2017 Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League Top Prospects

Great Lakes League Top Prospects
Bailey Peterson, INF, Grand River, (So., Michigan State)
Vince Vanelle, RHP, Cincinnati, (So., Florida Southwestern State JC)
Jack Weisenburger, RHP/OF, Lake Erie (So., Michigan)
Tyler Tolbert, SS, Lima, (So., Alabama-Birmingham)
Nate Grys, OF, Lake Erie, (Jr., Western Michigan)
Blaine Crim, OF, Southern Ohio, (Jr. Mississippi College)
Braden Niksich, RHP, Grand Lake, (So., Illinois State)
Ryan Fournier, 2B, Lake Erie (R-So., Xaiver)
Bryce Kelley, OF/ LHP, Muskegon (So., Michigan State)
Christian Bullock, OF, Lake Erie, (So., Michigan)

SEE ALSO: Summer College League Top Prospects

POSTSEASON RECAP: After dropping the first game of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League championship series to the Grand Lake Mariners, the Lima Locos delivered two shutout victories, including a 3-0 title-clinching win to take home the championship. This was the Locos’ third title in seven years and their fifth total. They now rank second behind the Columbus All Americans for most titles in GLSCL history.

1. Bailey Peterson, 2B/OF, Grand River, (So., Michigan State)

Peterson was voted as the top hitting prospect in the GLSCL this summer. As a freshman at Kellogg (Mich.) JC this spring, Peterson batted .473, finishing fourth in the NJSCAA in hitting. He also stole 20 bases and hit 11 homers. He followed that by batting .374/.455/.718, stealing 11 bases and hitting 12 homers this summer. He handled all kinds of pitching and hit the ball to all fields. The 6-foot, 180-pound Peterson is a good athlete and an above-average runner, but his defense is a question mark. He played both infield (mostly second and first base) and outfield this summer and wasn’t better than an average defender at any position. He will play at Michigan State this spring.

2. Vince Vanelle, RHP, Cincinnati, (So., Florida Southwestern State JC)

Vanelle ranked as the league’s top pitching prospect. Working as the Steam’s closer this summer, Vanelle’s fastball sat around 93 mph. He also throws a hard breaking ball, but he has more command with his fastball. Vanelle delivers the ball with a bit of a deceptive herky-jerky motion, which makes it difficult for the hitter to pick up the ball. The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder out of Mason, Ohio, struck out 37 batters and walked seven in 18.2 innings of work, posting a 0.92 ERA.

3. Jack Weisenburger, RHP/OF, Lake Erie (So., Michigan)

Weisenburger is part of a storied family tradition with the Wolverines. His father (Brent) and grandfather (Jack) were both football and baseball players at Michigan. In his freshman campaign this spring, Weisenburger logged just 5.2 innings on the mound and one official at-bat for the Wolverines. Weisenburger is a big-bodied righthander at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds. He throws in the low 90s with a max-effort delivery. He has good command of his fastball, while his changeup and breaking ball still need work. As a starter for Lake Erie, Weisenburger went 5-0, 0.95, though he didn’t pitch enough innings to qualify for the league ERA title thanks to summer school and some rainouts. He struck out 33 and walked 17 in 28.1 innings of work. He appears to be much more of a prospect on the mound.

4. Tyler Tolbert, SS, Lima (So., Alabama-Birmingham)

UAB used Tyler Tolbert mostly at second base this spring, but he got a chance to play shortstop this summer. Tolbert hit just .151 for UAB but stole 11 bases. He batted .354/.448/.392 for Lima with 19 steals. Tolbert is a smooth middle infielder with plus-plus speed. Listed at 5-foot-11, 150 pounds on UAB’s roster this spring and at 160 pounds this summer, Tolbert is very thin and does not have much power.

5. Nate Grys, OF, Lake Erie (Jr., Western Michigan)

Grys teamed with Ryan Fournier to give Lake Erie a 1-2 offensive punch that impressed league coaches. The big, physical outfielder batted .400 to lead the league and also had 21 extra-base hits. Grys batted .302/.373/.453 with 11 doubles and six homers in his sophomore season at Western Michigan. At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds he has decent size for a corner outfield position, and he’s a solid athlete who played quarterback for his prep football team and also played two years of high school basketball.

6. Blaine Crim, OF, Southern Ohio, (Jr., Mississippi College)

Since arriving at Division II Mississippi College, Blaine Crim has hit the baseball. He bated .300 as a freshman before batting .335 this spring. Crim batted .359 for the Copperheads with four homers and a league-leading 17 doubles. Th 5-foot-11, 190-pound righthanded hitter fared particularly well against top pitching, hitting two doubles and a homer in the league all-star game. Crim is a below-average runner, and though he has some arm strength (he’s pitched and played some third base), he doesn’t excel at any position defensively.

7. Braden Niksich, RHP, Grand Lake Mariners, (So., Illinois State)

Righthander Braden Niksich pitched just 4.2 innings during his first year at Illinois State this spring. He saw a lot more time on the mound this summer, striking out 27 batters in 24 regular season innings before walking 13 in a pair of playoff starts, one of them a quality start. Niksich’s fastball sat in the low 90s, but got up to 95. His offspeed is still a work in progress, but he has a tight slider and started to show a good feel for his changeup as the summer advanced. While erratic at times, Niksich has good size at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds and a live arm.

8. Ryan Fournier, 2B, Lake Erie Monarchs, (r-So., Xavier)

During his first two years at Xavier, Fournier has gotten just 13 at-bats. With the chance to play everyday this summer, Fournier showed he can produce. He hit .338/.429/.640 in 136 at-bats with eight home runs, second in the league to Peterson. Fournier is a solid defender, with an average arm and average hands. His best tool is his power, as the 5-foot-11, 186-pounder also added 13 doubles and two triples. He’ll have to hit as he isn’t a great runner.

9. Bryce Kelley, OF, Muskegon (So., Michigan State)

A 6-foot-2, 200 pounder, Kelley was a high school teammate of No. 3 prospect Jack Weisenburger. Kelley hit his way into Michigan State’s lineup as a freshman left fielder (.353, 13 SB), then hit and pitched in the Great Lakes League, with more success at the plate. He bats and throws lefthanded and got hammered in his last two outings on the mound, where he’s funky and unorthodox with an upper 80s fastball. Kelley is more advanced at the plate, where he works deep counts and can get on base, where he can use his plus speed (4.0 seconds to first base).

10. Christian Bullock, OF, Lake Erie (So., Michigan)

Like Kelley, Bullock is a lefthanded hitter with speed (he’s a 6.5-second runner in the 60) as his best tool. Bullock had less experience in the spring and needed at-bats this summer, and his .340/.429/.425 slash line shows he got it. He’s still raw at the plate, leading to too much swing-and-miss (35 strikeouts in 106 at-bats), but he has the bat speed to impact the baseball as he gets more experience against quality pitching. Bullock has the speed and athleticism to be a center fielder as well.

Comments are closed.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone