Prep Baseball Report

Midwest ProCase: Outfield Analysis

By Sean Duncan and Matt Huck

The Midwest ProCase took place on July 11th at Silver Cross Field in Joliet, Illinois. The event featured players from ten surrounding states. Today we continue our event analysis with the outfield prospects.

Alek Thomas (Mount Carmel, IL) again showed why he is not only one of the top prospects in the Midwest but in the country. Thomas ran an event-best 6.43 laser-timed 60-yard dash. Despite being only 5-foot-11 and 179-pounds, Thomas shows easy power in batting practice hitting some towering shots to the pull side and spraying line drives around the field. He is a plus plus defender in centerfield, easily running down balls in the gap in game with natural actions and instincts getting reads off the bat.

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Fellow Illinois prospect Zaid Walker (Homewood-Flossmoor, IL) also had a big day running the second best 60-yard dash behind Thomas at 6.46 and showed plus speed in games. Walker has continued to improve his arm strength from the outfield and possess pull side power in batting practice.

Miko Rodriguez (Forest Hills Central, MI) and Michael Brewer (Snider, IN) impressed with their tools during the workout.


Outfield Reports (Listed Alphabetically)

Tyler Acosta, OF, Barrington HS, IL
Illinois recruit, currently ranked No. 23 in Illinois’ 2018 class. 6-foot-1, 155-pound right-handed hitting outfielder, wiry-athletic frame, young build with plenty of room for continued physical development. Considerable upside in the frame as he gains strength. Live-bodied quick-twitch athlete, ran a 6.65 laser-timed 60 with easy, fluid strides. Shows natural outfield actions and instincts; takes confident, aggressive routes, fields the ball in rhythm, plays through the ball well. Highly athletic arm, over-the-top slot, clocked at 85 mph, arm plays up with carry. Offensively, shows loose, athletic hands; lacks strength but generates bat speed. Aggressive approach, utilizes pronounced leg lift back, minimal load, long through the ball. Registered 92 mph exit velocity with wood. Went 1-for-3 in game with an infield single; 4.37 down the line.

Michael Brewer, OF, Snider HS, IN
Uncommitted, currently ranked No. 379 overall, No. 21 in Indiana’s 2018 class. 6-foot-2, 180-pound right-handed hitting outfielder with muscular, athletic build. High-level quick-twitch athlete with raw explosive tools. Ran a 6.51 laser-timed 60, fourth-best at the Midwest ProCase. Athleticism translates in the outfield, where he moves with fluidity. Throws have easy carry, clocked at 90 mph with little effort. Offensively, generates advanced bat speed and has strength in hands, 93-mph exit velocity with wood. Showed improved rhythm at the plate from last look; leg-kick trigger, hands drop at load with arm bar and uphill path; maintains athletic balance through the ball. Went 1-for-3 in game play.

Francois Castillo, 3B/OF, Clemente HS, IL
Eastern Illinois recruit, currently ranked No. 24 in Illinois’ 2018 class. 6-foot, 210-pound right-handed hitting third baseman who can also play the outfield. Possesses a big arm anywhere on the field. Was clocked at 96 mph across the infield and 94 mph from the outfield, both event highs. Shows athletic, soft hands in the field, long transfer and considerable effort in the throw. Offensively, has balanced setup, rhythm in load, loose hands, small leg lift trigger, pull-side approach, inconsistent path. Registered 91 mph exit velocity and ran a 7.10 laser-timed 60.

Brooks Coetzee, OF, Mahomet-Seymour HS, IL
Notre Dame recruit, currently ranked No. 369 overall, No. 11 in Illinois’ 2018 class. 6-foot-2, 195-pound right-handed hitting outfielder, athletic build with proportional strength. Delivered all-around strong performance at the Midwest ProCase. Ran a 6.84 laser-timed 60, moves with confidence, showing true outfield actions. Fields the ball in rhythm, plays through the ball well and has strong, highly accurate arm, firing 90 mph strikes to the catcher. Offensively, has simple, balanced approach. Shows strength in hands with above-average bat speed, repeats swing well, stays strong through contact, consistently back-spinned line drives to the pull side. Registered 99 mph exit velocity with wood.

Tyler Halstead, OF, Riley County HS, KS
Uncommitted, currently ranked No. 9 in Kansas’ 2018 class. 6-foot, 175-pound left-handed hitting outfielder. Quick-twitch athlete, ran a 6.46 laser-timed 60. Offensively, hits from an open setup, maintains balance through contact, uphill path, registered 90 mph exit velocity with wood. Defensively, moves well in outfield, short arm swing, over the top slot, clocked at 77 mph.

