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O'Hare Preseason ID: Quick Hits


By: Illinois Scouting Staff

On Sunday, Feb. 13, the PBR Illinois staff traveled to the Bo Jackson Elite Sports Dome in Bensenville, Ill., to host the O'Hare Preseason ID - one of the largest showcases on our winter calendar. This event provided us an ample opportunity to check-in on some of the area’s high school prospects and identify several names as we prepare for the IHSA season, as well as future invite-only events on the PBR Illinois calendar. 

Now, at the event’s conclusion, our staff will begin the post-event process by highlighting some of the day’s standouts in this Quick Hits piece. More content from this event will be available as the week progresses, so be on the lookout for that.

For now, here are a few names that caught our attention on Sunday.

QUICK HITS 

EVENT WINNERS

+ Perhaps the day’s biggest winner was MIF Troy Stukenberg (Lyons Township, 2023), who put up a truly impressive performance in all facets. Built at a strong, compact 5-foot-9, 175-pounds, Stukenberg cruised to an event-high 6.63 in the 60-yard dash to start his day. He checked several boxes on the offensive side, showcasing loose athletic hands and a consistent plane through the zone. Stukenberg’s hardest hit ball left his barrel at 98.5 mph and he made hard contact throughout, as evidenced by his 94.2 mph average exit velocity and 88.9% hard-hit rate (percentage of batted balls with exit velocities over 95 mph). He stood out amongst a quality infield crop defensively, working with ease across the diamond with an advanced feel for his body’s actions and an arm that reached an 86 mph high, too. It was a positive start to the season for Stukenberg and this event certainly helped enhance his prospect status. 

+ To say that RHP Anthony Solis (Waukegan, 2023) made a strong impression in his first ever PBR Showcase would be an understatement. Standing at 5-foot-10, 160-pounds, the right-hander stole the show on the mound with one of the more electric ‘pens of 2022 so far. Solis works with a simple/repeatable delivery down the mound, featuring a slight drop/drive lower-half before moving into a whippy high ¾ arm slot, moving athletically throughout. His fastball jumps out of the hand and features eye-opening sinking action to his arm-side, hovering at 87-89 mph throughout his ‘pen and reaching back for 90 mph on his last bullet. The separator in Solis’ arsenal is his breaking ball; thrown at 77-78 mph with arm-speed, his slider averages 2,556 rpm while playing off a slurvy 10/4 plane, finishing through the zone with late action and depth (avg. 18.4 inches of break). He rounded out his arsenal with a developing changeup that comes in at 77-79 mph, flashing heavy sink to the arm-side at times and thrown with conviction. Solis was a big winner from Sunday’s event and is definitely a name to know for this coming spring. 

+ RHP Drew Koenen (Maine South, 2023) emerged a winner from this past weekend after giving our scouting staff a strong look in his ‘pen. The strong-bodied, 6-foot-2, 200-pound right-hander works with a controlled tempo on the mound, using an unhurried leg-lift before moving into a drop/drive lower-half downhill. His fastball cruised at 88-89 throughout his ‘pen, playing up in the zone and setting up a sharp 12/6 curveball at 71-72 mph, starting on a similar plane to his fastball. He throws his changeup at 81-83 mph, mirroring fastball arm-speed with fading action to the bottom of the zone. 

+INF Dayton Murphy (Crystal Lake South, 2024) certainly left a positive impression on our scouts after a quality all-around showing on Sunday. The 5-foot-9, 155-pound sophomore showed a repeatable right-handed stroke in BP, staying short to the baseball with sneaky barrel strength and gap-to-gap feel. Murphy’s glove may be his biggest asset as he projects to stick somewhere on the infield in the long-term. He owns an innately advanced feel for himself on the dirt, moving with tempo and rhythm with comfortably nimble feet throughout. He also recorded the day’s hardest throw across the diamond, reaching an 87 mph high, and his arm is capable of accurately playing from multiple angles, too. Murphy joins a quality list of name-to-know prospects from the Fox Valley Conference as we prepare for the spring season. 

