Prep Baseball Report

Top Prospect Showcase: Pitching Analysis

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Director - Illinois

The pitching at the Top Prospect Showcase was one of best groups of high end arms we've seen. It was extremely hard to determine the top pitching prospects as they were so similar in abilities. Depending on your taste in arms any one of the top five pitchers were worthy of the top overall spot.

After much deliberation we finally decided on our top 15 pitchers of the Top Prospect Showcase. Here's a look at how it breaks down.

Top Pitchers

1. Hunter Hart, RHP/SS, St. Joseph Ogden, 2014
Hart is a lengthy 6-foot-3 two-way player, his 180-pound build shows projectability and athleticism. Hart’s arm shows extreme acceleration out of its “Flex T” position, shortly after the event Hart was reported up to 93 mph which is easy to see with the amount of acceleration he generates. Timely delivery, works directionally. Arm action is loose, short back swing, slight stab, gets extension, high ¾ arm slot. Fastball showed excellent late life through the zone, sinking action with occasional run, 88-90 mph. Curveball showed 12/6 action, thrown with near fastball arm speed, 73-75 mph. Changeup showed feel, fastball similar arm action, 74-78 mph. Hart is a highly projectable arm that has a loose action and a high ceiling. He will undoubtedly be one of the top arms in Illinois’ 2014 class.

2. Sean Leland, RHP, Sandburg, 2014
Leland is a highly projectable right handed pitcher, at 6-foot-5, 200-pound he posseses a long lean frame that can carry plenty of added strength. Tall and fall delivery, pitches with rhythm, work towards his target athletically, squared landing and shoulders stay on line. Leland’s arm action is loose with length, shows plenty of arm speed from a ¾ slot. Fastball has lively action in the hitting zone, advance arm side run, showed command of the baseball, sat at 87-88 mph, touched 89 mph, very little effort. Slider has short quick darting action, 80 mph, late action when on top and spun correctly. Change up is best secondary pitch, shows plus action, highly deceptive, thrown with aggressive arm action, features arm side run with sink, 78-80 mph, showed excellent command down in the zone. Leland’s three pitch combination will tough for hitters to figure out, a running fastball coupled with an aggressive sweeping slider and plus action change all out of a ¾ window will be a dream to work with at the next level. His command is already present and has the structure to carry plenty of additional strength. Leland has the repertoire and potential to be a workhorse at the front of many rotations.

3. William Kincanon, RHP/1B, Riverside-Brookfield, 2014
Strong build, excellent physical frame, 6-foot-3, 185-pound right handed pitcher. Delivery shows effort, tall and fall approach, shows rhythm, open landing, athletic first base finish. Arm works from a high ¾ slot, advanced arm speed, long and loose arm action. Fastball has advanced arm side run, showed the ability to command the zone, 86-88 mph. Breaking ball had depth, flashed 12/6 action, 73-76 mph, showed above average feel. Change up showed plus action, thrown with near fastball arm speed, excellent arm side action, showed command, 76-77 mph. Kincanon shows swing and miss stuff in the strike zone. Offensively hits from the left side, slightly tall and open stance, short stride approach. Pull side hitter, line drive approach, slight lift. 86 mph exit velocity from the tee.

4. Wyatt Trautwein, RHP, Barrington HS, 2014
High-ceiling prospect with projectable 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame, long arms and plenty of room to fill out. Trautwein emerged from event as one of the 2014 class’ highest-interest prospects. Shows four-pitch feel with a potentially plus slider. Arm works clean and easily, from high-3/4 slot, comes slightly across body, athletic delivery. Slider is high-level pitch: throws it hard, at 80-82 mph, with sharp, late break. Fastball sat at 87 mph, topping at 88, with late sink and run out of the zone. Also throws a cutter &77 mph) and a 75-77 mph changeup that showed some cut action. Overall, Trautwein has the stuff and upside to become one of the most coveted prospects in the Midwest.

