Underclass Invitational: Infield Analysis



By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

The winter Underclass Invitational is one of our favorite events because it always brings the most unseen talent to the forefront. This year was no different as several prospects put their names on our big board and over the next week we will break down the top prospects at each position. Today we take a look at the infielders from the Underclass Invitational.

Jalen Greer (St. Rita) continues to prove that he is one of the top infielders in the 2019 class. The high-ceiling athlete, ran a sub 7.0 60, and does everything on the diamond with ease and rhythm.

Benji Brokemond (Walter Payton) was ranked as one of the top outfielders but may be more of a natural infielder. Brokemond, who ran a 6.64 60, has good range, can make plays on the move and his arm carries across the diamond.

Josh Gibson is another infielder to keep an eye on moving forward. Gibson, who started on varsity for O'Fallon last spring as a freshman, has bat speed at the plate and athletic actions on the infield.

TOP INFIELD PROSPECTS

1. Jalen Greer, INF, St. Rita, 2019
6-foot-2, 160-pound, projectable, athletically built infielder with plenty of room for continued physical development. High-ceiling prospect who continues to ascend in the 2019 class. Ran a personal best 60 time, 6.92. Offensively, right-handed hitter, simple, easy, fluid, loose swing with bat speed. Balanced setup, smooth load, short stride, good balance through contact. 89 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, has all the tools to stick at shortstop. Can make plays on the move, fluid footwork, body control and hands work soft. Quick, clean transfer and short, loose arm action. Throws flash carry across the diamond at 82 mph. High level 2019 infield prospect.

2. Benji Brokemond, SS/OF, Walter Payton, 2019
6-foot-1, 170-pound highly athletic, right-handed hitting SS/OF. Tied for and event best 6.64 second 60 yard dash. At the plate hits from a balanced, slightly open stance. Short stride with a smooth load. Line drive, gap to gap hitter with a short, uphill swing path. Showed strength thru contact with 85 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively in the infield has a short arm action from an over the top arm slot. Plays thru the ball with athletic actions and a quick, clean exchange. Showed good body control on the run. Threw 81 mph across the diamond. Showed the same athletic actions in the outfield throwing 83 mph.

3. Josh Gibson, INF, O’Fallon, 2019
5-foot-8, 155-pound infielder with a strong lower half. Plays with confidence and energy. Ran a 7.05 laser-timed 60. Right-handed hitter, compact swing, gap-to-gap approach, present bat speed and strength through contact; 85 mph exit velocity from a tee. Open, balanced setup, minimal stride, short path to the ball and good balance through contact. Defensively, natural infield actions, fluid footwork, good body control on the move, soft hands and quick, clean transfer. Arm works short and quick, high ¾ slot, accurate with carry clocked at 79 mph.

4. Kendal Ewell, OF/1B, Marist, 2019
6-foot-3, 185-pound right-handed hitting OF/1B with a lanky, athletic frame. At the plate hits from a balanced, slightly opens stance with a short leg lift stride. Good balance with fluid rhythm. Fast bat with an uphill swing path and loose hands. Showed strength thru contact with an event best 94 mph exit velocity from a tee. Will develop more power as he continues to fill out his lanky frame. Continues to improve 60 time running a personal best 7.13. Defensively in the outfield has a long, loose arm action from an over the top slot. Plays thru the ball with rangy actions. Threw 87 mph from the outfield. Also took drills at first base throwing 78 mph across the infield.

5. Clark Elliott, SS/OF, Barrington, 2019
5-foot-11, 160-pound left-handed hitting SS/OF with an athletic frame. At the plate hits from a crouched, open stance. Short stride with fluid rhythm and an uphill swing path. 81 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 6.99. Defensively in the outfield has a short arm action from an over the top slot. Plays thru the ball with a clean exchange. Throws showed carry at 86 mph. On the infield, athletic actions, quick, fluid footwork, hands are soft and arm carries across the diamond; Clocked at 80 mph.

6. Rhay Street, INF, Brother Rice, 2019
5-foot-10, 170-pound left-handed hitting. infielder. Offensively, quick twitch in swing and flashed bat speed. Short, simple stroke. 83 mph exit velocity from a tee. Crouched setup, short stride and good balance throughout. Defensively, smooth, athletic actions, soft, confident hands, quick, active feet and quick transfer. Short, over-the-top arm action, can drop down when needed and throws clocked at 79 mph. 7.12 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

7. Tre Hondras, 2B/OF, Homewood-Flossmoor, 2020
6-foot, 160-pound right-handed hitting 2B/OF with an athletic frame. At the plate hits from a balanced setup with a smooth load and short stride. Gap to gap hitter with fluid rhythm and good balance. Showed strength thru contact with 87 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 7.11. Defensively in the outfield has a long arm action from a high ¾ slot. Plays thru the ball with a clean exchange. Throws showed carry throwing 81 mph from the outfield. In the infield has solid actions with fluid footwork and soft hands. Threw 70 mph across the diamond.

