Metro East Open: Pitcher Analysis



By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

Everyone is always looking for more pitching and there were some good ones to choose from at this summer’s Metro East Showcase. We narrowed it down to make a top five list from the event.

Top Pitching Prospects

1. Kyle Hentis, RHP/SS, Red Bud, 2016
6-foot-3, 190-pound, projectable, strong body, right-handed pitcher. Ability to throw three pitches for a strike and good feel for both off-speed pitches. Tall-and-fall delivery, short arm action, quick arm speed, over-the-top slot, lands square, athletic finish. Fastball sat 85 mph, touched 87. Pounded the strike zone, and when located down, the fastball had a lot of tilt. Curveball flashed 12/6 shape, 69-73 mph. Changeup showed arm-side-fade ranging between 68-70 mph. Offensively, hits from a tall stance, short stride. Above-average bat speed, level bat path that stays through the zone a long time. 84 mph exit velocity off a tee. Defensively, displayed above average hands, clean exchange, short arm action and a high ¾ arm slot. Clocked at 80 mph across the infield.

2. Noah Thaggard, RHP, Waterloo, 2016
Thick, strong 6-foot-1, 210-pound, right-handed pitcher throws four pitches. Somewhat deceptive delivery. Short, quick arm action, ¾ arm slot, landing slightly closed. Heavy fastball with sink that lived at the bottom of the zone. Fastball ranged between 80-84 mph.  Good feel for two breaking balls. Curveball had 11/5 shape, good arm speed and ranged between 67-72 mph. Slider had 10/4 shape, 73-74 mph. Changeup showed some fade at 73-74 mph.

3. Trevor Kohrmann, LHP, Breese Central, 2017
5-foot-11, 145-pound, left-handed pitcher with some projectability. Throws three pitches for a strike.  Drop-and-drive delivery, finishes square and online. Operates from a low ¾ arm slot, long arm action. Arm is loose and clean. Creates a lot of arm-side-run on his fastball, ability to work both sides of the plate. Fastball ranged between 79-81 mph. Sweeping curveball had 2/8 shape and sat 69-71 mph. Changeup had sink and some arm-side-run at 72-74 mph.

4. Kyle Blunt, OF/LHP, Hononegah, 2016
6-foot-4, 185-pound, lanky, athletic build, projectable body, left-handed hitter. Flashed his speed right away, running a 6.89 60 yard dash to start the day. Offensively, hits from a balanced stance, toe-tap stride. Above-average bat speed, long, uphill bat path, 85 mph exit velocity. Defensively, displayed fluid footwork, a clean exchange and plays through the ball well in the outfield. Loose arm from a high ¾ slot. Clocked at 79 mph from the outfield. On the mound the left-handed pitcher showed a drop-and-drive delivery, long, quick arm action, high ¾ arm slot, square landing and on-line finish. Fastball sat 80-81 mph, touched 82 mph. Curveball showed 1/7 shape, 65-67 mph. Changeup sat 65-69 mph.

5. Lane Belleville, RHP/3B, Teutopolis, 2017
6-foot-3, 210-pound two-way player. Defensively the righty has long loose arm action, high ¾, and average strength, threw 80 mph across infield. Offensively hits from right side with wide and balanced setup, smooth load, short stride, and average balance. Has good approach, long and uphill path, and line drive type, exit velocity 86 mph. On the mound throws from ¾ arm angle, long loose arm action, tall balance point, regular effort, and tall-fall type. Has smooth rhythm, in line direction, and athletic finish. Fastball sat 79-82 mph and touched 85 once with some run. Curveball was 68-70 mph with 10/4 shape sharp and late action, thrown for strikes, and changeup was 73-76 mph with arm-side-run.

Best of the rest (alphabetically)


Logan Boente, 2B/RHP, O’Fallon, 2018

5-foot-10, 145-pound, two-way player, right-handed hitter. Hits from a balanced stance, short stride, average balance. Good approach, long bat path, 73 mph exit velocity. Defensively showed average hands, clean transfer, long arm action, low ¾ arm slot, 72 mph across the infield. On the mound Boente operated from a ¾ arm slot with repeatability in his delivery. Long arm action, normal effort and some rhythm. Online and upright finish. Fastball clocked at 73 mph. Curveball had 11/5 shape and sat 64-65 mph. Also, threw a change-up with some fade ranging between 64-67 mph.

