Preseason All-State: Outfield Analysis


Illinois Scouting Staff

Our position-by-position analysis of Illinois’ Preseason All-State event that took place on Sunday, Feb. 11, continues today with an examination of the day’s outfielders.

This group’s standout performers are a collection of speed, size, and athleticism, highlighted by Jason Hodges, a junior at Marist, who is a combination of all three traits. Another Marist junior, Kendal Ewell, made our top-five list from the day mostly because of his advanced bat. Nick Iannantone from Joliet Catholic wowed with his own athleticism and his event-best 60 time helped land him a spot on this top-ten list.

Here’s a better look at the top-ten outfielders from the event, as well as the best of the rest in attendance:

Top Outfield Prospects

1. Jason Hodges, OF, Marist, 2019
Arkansas commit. 6-foot-3, 190-pound outfielder, large athletic frame. Right-handed hitter, open stance, smooth loading action, long strided, hits off front foot at times. Strong hands that work to create present bat speed, short path. 98 mph exit velocity from the tee. Contact is typically gap to gap, ability to backspin the baseball, plus power potential hitter, middle of the lineup type profile. Defensively arm action is long and over the top, carries at 84 mph. Feet work aggressively through the baseball, step behind through release, corner outfield type. 6.92 runner in the 60.

2. Michael Bolton, OF, Brother Rice, 2019
Purdue commit. 5-foot-9, 150-pound left-handed hitting outfielder, small athletic build. Plus runner, 6.54 runner, laser timed 60. Left-handed hitter, quiet balanced stance, short stride, excellent balance. Quick twitch hands, lets ball travel, short quick stroke, explosive bat speed generated with hands, keeps head quiet. Contact is hard and up the middle, mostly line drive type, 84 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively plays through the baseball aggressively, centerfield profile, quick athletic feet. Arm plays long and over the top, flashed carry, 86 mph.

3. Gregory Ziegler, OF, Joliet Catholic, 2019
Missouri State commit. 6-foot-1, 175-pound outfielder, athletic proportional frame. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, short stride, smooth loading action, maintains good balance throughout contact. Easy bat speed, athletic hands, barrel aware. Path works uphill making gap to gap contact. 87 mph exit velocity from the tee. Centerfield profile in the outfield, plus runner, 6.68 60 yard dash, athletic defender, plays through the baseball with soft hands, easy actions. Arm action is short and over the top, arm carries, 89 mph from the outfield.

4. Benji Brokemond, OF/INF, Walter Payton, 2019
Miami (OH) commit. 6-foot-1, 180-pound multi-positional player, lean quick twitch athlete. Plus-plus runner, 6.49 laser timed 60. Arm action is loose and over the top, carries, 87 mph from the outfield, 84 mph across the diamond, accurate to target. Feet play through the baseball showed above average actions on the infield, hesitates to attack the baseball at times in the outfield. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, short stride and strong balance. Easy athletic hands create bat speed, repeats swing, short level path. Contact is hard, line drive gap to gap type. 92 mph exit velocity from the tee.

5. Kendal Ewell, OF, Marist, 2019
6-foot-3, 200-pound outfielder, long lean athletic frame. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, short stride, good balance. Showed easy bat speed, hands are loose, ball jumps off the bat. Path is short made gap to gap contact, hits in rhythm. 93 mph exit velocity from the tee. 6.88 runner in the 60. Defensively arm action is loose, and works over the top, carries, 90 mph and crowhops through the baseball, average actions.

6. Danny Doligale, OF, Brother Rice, 2019
5-foot-11, 165-pound left-handed hitting outfielder, lean proportional frame. 6.73 runner in the 60. Squared stance, front foot heavy weight distribution, smooth loading action, stays on front side, good balance through contact. Path is level, gets extension, gap to gap type, fluid hitter. Contact consistently works the middle of the field, 87 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm action is short and loose, over the top slot, creates carry, 87 mph from the outfield. Feet are athletic, plays through the baseball with bounce, shuffle through release.

7. Khyle Radcliffe, OF, Morgan Park, 2019
6-foot-1, 177-pound outfielder, lean wiry frame, live loose actions. Plus arm from the outfield, long loose over the top slot, carries well with some accuracy, 92 mph. Actions play through the baseball, clean exchange, fluid footwork. 6.99 runner in the 60. Left-handed hitter, open stance, smooth loading action, short toe tap stride, solid balance. Path is level, short to the baseball, line drive gap to gap contact, bat speed present. 90 mph exit velocity from the tee.

8. Nick Iannantone, OF, Joliet Catholic, 2019
6-foot-2, 217-pound left-handed hitting outfielder, strong physically advanced build. Rare combination of speed and power. Plus-plus runner, 6.41 laser timed 60. Hits from the left-side, balanced stance, short lifted stride, good balance. Bat strength hitter, hands are strong and ball jumps off the bat, 92 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm action is over the top, 81 mph from the outfield. Deliberate actions working with two hands through the baseball.

9. Elias Flowers, OF, Yorkville, 2019
5-foot-7, 145-pound left-handed hitting outfielder, small athletic frame. Plus runner 6.68 laser timed 60 yard dash. Hits from a balanced stance, slightly closed,, short leg lift stride, excellent balance. Loose athletic hands generate bat speed, spray hitter, hard line drive type, control the barrel. 87 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm action is long, and over the top, occasional carry, 83 mph from the outfield. Centerfield profile, athletic, light feet play through the baseball.