5. Tyler Hasper, RHP/OF, Waubonsie Valley, 2014
Average frame with strength, 6-foot, 190-pound right handed pitcher. Hasper is one of the strongest arms in the Class of 2014. Delivery shows rhythm, shoulders stay online, works towards target. Arm works from a high ¾ arm slot, long arm action, loose arm. Fastball climbed to 93 mph, sat at 87-90 mph flashing occasional run, power fastball with life. Curveball has 11/5 action, showed depth, big velocity split from fastball, 67-70 mph. Changeup thrown with fastball arm action, slight sink, 80-81 mph, thrown aggressively and down in the zone. Hasper is one of the top arms in the 2014 class, his power fastball and aggressive feel for his changeup will play well at the next level. Added velocity to his breaking ball could make a deadly three pitch arsenal. In the outfield his arm played at 89 mph, showing carry and accuracy. Offensively hits from a balanced setup, smooth load and short stride. Lower half works, shows bat speed, 88 mph exit velocity from the tee.

6. Jordan Fedro, RHP, Prospect HS, 2014
One of the fastest-rising prospects in Illinois’ 2014 class. Extremely projectable 6-foot-6, 185-pound frame with long arms and legs and plenty of room to fill out. Arm works fast and clean, high-3/4 slot, short on the backside. Works downhill, hides ball well, ball jumps out of hand. Fastball sat at 87 mph with sink down in the zone. Splitter shows swing-and-and capabilities, with late downer action at 80-82 mph. Curveball (73-76) is inconsistent, but flashed some promise. Also throws an 81-83 mph changeup.

7. Brett Newberg, LHP/1B, Moline HS, 2015
Top-level 2015 prospect. Physical 6-foot-1, 220-pound durable frame with developed lower half. High-pitchability left-hander with true three-pitch command. Arm works free and easily from high-3/4 slot; has good rhythm and tempo throughout delivery, repeats well and throws everything will same arm action. Fastball sat at 83, topping at 84, and have seen up to 86. Commands fastball with arm-side run and some sink. Changeup looks to be a plus pitch: 74-76 mph with arm-side sink down in the zone. Also commands 70-73 slider. Positionally, Newberg hits from the right side. Has a simple approach, using a minimal load and no stride, yet the ball jumps off his bat with backspin carry and loft. Had an 88 mph exit velocity, and shows soft hands around first base. In all, Newberg should be one of the most coveted prospects in Illinois’ 2015 class.

8. Richard Fordon, LHP, Mount Carmel HS, 2014
Physical and durable 6-foot-3, 215-pound left-hander. High-3/4 slot, clean, loose arm action, works slightly across body, maintains solid rhythm and tempo throughout. Fastball topped at 87 mph, sitting 84-86 with four-seamer, 83-mph two-seamer with heavy feel. Curveball has sweeping action in 71-75 range. Changeup lacks consistency, but flashed some sink in the 75-76 range.

9. Mike Enriquez, RHP, Brother Rice, 2014
Strong body, developed lower half, 6-foot-3, 230-pound right handed pitcher. Tall and fall delivery, easy effort, smooth delivery, works directionally, stays on line. Arm action is long, slightly loose, ¾ arm action. Fastball has run and sink, flashed a heavy feel, 85-87 mph. Curveball lacked identity, decelerated arm action, 65-74 mph. Change up had advanced action, arm side run with sink, showed command down in the zone, 74-78 mph.

10. Dalton Hottle, RHP, Monmouth-Roseville HS, 2014
Projectable 6-foot-2, 175-pound right-handed pitcher. Shows high pitchability with command of three pitches. Works from full windup, high-3/4, loose, quick arm, athletic delivery with some deception. Changeup shows potential to be legitimate out-pitch, 77-79 mph with arm-side sink down in the zone. Fastball sat 84-85 with arm-side run, all at the knees and below. Also throws a short, tight slider, in the 74-76 range. All three pitches he throws with similar arm action.

11. Clay Shourd, RHP, Springfield, 2014
Shourd is a lanky 6-foot, 160-pound right handed pitcher. Delivery is up tempo, deceptive, stretch only, open landing. Arm operates out of a low ¾ window, loose arm action, shows athletic arm action. Fastball has advanced sink, 85-86 mph, late action, showed command down in the zone. Slider also showed advanced action, thrown with fastball arm speed, flashed occasional sharp sweeping action, 74-75 mph. Change up had above average action, sink, deceptive arm action, showed command, 77-78 mph. Shourd showed excellent action in the zone on all three of his pitches while repeating his delivery at an up tempo pace. He projects well out of a high level bullpen as he showed the ability to work quickly and consistently out of the stretch.

