PBR Class of 2013 Showcase: Pitcher Analysis

The Prep Baseball Report Class of 2013 Showcase on Oct. 23 featured several impressive pitching prospects. Many junior saw their stock rise at the event, and others will be tracked carefully in the coming years.

Here’s a look at the top pitchers at the event, led by Robert Kametas from Oak Lawn HS:

1. Robert Kametas, RHP, Oak Lawn HS
Unknown heading into the event, Kametas certainly made a big name for himself, and in the process established himself as one of the top right-handed prospects in the Class of 2013. The 6-foot, 190-pound Kametas has a strong lower half, which he utilized well during his bullpen session. Coming from a high ¾ arm slot, Kametas’ fastball sat in the 86-87 mph range with heavy, late life.  He showed good feel for his off-speed pitches as well, with a curveball that had an 11/5 shape with late action in the 67-72 mph range, and a changeup in the 72-73 mph with sink and down in the zone.

2. Jack Granath, RHP, Rockton Honoegah HS
At 6-foot-5, 170 pounds, Granath has an extremely projectable body type, one that will continue to develop as he physically develops. Granath has extremely long legs and arms, and demonstrated athleticism, rhythm and fluidity on the mound. The right-hander operates from a high ¾ arm slot and has a quick, loose arm action.  He showcased a fastball that topped out at 84 mph that was thrown with little effort.  His curveball showed some depth in the 68-70 mph range, and changeup in the 73-74 mph range that displayed sink when down in the zone.

3. Cal Placher, RHP, Joliet Catholic HS
Placher features an athletic and wiry 6-foot, 160-pound frame, one that should fill out nicely as he physically develops. The loose right-hander impressed with his lively fastball, which topped at 85 mph, and sat in 83-84 range with late arm-side action. He comes from a high ¾ arm slot and displayed rhythm and tempo throughout his mechanics. His arm works fast and he showed excellent hand acceleration. His secondary pitches included a sharp slider with two-plane break, in the 69-72 range, that has a chance to be a swing-and-miss pitch. He also showed feel for a changeup that demonstrated some arm-side sink, and a 62-65 mph curveball.

4. Carson Cheesman, LHP/OF, Galesburg HS
Cheesman is one of the more intriguing left-handed prospects in the Class of 2013.  The lanky 6-foot, 165-pounder commanded the strike zone with four pitches, all with movement.  His 74-76 mph changeup has the potential to be a legitimate out-pitch, as it demonstrated late arm side sink with deception.  Cheesman’s slider, which was in the 69-70 mph range, also impressed, as it had a sweeping two-plane break.  Cheesman’s fastball topped at 79 mph, but with his projectable frame and arm speed, he should see a velocity spike in the coming years.  Cheesman also showed feel for a curveball in the 65-67 mph range.  

5. Jake Cousins, RHP/OF, Wheaton Academy HS
With long legs and arms, the 6-foot-2, 155-pound Cousins has an athletic, lanky build that projects well at the next level.  On the mound, Cousins showed a quick, loose arm coming from an over-the top slot.  He showed feel for all three of his pitches. His fastball topped at 84 mph, and it demonstrated some late sinking action. His off-speed pitches included a curveball that had 11/5 shape in the 65-67 mph range, a changeup which flashed arm-side sink in the 68-71 mph range.  Defensively, Cousins had good carry and life on his throws (84 mph) from the outfield.  He moved athletically to the ball and got on top of his throws well. At the plate, Cousins exhibited a balanced, loose swing.

6. Matthew Testa, LHP, Joliet Catholic Academy HS
Testa is a 5-foot-11, 170-pound left-hander who showed the ability to throw four pitches. His fastball had late life in the 80-81 mph range.  Furthermore, Testa demonstrated good feel for his 73-75 changeup that had arm side sink down in the zone.  He also flashed two different breaking balls: a slider and curveball, both at similar speeds.

7. Brendan Miller, RHP, Plainfield North HS
Miller is an extremely projectable 6-foot-3, 175-pound right-hander who features long legs and arms. With his wiry body type and quick arm, Miller should see a significant velocity spike with his 79-81 mph fastball. Miller exhibited good rhythm and a fluid arm coming from a high ¾ arm slot.  He showed feel for three pitches; his curveball has the potential to be a plus pitch, as it demonstrated sharp, two-plane break in the 66-69 range. He also threw his changeup, which showed some arm-side sink, for strikes.

8. Steven Chamberlain, RHP/MIF, Guilford HS
Chamberlain is a projectable 6-foot-2, 170-pound two-way player who showed well both as a position player and on the mound. As a position player, he displayed natural instincts in the field and showed a velocity of 81 mph from the outfield and 72 mph from across the diamond.  Offensively, Chamberlain features a quick left-handed swing with good extension through the zone.  He displayed excellent barrel whip through the zone and created backspin carry when he squared the ball up.  On the mound, Chamberlain has a high ¾ arm slot and showed good hand acceleration.  His fastball sat at 78-80 mph and featured some downward sink.  His changeup had some downward action, and he also threw a curveball and slider.

