Top Prospect - Chicago: Pitching Analysis


By: Adam Panayotovich
Area Scout

Top Prospect - Chicago has perennially been one of the Midwest's biggest events of the summer for Prep Baseball Report. The events’ purpose is to bring a brighter light to those rising seniors heading into their final high school season. This years event was hosted on Tuesday, June 18 at DuPage Medical Group Field in Joliet, IL and just as in years past, high level talent was on full display showcasing their talents in front of collegiate and professional scouts. 

Throughout the week, we rolled out three positional groups (C, OF, INF) and today we move onto the pitchers. Stay tuned throughout the weekend as we will conclude post-event coverage with a Top Overall rankings.


After dissecting all the reports, this turned out to be perhaps the most loaded positional group event-wide. The number of high-follow, high-quality arms still uncommitted did not disappoint on this day. 

RHP Jack Feely (Normal University) took his impressive top-ranked performance - and event-best fastball at 90 mph - to Central Michigan as the athletic right-hander committed to the Chippewas exactly a month after the event.

Notre Dame product RHP Matt Salomonson has been on the rise throughout the summer and his talents were on full display at Top Prospect Chicago. The long-levered right-hander sports an easy delivery with a deceptive high front side. Salomonson pushed his heater up to 88 mph with downward tilt and showed progressing secondary offerings. 

RHP’s Scott Harper (Minooka) and Justin Rivera (Lake View) are both upside arms who couldn’t be more different in style. Harper stands at a slender 6-foot-2, 170-pounds with a loose and unique arm action that whips through a lower ¾ slot. Rivera has more of a natural pitchers’ frame at 6-foot-3, 195-pound that pairs with a more traditional high ¾ arm slot. Harper pushed his heater up to 87 mph with feel for a hard-fading changeup and Rivera, who may be the biggest sleeper in this impressive group, pushed his up to 86 mph with an advanced 12/6 breaker.

A pair of southpaws see their names fall within the top-10 ranks here in Donovan Schultz (Kimberly) and Joseph Shapiro (Glenbrook South). Schultz has a more advanced frame at 6-foot-2, 190-pounds and has a big-time fastball for an unsigned lefty topping 87 mph. Shapiro had perhaps the events' best curveball showing an uncanny ability to spin it on repeat at the bottom of the zone. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Shapiro paired his breaker with a low 80’s fastball that also rode the bottom of the strike zone. 


To see how the rest of the top rankings played out - along with reports on all other pitching prospects in attendance - continue on below. 

To look back at the statistical analysis from the event, click here


Top Pitching Prospects

1. Jack Feely, Normal University, 2020
Positional Profile: RHP/OF Recent Central Michigan commit.
Body: 6-foot, 185-pounds. Durable, compact frame, present strength throughout.
Delivery: Sturdy balance, weight stays over rubber, strides in-line to home, toe lands closed, smooth rhythm with an athletic and controlled finish.
Arm Action: RH. Arm draws long out of glove, loose throughout and quick out front, short high 3/4 window, easy effort.
FB: T90, 88-89 mph. Showed same plane run with occasional sink, thrown for strikes.
CB: 71-72 mph. 11/5 shape with gradual, short break, near fastball arm speed, backed up.
CH: 79-81 mph. Feel for changeup, aggressive arm speed with sinking action at bottom of the zone.

2. Matthew Salomonson, Notre Dame, 2020
Positional Profile: RHP/SS Arrow trending up this summer, arm to watch.
Body: 6-foot-1, 195-pounds. Athletic frame with strength, high waisted.
Delivery: Tall at balance point, slight tilt over the rubber, high front side adds deception, hides the ball, lands across body, toe strikes closed, easy at finish.
Arm Action: RH. Long arm action, clean over the top slot, works loose and out front, gets tilt through delivery.
FB: T88, 86-87 mph. Plays straight with downward angle at the bottom of the zone.
CB: 73-76 mph. 11/5 shape with aggressive arm speed, present depth down.
CH: 80-81 mph. Flashed feel for it, occasional cut.

