Prep Baseball Report

Prospect Identification Showcase: Class of 2014 Analysis

By Matt Yarber

The Prep Baseball Report Prospect Identification Showcase on June 12 at Oakton Community College featured a wide range of talented Class of 2013 and 2014 prospects from all over the state. While there were several impressive Class of 2014 prospects in attendance, Lemont LHP Jake Latz stole the show with his easy 86-87 mph fastball and command of three pitches.

Here, we take a look at all the Class of 2014 prospects in attendance.  

Class of 2014

1. Jake Latz, LHP, Lemont HS, Class of 2014
Latz is a high-level prospect who has the potential to be one of the most coveted pitchers in the Midwest. The 6-foot-2, 170-pound left-handed pitcher impressed with his clean mechanics, easy arm action and command of three pitches.  Latz throws from a high 3/4 slot and works with rhythm and pace.  His fastball was consistently 86 mph, touching an event-best 87 mph, with ease multiple times.  Latz’s curveball, which sat at 71-73 mph range, displayed a sharp 2/8 movement with tight spin.  Latz also throws a 71-74 mph changeup with solid arm side run and sink. With Latz’s frame and arm action, it appears he has plenty more in the tank.

2. Cody Freund, C/SS, McHenry, Class of 2014                                                                        
Freund is a 5-foot-10, 140-pound multi-positional talent who showed quick feet and arm strength as a catcher and in the infield. Behind the plate, Freund exhibited advanced receiving skills and lateral agility.  He had consistent pop times, with his best at 2.05, all strikes on the bag.  At shortstop, Freund moved well, displaying athletic footwork and a solid arm (82 mph).  Offensively, Freund swings from the left side and has a solid line drive approach.  He creates rhythm in his swing, maintaining balance throughout contact.

3. Laren Eustace, OF, Batavia, Class of 2014
Eustace is a quick 5-foot-8, 155-pound outfielder who looks to be one of the better athletes in the Class of 2014. The left-handed hitter ran an event-best 6.70 60, and his athleticism translated in the outfield as well. Eustace moved well laterally and played through the ball well, using his body to get behind his throws.  He had a strong and accurate arm from the outfield, topping out at 83 mph.  Offensively, Eustace demonstrated quick hands at the plate, generating good whip through the zone. He showed balance, rhythm and a repeatable line-drive swing.

4. Connor McCarthy, RHP/1B, Glenbrook South HS, Class of 2014
McCarthy is a projectable 6-foot-6, 225-pound multi-positional talent who displayed upside on the mound, commanding three pitches.  He displayed a fastball that topped at 83 mph and a curveball with a sharp 11/5 movement that sat in the 67-68 mph range.  McCarthy also threw a 70-75 mph changeup with some sink.  Defensively, McCarthy showcased an accurate arm from first base, topping at 80 mph.

5. Noah Lamboley, RHP/SS, LaSalle-Peru, Class of 2014
Lamboley is a 5-foot-11, 170-pound multi-positional player who showed well in all facets of the game.    On the mound, Lamboley impressed with an easy delivery, creating good rhythm and flow on the mound.  He commanded a fastball with arm-side run that sat in the 78-80 mph range, topping out at 82 mph.  He also showed a changeup with arm-side fade that sat at 68-70 mph and a 62-63 mph curveball.  All three pitches he threw for strikes. Defensively, Lamboley looked sharp at shortstop, exhibiting smooth hands and a quick release of the baseball.  At the plate, Lamboley has a balanced setup and takes an economical approach to the baseball.  He used a strong lower half to spray line drives to all fields.  Addittionally, Lamboley ran a 7.26 60.

6. Mario Tursi, SS, Glenbrook South HS, Class of 2014
Tursi is a projectable 6-foot-1, 160-pound shortstop who showed well in all facets of the game.  Tursi showed reliable hands up the middle, taking concise routes to the baseball, and demonstrated the ability to play through the baseball.  He exhibited an accurate arm across the diamond (80 mph) with a quick, clean exchange.  Offensively, Tursi exhibited power potential to the gaps as he was short to the ball with rhythm and balance throughout.  Additionally, Tursi ran a 7.26 60.

