Offseason Outlook: Class of 2012 middle infield prospects loaded with Division I talent



By Mike Rosenbaum

What’s there to say about the Class of 2012 middle infielders that they haven’t already asserted? They’re fast (really fast), athletic, and versatile ballplayers that can hit for both average and power.  Furthermore, several of them are left-handed hitters, an attribute that when bundled with power and speed makes scouts drool. 

The Class of 2012 Top 50 is comprised of high-follow middle infielders, all of whom are staples in their respective recruiting classes and seem destined to contribute at the next level.  One thing that sets the middle infield prospects apart from the other Class of 2012 positions is the diversity of their commitments: They have garnered scholarships from SEC, Big 12, Atlantic 10, MVC, and Ivy League programs, and those who remain uncommitted won’t be for long. 

So as the Class of 2012 Offseason Outlook series comes to an end, it’s only appropriate to conclude with the immensely talented crop of middle infield prospects.

No. 3 Ryan Phillips, Class of 2012, Rock Bridge; Committed to Missouri

Even though Phillips (right) already holds most pitching records at Rock Bridge, it is his natural ability with the bat and in the field that makes him a Division I player.  He earned Prep Baseball Report Missouri First Team All-State honors in 2011 after batting .473 with 43 hits, two home runs, and 22 RBI.  The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder uses a quick, compact swing to collect hits to all fields and can showcase his power when he wants.  At shortstop, Phillips is the most sure-handed middle infielder in the state and always gains momentum towards his target.

No. 5 Jake Walters, Class of 2012, Vianney; Committed to Austin Peay

After committing to Austin Peay prior to the 2011 season, Walters surely excited his future coaching staff with his junior campaign.  One of the more consistent and productive hitters in Missouri, the 5-foot-9, 170-pounder batted .490 with 47 runs scored, 50 hits, 15 doubles, four triples, five home runs, 32 RBI, 23 walks, and nine stolen bases, and helped guide Vianney to a third-place finish in the Class 4A state tournament.  A right-handed hitter, Walters employs a patient aggressiveness at the plate and has demonstrated the ability to hit with power to all fields.

No. 8 Danny Holst, Class of 2012, Parkway South; Committed to Texas A&M

The driving force of the Patriots’ offense, Holst, a 6-foot, 195-pound left-handed hitter, batted .488 with 40 hits, 42 runs scored, 11 doubles, and 18 RBI.  Even more impressive was the fact that he posted a .611 on-base percentage, stole 20 bases, and drew 24 walks compared to only three strikeouts.  Holst is also the only non-Texas native in Texas A&M’s 2013 recruiting class.  

No. 11 William DuPont, Class of 2012, Lafayette; Committed to Mississippi State

An SEC-bound middle infielder, DuPont (right) possesses plus speed and power from the left side of the plate.  Last spring he batted .528 with a .600 OBP, nine doubles, two triples, six home runs, 35 RBI, and 25 stolen bases.  At PBR Missouri’s GCS Ballpark Invitational, the 6-foot-1 speedster ran a 6.57 60 – the best time recorded at an event in all 2011.  DuPont takes healthy hacks at the plate and still manages to generate impressive bat speed. 

No. 12 Mitch Klug, Class of 2012, SLUH; Committed to Harvard

The lone Ivy League recruit on this list, Klug (right) excelled at shortstop for SLUH last season, a team that was undefeated the regular season and finished with a 24-1 overall record.  A right-handed hitter, he batted .364 with five doubles, five triples, 20 RBI, and 25 stolen bases.  At the PBR Top Prospect Showcase last June, Klug ran an event-best 6.86 60 – on a bumpy outfield surface and into a stiff wind nonetheless. Due to offseason shoulder surgery, Klug will be relegated to the role of DH this spring.

No. 20 Yoonjae Nam, Class of 2012, Francis Howell North; Committed to University of Evansville

Nam (right), who will attend the Prep Baseball Report’s Super 60 Draft Showcase on February 6 in McCook, Illinois, is an intriguing prospect with lots of tools.  This fall, the 6-foot, 190-pounder ran an event-best 6.63 60 while showing off a very strong arm (82-85 mph) on the infield.  At the plate, Nam uses quick wrists to whip the bat through the zone and generates pull power with backspin.

No. 26 Zach Lavy, Class of 2012, North Callaway; Uncommitted

One of Missouri’s under-the-radar players in 2011, Lavy enjoyed a spectacular season in 2011 as the left-handed hitter batted .529 with seven doubles, six triples, five home runs, and 39 RBI, which earned him Prep Baseball Report Third Team All-State honors.

No. 44 Nolan Sponsler, Class of 2012, Chaminade; Committed to Bradley

Sponsler was the top run producer for Chaminade last spring, as the 6-foot, 165-pounder batted .529 with a .431, 12 doubles, a triple, two home runs, and 23 RBI.  Like others on this list, Sponsler possesses game-changing speed and his low- to mid-80s arm gives him the flexibility to play any position on the field. 

No. 48 Michael Bozarth, Class of 2012, Parkway North; Committed to St. Louis University

At the St. Louis Prospect ID Showcase last February, the athletic Bozarth demonstrated his all-around talent by running a 7.0 home-to-second and showcasing a strong arm from both shortstop and the outfield.  At the plate, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound right-handed hitter flashed power potential – even more than he exhibited by batting .363 with 30 runs scored, four doubles, four home runs, and 24 RBI in 2011.

 

Have you missed a pervious installment in the Class of 2012 Offseason Outlook series? Don’t worry, they can be found here: 

Class of 2012 Offseason Outlook: Pitchers

Class of 2012 Offseason Outlook: Catchers

Class of 2012 Offseason Outlook: Corner Infielders

Class of 2012 Offseason Outlook: Outfielders