Prep Baseball Report

PBR Future Games: Risers and Top Performers for Team Illinois

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

The Future Games took place at Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana from July 30th-August 1st. The three day event consisted of a showcase/workout day and then two full days of game play.

Pitchers created a lot of the buzz for Team Illinois throughout the PBR Future Games. However, there were a handful of position players whose talents didn�??t go unnoticed and saw their stock rise as well. Listed below are some risers and top performers for all of Team Illinois over the course of the three days.

POSITION PLAYERS (Listed alphabetically)

Branden Comia, SS, Sandburg, 2018
5-foot-10, 172-pound right-handed hitting shortstop was one of the biggest risers for Team Illinois at the Future Games. Offensively, his bat stood out as one of the top 2018�??s at the event. Advanced hitter, routinely found the barrel and drove balls with authority. Ball jumps off the bat, aggressive through the zone. Smooth load with good separation. Hands stay on top of the baseball and flashed explosiveness. In game, advanced pitch recognition, routinely taking tough pitchers on the border of the zone. Seemed to get into good hitting counts every at-bat. Laced a double down the right field line in Game one. Defensively, smooth, athletic actions and soft hands in the infield. Balanced, under control and fluid feet. Over-the-top, short-arm action, has carry and clocked at 81 mph across the infield. 

Merrick Eddington, C, Mount Zion, 2017
Physical 5-foot-11, 215-pound imposing right-handed hitter had a Future Games best 99 mph exit velocity off of a tee. Also, took one of the most eye-opening batting practices of the day. Consistently, showcased pull-side pop, barreling baseballs deep to left and left-center field. Excellent balance and bat speed throughout contact. Gets a lot out of his lower half. Went 1-3 in each of the first two games of the Future Games with a lot of hard contact outs. One of his hits was a line-drive double down the right field line. Defensively, continued to impress with a strong arm. Clocked at 80 mph from the crouch. Eddington had pop times ranging from 1.94-2.11 during the workout day.

Ryan King, SS, Brother Rice, 2017
Small framed 5-foot-9, 145-pound athletic, right-handed hitting shortstop. Ran the fastest 60 yard dash for Team Illinois, 6.65. Defensively, showcased some of the best hands at the Future Games on the infield. Plus actions, quick transfer, athletic, short-arm action. Throws were true, had carry and clocked at 81 mph from across the diamond.  Flashed an electric transfer in game, relaying a throw that was in and out of his glove in a split second, had life and was right on the money to the third-basemen. Also, made the slow roller play look easy. Offensively, in batting practice flashed plus bat control, spraying line-drives all over the yard. Hit a triple in game to the right centerfield gap and floated around the bases. Projects to hit for a high average at the next level. 

Zion Pettigrew, SS, Mount Carmel, 2017
6-foot, 165-pound, toolsy, athletic right-handed hitting shortstop seems to do everything well on the baseball field. He ran a 6.91 60, clocked at 88 mph from across the infield, defends, and looks to be a force at the plate.  Defensively, has plenty of arm strength, range and hands to stay on the left-side of the infield at the next level. Flashed a quick arm from an over-the-top arm slot. Plus carry on his throws especially from deep in the hole.  Plays tall with body control and a plus transfer. Offensively, the right-handed hitter had an exit velocity of 91 mph. Loose, really athletic hands, and lots of whip in swing. Pull-side hitter, attacks the baseball. Hands work above the ball as he enters the hitting zone. Utilizes the lower half; routinely up off his back toe and contact. Pettigrew has an extremely high ceiling and should be a high follow in the 2017 class.

PITCHERS (Listed Alphabetically)

Brady Corrigan, RHP, Plainfield North, 2017
Athletically built, prototypical pitchers frame 6-foot-3, 180-pound right-handed pitcher was one of the biggest risers at the Future Games. Looks to be the total package on the mound. He featured one of if not the best breaking balls at the event. Corrigan�??s curveball is a flat out hammer, at 77-79 mph it can work 12/6 and has swing and miss action that he throws with conviction. On top of that he is athletic, has an electric arm and exudes a ton of confidence on the mound. Fastball was a lively 88-90 mph in his two outings and wasn�??t afraid to challenge hitters. Operates from a high ¾ arm slot, repeats his delivery and pounds the zone with all of his pitches. Has feel for a change-up, thrown with fastball arm-speed, fade action at 82 mph. In his two innings of work over the weekend he only allowed one hit and struck out three. One of the top uncommitted 2017�??s in the entire Midwest.

Reid Detmers, LHP, Nokomis, 2017
Wide shouldered, strong 6-foot-2, 185-pound was the most impressive left-handed pitcher on the Illinois staff at the PBR Future Games. Detmers went 86-88 mph with his fastball and showed an, at times sharp, 70-72 mph curveball. Detmers is still a little raw in his delivery which makes him even more intriguing as a prospect. Flat out pounded the zone with all of his pitches. His fastball features late life, resulting in tardy swings time and time again. To make matters worse for hitters he flashed plus feel for his curveball, throwing it for strikes any time he wanted too. Put on an absolute show at the Future Games, striking out six of the seven batters he faced. The one batter lucky enough to put a ball in play, hit a weak comebacker to the mound. Also features a change-up at 74 mph.

Mark Diluia, RHP, Marian Catholic, 2017
Long, lean, extremely projectable 6-foot-3, 175-pound right-handed pitcher has just as much upside on the mound as anyone on Team Illinois at the Future Games. The right hander possesses a plus pitchers frame to go along with a long, loose, whippy arm action from a ¾ arm slot. Diluia throws three pitches for a strike with his slider being a plus offering with tight sweeping action, sitting 76-77 mph. Consistently showed advanced feel for the slider and got a number of swings and misses in game play. Slight hesitation in his delivery which seems to cause a bit of deception for hitters. Fastball sat an easy 86-88 with some arm-side-run, challenged hitters and seemed to get on them in a hurry. Change-up was 81 mph with slight fade and arm-side-run. Diluia only allowed one hit and struck out one in his two innings of work at the Future Games.

Erik Kaiser, RHP, Waterloo, 2017
Big bodied 6-foot-4, 190-pound right-handed pitcher matched Corrigan for best fastball velocity on Team Illinois, also touching 90 mph over the weekend at the Future Games. The power-armed right hander seems to just be scratching the surface of his potential. His easy fastball sat 87-89 mph. His arm works long and over the top but when out in front creates some downhill tilt to his fastball. When Kaiser gets on top and out front, the ball jumps out of his hand.  Showed feel for a 12/6 curveball with good depth at 73-77 mph. Routinely dropped it in for strikes during his stints on the mound. Throws a change-up at 76-77 mph. His three pitch repertoire leads me to believe he could be a legitimate weekend starter at the next level. Proved to have swing and miss offerings in his two innings of work at the Future Games Kaiser by recording all his outs via the strikeout, a total of six.