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Preseason All-State: Infielder Analysis


By Illinois Scouting Staff

On Feb. 10, PBR Illinois hosted one of its biggest showcases on its annual calendar: Preseason All-State. This invite-only showcase brings together the state’s best talent in its 2020 class, and all that talent was certainly on display at The MAX last month. Well over 100 of Illinois’ best juniors made it to McCook on Sunday, many of whom remain uncommitted.

We’ll continue our position-by-position analysis by ranking and evaluating the infielders invited out to last month’s high-profile showcase.

This group of infielders, in particular, was probably the showcase’s deepest and most talented. It was difficult to narrow the attendees to a top 10 ranking – and technically, it’s a top 11, with two prospects tying for the final spot.

Regardless, Edwardsville’s left-handed bopper, 1B Drake Westcott (Louisville commit), came away with the No. 1 spot on the board below. His easy, loose, and powerful swing helps him constantly produce hard contact, primarily into the right-center gap. On defense, he plays light on his feet for his size and is continuing to solidify himself as one of the state’s top 2020 prospects.

Anthony Livermore (Mount Carmel; Northwestern), a 2018 PBR Future Games participant, is one of top defensive middle infielders in the state and has one of the easiest and most rhythmic left-handed swings in his class. He’s still getting better, even after entering the top-10 rankings of his class last August’s update.

One of the day’s surprises on the board below is Marian Catholic’s Dominick Angellotti. He put together one of the showcase’s best rounds of BP looked solid during his reps in infield evaluations. At 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, it’s possible he’s only just beginning to tap into his big projectability.

Yesterday, we published analysis on the showcase’s catchers and outfielders. Stay tuned later today when we share our reports on the pitchers who took the mound at last month’s Preseason All-State event.

For now, here’s all you need to know on the state’s top 2020 infielders.

TOP PROSPECTS

1. Drake Westcott, 1B, Edwardsville, 2020
Louisville commit. 6-foot-3, 225-pound, extra-large, strong, left-handed hitting first baseman. Continues to prove he is the top left-handed bat in the state and one of the best in the Midwest. Offensively, balanced, relaxed setup, smooth load, short leg-lift trigger and maintains balance through contact. Highly-repeatable swing, creates extremely easy bat speed and raw power. Loose hands, natural lift in swing, bat stays through the zone and repeated hard contact to the middle of the field and pull gap. 96 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, light and agile on his feet for his size. Short, loose arm action and throws topped at 78 mph. 7.27 runner in the 60, laser-timed. One of the top prospects in the 2020 class.

2. Anthony Livermore, INF, Mount Carmel, 2020
Northwestern commit. 5-foot-9, 160-pound, left-handed hitting shortstop, carries strength in his frame. Ran a 6.75 laser-timed 60. At the plate, open athletic confident setup, short leg-lift trigger and stays balanced throughout. Fluid rhythm, loose hands, works on top of the baseball, stays short to the ball, line-drive approach and uses the whole field. 87 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, easy actions, comfortable on the move, maintains body control and ranges well to both sides. Soft receptive hands, clean, quick release and quick arm action from a high ¾ slot. Throws were accurate, carried across the diamond and topped at 83 mph.

3. Tre Hondras, OF/INF, Homewood-Flossmoor, 2020
Michigan commit. 6-foot, 180-pound, right-handed hitting/throwing multi-positional player, advanced athletic frame. Has made major strides in his 60 time in the past year, ran a quick 6.60. Offensively, wide, balanced setup, smooth load, short stride, maintains control. Swing has polish, fluidity in hands, path is short and direct, barreled up the baseballs to all fields. Fast bat speed, exit velocity topped 91 mph from a tee. Natural actions at both positions, ranges all directions, soft, sure hands, quick and clean transfer to release, seems easy. Short, clean high ¾ slot, can drop slot, throws carried 86 mph from the outfield and 84 mph across the diamond. High-level 2020 prospect.

4. Alec Gonzalez, INF, Marian Catholic, 2020
Tennessee commit. 6-foot-1, 188-pound, strong, wide-shouldered, athletically-built, right-handed hitting infielder. 6.84 runner in the 60, laser-timed. At the plate, athletic setup, fluid pre-pitch rhythm, smooth load and leg-lift timing trigger. Lets the ball travel, quick-twitch hands, short bat path, stays through the hitting zone. Consistent hard contact to the opposite field gap and exit velocity topped at 92 mph. Defensively, short, quick feet, plays through the baseball, soft confident hands, athletic actions, winds up on release at times. Athletic arm action, accurate throws and topped at 91 mph across the diamond.

