Underclass Preview: Top Infielders



By Mike Penn
Michigan Scouting Director

 

Here are some scouting notes on the top infielders from the Underclass Preview:

Riley McCauley (Sterling Heights Stevenson, 2015) was, along with Karl Kauffmann, the best two way player at the event.  He played equally as well, if not better, in the infield than on the mound. He should be a high high follow.   He ran a 7.01 60 and was 85 mph across the diamond.  He demonstrated soft hands quick footwork and a clean exchange. All of his throws were accurate and had good carry.  His instincts are off the charts and seem natural to him.  At the plate he whips the barrel through the zone with authority. His lower half is explosive yet remains balanced.

Karl Kauffmann (Brother Rice HS, 2016) may only be entering his freshman year but he showed why he will be one of the most highly sought after recruits in the 2016 class. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Kauffmann is typically most lauded as a pitcher but he worked out in both the infield and on the mound.  In the infield he demonstrated smooth clean actions and a strong arm across the diamond with good carry. At the plate he had a explosive bat speed and good balance.  Finally on the mound, he was only 82-84 mph with his fastball but his delivery was smooth and rhythmic. Kauffmann's breaking ball was erratic at times but spun well and had good bite to it.  It has an 11/5 downer action to it. Lastly, he carried himself extremely well and had an quiet confidence about himself. Kauffmann is certainly in the upper echelon of 2016 talent.

Tyler Pellerito (Rockford HS, 2015) worked out in both the infield and the outfield at the Underclass Preview but long term he will profile best on the infield. He is an agressive ballplayer with solid actions. He has a shorter arm action registering a 76 mph across the infield. Pellerito is smaller (5-foot-8, 160-pounds) but a good athlete who can run (6.81). At the plate he is a switch hitter and was solid from both sides.  He was smooth with his load and stays balanced. His lower half is explosive coupled helping him to create fast bat speed.

CJ Huntley (Mattawan HS, 2015) quietly put up one of the best performances of the day.  He profiles best as a third baseman who will hit will power.  He showed good athleticism and soft hands in the infield.  He moved well in both directions.  His arm plays well (81mph) across the diamond.  At the plate he starts from an open stance that is upright.  His lower half explodes and helps created great leverage in this swing. He should hit with plenty of power down the road.  Huntley will only progress and continue to fill out. He will shoot up the rankings considerably.

Joe Studzinski (Traverse City St. Francis HS, 2015) shows promise.  He ran well (7.09).  In the infield he needs to continue to improve his footwork but his transfers were all clean. He threw the ball with accuracy. At the plate, he is a sit and spin hitter which leads him to hit off of his back leg a lot. There is a lot of movement in his setup which may contribute to consistency issue as he moves up but he does show a level bath path and the ability to barrel up the baseball.

Mason Opple (Hudsonville HS, 2015) is a monster kid at 6-foot-3, 200-pounds.  For as big as he is, he runs deceptively fast with consistent sub 7.0 times. He was at 6.97 on this day but has been 6.88 in the past for us.  Long term he will most likely project as a power hitting first baseman.  He has soft hands in the infield coupled with a longer arm action.  At the plate, he is another kid with power and an aggressive approach at the plate. He is athletic and hits from a tall upright position and his swing follows suit with an uphill angle.  He did show that when his timing is right he can get to extension well.

Landen Haney (Rockford HS, 2015) separates himself with his arm.  He was 84mph across the diamond at the Underclass Preview. He showed the ability to throw from multiple arm angles and his throws had plenty of carry to them.  He didn't run well on this day according to his standards (7.29) but we have had him around 7.1 in workout in the past.  His bat needs to improve moving if he wants to hit at the next level. He also threw off the mound at the Underclass Preview which is where he most likely will end up down the road. Overall Haney is a good athlete with some upside and is definitely one to follow.

Joe Vyskocil (Orchard Lake St. Mary's HS, 2013) has a big frame (6-foot-3, 185-pounds) and can really hit.  His swing path is uphill but he get to extension really well.  He had good whip in the bat and got it through the zone effortlessly. His balance was good and he stays short and simple with his stride and approach.  In the field his throws were a bit erratic but did show good carry across the diamond (76mph).  Vyskocil should provide good pop in the lineup at St. Mary's this spring.