Sun January 29, 2012
By Matt Yarber and Sean Duncan
The Prep Baseball Report Underclass Invitational featured an impressive group of nearly 100 Class of 2014 and 2015 prospects from all over Illinois and Wisconsin on January 22 at The Max in McCook, IL. The intense level of talent at the event ensures that the future is certainly bright in the state.
Having already covered the Class of 2014 prospects, we now examine the 2015 players – and one extremely talented 2016 prospect. In fact, the lone representative from the Class of 2016, 3B/RHP Cal Coughlin, earned top prospect honors among the incredible amount of talent from the Class of 2015. Jeremy Orbik, a long and lanky RHP from Homewood-Flossmoor HS, was the top-rated Class of 2015 prospect, followed closely by Elmwood Park RHP Joe Uvelli, Simeon OF/LHP Terrance Robertson and St. Laurence RHP/OF Chris Botsoe.
Below, we look at all the Class of 2015 and 2016 players at the Underclass Invitational:
Class of 2015 and 2016
1.) Cal Coughlin, 3B/RHP, Loyola HS, Class of 2016
Coughlin projects to be a top-level national prospect, certainly one of the more exciting young players we have seen in a while. Only an eighth-grader, the 5-foot-11, 165-pound Coughlin is advanced well-beyond his years. The only question surrounding this two-way talent is where he projects more: as a legitimate switch-hitting third baseman, or as a right-handed pitcher? It’s way too early to tell, but one thing is for certain: Coughlin can flat-out rake from either side of the plate. He has a relaxed, quiet approach, and he generates tremendous power and whip from his lower half. He’s loose and balanced, and showed the ability to repeat his swing from both sides. His left-handed swing is especially pure and powerful: his exit speeds were clocked at 83 mph from the left side, 81 from the right (off the tee). Defensively, Coughlin was one of the best third baseman at the event, with an accurate arm that showed carry (77 mph). He demonstrated clean, smooth actions and advanced footwork. On the mound, Coughlin was equally as impressive. The right-hander has a quick, loose arm and topped out at 83 mph with little effort. He demonstrated rhythm and balance throughout his mechanics. He also showed feel for his secondary pitches: a 69-72 mph breaking ball that had an 11/5 shape, and a 68-70 mph changeup with sink. Coughlin will attend Loyola Academy next year.
2.) Jeremy Orbik, RHP/3B, Homewood-Flossmoor HS, Class of 2015
The 6-foot, 150-pound Orbik looks to be one of the premier right-handed prospects in the Class of 2015. Lanky and athletically built, Orbik has an extremely projectable frame, one that should continue to develop in the coming years. Currently, Orbik’s arm works with little effort; he is extremely loose, coming from an over-the-top angle and creating downward tilt. His fastball topped at 84 mph, sitting in the 82-83 range. His lively fastball demonstrated late run. He keeps the ball down in the zone and has feel for three pitches. He also threw a slider in the 74-75 mph range that had tight spin, and a 66-73 mph changeup. Defensively, Orbik showed a strong arm across the diamond from third base with carry and accuracy (80 mph).
3.) Joe Uvelli, RHP, Elmwood Park HS, Class of 2015
Uvelli is an extremely promising prospect from the Class of 2015. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound right-hander has wide shoulders and a strong lower half, which he uses well to drive off the mound. Uvelli projects to be one of the class’s premier power arms. His fastball topped at 84 mph, sitting in the 81-83 range. He also showed command of his secondary stuff: a 69-71 mph breaking ball that flashed sharp two-plane bite, and a 69-70 mph changeup.
4.) Terrance Robertson, OF/LHP, Simeon HS, Class of 2015
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Robertson impressed in all aspects of the game, and looks to be a legitimate two-way prospect. On the mound, Robertson works from a high 3/4 arm slot with an easy delivery. His arm works freely, and showed good acceleration. He throws three pitches: a 78 mph fastball with sink, a sharp breaking 65-67 mph curveball, and a 67-70 mph changeup with sink and fade. Defensively, Robertson impressed in the outfield, moving fluidly and taking aggressive routes to the ball. He showed an accurate arm and was clocked at 82 mph. At the plate, the left-handed hitting Robertson has a balanced setup and swagger at the plate. He exhibited an easy swing with bat speed as he sprayed line drives to all fields. Robertson also ran a 7.34 60.
5.) Chris Botsoe, RHP/OF, St. Laurence HS, Class of 2015
Botsoe is a 6-foot, 175-pound two-way athlete who impressed in all aspects of the game. Using his wiry, projectable frame, Botsoe is an exciting prospect on the mound. Operating from a high 3/4 arm slot, Botsoe has a quick, whippy arm action, one that demonstrated excellent acceleration through his mechanics. He showed feel for three pitches: a 77-79 mph fastball that flashed some arm-side action, a breaking ball that was 65-69 mph, and a 68-70 mph changeup. Botsoe showed good rhythm and tempo throughout his mechanics. Defensively, Botsoe moved with fluidity in the outfield, taking exact routes to the ball. He exhibited a quick, accurate arm (82 mph). Additionally, Botsoe showed his athleticism by running a 7.23 60.