Nicholas Braddock, OF/RHP, O’Fallon, 2019
5-foot-10, 155-pound, lanky build, right-handed hitter. Offensively, hits from a balanced set up, loads hands back. Long bat path, pull-side approach, 69 mph exit velocity. Defensively, displayed average hands, long arm action, high ¾ slot. Clocked at 67 mph from the outfield. On the mound Braddock works from a high ¾ arm slot and has smooth rhythm throughout his delivery. Online and athletic finish. Fastball ranged between 68-70 mph. Both off-speed pitches were thrown for strikes. Breaking ball had 11/5 action and sat 59-61 mph. Change-up had some sink and was clocked at 65-68 mph.

Brayden Bultman, LHP/1B, Nashville, 2016
6-foot-4, 190-pound, two-way player, right-handed hitter. Hits from a open stance, short stride, lower half can work, average balance. Average bat speed, long uphill bat path, line-drive approach, 76 mph exit velocity. Defensively showed average hands, short arm action, high ¾ arm slot, 68 mph across the infield. On the mound had a tall-and-fall delivery, long arm action, high ¾ slot, lands open. Straight fastball sat 68-69 mph, touched 70 mph. Curveball showed 12/6 shape, 60-62 mph. Changeup showed occasional arm-side-fade, 63-65 mph.

Ryan Culley, LHP/1B, Belleville East, 2018
5-foot-11, 155-pound, two-way player, left-handed hitter. Hits from a wide, closed stance, lower half can work, average balance. Fair approach, 74 mph exit velocity. Defensively showed short arm action, high ¾ arm slot, some carry, 70 mph across the infield. Ran a 8.13 60-time. On the mound Displayed a tall-and-fall delivery, short arm action, over-the-top arm a lot, landing slightly closed. Straight fastball sat 70-72 mph. Curveball showed 12/6 shape, 63-65 mph. Changeup sat 66-69 mph.

Justin Dye, OF/RHP, O’Fallon, 2017
6-foot, 175-pound, two-way player and right-handed hitter. Offensively, hits from a balanced set up, leg-lift trigger, average balance. Above-average bat speed, long bat path, line-drive approach, 83 mph exit velocity. Defensively, from the outfield displayed the ability to play through the ball.  Short arm action, high ¾ slot and was clocked at 79. On the mound operates from a tall-and-fall delivery, short arm action, over-the-top slot, upright finish. Straight fastball, sat 78-79 mph, touching 80 mph. Curveball showed 11/5 shape, late break and ranged between 66-69 mph. Changeup showed arm-side-fade, 70-72 mph.

Mark Hoerner, C/RHP, O’Fallon, 2018
5-foot-9, 150-pond, right-handed hitter. Offensively, hits from a tall, open stance, short stride, average balance. Level bat path with a line-drive approach. Registered a 78 mph exit velocity. Defensively, long arm action, pop times ranged from 2.11-2.19, 73 mph from the crouch. Ran a 7.41 60-time. Also, showcased as a right-handed pitcher. Operates from a high ¾ arm slot, short-arm action and balance throughout delivery. Online, athletic finish. Fastball showed run at times, sat 69-72 mph. Curveball had 11/5 shape, gradual break, 61-63 mph. Changeup 64-69 mph.

Evan Howse, 3B/RHP, Westminster (MO), 2019
6-foot, 145-pound, lanky build, projects well on the mound, right-handed pitcher. On the mound works out of the stretch. Smooth rhythm throughout and a loose, ¾ arm action. Tall and fall delivery, square and online finish. Located fastball at the bottom of the zone ranging between 72-74 mph, touched 75 mph. Changeup showed sink, sat 58-64 mph. Offensively, hits from a balanced set up, toe-tap stride, fair balance and some rhythm. Long, uphill bat path, pull-side approach, 73 mph exit velocity. Defensively, long arm action, high ¾ slot, with accuracy, 71 mph across the infield. Ran a 7.86 60-time.

Nathan Kellermann, OF/RHP, O’Fallon, 2018
5-foot-9, 145-pound, two-way player, right-handed hitter. Hits from a balanced set up, short stride. Short, level bat path, opposite field approach, 76 mph exit velocity. Defensively has the ability to play through the ball, long arm action, high ¾ slot, some accuracy, 75 mph from the outfield. Ran a 7.8 60-time. On the mound showed a tall-and-fall delivery, high ¾ arm slot, landing square. Straight fastball, sat 72-73 mph. Curveball had 11/5 shape, sweeping action, 57-59 mph. Changeup sat 63-65 mph.

