Preseason All-State Showcase: Outfield Analysis



By Ryan Quigley
Illinois Scouting Director

The 2015 Prep Baseball Report Preseason All-State Showcase took place on Sunday February 15th at the Max in McCook, IL. 125 of Illinois top prospects in the 2016 class gathered to display the fruits of their hard winter labor in front of the PBR scouting staff.

Click Here to view complete statistics from the 2015 PBR Preseason All-State in PDF format.

Click Here to view the Top Tools Breakdown from the event.

Over the next few days we will rank the prospects by position, culminating in the Top Overall prospects from the event. Today we’ll take a look at the outfielders from the event, led by Gibault Catholic’s Jordan McFarland. McFarland took perhaps the top round of batting practice at the event, impressing with plus hands and bat speed.

Carmel’s Joe Santoro is well known for his ambidextrous pitching exploits, but his outfield ability is often overlooked. Santoro drove consistent line drives from gap-to-gap, and also shows above average arm strength (left-handed) from the outfield.

Geneva’s Jack Wassel had perhaps the smoothest left-handed swing at the event, and his future most likely lies in the outfield, though he is also capable in the middle infield. Wassel has a projectable frame, and runs well (7.10 60).

Let’s take a look at the Top Outfield Prospects from this year’s Preseason All-State Showcase:

Top Outfield Prospects

1. Jordan McFarland, OF, Gibault Catholic, 2016
6-foot-4, 225-pound strong and athletic right-handed hitting outfielder, Arkansas commit, impressed with strength, quick hands, and elite bat speed at the plate. Hits from an open setup, hands load back smoothly, short stride, simple approach, explosive bat speed, 96 mph exit velocity off the tee, short path, gets extension, consistently barreled the baseball, back spin line drives, plus hands on inner half. McFarland has surprising athleticism for his size, ran a 6.90 60. Defensively, threw 86 mph in the outfield from short, over-the-top arm slot with some accuracy and carry. Has the frame to carry more weight, power profile and size will likely fit at a corner outfield spot. McFarland took perhaps the best round of batting practice from the event, and is one of the top hitters in Illinois regardless of graduating class.

2. Joe Santoro, OF/LHP/RHP, Carmel, 2016
5-foot-11, 175-pound left-handed hitting OF/ambidextrous pitcher hits from a balanced setup, short stride, hands load back smoothly, explodes with lower half in swing, short, slightly uphill bat path, gets extension, line drives from gap-to-gap, occasional back spin, showed the ability to pull the baseball with some power, 86 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, plays outfield left-handed, threw 89 mph from the outfield from loose, high ¾ arm slot, soft hands fielding the baseball, plays through it, quick feet, fluid/clean exchange. Ran a 7.30 60. On the mound, Santoro has been noted for his unique ability to throw with both hands. He sat 86-87 mph from both sides, touching 88 from the right side. His breaking ball, which he had struggled with in the past, looked crisper, showing more of a slider look, in the 72-74 mph range right-handed, and 69-71 mph left-handed. His changeup is in the 74-76 mph range from both sides. Mechanically, Santoro looks pretty identical from both sides, though may drop-and-drive a little more from the left-side. As fun as it is to watch him throw with both hands, his ability as an outfielder should not be discounted, as he’d be a Division-I prospect regardless of whether or not he pitched.

3. Jack Wassel, OF/MIF, Geneva, 2016
Raw tool set that projects well, frame is lean and athletic, 6-foot-2, 180-pounds, showed the ability to play multiple positions on the field, showed most natural actions in the outfield. Left-handed hitter, open stance, smooth loading action, short stride, athletic setup. Took a great round of BP, showed bat speed and ability to drive the baseball to both gaps. 88 mph exit velocity from the tee. In the outfield moved well through the baseball, arm played well with accuracy, 86 mph from the outfield. Athletic feet, 7.07 runner in the 60. On the infield, showed athletic actions to make routine plays, versatile defender, projects better in the outfield, arm played at 78 mph across the diamond. Wassel shows a high aptitude for the bat in BP, if it carries to the field his bat should be one of the more coveted left handed hitters in the class.

