Prep Baseball Report

2024 Preseason All-State, Upperclass: Data Dive

Diego Solares
Central Region Director of Media, Scouting

On Feb. 24th, the Prep Baseball Illinois staff hosted the Preseason All-State, Upperclass at The MAX in McCook, Ill. Over 130 players participated in a pro-style workout, gathering unrivaled access to data through our state-of-the-art tech partners, as well as in-depth scouting analysis from our Prep Baseball Illinois staff.

Yesterday, we looked at the top measurable data performers from the event, found in our Statistical Analysis, where we broke down the stat leaders from the more traditional categories.

Today, we will take a further in-depth look at which prospects put up the most noteworthy metrics:

Data Dive

+ A dynamic two-way prospect in the state’s 2025 class, 1B/LHP Conor Essenburg (Lincoln-Way West; Kansas State commit) put his talents on display at The MAX this weekend. A 6-foot-1, 198-pound athlete, Essenburg repeatedly produced hard contact to the middle of the field from a fast left-handed swing. He found the barrel seven times at 95+ or higher throughout his round, with his three hardest batted balls checking in at 101 mph, 102.1 mph, and 105.1 mph, respectively. All of Essenburg’s Blast Motion metrics are advanced - peak hand speed (24.1 mph), average hand speed (23.6 mph), max bat speed (80.3 mph), average bat speed (77.9 mph). He tied for the event’s hardest throw across the infield, from first base, at 90 mph, and he also pitched at 86-88 mph on the mound.

+ C/3B Enzo Infelise (Providence Catholic, 2025; Oklahoma commit) continues to produce some of the louder batted ball data in the Illinois’ junior class. Infelise led the entire event with the highest average exit velocity (98.4 mph) and he hit seven balls at 97 mph or higher throughout his round. Additionally, Infelise had five different barrels check in at 100+ mph, including his hardest batted ball at 101.4 mph. Defensively, Infelise led all catchers in peak throwing velocity (T83 mph) and pop times (1.86-1.91) while also tying for the event lead in max infield velocity (T90 mph).

+ Plenty physical at 6-foot-5, 190-pounds, 3B/RHP Jack Wheeler (Morris, 2025; Illinois commit) put up numbers across the board in his workout. At his size, Wheeler ran a 6.94 60-yard dash and jumped 28.4 inches in our vertical jump test. He produced hard contact to the opposite field throughout BP and seven of his nine batted balls came off his bat at 93+ mph. His highest output registered at 98.2 mph on our TrackMan, with his two other hardest swings checking in at 96.3 mph and 97.9 mph, respectively. Wheeler tied for the event’s firmest throw across the infield (T90 mph) and his arm strength translated to the hill, where his fastball played at 88-90, touching 90.5 mph.

+ INF/RHP Brayden Zilis (Minooka, 2025) had an impressive all-around showing at this past weekend’s event. The 5-foot-9, 162-pound junior ran a 6.87 in the 60-yard dash, his fastest mark at our events to date. All but one of Zilis’ swings in BP produced exit velocities above the 94 mph mark with six at 98+ mph, including a peak mark of 99.9 mph. Zilis’ arm strength showed on the infield, where he was up to 89 mph across the diamond, and on the mound as he pumped his fastball at 87-89 mph. Zilis also spun his slider at 77-78 mph (T2777 RPM) and he threw a changeup at 77-79 mph that averaged 16.8 inches of horizontal movement.

+ CIF Demir Heidelberg (Homewood-Flossmoor, 2025; Eastern Michigan commit) and OF Hayden Bernreuter (Triad, 2025) each showed notable bat strength at this event. Heidelberg ran a 6.90 in the 60-yard dash, barreled his hardest ball up at 102.5 mph with a 95.1 mph average, and drove the deepest batted ball (376 ft.) of the entire event. Bernreuter juiced his hardest hit ball at 103.2 mph, averaging 95.8 mph per barrel, and sent his deepest ball 373 feet while also topping at 90 mph from the outfield.

+ A pair of physical right-handed hitters with impressive batted ball and swing metrics from this event are CIF/OF Justin Garcia Hernandez (St. Patrick, 2025) and CIF AJ Putty (Huntley, 2025; Illinois commit). Garcia Hernandez barreled one of the day’s hardest balls (103.3 mph) and his Blast Motion metrics were highly advanced as well - 26.6 mph average hand speed, 80.8 mph average bat speed. Additionally, the 6-foot-3, 243-pound uncommitted junior was up to 92 mph from the outfield, 87 mph across the infield, and had one of the highest right-handed grip strengths (171.2 lbs) of the day. The 6-foot-4, 224-pound Putty also had some of the day’s better Blast Motion metrics - 23.7 mph average hand speed, 80.2 mph average bat speed - and squared his hardest ball up at 96.9 mph with his furthest traveling 346 feet, per TrackMan.

