St. Louis Top Prospect Position Player Write ups

The Top Prospect Invite Showcase at the St. Louis Sports Center in Affton, Missouri featured many impressive fielding prospects who can swing the bat a bit as well. The top hitters/fielders were led by Austin Verschoore, a SS/OF from Ft. Zumwalt North and Nate Green, a 3B/OF from Francis Howell, both of whom showed impressive power at the plate and arm strength in the field. Verschoore and Green, among others saw their stock rise in their respective class rankings.

A look at the top performers:

1.Austin Verschoore, SS/OF, Ft. Zumwalt West, Class of 2013: Verschoore proved to be one of the premier prospects in the Class of 2013. Verschoore’s physical 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame projects well at the next level.  Verschoore showed one of the strongest arms from the infield, posting a velocity of 85 mph that had carry to it.  His fluid footwork and reliable hands make him a top-level infield prospect.  In the outfield, Verschoore had good carry and life on his throws (85 mph).  He moved athletically to the ball and got on top of his throws well. Offensively, Verschoore uses his strong body and natural athleticism to create excellent barrel whip through the zone while squaring up the baseball.  He demonstrated power in his swing with an aggressive lower half and a balanced swing. The ball jumps off his bat with backspin carry. Verschoore also ran a 4.29 home to first.

2. Nate Green, 3B/OF, Francis Howell, Class of 2013: Arguably the top hitter of the event, Green showcased exceptionally well both offensively and defensively. As an outfielder, Green takes an aggressive approach to the ball, taking good angles and showing arm strength (82-85 mph). In the infield, he demonstrated advanced defensive actions: he fields the ball with rhythm and purpose, he has a quick transfer, soft hands and an accurate arm with some carry (80-81 mph). The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Harper is a power hitter, consistently hitting the ball hard with backspin using a short, compact and level swing.

3. Nathan Lambert, C, Festus HS, Class of 2012: Lambert is a strong-bodied 6-foot-11, 182-pound catcher who features a solid frame and quick feet. Lambert’s pop times registered consistently under 2.0, with a top time of 1.98. Lambert displayed a strong, accurate arm from behind the dish.  Offensively, Lambert has a balanced stance and an aggressive approach. With his fast bat speed and strong lower half, Lambert showed some pull-side power with backspin carry.

4. John Udina, OF/MIF, Oakville, Class of 2013: The 5-foot-10, 160-pound strong-bodied athlete showcased a strong and accurate arm (81-83 mph) from the outfield. Udina took an aggressive approach as he played through the ball and moved well in the outfield. In the infield, he fielded the ball out front in an athletic position. Udina showed quick, sure hands in the field while playing through the baseball. His foot speed and athleticism were also on display when he ran a 4.19 home to first. At the plate, Udina exhibited quick wrists and bat speed. He showcased an explosive lower half while his barrel whipped through the zone.

5. Turner Miller, C/CI, Ladue HS, Class of 2013: Currently ranked No. 20 in the Class of 2013, Miller is a strong-bodied 6-foot, 195-pound catcher who features an extremely strong lower half.  At the plate, Miller demonstrated raw power, using his strong legs and extension after contact to create backspin carry and loft.  Additionally, Miller showed an overall solid approach at the plate.  Defensively, Miller recorded throws 73-75 mph from behind the plate and had pop times ranging from 2.10-2.11. Miller also showed ability at both corner infield positions, with sure hands and a strong arm.

6. Robert Lang, 3B, CBC, Class of 2013: Lang is a 5-foot-11, 165-pound 3B who impressed at the plate in the field. At the plate, Lang showed an advanced plate approach; he has an easy, simple swing with good rhythm and balance throughout.  With a short stride and quick level swing, Lang made consistent hard contact and showed some power potential. Defensively, Lang showed good hands and range while delivering accurate throws across the infield (78-81 mph). Lang also ran a 4.27 home to first.


7. Josh Abegg, OF/MIF, Wentzville Holt, Class of 2013: The athletic 5-foot-10, 150-pound Abegg showed some arm strength in both the outfield and infield. In the outfield, Abegg was quick and athletic to the ball, while showing sure hands and a strong arm with some life (81-85 mph). As an infielder, Abegg showed soft hand and fundamental mechanics, with accurate 79-83 mph throws across the diamond.  Offensively, Abegg has loose hands and quick wrists, squaring up the ball spraying line drive gap to gap.

8. Nick Oliff, MIF, Lafayette HS, Class of 2014: The 5-foot-11, 152-pound Oliff showed well in all facets of the game.  Oliff demonstrated soft hands, quick feet and a clean exchange in the middle infield, with 78-82 mph throws across the diamond.  Offensively, Oliff has an athletic setup, and he used his active lower half to create barrel whip through the zone. He maintained balance throughout his swing as he sprayed line drives to all fields. As Oliff continues to mature physically, look for him to turn into one of the top players in the Class of 2014.

9. Cole Donaldson, C/INF, Francis Howell North, Class of 2014: Donaldson is a 5-foot-7, 140 pound catcher who showed ability behind the plate and in the field. Donaldson demonstrated fundamental footwork and received with soft hands and a firm wrist. He showed advanced blocking technique and accuracy on his throws, putting the ball glove-side on the bag. His pop times were a consistent 2.12-2.19. In the infield, Donaldson was sure handed, showing good range to the ball. As he continues to mature physically, Donaldson has the tools and potential to be an impact player.


