Prep Baseball Report

Week 4 Games

By Illinois Scouting Staff

The Illinois Scout Blog provides insider information and scouting notes from the PBR Scouting Staff during the season. This running blog will feature information on underclass prospects, unsigned seniors, draft prospects, and anything else that is notable. We will provide a wide range of information, including player evaluations, velocities, pop times, home to first times, and more. Simply put, the Illinois Scout Blog is loaded with information …

Nazareth vs. Saint Viator - 4/9/22

By: Peter Hamot
Illinois Scout

Sebastian Gutierrez, RHP, Nazareth Academy, 2022
Parkland commit, currently ranked No. 58 in Illinois. Lean, athletic right-hander with a 6-foot, 175-pound frame. Started on the mound against No. 5 Saint Viator and went five innings with three hits allowed, one earned run and struck out five to three walks. His arm works long out of the glove and moves into a ¾ slot, working with a quick arm to release. Gutierrez works with an up-tempo pace on the mound, moving into a high/athletic leg-kick with a drop/drive lower-half, remaining in-line to the plate with a square landing foot and athletic finish. The right-hander fields his position particularly well, moving off the mound with ease to either direction. His fastball played heavy into the zone, sitting in the 87-88 mph range with a notable amount of sink and run to the arm-side, getting in on the hands of right-handed hitters often. His go-to secondary offering was a changeup in which he was comfortable throwing in any count; playing around 74-75 mph with heavy diving action to his arm-side, thrown often for strikes. His last offering was a sharp 10/4 breaking ball, kept mostly down and thrown with aggression, 72-74 mph. The pitchability that Gutierrez possesses should certainly allow him to remain in the starting role at the next level; his fastball and changeup compliment each other nicely, while his breaking ball shows flashes of being plus at times with tight spin.

Cooper Malamazian, SS, Nazareth, 2024
Indiana commit, currently ranked No. 17 in Illinois’ 2024 class. Projectable, athletic build with a high waist, listed at 5-foot-11, 150-pounds but looks to have added on some muscle since our last look. Started at shortstop and hit in the three-hole for No. 6 Nazareth on Saturday. Right-handed hitter utilizes a fluid/quiet load, moving with a lift-and-place type stride, highly repeatable. His hands work quietly into footstrike and then move quickly through the zone with a level path, clear line-drive approach up the middle, remaining loose and athletic throughout the swing process. He took impressive reps before the game in IO; flashing soft hands that work out in front of his body, playing through with fluid feet into a clean/quick transfer. His arm plays from a clean ¾ slot, short out of the glove with clear arm-strength across the diamond, also playing on the move from multiple slots.

Luca Fiore, LHP, Nazareth, 2024
Uncommitted. Currently ranked No. 20 in the Illinois 2024 class. Compact, 5-foot-8, 140-pound frame, room to fill out with some already present athleticism. Came out of the ‘pen for the Roadrunners and showcased a loose/fluid arm; working with a clean arm-circle out of the glove into a low ¾ slot. He works athletically down the mound, coiling slightly into balance point with his leg-lift and moving into a slight drop/drive lower-half, remaining in-line to the plate with his stride but creating some deception with his lead shoulder remaining closed into foot-plant. The southpaw’s fastball worked in the 82-84 mph range, featuring life out of the hand with running and sinking action to his arm-side, occasionally missing to the same side due to lack of extension through release at times. Fiore showed to have feel for a sweeping slider; playing off a 2/8 plane with sharp action, flipping in for strikes and back-dooring hitters, 71-72 mph. 

Casey Hintz, RHP, Saint Viator, 2022
Arizona commit. Currently ranked No. 32 in Illinois’ 2022 class. Wiry, projectable frame with room for additional strength, standing at 5-foot-11, 155-pounds. Started on the mound against Nazareth and tossed six innings with four hits, no earned runs, five strikeouts and one walk. Hintz works with a short/clean arm circle out of the glove into a ¾ slot, playing quick to release. He works with a fluid tempo on the mound and low-perceived effort; driving off his back leg from balance point with a stride that remains in-line, staying tall at release and creating a downward angle towards the plate. His fastball sat comfortably at 87-89 mph with horizontal movement to the arm-side, running into right-handed hitters with late life, also holding his velocity into the sixth inning. His best-looking secondary offering was a sharp breaking ball at 71-73 mph, playing off an 11/5 plane and thrown confidently for both strikes and to put hitters away. He also went to a late sinking changeup that he threw in any count, mirroring fastball arm-speed and thrown with confidence, 80-81 mph. The polished repertoire that Hintz possesses should certainly allow him to remain in the starting role at the next level if necessary; while he also possesses a high-upside arm that is easy to dream on.

