Prep Baseball Report

Prospect Identification Showcase: Infielder Analysis

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Director - Wisconsin

As we continue our coverage of the Prospect Identification Showcase, today we take a look at the infielders. We got a first-hand look at two of the top 2016 prospects in the state as well as one of the top middle infielders in the Class of 2015. Class of 2016 prospects Gavin Lux (Indian Trail HS) and Justin Lavey (Tremper HS) are not only two of the top infield prospects in the class but two of the top overall prospects. Lux showed extremely quick hands defensively that are highly advanced for his age while Lavey showed equally impressive defensive skills while also putting on a hitting clinic in the cages. Owen Miller (Ozaukee HS) was the top overall infielder at the event, as the Class of 2015 shortstop displayed a flawless round defensively and showed a polished bat at the plate.

Here’s how we broke down the infield group.

Top Infield Prospects

1. Owen Miller, Ozaukee HS, SS, Class of 2015
Athletic build, 5-foot-11, 160-pound shortstop. One of the premier shortstops in his class, elite level shortstop in the region. Miller shows plus hands defensively, his athleticism shows extremely well at shortstop, plus actions, soft hands defensively, soft on the backhand. Foot work is quick and fluid, exchange is efficient and clean. Offensively hits from a balanced setup, smooth load, short stride. Lower half is active, works well, timing is good, balance is excellent. Bat path is short and quick, line drive approach, easy swing, shows athleticism, lacks some extension. Miller could project as one of the top shortstops in the region, his athleticism and hands will play at a high level as he moves on.

2. Justin Lavey, Tremper HS, SS, Class of 2016
Advanced physical frame for age, wide shoulder, 5-foot-11, 165-pound middle infielder. Lavey is a premier infielder, advanced offensive prowess, projects as an elite level infielder. Offensively hits from a balanced setup, uses short stride. Swing is clean and easy, highly repeatable, path shows excellent extension, long through contact. Lower half works well, explosive, get separation. Advanced hitting approach, 84 mph exit velocity. Defensively plays athletically and aggressively, hands work well, stays low through transfer. Arm works well, plays with accuracy, 76 mph across diamond. Footwork is athletic and fluid, runs 4.19 home to first. Overall Lavey projects as a high level offensive threat with advanced infield actions.

3. Gavin Lux, Indian Trail HS, MIF, Class of 2016
Slender build, long legs, 5-foot-10, 145-pound left handed hitting middle infielder. Lux is a high level defender, possibly the best hands not only in his class but the entire state. Plus defensive actions, extremely quick hands, excellent transfer and release, advanced backhand actions, overall plus hands for his age. Arm action is short and loose, highly efficient, 76 mph across the diamond, shows accuracy. Footwork is athletic, quick and clean. Runs 4.45 home to first. Hits from the left side, slightly wider stance, balanced setup, smooth load and short stride, good balance throughout. Bat speed is present, path is short and level, line drive approach. Front side tends to leave early, lacks overall strength. With added strength and maturity Lux could be one of the premier middle infielders in the region.

4. Logan Rupard, Arrowhead HS, 1B/OF, Class of 2014
Plus body, physically advanced frame, advanced strength, 6-foot-4, 215-pound first baseman. Rupard’s advanced frame makes him one of the top offensive threats in his class, well above average power. Offensively hits from an open setup, uses slight leg kick trigger, dives back to plate. Lower half works. Hits with high back elbow, lacks some timing, shows bat speed. Makes hard contact, shows pull power, shows some extension. Overall raw power. Defensively moves athletically for size, shows soft hands, fields well around the bag. Arm action is long, over the top arm slot, 82mph from the outfield, 73 mph across infield.

5. Julian Alverio, Case HS, LHP/1B, Class of 2015
Big bodied, left handed two way player, 6-foot-1, 210-pounds. On the mound, delivery lacks rhythm and direction, lower half opens early. Arm action shows regular effort, high ¾ arm slot. Fastball shows slight run, 76-78 mph. Curveball has slurve action, loose spin, lacks true action at times, 11/5 plane, 65-68 mph. Changeup show stiffness, 68-69 mph. Defensively shows solid footwork, moves well for size, carries body well. Hands show softness around the bag. Hits from the left side, open stance, smooth load, short stride. Stays long through the baseball, bat path shows extension, gap to gap power hitter. Shows advanced exit velocity for age, 88 mph from the tee. Projects to be a left handed power hitting first baseman.

