Recruiting Roundup: Who's Heading Where?

By Matt Huck          
Area Scout

Every Friday National Scouting Supervisor Nathan Rode provides a roundup of insider recruiting information and commitments throughout the PBR coverage area: The Buzz. CLICK HERE to take a look at this week’s National Buzz. With that in mind, let’s take an in depth look at the Illinois prospects who have committed to colleges, with detailed scouting information.

Alek Thomas, OF, Mount Carmel, 2018
Texas Christian

Alek ThomasFuture Games 2015 - Ultra athletic 5-foot-10, 157-pound left-handed hitting outfielder impressed in all facets of the game. Began his day running a 6.74 60. The left-handed hitter then flashed his offensive prowess during batting practice at the Future Games. Hits from an open, athletic set up, smooth deep load. Plus rhythm throughout his swing. Extremely loose, quick hands and easy bat speed. Showed off his pull-side pop by putting his last swing of the day easily over the right-field fence. Hit an opposite field double over the left fielders head in game. Also, registered an exit velocity of 93 mph. Defensively, smooth, easy athletic actions in the outfield and a long, loose-arm action. Routinely tracked down balls in game and was clocked at 82 mph from the outfield. Makes everything he does look easy.

Marius Balandis, RHP, St. Laurence, 2017
Iowa Western CC

Marius Balandis2017 Super 60 - Currently uncommitted. 6-foot-2, 191-pound right-handed pitcher, athletic frame with room for continued physical development. Known as the Lithuanian Lightning, Balandis moved to Chicago around a year ago, and therefore is unknown among the national scouting community. Popping a 94 with a few 93s and bunch of 92s will certainly help elevate his name. Balandis, who pitched for the Lithuanian national team, features an electric quick arm from a high-3/4 slot, longer uninterrupted arm action with inconsistent release point. Throws changeup aggressively, 81-82 mph, around the zone with slight sink. Curveball flashed erratic shape, 71-73 mph, early break at times. With a more refined delivery, he could continue to see gains while sharpening his secondary stuff. But his performance at the Super 60, at the barest minimum, made Balandis a highly interesting draft prospect.

Trey Romay, 2B, Downers Grove North, 2017

Trey Romay1.22.17 - 6-foot, 170-pound, athletic infielder. Offensively, right-handed hitter, fluid rhythm, above average bat speed, some looseness in swing, ability to find barrel, uphill path; exit velocity registered at 84 mph. Balanced setup, smooth pre-pitch load, toe tap trigger. Defensively, clean exchange, plays through the baseball. Short, accurate arm from a ¾ slot; 83 mph across the diamond. 7.11 runner in the laser timed 60.


Angel Sandoval, RHP, St. Laurence, 2017
St. Francis (IL)

Angel Sandoval10.9.16 - 5-foot-11, 185-pound, solidly built right-handed pitcher with pitchability. Smooth rhythm in delivery, repeats, works across his body slightly, closed landing and regular effort throughout. Clean, quick arm action from a high ¾ slot. Fastball, feel for the bottom of the strike zone, run and sink, heavy action, 79-81 mph. Curveball, sharp action, 11/5 shape with depth, maintains arm speed and thrown for strikes, 68-70 mph. Changeup, firm, straight action, 73-74 mph.

Justin Sosa, RHP, Fenwick, 2017

Justin Sosa10.9.16 - 6-foot-2, 160-pound, long-legged, wiry, right-handed pitcher.  Delivery works with some rhythm and repeatability; stays on line, lands square on heel. Arm has length on the backside and comes out of a high ¾ window. Fastball, throws 4-seam and 2-seam; similar action and velocity, mostly straight, occasional sink when down, sat 82-84 mph. Curveball works 12/6-11/5, flashed depth, 64-68 mph.

Brian Heidreder, OF, Lake Forest, 2017
Hendrix College

Brian Heidbreder2/14/16 - Lean build, 6-foot-1, 175-pound outfielder. Arm action has length, over the top slot, accurate with some carry, 86 mph from the outfield. Hands work, exchange is long, excess footwork to release, shuffles through the baseball. 7.23 runner in the 60. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, short stride, smooth loading action. Line drive approach, creates backspin, gets to front side. 85 mph exit velocity from the tee.

Chris Monroe, 1B, Champaign Centennial, 2017

Chris Monroe8.16.16 - 6-foot-4, 220-pound, extra-large, strong, right-handed hitting infielder.  At the plate, takes aggressive strong swings, does not get cheated and flashed pull power. Flashed looseness throughout, pull approach, natural lift in swing, and present bat speed; 90 mph exit velocity from a tee. Starts from a wide, balanced setup position, loads pre-pitch, short toe-tap stride and average balance. Defensively, big target at first base. Fields in the middle of his body and throws from a high ¾ slot, clocked at 71 mph across the diamond. Also, ran a 7.61 runner in the 60.

DJ Studniarz, 2B, Lockport, 2017

DJ Studniarz1.22.17 - 5-foot-9, 180-pound, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, line-drive approach, flashed rhythm, uphill path through the zone. 81 mph exit velocity from a tee. Open, short stride, maintains balance through contact. Defensively, reliable hands on the infield. Short arm action from an over the top to high ¾ slot, accurate at times; 74 mph across the diamond. 7.58 runner in the laser timed 60.


Nate Stiegal, C, Marist, 2017

Nate Stiegal6/16/15 - 5-foot-10, 165-pound catcher. Offensively hits from right side, balanced, closed, and crouch setup, loads back, short stride, and uphill path. Exit velo 78 mph. Defensively throws from short, over-the-top, shows some accuracy and clean exchange. Pop times ranged 2.22-2.42 and velo from crouch was 69 mph. Ran 7.53 60.


Shane Nolan, RHP, Lake Zurich, 2017

Shane Nolan8.9.16 - 6-foot-3, 195-pound, projectable frame, right-handed pitcher. On the mound, easy effort, works with some rhythm, stays in line. Long, loose arm from a high ¾ slot. Fastball, mostly straight, kept down in the zone, sat 81-83 mph. Slider, 10/4 shape, late action, 71-75 mph. Splitter, flashed ability to maintain arm speed, 69 mph.


Wes Pulver, RHP, Dwight, 2017


Wes Pulver10.9.16 - 6-foot-5, 180-pound, athletically built, projectable frame, long-limbed, right-handed pitcher. Works from the stretch only, tall and fall delivery, stays on-line with some effort throughout. Short arm action, over-the-top slot, comes out by the ear. Fastball, straight action and sat 80-82 mph, touching 83. Curveball, 12/6 shape, 69-71 mph. Changeup, mostly straight, flashed sink and clocked at 75-77 mph.


Vinny Schroeder, OF, Lincoln-Way West, 2017
Joliet Junior College

AJ Navarro, OF, Elk Grove, 2017


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