Fox River Open: Infield Analysis


By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

The Fox River Open was held on Monday, June 11, at The MAX in McCook. Nearly 50 prospects from all high school classes participated in a pro-style workout in front of the Illinois scouting staff. Yesterday we began the rollout of the event with a look at the catchers in attendance.

Today we continue the event analysis with a look at the infielders from the day. Below we ranked the top three infielders and rolled-out the best of the rest:

TOP INFIELD PROSPECTS

1. Brandon Micetich, INF, Plainfield Central, 2020
6-foot, 168-pound, athletic build, projectable framed, left handed hitting infielder. Offensively, balanced set up, natural smooth load, high leg kick, short stride, good lower half balance. Fast bat speed, level bat path, lets ball get deep, extension through baseball, gap-gap approach, fluid rhythm throughout, uphill finish, 82 exit velocity off tee. Defensively, long arm action, high ¾ release, throws 73-mph across infield. Ran 6.98 in the 60, laser-timed.

2. Luke Fiantago, INF/RHP, Prairie Ride, 2019
5-foot-8, 160-pound, right handed hitting infielder and pitcher. Offensively, crouched balanced set up, smooth load, short stride, utilizes lower half. Above average bat speed, short bat path, line drive approach, fluid rhythm, 84 exit velocity off tee. Defensively, quick fluid footwork, ranges to both sides, natural infield actions, soft hands, plays through the baseball, clean exchange. Long loose arm action, high ¾ release, 85 mph across infield. 7.04 runner in the 60. Right-handed pitcher, crouched setup, finishes out front, athletic position, maintains high ¾ delivery. Fastball showed slight run, topped at 78-mph, sat between 75-77. Curveball showed gradual downward action, 11/5 shape, sat between 66-67 mph. Change-up displayed sink, same arm action as fastball, good feel, 70-73 mph.  

3. Anthony Caruso, INF, Streamwood, 2019
6-foot, 215-pound, left handed hitting infielder. Offensively, displayed fast bat speed, aggressive swings, uphill barrel path, gap-gap power, fluid rhythm, exit velocity of 89 off the tee. Open balanced setup, short stride, quiet aggressive hands, simple load, extension through ball. Defensively, long arm action, high ¾ slot, easy arm action. Throws 76 mph across infield. Runs 7.23 in the 60.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Gabriel Alivia, 1B, Carmel Catholic, 2021
6-foot, 165-pound, long limb high waisted framed, right handed hitting first baseman. Offensively, tall balanced setup, leg kick, short stride, leads with hands, simple load. Short level bat path, line drive approach, exit velocity of 78-mph off tee. Defensively, throws from high ¾ slot, short arm action, consistent hand placement in front of body, throws 62-mph across infield. Ran 7.89 in the 60.

Charles Bien, INF/RHP, Grayslake Central, 2022
5-foot-11, 180-pound, athletic, right handed hitting infielder, pitcher. Offensively, tall balance setup, small leg kick, short stride, smooth load, maintains balance throughout. Short level bat path, barrel drags through zone, line drive approach, uphill finish, 76-mph exit velocity off tee. Defensively, long loose arm action, ¾ arm slot, repeatable hand placement, 71-mph across the infield. Ran 8.0 in the 60. On the mound, drop down delivery, ¾ arm slot, lands square, stays in line. Fastball had run, lower quadrants of strike zone, sat between 70-74 mph, touching 75. Slider used as put away pitch, gradual action on outer third of plate, sat between 63-66 mph. Change-up showed depth, consistently sat lower part of zone, had fade, sat between 62-66 mph.     

Hunter Eastham, INF/RHP, Beecher, 2019
6-foot, 165-pound, long, athletic build, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, balanced setup, smooth load, short toe-tap stride, above average balance. Stays short to ball, quiet hands, level bat path, late uphill finish, sprays baseball. Exit velocity of 80 mph off tee. Defensively, short quick arm action, high ¾ arm slot, 71 mph across infield. Quick clean exchange, repeatable footwork, athletic fielding position. Ran 7.59 in 60. On the mound, stayed tall throughout, high leg kick, square landing, out front, athletic positioning. Fastball had slight sink, run, sat between 72-74 mph. Curveball 12/6 slot, slows arm speed down, thrown for strikes, sat between 60-62 mph. Change-up displayed slight sink, lower third of strike zone, 63-66 mph.       

