Preseason All-State: Middle Infield Analysis



By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Director – Illinois/Wisconsin


This week’s coverage of the Preseason All-State showcase continues with the middle infielder analysis. The middle infield group was deep with talent, many prospects who are already ranked in Illinois’ 2015 class.

Tyler Halas led all the middle infielders with his strong bat and defensive prowess. Halas posted a 93 mph exit velocity from the tee and showed a strong arm across the diamond. His athletic feet and soft hands puts him above the rest of his peers at the position. Mitchell Boe came in second with one of the best rounds of BP of the day, also the left handed hitting middle infielder threw it 87 mph across the diamond.

Here’s a look at the top middle infielders from the Preseason All-State.

Top Middle Infielders

1. Tyler Halas, SS, St. Rita, 2015
Tennessee commit. Athletic build, 6-foot, 180-pound shortstop. One of the top defenders in the class, hands are quick and soft, advanced actions, plays through the baseball well, plays with little effort. Arm action is short and loose, 83 mph across the diamond, high ¾ slot, athletic arm action, gets carry and can release on the move. Offensively hits from a tall setup, open stance, loose easy setup. Creates whip through the zone, generates bat speed with upper half, path is short to the ball. Aggressive swinger, hits with conviction, 93 mph exit velocity from the tee. High level, hard contact, finds the barrel regularly. Also ran a 7.09 in the 60.

2. Mitchell Boe, SS, Joliet Catholic, 2015
5-foot-10, 160-pound left handed hitting shortstop. Defensively showed one of the top arms across the diamond at 87 mph across the infield. Arm action is loose, high ¾ slot, highly athletic arm action with carry. Advanced defensive actions, works well to his backhand side, changes direction quickly and efficiently. Footwork is quick and athletic, plays well on the move, well above average body control. Offensively hits from a slightly open stance, loose athletic setup, hits from a taller stance, short stride. Advanced bat control, line drive type hitter, works the middle of the field extremely well, short path stays inside the baseball. Advanced approach with excellent bat speed make Boe one of the top pure left handed hitters in his class.

3. Ethan Skender, SS/OF, Metamora, 2015
Kansas State commit. 5-foot-11, 170-pound athlete, showed the ability to play both on the infield and outfield. Displayed quick twitch actions in multiple facets of the game, 6.95 runner in the 60. Defensively plays the game fast, feet work extremely well, plays through the baseball both in the outfield and on the infield. Strong arm with a quick arm action, 89 mph across the infield and 88 mph from the outfield. Arm action is athletic, short and loose from a high ¾ slot. On the infield played well on the move with well above average body control. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, longer stride. Quick athletic hands, gets through the baseball quickly, aggressive swing. Shows a high level of barrel awareness, advanced bat speed, shows pop in his bat. 86 mph exit velocity from the tee.

4. Sam Flamini, INF, Yorkville, 2015
Xavier recruit. 5-foot-11, 170-pound infielder. Advanced defensive actions, exchange is quick and clean, gets baseball into throwing slot highly efficiently, hands are soft. Arm action is short and loose, athletic arm action, produces carry, 80 mph across the diamond. Also ran a 6.94 in the 60. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, short stride, maintains balance through contact. Bat path is short, level through the zone, two handed finish. 90 mph exit velocity from the tee.

5. Jason Sullivan, SS, Wheaton St. Francis, 2015
5-foot-10, 180-pound shortstop, solid build with strength. Improved defensive actions, plays through the baseball well, plays well on the move, excellent athleticism, soft hands, excellent body control. Arm action is loose, creates carry across the diamond (80 mph). 7.25 runner in the 60. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, short stride, hits with rhythm. Aggressive hitter, swings with a purpose, maintains excellent balance. 91 mph exit velocity from the tee. Carries himself well on the field, confident presence and aggressive nature.

6. Neil Lambert, MIF, Pontiac, 2015
5-foot-11, 155-pound left handed hitting middle infielder. Defensively he plays through balls athletically with quick footwork and soft hands. Arm works long, from a high ¾ slot at 82 mph with accuracy and carry. Ran a 7.15 60. At the plate he hits from a balanced stance with a smooth load and launch sequence. Maintains solid balance through contact. Swing is quiet with a level path, showed the ability to drive the ball with above average bat speed. Exit velocity was 85 mph off a tee.

7. Nick Maton, SS, Glenwood HS, 2015
Projectable 6-foot-1, 160-pound left-handed hitting shortstop. Natural middle infield actions; has quick, clean transfer, ball carries across infield, 81 mph, highly accurate, short, athletic arm action. Shows advanced body control, fields ball in rhythm, hands and feet work well together. Offensively, has simple, handsy line-drive approach. Has short, level bat path, minimal stride, quiet mechanics, bat stays flat through zone. Maintains good balance throughout, above-average bat speed, 84 mph exit velocity. Ran a 7.00 60. High-follow prospect in Illinois 2015 class.

8. Cristian Sanchez, SS, Minooka HS, 2015
Athletic 6-foot-1, 165-pound shortstop, long arms and legs, projectable frame. Athletic defensive actions, moves well laterally, fields the ball with rhythm, fluid footwork, soft, easy hands. Has plenty of arm to stick at position, clocked at 86 mph across the infield, athletic arm action, throws well on move. Offensively, hits from slightly open setup. Has loose, easy hands, generates bat speed and barrel whip through zone, line drive, level swing, excellent extension after contact. Ran a 7.14 60. Overall, high-upside prospect who has plenty of room to develop physically; should acquire more power and foot speed as he fills into frame.

9. Jarrod Watkins, MIF, Peoria Notre Dame, 2015
Athletically built, 6-foot, 155-pound left handed hitting middle infielder. Defensively showed off one of the strongest arms in attendance, 87 mph across the infield. Arm action is long with looseness, creates carry, advanced arm strength. Showed the ability to play through the baseball, body control is above average, well above average athlete. 7.28 runner in the 60. Offensively hits from the left side, slightly open stance, short stride, good balance throughout. Smooth and easy swing, generates whip through the zone. 88 mph exit velocity from the tee. Slight lift in swing, shows the ability to work to both gaps.

