Prep Baseball Report

PBR Future Games: Team Illinois Position Player Analysis

By Sean Duncan and Drew Locascio

Since the Prep Baseball Report Future Game’s inception six years ago, Team Illinois has always been one of the stars of the show with its high-level prospects. This year was no exception, as Illinois unveiled an impressive array of athletes and arms for the 200-plus college coaches in attendance.

Illinois finished the event 1-0-2. It rallied late to upend Wisconsin 4-3, and tied Indiana, 2-2, and Iowa/Minnesota, 3-3. The game against Indiana, the final contest of the night on Friday, was arguably the most impressive matchup of the three-day event, thanks to the high-level performances by both teams’ pitchers.

With all that said, Illinois really separated itself during Thursday’s positional workouts. From top to bottom, Illinois prospects delivered many of the top positional arms, 60 times, rounds of BP and exit velocities. Illinois’ crop of outfielders especially shined with its all-around tools.

Here’s an in-depth look at all the position players and how they performed at the Future Games:


Tyler Acosta, OF, Barrington, 2018
6-foot-1, 155-pound, wiry athlete, right-handed hitting outfielder. Offensively, top of the order potential at the next level. Ran a 6.93 laser-timed 60. At the plate, flashed quick twitch and a gap-to-gap approach. Takes competitive at-bats, understands the strike zone with good pitch recognition and rarely chases pitches out of the strike zone; worked multiple deep counts in game and drew a number of walks. Turned on an 88 mph fastball in game one of the Future Games and doubled down the left-field line. Balanced setup, smooth load and good balance through contact. Registered an 88 mph exit velocity. Defensively, profiles as a centerfielder who can play all three outfield spots. Quick feet with aggressiveness in the outfield, gets good reads, takes the proper angles and covers a lot of ground. Athletic arm action, works long and loose from an over-the-top slot; clocked at 83 mph from the outfield.

Brooks Coetzee, OF, Mahomet-Seymour HS, 2018
6-foot-1, 191-pound right-handed hitting outfielder, athletic build, proportional strength with room for continued physical development. Possesses high-level tools, which he showed during the positional workout when he had one of the top outfield arms at the Future Games (91 mph), ran a 6.93 laser-timed 60, and registered 97-mph exit velocity. Advanced defensive outfielder; moves with fluidity and confidence, gets good reads, aggressive routes, and strong, accurate arm. Offensively, has balanced swing, strong hands, above-average bat speed. Took inconsistent round of BP, but got loose at the end and tanked a pair out to left field. In game, ripped a triple to the right-center gap, moved around the bases well, powerful, athletic strider.

Dakota Kotowski, OF, Providence Catholic, 2018
6-foot-3, 200-pound right-handed hitting outfielder, physical build with proportional strength. Possesses big right-handed power at the plate. Strong hands, generates advanced bat speed with lift in swing. Aggressive approach, swings with intent to do damage yet maintains balance; recorded one of the top exit velocities at the Future Games at 100 mph. Has potential to develop into high-level power hitter at the next level. Defensively, corner type, likely left fielder or first baseman; shows arm strength, clocked at 89 mph. Also ran a 7.30 laser-timed 60.

Myles Norman, OF/RHP, Morgan Park, 2018
6-foot, 160-pound, long and lean, two-way prospect showcased his impressive tools on the workout day. Norman ran a 6.85 60, was clocked at 90 mph from the outfield and flashed a loose swing with a gap-to-gap approach. Defensively, moves fluidly in the outfield, easy strider, plays through the baseball and flashed a loose, quick arm action from a high ¾ slot. Offensively, right-handed hitter, lined a run-scoring single to right field in the second game against Team Wisconsin. Also, a right-handed pitcher; threw a scoreless inning on the mound in game two. Velocity was down from what we have seen in the past (up to 87 mph at a previous event). Sat 77-80 mph and touched 83 in his outing.

Zaid Walker, OF, Homewood-Flossmoor HS, 2018
6-foot-1, 200-pound right-handed hitting outfielder, athletic build, proportional strength with room for continued growth; strong quick-twitch athlete.  During Thursday’s positional workout, separated himself with his high-level tools and offensive prowess. Offensively, generates elite bat speed with his hands, maintains excellent balance throughout, level, line-drive swing with power potential; had one of the top overall BP rounds during the positional workout. Registered 96 mph exit velocity and ran a 6.76 laser-timed 60, powerful strider, speed has steadily improved over the years. Defensively, relatively new to the outfield, still figuring out the nuances of the position after transitioning from third base. Possesses plus arm strength, 92 mph from the outfield. Overall, should become a high-follow draft prospect in the 2018 class.


