Prospect Identification Showcase 8.7.13: Pitching Analysis

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Director - Illinois/Wisconsin

The pitching prospects at the Prospect Identification Showcase at Normal West brought two standout arms that have now burst onto the scene. Cole Bellair (2015) a RHP from Lockport HS showed big time arm strength from his 6-foot, 180-pound frame. His fastball reached 89 mph while sitting easily in the 85-88 mph range.

Connor Manous (Munster, IN, 2016) showed incredible three pitch feel for just an incoming sophomore. Not only did Manous show impressive arm strength for his age at 84-86 mph, but what was even more impressive was his advanced secondary pitches. Manous has a 12/6 curveball and a fading changeup both of which he threw very aggressively with confidence and conviction. Manous has one of the best three pitch repertoires that we've seen in the 2016 class.

Here’s a look at how the pitching prospects break down.

Top Pitching Prospects

1. Cole Bellair, RHP, Lockport, 2015
6-foot, 180-pound right handed pitcher, athletic frame with strength. Bellair proved that he has one of the stronger arms in Illinois’ Class of 2015. His delivery works on a tall and fall approach, stays in line with an athletic finish. Arm worked extremely quick, athletic arm action, clean and easy, high ¾ slot. Fastball touched 89 mph while working easily at 85-88 mph, featured late run and control of the zone. Curveball showed above-average action but was thrown with conviction, excellent arm speed, thrown at 73-76 mph, worked on 12/6 plane, plus potential. Showed a straight changeup at 74-77 mph, showed control with slightly decelerated arm speed. Bellair displayed feel of three pitches with a highly athletic arm action. High follow in the Class of 2015.

2. Connor Manous, RHP/MIF, Munster (IN), 2016
Athletic build, 5-foot-10, 150-pound two-way player. Manous looks to be one of the top two-way players in the Midwest, showing a high level of athleticism. Tall and fall delivery, smooth rhythm, stays on line with an athletic finish. Arm work quickly and freely, high ¾ arm slot. Showed advanced feel of three pitches. Fastball flashed late run to his arm side, showed command, 84-86 mph. Also flashed a two-seam fastball with well above average arm side run at 85 mph. Curveball showed advance action for his age, worked on 12/6 plane, sharp biting action, thrown aggressively at 73-75 mph with command. Changeup has advanced action, fastball arm speed, 69-73 mph with sink. Offensively hits from a tall setup, slight leg kick trigger, solid balance throughout. Showed advanced bat speed, 85 mph exit velocity from the tee, short bat path with occasional extension, line drive gap to gap approach. Defensively showed well above average defensive actions, played through the baseball with soft hands and a quick exchange. Arm played at 79 mph across the diamond, short arm action, over the top slot, showed accuracy with carry. Manous is clearly a high follow and looks to be one of the top two way players in the Class of 2016.

3. Trevor Brooks, CIF/RHP, Munster (IN), 2015
6-foot-3, 185-pound corner infielder with an above average body.  At the plate he has a tall setup with a short stride.  He displayed fast bat speed with an exit velocity of 88 mph off the tee, and made consistently hard contact, flashing power potential at times.  In the field he throws from a ¾ arm slot with solid accuracy, and threw 78 mph across the diamond.  He ran a 7.31 60.  On the mound he showed a fastball in the81-83 mph range with run.  He also displayed a curveball with an 11/5 tilt, loose bend, in the 65-67 mph range.

4. Jackson Bronke, MIF/RHP, Normal West, 2016
5-foot-7, 155-pound two-way player. On the mound delivery showed regular effort, quick arm speed, high ¾ arm slot. Fastball showed above average run with control, 80-82 mph. Curveball worked on 11/5 plane, 62-65 mph. Slider featured sweeping action at 66-67 mph.  At the plate hits from a wider stance, balanced setup, minimal load, short stride. Pull side approach, showed occasional bat speed, 80 mph exit velocity. Defensively showed a solid arm across the diamond (73 mph), over the top slot.