10. Brady Fairfield, INF, Metamora, 2015
5-foot-10, 175-pound infielder with advanced foot speed. Ran a 6.88 60. Defensively he showed solid hands and fields the ball athletically. Arm works loose, from high ¾ at 79 mph with accuracy and carry. At the plate he hits from a balanced stance, smooth load, short stride, and quality balance through contact. Swing is short and level, with aggressive bat speed, fluid rhythm, and gap-to-gap barrel control. Exit velocity off a tee was 75 mph.

11. Cody Grosse, SS, Joliet West, 2015
5-foot-8, 145-pound left handed hitting infielder, smaller frame, strength for size. Offensively hits from the left side, balanced stance. Repeats swing well, quick hands, line drive approach. Contact hitter, singles type guys who can spray to all fields, 72 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively plays through the baseball well, athletic actions, hands are soft and exchange is quick, played well to his backhand with quick transfer. Feet play well on the infield, quick footwork, 6.95 runner. Arm action is short over the top, showed accuracy, 78 mph across the diamond.

12. Jalin McMillan, INF, De La Salle, 2015
Illinois commit. Physically advanced, 6-foot-1, 190-pound infielder, strong lean build. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, short stride, solid balance through contact. Strong hands, gap to gap hitter, path is short to the baseball gets some extension. Defensively arm plays at 84 mph across the infield, long arm action, gets carry. Shows body control and the ability to play on the move. 6.96 runner in the 60.

13. General McArthur, SS, Crete Monee, 2015
6-foot-1, 150-pound shortstop, lanky frame, slender build. Defensively plays the position with ease, hands are soft and has advanced actions. Footwork is fluid and plays through the baseball, improved foot speed, ran a 7.07 60. Arm is strong across the diamond (82 mph), arm action is loose, high ¾ slot with carry and accuracy. High level defender. Offensively hits from an open setup, smooth loading action, short stride, maintains balance throughout. Loose athletic hands at the plate, hands generate bat speed, line drive approach, flat through the zone. Posted 91 mph exit velocity from the tee.

14. Jake Milosch, SS/RHP, St. Charles East, 2015
6-foot, 175-pound two way player, strong frame. Defensively plays through the baseball well, well above average infield actions, stays low through the baseball. Lower arm slot, short and loose, some carry, 76 mph across the diamond, good body control. Offensively hits from a slightly open stance, short leg lift trigger, good balance throughout. Hard contact hitter, inside out path. 84 mph exit velocity from the tee. On the mound delivery repeats itself, arm works from a high ¾ slot. Fastball has slight arm side run, showed the ability to command the baseball. Curveball has 11/5 shape, slurve action, 69-70 mph, showed control. Changeup has occasional arm side run, 77-78 mph.

15. Deion Thompson, SS, Bloomington, 2015
6-foot-2, 190-pound shortstop, long frame, athletic build, lean. Offensivley hits from a closed stance, short stride, quick hands. Made consistently hard contact, barrel aware, bat speed present. 92 mph exit velocity from the tee. Short path with extension. Defensively has athletic feet, quick twitch actions. Arm action is long, over the top slot, 80 mph arm strength across the diamond.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Sage Bruhl, OF/INF, Glenbrook North, 2015
6-foot, 175-pound left handed hitting outfielder/infielder, long athletic frame. Defensively moved well both in the outfield and infield, outfield arm played at 77 mph out of his crowhop. On the infield arm worked better at 79 mph across, stays low through the baseball, quick clean exchange, excellent body control. Offensively hits from the left side, balanced stance, short stride, repeatable swing. Occasional pop in his bat, above average bat speed. 84 mph exit velocity from the tee. Also ran a 7.28 60.

Ben Chapman, SS, Hinsdale Central, 2015
6-foot, 150-pound shortstop, slender build, plenty of room for added strength. Defensively uses a short loose arm action, gets occasional carry, arm plays with easy arm strength, 79 mph across the diamond. Hands have a soft feel, fluid footwork. Runs a 7.25 in the 60. Offensively hits from a slightly open stance, short stride, minimal loading action. Generates bat speed with hands, quiet setup and short path repeats consistent contact. 76 mph exit velocity from the tee.

Alex DiFranco, MIF/RHP, Neuqua Valley, 2015
5-foot-11, 165-pound two-way player. On the mound his delivery has smooth rhythm and regular effort. His arm works from a high ¾ slot with a short, loose action. Straight fastball was 81-82 mph consistently for strikes. Curveball was 69-70 mph with loose action and 10/4 shape. Throws his changeup with fastball arm speed at 74-76 mph with slight arm side run. At the plate he hits from a balanced stance, smooth load and balance through contact. Lower half is explosive. Bat path is short and level. Exit velocity was 79 mph off a tee. On the infield arm works from a high ¾ slot with short, loose action at 82 mph. Showed solid defensive actions.

Hunter Fiorito, SS, Aurora Central Catholic, 2015
5-foot-10, 180-pound infielder, solid build, some strength. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, arm bar load, short stride. Slightly uphill path, aggressive bat speed. 85 mph exit velocity from the tee. 7.15 runner in the 60. Defensively arm works from a high ¾ slot, occasionally plays uphill. Strong arm, plays at 80 mph across the diamond.

Tyler Hair, INF, Lockport, 2015
5-foot-11, 175-pound infielder, physically strong make up. Defensively showed athleticism, loose arm action, high ¾ slot, created some carry, 79 mph across the diamond. Showed the ability to play through the baseball, 7.25 runner. Offensively hits from a wide stance, slight arm bar load, no stride approach. Maintains solid balance throughout, 79 mph exit velocity from the tee.

