Top Prospect - St. Louis: Pitcher Analysis


By Illinois & Missouri Scouting Staffs

On Tuesday, June 15, the PBR Illinois and Missouri scouting staffs collaborated to host the annual Top Prospect - St. Louis event at the Lou Brock Sports Complex, found on Lindenwood University’s campus. This invite only event fielded a total of 35 athletes from Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas that primarily represented the 2022 graduating classes, although a handful of 2023s also attended.

For a complete look at the roster, stats, and all the post-event content pieces from this showcase, click here

Yesterday we took a look at all of the position players from the event. Today we dive into the 12 arms that threw during game play of the event. Illinois’ RHP Joseph Swanson (Pekin, 2022) is one of the top arms still uncommitted from the event. Swanson has a 6-foot-2, 175-pound, long, loose-limbed frame, ran his fastball up to 89 mph and flashed an above-average slider (74-77 mph) with late action, getting a number of swing-and-misses. Swanson struck out the side in his inning of work.

Recent Michigan State commit, LHP Gavin Sitarz (St. Charles East, 2022), was another highly-intriguing arm from the event. Sitarz has a quick arm, competitive demeanor and throws a high-volume of strikes. Sitarz ran his fastball up to 85 mph and showcased a four-pitch mix, giving him a potential starter profile at the next level. 

RHP/INF Jackson Chu (St. Charles (MO); 2022), a John Wood CC commit, also showed well in his inning of work. Chu has a clean arm, ran his fastball up to 88 mph and showed feel for his three-pitch repertoire. 

RHP’s Evan Abercrombie (Montgomery County (MO), 2022), Missouri Southern commit and uncommitted Luke Aubuchon (Fort Zumwalt East (MO), 2022), were two of the better Missouri arms from the day. Both have clean arms, pitched in the low-80s with plenty of more velocity to tap into.

Read on below for reports on each and every pitcher from the event.

PITCHING PROSPECTS (LISTED ALPHABETICALLY)

Evan Abercrombie, Montgomery County (MO), 2022: Missouri Southern commit
 Positional Profile: RHP
 Body: 6-foot-2, 210-pounds. Strong frame.
 Delivery: Stretch only, starts with rear-leg load, simple, easy delivery, strong front side, works efficiently in line with target, balanced finish.
 Arm Action: R. Easy arm action, high 3/4 arm slot.
FB: T83, 81-83 mph. Arm side run, feel for strikes. T2237, 2073 average rpm.
CB: 66-71 mph. 10/4 shape, tight spin, feel. T2172, 1888 average rpm.
CH: 76-77 mph. Fading action, plays arm-side of plate. 

Luke Aubuchon, Fort Zumwalt East (MO), 2022
Positional Profile: SS/RHP
Body: 6-foot, 150-pounds.
Delivery: Easy, tall and fall delivery, smooth tempo, strides directly at target, works efficiently in line, repeatable action.
Arm Action: R. Loose, whippy arm action, high 3/4 arm slot.
FB: T84, 80-84 mph. Plays downhill, flashes spin, feel for strikes. T2290, 2041 average rpm.
CB: 69-71 mph. 11/5 shape, gradual action, plays glove side. T1853, 1812 average rpm.

Ryan Ball, Lincoln-Way East (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: 1B/RHP
Body: 6-foot-3, 215-pounds. Physical frame.
Delivery: Stretch only, rear-leg weight load, simple delivery, repeatable, works directly in line to target, lands square, high finish with rear-leg.
Arm Action: R. Long, loose arm action, over-the-top arm slot.
FB: T84, 79-83 mph. Mostly straight, flashes life up in the zone. T2192, 2041 average rpm.
CB: 68-71 mph. 11/5 shape, gradual action. T1981, 1852 average rpm.
CH: 70-73 mph. Sink/fade action, flashes feel. 

Christopher Bieniek, Notre Dame College Prep (IL), 2022: Benedictine University commit.
Positional Profile: RHP/3B
Body: 6-foot-2, 200-pounds.
Delivery: Tall and fall delivery, throws from far first-base side of rubber, easy windup, big leg kick across body, long stride into a strong front side, works in line with target, balanced finish.
Arm Action: R. Short, easy arm action, over-the-top arm slot.
FB: T87, 82-86 mph. 4-seam, plays downhill, flashes arm-side run. T2366, 2221 average rpm.
CB: 68-72 mph. 11/5 shape, tight action at times. T2295, 2151 average rpm.
CUT: 82-84 mph. Small cutting action, thrown glove-side of plate.

Jackson Chu, St. Charles (MO), 2022: John Wood CC commit.
Positional Profile: SS/RHP
Body: 5-foot-11, 195-pounds.
Delivery: Drop and drive delivery, smooth rhythm, lands square, works in line to target, balanced finish.
Arm Action: R. Loose arm action, high 3/4 arm slot.
FB: T88, 84-86 mph. Mostly straight, thrown for strikes, up in the zone at times. T1993, 1894 average rpm.
CB: 63-66 mph. 11/5 shape, gradual action, has feel. T1762, 1734 average rpm.
SPLT: 74-75 mph. Fading action, arm speed similar to fastball.

