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Super 60: Illinois Analysis


By Andy Sroka, Diego Solares, and Drew Locascio
Illinois Staff

On Feb. 6, Prep Baseball Report hosted the 20th edition of the Super 60 Pro Showcase back at its usual home, The MAX, in McCook, Ill., on the outskirts of Chicago. Since the event’s inception in 2003, more than 300 players have been selected in the MLB Draft, including over 25 first-round picks and over 25 second-rounders.

And, as Prep Baseball Report’s home state, Illinois has naturally been heavily represented at this event. But, as the size of PBR’s footprint grew nationally, it became more and more competitive to receive an invite to the Super 60, and that includes the players in our own backyard. But this year, Illinois natives stole the show at The MAX and we’re going to dig into it today.

NATIONAL WINNERS

It didn’t take long for Illinois prospects to make their first impression on the event.

+ OF Brendan Summerhill (Whitney Young; Arizona commit) has a frame that makes it easy to project him filling out a pro uniform one day, standing in at a strong and athletic 6-foot-3, 200 pounds. The Chicago native pieced together one of the best pound-for-pound performances at the Super 60, starting with the 60-yard dash where he clocked a 6.54. His picturesque left-handed swing is as smooth and balanced through contact as it gets, and his batted-ball profile should only improve as he continues to add strength to a stature that could, not just support the muscle gain, but thrive with it. Even so, Summerhill averaged an exit speed of 91.0 mph, with a 99.2 max. Alternate athletic testing provided by Swift Performance at the event helped further illuminate Summerhill’s athleticism, as he measured the highest vertical jump of the day (35.69 inches) and he was quickest to the 10-yard split. All in all, Summerhill had begun to really start to gain ground as one of Illinois’ top MLB Draft prospects in 2021, and he may be in store for a loud 2022 spring.

Brendan Summerhill

+ INF Estevan Moreno (Montini Catholic; Notre Dame) is becoming an even more prominent follow in the nation, though he’s been well-known for some time around the region by regularly flaunting his substantial right-handed power in-game, even since earlier in his high school career. Listed at a projectable, broad-shouldered 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Moreno was just behind Murphy and one other on the average exit velocity board at 96.5 mph, with a 103.0 max. And his natural loft and strength complement one another, as he’s homered in front of us numerous times in-game, and he backed that up in-event Sunday by recording the third highest average batted distance at 306 feet, and he hit one ball 389 feet, trailing only two other Illinois players. Moreno exhibits this powerful profile without much effort, and he’s still quick enough to run a 6.86 while ranging around the infield well enough to continue to project on the left side, though the long-term fit at third base feels more natural, and he has the arm strength to pair (91 mph high to first base).

Estevan Moreno

+ One of the most surprising, but welcome, takeaways on Sunday was the performance of INF/RHP Owen Murphy (Riverside-Brookfield; Notre Dame). We’ve come to expect Murphy to put together stellar work from the rubber, but Murphy continues to look like one of the nation’s top two-way players. He’s our reigning PBR Illinois Player of the Year, his high school’s starting quarterback, and his 2021 IHSA stats in baseball were equally as impressive from both the mound and the batter’s box. Sunday, Murphy asserted himself exclusively as an infielder in front of nearly 100 pro scouts. He reached the fourth highest max exit speed at the event (104.4 mph), the second highest average (97.0), and he was responsible for the farthest estimated batted ball that measured 392 feet on TrackMan. He’s made it to the No. 32 overall spot on the national Class of 2022 rankings for his pitching, but he’s answering any questions surrounding his status as a position player. Even if he is a pitcher long-term, it’s nonetheless astounding to see Murphy continue to stand out on both sides of the ball like this, and in front of peers of this caliber.

Owen Murphy

+ The lone Illinois arm to toe the rubber at the Super 60 was RHP Ethan Patera (Downers Grove South; Louisville), who came away a winner after a quality ‘pen. Patera brings an imposing presence to the mound, standing at 6-foot-4, 230-pounds with a sturdy, professional frame. He bumped his fastball up to 95 mph, sitting 92-94 throughout, and paired it with a power slider at 83-84 that flashed out-pitch potential. Patera showed some feel for a firm changeup we hadn’t seen consistently from him, playing at 86-88 mph with hard running action. The Louisville signee certainly gained some momentum heading into the spring season.

