Prep Baseball Report

The Hotlist: Big Risers From Future Games

By Sean Duncan and PBR Staff

The Prep Baseball Report Future Games featured a deep and talented collection of uncommitted 2018 and 2019 prospects from 27 states. While there were many high-level performances across the board, particularly from more well-known prospects, there were many under-the-radar players who raised their profiles in front of 200-plus college coaches at Grand Park in Westfield, IN on Aug. 4-6.

This week’s Hotlist looks at some of the biggest risers from the 16 teams over the course of three days, which includes the positional workouts and three games:

Alex Adams, SS. Lafayette HS (MO), 2018
The 6-foot-1 185-pound middle infielder showed well throughout the weekend, starting on Thursday’s positional workout. He ran a 6.97 and recorded a positional velocity of 84 mph across the infield while showcasing fluid middle infield actions. Offensively, he has athletic hands and an easy, loose swing with some natural lift. His offensive prowess and athleticism came to the fore when he tripled, singled and was hit by a pitch during his final at-bats of the weekend.

Luke Albright, RHP, Fishers HS (IN), 2018
The athletic 6-foot-3, 210-pound right-hander increased his stock after flashing premium velocity against Team Illinois, sitting 90-91 with his fastball.  With his frame, athleticism and arm speed, there’s likely more in the tank, too. He has long limbs and there’s plenty of room for continued physical development. He also has good feel for his 75-77 mph changeup, which he used frequently to get two strikeouts, while also flashing a 70-71 mph curveball that is still a work in progress.

Alexandro Bello, MIF, Hialeah Educational Academy (FL), 2018
Only 5-foot-8, 147 pounds, but Bello was rock-solid across the board during the positional workout, running a 6.8 with a big arm (87 across infield) and a consistent, compact line-drive producing swing at the plate. Bello’s tools translated in game action. He’s a hard-nosed gamer with a high baseball I.Q.; he makes good reads, takes competitive at-bats, makes all the plays, and basically does all the little things that help wins games. Oh, and he also consistently barrels baseballs. Shortly after the Future Games, he verbally committed to South Florida.

Zac Cox, INF, Manhattan HS (KS) , 2019
Quietly the 6-foot, 175-pound infielder put together one of the most impressive offensive stat lines of the entire event. The right-handed hitter ended the weekend going 7-for-7 with two doubles and two walks. He worked the middle of the field to opposite field for most of his hits.   During the positional workout, he registered an 89-mph exit velocity, and was 78 across the infield while running a 7.38 60.

Eli Davis, OF, Brighton (TN), 2018
The left-handed hitter has a wiry-strong build with quick-twitch tendencies. The 6-foot, 170-pounder has quick, loose hands at the plate, with a flat line-drive producing swing. He also moves with fluidity in the outfield and showcased a strong arm (89 mph). He ran a 6.93 and also registered 90 exit velocity.

Cameron Dennie, RHP, Plymouth HS (IN), 2019
The wiry-thin 6-foot-1, 165-pounder appeared to be completely undaunted by the throng of college coaches behind the backstop as he threw nearly all strikes with his fastball-slider combination against Team Illinois. Despite being only a 2019, his slider is a swing-and-miss pitch at 74-76, showing darting two-plane action which he used to get a pair of strikeouts. His fastball topped at 88 mph, sitting 86-87.

Kevin Eaise, RHP, St. Augustine Prep (NJ), 2018
Strong build, 6-foot-1, 195-pound right-handed pitcher. Athletic delivery, strong load, slightly crouched. Quick live arm. Showed swing-and-miss fastball with late finish, got a lot of swing in miss with fastball in the zone, 85-87 mph, plays up. Curveball has some feel, will throw first pitch, showed swing and miss action, 11/5 plane, 71-74 mph. Offensively, also delivered two doubles in game play.

Rook Ellington, OF, McCracken County HS, KY, 2018
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound outfielder proved to be one of the more athletic prospects at the event when he put up eye-popping numbers during the position player workout. Ellington ran a 6.67 laser-timed 60, showed 89 mph arm strength, and posted a 94 mph exit velocity. He routinely drove balls to the gaps during an impressive round of batting practice and followed that up by going 2-for-4 in game play with a triple, three walks, and two RBI. His speed translates well to the baseball field as he got down the line in 4.17-seconds from the right side, and stole three bases.

Don Goodes, OF, Greenbriar Christian HS (VA), 2018
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound left-handed hitting outfielder has only been in Virginia for about a year after moving from Wisconsin. But Goodes quickly took advantage to let his name be known after his stellar overall performance at the Future Games for Team Mid-Atlantic. He has a balanced, simple left-handed swing, showing easy bat speed and the ability to make consistent hard contact as he laced line drives during Thursday’s positional workout. In game play, Goodes made loud contact in the majority of his at bats. Goodes showed the ability to confidently play all three outfield positions with his range and was clocked at 87 mph from the outfield.

