Illinois Unsigned Senior Showcase: Quick Hits


By Illinois Staff

On Sunday, the PBR Illinois staff hosted this staple event on its fall showcase circuit: the Unsigned Senior Showcase. This event is targeted for the state’s top uncommitted 2021 prospects and has historically assisted seniors in the area in finding opportunities at the next level. Nearly 100 prospects participated in this event, segmented into small groups throughout the day.

Today, we’re breaking down some of the most impressive performances we witnessed inside this rapid analysis post, Quick Hits.

QUICK HITS

OUTFIELDERS

+ One of the event’s most intriguing prospects coming into the event remains one of the most talented coming out: OF Tyler McClure (Champaign Centennial). Listed at 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, McClure projects well, and his athleticism shows itself in his foot speed – clocking the day’s top 60-yard dash time (6.68) – and it translates to the outfield, where he demonstrates natural actions. From the right-handed batter’s box, McClure swings an easy and fluid bat and controls the barrel well enough to utilize the whole field. He averaged upper-80s exit velocity in BP on his line-drives, showcasing athletic enough feel to consistently meet the ball on plane.

+ OF Joey Robinson (Lyons Township) is a compact 5-foot-8, 150-pound left-handed hitter who profiles as a top-of-the-order type. Stays short to the ball, looks to control the barrel and sprayed line-drives to all fields. He and the aforementioned McClure were both at the top of the day’s 60 leaderboard, as Robinson recorded a 6.73 himself.

+ Harrisburg’s Ben Brombaugh was one of the more dynamic performers in the outfield defense session, as you can see in this accompanying tweet:

+ RHP/OF Marc Black (Springfield) showed some arm strength from the outfield at 87 mph and carried it over to the mound. He moves freely in the outfield with athletic actions that play through the baseball. At the plate, he has a simple, easy right-handed swing that projects despite inconsistent results on Sunday. On the mound, he featured a rather unique three-pitch mix; fastball, changeup, and a tumbling forkball. The fastball showed liveliness out of the hand and through the zone sitting mostly 83-85 mph, with above-average carry through the zone.

+ OF Sam Del Valle (Mount Carmel) displayed easy, athletic movements in the outfield where he showed best. Del Valle’s arm played at 85 mph to home, with an offensive profile that works gap-to-gap with a fluid rhythm throughout.

+ OF/RHP Brian Wrenn (Geneva) showed a big arm, topping 91 mph to home from the outfield. He sat in the low-80s on the mound and it profiles well, as it averaged around 20 inches of Induced Vertical Break, per TrackMan.

+ Kenwood’s Aubrey Yarbrough was another outfielder who landed right near the top of the showcase’s 60-yard dash times. His 6.88 mark was tied for fourth fastest, and his 92 mph high to home was an event best. At 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, Yarbrough also wields some potential on the mound, sitting mostly around 83 mph, topping 85.4, with heavy-type spin in the 1,600 rpm range. He opted for an aggressive slider that projected as his best offspeed.

INFIELDERS

+ 1B Jude Sullivan (Paris) stole the show in batting practice, with an especially fast left-handed bat that worked uphill to produce some substantial power potential. According to TrackMan, Sullivan averaged just over 95 mph of exit velocity, topping 102.8. He hit one ball a tick over 99 mph that travelled at a projected distance of 392.7 feet into the right-center gap.

+ SS/2B Joey Rattin (Fremd) took a strong round of infield defense, working with soft hands and athletic overall actions, topping 82 mph on his throws to first and it played well on the go, too. His intriguing middle-infield actions align with his above-average foot speed as a 7.03 runner.

+ 3B/2B Jayden Gonzalez (De La Salle) is a man on a mission when he steps in the box. He swings aggressively with loose, athletic hands and showed some of the best bat speed of the day while working gap-to-gap. Per Blast Motion, Gonzalez’s bat speed maxed at 75.2 mph, and he hit two balls over 300 feet that both travelled at 93 mph off the barrel.