8. Brennan Geers, 1B/LHP, Providence Catholic, 2019
6-foot-2, 200-pound left-handed hitting two-way player, athletic body type. Offensively hits from a slightly open stance, short stride, good balance. Level path, backspins the baseball, has bat strength, occasionally jump off the barrell. 89 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm action is short and quick across the diamond, high ¾ slot, 77 mph across. Showed feel around the bag, softer hands, athletic defender. 7.59 runner in the 60. On the mound arm works over the top, in rhythm. Fastball flashed arm side run, ranged 76-78 mph, touched 79 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, flashed action and feel, 65-70 mph. Changeup fades to arm side, 68-72 mph. Showed a cutter, at 73-75 mph with slight arm side action.

9. Nicholas Talarico, INF, Marmion, 2019
5-foot-10, 155-pound, athletically built infielder. Right-handed hitter, path works level and gets extension through contact. Line-drive approach, ability to drive balls to all fields and fluid rhythm. Open setup, stride gets to even and good balance throughout. Registered an 86 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, advanced infield actions. Active, fluid feet, body control soft hands, early glove presentation and clean transfer. Short arm action, natural over-the-top slot, can throw from different angles, clocked at 78 mph across the diamond. 7.95 runner in the 60.

10. Brendan Carrane, INF, St. Rita, 2019
5-foot-8, 155-pound, left-handed hitting infielder. Defensively, smooth, athletic actions, maintains body control on the move and flashed confident, soft hands on the infield. Arm works short, from a high ¾ slot, and clocked at 75 mph across the diamond. At the plate, fluid rhythm, line-drive, spray approach. Open setup, smooth load, stride gets back to even and good balance throughout. 7.36 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

10. Tucker Cole, INF, Dixon, 2019
5-foot-10, 145-pound, athletically built infielder. Right-handed hitter, aggressive swinger, looks to drive the ball with authority to the pull side. Balanced, tall setup, smooth load, leg-kick trigger and fluid rhythm throughout. 86 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, athletic actions, plays under control, hands work soft and out in front. Arm works short and quick, ability to throw from multiple angles, accurate throws, carry across the diamond at 80 mph. 7.90 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Brock Berry, INF, Lincoln-Way West, 2019
6-foot, 145-pound, athletically built infielder with plenty of room for continued physical development. Ran a 7.05 laser-timed 60. Right-handed hitter, loose swing and fluid rhythm throughout; 83 mph exit velocity from a tee. Balanced setup, slight pre-pitch load, short stride and path has length through the zone. Defensively, steady hands on the infield. Long arm action, high ¾ slot, flashed carry across the infield, clocked at 82 mph.  

Colin Bohanek, INF, Marist, 2020
5-foot-11, 170-pound, athletically built, strong, physically advanced infielder. Ran a 7.24 laser-timed 60. Right-handed hitter, strength through contact and long path through the zone; registered an 82 mph exit velocity from a tee. Open setup, stride gets back to even and maintains balance throughout. Defensively, active, quick feet on the infield. Hands are receptive and flashed a quick transfer. Arm works long and over-the-top, clocked at 77 mph across the diamond.

Hayden Brotz, 1B/RHP, Stevenson, 2019
6-foot-1, 210-pound two-way player, large build with strength. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, smooth loading action, long stride, average balance. Bat strength present, aggressive swing with a purpose, front foot hitter attacks the baseball. Power bat registered 91 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm action plays with length, high ¾ slot, 79 mph across the diamond. Moves well around the bag, natural defender at first. 7.69 runner in the 60. On the mound fastball has sink, showed feel, 79-81 mph, touched 82 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, 69-70 mph. Knuckleball showed float action to arm side, 66-68 mph.

James Carey, INF, Andrew, 2019
5-foot-11, 150-pound, wiry, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, balanced setup, smooth pre-pitch load, slight leg-lift timing trigger and flashed some looseness at times. Registered an 83 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, reliable hands on the infield. Arm works long, out of a low ¾ slot and clocked at 75 mph across the diamond. 7.47 runner in the 60.

Ryan Cermak, INF, Riverside-Brookfield, 2019
6-foot, 165-pound, athletically built infielder with present lean strength. Right-handed hitter, strength through contact and aggressive swinger; registered an 83 mph exit velocity. Open setup, leg-kick timing trigger, pull approach and fluid rhythm throughout. Defensively, short, quick, loose arm action. Throws clocked at 78 mph across the diamond. Also, 7.56 runner in the 60.