Eric Grintz and Adam Grintz, Downington West HS (PA), 2019
The twin brothers each made a name for himself at the Future Games. Eric, a physically advanced 6-foot, 185-pound catcher, impressed during Thursday’s workout with his all-around performance. Defensively, he fired consistent 1.98-2.07 strikes to second base, ran a 6.99 laser-timed 60, and registered a 93 mph exit velocity. He followed it up by barreling everything thrown his way during game action, including a one-hop triple off the right-center field wall to lead off the game against Michigan. … Adam, a long-limbed 6-foot-1, 165-pound right-handed pitcher, faced one above the minimum in his three shutout innings pitched. His fastball topped at 86 mph to go along with a solid 71-74 mph curveball.

Seth Halvorsen, INF/RHP, Heritage Christian Academy (MN), 2018
6-foot-1, 180-pound frame, lean athletic build with wider shoulders and high waist; a premium quick-twitch athlete. One of the biggest overall risers at the event. Played well throughout the weekend, making athletic plays in the field and making aggressive decisions on the basepaths. His turning point of the event, though, was when he took the mound; he was 89-90, touching 91, on Friday night. He threw one breaking ball, with short, tight break at 77. Not bad considering he rarely pitches. Highly athletic arm, could develop into high-level power arm with more development. His athleticism and tools were showcased during Thursday’s positional workout when he was an event-best 92 mph across the infield, ran a 6.95 60 and recorded a 97 mph exit velocity.

Brock Helverson, RHP, Perkiomen (PA), 2018
Highly projectable frame, 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, long legs, slender build. Works from varying arm slots, will drop to side arm, works low 3/4 to ¾. Clean repeatable delivery, stays upright, easy no effort, little lower half, closed toe landing, stays directional. Fastball flashed plus sink, gets a ton of ground balls, showed feel for the zone, touched 88-89, sat 84-86. Changeup played with sink, similar to fastball, good feel, 76-79 mph. Slider at 73 mph, didn’t use much, 10/4 plane, showed feel in warmups. Verbally committed to West Virginia during the event.

Tyler Isenberg, RHP/SS, Trinity Christian Academy (FL) 2018
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound two-way player emerged as a high-interest pitcher at the event. He has a quick, athletic arm, sitting 87-89 mph with his fastball and touched 90 twice. Displayed a hard slider with depth that sat 76-79 mph that he threw for strikes and located well. He works quickly and shows a highly competitive demeanor on the mound.

Tanner Kohlhepp, RHP/INF, Eau Claire Memorial HS (WI), 2018
Kohlhepp is a long lanky projectable build at 6-foot-2, 165-pounds. He came into the Future Games as a top 40 prospect in the state of Wisconsin with a top 5 ceiling. Kohlhepp made a huge step in that direction with both his bat and now on the mound. Rarely seen on the mound, he proved to have an extremely high ceiling as a right-handed pitcher, working from a 3/4 slot, loose and athletic. His fastball sat 86-87 mph with serious arm side run and a wipeout slider to match at 75-77 mph. If that wasn't enough his left handed bat stayed hot all weekend. He showed loose hands and some easy pop from a slight build. His swing translated to game play as well where he stepped up against some of the top arms in the country. Kohlhepp wore out his pull side gap both days with a triple and ground rule double to the similar spots.

Dillon Lifrieri, OF, Wilton (CT), 2018
Earned MVP of the Future Games. 6-foot-1, 180-pound right-handed hitting outfielder with a lanky, athletic frame and wiry strength.  Followed up an impressive workout day where he registered an event best 100 mph exit velocity from a tee, threw 91 mph from the outfield, and ran a 6.84 60 yard dash. Took one of the best rounds of pregame BP, showing off easy pull side power hitting two towering home runs. Hits from an upright, slightly open stance with a leg kick stride. Lot of moving parts in swing but keeps his head level throughout with fluid rhythm. Pull power approach looking to do damage with every swing. Hit a line drive home run to left field in game one and hit another home run in game two. In his first at bat hit a chopper in a 6-hole beat it out for a single, 4.18 down the line. Also had four RBI, two stolen bases and threw a runner out at the plate from right field.

Casey Maniglia, RHP/OF, Solon HS (OH), 2018
Maniglia was far from an unknown as he came into the Future Games as the fourth overall player in Ohio’s 2018 class. But the 6-foot-2, 200-pound prospect showed he could be legitimately considered a two-way option at at a high level. On the mound he sat 86-89 mph with a sharp slider and feel for a changeup. When looking at him from a positional player standpoint, he has a strong, athletic frame with big tools. He ran a 6.72, was 89 mph from the outfield and 95 mph off the tee. In game, he consistently drove balls deep into the outfield, including a triple off the center field wall. He wasn't bothered by velocity or off-speed pitches.

