Prep Baseball Report

Top 20 prospects at the PBR Unsigned Senior event

By Matt Yarber

The Prep Baseball Report Unsigned Senior Showcase on January 14 featured nearly 100 players at The Max in McCook. The event reconfirmed that there are a lot of talented Class of 2012 prospects who are still on the board.

While there were several standout performers, Oak Lawn RHP Michael Yacko earned top honors at the event. Below is a look at the top 20 prospects at the Unsigned Senior Showcase.

1.) Michael Yacko, RHP, Oak Lawn HS, Class of 2012
The 6-foot, 180-pound Yacko proved that he is a premier right-handed pitcher, and certainly one of the top unsigned arms in Illinois. Yacko has advanced feel for three pitches, all which he throws with movement. Coming from a 3/4 arm angle, Yacko’s fastball sat at 85-87 with run and sink. He also throws a power changeup, in the 76-79 mph range, with arm-side sink. His changeup was the best pitch of the event. Yacko also throws a tight, sharp-breaking slider in the 73-75 mph range. In all, Yacko’s complete repertoire, coupled with his mound presence and deception, make him one of the most coveted right-handers still available.

2.) Jake Rubin, LHP, Highland Park HS, Class of 2012
The wide-shouldered 6-foot-2, 205-pound Rubin was the best left-hander at the event, as his fastball consistently sat in the 86-87 range with some late life. Showing rhythm on the mound, Rubin looked natural and will continue to develop at the next level.  Rubin also threw a 65-67 mph curveball, and a 73 mph changeup. With continued development of his secondary stuff, Rubin has the potential to be high-level left-handed pitcher.

3.) Brandon Mallder, 1B, St. Laurence HS, Class of 2012
Mallder was the best position player behind the strength of his smooth left-handed swing.  Standing at a solid 6-foot, 180-pounds, Mallder has a balanced setup and advanced approach at the plate.  He takes an economical route to the baseball, generating some bat whip with a loose swing in which he sprayed line drives to all fields.  Defensively, the athletic first baseman showed range, concise footwork, and excellent glovework around the bag. He plays through the baseball well while displaying an accurate arm across the diamond (79 mph).  Additionally, Mallder exhibited his athleticism by running a 7.17 60.

4.) Cody Smith, RHP/OF, Canton HS, Class of 2012
Unknown to us heading into the event, Smith opened eyes with his potential on the mound. Smith, who has a projectable 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame, should continue to throw harder as he fills out.  Working from over the top slot, Smith has a quick, long arm action and throws with easy effort. Smith’s fastball sat in the 84-86 range with some run. He also throws a 67-69 mph curveball that has an 11/5 shape and a changeup that sits 71-72 mph.  Smith continued to display his athleticism in the field, showing solid actions in the outfield, clocked at 83 mph.  Additionally, Smith ran a 7.29 60.

5.) Chris Hoffman, RHP/OF, Lakes HS, Class of 2012
Hoffman was one of the most athletic prospects at the event, proving to be a solid two-way talent. On the mound, the 6-foot, 160-pound Hoffman has long limbs and a quick arm. He comes from an over-the-top arm slot, long and loose on the backside. Hoffman showed feel for three pitches, including an 83-84 mph fastball that had sink. As his lanky frame fills out physically, he should see a velocity spike. He also showed a solid curveball that had an 11/5 shape that flashed late break, and a changeup that had arm side run and sink.  Defensively, Hoffman moves with athletic fluidity, and got downhill well, as he delivered 84 mph strikes.  Hoffman also ran a 6.84 60.

6.) Mike Brennan, OF/RHP, Oak Park HS, Class of 2012
Brennan is an athletic 6-foot, 185-pound two-way talent who ran one of the top 60s of the event with a time of 6.83.  Brennan also demonstrated a solid, accurate arm from the outfield (84 mph) and moved with fluidity and purpose to the ball.  Offensively, Brennan has an open stance and takes an aggressive approach to the ball.  He exhibited some bat speed through the zone, and exhibited some pull-side power. On the mound, the right-hander throws from a high 3/4 slot and topped out at 85 mph. He also has a 65-68 mph curveball, and a 72-74 mph changeup. 

7.) Chad Bruce, OF, Glenbrook North HS, Class of 2012
Bruce is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound outfielder who showed well in all facets of the game.  He displayed an accurate arm (80 mph) as he is able to get on top of his throws with some ride.  In the field, Bruce showed good feet and took solid routes to the baseball.  Offensively, Bruce took one of the best rounds of BP of the day. He has a balanced setup and showed rhythm, balance and swing looseness throughout.  He takes a short stride and uses a strong lower half to create some barrel whip through the zone. Bruce also ran a 7.18 60.

8.) Connor Bieda, C, Fremd HS, Class of2012
Bieda was the best catching prospect at the event.  He is a strong-bodied 5-foot-10 polished catcher who had the most accurate arm of the event.  Bieda demonstrated quick feet and a clean exchange, as he was clocked at 79 mph from the crouch and had a top pop time of 2.04 with every throw right on the bag.  Bieda, who is also a top-level student, also shined during bullpens. At the plate, Bieda exhibited a quiet approach with a balanced setup and a short compact swing.  His short, level swing created barrel whip through the zone, resulting consistent hard contact to all fields.

9.) Nicholas Davito, RHP, Lockport HS, Class of 2012
Davito is a lanky, athletic 6-foot-3, 175-pound right-handed pitcher who has a long, loose delivery.  Davito has long legs and arms, the type of frame that should fill out nicely in the coming years. Currently his fastball sat at 83-85 mph. His secondary pitches are a 75-76 mph slider, and a 77-78 mph changeup.

