Prep Baseball Report

Aurora Preseason ID: Quick Hits

By Drew Locascio and Peter Hamot
Illinois Scouting Staff

The first Preseason ID of the year, the Aurora Preseason ID, was held on Saturday, February 4th at the Aurora Sports Dome. The open event featured 70 prospects from across the state of Illinois from all high school grad classes. 

A number of  unknown players heading into the event put themselves on the map, while a number of other familiar faces continued to show improvements to their game.

Below we take a look at some of the initial takeaways from the event, including some of the biggest winners and names to know coming out of the day.


+ Eastern Illinois commit, 3B James Love (Joliet West, 2024), carried over his momentum from an impressive Illinois State Games last August into this event. Love seemed on a mission in the batters box showing off more bat speed and explosiveness off the barrel than we have seen in the past. Love took the loudest, most consistent round of BP on the day, spraying hard contact to both gaps. Love led the event with a T99.9 exit velocity, average of 94.9 mph, while launching the furthest batted ball of the day at ‘392 which was 23 feet further than the next best. He also showed his usual smooth actions on the infield with improved arm strength, topping at 88 mph across the diamond. An ascending junior that is poised for a big spring season for the Tigers.

+ LHP/OF Johnny O’Brien (Fremd, 2026) emerged as a high-follow, two-way freshman with upside to all parts of his game. The 6-foot, 165-pound, left/left prospect, who also plays quarterback on tis a fluid, easy mover with long, loose-levers and polish on the mound. O’Brien has an easy, fluid delivery, threw a high-volume of strikes and ran his fastball into the low-80s with -14.1 inches of horizontal movement. He separated himself with his secondary offerings, showing a well above-average curveball that has a chance to be a plus offering down the road. He landed the high-spinning (2422 average rpm) 67-68 curveball for strikes throughout with the ability to manipulate it and create more sweep for back-foot action to a right-handed hitter. His 72-74 mph changeup is also an above-average offering for his age and gives him a starter profile moving forward. On top of that, he impressed just as much as a position player, running a 7.38 60 while showing off all kinds of fluidity and rhythm in the left-handed batters box to pair with quality actions in the outfield and a strong arm (T83 mph). O’Brien is a name to know in the Illinois’ 2026 class.

+ RHP Carter Schaffner (Yorkville) popped up as a live-armed sophomore to follow closely moving forward. Schaffner has a loose, quick, projectable arm, paired with a 6-foot-4, 170-pound, projectable, wide-shouldered frame that has plenty of room for continued physical development. The fastball, which topped at 88.6 mph (led the event) jumps out of the hand with late carry and life through the zone. He flashed a developing 68-72 mph curveball with 2197 average rpm and a 74-78 mph changeup that flashed above-average horizontal movement and sink. Schaffner has all kinds of ceiling and should continue to ascend as he polishes his overall repertoire.

+ One of the top bats to follow from the event was the left-handed bat of 2025 OF Brady Schallmoser (Downers Grove North). Schallmoser has a well-proportioned frame with strength throughout and a fluid, loose swing with all kinds of presence and fluidity in the box. He was on the barrel throughout showing a mature, gap-to-gap approach with natural lift through the zone. He averaged 85.1 mph, T90.9 throughout with his furthest batted ball traveling 337 feet. Defensively, Schallmoser displayed fluid, athletic actions while taking his round of defense, playing through the ball with intent and rhythm.


+ SS/RHP Jimmy Anderson (Joliet West, 2024) continues to show well everytime we see him. Anderson is an athletic, two-way prospect, who led the event with a 31.7 inch vertical and is an easy mover with everything he does on the diamond, especially at the plate. The 6-foot, 180-pound, 7.15 runner showed off an easy right-handed stroke that flashes whip through the zone and works on an uphill path through the zone. He registered a max exit velocity of 95.2 mph, 88.7 average with his furthest batted ball traveling 335 feet. Defensively, he has fluid, athletic actions and topped at 87 mph (up from 83 mph in the past). Follow two-way prospect in the 2024 class.

