Prospect Identification Showcase 8.7.13: Positional Analysis



By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Director – Illinois/Wisconsin

Reid Birlingmair (Normal West, 2015) took the top spot for positional players at our most recent Prospect Identification Showcase at Normal West HS. Birlingmair showed off his offensive skills with pull side pop from the left side possessing advanced bat speed. Connor Manous (Munster, IN, 2016) also showed well as a highly athletic middle infielder, showing arm strength and agility while playing fluidly on the move.

Here’s a look at the top position players.

Top Position Players

1. Reid Birlingmair, INF, Normal West, 2015
5-foot-11, 175-pound left handed hitting infielder, physically strong build. Offensively hits from an athletic setup, slightly open stance, minimal stride. Lower half is active, shows solid balance throughout. Barrel displays whip through the zone, creates lift and backspin. Pull side approach, uphill path with extension, well above average bat speed, 90 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively uses a long arm action, high ¾ slot, showed carry at 80 mph across the diamond. Also displayed quick and fluid footwork, 7.09 runner in the 60.

2. Connor Manous, RHP/MIF, Munster (IN), 2016
Athletic build, 5-foot-10, 150-pound two-way player. Manous looks to be one of the top two-way players in the Midwest, showing a high level of athleticism. Tall and fall delivery, smooth rhythm, stays on line with an athletic finish. Arm work quickly and freely, high ¾ arm slot. Showed advanced feel of three pitches. Fastball flashed late run to his arm side, showed command, 84-86 mph. Also flashed a two-seam fastball with well above average arm side run at 85 mph. Curveball showed advance action for his age, worked on 12/6 plane, sharp biting action, thrown aggressively at 73-75 mph with command. Changeup has advanced action, fastball arm speed, 69-73 mph with sink. Offensively hits from a tall setup, slight leg kick trigger, solid balance throughout. Showed advanced bat speed, 85 mph exit velocity from the tee, short bat path with occasional extension, line drive gap to gap approach. Defensively showed well above average defensive actions, played through the baseball with soft hands and a quick exchange. Arm played at 79 mph across the diamond, short arm action, over the top slot, showed accuracy with carry. Manous is clearly a high follow and looks to be one of the top two way players in the Class of 2016.

3. Eugeniy Fuss, OF, Normal West, 2015
5-foot-10, 153-pound outfielder, build shows some strength. Defensively arm worked from a ¾ slot, 84 mph arm strength from the outfield, showed carry and accuracy. Athletic defender with quick fluid footwork, 6.82 runner in the 60. Offensively hits from a slightly open stance, taller setup, short stride. Bat path is repeatable, flashed hard contact, flashed a short bat path with occasional extension, line drive approach, 80 mph exit velocity from the tee.

4. Jack Butler, OF/LHP, Tri-Valley, 2016
6-foot, 175-pound left handed two way player. Showed a high-level well-rounded game. Defensively feet worked well in the outfield, 7.2 runner, crow hop’s through the baseball. Over the top arm slot, long arm action, 79 mph arm strength from the outfield. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, slightly closed, smooth load, leg kick trigger. Showed bat speed through the zone, 86 mph exit velocity. Level path, showed extension, pull side approach. Butler looks to be a high follow in the Class of 2016 with left handed hitting potential and athleticism throughout his game. On the mound he displayed a loose, quick arm action from a high ¾ slot. Fastball had run at 76-79 mph with some control. Curveball worked on 11/5 plane, 63-64 mph. Changeup was 65-68 mph, occasionally dropped arm slot.

5. Mitchell Fairfield, C, Normal West, 2016
6-foot-1 165-pound projectable catcher with a strong frame.  Uses a short, true catcher’s arm action and consistently clean, quick exchange producing pop times in the 2.03-2.15 range, at 77 mph, with solid accuracy.  Is a high quality receiver behind the dish.  Offensively, he has a balanced setup with some crouch and a minimal stride that maintains balance through the entire swing.  Showed a fluid swing that at times showed above average bat speed, registering an exit velocity of 82 mph off the tee.  He ran a 7.69 60. 

6. Sean Green, OF, Limestone, 2014
5-foot-9, 153-pound outfielder. Showed excellent foot speed, ran a 6.89 60. Offensively hits from a closed stance, slight leg kick trigger. Hands work well shows above average bat speed, 77 mph exit velocity from the tee. Short bat path with extension, barrel showed whip through the zone. Defensively showed quick hands, athletic hands and footwork. Over the top arm slot, occasional carry, 77 mph arm strength from the outfield.

