Prep Baseball Report

Midwest JC Classic- Springfield, IL

David Seifert & Jordan Banfield

Hosted by the University of Illinois-Springfield and Lincoln Land Community College, the Midwest JC Classic was played over a three day period (Sept. 28-30) by 28 Midwest JUCO programs. Some prospect notes from the weekend included:

Jon Beymer, 6’3/185, SO, RHP, Wabash Valley CC, IL
Long, loose righty with high three-quarter slot. Sets up on the first base side of the rubber. Lands slightly open and on bent front knee. Works low to high and loses plane. FB 87-91 mph, overthrew at times. Slider at 81 mph showed late, at the plate action. With a little lower half mechanical cleanup, Beymer could see a bump in velocity and improved overall command.

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Manny Gonzalez, 6’4/185, FR, OF, Wabash Valley CC, IL
Tall, wiry, athletic built outfielder. Has tools and tons of projection. Present average arm strength with whip and looseness to arm action. Likely plus throw in the future. Above average runner underway; 6.75 sixty. Slightly spread and pigeon-toed stance in the box. Good rhythm and load. Recognizes pitches. Controls barrel with loose, quick wrists. Average bat speed and has the frame for potential big weight/strength gains. Should be a big man someday with plenty of power. His last at-bat on the day, a 10-pitch strikeout in which he battled back to a full count, was just as impressive as his first at-bat; a long home run to left field. With further reps and experience Gonzalez could turn himself into a top 10 round prospect.

Austin Kelly, 6’1/210, SO, RHP, Wabash Valley CC, IL
Mature, strong bodied transfer from San Jacinto JC. Loose with good arm speed. Repeated athletic delivery. Fastball sat 89-92 mph with late dive. Likely more in the tank. Mixed in a sharp slider at 82. Reminds me of former WVC Warrior, now in AAA with the Blue Jays, Conor Fisk.

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Brendan Knoll, 6’1/185, SO, RHP, Century CC, MN
High three-quarter slot righty with some arm strength, FB up to 88 mph, mostly 86-87. Solid sink with some tail. Fair feel and inconsistent shape with breaking ball. Slider shaped at 76-78 mph varied with 79-81 mph, more cutter-like action. Showed one CH at 81 mph, some fade.

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Noah Myers, 6’2/185, SO, CF, Wabash Valley CC, IL
Displayed athleticism, tools, aptitude and performance from the leadoff spot and center field. Balanced approach with rhythm in the box. Direct path with good extension. Showed easy power to his pull side, leading off the game with a shot to right field.

Dropped down a bunt during his next at-bat, running a 3.90 to first base. Confident defender in the outfield, made all the plays. Average arm strength, throws easy. Overall, a very good combination of tools, athleticism and present performance. Should receive draft consideration this June, in addition to high level D1 recruitment this fall.

Ryan O’Connell, 6’0/190, SO, RHP, Wabash Valley CC, IL
Mature bodied righty with three pitch arsenal. Mixed an 85-89 mph sinking fastball with an average to above 78-79 mph slider and above average 77-79 mph changeup. FB showed plus sink, CH plus arm side life. Strike thrower who has very good feel and an idea on the bump. Likely weekend rotation arm at the D1 level.

Johnny Ray, 6’3/205, RS-FR, RHP, John Logan CC, IL
Continues to shake the rust from Tommy John surgery 15 months ago (June, 2017) and increase his draft value. FB up to 95 while showing an improved command and better feel on both his breaking ball and changeup. For more info, please see his previous report from the Puma Classic.

Evan Reifert, 6’3/185, SO, RHP, North Iowa Area CC
Touched 95 one time. Mostly 93 mph FB with an above average SL. For more info, please see his previous report from the Puma Classic.

Zade Richardson, 6’1/200, FR, C, Wabash Valley CC, IL
Strong framed catcher with a wrestler’s build. Athletic, loose bodied. Strong hands, received well. Good feet. Smothers ball in the dirt. Average runner underway, 6.75 sixty. Above average arm strength with average release. Mostly direct footwork, some fade to left. Average raw power, can drive to all fields. Has all the needed tools and athleticism for a pro opportunity. At this point, he has the look of a defense first backstop who will battle in the batter’s box.

Miguel Rivera, 6’1/205, SO, 1B, Wabash Valley CC, IL
Polished L/L first baseman. Open setup with longer, controlled stride to even. Maintains good balance with weight transfer. Solid rhythm with good load. Tough out, will work the count. Present strength in body, strong hands, takes bat to ball, uses all fields. Sure handed defender, moves well around the bad, good with picks. Below average arm strength, yet plenty for his position. Potential D1 talent.

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Andy Samuelson, 6’4/180, SO, LHP, Wabash Valley CC, IL
Slender built, loose armed lefty with plus breaking ball action. Throws with effort, some of which should lessen with future weight/strength gains. Works from the third base side of the rubber, lands slightly closed with a high back leg finish to the plate. Scattered control of 85-86 mph fastball and hard, late biting 78-79 mph curveball with good depth. Strikeout pitch at the next level with refined control. Top level D1 talent with professional level breaking pitch and likely more in the tank with his fastball velo.

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Cameron Tullar, 6’2/190, FR, LHP, Wabash Valley CC, IL
Three-quarter slot lefty. Clean arm action and good angle on 86-88 mph tailing fastball to his arm side. Landed closed. Repeated delivery. Big breaking 76 mph curveball; present above average pitch. Showed the ability to manipulate breaker into more slider shaped at 79 mph. Release point a tad higher on CB than FB. Starter with high pitchability. Top level D1 talent.

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Levi Usher, 6’1/195, FR, OF, Kirkwood CC, IA
Top level tools across the board. Appears fully recovered from broken leg suffered during senior football season. Proven plus runner. Did not give opportunity to get a true time down the line on this look, but is moving well. Plus arm that may have a chance to become plus-plus with continued development; registered 102 mph outfield velo at scout day. Shows present strength and impressive raw power in box. Will need to continue refining swing to tap into that power more often in game action. Uses a short hand load and doesn’t create much separation. Barrel can enter/exit zone quickly with swing becoming hooky. High level draft follow.

Alonzo White, 6’0/175, SO, LHP, Triton College, IL
Slender, athletic-framed lefty with some arm speed and feel for an average changeup. Fastball sat 86-88 mph with significant arm side run. Changeup thrown with fastball arm speed at 76-78 mph. Significant fading action. 73 mph breaking ball wasn’t thrown much and showed looser rotation and inconsistent shape. Some projection remains due to athleticism, arm speed and opportunity for strength gains.



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