A plethora of college scouts were in attendance for Area Code tryouts at North Central College in Naperville on Monday, June 24. Underclass prospects hoped to impress in the field, on the mound and with the bat in several categories such as the 60 Yard Dash, Infield/Outfield Velocity, Catcher Velocity and Hitting Exit Velocity. The pitchers took to the mound as well to showcase their Fastball, Curveball and Changeup.
A light rain wouldn’t stop the players from showing off their speed. A total of twelve players recorded times under seven seconds with the top time produced by Antoine Harris (OF, Montini Catholic). Harris recorded a 6.65 60 time and was followed by Cole Payton (6.69, Westside; Omaha, NE), Eddie King Jr. (6.70, Marian Catholic), Tylor Phommmachanhom (6.71, Plainfield South) and Noah Smith (6.75, Marist Chicago) to round out the top 5.
The outfielders tested their arm strength and a handful of players reached 90 mph with a few more coming close. King Jr. found his 93 mph throw at the top of the list. Drew Gray’s (Belleville East) 92 mph was not far behind followed by a tie between Gavin Baldwin (Nashville Community) and Michael Lippe (Whitefish Bay; Milwaukee, WI) who clocked their top throws in at 91 mph. Cameron Hill (Kenwood Academy) and Harris had the next best throws, reaching 88 mph on the gun. The infielders took their turn to show off their arms as well as Vytas Valincius (3B, St. Laurence) led the way with a 92 mph throw. Noah Smith found himself within the top 5 again with the next best throw of 91 mph followed by Abram Wills’ (Coal City) 90 mph hurl. Middle infielders Israel Delgado (Illiana Christian) and Brady Young (Hamphsire) both recorded 89 mph throws to place themselves in the top 5.
Catchers also recorded velocity to test ability to gun down opponents on the basepath. Three players, Nathan McFall (Mahomet-Seymour), Ian Moller (Wahlert; Dubuque, Iowa) and Alex Calarco (New Trier) tied for the best throw at 84 mph while Camden Janik (Wauconda) and Trett Joles (Menomonie; Menomonie, WI) also recorded throws of at least 80 mph (81 mph).
After showcasing skills in the field, the players took to the cage for a round of swings to measure their exit velocity. Valincius’ hardest hit ball clocked in at 94 mph along with catcher Gavin Bennett (Libertyville). Lippe and William Hill (OF, St. Rita) came just shy for a share in the top spot with a 93-mph ball followed by Calarco (91 mph), Liam Moreno (3B, Sun Prairie; Sun Prairie, WI), Sam Ott (1B, Oconomowoc; Oconomowoc, WI) and Janik who all hit 90 mph.
Pitchers were able to show off their fastball, breaking ball and changeup in front of scouts. Vincent Trapani (Memorial; Eau Claire, Wisconsin) had the lone pitch in the 90s with his fastest throw at 90 mph. Drew Gray’s arm was lively again allowing him to throw 88 mph followed by Abram Wills’ 87 mph. Jack Rodi (Benet Academy) was close with his best fastball at 86 mph and Drew Duckhorn (Hinsdale South), the hardest throwing southpaw on the day, at 85 mph. The top three curveball velocities had some of the same names at the top with Trapani again leading the way (77 mph) followed by Duckhorn (75 mph) and Rodi (73 mph). Logan Landers (Brookfield Academy; Brookfield, WI) and Ethan Hansen (Buffalo; Buffalo, MN) complete the top five with 72 mph curveballs. Again, changeup velocities featured some of the same players with Trapani yet again finding himself at the top with an 83-mph changeup. Landers and Wills threw 79 mph to tie for second-hardest thrown changeup in front of Gray, Hansen and Rodi who threw 78 mph.
It is safe to say that there were a lot of talented, young players in attendance on Monday and the scouts took notice as these athletes hope to continue their playing career post-high school and potentially get drafted by an MLB club.