Prep Baseball Report

Fox River Open: Quick Hits

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

The Fox River Open took place on Tuesday, June 11 at Judson University in Elgin, Illinois. The event featured over 30 players from all high school classes from around the state of Illinois.

Below, we will highlight some of the standout performers from the event. Over the coming weeks, we will continue to pump out content related to this event. Keep an eye out for in-depth scouting reports on each player, videos, and event analysis in the near future. For now, here are some rapid reactions from the Fox River Open.


+ 2020 OF Rocco Catalano, fresh off a 3A State Title for Montini Catholic, continued to show well on Tuesday. Catalano, who went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI in the 3A Championship game, took one of the more consistent rounds of BP on the day. Catalano has a repeatable right-handed swing that stays flat through the zone and made consistent hard contact to all fields. The outfielder also ran one of the top 60’s of the day; a 6.97.  

+ Loyola Academy RHP Blake Oesterblad (2020) made a strong impression at his first ever PBR event. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound, wide-shouldered, right-hander sat 82-85 mph, touching 86. Oesterblad also flashed a sharp slider with late bite.

+ Arguably the top 2022 at the event was SS/RHP Ryan Bibb (Mascoutah). Bibb, a 6-foot-1, 183-pound, strong, athletically-built, two-way prospect, put up strong numbers across the board. Bibb ran a 6.98 60, was 87 mph across the infield, registered an 87 mph exit velocity and ran his fastball up to 83 mph. Bibb flashed physicality at the plate, should be able to stick on the dirt defensively and his arm works clean on the mound.

+ A pair of 2022’s to follow moving forward are INF/RHP Braden Thelander (Prairie Ridge) and LHP Danny Smid (Neuqua Valley). Thelander has a quick, live arm on the mound, running his fastball up to 81 mph and quick-twitch in his right-handed swing. Smid is a loose-armed left-hander with a projectable 6-foot-1, 165-pound frame. Smid also showed feel for an above-average three-pitch repertoire.

+ Two of the more intriguing 2020 defensive middle infielders were Frankie Morales (Roberto Clemente) and Alexander Velazquez (Elmwood Park). Morales has natural infield actions, soft hands and ran a 7.09 laser-timed 60. Velazquez has a lean 5-foot-11, 140-pound frame, confident infield actions, was 79 mph across the diamond and has a loose, handsy right-handed swing.

+ INF/RHP Felipe De Avila (Woodstock North) and INF/RHP Jake Tapia (Belvidere North) emerged as follows in the 2021 class. De Avila, a right-handed hitter, works short to the baseball, flashed sneaky power and made a lot of hard contact. Defensively, he has fluid actions, sure-hands and enough arm strength to stay on the left-side of the diamond. Tapia has a strong 6-foot, 170-pound frame, loose right-handed swing with physicality (89 mph exit velocity). Tapia ran his fastball up to 81 mph on the mound.

Plenty of other names will be featured in the upcoming statistical analysis and in a few weeks when we roll-out the scouting reports and positional breakdown from the day.