Cayden Drum, Jackson (MO), 2022: St. Louis CC commit.
Positional Profile: RHP/1B
Body: 6-foot-3, 210-pounds.
Delivery: Drop and drive delivery, throws from middle of rubber, smooth tempo, works in line with target.
Arm Action: R. Long arm action, over-the-top arm slot.
FB: T84, 81-83 mph. Arm-side run, plays arm-side of the plate. T1934, 1749 average rpm.
CB: 71-73 mph. Small 11/5 shape, feel for the zone. T1947, 1796 average rpm.
CH: 75-76 mph. Slight sink/fade action, intent to throw down in the zone. 

Evan Meurer, Francis Howell Central (MO), 2022
Positional Profile: OF/RHP
Body: 6-foot-1, 170-pounds.
Delivery: Stretch only, tall and fall delivery, easy actions, lands in line with target, strong front side, balanced finish.
Arm Action: R. Long arm action, high 3/4 arm slot.
FB: T75, 71-74 mph. Mostly straight, thrown up in the zone at times. T1774, 1691 average rpm.
CB: 61-62 mph. 10/4 shape, gradual action, thrown arm-side. T2053, 1946 average rpm.

Gavin Sitarz, St. Charles East (IL), 2022: Michigan State commit.
Positional Profile: LHP/1B
Body: 6-foot, 160-pounds.
Delivery: Slow, rhythmic tempo, tall and fall delivery, easy, repeatable actions, starts closed from stretch, works in line with target, falls off to third-base side in finish.
Arm Action: L. Short, athletic arm action, 3/4 arm slot.
FB: T85, 83-84 mph. Mostly straight, strikes, flashes life. T2255, 2080 average rpm.
CB: 70-72 mph. 10/4 shape, tight spin, back-foot type breaking ball. T2068, 1977 average rpm.
SL: 72-77 mph. Smaller shape, late break. T2262, 2174 average rpm.
CH: 75-76 mph. Sink/fade action, thrown down in the zone.

Joseph Swanson, Pekin (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: RHP/SS
Body: 6-foot-2, 175-pounds.
Delivery: Stretch only, simple, repeatable delivery, strides square with open toe, strong front side, works efficiently in line with target, balanced finish.
Arm Action: R. Loose, quick arm action, over-the-top arm slot.
FB: T89, 85-88 mph. Plays downhill, flashes a heavy ball, advanced spin. T2435, 2287 average rpm.
CB: 68-71 mph. 11/5 shape, gradual action. T2355, 2271 average rpm.
SL: 74-77 mph. Small, cutter like action, late movement. T2239, 2186 average rpm.
CH: 73-75 mph. Sinking action, thrown down in the zone. 

Isaac Vedder, St. Francis Borgia (MO), 2022
Positional Profile: RHP/1B
Body: 6-foot-3, 205-pounds.
Delivery: Tall and fall delivery, smooth tempo in windup, repeatable actions, lands square, works in line with target, finishes to first-base side slightly.
Arm Action: R. Long, whippy arm action, over-the-top arm slot.
FB: T81, 76-80 mph. Flashes arm-side run, thrown arm-side of plate. T2001, 1908 average rpm.
CB: 65-68 mph. 12/6 shape. T2074, 2046 average rpm.
SL: 67-69 mph. Small shape, gradual action, feel for strikes. T2159, 2141 average rpm.

Dominic Voegele, Columbia (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: SS/RHP
Body: 6-foot-2, 175-pounds. Long, athletic frame
Delivery: Easy, tall and fall delivery, effortless, strides square, working efficiently in line with target, balanced finish.
Arm Action: R. Long arm action, high 3/4 arm slot.
FB: T85, 80-84 mph. Flashes arm side run, strikes. T1788, 1548 average rpm.
CB: 67-72 mph. Small 11/5 shape, gradual action, feel for it. T2264, 2162 average rpm.
SL: 74-75 mph. Downward action, arm speed similar to fastball. T2006, 2006 average rpm.

Luke Wickenhauser, Calhoun (IL), 2022: Lincoln Land CC commit.
Positional Profile: RHP/OF
Body: 5-foot-10, 175-pounds.
Delivery: Smooth, uptempo rhythm, easy delivery, high leg kick, strong front side, strides square, works in line with target, balanced finish.
Arm Action: R. Short arm action, high 3/4 arm slot.
FB: T85, 81-85 mph. Mostly straight, 4-seam type.  T2260, 2081 average rpm.
CB: 68-71 mph. 11/5 shape, gradual action. T2334, 2100 average rpm.
CH: 71-74 mph. Downward action, intent to throw down in the zone. 

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