5. Phillip Swartz, RHP/OF, Champaign Central, 2016
6-foot-1 190-pound, strong, athletic pitcher with good frame and projectability.  Delivery showed some rhythm with a long arm that throws from a high ¾ arm slot.  Fastball was 78-79 mph and showed some arm side run.  Maintained fastball arm speed on the changeup, showing feel for the pitch with flashes of sink and fading action at 65-69 mph.  Had some feel for a curveball, throwing it with a gradual 11/5 action at 63-67 mph.  At the plate he has a wide setup with a short stride and maintained his balance through the swing.  Showed standard bat speed with a flat path that consistently produced line drives and an exit velocity of 84 mph off a tee.  From the outfield his throws flashed accuracy with a velocity of 74 mph.  He ran a 7.36 60.

6. Jack Butler, OF/LHP, Tri-Valley, 2016
6-foot, 175-pound left handed two way player. Showed a high-level well-rounded game. Defensively feet worked well in the outfield, 7.2 runner, crow hop’s through the baseball. Over the top arm slot, long arm action, 79 mph arm strength from the outfield. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, slightly closed, smooth load, leg kick trigger. Showed bat speed through the zone, 86 mph exit velocity. Level path, showed extension, pull side approach. Butler looks to be a high follow in the Class of 2016 with left handed hitting potential and athleticism throughout his game. On the mound he displayed a loose, quick arm action from a high ¾ slot. Fastball had run at 76-79 mph with some control. Curveball worked on 11/5 plane, 63-64 mph. Changeup was 65-68 mph, occasionally dropped arm slot.

7. Kyle Hall, RHP/SS, Glenwood, 2015
Average build, 5-foot-10, 160-pound two way player. On the mound, delivery showed some effort, able to pound the zone with a short arm action from an over the top slot. Fastball was mostly straight at 79-81 mph. Curveball flashed 12/6 shape, 63-67 mph. Changeup showed occasional sink at 73 mph with control. Also threw a cutter at 71-72 mph. Offensively hits from a wide stance, drops hands at load, long stride. Solid contact, flashed bat speed, 77 mph exit velocity. Uphill bat path with occasional pull side tendency.

8. Johnathan Hinch, RHP, Olympia, 2014
6-foot-1, 170-pound lanky, pitcher with three pitches he throws with a short, over-the-top arm action, using a tall and fall style delivery.  Showed some feel for his fastball, which sat 78-82 mph.  The curveball had a true 12/6 break at times, and was thrown between 65-67 mph.  Showed a changeup in the 68-69 mph range.

9. Noah Johnson, RHP, Normal West, 2014
6-foot-2, 165-pound lanky pitcher.  He throws from a ¾ arm slot with a long arm action.  Showed feel for the fastball at 79-80 mph.  His slider showed potential with a sweeping, two plane action at 69-72 mph with some feel.  Displayed a curveball with true 12/6 break and some depth at 62-68 mph.  He had feel for the changeup and threw it at 71-72 mph.

10. Bryce Pearce, MIF/RHP, Flora, 2015
5-foot-10, 155-pound, middle infielder and right-handed pitcher.  On the infield he showed a strong arm with accuracy at 80 mph, with solid carry from a high ¾ arm slot.  At the plate he has an open stance, with a strong, uphill swing that produced an exit velocity of 78 mph off the tee.  He ran a 7.25 60.  From the mound his fastball velocity was consistently 76-79 mph, flashing 80.  Showed feel for a changeup, sitting between 70-73 mph with fade and quality arm speed.  Curveball worked on an 11/5 plane, flashing some 12/6 action with depth at 67-70 mph.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Nathan Beal, 1B/RHP, Normal West, 2016
6-foot 150-pound two way player with projectable frame.  At first base he displayed soft hands and standard footwork.  He had loose arm actions and threw 72 mph from a high ¾ arm slot.  He ran a 7.7 60.  Offensively, he had an upright, balanced stance and a short stride.  Showed a line drive type swing with average to above average bat speed, and a solid approach that produced an exit velocity of 83 mph.  On the mound his fastball sat 70-73 mph with some arm side run.  Curveball had a true 12/6 action at 58-59 mph.  Had some feel for a changeup that sat 63-64 mph.