6. Max Widmar, Washington Park HS, LHP/1B, Class of 2014
6-foot-2, 190-pound left handed two way player. On the mound shows deception in delivery, hides ball well, closes off shoulders at balance point, lower half works quickly, over rotates finish. Arm action is loose, short backswing, ¾ arm slot, some effort. Fastball has slight run and sink, thrown in the zone, 77-79 mph. Curveball is good pitch, 10/4 sweeping action, shows sharpness to it, thrown aggressively and in the zone. Changeup is thrown with arm speed, features cut action, 69-72 mph. Defensively shows athleticism at first base, arm action is loose and throws have run across the diamond. Hits from the left side out of a balanced setup, using a short stride. Bat speed is present, 84 mph exit velocity, bat path has uphill tendencies, like to hit to pull side.

7. Erik Nelson, Marquette University HS, MIF, Class of 2014
Long, lanky build, 5-foot-11, 165-pound middle infielder. Defensively shows soft hands, hesitant backhand play, shows good body control, fields athletically. Arm plays above average, 82 mph across diamond, shows some carry, loose short arm action, accurate arm. Offensively hits from balanced setup, smooth back load, short stride slight leg lift. Bat path is short and level, line drive approach, hits with rhythm, tendency to pull off some.

8. Joe Gahm, Germantown HS, SS/RHP, Class of 2016
Long, thin, lanky frame, shows athleticism, long legs, 5-foot-10, 160-pounds. Very projectable and advanced for his age. Swings the bat well from the right side, shows bat speed, balanced stance, uses slight leg lift and dives to plate. Lower half works well, very active, good balance throughout. Bat path is short, flashes occasional extension. Line drive approach, shows some quick twitch actions, exhibits barrel whip through the zone. Defensively shows upside, athleticism in actions, hands work well. Arm plays with carry, 75 mph across the diamond, also shows some accuracy. Transfer is long, tends to windup to throw. On the mound delivery shows regular effort, athletic finish. Arm action is over the top and long. Fastball sits 72-74 mph touches 76, fastball shows occasional cut action. Changeup is down, 70-71 mph, thrown with similar arm speed to fastball, gets through the baseball well. Curveball lacks consistent action, 64-65 mph, thrown with arm speed, loose spin, lacks identity.

9. Drake Daniels, Cedarburg HS, 3B/RHP, Class of 2015
Athletic build, strong lower half, solid frame, 5-foot-10, 185-pound two way player. Athletic feet defensively, projects as a third base type defender. Arm plays across diamond, 77 mph, high ¾ arm slot, arm is accurate and loose. Offensively hits from open stance, slight arm bar load. Makes consistent hard contact, good barrel awareness, strong hands, gets extension. Good approach at the plate, smooth rhythm.

10. Vincent Hubli, Bradford HS, INF, Class of 2015
Athletic body, frame shows strength, 5-foot-10, 180-pound infielder. Defensively shows softness in hands, plays through the baseball well. Release lacks efficiency, too many steps to get rid of the baseball. Arm plays well, shows accuracy, uses high ¾ arm slot, loose arm action shows some carry, 76 mph, needs to be more efficient. Offensively hits from good setup, balanced, smooth load and short stride.  Bat path shows extension, line drive gap to gap style hitter, lunges some. Makes hard contact, 84 mph exit velocity.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Cameron Allen, Hamilton HS, 3B/1B, Class of 2016
Strong body, strong lower half, 5-foot-10, 200-pound corner infielder. Offensively hits from a balanced setup, smooth load, leg kick trigger. Lower half works well, gets through the baseball well, shows solid extension, shows pop. Rhythm is fluid, lacks some balance through swing, changes eye level. 76 mph exit velocity.

JT Athy, Cudahy HS, MIF, Class of 2015
Athletic build, 5-foot-8, 150-pound middle infielder. Hands work well defensively, shows athleticism, feet work well, moves well laterally, shows athletic body control. Arm shows carry across diamond, 76 mph, transfer is long, winds up to release, arm shows some effort. Offensively, hits from the left side, open stance, uses short stride and smooth load, good balance throughout. Swing is easy, smooth left handed stroke, clean path, short and level. Line drive hitter, shows pull side approach.

Ryan Farr, Oak Creek HS, MIF, Class of 2015
Small frame 5-foot-7, 130-pound middle infielder. Defensively shows some body control, arm action is short and accurate, 71 mph across diamond.  Excellent offensive setup, balanced stance, smooth load, short stride. Bat path is short, line drive approach, shows fluid rhythm in swing. Solid balance throughout.

Jake Fisher, Whitefish Bay HS, RHP/MIF, Class of 2016
Small body type, 5-foot-9, 135-pound two way player. Hits from a slightly open stance, shows slight bat wrap in load. Hands work at the plate, bat path shows short tendencies, line drive approach, lacks overall strength, 68 mph exit velocity. Defensively shows accurate arm across diamond, arm action is long and shows stiffness, 66 mph. Fielding position is deep, hands need improvement defensively. On the mound he throws from an over the top arm slot. Fastball sits at 66-67 mph, touching 68, minimal action, some control. Curveball works on an 11/5 bend, gradual action, 61-63 mph. Changeup is down, shows some control, slight sink, 59-61 mph.