7. James Welton, OF, Limestone, 2016
5-foot-10, 162-pound left handed hitting outfielder. Defensively displayed solid outfield actions, plays through the baseball well, uses crow hop release, energetic bonce in step. Arm plays at 83 mph from the outfield, showed carry and accuracy with a long over the top arm action. Offensively hits from the left side, open stance, minimal load and stride. Uphill path, creates lift, pull side approach. 76 mph exit velocity from the tee. Well above average runner for age, 7.08 in the 60.

8. Joseph Aeilts, C, Champaign Central, 2016
6-foot 165-pound projectable catcher with a quick catch and release.  Pop times were in the 2.08-2.15 range with carry, and he receives the ball well.  Throws from a ¾ arm slot, with carry at 72 mph.  Offensively, he has a balanced set-up with a smooth load and short stride.  Showed a repeatable, line drive, up the middle approach, and flashed above average bat speed that produced an exit velocity of 80 mph.  He ran a 7.1 60. 

9. Covin Prichard, C, Springfield, 2014
Strong athletic frame, sturdy lower half, 5-foot-11, 175-pound catcher. Offensively hits from an open stance, smooth load, shorter stride. Made consistent contact in BP, showed whip in barrel head, well above average bat speed, 89 mph exit velocity from the tee. Front foot type hitter, some lunge, fluid rhythm with pull side approach. Defensively uses a short over the top arm slot behind the plate, 77 mph from the crouch. Mechanically sound blocking the baseball. Recorded pop times at 2.19-2.22.

10. Carter Price, OF/LHP, Mattoon, 2014
5-foot-8, 125-pound two way player. Defensively showed a quick arm action from the outfield, over the top slot (80 mph). Plays through the ball well with a crow hop release. Hits from the left side, taller stance slightly open setup, short stride. Good balance throughout. Showed bat control with a simple approach, short bat path, line drive gap to gap hitter. On the mound, fastball sat 72-75 mph. Showed an 11/5 curveball, 63-66 mph. Also featured changeup as 70-72 mph.

11. Nathan Beal, 1B/RHP, Normal West, 2016
6-foot 150-pound two way player with projectable frame.  At first base he displayed soft hands and standard footwork.  He had loose arm actions and threw 72 mph from a high ¾ arm slot.  He ran a 7.7 60.  Offensively, he had an upright, balanced stance and a short stride.  Showed a line drive type swing with average to above average bat speed, and a solid approach that produced an exit velocity of 83 mph.  On the mound his fastball sat 70-73 mph with some arm side run.  Curveball had a true 12/6 action at 58-59 mph.  Had some feel for a changeup that sat 63-64 mph.

12. Jonathan Rink, MIF, Normal University, 2016
Lanky frame, 5-foot-10, 145-pound middle infielder. Defensively showed advance arm strength on the infield, 78 mph across the diamond, showed carry. Flashed soft hands, average body control playing on the move. Offensively hit from an open stance, toe tap stride, moderate bat speed, 78 mph exit velocity. Ran a 7.59 60.

13. Kyle Hall, RHP/SS, Glenwood, 2015
Average build, 5-foot-10, 160-pound two way player. On the mound, delivery showed some effort, able to pound the zone with a short arm action from an over the top slot. Fastball was mostly straight at 79-81 mph. Curveball flashed 12/6 shape, 63-67 mph. Changeup showed occasional sink at 73 mph with control. Also threw a cutter at 71-72 mph. Offensively hits from a wide stance, drops hands at load, long stride. Solid contact, flashed bat speed, 77 mph exit velocity. Uphill bat path with occasional pull side tendency.

14. Christian Schuler, MIF, Pontiac, 2016
5-foot-9, 155-pound middle infielder, young frame, still room to grow. Defensively showed well above average defensive skills. Arm action is loose from a high ¾ slot, showed accuracy across the diamond at 73 mph. Hands showed softness, quick exchange, showed the ability to play through the baseball, showed composure on the field, feel for the speed of the game. Offensively hits from an open stance, longer stride, slight dive. Level bat path, slightly longer swing, 71 mph exit velocity from the tee.