+ For the second year in a row OF Ryan Coon (Freeport, 2024) has shown well at the Aurora ID. Coon has a compact, athletic frame at 5-foot-9, 175-pounds and he ran the top 60-time of the event at 6.87. He also had a top vertical jump of 30.7 inches, runner-up at the event. The left-handed hitter has intent in the box, looking to drive the baseball to the pull-side with authority and direct stroke that works uphill through the zone. Coon registered a 95.2 mph exit velocity and 349’ max batted ball. Defensively, he plays through the ball with intent, showing fluid footwork and  some feel for the position. 

+ Another bat that featured present power to the pull-side was 1B Ryan Groberski (Lockport, 2024). The 6-foot, 202-pound, physical right-handed hitter repeated hard, lifted contact to the pull-side with a swing oriented to lift the baseball. He registered a max exit velocity of 96.3 mph, 87 average with a max batted ball of 366 feet. Defensively, he showed steady hands and actions while keeping the ball in front to both sides. His arm plays well across the diamond, reaching up to 79 mph from a loose, high 3/4 slot. 

+ C Kyle Binder (Brimfield, 2024) had a strong all-around showing at the event. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound, compact, strong catch, tied for the lead with a 75 mph arm from the crouch and his low pop time was recorded at 2.04, second best of the event. He is sure-handed with a clean transfer, working in-line while gaining ground. Offensively, the right-handed hitter has a relaxed, confident look in the box, a strong swing that stays short to the ball with natural lift through the zone. Binder made consistent hard contact back up the middle of the field, registering a max exit velocity of 93.2 mph (85.6 average) and max batted ball of 318 feet. He also had some of the best bat speed of the event, averaging 76.2 mph which was top-five at the event.

+ Catcher Owen Myket (Metea Valley, 2024) was one of the more intriguing left-handed bats in attendance. Built at a strong, sturdy, 6-foot, 195-pounds, Myket hits from a wide, crouched setup and was on the barrel with authority throughout much of his round. Myket averaged 87.9 mph off the bat, T91.5 with his furthest batted ball traveling 334 feet. Myket stays short to the ball with strong hands while working up the middle of the diamond with 73.3 mph average bat speed.

+ C Aiden Simmons (Plainfield North, 2024), standing at a projectable 6-foot-2, 165-pounds, was one of the top defensive catchers in attendance. He has fluid actions behind the plate, using soft hands and a quick/clean transfer. Out of the crouch, Simmons is clean and quick, reaching as low as 2.02 seconds for his pop-time with a max catcher velocity of 75 mph. Offensively, it's a loose, balanced right-handed swing that creates leverage to the pull-side at times.

+ An infielder to watch, who saw time on varsity as a sophomore for Plainfield North is 2024 Joey Guiliano. Defensively, Guiliano has fluid/athletic feet with a quick first step, moving well laterally to both sides of his glove. He secures the ball out front with a two-hand gather before moving into a loose/clean ¾ slot that topped at 83 mph across the diamond. At the plate, the right-handed hitter has a loose, quick swing with a pull-side approach. Guiliano also hopped on the mound and sat 83-84 mph, touching 85.

+ LHP Patrick Dillow (Wheaton North, 2024) gave our scouting staff an intriguing, different look throughout his ‘pen. Standing 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, Dillow has a lean and slender build, showing plenty of room for added strength in the coming years. Dillow creates deception naturally on the mound thanks to his low ¾ slot and cross-fire delivery; working from the stretch only into a drop/drive lower-half and a stride that works across his body. The southpaw worked his fastball up to 79 mph, sitting in the 77-78 mph range with an average spin rate of 2,326 (T2473 RPM) and heavy arm-side life. He showed a knack for spinning the breaking ball as well, averaging just over 2,300 RPM and reaching just shy of 2,400 RPM, sitting 70-72 mph with sharp 2/8 action. He maintains fastball arm-speed with his changeup, cruising at 77-79 mph.