Scott Kapers, C/INF/RHP, Mount Carmel, 2015
5-foot-11, 175-pound two-way prospect. On the mound works from a full windup delivery, tall and fall approach. Arm works well, long lose arm action, high ¾ slot. Fastball had slight run, 85-86 mph, touched 87 mph, showed control. Curveball had 11/5 shape, slurve action, 66-68 mph. Changeup has occasional arm side action, mostly down, ranged from 73-77 mph. Also showcased a cut fastball, 78-81, slight action. Behind the plate uses a short over the top arm action, gets carry to target, 73 mph out of the crouch. Posted 1.95-2.03 pop times. Showed above average blocking skills as well as being able to transfer the baseball efficiently. On the infield arm played well touching 87 mph, soft hands similar to that behind the plate. 7.76 runner in the 60.

George Karavidas, MIF, Glenbrook South, 2015
5-foot-11, 180-pound, left handed hitting infielder. At the plate he hits from a balanced stance with a smooth load and toe tap stride. Bat path is long, showed some pop to the pull side. Exit velocity was 83 mph off a tee. On the infield his arm works with stiff action from a high ¾ slot with some accuracy at 80 mph. Ran a 7.38 60.

Alex Kiszkowski, MIF, Schaumburg, 2015
5-foot-11, 155-pound infielder with solid foot speed. Ran a 7.01 60. Defensively his quick feet worked well as he played through the ball. Arm works short, from high ¾ with accuracy and some carry. Displayed solid body control on the move. At the plate he hits from a balanced setup with a quiet load and short stride. Bat path is flat with quality extension and consistently drives the ball on a line. Exit velocity was 72 mph off a tee.

Benjamin Kociper, MIF, Sandburg, 2015
5-foot-8, 165-pound middle infielder. Defensively, showed solid hands and quick exchanges. Arm works short from high ¾ at 75 mph with some accuracy. Ran a 7.76 60. At the plate he hits from a balanced stance, smooth load, and maintains balance through contact. Swing has a flat path with flashes of solid extension. Exit velocity was 83 mph off a tee.

Matthew Kozlak, MIF, Jacobs, 2015
5-foot-11, 170-pound middle infielder. Hits from an open stance, smooth loading action, athletic setup. Line drive hitter, showed bat speed, 88 mph exit velocity from the tee. Athletic feet, 7.19 runner in the 60. Defensively arm plays at 80 mph across the diamond, long rigid arm action. Footwork is quick, shows athleticism defensively, plays through the baseball.

Jeff Lindgren, RHP/MIF, Champaign Centennial HS, 2015
6-foot-2, 185-pound two-way player. Solid all-around skill set, but projects most on mound. Right-handed pitcher, athletic frame, clean, short arm action, high-3/4 slot. Simple, repeatable delivery, good tempo and rhythm. Fastball topped at 84 mph, sitting 82-83, all strikes. Changeup also quality pitch, 76-77 range, with arm-side sink. Commands pitch for strikes. Curveball came in at 69-70, has feel for pitch. Offensively, has balanced, mechanically sound approach. Bat stays flat through zone, line drive approach. Recorded 86 mph exit velocity off tee. Defensively, has reliable, soft hands and was clocked at 75 mph across infield. Ran a 7.75 60.

Justin Lo, MIF, Whitney Young, 2015
5-foot-11, 175-pound infielder, solid upper half, broad shoulder. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, short stride, smooth loading action. Line drive hitter, showed the ability to stay inside the baseball, occasional extension and pop. 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively showed fluid footwork on the infield, 7.28 runner in the 60. Arm action is shorter, high ¾ slot, occasionally underneath the baseball, 80 mph across the diamond. Ran the 60 in 7.28.

Alex Mandeville, MIF, Sacred Heart Griffin, 2015
5-foot-10, 150-pound infielder. Defensively, shows solid hands. Arm works short and loose from a high ¾ slot at 80 mph with accuracy. Ran a 7.28 60. At the plate hits from a balanced setup with a short stride. Bat path is short and flat. Showed opposite field tendencies during his round. Exit velocity off a tee was 77 mph.

Kellen McCormick, MIF, Hononegah, 2015
6-foot-2, 185-pound infielder with wide shoulders. Defensively, played through the ball with quick, clean exchanges. Arm works short from a high ¾ slot with some accuracy and solid carry at 77 mph. Ran a 7.4 60. At the plate he hits from an open, crouched, stance with a short stride and solid balance through contact. Has a pull side approach with some power to the pull side. Exit velocity off the tee was 78 mph.

Matthew Phipps, RHP/SS, Harrisburg, 2015
6-foot, 180-pound athletic body two way player. Defensively, his arm works long and loose from a high ¾ slot at 81 mph with accuracy. At the plate he hits from a balanced setup with quiet load and no stride, maintaining balance through contact. Bat speed is above average and in the zone for an extended amount of time. Exit velocity was 84 mph off a tee. On the mound he uses an athletic, tall and fall delivery with some rhythm and regular effort. Arm works long, loose, and quick from a high ¾ slot. Fastball sat 82-83 mph, for strikes, with flashes of run. Throws a 12/6 curveball at 69-71 mph. Slider showed different action than the curveball, sitting 76-79 mph with bite. Changeup was 69-71 mph with sinking action.

Trystin Raikes, OF/INF, Marquette Academy, 2015
6-foot, 180-pound outfield/infield prospect. Defensively showed solid actions on the infield, above average backhand. Arm created slight carry to target, 83 mph across infield. Arm strength was the same in the outfield (83 mph). Offensively hits from the right side, even stance, short stride. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, short stride. Level path through the baseball, showed a knack for finding the barrel. 6.95 runner in the 60.

