Unsigned Senior Showcase: Pitching Analysis



By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Director – Illinois/Wisconsin

Today we break down the pitching prospects from the Unsigned Senior Showcase.

Bobby Pennington took the top spot showcasing the most well-rounded arsenal. He displayed feel for three pitches with a strong durable frame that shows projection. Alex Rice was close behind displaying the best fastball of the event. Touching 88 mph Rice’s fastball featured excellent arm side run working down in the zone.

Here’s a look at our top ten pitching prospects.

Top Pitching Prospects

1. Bobby Pennington, RHP, Maine South, 2014
6-foot-4, 195-pounder features an athletic frame with extremely wide shoulders and long arms – a prototypical pitcher’s frame with plenty more room for physical development. Pennington profiled as the best arm at the event. His fastball sat 86-87 mph, touching 88 twice. He works from a high-3/4 slot with an athletic arm action. His curveball showed significant improvement since the last time we saw him at the Preseason All-State Showcase last February. His 71-72 mph curveball flashed tight, late 12/6 break at times, while his changeup consistently registered at 76-77 mph with above-average arm action.

2. Alex Rice, RHP/OF, Oak Park River Forest, 2014
Big frame, 6-foot-4, 215-pound two way player. On the mound delivery is tall and fall style, regular effort. Arm action is long and loose, ¾ arm slot. This is the best we've seen Rice on the mound as he showed the best fastball of the showcase sitting 86-87 mph touching 88 mph. Fastball featured excellent arm side run, lively action. Breaking ball ranged between 68-73 mph. Changeup showed good fading action, decelerated arm action, 74-77 mph. Offensively hits from the right side, open stance, short stride. Advanced bat speed, 91 mph exit velocity, produced whip, aggressive approach, swing showed extension. Defensively arm played at 84 mph, played through the baseball with a step behind.

3. Brock Fulkerson, RHP, Mount Vernon, 2014
Committed to Rend Lake one day after the Unsigned Senior Showcase. Long frame, lanky build, highly projectable, 6-foot-6, 150-pound right handed pitcher. Arm action is long and loose, works from multiple arm slots, high ¾ to sidearm. Fastball was thrown from both ¾ and sidearm slots, from a ¾ slot played at 80-83 mph, side arm slot was 79-81 mph, showed excellent arm side run from the side arm slot. Curveball showed 11/5 action out of a ¾ slot, showed control, 65-67 mph. Also featured a slider from a sidearm slot at 68-69 mph. Changeup had occasional sinking action, 73-74 mph.

4. Sam Heilenbach, RHP, Lyons Township, 2014
6-foot-2, 190-pound pitcher with solid upside. Throws with easy effort and some rhythm. His fastball was straight with good finish at 82-85 mph, for strikes. Curveball has 12/6 shape with sharp break at 70-71 mph. Changeup was thrown with fastball arm speed, high quality arm side run, for strikes, at 77-80 mph.

5. Nick Kamrada, RHP, Grand Ledge (MI), 2014
6-foot-2, 200-pound right handed pitcher, athletic build, shows projectability. Arm action is long, ¾ arm slot, shows arm speed, clean arm action. Fastball has late arm side run, advanced action, 84-86 mph, touched 87 mph once, showed control of the zone. Curveball has sweeping action, 10/4 shape, 69-72 mph. Showed a straight changeup, 76-80 mph.

6. Doug Van Dyke, RHP, Bartlett, 2014
6-foot-1, 200-pound strong body pitcher with four pitch feel. Uses a drop and drive delivery that has quality rhythm. Throws from a high ¾ slot with a quick arm. Fastball sat 82-83 mph, flashing 84 mph, with run and sink for strikes. His changeup was 74-76 mph with solid arm side run. Throws a curveball with 12/6 shape at 70-71 mph. Has a slider with 10/4 shape that sits 74-76 mph. Also throws a split finger with downward action at 74-76 mph.