+ OF Owen Strahl (Lake Zurich, 2025) took a loud round of batting practice, routinely elevating baseballs back up the middle of the diamond, swinging with controlled aggression, present bat speed while staying on balance. The 6-foot, 190-pound, right-handed hitter saw his furthest batted ball travel 335 feet with a 92.4 mph max exit velocity and 87.1 average. Also topped at 80 mph from the outfield.

+ INF/OF Josh Fleming (York, 2025) registered noteworthy TrackMan hitting number from his round of batting practice with a 95.3 mph max exit velocity, 88.8 average (third-best of the event) and the second furthest batted ball at 369 feet. It's a balanced right-handed swing that is long through the zone, stays on-plane with pull-side tendencies. He also took two quality rounds of defense in both the infield and the outfield. On the infield, he uses fluid/choppy feet and soft hands with a clean transfer to lock down the dirt. In the outfield, he plays low to the ground and through the ball with steady hands. He also ran a 7.28 60.

+ Left-handed hitter, INF/OF Ian Bagaconza (St. Francis, 2025), looked the part in the box, starting with a balanced, slightly crouched setup. It is a compact, strong swing, stays connected and on-plane throughout. He is a steady defender on the infield with a clean transfer. His actions translated to the outfield, playing low to the ground and through the ball with quality hands and actions.

+ Another bat to note in the 2025 class was catcher Trevor Cote (Woodstock). Cote has an athletic right-handed swing that stays flat through the zone and gets extension through contact. He used the whole field throughout his round with a line-drive approach. Defensively, Cote showed above-average athleticism out of the crouch and throughout his round; dropping quickly into blocks and out of the crouch.

+ OF/LHP Seth Gilliland (Waubonsie, 2025) was a noteworthy two-way prospect. The left-handed hitter has a simple, quiet swing with the ability to backspin line-drives back up the middle. Defensively, Gilliland plays through the ball in the outfield with steady hands and intent, reaching up to 82 mph from a crow hop. He showed some intrigue on the mound too, working his fastball up to 79 mph with some life through the zone and developing feel for his off-speed. 

+ INF/OF Ryan Lisowski (York, 2025) was another multi-positional prospect that showed the ability to play the infield and outfield with fluid footwork and steady hands. Lisowski has a 5-foot-11, 195-pound, strong frame, and quick, compact right-handed swing. His bat works with natural lift, stays on plane and works gap-to-gap. His furthest batted ball traveled 352 feet. 

+ Right-handed hitting infielder, Gavin Grummer (Jacobs, 2025), had a hitterish, intentful look in the box and was on the barrel to the pull-side throughout his round. Grummer has athletic, strong hands, stays short to the ball, and swings with controlled aggression. Grummer showed well defensively as well, working with a two-hand gather to secure the ball out front and reaching up to 79 mph across the diamond. 

+ 6-foot, 175-pound, RHP/INF Cole Harris (Providence Catholic) has a strong arm and flashed some quick-twitch at the plate. On the mound, Harris ran his fastball up to 84.6 to go along with two different breaking balls, his slider playing in the low-to-mid 70’s with horizontal action. At the plate, Harris showed above-average hand speed, averaging 24.3 mph and his furthest batted ball traveled 330 feet.

+ RHP Kolten Schmoll-Burton (Geneseo, 2025) showed off a more polished delivery and better feel for his repertoire than we have seen in the past. Listed at 6-foot, 180-pounds, the right-hander works with a controlled tempo throughout his delivery, moving into a powerful drop/drive lower-half that stays in-line with the plate throughout his stride - transitioning into a long/loose high ¾ slot. His fastball sat right at 79-80 mph throughout his ‘pen with some finish through the zone and slight arm-side life. He went to two different breaking balls; the first being a slider at 66-69 mph with sharp 10/4 action - and the second being a sharp 11/5 curveball at 64-66 mph. 

