Unsigned Senior Showcase: Takeaways


By Illinois Scouting Staff

On Oct. 3, our PBR Illinois Scouting Staff held the Unsigned Senior Showcase which touted over 60 unsigned seniors from across the state of Illinois. 

During the event, there were a total of 14 players who registered an exit velocity of 90 mph or higher during batting practice; five of those players registered an exit velocity of 95 mph or higher. 

From a pitching standpoint, there were 11 pitchers who registered a max fastball velocity of 82 mph or higher; five of these pitchers were north of 85 mph. 

Below are some of the standouts from the event. 

Pitchers

+ RHP Evan Eberle (Oak Park-River Forest) had a strong showing and looks to be one of the better uncommitted arms left in the 2022 class. Strong 6-foot-1 170-pound frame, Eberle moves athletically down the mound with a drop-and-drive lower-half leading to an easy/effortless delivery. With a clean/easy arm, Eberle’s fastball sat 84-87 mph T88 with life through the zone. His best secondary pitch during his bullpen was an 11/5 breaking ball in the 67-70 mph range with feel for the bottom of the zone. Eberle also showcased a fading changeup at 72-74 mph that he was able to keep down and to his arm-side consistently.

+ LHP Jack Taczy (Cary-Grove) impressed at his first-ever PBR Event. The talented, 6-foot-3, 165-pound, long-limbed, left-hander has a fluid, directional delivery and long, loose arm action from an over-the-top slot with seemingly much more in the tank. The fastball comes out of the hand clean and easy with occasional tilt and late arm-side-run, topping at 87 mph, sitting 84-86 mph. Taczy paired it with a true 12/6 curveball that flashed depth and tight spin. High-upside left-handed arm to follow moving forward.

+ The biggest upside of the event, arguably belongs to RHP Elijah Rompala-Matthews (Mount Carmel), who was making his PBR debut. For starters, Rompala-Matthews has a highly-advanced, impressive, 6-foot-6, 195-pound frame that is impossible to miss. The delivery and stuff is not a finished product but he has present arm speed, sat 84-85 mph with his fastball and threw his breaking balls with aggression and intent. The curveball topped at 77 mph and showed 11/5 shape with potential to be an out-pitch down the road. High-ceiling prospect. 

+ LHP Michael Pustelnik (Andrew) emerged as an intriguing arm to follow. Long-limbed, strong 6-foot-3 210-pound frame, Pustelnik moved well down the mound for his size. Long/loose arm action from a ¾ slot with a flexible drop-and-drive lower-half, Pustelnik produced an easy fastball in the 81-82 mph range with arm-side life. His breaking ball worked in the 69-70 mph range with a biting 2/8 shape, which he paired with a fading changeup at 75-78 mph. 

+ LHP Jack Kennedy (St. Charles North) is a strong 6-foot-3 190-pound southpaw with feel for a three pitch mix. With a short ¾ slot and rotational lower-half, Kennedy produced a fastball that sat comfortably in the 81-83 mph range. His breaking ball worked in the 67-69 mph range with tight 1/7 shape, kept down in the zone. Kennedy also boasted a fading changeup at 74-75 mph which he was able to throw for strikes. With his projectable frame, it would be no surprise to see Kennedy add a few ticks to his fastball this coming year. 

+ Jack’s twin brother Josh Kennedy (St. Charles North) also showed upside on the mound with a quick arm and fastball that climbed to 81 mph. Josh is listed at a high-waisted, 6-foot-4, 180-pounds.

+ Another LHP worth noting was Michael Gray (Lake Forest). Gray has a 6-foot, 175-pound, well-proportioned frame, compact arm action and fastball that sat 82-83 mph; up from 78-80 mph, T81 back in February. 

+ RHP Sean McGee (St. Charles North) boasted the best spin rates in the entire event. McGee’s fastball worked 78-81 mph (T2649 rpm), which was the best spin rate on a fastball by over 350 rpm. McGee also showcased a sharp 11/5 curveball at 67-70 (T2421 rpm) and a biting 10/4 slider at 72-74 mph (T2555 rpm). 

+ RHP/C Frank Freeman (St. Ignatius), listed at a lean, 6-foot-1, 165-pounds, showed an uptick in stuff and velocity from an event in early June. In the matter of four months, Freeman saw his fastball go from 80-82 mph, up to 82-85 mph. Freeman also saw his curveball sharpen up from 63-66 to 69-70 mph at the Unsigned Senior. The average rpm on his curveball also went up 260 rpms as well. Freeman works with a compact, short arm action and gets late hop through the zone at times.