7. Christian Howell, RHP, Metea Valley, 2014
6-foot, 155-pound thin pitcher with four pitches he throws from two angles: high ¾ and sidearm. From high ¾ his fastball was mostly straight, flashed occasional late arm side action, sitting 83-84 mph and touching 86 mph. From the side it was 80-82 mph with arm side run. The curveball has a 12/6 shape and sharp bite at 75-78 mph from a high ¾ slot. From the side it was 73-74 mph. Throws a slider that sits 78-79 with solid break. Changeup was 78-79 mph with flashes of sink.

8. Chris Pedrak, RHP, Downers Grove South
6-foot, 190-pound pitcher who threw every single pitch of his bullpen for a strike. His delivery is simple and repeatable with rhythm and solid direction. Throws from a ¾ slot with a long, loose arm. Fastball sits 80-82 mph, flashing 83 mph, with consistently solid arm side run. Throws the changeup with fastball arm speed, at 68-69 mph, with high quality sink and run. Curveball was 69-71 mph with 11/5 tilt.

9. Elijah McKinnis, RHP/3B, Morgan Park, 2014
6-foot-2, 190-pound two-way player, athletic frame. On the mound delivery has a drop and drive style, showed some effort. High ¾ arm slot, quick loose arm action. Fastball is mostly straight four seam action, 80-83 mph. Curveball has 12/6 action, 69-72 mph. Splitter showed late action, 76-79 mph. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, no stride, heel lift load, solid balance throughout. Showed bat speed, 83 mph exit velocity. Defensively showed a strong arm action across the diamond, 81 mph from third base.

10. Zach Jackovich, RHP, Joliet Catholic, 2014
Solid 6-foot-2, 175-pound right handed pitcher. Delivery is mechanically sound, moderate effort, tall and fall style, athletic delivery. Arm works well, accelerated arm, loose action, high ¾ slot. Fastball flashed sinking action, showed command, 81-82 mph. Curveball displayed advanced action, sharp bite, 70-71 mph touching 74 mph, aggressive arm action, thrown with conviction. Changeup has occasional sink, 73-75 mph showed above average feel.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Matt Bohanon, RHP/OF, Downers Grove North, 2014
6-foot, 150-pound lanky two way player. On the mound he throws from a ¾ slot with a short arm action. Uses a drop and drive delivery with slow tempo. His fastball was 76-77 mph with slight arm side run for consistent strikes at the knees. Throws a slider with gradual break at 63-65 mph for strikes. Showed feel for the changeup, throwing it 65-68 mph with quality sinking action. At the plate he hits with a balanced stance and short stride. Exit velocity was 80 mph off a tee. Defensively, throws with the same arm action as on the mound. Throws it 75 mph with accuracy. Ran a 7.19 60.

Stephen Buhrt, RHP, Aurora Christian, 2014
Lanky frame, 6-foot-6, 185-pound right handed pitcher. Delivery showed regular effort, stride works out then down. Arm action is long, ¾ arm slot. Fastball showed sink, 77-81 mph. Curveball has slurve action, 10/4 plane, 69-71 mph. Changeup flashed sink action, thrown near fastball arm speed, 70-73 mph.

Elan Bustamante, RHP, Mount Carmel, 2014
Big frame, 6-foot-4, 200-pound right handed pitcher. Delivery shows some effort, upright finish, some recoil. Arm action is long, high ¾ arm slot. Fastball flashed occasional slight run, 79-80 mph. Curveball worked on 11/5 plane, gradual rolling action, 64-66 mph. Changeup shows some sinking action, 72-74 mph.  

James Campbell, RHP, Davenport Assumption (IA), 2014
6-foot, 155-pound wiry pitcher. Arm action is long and firm from a high ¾ slot. Fastball was 78-79 mph and straight. Throws a curveball with 11/5 tilt and loose break at 73-75 mph. Changeup was 72-73 mph with sinking action.

Grant Cooper, INF/OF/RHP, Lincoln, 2014
6-foot-2, 170-pound two way player. Defensively, throws with a long, stiff arm from a high ¾ slot. From the outfield he threw 76 mph. From the infield he threw 72 mph. At the plate he has a balanced stance and a short stride. Has a long, slightly uphill bat path. Exit velocity was 83 mph off a tee. On the mound he throws from a high ¾ slot with a simple delivery and short stride. Fastball was straight at 71-72 mph, flashing 74 mph once. Curveball was 57-59 mph. Ran a 7.37 60.