12. Alex Hitney, RHP, St. Laurence HS, 2014
6-foot-1, 190-pound right-hander who flashed swing-and-miss stuff. Profiles as bullpen-type pitcher: works only out of stretch with strong two-pitch arsenal. Fastball topped at 89 mph, sitting at 86, with hard arm-side life. Slider has potential to be legitimate out-pitch. Throws it with conviction for strikes, 74-77 mph, with sharp two-plane bite.

13. Tyler Vaughn, RHP/INF, Anna-Jonesboro HS, 2014
Physical 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame with wide shoulders and solid lower half. Fastball sat at 85-86 mph, coming from high-3/4 slot, considerable effort in delivery. Curveball, in 67-70 range, showed promise, displaying two-plane life. Changes arm slot with 72-74 mph changeup. For size, runs well (7.39) and showed arm strength from shortstop (83 mph). Also registered 86 mph exit velocity.

14. Zac Taylor, RHP/OF, Downers Grove South, 2014
Athletic body, 6-foot-2, 175-pound two-way player. On the mound delivery showed regular effort, closed balance point. Arm works from a ¾ slot, long loose arm action. Fastball has slight run and sink, showed solid control, 83-85 mph, touched 86 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, slurve action, 69-70 mph. Change up has sink and fading action, 74-75 mph. Defensively worked uphill, 78 mph arm from the outfield, 6.7 runner. Offensively uses leg kick trigger, pull side approach, 81 mph exit velocity from the tee.

15. Tyler Lass, RHP, Belvidere, 2015
6-foot-3, 190-pound right handed pitcher. Delivery showed effort, occasional rhythm. Arm worked from a high ¾ arm slot. Fastball has slight sink, mostly straight, 84-86 mph, touched 87 mph. Slider lacked action, 74-77 mph. Changeup featured occasional sink, 77-79 mph.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Adam Abdallah, RHP/1B, Lincoln-Way East, 2014
6-foot-4, 190-pound two way player. Delivery showed effort, long arm action, high ¾ slot. Fastball flashed sink, erratic, 85-86 mph, touched 87. Curveball works on 11/5 plane, 73-75 mph, decelerated arm action. Change up flashed sink, 78-79 mph. Defensively showed advanced arm strength across the diamond, 87 mph, carried well, long transfer. 7.69 runner in the 60. Offensively hits from a balanced setup, short stride. Bat speed present, 85 mph exit velocity, uphill path, occasional extension through contact, pull side approach.

Austin Blazevic, 3B/RHP, Plainfield Central HS, 2015
6-foot-1, 178-pound two-way player. On the mound, works from 3/4 arm slot, shorter arm action, drop-and-drive delivery. Fastball ranged between 78-79 mph with slight arm-side sink. Curveball had 12/6 shape in the 66-70 range, commanded pitch for strikes. Changeup looks to be go-to pitch, showing sink down in zone with good arm action. Positionally, throws from same 3/4 arm slot from third base, registering at 78 mph. Makes accurate throws to bag. Offensively, his level line-drive approach and showed the ability to consistently square up the baseball. Also ran a 7.40 60.

Keenan Casey, LHP, St. Ignatius, 2014
6-foot, 190-pound left handed pitcher. Delivery shows some effort, arm action is short, works out of a high ¾ slot. Fastball is mostly straight, 77-78 mph. Curveball showed minimal action, 64-68 mph. Change up showed sink, occasional cut action, 64-65 mph.

Austin Covers, OF/LHP, Prairie Ridge, 2014
Long lanky build, 6-foot-3, 170-pound two way player. Defensively arm showed accuracy, over the top slot, 82 mph from the outfield. Long strided, 7.28 runner. Offensively hits from a slightly taller, balanced stance, smooth load. Short bat path, high hand eye, barrel awareness, high contact hitter, spray hitter, uses the whole field. Front foot hitter, slight lunge, slight extension. On the mound delivery showed athleticism, some rhythm. Arm worked from a high ¾ slot, long arm action. Fastball touched 81 mph, sat at 79-80 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, early action, showed command, 66-67 mph. Slider had sweeping action, 69-71 mph. Change up worked at 68-70 mph. Covers showed upside on the mound, commanded breaking ball well, potential tough matchup for left handed hitters.