5. Jacob Mote, INF, Normal University, 2020
6-foot-3, 195-pound, strong, wide-shouldered, physically-advanced right-handed hitting infielder. One of the toolsiest prospects in the class. Ran a 6.75 laser-timed 60, was 94 mph across the infield and registered a 93 mph exit velocity from a tee. At the plate, open setup, loads hands down and leg-kick timing trigger. Swings with intent, looks to drive the baseball with authority and present bat speed. Uphill bat path, power potential and gap-to-gap approach. Defensively, steady hands, maintained body control on the move, advanced back hand play. Loose, quick arm action, over-the-top slot and plus arm; 94 mph across. High-follow 2020 prospect.

6. Dominick Angellotti, INF, Marian Catholic, 2020
6-foot-3, 180-pound, right-handed hitting infielder; highly-projectable build, long and athletic frame. Was one of the biggest winners from the event. At the plate, balanced quiet setup, minimal load, short stride and maintained balance through contact. Loose, quick hands, present bat speed, short uphill path, consistent hard contact into the pull-side gap and fluid rhythm throughout. 89 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, fluid footwork, natural infield actions, body control on the move, soft confident hands. Clean transfer, short arm action, high ¾ slot, throws clocked at 88 mph across the diamond. 7.35 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

7. Tommy Heideman, 1B, Normal Community, 2020
Recent Illinois State commit. 6-foot-2, 190-pound, strong, wide-shouldered, well-proportioned, left-handed hitting first baseman. At the plate, tall, narrow setup, leg-kick timing trigger and fluid rhythm. Aggressive swing, loose strong hands, fast bat, elevates the baseball and pull-power potential. Made consistent hard contact into the pull-side gap. 93 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, occasional bounce around the bag at first base, loose arm action and throws topped at 74 mph. 7.31 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

8. Andy Nelson, INF/OF, Wheaton North, 2020
Iowa commit. 6-foot, 180-pound, right-handed hitting/throwing multi-positional player, athletic, durable build. Easy speed for size, 6.61 runner in the 60. Defensively in the outfield, quick feet, steady hands, clean to release, plays through. Loose arm action, quick arm speed, high ¾ slot, throws topped 93 mph. Similar traits on the infield, quick actions, flashed multi-slot ability, accurate throws carried 91 mph across the diamond. At the plate, relaxed, open stance, short load and stride, maintains balance. Fluid path works uphill, barreled up baseballs, strongs hands create easy bat speed, exit velocity topped 97 mph from a tee.

9. Anthony Mangano, INF, Lake Zurich, 2020
Iowa commit. 6-foot, 165-pound, athletically-built, well-proportioned, left-handed hitting infielder. Ran a 6.73 laser-timed 60. Offensively, balanced setup, smooth load, short stride and maintains balance. Presence in the box, hard swing, controlled aggression, flat bat, extension through contact, routinely found the barrel and uses the big part of the field. 89 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, quick feet, steady hands, works through the baseball. Long arm action, high ¾ slot and throws topped at 80 mph across the infield.

10. Nicholas Serr, INF, Minooka, 2020
5-foot-9, 150-pound, well-proportioned, right-handed hitting infielder. Natural middle infield defender. Moves with confidence and pace to his game. Light on his feet, quick first step, ranges well to both sides and maintains body control. Soft sure hands, plays through the baseball with extremely quick release. Loose, athletic arm action, can throw from any angle and throws were accurate across the diamond, topping at 78 mph. Offensively, balanced setup, short stride and maintains balance through contact. Simple swing, level bat path, line-drive approach, uses the middle of the field and fluid rhythm throughout. 86 mph exit velocity off a tee. Ran a 7.28 laser-timed 60.

10. Brandon Micetich, INF, Plainfield Central, 2020
Eastern Illinois commit. 6-foot-1, 180-pound, left-handed hitting infielder; athletic, strong build with a defined lower half. 6.88 runner in the 60, laser-timed. At the plate, balanced setup, smooth early loading action and long stride. Confident look in the box, loose athletic hands, quick bat, short path and consistent hard contact to the opposite field gap. 91 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, steady hands, showed the ability to throw from multiple angles and throws topped at 79 mph across the infield.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Jackson Blemler, INF, Normal University, 2020
5-foot-8, 155-pound, left-handed hitting infielder. 6.93 runner in the 60, laser-timed. At the plate, balanced setup, pre-pitch rhythm, short stride and maintains balance through contact. Creates bat speed, uphill bat path and gap-to-gap approach; 91 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, quick feet, aggressive to the baseball, soft hands, clean release and can throw from multiple arm angles.  Short arm action, natural high ¾ slot and throws topped at 81 mph.