Vincent Damato, LHP, Dundee-Crown, 2014
6-foot-1, 170-pound left handed pitcher. Throws from a ¾ slot with a long, loose arm. Tall and fall delivery with quick rhythm and some effort. Fastball was 73-76 mph, flashing 77 mph with occasional sink. Showed feel for his breaking ball that had sweeping action and some depth at 62-66 mph for strikes. Changeup was 64-68 mph, flashing sink.

Zane Duffield, RHP, Bishop McNamara, 2014
5-foot-11, 145-pound lanky pitcher. Arm is long and loose with quick acceleration from a ¾ slot. Uses a tall and fall delivery with rhythm and repeatable mechanics. Fastball was mostly flat, flashing occasional cut, sitting 78-80 mph. Throws a knuckle curve with late, downward break at 72-74 mph. Changeup was thrown with fastball arm speed at 75-77 mph with sink and consistently for strikes.

Dakota Dully, LHP/1B, Midwest Central, 2014
6-foot, 190-pound left hand hitting two way player with a strong frame. On the mound has a tall and fall delivery with smooth rhythm. Throws from a high ¾ slot with a long arm. Showed feel for the fastball that sat 80-81 mph and was straight. The curveball had 11/5 tilt with quality depth at 67-69 mph for strikes.  At first base showed sound actions around the bag. Throws with the same arm action at 81 mph across the diamond. Ran a 7.26 60. At the plate he hits with a balanced, slightly crouched stance and short stride. Has a short path with gap-to-gap tendencies and solid bat speed. Exit velocity was 80 mph off a tee.

Daniel Farrar, LHP, Deerfield, 2014
5-foot-11, 170-pound southpaw with four pitch feel. Arm works long, loose, and clean from a high ¾ slot. Uses a tall and fall delivery with smooth rhythm, clean direction, easy effort, and athletic finish. Fastball showed run and cut actions for strikes, sitting 76-78 mph. Curveball has 11/5 tilt coming in at 67-69 mph. Throws a slider with slurve action and some depth sitting 72 mph. Changeup was 70-71 mph with flashes of sink.

Augustin Guerrero, INF/RHP, George Washington, 2014
6-foot-1, 170-pound lean, athletic, left hand hitting, two way player. On the infield his actions are smooth and easy. Natural feel with soft hands and quick feet, clean exchanges, and solid carry on his throws. Arm works loose and short from a high ¾ slot at 77 mph across the diamond. At the plate has a wide, open stance with a leg kick trigger and short stride. Swing is short with a level bat path that gets good extension. Has fluid rhythm and solid bat speed. Exit velocity was 82 mph off a tee. On the mound he has a simple delivery with a short stride. Arm action is short and loose with quick acceleration. Fastball had sink and sitting 76-77 mph, touching 78 mph. The curveball was 61-63 mph with rolling action. Changeup was 69-71 mph with deceptive arm speed and sinking action.

Ivan Guzman, RHP, De La Salle, 2014
Average frame, 6-foot, 185-pound right handed pitcher. Arm works from a low ¾ slot, showed direction to his target. Fastball has occasional run with sink, showed control, 74-76 mph. Curveball has gradual bend, 11/5 tilt, 67-69 mph. Changeup flashed sink, 70-72 mph, thrown with fastball similar arm speed.

Dylan Hughes, LHP/1B, Wheaton Academy, 2014
6-foot, 175-pound left hand hitting two way player. On the mound he has a tall and fall delivery that he is able to repeat. Throws with a long arm from a high ¾ slot. Fastball was straight, sometimes flashing cut, sitting 72-74 mph. Breaking ball had slurve tilt and break with depth at 63-64 mph for strikes. Changeup had cutting action at 68-70 mph. On the infield he throws with the same arm action and showed good footwork around the bag at 1B. Throws it 69 mph across the diamond. At the plate has a balanced stance with a short stride. Has pull side approach with solid bat speed. Exit velocity was 81 mph off a tee. Ran a 7.72 60.