3. Scott Harper, Minooka, 2020
Positional Profile: RHP/OF Loose levers, tough matchup on the mound.
Body: 6-foot-2, 170-pounds. Wiry build with room for added strength, athletic.
Delivery: Easy, tall and fall delivery, uses momentum throughout, short stride with toe striking closed, in-line to home, pop up at finish with leg swing to first, rhythm throughout.
Arm Action: RH. Arm plays long with full swing, loose throughout, arm whips quickly through a low 3/4 slot.
FB: T87, 84-86 mph. Late run with occasional sink when down, live through the zone.
CB: 71-73 mph. 10/4 sweeping action, near fastball arm speed.
CH: 74-78 mph. Aggressive arm speed, sinking action at the bottom of the zone, feel for pitch.

4. Justin Rivera, Lake View, 2020
Positional Profile: RHP/ Follow athletic RHP, upside frame and = actions.
Body: 6-foot-3, 195-pounds. Long and athletic frame, room for added strength.
Delivery: Easy and controlled delivery, tall and fall style, gets extension down mound, works in-line with toe striking square, athletic finish with rhythm throughout.
Arm Action: RH. Arm plays long and clean with full swing, pats glove at hand break, loose out front, speeds to quick out of a high 3/4 slot, rather easy effort.
FB: T86, 84-85 mph. Played straight in the zone, comes out easy and firm.
CB: 71-75 mph. 12/6 shape with sharp action and present depth, can spin it.
SL: 74-76 mph. 11/5 shape, similar to curve, tight spin with sharp action.

5. Donovan Schultz, Kimberly, 2020
Positional Profile: LHP/1B One of the top uncommitted southpaws in Wisconsin.
Body: 6-foot-2, 190-pounds. Athletic frame with strength, projects.
Delivery: Tall, high knee balance with coil, high front side, sits into cross-bodied landing to home, toe lands open, spin to third after release, deceptive rhythm.
Arm Action: LH. Long arm action, jab on back side, loose and quick out front, high 3/4 slot, some effort.
FB: T87, 83-85 mph. Played straight with occasional tilt down, in the zone.
CB: 70-72 mph. 1/7 shape, gradual action.
CH: 82-83 mph. Firm offering with minimal movement, maintains arm speed.

6. Martin Sosna, Fenwick, 2020
Positional Profile: OF/RHP Upside prospect with all around athletic actions.
Body: 5-foot-10, 185-pounds. Strong, proportionate body.
Delivery: Athletic delivery, sturdy balance with slight sit on back side, short stride, in-line to home, toe strikes closed, athletic finish with rhythm involved.
Arm Action: RH. Arm plays short and loose, speeds to quick out of a short, high 3/4 window, easy effort.
FB: T87, 84-86 mph. Run with occasional sink, in the strike zone.
CB: 73-75 mph. 11/5 shape, aggressive arm speed, shorter wrinkle type, occasional pull to glove side.
CH: 75-79 mph. Aggressive arm speed out front, fading action, feel for the bottom of the zone. 

7. Mitchell Alba, Franklin, 2020
Positional Profile: OF/RHP One of the top uncommitted right-handers in Wisconsin, live stuff.
Body: 6-foot-3, 195-pounds. Well-proportioned and athletic.
Delivery: Tall and fall style with slight tilt over the rubber, high knee balance, strides in-line with toe striking square, spins off after release, up-tempo.
Arm Action: RH. Long and loose arm action with wrap on back side, quick and aggressive arm speed out front, high 3/4 slot.
FB: T86, 82-85 mph. 2-seam action with true arm side run.
CB: 71-74 mph. 11/5 shape with sharp break at times, aggressive arm speed, occasional back up.

8. Joseph Shapiro, Glenbrook South, 2020
Positional Profile: LHP/1B On of the top uncommitted southpaws in the state.
Body: 6-foot-1, 185-pounds. Well-proportioned body, strong lower half.
Delivery: Tall at balance point, stays over rubber and hip leads to home, leg swings out in-line to home, toe lands square and heel first, smooth rhythm.
Arm Action: LH. Arm plays long and loose, speeds through a short, high 3/4 window, hides it well.
FB: T84, 82-83 mph. Played straight with finish towards the bottom of the zone.
CB: 74-76 mph. Advanced feel for curve, can really spin it, 1/7 shape with sharp action, fastball arm speed, bottom of the zone.
CH: 76-79 mph. Faded with fastball arm speed, played more to arm side.

