Prep Baseball Report

Top Prospect Games: Pitching Analysis

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Director – Illinois and Wisconsin

The Class of 2016 Top Prospect Games on July 23-24 featured many of the top rising sophomores from Illinois and Wisconsin at the University of Illinois-Chicago’s pristine Les Miller Field. Over the course of the two-day, invitation-only event, many players emerged as high-interest prospects.

RHP Anthony Holubecki (Kaneland HS, IL) headlined a strong group of pitchers at the event. The long and athletic right-hander topped at 89 mph and showed consistent upper-80s velocity. RHP Brad Littleton (Coal City HS, IL) was arguably the biggest surprise on the mound, as the 6-foot-1 right-hander topped at 85 mph on the mound while showing a solid 68-69 mph curveball. LHP Drew DeMumbrum (Plainfield East HS, IL) has a quick, loose arm and breezed through the hitters – something few pitchers were able to accomplish.

Complete analysis of the pitchers at the Class of 2016 Top Prospect Games:

Jack Bellinger, RHP, Schaumburg (IL), 2016
Solidly built 6-foot-4, 190-pound right handed pitcher, projectable frame has length, some development present. Delivery is sound, shows regular effort, arm works freely from a ¾ arm slot. Fastball sat at 77-79 mph showcasing run and sink. Curveball flashed sharp bite at 67-68 mph, 11/5 action. Bellinger is a solid prospect with upside, he has a prototypical pitchers frame with room for added development. He already shows some strength but could carry additional in the future.

Travis Berg, RHP, Eau Claire Memorial (WI), 2016
Berg is a solid 6-foot-2, 195-pound right handed pitcher with a sturdy lower half. Delivery is uptempo, excellent pace of play, repeats well and pounds the zone. Tall and fall style pitcher, landing is slightly open. Arm action is short with quickness from a high ¾ slot. Fastball is mostly straight, flashed late finish through the hitting zone, 79-80 mph with command. Curveball worked on a 12/6 plane, flashing sharp action, advanced action for age, thrown aggressively with control, 67-70 mph. Changeup showed advance action as well, highly aggressive arm action, featured fading action with occasional sink, 71-73 mph. Berg showed the ability to pound the zone with all three pitches and work at an up-tempo pace. Berg wastes little time on the mound and controls the pace of play well, leaving hitters uncomfortable in the box.

Dillan Chamness, OF/RHP, Benton (IL), 2016
Left-handed hitting 5-foot-5, 160-pound two-way player. On the mound, Chamness showed some rhythm in his delivery throwing from a ¾ slot. His fastball sat 70-73 mph with slight run. He located his slider which had slight 10/4 action ranging 58-63 mph. 59-60 mph curveball with 11/5 break. Offensively recorded a pair of hits (one double) through two games. Showed well in BP with opposite field line-drive consistency. Has a simple swing and throws his hands at the ball creating a short path – exit velocity registering 66 mph. Defensively plays through the ball athletically with a clean exchange – arm plays at 73 mph from the outfield.

Drew DeMumbrum, OF/LHP, Plainfield East (IL), 2016
High level athlete, multi-faceted game, 5-foot-10, 160-pound left handed two-way player. DeMumbrum is a high level athlete who has a knack for the game. Plays at an easy pace, highly productive, dynamic. On the mound his delivery is clean and athletic, smooth up tempo delivery, regular to easy effort. Arm action is loose, shows quick arm action from a high ¾ slot. Fastball flashed sink at 77-79 mph while showing control of the strike zone. Breaking ball works on 11/5 plane, flashing sweeping action, slurve feel, 66-67 mph. Defensively shows excellent actions in the outfield, natural reactions, showed excellent hands. Arm action is long and over the top, showed excellent accuracy with occasional carry, 80 mph arm strength from the outfield. Hits from the left side, slightly open stance, short stride. Quiet simple approach, high contact hitter, bat path is short and quick to the baseball. Shows excellent foot speed getting out of the box, 4.11 down the line. DeMumbrum proved to be one of the bigger sleepers of the event, he showed that he can play at a high level with high level competition.

Joe Dittmar, 3B/RHP, Richmond Burton (IL), 2016
Strong build, 6-foot, 178-pound two way player, athletic frame. Hits from an open stance, smooth load with short stride, solid balance throughout. Pull side approach, hits with rhythm, showed extension. Posted three hits over the two day event. Defensively showed advanced arm strength across the diamond (81 mph), showed carry from a high ¾ arm slot. Hands work softly, clean exchange, showed body control. Showed the ability to make plays to his forehand side at a high level. On the mound Dittmar showed an athletic delivery with a tall and fall approach. Arm action is short with quickness, high ¾ slot. Fastball was mostly straight, 80-83 mph, showed control. Flashed a curveball at 65 mph.