15. Jared Lynn, 1B, Pontiac, 2015
5-foot-7, 162-pound left handed hitting first baseman. Offensively hits from a slightly closed stance, smooth load, short stride. Smooth left handed swing, solid balance, slight uphill path with excellent rhythm, 78 mph exit velocity. Defensively showed solid hands around the bag, 70 mph arm strength across the diamond from an over the top slot.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Jackson Bronke, MIF/RHP, Normal West, 2016
5-foot-7, 155-pound two-way player. On the mound delivery showed regular effort, quick arm speed, high ¾ arm slot. Fastball showed above average run with control, 80-82 mph. Curveball worked on 11/5 plane, 62-65 mph. Slider featured sweeping action at 66-67 mph.  At the plate hits from a wider stance, balanced setup, minimal load, short stride. Pull side approach, showed occasional bat speed, 80 mph exit velocity. Defensively showed a solid arm across the diamond (73 mph), over the top slot.

Trevor Brooks, CIF/RHP, Munster (IN), 2015
6-foot-3, 185-pound corner infielder with an above average body.  At the plate he has a tall setup with a short stride.  He displayed fast bat speed with an exit velocity of 88 mph off the tee, and made consistently hard contact, flashing power potential at times.  In the field he throws from a ¾ arm slot with solid accuracy, and threw 78 mph across the diamond.  He ran a 7.31 60.  On the mound he showed a fastball in the81-83 mph range with run.  He also displayed a curveball with an 11/5 tilt, loose bend, in the 65-67 mph range.

Nick Chapman, MIF/RHP, Bloomington, 2014
6-foot-3, 175-pound, lanky, two way player.  Offensively he has a tall, balanced setup with a leg-kick trigger.  Off the tee he produced a 79 mph exit velocity.  In the infield he throws from a high ¾ arm slot with some accuracy and carry at 77 mph.  From the mound he showcased a fastball flashing run and sink ranging between 74-76 mph.  His curveball velocity was 57-62 mph with a 10/4 tilt to it.  Flashed feel for his changeup, throwing it in the 65-68 mph range.  He ran a 7.35 60. 

Zach Cleinmark, MIF, Olympia, 2014
5-foot-6, 148-pound middle infielder, undersized frame. Showed above average foot speed running a 6.97 60. Defensively used a short, over the top arm action, delivery consistent strikes across the diamond at 71 mph. Eliminating glove pat before release will enhance exchange. Showed workable hands and the ability to play with athleticism. Hits from a balanced stance, short stride, good balance throughout. Compact, simple approach, inside out bat path. 77 mph exit velocity.

Mark DeCicco, C/MIF, Bloomington Central Catholic, 2014
5-foot-11 190-pound catcher with pop time ranging from 2.10-2.17, at 74 mph from a ¾ arm slot.  At the plate he showed a balanced set up, with a short stride, and maintained solid balance throughout the swing.  Has a line drive type swing that showed above average bat speed with a slight uphill path.  He ran a 7.1 60.

Cole Dillon, OF/RHP, Normal West, 2016
6-foot, 145-pound two way player. Offensively this from a balanced stance, short stride, loads hands down and back. Line drive hitter, hands work well at the plate, above average bat speed. Short bat path, fluid rhythm, 78 mph exit velocity from the tee. Arm played at 74 mph from the outfield, high ¾ arm slot, hesitant defensive actions. 7.43 runner in the 60.

Alex Edwards, 1B/3B, Pleasant Plains, 2015
6-foot-3, 200-pound corner infielder. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, no stride, heel lift load. Lower half showed partial involvement, solid balance throughout. Pull side approach, 79 mph exit velocity from the tee.  Defensively arm played at 75 mph across the diamond, long over the top arm action.

Dalton Fletcher, INF, Athens, 2016
5-foot-9, 180-pound, right-handed hitting infielder.  At the plate he showed a balanced set-up with a short stride, using a small leg-kick trigger.  Had good balance in the swing, short bat path and kept hands inside to produce line drives.  Defensively, he throws across the diamond from an over-the-top slot with some accuracy at 69 MPH.  Also ran a 7.35 60.

Connor Followell, MIF, Marion, 2017
5-foot-8, 135-pound middle infielder. Offensively hits from an open stance, short stride. Front foot hitter, drops barrel at times. 71 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively showed a 62 mph arm across the diamond. 7.18 runner in the 60.

Ryan Frye, OF, Normal West, 2014
6-foot-2, 175-pound right-hand hitting, left-hand throwing, athletic outfielder that runs a 6.94 60.  From the outfield he showed above average footwork and attacks the baseball.  He throws from a high ¾ arm slot, with solid accuracy at 81 mph.  As a hitter, he has a tall, open, stance, with a short stride and good balance.  Hands work well, has a line drive swing.  Off the tee he had an exit velocity of 89 mph.