Bryan Broecker, C/INF, Notre Dame, 2020
6-foot-1, 185-pound catcher/infielder, lean strong frame. Right-handed hitter, tall setup, loads hands back, short stride, lower half works, good balance through contact. Above average bat speed, short path, line drive contact in BP. 93 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm played long and loose, accurate across the diamond, 79 mph out of the crouch, 81 mph across the diamond. 2.02-2.11 pop times. Plus runner, 6.84 in the 60 yard dash.

Antonio Brown, INF, Vernon Hills, 2020
5-foot-9, 170-pound, defined, right-handed hitting infielder. Ran one of the top 60’s of the day, a 6.61 laser-timed. At the plate, path is much flatter than in the past. Starts balanced, short stride and maintains balance through contact. Fluid rhythm, long, level bat path, works gap-to-gap and present bat strength; 84 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, works through the baseball, clean footwork, body control and clean release. Arm works short and loose from multiple angles. Throws topped at 77 mph across the diamond.

Cole Buckner, INF, Gibault Catholic, 2020
6-foot-1, 204-pound, right-handed hitting first baseman. At the plate, open setup, big leg-kick trigger, long, uphill bat path and pull approach and hard contact to the pull-side gap. 87 mph exit velocity off a tee. Defensively, clean transfer, short arm action, ¾ slot and throws topped at 67 mph. 8.79 runner in the 60.

Clay Conn, INF, St. Charles East, 2020
5-foot-8, 155-pound, athletically-built, switch-hitting infielder. Ran a 6.74 laser-timed 60. At the plate, handles the bat equally as well from both sides of the plate. Balanced setup, smooth load, short stride. Simple swing, lets the ball travel, short bat path, looks to control the barrel and line-drive spray approach. 88 mph exit velocity from a tee. On the infield, quick active feet, natural infield actions, ranges well to both sides and maintains body control. Clean, easy release, short arm action and throws topped at 74 mph across the diamond.

Ernie Day, RHP/INF, Taft, 2020
6-foot-3, 205-pound, athletically-built, strong, two-way prospect. Right-handed pitcher, stuff and velocity continue to ascend. Tall and fall delivery, works on-line, lands square and smooth rhythm throughout with regular effort. Loose, extremely quick arm action from a high ¾ to over-the-top window. Fastball, live through the hitting zone, late arm-side action, sat 86-89 mph, touched 90. Changeup, lowers slot, maintains arm speed, arm-side-run and sinking action, thrown for strikes, 77-80 mph. Curveball, thrown aggressively, sharp 11/5 action, 72-75 mph. Offensively, right-handed hitter, balanced setup, short stride, loose hands, uphill bat path and 93 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, steady hands, winds up on release, loose arm action and throws topped at 88 mph across. 7.36 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Vincent Esposito, 1B, Rock Island, 2020
6-foot-4, 220-pound, extra-large, imposing, left-handed hitting first baseman. At the plate, balanced setup, smooth load, short leg-lift trigger and maintained balance. Simple swing, strong hands, long bat path and power potential. 91 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, bouncy around the bag at first. Steady hands, long arm action, over-the-top slot and throws topped at 81 mph. 7.33 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Zachary Fell, INF, Stevenson, 2020
5-foot-7, 165-pound, right-handed hitting infielder. 7.16 runner in the 60, laser-timed. Defensively, steady infield actions, active feet that work through the baseball. Soft hands, clean exchange and short arm action from a high ¾ slot. Accurate arm, topped at 77 mph across the infield. At the plate, balanced setup, short stride and simple swing. Short bat path, level through the zone at times and line-drive approach; 75 mph exit velocity from a tee.

Omar Garcia, INF, Lake View, 2020
6-foot-1, 185-pound, strong, athletically-built, right-handed hitting infielder. At the plate, taller, balanced setup, smooth load, leg-lift timing trigger and hits off front foot. Loose hands at times, line-drive, gap-to-gap approach and 84 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, athletic infield actions, plays easy and under control on the move. Soft hands, clean release and loose arm action. Throws from multiple arm angles, accurate across the diamond and topped at 77 mph. 7.41 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Lucas Kozlowski, INF, Barrington, 2020
5-foot-10, 170-pound, athletically-built, high-waisted, left-handed hitting infielder. Ran a 6.98 laser-timed 60. Offensively, balanced setup, smooth load and short stride, Simple swing, loose hands, short uphill bat path and gap-to-gap approach. 93 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, works from the ground up, steady hands, short arm action, high ¾ slot and throws topped at 78 mph across the infield.

