Pre-Season Underclass I Class of 2014 Results

By Roger Janeway and Chris Valentine

Today, we breakdown the top performers from the Class of 2014 at the first Pre-Season Underclass. Don't forget, the second Pre-Season Underclass will be held on Saturday, February 18th in Dayton. Videos will be uploaded in the coming days.

Markus Neff

1. Markus Neff, 1B, Oakwood
Big strong body, shows some athleticism. Shows balance in a power, upright stance. Utilizes strong hands and good load. Has good bat speed into zone, squares barrel on the ball with finish & good lower half torque. Definite power guy and easily projects into future homerun threat. Defensively, he has good range at first base. Hands are good with 4 arm strength. Registered 5.6 40 yard speed. Could also develop into left-field type. Definite D-1 power bat prospect.

Ryan Kennedy

2. Ryan Kennedy, OF, Hamilton
Lanky medium build. Has some physical projection and is athletic. Good raw skills (5.42 40 yd on concrete with 80-82 mph velocity). Defensively, shows life in body with loose arm action. Can play all OF slots. Offensively, open stance, squares barrel on ball well with good hand load & finish. Has some upper-cut, power potential will increase with enhanced physical strength. Needs to improve squaring front side to pitcher to enhance his lower body torque. Potential mid-major D-1 prospect.

Wes Birchmeier

3. Wes Birchmeier, IF, Miamisburg
Good medium athletic body with some physical projection. Good raw skills (5.0 40 yd on concrete). Excellent infield ability with good lateral range, soft hands and arm strength from all angles. Has balanced hitting stance, good load and squares barrel on ball. Open stance, needs to square front side to pitcher and improve his lower half in swing. Doesn't have top desired speed to be a middle infielder at this time. Current D-2 guy who could be Mid-major D-1 with improved physical strength & bat.

4. Jarrod Houchin, IF/RHP, Bellefontaine
Good raw skills (5.18 40 yd). Has good infield actions with quick feet and hands. Tends to throw from low 3/4 slot; needs to show over the top slot ability. As a hitter, he has knee step trigger. Needs to improve use of lower half. Shows bat speed and decent directional path with pull tendencies. On the mound, he shows a feel for all three pitches, but needs to get stronger on velocities. Fastball (77-79 mph with some arm side run); curveball (63-64 mph with late 11/5 break); and good arm action and fade on change (65 mph).

5. Lee Solomon, IF, Columbus Academy
Smallish body, shows some strength and athleticism. Raw skills guy (5.24 40 yd). Offensively - gap hitter, balanced stance with good load and some bat speed into zone. Makes contact with some finish. Needs to consistently square front side and enhance lower body torque. Defensively, he is more of a right side guy who can play left side in stints. Could be OF candidate. Has quick actions and good feet. Needs to enhance hands. Presently a good D-2 prospect who needs to master a position.

6. B.J. Donathan, C, Tippecanoe
Short stocky body with good physical strength (5.62 40 yd dash on concrete surface). Good power bat offensively. Uses balanced stance with good load and moderate bat speed into zone. Controlled upper cut and strong hands in swing. Will increase his power potential with two-hand finish in swing which will enhance his lower body tourque. Shows some lateral movement defensively. Blocking is adequate. Has some arm strength. His pop time (2.08-2.13 pop) will increase with improved glove to hand exchange.

7. Cameron Johnson, IF, Tippecanoe
Good lean athletic body, has some physical projection. Three sport HS athlete. Raw skills (5.3 40 yd concrete surface). Defensively - good lateral range, active feet. Accepts ball well with hands and good arm from all angles. Needs some tweaking with footwork but will come with experience. Offensively - Open stance, gap hitter, good load, has some batspeed into zone with some upper cut. Shows projectable power. Squares barrel on ball. Needs to improve lower half and square to pitcher. Basically pull guy at this time.

8. Clay Pittman, IF/RHP/C, Defiance Tinora
Athletic medium body with raw skills (5.32 40 yd). In the field, he shows good feet and arm quickness, but needs to be more aggressive to the ball. Didn’t work out at catcher, but likely his best defensive position. Offensively, he hits from deep crouch. Shows some bat speed and pop but needs to better incorporate lower half. On the mound, the right hander uses a slow, deliberate rhythm. Shows some shortness in extension with moderate arm speed through 3/4 slot. Fastball sits at 77-79 mph. Curveball shows downward spin at 70-71 mph. Finally, pushes 70 mph changeup.

9. John Heckman, IF, Hamilton
Smallish body with good athleticism. Good raw skills (5.22 40 yd concrete). Good infield actions. Feet and hands are good with arm strength from all angles. Open stance offensively, high hand set with short path to zone, quick bat who squares barrel on ball. Needs to improve squaring front side to pitcher and promote more lower half torque. Has the projection to be a mid-major D-1 guy with tweaking of his hitting ability and increased physical strength. Good baseball sense.

Best of the Rest

Brady Akins, OF, Colerain
Medium lanky body with physical projection. Good raw skills (5.1 40 yd). Shows good feet and hands. Displays arm strength from over the top slot. Offensively, he needs to improve his balance. He has a tendency to lunge on to his front side. Shows some power potential but needs to improve his lower half torque. Needs to enhance body strength.

Eric Rhinehart, 3B, Waverly
Tall, lanky body with physical projection. Decent raw skills (5.45 40 yard dash). Shows corner infield actions. Accepts ball well and arm works well (although a tad long in extension). Needs to enhance his fluidity and body balance. Offensively, he uses upright hitting stance and displays moderate bat speed into hitting zone. Occasionally strides too long and pulls off pitch.

Jeff Paul, 2B/OF, St. Henry
Tall, lanky body with some physical projection (5.29 40 yd). Projects better as outfielder as his body shows life and position fits his long arm extension. Hits from squared stance. Displays moderate bat speed in swing but shows some backside collapse which lengthens swing.

Jimmy Pelphrey, C/3B, Bethel
Short body with some strength (5.18 40 yd w/3 grade arm). Blocks well, but needs improved glove to hand exchange (2.03-2.15 pop time). Offensively, he uses an open stance. He needs to enhance balance as he is heavy on his front side. He shows a choppy rhythm to his swing.

Jordan Elam, OF, Bethel
Medium lanky build with some physical projection. Moderate skills (5.62 40 yd). Moves well defensively but has some shortness in extension and needs to improve arm strength. Offensively, he shows good bat speed as a hitter. Squares barrel on ball well with good use of lower half in swing.

Kegan Lanter, C, Thomas Worthington
Smallish body. Shows good speed (5.27 40 yd). Displays loose arm and quick feet defensively but needs to improve arm strength (68-72 mph and 2.00-2.24 pop time). Uses good hitting stance with rotational mechanics. Displays surprising power when he gets extension. Needs to improve hand load and good direction into hit zone.

Tyler Magley, MIF, Liberty Union
Small body. Needs to enhance his physical strength. (5.34 40 yard dash). Feet work well defensively, but needs to improve fluidity and accepting the ball. Offensively, he uses open hitting stance. Makes contact but needs to improve good hand trigger & directional path to zone. On the mound, he uses a low 3/4 arm slot with some effort to his smooth delivery. Fastball sits at 75-76 mph. Curveball sits at 65 and shows 11/5 gradual break. Change sits between 68-72 mph and shows straight movement.

Click here to view the complete results from 1/28 Pre-Season Underclass Showcase

Click here to view the Class of 2015 player analysis from the 1/28 Pre-Season Underclass Showcase 

Ohio Preseason 2-18