Offseason Outlook: 15 Class of 2012 Pitchers to Watch

By Mike Rosenbaum


To ring in the New Year, Prep Baseball Report Missouri will be publishing an off-season series that highlights players to watch in 2012.  This week we look at some of the notable arms in the Class of 2012, a class that’s loaded with Division I talent and will undoubtedly make an impact this spring.

No. 3 Ryan Phillips, RHP, Rock Bridge; Committed to Missouri

Although he doesn’t possess the size of some of the other pitchers on this list, Phillips’ fastball-slider combo and overall pitchability is as solid as anyone in the state.  Through three varsity seasons, the 5-foot-10 right-hander has amassed 21 career wins, shattering Rock Bridge’s previous record in the process.  Last season, he posted a 7-0 record with a 1.23 ERA and 52 strikeouts over 40 innings.  Phillips uses pinpoint control of his 84-87 mph fastball to set up a sharp, late-breaking, low-70s slider.

No. 4 Blake McFadden, RHP, Springfield Catholic; Committed to Kansas State

McFadden put his name on everyone’s radar in 2011 when he guided Springfield Catholic to a Class 3A runner-up finish.  On the season, the right-hander posted an 8-1 record and 0.72 ERA, and fanned 66 in 48 1/3 innings.  With a fastball that sits 87-91 mph, the 6-foot-2 McFadden possesses the state’s best fastball, and has emerged as a potential draft prospect. 

No. 14 Matt Hasenbeck, RHP, Eureka, Committed to Missouri State

At 6-foot-5, 225-pounds, Hasenbeck is a presence on the mound.  Last season the right-hander was 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA for the Wildcats, striking out 33 in 30 2/3 innings and allowing on three extra-base hits all season.  Led by Hasenbeck and teammate Aaron Schnurbusch, Eureka possesses one of Missouri’s better Nos. 1-2 pitching duos.

No. 16 Jordan Witcig, RHP, Staley; Committed to Kansas State

The 6-foot-4 Witcig first gained the attention of the PBR staff last at the Kansas City showcase last February, where he showcased fluid mechanics and an 82-84 mph fastball and polished changeup.  Since then, the right-hander has added a few ticks to his fastball, as we projected based upon his smooth, controlled delivery.  

No. 17 Matt Hall, LHP, Lee’s Summit West; Committed to Missouri State

As the ace for Lee’s Summit West last season, a team that reached the Class 4A district finals, Hall dominated opposing hitters, going 6-1 with a 1.03 ERA, 77 strikeouts, and 13 walks in 52 2/3 innings.  With a fastball that works in the mid- to upper-80s, Hall will once again anchor the Lee’s Summit West rotation.

No. 18 Cody Heisserer, RHP, Notre Dame; Committed to Parkland College

One of the top pitching prospects in the SEMO area for several years, Heisserer is a pitcher who will continue to improve.  Last season, the 6-foot-3 right-hander led Notre Dame with a 6-1 record, 1.55 ERA, and 61 strikeouts over 54 1/3 innings.  At the SEMO Prospect ID showcase this past summer, Heisserer impressed with an 84-85 mph fastball, as well as a heavy, hard-breaking slider. 

No. 19 Bryan Young, RHP, Staley; Committed to Missouri State

Alongside teammate Jordan Witcig, Young fueled the Falcons into the district finals thanks to a 7-3 record, 1.04 ERA, and 63 strikeouts in 47 1/3 innings.  Young also had a strong summer, flashing a fastball that sat in the upper-80s.  Look for Staley’s pitching staff to emerge as one of the best in Missouri in 2012.

No. 21 Alex Winkelman, LHP, Crystal City; Committed to SEMO

Winkelman etched his name all over the Missouri record books last season by averaging 14.19 strikeouts per game.  Overall, the 6-foot-2 southpaw compiled a 7-2 record and 0.70 ERA, and struck out a staggering 102 hitters in 50 1/3 innings.  His fastball consistently sits in the mid-80s, and he uses a downer curve and fading changeup to complement it.  Winkelman also does an exceptional job of repeating his mechanics, which adds an element of deception and allows him to change the eye levels of opposing hitters.

No. 33 Hunter Haynes, LHP, Mexico; Committed to Missouri

Haynes was a perfect 5-0 for Mexico last season, as he recorded miniscule 0.89 ERA and fanned 78 in only 47 innings.  At the Top Prospect Invite, Haynes displayed fluid, repeatable mechanics that make his stuff especially deceptive.  The 6-foot left-hander’s fastball sat 82-83 mph with run, and he topped out at 84.  Using similar arm speed, Haynes also showed advanced command of his slider and fading change up.

No. 39 Jonathan Harris, RHP, Hazelwood; Committed to Missouri State

Part of an impressive Missouri State recruiting class, Harris had an impressive junior campaign in 2011, posting a 5-4 record with 60 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings.  The lanky 6-foot-4 right-hander held opposing hitters to a paltry .194 average.  Using a fastball that sits in the mid- to upper-80s, as well as a curve and changeup, Harris seems poised for a promising 2012 season.

No. 41 Landon Snyder, RHP, Ozark; Uncommitted

Snyder was one of the main reasons that Ozark advanced to the Class 4A Semifinals last spring, as the right-hander posted a 5-2 record and 3.67 ERA, while fanning 44 and walking only eight batters over 47 2/3 innings.  At Open I.D. Showcase in Springfield this past summer, the 6-foot-2 Snyder showed an 82-85 mph fastball, breaker with good tilt, and a 73-75 mph change with fade.  He should once again anchor the Tigers’ pitching staff in 2012.

No. 44 Caleb Wilkerson, RHP, Festus; Committed to SIUE

Even though Wilkerson didn’t have the amount of success as others on this list, he possesses one of the most intriguing arms in the state. Last February at the Prep Baseball Report St. Louis Prospect ID Showcase, Wilkerson showcased his 87-90 mph arm from the outfield. Last season, the 6-foot-1 right-hander’s fastball sat between 85-88 mph – and also flashed a power breaker – as he posted a 3-3 record with 22 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings.  With improved command of his fastball, Wilkerson could have a breakout season in 2012 before playing to Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in 2013.

No. 51 Josh Moore, LHP, Pacific; Committed to SLU

Much like Winkelman, Moore is a left-hander with a knack for striking out opposing hitters.  Last season he was a perfect 6-0 with a 1.59 ERA and 67 strikeouts over 39 1/3 innings.  The 6-foot-2 Moore relies on a mid-80s fastball and a power curve to keep hitters off-balance and pile up the strikeouts. 

No. 55 Tim Agne, RHP, Vianney; Uncommitted

A team that was better known for their offensive production, Agne was a bright spot for Vianney’s pitching staff last season, as he cruised to a 7-3 record that included three complete games and 43 strikeouts in 65 2/3 innings. The 5-foot-11 right-hander also started the Class 4A semifinal against rival Francis Howell.  A veteran of PBR events, Agne showed his best fastball at the Top Prospect Invite in late November, sitting 83-85 mph and touching 86.  His breaking ball also showed improvement at 68-72 mph and late, 10-to-4 action.

No. 61 Paul Sullivan, RHP, CBC; Committed to Spring Hill

The undersized (5-foot-9, 155-pounds) right-hander boosted his stock last month at the Top Prospect Invite in St. Louis when he flashed an 84-86 mph fastball and sharp 70-72 mph breaking ball.  In limited action for a talented CBC squad, Sullivan was 3-1 in 2011, with 18 strikeouts in 20 1/3 innings.  With the graduation of David Schmidt and Brennan Devers, Sullivan should emerge as a key arm for the Cadets’ this spring.