Illiana Preseason I.D.: Pitcher Analysis
January 31, 2019
On Jan. 21, staff representing both PBR Illinois and PBR Indiana were on hand at the Ho-Chunk Sports and Expo Center in Chicago Heights, Ill., to evaluate close to the 60 prospects who made it out to our Illiana Preseason I.D. showcase.
We began our event coverage last week with our Quick Hits post and a Statistical Analysis, and have continued coverage this week with our position-by-position breakdowns, analyzing the day’s catchers, outfielders, infielders and now, the event’s pitchers.
Toledo-Cumberland has a budding rotation that’s set to feature RHP Brennyn Cutts, who earned a spot on this past summer’s Team Illinois Future Games roster, as well as fellow sophomore righty Brayson Shew. This was the first time our staff had the opportunity to watch Shew at a PBR event and he came away from the showcase as our top ranked arm in attendance. He has a live fastball, a feel for two different breaking balls, and has the type of tall, wiry frame that offers comfortable projection as he continues maturing and developing.
Joining Shew as sophomore standouts from the Illiana event was Chicago Christian’s Adam Brouwer. His clean, easy, and loose arm action allows for a simple and fluid delivery that will help him command his arsenal. He showed us some feel for three pitches in Chicago Heights, too.
Continue on below for full reports on each of the 21 pitchers from the group. And remember to check back tomorrow when we rank the top-10 overall prospects from the showcase.
1. Brayson Shew, RHP/OF, Toledo-Cumberland, 2021
6-foot-4, 182-pound, right-handed hitting/throwing two-way player, long, wiry frame with room for continued physical development. Works with tempo to a sturdy, flat footed balance point, cross-bodied landing, toe strikes closed and hard, some rhythm. Long and loose arm action, hands separate late, quick arm action, high ¾ window. Fastball is live, plays straight at 83-84 mph, topped 85 mph. Curveball, 11/5 shape with depth, 70-73 mph. Slider, 10/4 shape, tighter spin, 70-73 mph. Present foot speed, 7.11 runner in the 60. At the plate, tall, closed setup, toe tap stride, some dive over plate. Short bat path, shoulders get uphill, exit velocity topped 81 mph from a tee. Defensively, short, choppy feet, two-handed gather, plays through the ball. Long arm action, quick arm speed, high ¾ slot, ball comes out, throws carried at 88 mph from the outfield turf.
2. Adam Brouwer, RHP, Chicago Christian, 2021
6-foot, 190-pound right-handed pitcher, average frame, athletic build. Delivery is clean and easy, maintains balance and stays on line, high repeatability. Arm action is clean and loose, full arm circle, high ¾ slot. Fastball is mostly straight, occasional run to arm side, showed ability to command the fastball, jumps out of his hand at times, effortless velocity, 81-83 mph, touched 84 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, gradual action with feel for the zone, 64-68 mph. Changeup thrown with fastball arm speed, sinking action, occasional fade, 71-73 mph.
3. Joseph Gulans, RHP, Deerfield, 2021
6-foot-1, 180-pound right-handed pitcher, average frame and build. Delivery is balanced and works directional, squared landing, works in rhythm. Arm action is long and loose, ¾ slot, loose out front. Showed fastball command, arm side run and sink, worked the bottom of the zone, 80-82 mph, touched 83 mph. Advanced changeup, sinking action with well above average feel, best secondary offering, 72-74 mph. Curveball has 10/4 shape, showed feel to drop for strikes, 71-73 mph.
4. Connor Cassady, RHP, Lyons Township, 2020
6-foot-4, 200-pound right-handed pitcher, long projectable frame, wide shoulders. Smooth delivery, slight effort, tall balance point, lands square. Arm action is long, high ¾ slot. Fastball flashed hard sink action, thrown for strikes, 81-83 mph, touched 84 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, good feel dropped consistently for strikes, 66-67 mph. Changeup sinks while showing feel, maintains arm speed, 74-76 mph, best secondary offering, swing and miss potential.
