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Metro East Kickoff Classic: Preview


By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the fourth annual Metro East Kickoff Classic sponsored by Prep Baseball Report is back, coming to the St. Louis Metro East area in mid-March and will be bigger than ever. The four-day event will take place from March 16-19 (Wednesday through Saturday), featuring 49 teams from all areas of Illinois. Games will be played at seven locations in the Metro East area; Edwardsville HS, O’Fallon HS, Belleville East HS, SIU-Edwardsville, Sauget's GCS Ballpark, Alton HS, and Civic Memorial HS.

The Prep Baseball Report will provide coverage of the Kickoff Classic, covering a number of the games, including insider scouting notes and social media coverage. The Prep Baseball Report website will host everything you need to know, including schedule, teams, game scores, scout blog and more.

For entire coverage of the Metro East Kickoff Classic visit prepbaseballreport.com/illinois and for up-to-date information throughout the event be sure to follow us @PBR Illinois on Twitter.

TEAMS & Head Coaches

Althoff (Rich Sauget), Alton (Scott Harper), Belleville East (Ryan Wiggs), Belleville West (Todd Baltz), Benet (Scott Lawler), Breese Central (Ryan Meyer), Civic Memorial (Nick Smith), Coal City (Greg Wills), Collinsville (Brett Swip), Columbia (Neal O'Donnell), Dunlap (Eric Stone), Edwardsville (Tim Funkhouser), Effingham (Curran McNeely), Father McGivney Catholic (Chris Erwin), Freeburg (Drew Gericke), Galesburg (Jeremy Pickrel), Glenwood (Casey Erickson), Harrisburg (Jay Thompson), Huntley (Andy Jakubowski), Joliet Catholic (Jared Voss), Joliet West (John Karczewski), Kaneland (Brian Aversa), LaSalle Peru (Matt Glupczynski), Lockport (Scott Malinowski), Marist (Kevin Sefcik), Marquette (MO) (John Meyer), Mascoutah (Don Eddy), Moline (Craig Schimmel), Mount Carmel (Brian Hurry)Mt. Vernon (Tim Holloway), Naperville Central (Mike Stock), Nashville (Chad Malaway), New Trier (Mike Napoleon), Normal University (Steve Paxson), Normal West (Chris Hawkins), North Clay (John French), Oak Forest (Ron Czarnecki), O'Fallon (Joe Bauer), Oswego (Joe Giarrante), Plainfield North (John Darlington), Pleasant Plains (Dave Greer), Quincy (Brandon Crisp), Rochester (Matt Carlson), Salem (Brian Lipe), St. Charles North (Todd Genke), St. Joseph-Ogden (Josh Haley), Teutopolis (Justin Fleener), Triad (Jesse Bugger), and Washington Community (Kyle Wisher).

PLAYERS TO WATCH

We'll update this page throughout the coming week, but the players below are on teams currently scheduled to play on Wednesday and/or Thursday. The impending weather on Friday and Saturday has created some schedule changes that we'll share with you as soon as they're made official. We'll announce any changes made to the schedule on this page and through @PBR Illinois on Twitter.

The players below are organized alphabetically by school, then last name:

+ Hank Gomric, LHP/OF, Althoff Catholic, 2024: The 6-foot-3 sophomore has a highly projectable frame, competes on the mound with a upper-70s, low-80s fastball and hits at the top of the order.
+ Tyler Tieman, 1B, Althoff Catholic, 2022: Truman State commit. Has been in the middle of the lineup for his entire high school career. Big power at the plate and soft hands at first base.
+ Jayden Diaz, C, Alton, 2023: Physical, left-handed hitting catcher who flashes easy juice in the bat and is above-average receiver behind the plate.
+ James Vambaketes, OF/LHP, Alton, 2022: St. Charles CC commit. 6-foot-2, 160-pound, left/left two-way prospect should impact the club on both sides of the ball this spring. Loose, athletic swing and can defend in the outfield.