Other top performers (in alphabetical order)

Ben Burns, OF, Francis Howell Central Class of 2014: The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Burns ran an event best 4.17 home to first. In the outfield, Burns had consistently accurate throws (73-76 mph). At the plate, Burns showed an inside out swing, consistently hitting the ball to the right side.

Drew Fair, C/OF/1B, Eureka HS, Class of 2013: The athletically built 6-foot, 200-pound Fair showed versatility as a catcher and corner infielder.  Behind the plate, Fair showed a good frame and the ability to receive and frame with confidence. He showed good body control in the squat and fired a top pop time of 2.08 with accuracy. At 3B, Fair showed to be a confident fielder, taking a good approach to the ball and displaying sure hands and good footwork.  Offensively, Fair has power potential, with good bat speed and barrel whip through the zone, showing some power driving the ball hard to right center.

Eric Hanson, OF, Eureka HS, Class of 2014: The athletic 5-foot-9, 170-pound Hanson looks to be a player who could make a rise in the Class of 2014 rankings. In the outfield, Hanson was quick to the ball with a smooth glove to hand transfer, delivering accurate 73-76 mph throws.  At the plate, Hanson uses his strong lower half to create good bat speed with s short, quick level swing and extension through contact. As he continues to progress, Hanson has the potential to be an impact player.

Luke Hassler, INF/OF, Oakville HS, Class of 2013: Hassler is a multitalented player who showed well as an infielder and outfielder. Hassler demonstrated soft hands and good fluid footwork at 3B. He plays through the ball well while exhibiting an accurate arm across the infield (73-76 mph).  In the outfield, Hassler displayed quick feet and took aggressive routes to the baseball. At the plate, he features a balanced setup at the plate and displayed the ability to barrel up some balls.

Kyle Kinner, INF, Westminster, Class of 2014: Kinner is a middle infielder who displayed quick instincts.  He showed soft hands, a quick exchange, and took good routes to the ball.  Offensively, Kinner has a balanced setup at the plate; he features a short compact swing with fluid rhythm as he consistently made solid contact. Kinner has a projectable 6-foot-1, 145-pound frame and should see his game progress as he continues to mature.

Travis Kostello, C/OF, CBC, Class of 2013: Kostello is a strong bodied 6-foot, 175 catcher who showed fundamental receiving skills and athletic blocking behind the plate. Kostello has good footwork, with pop times of 2.35 and 2.35. Kostello also showed some ability in the outfield taking good angles to the ball and using a big crow hop to deliver accurate throws. At the plate, Kostello consistently found the ball with the barrel of his bat.

Lucas Marlow, MIF, New Athens (IL), Class of 2013: Marlow is a 5-foot-10, 170-pound middle infielder who showed athleticism at his position.  Marlow had an accurate arm that had some life to it, which was clocked at 76-79 mph.  Offensively, Marlow has short stride and quick path to the ball, which resulted in a line-drives.  With his good barrel whip and ability to extend his hands through contact, he showed the ability to make consistent contact.

Blake Ragland, C/OF, New Athens (IL), Class of 2013: Ragland is an athletically built 6-foot-2, 170-pounder who features an accurate arm that had a velocity of 70-74 mph from the crouch.  His pop times ranged from 2.12-2.24 with all his throws consistently being around the bag.  In the outfield, showed good instincts and was quick to the ball, with throws of 76-79 mph. Offensively, Ragland has a short stride and showed good balance throughout his swing while squaring up the ball.

Lucas Swindle, C, Lutheran St. Charles, Class of 2014: Swindle is a 5-foot-11, 150-pound catcher who demonstrated athletic feet and soft hands behind the plate.  Swindle showcased an accurate arm with a top pop time of 2.46.  Swindle also showed well at 1B, showing advanced glove work and footwork around the bag. He moved well laterally, and exhibited a strong arm across the infield Offensively, the left handed hitter exhibited a balanced, level swing, taking an quick path to the baseball while spraying line drive to all fields.

Graham Thomason, MIF, Lutheran St. Charles, Class of 2014: The 5-foot-10, 155-pounder displayed soft hands, an accurate arm, and good range in the infield. Graham fielded the ball out front and in an athletic position. At the plate, the left handed hitting Thomason exhibited a quiet swing and balance throughout. His path to the ball was short, and he consistently found the barrel.

Michael Venturella, MIF, CBC, Class of 2013: The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Venturella showed well in all facets of the game. Defensively, he impressed with his quick hands, concise footwork and overall fluid actions. Venturella, who ran a 4.38 home to first, plays exceptionally well on the move. At the plate, Venturella showed good bat speed and a clean path to the baseball. He has quick hands and has a solid line-drive approach.

Ben Warchol, 3B, Nashville HS (IL), Class of 2012: At 6-foot, 200 pounds, the right-handed hitting Warchol is an imposing force at the plate. He possesses raw power potential, with a strong lower half. Warchol squared up to the ball, driving it hard with pull power and baskspin carry.

Tim Weir, OF/INF, Barat Academy, Class of 2013: The athletic built 6-foot-1, 180-pound Weir showed well in all facets of the game. In the outfield, he takes precise routes to the baseball, and showed accuracy on his throws (75-78 mph). In the infield, Weir showed good footwork and an accurate arm on all throws. At the plate, he has an aggressive approach, and demonstrated fast hands through the zone.

Neil Yockey, 3B/SS, Shelbyville HS, Class of 2013: The 5-foot-9, 160-pound Yockey displayed solid hands in the field while playing through the ball with athleticism and rhythm. Offensively, Yockey has a Jeff Bagwell like stance and is a line drive hitter who showed a solid plate approach, driving the ball from center field to right center.