Player Write-ups from Normal West Prospect I.D. Showcase

By Steve Nielsen and Matt Yarber

The Prep Baseball Report Prospect Identification Showcase at Normal West HS on August 8 featured a wide-range of players from all over the state. While there were several impressive prospects at the event, Cole Daily, a 2015 MIF from Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin and Jimmy Ward, a 2013 RHP/OF from Hoffman Estates, stood above the rest.

A look at the top players at the event:

1. Cole Daily, Sacred Heart Griffin HS, MIF, Class of 2015
Daily looks to be one of the most promising young middle infielders in the Class of 2015, as the 5-foot-11, 160-pounder demonstrated fluid athleticism in all aspects of the game.  As a left-handed hitting shortstop, he proved to be athletic, running a 7.09 in the 60. He showcased advanced defensive actions, which included quick feet, concise lateral movements and a clean transfer. He also demonstrated plenty of arm across the diamond, as he was clocked at 82 mph with carry. At the plate, he showed good rhythm and balance with a level swing. Daily demonstrated excellent barrel control as he sprayed the ball to all fields. Cole is definitely one to watch for the class of 2015.

2. Jimmy Ward, Hoffman Estates HS, RHP/OF, Class of 2013
Ward is a very athletic two-way guy whose future is certainly on the mound.  Ward flashed a lively 87-mph fastball with good run to his arm side. He has a repeatable, athletic delivery with good balance that will improve his command the longer he can stay behind the baseball. Ward’s slider is a plus pitch which he throws with good arm speed and demonstrated late two-plane break and depth. His changeup, in the 73-75 range, also showed some arm-side sink. Ward’s arm strength showed in the outfield, as well, as he was clocked at an event-best 86 mph. Offensively he has a balanced setup, producing a smooth short stroke. He is mechanically sound at the plate.

3. Arion Worthman, University High HS, MIF, Class of 2015
Worthman is one of the premier athletes in the Class of 2015. He is physically advanced; his 5-foot-10, 195-pound frame is highlighted by an extremely strong lower half. He ran an event-best 6.79 60 on a slow track. His athleticism shined at the plate as well, as he exhibited good bat speed. Worthman swings hard, and showcased some pullside power potential.  Defensively he showed quick feet, resulting in good range and a quick exchange. His arm showed some carry at 78 across the diamond. Arion’s physical nature proves to be his strongest asset and his skill set will only improve with time.

4. Brian Jestice, Fremd HS, RHP, Class of 2013
Jestice is a physical 6-foot-2,  215-pound right-hander who showcased arm strength on the mound. He works downhill well at 84 mph, topping at 86. His over the top arm slot produces a heavy fastball that should get him plenty of groundballs. He throws his curveball for strikes with some bite, in the 64-67 mph range. He also threw a 72-74 changeup. With added arm speed, he can improve both secondary pitches.

5. Reid Birlingmair, Normal West, SS/RHP, Class of 2015
Birlingmair is a 5-foot-11, 160-poud two-way talent who looks to be one of the more well-rounded Class of 2015 prospects we’ve seen. He especially impressed at the plate with his left-handed swing.  Birlingmair starts from a balanced setup and has a smooth load.  He uses his strength to generate whip through the zone squaring up baseballs to the deep parts of the ballpark.  Defensively, Birlingmair showed solid lateral movements and was clocked at 80 mph from across the diamond.  Additionally, Birlingmair ran a 7.28 60.  On the mound, Birlingmair throws from over the top with a quick, loose arm.  Birlingmair has an 80-83 mph fastball that flashed some movement.  His off-speed pitches include a 62-64 mph curveball and a 68 mph changeup.

6. Nick Wernke, Oswego HS, RHP/OF, Class of 2013
Wernke has an extremely projectable frame at 6-foot-4, 180-pounds – the type of frame that can easily carry additional muscle. On the mound, he has an easy delivery with a short stride that gets him over his front side well. His fastball sat in the 80-82 mph range, and topped at 85. His curveball showed some feel at 68-71 and can be a good secondary pitch for him. Offensively, he has a smooth swing and balanced approach, and he showed his athleticism by running a 7.16 in the 60 and throwing 83 mph from the outfield. 

