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Regional HS Preview: Midwest
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
2013 Perfect Game High School Baseball Preview Index
Region: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin
Depth In The Midwest
can be seen on the college level as much as the high school level
that baseball in this part of the country is becoming more prominent.
Now, that isn’t to say baseball hasn’t been a popular sport in
the region - of course it has - but this year in particular we are
seeing more premium level prospects emerge that could be impact
players coming out of the June draft. And, the 2014 draft class
doesn’t look to be any further behind this year’s group.
the climate, it will always be difficult for teams in this part of
the country to generate the perennial powerhouse programs of the
south, but at least on an individual level, the Midwest has a large
number of talented players to be proud of this spring. And, in spite
of the odds, states like Indiana and Kentucky are home to some of the
elite players in the country. Trey Ball and Clinton Hollon are elite
draft talents that are near the top of every scout’s list on a
the most part, however, the talent is pretty well dispersed across
the region. We aren’t likely to see many scouting destination type
matchups. What professional scouts will be given, however, is a vast
array of high quality arms in just about every state in the Midwest.
There are projectable left-handers, flame throwing right-handers, as
well as underclassmen that figure to be among the elite in the next
year or two.
Cameron Varga and Austin Havekost as examples. Varga is a 2014
right-hander who touched 94 mph at last year’s Perfect Game Junior
National Showcase. Havekost is a 6-foot-3 right-hander who pitched at
88-93 mph at WWBA Underclass last fall. Both pitchers go to high
school in Ohio. Given the presence of elite 2014 bat, Zach Shannon as
well, Ohio is shaping up to be somewhat of a hot bed in the near
future for elite talent. And, here in the 2013 class, they have two
players listed among Perfect Game’s Top 200 High School prospects -
left-hander Zach Farmer, and righty, Cory Wilder.
states of Illinois and Indiana can also boast similar depth. And,
that’s the theme we’re looking at in the Midwest this year. We’re
seeing a continued emergence of talent, particularly on the pitching
side. We may not be seeing the marquee matchups between powerhouse
programs, but the level of talent spread around the region is very
High School Dream Team
on present tools and position played for high school team
- Chuckie Robinson, Sr., Danville (Ill.)
brings a number of different skills to the table. He has a strong,
durable frame that seems to profile well behind the plate, and he
also shows outstanding present power. He’s a player that has “now”
offensive ability, but has the bat speed and approach at the plate to
also continue to get better.
- Chad Spanberger, Jr., Granite City (Ill.)
base is not Spanberger’s primary position right now, but is an
option for him down the road. More importantly, he’s a deserving
player for this team so this gives him that spot. Spanberger
continues to show improvement at the plate and his 6-foot-3, 210
pound frame produces outstanding present power.
- Connor Heady, Sr., North Oldham (Ky.)
is not just one of the most well rounded players in the region, but
also in the whole nation. He hits, shows power, is an outstanding
middle infielder defender and has above average speed. And, given his
young frame he’s also a player professional scouts can dream on.
He’s primed for a huge spring in his senior year.
- Josh VanMeter, Sr., Norwell (Ind.)
had a big summer in 2012 in terms of impressing scouts with his
left-handed bat. He’s a consistent hitter with a short, quick
stroke and some power potential. He’s an Illinois State commit, but
has the type of offensive skills and athleticism to attract a great
deal of professional attention this spring.
- Bryce Only, Sr., Huntley (Ill.)
6-foot-1, 205 pound third baseman is a Nebraska commit with a high
upside right-handed hitter. He showed good power potential over last
summer and intriguing bat speed. He’ll be a sleeper to watch
closely in terms of draft attention this spring, and he should also
be primed for a big spring in terms of performance.
- Zach Shannon, Jr., Moeller (Ohio)
- Corey Ray, Sr., Simeon Career Academy (Ill.)
- Trey Ball, Sr., New Castle (Ind.)
was a difficult part of the Dream Team to put together. Trey Ball’s
two-way ability gives him a home in the outfield, but he clearly
could have been one of the first two pitchers named to the team as
well. But, he does have very intriguing offensive upside and has the
arm strength to land himself an outfield spot. Corey Ray and Zach
Shannon were slightly simpler decision. Shannon is shaping up to be
one of the elite players in the 2014 draft class on the strength of
his impressive right-handed power and hit tool. He also shows solid
athleticism and some ability in the outfield. And, Ray’s
outstanding athleticism, range, and speed make him the best pure
defensive player included on this team. Andrew Benintendi out of
Madeira High School in Ohio was also under consideration, as was
Jordan Getzelman from Prairie Ridge High School in Illinois.
- Jarrett Montgomery, So., Lawrence Central (Ind.)
very difficult to make a squad like this as a sophomore, but
Montgomery shows that type of future potential, and more importantly,
present ability. While his future is likely on the mound, Montgomery
is also a very good athlete, running a 6.85 60 yard dash at last
year’s National Underclass Showcase. He’s already working at
87-91 mph with his fastball, flashing some ability to spin a
curveball and mix in a changeup.
- Clinton Hollon, Sr., Woodford County (Ky.)
- Andy Honiotes, Sr., Geneva Community (Ill.)
- Hunter Green, Sr., Warren East (Ky.)
- Zach Farmer, Sr., Piketon (Ohio)
- Cameron Varga, Jr., Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (Ohio)
is the strength of the Midwest in 2013, and as a result there were a
number of elite arms that had to be left of the list. 2015 standout
Austin Havekost and his 93 mph makes a strong case to be included
already, but we should probably get use to seeing him over the course
of the next two years. And, Zach Burdi of Downers Grove South in
Illinois would be also be among the next pitchers listed if we went
beyond five pitchers deep on this team. He’s the brother of Nick
Burdi, one of the hardest throwers in the country at the college
level. Corey Wilder and left-hander Daniel Ayers also jockeyed for
spots on this team. There is now very legitimate depth in this
pitching department in this part of the country.
Hollon and Trey Ball are the two draft eligible stars of the region.
And, clearly ball is an elite pitching prospect, but is an outfielder
on this team simply to accommodate other deserving players. Hollon
seems to have proven he’s fully healthy for the spring, touching 94
mph this winter. Andy Honiotes is of the region’s more well rounded
pitchers, touching 92 mph with his fastball and mixing two variations
of a very good breaking ball. His projectable 6-foot-3 frame is also
very intriguing to scouts. Green and Farmer represent the Midwest’s
two best southpaws, and both are highly projectable and touch the low
90s with their fastballs. As for Cameron Varga, he is well set to be
an elite 2014 draft prospect, considering his 94 mph fastball. If the
UNC commit can show consistency this spring, that status will only be
Region Best Tools
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