Best Tools: Uncommitted 2017 Infielders



By Jacob Gill
Pennsylvania Assistant Director of Scouting

Earlier this week, we highlighted uncommitted prospects in the senior class with the best tools across various categories. Yesterday, we began the same exercise for the junior class, and we continue today with infielders.

Best Hitting Prospect: The Haverford School 3B Tommy Toal & Juniata Valley 2B Bryce Hensor

Toal has added size and strength to his now 6-foot, 175-pound frame since he earned a line-up spot for the Fords as a freshman. The left-handed hitter flashes some bat speed and takes a short path to the baseball with a willingness to hit the ball to the opposite field. He's a solid runner, recording home-to-1B times early last spring of 4.41 and 4.44. Holding down the leadoff spot as a sophomore, Toal posted totals of a .313 average, .464 on-base percentage, 16 walks against 10 strikeouts, and 11 stolen bases. He is also the starting quarterback for the undefeated THS football team.

5-foot-9, 165-pound right-handed hitting Hensor exhibited advanced strikezone knowledge and bat-on-ball ability at the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Border Battle. He is a quality straight-line runner (6.92 60-yard dash) whose speed plays on the field (4.37 home-to-1B; 3.41 on a steal). Albeit against competition that is not as strong as what Toal faces on a game-to-game basis, Hensor dominated his sophomore season to the tune of a .494 average, .511 on-base percentage, seven walks against two strikeouts, 14 doubles, and 22 stolen bases. He also exhibits a good feel for playing defense, with arm strength that currently profiles best at second base being the only thing preventing him from being listed two sections down as well.

 

Best Power Prospect: Downingtown West 1B Reyce Curnane & Pittsburgh Central Catholic 1B Jake Trautman

Physical 6-foot-3, 210-pound left-handed hitter who exhibits a relaxed set-up, rhythmic stride and load, and attacks the baseball. Slightly uphill swing path helps generate some loft and the ball jumps off his bat (TrackMan reports a peak exit velocity of 93.4-mph). Has shown ability to leave college ballparks with wood.

A towering presence at 6-foot-4, 220-pounds, Trautman has impressive raw juice in his bat (97-mph exit velocity). He has routinely driven the baseball at PBR events throughout the summer, creating loft both in batting practice and game action. The left-handed hitter incorporates a rhythmic load into a relatively easy swing. By no means a burner, he is, however, an adequate runner for his size (7.28 60-yard dash).

 

Best Defensive Prospect: Pittson Area SS Kyle O'Fier & Hershey SS Kris Kremer

We only have one look at O'Fier so far, but it was enough to believe that he's got a good chance to stick at shortstop at the next level, as he showed solid arm strength and the ability to make plays on the move multiple times. Not enough data to have a great feel for him offensively yet, but the 5-foot-10, 165-pound switch-hitter held down the 3-hole for the Patriots as a sophomore.

Throughout the summer, Kremer has exhibited athletic actions with a loose, whippy arm that generated a 90-mph gun reading across the diamond when he represented Team PA at the 2015 PBR Future Games. He has good feet and sets up to field the baseball on his gloveside while moving toward first base. Solid runner (4.25 in-game best home-to-1B). Right-handed hitter can handle the bat in his own right, as well, with wiry strength (90-mph exit velocity) in his 5-foot-10, 150-pound frame, some bat speed, and a feel for the barrel.

 

Best Athlete: Pottsville Area 3B Gavin Hinchliffe & Cedar Cliff 3B Grant Breneman

While still rough around the edges, the right-handed hitting Hinchliffe has a quality, across the board tool set (92-mph exit velocity, 6.94 60-yard dash, 83-mph arm across the diamond) with which to work as he smooths his game out. The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder is also one of the top uncommitted two-way performers in the class, having run his fastball up to 88-mph at the 2015 Top Prospect Games, a number he repeated for TrackMan during an outing earlier this month, along with a breaking ball with short, hard tilt.


Breneman has been a two-sport standout for Cedar Cliff for two years running now. The physical 6-foot, 190-pound right-handed hitter has been a stalwart in the middle of the Colts line-up since his freshman year and runs well for his size (6.92 60-yard dash; in-game home-to-1B time of 4.25). After last night's win on the gridiron, Breneman has now thrown for more than 4,000 yards and rushed for almost 700 in less than two seasons as the Colts starting quarterback. Some upside exists on the diamond, especially given lack of baseball reps relative to his peers.




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