Preseason All-State Upperclass: Outfield Analysis


By: Illinois Scouting Staff

On Feb. 26, the PBR Illinois staff hosted the Preseason All-State: Upperclass showcase at The MAX in McCook, Ill., featuring many of the state’s top players inside the state's Class of 2023. This event helped our staff gain a clearer picture of the top juniors in Illinois, many of whom can be considered the top uncommitted '23s in the state. 

In the week that followed this event, we produced post-event analysis that includes performance highlights inside of our Quick Hits story, a look at the traditional stats measured within our Statistical Analysis piece, batted-ball and pitch data compiled in TrackMan Files, swing metrics captured on the Blast Motion Board, and sight scores from an athletic perspective tracked on the Vizual Edge Scoreboard.

You can learn more about the state-of-the-art technologies featured at our showcases within the hyperlinks above. We began rolling out the scouting reports from this event last week with the catchers, and now we’re moving on to the outfield group, which you can find below.

TOP OUTFIELD PROSPECTS

1. Luke Stulga, St. Laurence (IL), 2023; Illinois State commit
Positional Profile: OF
Body: 6-3, 180-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup. Quiet in the box. Efficient movements in the box. Quick hands, present bat speed and repeated hard contact into the pull-side gap.
Power: 96.8 max exit velocity, averaged 90.8 mph. 371’ max distance.
Arm: RH. OF - 87 mph. Long, loose arm action. High 3/4 slot with life out of the hand. Plays with carry through the target.
Defense: Aggressive. Athletic feel and actions. Plays loose, confident hands, good routes.
Run: 6.54 runner in the 60. 

2. Mikey Murphy, Minooka (IL), 2023; Central Michigan commit
Positional Profile: OF
Body: 5-10, 180-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, fluid load into a short stride.  Easy swing. Uphill path to the baseball. Ball jumped off the barrel at times. Used the whole field. Remained balanced through contact.
Power: 102.5 max exit velocity, averaged 91 mph. 391’ max distance.
Arm: RH. OF - 84 mph. Short arm swing out of the glove, loose arm with a high 3/4 slot. Some life out of the hand with carry.
Defense: Athletic actions, quick exchange, soft hands, direct routes.
Run: 6.31 runner in the 60. 

3. Kaden Griffitts, Williamsville (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF
Body: 5-10, 175-pounds.
Hit: LHH. Wide, balanced setup. Fluid load into a long stride.  Coils upper half slightly before footstrike, moves into a loose, uphill path through the zone. Intent to do damage with consistent hard contact.
Power: 93.8 max exit velocity, averaged 75.7 mph. 357’ max distance.
Arm: LH. OF - 85 mph. Short arm out of the glove into a high 3/4 slot. Plays with some carry.
Defense: Loose, athletic actions. Quick footwork, clean exchange, good routes.
Run: 6.91 runner in the 60. 

4. Lucas Smith, Nazareth (IL), 2023; Illinois-Chicago commit
Positional Profile: OF
Body: 5-11, 190-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Wide, balanced setup. Leg lifts into a long stride. Aggressive swing through the zone. Quick, level path. Uphill at times. Remains balanced throughout. Ball jumps off the barrel at times.
Power: 95.6 max exit velocity, averaged 87.6 mph. 313’ max distance.
Arm: RH. OF - 87 mph. Short arm swing into a loose high 3/4 slot. Ball has some life out of the hand with backspin.
Defense: Athletic actions, aggressive, quick feet, soft hands.
Run: 6.86 runner in the 60.

5. Trey Swiderski, Joliet Catholic (IL), 2023; Louisville commit
Positional Profile: OF
Body: 6-3, 210-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Wide, balanced setup. Minimal load into a short stride. Aggressive, uphill swing through the zone. Intent to lift the baseball. Power to the pull-side and up the middle of the field.
Power: 100.4 max exit velocity, averaged 92.7 mph. 363’ max distance.
Arm: RH. OF - 93 mph. Clean arm swing into a high 3/4 slot. Life out of the hand with backspin and carry.
Defense: Quick feet, clean exchange, fluid footwork, plays through the baseball.
Run: 6.75 runner in the 60.  