+ 6-foot-1, 175-pound, athletically-built, Will Henson (Lane Tech) is a natural defender on the infield with well-above-average actions, and his hands played confidently while showing an arm that carries across the diamond, reaching 86 mph. Offensively, Henson hits with rhythm from the right side, and he stays short to the baseball with length through the zone while flashing bat speed. There’s upside to all parts of his game.

+ Another left-handed-hitting first baseman showed some physicality in the box: Tommy Klco (Lake Park). At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Klco swings with bat speed off an incline, and it helps him produce some hard contact to his pull-side, and he used the middle of the field well. His best batted ball went 342.2 feet that left the barrel at 94.7 mph, all per TrackMan. And the big first baseman also looked like an asset on defense, showing a good feel for the bag and his position.

+ CIF Evan Evola (Ottawa Township) certainly looks the part from the left-handed batter’s box. From a relaxed, confident setup, Evola maintains a fluid, quiet rhythm that helps him stay inside the baseball with quick hands, creating bat speed. He also showed an aptitude to barrel the ball to his opposite field as well.

CATCHERS

+ Joshua Cunniff (Plainfield Central) was maybe the most statistically impressive backstop at the event. He led all catchers in top velocity to second (80 mph) and the 60-yard dash (7.09), while topping a 90-plus mph exit velo in BP from an aggressive right-handed swing. Particularly defensively, Cunniff has advanced actions and handiwork behind the plate, leading to low 2.00 pop times consistently aided by his arm strength.

+ C/OF Joe Fiorillo (Lockport) recorded pops in the 2.08 to 2.18 range, aided by arm strength, topping 79 mph with carry. Fiorillo swings an easy left-handed bat from a crouched setup that stays connected well and repeated barreled contact back through the middle of the field. Just a level, simple bat path that has a tendency to square up the baseball.

+ The 6-foot, 180-pound Gino Gazzillo (Mount Carmel) is another intriguing left-handed-hitting catcher. Gazzillo’s bat stays level through the zone and jumped off the barrel at times. There may be some power potential to untap here, as he hit a pair of balls 340 feet, one of which left the bat at 97.3 mph. Defensively, he topped 76 mph to second base while demonstrating soft and capable hands for receiving the ball in and around the zone.

PITCHERS

+ From Hanover Central, Indiana, the 6-foot-8, 170-pound RHP Peyton Olejnik towers over the mound and averaged 84.4 mph on his fastball at 2,200 rpm, with some carry through the zone. He also utilizes a slow curveball, 62-64 mph, with depth that spins well at 2,400 rpm. His splitter mimics his fastball well, thrown at arm speed, and features some late run/fade.

+ LHP Lane Funneman (Pana) was one of the biggest winners on the mound. Listed at 6-foot-2, 170 pounds in a high-waisted frame, Funneman’s arm action is clean and easy, and he’s able to repeat it well. It’s a low-spin running fastball that sat 83-84 mph, touching 85, complemented by a tighter breaking ball with short bite, with spin rates averaging 2,500-plus rpm.

+ RHP Cade Landrus (Charleston) is an intriguing arm who throws multiple pitches for strikes and from multiple slots. Landrus’ throws three pitches – fastball, curve, and cutter – from a higher slot, but also slotted down to a sidearm release for his slider, and he showed a separate fastball from that angle too. He sat 82-84 mph, touching 85, with the high-slot fastball and 80-82 from the side.

+ RHP Jaxon Lambrigger (Lincoln-Way East) is a strong-bodied 6-foot, 185 pounds, and the strength helps him sit 83-85 mph, with a changeup and curve that each come out of a similar window.

+ At 6-foot-3,180 pounds, RHP Matthew Rosenberger (Glenbrook South) sat mostly 83-84 mph, touching 85 mph during his bullpen. His separator is a hard, biting slider that is thrown with intent along with feel at the bottom of the zone; 76-79 mph with spin rates into the 2,000 rpm range. 

+ The 6-foot-4, 223-pound RHP Conner Lutes (Libertyville) has a strong, durable frame and arm strength to match. The big-bodied righty ran his fastball up to 87 mph and showed a four-pitch repertoire with his curveball flashing depth off an 11/5 plane. Arm works short and loose, and there’s seemingly more velocity to come.

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