Drake Durham, LHP/OF/1B, New Richmond (WI), 2016
6-foot2, 175-pound two-way player projectable particularly on the mound. Lanky left-handed pitcher has long high ¾ arm action with moderate effort in his delivery. His fastball featured some sink at 76-79 mph and curveball had sweeping action at 61-62 mph. Durham threw is changeup with some arm speed ranging 62-66 mph with fading action. Offensively hits from an open setup using a long stride, registering a 75 mph exit velocity. Threw 69 mph from the outfield and 71 mph across the diamond.

Kam Fezekas, RHP, Lyons (IL), 2016
Lanky 6-foot-2, 170-pound right-handed pitcher with projectability. Has some rhythm in his tall-and-fall delivery. Lands square to the plate throwing from a high ¾ slot finishing with balance. Pounds the zone with his fastball at 77-79 mph with slight run. He showed control of his curveball at 63-66 mph with some 12/6 break. Fezekas displayed repeatable mechanics and has room to develop.

Joe Gahm, INF/RHP, Germantown (WI), 2016
Lanky frame, slender build, 5-foot-11, 160-pound two way player. Defensively showed soft hands with above average infield actions. Arm plays at 76 mph across the diamond, loose arm action, showed carry and accuracy. At the plate hits from a balanced setup, short stride, slight leg kick. Excellent hands at the plate, shows explosiveness, bat speed present, 83 mph exit velocity from the tee, showed whip through the zone, occasional pull tendency. On the mound works from a tall and fall approach, regular effort. Arm action is long, shows looseness, occasional stab in backswing, high ¾ arm slot, showed quickness. Fastball touched 80 mph, showed run, occasional sink, showed control, sat 77-79 mph. Curveball worked on 11/5 plane, slurve tendencies, showed control at 69-73 mph. Change up thrown with fastball similar arm speed, flashed sink, 73 mph flashing excellent deception. Gahm is one of the more athletic and versatile prospects in Wisconsin’s Class of 2016.

Austin Galindo, OF/RHP, Normal (IL), 2016
Strong, projectable 6-foot-5, 215-pound raw two-way player. His arm plays at 84 mph from the outfield and displayed solid in-game defensive abilities, showing off some range and athleticism. Recorded a pair of hard hits through two games at the event (one triple). He showed juice in his bat in-game and during BP but could improve consistency. Galindo ran a 4.54 home-to-first. Drop-and-drive delivery on the mound, landing open releasing from a high ¾ angle. His fastball flashed occasional sink and run ranging 77-83 mph. Gradual break on his 11/5 curveball at 64-68 mph. He could become more effective with his backside coming through. Overall Galindo is a raw athlete and a prospect to follow. 

Jake Gilhaus, 1B/RHP, Normal Community (IL), 2016
6-foot-1, 210-pound two-way player recorded three hits and three RBI through two Top Prospect Games. Gilhaus showed strength at the plate and stays through the ball well. His exit velocity registered 82 mph from the tee. Defensively he displayed athletic footwork at first-base and threw 76 mph across the diamond. On the mound he showed some rhythm and balance in his tall-and-fall delivery. His arm action is short and loose from over the top. Downhill fastball showed some run from 75-80 mph. 12/6 curveball ranged 60-65 mph with control.

Bradley Harrison, 1B/LHP, O’Fallon (IL), 2016
Harrison is one of the more projectable prospects in Illinois’ 2016 class. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound left handed two-way player shows athleticism and a rangy frame. At the plate the left handed hitter showed excellent rhythm, barrel awareness and a high rate of contact. Balanced stance, slightly taller approach, short stride, good balance throughout. Bat path is short to the baseball showed excellent extension, fluid rhythm with occasional pull side approach, 80 mph exit velocity. Harrison has the potential to be one of the best left handed hitters in the class. Defensively showed soft hands with natural actions around the bag, arm played well and showed the ability to start the double play at first base. On the mound the lefty worked at 75-77 mph with occasional cut action. His curveball worked on an 11/5 plane flashing sharp action and control, 64-67 mph. Harrison is a high follow in the 2016 class and will be interesting to watch develop over the next few years.

Anthony Holubecki, RHP, Kaneland (IL), 2016
Long and lanky frame, thin build, 6-foot-4, 195-pounds. Holubecki is one of the top overall prospects in the region. Holubecki stood head and shoulders above the rest with his fastball touching 89 mph. His delivery works directionally from a tall and fall style, shows rhythm with level shoulders and an athletic finish. Worked exclusively from the stretch. Arm action is extremely quick, short backswing with extension out front, ¾ arm slot. Fastball has slight run, late finish through the zone, touched 89 mph twice, sat 86-88 mph, occasionally erratic in the zone. Breaking ball is still a work in progress, 69-72 mph, flashed a sweeping plane. Holubecki’s fastball proved to be too hot for opposing hitters to handle. Reaching 89 mph it features late life through the hitting zone, getting on top of hitters quickly. Holubecki is a high follow in the region and you will certainly be seeing his name frequently over the next few years.

