Prep Baseball Report

Top Prospect Showcase: Corner Infield Analysis

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor – Illinois/Wisconsin

Continuing our coverage of the Top Prospect Showcase we take a look at corner infielders. Our corner infielder analysis looks at some big bats with power potential as well as left handed swingers.

2016 third baseman Cal Coughlin was the clear cut favorite showing the ability to switch hit with pop from both sides showing off his athleticism in the field as the top defender in the group as well.

Here’s a look at the top ten corner infielders.

Top Corner Infield Prospects

1. Cal Coughlin, 3B/RHP, Carmel, 2016
Physically advanced two-way prospect, 6-foot-1, 200-pounds, strong lower half, developed shoulders. Offensively hits from both sides of the plate, shows similar abilities on both sides. Hits from a balanced setup, leg kick trigger, smooth loading action, excellent timing. Explosive bat speed, hard contact, advanced impact of the baseball, path has extension, gap to gap approach with power, showed the ability to back spin the baseball with authority. 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively showed soft hands at third base, athletic defender, plays through the baseball, hands are soft, good lateral footwork. Advanced arm strength across the diamond (86 mph), high ¾ slot, showed accuracy and carry to target with carry, arm plays well on the move. On the mound delivery shows some effort and works online. Arm action is long and loose, high ¾ slot. Fastball has run, sat mostly at 87 mph, touch 89 mph, showed control of the zone. Slider looked to be best secondary pitch, showed tight lateral action at 78-84 mph. Changeup has fastball arm action, 75-77 mph, showed some control. Curveball had weaker action than slider, 12/6 shape, 68-71 mph. Coughlin is one of the more highly coveted prospects in the Midwest and shows potential both with the bat and on the mound.

2. Bobby Hecker, 3B, Huntley, 2015
6-foot-3, 200-pound physically strong third baseman impressed with strong arm across the diamond and bat speed at the plate.  Hits from a balanced, open setup with a minimal stride and short level swing showing strength and power to his pull side, producing 85 mph exit velocity.  At times adds a leg kick to his swing, but does not utilize it on every swing.  Impressed defensively at third base with strong accurate arm from high ¾ angle throwing 86 mph across the diamond.  Showcased soft hands playing through the baseball and fielding out front.  Ran a 7.78 60.

3. Shane Coker, 1B, Athens (WI), 2015
Physically impressive, 6-foot-3, 210-pound left handed first baseman, advanced build. Offensively hits from a slightly open stance, minimal stride back to square. Lower half works, maintains balance. Bat speed present, pull side power approach, strong impact of the baseball, projectable left handed power bat. Defensively showed natural actions around the bag, has feel for the position, feet work well and confidently around the bag. Arm is playable at first base, 78 mph across the diamond.

4. Jack Rettig, LHP/1B, Mahomet-Seymour, 2015
6-foot-2, 185-pound two-way prospect, long lanky frame, projects well. Delivery works with regular effort, toe up balance point, shoulder get uphill tilt, heel strike landing slightly open. Arm action is long and loose, ¾ slot, creates deceptive angles. Fastball has excellent action, run and sink to arm side, showed control of the zone, 82-83 mph. Changeup has well above average feel, fastball arm speed, 73-75 mph. Curveball has 11/5 tilt, occasional sweep action, 66-67 mph, throws for strikes. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, short stride, slight dive. Makes hard contact, consistently barreled baseballs in his round, showed the ability to get extension and work both gaps. 84 mph exit velocity from the tee. 7.17 runner in the 60.

5. Joe Dittmar, 3B/RHP, Richmond Burton, 2016
6-foot-1, 186-pound right-handed hitting two-way player currently ranked No. 15 in Illinois’ 2016 class, No. 55 overall impressed with arm strength both at third base and on the mound.  Physical and muscular build, hits from a balanced setup with a short, smooth load and a short stride with a level bat path producing line drives from gap-to-gap and 84 mph exit velocity.  Defensively, showcased the top arm across the infield at the event hitting 91 mph from short, high ¾ arm angle.  Showed soft hands and clean actions at third, and ranged well deep to his backhand into foul territory.  Ran 7.57 in the 60.  On the mound, Dittmar sat 85-87 mph, touching 88, from an over the top arm action.  Leans backwards at load with posture, getting arm slot up higher than his throwing motion at third base.  Arm action is longer on the mound, than in the field as well. Throws slightly across his body, with front foot landing slightly closed.  72-74 mph curveball showed some 12-6 action and late break, but was erratic down in the zone.  71-73 mph changeup exhibited some arm side run.

6. Dylan Bee, 1B, Pleasant Plains, 2015
6-foot, 185-pound highly athletic right-handed hitting first basemen impressed running a 6.88 60-yard dash.  Defensively, moves well around the bag, showcasing soft hands, and quick, fluid exchanges throwing 82 mph across the diamond.  Turns the double play quickly.  Hits from a closed set up with a long stride, at times diving with balance out on front foot.  Bat path is slightly uphill producing exit velocity up to 85 mph. 

7. Zachary Biermann, 1B, West Bend East (WI), 2015
Large build, 6-foot-4, 235-pound left handed hitting first-baseman. Offensivley hits from an open stance, smooth loading action, laid back barrel in load, short stride, lower half is active. Strong swing, creates whip, slightly muscled, advanced bat speed, 88 mph exit velocity from the tee. Pull side power approach, slightly uphill path, pull side pop. Big left-handed power potential bat. Adequate defender, shows softness in hands. Short arm action, 73 mph across the diamond. 7.55 runner in the 60.