4. Danny Gleaves, OF, St. Rita, 2016
6-foot-1, 185-pound outfielder, highly athletic frame, lean strength, advanced build. Advanced athlete, excellent foot speed, 6.88 runner. Offensively hits from the right side, open stance, smooth loading action, slight leg kick stride. Path is short, slight uppercut through contact, quick hands, 78 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively used short quick footwork, has the foot speed to really attack the baseball and play more aggressively through it. Arm action is firm, high ¾ slot, accurate to his target at 79 mph.

5. Jeremy Gaines, MIF/OF, Oak Park-River Forest, 2016
5-foot-9, 170-pound athletic right-handed hitting MIF/OF, committed to Missouri, hits from a crouched, open setup, short stride, long, uphill bat path, bat speed evident, fast twitch, 90 mph exit velocity off the tee, line drives with pull tendencies during batting practice. Defensively, threw 88 mph from the outfield from long, high ¾ arm slot, soft hands fielding the baseball, two-seam run on throws. Threw 81 mph across the diamond from shortstop from, slightly shorter, arm action, soft hands fielding, stays back on the ball at times. Ran a 6.74 60.

6. Mateo Zunica, OF, St. Rita, 2016
5-foot-10, 195-pound outfielder, strong build, has wide shoulders and solid lower half. Left-handed hitter, open stance, smooth loading action, slight leg lift. Loose hands, showed bat speed, short path with extension, line drive gap to gap approach. 75 mph exit velocity from the tee, strong hitter. Defensively plays with a long over the top arm action, accurate arm, stayed on line with some carry, played at 84 mph from a crowhop. 7.28 runner in the 60.

7.  Tom Kelley, OF, Providence, 2016
Athletic frame, 6-foot-1, 182 pound outfielder, frame carries some strength. Hits from a balanced stance, slightly crouched, smooth loading action, short stride, lower half works, maintains strong balance. Quiet approach, short path, line drive hitter, gap to gap approach, slight pull tendencies. 87 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm plays really well from the outfield, loose, over the top, stays on line and accurate, 90 mph arm strength. Works to the baseball with fluid footwork, athletic hands. Solid runner at 7.28 in the 60.

8. Trey Riley, RHP/OF, Edwardsville, 2016
6-foot-2, 165-pound left-handed hitting two-way player, average build, has filled out more since last seeing him. Flashed arm strength on the mound, high ¾ slot, short draw. Fastball topped out at 89 mph, ranged 84-87 mph, arm side run. Curveball has gradual action, occasionally backs up, 65-71 mph. Changeup was kept mostly down, 78-81 mph. Offensively hits from the left side, balanced stance, smooth loading action. Short path, quick finish, sweeps some, right center approach. 91 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively also showed arm strength in the outfield, 89 mph arm, short high ¾ arm action. Ran a 7.21 in the 60.

9. Thalame (TJ) Byrd, OF/3B, Morgan Park, 2016
5-foot-10, 155-pound multi-positional player, long lean frame. 6.69 runner, well above average in the 60. In the outfield arm played at 81 mph, smooth defender, shuffled through the baseball, good outfield actions. At third base showed soft hands, moved well, arm action is athletic, 75 mph across the diamond. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, athletic leg lift stride. Hands worked well, especially on balls inside, loose hands, good hitter, line drive approach. 75 mph exit velocity from the tee.

10. Joe Muscolino, OF, Nazareth Academy, 2016
5-foot-9, 160-pound outfielder, strong build, athletic makeup. Offensively hits from an open stance, short stride, drops hands at load. Strong swing, bat speed, pull side approach, some length in path. Defensively arm plays well, strong arm, 89 mph from the outfield, over the top slot, athletic feet. 7.01 runner in the 60, laser timed. Athletic enough to attack the baseball more aggressively in the outfield.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Jack Butler, OF/LHP, Tri-Valley, 2016
6-foot, 175-pound left-handed two-way player, average frame, moves well, showed baseball actions. Offensively hits from the left side, balanced setup, leg kick trigger. Good bat speed, quick through the zone, slight uppercut swing, 91 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively uses a long loose arm action, high ¾ slot, accurate arm, soft hands that play well through it, solid outfield actions. Arm played at 81 mph from the outfield, high ¾ slot. 7.42 runner. Arm works similarly on the mound some effort from a tall and fall delivery, quick arm. Fastball sat 77-78 mph, showed some control. Curveball has 1/7 shape, gradual action, solid pitch that he dropped for strikes. Changeup sat 69-70 mph, feel for the zone.

