2023 Puma Classic, Takeaways: Position Players
September 21, 2023
On Friday and Saturday, Sept. 15 and 16, the PBR JUCO staff traveled to Westfield, Ind., home of the state-of-the-art Grand Park complex to, once again, host the annual Puma Classic. This event featured 30 teams with many need-to-know prospects who are capable of contributing at the next level – be it a four-year opportunity or pro ball.
Now, with the event behind us, our staff has compiled a handful of names that impressed our scouts throughout our two-day trip to Indiana. Below you'll learn more about several standout offensive performers from this year's Puma Classic with video and scout notes.
TAKEAWAYS (LISTED ALPHABETICALLY)
Pierce Bauerle, Soph., CIF, Frontier CC
6-foot-2, 210-pound frame with present strength throughout, physical presence at the plate. Enjoyed success at the Puma Classic, finishing 4-for-6 with a home run, three singles, and four RBIs. Longer right-handed swing with an uphill barrel, flashed bat speed and strength.
Nick Beech, Soph., UTL, St. Charles CC
Ultra-physical 6-foot, 195-pound athlete with noticeable muscle mass throughout. Slashed .273/.448/.520 with 19 extra-base hits, including nine home runs, 44 RBIs, and 31 stolen bases for the Cougars’ last spring. Was all over the barrel in game one on Friday, hammering a handful of balls to the pull-side, including a home run. Has the traits to be a real impact right-handed threat in the middle of this St. Charles CC lineup.
Richard Bonomolo, Jr., Soph., CF, Wabash Valley
The Warriors top position player was a Second Team NJCAA All-American as a true freshman last season. Bonomolo is a 5-foot-11, 190-pound powerhouse with defined strength throughout his frame and he brings both speed and power to the diamond. He’s a plus runner, and it’s speed that he can get to on the bases, as witnessed with a pair of stolen bases during the Puma. There’s also pop in his stick which he showed leading off the event with a well-struck double to left-center field. He then followed up later in the day with a single up the middle measured at an EV of 104 mph. The uncommitted center fielder also showed fringe arm strength and above-average range.
Corey Boyette, Soph, OF, Heartland CC
6-foot, 195-pound left-handed hitter that brings back a .457/.553/.720 triple-slash with 30 extra-base hits to the reigning NJCAA Division II national champions. Calm, quiet, and collected presence offensively, doesn’t try to do too much and knows how to use the whole field. Minimal swing-and-miss, doesn’t expand the zone often.
Brendan Brock, R-Fr., CF, SWIC
6-foot-3, 180-pound frame that’s added more strength since we saw him last fall, though still offers room to fill out. Hit leadoff for SWIC, double-plus runner with real impact speed, ran a 6.29 60 last year, which is evident on the baseball field. Scored from third on a hard-hit ground ball to the right side with the infield playing in, banged a triple off the center field wall as well.
Ethan Edinger, INF, Soph., St. Charles CC
6-foot, 185-pound frame that’s packed with strength. Slashed .287/.386/.471 with eight home runs and 44 RBIs for the Cougars in 2023. Flat right-handed strength with backspin feel off the barrel, homered to the pull-side in this look. Sure-handed glove on the dirt that should stick at an infield spot as his collegiate career continues.
Brayden Fraasman, C, Soph., Lincoln Trail JC
6-foot-1, 190-pound backstop that returns a .353/.409/.642 triple-slash with 30 extra-base hits, including 11 home runs ,and 57 RBI to the Statesmen. Was one of the top offensive performers of the Puma Classic, swatting two 100+ mph home runs that traveled 395 feet and 405 feet, respectively.
Patrick Graham, Soph, INF, Wabash Valley JC
5-foot-11, 185-pound athlete with well-proportioned strength. Short and simple right-handed swing, level through the zone, loose and easy with bat speed. Showed more juice than we’d seen from him in the past, beaming a triple off the center field wall in the Warriors’ first game. Has always been advanced defensively on the infield, profiling at either shortstop or second base at the next level.
Cameron Hill, R-Soph., OF, John A. Logan
6-foot-4, 215-pound highly physical frame. Was a standout at the Volunteers’ Scout Day earlier this month and continues to impress. Has tools across the board; 6.7 60, 104 mph max exit velocity, 97 mph arm from the outfield. Hammered a handful of balls over two games, including a pair of doubles.