Position Players

+ C/RHP Jacob Filip (Lakes Community), currently ranked No. 129 in Illinois’ was one of the top two-way prospects at the event. Despite sitting 87-89 mph on the mound at the event, he may be an even better position player. Filip, a 6-foot, 180-pound, left-handed hitting catcher, ran a 6.90 laser time 60 yard dash and topped at 85 mph; one of the top velocities we have seen out of the crouch all year long. Offensively, Filip attacks the baseball on a slightly uphill angle from the left side, repeating with loose, strong hands that attack the pull-side. He consistently worked on the barrel and squared his hardest hit ball up at 96 mph. Filip’s physicality certainly popped defensively, where he showed off a strong, accurate arm that peaked at 85 mph to the bag. High-follow uncommitted two-way prospect.

+ OF Braiden Elliot (Tri-Valley) was amongst the day’s top athletes, as the lanky 6-foot, 165-pound Elliot ran a 6.82 in the 60-yard dash to start his workout. That athleticism translated to the batter’s box, where Elliot’s Blast Motion metrics were amongst the day’s best, finishing towards the event high in several swing metrics. He offers upside in the box given his current athletic profile and future physical projection. 

+ 1B Ryan Phillips (Schaumburg) is an ultra-physical 6-foot-3, 235-pound first baseman that strung together a loud, impressive round of BP. Phillips comfortably used the whole field and stayed on the barrel, displaying a strong swing that maintained a level path to contact. Phillips was amongst the event leaders in average exit velocity (90.5 mph) and his hardest hit ball left the bat at 96 mph. 

+ OF Mason Tokarz-Deram (Warren Township) was another winner from the day that performed in multiple areas. He showed present bat speed at the plate with loose feel for the barrel and hands that stayed short to contact, primarily to the pull-side. Defensively, Tokarz-Deram delivered accurate throws to home from a long, loose high ¾ slot and comfortably played through the baseball. 

+ A 6-foot-1, 175-pound athlete, C Cole Blazekovich (Minooka) was another backstop that performed in front of our staff. Blazekovich has a simple, repeatable right-handed swing with above-average feel for the barrel. Defensively, Blazekovich showed soft hands and a quick exchange, consistently popping accurate throws to his target.

+ INF Shea Zbrozek (Normal Community) has a lean 6-foot-1, 145-pound build with thin levers that offer plenty of physical production. Zbrozek arguably showed best on the infield where he is fundamentally sound with easy actions, clean footwork, sure hands and plays through the baseball in rhythm, especially on the move. The arm is clean and played accurately across the diamond, topping at 79 mph. The right-handed hitter has a long, level right-handed swing. He also ran a 7.22 laser time 60 yard dash.  

+ OF Alex Kennamann (Lakes Community) is a projectable 6-foot, 165-pound athlete that made a strong impression during his workout. Kennamann’s left-handed stroke consistently found the barrel in BP, working primarily to the pull-side and repeating with ease. Defensively, Kennamann topped at 85 mph with a loose, accurate arm that projects to add more velocity as he continues to physically mature. 

+ A strong, physically mature 6-foot-1, 210-pound left/left athlete, OF Caden Mainland (Macomb) showed advanced bat strength at the plate during the event. Mainland led all hitters in max exit velocity with his best barrel registering at 96.7 mph on our TrackMan unit. He worked gap-to-gap, looking to elevate the baseball and also found a handful of barrels throughout his round.  

+ Another high-level athlete from Sunday’s event: OF Luke Leombruni (Boylan Catholic). Leombruni popped as a follow name at the Chicagoland Open in August and built on that performance, showcasing twitchiness nestled inside a 5-foot-9, 140-pound frame. Leombruni glided to a 6.59 in the 60-yard dash, the day’s best, improving a few ticks on his previous 6.64 time back in August. He oozes both hand and bat speed at the plate, flicking his wrists to accelerate his barrel through the zone while making line drive contact to the pull-side. 

+ C/INF Julian Budziszewski (Morton West) is a right-handed bat that impressed with one of the more polished rounds of BP on the day. He repeated a loose, athletic swing that stayed on plane and worked gap-to-gap. Taking reps both behind the plate and on the infield, Budziszewski showed the ability to move around the diamond as needed. From a catching standpoint, Budziszewski possesses steady hands, a clean transfer, athletic and directional feet out of the crouch, and showed to be an active, willing blocker throughout the day during bullpens. On the infield, Budziszewski’s hands transfer onto the dirt, showing smooth hands with a quick, clean transfer, accurate throwing arm and athletic footwork which gives him the ability to move side-to-side with ease. 

+ C Brandon Mahler (Vernon Hills) impressed as one of the top defenders in the entire showcase, regardless of position. He’s an athletic blocker of the baseball, with soft hands and a quick transfer to release. His arm peaked at 80 mph, producing throws that carried to the target and stayed in line. Offensively, Mahler’s right-handed whips through the zone with above-average bat speed, creating consistent hard contact with a whole field approach. 

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