+ Ranked inside the top-25 prospects in the state’s sophomore class, INF Cash Campbell (Montini Catholic) gave our staff a quality up-to-date look at his skill set. Now built at a stronger and leaner 6-foot-2, 205-pounds, Campbell’s left-handed stroke showed well in BP, as he displayed loose strong hands and natural lift through contact with a max exit velocity of 97.3 mph. He worked in rhythm on the infield as well with athletic feet and an accurate arm that delivered from a high ¾ slot. He’s long been an intriguing follow for us and we’re eager to see him continue to build off this performance throughout this year. 


MORE NAMES TO KNOW

+ INF Dominic Jacoby (Taft, 2023) was another all-around winner from Sunday’s event. A wiry 5-foot-11, 140-pound athlete, Jacoby kicked his day off by running a 6.96 in the 60-yard dash, which ended up being one of the event’s top times. Offensively, Jacoby worked in a fluid rhythm with a consistent gap-to-gap approach, showing athletic hands and an upside offensive game. Perhaps Jacoby’s biggest win from the day was his defensive workout, however. He moved with high energy throughout, showing athletic movements with quick feet and soft hands to pair, reaching an 84 mph high across the diamond. After all that, Jacoby pumped his fastball up to 83 mph in his ‘pen.

+ INF/RHP NJ Gott (Glenbrook North, 2023) stands at a strong 6-foot-2, 195-pounds with room to add more mass onto his frame. Gott showed well at an event last fall and carried some of that into Sunday’s showing, taking a quality round of BP with strong hands and natural feel to elevate the baseball, primarily to the pull-side. On defense, Gott recorded one of the day’s hardest infield throws, peaking at 86 mph across the diamond from a loose high ¾ window. Later on, Gott hopped on the mound and impressed, too. His fastball was delivered from a high ¾ arm slot, riding through the zone while flashing arm-side run at 82-83 mph, reaching up to 84 mph. To pair off his fastball, Gott went to a fading changeup kept down in the zone at 76-78 mph and an 11/5 breaking ball at 71-72 mph, all thrown from similar windows to his fastball. 

+ INF Carter Monroe (Palatine) looks to be a follow in the Illinois' 2025 class after a quality showing at this event. The lean, lanky 5-foot-10, 140-pound freshman showed a simple and repeatable swing from the right side, controlling the barrel while staying flat to contact. He peppered the field with line drives and displayed an upside offensive profile once he physically fills out his frame, too.

+ Another quality showing came from RHP Brayden Mobley (Fremd, 2023), who showed feel for a four-pitch mix. A strong 5-foot-10, 180-pound athlete with a sturdy lower half, Mobley touched 84.3 mph with his fastball on his final bullet, sitting in the 81-83 mph range throughout. He threw his changeup at 71-73 mph at fastball arm speed and with heavy arm-side action, averaging 15 inches of horizontal movement on the pitch. Mobley’s arsenal also featured two different breaking balls - a harder 72-74 mph slider with lateral 10/4 spin and a 67-68 mph curveball with more depth that spun off an 11/5 axis.

+ RHP Sam Larson (Lake Forest, 2023) displayed one of the stronger arms in attendance over the weekend. He ran his fastball up to 86 mph with life through the zone, working from a long, high ¾ arm slot. With his projectable 6-foot-2, 180-pound frame, it would not be a surprise to see an up-tick in his velocity through the coming years as he continues to develop physically. 

+ RHP/CIF Jared Lortie (Evanston, 2023) flashed some two-way intrigue at this event. Lortie boasts a sturdy, physically proportioned 6-foot, 190-pound frame and showed that strength in multiple facets, running his fastball up to 86 mph with a max exit velocity of 95 mph and a peak batted distance of 349 ft., all while running a 7.04 in the 60-yard dash at his size. 