Dillan Chamness, OF, Benton, 2016
5-foot-6, 150-pound left-handed hitting OF hits from a balanced setup, hands load back smoothly, short stride, short, slightly uphill bat path, drove the baseball to left-center field in batting practice, 75 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 73 mph from the outfield from short, high ¾ arm slot with some accuracy. Ran a 7.68 60.

Cole Cimarolli, OF, Edwardsville, 2016
5-foot-10, 165-pound small, fast-twitch, right-handed hitting outfielder hits from a balanced, crouch setup, short stride, hands load back smoothly, above average bat speed, 88 mph exit velocity off the tee, impressive for size, short, level bat path, gets extension, line drives from gap-to-gap during batting practice. Defensively, threw 85 mph from the outfield from short, quick, high ¾ arm slot with accuracy. Soft hands fielding the baseball, fluid footwork, clean exchanges. Did not take balls in the infield, but hands and arm strength may work in the middle infield as well. Ran a 6.93 60.

Austin Galindo, OF/RHP, Normal University, 2016
6-foot-6, 240-pound strong and athletic right-handed hitting OF/RHP, wide shoulders, physical specimen. Impressed with raw power potential at the plate, and power arm on the mound. Fastball sat 84-85 mph, but touched 89, struggled to throw strikes consistently. Long, loose, high ¾ arm slot, regular effort in delivery, lands square in line with home plate, but falls off towards first base side. Breaking ball showed sweeping 11/5 shape, 72-75 mph. Pushes 73-75 mph changeup at times. At the plate, hits from a closed setup, hands load back, short stride, long swing, gets extension, plus strength and power at impact. Showed power, especially to left-center/his pull side, advanced bat speed, 94 mph exit velocity. Defensively, arm action looked looser in the outfield, 89 mph from a crowhop with carry and some accuracy. Galindo is also a football prospect, and although he may be raw, has tantalizing power at the plate, and a power arm on the mound if he can repeat his delivery more effectively.

Andrew Kaczmarek, OF, Glenbrook South, 2016
5-foot-8, 150-pound left-handed hitting OF hits from a crouched, open setup, wide base, hands load smoothly, short stride, impressed with up the middle approach during batting practice, line drives off L-screen, 82 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 81 mph from the outfield from short, over-the-top arm slot with accuracy. Soft hands fielding, fluid footwork, plays through the baseball. Ran a 7.50 60.

Nick Lahrman, OF, McHenry West, 2016
5-foot-11, 180-pound right-handed hitting outfielder hits from a balanced setup, hands load back smoothly, short stride, turns front foot toe in to load, short, level bat path, cuts swing off after contact at times, 84 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 84 mph from the outfield from long, loose, over-the-top arm slot, moves well, attacks the baseball playing through it. Ran a 7.29 60.

Cameron Leff, OF, Mt. Zion, 2016
6-foot-1, 190-pound two-way player, wide shouldered, thick build with strength. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, short stride, good balance through contact. Strong muscled swing, violent, some effort, strong bat speed, pull side approach. 89 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively plays with a long over the top arm action, showed accuracy to his target, 85 mph arm strength. Ran a 7.39 in the 60. On the mound delivery has effort, over the top slot, long arm action. Fastball has sinking action, 81-83 mph, touched 84 mph. Curveball sat 67-70 mph, flashed 12/6 action. Changeup has some feel, mostly straight change, slight sink. 71-73 mph.

Dylan Molek, OF, Stevenson, 2016
5-foot-8, 180-pound switch-hitting outfielder, strong build. Defensively showcased a strong arm from the outfield (88 mph), accurate arm with some arm side run to it, high ¾ slot, long arm action. Ran a 7.10 in the 60, can attack the ball more when playing through it. Offensively hits from both side, balanced setup, similar from both sides. Path played short with an up the middle approach from both sides, showed the ability to mirror his swing from both sides of the plate. 85 mph exit velocity from the right side, 82 mph exit velocity from the left side.

Michael Ragauskis, OF, St. Viator, 2016
5-foot-10, 170-pound left-handed outfielder, solid build. Plus runner, ran a 6.62 in the 60, laser timed. Offensively hits from an open stance, arm bar load, shorter stride. Mechanical swing, line drive approach, looks to stay on top of the baseball. 79 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm played at 74 mph in the outfield, high ¾ slot, some accuracy. Footwork is quick can mechanically set himself up better to play through the baseball.

