MN Preseason All-State: Middle Infield Analysis

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By Rob Allison
Prep Baseball Report Minnesota

The Prep Baseball Report Minnesota's Preseason All-State event took place on Saturday February 28th at the Vadnais Sports Center in Vadnais Heights, MN. The showcase featured over 70 prospects from the 2016 class who showcased their talents in front of our scouting staff, college coaches, and professional scouts.

Today we unveil our analysis of the middle infielders at the event.  When we create this list we evaluate the overall package of abilities along with future projection at the college level. 

The top middle infield prospect at this year's MN Preseason All-State event is Ezequias Encarnacion from St. Paul Prep. Encarnacion shows a true feel for the position and is a very active defender. He has hitting ability and is well-versed in the game.

Rounding out the list is Maple Grove's Isaac Collins, Edina's Tyler Eckberg, Albert Lea's Jake Thompson, Alex Fedje-Johnson- Minnehaha Academy, Charley Hesse- Henry Sibley, Tiegen Lindner- Sioux Falls O'Gorman, Mitch Frederick- Lakeville North and Alex Holets- Rochester Century.

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Top middle infield Prospects

1. Ezequias Encarnacion, SS, St. Paul Prep, 2016
5-foot-11, 175-pound shortstop. Body that will continue to fill out with positive weight and strength. Ran a 7.31 60. Big leg kick into stride. Line drive swing plane. Uses hands well in swing. Some length to swing with arm bar. Stays on baseball and extends through contact as good as you will find at high school level. Shows average/above average pop. Stays in middle of field. 88 mph exit velocity off tee. Very active and light on his feet. Hands and feet are well above average for age. Arm works well with accuracy. Can vary arm slots and knows when to release quickly or use arm strength. 83 mph across infield. Hampered by shoulder soreness. Has shown more arm strength previously when 100% healthy. Great feel for position.

2. Isaac Collins, SS, Maple Grove, 2016
5-foot-10, 175-pound shortstop with raw athleticism and fast twitch actions. Ran a 6.72 60. Switch-hitter who shows ability to hit from both sides of plate. Has strength in swing from both sides with exit velocity of 90 mph. Still shaking off some rust during the winter. Performed well at PBR Futures Games last summer. Gap to gap approach right-handed/ middle-pull left-handed. Shows quick feet and ability to move laterally. Glove works and arm is accurate with carry. High Follow Infielder in 2016 class.

3. Tyler Eckberg, SS/RHP, Edina, 2016
6-foot-4, 170-pound 2-way player with long athletic body who ran a 7.35 60. Shows pop to the gaps. Short to contact. Stays in the middle of field. Will inside out balls the other way. Has leverage in swing and ability to drive baseball. 86 mph exit velocity off tee. Ranges across the infield well. Soft hands and fields down and out front. Feet are exceptional for size. Showed the best accuracy and carry across the infield with 85 mph arm strength.

4. Jake Thompson, SS, Albert Lea, 2016
5-foot-11, 145-pound shortstop. Thin build. Ran a 7.25 60. Left-handed hitter with aggressive approach at plate. Strides slightly closed. Shows loose actions in swing. One of better B.P. rounds of event. Hard contact middle-way. Will lean back into swing. Would benefit by staying down and through swing and create better extension and separation. 75 mph exit velocity off tee. Light on his feet defensively. Shows good actions and ability with glove. Plays with energy. Average tools. Throws show carry and plus accuracy. Once he begins to fill out and mature physically; tools should continue to improve. High Follow for Spring/Summer season.

5. Alex Fedje-Johnson, SS/OF, Minnehaha Academy, 2016
6-foot-1, 175-pound infielder/outfielder who ran a 7.15 60. Quality linear actions at plate. Transfers weight through contact and shows plus pop to middle-pull side of field. Good hand-eye coordination with gap to gap approach. Has extension and drives baseball with authority. Short finish to swing. 85 mph exit velocity off tee. Moves well in infield. Shows 3B actions. Arm has accuracy at 83 mph across. Showed above average ability on slow roller. Will field deep in stance at times but glove is soft and shows ability to play 3B/2B or utility all over and keep bat in line-up. In the outfield has ¾ arm action. Stiff action at times. Direct routes and fields with soft hands. Good direction to target and uses momentum on throws. Throws show average carry and good accuracy at 85 mph.

6. Charley Hesse, SS, Henry Sibley, 2016
5-foot-11, 155-pound shortstop who plays with energy. Ran a 7.56 60. Slightly open stance. Strides in-line to pitcher. Aggressive swings. Slight hitch in load. Shows loose hands producing consistent line-drives with a middle-away approach. Average extension through baseball with both hands on bat after contact. 79 mph exit velocity off tee. Moves well on left side of infield. Fields down and out front. Glove and feet are slightly above average. Shows an average arm with plus accuracy across the diamond at 80 mph.

7. Tiegen Lindner, OF/IF, Sioux Falls O’Gorman (SD), 2016
5-foot-7, 145-pound utility player with good strength in smaller frame. Ran 7.13 60. High energy lead-off/ 2-hole type hitter. Front foot hitter with simple mechanics who looks to make solid ground ball/ line drive contact with high OB%. Uses whole field and is short to contact. 77 mph exit velocity off tee. Fields cleanly in outfield. Aggressive routes to ball with clean exchanges and a quick release with accuracy to target. 80 mph arm strength from outfield. Quick feet in infield. Aggressive to baseball. Has range. Arm works and shows accuracy across. Above average second baseman with ability to play shortstop as well. 78 mph arm strength across.

