Prep Baseball Report

Joliet Preseason ID: Quick Hits

By: Illinois Scouting Staff

On Sunday, Feb. 27, the PBR Illinois team hosted the Joliet Preseason ID at Rhino Baseball Academy in Shorewood, Ill. The event featured 125 players from the surrounding area and gave our staff an in-depth look at numerous prospects before the IHSA season takes off.

Now, at the event's conclusion, our staff will continue our post-event roll-out pertaining to what we saw this past Sunday. We started this process yesterday with the ‘Statistical Analysis’, where we highlighted the day’s stat leaders. You can find that by clicking HERE. 

Today, our staff collaborated to bring our scouting takeaways from the day inside this Quick Hits piece. Below you’ll find which prospects caught our attention, in one way or another, at Sunday’s event. 



Parkland commit, MIF/RHP Easton Harris (Washington), is a high-level 2022 who continues to shine every time he gets in front of us. Harris, listed at 6-foot-2, 180-pounds, is a dynamic prospect with all kinds of athleticism to his entire game. At the plate, he has a loose, fast right-handed bat that stays flat through the zone and he elevated hard backspin contact consistently into the pull-side gap. Harris’ top batted ball traveled 363 feet, while his peak exit velocity was 99.8 mph and he led the event with a 75.1 mph average bat speed and 30.1 mph average rotational acceleration. Harris also topped at 94 mph across the infield and got on the mound where he continued to show off his quick, strong arm. Harris sat 87-89 mph with an average of 2494 rpm and a 73-74 mph curveball with above-average action and 2401 average rpm. Harris rounded out his four-pitch mix with a sinking changeup and upper-70’s cutter. He’s a high-level prospect in the state’s senior class. 

C/RHP Blaine Williams (Tremont) was perhaps the most impressive member of the 2025 class in attendance on Sunday, possessing one of the stronger arms our scouting staff has seen from a freshman in recent memory. From behind the plate, Williams first showed off his arm by reaching up to 85 mph on throws down to second, pairing with quick feet and athletic actions to produce a pop-time as low as 2.02. On the mound, the right-hander boasts above-average athleticism, a live arm and the ability to spin the baseball. Williams ran his fastball up to 86 mph playing with finish through the zone. He also showed above-average action and some feel for his breaking ball, playing off 11/5 shape at 68-72 mph (2354 average rpm). Offensively, the right-handed hitter moves through the zone with strong hands and a flat path, working on top of the baseball while back spinning balls to all fields. Williams led all 2025s in exit velocity on Sunday with 93.6 mph, also reaching a max distance of 319’. 

MIF/RHP Camden Raddatz (Effingham, 2024) turned in one of the more impressive all-around showings on the entire day. On the mound, the 6-foot, 185-pound right-hander showed excellent feel, upside and presence on the mound. His arm works with little perceived effort, producing a fastball that plays with finish through the zone while topping out at 84 mph. His best secondary offering is a sharp 11/5 curveball at 68-71 mph, in which he showed to have above average feel for in the zone, starting off a similar plane to his fastball. Offensively, the right-handed hitter provides easy pop off the bat (95 mph max EV) from his loose/fluid swing. He works through the zone with strong hands and an uphill path, creating natural lift while maintaining a smooth tempo throughout. 

RHP Caden Earing (Mundelein, 2025) gave our scouting staff his strongest showing to date, adding five mph to his fastball since our last look this past June. The athletic right-hander ran his fastball up to 82 mph with easy life and finish through the zone, playing with notable horizontal action and pouring it in for strikes. His curveball pairs off his fastball effectively, thrown with intent and breaking off a sharp 11/5 plane with short shape, sitting mostly in the 72-74 mph range. Earing went to an above-average changeup to round out his arsenal; thrown with fastball arm-speed and featuring heavy arm-side sink, also kept down at 74-75 mph. 


OF Kade Schneider (Barrington, 2023) took one of the loudest rounds of BP on the day. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound, high-waisted, athletically-built switch-hitter has bat strength from both sides of the plate, but his left-handed swing has fluidity and rhythm throughout. Schneider stays long through the zone with whippy levers and above-average bat speed; average of 74.8 mph, second-best of the event. Schnieder also led the event with a max exit velocity of 100.5 mph and his furthest batted ball traveled 368 feet. The impressively-built outfielder also ran a 6.94 60 and topped at 85 mph from the outfield.

C/INF Michael Carrano (St. Laurence, 2023) was another left-handed hitter who made a lot of hard lifted contact especially to the pull-side of the field throughout his round of BP. Carrano stays compact and repeatable in the box, with an uphill swing with his furthest batted ball traveling 357 feet. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound left-handed hitters swing is tailored to elevate the baseball, underscored by his 70% fly ball ratio. He also registered a peak exit velocity of 96.8; top-five at the event. Behind the plate he showed a clean exchange and loose arm with his arm topping at 74 mph from the crouch and 77 mph across the infield. 

