Class of 2023 Showcase: Quick Hits


By Kevin Coe and Peter Hamot
Illinois Staff

On Wednesday, July 14, the PBR Illinois staff hosted the Class of 2023 Showcase at Lee Pfund Stadium in Carol Stream. This event was open to players in the class of 2023. It also served as an identifier to select, invite events like the Future Games and Preseason All-State.  Of the 60 participants in attendance, several had stand out performances.  

Today we begin our analysis from the event with a look at some of the early standouts. Some of the participants have attended previous PBR events and continue to show improvement in their skill sets each time out.  Read on below for a look at some of the quick hits from the day.

QUICK HITS

FOLLOW/UPSIDE INFIELDERS

+ One of the top prospects of the entire day was INF Josh Adamczewski (Lake Central, 2023), who hails from northwest Indiana. The 6-foot, 165-pound, athletically-built, infielder has a fluid, repeatable left-handed swing that is short and direct with present bat speed. Adamczweski consistently drove/sprayed line drives to the middle of the field. On the infield he is equally as intriguing thanks to advanced/smooth footwork and confident, soft hands. He moves light on his feet which allows him to make all the plays look routine.  He has a quick arm that plays with very little effort.  His throws were accurate and had carry. Follow 2023 left-handed hitting infielder.

+ Another infielder who put together a strong showing was SS Jaden Correa (De la Salle, 2023). Correa, a 6-foot-1, 176-pound, athletic/wiry infielder, moves around with a bounce to his step and features projectable tools at shortstop. He has quick feet which allows his movements to be smooth and aggressive.  He has soft, quick hands that allow him to get the ball out of the glove quickly to go along with a quick arm that uses a short arm stroke and delivers from a high ¾ slot, getting carry across the diamond at 85 mph. At the plate, the right-handed hitter uses some effort but has a loose repeatable swing.  The path works uphill and he flashed power to the pull-side of the diamond; registered a top exit velocity was 95 mph, during BP, per Trackman. 

+ INF/RHP Michael Farina (Stevenson, 2023) has made big strides to his game since our last look. The 6-foot-1 150-pound two-way prospect shows best as an infielder where his natural infield actions are evident. Farina has efficient movements when attacking the ball and uses his feet well to field and get to a strong throwing position. The confident, easy defender has a quick, short arm action and delivers from a high ¾ slot.  He can throw from multiple angles when on the move and his throws are accurate with carry. Offensively he has a tall stance and a short, repeatable swing from the right-side of the plate. Farina has loose, athletic hands, stays short to contact and repeated hard contact to all fields. Farina’s top exit velocity was 92mph per Trackman. Farina also hopped on the mound and ran his fastball up to 84 mph while filling up the zone with a 73-74 mph and 73-75 changeup. 

+ INF Isaiah White (Homewood-Flossmoor, 2023) is another infielder who showed upside to all parts of his game. The long, loose-bodied, 5-foot-10, 140-pound, right-handed hitter has a loose, repeatable swing where the barrel stays direct to contact and produces line drives using a gap-to-gap approach. Defensively, White is light on his feet, has soft hands and easily fields the ball on the move while delivering strikes to first base from multiple arm angles. White ran a 6.96 60 laser-timed 60. Upside 2023 infielder to follow.  

+ Two other infielders that had strong showings at the event were Christian Seminaro (Mundelein, 2023) and INF/RHP Brandon Johnson (Lemont, 2023). Seminaro was one of the better infield defenders on the day showing efficient, clean movements, taking aggressive routes to the baseball and a quick arm with throws that carry. Johnson showed similar traits, with smooth footwork, gliding to each side with ease and a loose arm that played with carry. Johnson also showed strong hands from the right-side of the plate and ran his fastball up to 83 mph on the mound. 

TWO-WAY TALENT 

The event featured a number of interesting two-way prospects. One of the more impressive ones was 6-foot-2, 185-pound, wide-shouldered, athletically-built, RHP/OF Spencer Geake (Glenbrook North, 2023). Geake potentially projects more on the mound thanks to his quick/athletic arm but he also showed a potent left-handed swing that should not take the bat out of his hand anytime soon. On the mound, Geake was one of the most electric arms of the day; featuring a loose ¾ slot that works quick and with minimal effort. Geake’s fastball jumped out of his hand at 84-87 mph touching 88 mph with hard sinking action. Changeup was his best secondary offering; thrown with intent while showing sinking action in the 76 mph range. Featured a 10/4 breaking ball with gradual shape, but struggled to locate. His fastball and changeup pair extremely well together, giving him a legit two-pitch mix to work from. If Geake can continue to harness his overall stuff, he should be a high-upside arm to follow closely in the class. At the plate, the left-handed hitter creates jump off the barrel with the ability to backspin the baseball to the pull-side gap at times. Geake drove a couple of home runs over the right-field wall and led the event with a 97 mph exit velocity during BP.

