Prep Baseball Report

Underclass Invitational Showcase Preview

By Ryan Quigley
Illinois Scouting Director

The Prep Baseball Report’s Underclass Invitational will take place this Sunday January 18th at the Max in McCook, IL. Last year’s event has already seen 15 players commit to major Division-I baseball programs. Underclass prospects from the 2017 and 2018 classes will come together in a pro-style workout to strut their stuff in front of the PBR scouting staff.

Nick Derr, a 2016 shortstop committed to Florida State, who transferred from Geneva HS to IMG Academy in Florida, was named the Top Overall Prospect of last year’s event after running a 6.62 60, and recording 92 mph exit velocity.

Uncommitted RHP Brenden Heiss (Jacobs HS, 2016) was named the No. 2 overall prospect, and eventually touched 95 mph at the Future Games. Heiss is currently weighing several scholarship offers from perennially Top 10 ranked collegiate programs.

RHP Drake Fellows of Joliet Catholic attended last year, and ranked as the No. 3 overall prospect when throwing one of his first bullpens of the year. The Vanderbilt commit dominated in the spring, showing consistent 88-91 mph fastball velocity, touching as high as 94 mph this spring. Fellows is currently ranked No. 1 in Illinois, No. 5 overall in PBR’s coverage area.

Carmel Catholic catcher Cooper Johnson broke the five-year event record by firing pop times in the 1.84-1.93 range. Johnson committed to Mississippi after putting on a similar display at the Future Games.

Click Here to view last year’s Underclass Invitational Top 20 Overall Prospects. Eight of the Top 20 Prospects participated in this past August’s PBR Future Games powered by Under Armour, our premier scouting event for underclassmen. The Underclass Invitational serves as an identifier for the PBR Scouting Staff for the prestigious Future Games.

Enough about last year, let’s take a look at this year’s crop of underclassmen currently registered.

Sunday Preview

Committed prospects Ryan Kutt (Illinois), Bobby Seymour (Wake Forest), and Bobby Miller (Louisville) are three of the top 10 players in the 2017 class who will all be in attendance.

Kutt, the No. 1 ranked player in Illinois’ 2017 class, has shown advanced pitchability for his age, easy 85-87 mph velocity, and a 78-81 mph slider that is one of the best secondary offerings in Illinois, regardless of graduating class. Kutt also swings the stick, playing multiple infield positions, so don’t close the door on his two-way ability just yet.

Lake Forest uncommitted OF Brad Czerniejewski is ranked No. 2 in Illinois and put on a show back in June at the 2017 Top Prospect Games, producing 95 mph exit velocity, and showing quick-twitch athleticism in multiple aspects of the game. Czerniejewski is also currently weighing several college offers.

Mount Carmel’s Bobby Seymour, committed to Wake Forest, is the No. 3 ranked player in the state and brings his powerful left-handed swing to the event.

McHenry West’s Bobby Miller, ranked No. 7 in the class, committed to Louisville, has shown 85-87 mph fastball velocity this past fall from a projectable 6-foot-4, 185-pound frame. Miller also

Several Top 20 players who remain uncommitted will also be in attendance including RHP Austin Marozas (Plainfield South, No. 10), 3B/OF KC Simonich (Joliet Catholic, No. 11), and OF/3B Easton Bertrand (Manteno HS, No. 13).

If the past Underclass Invitational Showcases are any indication, several unranked prospects are sure to impress and shake up the 2017 class rankings. Click Here to view the complete roster for this Sunday’s event.

Underclass prospects who did not receive an invite to this event can still get in front of the PBR Scouting Staff this winter either at the Preseason I.D. Romeoville or the Preseason I.D. Gurnee.

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