Underclass Showcase: Quick Hits

By Drew Locascio & Adam Panayotovich
Illinois Scouting Staff

The Prep Baseball Report Underclass Showcase took place on Sunday, October 21st. The event, which is open to all 2021s and 2022s in Illinois, is being held at The Max in McCook, Illinois. The event serves as an identifier for the winter Underclass Invitational and a number of invite-only events next summer. 

Below we touch on a few of the early standouts from the day, which was mostly comprised of 2021s from the event. There were plenty of other prospects worth noting, many of whom will be mentioned in the upcoming stat story and positional roll-out. 



+ Christian Worcester (Lake Park, 2021) was one of the top defensive infielders in attendance and has all the tools to stick on the left side of the diamond. The 5-foot-10, 160-pound, shortstop plays with bounce, athletic actions, soft hands and was 84 mph across the infield.

+ 2021 Marian Catholic product Jaylon Nauden looked noticeably more physical than our last look. The athletically-built, 5-foot-10, 170-pound right-handed hitting shortstop takes an aggressive hack, creates bat speed and works gap-to-gap. Soft hands on the infield, fluid footwork and was 78 mph across the diamond.

+ 5-foot-10, 170-pound, 1B Bobby Atkinson (St. Rita, 2021) was one of the top left-handed bats in attendance. Atkinson has a strong lower half and generates easy bat speed with pull-power at the plate. Defensively, Atkinson is comfortable and sure-handed around the bag at first base.

+ 5-foot-11, 160-pound, INF Tristan Figus (Buffalo Grove) is a projectable 2021 right-handed hitter. At the plate, quiet, simple, repeatable swing and he routinely made a hard contact to the middle of the field in his round of BP.

+ SS/RHP Kyle Hussey (Providence Catholic, 2021) has two-way potential moving forward. The 5-foot-11, 163-pound, athletically-built, well-proportioned, sophomore has quick arm, ran his fastball up to 81 mph on the mound and has feel for a three-pitch mix. Right-handed hitter, has a level path and made hard contact to both gaps. Also, ran a 7.15 laser-timed 60.

+ INF Ethan Bowers (Vernon Hills, 2021) was one of the top runners in attendance, running a 6.86 laser-timed 60. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound, right-handed hitter, has a repeatable strong swing and looks to lift the baseball.


+ Ty Batusich (Joliet West), currently ranked No. 22 in the Illinois’ 2021 class continued to raise his stock at the event. The physical, 5-foot-11, 175-pound, left-handed hitter, stays level through the hitting zone, has a knack for finding the barrel and the ball sounds different off the bat. Behind the plate he has a strong, accurate arm with true carry at 78 mph.

+ Right-handed hitter, Sebastian Cabeza (Kaneland), has a durable 5-foot-9, 175-pound, catchers frame and took an impressive round of BP. Cabeza has moxy in the box, swings with controlled aggression and the bat stays through the hitting zone a long time. Defensively, he had a low pop time of 2.04. Follow 2021 catcher.

+ Luke Lawrence (Brother Rice, 2021) is a left-handed hitting catcher to follow moving forward. Quiet, confident look in the box, loose hands, and made hard contact to the pull-side gap. Behind the plate, has a short, easy arm action and throws topped at 74 mph from the crouch.


+ Eric Orloff (Glenbrook North, 2021) is a strong-framed LHP that flashed potential of a three pitch mix on the bump. Orloff utilized a clean, loose arm action, generated quick arm speed and hides the ball on his back side adding deception to his offerings. His fastball ran late and hard down in the zone, sitting 79-81 mph, which is up two ticks from his last PBR showcase in January. Looks to have plenty more in the tank.

+ 6-foot-4, 215-pound physically imposing RHP Ben Hess (Charleston, 2021) had one of the best bullpens on the day. Not only did Hess have quick, present arm speed on his fastball topping 85 mph with late run, but he maintained it on his secondary offerings showing a true feel for all three pitches. The projectable right-hander will be worth a follow for his upcoming season.

+ 2022 Tommy Boba (Wheaton Warrenville) is an athletically framed right-handed pitcher with a long, loose, quick arm action that projects. His fastball topped at 78 mph and he showed feel for a four-pitch mix that he throws with conviction. Follow 2022 arm with upside and pitchability.

+ Wiry, athletic RHP Jeremy Fox (Riverside-Brookfield, 2021) tied for the top fastball velocity in attendance at 85 mph with late sink down in the zone. Fox strides short and in-line down the mound, which allows his loose arm to work out front and produce easy, quick arm speed out of a high ¾ slot. His stock will only elevate if he can firm up his breaking ball and refine his changeup.

+ Tyler Conklin (Kaneland, 2021) is a live-bodied 5-foot-9, 170-pound, RHP/SS with a strong arm. Conklin topped at 86 mph across the diamond and sat 83-84 mph on the mound. At the plate he swings with intent and made occasional hard contact.


+ 2021 OF Nicky Giamarusti (Notre Dame) ran the event-best 60-yard dash at a blazing 6.55, laser-timed. At 6-foot,170-pounds, Giamarusti has strong hands, an uphill bat path and present rhythm through contact as he sprayed balls to all fields during BP. He also showed more than enough to be a weapon in centerfield ranging well and playing through the ball in stride with a clean, short arm action, throwing 81 mph from the outfield.

+ 2021 OF Zamaurion Hatcher (Kenwood) continues to improve his skill sets on both sides of the diamond. The athletically built left/left prospect has loose, rhythmic hands, a gap-to-gap approach and quick twitch in his swing. Hatcher plays with effortless bounce in the outfield with quick feet and soft hands. His arm is what stood out from the pack as he topped 87 mph from the outfield with a loose, clean arm action with life and accuracy on all throws. He also ran a 7.20 60-yard dash, laser-timed.

+ Strong-framed 2021 prospect Steven Sanderson (St. Rita) hits with presence in the batter’s box. At a strong 6-foot-1, 186-pounds, Sanderson repeatedly produced hard, loud contact to all fields, has above average bat speed and has the chance to be a middle of the order type of bat. He also ran one of the top 60’s in attendance at 7.07, laser-timed.

CLICK HERE for the Underclass Showcase roster.

Stay tuned over the next few days and weeks for a more analysis from the event.