5. Ben Plumley, INF/RHP, Lane Tech, 2021
5-foot-11, 160-pound, long-limbed, athletically-built two-way prospect with room for continued physical development. Upside right-handed pitcher. Arm works loose with arm speed out front, high ¾ slot. Slight drop and drive delivery, works on-line with minimal effort throughout. Fastball, sinking action, tilt at times, sat 79-81 mph, touched 82. Curveball, 11/5 shape, sharp action at times, 66-69 mph. Changeup, sinking action, thrown for strikes at the bottom of the zone, 69-72 mph. Offensively, right-handed hitter, balanced, open setup, smooth load and minimal leg-lift timing trigger. Loose hands, creates bat speed at times, lift in swing and 85 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, infield actions, reliable, sure hands, packs on exchange. Loose arm action, high ¾ slot and throws clocked at 77 mph. 7.41 runner in the 60.
5. John Gavric, LHP, Loyola, 2020
6-foot-1, 175-pound left-handed pitcher, athletic frame. Slight drop and drive delivery, lands square finishes to third base side, regular effort. Arm action has length, wrist wrap on back side, high ¾ slot. Fastball flashed heavy action with run when down in the zone, sat 80-81 mph, touched 83 mph. Slider plays 2/8, gradual action, near fastball arm speed, 69-72 mph. Above average changeup, fade action, near fastball arm speed, 72-75 mph.
Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)
Zach Beerling, RHP/1B, Munster (IN), 2021
5-foot-11, 165 pound RHP pitches from short, high ¾ arm action with slightly wrap. Average arm speed. Good balance point, regular effort in the delivery with some rhythm. Shoulders work uphill and slightly closed. Lands square. Fastball shows run at 73-76, T-77 for a strike. Breaking ball has 11/5 shape at 55-61 with gradual action, tends to slow his arm down. Changeup sat 67-68 with slight fade. Offensively, hits from a slight crouch setup, loads back, arm bar, short stride, average use of the lower half with occasional over rotation, average balance. Above average bat speed, long path, pull-side hitter, high exit velocity of 82. Defensively, showcased fluid footwork around the bag with a clean exchange. Plays through the baseball well. Short, high ¾ arm action, throws had some carry at 77. 7.96 runner in the 60.
Brock Bevil, 2B/RHP, Lake Central (IN), 2020
6-feet, 140 pound slender frame. Right-handed hitter hits from a slightly open setup. Loads back, short stride, good use of his lower half. Stays balanced throughout his swing. Average bat speed, level swing plane, line drive type hitter. High exit velocity of 77. Sure handed defender with fluid footwork and a clean exchange; packs before release. Long, high ¾ arm action across the diamond at 77mph. 7.75 runner in the 60. On the mound showcased average arm speed from a long, over the top arm slot. Has some effort in the delivery, uphill shoulders, stays in line to the plate, lands square, athletic finish. Fastball showed run at 76-77 for a strike. Breaking ball has 11/5 shape with early break at 64-66. Changeup sat 70-71 with fade down and in.
Martin Boyle, LHP/OF, St. Ignatius, 2021
5-foot-10, 160-pound, left-handed hitting/throwing two-way player, lanky frame with athletic actions. Offensively, sets up tall and balanced, hands load back, leg kick trigger. Rhythm in hands, path works long and uphill, consistent line drive contact, favored pull side. Exit velocity topped 82 mph from a tee. Defensively gets behind the ball and works through, fluid footwork, soft hands, athletic actions. Arm plays long and loose, easy ¾ slot, accurate throws topped 75 mph from the outfield turf. 7.49 runner in the 60. On the mound works at a quick pace, heel lift balance point, works in line, toe lands open, athletic finish. Long and loose arm action, ¾ slot, effort is easy. Fastball, slight run, 74-77 mph. Curveball, 1/7 shape, 63-65 mph. Changeup, near fastball arm speed, faded, 64-69 mph.
Marc Cervantes, RHP, Portage (IN), 2020
5-foot-11, 135 pound right-hander pitches from a long, loose high ¾ arm action with above average arm speed. Tall balance point, rocks back, tilt/topple delivery. Shows some rhythm, level shoulders, falls off towards 1B side. Fastball sat 78-80, T-81 with some run. Breaking ball has 11/5 shape, early/gradual action at 63-67. Changeup is thrown with near fastball arm speed, straight action, 65-67.