AJ Diepholz, RHP/1B, Mattoon, 2014
Lanky frame, slender build, 6-foot-3, 175-pound two-way player. Drop and drive style delivery, regular effort. Arm action is loose, slightly short, quick arm action, high ¾ slot. Fastball has run, 82-84 mph. Curveball has 12/6 shape with depth, early action, 65-68 mph. Change up is erratic, flash arm side action, 75-76 mph, thrown with aggressive arm action. Offensively hits from a tall stance, balanced throughout. 75 mph exit velocity from the tee.

David Dugger, MIF/RHP, Rich Central, 2014
Athletic two-way player, 5-foot-9, 160-pounds. Defensively shows quick twitch actions, above average hands, above average defensive range. Arm action shows athleticism, high ¾ slot with accuracy, shows arm strength from the left side of the infield, 78 mph across the diamond. Offensively hit s from a balanced stance, uses smooth load, short stride. Above average bat speed, flat path through the zone, consistent contact, repeats swing well, line drive hitter, flashed a gap to gap approach. On the mound operates from an over the top slot, shows deception. Fastball has slight late sink in the hitting zone, 80-83 mph. Curveball works mostly on 12/6 plane, ranges from 68-74 mph.

Joseph Duncan, SS/RHP, Highland HS, 2014
A big riser in the 2014 class, Duncan is an athletically built 6-foot-2, 170-pound infielder with considerable upside. Showed quick-twitch athleticism throughout event: ran a 6.81 60, athletic arm in the field, bat speed at the plate (89 mph exit velocity). Hands really work at the plate. Has level bat path, balanced, quiet approach, fast hands and showed power potential. Defensively, may profile more at third base at next level, though certainly has the requisite tools to play shortstop. Has athletic arm, plays through the ball well, accuracy across the infield at 77 mph. On the mound, fastball topped at 83 mph, and also threw a curveball (65-66) and changeup (69-71). Overall, Duncan has the frame to easily add strength while maintaining his athleticism and adding more power in the future.

Frankie Farry, RHP, St. Charles North, 2014
5-foot-9, 185-pound right handed pitcher. Arm works from a ¾ arm slot, long arm action. Fastball sits at 77-78 mph touching 79 mph, showed slight run and sink. Breaking ball worked on 11/5 plane, 69-71 mph, thrown with less than fastball arm speed. Changeup showed control, flashed arm side run and sink, 72-76 mph.

Justin Hoffman, RHP/OF, Carbondale HS, 2014
Athletically built 6-foot-2, 175-pound two-way player. On the mound, has a quick, athletic arm, mechanically raw. Typically works from high-3/4 slot, but drops down to lower-3/4 on occasion, and throws a 12/6 breaking ball from over the top. Fastball topped at 86 mph, sitting at 83; with his arm quickness and athleticism, he should throw harder in future. Short arm action, some deception in delivery, hides the ball well. Also throws a 12/6 breaking ball (67-68 mph) and slider (74). Positionally, arm works in the outfield, topping at 83 mph with carry and accuracy. Offensively, hits from open setup and showed some pullside pop. Also ran a 7.29 60.

Jack Holden, OF/LHP, Schaumburg, 2014
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound two-way player hits and throws from the left side. Holden showed some footwork defensively in the outfield, 7.07 runner in the 60, and threw 80 mph from the outfield.  At the plate, he sets up in a slightly closed stance with a short stride.  He has pull tendencies and recorded an 83 mph exit velocity.  On the mound, Holden throws from a ¾ arm slot.  His fastball sat 77-78 mph; curveball was 59-62 mph with 11/5 action; and changeup ranged 66-69 mph with occasional sink. 

Baylor Holmes, LHP, Wheaton-Warrenville South HS, 2014
Durable frame, 6-foot-3, 210-pound left-handed pitcher. Works from lower-3/4 arm slot, long arm action, drop and drive delivery. Fastball topped at 80 mph, sitting 77-78. Also throws 67-72 mph curveball and a 75-76 mph changeup.