Another 2023 who showed well with the bat was C Daniel Connelly (Mundelein). Connelly seemed to be on a mission throughout his round of BP, taking aggressive swings with intent to do damage. Listed at 5-foot-10, 190-pounds, Connelly possesses above-average bat strength and was on the barrel throughout his round, working gap-to-gap. Connelly registered a max exit velocity of 94.6 mph and his furthest batted ball traveled 349 feet. Defensively, he showed soft hands, quick feet and his arm topped at 77 mph with a low pop time of 2.08. It was arguably Connelly’s strongest showing to-date.

Another intriguing 2023 of note was OF Aidan Capone (Rockford Auburn). The 6-foot-1, 160-pound, athletically-built, switch-hitter ran a 6.98 and was 87 mph from the outfield. At the plate, he has a strong, fast bat with controlled aggression and feel for the barrel. Capone registered a peak exit velocity of 92 mph with a max batted ball distance of 322 feet. Capone led the event with an average hand speed of 27 mph. He was also second with an on-plane efficiency of 89% and top-six with an average bat speed of 72 mph.

One of the top infield performances on the day came from Jordan Vazquez (Fenwick, 2023). The 5-foot-11, 170-pound, middle infielder has quick athletic feet, receptive confident hands, advanced feel for the position and played with above-average body control and comfort on the move. Vazquez’ has a short, quick arm action from a ¾ slot and his throws topped at 86 mph across the diamond. He also flashed a fluid right-handed bat with a long, uphill path, occasionally hitting off his front foot with a gap-to-gap approach. 

INF Thomas Smith (St. Francis, 2023) showed loose actions and fluid tempo on the infield to go along with quick feet and a strong arm that topped at 85 mph. The 7.26 runner also swung a controlled, aggressive right-handed bat with a short path, occasional jump off the barrel and a peak exit velocity of 93.6 mph.  

INF Jackson Roberts (Yorkville, 2024) is a right-handed with whippy/long-levers that create easy bat-speed through the zone. He works with a level path to the ball while staying up the middle for a majority of his round of BP, recording a max exit velocity of 90 mph. Defensively, Roberts showed a mature presence on the infield, pairing his soft hands and quick feet with a clear understanding of angles to balls to both sides of his glove. On top of his defensive IQ, he also possesses a strong arm, reaching up to 82 mph across the diamond with carry and life out of the hand.

Left-handed hitting infielder, Brayden Saling (Williamsville, 2025) is a freshman with a sound, upside swing. It is a loose, athletic swing that stays on-plane with intent through contact and was consistently on the barrel with a gap-to-gap approach. 

Another freshman left-handed hitter to put together a solid was C Noah Brandt (Somonauk, 2025). Brandt showed athletic actions with feel, soft hands and clean exchange with proper direction out of the crouch. His arm plays clean, loose and accurate topping at 74 mph with a low pop time of 2.13. At the plate, he showed loose hands, easy overall effort and line-drive approach with sneaky jump off the barrel. Brandt recorded the second-highest average exit velocity when it came to 2025s at the event at 85.1 mph and his furthest batted ball traveled 305 feet.  

C Julian Esparza (St. Laurence) was yet another member of the 2025 class that showed to have prowess with the bat. With a loose, right-handed swing, Esparza works with a fluid/uphill path through the zone that creates hard and elevated contact up the middle of the field. He also showed to have loose actions behind the plate, pairing quick feet with a clean exchange.

A number of 2023 right-handed hitters who put together strong rounds of BP and warrant a follow moving forward are Andrew Gallegos (Naperville Central), Mikey Munoz (St. Laurence), Sam Rohlfing (Harvest Christian), Henry Saul (Batavia), Luke Maher (St. Rita), Kyan Gibbs (Loyola Academy), Jude Allen (Providence Catholic), Brandon Juska (St. Laurence) and Tysen Sorenson (Normal University). Sorenson is a catcher who ran a 7.16 60, was 80 mph from the crouch and his pop times ranged from 2.03-2.07.

A trio of projectable right-handed hitters in the 2025 class (freshman) to keep an eye on moving forward were Benjamin Johnson (Simeon), Demir Heidelberg (Homewood-Flossmoor) and Nick Konopiots (Downers Grove North). 


1B/RHP Troy Kashul (Naperville Central, 2025), listed at an advanced 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, turned in a max exit velocity of 91.4 mph on top of a 316’ max distance. The right-handed hitter works through the zone with strong hands and an uphill path, consistently creating loud contact with his advanced bat-strength for his age. On the other side of the ball, Kashul possesses easy arm-strength, running his fastball up to 80 mph with sinking action to pair off a high-spinning breaking ball (T2358 rpm).