+ Ean DiPasquale, RHP, Belleville East, 2023: Physical, 6-foot-2, 205-pound, right-hander was up to 89 mph this winter and has shown the ability to command three pitches for strikes. Should be one of the top arms for the Lancers this spring.
+ Zander Mueth, RHP, Belleville East, 2023: No. 1 ranked prospect in the Illinois’ 2023 class, No. 11 Nationally. 6-foot-5, 190-pounds, loose, whippy, highly-athletic right-handed arm, runs his fastball into the low-90s from a low slot with a sharp, wipeout slider and sinking changeup. High-level national prospect.
+ Brayden Biggs, C, Belleville West, 2023: 6-foot, 150-pound, lean, right-handed hitting catcher with upside to all parts of his game. Loose, repeatable swing and clean catch-and-throw abilities with pop times that flash sub-2.0. Also, sits in the mid-80’s with his fastball on the mound.
+ Jake Stedman, INF, Belleville West, 2024: Athletic defender with smooth actions, quick feet and confident hands. Has the ability to play anywhere on the infield and is a competitive right-handed hitter with a knack for the barrel.
+ Max Babich, LHP, Benet, 2022: Saint Louis commit. 5-foot-11, 180-pound left-hander with a clean and repeatable delivery, sinking fastball up to 86 mph and three-pitch mix.
+ Ryan Snell, OF, Benet, 2022: Unsigned senior outfielder, ranked in the Illinois’ 2022 class. 6-foot-3, 210-pound, strong, athletically-built, right-handed bat with above-average tools across the board. Tops at 90 mph from the outfield and has present bat strength. Should be a main piece to the Redwings offense while patrolling center field.
+ Landon Geragosian, RHP, Breese Central, 2022: John A. Logan JC commit, currently a top-100 prospect in the state. Athletic 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame, quick arm and fastball up to 88 mph. Also spins a tight mid-70’s curveball with an average of 2355 rpm. Struck out 48 in 35.1 innings pitched last spring.
+ Easton Rakers, SS/RHP, Breese Central, 2022: Lindenwood commit. Lean, upside 6-foot-1, 160-pound, two-way prospect should start at shortstop when not toeing the rubber. Led the team with a .405 batting average in 2021. Also did not give up a hit and struck out seven in 4.1 innings pitched last spring.
+ Bryer Arview, MIF, Civic Memorial, 2023: A part of Team Illinois at the 2021 Future Games, currently a top-40 prospect in the state. Athletic left-handed hitting middle infielder with a compact, repeatable swing with sneaky power and steady middle infield defender. Also, a 6.75 runner in the 60.
+ Abram Wills, RHP, Coal City, 2022: Heartland CC commit. Polished, pitchability right-handed arm with a fastball up to 89 mph. Above-average feel for both off-speed offerings. Also, has strength and pull-side power potential at the plate.
+ Ethan Bagwell, RHP, Collinsville, 2024: Sophomore, already committed to Missouri. 6-foot-2, 230-pound physical, durable frame with a strong arm that reportedly sits comfortably in the upper-80’s. One of the top 2024 arms in the state.
+ Dominic Voegele, RHP/INF, Columbia, 2023: 6-foot-2, 180-pound, two-way prospect, showed an uptick and stuff this winter. Above-average three-pitch mix including a fastball up to 87 mph and downer curveball with above-average depth and swing and miss potential in the low 70’s with 2499 average rpm. Struck out 28 in 23.1 innings pitched with a 1.50 era.
+ Caleb Diver, RHP, Dunlap, 2023: Projectable arm, fills up the strike zone behind a mid-80’s fastball and above-average slider.
+ Grant Huebner, C/OF/RHP, Edwardsville, 2022: St. Charles CC commit and former Team Illinois Future Gamer. Talented, multi-faceted defender with a big arm and high-baseball IQ. Should be the catalyst of the offense with a knack for the barrel and is aggressive on the base paths.
