Hitters Spring Leage Notebook

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Director – Wisconsin/Illinois

It may be cold and wet outside, but the Hitters Spring League went indoors showcasing some excellent pitching matchups going live against hitters. Several highly touted prospect stood out as well as some new names emerged to follow this spring.

Here’s a look at what we saw this weekend.

C Jamie DeWitt (Waukesha South, 2017) showed off his receiving skills with advanced pitch calling and handling his pitchers well. DeWitt showed soft but strong hands receiving the ball at the bottom of the zone as well as the agility to block pitches in either direction. DeWitt also showed an advanced approach offensively, his hands are loose, shows bat speed, and recognizes pitches well.

LHP Augie Mihlbauer (Mukwonago, 2017) was sharp on the mound sitting 77-79 mph with his fastball displaying well above average command of the zone. His athletic delivery allows him to repeat and fill the zone up with regularity.

RHP Takoda Metoxen (Franklin, 2016) showed advance command of his fastball to his arm side. With sink and arm side action Metoxen was able to get underneath the hands of right handed hitters at 77-79 mph.

Highly projectable LHP Ben Dragani (Catholic Memorial, 2017) looked extremely sharp commanding his fastball. Touching 80 mph, Dragani showed a highly mature ability to command his fastball on both sides of the plate. His arm action is effortless and loose and projects to have plenty more in the tank.

Illinois commit, RHP/OF Cyrillo Watson (South Milwaukee, 2016) was impressive on the mound and at the dish. On the mound he sat 84-86 mph with his lively fastball. His command can improve but proved to be effective wild, getting hitters to bail as well as chase his fastball out of the zone. His changeup is close to being a plus pitch, featuring excellent depth and late action with aggressive arm speed. The only problem Watson will face is when and when not to throw it as he will have the luxury to throw his fastball by most hitters.

RHP Matt McCarty (South Milwaukee, 2016) impressed with his easy arm action and strong body. At 6-foot-3, 190-pounds McCarty looks the part already. His arm works effortlessly with a long arm action topping out at 84 mph, sitting 81-83 mph. His fastball showed excellent depth and the ability to control the bottom of the zone.

OF Joe Acker (Marquette University, 2016) took solid at bats showing advanced bat speed and extension. Acker’s plate discipline can improve but with his offensive abilities its tough not to like his aggressiveness.

Xavier commit and No. 8 ranked prospect in the state, RHP Mitchel Makarewicz (Oak Creek) looked in mid-season form at the end of March. Makarewicz sat 85-87 with downhill action commanding the bottom of the zone. His splitter was about as sharp as we’ve seen it at 74 mph and late sharp action. He showed he could use it to get the swing and miss out of the zone as well as the called strike early in counts.

Highly ranked LHP Nickolas Lackney (Whitefish Bay, 2015) had sharp command of his fastball especially to his arm side. Lackney was able to locate the baseball down and away from right handed hitters with arm side run at 80-83 mph, giving righties little chance to do anything with it. His slider at 74 mph recorded a number of swings over the top of it.

LHP Joe Kaszubowski (Whitefish Bay, 2015) didn’t have his best command but his fastball showed life when down in the zone at 80-81 mph. Running his fastball away from right handed hitter Kaszubowsi recorded several ground balls.

RHP Tucker Maris (Homestead, 2015) worked a clean frame with his fastball sitting 80-81 mph coupled with a breaking ball at 71 mph.

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