Spencer’s brother, C/RHP Kevin Geake (Glenbrook North, 2023), also has a solid all-around day, showing sound receiving abilities during the bullpen setting, while also getting on the mound himself. On the mound, Kevin worked from a loose/quick ¾ arm slot with minimal effort throughout the rest of his delivery. A smooth drop-and-drive lower-half down the mound complimented his quick arm. The right-hander’s fastball sat 80-82 mph, generally straight but showed feel for the corners of the plate. He also showed feel for a three-pitch mix.

+ 1B/LHP Joe Richardson (Stevenson, 2023) first caught our eye thanks to his high-waisted, 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame and quick/twitchy left-handed swing in BP. Richardson stays short and quick to the baseball, flashes natural lift in his swing and  showed strength to the pull side. His top exit velocity was 93 mph during BP. Defensively, he is an advanced defender at first base with quick, fluid footwork, attacks the hop he wants and plays with soft hands. On the mound, he showed a polished presence and stuff. The delivery works with minimal effort, he ran his fastball up to 82 mph and impressed with a sharp 2/8 breaking ball that he was able to land for strikes. He also showed solid feel for a sinking changeup. Athletic strike-thrower with upside to all parts of his game.

ARMS

+ RHP  Jared Rodriguez (Harvest Christian Academy, 2023) threw one of the cleaner ‘pens on the day. The 5-foot-8, 170-pound right-hander showcased a quick high ¾ arm that worked short/clean throughout his delivery, with low-effort, smooth rhythm and produced easy velocity. His fastball topped out at 83 mph with running action and feel for the zone. Breaking ball worked 69-70 mph with gradual 11/5 shape. Also featured a changeup in the 72-74 mph range with fading action towards the bottom of the zone.  

+ RHP Jared Lortie (Evanston, 2023) features plenty of upside in his projectable 6-foot-1 190-pound frame. Lortie, one of the most well-versed arms of the day, has a fluid, polished delivery and clean/athletic arm that should continue to see velocity gains as he adds strength. Lortie’s fastball sat comfortably at 80-82 mph with heavy run/sink and feel for the zone. He showcased a sharp 11/5 breaking ball at 68-72 mph with the ability to land both for strikes and to put hitters away. The right-hander’s changeup completed his above-average three-pitch mix; showing arm-side fade and sink in the 70-73 mph range.

+ Wide-shouldered, 5-foot-10, 200-pound, LHP Jacob Janisko (Harvest Christian, 2023), showed a firm fastball and above-average stuff during his bullpen setting. The fastball jumped out of the hand at 85-86 mph with life through the zone. He also featured a sharp 2/8 breaking ball at 74-75 mph that he landed for strikes. He also showed off more of a curveball with true 1/7 shape, thrown in the 69-73 mph range.

Three other 2023 RHP to keep an eye on moving forward were Ethan Looper (Jacobs), Drew Koenig (Oak Park River Forest) and Joe Pagni (York).

+ Looper has an athletic 5-foot-11, 162-pound frame, topped at 81 mph and landed both off-speed pitches for strikes.

+ Koenig, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound, long-limbed, right-hander has a true three-pitch mix and above-average pitchability for his age. His arm plays short and out of a high ¾ slot while sitting 79-81 mph with his sinking fastball. 

+ Pagni has a long 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame, utilizes his legs well throughout his delivery and sat 80-83 mph with relative ease. 

OTHER

+ Catcher Daniel Connelly (Mundelein, 2023) was one of the top catcher’s in attendance. The 6-foot, 160-pound right-handed hitter repeated hard contact in BP, utilizing a short, uphill stroke that produced hard line-drives to the opposite field. Behind the plate, he has fluid footwork, a clean exchange and showed an accurate arm from behind the plate. His best pop time registered at 2.14.

Stay tuned for more coverage from the event in coming weeks.

CLICK HERE for a look at the full roster from the day.

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