I am not in Chicago anymore and so I will not be attending this weekend’s Under Armour All-Star Game (nor am I giving away tickets). We will still cover it from afar and get some help from our readers as well. Some have expressed interest in meeting up at the game, so feel free to use the forum to make arrangements. In our experience, we have found it easiest to pick a meeting place before the game.
It’s also a strange time because the Cubs will not have a top 10 pick. The elite prospects are going to be out of reach as the Cubs will likely pick in the mid 20s range or later in 2016. Still, some of these players will drop into the late first round and some, like former UA alumni Dylan Cease and Carson Sands, will drop because of reported bonus demands, making them potential overslot selections.
Let’s take a look at some of the players to watch. You can see the full roster here.
Riley Pint, RHP, 6’4″, 190 lbs (KS)
This is the cream of the crop this year — and what is really fun is that not many have seen him as Pint has been used carefully, even taking parts of the offseason off. He is a good athlete, has an ideal, projectable pitcher’s frame and hits 92-96, touching 98. He also has a sharp curve. Prep RHPs like this don’t come around every year and he has a chance to be the #1 overall pick.
Jonathan Gettys, LHP, 6’3″, 220 lbs, (GA)
Gettys has a strong build tailor-made to eat up innings as a starter. His velocity jumped from the high 80s and has touched as high as 94 recently. CB in the high 70s, change in the mid 70s. Younger brother of OF prospect Michael Gettys, who played in this game last year.
Garrett Gooden, RHP. 6’5″, 205 lbs (GA)
A projectable type because of an ideal frame that has room to fill out and an effortless low 90s FB. Superb athleticism, two way star (football). Flashes an extra curveball. Relative inexperience because he had not previously committed to baseball until recently, there is some work to do in terms of learning his craft on the mound. Upside pick for an organization who develops pitchers well. Good makeup so coachability will aid development.
Jesus Luzardo, LHP, 6’1″, 205 lbs (FL)
Different than Gooden in that he has an advanced feel for pitching. Pitches anywhere from 88-92 with a high 70s slider, slow curve — and he is developing a change-up that he isn’t afraid to use. His idol is Johan Santana, who had one of the best change-ups of our generation. He has an assertive approach on the mound, goes after hitters, throws strikes, not a nibbler. Takes classwork seriously, which is not surprising considering he is a student of pitching as well.
Greg Veliz, RHP, 6’2″, 205 lbs, (FL)
Veliz has filled out to a sturdy 6’2″, 205 lbs and his velocity has jumped accordingly, hitting as high as 96 mph to go with a power curve. He’s another good athlete who has played SS, but scouts seem to think his future is on the mound.
Alex Speas, RHP, 6’4″, 187 lbs (GA)
Tall, lean pitcher with projectability and excellent arm speed. Low to mid 90s FB, touches 95, flashes a plus slider that has good velocity with sharp break away from RH hitters. Change is a solid offering as well. Has all the skills you want as a pitcher and if he can put them together he could be one of the more interesting upside arms in the draft.
Zach Linginfelter, RHP, 6’5″, 220 lbs (TN)
Big frame, already touches 96, hard curve, and change, He’s a power pitcher all the way. High leg kick, curls wrist a bit in back. Delivery pretty smooth overall, Height and higher arm slot helps him get good plane on his pitches.
Forest Whitley, RHP, 6’7″, 230 lbs (TX)
A huge pitcher from Texas who can touch as high as 94 and may have more left in the tank. He had a late spurt in growth/arm strength. At his height he has good natural plane and accentuates that with good leverage, dropping the back shoulder and driving as many pitcher from Texas tend to do, but it will also be a challenge for him to keep the ball down in the zone, where it can be more effective.
Brenden Heiss, 6’1″, 190 lbs LHP (IL)
Another local product, Heiss has average size but is a good athlete and works assertively on the mound. Good arm speed, high leg kick helps hide the ball. Works low 90s, touches 95. Also throws CB, change. Bonus: Cubs fan.
