Prep Baseball Report

Super 60 Spotlight: Looking Back At The Stellar 2016 Draft Class

By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

Over the last 14 years, the Super 60 Pro Showcase has built a rich history of high-level prospects participating in the event. But 2016 was a banner year for the Super 60, as it saw six past participants drafted in the first round, along with one second-rounder and two third-rounders.

With the 15th Annual Super 60 set for Sunday at The Max in McCook, IL, I thought it would be fun to look at all the top-three-round picks from last June’s draft, who either performed at last year’s Super 60 or in 2013. Each player will have a short lead-in, followed by my internal Prep Baseball Report scouting report, and their video from the event.

Corey Ray, OF, Simeon (IL), 2013,
Draft: 2016, First Round, 5th Overall, Milwaukee Brewers
A two-time Super 60 participant, Ray went on to have a stellar three-year career at Louisville, ultimately elevating himself as one of the top prospects in the country. An interesting component of Ray’s ascension was at the 2013 Super 60, he ran a 7.03 60. Later in college, he was running in the 6.4-6.5 range. Below is his report from the 2013 Super 60:
Clearly was one of the top hitters at the Super 60. He has a polished, balanced left-handed swing. He’s short and quick to the baseball, and repeats well. He has the type of swing that can play at any level. He looks differently than most in the box. Physically, it is clear Ray has spent considerable time with his body. He is cut, and features extremely strong forearms. The Louisville recruit has been in the limelight since a freshman, and continually has been forced to live up to his past performances on national stages – which can be difficult and taxing. Ray, however, looks like he embraces the challenge. He exudes an air of confidence and a genuine love for being out there. Positionally, he was clocked at 88 mph from the outfield and ran a 7.03 60.


Gavin Lux, SS, Indian Trail (WI), 2016
Draft: 2016, First Round, 20th Overall, Los Angeles Dodgers
Lux had been on our radar since his freshman year in high school, and he was always considered a high-level defender, though slight in frame. After his Super 60 performance, he caught serious national helium. Lux got it done in the spring and ultimately was popped in the first round and signed. Below is his scouting report from last year’s Super 60:

 Arizona State recruit. 6-foot-2, 182-pound frame, athletic, projectable build; has begun to add muscle mass to frame. High-ceiling prospect, left-handed hitting shortstop, one of the top middle infield prospects in the 2016 draft class. Top-level defender, athletic actions, easy, fluid footwork, fields ball in rhythm; plus hands with quick transfer, overall advanced feel for position. Plus arm strength, registered event-best 90 mph across the infield, ability to throw with strength and accuracy from multiple angles and on the move. Offensively, premium left-handed hitting shortstop, line-drive approach, loose, easy hands, present bat speed, level path. Athletic setup, smooth leg lift back, advanced rhythm, active lower half, maintains excellent balance through contact, repeats well. Registered 93 mph exit velocity; ran a 6.86 laser-timed 60.

TJ Zeuch, RHP, Mason (OH), 2013
Draft: 2016, First Round, 21st Overall, Toronto Blue Jays
A hulking presence on the mound, Zeuch wasn’t one of the more hyped names nationally. Velocity-wise, he wasn’t a clear standout at the 2013 Super 60, either. But with his size, lower slot, and heavy feel to his fastball, Zeuch at the barest minimum would win his share of games at Pittsburgh. After three years at Pitt, he became a no-doubt first-round guy who should be breaking bats in the big leagues in no time. Here are the notes from his Super 60 performance:
6-foot-7, 220-pound right-hander, extra-large frame with more room for physical development. Works from a lower-¾ slot, throws a heavy ball, sat 87-90 with fastball, topping at 91. Threw two breaking balls, with slider showing plus potential, 77-80 mph, more lateral action. Curveball sat 69-70, softer pitch with gradual break. Also showed feel for mid-70s changeup. High-ceiling prospect.

Zack Burdi, RHP, Downers Grove South (IL), 2013
Draft: 2016, First Round, 26th Overall, Chicago White Sox
Burdi was the Super 60 show-stopper in 2013. His stuff was flat-out electric - one of the best bullpens in history of the event, in my opinion - but he had an inconsistent spring season, plus he was adamant that he was going to Louisville, where his brother turned into a second-rounder. Good decision. Burdi became the country’s best reliever in college, regularly hitting triple-digits with his fastball … and ultimately was drafted in the first round. Below is his report from the 2013 Super 60:
Zack’s older brother, Nick, a second-rounder two years ago, was a standout at the Super 60 in 2010, but the younger Burdi stole the show in 2013. The athletically built 6-foot-3, 195-pounder had the most explosive fastball at the Super 60, sitting at 93 mph, touching 94 with late, hard sink. Coming from a 3/4 slot with a loose, lightning quick arm, Burdi’s changeup, which sat at 82-84 mph with late arm-side sink, was equally impressive. He also threw two breaking balls: a 74-77 curveball and an 80 mph slider. With his 3/4 angle and arm action, his slider also has the potential to strikeout pitch.

