Prep Baseball Report

Elite Prospect Showcase Analysis: Corner Infielders

By Jacob Gill
Pennsylvania Assistant Director of Scouting

The 2016 Elite Prospect Showcase took place Saturday, October 29th at Keystone State Baseball Academy in Manheim, PA with nearly 70 prospects from four states displaying their skills. Today we continue our analysis of all prospects in attendance by reviewing those players who showcased as corner infielders.

Note: corner infielders who also participated as pitchers will be covered in a coming article looking at two-way prospects

FINAL MEASURABLES for all prospects in attendance

Top Prospect

Nate Thomas, 2018, 3B, St. Elizabeth (DE)
Thomas immediately passes the eye test, standing at 6-foot-5, 200-pounds and running a 6.73 60-yard dash. The left-handed hitter starts from an open stance and takes a slow, controlled, knee-to-knee stride to square. Load includes a hand hitch and significant amount of barrel waggle, but the ball jumps off his bat (92 mph exit velocity) when he is on time. Swing has a bit of length, but he creates good leverage and attacks the baseball with an intent to elevate it. Defensively, he showed solid feet, an ability to complete the slow roller play, and 78 mph arm strength from a short arm action with low elbow. Appears to have a shot to stick at the hot corner, although is athletic enough to man a corner outfield spot as well.


Other Participating Corner Infielders

Mykolas Bozentka, 2018, 1B, Holy Redeemer
Physical 6-foot-1, 220-pound right-handed hitter. Repeats his swing out of a slightly open stance and has some feel for getting the baseball airborne. Barrel wrap creates some length, while he does flash bat speed that helps generate an 86 mph exit velocity. Defensively, he showed solid feet and hands when squaring up ground balls, plus accurate 75 mph arm strength.

Andrew Clelland, 2020, 3B, The Linsly School (WV)
Interesting young player with a 6-foot-2, 155-pound frame he can grow into. Right-handed hitter starts from an open stance and employs a toe-tap to a slightly open base. Swing is simple, with minimal moving parts to get out of whack. Holds hands in good launch position and hits through contact fairly well, generating an 81 mph exit velocity. Defensively, he showed solid actions, a feel for playing below the baseball, and accurate 77 mph arm strength across the diamond.

Matt Hayes, 2018, 1B, Lakeland
Physical 6-foot-3, 215-pound right-handed hitter with serious juice in his bat (96 mph exit velocity). Hits from a slightly open stance with deep hand set and some length in his path. Swings with an intent to elevate and put a dent in the baseball. Not just a one-trick pony, Hayes runs well for his size, posting a 7.09 60-yard dash. Defensively, he recorded 77 mph arm strength from a lower slot, while he would benefit from a more aggressive posture to help him field the ball out front more consistently.

Ryan Howe, 2019, 3B, High Point Baptist
6-foot, 180-pound right-handed hitter who ran a 7.30 60-yard dash. Starts from an open stance and strides to slightly open, holding bat at a good launch angle. Despite an armbar and inconsistent lower half incorporation, has enough strength and bat speed to generate an 89 mph exit velocity. Some work to do defensively with regards to his feet getting him in the best possible position to field the baseball, while he posted 78 mph arm strength across the diamond with some effort to his throw.

Brent Kaunas, 2019, 3B, Blue Mountain
Physical 5-foot-11, 200-pound right-handed hitter who ran a 7.36 60-yard dash. Hits from a square stance, incorporating a waist-high leg lift and some body float into foot strike. Armbar creates some length in swing, but, when he's on time, he flashes bat speed and power potential (92 mph exit velocity). Solid across-the-board defensive skill set includes an ability to complete the slow roller play and 77 mph arm strength from a low slot that leads to some tailing action across the diamond.

Jacob Keene, 2018, 3B, Butler Area
Physical, 5-foot-11, 215-pound right-handed hitter. Hits from a square stance and holds bat at a good launch angle. 91 mph exit velocity indicates power potential, and there is likely more in there. Currently swings mostly with his top half, as he gets his weight into his front side early, limiting his ability to incorporate his back side into his swing. Showed solid footwork defensively and threw out of an over-the-top arm slot with 79 mph arm strength that has some carry. He ran a 7.65 60-yard dash.

Travis Kraft, 2018, 1B, Manheim Township
5-foot-10, 205-pound right-handed hitter. Starts from a slightly open stance with hands held high and strides to a wide base. Has some stiffness in his swing, generally stayed inside the baseball, and could improve on his gap power potential (85 mph exit velocity) with fuller incorporation of his lower half. Defensively, he worked below the baseball and fielded it out front, and recorded 67 mph arm strength.  He ran a 7.60 60-yard dash.

Jimmy Loftus, 2017, 1B, Devon Prep
6-foot-2, 190-pound right-handed hitter. Standing more erect that a year ago, he now starts from a much less exaggerated crouch in an open stance and strides to slightly open. Keeps his swing simple and used the middle of the field during his BP round despite a barrel wrap during his load that creates length. Ability to drive the baseball (78 mph exit velocity) would benefit from strength gains. Moved well defensively and showed 68 mph arm strength. He ran a 7.42 60-yard dash.

Mike Piscotty, 2018, 3B, Hanover Area
Slender, 6-foot, 155-pound right-handed hitter who ran a 7.17 60-yard dash and posted 80 mph exit velocity.. Hits from a slightly open stance and has some length in his path (which leads to hooking majority of balls pullside) due to lagging barrel toward catcher at launch. Strength gains would help in all facets of offensive game, including getting more out of his lower half. Defensively, he recorded 78 mph arm strength and showed a solid glove hand, although he would benefit from quickening his deliberate two-shuffle release with long arm action.

Luke Zimmerman, 2018, 1B, Marple Newtown
5-foot-11, 210-pound left-handed hitter posted a similar performance to last seen six weeks ago, while logging better across the board measureables. Starts from an open stance and strides to slightly open, holding the bat in a good launch position. Pull-oriented, slightly uphill path. Recorded a 91 mph exit velocity and ran a 7.38 60-yard dash. He is solid across the board defensive skill set with 71 mph arm strength.

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