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updated: 4/23/2014 9:08 PM

Skoug's skills putting him in elite company

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  • Libertyville's Evan Skoug hits a fourth-inning grand slam against St. Charles East during the Class 4A state baseball semifinals at Silver Cross Field in Joliet.

       Libertyville's Evan Skoug hits a fourth-inning grand slam against St. Charles East during the Class 4A state baseball semifinals at Silver Cross Field in Joliet.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville's Evan Skoug points to his teammates as he rounds third after hitting a fourth-inning grand slam against St. Charles East during the Class 4A state baseball semifinals at Silver Cross Field.

       Libertyville's Evan Skoug points to his teammates as he rounds third after hitting a fourth-inning grand slam against St. Charles East during the Class 4A state baseball semifinals at Silver Cross Field.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 
 

Evan Skoug says he isn't necessarily a fan of either the Cubs or White Sox.

But Cubs and White Sox fans might be interested in the Libertyville catcher's scouting report of a player who could be in one of Chicago's baseball organizations this summer.

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Skoug is signed with Texas Christian University, whose 2014 recruiting class also includes Texas fireballer Tyler Kolek. Many scouting experts consider the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Kolek and lefty Brady Aiken of Cathedral Catholic in San Diego as the top high school pitchers in the country. Both are potential top-five picks in the June draft.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Cubs president Theo Epstein recently watched Kolek, who certainly will not attend TCU.

A high school ballplayer who is signed with a college doesn't have to honor his letter of intent if he decides to sign a professional contract.

"He's not coming (to TCU)," Skoug said of Kolek. "I mean, I would love it (if he did). ... I talk to him all the time. We're pretty tight."

Houston owns the top pick in the amateur draft, followed by Miami. The White Sox and Cubs pick third and fourth, respectively. A 1-2 combination of Chris Sale and Kolek down the road could be exciting for the White Sox. The Cubs -- with possibly Class AA righty C.J. Edwards aside -- don't have a pitcher in their minor league system with Kolek's upside, which is future ace.

On visits to TCU, Skoug has caught Kolek and understands why the Shepherd High senior right-hander has garnered the hype he has.

"It's pretty incredible," Skoug said. "The first time he started throwing bullpens it was easy 95 (mph), easy 96 (mph). It was the most impressive thing I've ever seen."

Skoug knows the money Kolek stands to earn as a high-first-round pick will be too much to turn down. Thus, Skoug knows he most likely won't be a college teammate of Kolek, whose fastball has reportedly hit 101 mph.

The question is, "Will Skoug play for TCU?"

The left-handed hitter, who possesses a great arm and release, could be drafted too. Professional scouts are frequent visitors to Libertyville games.

"There are (scouts) here usually every day," Skoug said. "It depends (how many). Sometimes, there's five. Sometimes, there's 25."

If drafted relatively high, would Skoug considering bypassing college to sign a pro contract?

"I don't know," he said after the Wildcats' 7-0 win at Lake Zurich Tuesday. "I'm still discussing it with my family. The TCU coach is coming (Wednesday), and we're going to have a sit-down conversation. It could go either way at this point."

Skoug says he tries not to pay attention to which scouts from which pro teams are scouting him. He's trying, instead, to stay focused on school and helping the defending Class 4A state runner-up win baseball games.

"My mom and coaches do a very good job of taking care of (the scouts) for me," Skoug said. "It's tough, but, yeah, I can (let them take care of that)."

jaguilar@dailyherald.com

• Follow Joe on Twitter: @JoeAguilar64

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