Top 15 uncommitted players from Midwest Baseball Classic

Mon July 30, 2012

By Sean Duncan

The Midwest Baseball Classic Baseball Tournament featured teams from Missouri, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois (3), Pennsylvania (2), Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Colorado. The event, set at Plainfield South HS in Illinois, lasted from Tuesday to Sunday, July 24-29.

Some of the state-represented teams were legitimate all-star caliber-like 2013 prospects, and others were just below-average travel teams from a state. Either way, there was a lot of baseball that took place. I endured about 22 hours of the baseball over the course of the tournament – only a fraction of the baseball, but enough to walk away with a healthy notebook of items.

Here are 15 uncommitted Class of 2013 prospects who showed extremely well at the event:

Demetrius Webb, C, North Central HS, Indiana
I am a sucker for catchers, and Webb was without question the most impressive defensive catcher I saw at the event. The 6-foot Webb has tremendously athletic feet and a plus arm behind the plate. In pregame, he went 1.93, 1.95, 1.89 with three consecutive throws, all low and on glove-side of the bag. Webb is one of the most impressive defensive catchers I’ve seen in the Midwest.

Matt Frawley, RHP, Glenbard North HS, Illinois
Overall, there was not a lot of pitching at this event, so any good velocity looked especially tantalizing. Frawley was good no matter how much pitching was there. The 6-foot-2 right-hander’s arm works free and easily and, it’s not hard to conceive, he will continue to add to his 86-88 mph fastball that he showed. Moreover, his 75 mph curveball is a sharp swing-and-miss pitch at times. He also flashed feel for a changeup. All told, we’re talking about a projectable upper-80s right-hander with long limbs and an easy arm. Yup, I’m in.

Marcus Pingleton, OF, Western HS, Indiana
The athletic Pingleton may have been the biggest riser of the event. The right-handed hitter had flown under the radar, but he showed that he has high-end tools. He ran a 6.86 60 – and according to the handout sheet by the event coordinator, Pingleton “stumbled” and ran on an “uneven, slow track.” Why he didn’t run again without a “stumble,” I’m not sure. Nevertheless, he ran well, and showed his speed on the bases as well. He also showcased a plus arm from the outfield and quick hands at the plate.

Josh Nielsen, RHP, D.C. Everest HS, Wisconsin
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Nielsen repeatedly showed to have an advanced curveball – a true 12/6 job with tight, late break. In my opinion, it was the most advanced pitch I saw all tournament. Nielsen complimented his breaker with an 84-86 mph fastball. His arm works clean and easily, so I’m guessing there’s plenty more velocity in there.

Evan Fraliex, RHP, Lexington Catholic HS, Kentucky
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound right-hander features a strong lower half and a quick hand up top. Operating from a high 3/4 slot, Fraliex topped at 89 mph, sitting in the 86-87 range early on. He also commanded a 75-77 mph curveball and, although he didn’t show it often, feel for a firm 80-81 changeup with sink.

Taylor Blair, INF/RHP, Lexington Christian HS, Kentucky
The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Blair was one of the best two-way talents at the event. Offensively, he opened eyes with several extra-base hits, including a home run. On the mound, he showcased an 84-85 mph fastball and a 72-73 curveball. His arm strength also translated in the field.

Anthony Drago, 1B/C, Lake Zurich HS, Illinois
The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder was clearly the most exciting left-handed hitter I saw at the event. Drago has legitimate power and ridiculous bat speed – the type of bat speed that looks good even on a swing and miss. Drago has light-tower power from the left side. That’s enough for me.

P.J. DeMeo, INF, Central Catholic HS, Pennsylvania
DeMeo is a 5-foot-11, 190-pound switch-hitter who showed swing looseness from both sides. He also showed power, as he launched a pair of home runs – one opposite-field, the other dead center.

Paul Mutch, 3B/RHP, Madison Edgewood HS, Wisconsin
The athletically built 6-foot-2, 185-pound Mutch was my favorite right-handed hitter at the event. Mutch showcased loose, easy hands, rhythm, barrel whip and the ability to make hard contact on just about everything thrown his way. He went deep in one at-bat, and drove the ball hard in several others.

Alex Call, OF/RHP, River Falls HS, Wisconsin
Say what you want about outfield arm strength, but the 6-foot, 180-pound Call clearly had the best at the event. And it wasn’t even close. The right-handed hitter also runs well on the bases and showed some bat quickness at the plate. But his arm from the outfield is a plus-plus.

Austin Alhmann, C, Rocori HS, Minnesota
Alhmann may have been the most well-rounded catcher at the event. Catch-and-throw wise, his consistent 2.0 pop times were strong and on the bag. He also showed the ability to barrel up the baseball.

Trey Miller, SS, Lexington Catholic HS, Kentucky
True shortstops seem to get more scarce by the week, but the 6-foot, 170-pound Miller showed that he has the feet and arm strength to do it. Aside from all the actiony things he does with his hands, Miller showcases an unquantifiable energy in his legs and feet as he played through the ball.

Zach Plesac, RHP/INF, Crown Point HS, Indiana
OK, so I missed him on the mound, but PBR Indiana scouting director Blake Hibler said Plesac is 87-90 mph. I did not witness it, but I can say Plesac has legit arm strength across the infield, has quick hands at the plate and, according to the handout, he ran a 6.59 60. A 6.6 runner who’s 90 on the mound? I’m in.

Jared Skolnicki, LHP, Keystone Oaks, Pennsylvania
The 6-foot-2, 175-pound left-hander has long legs and long arms. Coming from a high-3/4 angle, his arm works with little effort. His 81-84 mph velocity wasn’t overly impressive, but his ability to command three pitches and his projectable frame make him an intriguing prospect.

Derek Bangert, C/3B, Lockport HS, Illinois
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Bangert can flat rake from the right side. I’ve been saying that for the last year. He also has arm strength, both behind the plate and at first base. He’s solid behind the plate, but I really really like the bat.

Brett Krause, SS/3B, Menomonee Falls HS, Wisconsin
The 6-foot-2 infielder showcased arm strength, athletic feet and quick hands at the plate. He has an athletic frame, one that will continue to develop.

Please note I did not see every player in this never-ending event. The players represented here are those that I saw personally.

Note: Only the first half of the 60s were released. The best 60 time of the first-half of the tournament was Spencer Gaa (Metamora HS, IL; Bradley commit) at as 6.53.