 mph. 302’ max distance.
Arm: R. OF - 84 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Works to the baseball, steady hands, clean exchanges.
Run: 7.59 runner in the 60. 

Amar'e Hall, Leo Catholic (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF/2B
Body: 5-11, 175-pounds.
Hit: R. Balance, wide setup, smooth pre-pitch load, short stride. Long, level swing, stays inside the baseball, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 88.67 max exit velocity, averaged 77.92 mph. 270’ max distance.
Arm: R. OF - 76 mph. Long arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Proper movements to the baseball, steady hands, long crowhop action.
Run: 7.29 runner in the 60. 

Dylan Harer, St. Viator (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF/SS
Body: 6-0, 168-pounds.
Hit: S. Wide stance, weight on the back leg, quiet hands, smooth load to a short stride. Athletic hands, short, uphill swing, gets extension after contact with a high finish, spray hitter.
Power: 93.49 max exit velocity, averaged 79.24 mph. 316’ max distance.
Arm: R. OF - 79 mph. Long arm action, over-the-top slot.
Defense: Athletic movement to the baseball, steady hands, clean transfer.
Run: 7.16 runner in the 60. 

Jayden Malone, Metea Valley (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: 1B/OF
Body: 5-10, 175-pounds.
Hit: R. Simple, balance stance, bat wiggle trigger, short stride. Direct, compact swing, line drive type hitter, middle of the field approach.
Power: 93.26 max exit velocity, averaged 88.83 mph. 341’ max distance.
Arm: R. INF - 72 mph. OF - 74 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Projects as a first baseman. Outfield: Fields with two hands, clean exchange. Infield: Steady hands, fluid footwork around the bag, clean double play transfer.
Run: 7.21 runner in the 60. 

Easton Steck, Galesburg (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: SS/OF
Body: 6-1, 175-pounds.
Hit: R. Open, wide setup, hands held low, arm bar pre-pitch load, short stride to get even. Flashed bat speed, short, uphill swing, consistent hard contact, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 92.83 max exit velocity, averaged 86.32 mph. 310’ max distance.
Arm: R. INF - 78 mph. OF - 83 mph. Short , loose arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Projects as an outfielder. Outfield: steady hands, fluid footwork, clean exchange, plays through the ball. Infield: gets around the baseball, developing hands, long exchange.
Run: 6.97 runner in the 60. 

Leonardo Zerillo, Lane Tech (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF
Body: 6-3, 170-pounds.
Hit: L. Athletic, balance stance, minimal pre-pitch load, short stride. Short, level swing, high finish,line drive type hitter, middle/pull side approach.
Power: 88.34 max exit velocity, averaged 77.19 mph. 308’ max distance.
Arm: L. OF - 77 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Fluid footwork, steady hands.
Run: 7.39 runner in the 60. 

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