Nick Chapman, MIF/RHP, Bloomington, 2014
6-foot-3, 175-pound, lanky, two way player.  Offensively he has a tall, balanced setup with a leg-kick trigger.  Off the tee he produced a 79 mph exit velocity.  In the infield he throws from a high ¾ arm slot with some accuracy and carry at 77 mph.  From the mound he showcased a fastball flashing run and sink ranging between 74-76 mph.  His curveball velocity was 57-62 mph with a 10/4 tilt to it.  Flashed feel for his changeup, throwing it in the 65-68 mph range.  He ran a 7.35 60. 

Luke Ketchum, OF/RHP, Springfield, 2016
5-foot-9, 145-pound two way player. Offensively hits from a slightly closed stance, toe tap stride. Uphill path, slight lunge, 73 mph exit velocity from the tee. On the mound showed regular effort, short arm action, high ¾ arm slot. Fastball is mostly straight, 70-72 mph. Curveball has gradual action, 65-67 mph. Changeup showed sink, had control, 66-67 mph.

Luke Marcheschi, LHP, Bloomington Central Catholic, 2015
5-foot-7, 155-pound left handed pitcher. Tall and fall delivery, regular effort, high ¾ arm slot with moderate arm speed. Fastball sat 73-77 mph, mostly straight, showed control. Curveball worked on 11/5 plane, near fastball arm speed, 63-67 mph. Changeup has sinking action, near fastball arm action, 70-71 mph.

John Plattner, 1B/RHP, Sacred Heart Griffin, 2016
5-foot-10, 165-pound two way player. Defensively showed solid footwork around the bag, displayed good awareness around the bag. Ran the 60 in 7.95. Arm plays at 68 mph across the diamond, short arm action, showed excellent accuracy. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, short stride. Made solid contact, swing showed effort, 70 mph exit velocity from the tee. On the mound worked from a high ¾ arm slot. Fastball registered at 67-70 mph. Curveball sat 61-63 and changeup at 66-67 mph.

Carter Price, OF/LHP, Mattoon, 2014
5-foot-8, 125-pound two way player. Defensively showed a quick arm action from the outfield, over the top slot (80 mph). Plays through the ball well with a crow hop release. Hits from the left side, taller stance slightly open setup, short stride. Good balance throughout. Showed bat control with a simple approach, short bat path, line drive gap to gap hitter. On the mound, fastball sat 72-75 mph. Showed an 11/5 curveball, 63-66 mph. Also featured changeup as 70-72 mph.

Nick Quick, C/RHP, Ottawa Township, 2015
5-foot-11 210-pound two way, strong bodied player.  As a hitter he has a closed set up with a short stride and a strong swing.  Had good barrel whip and quick bat speed that registered an 83 mph exit velocity off the tee.  Behind the dish he threw 74 mph from a ¾ arm slot with pop times ranging 2.26-2.33.  On the mound he throws from a high ¾ arm slot with solid balance and a tall and fall delivery.  Showed feel for the fastball that sat 74-76 mph, touching 77 mph.  Changeup showed sink at 66-67 mph.  Curveball had an 11/5 action at 64-69 mph.

Cody Tournear, SS/RHP, Champaign Central, 2015
6-foot, 160-pound two way player. Defensively used a ¾ arm action across the diamond at 72 mph. Ran the 60 in 8.13. Offensively hits from a balanced setup, toe tap stride. Bat path works uphill, 71 mph exit velocity from the tee. On the mound arm played from a high ¾ arm slot. Fastball showed run with occasional sink 68-71 mph. Curveball worked on an 11/5 plane flashed occasional 12/6 action, 61-62 mph, gradual action. Also showed a knuckle curve at 61-65 mph, lacked action.

Skylar Wright, RHP, Normal West, 2016
6-foot, 215-pound pitcher.  On the mound he has a short arm action, and a regular effort delivery.  His fastball showed potential, ranging from 72-76 mph flashing sink, and the ability to throw it in the zone.  His curveball had an 11/5 tilt to it with sharp break, at 63-65 mph.  The changeup was 63-66 mph.

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