Blake Saltsman, OF, St. Charles, 2016
6-foot, 180-pound right-handed hitting outfielder hits from a closed setup, drops hands and backside during load, long, level bat path 82 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 73 mph in the outfield from long, high ¾ arm slot, with some accuracy. Ran a 7.78 60.

Brandon Sanchez, OF, Whitney Young, 2016
6-foot-3, 195-pound wide shouldered, strong lower half, athletic framed right-handed hitting OF impressed future power potential. Hits from a closed setup, raises hands to load, short stride, long, uphill bat path, strength at impact, drove the baseball from gap-to-gap during batting practice, 84 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 80 mph from from long, over-the-top arm slot, moves extremely well for size. Impressed running a 7.10 60. Sanchez has legitimate power potential, and though there’s some stiffness to his overall game, his physical presence will be hard to ignore. He’s a prospect to follow closely in the 2016 class.

Tim Simon, OF/RHP, Notre Dame, 2016
6-foot-1, 185-pound lanky right-handed hitting OF/RHP impressed on the mound with 82-83 mph fastball from short, loose, clean, high ¾ arm slot, toe up at balance point, works slightly across his body, lands square with home plate. 70-73 mph curveball flashed 11/5 shape. 76-77 mph changeup thrown aggressively featuring arm side run. At the plate, hits from a narrow, crouched setup, hands held high, load back smoothly, short stride, short, slightly uphill bat path produced line drives during batting practice, up the middle approach, above average bat speed, 89 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 83 mph from the outfield from long, high ¾ arm slot. Ran a 7.38 60.

Austin Ulick, C/OF, Washington, 2016
5-foot-10, 165-pound catcher/outfielder, athletic build, shows some strength. Defensively showed good arm strength. Behind the dish arm played short, over the top slot, highly accurate, played online with carry through the bag, 77 mph. Posted one of the best pop times at the event, 1.93-2.01 pops. Transfers cleanly and quickly, mechanically sound blocking the baseball. Arm played similarly from the outfield, good carry, 86 mph. Played through with a crowhop, good footwork. Ran the 60 at 7.71, laser timed. Offensively hits from the right side, tall narrow setup, short stride, aggressive lower half, excellent balance. Good bat speed present, solid approach, used both gaps, flashed pull side power. 83 mph exit velocity from the tee. High follow 2016 prospect.

Noah Vallete, OF, Harrisburg, 2016
Solid build with strength, 6-foot-1, 200-pound outfielder, squared strong body. Right-handed hitter, open stance, short stride. Upper cut swing path, longer path with some pop, worked both gaps, 82 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively in the outfield used two hands with hesitation to play through the baseball, has adequate foot speed, 7.30 runner in the 60. Rigid arm action from high ¾ slot, plays uphill some, 80 mph arm strength from the outfield.

James Welton, OF, Limestone, 2016
5-foot-10, 175-pound left handed hitting outfielder. Toolsy outfielder, fast twitch, put up some of the best numbers at the event. 6.84 runner, 90 mph form the outfield and 88 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively plays with a high motor, quick defender, plays through the baseball. Arm action is short, over the top slot, carried with some accuracy. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, crouched setup. Pull side approach, barrel has some cast, uphill approach, 88 mph exit velocity from the tee.

Devin Wessels, OF/RHP, United Township, 2016
Highly projectable frame, loose athlete, long and lean with room to fill out, 6-foot-2, 155-pound two-way player, like his upside. On the mound arm action is short and quick, over the top slot. Delivery worked directionally, stays on line, athletic. Fastball has run, showed ability to pound the zone, mixed in a two-seam fastball with excellent arm side running action, sat 85-86 mph, touch 87 mph. Curveball has 12/6 action, 68-71 mph, showed improved action with feel. Changeup is mostly straight, flashed sink, power changeup type, 79-81 mph. Defensively showed a live arm, carried well, loose arm action, over the top and accurate. Natural athletic defender, footwork is fluid, and plays through the baseball with proper footwork. 7.42 runner. Right-handed hitter, wide setup, heel lift stride, can get more out of lower half. Worked the middle of the field, 84 mph exit velocity from the tee.

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