10.) Joe Kadela, RHP, Morton HS, Class of 2012
Kadela is a 6-foot, 180-pound right-handed pitcher who impressed with his easy 84-85 mph fastball. Kadela remains smooth throughout his delivery, coming from a high 3/4 arm slot.  Kadela is loose on the backside and showed good acceleration throughout.  In addition to his fastball, Kadela also throws a 70-72 curveball that had an 11/5 shape, and a 73-75 mph changeup with arm side run.

11.) Corey Peterson, RHP/3B, Prairie Ridge HS, Class of 2012
Peterson impressed with his two-way abilities, as he showed well in all facets of the game.  Standing at 6-foot-2, 205-pounds, Peterson features a strong, athletic frame.   On the mound, Peterson comes from a 3/4 arm slot.  He has a smooth, clean delivery and good feel for all three of his pitches, all for strikes. His fastball sat at 79-82 mph and showed some run and sink.  His best pitch, however, was his curveball that had an 11/5 shape with sharp, late break to it. His arsenal also included a 72-73 mph changeup that also flashed sink. Peterson continued to impress at the plate, where he proved to be one of the best overall hitters at the event. He has a balanced setup, takes an economical approach to the baseball and is able to generate bat speed.  He uses his strong lower half and generates good torque; the ball jumps off his bat with good backspin carry.  Defensively, Peterson moves well laterally at third base, and was clocked at 79 mph from his position. 

12.) John Swisher, LHP, Peotone HS, Class of 2012
Swisher was one of the top pitchers of the event, showing feel for three pitches.  Standing at 5-foot-9, 150-pounds, Swisher has a slow delivery with a deceiving front leg kick, but his arm works quickly as the ball jumps out of his hand.  Swisher throws from a 3/4 arm slot and showed excellent arm acceleration.  His fastball topped at 85 mph, sitting in the 82-83 range, with some late life. He also throws a harder slurve, in the 78-79 mph range, and a 74-78 mph changeup. 

13.) Jabari Brown, OF/INF, De LaSalle HS, Class of 2012
Brown is a fundamentally sound athlete who showed well in all facets of the game. The 5-foot-9, 150-pound Brown exhibited natural instincts for the game, as his athleticism played well both in the outfield and in the middle infield. He moves with fluidity and ease at either position.  He was clocked at 81 mph from the OF and 76 from the INF with accurate throws.  He also ran a 7.17 60.  At the plate, Brown has a good approach with a balanced setup and economical approach to the ball.  He is able to create good barrel whip through the zone with a loose, easy swing. 

14.) John Boidanis, RHP/3B, Glenbrook North HS, Class of 2012
Boidanis is a 6-foot, 190-pound two-way player who showed solidly in all aspects.  On the mound, he operates from from a high-3/4 arm slot with a fastball that was in the 82-84 mph range. He also flashed a solid curveball that demonstrated some late bite at 72 mph. Offensively, Boidanis has a balanced setup with a smooth load and short stride.  He has an explosive lower half with good balance throughout and generated some bat whip as he drove the ball with authority to both power alleys.

15.) Zachary Morgenstern, RHP, Peoria Notre Dame HS, Class of 2012
Morgenstern is a lanky 6-foot-3, 165-pound right-handed pitcher with long legs and an over the top arm angle.  Morgenstern demonstrated feel for four pitches; an 81-83 mph fastball, two breaking balls, and a changeup.  His two breaking balls consist of a 71-74 mph slider that has some two-plane action, and a 68 mph curveball.

16.) Brandon Genenbacher, LHP, Quincy HS, Class of 2012
Genenbacher is a physical 6-foot-2, 215-pound left-handed pitcher who works from a high 3/4 arm slot.  He sat at 80-81 mph with his fastball and showed a solid curveball that had some depth when down in the zone. He also threw a 71-75 mph changeup.

17.) Keith Browning, OF/INF, Fremd HS, Class of 2012
Browning is an athletic 5-foot-11, 165-pound outfielder who ran an event best 6.69 60.  He exhibited an accurate, live arm from his position that showed carry and had a velocity of 84 mph.  Browning moved fluidly in the outfield taking good routes to the baseball.  At the plate, Browning has a balanced setup and showed decent balance at the plate.

18.) Tevin Brown, OF/SS, Bolingbrook HS, Class of 2012
Brown is a 5-foot-8, 160-pound multi-positional athlete who ran an 7.53 60.  He also showed an accurate arm from both the outfield and infield, with velocities of 83 mph OF and 78 mph INF.  He moved well in the outfield, taking good routes to the ball and displaying some natural actions.

19.) Dominic Albanese, OF, Brother Rice HS, Class of 2012
Albanese is a 5-foot-11, 150-pound left-handed outfielder who moved with fluidity and ease at his position.  He showed a live arm that had some carry (81 mph).  At the plate, Albanese showcased an easy left-handed swing. He hits with an open setup and demonstrated some swing looseness through the zone.  Albanese ran a 7.45 60. 

20.) Wes Hall, MIF, Streator HS, Class of 2012
Hall is a projectable, athletically built 6-foot-4, 170-pound infielder who possesses long legs and considerable upside. Offensively, he has balanced setup and demonstrated swing looseness through the zone. Hall, who ran a 7.26 60, showed athletic feet at shortstop.

21.) John Orlando, OF, Lake Zurich HS, Class of 2012
Orlando was one of the top athletes at the event, as he ran a 6.87 60. His athleticism played well in the outfield, as he moves with fluidity to the ball. The  5-foot-11, 155-pound Orlando showed an accurate arm (78 mph) that had some carry to it. At the plate, Orlando is a left-handed hitter who hits with a slightly open approach.

Click Here for complete event statistics.

In the coming days, write-ups of all the position players and pitchers will be posted.