10. Kyle Hetherington, OF, Crystal Lake South, 2019
5-foot-10, 175-pound left-handed hitting outfielder, strong wide shouldered build. Defensively arm action plays over the top, ball carries and accurate, 86 mph from the outfield. 6.96 runner in the 60, plays through the baseball in stride, crowhop release, natural actions, well above average defender. Left-handed hitter, open stance, toe tap stride, lower half works, average balance. Hands are loose, ball jumps off the bat at times producing hard contact. Bat speed present, 91 mph exit velocity from the tee.

10. Kendall Pettis, OF, Brother Rice, 2019
Oklahoma commit. 6-foot-1, 180-pound outfielder, strong athletic body type. Well above average runner, 6.83 laser timed 60. Defensively showed actions that play through the baseball, clean exchange. Arm action is short and over the top 83 mph from the outfield. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, short stride, lower half works. Simple approach, showed bat speed on short path. 85 mph exit velocity from the tee.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Logan Bibb, OF/LHP, Mascoutah, 2019
6-foot-2, 207-pound left-handed two-way player, strong build. Hits from the left side, balanced stance, smooth loading action, good balance. Above average bat strength and bat speed, pull power type hitter, hard contact. 90 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm action is long, over the top slot, showed carry, 84 mph. Plays through the baseball, 6.82 runner in the 60. On the mound arm action is long, over the top slot, with some effort. Fastball showed control of the zone, 85-86 mph, occasional heavy action. Curveball plays 69-73 mph. Slider played 754-78 mph. Straight changeup showed feel, 74-77 mph.

Justin Binz, OF, Mundelein, 2019
6-foot-4, 175-pound outfielder, long slender frame. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, short stride, solid balance. Path is long, uphill path, gap to gap contact. 85 mph exit velocity from the tee. 7.16 runner in the 60. Arm played at 77 mph from the outfield, over the top slot. Fluid actions long strides play through the baseball.

Garret Cook, OF, Plainfield North, 2019
5-foot-11, 175-pound left-handed hitting outfielder, lean athletic frame, projects. 6.85 runner in the 60, well above average. Hits from an open stance, short stride, linear lower half. Path has some length, front foot hitter at times. 89 mph exit velocity from the tee, line drive type contact. Defensively arm action is short and loose, high ¾ slot, 80 mph from the outfield. Feet work well through the baseball, quick and athletic, plays with bounce, light feet. Potential centerfield profile.

Bennett Eltoft, OF, St. Francis, 2019
6-foot-1, 185-pound outfielder, lean frame. Left-handed hitter, balanced stance,leg kick trigger, smooth loading action, good balance. Loose hands, spray type hitter, easy swing. 87 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm plays from a high ¾ slot, 74 mph from the outfield. Plays through the baseball, crowhop to release. 7.72 runner in the 60.

Sean Lynch, OF, Carmel Catholic, 2019
5-foot-10, 175-pound outfielder, strong physical build, advanced strength. Right-handed hitter, open stance, leg kick stride, solid balance. Path has length and level through the zone, occasional extension, bat strength and flat path. 94 mph exit velocity from the tee. 6.84 runner in the 60, laser timed. Defensively arm action is short, high ¾ slot, 80 mph from the outfield. Firm actions, strong body type, corner outfield projection.

Nicolas Palermo, OF, St. Ignatius, 2019
5-foot-11, 170-pound outfielder, average build. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, short stride, average balance. Upper body generates bat speed, path works level through the zone. 88 mph exit velocity form the tee. Defensively arm action is short, high ¾ slot, 81 mph from the outfield. 6.87 runner in the 60, plays through the baseball.

Tibe Rwakatare, OF, Lane Tech, 2019
5-foot-10, 155-pound outfielder, lean live body. Defensively feet work well, crowhops through the baseball. Arm action is short and over the top, 80 mph from the outfield. 7.19 runner in the 60. Right-handed hitter, open stance, leg kick trigger, long stride, dives to front foot. Loose hands, path works uphill, 74 mph exit velocity from the tee.

Ethan Schreier, OF, Neuqua Valley, 2019
6-foot-2, 175-pound outfielder, long lanky frame. Arm action is loose and works from a high ¾ slot, carries, some accuracy. 87 mph from the outfield. Plays through the baseball, actions attack the baseball, plays in stride, long stride, corner outfield profile. 7.65 runner in the 60. Right-handed hitter, open stance. Path has some length, flashed pop to pull side, gap to gap type hitter. 85 mph exit velocity from the tee.

MJ Stavola, OF, Aurora Christian, 2019
5-foot-9, 140-pound left-handed throwing outfielder, lean frame. Plus arm from the outfield for his age, carries and accurate to target, short over the top slot, 90 mph. Plays through the baseball, feet work crow hop release. 7.09 runner in the 60. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, smooth loading action with short stride that slightly dives. Path is short level through contact, aggressive swing flashes quick twitch. 84 mph exit velocity form the tee.

Riggs Wilkinson, OF, Morton, 2019
6-foot, 165-pound outfielder, slender build, left-handed thrower. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, long stride. Path is flat through contact, long and level, loose and aggressive swing. 89 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm action is long, high ¾ slot, 77 mph from the outfield. Uses two hands, clean exchange fields to side. 7.11 runner in the 60.

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