BRADENTON - PW Underclass All American Brett Hanewich was the star of the opening day of the 1st Annual IMG National Classic. The 6'3"/205 RHP/Switch Hitter brought out about a dozen MLB Area Scouts to watch his start on the mound vs. Corning High School.
Hanewich has always been an interesting 2-way prospect. He has a physical, yet projectable body. He pairs that with very live arm on the mound, and he has some ability with the bat from both sides of the plate. I tend to think he is a bit more advanced on the mound.
It should be noted that the coaches at IMG, lead by head coach Jason Elias, do a tremendous job of ensuring Hanewich does not hit while he is pitching. This is an assumption on my part, but based on how professional IMG runs their program, I am assuming this is the case. Hanewich was out of the hitting lineup today and that is such a rarity to see in high school when you have a player who can hit like Hanewich does. Keeping Hanewich out of the lineup allows him to focus on his pitching, not let bad at-bats effect his performance on the mound, and give his team a quality start. It also shows selflessness on the part of IMG to sacrifice winning so that Hanewich can have a quality start in front of the scouts in attendance.
Hanewich was mostly 89-90mph, and had pitches touch 92mph today. He mixed in a breaking ball at times, but pitched mostly off his fastball.
Some of his previous mechanical flaws have been improved. Hanewich used to have a very pronounced, jerky, leap towards home plate that has been tamed some. Remnants of the "jump" still exist, but his arm worked much more out in front today and his fastball had more life to it as a result. He still generates good armspeed, with a loose, whip-like arm action.