Prep Baseball Report

Underclass Trials: Quick Hits

Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor - Wisconsin/Illinois

The Underclass Trials took place on Wednesday, June 6 at Symonds-Puckett Field on the campus of Triton College. Even with bad weather changing the event’s venue at the last minute, 65+ athletes in the classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023 came from the greater Chicagoland area to show off their talent.

The event saw a good mix of players that were on our radar, and players who were attending their first event. Across the board, there were plenty of things to be excited about -- athleticism, speed, power, and arm strength were all on display. Below, we will highlight some of the standout performers from the Underclass Trials.

Over the coming weeks, we will continue to pump out content related to this event. Keep an eye out for in-depth scouting reports on each player, video analysis, and positional breakdowns in the near future. For now, here are some rapid reactions from the Underclass Trials.

  • RHP Brennyn Cutts (Toledo- Cumberland, 2021) has been on our radar since last summer, and even impressed enough to receive an invite to last year’s Future Games, as one of the few 2021 prospects in attendance. Cutts is still on the market and has ramped up his fastball sitting 88-89 mph with little effort. He still stands an impressive 6-foot-3, 200-pounds and gets the ball to effortlessly jump out of his hand. Cutts also showed off an improved changeup with late run and sink.

  • Cutts 2021 teammate, Brayson Shew (Toledo-Cumberland) was back for his second PBR event, showing similar velocity we saw out of him in the winter (82-85 mph, T86 mph) but with better control of the bottom of the zone, showing an ability to command the baseball in a short bullpen stint. Shew showed similar feel for both secondary offerings as well.

  • The biggest revelation of the day may have to go to 2022 grad Hunter Pudlo (Lakes HS). A two-way RHP/1B, Pudlo, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound, physically-advanced, imposing figure,  showed plus arm strength on the mound topping out at 89 mph, sitting 87-88 mph. It plays straight and hard with four seam type finish but his secondary offerings have yet to develop. Just finishing his freshman campaign, Pudlo looks to have one of the strongest pure arms in the class and is likely to make a big splash in the 2022 rankings.

  • One of the better breaking balls of the day goes to RHP Ben Plumley (Lane Tech, 2021). Plumley threw a tight biter that played on 11/5 plane with feel and 72-74 mph. He spins it with clear conviction and confidence while consistently dropping for strikes. Look for this pitch to continue to improve, along with his 81-83 mph fastball that topped at 84 mph.  

  • There was plenty of upside at the Underclass Trials, and RHP Logan Peterson (LeRoy, 2021) may have the highest ceiling of them all. At 6-foot-4, 179-pounds, Peterson is long and lean with an athletic build. His delivery is clean and repeats creating a tough angle that works across his body. His fastball finished with occasional sink working 82-84 mph, pairing it with a slurve type breaking ball and straight change.

  • RHP Tom Egan (Mount Carmel, 2021) was one of the Caravan’s more reliable arms as just a sophomore logging almost 50 innings on the year. Egan showed feel for an 84-85 mph fastball that topped at 87 mph in his bullpen. He showed similar feel for three secondary pitches, giving him a four pitch arsenal that plays for strikes. Egan’s slider showed to be his best secondary offering at 73-75 mph with 11/5 shape and aggressive arm speed.

  • On the catching side of things, C Will Plattner (Glenwood, 2022) arguably had the best day of any of the backstops. His best pop time posted at 2.08 and made it look easy getting out of the crouch, his arm strength will likely improve but already flashed carry and accuracy. His right-handed bat showed even better than his defensive prowess. His simple approach creates easy quick twitch bat speed that works on a short path to the baseball with extension through contact.

  • Left-handed hitting catcher Justin Cappis (Niles North, 2021) posted the top pop time of the day at 2.06 and did so with a quick clean exchange and showed natural actions behind the dish, while looking the part at a strong 5-foot-11, 175-pounds. His bat plays loose and easy from the left side maintaining excellent balance while creating hard gap to gap contact. Cappis also flashed above average pop to his pull side and creates a natural uphill plane that could continue to develop for more power.  

  • Arguably, at first glance, the highest ceiling bat goes to left-handed hitting 2022 Brendan Summerhill (Whitney Young). He’s a 6-foot-2, 165-pound catcher coming off his freshman campaign and showcased a simple easy stroke that gets gap to gap contact on a line. His 85 mph exit velocity at the event was in the upper echelon for his class, and with a high upside frame like his, you’ll likely see that number continue to improve. Summerhill is a well-above average athlete at his age and position, running a 7.18 in the 60, there’s potential he could play multiple roles on the diamond.  

  • Left-handed hitting infielder Tyler Castro (Huntley, 2021) Showed a projectable frame at 6-foot-1, 140-pounds that impressed best in the batters’ box. His line drive, gap-to-gap approach works with above average bat speed that should get even better with added strength. Castro also ran a 7.11, and threw it 77 mph across the infield.

  • Holt Geltmaker (Illinois Valley Central, 2021) made himself known right from the get go, getting his event start on the right (quick) foot, running a blazing 6.63 in the 60 yard dash. Geltmaker is a strong and athletic build with a strong lower half at 6-foot-1, 175-pounds. He’s a strong, quick-twitch type athlete that showed above average tools across the board. Defensive profile is still a question mark but there is plenty of options given his athleticism.