Mon March 19, 2012
By Matt Yarber and Sean Duncan
The Prep Baseball Report hosted the Future Prospect Showcase and Educational Camp for seventh- and eighth-grade prospects on March 11. The event was filled with a plethora of young talent who hope to make a splash in the high school scene in the coming years.
While there were several promising young players at the event, Cal Coughlin, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound right-handed pitcher and infielder, stole the show with his showing on the mound. Coughlin, who will attend Loyola Academy HS in the fall, has the stuff to pitch at the high school level right now. The Class of 2016 prospect projects to be a highly coveted player with his strong arm and switch-hitting abilities.
A look at the top players at the event:
1. Cal Coughlin, RHP/SS, Loyola, Class of 2016
Coughlin is a 5-foot-11, 170-pound right-handed pitcher and infielder who looks to be the premier Class of 2016 prospect in the state. A legitimate two-way prospect at the next level, Coughlin only pitched at the event – and what he showed was mighty impressive. He demonstrated advanced mechanics and mound presence to go along with an impressive array of pitches well beyond his years. The athletically built Coughlin works from a high 3/4 slot with a quick, loose arm. He throws all four pitches for strikes, all coming out of the same window. His fastball sat in the 82-83 mph range with heavy, late sink. His 65-67 mph curveball, however, is a plus pitch, as it flashed sharp, late break down in the zone. It exhibited tight 12/6 action, and showed the ability to throw it for strikes and has the promise of being a legitimate swing-and-miss pitch at the next level. Coughlin also showed advanced feel for a 71-73 mph changeup, and a 71-72 mph cutter. None of his pitches sat still. At the PBR Underclass Invitational in January, Coughlin showed plus power from both sides of the plate.
2. Tyler Fitzgerald, SS, Rochester Junior High, Class of 2016
Fitzgerald is an athletic 5-foot-11, 150-pound infielder who impressed in all facets of the game. He showed advanced feel for the game, and looks to be a high-level athlete. Defensively, he moved with rhythm and fluidity, taking concise routes to the ball; he also exhibited soft hands and fluid footwork, playing through the baseball well. He exhibited good range up the middle in addition to a solid back hand. Fitzgerald, who looks to be the future of Rochester HS, was clocked at 72 mph from across the diamond with accurate throws that showed carry. Fitzgerald’s athleticism shined in the 60, when he ran an event-best a 7.34. At the plate, Fitzgerald has a balanced setup with a smooth load. He has an advanced approach at the plate and excellent barrel whip through the zone. He takes an economical approach to the baseball and has loose, quick hands.
3. Joe Santoro, OF/Pitcher, Sandburg Middle School, Class of 2016
Santoro is a 5-foot-8, 140-pound two-way player who impressed in all facets of the game. The switch-throwing pitcher has a high ¾ arm slot from both sides, left and right. He features a 70-74 mph fastball with run, a 62-64 mph curveball, and a 60-67 mph changeup all from both sides. Defensively, Santoro is a smooth fielding outfielder with excellent footwork and a strong, accurate arm (75 mph). At the plate, Santoro has an easy left-handed swing with a balanced setup. He demonstrated impressive barrel whip through the zone and maintains excellent balance throughout. He gets good extension as he consistently barreled up the ball to all fields. Additionally, Santoro ran a 7.76 60. Santoro will attend Carmel Catholic HS in Mundelein.
4. Bryce Gray, C, Parker Junior High, Class of 2016
Gray is a 5-foot-7, 145-pound catcher who you likely will be reading a lot about in the coming years. Gray, who will attend Homewood-Flossmoor HS, showed advanced baseball IQ and had a best pop time of 2.22 and was clocked at 68 mph from the crouch. He showed quick, athletic feet, particularly in the bullpen, where he handled all types of pitching with ease. He receives with a firm wrist and soft hands, and moves extremely well laterally. At the plate, Gray continued to impress with his advanced approach and ability to consistently square up the baseball. He has quick hands through the zone and maintains good balance throughout. Additionally, Gray ran a 7.89 60.
5. Charlie Norton, RHP/1B, Hawthorne Scholastic Academy, Class of 2016
Norton is a 6-foot-2, 175-pound two-way player who impressed on the mound with his 75-77 mph fastball that flashed sink. Norton showed feel for all three of pitches. His off-speed pitches include a 63-65 mph curveball, and a 68-71 mph changeup. At the plate, Norton has an open setup and showed some pop in his swing. Additionally, Norton ran a 7.59 60. Norton will attend St. Ignatius HS next year.