7. Braden Mayer, C/3B, Harrisburg HS, Class of 2014
Mayer is a 5-foot-10, 190-pound multi-positional player who showed a good feel behind the plate, exhibiting solid footwork. He had a best pop time of 2.05, which was clocked at 74 mph from the crouch.  Mayer showed to be a good receiver displaying soft hands and the ability to block balls in the dirt.  Offensively, Mayer showcased a strong lower half and showed some pop in his bat.  Additionally, Mayer ran a 7.25 60.

8. Jeff Tucker, OF, Lyons Township, Class of 2014
Tucker is a 5-foot-11, 160-pound outfielder who showcased athletic actions in all facets. Tucker, who ran a  7.09 60., moved with fluidity and purpuse in the outfield and displayed an accurate arm that showed carry and life (83 mph).  Offensively, Tucker has a short stride and demonstrated some bat speed, which allowed him to barrel up balls all over the field.

9. TJ Case, RHP, Willowbrook HS, Class of 2014
Case is a lanky, long-legged 6-foot-2, 170-pound right-handed pitcher who works from a 3/4 arm slot.  He throws an 80-83 mph fastball that flashed occasional run.  Case also has a 71-73 mph curveball that showed two-plane life and was able to get it over the plate for strikes.  Case throws a changeup that sits in the 73-75 mph range.

10. Justin Reaves, OF, De La Salle, Class of2014
Reaves is a 5-foot-11, 165-pound outfielder who showcased a solid arm from the outfield with good carry and life (82 mph).  At the plate, Reaves exhibited a balanced setup and has an easy swing that generates solid whip through the zone.  Reaves took a good round of bp, spraying line drives to all fields.  Additionally, Reaves ran a 7.28 60.

11. Andrew Mack, RHP, Libertyville HS, Class of 2014
Mack is a 6-foot-2, 165-pound long-limbed right-handed pitcher who throws from an over the top arm angle. Mack’s fastball sat in the 79-81 mph range.  He also exhibited a changeup that sat at 69-71 mph and a curveball that sat at 63-67 mph. As Mack fills into his frame, look for a velocity spike in the coming years.

12. Kyle Barrett, OF, Marist, Class of 2014
Barrett is a 5-foot-8, 140-pound athletic outfielder who exhibited good feel defensively, moving with fluidity in the outfield.  Barrett showed off an accurate arm with carry that was clocked at 81 mph.  Barrett plays through the ball well, getting his body behind his throws and exhibited the ability to get on top of his throws.  Offensively, Barrett has a short compact swing.  Barrett has a smooth load and maintains balance throughout contact well.

13. Max Thoma, MIF, New Trier, Class of 2014
Thoma is a 5-foot-9, 150-pound infielder who ran a 6.99 60.  Defensively, Thoma displayed soft hands and agile footwork in the infield.  He was clocked at 74 mph across the diamond.  Offensively, Thoma has a wide setup and is short and quick to the baseball. He demonstrated good control and swing looseness as he sprayed line drives to all fields.

14. Mike Plecki, LHP/OF, St. Thomas Moore, Class of 2014
Plecki is an athletic 5-foot-11, 150-pound multi-positional player who showcased a solid arm with carry and accuracy from the outfield that was clocked at 81 mph.  Plecki moves well in the outfield, showing athleticism and playing through the baseball.  At the plate, Plecki has a nice left-handed line drive swing with bat speed.  On the bump, Plecki exhibited a loose arm with a fastball that topped out at 77 mph.  He also throws a 59-61 mph curveball and a 66-68 mph changeup.

15. Robert Gutierrez, RHP/MIF, St. Laurence, Class of 2014
Gutierrez is a 5-foot-11, 170-pound two-way player who showcased a quick, deceptive arm with a fastball that had sink, topping out at 81 mph.   He threw his changeup with arm speed and solid depth.  Gutierrez’s had feel for his slider that exhibited bite on the end.  Offensively, he has a wide setup with a smooth load and level swing through the zone. Gutierrez got extension on his swings in which he barreled up some balls.

