Prep Baseball Report Executive Director
Duncan founded the Prep Baseball Report in 2005, initially as an Illinois-based print magazine. Over the years, the Prep Baseball Report has evolved into one of the country’s biggest and most respected independent scouting services, with a singular focus of providing comprehensive coverage in every state we are in. Duncan has been covering and scouting baseball since 1997. He began his career in Central Florida, covering high school baseball and the Florida State League. From there, he moved to Southern California, where he was the Prep/JC Editor at the Daily Breeze in Torrance, and also covered the Dodgers and Angels. Duncan graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and also received a Master’s Degree from Northwestern University.
Rode came to Prep Baseball Report from Baseball America, where he established himself as one of the nation’s foremost experts of high school baseball. In his six years at Baseball America, Rode primarily served as the national high school editor. Rode’s responsibilities included compiling BA’s Top 100 player rankings, providing coverage from top national events, and assisting in BA’s comprehensive draft coverage. Rode also served as co-chair on the national ranking committee, in which he coordinated information for the High School Top 25 team rankings. Furthermore, Rode played an integral role in the birth of the National High School Invitational, working with USA Baseball to find and invite the top teams in the country for the 16-team tournament. Originally from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, he attended Elon University in North Carolina where he received a degree in journalism in 2007.
As the National Crosschecker, Hunt is involved in scouting all prep prospects, with a heavy focus on underclassmen at the state, regional and national levels. Hunt’s high-level baseball background, evaluative eye and overall energy and enthusiasm for scouting benefits the Prep Baseball Report team, which in turn benefits the players, coaches, pro scouts and fans alike. As a player, Hunt was a first-round pick (31st overall) by the Twins in 2008 out of Tulane, where he earned Conference USA Pitcher of the Year and first-team All-America honors. He originally attended the University of Virginia as a catcher and pitcher before transferring to Tulane. In 2006, Hunt led the Cape Cod League in strikeouts, and was named a high school All-American coming out of Ramapo HS in New Jersey in 2005. Hunt also coached at Tulane in 2013-2014.
State Scouting directors
Iowa and Minnesota Director of Scouting
Allison is one of the most respected recruiters and talent evaluators in the Midwest, having been the recruiting coordinator at Iowa Western CC for eight years. During that time, Iowa Western reached the Division I Junior College World Series seven times and won three national championships—2010, 2012 and 2014. Since 2007, 80 Reivers have committed to D-I programs to continue their playing careers while 27 went on to play pro ball. Before coaching at Iowa Western, Allison spent seven years at Muscatine (IA) CC, including six as the head coach. Allison began his playing career at Morningside College in Sioux City before transferring to Westmar University, where he earned all-conference, all-region and all-American honors as a catcher. Currently he is also an associate scout with the Cincinnati Reds.
Texas Director of Scouting
A native of Houston, Bicknell has built a reputation as one of college baseball’s most respected and relentless recruiters and talent evaluators over the last decade. Most recently, Bicknell served as the recruiting coordinator at the University of Kentucky. He also served in the same capacity as recruiting coordinator at the U.S. Air Force Academy for five seasons, where he actively recruited all corners of Texas.. When he wasn’t out on the road recruiting or developing the team’s position players, Bicknell taught Combatives and Water Survival at the Academy. Prior to the Air Force, Bicknell coached two years at each Davidson and Clemson, where he helped the program to a Super Regional in 2007. Bicknell began his college coaching career at University North Carolina Pembroke in 2004-2006, where he also earned his Master’s Degree in Sports Administration. As a player, Bicknell was an infielder at Wingate University.
Arkansas Director of Scouting
Bottoms’ roots are firmly entrenched in Arkansas. For five years Bottoms coached at Arkansas Baptist College, a Little Rock-based junior college that he helped build from scratch. The program originated in 2008, and Bottoms, who served as the recruiting coordinator and pitching coach, began his tenure there from 2009-2014. While coaching at Arkansas Baptist, Bottoms also served as an associate scout for the Kansas City Royals. After graduating from Greenland HS, Bottoms went on to pitch at Mid-America Christian University. Bottoms finished his undergraduate studies at the University of Arkansas, where he served as student manager under the tutelage of head coach Dave Van Horn.
