05/24/2021 7:11 PM -
Crestwood, Ill. – May 24, 2021 – The Crestwood Panthers began the process of disclosing their roster for the 2021 season by announcing 21 players on Monday. The club will continue to announce additions to the roster leading up to the season.
Gannon Andrews, C, Purdue University Northwest / Portage, Mich. / Portage Northern HS
As a freshman in 2021 at Purdue-Northwest, Andrews earned immediate playing time, posting a .240 batting average to complement a 1.000 fielding percentage behind the plate. With an impressive pop time of 1.92 seconds and the “foot quickness of a middle infielder,” Andrews is considered a top-rate defensive catcher. He was a PBR Future Games participant in 2018.
Ronald Applewhite, OF, Culver-Stockton College / Chicago, Ill. / Rich East HS
Entering his second season with Crestwood, Applewhite looks to build off a red-hot performance in 2020. As a late-season addition, Applewhite made the most of his limited time with the Panthers, hitting .500 across six games to go along with an OPS of 1.417. At Culver-Stockton this past spring, Applewhite was a perfect 15-for-15 in stolen-base attempts. His speed and aggressiveness at the plate will greatly assist the Panthers’ offense.
Riley Beck, 3B/MIF, Purdue University Northwest / Cedar Rapids, Iowa / Xavier HS
Beck returns to the Panthers after serving as a key piece to their success in 2020. Known for his defensive versatility, Beck can play three different positions across the infield and exhibits excellent patience at the plate. He drew seven walks, plus added four RBIs and nine runs scored last season. At Xavier High School, Beck played baseball, ice hockey and football, the latter of which included a state championship in 2017.
Dino Biggers, C/INF, Illinois Wesleyan University / Naperville, Ill. / Naperville Central HS
As a freshman at Illinois Wesleyan in the spring, Biggers earned significant playing time, appearing in 17 games while maintaining a 1.000 fielding percentage at catcher and across the infield. At Naperville Central, Biggers hit .308 at the varsity level, plus qualified for the WWBA Midwest Underclass Tournament.
Chazz Clark, OF, Xavier University of Louisiana / Chicago, Ill. / Marist HS
The Perfect Game Preseason All-American joins the Panthers by way of Marist High School, where he posted an eye-popping .367/.475/.510 slash line during the spring varsity season. He also played for the prestigious White Sox ACE travel team, and recently committed to Xavier University of Louisiana. Clark looks to use his “line-drive-producing” bat to assist the Panthers’ offensive attack.
Kevin Coe Jr., OF/INF, Eastern Kentucky University / Chicago, Ill. / Whitney Young HS
Coe makes his return to Crestwood after hitting an impressive .292 last summer, serving as a consistent anchor atop the batting order. After his redshirt freshman season at Eastern Kentucky, Coe looks to build off his encouraging beginning to his MCL career. Entering last season, he was ranked as one of the top 100 players in Illinois, according to Perfect Game.
KJ Evans, RHP, Rockford University / Crete, Ill. / Crete-Monee HS
In a brief stint with the Panthers in 2019, Evans pitched to a 2.84 ERA over 6 1/3 innings out of the bullpen. This year, he is primed for a premier role in the starting rotation. During the shortened 2020 collegiate season, Evans continued right where he left off, posting a 2.13 ERA over 12 2/3 innings, adding 17 strikeouts against only four walks.
Tim Fauth, 1B/DH, North Park University / Elk Grove Village, Ill. / Conant HS
Fauth is set to return for his third season with the Panthers. Last year, the Conant High School product hit .247 while adding three home runs and 17 RBIs across 27 games. This past season at North Park, Fauth slashed an impressive .333/.333/.500 and posted a 1.000 fielding percentage at first base. He is projected to be the Panthers’ starting first baseman in 2021.
Maurey Garrett, INF, University of Northwestern Ohio / Homewood, Ill. / Homewood-Flossmoor HS
Garrett returns to the Panthers for his second season after not playing in 2020. In 2019, Garrett hit .269, adding 15 RBIs over 22 games. He was also one of two players on the team to record more walks than strikeouts. His disciplined approach at the plate combined with his defensive versatility should be of great help to Crestwood this season.
Gabe Halaby, OF, University of Chicago / Monument, Colo. / Palmer Ridge HS
Halaby joins the Panthers after contributing to a UChicago team that finished 19-10 in 2021. The Monument native posted a .515 batting average with a 1.193 OPS at the high school varsity level, and earned First Team All-Area honors. He was also named the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a senior in high school.