Aidan Maldonado, RHP, Rosemount HS (MN), 2018
6-foot, 160-pound right-hander has a slight build, but features a lively arm and can really spin a breaking ball. Athletic, up-tempo delivery, quick, long arm action. Fastball sat 86-87, touching 90 on occasion; seemed to dial up the velocity with two strikes, as he did twice to put away a two hitters in his first outing. Breaking ball is a power slurve, throws the pitch aggressively at 74-75 mph; highly effective pitch when harnessed.  

Jacob Maton, RHP, Glenwood HS (IL), 2018
Although highly ranked in Illinois, the 6-foot-3, 170-pound Maton wasn’t a well-known national prospect. He changed all that with two highly impressive outings, each one-inning stints. In fact, Maton was arguably the top pitcher at the entire Future Games, which is a big statement given the depth and talent at the event. Against Indiana, Maton sat 88-89 with his fastball, touching 90 once, but it was his slider that turned heads. What he previously classified as a cutter, Maton unveiled a slider that had sharp, late bite, thrown aggressively and around the zone at 78-80. He recorded a pair of strikeouts with his slider, which was unquestionably one of the best breaking balls at the event. His second outing was just as effective and impressive, sitting 87-89 with his fastball, and flashing that same sharp slider. Maton has a short, quick arm action and has yet to begin to fill into his frame. His delivery is simple, athletic and repeatable. Both his older brothers were draft picks.

Bennett Nance, LHP, Morehead HS (NC), 2018
The 6-foot-2, 160-pound Nance opened some eyes with his quick arm, projectable lanky frame, and pitchability on the mound for team Mid-Atlantic. Nance showed command of three pitches, highlighted by a tight, late-breaking slider. Though he topped out only at 83 mph, Nance's frame, combined with his quick arm shows there is plenty more in the tank and a high ceiling.

Travis Odom, SS/RHP, Blackman HS (TN), 2019
The athletically built 6-foot-1, 160-pound two-way talent was a big winner during the positional workout on Thursday. A fluid athlete, the ball jumps off Odom’s barrel with ease and backspin carry. He’s balanced, loose and has strong hands. Defensively, his throws carry across the infield with little effort, yet was 90 across the infield. He also ran a 6.95 and recorded an 88-mph exit velocity. On Friday, the right-hander showed his upside on the mound in a one-inning stint. His fastball sat 84-86, touching 87 once, with slight cut. He also flashed a 72-74 mph slider.

Luke Patzner, RHP, Urbandale HS (IA), 2018
6-foot-3, 205-pound right-handed pitcher, strong, durable frame with wide shoulders. Pitched two effective outings, each time running his fastball up to 90. On Friday, he topped at 91, sitting 87-89. Secondary stuff needs refinement, but has all the markings of being a high-level power arm.

Elijah Pleasants, RHP/OF, Rossview HS (TN), 2018
The 6-foot-4, 160-pound Pleasants has a long, thin, highly athletic frame. He entered the Future Games without being widely known, but left the three-day event as one of the highest-ceiling prospects.  As an outfielder, he showed athleticism and a strong arm that produced a position velocity of 90 mph.  Offensively, he was able to put together some good at-bats, while showing his potential for power with a 92 mph exit velocity.  However, where Pleasants really impressed was on the mound.  Having not pitched very much over the summer months, he came in and tantalized the crowd with his upside potential.  His wiry, athletic frame, coupled with a long and loose arm action, gives the mind plenty to dream on once he fills into his frame. At the Future Games, he sat 84-86 and showed a breaking ball with potential. Pleasants's stock will continue to rise as he puts on some muscle and becomes even more athletic in the offseason.

Austin Primm, RHP/1B, North Gaston HS (NC), 2018
6-foot-5, 235-pound two-way player, extra-large frame, strong lower half. Impressed both on the mound and at the plate over the course of the three days. Hulking presence on the mound, fastball sat 85-87, topping at 89 with heavy feel. Also threw a 74-77 mph slider. Finished with three strikeouts and yielded a run. At the plate, he has showcased right-handed power during the workout, and finished 3-for-5 with three RBI in game play.

Luke Rettig, LHP, Wilmington Christian HS (DE), 2018
A relatively unknown arm before the Future Games, the 6-foot-2, 160-pound Rettig showed his high-ceiling potential for Team Mid-Atlantic. The lefty topped out at 85 during the event with a free and easy arm action. Rettig's lone hit given up was a homerun to tournament MVP Dillon Lifrieri. He struck out four and walked one in two innings work.