9. Will Tenuta, Sandburg, 2020
Positional Profile: RHP/
Body: 6-foot-1, 175-pounds. Athletic frame with room for added strength, projectable.
Delivery: Drop and drive type delivery, works in line to home, toe lands square, controlled finish with smooth rhythm throughout.
Arm Action: RH. Loose and efficient arm action, uninterrupted swing, quick, clean and easy, high 3/4 window.
FB: T86, 83-85 mph. Played straight, life up in the zone.
CB: 67-72 mph. Gradual 11/5 break, around the zone.
CH: 78-80 mph. Faded with fastball arm speed, straight at times. 

10. Magnus Sivertson, New Trier, 2020
Positional Profile: RHP/OF
Body: 6-foot-1, 180-pounds. Athletic frame, broad shoulders.
Delivery: Tall and fall delivery, momentum works early towards home, short stride in-line to home, toe lands closed, heel pops up after release.
Arm Action: RH. Long arm action, loose out front, recoils, high 3/4 slot.
FB: T86, 83-84 mph. Straight with sink at times, in the strike zone.
SL: 74-78 mph. Aggressive arm speed, tight 10/4 spin, shorter break with late action.
CH: 76-77 mph. Flashed late arm side run, deceptive off the fastball.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Cole Anderson, St. Laurence, 2020
Positional Profile: LHP/
Body: 6-foot-2, 190-pounds. Well-proportioned and athletic.
Delivery: Tall balance point, momentum works down the mound with slight sit on back side, high front side, slight cross body landing, toe lands open, up-tempo rhythm.
Arm Action: LH. Arm plays short and loose throughout, aggressive out front, high 3/4 slot.
FB: T83, 81-82 mph. Played straight to both sides of the plate.
CB: 72-74 mph. 1/7 shape with fastball arm speed, thrown aggressive at the back of the plate.
SL: 75-76 mph. 2/8 shape, flashed tight spin, wrinkle pitch with short break.
CH: 75-77 mph. Played straight with fastball arm speed.

Connor Cassady, Lyons Township, 2020
Positional Profile: RHP/
Body: 6-foot-4, 205-pounds. Athletic frame with strength.
Delivery: Tall and fall type delivery, clean actions, works in line, lands square, athletic and controlled finish.
Arm Action: RH. Long and loose arm action, uninterrupted swing, high 3/4 window with present looseness out front.
FB: T84, 82-84 mph. Played straight, mostly up in the zone/.
CB: 69-71 mph. 12/6 shape with gradual depth, near fastball arm speed, hands tend to break late.
CH: 74-76 mph. Faded nicely off his fastball, maintains arm speed. 

Cameron Demos, Downers Grove North, 2020
Positional Profile: RHP/OF
Body: 6-foot-2, 200-pounds. Physical and strong, defined lower half.
Delivery: Tall and fall style, high balance point, strides in-line to home, shoulders get squared, some rhythm involved, easy effort.
Arm Action: RH. Arm plays long and loose, arm strength type, high 3/4 slot.
FB: T88, 83-84 mph. Plays straight with occasional same plane run and tilt, filled bottom of the zone.
SL: 64-67 mph. 10/4 shape, sweeper type, occasional depth, arm decelerates.
CH: 68-70 mph. Flashed vertical depth, arm decelerates.

Michael Ellingsen, Loyola Academy, 2020
Positional Profile: RHP/1B
Body: 6-foot-1, 205-pounds. Strong, thick build.
Delivery: Tall and fall delivery, active feet and quick tempo, stride works short and in-line, toe lands closed, easy and athletic finish.
Arm Action: RH. Arm plays short with looseness throughout, gradually speeds through a high 3/4 slot.
FB: T85, 83-85 mph. Played straight with occasional downward angle.
CB: 68-73 mph. 12/6 gradual shape, flashed feel.
SL: 73-75 mph. 11/5 shape, short break with tighter spin than CB.

Jimmy Fairley, Huntley, 2020
Positional Profile: RHP/OF
Body: 6-foot-2, 190-pounds. Lanky build, athletic actions.
Delivery: Tall at balance, sits into back leg as he strides out in-line to home, controlled finish with rhythm throughout.
Arm Action: RH. Loose arm action with some length, full swing, high 3/4 window.
FB: T83, 82-83 mph. Late arm side run, worked in the zone mostly to his glove side.
CB: 67-68 mph. 11/5 shape with early break and gradual action, slurve type.
CH: 74-75 mph. Sinking action with near fastball arm speed.

