PBR IL: Rock Valley JC Scout Day: Pitching Takeaways


By: Peter Hamot
Area Scout, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, September 20, the PBR Illinois staff hosted the Rock Valley JC Scout Day in Rockdord, Illinois. The event was unfortunately cut short due to rain, but we still had a chance to see the stable of arms that the Golden Eagles have to offer.

Below are scouting reports on the main standouts from the event. 

Ethan Storm, RHP, Sycamore (IL), 2022
True Freshman. Formerly ranked No. 214 in Illinois' 2022 class. Athletic build, standing 6-foot-2, 195-pounds. A definite winner from the scout day, Storm pumped in his fastball at 91-93 mph with well above-average Trackman data; averaging 2,416 RPM (T2511 RPM) with an average IVB of 19.0. His curveball paired off his fastball effectively, thrown at 74-78 mph and averaging over 2,500 RPM, biting late off an 11/5 plane and kept mostly down. His final offering was a fading changeup at 80-82 mph, reaching up to 20 inches of horizontal movement.  

Sam Pritchard, RHP, Grayslake North (IL), 2022
True Freshman. Formerly ranked No. 179 in Illinois’ 2022 class. Athletic build, 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame with round shoulders. The right-hander worked his fastball up to 91.5 mph, sitting primarily in the 88-90 mph range and averaging over 2,300 RPM. His curveball flashed sharp action with downer 11/5 shape, 75-77 mph. Changeup played mostly straight and struggled to locate at times, but flashed fade to the arm-side with up to 18.7 inches of horizontal movement.  

Drew Burkholder, RHP, Eastland (IL), 2021
True Sophomore. Formerly ranked No. 92 in Illinois' 2021 class. 6-foot-1, 195-pounds. Last season recorded 41 strikeouts to only 15 walks in 33.1 innings. The right-hander worked his fastball up to 90 mph, sitting mostly 88-89 mph with an average IVB of 20.1 and max IVB of 23.1; he also went to a sinker that sat right at 84 mph. His curveball flashed above-average action, playing with sharp 11/5 shape at 75-77 mph. His changeup sat in the 76-79 mph range and averaged over 20 inches of horizontal movement, maxing out at 22.5 inches.

Ryan Sell, LHP, Muskego (WI), 2021
True Sophomore. Formerly ranked No. 170 in Wisconsin’s 2021 class. Led the staff last year with 44 innings pitched while posting a 3.89 ERA to go along with 60 strikeouts and 24 walks. The southpaw worked his fastball in the 84-86 mph range, topping out at 87 mph with a max IVB of 18.2. Slider looked to be his best off-speed offering this day, coming in off a 2/8 plane at 71-74 mph, kept around the zone. Changeup flashed above-average, fading under the zone at 78-80 mph. Curveball plays off a 1/7 plane and flashed depth, 67-71 mph.

Michael Cantrill, RHP, Burnet (TX), 2022
True Freshman. The right-hander worked his fastball up to 84.6 mph (T2342 RPM), sitting in the 82-84 range throughout his ‘pen. He showed a knack for spinning the breaking ball, averaging over 2,600 RPM (T2818 RPM), playing with depth off an 11/5 plane, 68-70 mph. His changeup flashed heavy fading action at times, 73-75 mph.  

Chase Duffy, RHP, Stillman Valley (IL), 2021
True Sophomore. The 5-foot-10, 162-pound right-hander is an athletic mover down the mound, working with an up-tempo pace and some swagger in his mound presence. His fastball sat in the 81-83 mph range and reached a max IVB of 18.4. He flashed three quality off-speed offerings, the first being a sharp 11/5 downer curveball at 71-72 mph. His slider plays off an 11/5 plane as well, flashing depth and sitting around 73-74 mph, occasionally backing up on him. His final offering was a changeup at 73-75 mph, thrown with intent and diving late at times under the zone.  

Griffin Smith, RHP, Appleton North (WI), 2022
True Freshman. Projectable build, 6-foot-2, 175-pounds with room to fill out. Delivery is athletic with a high balance point, moves into a drop/drive lower-half while maintaining a bend in the back knee throughout his stride. Long/loose arm out of the glove into a ¾ release. His fastball ran up to 87.7 mph, sitting 86-87 throughout with run to the arm-side. Changeup showed well above-average action, reaching up to 26.9 inches of horizontal movement, 78-80 mph. Slider worked in the 76-77 mph range, flashing sharp 10/4 action at times.

Kahler Key, RHP, Aquinas (WI), 2022
True Freshman. 6-foot-6, 200-pound frame, room to add on additional strength. His height paired with his over the top slot makes for a deceiving look for would-be hitters; especially with his fastball where he sat in the 84-85 mph range with an average IVB of 19.3 (T20.4). His curveball plays with tight 11/5 shape, averaging over 2,400 RPM and sitting 73-76 mph. His slider plays with short 10/4 action, thrown with fastball intent at 77-79 mph. He also featured a straight change at 78-80 mph.  

Michael Spano, RHP, Downers Grove South (IL), 2021
True Sophomore. The right-hander showed a knack for spinning the baseball throughout his ‘pen, running his fastball consistently over 2,300 RPM, 84-87 mph. His curveball showed even more impressive spin traits, averaging over 2,400 RPM (T2596 RPM), 73-76 mph with sharp 11/5 shape.  

Peyton Benning, LHP, Streator (IL), 2021
True Sophomore. 5-foot-10, 185-pounds. The southpaw displayed above-average feel for four pitches throughout his ‘pen. His fastball sat 80-81 mph, sinking slightly to his arm-side. Curveball sat 69-70 mph, playing off a tight 1/7 shape. The slider sat 70-71 mph with more 2/8 shape and less depth than his curveball. His final offering was a changeup at 75-76 mph, kept mostly down with fading action to his arm-side.  

Braydon Cooper, RHP, Catholic Memorial (WI), 2022
True Freshman. 6-foot-3, 205-pounds. Athletic mover down the mound, coils into a high balance point before striding out, remaining in-line to the plate with a slightly closed landing foot. Arm plays short out of the glove into a high ¾ slot. His fastball sat 86-87 mph and set up a downer 12/6 curveball at 68-71 mph, kept mostly down. His final offering was a straight changeup at 79-80 mph.  

Rick Powell, RHP, McHenry (IL), 2021
Freshman right-hander standing 5-foot-10, 175-pounds. Formerly ranked No. 204 in Illinois’ 2021 class. Fastball sat 83-84 mph and worked up to 84.6 mph (T2343 RPM). Curveball sat 74-77 mph with 11/5 shape. Change worked in at 78-80 mph with slight fading action. 

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