Unsigned Senior Showcase: Top Outfield Prospects



By Ryan Quigley
Illinois Scouting Director

The Prep Baseball Report’s final Unsigned Senior Showcase for the 2015 class took place on Sunday January 11th at the Max in McCook, IL. 91 prospects strutted their stuff in front of over 40 collegiate programs in attendance. Over the next several days the PBR Scouting staff will roll out position-by-position rankings of the event, culminating with the Top Ten Overall Prospects from the showcase.

Click Here to view the article on top statistical performers from the event.

We also broke down the Top Tools of the event. Click Here to view the Top Tools based on various commonly used scouting criteria for analyzing prospects.

Yesterday we posted the Top Catching Prospects from the event and today we will take a look at the top outfielders led by Mount Carmel’s Nick Wheeler. Wheeler is an extremely physical 6-foot, 205-pounder with well above average bat speed and power potential. He posted the second highest exit velocity of the event at 91 mph off the tee.

Morgan Park’s Tyler Hill was a close second, impressing with his lanky athletic frame, bat speed, and outfield arm. Hill is not an elite runner, but ran 7.1 in the 60, and should run even better as he continues to get stronger.

Naperville North’s Nathan Given narrowly missed out on being included in our Top 5 Catching Prospects, and may profile better in the outfield despite plenty of arm strength behind the plate. His versatility combined with a fluid left-handed swing should make him an attractive unsigned senior option for many colleges.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the Top Outfield Prospects from this January’s Unsigned Senior Showcase.

Top Outfield Prospects

1. Nick Wheeler, OF, Mount Carmel, 2015
Thick build, advanced physicality, 6-foot, 205-pound outfielder, advanced overall strength with power potential in bat. Offensively hits from a slightly closed stance, short stride, high hands and back elbow setup. Strong swing, very muscular, shows power potential in bat. Line drive type hitter, occasionally lifts the baseball, 91 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively plays through the baseball, shows athleticism. Ran the 60 in 7.47. Arm played well from the outfield, short over the top slot, some accuracy, showed carry at 85 mph.

2. Tyler Hill, OF, Morgan Park, 2015
6-foot-1, 185-pound outfielder, lanky frame, athletic build, projects well. Defensively showed athletic actions in the outfield, loose live arm, high ¾ slot, showed carry and accuracy, 88 mph from the outfield. 7.1 runner. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, short stride, slightly collapses. Athletic swing, loose hands, made solid contact, long high finish. 89 mph exit velocity from the tee.

3. Nathan Given, OF/C, Naperville North, 2015
5-foot-11, 185-pound strong, athletically built left-handed hitting OF/C hits from a balanced setup, hands load smoothly, no stride approach, lifts front heel as a trigger, short, level bat path produced line drives from gap-to-gap with power potential to his pull side. Defensively, impressed more in the outfield throwing 81 mph from long over the top arm slot, wraps ball in back of arm swing. Behind the plate, showed arm strength at 80 mph from the crouch, pop times ranging from 2.07-2.16, but struggled with accuracy. Ran a 7.34 60.

4. Garret Davis, OF/LHP, Geneva, 2015
5-foot-11, 160-pound left-handed hitting OF/LHP hits from an open stance, hands start back, stay back in loading, short stride, short, level, compact path, up the middle approach, hit several line drives from gap-to-gap, one of the more impressive round of BP at the showcase, 79 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 77 mph from the outfield from long, loose, athletic, high ¾ arm action with carry, average hands fielding the baseball, plays through the baseball. Ran a 7.03 60, has run 6.88 at a past PBR event. On the mound fastball sits 74-76 mph from clean, high ¾ arm slot, simple, tall-and-fall repeatable delivery, toe down at balance point, could add to aggressiveness. 68-71 mph breaking ball showed gradual break, 71-72 mph changeup displayed cutting action.

5. Phillip VanZale, OF/C, Jones College Prep, 2015
5-foot-11, 195-pound strong right-handed hitting OF/C hits from an open stance, hands load back smoothly, well above average bat speed, gap-to-gap tendencies with power potential, 91 mph exit velocity off the tee, the second highest recorded exit velocity of the event. Defensively, profiles as a corner outfielder, threw 84 mph from the outfield. Behind the plate, pop times ranged from 2.25-2.26, 77 mph from the crouch. Ran a 7.24 60 yard dash.

