Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 20 Barrington


By Andy Sroka
Illinois & Wisconsin Assistant Director

The Illinois high school baseball season kicks off on March 14, opening day for regular season action under IHSA regulations. Over the next two weeks, leading up to opening day, we’ll be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2022 spring season, touching on programs spanning all state classifications, counting down through the official PBR Illinois Preseason Power 25 Rankings.

Perennially, we’ve submitted a Preseason Questionnaire to high school head coaches across the entire state. Their responses have been flooding in and we’re using the detailed insight they’ve provided in our team-by-team preseason analysis.

Our 2022 preseason coverage begins today.

Team: Barrington
Preseason Rank: No. 20
2021 Record: 21-5
Conference: Mid-Suburban League (West)
IHSA Class: 4A
Head Coach: Pat Wire

roster preview

NAME POS CLASS COMMITMENT
Evan Baptiste OF 2022 Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Logan Eisenbarth RHP/1B 2022 Wisconsin-Whitewater
Danny Hoffman INF/RHP 2022 -
Jake Kohanzo RHP/OF 2022 -
Bruno Pallan 3B/RHP 2022 Dubuque
Mason Rasmussen C 2022 -
J.D. Swarbrick SS 2022 -
Harley Thompson RHP 2022 -
Ben Yaney OF 2022 -
Nick Lacson RHP/INF/C 2023 -
Maksymilian Pierga RHP 2023 -
Owen Ruff RHP 2023 -
Payton Soske RHP/INF 2023 -
Kade Schneider OF 2023 -

NEWCOMER TO WATCH

+ RHP Owen Ruff (2023): Transferring into Barrington is one of the ‘winners’ of our Chicago ID event in February, Owen Ruff. His fastball climbed six ticks over the past year, up to 87 mph in Chicago, and he could be another talented arm that head coach Pat Wire can pencil into his staff this spring. His report from that day: “The 5-foot-11, 155-pound, wiry right-hander showed a quick, lively arm and ran his fastball up to 86.5 mph (2,237 average rpm) at the event. The fastball jumps out his hand with late hop and life through the zone, especially as he located it up in the zone. He throws an aggressive curveball that worked between a 12/6 and 11/5 plane, playing off the fastball at 72-73 mph, with tight spin and late action; 2,150 average rpm. He rounded out his three-pitch mix by killing the spin on his 78-80 mph change that showed control at the bottom of the strike zone. He’s a quick-armed right-hander with a quality three-pitch mix and seemingly more velocity to tap into down the road.

X-FACTOR

(6/29/21)

+ RHP/INF/C Nick Lacson (2023): Lacson has impressed our staff from a very young age and it was no surprise that he earned himself considerable playing time as a sophomore in 2021. He hit .381 in 42 sophomore at-bats at the varsity level, and he’s certainly in the plans to feature more regularly in his junior spring. Though, without having earned innings last year, Lacson may make his largest impact this year from the mound. He’d regularly sit in the mid-80s over last summer and fall, with a fastball that projects to miss bats on its own courtesy of its high spin. Being able to locate his curveball and changeup are his next best traits, creating a starter profile that could seize a spot within the rotation if he’s made another jump over the winter.

OUTLOOK

While Barrington graduated three staples from its 2021 roster, including its typical one- and two-hole hitters Ryan Koehler and Ryan Jenkins, as well as the starting pitcher that tossed five shutout innings in their Regional semifinals win, Matt Vojack, the Broncos are in stellar shape to spark another successful season in the Mid-Suburban League West, with high postseason hopes.

Barrington’s attrition by graduation can be made up elsewhere on the roster, as a talented 2022 class should support the program’s lofty goals this spring. The heart of this order is back, making for a competitive lineup capable of manufacturing runs at a steady pace without many holes in the order. In other words, it’s a balanced offense, and that’s another way you could describe its pitching staff.

At the center of all this is two-way senior RHP/1B Logan Eisenbarth (Wisconsin-Whitewater), who epitomizes the team’s outlook in 2022. Eisenbarth is a dependable force at the center of this lineup. Last spring against Jacobs – a preseason ranked opponent prior to Barrington being ranked themselves in-season – Eisenbarth put together hard-nosed at-bats against several talented arms. He led the team in home runs (7) and RBIs (27) and he added another six doubles to operate as that run-producer every team needs. Those tough at-bats were clearly contagious, as the bats that backed him in the middle of the order like C Mason Rasmussen (2022) and 3B/RHP Bruno Pallan (2022; Dubuque) provided us with similar mentalities in the batter’s box, shaping a formidable lineup that helped Barrington win 21 games in 2021, beating our own preseason expectations and becoming a real playoff threat. 

They were downed in the Regional title game by Mundelein, a tough squad that should be good again in 2022, but Barrington has some real pieces in its dugout.

We’ve not yet mentioned seniors like SS J.D. Swarbrick, OF Ben Yaney, RHP/OF Jake Kohanzo, and OF Evan Baptiste (Wisconsin-Milwaukee) either. Swarbrick is back to occupy shortstop for this team in 2022, returning a .375 batting average in 64 at-bats. Yaney himself returns a .354 average as well as five extra-base hits in 38 at-bats. Kohanzo is a powerful two-way weapon that can raise the ceiling on Barrington’s season from both the mound and the batter’s box. He wields big right-handed power, and he connected for four homers in just 49 at-bats as a junior. And in 25.2 innings split as both a starter and high-leverage reliever, Kohanzo struck out 25 and finished the spring with an ERA of 2.18. Baptiste is one of the most athletic members of the state’s 2022 class, fit with true center fielder’s actions, and twitchy bat speed that could energize this lineup at times this season.

Jake Kohanzo (2/6/22)

There were a couple more pop-up juniors we saw ourselves this winter who should be able to capably round up a quality roster: RHP/INF Payton Soske (2023) and OF Kade Schneider (2023). Soske’s a 6-foot-4 right-hander with a fastball that reached the mid-80s at the end of February, with some feel to spin a tight slider, and he might earn some at-bats filling out a spot on the infield, too, possibly at second base. Schneider recorded some of the loudest contact of our winter Preseason ID circuit, and he also ran a 6.94 as a strong 6-foot-4, 200-pound athlete, stirring the belief that Barrington’s depth inside its lineup could develop into a strength.

On the mound, Eisenbarth will also return the most innings pitched in 2021 (41) and strikeouts (50). He’ll set the tone for RHP/INF Danny Hoffman (2022), Kohanzo, Lacson, Ruff, Pallan and live-armed junior RHP Maksymilian Pierga (2023). Having a 6-foot-6, 225-pound power arm up your sleeve is a luxury few teams have, but Barrington is one of them. Pierga was up to 90 mph for us early last summer with aggressive offspeed, namely a slider, and his positive development would only enhance this team’s potential as a state contender.

Maksymilian Pierga (10/22/21)

BOTTOM LINE

Jam-packed with depth across the diamond, the Broncos are also returning dependable seniors from a team that won 21 games last spring. Sprinkle in the development within its talented junior class, and Barrington has the recipe to become a tough out come playoff time. While that hinges on some new names to progress and adapt to varsity ball quickly, this feels like the kind of roster that could really start to click at just the right time.

Make sure to follow @PBRIllinois on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the 2022 season.

Find more information on the 2022 Broncos below:

+ Team Website
+ Team Schedule
+ Team Twitter

PRESEASON POWER 25 COUNTDOWN