Class of 2015 Showcase: Pitcher Analysis



By Sean Duncan and Dan Duran

The Class of 2015 Showcase on July 17 at Oakton CC in Des Plaines unveiled several impressive pitching prospects, many of whom were previously unknown to us. While there were several highly projectable arms at the event, a few stood above the rest.

Shane Ritter, an athletically built 6-foot-4 RHP from Plainfield South HS, not only was the top pitcher at the event, he earned the top overall prospect among 85-plus players from all over Illinois. Following closely behind Ritter was RHP Mitchell Janssen from Princeville HS, who sat 86-87 mph with his fastball.

Here’s a look at the pitchers at the Class of 2015 Showcase:

1. Shane Ritter, RHP, Plainfield South HS, 2015
High-ceiling right-handed pitcher, 6-foot-4, 180-pound athletic frame with plenty of room to develop. Arm works free and easily from 3/4 slot, quick and clean. Athletic, repeatable delivery, works downhill, maintains rhythm throughout. Fastball topped at 87 mph, sitting 84-86, with arm-side life. Has advanced feel for three pitches. Curveball flashes sharp 11/5 break, in the 69-71 range; also throws a more sweeping breaking ball in the 74-75 range. Throws changeup with excellent arm action, in the 74-78 range. With his frame, athleticism and arm looseness, Ritter should continue to see increased velocity and establish himself as a premier prospect in the Midwest.

2. Mitchell Janssen, RHP, Princeville HS, 2015
Athletic build, 6-foot-3, 190-pound right-handed pitcher. Velocity has made a stark jump in a year’s time. Looks now to be one of the better power arms in class. Fastball sat 86-87 with run and sink in the strike zone. Works from high 3/4 slot with short, quick arm action; shows excellent arm acceleration – will likely continue to throw harder in coming years. Secondary stuff needs refinement. Changeup, in 73-77 range, showed occasional sink; curveball in 73-75 range. High-follow prospect in 2015 class.

3. Jack Rettig, LHP/1B, Mahomet-Seymour HS, 2015
6-foot-2, 180-pound athletic frame. Shows legitimate two-way capabilities. On the mound, left-hander commands zone with three pitches. Athletic, repeatable delivery, high-3/4 slot, loose arm action. Fastball topped at 82 mph, sitting 78-80. Changeup shows high potential. Throws changeup with conviction, 73-74 range, with sink down in the zone. Curveball shows inconsistent shape; best one has more sweeping action, 67-69 range. Offensively, runs a 7.08 60, left-handed hitter with excellent balance, swing mechanics and balance. Bat speed present, creates natural lift in swing, overall sound plate approach. Defensively, shows athletic feet around bag and solid glovework at first base.

4. Jack Szott, RHP/1B, Metea Valley HS, 2015
Physically advanced frame, strong lower half, wide shoulders, 6-foot-4, 225 pounds. Fastball consistently sat 84 mph with occasional sink. Works from high 3/4 slot, long arm action, effort in delivery. Changeup showed swing-and-miss potential. Throws it with conviction, 73-74 mph, with arm-side run. Also throws 70-74 mph curveball. Offensively, demonstrated power potential at plate. Creates natural lift in swing; ball jumps off bat with backspin carry. Big target at first base, handles glove well around bag. 

5. Malcolm Grady, RHP, Homewood-Flossmoor HS, 2015
High-ceiling 6-foot-3, 195-pound right-handed pitcher with extremely long arms and legs. Highly athletic frame with more room to develop. Excellent hand acceleration, quick, loose arm from over the top slot. Slow tempo, tall and fall delivery, fastball shows life through hitting zone, topping at 82 mph. Off-speed pitches inconsistent but flash promise. Threw occasional sharp, late-breaking 12/6 curveball in 60-64 range. Changeup flashed late sink in the 65-69 range. With improved timing and rhythm, Grady should see vast jumps in his three-pitch mix.

6. Ben Sestak, RHP, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin HS, 2015
Extremely projectable 6-foot-5, 170-pound right-handed pitcher. Lanky, athletic frame, plenty of room to develop. Works out of full windup from high ¾ slot, arm is loose and athletic. Fastball topped at 82 mph, sitting 80-81, with arm-side sink. Shows command for 72-75 mph changeup; throws it with fastball arm speed, with some sink. Curveball is inconsistent, but shows feel for pitch in 62-66 range. As he fills into his frame, Sestak has the potential to become an elite prospect in the 2015 class.

