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Chicagoland Open: Quick Hits


By Illinois Scouting Staff

On Sunday, August 22, the PBR Illinois scouting staff hosted the ninth annual Chicagoland Open at Triton College in River Grove, IL. Roughly 80+ prospects attended and provided our staff with an up-to-date look at their particular skill-sets or, for some, a first glance at the talents they bring to the baseball field. 

We’ll kick off our post-event coverage today with this Quick Hits piece - a quick, brief overview of yesterday’s standouts and noteworthy performances. You’ll see more content roll out throughout the week, starting with our traditional stat story tomorrow and deeper data dives into the advanced statistics as the week goes on. 

Read below for a quick synopsis of yesterday’s event. 

ARMS, ARMS, ARMS 

Our day was headlined by an impressive crop of pitching prospects and several standouts.

+ RHP Tyler Haines (Burlington Central, 2022) made a big statement at his first-ever PBR event. The 5-foot-11, 160-pound, athletic, twitchy, right-hander showed off a quick arm, lively fastball and three-pitch arsenal that should make him a high-follow uncommitted 2022 moving forward. Haines has a long arm action that plays ultra-quick from an over-the-top slot and his fastball jumped through the zone, showing four-seam riding action at 88-90 mph, touching 91 mph. Haines also showed off above-average feel for a running changeup (76-77 mph) at the bottom of the zone and a 65-70 mph curveball (T2333 rpm) with depth and the ability to land it for a strike. Highly-intriguing initial look at one of the liveliest arms still available in the class.

+ LHP Teddy Andrews (Hinsdale Central, 2022) was one of the most impressive arms on the day. Andrews pitches from a loose/high ¾ slot with a clean arm action. The 6-foot-3 186-pound southpaw uses a drop-and-drive approach with his lower-half to gain momentum/power down the mound, helping him produce additional velocity with ease. Andrews’ fastball sat comfortably 85-86 mph touching 88 mph on his best bullet and featuring arm-side life. His breaking ball showed a sharp 1/7 break and was spinning in the 2300-2400 RPM range with late action. Andrews also showed the ability to command his changeup down in the zone, killing spin and flashing arm-side fade. He’s a high-upside southpaw still on the market. 

+ RHP/OF Brady Marques (Maine South, 2023) marked himself on our radar as an arm to follow moving forward. Loose ¾ arm that moves quickly to release. The strong-bodied 6-foot 180-pound right-hander uses every ounce of his frame to gain ground down the mound with a drop-and-drive lower-half and highly athletic stride length. Marques sat around 83 mph with his fastball, reaching up to 84 mph with life through the zone. His breaking ball showed potential to be a wipeout pitch in the future; sharp 11/5 shape with developing spin in the 71 mph range, occasionally missing up in the zone. 

+ RHP/3B Beckett Davidson (Neenah; WI, 2023) is a projectable 6-foot-1 185-pound right-hander that looks to have a lot more in the tank. Smooth tempo with a polished delivery, Davidson produces easy velocity with his long-limbed frame. From a clean high ¾ slot, Davidson’s fastball sat in the low 80’s while topping out at 82 mph with arm-side life. The right-hander utilized both a sinking changeup and an 11/5 breaking ball to round off his polished three-pitch mix.

+ RHP Drew Koenen (Maine South, 2023) was yet another arm worth noting thanks to his impressive bullpen. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound, strong-bodied junior is aggressive with his three-pitch mix, was in and around the strike zone throughout and ran his fastball up to 87 mph. The fastball topped at 2127 rpm with a max IVB of 18.9 inches. Koenen also spun an above-average slider with a short, tight wrinkle off a 10/4 plane with an average of 2259 rpm. The changeup played straight at the bottom of the zone, sitting 77-79 mph. Yet another follow arm that popped up at his first ever PBR event. 

+ Another 2023 arm to pop up at the event was RHP Ryan Deist (Lincoln-Way East). Deist has a thick, durable, 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame to go along with intriguing spin metrics across the board. Deist sat 83-85 mph, T86 with his fastball which spun at an average clip of 2383 rpm; T2564 rpm. Deist also worked with two distinct breaking balls with well above-average spin. The curveball works off an 11/5 plane with sharp biting action and a max spin rate of 2617 rpm. The slider is thrown with intent, sharp 10/4 action and an average rpm of 2569, T2611. Given Deist’s size and ability to spin the baseball, the strong-bodied junior warrants a follow moving forward. 

+ RHP Tanner Spangler (Morton, 2024) catches your attention on the mound, first and foremost, thanks to his 6-foot-3, 190-pound, strong, well-proportioned frame. Spangler, who just attended the Central Illinois Open in early August, saw his stuff and velocity take a jump in a matter of weeks. The clean-armed right-hander saw his max fastball go from 80.5 mph up to 83.23 mph at the Chicagoland Open. The overall stuff improved as well as he saw his curveball sharpen up into the mid-60’s as well as adding rpm’s (2203 rpm average), depth and intent to the pitch. Spangler’s best PBR showing to date. 

POSITION PLAYERS 

+ INF James Novakovic (New Trier, 2024) popped on our radar a few years ago when he represented Team Illinois at the PBR Junior Future Games. The 6-foot-1, 182-pound Novakovic took arguably the most polished BP round of the day, consistently controlling a smooth left-handed barrel while working to all fields. He offers present polish and plenty of offensive upside, especially as he continues to physically mature. Novakovic’s glove looked like an up-the-middle asset as well with rhythmic feet and smooth, savvy infield actions. 