Mason Lopez, RHP, Gwendolyn Brooks, 2016
Prototypical, projectable 6-foot-4, 190-pound, lanky build, right-handed pitcher. Displayed a tall-and-fall delivery, short arm action, high ¾ arm slot, landing square, upright finish. Fastball showed slight arm-side-run, 70-73 mph. Curveball sat 65-69 mph. Changeup had good arm speed, occasional sink, 70-72 mph.

Quinn Lowery, OF/RHP, O’Fallon, 2018
5-foot-10, 140-pound, two-way player and left-handed hitter. Offensively, hits from a closed stance, short stride and above-average balance throughout swing. Short, uphill bat path. Registered a 68 mph exit velocity off of a tee. Defensively, displayed a clean exchange, short arm action, high ¾ slot, with accuracy. Clocked at 70 mph from the outfield.  On the mound worked from a tall-and-fall delivery, short arm action, high ¾ slot and a square landing. Fastball sat 68-69 mph. Curveball had 12/6 shape, 57-61 mph. Changeup had sink, 63-64 mph.

Jake Maxey, SS/RHP, O’Fallon, 2017
5-foot-11, 175-pound, two-way player, right-handed hitter. Hits from a balanced set up, smooth load, leg kick, average balance. Above-average bat speed, long, level bat path, pull-side approach, 85 mph exit velocity. Defensively showed above-average hands, short arm action, high ¾ slot, 80 mph across the infield. Ran a 7.6 60-time. On the mound displayed tall-and-fall delivery, high ¾ slot, some rhythm, landing square in line. Straight fastball, sat 75-77 mph. Curveball showed 11/5 shape, gradual break, 60-63 mph. Changeup sat 72-73 mph.

Matthew McDonald, OF/LHP, Alton, 2016
5-foot-10, 155-pound, wide-shouldered, left-handed hitter. Started his day by running a 6.95 60 yard dash. Hits from an open set up, short stride. Flashed a short, quick bat and uphill bat path. Registered a 79 mph exit velocity. Defensively displayed short arm action, over-the-top arm slot and was clocked at 78 mph from the outfield. On the mound showed a tall-and-fall delivery, short arm action, over-the-top slot, square landing. Fastball sat 71-73 mph, touched 77 mph. Curveball showed 11/5 shape, sat 52-56 mph. Slider sat 61-64 mph.

Mark Melville, OF/1B/RHP, Lutheran South (MO), 2016
6-foot-2, 185-pound, strong, athletic build, left-handed hitter showed the combination of speed and bat speed. Ran an above average 60 yard dash, 6.93 and recorded a 90 mph exit velocity at the event. Hits from a tall balanced set up. Smooth, deep, pre-pitch load, short stride and solid balance. Uphill bat path and displayed a pull-side approach. Defensively, on the infield, displayed above-average hands, fluid footwork, and the ability to play through the ball. Short arm action, over-the-top slot, with carry, 78 mph from the infield. Also, showcased in the outfield; feet worked well, smooth and clean exchange. Clocked at 80 mph from the outfield. On the mound the right-hander operated from an over-the-top, short arm action. Square, in-line finish. Fastball ranged 76-78 mph. Change-up was 69-73 mph with some fade and feel for the pitch. Also, flashed a knuckleball that ranged 64-68 mph with some tumble and feel.

Jaysn Miller, RHP/3B, O'Fallon, 2018
5-foot-7, 125-pound two-way player. On the mound the righty throws from high ¾, short arm action, regular effort, and some rhythm. Fastball sat 70-72 mph with some arm-side-run, curveball was 61-64 mph with 11/5 shape and sharp action, changeup was 68-70 mph with some sink. Defensively has long arm action, high ¾, accurate, and average strength. Showed average hands, quick fluid footwork, and quick exchange, threw 73 mph across infield. Offensively hits from right side with balanced and closed setup, leg kick stride, and average balance. Average bat speed, good approach, level path, and line drive type, exit velocity 71 mph. Ran 7.51 60-time.