7. Dylan Grady, SS/RHP, Champaign Centennial HS, 2015
Athletically built 6-foot, 178-pound two-way player. Graded out as top infield prospect at event. Shows advanced plate approach and bat speed. Quiet, repeatable swing, aggressive approach, maintains excellent balance throughout, ball jumps with backspin and carry, registered event-best 88-mph exit speed. Defensively, shows arm strength (event-best 82 mph) and soft hands. Long arm action, accurate throws, takes solid routes to ball. May project as third baseman at next level; 7.16 runner. On the mound, commands three pitches for strikes. Athletic delivery, repeats well, high ¾ arm slot, short arm action. Fastball sat 81-82 mph; has advanced feel for changeup, 73-76 mph with some arm-side sink. 

8. Joshua Krueger, RHP, Romeoville, 2015
Lanky 6-foot-1, 175 projectable right-handed pitcher. Tall-and-fall delivery showed some rhythm and balance. Krueger has long ¾ arm action and showed off one of the higher velocities on the mound with an 82-84 mph fastball with control and occasional arm-side run. His curveball had gradual 11/5 action at 62-65 mph and changeup at 71-72 mph. Krueger could become a high-level talent with developed off-speed.

9. Alec Martinez, SS/RHP, Sandburg HS, 2015
High-interest prospect in Illinois’ 2015 class. Athletically built 6-foot, 180-pound two-way player. Excellent overall hitting approach. Hits from open setup, extremely balanced and quiet throughout. Advanced bat speed through the zone, stays through the baseball, gets excellent extension after contact. Ball jumps off bat with backspin carry, gap power, may acquire more power in future. Defensively, has soft, reliable hands, arm shows carry across infield (77 mph), stays on-line with accuracy. May project as third baseman at next level. Ran a 7.31 60. On the mound, right-handed pitcher, fastball topped at 82 mph, sitting 80-81, with arm-side life. Also throws 67-68 mph curveball and 70-72 changeup. High-follow prospect in Illinois’ 2015 class.

10. Austin Warrem, LHP/OF, Mattoon, 2015
Warrem is a right-handed hitting, left-handed throwing two-way player who projects particularly well on the mound. The 6-foot, 170-pound left-hander utilizes a coil in his delivery at his balance point, throwing with loose and quick high ¾ arm action. He displayed feel for all three pitches. His downhill fastball sat 78-80 mph with control, topping at 81 mph. Had control of his 12/6 curveball ranging 66-70 mph. His changeup showed some sink and arm-side run sitting 68-71 mph. From the outfield, Warrem’s arm showed carry at 79 mph, fielding the position with athleticism in his footwork, exchanges, and crow-hop. At the plate he showed an uphill bat path with bat speed, recording an 81 mph exit velocity off the tee. Warrem is a prospect to follow.

11. Ben McElwee, LHP, Sacred Heart-Griffin HS, 2015
Athletically built 6-foot-3, 180-pound left-handed pitcher with projection. Long, loose arm action, high-3/4 slot, fastball has sinking action down in zone, 79-82 mph range. Athletic delivery, should continue to add velocity in coming years. Secondary stuff work in progress. Curveball had inconsistent action, 11/5 shape, in 61-65 range; changeup in 66-68 range.

12. Jack Staten, RHP, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin HS, 2015
Shows potential to become elite prospect in Illinois’ 2016 class. Lanky 6-foot-4, 165-pound frame with plenty of room to develop. Works downhill well, over-the-top slot, loose arm, short arm action. Fastball topped at 80 mph, sitting 77-78, strikes down in the zone. Showed command of 67-70 mph changeup; also throws 69-72 mph curveball and a cutter. With some mechanical adjustments and added strength, Staten should continue to add velocity in the coming years. High-follow prospect.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Michael Arkema, RHP, Glenbrook South HS, 2015
6-foot-3, 185-pound right-handed pitcher. Solid pitcher’s frame, works from high-3/4 slot, long and loose arm action, drop and drive delivery. Fastball topped at 81 mph, sitting in the 77-78 range, commands strike zone. Shows feel for changeup, 70-73, with arm-side sink. Also throws 11/5 curveball at 64-66 mph.

