Prep Baseball Report

Top Prospect - St. Louis: Quick Hits

By Drew Locascio & Shon Plack
Illinois & Missouri Scouting Directors

The third annual Top Prospect Games - St. Louis, took place Tuesday, June 4th. The invite-only event brought together some of the top uncommitted 2020s from Missouri and Illinois to SIU-Edwardsville. The event consisted of a showcase in the morning and games in the afternoon with 30+ colleges in attendance.

A number of the players in attendance helped elevate their stock heading into the summer months. Today we take a quick look at some notable performances from the event.



+ A few Illinois arms made strong impressions on the day but arguably the biggest winner of the event was RHP Keaton Hopwood (Wilmington). Hopwood, has an athletic, 6-foot-2, 180-pound frame, compact, quick arm action and live fastball. His fastball sat 87-90 mph, touching 91 mph with late finish through the zone. He also flashed a late-biting curveball at 73-77 mph. He looks to be one of the top uncommitted 2020 arms in the state.

Keaton Hopwood

+ A couple physical right-handed arms who warrant a follow moving forward are Sergio Marchizza (Glenwood) and Blake Donnan (Taylorville). Marchizza, listed at 6-foot-3, 220-pounds, has a clean arm and ran his fastball up to 86 mph. Donnan, a 6-foot-5, 215-pound, physically advanced, right-hander also ran his fastball up to 86 mph and flashed feel for a three-pitch mix.

+ Some of the standouts on the infield included Joshua Kirnbauer (Andrew), Max Jones (Pekin) and Matt Schuler (Lyons Township). Kirnbauer, a right-handed hitter, who profiles at a CIF or COF spot, has a 6-foot, 180-pound, strong, well-proportioned build. Kirnbauer, hits from a strong base with minimal wasted movement and strong, quick hands. Jones, a 6-foot, 190-pound, right-handed hitter, has the ability to stick on the infield and swung the bat with aggression working both gaps. Jones also ran his fastball up to 84 mph with feel for a curveball.

+ Schuler, mentioned above, had one of the best all-around days. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound, left-handed hitter is fundamentally sound on the infield with easy arm strength (86 mph). At the plate he has a quiet swing with quick twitchy hands and made a lot of hard contact. He should garner plenty of attention moving forward this summer.

+ Chase Mason (Washington) and Drew Stengren (Cary-Grove) were two of the better backstops from Illinois. Mason creates bat speed at the plate with the ability to backspin the baseball to the pull side. Mason was clean out of the crouch and showed a strong, true arm, with a low pop time of 2.00. Stengren, who spent all spring catching first round draft pick Quinn Priester, continued to impress on Tuesday. Stengren, 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, is quick and clean out of the crouch and was consistently putting his throws on the bag at second base. At the plate, he has an easy right-handed swing, controls the barrel and sprays it to all fields.


+ One of the top prospects on the day looked to be Chuck Ingram (Rockhurst). Ingram a physical 6-foot, 195-pound, right-handed hitting catcher showed big tools in the showcase portion of the event. Ingram was 82 mph from the crouch, registered a 99 mph exit velocity and ran a 4.29 home-to-first. He backed it up during game play, making hard contact at the plate, including a double off the centerfield wall.

+ Bryce Maher (St. Francis Borgia) is a smooth infield defender with easy actions. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound, high-waisted middle infielder also went 1-for-3 during game play with a hard single to left field.

+ When looking at first baseman with power potential, Matthew Schark (Francis Howell) and Caleb Mabe (Union) fit the profile. Both have extra-large frames and flashed pull-power in BP. Schark is a 6-foot-4, 220-pound, right-handed hitter with loose, strong hands and registered a 94 mph exit velocity from a tee. Mabe is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound, barrel-chested, right-handed hitter who left the yard a couple of times in BP.

+ Physical left handed hitter, Brennan Orf, stands 6-foot-4 215-pounds.  His aggressive swing produced pull gap power and and an exit velocity of 94 mph during hitting evals.   On the mound, Orf touched 87 mph and sat 83-85 mph.  

+ Eric Loomis (CBC) showed well in the outfield and on the mound.  Loomis threw an impressive 90 mph from the outfield and was up to 88 mph on the mound, sitting 85-87 mph with his fastball.  He showed command of an 11-to-5 shaped breaking ball at 69-74 mph.  

+ Zach Dillman (Lee’s Summit West) is a physical 6-foot-1 190-pound catcher and right-handed pitcher.  At the plate, Dillman took and aggressive swing displaying occasional pull side power and a 98 mph exit velocity.  His arm strength was impressive behind the plate where his positional velocity was 81 mph and tossed a best pop time of 1.95.  His arm strength carried over to the mound where to the mound where his fastball topped at 87 mph. To top it off, Dillman ran a 4.26 home to first.

+ Chayton Beck (Liberty) put on a display of his catch and throw abilities during defensive evaluations, posting pop times between 1.93 and 2.03 seconds.  Not only did his pop times impress, but his glove-to-hand exchange produced a 78 mph positional velocity from behind the plate,  

+ Blake Leadford (CBC) has an easy delivery and loose arm action.  He has a build with add to velocity and already good command of three pitches.  The lefty sat 81-84 mph with his fastball and broke off a 2-to-8 breaking ball with late action at 70-71 mph,  He maintained arm speed with his change up at 67-68 mph.  

+ Ryan Palumbo (Rockwood Summit) was up to 88 mph with his fastball and challenged hitters at 85-88 mph consistently.  He spun a tight 12-to-6 breaking ball at 70-73 mph and threw his change up at 77-83 mph.