Jake Margolick, INF, Highland Park, 2020
5-foot-11, 165-pound, well-proportioned, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, balanced setup, short leg-kick trigger, uphill bat path and works to stay inside the baseball. 82 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, quick feet at times, quick release when moving glove side, steady hands, throws from an over-the-top slot and topped at 80 mph. 7.26 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Sean McDevitt, INF, St. Rita, 2020
6-foot, 165-pound, lean, high-waisted infielder with plenty of room for continued physical development. Advanced actions on the infield. Quick, active feet, ranges well and maintains body control on the move. Early glove presentation, soft sure-hands, feet work through the baseball, clean release. Loose arm action, can throw from multiple angles, accurate arm and throws clocked at 81 mph across the infield. Offensively, right-handed hitter, balanced setup, early load and short stride. Uphill bat path, works the middle of the field and exit velocity topped at 84 mph off a tee. 7.29 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Riley Morris, INF, Plainfield East, 2020
6-foot, 195-pound, strong, athletically-built, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, balanced setup, short stride, aggressive swing, loose, strong hands, present bat speed and bat strength; 93 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, clean release, short arm action, throws flash carry across the diamond and clocked at 83 mph. 6.93 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Jake Mucha, INF, Providence Catholic, 2020
6-foot-1, 190-pound, strong, left-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, balanced wide setup, deep loading action and leg-kick timing trigger. Quick hands, creates bat speed, uphill bat path, looks to lift the baseball and 93 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, steady hands, quick release, short arm action and throws topped at 82 mph across the diamond. Ran a 7.20 laser-timed 60.

Breck Nowik, RHP/INF, Lake Forest, 2020
6-foot-2, 185-pound, athletically-built, projectable, two-way prospect. Has added 20 pounds to his frame in half a year and has made big strides on the mound since our last look. Right-handed pitcher, deliberate, segmented, repeatable delivery, stays closed down the mound and lands square. Short draw out of the glove, quick arm action, ¾ slot and loose out front. Fastball, late run action, worked up in the zone at times, sat 85-87 mph, touching 88. Curveball, sharp 11/5 action, tight spin, potential swing-and-miss pitch moving forward, 71-74 mph. Changeup, feel for the bottom of the zone, sinking action, 76-79 mph. Offensively, right-handed hitter, wide setup, gets separation, short leg-kick trigger, fluid rhythm and line-drive, opposite field approach. 93 mph exit velocity from a tee. On the infield, steady hands, quick release, loose arm action, ¾ slot and throws topped at 85 mph. 7.15 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Michael Pawyza, INF, Lockport, 2020
5-foot-11, 180-pound, strong, left-handed hitting infielder. Ran a 7.19 laser-timed 60. At the plate, wide quiet setup, minimal smooth load and short stride. Fast bat, consistent hard contact, gap-to-gap approach and 85 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, profiles as a corner infielder. Showed the ability to throw from multiple angles at times, natural slot works over-the-top and throws clocked at 82 mph across the diamond.

Dylan Robertson, INF, Brother Rice, 2020
5-foot-9, 170-pound, left-handed hitting infielder. 6.99 runner in the 60, laser-timed. At the plate, balanced setup, slight loading action, short stride and gets off backside. Twitchy hands, flat bat path and line-drive approach. 87 mph exit velocity from a tee. Steady middle infield defender, athletic actions, soft confident hands, clean release, ability to throw from multiple angles. Throws topped at 79 mph across the diamond.

Luke Roman, INF, Wheaton Academy, 2020
5-foot-10, 160-pound, athletically-built, right-handed hitting infielder. 6.98 runner in the 60, laser-timed. At the plate, open setup, knee-knock stride, long uphill bat path, pull approach and maintains balance through contact. 84 mph exit velocity from a tee, Defensively, charges the baseball, plays through, reliable hands, clean release. Arm works from a high ¾ slot, accurate throws across the diamond that topped at 79 mph.

