Prep Baseball Report

Preseason All-State: Corner Infielder Analysis

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Director - Illinois/Wisconsin

Continuing our coverage of the Preseason All-State Showcase we take a look at corner infielders. A smaller group but definitely not lacking talent.

2016 prospect Cal Coughlin took the top spot as a high level switch hitting third baseman who showed an advanced bat from both sides of the plate. Austin Blazevic had a strong showing as one of the top pure hitters in his class. His arm strength is also well above average and moves well with his projectable frame. 

Here’s a look at the top corner infielders.

Top Corner Infielders

1. Cal Coughlin, RHP/3B, Carmel, 2016
Physically developed, strong legs and wide shoulders, strong build, 6-foot-1, 200-pound two-way prospect. Showed impressive development on the mound, delivery is easy and balanced. Arm action is loose and has length, high ¾ slot, strong arm. Plus fastball for his age, 89-90 mph, touched 92 mph, flashed two-seamer at 89 mph with plus arm side run. Changeup has fading action, advanced feel, thrown with arm speed, 74-76 mph, showed control of the zone. Slider flashed downward action, 82-84 mph, thrown aggressively with tight spin. Curveball worked on steep plane, 12/6 shape, decelerated arm action, 68-72 mph. Switch hitting third baseman, offensively hits from a taller stance, short stride, similar from both sides. Strong swing, flat through the zone. 80 mph exit velocity from the right side, 83 mph exit velocity from the left side. Shows the ability to create whip from both sides and similarly make hard contact from both sides. Defensively showed a strong arm across the infield (84 mph), high ¾ slot, athletic arm action. Advanced actions, strong third base type, stay in front of the baseball, excellent body control, can play on the move. Ran a 7.10 in the 60. Coughlin is one of the premier two-way prospects in the Class of 2016.

2. Austin Blazevic, 3B, Plainfield Central, 2015
Long athletic frame, 6-foot-1, 180-pound left handed hitting third baseman. Game has blossomed into one of the top third baseman in the state. Offensively is a pure hitter, constantly finds the barrel. From the left side stance is balanced, smooth loading action, short stride, maintains excellent balance throughout. Showed the ability to spray the ball to all fields, well above average bat speed, excellent timing and rhythm , advanced hand eye. Path is short to the baseball with extension through it. Defensively reliable, arm is highly accurate even when on the move, creates carry to his target, 84 mph across the diamond. Hands are soft, fields the baseball out in front, left of center. Plays through the ball cleanly and athletically. Shows the ability to cover the line and the bunt at third base, above average body control.

3. Cory Wright, 1B/LHP, St. Charles North HS, 2015
Kansas State recruit. 6-foot-1, 170-pound pound left-handed hitting first baseman. Highly athletic, advanced defensive first baseman. Top-level hands and feet around bag; knows how to play the position. Performs with unquantifiable bounce in step, plays well on the move. Ran a 6.88 60 and recorded 92 mph exit velocity. Left-handed hitter, tall, slightly open setup, relaxed plate approach. Loose hands, quiet mechanics, advanced rhythm, bat speed present, gap-to-gap approach. Overall, high-IQ player who knows how to play the game.

4. Louis Niemerg, 3B/RHP, Teutopolis, 2015
6-foot-3, 190-pound athletic two-way player with solid projectability. On the mound he uses a tall and fall delivery with slow rhythm, clean lines, and regular effort. Arm works long, from a high ¾ slot. Had feel for the fastball, sitting 82-85 mph with strong running action. Showed advanced feel for the changeup, throwing it 75-76 mph with arm side run. Also showed feel for a knuckleball at 72-73 mph. Offensively, he hits from an open stance with a leg kick trigger, maintains balance through contact. Swing has fluid rhythm with above average bat speed. Exit velocity was 88 mph off a tee. Defensively showed soft hands while playing through the ball well. His arm works long, from high ¾ slot, at 84 mph with accuracy and carry. Ran a 7.45 60.

5. Cal Aldridge, 3B, Prairie Ridge HS, 2015
5-foot-11, 195-pound frame, developed lower half, strong shoulders. Shows right-handed power potential at plate. Hits from wide setup, no stride, minimal load, uses weight shift back and hand strength to generate considerable bat speed and whip through the zone. Aggressive overall plate approach. Defensively, shows strong arm, clocked at 85 mph from third base. Hands work well, solid lateral movement around bag. Ran a 7.48 60.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Dylan Bee, 1B, Pleasant Plains, 2015
6-foot, 190-pound first baseman, solid build. Showed above average athleticism, feet moved well around the bag. Also a 6.94 runner in the 60. Showed natural actions at first base, advanced arm strength from first, 83 mph across the diamond, short arm action. Offensively hits from a slightly closed stance, short stride. Generates bat speed, flatter path, produced line drives. 84 mph exit velocity from the tee.

