Prep Baseball Report

Quick Hits: Underclass Showcase

By Illinois Scouting Staff

The fall Underclass Showcase is in the books, and the history of this event unveiling some of the top prospects in the state appears to have repeated itself again. From athletes to arms, we saw 100 2019 and 2020 prospects from across the state, looking to prove they are the best of the best. Here’s a quick look at some highlights we walked away with.

  • RHP Xander Rojahn (Elk Grove, 2019) was the biggest arm of the day. Rohajn showed a hot fastball that touched 86 mph from a ¾ slot that has a tendency to get underneath the baseball. But he pairs up a well above average breaking ball and changeup showing good feel for his age.
  • OF/1B Jason Hodges (Marist, 2019) is one of the more physically impressive 15 year olds we’ve seen in a long time. At 6-foot-3, 185-pounds, Hodges looks ready to walk off the bus with a college program right now. Offensively he swings an easy bat with explosively strong hands at contact. And as a side note...ran a 6.95 60. Defensively, Hodges has quick, fluid feet and flashes athletic actions in the outfield and at first base.
  • Looking ahead a few years to the IHSA season, Oswego East looks to be stocked up with a plethora of arms. RHP Connor Gill (2020), RHP Collin Witzke (2019) and LHP Tyler Heidkamp (2020) all stood out on Sunday. Gill and Witzke both touched 82 mph with excellent secondary stuff, while the southpaw Heidkamp topped at 78 mph. Don’t be surprised if any of these young guns see varsity time this year.
  • Sticking with the IHSA theme, Lake Zurich looks deep on left-handed bats. C Tyler Snep (2019) who already was the teams leading hitter as a freshman, looks to be a stand out behind the dish for several years. At 6-foot-2, 185-pounds he’s physically impressive for his age with a youthful look, big arm and big bat potential. A pair of left-handed hitting infielders also look to be on the rise for the Bears, INF Anthony Mangano (2020) swung a loud bat that could play right away, while INF Michael Chialdikas (2019) is a lanky frame, more on the projectable side.
  • The best defensive group of the day may have came from the catchers. Along with Snep, Alex Powers (Prairie Ridge, 2019) and Kyle Crawford (Dixon, 2019) both stood out with big arm strength and physically durable to handle the position.
  • Outfielders MJ Stavola and Khyle Radcliffe showed big arms, both topped at 89 mph and have feel for the position. Stavola, a left-handed thrower, with that kind of arm strength, may intrigue some people on the mound down the road.
  • 6-foot-1, 155-pound Josh Mrozek (Providence Catholic, 2019) ran a 6.86, swings a loose left-handed bat and flashed soft hands and quick feet on the infield.
  • Darrius Little (Homewood-Flossmoor, 2019) was another position player who ran a sub 7.0 60, can handle the bat and has fluid rhythm in everything he does. Clocked at 82 mph from the outfield.
  • RHP Zachary Gould (Joliet Catholic, 2019) could be the next power arm to come out of the Hilltopper staff. Gould’s lively fastball sat 82-84 mph out of a big 6-foot-4, 205-pound frame.