Jimmy Roche, OF/SS, Sandburg, 2015
5-foot-11, 175-pound outfield/shortstop, athletically built. Offensively hits from a solid setup, no stride, weight transfer trigger. Generates bat speed on a flat path, occasional length. 83 mph exit velocity from the tee. Displayed occasional pop and extension. Defensively showed athletic footwork on the infield, takes time getting rid of it, arm worked at 77 mph across the infield. In the outfield played through the baseball big crow hop, 80 mph arm strength. Also ran a 7.03 in the 60.

Quinn Snarskis, RHP/MIF, Fenwick HS, 2015
One of the fastest risers in Illinois’ 2015 class. Has grown three inches and gained 26 pounds in a year’s time; stands 6-foot-1, weighs 170 pounds, still has baby face. Two-way player, on mound is especially interesting. Arm works quickly and cleanly, three-quarter slot, loose, easy arm action, throws three pitches for strikes. Fastball sat at 87 mph from windup, 85-86 from stretch, ball has natural arm-side run and late life. Slider looks to be highly effective pitch, 75-78 mph, locates down in zone, sweeping action. Changeup ranged between 78-80, occasional sharp arm-side sink. Positionally, possesses easy middle infield actions, soft hands, fields the ball with rhythm, athletic arm action, 77 mph across the infield. Ran the 60 at 7.45 and recorded 89 mph exit velocity. Offensively, hits from balanced setup, leg kick trigger, loose hands, line-drive approach.  

Arion Worthman, MIF, Normal U-High, 2014
Physically advanced 6-foot, 200-pound athlete. Features strong lower half and developed shoulders. High-level athlete, ran a 6.75 60, one of the top times at the Preseason All-State Showcase. Offensively hits from a balanced set up, leg kick trigger, rotational swing, pullside approach. Registered 84 mph exit velocity off tee. Defensively, was clocked at 78 mph from shortstop. Also a standout football player.

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Underclass Trials 2014 SLIDE

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Director – Illinois/Wisconsin


This week’s coverage of the Preseason All-State showcase continues with the middle infielder analysis. The middle infield group was deep with talent, many prospects who are already ranked in Illinois’ 2015 class.

Tyler Halas led all the middle infielders with his strong bat and defensive prowess. Halas posted a 93 mph exit velocity from the tee and showed a strong arm across the diamond. His athletic feet and soft hands puts him above the rest of his peers at the position. Mitchell Boe came in second with one of the best rounds of BP of the day, also the left handed hitting middle infielder threw it 87 mph across the diamond.

Here’s a look at the top middle infielders from the Preseason All-State.

Top Middle Infielders

1. Tyler Halas, SS, St. Rita, 2015
Tennessee commit. Athletic build, 6-foot, 180-pound shortstop. One of the top defenders in the class, hands are quick and soft, advanced actions, plays through the baseball well, plays with little effort. Arm action is short and loose, 83 mph across the diamond, high ¾ slot, athletic arm action, gets carry and can release on the move. Offensively hits from a tall setup, open stance, loose easy setup. Creates whip through the zone, generates bat speed with upper half, path is short to the ball. Aggressive swinger, hits with conviction, 93 mph exit velocity from the tee. High level, hard contact, finds the barrel regularly. Also ran a 7.09 in the 60.

2. Mitchell Boe, SS, Joliet Catholic, 2015
5-foot-10, 160-pound left handed hitting shortstop. Defensively showed one of the top arms across the diamond at 87 mph across the infield. Arm action is loose, high ¾ slot, highly athletic arm action with carry. Advanced defensive actions, works well to his backhand side, changes direction quickly and efficiently. Footwork is quick and athletic, plays well on the move, well above average body control. Offensively hits from a slightly open stance, loose athletic setup, hits from a taller stance, short stride. Advanced bat control, line drive type hitter, works the middle of the field extremely well, short path stays inside the baseball. Advanced approach with excellent bat speed make Boe one of the top pure left handed hitters in his class.

3. Ethan Skender, SS/OF, Metamora, 2015
Kansas State commit. 5-foot-11, 170-pound athlete, showed the ability to play both on the infield and outfield. Displayed quick twitch actions in multiple facets of the game, 6.95 runner in the 60. Defensively plays the game fast, feet work extremely well, plays through the baseball both in the outfield and on the infield. Strong arm with a quick arm action, 89 mph across the infield and 88 mph from the outfield. Arm action is athletic, short and loose from a high ¾ slot. On the infield played well on the move with well above average body control. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, longer stride. Quick athletic hands, gets through the baseball quickly, aggressive swing. Shows a high level of barrel awareness, advanced bat speed, shows pop in his bat. 86 mph exit velocity from the tee.

4. Sam Flamini, INF, Yorkville, 2015
Xavier recruit. 5-foot-11, 170-pound infielder. Advanced defensive actions, exchange is quick and clean, gets baseball into throwing slot highly efficiently, hands are soft. Arm action is short and loose, athletic arm action, produces carry, 80 mph across the diamond. Also ran a 6.94 in the 60. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, short stride, maintains balance through contact. Bat path is short, level through the zone, two handed finish. 90 mph exit velocity from the tee.

5. Jason Sullivan, SS, Wheaton St. Francis, 2015
5-foot-10, 180-pound shortstop, solid build with strength. Improved defensive actions, plays through the baseball well, plays well on the move, excellent athleticism, soft hands, excellent body control. Arm action is loose, creates carry across the diamond (80 mph). 7.25 runner in the 60. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, short stride, hits with rhythm. Aggressive hitter, swings with a purpose, maintains excellent balance. 91 mph exit velocity from the tee. Carries himself well on the field, confident presence and aggressive nature.

6. Neil Lambert, MIF, Pontiac, 2015
5-foot-11, 155-pound left handed hitting middle infielder. Defensively he plays through balls athletically with quick footwork and soft hands. Arm works long, from a high ¾ slot at 82 mph with accuracy and carry. Ran a 7.15 60. At the plate he hits from a balanced stance with a smooth load and launch sequence. Maintains solid balance through contact. Swing is quiet with a level path, showed the ability to drive the ball with above average bat speed. Exit velocity was 85 mph off a tee.

