Prep Baseball Report

Underclass Games: Pitcher Analysis

By Illinois Scouting Staff

On July 23, we hosted one of the summer’s most high-profile 2021 showcases, Underclass Games at the University of Illinois-Chicago’s Les Miller Field at Curtis Granderson Stadium.

We previously published our Statistical Analysis from the event as well as positional breakdowns for the day’s catchers, outfielders, and infielders, but today we’ll turn our attention to the pitchers who toed the rubber.

Toledo-Cumberland’s RHP Brennyn Cutts is the pitcher who stole the show in Chicago. We had last sen Cutts in Westfield, Ind., in 2017 at the PBR Junior Future Games. There, Cutts elicited a projectable frame and advanced arm strength, one that made it appear as if the 6-foot-3 right-hander was in line for a spike in velocity in the next couple of years. After his bullpen at UIC, it’s obvious that his development is coming along nicely. Cutts sat 84-86 mph with his fastball that featured heavy run. He’s also showing signs of developing a sharp curveball as a go-to out-pitch with a distinctly different slider to go along with it.

Yesterday, we saw St. Charles North future two-way star Nick DeMarco top the rankings among this showcase’s group of infielders and he’s found a spot on the top three of this list of pitchers, too. He has a premium offensive profile but his fastball-slider combination looks like it could be lethal. DeMarco sat in the mid-80s with his sinking fastball and paired it with a sharp slider he showed some early feel for.

Below, we have detailed reports on each and every one of the pitchers who took the mound Underclass Games last month. Tomorrow, we’ll publish the top overall prospects from the event, regardless of position.


1. Brennyn Cutts, RHP, Toledo-Cumberland (IL), 2021
6-foot-3, 195-pound right-handed pitcher, large build, strong lower half, durable frame. Delivery is repeatable with little effort, short rocker step, works online, lands square, upright finish to first base side. Plus arm strength for age, arm action is clean and live, works out of ¾ slot. Fastball flashed plus finish for age, heavy action that runs to arm side, showed ability to control the zone, ranged 84-86 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape with feel, hard biting action, showed ability to get swing and miss as well as chases, 70-73 mph. Slider has similar qualities on shorter 10/4 plane, 76 mph. High follow 2021 prospect.

2. Mason Ruh, RHP, Wisconsin Lutheran (WI), 2021
6-foot-3, 213-pound right-handed pitcher, extra-large frame thick build, durable body type. Delivery is smooth and on line, squared landing, athletic finish, works with tempo. Arm action is loose and quick, clean path with some length, high ¾ slot, projects well. Fastball finishes firm through the zone, tilt, heavy feel, 84-85 mph, plays up to weak contact. Slider has 10/4 shape, 71-76 mph, flat at times. Flashed changeup at 80 mph. High follow 2021 prospect.

3. Nick DeMarco, INF/RHP, St. Charles North, 2021
5-foot-11, 180-pound, strong, athletically-built, two-way prospect. All-around impressive day. On of the top offensive rounds of the event. Right-handed hitter, presence in the box, balanced setup, smooth early load, short stride and good balance. Quick twitch in swing, present bat speed, explosive at times, consistent hard contact, balls jumps off the barrel. Short bat path, gap-to-gap approach and fluid rhythm throughout; 89 mph exit velocity off a tee. Defensively, athletic infield actions, fluid feet, soft hands, works through the baseball and clean release. Loose arm action, high ¾ slot, accurate arm, throws carry and clocked at 83 mph. 4.76 runner down the line. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, one of the top arms of the event. Clean, repeatable delivery, works with rhythm, on-line and finishes athletically. Fluid, clean, compact arm action; works quick out of a high ¾ slot. Fastball, down in the zone, sinking action, sat 85-86 mph. Slider, 10/4 plane, flashed sharp action, thrown for strikes, 74-76 mph. High-follow two-way prospect in the 2021 class.

4. Adam Dowler, LHP/1B, Oswego East, 2021
6-foot-3, 200-pound, well-proportioned, extra-large, two-way prospect. High-ceiling left-handed arm. Works out of the stretch only, repeats delivery well for his size, works on-line, lands front toe closed. Clean, loose arm action, quick out front and comes out of a high ¾ slot. Fastball, thrown for strikes, arm-side-run, consistently pitches to the arm side, sat 81-83 mph. Curveball, thrown for strikes, 1/7 plane, occasional sharp action, 70-72 mph. Saw one changeup at 75 mph. At the plate, left-handed hitter, balanced setup, deep load, gets hands back and toe-tap stride. Long, uphill bat path, makes strong, hard contact to the pull-side at times. 85 mph exit velocity off a tee. Defensively, natural actions at first base, maintains body control, sure hands and fluid footwork around the bag at first. Throws topped at 80 mph across the infield. 4.69, home-to-first.