Ryan Hutchinson, SS/RHP, Mattoon, 2014
Hutchinson is a two-way player with projection in his 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame.  He ran a 7.14 60 along with some potential at the plate.  Hutchinson is a line-drive hitter with occasional gap power.  He sets up in an open stance and showed an advanced bat path with pop, recording an 83 mph exit velocity.  Defensively, his arm action is loose from a high ¾ slot at 77 mph across the infield with some accuracy.  On the mound, Hutchinson has some rhythm in his delivery and keeps his shoulders level, working from a high ¾ arm slot.  He showed a repeatable fastball, throwing for strikes at 79-81 mph. Curveball was 67-69 mph with short action. At 71-73 mph his changeup flashed fading action and thrown with fastball similar arm speed.    

Danny Janowski, LHP, TF South, 2014
Projectable left handed pitcher, frame shows plenty of length, 6-foot-5, 210-pounds. Delivery has tall and fall tendencies, regular effort. Arm action is long, high ¾ slot, moderate arm speed. Fastball was mostly straight, 78-80 mph. Curveball had some slurve tendencies, 73-76 mph. Change up flashed occasional sink, thrown with comparable arm speed, 65-71 mph.

Austin Johnson, 3B/RHP, Champaign Central HS, 2014
Solidly built 6-foot-1, 185-pound two-way player with athletic, projectable frame. Defensively, was clocked at 73 mph from third base, showing reliable hands and heavier feet. Offensively, hits from open setup, rotational hitter, 7.52 runner. On the mound, fastball topped at 79 mph, sitting at 76. Curveball ranged between 61-67 mph and changeup in 70-72 range. Has long arm action from high-3/4 slot, wraps on backside.

Derek Kornfeind, LHP, Lake Zurich HS, 2014
Wiry 5-foot-11, 155-pound left-handed pitcher. Arm works with ease from a 3/4 to high-3/4 arm slot with a long arm action. Fastball sat 77-78 with some arm-side run. Changeup also demonstrated arm-side action, in the 68-69 range. Also threw a 61-64 mph curveball that looks to be in the development stages.

Noah Lamboley, RHP, LaSalle-Peru HS, 2014
5-foot-11, 175-pound right-handed pitcher. Operates from high-3/4 slot with a loose, easy arm action. Repeats well and shows rhythm throughout delivery. Fastball topped at 83 mph, sitting in 80-81 range. Throws 66-68 mph curveball for strikes with gradual 11/5 shape. Changeup sat at 73 mph with some sink.

Tyler Lewan, SS/RHP, Dundee-Crown HS, 2014
6-foot-2, 175-pound two-way prospect. Defensively, shows reliable hands with solid arm strength across the infield (77 mph across the infield). Offensively, hits from an athletic setup and is short and quick to the ball. Ran a 7.63 60. On the mound, works from high-3/4 slot with fastball that topped at 80 mph. Also throws a 60-62 mph curveball and a 69-71 changeup with some sink.

Elijiah McKinnis, RHP/3B, Morgan Park, 2014
Strong build, 6-foot, 180-pound two-way player. Delivery worked out of a drop and drive approach with some rhythm. Arm action is short, high ¾ arm slot. Fastball is mostly straight, showed control, 80-81 mph. Curveball flashed 12/6 action, 72-74 mph. Splitfinger thrown with fastball arm speed, 74-75 mph, mostly down. Defensively showed soft hands, deliberate footwork. Arm played at 82 mph across the diamond, occasional carry. Offensively hit from a balanced stance, loads hands, no stride approach. Lower half shows some involvement, bat speed present, strong build, bottom half works heavily.

Brian Musielak, RHP/1B, Brother Rice, 2014
6-foot-3, 180-pound two way player, athletic build. Drop and drive style delivery, some effort. Arm action is short, ¾ arm slot. Fastball is mostly straight, 77-78 mph, touched 80 mph. Breaking ball lacks depth, 64-66 mph, 10/4 plane, gradual action. Change up showed sink, 68-70 mph. Offensively hit from an open stance, leg kick trigger. Level path, stays flat, 79 mph exit velocity.