7. Nick Maton, SS, Glenwood HS, 2015
Projectable 6-foot-1, 160-pound left-handed hitting shortstop. Natural middle infield actions; has quick, clean transfer, ball carries across infield, 81 mph, highly accurate, short, athletic arm action. Shows advanced body control, fields ball in rhythm, hands and feet work well together. Offensively, has simple, handsy line-drive approach. Has short, level bat path, minimal stride, quiet mechanics, bat stays flat through zone. Maintains good balance throughout, above-average bat speed, 84 mph exit velocity. Ran a 7.00 60. High-follow prospect in Illinois 2015 class.

8. Cristian Sanchez, SS, Minooka HS, 2015
Athletic 6-foot-1, 165-pound shortstop, long arms and legs, projectable frame. Athletic defensive actions, moves well laterally, fields the ball with rhythm, fluid footwork, soft, easy hands. Has plenty of arm to stick at position, clocked at 86 mph across the infield, athletic arm action, throws well on move. Offensively, hits from slightly open setup. Has loose, easy hands, generates bat speed and barrel whip through zone, line drive, level swing, excellent extension after contact. Ran a 7.14 60. Overall, high-upside prospect who has plenty of room to develop physically; should acquire more power and foot speed as he fills into frame.

9. Jarrod Watkins, MIF, Peoria Notre Dame, 2015
Athletically built, 6-foot, 155-pound left handed hitting middle infielder. Defensively showed off one of the strongest arms in attendance, 87 mph across the infield. Arm action is long with looseness, creates carry, advanced arm strength. Showed the ability to play through the baseball, body control is above average, well above average athlete. 7.28 runner in the 60. Offensively hits from the left side, slightly open stance, short stride, good balance throughout. Smooth and easy swing, generates whip through the zone. 88 mph exit velocity from the tee. Slight lift in swing, shows the ability to work to both gaps.

10. Brady Fairfield, INF, Metamora, 2015
5-foot-10, 175-pound infielder with advanced foot speed. Ran a 6.88 60. Defensively he showed solid hands and fields the ball athletically. Arm works loose, from high ¾ at 79 mph with accuracy and carry. At the plate he hits from a balanced stance, smooth load, short stride, and quality balance through contact. Swing is short and level, with aggressive bat speed, fluid rhythm, and gap-to-gap barrel control. Exit velocity off a tee was 75 mph.

11. Cody Grosse, SS, Joliet West, 2015
5-foot-8, 145-pound left handed hitting infielder, smaller frame, strength for size. Offensively hits from the left side, balanced stance. Repeats swing well, quick hands, line drive approach. Contact hitter, singles type guys who can spray to all fields, 72 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively plays through the baseball well, athletic actions, hands are soft and exchange is quick, played well to his backhand with quick transfer. Feet play well on the infield, quick footwork, 6.95 runner. Arm action is short over the top, showed accuracy, 78 mph across the diamond.

12. Jalin McMillan, INF, De La Salle, 2015
Illinois commit. Physically advanced, 6-foot-1, 190-pound infielder, strong lean build. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, short stride, solid balance through contact. Strong hands, gap to gap hitter, path is short to the baseball gets some extension. Defensively arm plays at 84 mph across the infield, long arm action, gets carry. Shows body control and the ability to play on the move. 6.96 runner in the 60.

13. General McArthur, SS, Crete Monee, 2015
6-foot-1, 150-pound shortstop, lanky frame, slender build. Defensively plays the position with ease, hands are soft and has advanced actions. Footwork is fluid and plays through the baseball, improved foot speed, ran a 7.07 60. Arm is strong across the diamond (82 mph), arm action is loose, high ¾ slot with carry and accuracy. High level defender. Offensively hits from an open setup, smooth loading action, short stride, maintains balance throughout. Loose athletic hands at the plate, hands generate bat speed, line drive approach, flat through the zone. Posted 91 mph exit velocity from the tee.

14. Jake Milosch, SS/RHP, St. Charles East, 2015
6-foot, 175-pound two way player, strong frame. Defensively plays through the baseball well, well above average infield actions, stays low through the baseball. Lower arm slot, short and loose, some carry, 76 mph across the diamond, good body control. Offensively hits from a slightly open stance, short leg lift trigger, good balance throughout. Hard contact hitter, inside out path. 84 mph exit velocity from the tee. On the mound delivery repeats itself, arm works from a high ¾ slot. Fastball has slight arm side run, showed the ability to command the baseball. Curveball has 11/5 shape, slurve action, 69-70 mph, showed control. Changeup has occasional arm side run, 77-78 mph.

15. Deion Thompson, SS, Bloomington, 2015
6-foot-2, 190-pound shortstop, long frame, athletic build, lean. Offensivley hits from a closed stance, short stride, quick hands. Made consistently hard contact, barrel aware, bat speed present. 92 mph exit velocity from the tee. Short path with extension. Defensively has athletic feet, quick twitch actions. Arm action is long, over the top slot, 80 mph arm strength across the diamond.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Sage Bruhl, OF/INF, Glenbrook North, 2015
6-foot, 175-pound left handed hitting outfielder/infielder, long athletic frame. Defensively moved well both in the outfield and infield, outfield arm played at 77 mph out of his crowhop. On the infield arm worked better at 79 mph across, stays low through the baseball, quick clean exchange, excellent body control. Offensively hits from the left side, balanced stance, short stride, repeatable swing. Occasional pop in his bat, above average bat speed. 84 mph exit velocity from the tee. Also ran a 7.28 60.

Ben Chapman, SS, Hinsdale Central, 2015
6-foot, 150-pound shortstop, slender build, plenty of room for added strength. Defensively uses a short loose arm action, gets occasional carry, arm plays with easy arm strength, 79 mph across the diamond. Hands have a soft feel, fluid footwork. Runs a 7.25 in the 60. Offensively hits from a slightly open stance, short stride, minimal loading action. Generates bat speed with hands, quiet setup and short path repeats consistent contact. 76 mph exit velocity from the tee.