+ Riley Iffrig, 1B/OF/LHP, Edwardsville, 2023: Indiana State commit, middle of the order left-handed bat with feel to hit and gap-to-gap, doubles oriented swing.
+ Spencer Stearns, 3B/RHP, Edwardsville, 2022: One of the top unsigned seniors in Southern Illinois. Middle of the order bat that hit .384 with eight doubles, two triples and five home runs to go along with a team leading 43 RBIs last season. Should also see time on the mound this spring.
+ Josh McDevitt, RHP, Effingham, 2023: Missouri commit, looks to be the next high-level arm to come through the Effingham program. Highly-projectable arm, runs his fastball into the low-90’s with advanced spin metrics across the board.
+ Camden Raddatz, RHP/INF, Effingham, 2024: Polished, poised arm for his age with advanced feel to pitch. Easy fastball plays in the low-to-mid 80’s with feel for his entire repertoire. Also, a talented position player with easy juice in his right-handed swing.
+ Jackson Rodgers, RHP, Father McGivney, 2023: 6-foot-2, 170-pound, wide-shouldered, athletic, right-handed pitcher with intriguing present stuff and plenty of upside to tap into down the road. Fluid, athletic delivery and fastball up to 87 mph.
+ Gabe Smith, RHP, Father McGivney, 2023: 6-foot-5, 220-pound, uncommitted arm was one of the biggest winners from this winters Preseason All-State. His atypical fastball worked from a ¾ slot and created heavy arm-side action, sitting at an easy 88-89 mph. His curveball is a direct complement, working on-plane with his arm slot as a sweeping breaking ball that averaged over 19 inches of movement.
+ Eli Hoerner, SS, Freeburg, 2022: Iowa Western commit had a huge offensive year during Freeburg’s 2A State title season. Hit .448 with 13 doubles, four triples and 37 RBIs.
+ Camden Kasey, RHP, Freeburg, 2022: Threw a complete game shutout in last year’s 2A state title win. Fastball sits comfortably in the mid-80’s with advanced feel for his breaking ball. Went 8-0 on the mound last season with a 0.60 era. Struck out 51 in 46.1 innings pitched.
+ Lane Otten, RHP/OF, Freeburg, 2023: Highly-talented two-way prospect impacted the 2021 club in a variety of ways. Returns after going 8-0 in 2021 with a 1.58 era on the mound. Otten ran his fastball up to 90 mph in an event this winter. Also, hit .396 with 11 doubles, a triple and three home runs. Currently uncommitted. 
+ Grant Aten, INF/OF/P, Galesburg, 2022: Heartland CC commit entering his first year as a varsity player after not playing the last two years due to covid and an injury in 2021. One of the most talented prospects on this year’s roster.
+ Easton Steck, INF/OF, Galesburg, 2023: Uncommitted, All-conference shortstop last year. Led the team in every offensive category last year.
+ Parker Detmers, RHP, Glenwood, 2023: Louisville commit. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Detmers is one of the top prospects in the country, currently ranked No. 3 in Illinois and No. 40 nationally. Polished, competitive presence with high-level stuff. Fastball climbs into the low-90’s with a mid-70's curveball that flashes plus. High-end national prospect.
+ Nolan McMasters, INF/RHP, Glenwood, 2022: Illinois-Springfield commit. 5-foot-11, 180-pound, two-way prospect should be one of the top bats in the Titans lineup. Also has a strong arm that has topped at 88 mph across the infield and also plays well on the mound.
+ Will Plattner, C, Glenwood, 2022: Wabash Valley JC commit. One of the more polished bats in the 2022 class. Former Future Gamer, Plattner has middle of the order potential at the next level. Loose, strong hands, bat stays through the zone a long time and works gap-to-gap with authority.
+ Malachi Paplanus, RHP, Huntley, 2024: One of the top sophomore arms in the class, pitched as a spot starter/reliever on varsity last year as a Freshman. Commands all three pitches and throws in the mid to upper 80s, topping at 89 mph this winter. High-upside and will be counted on getting the ball every 5th day for the Red Raiders.