Michael Chialdikas, INF, Lake Zurich, 2019
6-foot, 145-pound, long and lean left-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, line-drive approach and good balance through contact. Balanced setup, smooth load and loose hands at times. Registered an 80 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, fields athletically, out in front, reliable hands and can throw from multiple arm slots. Throws clocked at 80 mph across the diamond. Ran a 7.80 60.

Brett Freiberg, INF, Marist, 2020
5-foot-8, 125-pound, lean left-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, path works long and level through the zone at times. Open, narrow setup, backside load, average stride, good balance and finishes on backside. 73 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, arm works long, from an over-the-top slot. Throws were accurate and clocked at 71 mph across the infield. 8.53 runner in the 60.

Nathan Hardman, 3B, Normal University, 2019
Lanky frame, thin build, 6-foot-1, 180-pound infielder. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, leg kick trigger, average balance. Path has length, showed bat speed, uphill path. 89 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm played at 76 mph across the diamond, long arm action, over the top slot. Plays with some effort, average hands, ability to play laterally. 7.56 runner in the 60.

Brendan Holloway, SS/OF, Vernon Hills, 2020
5-foot-4, 125-pound right-handed hitting SS/OF with a small, athletic frame. Ran a 6.89 60 yard dash at the event. At the plate hits from a narrow, open stance. Long stride with average balance. Long, level swing path. 82 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively in the infield has a short arm action from a ¾ arm slot. Quick, fluid footwork with good body control. Threw 74 mph across the infield. In the outfield plays thru the ball with quick footwork. Threw 77 mph from the outfield.

Andrew Kim, INF, Libertyville, 2019
6-foot, 175-pound, athletically built infielder with present strength. Left-handed hitter, compact swing, level path and gets extension through contact. Balanced, wide setup, short stride, good balance and present bat speed. Registered an 85 mph exit velocity. 7.01 runner in the 60, laser-timed. Defensively, plays with energy on the infield. Fields athletically and arm is accurate across the diamond, clocked at 78 mph.

Nick Kosmetatos, INF, St. Francis, 2019
6-foot, 185-pound, strong, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, easy, hard contact at times. Path works uphill and gap-to-gap approach. Balanced, open setup, smooth load and toe-tap stride. Registered an 83 mph exit velocity off a tee. Defensively, athletic actions and body control on the infield. Soft hands, fields out front and has the ability to change arm actions on the infield. Throws flash carry and clocked at 82 mph across the diamond. 7.36 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Ryan Leland, RHP/INF, Sandburg, 2019
6-foot-3, 175-pound right-handed pitcher, lean projectable frame, athletic live body. Athletic repeatable delivery. Arm action is, short and loose, high ¾ slot, quick projectable arm. Fastball finishes hard through the zone, slight arm side run, showed feel for the zone, 78-79 mph, touched 80 mph. Slider is tight, 11/5 shape, has feel with aggressive arm action, ability to throw for strikes, 66-68 mph. Changeup is thrown with fastball arm speed, 64-67 mph. High follow 2019 right-handed pitcher. Right-handed hitter, open stance, slightly longer stride. Loose hands, 88 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively showed 75 mph arm across the diamond, long arm action. Ran a 7.83 in the 60.

Kooper Loehr, INF, Mount Zion, 2019
5-foot-7, 125-pound, right-handed hitting infielder Defensively, fluid, athletic actions on the infield. Hands work soft and confidently, especially to glove side. Short, over-the-top arm action, accurate throws clocked at 76 mph. At the plate, level path and line-drive approach. Balanced setup, smooth load, short stride and good balance through contact. Registered a 76 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran a 7.55 laser-timed 60.

Mike Markett, INF, Marist, 2019
6-foot, 170-pound, athletically built, infielder. Right-handed hitter, with occasional lift in swing. Balanced, slightly open setup, leg-kick trigger and average balance through contact. Registered an 83 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, flashed lateral agility on the infield. Short arm from a high ¾ slot and throws clocked at 71 mph across the infield. Ran a 7.36 laser-timed 60.

Ken Middleton, INF, Providence Catholic, 2020
6-foot-2, 170-pound, right-handed hitting infielder with a long, projectable frame. Offensively, loose swing and sprayed balls to all fields. Open setup, long, toe-tap stride and lower half is involved in swing. Registered an 80 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, clean transfer on the infield. Changes arm angles, short arm action, throws clocked at 73 mph. 7.86 runner in the 60.

Logan Mont, INF, West Aurora, 2020
5-foot-6, 135-pound right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, balanced setup, short stride and average balance throughout. Path has a tendency to work uphill. Exit velocity registered at 78 mph from a tee. Defensively, steady hands on the infield. Accurate arm, works short and over-the-top and clocked at 67 mph. Also, ran a 7.50 laser-timed 60.