Tyler Hair, MIF, Lockport, 2015
5-foot-11, 175-pound middle infielder, showed strength. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, smooth load and short stride, good balance throughout. Barrel showed some whip through the zone, line drive hitter, slight gap to gap approach. 79 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively used a loose ¾ arm action, 74 mph across the diamond.

Chris Halpin, OF, Gillespie, 2014
6-foot , 180-pound, athletic, two way player.  On the mound he showed a75-77 mph fastball that flashed some run and sink from a ¾ arm slot and a tall and fall style delivery.  His changeup flashed some sink at sat in the 62-64 mph range.  Curveball was 64-67 mph.  In the outfield he showed fluid, athletic actions, throwing 76 mph.  At the plate he has a tall, open, setup and uses a toe tap style load, and a balanced swing.  He ran a 6.97 60.

Jaylon Hughes, INF/OF, Freeport, 2014
5-foot-9, 160-pound infielder and outfielder with quick twitch actions.  From the field he throws from an over-the-top arm slot that showed accuracy and carry.  From the outfield he was 78 mph and 76 mph from the infield.  As a hitter he has a wide, slightly closed stance with short stride that was balanced.  Swing had good extension and produced line drives with an exit velocity of 84 mph off the tee.  He ran a 7.19 60.

Evan Jefferson, MIF, Normal West, 2014
5-foot-5, 140-pound middle infielder, undersized frame. Defensively used a long arm action across the diamond, high ¾ arm slot, 68 mph arm strength across the infield. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, slightly open setup, slightly drops hands at load. Line drive type hitter, 78 mph exit velocity from the tee.

Luke Ketchum, OF/RHP, Springfield, 2016
5-foot-9, 145-pound two way player. Offensively hits from a slightly closed stance, toe tap stride. Uphill path, slight lunge, 73 mph exit velocity from the tee. On the mound showed regular effort, short arm action, high ¾ arm slot. Fastball is mostly straight, 70-72 mph. Curveball has gradual action, 65-67 mph. Changeup showed sink, had control, 66-67 mph.

Brett Kirkwood, MIF, Normal West, 2016
 5-foot-10, 138-pound, slender, middle infielder.  In the infield showed solid actions, quick exchange, and a short, over-the-top arm slot.  Showed some arm strength at 68 MPH across the diamond with a chance to improve that tool.  Offensively, he has a wide stance with a slightly closed off front foot, and good balance throughout the swing.  Had average bat speed with an exit velocity of 72 MPH off the tee.  He also ran an 8.12 60.

Jared Nimrick, OF, Kewanee, 2014
6-foot-1 195-pound left handed outfielder who ran a 6.88 60.  From the outfield he throws with a long arm from a high ¾ arm slot at 75 mph.  As a left-handed hitter he has a closed stance with a short stride.  Hits with a pull side approach and flashed some power.  Off a tee he had an exit velocity of 87 mph.

Bryce Pearce, MIF/RHP, Flora, 2015
5-foot-10, 155-pound, middle infielder and right-handed pitcher.  On the infield he showed a strong arm with accuracy at 80 mph, with solid carry from a high ¾ arm slot.  At the plate he has an open stance, with a strong, uphill swing that produced an exit velocity of 78 mph off the tee.  He ran a 7.25 60.  From the mound his fastball velocity was consistently 76-79 mph, flashing 80.  Showed feel for a changeup, sitting between 70-73 mph with fade and quality arm speed.  Curveball worked on an 11/5 plane, flashing some 12/6 action with depth at 67-70 mph.

John Plattner, 1B/RHP, Sacred Heart Griffin, 2016
5-foot-10, 165-pound two way player. Defensively showed solid footwork around the bag, displayed good awareness around the bag. Ran the 60 in 7.95. Arm plays at 68 mph across the diamond, short arm action, showed excellent accuracy. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, short stride. Made solid contact, swing showed effort, 70 mph exit velocity from the tee. On the mound worked from a high ¾ arm slot. Fastball registered at 67-70 mph. Curveball sat 61-63 and changeup at 66-67 mph.

Trent Porter, INF, Ottawa, 2015
5-foot-8, 180-pound infielder. Offensively hit from an open stance, short stride, slight bat wrap load. Occasional lift in swing, flashed pull gap pop, hits off back side. Pull side approach, 83 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively showed solid defensive mechanics funneling the baseball to his throwing hand. Arm played at 71 mph across the infield. 7.44 runner in the 60.

