Prospects in the 2021 class patiently waited out thunderstorms on Sunday for their shot at making the Cedar Rapids Fall team as well as a chance to display their talent in front of college scouts. Players measured their 60-yard dash times, infield and outfield velocities, pop times, exit velocity and pitching velocity (fastball, changeup, breaking ball).
Beginning with the 60-yard dash, four players recorded times under seven seconds with the top time belonging to Antoine Harris (6.8) followed by Austin Murray (6.9), Conor Diedrich and Tylor Phommachanhom (both ran a 6.95). Four more players just missed out on the sub-seven second times and ran a 7.00 (Christopher Worcester, Keagan Bobbitt, Karson Bonaparte and Steven Sanderson). Despite a damp field, these prospects were still able to show off their speed and what they can offer in the field and basepath.
After the 60-yard dash, the outfielders were given an opportunity to show off their arm by measuring velocity on throws from right field. MacCallan Conklin, an Illinois State commit, threw a scorching 91 mph which was good for the lone 90+ mph throw. Harris recorded a throw of 89 mph followed by Cole Luckey and Murray (88 mph). Brady Young rounded out the top five with his 87-mph toss. The infielders then took their turn recording throwing velocities and Ryan Taylor captured the crown with his 85 mph throw. Nick DeMarco, who has committed to play at Notre Dame, registered 84 mph on the gun as well as Bonaparte. Noah Miller (Alabama commit) ranked fourth with 83 mph followed by Phommachanhom (81 mph).
Before hitting, catchers recorded pop times. The top times were Camden Janik (1.84 seconds), Alex Calarco (1.87 seconds) and Joey Spence (1.90 seconds). All three players have committed to play ball at the next level. Janik is committed to Illinois, Calarco to Northwestern and Spence to Notre Dame to team up with aforementioned Nick DeMarco.
It was an impressive day in the cage as many prospects flashed great hitting ability to all sides of the field. Calarco led the way with a booming 95 mph from the left side (who also had a velocity of 90 mph from the right side). Cameron Hill also touched 95 mph to tie him for the top spot alongside Calarco. Bonaparte once again found himself near the top of the list with 92 mph while Jared Everson recorded the same exit velocity. Gavin Bennett placed fifth on the list (90 mph) and proved to be the last of the 90+ mph hitting velos.
Transitioning over to pitching, prospects showcased their fastball, changeup and breaking ball. Conklin had the top fastball velocity clocking in at 87 mph followed by a cluster of 86 mph throws from Young, Drew Stippich, Grant Comstock and Jack Rodi. Noah Edders (79 mph) edged Conklin (78 mph) for the top changeup velocity and a trio of Young, Kaydon Norkus and Alex Hayes followed with 77 mph. For breaking balls, it was Stippich (75 mph) who led the way this time ahead of Edders (74 mph), Norkus (73 mph), Young and Conklin (72 mph).
Players will soon find out if their performance Sunday was suitable enough to earn a spot on the roster. Nonetheless, it was an all-around excellent day from these prospects as they continue to grow and improve in their young baseball careers.