Colton Johnson, LHP, Kewanee (IL), 2016
Very projectable 6-foot-2, 175-pound left-handed pitcher. Tall-and-fall delivery shows smooth athletic rhythm. Johnson has clean, repeatable mechanics with loose high ¾ arm action. His fastball sat 75-80 mph with occasional arm-side run. Changeup had some sink at 69 mph.

Casey Kempner, LHP, Glenbrook North (IL), 2016
6-foot, 145-pound left handed pitcher. Committed to Heartland College. Kempner has a lanky frame which yields solid projection. Delivery works across his body, clean arm action, high ¾ arm slot, arm works loosely with quickness. Fastball has run with occasional sink, showed control at 77-80 mph. Curveball worked on 11/5 plane, thrown with near fastball arm speed, showed control and feel at 66-68 mph, touching 70 mph with advanced action. Showed the ability to work his change up aggressively, fading action, 70-72 mph flashing advanced action. Kempner showed a solid feel for the mound with an obvious game plan and preparation which should pay dividend down the road.

Thomas Kenney, OF/LHP, Mahomet Seymour (IL), 2016
Average frame, strong build, 5-foot-11, 170-pound two way player. Defensively showed some of the better outfield actions at the event. Played through the ball well, clean exchange, quick fluid footwork, played the position with natural instincts. Arm played well, 77 mph from the outfield, long loose action, over the top slot with accuracy and carry. Hits from the left side, balanced setup, short stride. Short bat path, downhill path, makes hard contact. Got two hits and an RBI, solid in game approach. On the mound showed a clean arm action, high ¾ arm slot, loose action occasional quickness, little effort. Fastball showed run and sink to his arm side, 73-75 mph, touched 76 mph. Curveball worked on 11/5 plane, fastball similar arm action, 60-63 mph. Flashed a change up at 63-67 mph.

Keaton Knueppel, LHP/OF, Verona Area (WI), 2016
5-foot-11, 165-pound two-way player is highly projectable on the mound. Left-handed thrower has feel for all three pitches and utilized each effectively in his outing in the Top Prospect Games. Knueppel has clean, repeatable mechanics with an effortless tall-and-fall delivery. He has a high balance point and lands closed, finishing athletically. His arm works well with loose high ¾ action. Knueppel showed control of his fastball at 77-80 mph featuring occasional cut. His curveball had pronounced 11/5 break at 68-71 mph with control and his changeup sat 72-73 mph. Offensively, hits from the left side recording four hits in six at-bats through two of the Top Prospect Games – one well-placed bunt for a hit, two doubles, three RBI (one of which late in a tie game). From the outfield his arm showed some carry at 77 mph with accuracy, fielding through the ball. Knueppel is a high prospect to follow as he continues to mature.

Pete Koscinski, 1B/RHP, Catholic Memorial (WI), 2016
Advanced frame, 6-foot-4, 195-pound two way player. Projects well at the plate. Hits from an open stance, short stride, excellent balance throughout. Showed pop to both gaps, ball jumps off his bat. Made hard contact against live pitching. Defensively showed some natural footwork around the bag, hands worked, 71 mph arm across the diamond. On the mound arm worked from a ¾ arm slot, long action. Fastball featured cut action, 74-76 mph, showed control. Curveball had control, 65-68 mph, thrown with fastball similar arm action, more slider action.

Keith Kutzler, RHP, Tremper (WI), 2016
Kutzler is a highly projectable 6-foot-2, 170-pound right handed pitcher, good bloodlines, father pitched professionally. Delivery shows rhythm and athleticism, slight coil at top of balance point, shoulders stay closed. Arm action is loose, high ¾ slot, regular effort. Fastball worked with sink, showed lively action, controlled the baseball at 80-82 mph topping out at 83 mph. Curveball showed average action with feel, will develop more bite when thrown harder, 64-68 mph, showed solid control. Flashed a change up at 70 mph. Kutzler is an interesting follow with a solid projectable frame and a fastball already in the low 80’s this 2016 graduate looks to be one of the top arms in Wisconsin’s 2016 class.

Anthony Leedle, LHP, Clinton (WI), 2016
Leedle is a projectable 6-foot-6, 210-pound left-handed pitcher. Shows little effort in his tall-and-fall delivery, throws with moderate arm speed from a high ¾ slot. Had command for his fastball at 72-75 mph with run and occasional sink. His curveball had 11/5 sweeping action at 60-62 mph.

