Prep Baseball Report

Metro East Kickoff Classic: Southern Illinois Senior Arms Impress

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

The third annual Metro East Kickoff Classic sponsored by Prep Baseball Report took place in the St. Louis Metro East area from March 17 - March 19 (Thursday-Saturday). The three-day event featured 47 teams from all areas of Illinois.

Throughout the event we updated our Scout Blog with prospects who showed well over the course of the event, as well as posted Scores and Game Recaps.

One theme that stuck out over the course of the event were the impressive performances turned in by senior’s from the Southern Illinois area. Below you will find a few scouting reports and videos we had on some of the top senior performances:

Southern Illinois Senior ARMS Impress:


Matthew Boyer, RHP, Edwardsville, 2019
Kickoff Classic Scouting Report - Wisconsin-Milwaukee commit. 6-foot-2, 195-pound, well-proportioned, wide-shouldered, right-handed pitcher. Started on the mound for Edwardsville. Struck out six, did not walk a batter and only allowed one hit in his three innings of work. Smooth, repeatable delivery, high front-side and ball comes out of a short, over-the-top window. Fastball, works straight, creates angle and pounded the zone behind a fastball that sat 83-86 mph, touching 87 once. Curveball is go-to secondary offering. Thrown aggressively, 12/6 action, tight spin and depth, 73 mph.

Cameron Edmonson, LHP, Rochester, 2019
Kickoff Classic Scouting Report - Indiana State commit; No. 44-ranked prospect in the state’s 2019 class. 5-foot-9, 165-pound left-handed pitching prospect, one of the more competitive pitchers in the state. Long, quick arm action, over-the-top slot. Gets the ball and goes, quick tempo, attacks the zone. Repeats delivery, easy rhythm, works on line and lands square. Feel for four pitches. Fastball, late life through the zone, sat 85-88 mph, touched one 89. Curveball, aggressive, sharp 1/7 shape with depth, swing-and-miss pitch. Cut-slider, his go-to offspeed on this day, sharp, consistent late action, thrown for strikes, 80-83 mph. Changeup, thrown at arm speed, another aggressive offering, kept down in the zone, some fade, 79-82 mph. Allowed three hard-earned walks in 2.2 innings against Oak Forest, but did not allow a hit or run. Struck out eight batters over that span.

Evan Gray, RHP, Belleville East, 2019
Kickoff Classic Scouting Report - Arkansas commit. 6-foot-4, 190-pound, strong, wide-shouldered, right-handed pitcher. Started on the mound for Belleville East. One of the top power arms in the state. Arm is clean on the backside and quick out front. Did not throw a fastball under 90 mph until he had to work out of the stretch in the fourth inning. 11 of his first 12 outs were recorded via the strikeout and he struck out eight straight at one point. Worked primarily off of his fastball. Fastball, works straight, four-seam finish through the zone, average command and sat 90-92 mph, touching a few 93’s early. Out of the stretch worked mostly 88-89 mph. Showed a curveball and a slider. Slider flashed hard bite, inconsistent feel, 83-84 mph. Went more to the curveball and gained feel as the outing went on; 11/5 shape, tight spin, swing and miss action at times, sat 76-79 mph. Extremely impressive first start of the season for Gray. Final Line: 6 IP, 2 H, R, 14 K, BB.

Evan Gray

Zachary Lee, RHP, Effingham, 2019
Kickoff Classic Scouting Report - Kentucky commit. 6-foot-4, 210-pound advanced build, uber athletic and easy actions on the mound. Started and went five innings on 79 pitches allowing two hits and striking out nine. Delivery is clean and easy with tempo, works in-line, toe lands slightly open. Arm is live and quick, easy ¾ slot, repeats. Pitched with a presence and fire at times, attacked hitters. Fastball sat 92-94 mph hitting 94 four times in the first. Settled in at 88-91 mph with a 4-seam/2-seam mix, elevated the 4 and worked corners with the 2, firm through the zone. Slider flashed wipeout slurve shape at times sweeping across the entire plate, struggled to get it in the zone, buried it often. Changeup, maintained arm speed, left it up, 83-85 mph, should easily get a feel for the secondary after a few starts under his belt this spring.

Zachary Lee

Evan Rightnowar, RHP, Chatham-Glenwood, 2019
Snead State CC commit. 6-foot-2, 195-pound righty with large, thick build. Works on line, big leg kick. Long arm action, straight over-the-top arm slot. Fastball is straight downhill, gets tilt, straight, heavy, sat 86-88 mph, touched 90 mph in his first inning in relief, more 85-87 mph in the second inning. Curveball, sharp, late, 12/6, able to drop in for strikes, 70-73 mph. Did not see a changeup.


Dawson Taylor, RHP, Edwardsville, 2019
Kickoff Classic Scouting Report - John A. Logan JC commit. 6-foot-4, 201-pound, strong-bodied, right-handed pitcher. Continues to get better every time we see him. One of the harder throwers in the state. Came out of the bullpen and did not throw one fastball under 90 mph in his first inning of work; sat 90-92 mph, touching a couple 93’s. Second inning worked more in the 88-89 mph range. Fastball was around the plate, mostly straight, occasional arm-side-action. Went to his slider only a couple of times. Flashed one with late bite, 10/4 shape and swing-and-miss action, 84 mph. Did not allow a hit in his two innings and struck out five. Should draw some pro interest moving forward this spring.

Dawson Taylor 

Shane Wilhelm, RHP, Columbia, 2019
Kickoff Classic Scouting Report - Missouri commit. 5-foot-11, 185-pound right-handed pitcher, strong athletic frame. Athletic delivery, repeats, stays on line and balance. Easy arm action, short draw 3/4 slot. Fastball plays with arm side run 88-89 early on, showed feel, mostly goes to glove side. Changeup showed plus action the first, 80 mph, swing-and-miss pitch. Went to slider more in the later innings, lateral action, 10/4 shape 74-76 mph, showed ability to get swing and miss. Also hits two-hole for Columbia.