Nick Quick, C/RHP, Ottawa Township, 2015
5-foot-11 210-pound two way, strong bodied player.  As a hitter he has a closed set up with a short stride and a strong swing.  Had good barrel whip and quick bat speed that registered an 83 mph exit velocity off the tee.  Behind the dish he threw 74 mph from a ¾ arm slot with pop times ranging 2.26-2.33.  On the mound he throws from a high ¾ arm slot with solid balance and a tall and fall delivery.  Showed feel for the fastball that sat 74-76 mph, touching 77 mph.  Changeup showed sink at 66-67 mph.  Curveball had an 11/5 action at 64-69 mph.

Cody Rogers, OF/INF, Normal West, 2015
5-foot-9, 165-pound right handed outfielder. Hits from a balanced stance, short stride approach. Mechanically sound approach, made solid contact throughout his round, showed above average hands at the plate. Bat path exhibited some extension, line drive type hitter with occasional gap to gap approach. 85 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively showed solid footwork in the outfield, ran a 7.04 in the 60. Arm played at 73 mph from the outfield, occasional accuracy to his target.

Michael Roggenkamp, MIF, St. Francis De Sales, 2014
5-foot-10, 150-pound, middle infielder.  When hitting he had a balance, slightly open stance with a short stride.  Has an uphill bat path with an exit velocity of 74 MPH off the tee.  In the field he threw from an over-the-top arm slot with accuracy at 71 MPH.  Was clocked at 7.09 in the 60.

Bryce Rooney, INF, Chatham Glenwood, 2015
Smaller frame, 5-foot-8, 145-pound infielder. Defensively used a short arm action from an over the top slot at 77 mph across the infield. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, slightly closed, leg kick trigger. Uphill bat path, lacked timing, 78 mph exit velocity from the tee.

Tanner Rutledge, 3B/SS, Normal West, 2014
5-foot-11, 175-pound, strong bodied infielder who ran 7.27 60.  At the plate he has a balanced setup with a short stride.  He had an uphill path that showed some whip, with fast bat speed and an exit velocity of 86 mph off the tee.  In the field he had some rhythm when fielding, and threw 73 mph, with some accuracy, from a ¾ arm slot.

Dylan Smith, MIF, South Central, 2015
6-foot-1 200-pound middle infielder.  Throwing from a ¾ arm slot he showed carry on his throws with a velocity of 80 mph.  At the plate he has a balanced setup, short stride with a pull side approach with a strong swing.  He has above average bat speed, with extension, and flashed some power.  His exit velocity off the tee was 84 mph.  He ran a 7.12 60.

Phillip Swartz, RHP/OF, Champaign Central, 2016
6-foot-1, 190-pound, strong, athletic pitcher with good frame and projectability.  Delivery showed some rhythm with a long arm that throws from a high ¾ arm slot.  Fastball was 78-79 mph and showed some arm side run.  Maintained fastball arm speed on the changeup, showing feel for the pitch with flashes of sink and fading action at 65-69 mph.  Had some feel for a curveball, throwing it with a gradual 11/5 action at 63-67 mph.  At the plate he has a wide setup with a short stride and maintained his balance through the swing.  Showed standard bat speed with a flat path that consistently produced line drives and an exit velocity of 84 mph off a tee.  From the outfield his throws flashed accuracy with a velocity of 74 mph.  He ran a 7.36 60.

Cody Tournear, SS/RHP, Champaign Central, 2015
6-foot, 160-pound two way player. Defensively used a ¾ arm action across the diamond at 72 mph. Ran the 60 in 8.13. Offensively hits from a balanced setup, toe tap stride. Bat path works uphill, 71 mph exit velocity from the tee. On the mound arm played from a high ¾ arm slot. Fastball showed run with occasional sink 68-71 mph. Curveball worked on an 11/5 plane flashed occasional 12/6 action, 61-62 mph, gradual action. Also showed a knuckle curve at 61-65 mph, lacked action.

Ben Wylde, OF, Normal, 2014
Wylde has a lanky frame at 6-foot-3, 175-pounds with long legs. Defensively showed some carry on his 82 mph throws from the outfield. Uses a long arm action from a high ¾ slot. 7.06 runner in the 60. At the plate hits from a wide stance, no load or stride. Showed the ability to repeat his swing, no pre-pitch rhythm. Showed solid balance through contact, above average bat speed, 83 mph exit velocity from the tee.

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