Brad Littleton, RHP/INF, Coal City (IL), 2016
Strong build, sturdy lower half, wider shoulders, 6-foot-1, 170-pound two-way player, highly projectable. On the mound, Littleton was one of the top prospects in attendance. Delivery was smooth, stayed tall with little effort, ¾ arm slot. Fastball showed sinking action, showed command, 81-84 mph, topping at 85 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, 70-73 mph, displayed feel, flashed sharp action. Occasionally showed a change up at 72-74 mph. In game play Littleton showed he can produce ground balls at a high rate while pounding the strike zone. Defensively featured a strong arm from the outfield, fluid footwork. Hits from an open stance, slight dive, solid balance. Hard contact, some barrel awareness, occasional pull side approach. Littleton is one of the top pitchers in the Class of 2016 and is a high follow in his class.

Matt McCarty, RHP/OF, South Milwaukee (WI), 2016
Excellent frame, 6-foot-3, 185-pound, developed build. Currently McCarty looks to project better on the mound. He showed the ability to get a high rate of groundballs will his sinking heavy fastball. He uses a ¾ arm slot with regular effort to produce a 79-81 mph fastball. His fastball featured advance arm side action, working both with sink and lateral action, had a heavy feel with late life. Change up is his better secondary pitch, thrown with fastball similar arm action, showed the ability to control the pitch with fading life at 70 mph. Breaking ball still needs development at 69 mph. McCarty had a solid in game outing recording ground ball after ground ball. If McCarty can develop at this rate he has the potential to be a highly efficient, low pitch count, starting pitcher at the next level.

Michael Oh, RHP/CIF, Glenbrook North (IL), 2016
6-foot-3, 265-pound two-way player recorded three hits (one double) through two of the Top Prospect Games. Oh has an approach at the plate and swings on a short path with bat speed maintaining balance throughout. Showed juice in his bat with a 92 mph exit speed off the tee that translated to live at-bats. His arm plays at 76 mph across the infield. Oh showed some rhythm in his delivery on the mound. Keeps his shoulders level releasing from a high ¾ slot. His fastball flashed sink at 77-80 mph. Curveball has slight 12/6 break sitting 64-67 mph and his changeup was at 66-70 mph.

Trey Riley, SS, Edwardsville (IL), 2016
Left-handed hitting 5-foot-8, 135-pound two-way player who showed good presence on the mound. Riley has athletic rhythm in his delivery and arm works at a high ¾ slot. His fastball sat 77-80 mph with consistent run. Curveball has short 11/5 action at 67-68 mph and has control of both pitches. Riley displayed clean, athletic actions defensively, throwing 75 mph across the infield with short arm action. His hands work well at the plate, setting up in a tall, slightly open stance. Creates athletic pre-pitch rhythm leading to a smooth, easy swing with balance. Riley could fill out and develop into a high-level prospect.

Jack Staten, RHP, Sacred-Heart Griffin (IL), 2016
Staten is very projectable with a high ceiling at 6-foot-4, 165 pounds. The lanky right-handed pitcher displayed some rhythm in his delivery working from a tall balance point, releasing from a high ¾ slot. Staten’s fastball showed life and sink at 77-79 mph with occasional cutting action. 12/6 curveball is thrown with some arm speed at 68-70 mph and his changeup was 72 mph. Staten is a pitching prospect to follow as he develops into his frame.

Noah Vallette, OF/RHP, Harrisburg (IL) , 2016
Vallette is a 6-foot-1, 175-pound two-way player. Tall-and-fall delivery on the mound with some rhythm and longer, high ¾ arm action. Had control of his fastball at 77-79 mph with some sink. His 11/5 curveball has depth ranging 64-69 mph. Defensively Vallette showed a quick release at 80 mph from the outfield with accuracy. Sets up in a balanced stance at the plate with a minimal stride maintaining balance throughout the swing – recorded a 77 mph exit velocity.

Ty Weber, RHP, Menomonee Falls (WI), 2016
Advanced frame, 6-foot-5, 215-pound right handed pitcher, prototypical pitchers build. Weber is one of the top right handed pitchers in Wisconsin’s 2016 class. Multi-sport athlete. Weber works from a full windup, tall and fall delivery, upright finish. Arm action is short, over the top slot, arm shows above average quickness. Improved fastball velocity since last seeing Weber in January, up to 83 mph, 80-82 mph, downhill plane, worked down in the zone. Curveball had 12/6 action, showed control, 69-73 mph, threw aggressively. Also featured a change up at 73 mph. Weber has grown in size and strength since the spring and has added to his fastball. If he can continue to progress at this pace he will certainly be a high level prospect.

Brandon Williams, RHP, Tinley Park (IL), 2016
6-foot-1, 165-pound right-handed pitcher has some projectability. Tall-and-fall pitcher with some rhythm in his delivery. Keeps his shoulders level releasing from a ¾ slot. His fastball showed sink and above average arm-side run sitting 73-77 mph. Has gradual 11/5 break to his curveball ranging 60-66 mph. Williams has room to mature his frame and develop his secondary pitches.

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