Graeme Stinson, LHP, 6’5″, 245 lbs. (GA)
Huge pitcher who works low 90s, has touched 94. Best secondary is his change, also throws curve. Keeps delivery compact, simple, which helps him throw strikes. Arm action looks a little long in back but pretty clean overall.
Travis Hosterman, LHP, 6’2″, 195 lbs (FL)
Sits in 87-88 range, doesn’t have great arm speed but pitches with some leverage. Needs to keep the ball down, change eye levels, locate. Throws strikes.
Seth Beer, OF, 6’3″, 205 lbs (GA)
Outstanding athlete with ideal size, prototypical RFer type. Lean frame with room to add. Good bat speed with a fluid stroke. Polished hitter, very still, balanced, swing path may produce more line drives at this point but has ability to add strength, power as he matures physically.
Carter Aldrete, SS, 6’2″, 190 lbs. (CA)
Excellent athlete who was a point guard in college. Solid skill set across the board but no standout tool
Will Benson, OF-1B, 6’5″, 225 lbs (GA)
As you can probably surmise by his physical build, Benson has huge raw power. He’s still rather slender and has good speed for his size, perhaps with the tools to play RF, including one of the stronger OF arms in the prep class. I don’t like his stroke as much as I do Beer’s but it is smooth when he gets good extension. He’s long-limbed so I’d focus on how he gets his hands in on good velocity. He’s a very interesting talent with a chance to be a 5 tool player, but ultimate fate will rest on hit tool.
Keenan Bell, OF, 6’2″, 215 lbs (FL)
Good hitter with a powerful build who can drive the ball into the gaps with short, clean stroke with enough strength to hit for power as he gains experience. He’s another player with a strong arm and the bat to play corner, so RF is the best case scenario for him on defense. Good athlete but hit tool stands out most.
Bo Bichette, 3B , 5’11”, 195 lbs (FL)
Son of former MLBer Dante Bichette. Not physically imposing but has very good bat speed and big time power potential. Some question his hitting mechanics. Holds bat up high, lots of pre-pitch movement. Starts load up high and then brings hands down. Not the way you would teach it, but it works for him.
Cooper Johnson, C, 6’0″, 200 lbs (IL)
The local kid has advanced receiving skills and a quick release and good arm strength. As a hitter he is solid but it’s his polish behind the plate and the good chance to stick at catcher that could make him a high round pick.
Thomas Dillard, C, 6’0″, 215 lbs (TN)
Looks like a catcher with a strong, thick build. Possesses a strong arm, his best tool behind the plate. Good lift to his swing which combined with raw strength gives him good power potential. Switch hitter. Ability to stick behind plate is key for him, will have to polish that side of the game.
Michael Amditis, C, 5’10”, 190 lbs (FL)
Another strong catcher’s build. Short swing, line drive swing path. Behind the plate he has good catch/throw skills. Good all-around catcher.
Andrew Yerzy, C, 6’3″, 215 lbs (ON)
Canadian born player who is big for the position. Offensively oriented catcher who could provide good value as a power hitter — but staying behind the plate is no guarantee.
Austin James, IF, 6’1″, 178 lbs (FL)
Defensively oriented player, slick with the glove though may not have range to stay at SS. Not a guy who will probably wow you but good athleticism, good instincts, some projection. Shows good hands at the plate but to me it looks like he can use lower half better.
Carter Kieboom, SS-3B, 6’2″, 190 lbs (GA)
Solid defender with soft hands and a solid arm. All fields approach at the plate, good hand/eye coordination. Drives the ball at times but needs to do it more consistently, especially if he moves to 3B.
Joey Wentz, 1B, 6’5″, 210 lbs (KS)
Tall 1B whose primary tool is power. Looks to have room to fill out but already has in-game power
Filed under: Under Armour All-American Game