+ OF Jake Swanson (Grant, 2023) has upside on both sides of the ball, and he showed that to our scouts on Sunday. A 6-foot, 180-pound left/left athlete, Swanson used his levers to flash above-average bat strength in BP, sending his furthest ball an estimated distance of 349 feet, per TrackMan. Where Swanson flashed the most was with his arm strength, as he uncorked the hardest throw home from the outfield we’ve seen this winter so far at 92 mph during his defensive workout. He hopped on the mound later on in the day as well and reached an 84 mph max with his fastball, too.

+ Left-handed hitting C Ricky Collazo (IC Catholic Prep, 2023) generated intrigue throughout his workout at the Bo Dome on Sunday. Collazo stands at an athletic 6-foot, 196-pounds with clear strength and physicality in his lower half. He flashed above-average raw power throughout BP and bat speed to pair, reaching a max exit velocity of 96.3 mph and peak batted distance of 344 feet, too. Collazo’s glove appears to be advanced for his age as well, working quickly to the bag with efficient footwork. He recorded pop times in the 1.93-to-2.02 range and consistently uncorked strong throws with carry through the target, peaking at 78 mph.

+ Left-handed hitting 1B Sam Viniard (Lyons Township, 2023) flashed loud contact throughout his round of BP. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound junior attacked the pull-side gap with elevated barrels, reaching a max exit velocity of 95.7 mph and a peak batted distance of 341 feet. 

+ One of the first arms we saw on Sunday was RHP Joey Pagni (York, 2023), and the 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior flashed advanced arm strength for his age. Pagni ran his fastball up to 85 mph, sitting at 83-85 mph, and he showed feel to throw a tight, bullet-spin slider at 75-77 mph for strikes. 

+ RHP Dylan Kaminski (DePaul Prep, 2023) displayed above-average arm strength for his age during his ‘pen. The well-proportioned 6-foot, 190-pound junior pumped his fastball at an 85.2 mph max, sitting in the 83-85 mph range throughout. 

+INF Salvatore Besztery (St. Ignatius, 2023) showed well on the infield, moving fluently with quick feet and controlling his 5-foot-11, 165-pound body in rhythm. He throws from multiple arm angles while on the move and his hands work well with his feet, too. Offensively, Besztery showed a simple, repeatable right-handed swing. 

+ Another name to show well on defense was INF Colin McCormick (New Trier, 2023). The 5-foot-11, 160-pound uncommitted junior showcased a loose, quick arm with easy action throughout. His throws across the diamond were on target with carry and his hands played soft on the infield. 

+ C John Philip Ferraro (Oak Park - River Forest, 2023) took an impressive round of catcher defense. His lower half worked directly to his target, without much added movement, and his quick, clean transfer allowed him to generate pop times in the 1.94-to-2.04 range while topping at 76 mph, too. 

+ INF Owen Rivera (Von Stueben, 2023) showed advanced actions and feel on the infield. The 5-foot-11, 184-pound junior has quick feet, quality hands, and works well on the move with multiple arm slot accuracy. Offensively, Rivera has loose athletic hands and a middle-of-the-field approach.

+ OF Jacob Gonzalez (Warren, 2023) took a quality round of BP at this event. Gonzalez repeated a simple, compact left-handed stroke while staying short to the ball and spraying hard contact to all fields.

+ RHP Jake Calcagno (IC Catholic Prep, 2024) is a long-limbed 6-foot-4, 215-pound right-hander that came away with one of the more impressive ‘pens of the day. With a powerful drop/drive delivery, Calcagno uses every ounce of his large frame to help move downhill while his front-side remains strong at release, working from a short and clean high ¾ slot. He ran his fastball up to 82 mph, sitting primarily 80-81 mph with arm-side ride to the plate. His changeup looked to be his preferred offering from this ‘pen, possessing feel for the strike zone with fading action at 72-74 mph, kept mostly down. Calcagno also went to a sharp breaking ball that plays off an 11/5 plane with depth, thrown for strikes at times at 66-69 mph. 