7. Ross Learnard, Catlin HS, OF/LHP, Class of 2014
Ross is a lanky athletic 6-foot-1, 160-pound two-way player who ran a 7.29 60 and was clocked at 81 mph from the outfield. Offensively, he has a balanced approach, which allows him to hit the ball to all fields. His true potential seems eminent on the mound, where he created angles featuring an upper-70s fastball, touching 81. His curveball and slider showed good separation, with the slider proving to be more of an out pitch. His changeup showed some arm-side run, but most of his pitches looked better going away from his arm side.

8. Jeff Thompson, Metamora HS, RHP, Class of 2013
Thompson is a wide-shouldered 6-foot-1, 190-pound right-hander who showcased an 80-81 mph fastball, topping at 82. He showed better balance and command from the stretch with all pitches. His over the top arm slot produced a quality curveball with some depth, in the 66-69 mph range, that will get him a lot of outs.

9. Jake Gilhaus, Normal HS, 1B/RHP, Class of 2016   
Jake is a physical young kid that has considerable upside. As a 6-foot, 175-pound two-way player who demonstrated some legitimate power potential at the plate. With a strong foundation and approach, Jake has the building blocks to become a premier prospect in the state as he grows into his body. On the mound Jake featured a 74-76 mph fastball from an over the top slot. He works downhill well, which will pay dividends as he matures. His curveball also showed well with some bite and control.

10. Austin Warrem, Mattoon HS, LHP/OF, Class of 2015
Warrem is a lanky 5-foot-11, 160-pound left handed pitcher who impressed on the mound with his feel and command for four pitches.  Warrem throws a 77-79 mph fastball that he got up to 81 mph from a high 3/4 slot.  Warrem throws two breaking balls; a 68-69 mph curveball and a 71-74 mph slider that has solid two-plane life.  Warrem’s best off-speed pitch may be his 69-71 mph changeup, that showed late sink.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Ryan Arnold, Rochester HS, RHP, Class of 2014
Arnold is an athletically built 6-foot-3, 197-pound right-hander with upside. Arnold’s fastball sat between 80-82 mph, while his curveball was at 67-68 mph. With improved balance throughout his delivery, he will show good results in the strike zone.

Nate Beal, Normal West HS, 1B/RHP, Class of 2016
Nate is a 5-foot-11, 140-pound two-way prospect who is one to follow in the coming years. Beal showed some power potential at the plate, and had solid swing mechanics for his age.  On the mound his fastball was 70-72, and showed a CB at 59-62.

Griffin Boehm, Loyola HS, C/1B, Class of 2015
Griffin is a lanky 6-foot-4, 190-pound multi-positional player. From behind the plate, he was clocked at 70 mph, which resulted in pop times ranging from 2.22-2.35. Offensively, Boehm from a wider stance and demonstrated solid balance throughout.

Thadden Brown, Normal West HS, C/MIF, Class of 2015
Brown is a 5-foot-9, 140-pound multi-positional player.  Brown recorded pop times of 2.25-2.69 topping out at 68 mph from the crouch. Brown also ran an 8.89 in the 60.

Tyler Burger, Hiawatha HS, C/RHP, Class of 2013
Burger is a 5-foot-11, 170-pound catcher who ran a 7.67 in the 60.  He threw 68 mph from behind the plate and averaged a 2.3-2.5 pop time. At the plate he has a balanced setup.  On the mound he has a short delivery, equating to a 70-71 mph fastball touching 72. His curveball sat between 56-60 and changeup at 65-66.

Drew Diaz, Galesburg, C/3B, Class of 2013
Drew is a solid catcher with a sturdy 5-foot-10, 175-pound frame. Diaz showed well during bullpen session, receiving with a firm wrist and soft hands. His top pop time was 2.12 and was clocked at 74 mph from behind the plate. Offensively, Drew hits from a balanced and slightly opened stance; he has a short bat path, getting down to and through the baseball.

Cole Dillon, Normal West HS, OF/RHP, Class of 2016
Dillon is a 5-foot-9, 140-pound multi-positional player who was clocked at 72 mph from the outfield position.  Dillon hits from a balanced setup with a level swing.  On the mound, Dillon threw a 69 mph fastball and his secondary pitches include a 48-53 mph curveball and a 50-53 mph changeup.