+ Ryan Quinlan, MIF, Huntley, 2023: Talented left handed hitter who sprays the ball all over the field with gap power and continues to get better every time we see him. His 5-foot-11, 185-pound frame continues to add quality strength and he ran a personal-best 6.67 60 this winter. Also a quality defender up the middle, Quinlan will be a name to watch this spring for the Preseason No. 1 team in the state.
+ Luka Radicevich, OF, Joliet Catholic, 2022: Chipola commit. Athletic, right-handed hitting outfielder with a knack for the barrel and gap-to-gap contact at the plate. Can go get it in the outfield with a strong arm that we have seen play in the upper-80’s off the mound in the past.
+ Trey Swiderski, OF/RHP, Joliet Catholic, 2023: Louisville commit. Currently a top-20 prospect in the state, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound, two-way prospect possesses some of the loudest tools in the state; 6.75 60, 93 mph from the outfield and big power at the plate (104 mph exit velocity). Should also see time on the mound this spring for the Hilltoppers.
+ Conner Hogan, LHP, Joliet West, 2023: 6-foot-8, 230-pound, wide-shouldered, ultra-physical, left-handed arm operated as the ace of the staff last year and helped lead the Tigers to a Sectional Final. Repeats his delivery extremely well for his extra-large frame and gets big extension down the mound, helping his low-80’s fastball jump on hitters. More velocity to come down the road for the strike throwing southpaw.
+ James Love, INF, Joliet West, 2024: Talented left-side of the infield prospect with smooth infield actions and middle-of-the-order presence offensively. 6-foot, 185-pound, right-handed hitter with advanced bat strength for his age (99 mph exit velocity).
+ Dylan Conklin, INF, Kaneland, 2022: Aurora commit, with a fluid right-handed swing and controlled intent. Controls the barrel and sprays the ball to all fields. Also active, smooth footwork on the infield and natural infield actions.
+ Logan Kottmeyer, RHP, Kaneland, 2022: Showed well at the winter Unsigned Senior showcase and committed to Wisconsin-Whitewater shortly thereafter. From his wiry 6-foot, 160-pound frame, Kottmeyer sat at 85-87 mph with his fastball at a 2,233 RPM average. Kottmeyer’s breaking ball flashed sharp action off an 11/5 plane and he spun it at an above-average clip, ripping it off at a 2,500+ RPM average. 
+ Julius Sanchez, RHP, LaSalle-Peru, 2022: Illinois commit. Talented right-hander dominated during the 2021 campaign, earning Second Team All-State honors. Struck out 85 in 42 innings pitched with a 0.33 era. Fastball has climbed up to 94 mph while his breaking ball and changeup have shown as above-average offerings. One of the top arms in the state.
+ Jack Scheri, SS, LaSalle-Peru, 2022: Creighton commit. High-end prospect in the 2022 class. Some of the best bat-to-ball skills in the state and has top-end speed; 6.48 runner in the 60 and 91 mph across the infield. Top-20 prospect in the Illinois’ 2022 class.
+ Victor Izquierdo, 1B, Lockport, 2022: Navy commit. Ulta-physical right-handed bat that dominated during the 2021 campaign, earning Second Team All-State honors. Hit his way to a .434 batting average with six doubles, 13 home runs, 46 RBIs, 36 runs scored and a .909 slugging percentage. One of the top players in the state.
+ Lucas Pajeau, OF/RHP, Lockport, 2022: Illinois-Springfield commit. Talented two-way prospect and currently ranked No. 61 in Illinois. Right-handed hitter with a max exit velocity of 100 mph, also runs a 6.85 60. His arm is a valuable tool as well, topping out at 95 mph from the outfield and 87 mph on the mound.
+ Mason Breidenbach, INF, Marquette (MO), 2022: Bradley commit. Former Future Games participant. Strong, 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame, confident and athletic hands to pair. Physical left-handed bat that moves rhythmically into contact, max exit velocity of 98 mph.