Dane Edwards, 1B/RHP, Rockridge, 2021
6-foot-3, 200-pound, large frame, lower half strength, right handed hitting first baseman. Offensively, balanced tall setup, slight drop load, short stride, small leg kick, maintains balance. Uphill barrel path, line drive swing, extension through baseball, power potential, exit velocity of 86 off tee. Defensively, throws 75-mph across infield, short arm action, high ¾ release. Ran 7.63 in the 60. On the mound stays closed throughout, athletic landing positioning. Fastball sits in lower part of zone, between 79-80 mph. Curveball has a 11/5 shape with good depth, consistent arm speed, feel for pitch, between 61-64 mph. Change-up thrown in lower part of zone, out pitch, sits between 69-74 mph.  

Jonathan Gardner, INF, Barrington, 2020
6-foot, 160-pound, lanky, projectable framed, right handed hitting infielder. Offensively, balanced open setup, toe-tap, short stride, rhythmic load, 82-mph exit velocity off the tee. Level barrel path, line drive approach, stays inside baseball. Defensively, fluid footwork, athletic fielding position, soft hands, clean exchange, played through baseball. Short arm action, high ¾ slot, accuracy on throws, 78-mph across the infield. Ran a 7.81 in the 60.    

Keegan Garis, INF, Prairie Ridge, 2020
6-foot-2, 175-pound, lanky, left handed hitting infielder. Offensively, balanced wide setup, fluid load, short stride, balanced throughout. Middle of the field approach, short bat path, uphill finish, exit velocity of 80-mph off the tee. Defensively, fluid footwork, consistent hand placement out front, athletic fielding position, clean exchange, soft hands. Long arm action, high ¾ slot, throw from multiple angles, 74-mph across infield. Ran 7.30 in the 60.

Nate Gazda, INF, Barrington, 2020
5-foot-9, 140-pound, lanky, right handed hitting infielder. Offensively, balanced setup, smooth load with rhythm, short stride, engaged lower half. Exhibited average bat speed, line drive approach, level bat path, short to the baseball. Hit 80-mph off the tee. Defensively, fluid footwork, clean exchange, athletic fielding position, plays through baseball. Loose ¾ arm action, carry to throws, follow through towards target, 78-mph across infield. Ran 7.28 in the 60.  

Max Martin, INF, Wheaton Academy, 2019
6-foot, 170-pound, athletically built, right handed hitting infielder. Offensively, closed setup, smooth back load, short stride, linear lower half, good balance throughout. Handsy swing, creates whip through zone. Level bat path, extension through contact, line drive, opposite field approach, fluid rhythm, exit velocity of 80 mph off a tee. Defensively, athletic fielding position, square and out in front of his body. Flashed soft hands, plays through baseball, quick clean exchange. Short arm action, high ¾ slot, repeatable, accuracy with throws, 79 mph across infield. Ran 7.50 in the 60.     

John McMahon, INF, Glenbard South, 2019
5-foot-9, 152-pound, lanky, right handed hitting infielder. Ran 6.99 in the 60, laser-timed. Offensively, wide setup, short stride, smooth load, slight bar, hip coil, finishes off backside. Flashed bat speed, uphill bat path, extension, high finish, 87 mph exit velocity off tee. Defensively, short arm action, high ¾ slot, 74 mph across infield. Steady hands, clean fluid exchange.

Ulysses Munoz, INF/RHP, Romeoville, 2021
6-foot-2, 175-pound, projectable athletic, wide shouldered, right handed hitting infielder. Hits from open, balanced setup, high leg kick, hip coil, short stride, consistent balance throughout. Short bat path, barrel stays in zone throughout swing, extension through ball, uphill finish, line drive gap-gap approach, exit velocity of 75-mph off tee. Defensively, impressive first step, fluid footwork, athletic fielding position, clean exchange, above average hands for age level. Short arm action, high ¾ arm slot, quick release, throws 74-mph across infield. Ran 8.07 in the 60. On the mound, quick delivery, high leg kick, over top delivery, athletic fielding finish. Fastball showed good command, strikes, 74-77 mph, touched 78. Curveball had good feel, 11/5 shape, showed some depth, 66-71 mph. Change-up displayed good sink, consistent arm action, side spin, sat between 66-70 mph.   

 Cole Nelson, INF, Batavia, 2019
5-foot-11, 160-pound, projectable frame, left-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, tall balanced setup, short stride. Early rhythm, loose hands, long bat path, uphill finish, exit velocity of 86 mph off the tee. Defensively, short, high ¾ arm action, ability to throw from multiple angles, topped at 73 mph across infield. Ran 7.03 in the 60.