Connecticut/Rhode Island Director of Scouting
A well-known coach in the Northeast, Brown comes to PBR after four seasons at Fairfield University in Connecticut. Most recently, Brown served as the associate head coach while overseeing recruiting as well as working with the pitching staff and assisting in the day-to-day operations. In 2014, the Stags had one of the best pitching staffs in the MAAC with a 3.77 ERA and set the program record for wins (32) and tied the program record in saves (11). Prior to his work at Fairfield, Brown spent two seasons as the pitching coach at Fordham University. While working with the Rams, Brown was able to cut the pitching staff ERA almost in half and helped them to a 30-win season. Before Fordham, Brown spent seven years at Pace University and two years at Georgetown University. Brown, a 2000 graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University, began his coaching career at his alma mater from 1999-2000.
Colorado Director of Scouting
Few know Colorado’s prep baseball landscape better than Cackowski. He has been a fixture in the Centennial State for nearly three decades, including the last 21 years as a high school coach. A 1992 graduate of Highlands Ranch HS, Cackowski is finishing up his eighth year as head coach of the perennial Colorado power. Among his many honors, Cackowski’s team made consecutive final four appearances in 2011 and 2012, and was ranked as high as 18th nationally by Baseball America in 2012. In his eight years at Highlands Ranch, he coached 32 players who have continued on to play college baseball, including three who were drafted. Cackowski, who also coached at ThunderRidge HS, serves as a task force member and scout for USA Baseball, in which he helps identify national team candidates for the Mountain West region. Cackowski played at Colorado Northwestern CC, and got his undergraduate degree from Colorado State before receiving a master’s from Colorado-Denver.
New York Director of Scouting
Cevette has a wealth of high-level baseball experience and knowledge that he brought to PBR with the launch of New York in early 2014. After being named Pennsylvania’s 2002 Gatorade Player of the Year, Cevette was drafted in the third round by the Cleveland Indians and signed out of high school. The hard-throwing 6-foot-4 left-hander was fast-tracked in the Indians organization, making it up to Triple-A at the age of 21. A torn labrum interrupted his progress and he retired in 2009, becoming the recruiting coordinator at Niagara. In 2010, Cevette was named the head coach at Corning CC, a position he held for two years. After a brief stint in coaching, Cevette decided to give pitching one more try. At an open tryout, Cevette hit 97 mph and was immediately signed by the Pirates. His arm injuries resurfaced in the Puerto Rico winter league, forcing him to walk away from playing for good.
Nebraska Director of Scouting
Born and raised in Nebraska, Feekin starred at Papillion-Lavista High School before the 6-foot-5 left-handed pitcher moved on to Iowa Western CC, where he participated in two Division I JUCO World Series in 2008 and 2009. A two-time draft at Iowa Western, Feekin instead moved on to the University of Louisville and won a Big East Conference Championship in 2010. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies in 2008 and 2009, respectively. He currently also serves as an associate scout for the Florida Marlins.
Florida Director of Scouting
Prior to coming to the Prep Baseball Report, Freeman most recently served as the Associate Head Coach at Broward College. Before to his stint at Broward, Freeman served as the recruiting coordinator at Seminole State College of Florida in 2012-2014. During his time at Seminole and Broward, he helped coach and recruit eight draft picks, including two eventual third-round picks in Jake Cosart and Austin Hays. Focusing on catching and the offense, two of the four catchers he coached went on to be drafted in Keith Skinner, an All-American at Seminole, and Yordany Salva. Prior to coaching, Freeman played at Seminole State College of Florida, where he was the Defensive Player of the Year. He finished his college career at King University before spending time with two independent professional league teams in the Fort Worth Cats and Alexandria Aces.