Alex DiFranco, MIF/RHP, Neuqua Valley, 2015
5-foot-11, 165-pound two-way player. On the mound his delivery has smooth rhythm and regular effort. His arm works from a high ¾ slot with a short, loose action. Straight fastball was 81-82 mph consistently for strikes. Curveball was 69-70 mph with loose action and 10/4 shape. Throws his changeup with fastball arm speed at 74-76 mph with slight arm side run. At the plate he hits from a balanced stance, smooth load and balance through contact. Lower half is explosive. Bat path is short and level. Exit velocity was 79 mph off a tee. On the infield arm works from a high ¾ slot with short, loose action at 82 mph. Showed solid defensive actions. Ran a 7.44 60.

Hunter Fiorito, SS, Aurora Central Catholic, 2015
5-foot-10, 180-pound infielder, solid build, some strength. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, arm bar load, short stride. Slightly uphill path, aggressive bat speed. 85 mph exit velocity from the tee. 7.15 runner in the 60. Defensively arm works from a high ¾ slot, occasionally plays uphill. Strong arm, plays at 80 mph across the diamond.

Tyler Hair, INF, Lockport, 2015
5-foot-11, 175-pound infielder, physically strong make up. Defensively showed athleticism, loose arm action, high ¾ slot, created some carry, 79 mph across the diamond. Showed the ability to play through the baseball, 7.25 runner. Offensively hits from a wide stance, slight arm bar load, no stride approach. Maintains solid balance throughout, 79 mph exit velocity from the tee.

Scott Kapers, C/INF/RHP, Mount Carmel, 2015
5-foot-11, 175-pound two-way prospect. On the mound works from a full windup delivery, tall and fall approach. Arm works well, long lose arm action, high ¾ slot. Fastball had slight run, 85-86 mph, touched 87 mph, showed control. Curveball had 11/5 shape, slurve action, 66-68 mph. Changeup has occasional arm side action, mostly down, ranged from 73-77 mph. Also showcased a cut fastball, 78-81, slight action. Behind the plate uses a short over the top arm action, gets carry to target, 73 mph out of the crouch. Posted 1.95-2.03 pop times. Showed above average blocking skills as well as being able to transfer the baseball efficiently. On the infield arm played well touching 87 mph, soft hands similar to that behind the plate. 7.76 runner in the 60.

George Karavidas, MIF, Glenbrook South, 2015
5-foot-11, 180-pound, left handed hitting infielder. At the plate he hits from a balanced stance with a smooth load and toe tap stride. Bat path is long, showed some pop to the pull side. Exit velocity was 83 mph off a tee. On the infield his arm works with stiff action from a high ¾ slot with some accuracy at 80 mph. Ran a 7.38 60.

Alex Kiszkowski, MIF, Schaumburg, 2015
5-foot-11, 155-pound infielder with solid foot speed. Ran a 7.01 60. Defensively his quick feet worked well as he played through the ball. Arm works short, from high ¾ with accuracy and some carry. Displayed solid body control on the move. At the plate he hits from a balanced setup with a quiet load and short stride. Bat path is flat with quality extension and consistently drives the ball on a line. Exit velocity was 72 mph off a tee.

Benjamin Kociper, MIF, Sandburg, 2015
5-foot-8, 165-pound middle infielder. Defensively, showed solid hands and quick exchanges. Arm works short from high ¾ at 75 mph with some accuracy. Ran a 7.76 60. At the plate he hits from a balanced stance, smooth load, and maintains balance through contact. Swing has a flat path with flashes of solid extension. Exit velocity was 83 mph off a tee.

Matthew Kozlak, MIF, Jacobs, 2015
5-foot-11, 170-pound middle infielder. Hits from an open stance, smooth loading action, athletic setup. Line drive hitter, showed bat speed, 88 mph exit velocity from the tee. Athletic feet, 7.19 runner in the 60. Defensively arm plays at 80 mph across the diamond, long rigid arm action. Footwork is quick, shows athleticism defensively, plays through the baseball.

Jeff Lindgren, RHP/MIF, Champaign Centennial HS, 2015
6-foot-2, 185-pound two-way player. Solid all-around skill set, but projects most on mound. Right-handed pitcher, athletic frame, clean, short arm action, high-3/4 slot. Simple, repeatable delivery, good tempo and rhythm. Fastball topped at 84 mph, sitting 82-83, all strikes. Changeup also quality pitch, 76-77 range, with arm-side sink. Commands pitch for strikes. Curveball came in at 69-70, has feel for pitch. Offensively, has balanced, mechanically sound approach. Bat stays flat through zone, line drive approach. Recorded 86 mph exit velocity off tee. Defensively, has reliable, soft hands and was clocked at 75 mph across infield. Ran a 7.75 60.

Justin Lo, MIF, Whitney Young, 2015
5-foot-11, 175-pound infielder, solid upper half, broad shoulder. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, short stride, smooth loading action. Line drive hitter, showed the ability to stay inside the baseball, occasional extension and pop. 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively showed fluid footwork on the infield, 7.28 runner in the 60. Arm action is shorter, high ¾ slot, occasionally underneath the baseball, 80 mph across the diamond. Ran the 60 in 7.28.

Alex Mandeville, MIF, Sacred Heart Griffin, 2015
5-foot-10, 150-pound infielder. Defensively, shows solid hands. Arm works short and loose from a high ¾ slot at 80 mph with accuracy. Ran a 7.28 60. At the plate hits from a balanced setup with a short stride. Bat path is short and flat. Showed opposite field tendencies during his round. Exit velocity off a tee was 77 mph.