+ INF Brady Green (Oak Park-River Forest, 2025; Northern Illinois commit) posted the highest average batted distance (299 feet) of the entire event, swatting his furthest ball 354 feet, per TrackMan. Green consistently produced hard contact in BP, as seven of his swings in BP produced 90+ mph exit velocities with a high mark at 97.1 mph. Green’s 90 mph high across the infield also tied for the top spot at this event.

+ C Benjamin Mitchell (Harvest Christian, 2025) is a physical right-handed hitting backstop that showed strength in all aspects of his workout. Five of Mitchell’s batted balls jumped off his barrel at 97 mph or higher, including a max mark of 101.6 mph, and another output at 101.3 mph. Mitchell showed high-end hand speed on average (23.2 mph) and at peak (24.3 mph), as well as advanced bat speed at max (82.2 mph) and average (78.1 mph). He was also up to 78 mph from the crouch and popped in the 1.95-to-2.00 range.

+ Besides throwing the hardest fastball of the event and sitting at 91-92 mph throughout his ‘pen, RHP Lincoln Causero (Hersey, 2025; Xavier commit) has intriguing pitch data to back his loud stuff. The 6-foot-4, 180-pound junior spun his fastball at 2483 RPM on average, peaking at 2572 RPM, with 96% spin efficiency. He also averaged 17.7 inches of vertical break on his fastball, peaking at 20.6 inches. Causero also threw a tight, hard slider at 79-80 mph from a lower slot, on average, than his fastball, and he limited spin (1436 RPM) on a 80-83 mph changeup that reached 17.5 inches of horizontal movement at peak.

+ LHP Anthony Karbowski (Hampshire, 2025; Louisville commit) was another arm that showed an intriguing three-pitch mix in his ‘pen. Plenty physical at 6-foot-3, 205-pounds, Karbowksi’s fastball played at 89-90 mph and spun on average at 2538 RPM, T2642 RPM. He threw his slider from nearly the same release height as his fastball, spinning it at 2675 RPM on average at 78-79 mph. Karbowski also featured a low lift, low spin (860 RPM) knuckle ball that he flashed a feel for the zone with at 74-77 mph.

+ 3B/RHP Elias Alvarado (Saint Patrick, 2025) has some of the more off-the-charts raw spin that we’ve seen all winter. His slider, at 73-75 mph, averaged 2974 RPM and reached as high as 3038 RPM in this ‘pen. Alvarado’s 68-69 mph curveball spun on average at 2833 RPM (T2875 RPM) and even his fastball, at 84-86 mph, showed advanced raw spin traits (T2575 RPM, 2505 RPM avg).

+ RHP Connar Temple (Batavia, 2025) had one of the higher movement profiles on an individual pitch of the entire event. His slider, at 76-77 mph, had the most horizontal movement at peak (-20.2”) and on average (-18.6”) than any other such pitch in attendance. Temple also threw his fastball at 88-89, T89.5 mph, and showed a firm changeup at 83-84 mph.

+ 3B/RHP Pablo Herrera (Plainfield South, 2025) was one of the only pitchers in attendance to have more than -17 inches of horizontal movement at peak on both of his breaking balls. His slider (-19.6” ) played at 77-79 mph (T2550 RPM, 2451 RPM avg), and his 74-76 mph curveball (T2581 RPM, 2518 RPM avg) also moved at a high rate (-17.3”). The 5-foot-10, 180-pound junior also pitched at 87-88 mph with his fastball.

+ LHP Lucas Grant (Joliet Catholic, 2025) and RHP Tucker King (Lyons Township, 2025; Cincinnati commit) each showed heavy horizontal movement on their fastballs. Grant threw his from a lower release height (5.1 ft.) on average, pumping it at 87-89 mph while averaging -15.9” of run. He also spun it at upwards of 2504 RPM with 90% spin efficiency and did flash some carry (15.4” IVB avg, T16.4”). King’s fastball plays like a true sinker, as he’s able to generate hard run both at peak (16.8”) and on average (15.7”) while pitching at 88-90 mph.

+ RHP Cameron Armstrong (Lincoln-Way West, 2025; Quincy commit) had the highest average induced vertical break on a fastball (18.8”, T22.1”) of the entire event, pumping his heater at 86-87 mph. Armstrong also really spun his breaking ball; a 76-79 mph curveball that averaged 2624 RPM, peaking at 2783 RPM, from the same average release height (5.8 ft) as his fastball.