MN Underclass Showcase: Pitching Analysis


By Rob Allison
Minnesota State Director 

Prep Baseball Report Minnesota held the MN Underclass Showcase in Blaine, MN  at the National Sports Center on October 18th, 2014.  The event was for 2016-2018 graduates with Minnesota players representing all areas of the state. In our coverage we have broken down the prospects by their respective position.

Interested in attending a PBR Minnesota event? Check out our schedule by clicking here.

For now, please take a look at the statistical results from the event by clicking here.


1. Connor Stroh, RHP, Lakeville South, 2016
6-foot-2, 150-pound right-handed pitcher. Projectable pitchers body with longer legs and wide shoulders. Room to mature physically. Arm is clean. Loose arm action- ball jumps on hitter. ¾ arm slot. Good rhythm and sequence with hands and lower half. Travels across rubber in wind-up causing delivery to be across body and closed. Limits some hip explosion and extension to plate. Fastball shows late sink to both sides of plate at 81-82 mph. Throws breaking ball with 10/4 shape and power action. Pitch has hard late break in zone. Quality feel for changeup with late arm-side fade. Ability to show in zone and take away from hitter. At times will be on side of breaking balls causing flat spin. Overall very projectable right-handed pitcher. Shows ability to throw strikes. Arm is loose and fastball has life. High Follow for 2016 class.

2. Jacob Raether, LHP, Minnetonka, 2016
6-foot-3, 170-pound left-handed pitcher. Tall athletic body. Long legs. Projects well and will be able to continue to add positive weight and strength. Shows good rhythm on mound. Upper and lower half sequence well in delivery. Slightly crouched posture at balance point. Has good direction to plate. Arm works well from high ¾ slot. Arm action starts long and begins to shorten upon release. Ball comes out of hand clean and easy. Fastball is downhill for strikes at 77-79 mph. Breaking ball has 1/7 shape with tight rotation and late cutting action. Shows some effort with changeup and arm tends to slow. Pitch has good ASR and is thrown for strikes. Overall has arm speed, delivery is loose and easy, and projects to develop physically. Quality High Follow for 2016 class.

3. Brady Mehl, RHP, Wayzata, 2016
6-foot-7, 185-pound right-handed pitcher. Tall projectable body with present weight and strength in lower half. Will continue to add positive weight and be very physical on mound. Shows good coordination and body control for player his age and size. Good balance point and direction to plate. Extended separation and release of pitches from over-the-top slot. Lands on stiff front leg effecting weight transfer and power causing catapult action to plate. Fastball is downhill with slight sinking action for strikes. Curveball has gradual break with 12/6 spin. Shows ok feel for changeup. Thrown near fastball arm speed with fade for strikes. Overall needs some mechanical adjustments but has present ability, a feel for pitching, and projects well physically.

4. William Riach, RHP, Lakeville North, 2016
6-foot-2, 160-pound right-handed pitcher. Long lanky projectable body. Room to grow and continue to fill out. Works from far right-hand side of rubber. Creates different angle on hitter. Minimal effort in pitches. Comes out of hand easy. Shows ability to throw 3 pitches for strikes down in zone. Strides open; tends to miss arm side at times. Fastball shows occasional boring 2-seam life at 78-80 mph. Curveball and slider are similar in velocity and action. Thrown with 12/6 shape, has tight rotation, and sharp break at the end. Has above average feel for changeup. Looks very comfortable throwing for quality strikes. Near fastball arm speed with slight ASR. Has ability to pitch right now; minor mechanical adjustments and physical development should translate into velocity gains. Good Follow Prospect into spring and summer.

5. Drake Durham, LHP, New Richmond(WI), 2016
6-foot-3, 200-pound left-handed pitcher. Projectable body with present strength and durability. Ultra high up to down delivery. Tends to swing front half open leaving pitches to arm side of plate. Ball jumps out of hand with downhill plane. Fastball shows good life at 80-83 mph. Curveball has 12/6 shape with late break in zone. Changeup is firm and is able to repeat in zone. Cutter is inconsistent around plate.  High energy on mound with average effort. Arm works well. Will have chance to continue to throw harder. Good follow in deep 2016 Wisconsin pitching class.

6. Wesley Sarsland, LHP, Belle Plaine, 2016
5-foot-11, 145-pound left-handed pitcher. Tall lanky body. Shows athleticism in body with flashes of quick twitch ability. Tall up to down balance point. Good direction to plate. Ball jumps out of hand with easy delivery and minimal effort. Hides baseball and creates some deception with front side. Fastball is downhill and pounds bottom of zone for strikes. Curveball is flat at times in upper half of zone. Slider shows 1/7 shape with late break and tight rotation. Changeup has slight fade for strikes. Overall has pitchability and loose athletic frame. Interesting follow with physical progression.

