Final Event of the Winter: Infielder Analysis

By Mike Penn
Michigan Director of Scouting

The infielders at the Final Event of the year were solid.  Ryan Mergener (Portage Central HS) and Ryan Bartkowiak (Grand Blanc HS) were both 80+ across the diamond leading the in the arm strength category.  Matt Simmerman (Shelbyville HS, IN) and Collin McClelland (Brighton HS) led the offensive categories.

Top Prospects

1. Ryan Mergener, SS, Portage Central HS, 2014- Mergener continues to get better and is poised to have a big season for Portage Central.  The smaller Mergener (5-foot-9, 175-pounds) shows clean, fluid actions in the infield.  Arm plays well (82 MPH).  Actions and footwork were quick.  Plays fast and aggressive.  At the plate, Mergener was balanced and athletic.  Has a level bat path and a fluid rhythm.  Incorporates his lower half well.  Mergener raised his stock at ths event. At this point Mergener is definitely considered to be one of the state's best middle infielders in the Class of 2014.

2. Colin McClelland, SS/RHP, Brighton HS, 2015- McClelland shows good promise and upside.  Has solid footwork in the infield.  Attacks the baseball with good aggressiveness. Gets rid of the baseball quickly.  Arm works from a ¾ slot.  Throws were accurate. At the plate, gets bat head through nicely.  Likes to lift the ball. Tries to drive the ball to the gaps.  McClelland shows natural baseball instincts and should be one to watch moving forward. 

3. Matt Simmerman, 1B/C, Shelbyville HS (IN), 2015- Simmerman has an advanced tool set at the plate.  Has a good load and a wide stance.  Generates plenty of pop with fast hands. Gets the bat head through to extension and the ball jumps off his bat.  In the field, he showed a strong accurate arm. Footwork around the bag was solid.  Very capable first baseman.

4. Joe Vyskocil, 3B, Orchard Lake St. Mary's HS, 2015- Vyskocil once again showed improvement and raised his stock.  Moved his feet well.  Gathered himself and made strong accurate throws (78mph).  Projects well at 3B with big frame.  At the plate shows advanced skill set.  Ball jumps off of his bat.  Gap-to-gap power with more to come.

5. Ryan Bartkowiak, SS/RHP, Grand Blanc HS, 2015- This 6-foot, 172-pound sophomore attends Grand Blanc HS.  Bartkowiak’s best tool right now is his arm.  In the infield he was 82 MPH across the diamond.   He has long arm action from a ¾ slot.  Hands are soft.  At the plate, starts with high hands from a crouch-like position. Bat was fast. Shows level swing path that produces line drives.  Will reap the benefits of improving his lower half and incorporating it into his swing more. More pop in the bat will be seen down the road.

Best of the Rest

Jordan Adesi, 1B/RHP, Toledo Christian HS, 2015- Adesi is a long, lanky 6-foot-5, 178-pound sophomore from Toledo Christian HS.  Adesi has plenty of room to grow still and will surely fill out over time.  In the infield he shows soft hands and he is a large target at first base.  He has a longer arm action that produced 63 MPH throws across the infield.  The switch-hitting first baseman looked more comfortable from the right side on this day, although reports are that he tends to hit better from the left side.  He has a tall stance and a smooth load.  Demonstrates a line drive stroke.

Jamar Bray, 1B/3B, Southfield Lathrup HS, 2015- Bray is a big-bodied 6-foot, 223-pound sophomore.  He plays both 1B and 3B.  Shows soft hands at first.  Arm strength will improve over time.  At the plate, shows a good, disciplined approach.  Willing to use the whole field.  Starts in an open stance.  Generates some backspin.  Bray is young at this point and will make strides over the next few years.

Ben Finzel, 3B/RHP, Swan Valley HS, 2014- Finzel is a good athlete. He stands at 6-foot, 200-pounds.  He is a good athlete. In the infield he shows a long arm action.  Exchange is quick.  At the plate he is balanced with a crouched stance.  Drops hands a bit during his load. Shows level bat path with gap-to-gap potential.  As he uses his legs more, he should see more power.

Michael Hanford, INF/RHP, North Farmington HS, 2015- Hanford shows potential in both the infield and on the mound.  Has solid actions in the infield.  Arm works well with short, quick action.  Willing to throw from multiple arm angles.  Soft hands but occasionally lets ball get too deep.  At the plate, shows a balanced stance with good shoulder trigger.  Short, quick bat path.  

Jonathan Roehler, SS/RHP, Kennedy HS (CAN), 2013- Roehler is a 6-foot-2, 180-pound SS/RHP.  In the infield his arm played well (79 MPH).  Has long arm action and throws from a low ¾ slot.  Throws were accurate with some carry. Needs to work on his footwork to smooth things out.  At the plate, Roehler dives in a bit looking to go the other way. Roehler will hit for a high average and hit a lot of singles. Bat speed was measured at 78 MPH.  Bat path was level.

Jonathan Weatherspoon, MIF, Huron HS, 2014- Weatherspoon is an outstanding quick twitch athlete.  He runs well at 4.26 down the line.  His arm is quick yet a little longer for an infielder.  He projects more as a second baseman at this point.  Aggressive actions towards the baseball.  Needs to smooth out actions and widen base.  Gets a bit narrow at times fielding.  Arm strength was solid (76mph).  At the plate shows good balance.  Shorter stroke.  Line-drive approach.  Looks to put the ball in play and utilize his speed.  Needs to improve lower half and finish and should see better power production.  Still has room to grow. Only 5-foot-11, 160-pounds.

Brennan Williams, 1B, Walled Lake Northern HS, 2014-  Williams has a big frame at 6-foot-4, 205-pounds.  A good athlete.  Ran home to first in 4.32.  Shows promise from the left side of the plate.  Gap-to-gap type of power.  Likes to dive in to the plate.  Shorter strokes for long levers.  At first base, shows good footwork and soft hands.  Moved well around the bag.  Arm strength registered at 75 mph.  Throws were accurate and carried well.