15. Nick Rodenbeck, SS/3B, Boylan Catholic, Clas of 2014
Rodenbeck is a 5-foot-9, 145-pound infielder who demonstrated solid hands and fluid footwork in the field, while being clocked at 77 mph from across the diamond.  Offensively, Rodenbeck has a balanced setup and a solid lower half through his swing.  Rodenbeck connected with the barrel during his round of bp and used all the fields to his advantage.  Additionally, Rodenbeck ran a 7.15 60.

Best of the Rest (Alphabetically)

Joey Dahlke, catcher, Lakes HS, Class of 2014
Dahlke is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound catcher who had a best pop time of 2.29.  Dahlke was clocked at 67 mph from the crouch.  Offensively, he showed a level swing, consistently making solid contact with the baseball.

Nick DiBartolo, LHP, Glenbrook North HS, Class of 2014
Dibartolo is a 6-foot-4, 190-pound left-handed pitcher who throws from an over the top arm angle with a 75-76 mph fastball.  His secondary pitches include a 65-67 mph curveball and a 64-66 mph changeup.

AJ Diepholz, RHP, Mattoon, Class of 2014
Diepholz is an athletic 6-foot-2, 170-pound right-handed pitcher with a quick and free arm action from a high ¾ slot.  He showed command of his fastball that topped at 79 mph and a curveball at 67 mph.  His changeup was in the 70-73 mph range. With his athletic frame and arm looseness, expect Diepholz to see a velocity strike in the coming years.

Matt Ehlers, RHP, Glenbrook North HS, Class of 2014
Ehlers is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound right-handed pitcher who flashed some arm side run to his 73-77 mph fastball.  Ehlers secondary pitches consist of; a 62-64 mph curveball and a 61 mph changeup.

Shane Gustafson, MIF, Crystal Lake South, Class of 2014
Gustafson is a 6-foot, 140-pound middle infielder who took concise routes to the baseball and was clocked at 73 mph across the diamond.  At the plate, Gustafson maintained solid balance through contact.  Additinally, Gustafson ran a 7.84 60.

Vincent Guzaldo, OF/C, Maine South HS, Class of 2014
Guzaldo is a 5-foot-8, 135-pound multi-positional player who threw 67 mph from the crouch and posted a best pop time of 2.3.  Behind the dish, Guzaldo exhibited a good feel for blocking and was able to handle any type of pitch. In the outfield, Guzaldo threw 72 mph.

Alan Hernandez, C/3B/OF, Lincoln Way East HS, Class of 2014
Hernandez is a 5-foot-7, 168-pound multi-positional player who exhibited some bat whip through the zone as he squared up balls to all fields.  Hernandez does a good job keeping his hands inside the ball; he has a balanced setup with a smooth load.  He maintains excellent balance throughout his swing and creates good rhythm.  Defensively, Hernandez was clocked at 78 mph from the outfield.  Behind the dish, Hernandez had a best pop time of 2.15 and was clocked at 69 mph.

Drew LaMotte, MIF, New Trier HS, Class of 2014
LaMotte is a 5-foot-10, 150-pound middle infielder who used his lower half well during his round of bp.  LaMotte has a short stride to the baseball and stays level through the zone; he showed some power potential when he connected.  Defensively, LaMotte was clocked at 74 mph from the outfield.  He showed off some speed in the 60 running a 7.13. 

Payton Lykins, MIF/OF, McHenry HS, Class of 2014
Lykins is a 5-foot-9, 140-pound multi-positional player who showed well at the plate.  Lykins has an aggressive plate approach, as he utilized his lower well. He created good whip through the zone as the ball jumped off his bat in a hurry.  He stays inside the ball well as he sprayed line drives to all fields.  Defensively, Lykins showed solid hands and an accurate arm: 77 mph from the outfield and 74 mph from the infield.

Teddy Mills, MIF/OF, Wilmington HS, Class of 2014
Mills is a 6-foot-1, 140-pound infielder who was clocked at 74 mph from across the diamond.  Offensively, Mills has a wide, balanced setup and stays inside the ball well.  Additionally, Mills ran a 7.53 60.

