PBR Illinois Player of the Week: INF/RHP Nathan Hardman

By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer

Normal University is up to 13-5 this spring with the help of last week’s 4-0 stretch, in which Nathan Hardman played a huge role. The Pioneers clobbered both of their opponents last week, MacArthur and Williamsville, scoring 57 runs combined in the four games. Naturally, with that kind of offensive production, there’s bound to be a handful of names that emerge as possible PBR Illinois Player of the Week candidates, but no other Pioneer put together a better week than Hardman.

The Saint Louis committed prospect went 9-for-12 at the plate with two doubles, a triple, and a home run in the team’s three games. His nine hits helped him tally 13 RBIs and scored 10 times himself. On Saturday against Williamsville, Normal U-High played their closest contest of the week, so they opted to use Hardman on the mound to close out and protect their four-run lead. He notched the final five outs of the game, pitching over a little trouble, but still preventing the Bullets from scoring, striking out three batters along the way.

Hardman is one of the senior staples on a Pioneers team that’s authentically competing for a state title this spring. They’ve played two-game series already with Glenwood, Sacred Heart-Griffin, and Jacksonville and have won five of those six games. They started their series with Rochester last evening and lost a close contest, 2-1, but Hardman & Co. can help them get back on track today.

Check out our scouting reports on Hardman below, as well as an accompanying video taken from a showcase last year.

(Preseason All-State; 2.11.18)

Nathan Hardman RHP / 3B / Normal University, IL / 2019

2.19.18 - 6-foot-2, 190 pound, athletically built, right handed pitching prospect. Tilt and topple style, directionally in line, square landing, solid, athletic finish, smooth rhythm throughout. High front side, loose, short, clean arm action, quick arm speed, over the top slot, gets over front side well, creates angle, easy effort involved. Fastball was straight, occasional hard run, 81-85 mph, topped 86 mph. Curveball showed depth, 11/5 shape, 69-72 mph. Changeup, maintains fastball arm speed, good fading action, ranged 75-79 mph.

2.11.18 - 6-foot-2, 190-pound, strong, wide-shouldered, right-handed hitting corner infielder. At the plate, balanced setup, hands load into a low slot, leg-kick timing trigger and aggressive swing. Attacks the baseball, violent at times, lift in swing, present bat speed, flashes hard contact to the pull-sie and 91 mph exit velocity from a tee. On the infield, steady hands, clean transfer, some effort in release. Long arm action, high ¾ slot and throws topped at 83 mph. 7.51 runner in the 60. 

For his efforts, Hardman has been named the PBR Player of the Week for the week of April 14 to April 21.