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Underclass Invitational: Preview


By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

The Underclass Invitational is one of Illinois’ most highly anticipated events for the top 2020 and 2021 prospects in the state. This Sunday, February 18 the sold out invite-only event will bring over 115 of the top freshman and sophomore prospects in the state to The MAX in McCook, IL.

There are already 13 players from last year’s event that have gone on to commit to Division I programs with plenty more to come. Six players from last year’s event were ultimately selected to participate in this past summer’s PBR Future Games.

As of now, this year’s roster looks like it will rival the talent of year's past.

14 of the top 25 players in the Class of 2020 are registered for the event, led by uncommitted INF/RHP Alec Gonzalez (Mount Carmel). Gonzalez, currently ranked No. 5 in the class, is a high-level infielder and ran his fastball up to 87 mph this past fall.

Another high-level uncommitted 2020 prospect to keep an eye on is LHP/OF Noah DeLuga (Lake Zurich). DeLuga, ranked No. 7 in Illinois, struck out all four hitters he faced at last summer’s 2020 Underclass Games, while topping at 86 mph from the left side.

Some other notable uncommitted 2020s poised to impress Sunday are INF Jacob Mote (Normal University), RHP Zach Hise (Joliet Catholic), RHP Drew Detmers (Chatham-Glenwood), RHP/OF Eben Heine (Plainfield North), MIF Anthony Livermore (Mount Carmel), INF/OF Tre Hondras (Homewood-Flossmoor), RHP/OF Connor Gill (Oswego East) and RHP Cooper Herold (Minooka).

Eben Heine (7.24.17)

Not to be forgotten, there are plenty of talented 2021s ready to make a name for themselves at the event. The freshman crop of catcher's looks on paper to be one of the strongest groups; Alex Calarco (New Trier), Camden Janik (Wauconda), Brian Rapanan (Warren) and Mason Roehr (Granite City) are all advanced defensively for their age.

Camden Janik (1.28.18)

RHP/3B Vytas Valincius (St. Laurence), ranked No. 35 overall, is the highest ranked 2021 in attendance. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound, physically imposing freshman has a mid-80’s fastball and impressive raw power at the plate.

Other freshman to watch on Sunday will be LHP/1B Adam Dowler (Oswego East), RHP Cole Collander (Oswego East), INF Kevin McCormick (St. Laurence), INF William Pauling (Homewood-Flossmoor), OF Braden Sayles (Hononegah), 1B Dylan Scafuri (Romeoville), and RHP/INF Kyle Washington (Jacobs).

There are sure to be plenty of other prospects who burst onto the scene Sunday.

CLICK HERE for the current roster.

Check-In times for the Underclass Invitational are as follows:

Pitchers, Catchers and all Two-Way Players:

7:15-7:30 AM

Position Player Only:

10:40 AM-11:00 AM

Catchers will stay for both sessions as they will also be evaluated while catching bullpens.

Pitchers need to bring turfs and spikes as they will warm up on turf mound and throw live on dirt mounds.

The event should end around 3:00 pm

**The MAX (McCook Athletic and Exposition Center) is located at 4750 S. Vernon Ave, McCook, IL, 60525.**

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