Joel Sarver, RHP/INF, Champaign Central, 2020
6-foot-1, 180-pound, athletically-built, sloped shouldered, two-way prospect. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, smooth delivery, finishes on-line and lands square. Loose arm action from a high ¾ slot. Fastball thrown for strikes, slight arm-side-run and sat 83-84 mph, touching 85. Curveball, 11/5 shape, feel, 72-74 mph. Changeup, sinking action, sharper out of the stretch, 70-73 mph. Offensively, right-handed hitter, balanced open setup, leg-lift timing trigger, short bat path, line-drive, gap-to-gap approach and 90 mph exit velocity off a tee. Defensively, steady hands, works through the baseball, throws from multiple angles and topped at 85 mph across the diamond. 7.45 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Gabriel Schmitt, INF, Warren, 2020
5-foot-11, 185-pound, strong, barrel-chested, left-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, wide, balanced setup, loads hands back and short stride. Quiet, easy swing, present bat strength and ball jumps off the barrel at times. 94 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, steady hands, clean release, short arm action, high ¾ slot, accurate throws topped at 74 mph. 7.40 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Matt Schuler, INF, Lyons Township, 2020
6-foot-1, 180-pound, left-handed hitting infielder; strong lower half. 7.11 runner in the 60, laser-timed. At the plate, quiet, balanced setup, minimal load and short stride. Simple swing, natural lift and 88 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, steady hands, quick exchange, long arm action, high ¾ slot and throws topped at 86 mph across the infield.  

Rohan B. Shah, INF/RHP, Lyons Township, 2020
6-foot-3, 181-pound, long-limbed, two-way prospect, with plenty of room for continued physical development. Ran a 6.99 laser-timed 60. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, straight back rocker step, linear delivery, works on-line and lands square. Long, loose arm action, from a high ¾ slot with effort at times. Fastball, works mostly straight, occasional run, sat 83-85 mph, touched 86. Curveball, 11/5 shape, 68-70 mph. Changeup, ranged between 71-74 mph. Offensively, right-handed hitter, balanced setup, toe-tap stride and utilizes lower half. Strong hands, long bat path and 82 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, steady hands, winds up on release, long arm action, high ¾ slot and throws clocked at 84 mph.

Sean Shook, INF, Normal West, 2020
5-foot-11, 200-pound, right-handed hitting infielder; thick, strong lower half. At the plate, balanced setup, smooth load, short leg-kick stride, utilizes lower half and maintains balance through contact. Fast bat, works uphill through the zone, consistent hard contact to both gaps; 86 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, easy actions, soft confident hands, clean release, effort on throws at times. Arm works long and from a high ¾ slot, throws topping at 82 mph across the diamond. 7.63 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Cade Sullivan, INF, Metea Valley, 2020
6-foot-4, 215-pound, physically-advanced, imposing, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, led the event with a 102 mph exit velocity. Starts from a balanced quiet setup, slight loading action and leg-lift timing trigger. Loose, strong hands, fast bat, uphill bat path and power potential. Defensively, profiles as a corner infielder. Steady hands, maintained body control on the move, loose arm action, high ¾ slot and throws topped at 85 mph. 7.61 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Evan Tocmo, OF/INF, Huntley, 2020
5-foot-10, 180-pound, right-handed hitting/throwing multi-positional player, well-proportioned build. Defensively, projects more in the outfield, plays aggressive to and through the ball, clean exchange, short and loose arm action, over the top slot, accurate throws carried 83 mph from the outfield. On the infield, quick feet, packs exchange, multi- slot, throws topped 82 mph across the diamond. At the plate, open setup, quick leg kick to even, maintains control. Loose hands, level path occasionally uphill, line drive ability, exit velocity topped 88 mph from a tee. 7.14 runner in the 60.

Dylan Whitney, INF, Oak Park-River Forest, 2020
5-foot-10, 150-pound, wiry, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, balanced setup, coiled load and short leg-kick timing trigger. Creates whip and bat speed at times, line-drive approach, occasional hard contact to the pull-side gap and 86 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, steady hands, quick feet, clean release, loose quick arm action, accurate throws the topped at 83 mph across the infield. 7.09 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Cade Zalewski, INF, Wheeling, 2020
6-foot-3, 190-pound, physically-advanced, well-proportioned, right-handed hitting first baseman. Balanced setup, slight crouched pre-pitch load, leg-lift timing trigger. Loose hands, uphill bat path, and fluid rhythm. 89 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, fields the baseball out in front, long arm action, low ¾ slot at times and throws topped at 85 mph across the diamond. 7.61 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

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