5. Chase Hager, OF, Assumption (IA), 2015
5-foot-10, 195-pound muscular and athletic right-handed hitting outfielder hits from an open setup, hands drop to load, long leg kick stride, a lot of movement during load, but well above average strength and bat speed (85 mph exit velocity off the tee), top spin line drives from gap-to-gap during batting practice. Defensively, threw 78 mph from the outfield from short, high ¾ arm slot with accuracy, moves extremely well, hesitant at times breaking down to field the baseball. Hager posted the top 60 time of the event at 6.77 and has some of the top raw athleticism still on the recruiting trail in Iowa.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Parker Coleman, OF, Homewood-Flossmoor, 2015
5-foot-11, 180-pound strong right-handed hitting outfielder hits from a wide base, short stride, hands load smoothly, well above average bat speed, 88 mph exit velocity off the tee, long level bat path produced line drives during batting practice, right-center approach. Defensively, threw 83 mph from long, high ¾ arm slot, with carry and some accuracy, aggressively attacks baseball fielding. Ran a 7.22 60.

Gregory Gauger, OF, Grayslake Central, 2015
5-foot-11, 165-pound right-handed hitting, left-handed throwing outfielder hits from a wide base, long stride, lands hard on front foot at times, balance forward, long, uphill bat path with pull tendencies and 78 mph exit velocity off the tee. Threw 73 mph from the outfield from short, loose, ¾ arm slot. Ran a 7.44 60.

Jawaune Johnson, OF, Walther Christian, 2015
5-foot-8, 170-pound right-handed hitting outfielder hits from a balanced stance, short stride, long, level bat path, 50 mph exit velocity. Threw 55 mph from the outfield long, over-the-top arm slot. Ran a 7.34 60.

Tyler Linna, C/OF, Oswego East, 2015
5-foot-9, 170-pound strong and athletic right-handed hitting C/OF hits from a tall, narrow setup, short leg kick stride, hands drop to load, short level bat path produced line drives from gap-to-gap with 84 mph exit velocity. Defensively, impressed behind the plate with pop times ranging from 2.00-2.07 seconds, 79 mph out of the crouch from short, quick arm action with consistent accuracy on the bag. Solid athlete for a catcher, running a 7.17 60. Also impressed in the outfield, aggressively attacking the baseball and throwing 82 mph from the outfield.

Kevin Lochner, 3B/OF/RHP, Niles West, 2015
6-foot, 170-pound lanky left-handed hitting 3B/OF/RHP hits from an open setup, straight up and down leg kick, long, level bat path, 79 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 78 mph across the diamond from third base from short, high ¾ arm slot. Impressed more in the outfield from longer arm slot, 78 mph from outfield. Ran a 7.28 60. On the mound, fastball ranged from 74-80 mph from long, high ¾ arm slot, separates hands high, regular effort, also threw a 10/4 shaped breaking ball, lateral break, 64-68 mph range, 65-69 mph knuckle ball with some vertical drop.

Ben Manski, OF, Libertyville, 2015
6-foot, 175-pound left-handed hitting OF hits from a balanced setup, hands load back, short stride, long, level path, line drives from gap-to-gap during batting practice, left-center approach, 88 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 83 mph from the outfield from short, high ¾ arm slot with carry and some accuracy. Showed average hands fielding the baseball. Ran a 7.54 60.

Murrell Martin, RHP/OF, Morgan Park, 2015
6-foot, 170-pound athletic built, fast-twitch RHP/OF ranked No. 259 in Illinois, hits from a balanced, athletic setup, short stride, above average bat speed, flat path, weak top hand in finish, 76 mph exit velocity. Defensively, impressed with plus arm strength and carry from the outfield, 92 mph from long, loose, high ¾ arm slot. On the mound, Martin’s arm strength from the outfield currently doesn’t transfer as he doesn’t incorporate lower half aggressiveness in his delivery. Fastball sat 79-82 mph from quick, loose, high ¾ slot, but it’s all arm. Lands closed at foot strike, shoulders work laterally, cuts off finish. Also showed a 68-70 mph curveball that was better from the stretch. 72-76 mph occasionally flashed plus sinking action. Martin is intriguing on the mound with a high ceiling if he can incorporate the aggressiveness of his crow hop throws into his pitching delivery.