Kentucky Director of Scouting
A native of Cincinnati, Fuller joined PBR in 2012 with the launch of PBR Kentucky. He graduated from Glen Este HS, OH, in 1988 with a career pitching record of 28-3 and went on to pitch at Xavier University. He returned to Glen Este in 2008 to serve as the pitching coach and was part of three conference titles as well as two sectionals and one district. His pitching staff led the conference in ERA in three of the five years he spent as pitching coach. He also worked as a head coach in the Midland Redskins’ organization from 2002-2006 and with the Ohio Heat from 2007-2008. Fuller also serves as an associate scout for the San Diego Padres.
Pennsylvania Associate Scout - Philadelphia Region
Gill joins PBR with seven years of collegiate coaching experience under his belt. For the 2009-2012 seasons, he served as the Recruiting Coordinator at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. Gill spent the 2006-2008 campaigns at the University of Evansville in Evansville, IN. Prior to entering collegiate coaching, Gill worked as an Associate Scout for the Kansas City Royals (2005) and a Baseball Operations Intern for the Cleveland Indians (2003).
North Carolina Director of Scouting
Hall’s baseball roots and experiences run deep throughout North Carolina. Raised in Raleigh, Hall coached 14 years at UNC Charlotte, including seven years as associate head coach and 11 seasons as the recruiting coordinator. Prior to joining the coaching staff at Charlotte, Hall spent four seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, UNC Wilmington, where he also worked with the pitchers. In all, Hall has spent the 18 years coaching at the Division 1 level in North Carolina. In his 18 seasons as an assistant at the two schools, Hall's teams have won eight regular-season championships and seven of his pitching staffs have been ranked nationally in ERA, including the top spot in the nation in 2007 (at 2.64). The 2011 squad finished 10th in the country with a 2.81 ERA, while allowing the sixth-fewest hits per nine innings (7.43) in the nation. Additionally, for the second-straight year, Hall was named to the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars coaching staff in which he assisted the 2015 18U National Team in selecting the participants for the National Team Trials.
New England Director of Scouting
A decorated high-level recruiter and coach, Healy brings a wealth of baseball experience to the Prep Baseball Report. For the last six years Healy has served as the pitching coach at Wake Forest University. During his tenure Healy helped lead the Demon Deacons to a nationally ranked recruiting class in 2013, and berths to the ACC Conference Tournament in 2011, 2012 and 2014. Prior to his work at Wake Forest, Healy was the head coach at Marist College for five years, where he paved recruiting in-roads all across the northeast. In 2009, he guided Marist to the MAAC championship. Before taking the helm at Marist, Healy served as an assistant coach at the University of New Orleans.
Ohio Director of Scouting
Heilmann brings over 12 years of coaching and recruiting experience at the Division I level, including the past five years at his alma mater, University of Cincinnati, and seven years at Xavier University. In his tenure at both programs, Heilmann established himself as one of the most relentless recruiters in the business. In total, fifteen pitchers that Heilmann recruited and/or coached have been selected in the Major league Baseball Draft. Prior to Cincinnati and Xavier, Heilmann briefly coached at then Division II Northern Kentucky and Division III Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati. In addition to his years on the collegiate level, Heilmann spent five summers as both an assistant and head coach in the nationally recognized Midland summer baseball organization. Heilmann’s roots run deep in Ohio. He is a 1993 graduate of Moeller HS, where he helped the Crusaders capture a state championship while earning all-city and all-league honors.
Indiana Director of Scouting
Blake joined the PBR family in November 2010. At the time, he was in his second stint as the pitching coach for Lawrence Central HS, where he saw two pitchers get drafted in 2011—RHPs Christian Montgomery (11th round, Mets) and Jared Ruxer (29th round, Indians). He was originally the pitching coach from 2004-2005 before returning for 2007-2011. He was also the Vice President of Operations for Pastime Tournaments from 2006-2012. He currently holds the position of Director of Operations for Bullpen Tournaments at Grand Park in Westfield, IN. He is currently an associate scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Illinois and Wisconsin Area Scout
Huck pitched at St. Francis University, where he played under legendary Hall of Fame coach Gordie Gillespie and Brian Michalak. Huck went on to coach at his high school alma mater, Marian Central Catholic in Illinois, for two years, and also scouted with Perfect Game for three years.