Brandon Kaminski, RHP, Joliet Catholic, 2014
6-foot-2, 220-pound right handed pitcher. Delivery is tall and fall, regular effort, smooth rhythm. Arm action is clean, high ¾ arm slot, loose arm action. Showed control of his fastball, mostly straight four seam, 80-83 mph. Curveball has 11/5 tilt, 69 mph. Slider showed similar action, 70-71 mph. Changeup has fading action, thrown with near fastball arm speed, had control, 72-74 mph.

Brenden Kauhl, RHP, Highland, 2014
5-foot-10, 175-pound pitcher who commanded the strike zone. Throws from a high ¾ slot with a short arm action. Windup delivery has some rhythm to it with regular effort. Fastball sat 77-78 mph, flashing 79 mph, sometimes with run, other times with cut. Throws a curveball with 11/5 tilt and some depth sitting 67-70 mph. Changeup had fade to it sitting 67-68 mph.

Joe Koutnik, LHP/OF, Hersey, 2014
5-foot-10, 145-pound left hand hitting two way player. On the mound he throws from a high ¾ slot with above average arm speed. Delivery has smooth rhythm. Fastball was 75-77 mph flashing run and sink. Curveball was 61-62 mph with gradual break. Showed feel for his changeup, sitting 69-72 mph with strong sink. In the outfield he throws with the same long, loose arm action at 80 mph, with carry. Showed solid feel for the outfield with athletic actions. At the plate he has a balanced stance with a leg kick trigger. Stays inside the ball well and has an opposite field approach. Has solid bat speed. Exit velocity was 70 mph off a tee. Ran a 7.21 60.

Niko Kutsulis, 3B/RHP, Providence Catholic, 2014
5-foot-10, 185-pound two way player with a strong lower half. On the infield he throws with a loose arm from a ¾ slot with solid carry at 75 mph. Showed solid hands and feet. At the plate he has a wide stance with a heel lift load and launch mechanism. Uses the lower half well to generate above average bat speed with a level swing and pull side approach. Exit velocity was 86 mph off a tee. Ran a 7.75 60. From the mound he has a tall and fall delivery with a long arm and ¾ slot. Delivery has smooth rhythm and athletic finish. Fastball flashed run and sink action sitting 77-78 mph, touching 79 mph. Throws a sweeping breaking ball with some downward action at 66-68 mph for strikes.

Freddie Landers, RHP, Grayslake Central, 2014
6-foot-2, 180-pound athletic body pitcher. Throws with a long arm from a high ¾ slot. Delivery is repeatable and uses regular effort. Fastball was 78-81 mph, flashing 82 mph with slight running action for strikes. Showed feel for the curveball, throwing it with 11/5 shape and gradual breaking action at 64-65 mph. Changeup was straight and coming in at 69-74 mph.

Tyler Lewan, SS/RHP. Dundee-Crown, 2014
6-foot-2, 180-pound, athletic two way player with a solid hit tool. At the plate has a balanced stance with a leg kick trigger and long stride. Showed explosive bat speed with a slightly uphill path. Consistently made strong contact with aggressive barrel whip. Exit velocity was 82 mph. Defensively showed athletic actions and fluid movements. Throws with solid arm strength and accuracy at 81 mph. Ran a 7.52 60. On the mound He throws from a ¾ slot with quick arm speed and a short, loose arm action. Fastball was 77-80 mph with run. Throws a curveball at 67-68 mph with short break. Throws a changeup with fastball arm speed, for strikes, at 70-73 mph with arm side run.

Matt Malmberg, RHP/1B, Grant, 2014
6-foot-2, 180-pound athletic, two way player. On the mound he throws with a tall and fall delivery, from over the top, with a short arm and regular effort. His fastball was 74-76 mph with cutting action. Throws a curveball with 12/6 shape and biting break at 63-65 mph for strikes. Changeup showed slight fading action, for strikes, at 68-70 mph. At the plate he has a tall stance and showed the ability to repeat his swing for solid contact. Showed above average bat speed. Exit velocity off a tee was 81 mph. Ran a 7.07 60.

