Official League Website
Great Lakes League top 30 prospects (list)
eight of its 10 teams located in Ohio, the Great Lakes League has a
decided Buckeye State flavor. And
that home-state feel is further emphasized with the number of players
with Ohio connections.
the 30 top prospects that played in the league this season, as ranked
on the accompanying list, 19 attended Ohio high schools. Three others
came from Ohio colleges.
the Great Lakes League may have more of a regional makeup to it than
any of the nation’s other upper-tier summer leagues, the league’s
top prospect in each of the last four years has come from colleges in
Georgia, Florida, Indiana and Virginia. This year’s top-rated
player, Hamilton Joe’s righthander Dusty Isaacs, is from Georgia
Tech, though is a product of a local high-school program. But last
year’s No. 1 prospect, Jacksonville outfielder Adam Brett Walker,
had no local connection.
who led the league in home runs and slugging, moved on to the Cape
Cod League this summer, and was actually upstaged in the process by
another significant power threat from the 2010 GLL prospect class,
Georgia Southern outfielder Victor Roache. He led the nation’s
Division I ranks with 30 home runs in the spring before nearly
winning a Triple Crown this summer on the Cape.
ranked only No. 9 among Great Lakes League prospects a year ago, but
his true talent was difficult to gauge as he played in only 13 games,
mostly at DH, because of a bad case of shin splints. His massive raw
power potential was readily evident, but he struggled in adapting to
wood in his short stint in the league.
year’s GLL list was noteworthy because of its inclusion of Walker
and Roache, both potential first-round picks in the 2012 draft, but
also because seven players in the top 30 are repeat performers this
them is Lake Erie outfielder Alex Johnson, who was selected the
league’s official top pro prospect this summer and was generally
acknowledged as the league’s best athlete. He was ranked No. 5 on
this list a year ago and dropped to No. 6 this season.
has unmistakable tools, but went undrafted in June after his junior
year at Cleveland State as scouts raised significant questions
whether he’ll ever make it in pro ball because of an unconventional
swing that locks out his left arm and makes him very vulnerable to
high-velocity pitching. He was on fire in the first half of the GLL
season, hitting upwards of .450, but opposing teams began to figure
out where he was vulnerable and he went into a significant tailspin
in the second half. With his unorthodox swing, it only exacerbated
his slump and there’s debate whether his quirky swing mechanics may
even be correctable.
Cleveland State abandoning its baseball program following the 2011
season, Johnson will have access to fresh instruction at his new
school, Miami of Ohio, and it will be interesting to track Johnson’s
progress next spring to assess whether he has made enough strides
with the bat to win over dubious area scouts, though as a senior his
time is running out. He will be eligible at Miami immediately.
Lima Locos, meanwhile, won their third title in league history,
beating the Southern Ohio Copperheads in the final of the league’s
six-team post-season tournament. But the Locos are not heavily
represented on the list of the league’s best prospects with only
one player in the top 20.
pitching dominated the league this summer. Not only are the top four
prospects pitchers, but most of the better hitters in the league are
either rising seniors or profile out as senior signs.
League Established: 1986.
Represented in League: Kentucky,
of Teams in League: 10.
Champion (best overall record):
Southern Ohio Copperheads.
Champion: Lima Locos.
PG CrossChecker Summer 50/Final Ranking:
No. 15 Lima Locos; No. 26 Southern Ohio Copperheads.
1 Prospect, 2010 (per PG CrossChecker): Adam
Brett Walker, of, Licking County Settlers (Jacksonville; played in
Cape Cod League in 2011).
2010 Player Selected, 2011 Draft:
Tyler Mills, rhp, Lima Locos (Michigan; Mariners/9th round).
of the Year: Mark Lapikas, 1b, Stark
of the Year: Alex Radon, rhp, Lake
Position Prospect (as selected by league):
Alex Johnson, of, Licking County Settlers.
Top Pitching Prospect/LHP: Tyler
Alexander, Hamilton Joe’s.
Pitching Prospect/RHP: Zac Isler,
LEADERS (League games only)
Average: Tyler Grogg, of, Southern
Ohio Copperheads (.379).
Percentage: Mark Lapikas, 1b, Stark
County Terriers (.633).
Average: Tyler Grogg, of, Southern
Ohio Copperheads; Mark Lapikas, 1b, Stark County Terriers (.467).
Runs: Kevin Bower, 1b, Cincinnati
Steam; Mark Lapikas, 1b, Stark County Terriers (6).
Mark Lapikas, 1b, Stark County Terriers (31).
Bases: Alex Johnson, of, Licking
County Terriers (20).
LEADERS (League games only)
Three tied at 5.
Alex Radon, rhp, Lake Erie Monarchs (0.81).
Zach Isler, rhp, Cincinnati Steam (8).
Chuck Ghysels, rhp, Hamilton Joe’s (62).
Athlete: Alex Johnson, of, Lake Erie
Hitter: J.T. Riddle, ss/of,
Power: Kevin Bower, 1b, Cincinnati
Base Runner: Mark Elwell, of,
Defensive Player: Alex Johnson, of,
Lake Erie Monarchs.
Velocity: Chuck Ghysels, rhp,
Breaking Ball: Dusty Isaacs, rhp,
Hamilton Joe’s; Zach Sterling, rhp, Lima Locos.
Command: Alex Radon, rhp, Lake Erie
DUSTY ISAACS, rhp, Hamilton Joe’s (Georgia Tech/SO in 2012)
PROFILE: With one of the best
starting rotations in the nation last spring, Georgia Tech had no
room for a promising freshman arm from Ohio, so Isaacs worked in the
Yellow Jackets bullpen. He pitched admirably in a set-up role, going
1-1, 2.72 with 13 walks and 40 strikeouts in 36 innings, spread over
25 appearances. Isaacs got his chance to start this summer, and
blossomed by going 5-1, 2.44 with 50 strikeouts in 44 innings.
Sixteen of those strikeouts came in a league individual game
record-breaking performance on July 8, even as he was lifted in the
final inning. His slider was generally his best pitch on the summer,
and was unusually sharp and crisp in that outing. Isaacs generally
threw four pitches for strikes, and his fastball peaked out at 94
mph, though was more typically in the low-90s, but also dipped into
the low-80s on occasion late in the season. It was consistently in
the low-90s with late life at the league all-star game, where he
fanned all three batters he faced. With his four-pitch arsenal and
command of the strike zone, Isaacs was the most polished pitcher in
the league and has safely been penciled in as a starter at Georgia
Tech as a sophomore. His smallish 6-foot frame may be an impediment
as he advances, but scouts will also be quick to see a quick arm and
easy, balanced delivery, along with all his other attributes.
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