The Hotlist: 10 2014 Players Creating Buzz On Summer Circuit

Wed July 3, 2013

By Nathan Rode and PBR Staff

With the summer in full swing, plenty of players are creating buzz. We’ve compiled a list of 10 players that are on the rise within Prep Baseball Report’s borders. Players and reports were provided by their corresponding state scouting directors and are presented here alphabetically. Six of the players are currently uncommitted.

Elijah Dilday, OF, Francis Howell HS, MO, 2014
Dilday has found his defensive niche in the outfield where he can show off his athleticism and arm strength—he hit 91 mph from the outfield at the Future Games in 2012. He has a strong bat from the left side and hit .432 with eight home runs for a state championship team this spring. He is an excellent athlete who should generate some draft buzz next spring after flying relatively under the radar until now. Dilday is verbally committed Nebraska.

Shane Ennis, OF/RHP, Hampshire HS, WV, 2014
Ennis is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound righthander and outfielder who sat 85-86 with some armside run for three innings at the Pennsylvania Top Prospect Games in June. He touched 88 several times while also commanding a 70 mph curveball. Ennis is athletic and covers ground well as an outfielder. He recently pitched seven innings in front of professional scouts, striking out 15 while sitting 86-88 into the final inning and touching 89 a number of times. His secondary stuff needs work, but he utilizes his lower half well and gives the appearance that his frame could carry an additional 20-25 pounds. Word is out following his Top Prospect Games performance. Although he does not play anything but American Legion baseball in the summer, he has heard from Wake Forest, Maryland and West Virginia.

Luke Van Lanen, RHP, Pulaski HS, WI, 2014
Van Lanen’s hometown is about 20 miles northwest of Green Bay—hardly a baseball hotbed. He has flown under the radar until recently. He stood out at the Wisconsin State Showcase by Showtime Sports in mid-June when he showed off an excellent arm from the outfield and then sat 88-89 mph on the mound. He has a quick arm that is loose and athletic. He has a strong frame at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds and is put together well. While his arm strength is obvious, his secondary stuff is still a work-in-progress. His curveball is in the high 60s and has a rolling action to it. He then showed up at the Area Code Games tryout at Elgin CC in Illinois and flashed similar stuff with a slightly improved curve. Van Lanen is currently uncommitted.

Simeon Lucas, C, Grant HS, IL, 2014
In a matter of three weeks, Lucas has gone from one of the better left-handed hitters in Illinois to one of the most talked about prospects in the country. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Illinois State recruit has had a whirlwind three weeks, to the point that one pro scout said he very well may be one of the top catching prospects in the country. Lucas went off at PG National, showing big power potential from the left side and significantly improved arm strength from behind the plate. Lucas also showed extremely well at Area Code Tryouts. Everyone loves left-handed hitting catchers with power, and Lucas fits the bill. Lucas has improved his receiving skills since playing in the Fall Prospect Program last year. Lucas follows in the footsteps of OF Jake Ring (Missouri signee), who received significant draft buzz last year at Grant HS—which is not known for producing high-end prospects.

Brendan McKay, LHP, Blackhawk HS, PA, 2014
McKay has a broad frame at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds and a solid arsenal to boot. He sits 86-87 mph with his fastball, but nothing is straight. He mostly uses a two-seam fastball that he can run or cut depending on the batter and situation. His curveball sits in the mid 70s and has tight, downer action. He also has good control of it. He maintains his arm speed on a changeup that features good sink. McKay is 22-1 in his career at Blackhawk and is the most polished pitcher in the state. He can be a two-way player at the Division I level thanks to power and ability to hit for average from the left side. He was Pennsylvania’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior and is currently uncommitted.

Micah Miniard, RHP, Boyle County HS, KY, 2014
Miniard is an imposing figure on the mound at 6-foot-7, 200-pounds. He is extremely long and loose, with projectability and has made significant velocity gains since January when he was up to 87 mph. He was by far the top arm at the Area Code Games tryout in Indiana, sitting 90-92 mph with his fastball and touching 93. He mixed in a power slider at 79 mph and has put himself on a lot of draft radars. Miniard is the fastest-moving prospect in the overall 2014 rankings, jumping to No. 8 overall.  He committed to Western Kentucky in the fall of his junior year.

Ryan Nutof, RHP, South Elgin HS, IL, 2014
It’s not often that high-end prospects fly under our radar for this long, but that has been the case of the hard-throwing Nutof. In a 10-day span this June, Nutof lit it up in three short-pen outings. The first was at the Black and Silver, when he came out firing 89-91 mph fastballs. His arm is quick, loose and athletic. He showed feel for three pitches and the ability to pound the strike zone. He was 88-91 in his other two outings as well. South Elgin doesn’t have a track record of producing high-level prospects, but the 6-foot-2, 185-pounder has significant upside and a live arm. He has not committed to a college yet.

Caleb Potter, OF, Mentor HS, OH, 2014
Potter has been making the rounds on the showcase circuit so far this summer. After participating in PG National, he traveled south to the Tournament of Stars in Cary, NC. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound prospect looks the part with a big, athletic frame. He has present tools as he runs a 6.7-second 60-yard dash, shows plus arm strength from the outfield, and a potential middle of the order bat at the next level with serious power from the right side. Next week, Potter will play with the Ohio Elite Baseball program at the World Wood Bat Championship in Georgia, and then the East Coast Pro Showcase in Syracuse, NY in August. He has not committed anywhere yet.

Grant Reuss, LHP, Cranbrook HS, MI, 2014
Reuss has taken over as the new No. 1 in Michigan’s 2014 class. A Michigan recruit, Reuss has pro scouts excited about his potential. There are several similarities between him and Jackson Lamb, the state’s No. 1 prospect in 2013.  Both are pitchers, committed to Michigan and have a tendency to struggle with command. However, like Lamb, Reuss has excellent upside. Reuss was shaky at the Top Prospect games, but finished his outing with three strikeouts and bumping 89 mph. He also showed an aptitude to spin the breaking ball.

Logan Sowers, OF, McCutcheon HS, IN
Sowers has been the biggest riser in Indiana this summer. He has always shown the ability to play at the Division I level, but he has gained much more interest recently thanks to some improvements at the plate. Sowers is a 6-foot-4, 195-pound right-handed swinging outfielder. He has shown more power this summer and developed improved consistency in his swing. He is currently uncommitted and will represent the Midwest at the East Coast Pro Showcase in August.

Related Content