John Creviston, LHP/OF, Brother Rice, 2021
5-foot-9, 137-pound, left-handed hitting two-way player, high-waisted, lean frame. Left-handed pitcher, works with rhythm and in-line to home, toe lands closed, athleticism in finish. Arm plays loose and clean, easy effort, high ¾ slot. Near/in the zone on all offerings, maintaints arm speed. Fastball, some sink, 71-73 mph, topped 74 mph. Can spin the curveball, 1/7 depth, 58-63 mph. Deceptive changeup, 67-69 mph. At the plate, sets up tall, minimal load, short stride. Path is long and uphill, rhythm in hands, favors pull side, exit velocity topped 75 mph from a tee. Defensively plays through the ball, clean exchange and actions, loose arm action, throws topped 74 mph from the outfield turf. 7.77 runner in the 60.
Tyler Cuma, 3B/RHP, Michigan City (IN), 2020
6-feet, 190 pound right-handed hitter hits from a slight crouch setup. Loads back, long stride, over rotation with the lower half, average bat speed, level path, pull-side approach with pop. High exit velocity of 86. Defensively, showcased average hands with a clean exchange. Heavy footwork, plays through the baseball. Short, over the top arm action across the diamond with accuracy, throws topped out at 71. 7.57 runner in the 60. On the mound pitches from a short, high ¾ arm action with average arm speed. Regular effort in the delivery with some rhythm. Good direction to the plate, lands square, athletic finish. Fastball was straight at 75-76, T-77. Breaking ball has 10/4 shape with late action, thrown for a strike at 66-69. Changeup is thrown with fastball arm speed with cut action, 71-72.
Dylan Elazegui, OF/LHP, Hinsdale Central, 2020
5-foot-4, 140-pound, left-handed hitting/throwing two-way player. Smooth pre-pitch actions, open setup, knee-to-knee load to even, hands drift back. Rhythm in swing, short to the baseball, line drive ability, uphill finish. Exit velocity topped 80 mph from a tee. Defensively, plays behind and through the ball, ball gets deep, clean exchange, long to release. Arm plays short and quick, ¾ arm slot, throws topped 80 mph from the outfield turf. 7.38 runner in the 60. Left-handed pitcher, compact, low effort delivery, work in-line, toe lands square, smooth rhythm. Arm draws out quick and back, slightly rotational, high ¾ slot. Fastball worked straight with some cut, 71-73 mph, topped 76 mph. Slider, 1/7 shape, gradual break, 61-64 mph. Changeup faded, played 64-67 mph.
David Hanson, RHP, Downers Grove North, 2021
6-foot, 175-pound right-handed pitcher, average build. Delivery is repeatable, and on line, lands square, loads up on back side. Regular arm circle, high ¾ slot. Fastball is straight, four seam type, occasional arm side action, 72-73 mph, touched 74 mph. Curveball is gradual on 12/6 plane, showed feel, 61-63 mph. Changeup is near fastball arm speed, 67-69 mph.
Lee Hodges, RHP/INF, De La Salle, 2020
6-foot-3, 202-pound two-way player, strong build, large frame. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, short toe tap stride, smooth loading action. Path is long and works slight uphill, pull side power approach, strong at contact. 89 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively profiles at a corner position, feet work to setup and play through the baseball, average hands. 7.61 runner in the 60. Arm plays at 78 mph across the diamond, loose high ¾ action. On the mound arm plays similar, shorter draw, some effort. Fastball topped at 81 mph, mostly straight, sat 76-77 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, gradual action, 55-59 mph. Changeup cuts at times, worked, 66-70 mph.
Austin Jones, INF/RHP, Providence Catholic, 2021
5-foot-9, 135-pound two-way player, thin wiry frame. Hands showed playability on the infield, flashed softness, glove pat to exchange, feet play through with long actions. 8.13 runner in the 60. Arm action is clean and over the top, 71 mph across the diamond, played accurate to target. Right-handed hitter, tall setup, open stance, long leg kick stride. Path has some length, line drive singles contact. 69 mph exit velocity from the tee. On the mound delivery works from multiple slots, high ¾, occasional side arm on fastball only. Fastball played 72-74 mph from high ¾ slot, 65-67 mph from side arm slot. Curveball has 10/4 shape, 63-65 mph. Changeup is straight, 59-66 mph.
