Area Code tryouts continued on Tuesday, June 25 at North Central College; this time featuring players in the 2020 graduating class and a much better day of weather. Again, a number of college coaches and scouts were in attendance as athletes measured 60-yard dash times, outfield/infield velocity, catcher velocity, pop time, and pitching (fastball, breaking ball, change up) velocity.
A great deal of impressive 60 times were recorded Tuesday and featured a total of eighteen players clocking sub-seven second times. Shortstop Michael Seegers (Oconomowoc, WI) had a scorching time of 6.56, placing him at the top of the list. Another shortstop, Jack Blazevich (Downers Grove South) also had a very impressive time of 6.62 seconds followed closely by outfielder Mackenzie Wainwright’s (Saint Edward) 6.68 time. CJ Cepicky (OF, St. John Vianney; St. Louis, MO) and Andy Nelson (SS, Wheaton North) had the next best times, clocking 6.70 and 6.72 seconds, respectively.
Outfielders and infielders measured throwing velocity at their position. In the outfield, Isaiah Jackson (Champaign Central) had the hardest throw of 97 mph. The next hardest throw came from Marquis Jackson (Brother Rice) at 92 mph and Jacob Bimbi (Crystal Lake South) had the next-best and only other 90+ mph throw at 91 mph. Martin Sosna’s (Fenwick) 88 mph throw was good for fourth on the list while Cepicky and Daniel Laughery (Grant Community) tied for next-best at 87 mph. The infielders followed up with a few throws across the infield and found third baseman Josh Houston (Mount Carmel) at the top of the list with an 89 mph throw. Next came shortstops Jacob Mote (University; Normal) and Alex Logusch (DeSmet Jesuit; St Louis, MO) each throwing 87 mph across the infield while another pair of shortstops, Jack Erickson (Hudson; Hudson, WI) and Kevin Coe (Whitney Young), placed in the top 5 for the day with throws of 86 mph and 85 mph, respectively.
The catchers also had an opportunity to measure their throws down to second base from behind the plate. Grant Knipp (Louisville Male; Louisville, KY) had the hardest throw by far after registering 88 mph on the gun. Bryan Broecker (Notre Dame) earned second place with his 83 mph throws and three catchers in Tyler Woltman (Wheaton North), Mike Schicker (Riverside-Brookfield) and Michael Aragon (Marian Central Catholic) tied for next-best with 82 mph. The catchers also measured pop times and Schicker lead the pack with a 1.80-time edging Cole Conn (St. Charles East) and Woltman’s 1.85 time. Will Busch (New Prague; New Prague, MN) and Broecker each recorded their best time of 1.89 for the next spot.
To conclude the day, pitchers showcased their fastball, breaking ball and changeup in front of scouts. In the fastball category, Parker Wright (Rock Bridge; Columbia, MO) and Noah Deluga (Lake Zurich) tied for the top spot at 89 mph. Tommy Lamb (Grafton; Grafton, WI), Jake Kuntzendorf (Aurora Christian), Ernie Day (Taft), Logusch, Holden Phelps (Prairie Ridge), Ryan Lynch (Penn; Mishawaka, IN) and (Isaiah) Jackson slung 88 mph fastballs for their best on the day. For curveballs, Ian Bahn (Mounds View; Arden Hills, MN) had the only 80 mph pitch at 81. Wright and Ryan Manikowski (Providence Catholic) shared the second-best velocity for curveballs at 78 mph. Again, Kuntzendorf (77 mph), Lynch (76 mph) and Lamb (76 mph) found themselves near the top of the list. Drew Christo (Elkhorn; Elkhorn, NE) also recorded a 76-mph curveball. Changeup was the last pitch that the participants were able to display. A three-way tie for the top spot included a few familiar names. Kuntzendorf, Lamb and Wright all threw 83 mph for their best changeups as Bahn and Day followed with 80 mph to conclude the pitching portion of the tryout.
It was an all-around impressive day from these prospects, most of which have committed to play baseball at the collegiate level in hopes of developing their game even further with the potential to move on to bigger and better stages in their young careers.