8. Mitch Frederick, SS, Lakeville North, 2016
6-foot, 170-pound shortstop. Lanky build. Ran a 7.41 60. Square stance. Slightly closed at contact. Loads with shoulders. Stays compact and short to baseball. Line-drive swing plane. Seemed to be off-time on this day but has barrel whip through zone and leverage in his swing. 80 mph exit velocity off tee. Usable hands and feet defensively. Will stop when fielding ball. Would benefit from fielding through ball, creating direction, and following throw to target. Has ability. Needs simple refinement in some areas. High ¾ arm action with 74 mph arm strength across.

9. Alex Holets, 2B, Rochester Century, 2016
5-foot-9, 160-pound middle infielder. Compact build with ok strength. Ran a 7.03 60. Switch-hitter with average pop from both sides of plate. Middle-pull approach from both sides. 81 mph exit velocity. Shows usable hands and feet. Arm strength is above average for second base. Will wind-up to throw on occasion. Has accuracy across. Will funnel baseballs at times. Good skills to work with. Follow through Spring/Summer. 79 mph arm strength.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Benjamin Arndt, SS/RHP, Providence Academy, 2016
5-foot-10, 150-pound 2-way player who ran 7.28 60. Right-handed hitter with solid set-up. Uphill swing plane with hand drift down before swing. Middle of field approach. Seemed slightly off-time during B.P. Solid contact. Singles hitter- sprayed balls across the field. 78 mph exit velocity off tee. Usable glove in field. Fields deep in stance. Would benefit working through ball as he is fielding. Winds up to throw. Average feet. 79 mph arm strength across infield.

Max Barthel, 2B, Farmington, 2016
5-foot-10, 160-pound middle infielder who ran a 8.00 60. Crouched stance with in-line stride to contact. Flat bat path through zone. Singles hitter with middle-away approach. 71 mph exit velocity off tee. Stop and go in infield. Moves flat-footed with average range laterally. Shows average carry and accuracy across the infield at 71 mph.

Travis Conoryea, 2B, Simley, 2016
5-foot-7, 160-pound second baseman. Ran a 7.68 60. Showed a pull approach at this event with average power. Simple swing mechanics. Was on-time and made solid contact during B.P. 74 mph exit velocity off tee. Second base actions. Lacks arm strength. Would benefit from long toss program. Fields clean and shows ability to make routine play. 70 mph arm strength across infield.

Jake Dale, SS, Hastings, 2016
5-foot-11, 170-pound shortstop. Ran a 7.69 60. Circle load into launch position. Front heel up in air. Spins with lower half. Load and arm bar add length to swing. Inside out swing with short finish. Middle-pull approach. Singles hitter. 73 mph exit velocity off tee. 70 mph arm strength across infield. Long extended arm action and leads with elbow. Average actions. Shows appropriate footwork and works through baseball and creates direction to target.

Mark Ehresman, RHP/UTL, Eden Prairie, 2016
6-foot-1, 195-pound RHP/Utility player with a 7.37 60 time. Small leg kick trigger into swing. Aggressive swings at plate. Slight hand drift down before swing causing uphill tendencies. Produced hard ground balls with occasional line drives during B.P. Middle-away approach. 85 mph exit velocity off tee with average power. Direct aggressive routes in OF. Good use of momentum on throws and uses lower half. High ¾ slot with varying arm action with accuracy at 87 mph. Feet are narrow at times in infield. Glove is usable and throws show carry from mid ¾ loose arm action. 81 mph arm strength across infield.

Edward Fulton, SS, Minneapolis Washburn, 2016
5-foot-8, 135-pound shortstop who ran a 7.5 60. Square stance with in-line stride. Low hands. Short to contact. Solid contact. Spray hitter who produces firm line-drives and groundballs with middle-pull approach. 74 mph exit velocity off tee. 74 mph arm strength across the infield. Shows usable hands with average actions and feet. Tends to field deep in stance at times.

Alex Pribyl, RHP/SS, Anoka, 2016
6-foot-1, 180-pound 2-way player with athletic build. Ran a 7.81 60. Square stance with pre-set load and minimal rhythm. Strides in-line to pitcher. Simple swing. Stiff lower half. Average/ok hands. Uses whole field. Solid contact. 75 mph exit velocity off tee. Has athleticism. Raw mechanically defensively. Hands and feet are usable. One piece pie arm action at 80 mph across the infield and 82 mph from the outfield.

Michael Tiede, SS/RHP, St. Cloud Apollo, 2016
6-foot-1, 165-pound 2-way player. Thin build. Ran a 7.5 60. Slight leg kick into stride. In-line stride to pitcher. Consistently made hard contact to middle of field with line drives and ground balls. Swings from backside; minimal weight shift through at contact. Stays inside ball well. 78 mph exit velocity off tee. Glove is solid and feet are average for shortstop. Sits back at times on ground balls. Arm works from high ¾ slot. Shows decent carry and has accuracy across the diamond at 73 mph.

Colten Whaley, SS, South St. Paul, 2016
5-foot-11, 175-pound shortstop. Right-handed hitter with easy load and in-line stride to pitcher. Uses front heel turn trigger to swing. Short and direct to contact. Hands are loose in swing. Will pull off at contact sporadically. Middle-pull approach. 79 mph exit velocity off tee. Defensively shows ability with the glove and average feet. Arm is clean and throws from mid ¾ slot with tailing action across. 71 mph arm strength across infield.

Tristan Wilson, 2B, LaCrescent, 2016
5-foot-10, 150-pound second baseman. Thin build. Ran a 7.31 60 at this event. No stride approach. Small kick trigger. Loads with shoulders. Rotational actions at plate. Stayed in middle of field with mid-oppo approach. Singles hitter. 77 mph exit velocity off tee. Works through the baseball and creates direction to target. Hands are usable and foot quickness is avg./ok. Shows ability to make routine play. Arm works clean from over-the-top slot. 70 mph arm strength across infield.

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