Zach Baird, RHP/MIF/OF, South Elgin, 2015
Baird is a 5-foot-10, 155-pound two-way player. Showed some rhythm and athleticism throughout his delivery on the mound. Has loose arm action from a high ¾ slot. His fastball sat 80-81 mph, topping at 83 mph. His 12/6 curveball was at 62-65 mph with control. He also throws a 69-72 mph slider, and a 73-75 mph changeup with arm speed and slight sink. Baird ran a 7.25 60 at the event. Arm plays at 81 mph from the outfield and 77 mph across the infield. Offensively hits from an open, crouched setup using a short stride. He has a long bat path but maintains balance throughout his swing – recorded a 71 mph exit speed.

Griffin Boehm, C/RHP, Loyola Academy HS, 2015
Athletically built two-way prospect, 6-foot-4, 195-pound frame. Solid footwork behind plate, registered top pop time of 2.18, consistently in 2.25-2.30 range, accurate throws, solid carry, 75 mph from the crouch. Shows power potential at plate. Tall setup, bat stays flat through hitting zone, bat speed present, extension after contact. 7.68 60. On mound, fastball tops at 79 mph, sitting 76-79. Forkball shows sink in lower-half of zone, 62-65 mph.

Phillip Bork, RHP/1B, Maine South HS, 2015
6-foot-2, 180-pound two-way player. On mound, fastball topped at 73 mph from over the top slot. Curveball registered between 57-59 mph, while changeup ranged 60-61 mph. Ran a 7.43 60 and was clocked at 75 mph across the infield.

Michael Borst, 1B/RHP, McHenry HS, 2015
Athletic 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame, solid runner, 7.03 60. Two-way player. On mound, fastball topped at 80 mph, sitting in 76-77 range with some arm-side run. Shows feel for changeup, 62-65 range, with arm-side sink. Curveball ranged between 62-65 mph.

Will Bro, 3B/RHP, Lake Forest HS, 2015
Physical 6-foot-2, 220-pound frame. Offensively, hits from tall setup, shows occasional power potential, physically strong. Registered 83 mph exit velocity off tee, ran a 7.83 60. Defensively, was clocked at 66 mph from third base. On the mound, right-hander has long arm action, fastball tops at 72 mph, sitting 69-71.

Nathan Broskovetz, RHP, Lemont, 2015
Broskovetz is a 5-foot-8, 170-pound right-handed pitcher. He delivers with short ¾ arm action – has control of his fastball at 76-77 mph with run and sink. 58-60 mph curveball has 11/5 slurve action. His slider sits 61 mph and changeup has slight arm-side run at 60-63 mph.

Bryan Bund, LHP/1B, Lake Forest HS, 2015
Lanky 60foot-2, 165-pound left-handed pitcher with long limbs. Fastball topped at 78 mph, sitting in 76-77 range, from high ¾ slot. Also throws 60-61 mph curveball and 70-72 changeup. Offensively, hits from wide, crouched position, uses minimal load, uphill bat path, lacks extension after contact. Ran a 7.65 60 and registered 75 mph exit velocity off tee.

Alexander Dages, LHP/OF, Florida Air Academy, 2016
Dages is a 5-foot-11, 175-pound two-way player who hits and throws left-handed. On the mound, he delivers with some rhythm and effort from a high ¾ arm slot. He showed control for his fastball sitting 75-78 mph. Curveball had slight 11/5 action ranging 62-66 mph. His slider was at 69-71 mph with sweeping 10/4 action. Dages ran a 7.25 60 at the event. Has long, over-the-top arm action from the outfield at 75 mph with some accuracy. Sets up from a slightly open stance recording a 75 mph exit velocity off the tee.

Garrett Dennehy, RHP, Oswego HS, 2015
Solidly built 6-foot, 180-pound right-handed pitcher. Fastball topped at 79 mph from high-3/4 slot, short backside arm action. Also throws 63-66 mph curveball and 64-68 mph changeup.

Ramon Gonzales, LHP/1B, Andrew, 2015
5-foot-10, 175-pound left-handed hitting and throwing first-baseman and pitcher has some projectability on the mound. Gonzales throws across his body with longer arm action from a high ¾ slot. His fastball sat 76-77 mph. 11/5 sweeping curveball was at 66-68 mph. Changeup sat 71-72. Defensively Gonzales threw across the infield with long arm action at a ¾ slot at 77 mph. Offensively, showed pull tendencies, creating lift and occasional gap power. He hits from a tall, slightly open setup using a short stride. His exit velocity was 76 mph and ran a 7.34 60.