+ INF Adam Bovinett (Collinsville, 2025) has a compact build and swing to match. Bovinett stays short to the ball and on-plane working with an uphill path, knack for the barrel and present bat strength. Bovinett routinely made loud, elevated contact to the pull-side and had the top rotational acceleration of the event at 25.8 g. He registered a max exit velocity of 93.3 mph, average of 84.6 with his furthest batted ball traveling 350 feet. He also showed off an above-average arm throughout his round of defense, reaching up to 84 mph with a loose arm and ¾ slot.

+ C Carson Stevens (Neuqua Valley, 2025) is a strong, big-bodied, 6-foot-1, 205-pound catcher who made a bunch of loud, hard contact in BP with a 96.5 max exit velocity, 88.6 average and his furthest batted ball went 355 feet. He also registered a low pop time of 2.06.

+ INF/OF Justin Garcia Hernandez (St. Patrick, 2025) takes big swings at the plate with the intent to do damage and when the swing synced up the ball was jumping off the bat. Hernandez launched a ball 362 feet with his top exit velocity coming in at 97 mph. He also had the top average hand speed at the event at 26.2 mph and second-best average bat speed at 76.9 mph. 

+ One of the better bullpens on the day came from RHP Connar Temple (Batavia, 2025). Listed at a projectable 6-foot-1, 160-pounds, Temple showed some feel for a quality three-pitch mix throughout his ‘pen. With a controlled tempo, Temple coils into balance point with a high leg-lift, utilizing a pre-set back knee bend to move into a drop/drive lower-half down the mound, striding in-line with the plate. His arm plays long and loose out of the glove, moving into a ¾ release. His fastball sat 82-84 mph throughout his ‘pen with slight arm-side run, reaching up to 15.8 inches of horizontal movement. He showed some feel for a slider, landing it for strikes and to his glove-side consistently, 70-72 mph with slurvy action. His final offering was a fading changeup at 75-80 mph, averaging over 14 inches of horizontal movement and reaching over 15 inches, kept mostly down and thrown with arm-speed. 

+ An upside arm to make note of is RHP Daniel Cutting (Carmel Catholic, 2025). The 6-foot-1, 150-pound right-hander has all sorts of room for added strength and development in the coming years. His arm is loose and clean throughout its circle, playing from a ¾ release. His delivery is somewhat raw and shows signs of upside as he continues to grow and mature; working from the stretch only, he starts with his feet staggered and front foot close to first base, moving with a high leg-kick into balance point before striding in-line with a tall/fall lower-half. His fastball worked up to 79 mph with heavy running action to his arm-side, sitting mostly 74-78 mph - also going to a sinker at 72-74 mph with similar arm-side movement. His secondary offering was a curveball at 66-69 mph, playing with tight 11/5 shape. 


+ One of the more projectable swings belonged to 2026 INF Kyle Ziebell (Harvest Christian). Ziebell showed a loose, fluid, athletic right-handed swing that stayed on-plane and in the zone with the ability to manipulate the barrel and spray the ball around the yard. Ziebell has a wiry, young build at 5-foot-10, 145-pound that is going to continue to add strength as he matures and his right-handed swing should only ascend with the current foundation. The 7.34 runner also plays light on his feet on the infield, moving well laterally with steady, confident hands and a clean glove-to-hand transfer.

+ RHP Bryce Lee (Morris, 2026) popped as an intriguing arm to follow moving forward. There is definitely some rawness to Lee on the mound, but the arm-strength is obvious, as he ran his fastball up to 81 mph, sitting 78-80 mph. He showed some feel for his slider, playing with tight 10/4 shape and thrown for some strikes at 63-67 mph. He showed the ability to maintain fastball arm-speed on his changeup, sitting 70-72 mph with fade and slight diving action to his arm-side. His delivery works with a high leg-kick into a coiled balance point, moving into a slight drop/drive lower-half with an in-line stride, shoulders working downhill throughout. His arm plays with a longer circle out of the glove before transitioning into a high ¾ slot.