New Jersey Director of Scouting
With his roots firmly entrenched in New Jersey, Hunt comes to the Prep Baseball Report with a wealth of knowledge of the Garden State. After a decorated career at Ramapo High School, where he played for his father, Mickey, a longtime coach at the Wyckoff-area school, Hunt went on to star at Monmouth University. At Monmouth, Hunt earned several accolades, including throwing a no-hitter, and finished his career among the school’s top 10 in wins and complete games. Hunt comes from a strong baseball family. His older brother, Shooter Hunt, was drafted in the first round out of Tulane University in 2008.
Ontario Director of Scouting
Kemlo’s scouting, coaching and playing roots are firmly entrenched in Ontario. A native of Oshawa, Ontario, Kemlo worked for the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau in Ontario for five years (2008-2012). During his tenure with the MLB Scouting Bureau, Kemlo attended MLB Scout School in Phoenix. Aside from his scouting background, Kemlo has coached in Ontario since 2005. He is currently the field manager and pitching coordinator for the Toronto Mets. During his amateur playing days, Kemlo was a member of Team Canada, Team Ontario and the Oshawa Legionaires. The 6-foot-5 right-handed pitcher attended Santa Fe CC in Gainesville, FL, and was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 34th round in 2001.
Illinois Scouting Director
In short time, Locascio has built an industrious reputation as a fast-rising collegiate coach in the Midwest. Prior to coming to the Prep Baseball Report in July 2015, Locascio served as an assistant coach at Purdue University for a season. Prior to his stint at Purdue, Locascio served as the recruiting coordinator at Danville Area CC for four years, where he helped the central Illinois junior college to four consecutive 32-plus-win seasons. Locascio also coached one season at Eastern Illinois University. A middle infielder, Locascio played collegiately at Indiana University Southeaast, where he earned two-time all-conference selection honors. A Naperville North HS graduate, Locascio has experience recruiting all corners of Illinois.
Wisconsin and Illinois Scouting Supervisor
Prior to starting with the Prep Baseball Report in September 2012, Nielsen coached at Ranger College in Texas for five years, his final two seasons in which he served as the head coach. A native of Joliet, IL, Nielsen led Joliet Catholic Academy to a state runner-up finish in 2000. He was drafted that year in the 44th round by the Kansas City Royals, but opted to attend Triton (IL) JC. He was drafted again in 2001 by the Angels, but chose to continue his pitching career at Indiana University from 2002-205. Nielsen went on to play in the independent leagues with the Joliet Jackhammers (Northern League) and Mid-Missouri Mavericks (Frontier League).
Missouri and Kansas Director of Scouting
Plack played baseball at NCAA Div. II Central Missouri State in Warrensburg, Missouri in 1995 (Kansas State Director Sean McCann was the team’s Pitching Coach). Plack continued his career and graduated from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, where he earned a degree in Sports Management. Shortly after graduation in 1998, Plack became the Sports Information Director in the Ravens Athletic Department. In 2010, Plack became a full-time coach at Building Champions Baseball Academy in Overland Park, Kansas. He coached several college and professional bound players, including Bubba Starling, a first round pick by the KC Royals in 2011, and St. Louis Cardinals Closer Trevor Rosenthal. Plack became the Prep Baseball Report-Missouri State Director in October 2013.
Virginia, Maryland and D.C. Director of Scouting
Shank comes to the Prep Baseball Report with 10 years of college coaching experience, including eight at the Division I level, six of which as recruiting coordinator. Shank’s Division I experience includes stints at the University of Hartford, North Carolina Central University and Canisius. While at Hartford, Shank recruited left-hander Sean Newcomb, who went on to become the No. 15 overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft by the Angels. In all, Shank reeled in two of the top three draft picks in Hartford’s history. He recruited and/or coached 16 players who moved on to play professional baseball. While at North Carolina Central, Shank helped lead the school to its three winningest seasons in program history.
