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2004 Spring Top Prospect Showcase






2004 Top Prospects

Tyler Beranek - 1B - 2004 - Waukesha, WI
Wisconsin’s AFLAC All-American is bigger and stronger than ever and the ball just rockets off his bat (109 mph on the gun!). He’s still raw around the edges both offensively and defensively but no one in the country has more raw power.

Daniel Bales - LHP - 2004 - Cedar Rapids, IA
The consummate lefty, Bales was in complete command on the mound as usual, with a mid-80’s fastball, pro quality curveball and change up and excellent command and movement.

David Conroy - RHP - 2004 - Mt. Vernon, IA
Conroy has been working on a new slider and it was late and sharp in the upper 70’s. Hitters had no chance against it. Conroy sat between 86 and 88 mph on his fastball, too.

Brandon Douglas - SS - 2004 - St. Charles, IA
Douglas showed us 5-tool potential as a shortstop, with big league average speed, a 90 mph arm across the infield and a very quick bat that even projects some power down the road.

Travis Sweet - RHP - 2004 - Cedar Rapids, IA
Sweet didn’t throw as hard as he has earlier in the spring, topping out at 90 and pitching at 87, but the curveball was still snapping. Sweet also opened our eyes with a fast 6.69 60 and very smooth infield actions. He might be a 2-way player in the future at Iowa!

Matt Dunaway - MIF - 2004 - Mount Holly, NJ
This New Jersey middle infielder has above average speed and plenty of quick twitch athletic muscles. He’s signed to attend LaSalle and should be a top notch player at that school.

Ben Geelan - C - 2004 - Algona, IA
Geelan is a top notch defensive catcher with very good arm strength, good quickness, a projectable body and great make up. He also throws 86-87 mph off the mound.

Jason Smith - C - 2004 - Sioux Falls, SD
Although he’s 6-3, Smith’s actions behind the plate and at bat are surprisingly short and quick. Despite being from South Dakota, his skill level is very advanced, too.

Mark Bennett - RHP - 2004 - Cedar Rapids, IA
Like many of the Showcase pitchers, Bennett’s curveball was very, very sharp, the best we’ve ever seen it. His fastball continues to be in the 85-88 mph range.

Michael Harrington - OF - 2004 - Cedar Rapids, IA
Harrington is a fastball hitting machine who feasts on the hard stuff and hits with power. He showed us good running speed and much improved arm strength from the outfield as well.

Zach Zirbel - RHP - 2004 - Ventura, IA
Zirbel struggles to command his 87 mph fastball consistently, but his 76 mph slurve is a top quality strikeout pitch. Zirbel’s a good all around athlete who can get a lot better in the future.

Eric Worden - 3B - 2004 - Marion, IA
Worden has solid tools across the board. He runs big league average, has a good arm across the infield and the ball jumps off his bat on contact.

T.J. (Tyler) Cataldo - MIF - 2004 - Carlisle, IA
Cataldo projects as an offensive second baseman at the college level. He has a very polished approach from the left side of the plate and will be a doubles machine at Iowa lining balls into the right field corner.

Mike Roeder - OF - 2004 - Waterloo, ON
Roeder came down from Ontario for the Showcase and it was well worth the trip. He had some of the best outfield arm strength at the event, clocking 89 mph in the workout, runs well and has some pop in his bat.

Ryan Sheldon - RHP - 2004 - Kearney, NE
The 6-7 Sheldon’s high school in Nebraska doesn’t play baseball. Sheldon’s change up and curveball were quality pitches and he threw 83 despite some mechanical issues. He has a high ceiling.


2005 Top Prospects

Jeremy Hellickson - RHP - 2005 - Des Moines, IA
This lithe junior with a liquid arm has had it on cruise control all spring as he gets ready for bigger things this summer. Of course, cruise control for Hellickson is 89-91 mph on his minimum effort fastball with an excellent change up/curveball combination.

Steve Daniels - OF - 2005 - Fox Point, WI
The fastest player at the Showcase at 6.60, Daniels looks even quicker down the line from the left side and on the bases. He profiles as an outfielder, but having the versatility to be a left handed hitting catcher is nice, too.

Schuyler Tripp - LHP - 2005 - Drakesville, IA
The 6-3, 165 lb. Tripp threw better than he has all Spring, pitching at 84-86 mph and doing a good job of controlling the strike zone. He’s a bit raw skilled but projects out of sight from the left side.

Erik Smith - RHP - 2005 - Mondamin, IA
Smith is a 4-sport athlete who is a big-time football recruit as a 6-2, 195 lb. receiver. He hadn’t picked up a ball or bat in months but impressed us with both his raw athletic skills and strong character.

Cory Schmaltz - RHP - 2005 - Cedar Rapids, IA
Schmalz had some of the smoothest actions and surest hands at the Showcase and he surprised us by showing some gap power with wood as well. This young man can play.

Drew Laidig - C - 2005 - Pleasantville, IA
The 5-9 Laidig is extra quick for a catcher and combines that with a confident, aggressive attitude on the field. He showed us some bat speed and even touched 86 mph off the mound.

Jordan Herbert - RHP - 2005 - Glendale, WI
Herbert sat in the mid-80’s consistently with nice plane to the plate from a high ¾’s release point. He has some mechanical issues to work through but the arm strength is definitely there.

Blaine Erdahl - SS - 2005 - Thiensville, WI
Erdahl’s running speed and defensive ability fit in very well at the college level. How far his bat comes along will determine just how high he can play.

Aaron (AJ) Shindler - MIF - 2005 - W. Des Moines, IA
Shindler is another sure handed middle infielder who projects out as a second baseman at the college level. He has polished skills across the board.


2006 Top Prospects

Scott Matyas - RHP - 2006 - North Prairie, WI
The word out of Wisconsin is that the 6-4 Maytas is a top rated quarterback. That isn’t surprising, as he’s going to be a top rated pitcher as well as his fastball is already touching the mid-80’s.

Anthony Butler - LHP - 2006 - Oak Creek, WI
Butler is all projection at 6-6, 190 lbs but it’s an exciting projection. He’s a good athlete for his size and age and already throws in the lower 80’s with a loose arm out front.

Nathan Greving - OF - 2006 - Ames, IA
Greving has been bothered all spring by a football back injury but showed his overall athleticism and strength well during the Showcase.

Nick Nordgren - OF - 2006 - Norway, IA
Nordgren’s grown a few inches during the off-season and really looked good with bat in his hands. He runs and throws very well and it’s just a matter of time before he gets stronger.

Tim McGrane - RHP - 2006 - Cedar Rapids, IA
McGrane is another young man with a strong, mature body and a wide range of solid tools. He could develop either on the mound or as a position player.


2007 Top Prospects

Dustin BeGuhn - OF - 2007 - Cedar Rapids, IA
BeGuhn was the only freshman at the Showcase but he had no trouble competing. He’s a live bodied athlete with good present strength and skills.