Christian Rodriguez, INF, Elgin, 2020
5-foot-9, 150-pound, athletic build, right handed hitting infielder. Offensively, balanced setup, slight drop load, short leg lift stride, 82- mph off the tee. Short path through the zone, level swing, line drive approach, stays through baseball. Defensively, short, loose, easy arm action, high ¾ arm slot, accuracy on throws, carry to them. Displayed quick footwork, soft hands, quick clean exchange, athletic fielding position, square out in front of body, 76- mph across infield. Ran 7.24 in the 60.

Baylor Rowell, INF/RHP, Lake Zurich, 2022
5-foot-10, 150-pound, lanky projectable, left handed hitting infielder. Offensively, wide closed setup, crouched, short stride, back load, maintains balance. Short bat path, top hand action, stays inside baseball, pull tendencies, consistent rhythm, 77-mph exit velocity off tee. Defensively, athletic body placement, loose long arm action, high ¾ slot, 69-mph across the infield. Was a 7.37 runner in the 60. As a pitcher, quick arm action,  ¾ delivery, finishes over front side, athletic fielding position, repeatable. Fastball sits between 72-73 mph with sink. Curveball 11/5 action, gradual downward movement, thrown for strikes, between 61-64 mph. Change-up displayed run, lower third location, between 66-68 mph.    

Collin Ryan, INF/RHP, Hampshire, 2021
5-foot-10, 150-pound, athletic, right handed hitting infielder. Offensively, balanced setup, leg kick, drop load, short stride, maintains balance. Middle of the field approach, stays inside baseball, level swing path, extension through baseball, fluid rhythm, exit velocity of 70-mph off tee. Defensively, short arm action, high ¾ slot, throws 71-mph across infield. Ran 8.07 in the 60. On the mound, fluid linear delivery, remains in high ¾ slot, out front finish. Fastball showed slight run, thrown for strikes, sat between 69-71 mph. Curveball 12/6 shape, strikes, 58-59 mph. Change-up sat between 63-65. Knuckleball sat in lower thirds of zone, between 59-61 mph.  

Nicholas Sladek, INF, Hampshire, 2019
6-foot, 175-pound, well-proportioned, athletically-built, left-handed hitting infielder. 7.29 runner in the 60, laser-timed. At the plate, open setup, loads hands and long, leg-kick stride. Uphill bat path and 82 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, at first base, steady hands, clean transfer. Arm works short and quick, throws clocked at 77 mph across the diamond.     

Ryan Teuscher, INF, West Aurora, 2019
6-foot-1, 180-pound, lanky, projectable framed, right handed hitting infielder. Offensively, balanced setup, short leg lift, smooth load, quick to baseball. Uphill path, pull side approach, power potential, 83-mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, quick clean exchange, consistent out front hand placement. Long arm action, accuracy on throws, flashed carry, 74-mph across the infield. Ran a 7.61 in the 60.  

Christian Webb, 1B/RHP, Yorkville, 2020.
6-foot-4, 205-pound, lanky, right handed hitting first baseman. Offensively, balanced tall setup, short  stride, backload, exit velocity of 82 off the tee. Level bat path, long, uphill finish, line drive swing. Defensively, short arm action, high ¾ delivery, throws 75-mph across infield. Runs 7.79 in the 60. On the mound, engages lower half, athletic landing, finishes out front, long over the top release. Fastball commanded in lower part of zone, touching 83 mph, sat between 80-82. Curveball flashed bite, 11/5 shape, outer third, 66-67 mph. Change-up showed sink, similar arm action to fastball, 76-77 mph. Knuckleball displayed downward movement, 74-78 mph.        

Tucker Welch, INF, Eastland, 2019
5-foot-9, 150-pound, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, open setup, balanced, short stride. Short path, level, flashed bat strength, 87 mph exit velocity off tee. Defensively, long arm action, high ¾ release, quick transfer, topped at 68 mph across infield. 7.44 in the 60.

Jim Zay, INF, Glenbard North, 2019
6-foot, 170-pound, athletically built, right handed hitting infielder. Offensively, flashed bat speed hitting 91 mph off the tee, line drive swing, uphill finish, fluid rhythm, quiet hands. Open balanced setup, toe-tap, short stride, utilizes lower half. Defensively, displayed soft hands, athletic footwork, fields ball in front of body, plays through baseball. Over the top arm slot, long arm action, 78 mph across the infield. Ran 7.17 in the 60.

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