Louisiana Director of Scouting
Sofio’s baseball roots run deep throughout Louisiana. Born and raised in New Orleans, Sofio most recently served as the recruiting coordinator at Loyola University in New Orleans for the last two years. After enjoying a decorated high school career at Holy Cross HS in New Orleans, Sofio went on to play three years at Northwestern State in Natchitoches under current University of Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard. Sofio finished his collegiate career at Loyola University, where he played two seasons before becoming a student assistant coach there. He was then promoted to recruiting coordinator. Aside from his recruiting responsibilities, Sofio worked with the hitters and outfielders. Sofio also coached in the Louisiana Knights organization for two years, where he coached numerous high-level prospects, including first-rounder Blake Anderson in 2013.
Oklahoma Scouting Director
Prior to becoming the Prep Baseball Report’s Oklahoma Scouting Director, Urban served as an assistant coach at Central Missouri University, where he helped lead the Mules to a fourth-place finish at the Division 2 World Series in 2016. Urban also pitched at Central Missouri, earning first-team All-Conference as a closer. Urban went to Hutchinson CC in Kansas, where he helped lead the team to a third-place finish at the Junior College World Series in 2010. He finished his decorated career at Hutchinson CC second all-time in career ERA (1.37), second all-time in single-season ERA (1.12), third most complete-game shutouts. From Hutchinson CC, Urban earned a scholarship to Creighton University before transferring to Central Missouri, where he also earned his Master’s Degree in Exercise Science. After college, Urban pitched two years in the Frontier League for the River City Rascals.
Ohio, Michigan and Ontario Executive Director
A graduate of Ohio State, Chris joined PBR in May 2011 with the inception of PBR Ohio. He has extensive experience in coaching, as we well as in many off-field ventures having worked in politics and public affairs for eight years. He was the youngest elected school board member in Ohio at the age of 19 and is currently the president of the Dublin City School's Board of Education and coaches at Olentangy Orange HS. Chris is the co-founder and 17U coach of Ohio Elite Baseball, which has had 200 college commitments and five players drafted since 2011. He is also an associate scout for the Colorado Rockies. At the age of 21, Chris was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease Stage II cancer and is now in remission. He remains actively involved in charitable efforts to fund research for a cure for cancer, including the Showcase for the Cure, which was founded by Walsh Jesuit HS head coach Chris Kaczmar. Chris also serves as an associate scout for the Colorado Rockies.
Phil joined PBR Indiana in November 2010. He graduated from Indiana University in 2005 with a degree in Sports Management and earned his Master’s in Business Administration in 2012. He is a 2001 graduate of Lawrence North HS where he was a member of both the 1999 4A state runner-up and 2000 sectional championship teams. Phil also coached at LN from 2009-2012 alongside long-time head coach Richard Winzenread. He previously served as Vice President of Marketing & Corporate Partnerships at Pastime Tournaments from 2010 to August 2013. Phil is currently an associate scout for the Kansas City Royals.
Pennsylvania and West Virginia Director of Scouting
Williams began as Pennsylvania’s Director of Scouting in June of 2012. Williams was a four-year starter in the outfield for Slippery Rock University, serving as the captain of the 1989 Division II third-place team that won 42 games. Williams was an All-PSAC performer that season, was a member of the North Atlantic Regional All-Tournament Team and was named to the Division II World Series All-Tournament Team as well. He has spent the past 25 years involved in the game. Williams worked in the Houston Astros organization, coached high school baseball in Florida and Pennsylvania, and most recently was a full time high school athletic administrator. During his tenure as the head coach at Meadville HS, Williams led the Bulldogs to a 66-35 overall record, and the only two District 10 Championships in school history in 2002 and 2003.
Michigan Director of Scouting
Wilson previously served as the Michigan assistant scouting director for three years before being named scouting director in August, 2016. A native of Detroit, Wilson is well-connected throughout Michigan with high school, summer and college coaches. After starring at Henry Ford HS in Detroit, where he earned 2006 Louisville Slugger All-America honors and set the MHSAA record for strikeouts and ERA, he went on to pitch at Coppin State University.