6. Gianni Royer, Lake Forest (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF
Body: 5-10, 165-pounds. Athletic build. Lean.
Hit: RHH. Relaxed, quiet in the box, short stride. Easy swing, lets the ball travel, long path, flashed quickness in the hands, stays up the middle of the field.
Power: 96.3 max exit velocity, averaged 88.9 mph. 356’ max distance.
Arm: RH. OF - 90 mph. Clean arm circle, quick to release from a 3/4 slot. Throws play with life out of the hand and carry through the target.
Defense: Quick, balanced footwork. Athletic feel, attack the baseball, quick exchange, plays with confidence.
Run: 6.56 runner in the 60. 

7. Bryce Nevils, Brother Rice (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF/C
Body: 6-1, 188-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Upright stance. Loose and relaxed. Long leg-kick trigger. Strong hands, flat through the zone, creates backspin. Flashed easy pull-side power.
Power: 97.8 max exit velocity, averaged 90.8 mph. 354’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 73 mph. OF - 87 mph. Short, clean arm circle, over-the-top slot, quick arm with carry through the target, accurate.
Defense: OF: Athletic footwork, athletic body, confident hands, loose, athletic actions/ C: Clean exchange, quick feet, athletic actions.
Run: 6.98 runner in the 60. 

8. Krew Bond, Mendota (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF
Body: 5-10, 180-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, minimal load, short stride. Compact swing, stays short and through the hitting zone. Present bat strength, creates leverage to the pull-side with the ability to use the whole field.
Power: 93.5 max exit velocity, averaged 81.4 mph. 319’ max distance.
Arm: RH. OF - 90 mph. Long draw out of the glove, high 3/4 slot. Ball jumps out of the hand with life and carry.
Defense: Balanced footwork, plays with rhythm, clean exchange.
Run: 6.75 runner in the 60. 

9. Tommy Townsend, Sycamore (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF/1B
Body: 6-4, 195-pounds.
Hit: LHH. Slightly open setup, long stride.  Bat strength, uphill path, maintains balance throughout contact.
Power: 92.4 max exit velocity, averaged 88.4 mph. 352’ max distance.
Arm: LH. OF - 84 mph. Short draw out of the glove. Loose arm action, 3/4 slot. Quick to release. Some life out of the hand with carry.
Defense: Plays loose. Confident routes and movements, balanced footwork.
Run: 7.09 runner in the 60. 

10. Josh Polubinski, Oswego East (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: 3B/OF
Body: 6-3, 195-pounds. Lean, strong build.
Hit: RHH. Wide base, balanced setup, quiet load and short stride. Loose and quick hands. Level path through the zone, slightly uphill at times. Consistent hard contact.
Power: 101.1 max exit velocity, averaged 90.4 mph. 274’ max distance.
Arm: RH. OF - 88 mph. Short arm circle into a high 3/4 slot. Some carry through the target.
Defense: Athletic actions, balanced footwork, aggressive routes, clean exchange.
Run: 7.13 runner in the 60. 

10. Clay Schrader, Naperville Central (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF
Body: 6-0, 180-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Wide setup, minimal load and stride. Loose, quick hands. Level path, line-drive hitter. Used the middle of the field.
Power: 92.7 max exit velocity, averaged 85 mph. 330’ max distance.
Arm: RH. OF - 89 mph. Loose, clean arm action. Over-the-top slot. Backspin out of the hand with carry.
Defense: Athletic, aggressive footwork. Good routes, quick exchange, plays with confidence.
Run: 6.55 runner in the 60. 

BEST OF THE REST (LISTED ALPHABETICALLY)

Jacob Blunck, Maroa-Forsyth (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF
Body: 5-9, 155-pounds. Compact frame. Strength throughout.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, smooth load and leg-kick trigger. Swings with intent, hard on the barrel at times, lifts the baseball into the pull-side gap.
Power: 90 max exit velocity, averaged 81.6 mph. 331’ max distance.
Arm: RH. OF - 82 mph. Short out of the glove, quick arm to release from a high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Aggressive, quick feet, athletic actions, quick exchange.
Run: 7.03 runner in the 60. 