8. Jordan Jackson, OF/3B, Jones College Prep, 2015
6-foot-2, 160-pound lean and lanky third basemen/outfielder impressed with whippy swing producing exit velocity up to 86 mph.  Committed to Oakland University shortly after the Top Prospect Showcase.  Hits from an athletic, open setup, with a short stride, and fluid rhythm showing an opposite field, line drive approach.  Defensively, showed softer hands in the infield than in the outfield, throwing 77 mph across the diamond from an easy,  ¾ slinging arm action.  Stayed back on the ball in the outfield, throwing 81 mph with some carry.  Ran a 7.06 60.

9. Louis Niemerg, 3B/RHP, Teutopolis, 2015
6-foot-3, 195-pound two-way player impressed defensively at third base and on the mound.  Hits from a wide, balanced setup, with a short stride.  Hands move back smoothly to load creating short, level bat path, with a low, flat finish producing 87 mph exit velocity.  Threw 82 mph across the infield from short, high ¾ arm action with average carry.   Showed quality actions on bare hand run through play.  On the mound, threw 84-87 with sink from easy delivery.  Stays online with lower half, arm action is clean and high ¾.  Threw strikes with 69-71 mph curveball, and 73-76 mph changeup that showed run to his arm side.  Also threw a knuckleball in the 70-71 mph range.

10. Eric Paz, 1B/C, Tremper (WI), 2015
6-foot, 190-pound left handed hitting first baseman/catcher. Offensively hits from a tall, closed stance, short stride. Showed bat speed, flashed hard impact of the baseball, 81 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively showed above average feel at first base. Behind the dish posted 2.19-2.29 pop times, 79 mph arm from the crouch. Paz projects as a left handed hitting first baseman who is lso serviceably behind the plate.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Philip Bork, 3B, Maine South, 2015
6-foot-3, 190-pound third baseman hits from a tall open setup, with a toe tap leg kick, dropping hands and then raising them up and back in hitch/load.  Swing is long and slightly uphill, but swings hard with above average bat speed and 90 mph exit velocity.  Threw 79 mph from third base across the diamond from long, over the top arm action.  Ran 7.25 in the 60. 

Austin Butts, 3B/RHP, Woodstock, 2015
6-foot-2, 200-pound 3B/RHP showed more arm strength on the mound than in the field.  Fastball ranged 83-85 mph from short, high ¾ arm action.  Repeats drop and drive delivery with slight jump at the hitter after loading over the rubber.    Threw strikes with 11/5 curveball with consistent shape.  72-75 mph splitter showed late tumble to his arm side.  Offensively, hits from an open setup with a short stride.  Hands move back smoothly in load producing a level, line drive bat path and 89 mph exit velocity.  Threw 78 mph across the infield.  Ran a 7.38 60.

Ben Samborn, 3B, Glenbrook South HS, 2015
5-foot-10, 180-pound left-handed hitting corner infielder. Hits from a slightly open setup, maintains balance through contact, aggressive approach; makes consistent hard contact. Some effort in swing, 88 mph exit velocity. Defensively, was clocked at 81 mph across the infield, long exchange, some effort in throw. Showed significant improvement in 60 time; ran a 7.00 60.

Brady Schanuel, RHP/3B, Belleville East HS, 2015
Athletically built 6-foot-2, 180-pound two-way player. On the mound, the right-hander operates from 3/4 slot, loose, easy arm action, drop-and-drive delivery, opens front side early. Fastball sat at 83-84 mph with little effort – potentially more in tank with few mechanical adjustments. Changeup is quality pitch, 75-77 mph, with some arm-side run. Curveball has erratic action in 67-69 range. Positionally, Schanuel is a left-handed hitting third baseman. Showed above-average arm strength (81 mph) across the infield, lower arm slot for position. Offensively, hits from a crouched setup, drops hands at load, longer bat path, maintains balance throughout swing. Ran a 7.49 60.   

Josh Shaw, OF/3B, Morgan Park, 2016
6-foot-2, 175-pound lanky, athletic outfielder/third baseman currently ranked No. 35 in Illinois’ 2016 class, No. 147 overall.  Hits from a slightly open setup, with hands loading back smoothly.   Stride is short, bat path to the baseball is level and short producing 72 mph exit velocity.  Lacks physical strength but is projectable.  Defensively, impressed more in the infield at third, with soft hands and clean, fluid actions, throwing 78 mph across the diamond from short, high ¾ arm action.  Showed infield actions in the outfield, and threw 80 mph from the same short arm action.  Ran a 7.21 60.

Matt Tedeschi, 1B, Glenbrook North, 2015
6-foot, 205-pound first baseman, strong build. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, wide setup, short stride. Strong muscled swing, flashed power potential. Hands are quiet simple swing, 83 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively showed natural actions around the bag, hands played reliably. Arm action is short from a high ¾ slot, 83 mph across the diamond. 

Lucas Karz, 1B, Prospect, 2015
6-foot-2, 220-pound first baseman, large frame, thick build with strength. Offensively shows some power potential. Hits from the right side, balanced stance, slight leg kick trigger. Aggressive swing, some back side collapse, uphill path, can add extension, showed well above average bat speed, 88 mph exit velocity from the tee. Loud contact, impacts the ball well. Defensively showed above average defensive abilities at first base, arm played at 81 mph across the diamond. 7.54 runner in the 60.

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