Ryan Bouwman, 1B, Normal, 2015
6-foot, 180-pound left handed hitting first baseman. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, slightly crouched setup. Bat path has length and works uphill, occasional pull side pop. 72 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively showed athletic feet around the bag, natural first base actions. Long arm action, high ¾ slot, 67 mph across the diamond. 

John Carone, 1B, Cary-Grove, 2015
6-foot-3, 190-pound, lean, left handed hitting first baseman. Offensively, hits from a balanced, open stance with a leg kick trigger, maintains solid balance through contact. Swing has fluid rhythm, quick bat speed, and he showed a solid approach. Exit velocity off the tee was 80 mph. Defensively, he showed solid hands. Arm works long, from a high ¾ slot at 66 mph with some accuracy. Ran a 7.65 60.

Charlie Cerny, RHP/3B, Bloomington HS, 2015
Big riser in Illinois’ 2015 class; has made significant advancements since the fall. Athletic 6-foot-5, 205-pound frame, proportional strength with room for continued physical development. Two-way prospect but next-level upside is on mound. Right-handed pitcher, high-3/4 slot, shorter arm action, stays tall, good plane on fastball. Topped at 88 mph, sitting 87 from windup, 85 from stretch, late sinking action, high-volume of strikes. Changeup is promising pitch, thrown between 78-80 mph, with arm-side sink. Also throws curveball (68-71 mph) and cutter (76-80). Curveball shows occasional depth and bite when doesn’t steer it, but has tendency to slow arm action. Positionally is a left-handed hitting third baseman. Offensively has quiet mechanics: athletic, balanced setup, minimal stride, smooth load, maintains solid balance throughout. Shows pull-side power potential with lift in swing; rotational hitter, strong hands, 86 mph exit velocity. Defensively, was clocked at 79 mph across infield and ran a 7.53 60. 

Justin Hunniford, 3B/RHP, Providence Catholic HS, 2015
5-foot-11, 180-pound two-way player. On mound, fastball topped at 83 mph, sitting 81-82, high-3/4 slot, loose arm action, occasional arm-side run. Good feel for changeup, in 68-70 range, with some arm-side sink. 64-65 mph curveball has solid depth and bite, 11/5 action. All three pitches thrown for strikes. Positionally, was clocked at 75 mph from third base, ran a 7.70 60 and recorded an 84 mph exit velocity off a tee.

Griffin McGuire, RHP/3B, Joliet West, 2015
6-foot-4, 190-pound two way player, long frame, athletic build, lean with strength. Projects well on the mound. Tall and fall delivery, smooth with little effort, balanced throughout. Arm action is long and loose, clean arm action. Fastball has advanced run to his arm side, showed excellent feel for the zone, 80-82 mph, touched 83 mph. Slider has sweeping action, 10/4 tilt, near fastball arm speed, showed control. Changeup has excellent sink, arm side run, advanced action, near fastball arm speed, 72-75 mph. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, no stride approach, above average bat speed. 88 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively has a long arm action from third base, 77 mph arm strength across the diamond. 7.06 runner in the 60.

Ben Samborn, 3B, Glenbrook South, 2015
5-foot-10, 170-pound, left handed hitting third baseman. At the plate hits from a balanced stance with a short stride and stays balanced through contact. Swing has some fluidity to it, is simple and repeatable, and creates solid bat speed. Exit velocity off the tee was 88 mph. Defensively, showcased solid hands and fluid feet. Is coming off an arm injury so he did not make any throws across the diamond. Ran a 7.31 60.

Brett Stratinsky, 1B, Stagg HS, 2015
Physically impressive 6-foot-5, 202-pound left-handed hitting first baseman. Shows pullside power potential from left side. Recorded 90 mph exit velocity off tee; tall, slightly open setup, creates leverage and lift in swing, uphill path. Big target at first base; solid footwork and hands around bag, ran a 7.59 60.

Jack Szott, RHP/ 1B, Metea Valley, 2015
Strong build, solid frame, 6-foot-4, 220-pound two-way player. On the mound delivery shows direction to target, arm action is quick, high ¾ slot. Fastball has slight run, control of the zone, 85-86 mph. Changeup has sinking action, well above average feel for the pitch, fastball similar arm speed, 77-78 mph. Curveball is hard, 76-77 mph, shorter action, occasional slurve, showed feel. Offensively hits from the right side, slightly open stance, short stride, bat wrap load, balance throughout. Bat path has occasional length, flashes pull side power, 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively has above average actions around the bag, feet work well around first base, short arm action, 74 mph across the diamond. 8.01 runner in the 60.

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