6.) Ako Thomas, MIF, Mt. Carmel HS, Class of 2015
Thomas is a 5-foot-6, 140-pound middle infielder who showed soft hands and good range laterally. He took clean routes to the ball and will continue to get better as he physically develops. Offensively, Thomas hits from an open setup. He demonstrated advanced rhythm and approach, as he remains quiet and compact throughout his swing. He has loose hands and creates impressive barrel whip through the zone. The power he generates certainly belies his size: the ball jumps off his bat with authority and carry. Additionally, Thomas ran a 7.38 60.
7.) Sam Flamini, 3B, Joliet Catholic HS, Class of 2015
Flamini is a fundamentally sound 5-foot-9, 160-pound infielder who showed well in all aspects of the game. Defensively, he moves well laterally at third base, as he showcased soft hands and an accurate arm (79 mph) with carry across the infield. Flamini, who ran a 7.27 60, also impressed at the plate. He has a relaxed, easy approach. He demonstrated swing looseness and bat control through the zone, allowing the ball to travel deep in the zone as he laced consistent line drives to all fields.
8.) Brady Farifield, MIF, Metamora HS, Class of 2015
Fairfield is a 5-foot-10, 150-pound middle infielder who impressed with his quick-twitch athleticism. Offensively, Fairfield showcased extremely quick hands and fast hips. He creates excellent whip and torque in his swing as he laced line drives to both sides of the field. Defensively, Fairfield showed soft hands and quick feet; he plays through the ball well and moves with fluid purpose. Additionally, Fairfield ran a 7.28 60 and posted a velocity of 75 mph from his position.
9. Justin Rodriguez, C/RHP, St. Laurence HS, Class of 2015
Rodriguez is a 5-foot-10, 185-pound two-way player. He showed well at the plate, with his balanced setup and economical approach to the ball. Using his strong lower half as his base, he exhibited good bat speed while remaining balanced throughout. The ball jumped off his bat with backspin carry. Behind the plate, Rodriguez had a best pop time of 2.13 and was clocked at 75 mph from the crouch. On the mound, Rodriguez throws three pitches: a 77-78 mph fastball, a breaking ball that had 11/5 shape, and a 70 mph changeup.
10.) Willy Bourbon, SS/RHP, Stevenson HS, Class of 2015
Bourbon is a physical 6-foot, 185-pound left-handed hitting infielder. Bourbon uses his athletic frame and loose swing to create good whip through the zone. He has a strong, active lower half and maintains excellent balance throughout as he sprayed line drives. Bourbon, who ran a 7.47 60, demonstrated reliable hands in the infield. On the mound, the right-handed pitcher showcased three pitches: a 78-79 mph fastball, a 72-74 mph slider, and a 74-76 mph changeup that flashed some sink.
11.) Adnan Sator, RHP/3B, Notre Dame Niles HS, Class of 2015
Sator is a physically impressive prospect. Standing at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, Sator has a projectable frame and has considerable upside. On the mound, Sator’s fastball topped at 81 mph, sitting in the 79-80 range. He also threw a 66-71 mph curveball, and a 70-75 mph changeup with some sink. At the plate, Sator showcased some raw power potential.
12.) Josh Stowers, OF, Mt. Carmel HS, Class of 2015
Stowers is an athletic 6-foot, 175-pound outfielder who showed some juice in his bat. The left-handed hitter has an easy, compact swing in which he consistently barreled up the baseball. He used his quick hands and solid lower-half foundation to drive through the baseball. Stowers continued to show his athleticism by running a 7.15 60. In the outfield, he was clocked at 75 mph.
13.) Zach Williams, INF, St. Charles North HS, Class of 2015
Williams is a 5-foot-11, 155-pound middle infielder who impressed at the plate with his quiet, line drive swing. Williams has a balanced setup, with a smooth load and economical approach. He showed good gap-to-gap power as he consistently barreled up balls to all fields. Defensively, Williams showcased reliable hands and played through the ball well. He displayed an accurate arm that was clocked at 74 mph.
14.) Dakota Head, SS/RHP, Benton HS, Class of 2015
Head is a projectable 6-foot-1, 145-pound two-way athlete who is a player to watch as he continues to physically develop. Head impressed on the mound with his quick arm and ability to throw strikes. He maintained excellent tempo on the mound and solid feel for all of his pitches. He threw a 78 mph fastball with slight movement, a breaking ball with an 11/5 shape at 65 mph, and a 64-67 mph changeup. Defensively, Head has solid actions up the middle and soft hands. He showed rhythm and fluidity as he made every play. Offensively, Head is a line-drive hitter.
15.) Severin Shultis, 3B/RHP, Highland Park HS, Class of 2015
Shultis is a 6-foot-2, 175-pound two-way player who impressed on the mound and at the plate. On the mound, the right-hander demonstrated some arm strength, as his fastball topped at 81 mph. Shultis has a strong lower half and should continue to throw harder as he physically matures. He also threw a 68-69 mph curveball, and a 65-67 mph changeup. At the plate, Shultis has an extremely aggressive approach as he showcased raw power potential. Shultis certainly doesn’t get cheated in the box, as he demonstrated pull-side power.
