Prep Baseball Report

Illinois Rising Stars Games: Takeaways

Illinois Scouting Staff

On Thursday, May 23rd, our staff hosted the first-ever Illinois Rising Stars Games at Triton College in River Grove, Illinois. This unique event featured both a showcase and gameplay, and also gave our staff an in-depth look at the 20+ players in attendance for potential Junior Future Games purposes.ย 

Continue reading below to see some of the notes our staff came away with from the day.


+ An intriguing arm to follow as he moves through the high school ranks will be RHP Peter Pignatiello (Benet, 2028). Listed at 5-foot-11, 150-pounds, the right-hander fired a clean inning of work and impressed our staff with athletic movement patterns. He has a controlled delivery, holding a pre-bend in the back knee down the mound while working in-line. His fastball played with some sinking action around 77-79 mph, setting up a gradual 12/6 curveball at 68-70 mph and fading changeup to his arm-side. He also showed some prowess with the bat, boasting a strong right-handed swing with a max EV of 86 mph.ย 

+ 3B/RHP Alex Govoni (Loyola, 2028) had a strong two-way showing. Listed at 5-foot-11, 165-pounds, the right-handed hitter finished gameplay with a walk and a single. He has a repeatable swing, working with loose hands and a flat path with a balanced finish, reaching up to 88 mph for his max EV. Heโ€™s also a quality defender at third, showing confidence in his hands with calm and athletic actions, moving well laterally. 7.09 runner in the 60, should continue to get quicker as he matures. On the mound, the right-hander worked exclusively out of the stretch with a high leg-lift and drop/drive lower-half. He hides the ball well and delivers his arsenal from a high ยพ release, cruising around 78-80 mph with his fastball. His curveball played in the upper-60s with 11/5 shape, and he also flashed a straight changeup.ย 

+ C Weston Wyzukovicz (Libertyville, 2028) impressed as a right-handed hitting catcher from the day. At the plate, he works on top of the baseball with strong hands, getting some extension through impact and reaching up to 86 mph for his max EV, recording a triple to left/center in his final at-bat. Behind the plate, he has a clean glove-to-hand operation, also acting as an active/willing blocker. His throws played with some life down to second, topping out at 72 mph with a pop-time as low as 2.13. 7.10 runner in the 60.ย 

+ MIF Kameron Cox (Montini, 2028) had a strong day both in showcase and in-game. He took quality at-bats throughout the game, finishing with a sac fly and a single. Once he reached base he showcased his speed, stealing second and then third. Advanced defender for his age, soft hands work out front and secure the ball into his body, plays with rhythm and timing through the ball.ย 

+ MIF/RHP Ethan Sehmer (Lakes Community, 2028) had one of the more dominant innings of work on the day, notching two strikeouts in his four batters faced. Working exclusively out of the stretch, he moves into a medium leg-lift and drop/drive lower-half, staying in-line down the mound. He has above-average arm-strength for his age, topping out at 81 mph with some tilt through the zone. He also showed some feel for both a 12/6 curveball and a lateral slider. He saw some success in gameplay with the bat, notching a single on the day.

+ OF Carver Cohn (McHenry, 2028) is a highly intriguing switch-hitting prospect to know from the day. His swing really plays in-game, staying short to the ball with quick hands, working on the barrel a couple times. His round of BP was also impressive, topping out at 90 mph for his max EV. Heโ€™s an athletic defender in the outfield, attacking the baseball with intent and also showing some range in the gaps. He has well above-average arm-strength, topping out at 82 mph from the outfield and 83 mph on the mound from the left side.ย 

+ C/RHP Lucas Sloan (Olympia, 2028) is a projectable 5-foot-11, 155-pound prospect that also had a strong two-way showing on the day. On the mound, he fired a clean inning with one strikeout, working up to 82 mph with an easy and loose tall/fall delivery. He has a clean arm circle, delivering his arsenal from a high ยพ release. He rounded out his arsenal with a gradual 11/5 curveball in the mid-70s, thrown with intent, and a mid-70s changeup with horizontal action. In-game, the right-handed hitter took some strong at-bats and recorded a double. Heโ€™s a quality defender behind the plate, working to present pitches around the zone and working to block the ball out front. Strong arm from the chute, topping out at 72 mph with a 2.19 pop-time.ย 

+ LHP Ethan Johnson (Lake Zurich, 2028) is an intriguing southpaw that threw the ball well in-game. With a controlled tempo, Johnson works into a high leg-lift before moving into a drop/drive lower-half. His arm plays short in the back into a ยพ release with acceleration out front. The fastball played with sinking action around 76-77 mph, thrown for strikes and setting up a sharp 1/7 curveball at 66-67 mph. Johnson notched two strikeouts in his inning of work without allowing a baserunner.ย 

+ C/OF Hunter Lockefeer (St. Viator, 2028) is an intriguing left-handed hitter that has a bright future ahead of him. He has a narrow and athletic base that knee-knocks into a long stride before firing through the zone with a flat path, he stays through the baseball and can use the whole field, getting extension through impact with a max EV of 85 mph.ย 

+ MIF Mark Williams (Naperville Central, 2028) is another switch-hitting prospect that came away a winner from the day. He has an athletic swing from both sides, working with a loose and balanced operation. On the infield, heโ€™s an athletic mover with active footwork, moving well laterally and also boasting steady hands.ย 

+ 3B Kale Bacus (Normal Community, 2028) was a winner from the workout portion, and it translated into gameplay with a single in his first at-bat. The right-handed hitter has a loose/handsy swing, staying flat through the zone with a whippy barrel. He has confident hands on the infield, securing the ball into his body while playing low and through the ball with active footwork and timing.ย 

+ OF Nolan Blackburn (Lincoln-Way West, 2028) is an upside left/left prospect to follow throughout his high school career. His left-handed swing works to stay inside the baseball and on top of the ball, showing clear intent to keep the ball on a line. Heโ€™s an athletic defender in the outfield, showing sure-handed actions with long strides to the ball.ย 

+ 3B/OF Michael Castellon (Fremd, 2028) displayed a loose, easy left-handed swing that caught our attention throughout BP; working through the zone with extension and using the whole field, also recording a single in gameplay. He showed some feel for both the infield and outfield, displaying sure-handed actions at each position.ย 

+ 3B/RHP Wesley Bogda (Crystal Lake South, 2028) is an imposing 6-foot-3, 175-pound two-way that had some of the more impressive measurables on the day, working his max EV up to 89 mph with a strong right-handed swing and also topping his fastball out at 75 mph.ย 

+ OF Tyson Arbour (Bradley-Bourbonnais, 2028) will be a left-handed hitting outfielder to keep tabs on. He has quick/strong hands that work to stay on top of the baseball, and heโ€™s also an athletic defender in the outfield.ย 

A group of players that produced some in-game results with that bat are C/OF Gunnar Larner (Maroa-Forsyth, 2028) who doubled, 1B Ryne Peterson (Providence Catholic, 2028) who singled and doubled, OF Jay Baird (Hinsdale Central, 2028) who singled and doubled, and C John Rose (Latin School of Chicago, 2028) who singled.ย 

For a look at the entire event page, click HERE.ย 

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