Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Team Countdown: No. 21 Minooka

By Ryan Quigley
Illinois Scouting Director 

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the Top 50 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage:

Team: Minooka
Preseason Rank: 21
2014 Record: 25-7
Conference: Suburban Prairie
IHSA Class: 4A  
Head Coach: Jeff Petrovic
Playoff Run:
Lost in Regional Championship to Joliet West
2014 Final Rank:
Returning Starters:
Returning Pitchers:

Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Cristian Sanchez, 3B/SS/OF, 2015
Tyler Paulsen, RHP/OF, 2015 (Illinois State)
Joe Butler, RHP/SS, 2016 (Illinois State)
Jake Null, 2B, 2015
John Vesper, 1B, 2015

Cole Thompson, C, 2015 (Aurora)

Illinois State commit Joe Butler led the Indians to a conference title over Plainfield North in 2014 on the mound. The talented right-hander will most likely slide over to shortstop after the graduation of Neal Tyrell. He’s shown athleticism in all facets of the game, touching 86 mph on the mound, producing 91 mph exit velocity off the tee, and running a 6.90 60-yard dash. Butler was a terror at the plate and on the base paths during the PBR Future Games, going 4-for-6 with two walks, three stolen bases, three runs scored, and two RBI. Butler also was the leading scorer on Minooka’s basketball team this winter as a do-it-all swingman.

Junior RHP Brad Van Asdlen has shown low 80’s velocity in this winter, up significantly from the summer time. Van Asdlen has a strong, wiry frame at 6-foot-3, 170-pounds, and also flashes a swing and miss splitter in the low 70’s. Also, look for the youngest Butler, Jonny, to possibly make a varsity contribution in the outfielder. He’s a speedy left-handed hitter who has started on the varsity basketball team at point guard since his freshman year.

Mitch Vogrin, RHP/DH
(Illinois State)
Neal Tyrell, SS

Vogrin and Tyrell will be tough to replace, as both earned Joliet Herald-News First Team All-Area honors in 2014. Vogrin, the staff ace, went 9-0 with one save, 85 strikeouts in 67 innings, good for a 1.15 ERA. Tyrell hit .417 on the year, striking out only eight times and scoring 35 runs in 32 games from the leadoff spot.

Minooka’s graduating seniors were impact players, but they have plenty of experience with six veterans returning. Joe Butler pitched like an ace down the stretch in 2014, and fellow Illinois State commit Tyler Paulsen is capable of pitching in the upper 80’s. Paulsen is a physical specimen at 6-foot-5, and will also provide power in the middle of the lineup. 3B/SS/OF Cristian Sanchez played centerfield a year ago, and is capable of playing multiple positions on the field thanks to his athleticism. He’ll solidify the middle of the diamond when Butler is on the mound.

Minooka may not possess the depth of pitching that conference rival Plainfield North returns, which could hurt in the Suburban Prairie’s three-game conference series format. However, Head Coach Jeff Petrovic and Pitching Coach Jim Lamping have a long history of developing dominant pitching staffs producing the likes of Vogrin and professional pitchers Tony Bucciferro, Mike Foltynewicz, Gary Perinar, and Collin Walker. Expect the Indians to give Plainfield North a run for their money in conference play and if the young arms come around make their usual deep run in the playoffs. Petrovic has won seven conference titles, six regional titles, three sectional championships, two super-sectional championships, and has made two IHSA State final four appearances in his 11 years at the helm.

Preseason Countdown

+ Top 50 Preseason Countdown Rankings

+ 2015 Schedules Released

+ Updated Illinois 2016 Rankings

+ Updated Illinois 2015 Rankings

+ June Event Schedule

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