+ Josh Syfert, OF, Marquette (MO), 2022: St. Charles CC commit. Currently ranked No. 93 in Missouri, simple right-handed swing that pairs with a 6.55 60-time. Athletic outfield actions with soft hands, plays aggressively through the ball and is a reliable defender.
+ Ryan Bibb, RHP/3B, Mascoutah, 2022: Navy commit. Former PBR Future Games participant. Strong, well-proportioned 6-foot-2, 220-pound frame, thick lower half. Fastball was up to 89 mph last July, sat 85-89 mph with late cutting action. Also spins a slider at 74-77 mph. Expected to be one of the top players in the Mississippi Valley Conference.
+ Brendan Brock, C, Mascoutah, 2022: Uncommitted. Highly athletic catcher with a 6.90 60-time. Strong defender with a pop-time as low as 2.11, pairing with a 75 mph arm from behind the plate.
+ Hunter Warren, INF/OF, Moline, 2023: Wright State commit. Lean, athletic middle-infielder standing at 6-foot, 160-pounds. Right-handed hitter with a quick line-drive swing that is a tough at-bat; ability to fight off pitches, extend at-bats, and find ways to get on base. Athletic actions on the infield with soft hands to pair.
+ Davis Hoffstatter, RHP, Moline, 2022: Black Hawk JC commit. Strong-bodied, 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame. Fastball works up to 87 mph with some feel for the zone. Pairs off an effective curveball/changeup combination to keep hitters off-balance.
+ Shane Curtin, LHP, Mount Carmel, 2022: Creighton commit. Former PBR Future Games participant with one of the more polished arsenals in the state. Fills up the zone and competes, knows how to pitch. Fastball has been up to 87 mph in our looks with above-average feel for secondaries.
+ Julien Hachem, LHP, Mount Carmel, 2022: Oklahoma commit and a top-20 prospect in the Illinois senior class. Ultra-physical 6-foot-8, 260-pound frame.  Fastball has been up to 90 mph in our looks with above-average spin traits. An integral part of one of the state’s most potent rotations.
+ Brandon Rogers, OF, Mount Carmel, 2022: Oklahoma commit and a top-20 prospect in the Illinois senior class. First year with the Caravan. Elite level athlete, QB1 on the Mount Carmel football team as well. Muscular 5-foot-11, 200-pound frame. Standout athlete at the Preseason ProCase in January with tools that pop across the board.
+ Roman Harrison, 1B/LHP, Mount Vernon, 2022: Quincy commit. Strong 6-foot-2, 197-pound frame with present bat-strength. Consistent left-handed swing that has produced a max exit velocity of 95 mph in past PBR events. Also will see valuable innings on the mound with a fastball up to 87 mph and four-pitch mix.
+ Colin Barczi, C, Naperville Central, 2023: Vanderbilt commit. Former Future Games participant, highly athletic prospect with one of the more dangerous bats in the 2023 class. Features some of the rawest power in Illinois, to go along with a feel to hit while recording an exit velocity up to 104 mph in past PBR events. Also a 6.69 60-runner with an extremely strong arm (83 mph from the crouch).
+ Pambo Nicoloudes, 3B/RHP, Naperville Central, 2023: Illinois-Chicago commit. Former Future Games participant and current No. 28 ranked player in Illinois. Polished right-handed hitter who is consistently on the barrel with an exit velocity up to 96 mph in past PBR events. Also takes reps on the mound with a fastball up to 88 mph.
+ Clay Schrader, OF, Naperville Central, 2023: Currently ranked no. 132 in Illinois. Highly athletic runner with a 60-time as low as 6.55. Roams the outfield with confidence and a strong arm (T89 mph). Also has a fluid right-handed swing with a 93 mph max exit velocity.
+ Ian Blazier, INF, Nashville, 2022: San Diego commit. Athletic, sub-7.0 runner, with a loose, projectable left-handed swing and should stick up the middle defensively.
