Underclass Invitational: 2016 Pitcher Analysis

By Steve Nielsen and Sean Duncan

We saw eight pitchers from the Class of 2016 at the Illinois Underclass Invitational, many of whom have very high ceilings. The list is topped by Wisconsin product Keith Kutzler (Tremper HS), who showed a fastball with run and control and an above average changeup coming out of a projectable frame. The highest ceiling might be with Bradley Harrison of O’Fallon HS. The 6-foot-3, 174-pound lefty showed an easy arm action and has plenty of room to fill out.

Here’s how the rest of the Class of 2016 pitchers graded out on Jan. 20 at The Max.

Top Class of 2016 Pitchers

1. Keith Kutzler, Kenosha Tremper HS (WI), RHP, Class of 2016
Lanky projectable pitchers frame, 6-foot-2, 170-pound right handed pitcher. Delivery shows rhythm, tall and fall approach, lower half lacks explosiveness, long arm action, arm works well. Fastball sits 79-80 mph touches 81, shows slight run, has control. Curveball work on 11/5 plane, sits 65-69 mph. Changeup is best secondary, shows sinking action, thrown with arm speed, keeps down, 66-69 mph.

2. Bradley Harrison, O’Fallon HS, 1B/LHP, Class of 2016
A top-level Class of 2016 prospect, Harrison shows potential to be a legitimate two-way player in the future. Projectable, athletic 6-foot-3, 174-pound frame with plenty of room to fill out. As a freshman at the Illinois Underclass Invite, Harrison graded out well across the board. Offensively, he shows an advanced approach for his age. His swing is loose, athletic, quiet and repeatable. Showed bat speed through the hitting zone and excellent extension after contact while staying balanced throughout. As he grows into his frame, Harrison should acquire more power. At first base, he’s athletic around the bag with soft hands. Harrison continued to impress on the mound. His arm works with fluidity and ease, using a long backside arm action from a high-3/4 slot. He has an athletic, repeatable delivery, maintaining excellent rhythm and tempo throughout. Commands the strike zone with three pitches. His fastball topped at 76 mph, but it is plain to see there will be more coming in the future. His curveball, in the 62-64 range, shows potential of being a plus pitch in the future. He throws it with confidence, showing some two-plane action. He also showed feel for a 66-68 mph changeup, which he threw with near fastball arm action for strikes.

3. Thomas Kenney, Mahomet-Seymour HS, OF/LHP, Class of 2016
5-foot-10, 170-pound left handed two way player. Defensively shows some outfield actions, long over the top arm action, 75 mph. Offensively hits from left side, balanced stance, short stride, slight leg lift trigger, stands tall at contact, some uphill bat path, lacks separation. On the mound uses long arm action from a high ¾ arm slot, moderate arm speed, tall and fall style delivery, some rhythm, stays on line, athletic finish. Fastball sits 75-76, touches 77, slight run, shows control. Curveball 55-56 mph, slow bender, curveball has pitchability, shows control, lacks aggressiveness, also shows changeup (64-65 mph). Shows good splits between pitches.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Christian Bullock, Morgan Park HS, LHP/1B, Class of 2016
Lanky build, 5-foot-9, 155-pound two way player. Left handed first baseman, advanced footwork, soft hands, plays athletically, quick exchange. Left handed hitter, open stance, dives at stride, finds the barrel consistently, line drive gap to gap style hitter. Projectable on the mound, deception in delivery, rotational delivery. Arm works cleanly and loosely, long ¾ arm slot. Fastball sits 73-76 mph, shows slight run, control. Curveball works on 11/5 plane, early action, flashed occasional sweeping action. Changeup shows run, consistently down out of the zone, 67-68 mph.

Kam Fezekas, Lyons Township HS, RHP, Class of 2016
Lanky right handed pitcher, 6-foot-2, 165-pounds, long limb slender frame, projectable. Delivery shows athleticism and repeatability, excellent balance throughout, tall and fall approach, delivery shows regular effort with some rhythm, shoulders stay level and works in line, landing is square and finishes athletically. Arm action works well, high ¾ arm slot, loose arm, has long levers. Fastball shows slight run, consistently thrown for strikes, showed command, 76-78 mph. Curveball shows feel, works on 11/5 plane, shows gradual action, lacks bite, improved aggressiveness will enhance pitch action. Changeup is above average, repeats well, throws with fastball similar arm speed, change up displays arm side run, also shows command down in the zone, 70-72 mph.

Jake Gilhaus, Normal Community HS, 1B/RHP, Class of 2016
Class of 2016 graduate with 6-foot, 210-pound frame. On mound, fastball topped at 80 mph with some effort. Coils front side, over-the-top arm slot, with drop and drive delivery. Curveball flashed 12/6 break in the 60-63 range. Changeup ranged between 64-66 mph. Offensively, showed some pull-side power potential from right side. Defensively, feel around the bag and solid glovework. Ran an 8.84 60.

Kelly Lane, Morgan Park HS, MIF/RHP, Class of 2016
Slender frame, 5-foot-10, 135-pound middle infielder. Above average infield actions, quick glove to hand transfer, soft hands, fluid footwork, lacks arm strength (67 mph), long over the top release. Offensively, pull tendencies, out and around bat path, hits off back side, lacks separation. On the mound, over the top arm slot. Fastball sits 64-68 mph. Curveball shows minimal action at 55-56 mph. Changeup thrown at 56-57 mph.

Tyler Peterson, Lake Zurich HS, SS/RHP, Class of 2016
Small frame, 5-foot-9, 140-pound two-way player. Defensively uses over the top arm slot, 69 mph across infield, plays tall defensively. Left handed hitter, good setup, hits from open stance, short stride, short bat path, lacks extension, choppy rhythm. On the mound works from high ¾ arm slot, direction is on line, shows some rhythm. Fastball sits 74-76 mph, slight run. Curveball has 11/5 shape, gradual bend, 62-65 mph, tends to cast curveball. Slider shows sweep (63-69 mph), inconsistent velocity, breaking balls lack identity. Changeup thrown with arm speed, arm side run, showed control, 67-70 mph.

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Quarry Fieldhouse SLIDE 2-18-13