+ RHP Jake Shumaker (Lyons Township) was yet another member of the 2024 class that looked to have promise on the mound. With a long-limbed 6-foot-2, 150-pound frame, Shumaker has plenty of room to add additional strength that should help continue to elevate his fastball velocity, especially paired with his clean arm. His delivery works with a fluid pace, using a pre-load in his lower-half to gain momentum down the mound. His fastball reached up to 82 mph, sitting primarily 79-80 mph with heavy arm-side life. Schumaker went to a sharp 11/5 breaking ball at 65-66 mph to pair off his fastball, thrown for strikes with feel for the zone. He then went to a cutter in the 69-70 range, acting more like a slider with tight 10/4 shape, but still a solid change-of-pace offering that should continue to improve with added arm-speed. He rounded out his arsenal with a 69-71 mph changeup, flashing arm-side life at times. 

+ LHP Dayne Meyer (Willowbrook, 2024) emerged a winner from Sunday’s event. A well-proportioned 6-foot-3, 185-pound southpaw with plenty of room for added mass, Meyer put together a polished ‘pen, showcasing a clean three-pitch mix. He worked with poise and fluidity downhill, controlling his lower half to front foot strike in a controlled manner. His fastball played at 80-81 mph from a loose, low-effort arm stroke and there’s certainly more untapped velocity in the tank. Meyer confidently threw his changeup at arm speed in the 74-76 mph range and it consistently played with late arm-side action. He threw a slider with lateral action off a 2/8 plane at 73-75 mph as well, landing it for strikes and making for an effective pairing with his fastball should he work the arm-side corner of the plate. Meyer’s present polish and future outlook on the mound are both standout attributes for his age. 

+ One of the day’s most impressive ‘pens came from RHP Jack Wilson (New Trier, 2024). The 5-foot-10, 160-pound sophomore worked with a quick aura to him on the mound, featuring an athletic delivery and fluid lower half movement patterns downhill. Wilson’s fastball entered the upper quadrant of the zone with late life at 81-82 mph. Wilson’s most enticing trait was his aptitude to spin his breaking balls - a curveball and slider mix that both played in the 68-70 mph range with sharp, late action off an 11/5 plane. The separator here was his ability to land them for strikes and bury them beneath the zone as well, enhancing his arsenal as a whole overall. He’s landed himself on our follow radar as his sophomore season at New Trier is set to begin in a few weeks. 

+ LHP Wilson Kruse (Oak Park-River Forest, 2024) provided us quite the upside look at Sunday’s event, standing at a lanky, thin-levered 6-foot-4, 180-pound frame. Kruse controls his body well downhill for his age and stature, while his arm played loose on the backside with easy rhythm through release. Kruse’s fastball played with natural cutting action created by his finger placement on the seams, topping at 83 mph while sitting in the 80-82 mph range throughout. Though still developing feel for his secondaries, Kruse has jumped onto our prospect radar after a promising showing in his PBR debut. 

+ Left-handed hitting OF Kyle Larson (Huntley, 2024) took an intentful round of batting practice, elevating the baseball throughout. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound left/left prospect offers upside in the power department should he fill out his frame, particularly because of his ability to elevate the baseball.

+ INF Declan Smith (New Trier, 2024) stands at a lanky 5-foot-10, 170-pounds with upside in the frame as physical maturity continues. He made quality contact throughout his round of BP, staying on the barrel and working line drives throughout.

+ RHP Anthony Sexton (Lincoln-Way East, 2024) is a lean, lanky 6-foot, 175-pound sophomore that showed three-pitch feel throughout his ‘pen. Sexton’s fastball played with true backspin and reached a peak of 83 mph, sitting in the low-80s throughout. He maintained arm speed on a fading changeup and his breaking ball spun off an 11/5 plane with above-average action and depth, too.

+ 1B Christopher Boykin (Simeon, 2024) is a thick, sturdy 6-foot-1, 240-pound athlete that showed offensive promise in BP. Boykin repeated a strong, simple right-handed swing while flashing pull-side power. His hardest hit ball left his barrel at 92.9 mph and traveled 342 feet, but he repeatedly made some of the day's hardest contact on average (88.3 mph).