+ OF Scott Newman (Glenbrook South, 2022) performed well in all facets yesterday, leaving the event as arguably one of its top performers. A wiry 6-foot-1, 160-pound athlete with potential for added strength, Newman kicked his day off by running a 6.82 in the 60-yard dash - the second fastest time of the day. His smooth right-handed stroke sprayed line drives to all fields in BP, working on the barrel and maintaining a level plane to contact. Newman also moved around like a natural in the outfield with easy, clean strides and fluid overall actions. He bumped an 86 mph high to home, too. 

+ CIF Parker Bozzi (Hinsdale South, 2022) brings an imposing 6-foot-5, 220-pound presence into the batter’s box and showed real impact potential inside his right-handed stroke. Bozzi clobbered several baseballs into the left-center gap, playing pepper with the left field warning track during his BP round. He regularly produced exit velocities north of 90 mph, breaching the 96 mph mark twice. Bozzi’s swing metrics ranked in a high percentile as well, with an average bat speed of 76.43 mph. 

+ OF Luke Leombruni (Boylan Catholic, 2022) is a wiry 5-foot-9, 140-pound athlete with plenty of twitchy bat speed attached to his left-handed stroke. He kicked his day off by running an event-high 6.64 in the 60-yard dash and that level of athleticism is noticeable in each aspect of his game. All of Leombruni’s Blast Motion numbers rank in the upper tier percentiles, allowing him to generate whippy power with his hands and wrists. He hit a handful of baseballs at 90+ mph - his best jumping off his barrel at 93.71 mph and traveling 340.24 ft. Leombruni also showed off some of the best outfield actions on the day playing fast and with bounce. Leombruni looks the part of an above-average defensive center fielder.

+ Mentioned above for his abilities on the mound, OF Brady Marques (Maine South, 2023) was yet another right-handed hitter with a loud BP round from yesterday. Built at a strong, broad-shouldered 6-foot, 180-pounds, Marques effortlessly pounded baseballs into both gaps with intent and feel to elevate. His hardest hit ball left his bat at 93.36 mph and traveled 343.36 ft., an impressive number regardless, but especially for his age. Marques’ physical skill-set translates elsewhere on the diamond, as he topped at 87 mph from the outfield while running a 7.09 in the 60-yard dash, too. 

+ MIF Eliot Fulscher (Hinsdale South, 2022) is a quick-twitch up-the-middle defender that took an impressive round of infield defense yesterday. He’s active on the dirt with athletic feet that comfortably cover ground on the move. Fulscher’s glove plays low to the ground and his soft hands work out front, funneling inward cleanly with a smooth, accurate release to his target. He also topped at 84 mph across the diamond on his first throw of the day. Fulscher looked the part of an everyday up-the-middle asset at the next level. 

+ INF Owen Drummond (Jacobs, 2022) is a muscle-bound 5-foot-11, 175-pound athlete with a strong showing at yesterday’s event. Drummond ran a 7.03 in the 60-yard dash and his athleticism played on the infield as well, working around the baseball in rhythm with nimble feet that move comfortably around the dirt. His loose right-handed stroke produced some loud contact to the pull-side in BP, attacking the inner-half with intent to work that way and barreling up multiple baseballs. 

+ OF/LHP Nathan Anderson (Lyons Township, 2024) has a smooth, compact, highly-repeatable left-handed stroke that produced line drives to all areas of the field yesterday in BP. His compact levers allow him to repeat a short, level path through the zone while maintaining balance through contact and showing above-average feel for the barrel. Also showcased feel for three pitches on the mound with an upper 70’s mph fastball.

+ A 6-foot, 160-pound switch-hitter, MIF Tyler Bell (Lincoln-Way East, 2024) offers noteworthy upside on the diamond. Bell swung it well from both sides of the plate yesterday, working uphill to the baseball and controlling his body well through contact. His glove looked the part defensively, comfortably roaming around the infield with light feet and sure hands that play. He also topped at 80 mph across the diamond from a loose, clean arm capable of working from multiple angles and slots. 

+ C Noah Tomaras (Lemont, 2024) was yet another underclassman to show well at yesterday’s event. Built at a sturdy 5-foot-10, 170-pounds, Tomaras routinely worked on the barrel and back up the middle during his BP round from a short, simple right-handed stroke. The simplicity and balance he works with offensively is noteworthy, especially for someone his age. Tomaras looked comfortable behind the plate, working around the bag on all his throws from a short, quick release. He handled a handful of high-octane arms during our bullpen sessions and held his own, presenting the baseball well with strong wrists and steady hands. 

+ OF Morgan Wachler (Palatine, 2024) made some noise in his PBR event debut, particularly in his BP, and showed an intriguing power skill-set to follow. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound incoming sophomore consistently swung with intent and rhythm in the box, hammering barrel after barrel into the pull-side gap. He recorded one of the highest max exit velocities of the day at 95.26 mph and amongst the highest average exit velocities at 89.51 mph, too. 

 + One of the youngest prospects in attendance, OF Antonio Fawcett (St. Rita, 2025) fit in comfortably with the older crew. A 5-foot-10, 150-pound left/left athlete, Fawcett’s poise and demeanor in the box are certainly advanced for someone his age. He consistently repeated a slightly uphill path, elevating the baseball while occasionally working on the barrel to the pull-side. Defensively, Fawcett’s overall confidence and fluidity translated well to the outfield where he moves around light on his feet showing natural outfield actions and playing through the baseball in rhythm. Fawcett also showed off above-average arm strength for his age, topping at 82 mph to home. 

Stay tuned over the coming days and weeks for more content from the event.

CLICK HERE for a look at the entire roster from the day.

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