15.) Peyton Isaacson, C/INF, Galesburg HS, Class of 2015
Isaacson is a 5-foot-11, 170-pound multi-positional player who showed well defensively, playing through the ball and showing good lateral range. He demonstrated soft hands and an accurate arm (78 mph). Behind the plate, Isaacson had a best pop time of 2.22 and stood out as a top-level receiver during bullpens. Offensively, Isaacson is a switch-hitter who is solid from both sides. He exhibits good balance throughout his swing and uses his active lower half to stay through the ball.
Best of the Rest (Alphabetically)
Mitchell Boe, MIF, Joliet Catholic HS, Class of 2015
Mitchell is a 5-foot-8, 140-pound middle infielder who impressed with his easy, loose left-handed swing. Mitchell remains quiet and compact to the ball, and he uses his quick hands and level swing to spray line drives to both power alleys. Defensively, Mitchell exhibited soft hands and excellent footwork as he moved with fluidity at the shortstop position. He was clocked at 76 mph from his position.
Jalen Davis, LHP/OF, De LaSalle HS, Class of 2015
Davis is a 5-foot-7, 125-pound two-way player who ran a 7.7 60 and threw 68 mph from the outfield. On the mound Davis threw three pitches: a 69-71 mph fastball, a 62-63 mph curveball, and a 65-67 mph changeup. At the plate, Davis is a left-handed hitter with a level bat path.
Justin Dennison, MIF, St. Laurence HS, Class of 2015
Dennison is a 6-foot-1, 160-pound middle infielder who ran a 7.69 60 and threw 68 mph from across the diamond.
Bailey Egan, C/RHP, Mt. Carmel HS, Class of 2015
Egan is a 6-foot, 170-pound two-way player. Offensively, he drove the ball to the opposite field and got good extension after contact. Behind the dish, Egan had a top pop time of 2.53 and was clocked at 67 mph from the crouch. On the mound, Egan threw three pitches, his best being a 71 mph fastball.
Jonathan Eng, INF/RHP, Whitney Young HS, Class of 2015
Eng is a wiry 6-foot-1, 155-pound two-way player who has potential as he continues to physically develop. On the mound, Eng works from a 3/4 arm slot and threw three pitches: a 73-76 mph fastball with some run, a 62-63 mph curveball, and a 66-67 mph changeup. Offensively, Eng generated some good whip through the zone.
Aaron Garland, OF, Fenwick HS, Class of 2015
Garland is an athletically built 6-foot-1, 175-pound outfielder who moved well and took good routes to the ball. He was clocked at 78 mph from the outfield. At the plate, Garland has a level bat path and a line drive swing.
Easton Haase, MIF, Herscher HS, Class of 2015
Haase is a 5-foot-7, 135-pound middle infielder who displayed soft hands and good range at shortstop. He also had an accurate arm, which was clocked at 63 mph. At the plate, Haase has a level bat path as he sprayed line drives to right field.
Carter Hayes, 3B, Effingham HS, Class of 2015
Hayes is a 6-foot, 185-pound third baseman who showed quick hands at the plate. Utilizing a short, compact swing, Hayes sprayed line drives to all fields. Defensively, Hayes displayed an accurate arm that was clocked at 70 mph. Additionally, Hayes ran a 7.43 60.
Jamary McKinney, RHP/C, Simeon HS, Class of 2015
McKinney is a physically advanced 6-foot, 200-pound two-way player who showed well behind the plate, posting a best pop time of 2.11 and throwing 75 mph from the crouch. At the plate, McKinney has an open setup and some good bat speed through the zone. McKinney demonstrated some pull-side power potential, as the ball jumped off his bat with authority at times. On the mound, McKinney has three pitches: a 77-78 mph fastball, a 57-62 mph curveball, and a62-66 mph changeup.
Alec Melone, C/1B, Joliet Catholic HS, Class of 2015
Melone is a 6-foot, 185-pound multi-positional player who flashed some power at the plate. He has a level bat path and line drive swing in which he consistently made hard contact. Defensively, Melone had a pop time range of 2.40-2.45 and had a velocity of 65 mph from the crouch.
Aaron Saper, LHP, Stevenson HS, Class of 2015
Saper is a 5-foot-11, 170-pound left-handed pitcher who threw three pitches. He had a 71-72 mph fastball, a 58-62 mph curveball, and a 64-65 mph changeup.
Torrin Towers, INF/RHP, Harlan HS, Class of 2015
Towers is a lanky 6-foot-1, 145-pound two-way player who showed solid hands and feet in the infield. He showcased an accurate arm that was clocked at 71 mph. On the mound, Towers operates from a high 3/4 arm slot and throws three pitches: a 70-72 mph fastball, a 60-64 mph curveball, and a 65-66 mph changeup. At the plate, Towers has a balanced setup and short bat path in which he is able to generate some whip through the zone.