Michael Pawyza, INF, St. Laurence, 2020
5-foot-11, 165-pound, left-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, balanced setup, slight leg-lift trigger and finishes off his backside. Registered an exit velocity of 74 mph from a tee. Defensively, presents glove early and fields in the center of his body. Long arm, from a high ¾ slot, clocked at 70 mph across the infield. 7.76 runner in the 60.

Alex Rakas, INF, Aurora Central Catholic, 2019
5-foot-11, 170-pound, left-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, registered an 87 mph exit velocity from a tee. Balanced setup, short stride and bat stays flat through the zone at times. Defensively, arm works out of a ¾ slot, clocked at 69 mph across the diamond. 7.57 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Brandon Roth, INF/RHP, Normal West, 2019
Lanky frame, 6-foot-2, 170-pound two-way player. Balanced stance, deep load with leg kick stride. Level path with some length, some effort, average bat speed, 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm action is short, high ¾ slot, 81 mph across the diamond. Plays low, works down to up, gangly actions. 7.37 runner in the 60. On the mound arm works from a high ¾ slot, regular effort. Fastball has slight running action, flashed good finish through the zone, 80-81 mph, touched 82 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, 67-68 mph. Changeup sinks, consistently 72 mph.

Rohan Shah, INF/RHP, Lyons Township, 2020
6-foot, 160-pound, athletically built, projectable two-way prospect. On the mound, arm action projects for more velocity down the road; works loose and clean arm out of a high ¾ window with regular effort throughout. Smooth, athletic delivery, repeats, stays on line and finishes athletically, occasionally falling off towards first base. Fastball, slight arm-side-run, ranged from 76-79 mph. Curveball works 11/5 and sat 61-65 mph. Changeup, thrown for strikes, fade action, 69-71 mph. Offensively, right-handed hitter, looseness in swing, makes consistent hard contact and gap-to-gap approach. Balanced, open setup, long stride and good balance. Registered a 75 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, fluid, athletic actions on the infield. Soft hands, clean transfer and accurate arm; clocked at 77 mph across the infield. Also, ran a 7.35 laser-timed 60.

Ryan Sullivan, INF, Lyons Township, 2020
5-foot-9, 135-pound infielder. Right-handed hitter, open setup, low-hand set, path stays flat through the hitting zone and worked the middle of the field. 82 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, short arm action from a ¾ slot, throws flashed accuracy, clocked at 74 mph. Also, ran a 7.44 laser-timed 60.

Ben Vitas, INF/RHP, Providence Catholic, 2020
5-foot-10, 150-pound, lanky, athletically built two-way prospect. On the mound, projectable right-handed pitcher with feel for a three-pitch mix. Clean, loose arm action from a ¾ to high ¾ slot. Tall and fall, repeatable delivery with rhythm, lands closed, stays online and easy effort throughout. Fastball thrown for strikes, arm-side-run and sat 77-78 mph, touching 79. Curveball, 11/5 shape, slurvy action and sat 62-64 mph. Changeup, feel, sinking action, sat 68-69 mph. At the plate, right-handed hitter, balance, wide setup, short stride and path works uphill occasionally; registered an 82 mph exit velocity. Defensively, hands are soft and receptive, plays under control and flashed a quick transfer. Arm works short and showed the ability to throw from multiple angles on the infield. Throws were accurate and clocked at 76 mph across the diamond. 7.47 runner in the 60, laser-timed.

Brandon Ward, INF, Stevenson, 2019
5-foot-8, 155-pound, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, simple swing, made consistent hard contact, line-drive approach and sprayed balls to all fields. Balanced, wide setup, early load, short stride and maintains balance through contact. Registered an 83 mph exit velocity from a tee.  Defensively, reliable hands, and clean exchange on the infield. Short arm action, ¾ slot, changes angles at times, throws flashed accuracy and clocked at 72 mph. 7.34 runner in the 60, laser-timed.  

Dylan Whitney, INF, Oak Park-River Forest, 2020
5-foot-10, 130-pound, lean, right-handed hitting infielder. Offensively, simple swing, fluid rhythm, line-drive approach and bat stays level through the zone getting extension at times. Balanced setup, leg-kick trigger and good balanced throughout. 75 mph exit velocity off a tee. Defensively, plays well on the move, feet work quick and flashed steady hands. Arm works from a high ¾ slot, accurate throws and clocked at 76 mph across the diamond. 7.73 runner in the 60.

Jacob Willis, INF, Highland, 2019
Physical 6-foot-1, 185-pound infielder, strong build, physically advanced. Right-handed hitter, open stance, smooth loading action, slight arm bar load, short stride back to even, lower half works, strong solid balance. Has bat strength, longer path with pop, fast bat. Line drive contact in BP, level path. 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively uses a long arm across the diamond, high ¾ slot, carries across the diamond, 80 mph across. Hands play, pats exchange, athletic defender. 7.32 runner in the 60.

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