Kellen McCormick, MIF, Hononegah, 2015
6-foot-2, 185-pound infielder with wide shoulders. Defensively, played through the ball with quick, clean exchanges. Arm works short from a high ¾ slot with some accuracy and solid carry at 77 mph. Ran a 7.4 60. At the plate he hits from an open, crouched, stance with a short stride and solid balance through contact. Has a pull side approach with some power to the pull side. Exit velocity off the tee was 78 mph.

Matthew Phipps, RHP/SS, Harrisburg, 2015
6-foot, 180-pound athletic body two way player. Defensively, his arm works long and loose from a high ¾ slot at 81 mph with accuracy. At the plate he hits from a balanced setup with quiet load and no stride, maintaining balance through contact. Bat speed is above average and in the zone for an extended amount of time. Exit velocity was 84 mph off a tee. On the mound he uses an athletic, tall and fall delivery with some rhythm and regular effort. Arm works long, loose, and quick from a high ¾ slot. Fastball sat 82-83 mph, for strikes, with flashes of run. Throws a 12/6 curveball at 69-71 mph. Slider showed different action than the curveball, sitting 76-79 mph with bite. Changeup was 69-71 mph with sinking action.

Trystin Raikes, OF/INF, Marquette Academy, 2015
6-foot, 180-pound outfield/infield prospect. Defensively showed solid actions on the infield, above average backhand. Arm created slight carry to target, 83 mph across infield. Arm strength was the same in the outfield (83 mph). Offensively hits from the right side, even stance, short stride. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, short stride. Level path through the baseball, showed a knack for finding the barrel. 6.95 runner in the 60.

Jimmy Roche, OF/SS, Sandburg, 2015
5-foot-11, 175-pound outfield/shortstop, athletically built. Offensively hits from a solid setup, no stride, weight transfer trigger. Generates bat speed on a flat path, occasional length. 83 mph exit velocity from the tee. Displayed occasional pop and extension. Defensively showed athletic footwork on the infield, takes time getting rid of it, arm worked at 77 mph across the infield. In the outfield played through the baseball big crow hop, 80 mph arm strength. Also ran a 7.03 in the 60.

Quinn Snarskis, RHP/MIF, Fenwick HS, 2015
One of the fastest risers in Illinois’ 2015 class. Has grown three inches and gained 26 pounds in a year’s time; stands 6-foot-1, weighs 170 pounds, still has baby face. Two-way player, on mound is especially interesting. Arm works quickly and cleanly, three-quarter slot, loose, easy arm action, throws three pitches for strikes. Fastball sat at 87 mph from windup, 85-86 from stretch, ball has natural arm-side run and late life. Slider looks to be highly effective pitch, 75-78 mph, locates down in zone, sweeping action. Changeup ranged between 78-80, occasional sharp arm-side sink. Positionally, possesses easy middle infield actions, soft hands, fields the ball with rhythm, athletic arm action, 77 mph across the infield. Ran the 60 at 7.45 and recorded 89 mph exit velocity. Offensively, hits from balanced setup, leg kick trigger, loose hands, line-drive approach.  

Arion Worthman, MIF, Normal U-High, 2014
Physically advanced 6-foot, 200-pound athlete. Features strong lower half and developed shoulders. High-level athlete, ran a 6.75 60, one of the top times at the Preseason All-State Showcase. Offensively hits from a balanced set up, leg kick trigger, rotational swing, pullside approach. Registered 84 mph exit velocity off tee. Defensively, was clocked at 78 mph from shortstop. Also a standout football player.

 

 

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Director – Illinois/Wisconsin


This week’s coverage of the Preseason All-State showcase continues with the middle infielder analysis. The middle infield group was deep with talent, many prospects who are already ranked in Illinois’ 2015 class.

Tyler Halas led all the middle infielders with his strong bat and defensive prowess. Halas posted a 93 mph exit velocity from the tee and showed a strong arm across the diamond. His athletic feet and soft hands puts him above the rest of his peers at the position. Mitchell Boe came in second with one of the best rounds of BP of the day, also the left handed hitting middle infielder threw it 87 mph across the diamond.

Here’s a look at the top middle infielders from the Preseason All-State.

Top Middle Infielders

1. Tyler Halas, SS, St. Rita, 2015
Tennessee commit. Athletic build, 6-foot, 180-pound shortstop. One of the top defenders in the class, hands are quick and soft, advanced actions, plays through the baseball well, plays with little effort. Arm action is short and loose, 83 mph across the diamond, high ¾ slot, athletic arm action, gets carry and can release on the move. Offensively hits from a tall setup, open stance, loose easy setup. Creates whip through the zone, generates bat speed with upper half, path is short to the ball. Aggressive swinger, hits with conviction, 93 mph exit velocity from the tee. High level, hard contact, finds the barrel regularly. Also ran a 7.09 in the 60.

2. Mitchell Boe, SS, Joliet Catholic, 2015
5-foot-10, 160-pound left handed hitting shortstop. Defensively showed one of the top arms across the diamond at 87 mph across the infield. Arm action is loose, high ¾ slot, highly athletic arm action with carry. Advanced defensive actions, works well to his backhand side, changes direction quickly and efficiently. Footwork is quick and athletic, plays well on the move, well above average body control. Offensively hits from a slightly open stance, loose athletic setup, hits from a taller stance, short stride. Advanced bat control, line drive type hitter, works the middle of the field extremely well, short path stays inside the baseball. Advanced approach with excellent bat speed make Boe one of the top pure left handed hitters in his class.

3. Ethan Skender, SS/OF, Metamora, 2015
Kansas State commit. 5-foot-11, 170-pound athlete, showed the ability to play both on the infield and outfield. Displayed quick twitch actions in multiple facets of the game, 6.95 runner in the 60. Defensively plays the game fast, feet work extremely well, plays through the baseball both in the outfield and on the infield. Strong arm with a quick arm action, 89 mph across the infield and 88 mph from the outfield. Arm action is athletic, short and loose from a high ¾ slot. On the infield played well on the move with well above average body control. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, longer stride. Quick athletic hands, gets through the baseball quickly, aggressive swing. Shows a high level of barrel awareness, advanced bat speed, shows pop in his bat. 86 mph exit velocity from the tee.