Brendan Dugan, Homewood-Flossmoor HS, C/3B/RHP, Class of 2013
Brendan is a 6-foot-1, 170-pound multi-positional player. Dugan was strongest behind the plate, where he showed a 2.1-2.3 pop time. He hits from a crouched position with some occasional pop. His fastball sat at 74-76, touching 77 from a high ¾ slot. His breaking ball was 63-68 while his change stayed at 68.

Coleman Engelkes, Charleston HS, MIF, Class of 2014
Coleman is a 5-foot-9, 160-pound infielder who showed some athleticism by running a 7.35 in the 60. At the plate, has a balanced set up and a short, compact swing.

Mitchell Fairfield, Normal West HS, C/RHP, Class of 2016
Fairfield is a solid up and coming catcher. At 6-foot, 160 pounds, he threw it 72 from behind the plate. Mitchell showed the ability to drive the ball with some backspin carry. He hits from a wider balanced stance and showed flashes for power in his swing. He also topped at 77 mph from mound. His arm works clean and easily, and should continue to see his velocity climb in the future. Fairfield looks to be a promising prospect with considerable upside.

Ryan Frye, Normal West HS, OF, Class of 2014
Frye is a 6-foot-0, 160-pound, outfielder. Defensively, Frye utilizes his lanky body to run very athletic routes to the baseball. Offensively, he is a solid hitter that exhibits the potential to be an above average hitter at the plate.

Tyler Gudat, Dunlap HS, C/1B, Class of 2013
Gudat is a 5-foot-10, 180-pound catcher who impressed with his quick release behind the plate. His pop time ranged from 2.11-2.22 and was clocked 72 from the crouch. Offensively, he hits from a crouched position.

Carson Hassler, Naperville Central HS, OF, Class of 2013
Carson is a 6-foot  athletic outfielder who ran a 6.94 in the 60. He threw it 82 from the outfield.

CaleHennemann, Pawnee HS, MIF, Class of 2014
Hennemann is a 5-foot-9, 155-pound left-handed hitting middle infielder who impressed at the plate with his easy swing.  Hennemann starts from a balanced setup and has a smooth load, he keeps his hands inside the ball well, spraying line drives to all fields.  Defensively, Hennemann showed solid lateral movement up the middle.  His throws across the diamond showed carry and was clocked at 74 mph.  Additionally, Hennemann ran a 7.59 60.

Dayton Ince, Kewanee HS, C/MIF, Class of 2013
Ince ran a 7.38 in the 60. The 5-foot-7, 167-pound multi-positional player, exhibited pop times ranging from 2.3-2.48 being clocked at 73 mph out of the crouch. At the plate, Ince showed an economical bat path producing a compact swing. Along with a well-balanced set up he produced hard contact off the barrell.

Zach Inselmann, Homewood-Flossmoor HS, RHP/3B, Class of 2014
Zach is a 5-foot-11, 205-pound two way player who throws it 71 across the infield. Off the mound he was 75-77 with a breaking ball at 61 and changeup at 52.

Colton Johnson, Kewanee HS, LHP, Class of 2016
Colton is a very projectable left-handed pitcher. The 6-foot, 155-pound Johnson features long arms and legs, and has the type of frame which should fill in nicely as he physically develops. His arm works with little effort. His fastball topped at 76 mph, and will undoubtedly see that number climb in the future. He throws with a long arm from a high ¾ slot and shows the potential for a good breaking ball.

Brian King, Sherrard HS, RHP/1B, Class of 2013
King is an extremely physical 6-foot-5, 235-pound, two way player. On the mound, King’s physicality produced a heavy low 80’s fastball touching an easy 83 mph. His breaking ball shows potential as it was clocked at 63-66. King also demonstrated a change up at 72-74.

Ben Lawyer, Normal West HS, MIF/RHP, Class of 2015
Lawyer is a 5-foot-10, 130-pound left-handed hitting multi-positional player.  The left-handed hitting Lawyer ran an 8.09 60 and was clocked at 68 mph from across the diamond.  On the mound, Lawyer throws from over the top with a 68-73 mph fastball.  His off speed pitch is a 66-69 mph changeup that showed solid arm side run to it.

