Prep Baseball Report

PBR IL - Heartland CC Scout Day: Takeaways

By: David Seifert and Peter Hamot
PBR Scouting Staff

On Thursday, September 23, the PBR Illinois staff traveled to Normal to host the Heartland JC Scout Day at the Corn Crib. The event featured over 30 uncommitted prospects, a number of them hailing from Illinois. 

As the week's rolled on, our staff has already published a handful of post-event content pieces, such as a Statistical Analysis, TrackMan Files, and Blast Motion Board.

Today, we'll conclude this event's coverage by looking at which players stood out throughout the workout. In total, the Hawks rolled out eight arms who were 89 + on the mound and nine hitters who registered a max exit velocity of 100 mph or better. Below are some of the standouts from the event.


Pitching Standouts:

Connor Aten, RHP, Galesburg HS (IL), 2020
The 5-foot-11 right hander showed a quick arm with a repeatable delivery and average effort. High-spin fastball (2573 rpm max) was up to 90 mph (mostly 88-89), while his curveball arrived at the plate at 73-75 mph with tight spin into the 2900 rpm range, as well as a 77-79 mph slider with similar spin rates. Aten also flashed a firm changeup at 83-84 mph.

Keegan Buksa, RHP, Homewood-Flossmoor HS (IL), 2021
Strong bodied right-hander with wrist-cup arm action to a high three-quarter release. Showed plus feel for a sinking changeup at 76-77 mph with spin in the 1400-1600 rpms. Mixed in a late action curveball at 75-77 mph at 2300 rpm and a lower spin fastball (1900s) in the 89-91 mph range.

Teague Conrad, RHP, Conant HS (IL), 2019
The 6-foot-4 sidearmer impressed with a hard sinking fastball up to 89 mph, an 82-83 mph changeup that he repeated for strikes and solid feel for a 80-81 mph slider.

Reese Dutton, RHP, Tremper (WI), 2019
A top talent on the mound for the Hawks, Dutton has projection at 6-foot-2, 200-pounds and a clean delivery. He’s loose-armed and athletic, signs of more velocity to come. Presently, he sits 88-90 mph (2100 rpm avg, 2308 max) with his fastball and flashed a knee buckler curve at 76-78 mph with spin rates in the 2500 rpm range. Also showed a solid feel for a low-80s changeup.

Jake Jakubowski, RHP, Huntley (IL), 2021
With a lean, athletic build at 5-foot-10, 155 pounds, the submarine right-hander peaked at 79 mph with his fastball, and impressed with a plus hard sinking changeup that he repeated down in the zone at 71-73 mph. His fastball had an event’s best of 22.7” of HM max and 21.5” avg HM.

Meade Johnson, RHP, Mattoon (IL), 2021
Highly projectible with a long, athletic body type (6-foot-2, 185-pounds), loose arm and low effort delivery, the right-hander impressed with control of three pitches from a three-quarter slot. His 6.49’ of average fastball extension led the event and his spin score of 26 was second best on the Heartland staff. His fastball peaked at 89 mph, mostly sitting 87-88 mph with fair life. He showed control and feel for a low-70s curveball (2400+ rpm) and subtracted spin on his 77-79 mph sinking changenup (1600 rpm). A true freshman Johnson has many characteristics of a guy that should see significant velocity gains over the next couple of years.

Mitchel Sampson, RHP, Galesburg (IL), 2020
Strong-framed at 6-foot-3, 210-pounds the right-hander pumped a 90-91 mph fastball throughout his pen, reaching back for a 92 mph bullet and then touched 93 mph on his last two pitches. His 24.2” of IVB max was the event’s best and he averaged 20.0”. His next best pitch was a 76-77 mph low-spin changeup in the 1400-1600 rpm range. Sampson also showed limited feel for a 77-78 mph slider, as well as a 68-69 mph curveball.

Positional Standouts:

Sam Antonacci, IF, Sacred Heart-Griffin (IL), 2021
The top college prospect for the Hawks, the 6-foot, 185-pound left-handed hitter is not the flashiest, but he makes every play at SS showing athletic feet (6.81 laser timed 60), sure hands, good body control and an average pro-grade arm (87 mph across the infield). At the plate he showed some of the event’s best bat speed, producing an exit velocity of 100.6 mph with a max distance of 384’. With that bat speed comes the potential for extra base production, especially when considering his balanced setup and disciplined approach at the plate.

Tyler Brandenburg, 1B, Lake Country Lutheran (WI), 2019
At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, you can’t teach his type of strength and raw power. With a no stride, rock back load his swing can get a bit stiff, but there’s no denying his power and the jump of the ball off the bat. His 104.6 mph max was easily the best on this scout day and his 92.3% Hard Hit rate was second. Defensively, he showed near average arm strength (83 mph) with a longer release and good accuracy. He also moves well, especially for his size and ran a 7.13 laser timed 60.

Auston Brewer, OF, Snider (IN), 2021
Coming off a left shoulder injury, Brewer was limited on this look, only participating in the 60 yard dash. Smooth with an athletic stride, ran a 6.73. The right handed hitter has recently started to swing the bat in the cage. When healthy, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound OF will show a plus arm and some serious juice in the bat. 

Jeremy Figueroa, IF, De La Salle (IL), 2020
At 5-foot-6, 180 pounds, the versatile defender is an undersized, spark plug. He handles the bat and was the top performer in Hard Hit rate at 93.3% with 60% line drives. With a leg lift stride and bat tilt load he stayed balanced and on-time for consistent hard contact (100.3 mph max EV) to all fields. Figueroa showed surprising gap pop for his size. His long-term spot is likely 2B, but he’s versatile enough to play corner OF, as well as SS with fringe arm strength (82 mph).

Ben Hartl, C/IF, Springfield (IL), 2021
Another versatile defender due to his athletic feet and sure hands, Hartl looked to be the top catcher for the Hawks, but also impressed on the infield. With average arm strength behind the dish (81 mph) and similar quality from shortstop (87 mph) he’s a steady receiver and produced POP times of 1.84, 1.87 and 1.94 during I/O. He also moved well with a 6.76 laser timed 60. At the plate, he’s developing more power (98 mph max EV) as a hitter with a loose, easy and repeatable swing.

Riley Rundquist, 1B, Buffalo Grove (IL), 2019
Built to mash, the 5-foot-10, 225 pounder put a charge into the baseball, leading the scout day with a 399’ max distance and a 75% Hart Hit rate. Rundquist put up big numbers last spring for the Hawks with a .381/.490/.770 slash and 13 home runs. He’s a bat first college prospect.

Quinn Willard, OF, Cornerstone Christian Academy, (IL), 2021
Blazing to an event best 6.50 laser timed 60, Willard is more athlete with tools than “ballplayer” at this point, but his upside is certainly enticing. His best bolt off the bat sizzled at 100.6 mph and he showed average arm strength (88 mph) with good carry and accuracy from the outfield. 

+ Click here for the Heartland CC Scout Day Event Page.