Alonso Ocon, OF/RHP, Solorio, 2015
5-foot-10, 145-pound right-handed hitting OF/RHP hit from an open setup, short stride, turns front toe to load lower half, gets foot down early, opposite field tendencies, contact orientated approach, 72 mph exit velocity. Threw 75 mph from the outfield from short, high ¾ arm slot. Ran a 7.45 60. On the mound, fastball sat 70-72 mph from same arm slot, easy effort in delivery, toe up at balance point, short stride. Gets on the side of 60-61 mph curveball, 66-67 mph changeup flashed sinking action.

Jake Peterson, C/OF, Barrington, 2015
5-foot-8, 175-pound strong right-handed hitting catcher/outfielder hits from a balanced setup, slight crouch, short leg lift stride, short, level bat path with occasional extension, feel for the barrel, line drives during batting practice up the middle, 74 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 81 mph from the outfield from long loose, high ¾ arm slot with accuracy and carry. Behind the plate, pop times ranged from 2.03-2.14, 74 mph out of the crouch from shorter arm slot than in the outfield, accurate and on the bag, quick feet on transfer, stays low out of the chute. Ran a 7.21 60.

Collin Raslavicz, OF, Lincoln-Way North, 2015
6-foot, 140-pound lanky right-handed hitting outfielder hits from a narrow, open setup, hands drop to load, short stride, long, uphill bat path, 79 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 74 mph from the outfield from long, loose, high ¾ arm slot with some accuracy, average hands fielding. Impressed running the second-fastest 60 of the Unsigned Senior Showcase at 6.86 seconds.

Daniel Sanchez, OF, Mount Carmel, 2015
5-foot-7, 170-pound stocky right-handed hitting outfielder hits from a wide base, hands start back, minimal load, short stride, long, level bat path with opposite field tendencies and 78 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 72 mph from the outfield from long, over-the-top arm slot, exaggerated crow hop, extreme uphill shoulders, some accuracy, average hands fielding the baseball, takes time to get rid of the baseball. Also ran a 7.56 60.

Jonathan Sojka, OF, Glenbard West, 2015
5-foot-11, 160-pound lanky and athletic left-handed hitting outfielder hits from a wide base, hands move back to load, loads early, left-center field approach during batting practice, weight transfer gets on front foot early. Defensively, threw 75 mph from the outfield from long, ¾ arm slot with some accuracy. Impressed running a 6.97 60 yard dash.

Ryan Strick, OF, Waubonsie Valley, 2015
6-foot-1, 185-pound outfielder, shows some strength. Offensively hits from the right side, balanced setup, short stride, lower half can get more involved, solid balance. Worked the middle of the field, took a solid round, level path, rigid hitter. 71 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively uses a long over the top slot, works uphill, arm played at 71 mph from the outfield. 7.17 runner in the 60.

Clayton Taylor, OF, Sacred Heart-Griffin, 2015
5-foot-10, 165-pound right-handed hitting, left-handed throwing outfielder hits from wide base, hands drop to load, no stride/lifts heel as trigger, level bat path, above average bat speed, 80 mph exit velocity, utilizes legs in swing, up the middle, aggressive approach. Defensively, threw 79 mph from the outfield from short, high ¾ arm slot with some accuracy. Ran a 7.42 60.

Zachary Taylor, OF, Homewood-Flossmoor, 2015
Committed to Southwest Tennessee shortly after event. 6-foot-1, 208-pound outfielder, thick lower half. Right-handed hitter, open stance, taller setup, leg kick stride. Sprayed line drives up the middle of the field, 87 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm played from a ¾ slot in the outfield, ball runs at 80 mph. Ran a 7.57 in the 60.

Brandon Viken, SS/OF/RHP, Seneca, 2015
5-foot-10, 160-pound right-handed hitting SS/RHP hits from a wide base, open setup, leg kick stride, uphill bat path, hits off back side, up the middle approach, 73 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, impressed more in the outfield throwing 78 mph from a short, high ¾ arm slot with some accuracy. Threw 73 mph across the diamond from shortstop from the same arm slot, stays back on the baseball. Ran a 7.27 60. On the mound, fastball sat 73-75 mph, 62-65 mph curveball flashed occasional 12/6 shape thrown for strikes. Short leg lift/tuck over the rubber to balance point, also showed a fading 66-68 mph changeup.

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