Mon September 23, 2013
By Sean Duncan
In the greater Chicagoland area, it’s not often that an athletic right-hander with an 88-91 mph fastball flies under the radar for long.
Ryan Nutof (South Elgin HS, IL) managed somehow to achieve that feat, more or less, through the spring season, despite finishing with a 0.76 ERA and a 5-1 record.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Nutof’s ability, however, became abundantly clear in June at the White Sox Black and Silver Showcase. Despite his name not being on the roster, Nutof stole the show by throwing an electric two innings, headlined by an 89-91 mph fastball with late arm-side life and a tight 73-mph breaking ball.
“The Silver and Black, that’s when things started to happen,” he said. “It wasn’t anything special by my standard, I just needed a stage.”
Nutof did much of the same later in the week – both outings which we were at – and voila, one of the state’s top arms was officially born … or at least known. Right after his showing at the Northwest Suburban Showcase, Nutof was featured in our Hottest Names in Illinois article.
Using those outings as a springboard, Nutof received an invitation to the Area Code Games in Long Beach, CA.
“I didn’t have my best stuff,” Nutof said of his Area Code performance. “I was kind of nervous. I loved every second of it, but I tried to be too perfect.”
With RHP Hunter Hart (St. Joseph-Ogden HS, IL) making his commitment late last week to Indiana, Nutof is currently the top-ranked uncommitted prospect in Illinois’ 2014 class. Nutof, who is playing for the Reds Scout Team this fall, is currently the No. 15-ranked prospect in Illinois and No. 68 overall.
Nutof said he has talked to several schools, but is in no rush to make a commitment.
“There’s no set date,” he said about when he’d like to finalize his decision. “Just whenever it feels right.”
Nutof said he’s already taken visits to Michigan State, Northwestern and Ball State. He said he’s also received considerable interest from Wichita State, Pepperdine and several other schools.
“I’m still pretty wide open,” said Nutof, who scored a 25 on his ACT and has a 3.8 GPA.