Peter Koscinski, Catholic Memorial HS, 1B/RHP, Class of 2016
Athletic body, strong lower half, 6-foot-4, 190-pound two way player. On the mound delivery shows some effort, tall and fall approach, balance point stays tall, weight shifts to heels. Arm slot is over the top, arm action shows moderate athleticism. Fastball is straight, thrown for strikes, 70-71 mph. Throws two breaking pitches. Curveball and slider show good separation in action and velocity. Curveball has 11/5 shape, gradual action, needs tighter action, 61-63 mph. Slider shows flat sweeping action, 67-68 mph. Also throws split finger fastball, 67-69 mph, showed some feel. Offensively hits from open stance, short stride. Lower half is active, line drive approach.

Matthew Luft, Oshkosh North HS, SS, Class of 2014
6-foot-1, 155-pound infielder with athletic frame. Showed some quickness, running a 4.34 home-to-first time. Defensively, hands work, average arm strength (76 mph), accurate across infield. Offensively, hits from balanced set-up, uses toe-tap trigger, showed solid rhythm, line-drive approach.

Tanner Strommen, Burlington HS, SS/RHP, Class of 2016
Average build, long limbs, 5-foot-9, 135-pound two way player. Solid approach offensively, excellent setup, balanced stance short stride, good balance throughout swing. Bat path is short, shows occasional extension, line drive approach. Shows above average rhythm at the plate. Defensively, arm shows accuracy, high ¾ arm slot, arm action is lengthy. Footwork lack athleticism , runs 4.59 home to first. As a pitcher, delivery works slowly, shows good balance throughout, tall and fall approach, regular effort. Arm works long, wrist opens early. Fastball sits 71-73 mph with slight run and control. Curveball attempts sweeping action, gradual break, loose rotation, 61-63 mph. Changeup showed arm side run at 63-65 mph.

Dakota Tilton, Elkhorn Area HS, INF/RHP, Class of 2015
Lanky 6-foot, 130-pound two-way player. Features long legs with plenty of room to fill out. On the mound, uses short arm action from high 3/4 slot. Some effort in delivery. Fastball topped at 69 mph, sitting 67-68. Curveball ranged between 61-62; changeup at 64 mph. Erratic mechanics contribute to lack of command. Defensively, was clocked at 62 mph; ran a 4.81 home-to-first.

Ty Webber, Menomonee Falls HS, RHP/3B, Class of 2016
Typical pitchers frame, long limbs, lanky build, 6-foot-3, 175-pound right handed pitcher. Projects more on the mound, delivery works from a full windup, hands have excellent rhythm, tall and fall approach, gets on top and works downhill. Overall rhythm is smooth, shows good direction, athletic finish. Arm works with little effort, loose arm action, over the top arm slot. Fastball sits 79-80 mph, shows control at the bottom of the zone, late downward action, pitches downhill. Curveball has high ceiling, thrown for strikes, 11/5 action while flashing occasional 12/6 break, projects as 12/6 downer with depth, 65-66 mph, shows feel for the pitch. Changeup has action, fading action, thrown with command, decelerates arm speed. Projects as one of the top pitchers in his class. Offensively, hits from a balanced setup, short stride. Short bat path, drops barrel head to baseball, occasional pop.

Matthew Weisflog, Grafton HS, SS, Class of 2014
Athletic frame, lanky build, 6-foot, 170-pound infielder. Runs 4.45 home to first. Defensively glovework needs improvement, fields baseball deep, lacks body control. Arm plays from a high ¾ arm slot with a long arm action, 75 mph across diamond, glove pats prior to release. Offensively hits from open stance, stride dives. Level path, line drive approach, excess shoulder rotation, hits off back side. 70 mph exit velocity from tee.

James Wright IV, Milwaukee Lutheran HS, RHP/MIF, Class of 2016
Small frame, 5-foot-8, 140-pound two way player. Defensively, arm plays well, loose action, shows some carry, excellent accuracy, 74 mph across diamond. Hands show some softness, fields athletically, mechanically sound defensively, projects as third baseman type. Runs 4.89 home to first. Offensively hits from a balanced setup, uses a minimal load with short stride. Lower half is active, works aggressively. Bat path is short, line drive approach, occasionally gets around baseball, swing shows some effort. On the mound shows a clean repeatable delivery, lower half has tendency to open early. Arm operates well, high ¾ arm slot. Fastball shows command, 71-73 mph, minimal life, lacks action. Changeup shows feel, operates at 64-66 mph with arm side run. Showcased both curveball and slider, breaking pitches lacked separation from each other, gradual action, lacks aggressiveness.

Check back frequently as we will analyze the outfield group next.

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