5. Kyle Walter, RHP, Minooka (IL), 2021
6-foot-3, 205-pound right-handed pitcher, long gangly frame. Long levers create arm action whip, high ¾ slot, quick arm. Delivery is quick to balance point, some deception, lands square with closed toe, drop and drive type. Fastball showed run to arm side, control of the zone, worked 83-86 mph. Curveball has gradual 11/5 shape, 66-69 mph, land for strikes type breaking ball.

6. Owen Washburn, INF/RHP, Webster (WI), 2021
5-foot-10, 150-pound, athletically-built, two-way prospect. High-upside left-handed hitter. Tall, open, quiet setup, minimal pre-pitch movement, smooth load, leg-kick timing trigger, maintains balance through contact and fluid rhythm throughout. Simple swing, stays short to the ball, natural lift, hard contact. 82 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, short, loose, easy, accurate arm; carries across the diamond and clocked at 77 mph. Sure hands and clean, quick exchange. 4.44 runner down the line. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, compact, balanced, repeatable delivery, works on-line, lands square and finishes athletically. Clean, compact arm action, loose and quick out front, high ¾ slot. Fastball, inconsistent run and cut action, sat 80-82 mph, touched 83. Curveball, works on a 12/6 to 11/5 plane, depth, 73 mph. Saw a changeup in warmups, sink and fade action. High-follow 2021 two-way prospect.  

7. Nathan Buchan, INF/RHP, Plainfield Central, 2021
6-foot-1, 190-pound, two-way prospect with a strong, athletic, advanced build. At the plate, balanced, quiet setup, short stride and maintains balance. Went 3-for-3 during game play, including an RBI triple. Swings the bat with controlled aggression, flashed bat speed and quick twitch. Path works short with uphill tendencies and fluid rhythm throughout. 83 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, on the infield, profiles as an above-average third baseman. Clean actions, moves well for size, sure hands, athletic fielding position and smooth, quick transfer at times. Arm is short and loose, high ¾ slot, ball comes out easy with carry, clocked at 78 mph across the infield. 4.69 runner, home-to-first. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, compact, repeatable delivery, works with rhythm. Stays on-line, lands square and finishes athletically. Quick arm action, comes out of a high ¾ slot. Fastball, thrown for strikes, down in the zone, tilt, sat 80-82, touched 83. Curveball, maintains arm speed, 12/6 shape, 69-70 mph. Also, mixed in a slider, 77 mph.

8. Ben Hess, RHP, Charleston (IL), 2021
6-foot-3, 195-pound right-handed pitcher, large build. Easy delivery that repeats, compact balance point, keeps simple and falls down the hill, first base side finish. Arm action is loose and clean, high ¾ slot, flashed easy life out front. Fastball has some run to arm side, sinking action when down, occasionally misses up, touched 84 mph, sat 80-83 mph. Curveball played 66-72 mph. Changeup has fade action, occasional decel and lower slot, 71-73 mph.

9. Tyler Peck, RHP, Oak Creek (WI), 2021
6-foot-2, 180-pound right-handed pitcher, lean body type. Delivery repeats, clean and balanced. Strike thrower. Arm action is loose, high ¾ slot. Showed ability to spot fastball to glove side, mostly straight, slight arm side action, sat 80-81 mph, touching 82 mph. Curveball has 12/6 shape, sharp action, lands for strikes, feel for the zone, 64-69 mph. Changeup ranged 71-73 mph.

10. Billy Howard, RHP, Menomonee Falls (WI), 2021
6-foot-1, 190-pound right-handed pitcher, strong large build. Delivery works on line, level shoulders, stays balance through release, online to target. Arm action is long, over the top slot. Fastball is straight, occasional cut action, worked down in the zone, 80-83 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, gradual action, 64-67 mph.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Nathan Brinker, C/RHP, Naperville Central (IL), 2021
6-foot-2, 180-pound two-way player, long frame. Right-handed hitter, tall setup, leg kick stride. Path is long, works slightly uphill, made gap to gap contact. 87 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm action works over the top, some length, 74 mph out of the crouch. Pop times ranged 2.25-2.32. On the mound delivery works slightly to open side. Long arm action, over the top slot. Fastball topped at 79 mph, ranged 73-78 mph. Curveball sat 58-59 mph.

Keagan Bobbitt, LHP, Lincoln-Way West (IL), 2021
6-foot-4, 160-pound left-handed pitcher, lanky projectable frame. Long levered delivery, lands squared, low effort. Arm action is long out of a high ¾ slot, loose and quick. Fastball showed run to arm side, 76-78 mph. Curveball has 1/7 shape, gradual action, 60-62 mph. Sinking changeup at 67 mph.