+ Louis Florida, C/1B, New Trier, 2022: DePauw commit. Quote from Head Coach Mike Napoleon - “Louis Florida is one of my captains and a true leader.  He’s willing to do anything to help the team and will bat in the 3 hole for us this weekend”. Florida earned All-Conference honors in 2021 after driving in 26 RBI’s to go along with four home runs.
+ Brenden Stressler, OF, New Trier, 2023: Saint Louis commit. Former Future Games participant with an impressive all-around skillset. 6.91 runner in the 60 and one of the more polished left-handed bats in the state.
+ Graham Mastros, CIF, New Trier, 2023: St. Louis commit. Enticing speed, power combination. Physical, 6-foot-2, 225-pound frame and runs a 6.72 60. Has easy power in the bat; 99 mph exit velocity. Also is a reliable defender at third base and tops at 87 across the diamond.
+ Jake Swartz, RHP, Normal University, 2022: Illinois commit. The right-handed pitcher works from a short, quick arm action from a high ¾ slot. Swartz throws a four-seam type fastball with life that really creates carry through the strike zone, especially at the top of it, and it’s been up to 94 mph in front of our staff. Swartz’s high-spin curveball plays well off his fastball’s vertical profile; a 12/6 type with hard, downer action that he has confidence in and lands frequently under the zone.
+ Matt Sauser, RHP, Normal University, 2023: Iowa commit. Ranked inside the state’s top-10 of its Class of 2023, Sauser has gained a reputation for his ability to spin at premium rates. In 2021, he regularly sat in the upper-80s, up to 90 mph on occasion, and has fastball exhibits advanced rise/carry traits. Also spins two quality breaking balls and a deceptive changeup to round out an effective mix that earned him big innings for U-High last spring.
+ Charlie Vercruysse, SS/RHP, Normal University, 2024: Notre Dame commit. Vercruysse is one of the state’s top sophomores and an excellent athlete that allows him to excel as a two-way player, though he’ll be most needed at shortstop for U-High this spring as they replace the left side of their diamond. His wiry strength in a 6-foot-2 stature has generated quality contact to all fields and his barrel control has helped him produce some in-game pop in front of us. His arm strength across the infield was measured up to 89 mph last August, and it translates well onto the mound as well.
+ Jesse Courtney, RHP/INF, Normal West, 2023: Illinois State commit. Ranked No. 27 overall in the IL junior class. 6-foot-2, 200-pounds. Expected to be the anchor of this pitching staff while also playing an integral part offensively. Impressed our staff when we saw him last spring as a sophomore. Ran his fastball up to 85 mph and spun a breaking ball at 65-67 mph - both landed for strikes. Flashed intrigue at the plate with present bat speed and strength. Went 2-for-3 with an RBI double.
+ Eli Hensley, MIF, Normal West, 2022: Black Hawk JC commit. Ranked inside the state’s top-100 within its senior class, Hensely is an athletic, left-handed-hitting middle infielder with a quiet, loose swing and swings a bat that profiles at the top of a lineup. He’s also a steady and dependable defender with middle-infield actions that will translate to the next level.
+ Michael Larson, RHP, O’Fallon, 2022: Christian Brothers commit. Operated as O’Fallon’s ace in 2021 and is back this spring, returning a 1.21 ERA in 40.1 innings, allowing only 22 hits on the season with 52 punch-outs. Fastball was mid- to upper-80s last spring and he demonstrated the utmost confidence in his breaking ball, which made him a tough at-bat during the Panthers’ state run last year.
+ Danny Mack, RHP/OF, O’Fallon, 2022: Southwestern Illinois JC commit; Mack punched out 35 batters in 26.1 junior innings last year and actually made the most of his limited at-bats last spring, too. Last September, in a showcase setting, Mack featured one of the better breaking balls of that event, a hard slider at 75-78 mph which plays out of the same window as his low-80s fastball. The slider has late, sharp bite and spun at an average of 2,329 rpm.
