Underclass Invitational: Quick Hits



By Illinois Scouting Staff

The Underclass Invitational is in the books, and the history of this event unveiling some of the top prospects in the state appears to have repeated itself again. From athletes to arms, we saw close to 100 2019 and 2020 prospects from across the state, looking to prove they are the best of the best. Here’s a quick look at some highlights we walked away with.

  • A trio of sophomore arms separated themselves from the pack, flashing premium velocity for their age. RHP Grant Leader (Lyons Township HS) led the way sitting 89-90 mph, while RHP Nathan Rintz (Schaumburg HS, Arkansas) and Bryce Barnett (Providence Catholic HS) were just behind topping at 89 mph and 87 mph respectively.
  • All in the Family: As we get deeper into some of the top underclassmen in state, you may start to recognize some familiar last names. Some of the top performers at this year’s event are looking to follow in their brothers’ footsteps. Here’s a few names to keep an eye on:
        RHP Will Tenuta (Sandburg, 2020) - younger brother of RHP Evan Tenuta (Sandburg, 2018) committed to Notre Dame.
        RHP Ryan Leland (Sandburg, 2019) - younger brother of RHP Sean Leland (Sandburg, 2014) currently at Illinois.
        RHP Joel Sarver (Champaign Centennial, 2020) - younger brother of C Kellen Sarver (Champaign Centennial, 2017) committed to Illinois.
        C Andrew McKenna (Nazareth, 2019) - younger brother to C Will McKenna (Nazareth 2016) currently at New York University.
        C Shane McGaha (Stevenson, 2020) - younger brother of Robby McGaha (Stevenson, 2016) currently at Olney Central JC.
        RHP Nick Gilhaus (Normal Community, 2019) - younger brother of Jake Gilhaus (Normal Community, 2016) currently at Kalamazoo College.
  • Two of the best BP rounds of the day came from two 2019 outfielders from Marist. Right-handed hitting OF Kendal Ewell has explosive bat speed and the ball jumped off his bat. Switch-hitting OF Brian Adams looked equally as impressive from both sides of the plate. Adams has an aggressive, loose swing, flat path and made consistent hard contact from both sides.
  • Two Metro East 2019’s to follow are catcher Dalton Wallace (Edwardsville, 2019) and infielder Josh Gibson (O’Fallon). Wallace has a strong, accurate arm, clocked at 78 mph from the crouch. Gibson has a compact swing with present bat speed and athletic actions on the infield.
  • OF/INF Benji Brokemond (Walter Payton, 2019) matched Michael Bolton with the top 60 of the event; 6.64 laser-timed. At the plate Brokemond has a simple swing and easy bat speed.
  • OF MJ Stavola (Aurora Christian, 2019) stood out with his athletic defensive actions and advanced arm strength. The left-handed throwing Stavola had the top outfield velocity of the event; 89 mph.
  • Two 2020 arms to keep an eye on moving forward are right-handed pitchers Connor Gill (Oswego East) and Danny Doheny (Lyons Township). Gill has an athletic, live arm that sat 82-84 mph. Doheny has a clean, easy delivery, loose arm and was up to 82 mph.

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