Tournaments | Story | 7/18/2019

17u Midwest: Day 1 Scout Notes

Nate Schweers         Ben Milks        
Photo: AJ Vukovich (Perfect Game)

Andy Nelson (2020, Winfield, Ill.) had an impressive day at the plate for Longshots Baseball Teal, going 2-for-3 with a double and infield single. Nelson has an athletic frame at 6-foot, 185-pounds and he flashed elite-level speed on his way to the infield single. An Iowa commit, Nelson has present bat speed that allows him to get his hands extended to drive the ball to and through both gaps. Though currently a primary shortstop, Nelson could profile as more of a third baseman as his already athletic frame adds size and strength.

Patrick Miller (2020, Plainfield, Ill.) was another Longshots bat that had a strong day Wednesday. Miller finished the game 2-for-3, highlighted by a three-run triple to the opposite field gap in his first at-bat. Miller has an athletic frame and his quick hands at the plate allow him to drive pitches on both halves of the plate. Showing off his present speed on the basepaths, the wheels certainly translate to his natural position in the outfield as well.

Ryan Stefiuk (2020, Green Bay, Wis.) was one of the most impressive arms to take the hill at Prospect Meadows on Wednesday, tossing four strong innings that resulted in just one run and nine strikeouts. What stands out most with Stefiuk is the projectability in the frame and actions. Stefiuk has a tall and slender frame with plenty of room to fill out and add strength, and the clean arm path from a mid-to-low three-quarters slot results in extremely uncomfortable looks for hitters. Stefiuk was able to locate his fastball with ease on Wednesday at 86-88 mph, creating good downward plane and some late life when working down in the zone. Stefiuk has excellent feel for a mid-70s slider that flashes plus at times, and that pitch was the clear strikeout pitch during the outing. The Vanderbilt commit continues to show why he is one of the more impressive arms in the 2020 class and it will exciting to see him continue to progress through the summer and into the fall.

Jimmy Rybarczyk (2020, Orland Park, Ill.) is another uncommitted name to keep an eye in this loaded 2020 class. Rybarczyk had a strong game at the plate Wednesday morning, going 2-for-3 with one RBI. The highlight of Rybarczyk’s day at the plate was an absolute rocket through the middle of the field for a single. The primary outfielder and top 100 player in Illinois’ 2020 class has an extremely physical frame, and that strength can be seen in the quickness of the hands at the plate. The two-hit day was impressive, but expect more fireworks from Rybarczyk before the week is over.

Austin Greco (2020, Mundelein, Ill.)showed some things to like on the mound Wednesday, creating good downward plane and some late life to a mid-80s fastball that topped at 88 mph. Greco has a clean and long arm path and the repeatable mechanics allow him to get good extension over the front side. Greco has a mid-70s slider that he showed the ability to throw for a strike and use as a strikeout pitch as well. A Miami (Ohio) commit, Greco has a projectable frame that has more velocity in it as size and strength is added. Expect Greco to continue making strides as his summer continues.

Alex Thurston (2020, Fowler, Ind.) does a lot of really nice things on the baseball field, playing a strong shortstop and putting together a plethora of tough at-bats. Thurston looks extremely comfortable in the middle infield, showcasing some quick hands and a clean glove the entire day. At the plate, Thurston walked twice and drove a single through the hole the opposite way. Thurston has quick hands and an aggressive approach at the plate, but the feel for the zone and ability to fight off tough pitches was very impressive. A Valparaiso commit. Thurston profiles as a middle infielder at the next level and his approach at the plate makes him a likely candidate to put together quality at-bats at the top of the order.

Dane Thomas (2020, Palos Park, Ill.) does it a little bit of everything on offense for the Cangelosi Sparks 2020 Black. In Wednesday’s afternoon contest, Thomas came through for his team with a loud, two-run double. He also featured some excellent speed on Wednesday with the combination of a bunt single and immediately stealing second base. Thomas is constantly looking to make things happen and the Wright State commit has the physical and strong frame to play an excellent corner outfield at the next level.

Anthony Klein (2020, Chesterfield, Mo.) was impressive both on the mound and at the plate on Wednesday. Klein closed out a win for the St. Louis Prospects Scout Kirchner with a scoreless seventh inning. Klein featured a heavy fastball at 84-86 mph and the late life to the arm side, paired with a deceptive three-quarters slot, gave hitters fits. Klein attacked the zone exclusively with the fastball Wednesday, striking out a pair and allowing no hits. At the plate, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound righty hit a towering home run that caught the attention of everyone in attendance. An uncommitted member of the 2020 class, Klein is an interesting two-way player to keep an eye on.

– Nate Schweers

Brady Renfro (2020 Antigo, Wis.) got the start on the mound Wednesday for Stiiks U17 working four innings while surrendering five hits and collecting three strikeouts. The athletic lefty showed an explosive motion down the moun and he displayed good arm speed from a three-quarters slot. The Valpo commit showed a fastball up to 85 mph with heavy life through the zone and a 12-to-6 curveball at 75 mph. Renfro also helped in the effort at the plate contributing a two-run double.

An uncommitted 2020 grad Chris Byhre (2020 Delafield, Wis.) features deliberate actions moving down the hill with impressive arm speed throwing from a high three-quarter arm slot. In 4 2/3 innings of work Byhre collected eight strikeouts while only surrendering two walks. He showed confidence throwing his two-pitch mix, locating down in the zone consistently with a fastball up to 89 mph and an 11-to-5 curveball creating swings and misses at 77 mph.

Eric Erato (2020 Sussex, Wis.) came back after the rain delay to help Hitters collect a win over the Illinois Indians in their second game of the day. The Northern Illinois commit collected two hits in the game including a loud double. Erato features a slightly elevated barrel path through the zone with the ability to drive the ball to and through the gaps in the outfield.

Recently named Perfect Game All-American AJ Vukovich (2020, Mukwonago, Wis.) continued his impressive summer collecting a home run and a triple in two games on Wednesdasy. Vukovich features a bat with plus power and bat speed in a very athletic, smooth swing. The Louisville commit showed off his impressive athleticism stretching a sure double into a triple.

Michael Seegers (2020, Oconomowoc, Wis.) had an impressive day at the plate and on defense for Hitters 2020. At the plate the leadoff hitter showed a line drive approach with a plus bat-to-ball tool, creating consistent driven line drives to all fields. The Iowa commit made multiple impressive plays in the infield including a play ranging far into the hole and making a jump throw across the infield showing impressive arm strength.

– Ben Milks

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