6. Noah Vallette, RHP/OF/INF, Harrisburg Middle School, Class of 2016
Looks like Harrisburg HS will have another standout prospect coming up through the ranks. Vallette is a 5-foot-11, 155-pound two-way player who impressed throughout the event, showing well in all facets of the game. Defensively, Vallette has good range and fundamental footwork. He showed some smoothness in his actions and was accurate with his throws. Offensively, Vallette has a slightly open setup with a smooth load. He demonstrated a fundamental approach, one that didn’t have any excess movement. He takes an economical approach to the baseball and maintains good balance throughout. Vallette creates good whip through the zone and showcased some power potential. On the mound, Vallette threw four pitches, and really impressed with his secondary stuff. He threw a 73-75 mph fastball, a 64-67 mph curveball with a sharp 11/5 shape, a 67-69 mph changeup, and a 66 mph slider. His curveball and slider have the potential to be big-time swing-and-miss pitches. Additionally, Vallette ran a 7.71 60.
7. Jacob Smith, RHP/SS, St. Rita, Class of 2016
Smith is a 5-foot-10, 145-pound two-way player who impressed defensively with his accurate arm (70 mph from the outfield and 68 mph from across the diamond). He showed good athleticism and footwork, demonstrating the ability to play through the baseball. At the plate, Smith has an easy left-handed swing and takes an aggressive approach. Smith, who will attend Aurora Central Catholic HS, showed good extension after contact as he made consistent hard contact. On the mound, the right-hander has a quick arm and throws from over the top. He uses his long legs to get good drive as he threw three pitches: a 70-73 mph fastball with sink, a 61-64 mph curveball, and a 63-65 mph changeup with some fade.
8. Anthony Holubecki, SS/RHP, Kaneland Middle School, Class of 2016
Holubecki is an athletic 6-foot, 160-pound multi-positional player who impressed in all facets of the game. Holubecki showed soft hands, fluid footwork, and a quick exchange defensively at shortstop and in the outfield. In the outfield, Holubecki approached the ball with natural instincts, taking good routes to the baseball. He showed a strong, accurate arm (74 mph from the outfield and 72 mph from across the diamond). At the plate, Holubecki has a slightly open setup and showed some pop in his swing. On the mound, Holubecki throws from a high 3/4 arm slot, which included a 71-75 mph fastball with run and sink, a 61 mph curveball, and a 58-60 mph changeup.
9. Michael Stupinski, RHP/3B, Roosevelt Middle School, Class of 2017
Stupinski is a 5-foot-11, 130-pound two-way player who impressed in all facets of the game. Defensively, Stupinski showed athletic feet and good range at third base. He has an accurate arm (68 mph) from across the diamond. He showed soft hands and played the ball on the run well. At the plate, Stupinski has a balanced setup and a level, line-drive swing. He creates good whip and extension through his swing. On the mound, Stupinski has a quick arm action and throws from over the top slot. He threw two pitches; a 67-70 mph fastball with slight action and a 58-60 mph changeup.
10. Jacob Snider, MIF/OF, Jefferson Junior High, Class of 2016
Snider is a 5-foot-4, 133-pound left-handed hitting middle infielder who showed athletic feet and advanced actions at shortstop. He displayed excellent rhythm and soft hands while playing through the baseball well. Snider was clocked at 65 mph from the outfield and 62 mph from across the diamond. Offensively, Snider has a smooth left-handed swing. He starts in a balanced setup and takes an economical approach to the baseball. He creates good whip through the zone as he sprayed line drives to all fields.
Best of the Rest (Alphabetically)
Jason Behnke, C/1B, Granger Middle School, Class of 2016
Behnke is a 5-foot-11, 200-pound multi-positional talent who has a strong lower half. Behnke is a strong kid who used his size well. He was clocked at 67 mph from the crouch and had a best pop time of 2.43. At the plate, Behnke, who will attend Metea Valley HS, has a balanced setup and maintains good balance throughout contact. Behnke demonstrated good extension through the zone and exhibited pull-side power potential.
Logan Brokop, 2B/OF, Mokena MS, Class of 2017
Brokop is a 5-foot-7, 127-pound multi-positional player who impressed at the plate with his balanced setup and fundamental approach. He exhibited clean hitting mechanics and got good extension after contact. Defensively, Brokop has an accurate arm and was clocked at 65 mph from the outfield and 64 mph from across the diamond. Brokop will attend Mt. Carmel HS.
Dillan Chamness, RHP/2B, Benton Middle School, Class of 2016
Chamness is a 5-foot-6, 140-pound two-way player who showed well at the plate with his ability to barrel up the baseball and make consistent hard contact. He has a line drive approach and is short and quick to the baseballl. On the mound, Chamness throws two pitches from a high 3/4 arm slot: a 66-68 mph fastball and a 55-57 mph curveball. Additionally, Chamness, who will attend Benton HS, ran a 7.88 60.