OF/RHP Kaelen Natyshok (Coal City, 2023) is a 6-foot-3, 214-pound, mature-minded left-handed hitter that takes a quality approach even in BP; letting the ball travel deep into the zone before transitioning into a short path through the zone. He stays inside the ball with quick/strong hands and uses the whole field to spray hard contact consistently (T96 mph max EV). On the mound, the right-hander ran his fastball up to 86.4 mph to set up a developing four-pitch mix. His changeup looks to be his best secondary offering at the moment, pairing off fastball arm-speed with heavy sinking action to the arm-side, 72-74 mph. He also featured two different breaking balls; the first being a curveball with some depth at 67-68 mph, and the second being a slider that he got around at times, 70-72 mph with 10/4 shape and side-spin.

RHP/INF Payton Soske (Barrington, 2023) is a lanky 6-foot-4, 190-pound right-hander with some upside. His arm works clean from a high ¾ slot that produces a heavy sinking fastball (84-85 mph), complimenting a short tight slider (74-77 mph) really well. At the plate, the right-handed hitter has a simple/strong swing that stays on-plane through the zone, favoring his pull-side with hard contact. Soske registered a peak exit velocity of 93.1 mph with a furthest batted ball of 336 feet. He also ran a 7.30 60 and topped at 84 mph across the infield.

RHP/OF Alex Willey (Normal West, 2022) is a 6-foot-5, 225-pound unsigned senior right-hander that is physically developed throughout his large frame. He ran his fastball up to 87 mph (T2378 rpm) while pairing it off a short 11/5 breaking ball with feel for the zone, 69-70 mph. His changeup sinks naturally to the bottom of the zone, thrown with some arm-speed at 73-75 mph. Willey also put up notable TrackMan numbers from the right-side of the plate. Willey recorded the furthest batted ball on the day at 378 feet to go along with a peak exit velocity of 98.9 mph and an average of 93.1 mph. The physical right-handed hitter has advanced hand strength, stays direct to the ball and creates leverage to the pull-side. Physical unsigned senior to follow moving forward.

RHP/INF Denny Furlong (Mount Carmel, 2023) showed some athletic action on the mound, he moves well and showed solid feel for his repertoire that included a 84-85 mph fastball, 71-72 mph 11/5 curveball, 73-76 mph fading changeup. Furlong also showed equally as well as a position player, running a 7.29 60, topping at 81 mph across the infield with an easy right-handed swing that stayed on balance and controlled through his finish. It is a highly-repeatable swing working on-plane at times with a lot of hard contact to both gaps. 

RHP/OF Amari McGill (Plainfield East, 2024) showed off advanced arm strength for a sophomore. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound, long-levered, athletically-built McGill topped at 86 mph from the outfield, registered a max exit velocity of 90.2 mph, peak batted ball distance of 332 feet and ran his fastball up to 85 mph on the mound. McGill possesses a four-pitch repertoire with his 68-71 mph curveball working with more depth than his slider with an average of 2356 rpm. Upside two-way prospect in the 2024 class.


LHP Caden Kuder (Coal City, 2023) made a statement on Sunday as one of the top left-handed pitchers in attendance. Standing at 6-feet, 155-pounds, the southpaw has plenty of room to add on additional strength to his already athletic frame. With a loose/fluid delivery down the mound, the left-hander produces easy velocity with his fastball, topping out at 86 mph with a quick ¾ arm-slot. His fastball jumps out of the hand and gets on would-be hitters quickly, running naturally to his arm-side. Kuder showed off an above-average splitter to complement his already impressive fastball, killing spin with hard downward action, thrown with near identical fastball arm-speed at 76-77 mph. He then went to a short 1/7 breaking ball, thrown at 75-76 mph with mature feel for the bottom of the zone. 

RHP Owen Hobbs (Champaign Central ,2023) catches your attention before he even steps onto the mound, standing at an ultra-projectable 6-foot-5, 170-pounds. The tall right-hander moves down the mound with a slight drop/drive lower-half, creating a tremendous amount of extension at his release point. From a straight over-the-top slot, Hobbs creates a tough angle for would-be hitters with his fastball; riding through the zone with arm-side life and topping out at 83 mph. He then went to an 11/5 curveball at 64-65 mph and fading changeup to round out his three-pitch mix, showing developing feel for both offerings.

2024 RHP Kaileb Hackman (Normal Community) showed some upside with a sturdy 6-foot, 205-pound frame. Hackman flashed an above average curveball with spin (2349 average rpm) and depth (-11.7 average inches of vertical break) that played on a 12/6 plane. He’s got an above average fastball as well that sat 81-82 mph.

RHP Cole Noreuil (Delavan, 2024) showed out in back to back events last weekend, showing similarly well on the mound with an 84-86 mph fastball that topped at 87 mph. His fastball pairs well with a unique splitter that gets downward action and is thrown with aggressive arm speed while reducing spin.

LHP Kaiden Nichols (Effingham, 2024) showed off a high-spinning fastball on Sunday, averaging over 2,400 rpm (T2479) while topping out at 80 mph. He also showed above-average feel for a sharp slider (70-71 mph) and straight changeup (73-77 mph). 

CLICK HERE for a look at the Joliet Preseason ID event page.