Tony Pluta, DH, Saint Viator, 2022
Arizona commit, currently ranked No. 21 in the Illinois 2022 class. Thick lower-half with wide shoulders, standing 5-foot-8, 165-pounds, looks bigger than what he is listed. Hit out of the two-hole as the designated hitter for Saint Viator on Saturday, going 2-for-2 with two walks. He starts in a low/crouched position and stays low throughout his stride, before moving into a flat path through the zone. His hands are strong and work direct to the baseball, creating hard-contact consistently, showcasing impressive bat-to-ball skills. He also demonstrated a keen eye at the plate, consistently battling through at-bats and getting deep into counts, also drawing two walks against some high-caliber arms. 

Bryan Hatch, 1B, Saint Viator, 2024
Uncommitted. Strong-bodied, 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame, wide shoulders with a physically developed lower-half. Right-handed hitter, starts in an athletic stance and moves into a quick/short stride, consistently staying on-time against plus velocity. His hands start high and then drop slightly into a level path, moving extremely quickly through contact, also not wasting any movements to create a strong/simple swing. He found a barrel in the second inning with a single through the left-side and also displayed a mature eye at the plate, spitting on a number of close pitches that we called balls. On the infield, Hatch moves well for his size; showcasing athletic footwork around the bag with soft hands through the ball, also moving to either side with ease. High-follow 2024 moving forward.

Ian Farrell, 3B/RHP, Saint Viator, 2022
Lake Land JC commit, currently ranked No. 178 in the Illinois 2022 class. Athletic build with a 5-foot-11, 170-pound frame. Hit out of the three-hole for No. 5 Saint Viator and impressed with a polished swing and mature presence. The right-handed hitter starts in a slightly open setup, moving with a fluid pace throughout his load into a long stride. At foot-plant, his hands naturally separate from his body creating some torque before moving into a level path to the ball, with his arms moving loose throughout. On the infield, Farrell showed some athletic actions to pair off reliable hands, also showing the ability to maintain body control on the slow roller play in IO. His arm played true across the diamond, placing accurate throws on the bag with notable carry. He later hopped on the mound where his arm-strength easily translated; running his fastball up to 83 mph with some sink, sitting mostly 80-82 mph. He also went to a curveball at 62 mph, playing off a gradual 11/5 plane. 

Evanston vs. Marist - 4/9/22

By: Peter Hamot
Illinois Scout

Hank Liss, RHP, Evanston, 2023
Uncommitted, currently ranked No. 141 in the Illinois 2023 class. Strong, athletic looking 6-foot, 180-pound frame. Started on the mound against No. 23 Marsit and went six scoreless innings with six strikeouts and surrendered just two hits. His arm works long and loose out of the glove, repeatable arm-circle, playing from a ¾ to high ¾ slot with arm-speed. Liss easily repeated his delivery, moving with an athletic leg-kick into balance point, before shifting into a slight drop/drive lower-half that strides in-line down the mound. The right-hander’s fastball sat 86-89 mph throughout his entire outing, running to the arm-side and entering the zone at a steep angle thanks to him staying tall at release. He showed a knack to spin the breaking ball, playing off a 10/4 plane with tight spin and sharp action, occasionally coming from an 11/5 plane when he stayed more on top of it, 75-77 mph. His changeup possesses similar qualities to his fastball, running into right-handed hitters while maintaining arm-speed. The right-handed hitter also hit lead off for the Wikdkits and delivered a ringing triple to the right-field gap to start the game. Liss is a sure-fire follow for this coming spring. 

Brandon Brokowski, C, Evanston, 2023
Uncommitted. 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame, athletic build with a high waist. Gave an impressive look behind the plate; showcasing soft/receptive hands while catching high-velocity. His

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