Mitchel Hemmen, Teutopolis, 2020
Positional Profile: RHP/OF
Body: 6-foot, 190-pounds. Well-proportioned, strong lower half.
Delivery: Tall and fall delivery, stays connected, works in-line to home, toe lands closed, smooth rhythm, effort is easy.
Arm Action: RH. Arm plays short and loose, present arm speed out of a clean high 3/4 slot window.
FB: T85, 83-85 mph. Flashed arm side run, thrown for strikes.
CB: 69-73 mph. Maintained arm speed, 11/5 shape, flashed sharp action.
CH: 74-77 mph. Fading movement, slight arm side run.

William Kafer, Normal West, 2020
Positional Profile: OF/RHP
Body: 5-foot-11, 155-pounds. Athletic, well-proportioned build.
Delivery: Tall and fall type, full windup, directionally in-line toe strikes closed, upright at finish, rhythm involved.
Arm Action: RH. Long arm action, arm speeds through an over the top slot.
FB: T84, 81-82 mph. Plays straight, filled up the zone.
CB: 66-69 mph. 11/5 shape, gradual break with depth, near fastball arm speed, filled zone.
CH: 74-76 mph. Flashed feel for change, faded with occasional sink, near fastball arm speed, in the zone.

Johnny Lambert, St. Charles North, 2020
Positional Profile: LHP/OF Tough left on left matchup.
Body: 5-foot-11, 155-pounds. High-waisted and athletic.
Delivery: Tall and fall style with extension down mound, cross body landing with deception, toe lands closed, controlled finish with rhythm throughout.
Arm Action: LH. Long, loose arm action, side arm slot, rather easy effort.
FB: T78, 76-78 mph. Late run and sink at the bottom of the zone.
CB: 63-65 mph. 2/8 shape with sweeping action, feel for it in the zone, fastball arm speed.
CH: 72-73 mph. Sinking action at the bottom of the zone, occasionally underneath, near fastball arm speed.

Jack McDermott, Bolingbrook, 2020
Positional Profile: LHP/
Body: 5-foot-9, 145-pounds. Undersized yet athletic.
Delivery: Up-tempo style, tall and fall, full delivery, works slightly across body with toe landing closed, level shouldered, smooth rhythm throughout.
Arm Action: LH. Loose arm action with full swing, speeds through an athletic, high 3/4 slot.
FB: T82, 79-82 mph. Played straight with occasional 2-seam run, in the zone.
CB: 67-69 mph. 1/7 shape in the zone, gradual break with occasional power bite, near fastball arm speed.
CH: 74-77 mph. Aggressive arm speed, mostly straight with occasional fade. 

Patrick Rafferty, Sandburg, 2020
Positional Profile: 3B/RHP
Body: 5-foot-8, 160-pounds. Athletic frame.
Delivery: Drop and drive delivery with rhythm, works in line, toe strikes square, athletic finish with rather easy effort.
Arm Action: RH. Arm plunges down at hand break, short and loose arm action with present arm speed, high 3/4 slot.
FB: T86, 83-84 mph. Mostly straight, occasional run, thrown for strikes.
CB: 69-72 mph. 11/5 shape, gradual action.
CH: 74-80 mph. Near fastball arm speed, fading movement in the zone.

Joel Sarver, Champaign Central, 2020
Positional Profile: RHP/3B
Body: 6-foot-1, 185-pounds. High-waisted and athletic.
Delivery: Tilt and topple type, rotational delivery, works in line, lands square.
Arm Action: RH. Long arm action, full swing, loose out front, gradually speeds through a high 3/4 slot.
FB: T84, 82-84 mph. Played mostly straight, up in the zone.
CB: 74-76 mph. 11/5 shape, short, gradual break.
SPLT: 71-74 mph. Aggressive arm speed, tumbling action with sink at times.


Again, to see all statistics form the event in a sortable sheet, click here. Also click the following hyperlinks to quickly get to the positional groups rolled out earlier in the week - COFINF.

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