2020 Super 60 Pro Showcase - Prospect Chatter

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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2020 Super 60 Pro Showcase - Prospect Chatter

MCCOOK, Ill. - Three Ohio State commits made a major impact at the 18th annual Prep Baseball Report Super 60 on Sunday.

Outfielders Mackenzie Wainwright of Lakewood St. Edward and Kade Kern of Archbold along with Defiance left-handed pitcher Caden Kline were in a field of 73 top prospects from across the country performing in front of approaching 150 scouts, many from major-league organizations.

“I loved the event,” noted Wainwright, the top-ranked player in Ohio. “It was very fun being around some of the best players in the country.”

Kern entered as one of the “Breakout Candidates” in the field and came away impressed with the event that had players from 25 states as well as the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Alberta and Quebec.

“The PBR Super 60 was an outstanding and well put together event that helped us athletes display our skills in front of over 100 professional scouts,” related Kern, who along with Wainwright were two of just five in attendance that ran a sub-7.0 60 with a plus-90 position velo and plus-100 exit velo.

Kline was also appreciative of the chance to compete at The Max (McCook Athletic & Exposition Center), located in a suburb of Chicago.

“I thought it was an amazing experience,” the top-ranked left-handed 2020 pitcher in Ohio said. “I’ve never been in such an opportunistic position like that, and it was really cool that PBR does that for us.”

Wainwright, the 28th-rated senior outfielder in the country, did not disappoint with the second-best exit velo at the event at 104. The 6-0 215-pounder also had a 6.94 time in the 60 while adding an outfield velo of 91.

“Some of the highlights for me were being able to go and perform in front of all of those scouts and show them what I had,” Wainwright explained. “It was fun being in front of them and knowing that their attention was all on you when it was your turn and you can turn some heads to make them be more interested in you.”

Shooter Hunt, National Crosschecker for Prep Baseball Report, was enticed by the young phenom.

“I thought Wainwright might have been the biggest winner out of the position-player group,” Hunt said. “His profile as a potential power-bat was obvious to the eye, and only confirmed via advanced Trackman and Blast metrics. Combine that with the fact that he was a 6.9-runner with fluid outfield actions including a 91 mph arm, and you have to like his projection. Plus, the fact that he will only be 17-years-old on draft day will likely give his stock an even bigger boost.”

Kern certainly lived up to his billing as a “Breakout Candidate” showing his all-around athletic ability. The 10th-ranked 2020 in Ohio had the third fastest 60 time (6.61), third best exit velo (102) and fourth best outfield velo (94) of the 44 non-pitchers from across the country that displayed their skills to the scouts.

“Taking live BP in front of so many scouts was just awesome,” pointed out the 6-0 195-pound Kern, the third-rated senior outfielder in the state. “It made the event a lot of fun. I really enjoyed performing in front of all the pro scouts. It was very exciting and very cool that we had the opportunity to try to turn the heads of some of the scouts.”

Hunt saw a lot to like with Kern.

“He looked like what I've come to expect out of Ohio products at the Super 60: square shouldered with defined strength throughout upper and lower-half, and physical metrics that were excellent,” Hunt pointed out. “A 6.61-runner who threw 94 mph from the outfield and produced an exit velocity of 102 mph, that's impressive athleticism, and leaves lots to work with. There was some rawness to the approach, but strength regardless, and he may have a chance to hit for even greater power in the future.”

Kline, a 6-4 185-pound southpaw, did his part to represent Ohio well throwing a consistent 88 with the fastball, topping out at 89, the fourth best among left-handers at the Super 60. In addition, Kline was 76-77 with the curve ball and 77-78 with the slider.

“Performing in front of the scouts sounds intimidating and looks like a lot to handle at first, but once you’re up on the mound throwing it feels just like any regular bullpen,” explained Kline, who also expressed gratitude for receiving a customized Mizuno mitt. “Being able to be seen by a pro scout from every team is a dream come true.”

Talking to scouts added to the thrill of the day.

“Some of the professional scouts did talk to me,” Kern said. “We just had small conversations, they just wanted to get to know me and know what kind of person I am. It was a very humbling opportunity to be able to talk to them.”

The chance to perform in front of so many scouts has proven beneficial to so many before. History shows that since 2003, 20 first-round selections and 23 second-round picks from Super 60 participants have been taken in the Major League Baseball Draft.

A year ago, Jase Bowen of Toledo Central Catholic represented Ohio in the Super 60 and went on to be drafted in the 11th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. A Michigan State two-sport commit, Bowen eventually signed a pro contract with the Pirates 

No matter if the future is at Ohio State or playing at the professional level after the upcoming high school season, the Super 60 helped bring dreams closer to reality for those participating.

“My advice to anyone that has this opportunity is to go to this event,” Kline said. “It was a great experience, even though I wasn’t throwing 95 like some of the other guys.”