9. Alex Milne, LHP, Oswego HS
Milne is a wide-bodied 6-foot-3, 240-pound left-handed pitcher who filled up the zone with three pitches. Milne comes from a high ¾ slot and features a fluid backside arm action. His fastball topped at 83 mph, sitting mostly at 82. He also showed a late sweeping curveball in the 65-67 mph range and a 71-74 mph changeup.

10. Trevor Machek, LHP, Minooka HS
Machek is a 6-foot-2, 180-pound left-handed pitcher who showed feel for all three of his pitches.  He operates from a lower ¾ arm slot.  Machek’s fastball topped at 78 mph with some arm-side run. He also showed two off-speed pitches, a sweeping curveball that sat in the 62-63 mph range and a sinking changeup in the 67-69 mph range.

Best of the Rest (Alphabetically)

Brett Assell, LHP, Yorkville HS
Assell is a 5-foot-11, 160-pound left-handed pitcher who can command the zone with three pitches.  Coming from an over the top arm slot, Assel features a quick arm and showed some run on his 72-75 mph fastball.  His two off-speed pitches are a curveball in the 60-63 mph range and a changeup in the 68-69 mph range.

Alex Bell, RHP, Burlington Central HS
Bell is a 5-foot-10, 175-pound right-handed pitcher who operates from a ¾ arm slot. Pitching only from the stretch, Bell showed a fastball that was in the 79-80 mph range with some sink.  His off speed pitches were a 68-72 mph curveball and a 72-73 mph changeup.

Jake Domsky, LHP, Lane Tech HS
Domsky is an athletically built left-handed pitcher who comes from a ¾ slot.  He demonstrated life on his fastball that sat in the 78-80 mph range and flashed occasional arm side run.  Domsky also threw a sweeping curveball in the 59-60 range, and a changeup (68-71 mph) that showed some deception.

Jack Foote, RHP, Naperville Central HS
At 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, Foote is a strong-bodied right-hander who topped out at 81 mph with some arm-side action. Coming from a ¾ arm slot, also threw a curveball in the 63-66 mph range and a changeup in the 68-71 mph range.

Alexander Gaydos, RHP, Wheaton North HS
The 6-foot, 165-pound Gaydos comes from a high ¾ arm slot with a short backside arm action. He throws three different pitches, a fastball in the 74-75 mph range, a sweeping curveball in the 63-67 mph range, and a changeup in the 69-71 mph range.

Kyle Matthews, RHP, Winchester
Matthews is a 5-foot-11, 165-pound right-handed pitcher who showed the ability to throw three pitches for strikes. Coming from an over-the-top angle, Matthews’ arm works with little effort. Matthews impressed with his 66-68 mph curveball, which showed the potential to be a plus pitch, as it had depth and late bite. His fastball topped out at 81 mph and showed occasional sink.  He also showed good feel for his changeup, in the 71-72 range, that exhibited some arm-side sink.

Tim Polak, RHP, Fremd HS
Polak is a 6-foot-1, 175-pound right-handed pitcher who features three pitches from a ¾ arm slot.  He has a fastball that sits in the 75-78 mph range, a sweeping curveball that has a horizontal plane, and a changeup in the 69-71 mph range.

Nick Refka, RHP, Palatine HS
Refka comes from an over-the-top slot and showed some acceleration in his delivery. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Refka’s best pitch was his changeup that sat in the 71-72 mph range and featured sink and run.  His fastball was in the 79-81 mph range and his curveball was in the 68-69 mph range.

Kevin Sola, RHP/1B, Schaumburg HS
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Sola has a strong, durable frame. On the mound, he showed feel for all three of his pitches.  Sola’s fastball topped out at 81 mph and displayed some sink.  Sola also threw a 63-68 mph curveball that had gradual break, and a 73-74 mph changeup.  Offensively, Sola uses his size to create some bat speed and showed some raw pop in his swing.

Alex Vannucci, LHP, Lyons Township HS
Vanucci features a lanky 5-foot-11 frame and showed feel for all three of his pitches.  He operates from a high ¾ arm slot and delivered fastballs in the 78-79 mph range. He also demonstrated the ability to command his curveball, in the 62-64 mph range, and a changeup that flashed sink and in the 68-71 mph range.

Steven Waldrop, RHP, Bolingbrook HS
Waldrop is a 6-foot, 185-pound right-handed pitcher who comes from an over the top arm slot.  His fastball, which topped at 84 mph, had hard, late life. His two off speed pitches were a 68-69 mph curveball that showed bite and a 69 mph changeup.