Timothy McGowan, University High HS, INF, Class of 2013
McGowan is a lanky infielder at 6-foot-1, 175-pounds. His 60 time proved he was one of the better runners at this event, showcasing a 7.09. McGowan controls the bat from a balanced stance making solid contact with a glimpse of power.

Mitch McIntyre, Chillicothe IVC HS, RHP, Class of 2014
At 6-foot-4, 205-pounds, right hander McIntyre possesses a prototypical pitchers body. His fastball consistently stayed at 77 mph, while McIntyre demonstrated some feel for a 61 mph curveball along with a 72-75 mph changeup.

Dalton Morris, Marquette Academy HS, RHP/OF, Class of 2014
Dalton is a 6-foot,  145 pound two way player who showed an accurate arm from the outfield at 75 mph, and some bat speed at the plate. From the mound he featured a mid 70s fastball.

Ryan Osborn, Galesburg HS, OF, Class of 2014
Osborn is a 5-foot-7, 155-pound outfielder who looked good defensively, getting behind the baseball and on top of his throws.  Osborn was clocked at 73 mph from the outfield with accurate throws.  Offensively, Osborn has a balanced setup and a level swing.  Additionally, Osborn ran a 7.19 60.

Nathan Perez, Galesburg HS, 3B, Class of 2013
Perez is a 5-foot-9, 145-pound third baseman who showed well at the third base, exhibiting solid hands and range.  Perez was clocked at 69 mph from across the infield.  Offensively, Perez hit from a balanced setup and takes an economical approach to the baseball.

Chris Perry, Normal Community HS, MIF, Class of 2014
Perry is a 6-foot 163-pound infielder who ran a 7.31 in the 60 and threw it 71 across the infield. Offensively, his left handed swing was balanced and smooth.

Nicholas Relli, Homewood-Flossmoor HS, RHP, Class of 2013
At 6-foot-1, 196 pounds, Nicholas is a right-hander with a loose arm. His fastball stayed at 76-77, and his slider was his best secondary pitch, sitting at 70 mph.

Donte Richie, Crete Monee HS, 3B, Class of 2013
Donte is a 5-foot-8, 150-pound third baseman. He was 72 across the diamond and ran a 7.59 in the 60. He showed to be a solid contact hitter with a flat bat path.

Luke Pannbacker, Rantoul HS, RHP, Class of 2013
Pannbacker is a 6-foot-5, 180-pound right hander that exhibits high projectability, he showcased a 79-81 mph fastball with above average run and life. Additionally, Pannbacker featured a split-fingered fastball that he controlled well at 69 mph.

Josh Rife, Peotone HS, 3B/OF, Class of 2013
Josh is a 6-foot-3 multi-positional athlete who showed solid tools at third base. Offensively he hits from a balanced stance and showcase some power potential.

Noah Peterson, Hoffman Estates HS, C, Class of 2015
Peterson is an up and coming physical catcher who featured a 2.29 pop time down to second. His big build has the potential to lead to increased power as he matures and gets more experience.

Michael Rizzo, Hinsdale South HS, LHP, Class of 2013
Rizzo is a lanky 6-foot, 140-pound left-hander who threw from two arm angles – high 3/4 and lower-3/4. From both angles, his fastball sat in the 67-69 range. He also threw a curveball at 56-57.

Cody Rogers , Normal West HS, OF/MIF, Class of 2015
Rogers is a 5-foot-10, 165-pound, multi-positional player who showed good rhythm at the plate from a balanced set up. Rogers also showed a 70 mph arm while running a 7.26 in the 60.

Tanner Rutledge, Normal West HS, 3B/2B, Class of 2014
Rutledge is a 6-foot, 170-pound infielder who ran a 7.31 60 yard dash and threw it 72 across the infield. At the plate Rutledge has the ability to be a contact hitter as he consistently keeps his hands inside the ball.

Zach Schwarz, Normal West HS, C/3B, Class of 2015
Schwarz is a 5-foot-10,  177-pound, multi-positional player who ran a 7.97 in the 60. Schwarz threw it 65 from the crouch with pop times in the 2.3-2.5 range.