4. Sam Flamini, INF, Yorkville, 2015
Xavier recruit. 5-foot-11, 170-pound infielder. Advanced defensive actions, exchange is quick and clean, gets baseball into throwing slot highly efficiently, hands are soft. Arm action is short and loose, athletic arm action, produces carry, 80 mph across the diamond. Also ran a 6.94 in the 60. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, short stride, maintains balance through contact. Bat path is short, level through the zone, two handed finish. 90 mph exit velocity from the tee.

5. Jason Sullivan, SS, Wheaton St. Francis, 2015
5-foot-10, 180-pound shortstop, solid build with strength. Improved defensive actions, plays through the baseball well, plays well on the move, excellent athleticism, soft hands, excellent body control. Arm action is loose, creates carry across the diamond (80 mph). 7.25 runner in the 60. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, short stride, hits with rhythm. Aggressive hitter, swings with a purpose, maintains excellent balance. 91 mph exit velocity from the tee. Carries himself well on the field, confident presence and aggressive nature.

6. Neil Lambert, MIF, Pontiac, 2015
5-foot-11, 155-pound left handed hitting middle infielder. Defensively he plays through balls athletically with quick footwork and soft hands. Arm works long, from a high ¾ slot at 82 mph with accuracy and carry. Ran a 7.15 60. At the plate he hits from a balanced stance with a smooth load and launch sequence. Maintains solid balance through contact. Swing is quiet with a level path, showed the ability to drive the ball with above average bat speed. Exit velocity was 85 mph off a tee.

7. Nick Maton, SS, Glenwood HS, 2015
Projectable 6-foot-1, 160-pound left-handed hitting shortstop. Natural middle infield actions; has quick, clean transfer, ball carries across infield, 81 mph, highly accurate, short, athletic arm action. Shows advanced body control, fields ball in rhythm, hands and feet work well together. Offensively, has simple, handsy line-drive approach. Has short, level bat path, minimal stride, quiet mechanics, bat stays flat through zone. Maintains good balance throughout, above-average bat speed, 84 mph exit velocity. Ran a 7.00 60. High-follow prospect in Illinois 2015 class.

8. Cristian Sanchez, SS, Minooka HS, 2015
Athletic 6-foot-1, 165-pound shortstop, long arms and legs, projectable frame. Athletic defensive actions, moves well laterally, fields the ball with rhythm, fluid footwork, soft, easy hands. Has plenty of arm to stick at position, clocked at 86 mph across the infield, athletic arm action, throws well on move. Offensively, hits from slightly open setup. Has loose, easy hands, generates bat speed and barrel whip through zone, line drive, level swing, excellent extension after contact. Ran a 7.14 60. Overall, high-upside prospect who has plenty of room to develop physically; should acquire more power and foot speed as he fills into frame.

9. Jarrod Watkins, MIF, Peoria Notre Dame, 2015
Athletically built, 6-foot, 155-pound left handed hitting middle infielder. Defensively showed off one of the strongest arms in attendance, 87 mph across the infield. Arm action is long with looseness, creates carry, advanced arm strength. Showed the ability to play through the baseball, body control is above average, well above average athlete. 7.28 runner in the 60. Offensively hits from the left side, slightly open stance, short stride, good balance throughout. Smooth and easy swing, generates whip through the zone. 88 mph exit velocity from the tee. Slight lift in swing, shows the ability to work to both gaps.

10. Brady Fairfield, INF, Metamora, 2015
5-foot-10, 175-pound infielder with advanced foot speed. Ran a 6.88 60. Defensively he showed solid hands and fields the ball athletically. Arm works loose, from high ¾ at 79 mph with accuracy and carry. At the plate he hits from a balanced stance, smooth load, short stride, and quality balance through contact. Swing is short and level, with aggressive bat speed, fluid rhythm, and gap-to-gap barrel control. Exit velocity off a tee was 75 mph.

11. Cody Grosse, SS, Joliet West, 2015
5-foot-8, 145-pound left handed hitting infielder, smaller frame, strength for size. Offensively hits from the left side, balanced stance. Repeats swing well, quick hands, line drive approach. Contact hitter, singles type guys who can spray to all fields, 72 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively plays through the baseball well, athletic actions, hands are soft and exchange is quick, played well to his backhand with quick transfer. Feet play well on the infield, quick footwork, 6.95 runner. Arm action is short over the top, showed accuracy, 78 mph across the diamond.

12. Jalin McMillan, INF, De La Salle, 2015
Illinois commit. Physically advanced, 6-foot-1, 190-pound infielder, strong lean build. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, short stride, solid balance through contact. Strong hands, gap to gap hitter, path is short to the baseball gets some extension. Defensively arm plays at 84 mph across the infield, long arm action, gets carry. Shows body control and the ability to play on the move. 6.96 runner in the 60.

13. General McArthur, SS, Crete Monee, 2015
6-foot-1, 150-pound shortstop, lanky frame, slender build. Defensively plays the position with ease, hands are soft and has advanced actions. Footwork is fluid and plays through the baseball, improved foot speed, ran a 7.07 60. Arm is strong across the diamond (82 mph), arm action is loose, high ¾ slot with carry and accuracy. High level defender. Offensively hits from an open setup, smooth loading action, short stride, maintains balance throughout. Loose athletic hands at the plate, hands generate bat speed, line drive approach, flat through the zone. Posted 91 mph exit velocity from the tee.

14. Jake Milosch, SS/RHP, St. Charles East, 2015
6-foot, 175-pound two way player, strong frame. Defensively plays through the baseball well, well above average infield actions, stays low through the baseball. Lower arm slot, short and loose, s

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