Cameron Hupe, RHP/SS, Central Middle School, Class of 2017
Hupe is a 5-foot-11, 130-pound two-way player who impressed on the mound with his quick arm and over the top arm angle. He threw three pitches for strikes, all of which had good tilt . He has a 71-76 mph fastball that showed some run; a 58-59 mph curveball that flashed tight spin, and a 60-63 mph changeup. At the plate, Hupe takes an economical approach to the baseball and he maintains good balance through the zone. Hupe, who will attend Tinley Park HS, had good extension after contact and demonstrated some power potential.
Carter Johnson, 1B/LHP, Home School, Class of 2016
Johnson is a 5-foot-11, 205-pound two-way player who impressed at the plate with his power potential. He has an aggressive approach and creates good whip through the zone. The ball jumped off his bat with some backspin carry. On the mound, Johnson throws a cut fastball that was 69-72 mph. His off-speed pitches include a 66-67 mph curveball and a 59-62 mph changeup. Johnson’s arm works with little effort, and he should see a velocity jump in the coming years.
Cooper Johnson, C/RHP/3B, Carmel Catholic, Class of 2016
Johnson is a 5-foot-6, 155-pound two-way player who showed soft hands at every position. He demonstrated fluid footwork behind the dish and at third base. Johnson had a best pop time of 2.3 and was clocked at 70 mph from the crouch. At the plate, Johnson has an aggressive approach and takes an economical approach to the baseball.
William McKenna, C/INF, St. Isaac Jogues, Class of 2016
McKenna is a 5-foot-3, 130-pound multi-positional talent who displayed quick, concise footwork defensively. Behind the dish, McKenna had a best pop time of 2.42 with accurate throws that were clocked at 65 mph from the crouch. In the infield, McKenna showed his athleticism with quick footwork and an accurate arm. Offensively, McKenna continued to impress with his line drive swing. He consistently made hard contact and created some loft and carry . McKenna will attend Mt. Carmel HS.
Nolan Moeller, LHP/OF, Rock Falls Middle School, Class of 2016
Moeller is a 5-foot-6, 120-pound two-way player who showed a fluid swing at the plate. He has a balanced setup and loose hands. On the mound, Moeller has a 57-61 mph fastball with some run, a 49-52 mph curveball , and a 55-61 mph changeup. He throws from a high 3/4 arm slot with a loose arm action and easy effort. He demonstrated the ability to throw three pitches for strikes.
Jack Molnar, OF/SS, Fremd Middle School, Class of 2017
Molnar is a 5-foot-8, 135-pound multi-positional talent who showed well in all facets of the game. At the plate, Molnar especially shined. He has a balanced setup, and showcased quick, loose hands, and created excellent barrel whip through the zone. For his age, Molnar showed power well beyond his stature. Defensively, Molnar has athletic feet and took aggressive routes to the baseball; he was clocked at 66 mph from the outfield and 62 mph from the infield. Molnar will attend Fremd HS.
Zach Nussbaum, C, Hawthorn Scholastic Academy, Class of 2016
Nussbaum is a 5-foot-8, 135-pound catcher who impressed behind the plate with his ability to receive and block the baseball. Nussbaum showed advanced feel for his age as he moved well behind the plate with his quick footwork. He had a best pop time of 2.25 and was clocked at 68 mph from the crouch. At the plate, Nussbaum has a balanced setup with a solid approach.
Peter Pigatti, C, Clarendon Hills Middle School, Class of 2016
Pigatti is a 5-foot-3, 130-pound catcher who consistently barreled up the baseball during his round of BP. Pigatti had a best pop time of 2.58 and was clocked at 58 mph from the crouch. Pigatti will attend Hinsdale Central HS.
Jack Staten, RHP, Christ the King Grade School, Class of 2016
Staten is a projectable 6-foot-2, 140-pound right-handed pitcher who threw three pitches for strikes. He throws from over the top and his best pitch was a 72-74 mph fastball. His off-speed pitches consisted of a 61-65 mph slider and a 61-66 mph changeup. As Staten fills into his body, he should see a velocity spike in the coming years. Staten will attend Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin HS.
Kray Wheeler, MIF/OF, Shepard Middle School, Class of 2016
Wheeler is a 5-foot-3, 95-pound multi-positional athlete who showed well at shortstop, exhibiting solid range and footwork up the middle. Wheeler was clocked at 63 mph from the outfield and 58 mph from across the diamond. Offensively, Wheeler has a balanced setup and barreled up some balls.
Spencer Wright, RHP, Lake Zurich, Class of 2016
Wright is a 5-foot-8, 147-pound right-handed pitcher who throws from an over the top arm angle and showed the ability to throw three pitches for strikes. His fastball ranged between 70-73 mph fastball, while his off-speed pitches included a 56-60 mph curveball with a 10/4 shape, and a 59-64 mph changeup.