Preseason I.D. - Litchfield: Infield Analysis



By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

The inaugural Prep Baseball Report Preseason I.D. - Litchfield at Litchfield Sports Inc. took place on Monday, January 16th. The event was open to all 2017-2021 high school graduates. Today we continue the analysis from the event with a look at the infielders.

First baseman Adam Hillis (Jacksonville) showed he is one of the top uncommitted right-handed bats available in the Illinois 2017 class. He routinely made loud contact and drove balls with authority to the pull side.

Top Infield Prospects

1. Adam Hillis, 1B/RHP, Jacksonville, 2017
6-foot-4, 240-pound right-handed hitting 1B/RHP with an extra large, strong frame. Prototypical, power hitting first baseman. At the plate hits from a balanced setup with a short stride and good balance. Pull power hitter, creates good leverage thru contact, had an event best 100 mph exit velocity from a tee. 4.62 runner down the line. Defensively has a long arm action from a high ¾ slot. Athletic actions around the bag with fluid footwork and soft hands. Threw 77 mph across the infield. On the mound works from a high ¾ arm angle with a short, quick, clean arm action. Tall and fall, online delivery with smooth rhythm. Fastball was straight at 81-83 mph for strikes. Curveball has 11-5 shape with gradual action at 71-72 mph. Changeup was straight at 70-71 mph.

2. Andrew DeLaCruz, SS, Litchfield, 2018
5-foot-9, 155-pound switch hitting shortstop. From the left side hits from a balanced, slightly open setup drop load with a short leg lift stride. Short bat path and controls the barrel. 82 mph exit velocity from the left side. From the right side balanced, even setup with a short leg lift stride and level swing path. Registered an 83 mph exit velocity. 4.01 runner down the line. Defensively, athletic actions with quick, fluid footwork, athletic fielding position with the ability to play through the baseball. Soft hands, showed the ability to play on the run. Short arm action from a high ¾ slot. Clocked at 76 mph across the infield.

3. Charlie Erler, RHP/2B, Alton, 2018
6-foot, 160-pound right-handed hitting RHP/2B with a lanky, athletic frame. At the plate, right-handed hitter, fluid rhythm, bat speed and natural lift in swing. Showed strength thru contact with 90 mph exit velocity from a tee. Balanced setup with a short leg lift stride and collapse on the backside. Defensively has a short arm action from a high ¾ arm slot. Clocked at 66 mph across the infield.  On the mound works from a high ¾ arm angle with a loose arm action. Drop and drive delivery with a high front side. Smooth rhythm working in line with home plate. Slide step delivery from the stretch. Fastball has some downhill tilt sitting 81-82 and topping out at 83 mph. Showed feel for his curveball with 12-6 shape, tight rotation and depth at 68-71 mph for strikes. Changeup was firm at 76-77 mph.

4. Tate Wargo, INF, Gillespie, 2017
5-foot-8, 150-pound, right-handed hitting infielder. Defensively, fluid footwork, quick exchange, athletic fielding actions. Short arm action from an over the top to high ¾ slot; throws clocked at 74 mph across the diamond. Offensively, short, uphill path through the zone, fluid rhythm; 81 mph exit velocity. Balanced setup, smooth load, leg lift. 4.36 home to first.

5. Lucas Sharisky, 2B, Streator, 2019
5-foot-9, 175-pound left-handed hitting second baseman with a strong, compact frame. At the plate hits from a balanced setup with long stride, dives towards the plate with good balance. Pull hitter with a short, uphill swing path. Showed strength thru contact with 88 mph exit velocity from a tee. 4.46 runner down the line. Defensively has a long arm action from a ¾ slot. Heavy footwork, threw 72 mph across the infield.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Graham Bender, RHP/SS, Chatham Glenwood, 2018
6-foot, 175-pound right-handed hitting RHP/SS with a strong frame. On the mound works from an over the top arm angle with a short, quick twitch arm action. Tall and fall delivery, normal pace to balance point, uptempo after balance point. Works in line with home plate with a closed toe landing. Fastball was straight at 82-83 topping out at 84 mph for strikes. Curveball has 11-5 shape and flashed late breaking action at 68-72 mph. Changeup was firm at 73-75 mph. At the plate hits from a balanced, slightly open setup with no load and minimal heel lift stride. Pull hitter with a level swing path. 82 mph exit velocity from a tee. 4.51 runner down the line. Defensively has a short, loose arm action. Clean exchange with average hands. Threw 77 mph across the infield.