Justin Johnson, LHP, Marian University / Cedar Lake, Ind. / Marian Catholic HS
A Preseason All-American who recently committed to Marian University, Johnson is considered a crafty lefty with a four-pitch repertoire. Scouts say he is “impressive on the mound with a smooth rhythm throughout his delivery.” He stands to make his mark within the Panthers’ starting rotation, providing the team with valuable innings and the potential for dominance throughout the MCL.
Sean Lynch, OF, Eastern Illinois University / Indian Creek, Ill. / Carmel Catholic HS
Lynch arrives to Crestwood fresh off his first taste of collegiate baseball at Eastern Illinois. He registered six walks and three hit-by-pitches in 14 games to go along with a .982 fielding percentage. Lynch looks to use this summer as an opportunity to accrue more experience at the college level, and stands to make an impact in the heart of the Panthers’ lineup.
Jake Margolick, MIF/3B, Kalamazoo College / Highland Park, Ill. / Highland Park HS
After a remarkable freshman season in which he hit .375, Margolick looks to provide the Panthers with that same production this summer. The Highland Park native was a highly decorated high school prospect, garnering Preseason All-American honors in 2020, while being ranked as the 32nd best shortstop in Illinois, via Perfect Game.
Hayden Matulich, OF, Purdue University Northwest / San Jose, Calif. / Pioneer HS
Matulich joins the Panthers following his freshman baseball season at Purdue-Northwest. He appeared in five games during the spring, recording one RBI and two walks, while playing flawless defense in the outfield. Known for his “positive personality and team-first approach,” Matulich is a welcome addition to a Crestwood team that needed some outfield help.
Donovan McIntyre, OF, Kent State University / Richton Park, Ill. / Marian Catholic HS
A recent Kent State University commit, McIntyre brings a plethora of accolades to the Panthers. He was recently ranked as a top-500 national player by Perfect Game, plus earned Preseason All-American honors in 2021. His 6.96 60-yard dash time makes him one of the fastest players in the MCL, and, similar to Chazz Clark, he was a member of the White Sox ACE travel baseball program.
Jaylon Nauden, SS, Butler University / Olympia Fields, Ill. / Marian Catholic HS
Another top-500 national player, Nauden has just graduated from Marian Catholic and intends to continue to baseball career at Butler. Scouts say Nauden “swings with intent and has a gap-to-gap approach,” as evidenced by his 96 mile-per-hour exit velocity. He will look to make an immediate impact in the Panthers’ lineup, and has the potential to be a breakout star for the team this summer.
Donovan Noble, INF, South Suburban College / Chicago, Ill. / Brooks College Prep Academy
Noble is returning to the Panthers after putting up quality numbers in 2020. As one of the team’s starting middle infielders, Noble slashed .277/.435/.338, adding 16 runs scored, 10 RBIs and 13 walks. Crestwood will count on his consistency at the plate and his ability to get on base as they look to sustain progress in 2021.
Mike Pawyza, 2B, 3B, 1B, McHenry County College / Lockport, Ill. / Lockport HS
Pawyza, in limited time, made the most of his opportunities at McHenry County this past spring. He posted an exemplary .600 batting average in five games, recording three doubles and three RBIs in the process. His defensive versatility makes him a valuable lineup piece for the Panthers, as he looks to make his mark on the MCL this summer.
Tyler Schultz, MIF/3B, Purdue University-Northwest / Hobart, Ind. / Hobart HS
Schultz burst onto the scene as a freshman at Purdue Northwest, recording a .325 batting average across 11 games, and adding seven runs scored and five RBIs. He will be a welcome addition to the Panthers’ lineup, one that could use a quality contact-first hitter.
Tyler Struck, C, Murray State College / Orland Park, Ill. / Providence Catholic HS
An on-base machine with sufficient raw power, Struck looks to make his mark after putting up encouraging numbers at Murray State this spring. His on-base percentage was a full 160 points higher than his batting average, and his OPS stood at .835. His sure-handedness behind the plate will also provide the Panthers with reliable catching depth. Last season, with the MCL Minutemen, Struck held his own behind the plate, plus added 12 runs scored in 21 games.
Bennett Wogan, RHP, Dominican University / Momence, Ill. / Momence HS
Wogan was a workhorse for the Stars this spring, pitching just shy of 20 innings and recording an ERA of 4.12. He was used in a variety of situations, notching appearances in the closer’s role, as a starter, and in middle relief. That ability will prove to be quite valuable for the Panthers in 2021.