7. Austin Ver Steeg, RHP/3B, Minnewaska, 2016
6-foot-1, 175-pound 2-way player. Lean athletic frame. 6.91 60 time. Right-handed hitter who above average bat speed for his age. Medium length base. Loads into load slot. Uses leg kick trigger to swing. Minimal weight shift through swing with pull approach. Short to contact. Solid consistent contact. 83 mph exit velocity. Average actions in field. Fields up to down. Makes routine plays. Has arm speed from over-the-top slot. Accurate throws at 79 mph. On the mound throws with average effort. Crouched posture in balance point. Lands hard across body in delivery. Arm works well from over-the-top slot. Fastball is thrown for strikes with life- late cutting action for strikes at 79-82 mph. Curveball has late sharp break in the zone. Has good arm action on changeup with inconsistent release point. Overall is a good athlete with quick twitch actions who has chance to develop with increased reps and mechanical adjustments.

8. Nolan Friedrichs, 1B/RHP, Edina, 2016
6-foot-3, 210-pound 2-way player. 7.88 60 time. Extra-large durable frame. Left-handed hitter with medium width base for size. Starts open with easy load. Uses leg kick trigger to swing. Short to contact with good extension through baseball. Line drive swing plane and uses both sides of the field. 79 mph exit velocity. Defensively shows average actions at first base. Limited to position bases on foot speed. Makes routine plays and moves well around bag receiving throws. On the mound uses simple delivery. Good balance point and creates inline direction to plate. Two piece arm action from over-the-top slot. Fastball is downhill with late heavy action at 78-79 mph. Curveball has 12/6 shape with late hard break for strikes. Shows flashes of above average changeup with fade to bottom of strike zone. Head jerk effects command at times; tends to leave pitches up and to arm-side of plate.


Jay Beckman, RHP, Mankato East, 2016
6-foot-2, 175-pound right-handed pitcher. Stronger durable frame. Strength in lower half. Higher leg kick in balance point. Collapses in delivery. Lands inline and open to plate. One piece arm action from ¾ slot. Fastball shows late sink in zone at 74-77 mph. Throws sweeping curveball for strikes with gradual break. Limited finish on changeup causing it to be flat in zone for strikes at 62-66 mph.

Luke DeGrammont, 1B/LHP, Lakeville North, 2017
5-foot-9, 165-pound 2-way player. 7.94 60 time. Average sturdy build with thick lower half. Left-handed hitter with 76 mph exit velocity. Limited leverage in swing. Easy load and swing. Low hand set creates slight uphill swing plane at times. Appropriate weight shift and quiet head at contact with middle to pull approach. Soft hands and light on feet at first base. Fields with ease and has ability to slow game down. Makes above average plays. On the mound is controlled and balanced. Long arm circle. Arm works free and easy with minimal effort. Shows ability to repeat mechanics and throw strikes consistently. Fastball has slight ASR at 73-75 mph. Curveball has 12/6 shape; inconsistent command due to stride across body in delivery. Cutter is 64-66 mph with 1/7 shape, tighter rotation, and in zone more than curveball.

Michael Feneis, OF/RHP, Centennial, 2016
5-foot-11, 175-pound 2-way player. Good build with present strength. 7.66 60 time. Right-handed hitter with simple load and short stride. Bat is quick to contact with line drive swing plane. Stays inside baseball well. 75 mph exit velocity. Shows ok actions in outfield. Is aggressive to ball with quick exchanges on throws. Shoulder tilt effects accuracy and velocity. 74 mph velocity from outfield. Balanced delivery with rhythm and athletic actions. Tended to over throw in this session effecting velocity and command of secondary pitches. Arm works well from over-the-top slot. Fastball was straight and up in zone. Curveball showed average break at 57-61 mph. Changeup was best secondary pitch. Thrown near fastball arm speed- down in zone for strikes.