Gage Griggs, Soph., INF, John A Logan
Athletic, top-of-the-order type profile that does a little bit of everything for the Volunteers. Hit over .300 last season on one of the more potent JUCO offenses in the country. Short and simple right-handed swing, all-fields approach. Bouncy, confident defender that has the glove to stick on the dirt moving forward.
Dylan Holmes, C, Soph., Triton JC
5-foot-11, 190-pound backstop with proportional strength. Batted .364 with a 1.003 OPS and 14 extra-base hits as a freshman last spring. Jumped all over an upper-80s heater and barreled it into left field for a loud single. Another offensive threat to follow for this Trojans’ club.
Grant Huebner, C/OF, Soph., St. Charles CC
6-foot, 180-pounds. Slashed .288/.419/.495 with 21 extra-base hits, including eight home runs, and stole 39 bases last season. Rotational swing with length through the hitting zone, showed easy juice off the barrel with a low-effort, no-doubt home run over the left-center wall in game two. Plus arm strength behind the dish, natural carry and accuracy to the bag. Was also up to 97 mph from the outfield on his hardest throw home at the St. Charles CC Scout Day.
Will Johannes, C, Soph., Madison JC
Ultra-physical 6-foot-3, 215-pound athlete with noticeable strength throughout, really looks the part in a uniform. Powerful right-handed hitter, batted .329 with a 1.036 OPS, 11 home runs, and 50 RBIs last spring as the North Central Conference MVP. Clear physical presence at the plate, muscled a single up the middle. Impressed mostly at this event with his natural arm strength behind the dish, throwing out a few baserunners.
Jon Legrande, Soph, OF, Wabash Valley
5-foot-9, 185-pound left/left muscled-up athlete with noticeable strength in the lower half. Hit in the two-hole for the Warriors in both games, finding the barrel a handful of times, including a pair of triples, one of which came off his barrel at 102 mph. Plus runner, spark-plug type that can set the table towards the top of a lineup and play all three outfield spots.
John Lemm, Soph, C, South Suburban CC
6-foot-2, 210-pound left-handed hitting backstop. Present power at the plate, muscled a two-strike double down the right field line in game one and comfortably soared one over the right field fence foul in game two. Reached base at a .439 clip, with 29 walks, last spring for South Suburban and should be a key bat for this upcoming Bulldogs’ club.
Aamir Mitchell, Fr., UTL, Lansing CC
6-foot-4, 190-pounds, lean levers and plenty of room to fill out further. Hit in the middle of the Stars’ order as a freshman and showed all sorts of upside at the dish. Worked a deep count and barreled a double off the center field wall in Lansing’s second game. Will be a newcomer to know on this talented Lansing squad.
Kody Morton, INF, Soph., Danville Area
Slashed .366/.435/.640 with 21 doubles, six home runs, 36 RBIs, and 20 stolen bases en route to MWAC second team all-conference honors last spring for the Jaguars. Athletic at the plate, simple look with barrel accuracy, got off a handful of competitive swings over DAC’s two games.
Jake Munroe, Soph., 3B, John A. Logan
Listed at a strong-bodied 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, Munroe excelled as a freshman at John A. Logan in 2023, slashing .339/.466/.661 across 52 games, slugging 12 homers and 14 doubles while walking more than he K’d (33:30). PBR Illinois visited Carterville, Ill., on Sept. 7 to host a Scout Day event featuring his powerhouse program, where he put up some of the event’s best offensive metrics, signaling the success he saw this spring, all while still raising his ceiling higher. His average exit velocity was 99.3 mph in batting practice (105.3 max), and his furthest batted ball traveled 396 feet. Munroe is also a sub-7.00 runner and a fluid defender with reliable third base actions, armed with plenty of strength (87 mph) on his throws across the diamond. At the Puma Classic, the recent Louisville recruit displayed that same kind of profile, looking like one of the top JUCO position players in the Midwest, if not the nation.
Owen Nowak, OF, Fr., McHenry County CC
6-foot, 185-pound left/left athlete, hit leadoff for the Scots as a freshman. Has always shown our staff the ability to flat-out hit, dating back to his high school days. Was all over the barrel in McHenry County’s first game, squaring up a single up the middle and then jumping on an upper-80s heater for a triple. Advanced run tool, can have an impact with his speed as well.
