Team Illinois wins Midwest Future Games. A recap of its dominance



By Sean Duncan

For the second straight year, Team Illinois went a perfect 3-0 to win the Prep Baseball Report Midwest Future Games on Aug. 4-5 at the University of Illinois. The second-annual event, which featured the best Class of 2014 prospects from six states, drew schools from all over the country.

And Illinois’ talent once again rose to the occasion. Illinois defeated Ohio (7-5), Pennslyvania (9-3) and Indiana (4-1) over the course of the two-day event.

Illinois’ assemblage of arms was especially impressive. Six pitchers saw their fastballs reach 88-mph or better, including three who touched 90-plus. Brad Bass, a 6-foot-6 RHP from Lincoln-Way Central HS, was 89-91 in his first stint and very much looks like an elite national prospect. RHP Jake Godfrey (Providence Catholic HS) was sitting 89-91 in his second stint on Sunday, in addition to flashing a 78 mph slider.

LHP Jake Latz (Lemont HS) arguably was the biggest riser of the entire event. The left-hander delivered effortless 88-89 mph fastballs, and popped one 92, in addition to pounding the strike zone with three pitches. RHP Brian Hobbie (Glenwood HS), who performed on Team Indiana, and RHP Mitch Vogrin (Minooka HS) also climbed their fastballs up to 88 mph.

Michael Kornacker (St. Laurence HS) solidified his status as one of the preeminent two-way players in the Midwest. The physically impressive 6-foot-4 Kornacker sat 86-88 on the mound with command of three pitches. The infielder also barreled everything thrown his way at the plate.

Speaking of hitting, OF/1B Brian Richard (Oak Forest HS) is a hitting machine. The left-handed hitter makes hard contact every time at the plate and utilizes the entire field. SS/OF Chris Whelan (Benet Academy HS) can also flat-out hit, evidenced by him squaring up a 91-mph fastball by Indiana’s Jonah Patten for a triple on Sunday.

Aside from the pitchers, no Illinois player saw his stock rise more than MIF Zach Barnhart (Springfield HS). The 5-foot-10, 150-pounder opened eyes with his speed, sure-handedness and, most importantly, how hard he plays. The right-handed hitting Barnhart regularly got down the line in 4.04-4.10 seconds.

OF Aaron Fuller (St. Rita HS) had five hits on Sunday, including a rocket triple to dead-centerfield and a pair of doubles. 3B Michael Bainbridge (Marian Catholic HS) also delivered three hits, including a triple and double.

Defensively, C Mitch Trees (Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin HS) was consistently 1.88-1.95 to second base, and C Adam Harvey (Antioch HS) wasn’t far behind at 2.00.

RHP Wyatt Trautwein (Barrington HS) was sharp on Saturday, as the long and whippy 6-foot-3 right-hander sat at 84-85 with his fastball. RHP Dalton Hottle (Monmouth-Roseville HS), RHP Riley Pawelski (Hononegah HS), and RHP Jake Bartels also showed well on the mound for Team Illinois.

Fall Prospect Program Slide 2012