Charlie Cmiel, LHP, York (IL), 2021
5-foot-11, 155-pound left-handed pitcher, lean long legged frame. Delivery works with tempo and pace, calm mound presence, in control. Arm action is loose, short draw, some length out front, ¾ slot. Fastball showed late running action to arm side, 77-79 mph. Curveball has 1/7 shape, gradual action occasionally around it, 61-63 mph. Flashed changeu pat 60 mph, fade action.

Cole Collander, RHP, Oswego East (IL), 2021
6-foot-1, 185-pound right-handed pitcher, wide shoulder frame, can carry additional strength. Tall and fall type delivery, works with some rhythm, recoil type finish, stays on back side. Arm action is loose, short action, quick arm, high ¾ slot. Fastball is straight, sat 79-80 mph, touched up to 83 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, 63-67 mph. Changeup sinks, 73 mph.

George Henkel, RHP/INF, Appleton West (WI), 2021
6-foot-1, 185-pound, athletically-built, long, two-way prospect. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, delivery works with rhythm, coiled at balance point, lands slightly open and regular effort throughout. Full, clean arm swing on the backside, loose and quick out of a ¾ slot. Fastball, running action, hard and late at times, sat 78-80 mph, touched 81. Slider, 10/4 shape, 69-72 mph. Curveball sat 64-67 mph. At the plate, right-handed hitter, balanced setup, short stride and average balance throughout. Long, uphill bat path at times and 84 mph exit velocity. Defensively, on the infield, reliable hands, long arm action, high ¾ slot and throws topped at 77 mph. 4.91 runner, home-to-first.

Jackson Lee, RHP/INF, Effingham, 2021
5-foot-10, 190-pound, thick, strong, two-way prospect. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, side-step delivery, works with rhythm, repeats, works down the mound, stays on-line and finishes athletically with easy effort throughout. Clean, loose arm action comes out of a high ¾ window. Fastball, thrown for strikes, mostly straight action, sat 78-80 mph, touched 81. Curveball 10/4 to 11/5 plane, depth at times, around the zone, 71-72 mph. Changeup, fade action, 71-74 mph. At the plate, right-handed hitter, balanced setup, smooth deep loading action and leg-lift timing trigger. Aggressive to the ball, short, level bat path, pull approach and 76 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, steady hands, loose arm action, high ¾ to ¾ slot and throws topped at 79 mph across the infield. 4.93 runner, down-the-line.  

Brian Rapanan, C/INF/RHP, Warren (IL), 2021
5-foot-7, 150-pound two-way player, compact build with present strength. Right-handed hitter, balanced spread stance, loads hands back, short stride, maintains balance throughout. Path is short and level through contact, gets extension, present bat speed. Spray line drive contact, 83 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm action is short and over the top, 75 mph out of the crouch, played at 77 mph across the diamond. Catcher/second base defensively profile, hands play soft and clean, athletic actions. 2.11-2.19 pop times. 4.68 runner down the line. On the mound arm action plays similar to that on the field, compact delivery, repeats. Fastball is mostly straight, 80-82 mph. Curveball played 70-72 mph, 11/5 action.

Blake Read, LHP, Muskego (WI), 2021
6-foot-1, 165-pound left-handed pitcher, frame projects, lean and loose body. Works with tempo and pace, slightly cross body, easy effort. Arm action is loose, high ¾ slot, long loose action. Fastball has slight run to arm side, feel for the zone, sat 76-78 mph, touched 79 mph. Curveball has 12/6 shape, near fastball arm speed, generates gradual action, 66-69 mph. Straight change thrown with fastball arm speed, feel for the strike zone, 71-72 mph.

Chris Rooney, OF/RHP, Mundelein (IL), 2021
6-foot, 152-pound two-way player, lean build. Right-handed hitter, open stance, loads hands back, altered stride between toe tap and leg kick, average balance. Path plays slightly uphill, line drive contact in BP, 80 mph exit velocity from the tee. 2-for-4 in game play with a pair of singles. On the mound arm action is full, high ¾ slot, little effort. Fastball played 72-73 mph. Curveball sat 60-61 mph. Flashed changeup at 63 mph.

Will Staviski, RHP, Brookfield East (WI), 2021
6-foot-1, 150-pound right-handed pitcher, slender build. Delivery is balanced and works to stay on line with proper mechanics. Arm action is long and firm, over the top slot, showed more looseness out front. Fastball sat 76-78 mph, occasional tilt, flashed cut action. Curveball has 11/5 shape, 67-69 mph, occasionally pulled.

Liam Stumpf, OF/RHP, Mineral Point (WI), 2021
6-foot, 159-pound two-way player, lean build. Right-handed hitter, open stance, short leg lift stride, path is level with some length. 89 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm played at 84 mph from the outfield, arm action is long, high ¾ slot. Feet play through the baseball in stride, 5.05 run down the line. On the mound arm plays long and loose, high ¾ slot. Fastball played 78-80 mph, touched 81 mph, arm side run. Curveball has 10/4 shape, decelerated arm action, 66 mph.