Eric Lauer, LHP, Midview (OH), 2013
Draft: 2016, First Round, 25th Overall, San Diego Padres
A two-time Super 60 participant, Lauer wasn’t immediately considered a high-round draft prospect. But what impressed in his bullpens was the fact he looked like he was playing a leisurely game of catch at 88-90, while showing advanced three-pitch feel. His changeup was plus at the time. And he was baby-faced with a barrel chest. He wound up going to Kent State, where he continued to establish himself as a full-arsenal starting pitcher. Below are his notes from the 2013 Super 60:
Athletic frame, 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, wiry-strong. Spotted his fastball to both sides, low-effort delivery and arm action, 87-90 with late arm-side finish. Plus feel and command for secondary. Changeup is high-level pitch, 80-84, throws it with conviction, late sinking action. Also showed excellent feel for 74-77 breaking ball, tight spin, consistent strikes. Should be a high-draft prospect out of college.

Joey Wentz, LHP, Shawnee Mission East (KS), 2016
Draft: 2016, First Round (supplemental), 40th Overall, Atlanta Braves
No player raised his draft status more at last year’s Super 60 than Wentz, who decided to put down the bat and come only as a pitcher. After his bullpen was finished, he had established himself as one of the top left-handed prospects in the country. Wentz continued to dominate in the spring, and was a supplemental first-round pick. Here is his report from last year’s Super 60:
Of all the standout performances at the 14th Annual Super 60, Wentz stole the show, chiefly because no one had seen the Virginia recruit on the mound in more than a year. Wentz had built his reputation for his big left-handed power bat, which he put on display at the Under Armour All-America Game home run derby. But at the Super 60, the highly projectable 6-foot-5, 220-pound left-hander decided to only pitch. His decision may likely have elevated his draft status as one of the top left-handed prospects in the 2016 class. Long, lean and athletic, Wentz’s fastball sat at 92 mph, topping at 93, with late arm-side finish. His arm works clean and effortlessly, indicating there likely is more in the tank as he fills into his frame and focuses more on pitching. His delivery is simple, balanced and athletic; stays tall and works downhill well. Wentz’s secondary is still a work in progress. He showed some feel for his 79-82 mph changeup; curveball had erratic shape at 75-76 mph. With his athleticism, frame and arm action, Wentz has put himself on the map as a high-priority left-handed prospect this spring.

Ben Rortvedt, C, Verona Area (WI), 2016
Draft: 2016, Second Round, 56th Overall, Minnesota Twins
Rortvedt’s left-handed bat and man-strength were his calling cards leading up to the Super 60. And he only solidified his status as one of the premier left-handed hitters in the country. The question was always his defense, and if he could stick there. He was really good behind the dish at the Super 60, and ultimately was popped in the second round. Here’s his scouting report from last year’s event:
Arkansas recruit. Muscular 5-foot-10, 190-pound frame, proportional strength, defined lower half, superior strength in hands/forearms. One of the top left-handed hitters in the country, high-level draft prospect; only solidified his status with all-around stellar performance at Super 60. Offensively turned in arguably the best two rounds of BP of the day. Extremely quiet and short to ball, consistent strong contact, power to all fields, naturally worked the middle of the field, high level of barrel awareness, ball jumps off the bat with backspin carry; 103 mph exit velocity. Mechanically quiet and simple; short stride, fluid load, maintains rhythm; explosive lower half, gets off backside well, excellent balance throughout; generates easy bat speed, stays strong through the ball, high finish. Defensively, possesses plus arm strength, 84 mph from the crouch, on-line throws with carry, some effort involved; recorded top pop times of 1.82, 1.88, 1.91. Traditional catcher’s arm action, footwork is quick and direct, agile blocker; athleticism evident by 7.19 laser-timed 60.

Andrew Harrington, LHP, Central Hardin (KY), 2013
Draft: 2016, Third Round, 80th Overall, Atlanta Braves
There was no denying Harrington’s physical 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame. But in an event loaded with velocity, he was just another face in the crowd, one that would likely have a good career at Louisville. Which he did, and wound up being a third-rounder. Here are his notes from the 2013 Super 60:
Physically advanced 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame, mature build, strong lower half. Compact, simple delivery, repeats well. Short arm action from ¾ slot, hides ball well. Fastball sat 86-88 with some arm-side life; inconsistent around the zone.Breaking ball sat 70-74, inconsistent shape. 

Nolan (Nonie) Williams, SS, Turner (KS), 2016
Draft: 2016, Third Round, 96th Overall, Los Angeles Angels
Williams had long established himself as one of the premier athletes in the country, dating back to when he was a freshman at the PBR Future Games, when he ran the top 60 and registered 90 across the infield. The question was what position he’d play at the next level. Well, at the Super 60, he showed improved footwork at shortstop and his natural athleticism in the outfield. He also unveiled a raw but highly explosive left-handed swing - turning him into a switch-hitting prospect. Committed to LSU, Williams eventually went in the third round of the draft. Here is his report from the Super 60:
Williams is an excellent athlete with present strength in his 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame. He turned in one of the top 60 times with a 6.58. His arm was solid during the outfield portion, but he has played mostly shortstop so if he transitions to center field in the future, he should improve as he learns the nuances of the outfield. In the infield, he has a strong arm with solid actions. He hit from both sides of the plate with good bat speed and a direct path from the right side. He uses a leg kick and has some happy feet, but he’s strong and impacts the ball with ease. He’s still relatively new to switch-hitting and doesn’t always do it in games, but there is some looseness in his lefty swing.

>> CLICK HERE for Super 60 rosters, past stories, history and more

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