Josh Outlaw, OF, Soph., Parkland JC
6-foot, 170-pound left/left athlete, slashed .323/.429/.424 with 19 RBI and 22 stolen bases over 99 at-bats as a freshman last season for the Cobras. Was on the barrel to the pull-side a few times over Parkland’s two games. Banged a double off the right-center field wall in game one, singled that way later on in the day. Above-average runner, quick to peak speed out of the box.
Aaron Piasecki, INF, Soph., Kellogg CC
5-foot-10, 175-pound highly competitive left-handed hitter that looked the part of a real top-of-the-order type bat at the Puma Classic this past weekend. Was the Western Conference Freshman of the Year in 2022, earning All-Region and First Team All-Conference honors as a result. Slashed .457/.548/.613 over 173 at-bats, doubling 15 times with 53 RBIs, almost three times as many walks (36) as strikeouts (13), and added 12 stolen bases, too.
Felix Rodriguez, OF, Soph., Triton JC
Highly physical left-handed hitter that posted a 1.117 OPS with 12 extra-base hits in his 2023 campaign. Showed easy bat speed and natural jump off the barrel from the left side. Looks the part of a thumper bat that fits nicely into the middle of a lineup.
Soph. OF Felix Rodriguez (@RolTroj) swings a fast, physical LH barrel to pair with a strong 6-foot, 195-pound frame.— Diego (@DeegsBaseball) September 16, 2023
Barrels one here in the #PumaClassic opening slate. 👇@bestofmwbase | @PBR_JUCO pic.twitter.com/qqgPMrktFB
Mason Roehr, R-Soph., OF, SWIC
6-foot-1, 210-pounds, thick lower half. Showed easy bat strength in this look, hammering a 106 mph home run that traveled 424 feet, per TrackMan. Muscled a triple in the Blue Storm’s second game, too.
Carson Shepard, UTL, Soph., Madison JC
Athletic 5-foot-10, 165-pounds. Do-it-all type of player, capable of positively impacting the game in multiple ways. Brings back a .349 batting average and .949 OPS as a regular offensive producer for the Wolfpack as a freshman. Short and simple right-handed swing, direct to the baseball and covers the plate. Advanced runner, plays hard and does the little things right. Smooth actions on the infield, versatile defender that’s capable of adequately playing in the outfield, too.
Joe Siervo, Soph, CF, Jefferson JC
6-foot-1, 190-pound stature that holds present strength and room for more. Started in center field and hit second for the Vikings’ in both of their Saturday games. Returns after an All-Region freshman campaign where he slashed .379/.497/.586 for a 30+ win JeffCo club. Was on the barrel from a fast, leveraged right-handed swing a few times without much to show for until he tripled off the center field wall. Should be one of the premier prospects in Region 16 this upcoming season.
Ryan Snell, OF, Soph., Parkland JC
Plenty physical, listed at 6-foot-3, 210-pounds. Was a key offensive threat for the Cobras in 2023, slashing .366/.475/.509 with 16 extra-base hits and 48 RBIs. Clear hand and barrel strength from the right side, barreled a triple the other way in his final at-bat of Parkland’s first game.
TJ Williams, MIF, Soph., Heartland CC
True spark-plug type athlete with fast twitch and a high motor that’s always running at 100%. Hit .421 with a .512 on-base percentage for the Hawks’ championship squad in 2023, also swiped 30 bags. Natural bat-to-ball skills, isn’t afraid at the plate and consistently makes contact without much swing-and-miss. Capable of impacting the game offensively in multiple ways; singled up the middle, dropped a bunt down for a single, and nearly beat out a ground ball to second base at this event. Plus runner, gets to peak speed quickly out of the box and knows how to use his wheels on the bases. Savvy, sure-handed defender with natural instincts and actions on the infield. Primed for a big year as a key offensive piece to the Hawks’ lineup.
Preston Wright, R-Soph, OF, SWIC
6-foot-1, 210-pound left-handed hitter with a wide upper-half and strength throughout. Hit in the two-hole for the Blue Storm in both games. Natural barrel strength with bat speed, homered in his first at-bat of the event and doubled down the left field line later in the same contest. Would end up homering again in game two. Above-average bat-to-ball skills, showed minimal in-zone swing-and-miss at this event. Looks the part of a middle-of-the-order type bat for SWIC this upcoming season.
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