Rylee Bernot, INF, Gillespie, 2018
5-foot-11, 150-pound, lanky infielder. Offensively, right-handed hitter, fluid rhythm, gap to gap approach, uphill path through the zone; 76 mph exit velocity. Balanced setup with a long stride. Defensively, quick exchange, reliable hands. Short arm action from a from ¾ to high ¾ slot, accurate at times; 64 mph across the infield. 4.47 home to first runner.

Ryan Best, INF, Staunton, 2019
5-foot-7, 155-pound, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, line drive approach, simple swing, finds barrel on occasion; exit velocity registered at 71 mph. Tall, balanced setup with a short stride. Defensively, tends to field deep. Short arm action from an over the top slot; throws clocked at 63 mph across the infield. 4.57 home to first.

Matt Clevenger, INF/RHP, Chatham, 2019
5-foot-11, 160-pound, two-way player. Offensively, left-handed hitter, pull-side approach, some strong contact; 74 mph exit velocity. Tall setup, heel raise, short stride. Defensively, tends to field deep. Long arm action from an over the top slot; throws clocked at 63 mph across the diamond. 4.64 home to first runner. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, stays in line, lands closed and finishes upright. Short arm action from an over the top angle. Fastball, sits 71-73 mph. Curveball, thrown for strikes, 11/5 shape, slurve action, 59-60 mph. Changeup, near fastball arm speed, works mostly straight, 59-62 mph.

Jack Cooper, INF, Edwardsville, 2019
6-foot-1, 190-pound, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, pull-side approach, some looseness in swing, slightly uphill path; exit velocity registered at 90 mph. Tall, narrow setup, drops hands in load, leg kick trigger. Defensively, short arm action from a high ¾ slot, throws clocked at 64 mph across the diamond. 4.83 home to first runner.

Chad Haller, INF, Springfield, 2019
5-foot-7, 180-pound, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, opposite-field approach, long, uphill path through the zone. Balanced setup with a toe tap trigger. Registered a 77 mph exit velocity. Defensively, arm works short from a high ¾ slot; throws clocked at 57 mph across the diamond. 4.92 home to first.

Reece Kulick, INF/RHP, Litchfield, 2018
6-foot-1, 170-pound, athletic, two-way player. Defensively, fluid footwork, clean exchange. Short arm action from a high ¾ slot; throws clocked at 70 mph across the diamond. Offensively, right-handed hitter, uphill path through the zone; 79 mph exit velocity. Balanced setup with a leg lift timing trigger. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, works slow, stays in line. Short arm action from an over the top to high ¾ angle. Fastball, slight cut and sink action, sat 77-78 mph. Curveball, 11/5 shape, 66-68 mph. Changeup, thrown for strikes, slight sink, 65-67 mph.

Dade Pitchford, INF, Lincolnwood, 2019
5-foot-10, 175-pound, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, long, level path through the zone; exit velocity registered at 75 mph. Balanced setup with a short stride. Defensively, short arm action from an over the top to high ¾ slot; throws clocked at 61 mph across the diamond. 4.60 home to first runner.

Braydon Smith, INF, Auburn, 2019
5-foot-8, 150-pound, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, works up the middle, line drive approach, fluid rhythm; exit velocity clocked at 75 mph. Balanced setup with a short stride. Defensively, fluid footwork, plays through the baseball, reliable hands. Short arm action from a high ¾ slot, flashed accuracy; throws clocked at 77 mph across the infield. 4.19 home to first.

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