+ William Millard, C, O’Fallon, 2023: Uncommitted. Listed at 5-foot-11, 190 pounds; returns what was possibly O’Fallon’s most productive bat last season. He hit .359 and tallied 19 RBIs, and he also walked 21 times, with seven HBPs, producing a .508 OBP. Also, expect to see Millard hit for more power this year as his bat speed and overall strength continue to tick up. We saw him in late September where he also looked like an athletic backstop, recording 1.90-2.02 pop times with a 77 mph arm.
+ Josh Copher, RHP/OF, Oak Forest, 2022: Uncommitted. Copher was an all-conference junior last year with a reliable three-pitch mix and he also returns a dependable bat and speed to Oak Forest’s lineup in 2022. Last August at an event, Copher was up to 84.1 mph with the fastball with natural arm-side action; downer curve that spun at 2,262 rpm on average, paired with a deceptive change. Also a 7.13 runner in an athletic 5-foot-11, 160-pound build.
+ Tyler Gentile, OF, Oak Forest, 2023: A versatile, right/right athlete who projects to play center field for Oak Forest in 2022 as a junior; speed is reportedly his best trait, which supports his quality defensive skill. His athleticism and inherent strength should also place him in an everyday spot in the middle of this lineup. Arm strength isn’t an issue, either, and it could lead him to innings on the mound.
+ John Tormey, MIF, Oak Forest, 2022: Uncommitted; lanky, athletic 6-foot, 150 pounds. Returns as an all-conference shortstop for Oak Forest with 6.95 speed and steady hands as a defender, with body control, that will be important to this program as a senior. Lead-off type hitter with a level bat path that sprays the gaps.
+ Cade Duffin, 1B, Oswego, 2023: Uncommitted. Stout, physical 6-foot-3, 240 pounds who’s generated some buzz for his premium right-handed bat strength that’s generated exit velocities as high as 108 mph at PBR events in the past.
+ Tyler Stack, C, Oswego, 2023: Xavier commit. Highly athletic 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame with present strength and upside for more attached. Wields a loud right-handed bat with present above-average raw power and more to come. Figures to hit in the middle of this order and see consistent time behind the dish.
+ Brandon Bak, LHP/OF, Plainfield North, 2022: Illinois-Chicago commit; athletic 6-foot-1, 165 pounds ranked inside the state’s top-60. A highly effective two-way player who was particularly impressive in the late summer and fall of last year from the mound. Fills up the zone with a mid-80s fastball (T87 mph) that leaps from his hand with premium vertical carry, spinning at nearly 2,300 rpm on average. Demonstrates complete confidence in his curveball, 73-74 mph (2,250 rpm on average), that he can use in any situation, with control for his age. Changeup, 76-79 mph, is a viable third pitch that he can use as an out-pitch when necessary. Athletic left-handed hitter as well who will be important to Plainfield North’s offense in 2022 also.
+ Ryan Nelson, INF, Plainfield North, 2023: Uncommitted. Lean, wiry 5-foot-11, 160 pound; left-handed-hitting shortstop who hit near the middle of the Tigers’ order last season as a sophomore. Loose hands and barrel control allow him to use the entire field; present athleticism could keep him up the middle of the diamond on defense, if not at third base.
+ Noah Harbin, RHP, Quincy, 2022: Iowa Central CC commit. Harbin is a quick-armed righty with on-mound athleticism who committed to the Iowa JUCO powerhouse in September of last year. With, reportedly, mid-to-upper-80s velocity, his fastball leaves a lower average release height that complements his smaller stature, helping the pitch carry through the strike zone. Also has a simple, athletic right-handed swing and is one of the top bats in the lineup.
+ Seth Parkinson, INF, Rochester, 2023: Repeatable right-handed swing that stays on-plane and uses the whole field. Also, a reliable infield defender.