Josh Schwindenhammer, Peoria Notre Dame HS, RHP, Class of 2013
Josh is a right-hander who throws slightly across his body with a 3/4 arm slot. His fastball was in the 73-77 mph range, topping at 78. Josh also showed some feel of a sweeping breaking ball at 64-66.

Ryan Slusher, East Peoria HS, C/3B, Class of 2014
Ryan is an athletic catcher who ran a 7.04 in the 60. His pop time stayed in the 2.2 range. Offensively, Slusher is short to the baseball and demonstrated the ability to make consistent hard contact. He hits from an open stance, and showed flashes of pop in which he created backspin off the barrel.

Tim Sommerfeld, Indian Creek HS, C/3B, Class of 2015
Sommerfeld is a 5-foot-4, 130-pound multi-positional player who had a best pop time of 2.42 and was clocked at 67 mph from the crouch.  Additionally, Sommerfeld ran a 7.54 60.

Jack Spangler, Richwoods HS, SS/3B, Class of 2013
Spangler proved to be one of the better runners at this event showcasing his 7.09 speed in the 60. The 6-foot-1, 150-pound infielder threw it 70 mph across the diamond. Offensively, his bat control was very consistent as he swung from the right side. His flat bat path is ideal for producing line drives.

Mitchell Thomas, Normal West HS, C/RHP, Class of 2014
Mitchell is a 5-foot-11, 170-pound two-way player. His pop time sat between 2.29-2.43, throwing 71 mph from the crouch. On the mound he was 74-76 with flashes of 77; his curveball stayed at 59 and changeup at 68. Thomas ran a 7.77 in the 60.

Alec Trela, Normal HS, 3B/SS, Class of 2016
Alec is a young infielder who threw it 71 across the diamond. He has a strong swing at the plate that shows power potential.

Tony Valdez, De La Salle HS, SS/2B, Class of 2013
Valdez is a 6-foot-1, 155-pound infielder. His long legged stride resulted in a wider range on the infield, as well as advanced backhand actions in the hole. Offensively, Valdez proved he can handle the bat with consistency from a wider crouched stance.

Joshua Ward, Canton HS, RHP, Class of 2013
Ward is a 6-foot-2, 180-pound right handed pitcher who featured a running fastball consistently clocked in the upper 70’s. Ward also demonstrated feel for an 11-5 breaking ball that showed consistent break at 68 mph. His changeup rested at 67-68.

Ryan Wasso, Marian Catholic HS, RHP, Class of 2013
Ryan is a solid right-handed 6-foot, 160-pound pitcher who commanded his 81-83 mph fastball from a high ¾ slot. He showed his best secondary pitch to be his changeup at 73-75 mph, which featured good sink. Wasso throws his change with good arm speed. He also threw his 68-69 mph curveball for strikes.

Caine White, Normal Community HS, SS/OF, Class of 2016
Caine is a 5-foot-9, 167-pound multi-positional player who ran a 7.49 60 and threw 64 across the diamond.

Matthew Wilson, Nazareth HS, OF/RHP, Class of 2015
Wilson is a two-way player who flashed an 81 mph fastball on the mound, while comfortably pitching at 75-77 from an over the top slot. Wilson’s curveball was clocked at 59-60, also exhibiting a changeup between 66-67.

Andy Winton, Normal West HS, MIF, Class of 2015
Winton is a 5-foot-9, 140-pound middle infielder who ran a 7.76 60 and was clocked at 69 mph from across the diamond. 

Kyle Yang, Lyons Township HS, RHP, Class of 2015
Yang is a 5-foot-8, 140-pound right-handed pitcher who showed the ability to throw three pitches for strikes.  Yang throws from a high 3/4 slot and his best pitch is his 64-66 mph changeup that displayed some run. His fastball was in the 74-76 mph range and also threw a 57-59 mph curveball.

Zach Zook, Normal West HS, MIF, Class of 2015
Zookis a 5-foot-10, 135-pound, middle infielder whodemonstrated a 68 mph arm across the infield.

Click Here to View complete list of players at the event

Unsigned Senior Slide 10-14-12