+ Our first look at INF Peyton Panozzo (St. Rita, 2025) came at last fall’s Underclass Showcase and the switch-hitting middle infielder continued to build off that performance this past weekend. He repeated an athletic swing from both sides of the plate on offense with adept barrel control and natural lift through contact. He showed a high contact profile and one that could profile at the top of a lineup. Panozzo’s talent translated to the infield as well, where he displayed quality actions, steady footwork, and comfort on the move. 

+ LHP Anthony Karbowski (Hampshire, 2025) is a fluid-moving southpaw that works from a 6-foot, 165-pound frame. His delivery seems effortless down the mound, working with a drop/drive lower-half into an athletic stride. With a long, loose high ¾ slot, he ran his fastball up to 83 mph, maintaining 80-82 throughout his ‘pen with slight arm-side action. The left-hander then went to a short 1/7 breaking ball at 66-68 mph, occasionally getting on the side of it and creating 2/8 shape, but thrown at fastball arm-speed and looking to pair off his fastball nicely.

+ RHP Lincoln Causero (Hersey, 2025) was yet another freshman who showed well over the weekend, impressing with a mature three-pitch mix. From a projectable 6-foot-2, 160-pound frame, the right-hander worked exclusively from the stretch, starting with his feet staggered and moving fluidly into a drop/drive lower-half downhill. His fastball played through the zone with ride and an average of 2,206 rpm, topping out at 80 mph and thrown for strikes. He then went on to show our staff his ability to throw his breaking ball for strikes, sitting primarily 66-68 mph with 11/5 shape and depth. His changeup looks to be a promising third-pitch in his arsenal, sitting at 70-72 mph with the ability to navigate around the zone, also fading into right-handed hitters. 

+ One of the last arms of the day was LHP David Leung (Hinsdale Central, 2025) and the lean, high-waisted 5-foot-11, 155-pound southpaw put together an impressive showing. Leung worked efficiently down the mound, maintaining rhythm and posture throughout. His fastball played from a loose clean arm at 79-80 mph with nearly 18 inches of vertical break on average and plenty of untapped velocity in the tank. Leung’s curveball showed flashes of above-average downer spin at 63-67 mph and his cutter was his best secondary pitch on this day, showing late horizontal action at 73-76 mph. His ceiling, especially should his body physically fill out, is arguably one of the highest we saw at this event.

+ RHP Tadgh Callaghan (Brother Rice, 2025) is a 5-foot-10, 190-pound right-hander with impressive arm-strength for his age. With a short, high ¾ arm slot, Callaghan utilizes a compact delivery down the mound, working with a drop/drive lower-half to create power. His fastball sat primarily 80-82 mph, reaching up to 83 mph while riding through the zone with arm-side life, also thrown for strikes. Callaghan then went to a sharp breaking ball, thrown with fastball arm-speed at 69-71 mph off an 11/5 plane with depth. He also showcased a changeup that shows potential to be a weapon in the future, diving hard to the bottom of the zone at times while sitting in the 74-75 mph range. 

+ INF Carter Monroe (Palatine) looks to be a follow in the Illinois' 2025 class after a quality showing at this event. The lean, lanky 5-foot-10, 140-pound freshman showed a simple and repeatable swing from the right side, controlling the barrel while staying flat to contact. He peppered the field with line drives and displayed an upside offensive profile once he physically fills out his frame, too.

+ RHP Tucker King (Lyons Township, 2025) offers a physically intriguing frame for his age, standing at a well-proportioned 6-foot-3, 175-pounds. King was amongst the day’s final arms and he looked the part on the mound, working in a clean drop-and-drive downhill pattern in his ‘pen. He ran his fastball up to 82 mph, sitting at 79-81 mph, and showed a feel for a low-70s changeup with slight arm-side action. King threw two breaking balls, the most presently effective one being a curveball with depth at 64-68 mph. We saw King perform at The Rock this summer and we’re looking forward to watching him continue to develop as his high school career progresses. 


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