Michael Gruber, SS/RHP, Minnewaska, 2016
6-foot-1, 165-pound 2-way player. Lanky player with room to mature physically. 7.56 60 time. Left-handed hitter with short load. Becomes disconnected occasionally adding length to swing. Uses leg kick trigger to swing. Barrel becomes inverted at times through zone. Has good hand-eye coordination and uses hands in swing well. 75 mph exit velocity. Shows above average actions in field. Hands are usable. Average range due to foot speed. Shows very athletic actions to his left with appropriate footwork and clean exchanges. Has hand speed on throws from over-the-top slot. Infield velocity of 78 mph. On the mound uses simple delivery. In wind-up travels across rubber, crouched posture in balance point and lands extremely closed to plate. Fastball shows cutting action at 78-80 mph. Flashes of quality breaking ball. 11/5 shape with late break. Ability to show pitch in zone and take away late. Wrist is stiff throwing changeup causing pitch to be up in zone at 67-69 mph.

Griffin Schneider, 1B/OF/RHP, Wayzata, 2016
6-foot-2, 185-pound utility player. Tall strong build. 7.1 60 time. Right-handed hitter with rotational load. Stays short to contact with limited length through zone. Strides closed effecting momentum through swing. Has good bat speed and strength. 85 mph exit velocity. Shows ok actions in outfield. Ability to field routine with good momentum and direction on throws. 81 mph outfield velocity. Easy actions at first base. Fields routine. Feet work well. Has ability to start double play. On the mound uses a simple controlled delivery. Front side swings open on stride to plate. Arm works loose and easy from mid ¾ slot. Fastball varies with cut and sink. Action is late in zone at 75-79 mph. Throws sweeping breaking ball with flashes of hard late break. Changeup is thrown at fastball arm speed with life and movement.

Austin Strantz, SS/RHP, Park Senior, 2017
5-foot-6, 130-pound 2-way player. Small build. 7.53 60 time. Right-handed hitter with pre-set load and simple balanced leg kick trigger. 75 mph exit velocity off tee. Short to contact with flat line drive swing plane. Gap to gap approach with solid contact. Shows athletic actions in field. Able to make adjustments on groundballs. Performed with more confidence in this event. Uses momentum on throws. Accurate across diamond at 76 mph. On the mound throws 3 pitches for strikes. Inconsistent balance point. Rushes to plate. One piece arm action from over-the-top slot. Head jerk and average effort on release. Fastball has tilt to arm side of plate at 70-72 mph. Curveball has 12/6 shape with gradual break. Knuckleball has wobbly action and tends to float arm side.

Michael Tiede, SS/RHP, St. Cloud Apollo, 2016
6-foot-1, 160-pound 2-way player. Tall thin build. 7.5 60 time. Left-handed hitter with 74 mph exit velocity. Short load with rhythm. Strides in-line with leg kick trigger. Uses hands well in swing- stays inside baseball with middle of field approach. Short strides to ball in field. Usable hands and shows ability to make routine play. Tends to field flat footed. Moves better through ball on back-hand play. Arm stroke is clean; has accuracy on throws across diamond at 72 mph. On the mound get to good balance point. Drop and drive delivery to home. Deep stab at bottom on arm stroke with over-the-top slot. Fastball shows downward plane at 73-77 mph. Curveball is thrown with 12/6 shape and early gradual break for strikes. Slows arm down on changeup showing pitch early to hitter. Slider showed average break and was erratic around zone. Above average feel for fastball and curveball. Other secondary pitches work in progress.

Austin Vandewiele, RHP, Lakeville South, 2016
6-foot, 160-pound right-handed pitcher. Average build with strong lower half. Simple balanced delivery. Lands closed and across body. Arm starts long with hitch in action on backside. Has extension out front to the plate. 74-76 mph fastball shows late sink for strikes. Curveball has 12/6 shape with late break. Changeup is thrown near fastball arm speed for strikes with minimal movement. Tends to leave pitches arm side due to lower half mechanics in delivery. Hard worker who continues to develop and improve.

Ryan Venne, OF/RHP, Eau Claire(WI), 2018
5-foot-11, 155-pound 2-way player. Lean athletic player. 7.25 60 time. Tall stance with short stride and balance throughout swing. Load is long but bat path is clean and short to baseball. Short finish after contact. Good body control and efficient swing for 2018 grad. 76 mph exit velocity. Body moves well in outfield. Very projectable- interesting follow for next 3-4 years. Fields at times with two hands effecting balance and direction. Arm works well from over-the-top slot with carry and accuracy. 75 mph outfield velocity. Controlled delivery on mound. Shows balance in delivery. Tends to leak early from balance point. Arm works well from over-the-top slot. Fastball is straight and thrown for strikes at 73-75 mph.  Curveball has 11/5 shape with gradual break. Inconsistent arm action on changeup right now- pitch does show fade and is able to throw for strikes. Overall is a High Follow for 2018 class with present athletic ability.


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