Francisco Mari, RHP, Elgin, 2014
Lanky frame, 6-foot-3, 175-pound right handed pitcher. Arm works, action is loose, over the top slot, short arm action. Fastball is mostly straight, four seam action, showed control, 80-81 mph, topped out at 82 mph. Curveball flashed 12/6 action, thrown with arm speed, showed control, 62-63 mph. Changeup is thrown with near fastball arm action, straight change, thrown for strikes, 67-69 mph.

Mason Martin, RHP, Huntley, 2014
6-foot-2, 165-pound slim pitcher. Throws from a high ¾ slot with a short arm. Delivery has choppy rhythm and some effort to it. Fastball was 77-79 mph with slight run. Throws a curveball with 12/6 shape and rolling break at 65-68 mph. Changeup showed sinking action, coming in at 68-70 mph for strikes.

Zac Miller, RHP, York, 2014
5-foot-10, 200-pound pitcher with four pitches. Has tall and fall delivery with slow rhythm. Throws with a long arm from a high ¾ slot. Fastball was straight, sitting 74-76 mph. Curveball has 12/6 shape with rolling break at 63-64 mph. Throws a cutter with 1 plane action at 70-71 mph. Changeup was 66-71 mph.

Jerome Minick, LHP, Oswego, 2014
6-2, 185-pound southpaw. On the mound he uses a tall and fall delivery with regular effort and some rhythm. Throws from a high ¾ slot with long, loose arm. Had feel for a straight fastball sitting 76-77 mph, touching 79 mph. Threw a breaking ball with slurve action at 58-60 mph. Changeup was 67-70 mph with sink.

Mitchell Miner, RHP/OF, York, 2014
6-foot-2, 155-pound lanky two way player. On the mound uses a tall and fall delivery and regular effort, from the stretch only. Throws from a high ¾ slot with a long, stiff arm. Showed feel for the fastball, throwing it 79-80 mph with consistent run. Curveball had 12/6 shape with downer break at 62-63 mph. Throws a changeup 74-76 mph. Throws a split at 68-70 mph. From the outfield he throws with the same arm action, with accuracy, at 77 mph. At the plate hits with a balanced setup. Has a long bat path that produced an exit velocity of 76 mph off a tee. Ran a 7.32 60.

Douglas Murphey, MIF/RHP, Grant, 2014
5-foot-9, 170-pound two way player. Defensively throws with a long arm from a ¾ slot at 76 mph with accuracy. Showed quick feet with a long exchange. At the plate has a tall, open stance with short stride. Has a slap type swing with an uphill path. Off a tee exit velocity was 76 mph. Ran a 7.68 60. On the mound throws from a high ¾ slot, short arm action. Fastball sat 75 -76 mph. Curveball was 66-69 mph. Changeup was 67-71 mph.

Ryan Olson, RHP, Batavia, 2014
6-foot-3, 200-pound right handed pitcher, athletic frame. Arm works from a high ¾ slot, firm arm action. Straight four seam fastball action, 72-73 mph. Curveball showed early action, 61-62 mph. Also featured a straight change at 70-72 mph.

Preston Perry, RHP, Geneva, 2014
6-foot-2, 185-pound lanky limbed pitcher who filled the zone up. Throws with a fluid delivery that he is able to repeat. Throws from a high ¾ slot with a long arm action. Fastball was 78-80 mph with a heavy finish for strikes. Throws a breaking ball with 11/5 tilt at 65-69 mph for strikes. Changeup was thrown with fastball arm speed, for strikes, with some fade at 73 -75 mph.

AJ Sanchez, RHP/SS, Richards, 2014
5-foot-10, 155-pound two way player. On the mound he has a drop and drive delivery with smooth rhythm. Arm works short and quick from a high ¾ slot with strong acceleration. Showed feel for four pitches. Fastball sat 81-82 mph, touching 83 mph, with sink and run action. Throws a firm slider with late break and depth, sitting 72-74 mph. Throws a curveball that’s distinctly different from his slider. The curveball has 11/5 tilt and comes in at 63-65 mph. The changeup comes from a slightly different arm slot at 69-70 mph with flashes of quality sinking action. As an infielder he throws with the same arm action at 76 mph. Displayed soft hands with clean exchanges. Movements were athletic and fluid. Ran a 7.09 60. At the plate uses an open stance and a long stride. Maintains balance with a short swing and solid bat speed. Exit velocity was 77 mph off a tee.