Dakota Kotowski, OF, Providence Catholic HS, IL
Missouri State recruit, currently ranked No. 275 overall. Physical 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-handed hitting outfielder, strong, mature build with developed lower half and proportional strength. Big right-handed power potential is his calling card. Possesses extremely strong hands, generates explosive bat speed, takes man-hacks. Ball jumps off the barrel, creates lift in the swing, strong through extension, pull-side approach. Registered event-best 102-mph exit velocity with wood. Hits from tall, slightly open setup, rhythm in hands and load, some length and inconsistency in path, swings with intent to do damage. Defensively profiles as left fielder/first baseman. Average arm strength, 86 mph. Athletically has steadily improved over the years. Moves better than frame/size would indicate; ran a 7.26 laser-timed 60. Overall, shows potential of being a high-level right-handed power bat in the future.

Gunner Peterson, OF, Wilmot HS, WI
Illinois State commit. Currently ranked No. 8 in the Wisconsin Class of 2018 and No. 291 in the PBR Overalls. 6-foot-1, 185-pound left-handed hitting outfielder. Balanced setup at the plate, short leg lift stride with a smooth load and good balance. Line drive gap to gap hitter with a level swing path. Strength thru contact with 95 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 6.87. Defensively has a long arm action from an over the top slot. Accurate throws with carry, longer exchange. Threw 85 mph from the outfield.   

Miko Rodriguez, OF, Forest Hills Central HS, MI
Texas A&M recruit, currently ranked No. 87 overall, No. 3 in Michigan’s 2018 class. 6-foot-1, 195-pound right-handed hitting outfielder, proportionally strong quick-twitch athlete. Delivered an all-around impressive performance at the Midwest ProCase, showcasing high-level tools across the board. Offensively, hits from a relaxed, slightly open setup; fluid pre-pitch rhythm, swings with controlled aggression; generates explosive bat speed, stays strong through the ball, maintains balance through contact. Has quieted down the swing since last look; repeats well, stays inside, knows how to backspin a baseball with loft. Tanked a few taper-blasts in BP. Registered 97 mph exit velocity with wood. Ran a 6.71 laser-timed 60 and was clocked at 91 mph from the outfield. Moves around the outfield with confidence, throws have carry from high-3/4 slot. Overall established himself as a high-follow draft prospect moving forward.

Tommy Springer, RHP/OF, Eastview HS, MN
Missouri commit. Currently ranked No. 3 in the Minnesota Class of 2018. 6-foot, 215-pound right-handed hitting RHP/OF. On the mound works from a high ¾ arm angle with a short arm action. Drop and drive delivery working in line with home plate. Fastball works downhill at 87-88 mph. Curveball has 12-6 shape with depth at 75 mph. Changeup worked 76 mph. At the plate hits from a tall, open setup with a long, leg kick load. Line drive hitter with a short, level swing path. 83 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 7.51. Defensively has a short arm action from an over the top slot. Plays thru the ball with a long exchange. Threw 87 mph.

Alek Thomas, OF, Mount Carmel HS, IL
TCU recruit, currently ranked No. 7 overall in PBR coverage area, No. 1 in Illinois’ 2018 class.  5-foot-11, 179-pound left-handed hitting outfielder, athletic, wiry-strong frame with plenty of room for continued physical development. Top-of-the-scale athlete with highly advanced baseball instincts and I.Q. Ran an event-best 6.43 laser-timed 60 on a wet track. Speed and athleticism translate all over the field. Highest level defensive centerfielder, gets advanced reads off the bat, tracks balls down to both power alleys with ease. In game, Thomas ran down two balls deep in the right-center gap, covering considerable real estate, and made it look routine. Profiles as no-doubt centerfielder at the next level with below-average arm strength. Offensively, hits from a relaxed open setup, advanced rhythm in load, pronounced leg-kick back, loose, fluid athletic hands, generates easy bat speed. Registered 95-mph exit velocity off tee. Produces big pullside power when he wanted in BP, tanking several home runs. Also shows handsy opposite-field approach with intent on getting out the box quickly. Overall, Thomas was the top prospect at the PBR Midwest ProCase, and further cemented his status as a high-round draft prospect.

Zaid Walker, OF, Homewood-Flossmoor HS, IL
Michigan State recruit, currently ranked No. 70 overall, No. 2 in Illinois’ 2018 class. 6-foot-2, 215-pound right-handed hitting outfielder, muscular, athletic build, developed lower half, proportionally strong; overall explosive quick-twitch athlete. Established himself as a high-level draft prospect with his performance at Midwest ProCase. Showcased premium tools: Ran a laser-timed 6.46 60, powerful strider; registered 98 mph exit velocity and was clocked at 91 from the outfield. Offensively, generates advanced bat speed and lift with pullside power. Slightly open setup, consistently gets squared, aggressive approach, occasionally gets rotational and pulls off. Gets out of the box well for his size and swing, running a 4.18 on a 6-3 putout. Defensively, profiles as corner outfielder with legitimate arm strength for right field. Moves with fluidity and purpose, aggressive to the ball, throws have carry and on target. Overall, Walker is a physical specimen with big tools.

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