Top-10 Stories of 2019: No. 10 Team Illinois' first trip to LakePoint


By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer, Associate Scout

At the end of 2018, Prep Baseball Report announced its partnership with the state-of-the-art baseball facility in Emerson, Ga.: LakePoint Sporting Community. Our inaugural season at the helm of LakePoint’s first-class facilities has opened the doors to a more competitive travel baseball scene with an emphasis on PBR’s boots-on-the-ground scouting services.

Though, the PBR and LakePoint relationship isn’t just beneficial to the country’s travel ball scene. At the end of every July, the top uncommitted incoming juniors (and select sophomores) in the nation have been representing their states to play in front of what is effectively the entire collegiate recruiting community as part of the PBR Future Games. In 2019, the PBR Future Games were moved from its previous home of Grand Park in Westfield, Ind., to LakePoint.

Team Illinois’ 2019 Future Games roster marked the first team from PBR’s home state to compete on this most prestigious platform. 

TEAM ILLINOIS 2019

As it stands right now, 10 of the Illinois prospects who participated in the summer’s PBR Future Games have committed verbally to colleges, including two 2022 grads who competed on Team Select.

C Ty Batusich (Joliet West) announced a commitment to Western Kentucky in late October and left the Future Games as, arguably, the team’s offensive MVP after slugging a couple of home runs in the squad’s three games.

Ty Batusich (PBR Future Games, 7.31.19)

From Staunton, LHP Cylis Cox also announced a verbal commitment in late October, to Central Florida. At the Future Games, he sat in the mid-80s, up to 86 mph, with late run and sink while mixing in a sharp slider.

Big righty Brennyn Cutts (Toledo-Cumberland) committed to Indiana State in the fall and brought with him to Georgia one of the firmest fastballs in the entire event. He topped 92 mph at the Future Games, sitting mostly 88-90 mph with late life/run, with a tight breaking ball thrown with confidence.

Minooka’s Reed Gannon is a clean, high ceiling lefty who came to LakePoint with some buzz and only increased the chatter and interest in his talents after the week. Ultimately, Gannon announced his commitment to Kentucky in September just after we saw him dominate once again at the PBR Midwest Fall Championships.

Reed Gannon (PBR Future Games, 7.31.19)

Nicky Giamarusti (Notre Dame) shattered a PBR Future Games record in the 60-yard dash with a 6.22 mark in the event. He actually re-broke his own record with that 6.22 time after he was asked to re-run the 60 when he recorded a 6.27 mark in his first sprint. He announced his commitment to Pitt at the start of October.

Aidan Krupp (Oak Park-River Forest) and Owen Murphy (Riverside-Brookfield, 2022) will meet again at Notre Dame following graduation – though Murphy will meet Krupp on campus a year later. Krupp is an extra physical righty with a sinking fastball that sat in the 84-87 mph range at LakePoint, touching 88. Murphy’s a highly athletic right-hander who really garnered a lot of attention for himself after a live inning pitched at LakePoint where he also sat 84-87 mph with late run/sink. His sharp slider has swing-and-miss upside and he throws it aggressively.

Just last Friday, the two-way, left/left prospect from Sacred Heart-Griffin, Isaiah Thompson, announced his commitment to Indiana State. Thompson tallied five hits at the Future Games as the team’s lone two-way prospect. His tools, namely his footspeed, make him a good bet to project well as a center fielder at the next level. On the mound, Thompson has a quick, clean, and compact arm which works in the low-80s now, up to 84 mph in Georgia.

Finally, representing Team Select at LakePoint, two of the top 2022s at the PBR Future Games also earned commitments in the days following one of the summer’s biggest stages. Both RHP Ethan Patera (Downers Grove South) and OF/RHP Alex Stanwich (Lincoln-Way East) both committed very shortly following their trips to LakePoint. Patera is a Louisville commit now and sat in the upper 80s, touching 89 mph, down at the Future Games which helped him land a top-10 spot on the state’s first look at the Class of 2022 rankings. 

Alex Stanwich (PBR Future Games, 7.31.19)

As for Stanwich, he came away from the Future Games’ workout day with some of the most buzz of anyone in attendance – let alone for a 2022 grad. He set a new Future Games record at the exit velocity station with a 106 mph high and he ran a 6.82 in the 60. Stanwich is also harnessing one of the strongest arms in the class and he was up 88 mph from the mound. The live tools here are simply one of a kind, and it’s helped him become the No. 3 overall prospect in Illinois’ 2022 class. The week after the Future Games, Stanwich announced his commitment to Tennessee.

MORE FUTURE GAMES CONTENT

For additional notes on the entire Team Illinois roster, written live from the site of the Future Games, check out the hyperlinked material below.

TOP-10 STORIES OF 2019