Noah Niswonger, OF/RHP, St. Vincent (MO), 2016
6-foot-1, 165-pound, lanky, athletic build, two-way player and right-handed hitter. Offensively, hits from a wide base and a short stride. Average bat speed, long, uphill bat path, line-drive approach. 82 mph exit velocity. Defensively, showed average hands and the ability to play through the ball. Long arm action, high ¾ slot and clocked at 79 mph from the infield. Worked out in the outfield as well where he registered 80 mph from the outfield. Also, ran a 7.08 60. On the mound displayed a tall-and-fall delivery, long arm action, ¾ arm slot, landing square in line. Fastball showed sink and sat 77-78 mph. Slider flashed 10/4 shape, sweeping action ranging between 64-67 mph. Changeup showed sink at 71-74 mph.

Mitchel Rule, RHP, Breese Central, 2016
6-foot-3, 170-pound, long, lanky build, right-handed pitcher. Big coiled leg lift, tall-and-fall delivery, short, loose arm action, high ¾ arm slot, some rhythm, landing closed. Fastball had arm-side-run and ranged between 77-79 mph. Feel for a curveball, routinely throwing it for strikes, 11/5 shape, some depth, 66-68 mph. Changeup showed fade sitting 62-66 mph.

Trenton Rust, INF/RHP, O’Fallon, 2017
6-foot-1, 150-pound, right-handed hitter. Offensively, hits from a balance stance, leg-lift trigger and above-average balance. Level bat path through the hitting zone. 73 mph exit velocity. Defensively, showcased in the infield. Throws from a ¾ arm slot and was clocked at 70 mph across the diamond. Ran a 7.84 60-time. On the mound featured a tall-and-fall delivery, short arm action, high ¾ arm slot, landing square. Fastball sat 71-73 mph. Curveball showed 11/5 shape, sat 63-66 mph. Changeup showed some cut, sat 69-71 mph.

Ryan Sandifer, OF/LHP, Effingham, 2018
5-foot-9, 145-pound two-way prospect. On the mound throws from high 3/4, average arm speed, loose, clean arm action, regular effort, and tall-fall delivery. Smooth rhythm, level shoulders, in line direction, square landing, and athletic finish. Fastball sat 70-72 mph and touched 73 with some run. Slider was 61-62 mph with 12/6 shape, gradual action and thrown for strikes. Changeup was 65-66 mph with sink. Defensively, short arm action, high ¾, some accuracy, average hands, quick exchange and threw 72 mph from outfield. Offensively, hits from the left side, simple swing, not a lot of moving parts. Wide, athletic setup, short stride, and long uphill path. Exit velocity 73 mph. Ran a 7.49 60 yard dash.

Grant Schilling, RHP, O’Fallon, 2018
5-foot-11, 140-pound, lanky build, right-handed pitcher. Tall-and-fall delivery, short arm action, high ¾ arm slot. Some rhythm throughout delivery, landing square. Fastball showed some sink, sat 74-75 mph, touched 76 mph. Curveball showed 11/5 shape, late action, 65-69 mph. Changeup had cut at times, 69-71 mph.

Elijah Schlabach, RHP, Matton, 2016
6-foot, 193-pound, right-handed pitcher. Displayed a tall-and-fall delivery, short arm action, over-the-top arm slot, landing square, athletic finish. Straight fastball, sat 75-77 mph, touched 78 mph. Curveball showed 11/5 shape, thrown for strikes, 65-66 mph. Good feel for his changeup. Good arm speed, thrown for strikes, sink and sat 71-72 mph.

John Schoentag, 2B/RHP, Columbia, 2018
5-foot-9, 134-pound, right-handed hitter. Hits from balanced set up, long stride, average balance. Short, level bat path, pull-side approach, 74 mph exit velocity. Defensively fields the ball deep, long arm action, low ¾ arm slot, 68 mph from the outfield. Ran a 7.89 60-time. On the mound Schoentag works from a ¾ arm slot and smooth rhythm. Lands square, athletic finish, regular effort. Fastball was 70-71 mph, some arm-side run and slight sink. Curveball clocked at 60-62 mph had 11/5 shape, flashed depth and decent feel. Change-up varied anywhere from 62-68 mph with sink.

