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2013 Spring Top Prospect Showcase






2013 Top Prospects

Jacob Brentz - LHP - 2013 - Ballwin, MO
Those who have seen Brentz throw in each of his outings this spring quickly acknowledged this was his worst showing, which has to be taken in the context of his touching 95 mph and throwing a number of 93-94s in Cedar Rapids. But his changeup, which has been very good at times this spring, command and breaking ball were all inconsistent at best and serve as a reminder of just how few innings this very talented young southpaw has thrown in his baseball career.

Derek Burkamper - RHP - 2013 - Muscatine, IA
Burkamper gave notice to how much he has improved at the Pitcher/Catcher Indoor Showcase in February and reports on him from the Iowa Spring League have been encouraging as well. He was simply outstanding on Sunday, throwing in the 89-92 mph range from a steep downhill angle and a smooth, repeatable delivery. Burkamper’s 76-78 mph curveball was hard and tight, and while he could have thrown more changeups, that pitch also flashed good quality. It was at least a solid third round type performance and perhaps better.

Shane Cooper - SS - 2013 - O'Fallon, MO
Cooper has a very well rounded game that is just going to keep getting better as he fills in his wiry strong 6-0/160 frame. He has smooth middle infield actions to go with 6.9 speed and a right-handed bat that graded out in the top five of all hitters at the event in batting practice. Cooper also pitched a quick inning, sitting at 88 mph with an effortless arm action and delivery and could develop into a two-way prospect in college.

Anthony Denkinger - SS - 2013 - Windsor Heights, IA
Denkinger is a quality all-around athlete whose right-handed bat and power have really been improving in the Iowa Spring League, notably when he blasted a recent home run off LHP Jake Brentz. The recent Air Force signee ran 6.81 in the 60 and threw 89 across the infield in drills.

Taylor Field - C - 2013 - Newton, IA
Field, who has signed with Winona State in Minnesota, showed a nice combination of athleticism, defensive ability and right-handed bat speed and is going to be a very solid college level catcher.

Max Knutson - LHP - 2013 - Arden Hills, MN
Knutson is a highly athletic left-hander who set an event record during fielding drills with a 94 mph throw from the outfield. He topped out at 92 mph on the mound with a very fast arm and pitching mechanics that have smoothed out significantly since the last time we saw him. Knutson will have to improve both his curveball and changeup at the next level, but his arm strength and athleticism are plus tools.

Alex Moore - LHP - 2013 - Mount Pleasant, IA
The 6-2/235 Moore gave up baseball for two years to concentrate on football but has returned to the mound and looked very good in doing so. The southpaw topped out at 89 mph on his fastball with a mid-70s slider that flashed good bite at times.

AJ Puk - LHP - 2013 - Cedar Rapids, IA
Puk is a notoriously slow starter in the spring and proved it again on Sunday, working in the 85-89 mph range with a 74 mph breaking ball. He hit a couple of balls hard, including a triple to centerfield, but will probably remember the weekend for running a 7.48 60 on the wet Perfect Game Field grass. His previous best was 7.83 and he was visibly excited by his time Saturday morning.

Dom Thompson-Williams - OF - 2013 - Sioux City, IA
Thompson-Williams recently committed to play both baseball and football at Iowa Western CC, which just happens to be the defending national junior college champions in both sports. He’s a quick-twitch athlete who showed both a stronger arm and better raw bat speed than we’ve previously seen.


2014 Top Prospects

Josh Baumgart - RHP - 2014 - Sioux Falls, SD
Baumgart is another young South Dakota middle infielder with a wide range of tools and skills. He threw 87 mph from both the infield and the mound while opening some eyes with 93 mph arm strength from the outfield. He has an aggressive right-handed swing with good bat speed and more to come as he gets stronger.

Antonio Cox - OF - 2014 - Kingwood, TX
Cox has a tightly wound 5-11/185 athletic build with a nice combination of strength and quickness. He ran the 60 in 6.73 and had a strong right-handed swing that produced consistent line drives.

Slade Heggen - C - 2014 - Missoula, MT
There seems to have been an increasing number of prospects from the state of Montana in recent years and the multi-tooled Heggen looks to be the next in line. He swung the bat very well from the right side, popped an event leading 1.87 in drills and even ran 6.78 in the 60. Like Ryan Lillard above, Heggen will be ready to open eyes nationally this summer.

Zack Henderson - RHP - 2014 - Greendale, WI
Henderson is a big and strong 6-3/210 right-hander who creates good downhill angle on a fastball that topped out at 88 mph. His 74 mph slider had good angle to it and was an effective pitch, as was an 83 mph cutter.

Mitch Keller - RHP - 2014 - Cedar Rapids, IA
Keller’s 6-3 frame is filling out and he’s up to 200 pounds with very strong hips. The North Carolina commit topped out at 90 mph for the first time in his 10th overall Perfect Game event and there is more still to come in the future.

Ryan Lillard - SS - 2014 - Urbandale, IA
Lillard’s tools have blossomed across the board and he looks like a high national level prospect for the coming summer and beyond. He ran the 60 in 6.71 and threw an eye opening 90 mph across the infield, while showing impressive bat speed from the left side of the plate. It didn’t look like the junior Kansas State commit had any weaknesses in his game and still had plenty of projection in his 6-1/185 build.

Keaton McKinney - RHP - 2014 - Ankeny, IA
McKinney has been a top prospect in Iowa for so long that sometimes it’s easy to forget that he is still only a junior. He continues to develop as an all-around player, topping out at 91 mph on the mound and swinging the bat with power in both batting practice and in the games.

Luke Sommerfeld - RHP - 2014 - Elm Grove, WI
Sommerfeld only topped out at 85 mph but looked smooth and easy doing so and there is much more in the 6-5/205 right-hander’s arm. He also showed good feel for pitching with a mid-70s slider and low-80s cutter both being effective pitches.


2015 Top Prospects

Cole Baker - RHP - 2015 - Grimes, IA
Baker, the third sophomore on the Top Prospect list, has a very nice and projectable 6-3/187 build and a very loose and easy arm. He topped out at 85 mph with an upper-60s curveball but is just scratching the surface of his potential.

Michael Bruhin - LHP - 2015 - Dardenne Prairie, MO
Bruhin is a high energy and athletic 6-1/185 sophomore who already owns a solid three-pitch mix and the ability to throw strikes. He pitched very consistently at 83-85 mph for three very easy innings. Both his 70 mph curveball and 73 mph changeup are solid present pitches that he knows how to use.

Luke Farley - OF - 2015 - Denver, IA
Farley is only a sophomore but he was the most impressive hitter in games all weekend, squaring up hard line drives to all fields and showing power to go with his barrel skills. He’s a good athlete with a 6-1/190 build and 7.02 speed in the 60 and will just keep improving as he gets older.