Preston Perry, RHP, Geneva, 2014
Perry is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound right-handed pitcher with a drop-and-drive delivery.  He has a long arm action from a high ¾ slot.  His fastball was mostly straight at 79-80 mph, topping at 81 mph. Curveball showed gradual break at 67-68 mph. Straight change sat 74-75 mph, thrown with fastball comparable arm speed. Also featured a slider at 70-72 mph. 

Mike Plecki, OF/LHP, St. Thomas More, 2014
Athletically built, 6-foot, 160-pound left handed outfielder. Arm played at 80 mph from the outfield. Choppy actions defensively, slight hesitations. 7.37 runner in the 60. Offensively hit from a slightly tall and balanced stance, uses short stride approach. Flat path through the zone, solid balance throughout, 79 mph exit velocity from the tee. On the mound worked from a high ¾ arm slot, with a longer arm action. Fastball was straight at 74-77 mph, mostly up. Curveball worked at 65-66 mph, gradual bend on 11/5 plane, slurve feel, showed control. Changeup lacked consistent action, occasional cut action, 67-70 mph.

Josh Rahn, RHP, Schaumburg, 2014
6-foot-4, 205-pound right handed pitcher, strong build. Delivery is slightly across body, tall and fall delivery. Arm worked from an over the top slot, short arm action. Fastball showed sink, mostly straight, 83-85 mph. Breaking ball had gradual 10/4 action, 68-71 mph. Showed feel for change up, 72-73 mph, occasional sink.

Trevino Rodriguez, OF/RHP, De La Salle HS, 2014
Physically developed 6-foot-1, 210-pound two-way prospect with extremely strong lower half. Shows some arm strength from outfield (83 mph) and some power potential at the plate. Ran a 7.39 60 and had an 84-mph exit velocity. On the mound, works from an over the top slot with a fastball that sat at 83-84 mph. Also throws a 70-73 mph curveball and a 78 mph changeup.

Matt Skarzynski, LHP, Carmel Catholic HS, 2014
6-foot-1, 180-pound left-handed pitcher. Works from high-3/4 slot with short arm action. Fastball sat at 78-79 mph. Also throws a slurve with 11/5 shape, in the 64-67 range.

Matt Strzelczyk, LHP, Lincoln-Way North HS, 2014
Highly projectable 6-foot-2, 160-pound left-hander with lanky frame and long limbs. Has loose, quick arm, and hides ball well from 3/4 slot. Shows good rhythm and tempo throughout delivery. Feel for three pitches, headlined by a sinking 73-74 changeup down in the strike zone, resulting in a lot of groundball outs. Fastball sat at 79 mph; should add velocity as he fills into frame. Also throws 69-72 mph curveball.   

Blake Thompson, OF/LHP, Rochester, 2014
Athletic frame, shows strength, 6-foot-1, 170-pound left handed outfielder. Defensively showed advanced outfield actions, sets up well behind the baseball, plays through and stays online. Arm plays well, showed accuracy, short over the top arm slot some carry, 84 mph from the outfield. Offensively hits from the left side, athletic setup, short stride, lower half worked, good balance through contact. Showed excellent hands at the plate, consistent hard contact. Showed bat speed, 84 mph exit velocity from the tee, pull side approach, rhythm hitter. On the mound delivery shows tall and fall tendencies, opens slightly early. Arm works from a high ¾ slot, minimal effort. Fastball sat at 81 mph, touched 83 mph, showed occasional sink with control. Curveball thrown with fastball similar arm speed, 67-72 mph. Change up is mostly straight, showed control, fastball arm action, 74-76 mph.

Mitchell Weber, LHP, Oregon (WI), 2015
Lanky frame, 6-foot-2, 170-pound projectable left handed pitcher. Delivery showed rhythm and repeatability, tall and fall approach. Arm works from a high ¾ arm slot, loose arm action with regular effort. Fastball was mostly straight, 72-75 mph, showed command. Curveball had 11/5 shape, gradual action, 57-59 mph, showed command. Change up thrown with fastball similar arm action, 69-70 mph, slightly underneath.

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