Erick Hall, RHP/1B, Rockton Hononegah HS, 2015
Physical 6-foot-2, 210-pound two-way player. On the mound, fastball ranged between 73-77 mph from high ¾ slot,, drop and drive delivery. Also throws 65-69 mph curveball and 66-68 mph changeup. At first base, showed solid glovework around back, clocked at 78 across infield, ran an 8.14 60. Hits from all setup, generates some bat speed through the zone.

Erik Milaicki, RHP/SS, LaSalle-Peru, 2015
Left-handed hitting 6-foot, 165-pound two-way player. On the mound, Milaicki showed command of his fastball, thrown at 74-76 mph with slight run, topping at 78 mph. His 11/5 curveball has early break ranging 61-65 mph. Slows his arm on his changeup but had control at 68-70 mph with some sink. Milaicki ran a 7.44 60 at the showcase and defensively threw 72 mph across the infield. Sets up in an open stance at the plate using a short stride, maintaining balance throughout the swing.

Adam Pearson, RHP/1B, Goshen HS (IN), 2015
Hulking physical presence, 6-foot-4, 240-pound frame with wide shoulders and developed lower half.  Works from high-3/4 slot, works downhill, fastball shows some arm-side run at 75-76 mph, touching 78. Slider looks to be go-to pitch; shows occasional sharp bite in 67-71 range, commands it in strike zone. Changeup ranged between 68-70 mph. Throws three pitches for strikes. Positionally, shows strength at plate; creates lift and carry in swing, more power to come if gets more separation. Registered 82 mph exit velocity off tee. Big target at first base; clocked at 74 mph across diamond.

Sean Pierce, RHP, Plainfield East HS, 2015
Sturdy 6-foot-1, 205-pound frame. Right-handed pitcher, fastball sat 75 mph from high-3/4 slot, works downshill, in-line delivery. Curveball shows 11/5 shape at 66 mph; changeup ranged between 70-72 mph.

Joey Pilalis, RHP, Wheaton South, 2015
6-foot, 170-pound right-handed pitcher. Lands closed in his delivery throwing across his body with long ¾ arm action. His fastball ranged 76-79 mph flashing sink. 11/5 curveball had slight sweeping action at 63-66 mph. Changeup was thrown with sink sitting 59-61 mph. 

Aaron Saper, LHP/OF, Stevenson, 2015
6-foot, 170-pound left-handed hitting and throwing two-way player ran a 7.0 60 at the event. Hits from an open stance with a short stride – recorded a 79 mph exit velocity maintaining balance throughout his swing. Throws from the outfield were 76 mph. On the mound, Saper’s fastball sat 74-76 mph. His sweeping 11/5 curve showed early break at 64-66 mph. His changeup ranged 67-72 mph with slight cutting action.

Andrew Scanlon, C/RHP, St. Ignatius HS, 2015
Lanky 6-foot-2, 165-pound two-way player. Shows projection on mound. Long, loose arm action, high-3/4 slot, commands fastball with natural arm-side run, sitting 82-83 mph. Changeup has arm-side run, gets excellent extension, 70-71 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, short break, throws for strikes in 69-72 range. Defensively, pop times ranged between 2.10-2.27, long on backside, clocked at 76 mph from crouch. Hits from open setup, makes solid contact when stays back. Ran a 7.33 60.

Brian Schrimmer, RHP, Vernon Hills, 2015
Schrimmer has a solid 5-foot-10, 155-pound build. He is a projectable right-handed pitcher who showed control for all three of his pitches. Tall-and-fall delivery working in line with the plate with long, high ¾ arm action. Schrimmer had command for his fastball at 77-80 mph with run and slight sink, topping at 81 mph. Curveball sat 64-66 mph with pronounced 11/5 action. Changeup thrown with command at 72-73 mph with arm-side run and sink. Schrimmer is a prospect to keep an eye on.

Michael Shereyk, LHP, Homewood-Flossmoor HS, 2015
Shereyk is a physical 6-foot, 205-pound left-handed pitcher who possesses a strong lower half and sturdy frame. Fastball topped at 79 mph, sitting 77-78, from high-3/4 slot. Works downhill, in-line delivery, repeats well. Throws both a curveball (62-63 mph) and slider (67-68); slider has more one-plane sweeping action. Also flashed a developing changeup in the 71-73 range. With more polish with his secondary pitches, Shereyk can develop into a high-interest left-handed prospect.

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