Francois Castillo, 3B, Roberto Clemente, 2018
6-foot, 210-pound third baseman, physical, sturdy build, strong lower half, wider shoulders. Impressed throughout the course of three days with his raw tools and intriguing upside. Showed extremely well during the positional workout; clearly was one of the top defensive third baseman in attendance; throws have plus carry across the infield at 88 mph, on line and accurate. Athletic hands and fluid infield actions; ranges well laterally. Offensively, has rhythm and strength in swing, loose hands, above average bat speed, creates lift; aggressive overall approach. In game, made consistent hard contact throughout with little to show for it. Ran a 7.26 laser-timed 60 and recorded 84-mph exit velocity.

Anthony Herron, 1B, Simeon HS, 2018
6-foot-1, 235-pound right-handed hitting first baseman, extra-large frame, extremely strong lower half, wide shoulders; possesses overall man-strength. Highly athletic and nimble for size. Ran a 7.11 laser-timed 60, runs bases aggressively, stole a few bags during Future Games. His carrying tool, however, is his right-handed power. Generates advanced bat speed with minimal load, maintains balance through contact, stays strong through the ball, natural loft in swing; has legitimate pull-side power. Registered 96-mph exit velocity. Defensively, is overall excellent first baseman. Handles himself well around the bag; nimble feet, soft hands, big target, picks throws in the dirt, even nearly did the splits in game action. Knows the nuances of the position. Quiet competitor, plays hard.

Sam Jones, INF, Brother Rice, 2018
6-foot, 170-pound, lean, right-handed hitting infielder with plenty of room for continued physical development. Steady defender on the infield, fundamentally sound and never seems to be in a hurry. Plenty of arm strength to play anywhere on the infield, 7.58 runner in the 60. Long, loose, whippy arm action from a ¾ slot; accurate throws, flashed carry and clocked at 84 mph across the diamond. Hands work soft and out in front of his body. Offensively, confident and comfortable in the box. Aggressive approach, hunts the fastball with looseness in swing. Took one of the better rounds of batting practice for Team Illinois; sprayed line drives to both gaps and made consistent hard contact. Pull approach in game with natural lift in swing; registered an 80 mph exit velocity.

Jamarion Loston, MIF, Morgan Park, 2018
5-foot-8, 150-pound right-handed hitting middle infielder, small frame. Arguably the best defensive middle infielder at the entire Future Games; was a clear standout during the positional workout and in game play. Top-level hands, ultra-quick transfer, moves with fluidity, fields ball in rhythm, exceptional on the move, easy natural middle infield actions. Makes intuitive plays that cannot be taught.  Athletic arm, ability to throw from multiple angles, with carry and accuracy; 81 mph across the infield. Offensively, has handsy approach. Balanced, simple swing, weaker contact. Ran a 7.03 laser-timed 60 and registered 79-mph exit velocity.

D’Eric Shenault, MIF, Kenwood HS, 2018
6-foot, 155-pound right-handed hitting middle infielder; long, thin frame, high waist, physically immature. High-ceiling prospect when/if he fills into his frame. Athleticism, hands, actions are all there. Ran a 6.84 laser-timed 60, fluid gait, light on his feet. Ranges well laterally, long, easy strides, fields the ball in rhythm, plays well on the move, soft hands, quick transfer. Athletic arm, shows ability to make throws from multiple angles, 82-mph across the infield. Defense-first prospect.  Offensively, quiet mechanics, spray approach, athletic hands, inconsistent path. Registered 78-mph exit velocity.


Matt McCormick, C, St. Laurence HS (IL), 2019
The 6-foot, 190-pound left-handed hitter, strong, sturdy build, solid lower half, wider shoulders. Advanced plate approach, mature beyond his years. Keeps it simple, minimal moving parts, direct, flat path, extremely strong hands which he uses to backspin balls to all fields. The ball jumps off his barrel with ease and carry. Takes pitches extremely well, calm demeanor in the box, high level of barrel awareness and strike zone. Registered 97 mph exit velocity. Although his left-handed bat is certainly his carrying tool, defensively he is solid. He had pop times that ranged between 1.97-2.07 with accuracy, and was 77 mph from the crouch.

Jordon Rogers, C, Simeon HS, 2018
5-foot-8, 155-pound catcher, thin frame, narrow shoulders, high-level quick-twitch athlete. Ran a 6.63 laser-timed 60, one of the fastest times at the Future Games. Natural athleticism shines behind the plate. Moves extremely well laterally, flexible hips, blocks and recovers well, fires out of the crouch quickly, light on his feet. Above-average arm strength, 78 mph from the crouch. Top pop times ranged between 1.97-2.09. Right-handed hitter, dabbled from the left side during BP and one in-game at-bat. Balanced setup, simple approach, handsy swing, average contact. Registered 86 mph exit velocity.

Will Pudik, C, Peoria Notre Dame, 2018
6-foot, 195-pound right-handed hitting catcher, muscular frame, defined lower half, strong shoulders. Balanced approach, strength in swing, registered 85 mph exit velocity. Defensively, was 72 mph from the crouch with top pop times ranging between 2.05-2.16. Ran a 7.27 laser-timed 60.

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