Nick Muskat, RHP/1B, Antioch HS, Class of 2014
Muskat is a 6-foot-2, 160-pound multi-positional player with an easy delivery and quick arm speed.  He showed command of his fastball that was in the 77-79 mph with slight arm side run.  His secondary pitches are a 68-70 mph changeup with solid sink and command and a 61-63 mph curveball.  At the plate, Muskat creates solid rhythm and generates good whip through the zone.  He maintains excellent balance throughout contact and showed some raw power potential in his swing.

Akex Ostrowski, C/RHP, Glenbard East HS, Class of 2014
Ostrowski is a 5-foot-11, 150 pound two-way player who had a best pop time of 2.30 and was clocked at 69 mph from the crouch.  On the mound, Ostrowski exhibited a fastball that sat in the 73-76 mph range with a changeup at 65 mph, and a 67 mph changeup.

Jason Petrillo, RHP/1B, Grayslake North HS, Class of 2014
Petrillo is a 6-foot, 175-pound multi-positional player who has a wide setup at the plate with a level swing through the zone.  On the mound, Petrillo showcased a fastball that topped out at 72 mph and curveball that sat at 59 mph.

Matt Prazuch, OF, Saint Viator, Class of 2014
Prazuch is a 5-foot-8, 150-pound outfielder who exhibited good actions defensively.  Prazuch throws showed carry from right field clocking in at 81 mph.  Offensively, Prazuch has an effective, well balanced approach at the plate.  Prazuch has an economical approach to the baseball and uses all fields to his advantage.  Additionally, Prazuch ran a 7.4 60.

Logan Reckert, C/3B, Mundelein, Class of 2014
Reckert is a 5-foot-8, 150-pound multi-position talent who uses his lower half well at the plate.  Reckert had a good approach at the dish, using the whole field to his liking and finding occasional barrel. Defensively, Reckert showed to be a good receiver with soft hands.  He had a best pop time of 2.21 and was clocked at 71 mph from behind the dish.

Nima Riahim, LHP, Barrington HS, Class of 2014
Riahim is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound left-handed pitcher who throws from an over the top arm slot with a 73-74 mph fastball.  He also threw a 65-67 mph changeup, and a 60-62 mph curveball.

Connor Runge, RHP, Joliet Catholic, Class of 2014
Runge is a 5-foot-10, 175-pound right handed pitcher that throws from a ¾ arm slot.  He has a long, free arm action with a fastball that topped out at 73 mph.  His curveball showed depth and sat at 62-63 mph.  He also displayed a changeup sitting at 66-68 mph. 

Tanner Spoden, 1B/OF, Marian Central Catholic, Class of 2014
Spoden is 6-foot-1, 190-pound first baseman who showed well at the plate using his athletic frame to get through the baseball and displaying solid loft on his ball.  Defensively, Spoden showed solid hands at first base and was clocked at 75 mph from across the field.  Additionally, Spoden ran a 7.64 60.

Alex Wolanski, C/3B, Neuqua Valley, Class of 2014
Wolanski is a 5-foot-11, 180-pound  catcher who had a best pop time of 2.15 and was clocked at 70 mph from the crouch.  Wolanski showed well during pens, showing soft hands receiving and a good feel for balls in the dirt, always keeping the ball in front.   At the plate, Wolanski has an excellent lower half which allows him to get behind the ball, creating loft and carrying deep to all fields.

William Zitkus, RHP/MIF, Grant HS, Class of 2014
Zitkus is a 5-foot-11, 150-pound multi-positional player who impressed with his easy left-handed swing.  Zitkus, has a fundamentally sound approach at the plate and maintains excellent balance throughout contact.  He takes a concise approach to the baseball and consistently barreled up the baseball.  Defensively, Zitkus displayed solid hands and played through the ball nicely.  He topped out at 69 mph from across the diamond.  On the bump, Zitkus throws from an over the top arm slot and has a fastball that sits in the 71-72 mph range.  He has two off-speed pitches; a 61-62 mph breaking ball with a 10/4 shape and a 67-70 mph changeup.

Class of 2013 writeups will be posted next.