Owen Duffy, Marist (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF
Body: 6-0, 180-pounds. Proportional frame
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, quiet pre-pitch actions. Long path, stays within himself, worked on the barrel throughout round, used the middle of the field. Flashed opposite field power.
Power: 96.2 max exit velocity, averaged 90.6 mph. 351’ max distance.
Arm: RH. OF - 86 mph. Loose arm action, over-the-top slot. Plays with some carry.
Defense: Clean footwork, plays with rhythm.
Run: 7.13 runner in the 60. 

Evan Foster, Maroa-Forsyth (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: LHP/OF
Body: 5-11, 160-pounds.
Hit: LHH. Balanced setup, front foot bowed inwards, leg-kicks into a short stride. Simple, repeatable swing. Level path through the zone, line-drive approach, maintains balance through contact.
Power: 90.1 max exit velocity, averaged 80 mph. 298’ max distance.
Arm: LH. OF - 82 mph. Short draw out of the glove. Loose arm action, 3/4 slot. Throws play with accuracy.
Defense: Clean footwork, quick exchange, soft hands.
Run: 7.06 runner in the 60. 

Brady Marques, Maine South (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF/RHP
Body: 6-0, 190-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Tall, balanced setup, short stride. Strong hands, uphill path, looks to lift. Used the middle of the field.
Power: 89.7 max exit velocity, averaged 84.2 mph. 336’ max distance.
Arm: RH. OF - 87 mph. Long draw out of the glove. Loose, clean arm action. High 3/4 slot. Plays with carry through the target.
Defense: Athletic actions, clean exchange.
Run: 7.25 runner in the 60. 

Mike Polubinski, Oswego East (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF/2B
Body: 6-3, 185-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Confident look, balanced setup, toe-tap stride. Swings with intent, repeatable, present bat speed, flashed power to all fields.
Power: 91.8 max exit velocity, averaged 82.4 mph. 323’ max distance.
Arm: RH. OF - 83 mph. Short arm circle before moving into a high 3/4 slot. Carry through the target.
Defense: Athletic footwork, clean exchange.
Run: 6.88 runner in the 60. 

Zach Polubinski, Oswego East (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: 1B/OF
Body: 6-2, 190-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, slight knee-knock into a long stride. Creates hand separation at footstrike, level path through the zone with balance through contact.
Power: 93.5 max exit velocity, averaged 86.4 mph. 307’ max distance.
Arm: RH. OF - 79 mph. Short arm action, 3/4 slot. Accurate throws.
Defense: Quick exchange, efficient routes.
Run: 7.11 runner in the 60. 

Jake VanBooven, St. Viator (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF/LHP
Body: 5-10, 175-pounds. Compact. Strength throughout.
Hit: LHH. Athletic setup, narrow stance, moves into a long stride. Compact swing, level path through the zone, line-drive hitter, pull-side approach.
Power: 90.9 max exit velocity, averaged 82.6 mph. 298’ max distance.
Arm: LH. OF - 82 mph. Loose, fluid arm action. Clean out of the glove. Works from a high 3/4 slot, some life out of the hand.
Defense: Balanced footwork, athletic movements, quick exchange.
Run: 6.79 runner in the 60. 

Luke Wallace, Lemont (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: OF
Body: 6-1, 180-pounds. Athletic, live-bodied frame.
Hit: RHH. Wide, slightly open setup. Long, knee-knock stride. Loose, whippy hands. Works with a level path to the baseball. Line-drive hitter. Center/right-center field approach.
Power: 89.9 max exit velocity, averaged 84.9 mph. 260’ max distance.
Arm: RH. OF - 83 mph. Short arm circle out of the glove. Loose arm action, works from a 3/4 slot.
Defense: Plays with rhythm, soft hands, clean exchange.
Run: 6.50 runner in the 60. 

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