Austin Schmitt, RHP, Hall, 2014
6-foot-1, 170-pound lanky pitcher. On the mound he throws from a high ¾ slot with a loose, quick arm. The delivery style is tall and fall with a quick rhythm. Had feel for the fastball, sitting 79-82 mph. Curveball was 61-64 mph, with some depth, for strikes. Threw a changeup with quality feel and similar arm speed to the fastball. Pitch showed sinking action at 70-72 mph.

Bradley Schwind, RHP, Schaumburg, 2014
6-foot, 170-pound pitcher. Uses a drop and drive delivery that has some rhythm and direction to it. Throws from a high ¾ slot with a long arm and some effort. His fastball was straight, sitting 79-81 mph. Throws a curveball with soft break at 66-69 mph. Changeup was 71-74 mph with flashes of fading action.

Nick Senicka, LHP, Hinsdale Central, 2014
6-foot-2, 175-pound athletic body pitcher. Uses a tall and fall delivery with rhythm and regular effort. Throws from a high ¾ slot with a long arm. Fastball was 80-82 mph and straight. Curveball had 11/5 shape and was 65-66 mph. The changeup was 72-73 mph with cutting action.

Drew Smith, RHP, Fenwick, 2014
6-foot-2, 175-pound lanky pitcher. Has a tall and fall delivery with regular effort. Throws from a high ¾ slot with a long arm. Fastball was 75-78 mph, touching 80 mph once with occasional sink and cut. Curveball comes in with 11/5 tilt and gradual break at 62-65 mph for strikes. Showed feel for the changeup, throwing it with sink and fade at 67-69 mph.

Matt Strzelczyk, LHP, Lincoln-Way North, 2014
6-foot-2, 160-pound southpaw. Has a tall and fall delivery with rhythm and regular effort. Throws from a ¾ slot with a long arm action. Fastball was 78-79 mph with sink. Throws a slurve for his breaking ball with sweeping action at 65-68 mph. Changeup was 71-73 mph.

Blake Thompson, OF/LHP, Rochester, 2014
6-foot-1, 170-pound left hand hitting, lanky two way player. At the plate he has a balanced setup, smooth load and short stride. The swing is simple and repeatable with solid bat speed and generates some lift. Exit velocity was 86 mph off a tee. Defensively, showed solid hands and quality footwork. Arm is short from a high ¾ slot with carry and accuracy at 85 mph. Ran a 7.25 60. On the mound he throws with the same arm action. Does nice job repeating his delivery with some effort and rhythm. Fastball was 77-79 mph with slight run. Showed feel for the changeup, throwing it 73-74 mph with sink. Curveball was 63 mph.

Lloyd Willis, OF/1B/RHP, William Byrd (VA), 2014
6-foot-2, 190-pound two-way player, athletic frame with strength. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, leg kick trigger. Solid contact, showed bat speed, 87 mph exit velocity from the tee. Flashed a short path with occasional extension, line drive gap to gap approach. Defensively used a short over the top arm action, showed accuracy, 71 mph from the outfield, 73 mph across the infield. On the mound works from a high ¾ arm slot. Fastball is mostly straight, 75-78 mph. Curveball flashed 12/6 action, gradual bend, showed control, 59-62 mph. Changeup has sinking action, controlled the zone, 67-71 mph.

Roger Wilson, 1B/RHP, St. Laurence, 2014
Advanced frame, 6-foot-4, 190-pound two way player. At first base showed natural instincts with an awareness for the bag. Arm played at 74 mph across the diamond. Offensively hits from a slightly open stance, smooth loading action, short stride. Bat speed present, 84 mph exit velocity from the tee. Slightly uphill path, creates lift, power potential. On the mound, arm action is over the top. Fastball is mostly straight four seam, showed control of the zone, 82-83 mph. Curveball has 11/5 action, 71-73 mph. Changeup showed sinking action, stayed in the zone, 75-76 mph.

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