Underclass Invitational: Corner Infield Analysis

By Sean McCann and Shon Plack
Prep Baseball Report

The Prep Baseball Report Underclass Invitational took place on January 19, 2015 at 68’s Inside Sports Indoor Training Facility in Overland Park, Kansas. The event featured several of the top class of 2017 and 2018 prospects from Kansas and Missouri. 

Over the next several days the PBR scouting staff will roll out position-by-position analysis articles with scouting reports on each player. Two-way players will have their reports in one position articles and the pitching analysis as well.

Today we take a look at the corner infielders that participated in the event. Two Kansas class of 2017 prospects stood out above the rest in tall, projectable left-hand hitters Derek Ripp and Henry Miller. During batting practice Ripp swung the bat with leverage, made consistent hard contact and showed athleticism at both infield spots. Miller impressed with a very aggressive left-handed swing, repeatedly squaring up the baseball and is also a solid defender at first base.

Click here to view the article on the top statistical performers from the event.

Top Corner Infield Prospects 

1. Derek Ripp, RHP/IF, St. James Academy HS, KS (2017)
Ripp is a class of 2017 right-handed pitcher and left-hand hitting corner infielder. Lean, athletic 6-foot-5, 190-pound frame, attends St. James Academy in Lenexa, KS. Athletic set-up at the plate, open stance, mini leg-kick, strides inline, hands work, generates leverage, bat speed, finishes with extension. Made consistent hard contact in the gaps. Exit velocity 87 mph, ran a 4.38 home to first. At third base showed athletic actions and footwork. Sure handed. Easy, high three-quarters arm action, throws had carry, 79 mph throwing velocity, all accurate throws. At first base moved well, fielded ball cleanly. Short, high three-quarters arm action, all accurate throws. During bullpen work showed an under control and simple delivery. Turns at balance, hides ball, throws from a tall balance point, arm works, high three-quarters slot, athletic finish. Repeats well. Fastball with arm side run, at times late, consistent velocity, all clocked in 82-83 mph range. Feel for breaking ball with 12/6 shape, 64-65 mph. Command of a 73-76 mph change-up, running action similar to fastball. Impressive, projectable class of 2017 two-way prospect.

2. Henry Miller, RHP/1B, Shawnee Mission East HS, KS (2017)
Miller is a physical 6-foot-4, 190-pound left-hand hitting first baseman and right-handed pitcher in the Kansas class of 2017. Attends Shawnee Mission East HS in Prairie Village, KS. During batting practice showed a balanced set-up, leg kick, minimal hand load, aggressive swing, bat speed, extension through the baseball. Line drive, middle of the field approach. Squared the ball up repeatedly. Recorded an 88 mph exit velocity – top mark in camp. Ran a 4.56 home-to-first. At first base fielded the ball cleanly. Short, high three-quarters arm action, accurate throws. On the mound showed a deliberate pace, throws from a tall balance point, high three-quarters arm action, finishes square. Body control throughout. Fastball with arm-side run, occasional sink down in zone, some late life, all fastballs in the 79-81 mph range. Throws a 12/6 breaking ball, gradual action, also shortened one up in the strike zone, 65-69 mph. Change-up 69-70 mph. Physical class of 2017 two-way prospect that projects.

3. Daniel Hegarty, LHP/1B, Blue Valley HS, KS (2017)
Hegarty is a left-handed pitcher and first baseman that attends Blue Valley HS in Overland Park, KS. 6-foot, 175-pound frame, bats left.  Class of 2017. Tall set-up at the plate, leg kick, some length in load, loose hands, generates leverage, bat speed, finishes with extension. Swing with rhythm and flow, has some juice. Exit velocity 88 mph – top mark in camp. Ran a 4.50 home-to-first base. At first base showed athletic footwork, clean exchanges, loose three-quarters arm action, some accuracy. On the mound under control early, throws from tall balance point, picks up tempo during delivery, high three quarters slot. Fastball consistently 79-81 mph, high percentage of strikes. Command of breaking ball with 1/7 shape, tight spin, good pitch. Change-up 71-74 mph.

Best of the Rest (listed alphabetically) 

Chandler Jones, LHP/1B, Kickapoo HS, KS (2017)
Jones is left-handed pitcher and left-hand hitting first baseman that attends Kickapoo HS in Southwest Missouri. Class of 2017, 5-foot-11, 185-pound frame.  At the plate showed a closed set-up, strides closed, smooth hand load, hands work. Simple compact swing, maintains balance, works gap-to-gap. Exit velocity 85 mph, ran a 4.62 home-to-first. At first base showed soft hands, clean exchanges, short high three-quarters arm action, very accurate throws. During bullpen work showed an under control and balanced delivery. Tucks at balance, maintains level shoulders, strides across body, high three-quarters arm action, athletic finish. Fastball with early arm side run and cut, 73-74 mph. Breaking ball with 1/7 shape, sharp break, 65-68 mph. Change-up 67-68.

Lucas Killman, RHP/3B, Blue Valley HS, KS (2017)
Killman is a 6-foot, 150-pound right-handed pitcher and third baseman. Class of 2017, attends Blue Valley HS in Stillwell, KS. Open set-up at the plate, strides in place, short middle-oppo swing path, upper half dominant, line drive approach. Exit velocity 74, 4.68 home-to-first. During defensive drills in the infield fielded the ball cleanly, high three-quarters arm action, 70 mph throwing velocity. On the mound simple and under control early, picks up tempo at balance, long high three-quarters arm action, athletic finish. Fastball has early arm side run, 70-71 mph. Breaking ball with 12/6 shape, gradual action, 60-62 mph. Change-up 63-66 mph.

Dillon Plotner, RHP/1B, Blue Valley West HS (2017)
Plotner is a right-handed pitcher and first baseman. Physical 5-foot-11, 190-pound frame. Class of 2017, attends Blue Valley West HS in Stillwell, Kansas. During batting practice showed an open set-up, slight crouch, bat path with lift, some bat speed, upper half dominant, strong hands, compact finish, maintains balance. Recorded an 86 mph exit velocity, ran a 4.75 home-to-first. During defensive drills at first base showed athletic footwork, fielded ball cleanly, short high three-quarters arm action, all accurate throws. On the mound showed a simple and balanced delivery. Turns at balance, strides slighty across, three quarters arm action, athletic finish, repeats. Fastball with controllable arm-side run, strikes, 77-78 mph, 79 tops. Breaking ball with 11/5 shape, gradual action, 60-64 mph. Command of 66-67 mph change-up with arm-side run. Physical class of 2017 prospect with strength.

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