MAKING NOISE

Five of the state’s top right-handed power bats, and some of the best in the Midwest, landed inside the top-10 of the day’s max exit velocity leaderboard. Illinois shined the brightest of any state during the event’s batting practice portion; more on that below:

+ OF Luke Adams (Hinsdale Central; Michigan State) used Sunday to become a much more popular name outside of his home state. He’s a broad and strong 6-foot-4, 227-pound prospect who resembles an incoming tight end recruit at Michigan State, yet his skill set on the diamond continues to impress, as he ran a 6.73 and recorded some of the day’s hardest hit contact, and repeatedly. Adams, who has defensive versatility, worked out primarily in the outfield and showed off a plus-arm, topping at 97 mph. Adams fits the mold of a power-hitting corner outfielder moving forward.

Luke Adams

+ OF Alex Stanwich (Lincoln-Way East; Tennessee) continues to show a physical skill set each time we get an up-close look at the future Volunteer. Built at a muscular 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Stanwich’s athleticism was on display early in his workout, running a 6.70 in the 60-yard dash at the start of the event. He continued to flash a level of raw power we’ve become accustomed to in BP, barreling up several baseballs with a 101.8 mph max exit velocity and 93.2 average mark, while also hitting the second farthest ball of the entire event at 391 feet, just a foot shorter than Murphy’s best batted ball. Stanwich’s physicality translated to the outfield, where he recorded several 95 and 96 mph throws before reaching a 97 high on his fourth bullet.

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Alex Stanwich

+ 1B Victor Izqueirdo (Lockport Township; Navy) received an invitation to the Super 60 after scalding baseballs in front of our staff at the PBR Illinois and Wisconsin ProCase just a week prior to the Super 60. He then went on to replicate that performance on the national stage on Sunday. There, Izquierdo slugged one of the hardest hit balls of the event (105.8 mph), second only to one other player, trailing by just 0.1 mph. His best ball traveled an estimated 367 feet, short of the 389 shot he measured at the ProCase a week earlier, but still a substantial mark. It’s also worth mentioning that Izquierdo was stealing the show at times during infield defense for the players on the left side of the infield. Over at first base, Izquierdo was vacuuming up any and every ball in the dirt, and even picked a few low throws that required him to do the splits to keep the bag. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Navy commit is one of the area’s most physical hitters, and he continues to prove the fact ahead of his senior spring.

Victor Izquierdo

+ C Hayden Christiansen (Richmond-Burton; Xavier) rode positive momentum heading into this event after a highly productive summer on a competitive circuit. Known for his loud right-handed stroke, Christiansen made consistent hard contact throughout his BP round with a 93.5 mph average exit velocity and 84.6 percent hard-hit rate. He worked with controlled aggression in the box throughout and the 6-foot-2, 205-pound future Musketeer showed a similar offensive skill set we’d seen from him in the past.

Hayden Christiansen

+ Few in the Midwest can defend at a premium up-the-middle position like SS Shai Robinson (Homewood-Flossmoor; Illinois State), who earned an invite to the Super 60 after an impressive showing at our PBR Illinois and Wisconsin ProCase. Robinson has continuously shown us a smooth, savvy defensive prowess and Sunday was no different. His infield round was among the cleanest we saw, bouncing effortlessly across the diamond with a clear confidence to him and slick glove-to-hand abilities. Robinson plays on the move with premium body control and an innate feel to throw from multiple platforms with ease and accuracy, while topping at 90 mph.  Offensively, Robinson continues to polish his right-handed swing, looking much more short and direct to the ball. The swing works with fluidity and rhythm with natural lift through the zone and sneaky strength off the barrel. Robinson averaged 88.2 mph off the barrel during BP with a max of 95.2, and his furthest batted ball traveled 345 feet. It was a strong showing from one of the top true shortstops in the Midwest.

Shai Robinson

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