Colin Schuetz, 3B/RHP, Mater Dei Catholic, 2017
6-foot-0, 190-pound, two-way player, right-handed hitter. Hits from a balanced set up, short stride, above-average balance. Above-average bat speed, long bat path, 84 mph exit velocity. Defensively displayed average hands, clean exchange, short arm action, over-the-top arm slot, 77 mph across the infield. Ran a 7.35 60-time. On the mound had a tall-and-fall delivery, long arm action, over-the-top arm slot, landing slightly closed, athletic finish. Straight fastball sat 78-79 mph. Curveball showed 12/6 shape, 68-69 mph. Changeup sat 72-78 mph.

Nolan Seelhoefer, RHP, Mater Dei, 2016
6-foot, 262-pound, big bodied, right-handed pitcher. Short arm action, high ¾ arm slot, shoulders level, landing square and in line. Straight fastball sat 72-74 mph. Curveball had 11/5 shape, thrown for strikes, 66-67 mph. Changeup showed some arm-side-fade, 68-70 mph.

Jordan Smith, 1B/RHP, Highland, 2016
6-foot, 190-pound strong two-way player. Offensively hits from right side, balanced and wide setup, smooth load, short stride, and good balance. Strong and fast bat speed, uphill path, gap-to-gap power type, and fluid rhythm, exit velocity 82 mph. Defensively the right hander has long arm action from high ¾, some accuracy, and average strength. Showed average hands, okay footwork and a clean exchange, threw 69 mph across infield. Ran 7.37 60-time. On the mound throws from over-the-top angle, average arm speed, long arm action, regular effort, and tall-fall type. Showed some rhythm, in line direction, and square landing. Fastball sat 75-76 mph and touched 77, curveball was 59-63 mph with 12/6 shape, and changeup was 65-69 mph with slight fade.

Jack Strieker, LHP, Breese Central, 2017
6-foot-3, 170-pound, lanky build, projectable body, left-handed pitcher. Showed a tall-and-fall delivery, short arm action, ¾ slot, some rhythm. Fastball showed good arm-side-run, sat 77-78 mph. Curveball had 1/7 shape, 65-69 mph. Changeup showed sink, thrown for strikes, 66-67 mph.

Matthew Toohey, OF/LHP, O’Fallon, 2017
6-foot, 170-pound athletic build, two-way player and switch hitter. Offensively, hits from an open stance, short stride. Simple, compact swing, uphill bat path, pull-side approach, 80 mph exit velocity. Defensively, showcased a clean exchange, short arm action and high ¾ arm slot. Clocked at 83 mph from the outfield. Ran a 7.21 60 yard dash. On the mound showed a drop-and-drive delivery, short arm action, high ¾ arm slot, landing in line. Fastball sat 73-75 mph. Curveball had 12/6 shape sat 62-64 mph. Changeup had some arm-side-run, 70 mph.

Kaleb Vaughn, RHP, Carterville, 2017
6-foot-2, 170-pound, lanky build, right-handed pitcher. Operated from a tall-and-fall delivery, long arm action, over-the-top arm slot, landing closed. Fastball sat 76-78 mph. Good feel for a curveball, 12/6 shape, thrown for strikes, 63-65 mph. Changeup thrown down in the zone ranging between 65-67 mph.

Griffin Welz, 3B/RHP, Highland, 2016
5-foot-11, 150-pound, two-way player, right-handed hitter. Hits from a slightly open stance, loads back, leg kick, average balance. Average bat speed, uphill bat path, line-drive, pull-side approach, 78 mph exit velocity. Defensively showed average hands, fields the ball deep, short arm action, over-the-top arm slot, some accuracy, some carry, 80 mph across the infield. Ran a 7.78 60-time. On the mound had a tall-and-fall delivery, loose arm action, high ¾ slot, landing square in line. Fastball sat 74-75 mph, touched 77 mph. Curveball had 11/5 shape, thrown for strikes, 64-65 mph. Changeup had occasional sink, 69-71 mph.

Heath Zuber, OF/RHP, O’Fallon, 2017
6-foot, 140-pound, lanky build, right-handed hitter. Offensively, starts from a balanced set up, pre-pitch load, average balance. Uphill bat path, opposite field approach, 75 mph exit velocity. Defensively, showed long arm action, high ¾ arm slot and was clocked at 75 mph from the outfield. Ran a 7.56 60. On the mound displayed a tall-and-fall delivery, long arm action, high ¾ slot. Fastball showed some sink, 71-72 mph, touched 74 mph. Curveball had 11/5 shape, gradual break, 59-61 mph. Changeup showed sink, 67-70 mph.

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