+ Jayden Lobliner, C, St. Charles North, 2022: Kansas State commit. Former Future Games participant and one of the premier catchers in the state of Illinois; with a pop-time as low as 1.93 and arm up to 84 mph from the crouch (94 mph across the infield). Strong right-handed swing with ultra-quick hands to the ball, producing a max exit velocity of 97 mph.
+ Ryan Caccia, C/OF, St. Charles North, 2022: Wisconsin-Whitewater commit. Currently ranked No. 154 in Illinois and is a high-level athlete in multiple aspects. Recorded a 60-time as low as 6.74 to pair with a compact/repeatable right-handed stroke, max exit velocity of 95 mph. Also possesses a strong arm (88 mph from the outfield).
+ Tyler Altenbaumer, RHP, St. Joseph-Ogden, 2022: Southwestern Illinois JC commit. 5-foot-8, 175-pound right-hander that had a strong season for a team that went deep into the IHSA 2A playoffs last spring. Figures to be the workhorse of this staff in his senior season. Fastball has been up to 89 mph in our looks, spins a slider at 75-78 mph with above-average action off a 10/4 plane as main secondary pitch.
+ Hayden Brazelton, OF/LHP, St. Joseph-Ogden, 2022: Kaskaskia JC commit. Solid two-way potential with a fastball up to 78 mph and sure-handed defense in the outfield.
+ Kayden Althoff, OF/RHP, Teutopolis, 2022: Lake Land JC commit. 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame. Was amongst the top overall prospects at this summer’s Central Illinois Open. Paced the Wooden Shoes in offense last season, slashing .387/.452/.484. Expected to serve as one of their top arms this season, too.
+ John Rea, INF, Triad, 2022: Lindenwood commit, returns as the starting shortstop and should hit somewhere towards the top of the lineup. Aggressive swing that stays through the hitting zone and smooth defender.
+ Jake Radosevich, C, Triad, 2022: Lewis and Clark CC commit. Quick aggressive right-handed swing with intent to do damage and above-average receiver behind the plate with pop times as low as 2.01 in the past.
+ Easton Harris, SS/RHP, Washington Community, 2022: Parkland JC commit. Ranked inside the top-40 in Illinois’ senior class, Harris has been one of its top statistical two-way performers. We saw him most recently at an event in February where he ran a 6.77, reached a 94 mph on the infield, and recorded a max exit velocity of 99.8 mph from the right side. His arm strength works on the mound, too, where he’s been into the upper-80s for us with a sharp, high-spin curveball.
+ Gus Lucas, LHP/OF/1B, Washington Community, 2022: Bradley commit. While committed as a pitching prospect, Lucas will contribute to Washington in more ways than one. He’s ranked inside the top-100 of the state’s senior class for his mid-80s fastball alongside his sharp slider and projectable 6-foot-4, 200-pound physique. Given his size, there could be more velocity that comes out in his senior spring and we’re eager to see it ourselves.

VENUES

  • Belleville East HS: 2555 West Blvd., Belleville, IL 62221
  • Belleville West HS: 4063 Frank Scott Parkway W, Belleville, IL 62223
  • Edwardsville HS (Tom Pile Field): 6040 Center Grove Rd, Edwardsville, IL 62025
  • Edwardsville HS (JV turf field): 6040 Center Grove Rd, Edwardsville, IL 62025
  • Father McGivney HS: 7109 Bouse Rd., Glen Carbon, IL 62025
  • GCS Ballpark (all turf): 2301 Grizzlie Bear Blvd., Sauget, IL 62206
  • Gordon Moore Park: 4550 College Ave, Alton, IL 62002
  • O’Fallon HS (Blazier Field): 401 E. Fifth St., O'Fallon, IL 62269
  • SIU-Edwardsville (Roy E. Lee Field; all turf): 5200 New Poag Rd., Edwardsville, IL 62025
  • Triad HS (turf infield): 703 E. US Highway 40, Troy, IL 62294

For entire coverage of the Metro East Kickoff Classic visit prepbaseballreport.com/illinois and for up-to-date information throughout the event be sure to follow us @PBRIllinois.

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