Charlie Jones, SS/RHP, Andrean (IN), 2021
5-foot-7, 145 pound switch hitter, handles it well from both sides. Right-side: balanced setup, small leg kick, good balance. Average bat speed, short, level path. Compact swing, line drive hitter. Left-side: Balanced setup, short stride, uses lower half well. Load is smooth, short path, gets to extension from an uphill path. Hard contact to his pull-side. High exit velocity of 79. Controls the barrel from both sides well. Defensively showcased soft hands, fluid footwork, clean exchange. Works through the baseball. Loose, ¾-low ¾ arm action, average carry, throws topped out at 74 mph. 7.45 runner in the 60. On the mound short high ¾ arm action with average arm speed. Easy effort in the delivery with some rhythm. Level should, works in line to the plate, lands square, athletic finish. Fastball was 76-77 for a strike. Breaking ball sat 66-69, 11/5 shape, gradual action, down in the zone. Shows good command of his CH at 64-67, fade action, kept down in the zone.
Michael Knezevic, OF/LHP, Oak Forest, 2021
5-foot-11, 160-pound, right-handed hitting, left-handed throwing two-way player, well-proportioned, athletic frame. Offensively sets up even, minimal load, weight shifts back into a leg lift trigger. Loose hands, short to the ball, path slightly uphill, line drive ability to all fields, some rhythm. Exit velocity topped 83 mph from a tee. Defensively attacks and plays through the baseball, clean exchanges. Short arm action, ¾ slot with some arm speed, throws topped 78 mph from the outfield turf. 7.82 runner in the 60. On the mound, works with tempo, tall, toe lift balance point, works in-line, toe lands square, easy athletic finish. Arm plays long and loose, shows on back side, ¾ slot, easy effort. Fastball runs to arm side, 77-78 mph, topped 79 mph. Slider, 2/8 gradual break, 69-70 mph. Changeup plays at 68-70 mph.
Nick Rodriguez, RHP, Bradley-Bourbonnais, 2021
6-foot-2, 165-pound right-handed pitcher, long lanky frame. Delivery works methodical down the mound, slightly closed with open toe landing, high front side. Arm action is long, over the top slot, regular effort. Fastball flashed tilt, mostly straight, showed control, 66-68 mph, touched 73 mph. Curveball has 11/5 gradual action, 60-62 mph. Changeup fades to arm side, 63-64 mph.
Justin Schassburger, RHP/OF, Andrean (IN), 2021
5-foot-9, 170 pound frame. On the mound pitches from a short, loose high ¾ arm action with above average arm speed. Compact delivery, high front side, smooth rhythm. Stays in line to the plate, lands square, athletic finish. Fastball sat 77-79 with slight sink and run action. Breaking ball was 66-69 from an 11/5 shape. Changeup is thrown with fastball arm speed at 69-71 with fade. Long, high ¾ arm action from the outfield with carry; 82mph. Average hands, fluid footwork, long exchange. Offensively, hits out of a slight crouch stance. Loads back with a slight wrap. Stride is short, average use of his lower half. Above average bat speed, gets to extension, 86 mph exit velocity. Consistently found the barrel during his BP round, hard contact. 7.63 runner in the 60.
Carter South, C/RHP, Oswego East, 2022
5-foot-9, 125-pound two-way player, thin slender build. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, toe tap stride, average balance. Level path, some length, gap to gap type approach, occasional line drive contact. 72 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm plays short and over the top, 65 mph out of the crouch. Exchange has some length with occasional misdirection. Pop times ranged 2.52-2.79. 8.19 runner in the 60. On the mound works from a tall and fall delivery, lands square and stays on line. Arm action is long, high ¾ slot. Fastball is straight, showed feel for the zone, 71-72 mph, touched 73 mph. Curveball has slurve type action, 63-65 mph. Changeup sinks, 65-67 mph, showed feel.
Tavares Van Kuiken, LHP/OF, Illiana Christian (IN), 2020
Athletic 6-foot-2, 190 pound LHP pitches from a long, loose high ¾ arm action with average arm speed. Easy effort, tall-to-fall type delivery, smooth rhythm. Stays in line, lands square, athletic finish. Some deception in the delivery. Fastball sat 76-78 with occasional run and sink for a strike. Curveball has 1/7 shape with gradual action, 69-70. Changeup is thrown with fastball arm speed at 70-72. In the outfield showcased sure hands with a clean exchange and fluid footwork. Plays through the baseball. Long, high ¾ arm action with some carry; 81mph. At the plate hits from a balanced, athletic setup. Hands load back, arm bar, tendency to dive during his stride. Shows good use of his lower half. Above average bat speed. Short, level swing path. Hard contact during his BP round, line drive type hitter. High exit velocity of 85mph. 7.10 runner in the 60.