Jake Rucker, SS/RHP, Pope John Paul II HS (TN), 2018
The 6-foot-2, 170-pound Rucker showed off his two-way abilities over the course of three days. On the mound, he has a quick, long arm action, slight wrap on the backside, but has the athleticism and arm speed to get up and out consistently for strikes. His fastball ranged between 84-87 with some arm-side life, while he also flashed a times a sharp 74-78 mph slider. His athleticism became even more evident when he made a few nice plays at shortstop, including one in which he ranged to his backhand and made a strong throw to edge the runner. During the workout, Rucker ran a 6.84 60, was clocked at 86 from the infield and had a 93 mph exit velocity.

Steven Sanchez, LHP, Mundelein HS (IL), 2018
At 6-foot-8, 230 pounds, Sanchez is a monster on the mound. With his length and size, the big question surrounding Sanchez was could he throw consistent strikes? On back-to-back one-inning outings, he filled up the strike zone, both with his fastball and curveball, working two clean innings. On Friday, his fastball sat 86-87 coming from a steep angle with slight arm-side run. He struck out one, walked one and induced two weak groundouts. The following day, Sanchez worked 84-86 from the same steep angle; however, his fastball had more arm-side finish to it. More impressively, he spun several quality breaking balls at 70-71 mph, one which resulted in a strikeout, his second punchout of the inning. With a few mechanical tweaks, such as getting down the mound more and keeping his front side closed, Sanchez could very well just be scratching the surface of his ascension, as his velocity has jumped 4-7 mph since we last saw him in early June.

Garrett Schmeltz, LHP, Pleasure Ridge Park HS, KY, 2018
The athletic 6-foot-2, 185-pound lefty had the most impressive outing on the Kentucky staff as he worked both sides of the plate effectively with his 84-85 mph fastball with occasional late arm-side life and showed a 73-74 mph curveball with depth and late bite that proved to be a swing-and-miss pitch. He allowed just one base runner (HBP) and struck out four in three scoreless innings with three of the strikeouts coming via the curveball. Schmeltz committed to Louisville following the event.

Luke Stephenson, C, Algonac HS (MI), 2018
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Stephenson delivered on both sides of the plate. Defensively, he had one of the top pop times at the Future Games, going 1.86-1.94. He also showcased strong receiving and blocking skills while also having a feel for calling a game. Offensively, he tallied multiple hits throughout the weekend, including a triple to right-center field.

Jimmy Sullivan, OF, Wethersfield HS (CT), 2018
6-foot-4, 195-pound, long and lengthy athlete, plenty of room for future development. A left-handed hitter who can really run and shows raw power to the alleys. Moves extremely well for his size. Ran a 6.72 laser-timed 60 and got down the line at times between 4.22-4.33. The stance is tall and narrow and hands are low. The load is big, in return gets barred out; registered an exit velocity of 93 mph, with plenty more in there. During the weekend, went 5-for-8 with a triple.

Conner Tomasic, SS/RHP, Lake Central HS (IN), 2018
Tomasic is an athletic 6-foot-1, 170-pound infielder and right-handed pitcher. An all-around athlete, Tomasic showed over the course of three days to be a legitimate two-way prospect at a high level. After establishing himself as one of the top infielders at the Future Games during Thursday's position player workout, he came into pitch and was equally impressive, if not more.  He works from high-¾ slot, slightly across his body with an athletic arm action. The fastball sat 86-88 with sneaky arm-side life.  His curveball was 70-71 with short, tight break, around the plate with it; also threw 77 mph changeup. He has a competitive demeanor on the mound and plays the game with bounce and rhythm.

Henry Weycker, LHP, Wellesley (MA), 2019
5-foot-9, 165-pound left-handed pitcher entered the Future Games relatively unknown, but made a big name for himself in his outing. Quiet, competitive demeanor on the mound, works fast, strike-thrower, athletic, loose arm action. Simple delivery with a slightly closed landing, repeats well. Fastball shows occasional cutting action at 82-85, topping out at 86 mph. Featured both a curveball and slider with different shapes. Curveball has 12-6 shape with sharp breaking action at 71 mph. Slider has more sweeping action at 75-77 mph. Was around the plate with everything.

Zane Zeppuhar, OF, St. Amant HS (LA), 2018
A 5-foot-10, 170-pound outfielder with an athletic frame. During Thursday's workout, Zeppuhar took a well-balanced round of batting practice, showing a loose, easy swing with bat speed and strength at contact while working the entire field with hard line drives. In game action, he made hard contact on several occasions without much to show for it, but did take a two-strike, down-and-in fastball over the right field wall during Team Select's first game.

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