Prep Baseball Report

Illiana Preseason I.D.: Quick Hits

Illinois Scouting Staff

Our second showcase of 2019, Illiana Preseason I.D., was held on Monday, Jan. 21, at the Ho-Chunk Sports and Expo Center in Chicago Heights, Ill. The Ho-Chunk complex, also known as the Southland Center, hosted close to 60 prospects on Monday.

This dual PBR Illinois and Indiana event has long been known for bringing young names to the forefront and this year's showcase was no different. Two of the biggest revelations from Illinois were 2021 RHP Brayson Shew and SS Shane Baumgarten. In Indiana 2020 OF Gabe Wright made a name for himself. However, they were not the only two prospects of note from the event. There were plenty of others to keep an eye on over the next few years.

Below is an early look at some of the standouts from the day:




A trio of 2021 arms stood out on Monday from the Illinois side of the border. RHP Adam Brouwer(Chicago Christian), RHP Joseph Gulans (Deerfield) and RHP Brayson Shew (Toledo-Cumberland).

1A Toledo-Cumberland may not be the first place you would look for to recruit high end arms, but the Pirates will likely now have a pair of highly ranked arms in Illinois’ 2021 class. Shew, a 6-foot-4, 182-pounder is long and projectable with a lively arm that finished off his session with an 85 mph fastball. He has a pair of breaking ball with many similarities, but the slider may ultimately be his out pitch. Pair him with fellow sophomore RHP Brennyn Cutts (Toledo-Cumberland) and your looking at a lethal 1-2 punch in 1A.

Brouwer, another right-hander, showed some of the easiest pitchability at the event. He pounded the zone with three pitches, displaying command of an 81-83 mph fastball that topped at 84 mph. He’s a modest 6-foot, 150-pounds but a durable lower half and athletic build should bode well for him down the road.

Deerfield’s Gulans is another strike thrower highlighted by an advanced changeup and a fastball that continued to get better throughout his session, topping at 83 mph on his last pitch. His fastball played up showing above average action and control of the bottom of the zone.

In the 2020 class, RHP Connor Cassady (Lyons) look sto have an intriguing ceiling, showcasing feel for multiple pitches including an 81-84 mph fastball and good depth on a 66-67 mph curveball. From the left side, John Gavric (Loyola, 2020) also is one to keep an eye on with a fastball up to 83 mph and well above average changeup.


Two physical 2020 catchers to keep an eye on are Matthew Murphy (Notre Dame) and Drew Ruchim(Stevenson). Murphy’s right-handed bat stays through the zone with bat strength and power potential. Behind the plate, Murphy is quick out of the crouch, has a strong arm that carried to second base and is an agile soft blocker. Ruchim showed offensive promise from the right-side as well. Ruchim has present bat speed and works the middle of the field.

2021 Jeremiah Powell (Brother Rice) is an athletic catcher that plays with bounce behind the plate. Powell has soft, strong hands and is quick and clean out of the crouch and features a loose, clean arm. Powell will be one to keep an eye on as he continues to fill out his frame.


One surprising developments from the day were the amount of quality defensive infielders that emerged. It had been a year since we last saw 2021 Shane Baumgarten (Wheaton Academy) and he made huge strides in his game over that time. Baumgarten, a strong, athletic, 6-foot, 180-pounds, has improved his numbers dramatically from last year. He cut his 60 time down from 7.65 to 7.11, his exit velocity has gone from 81 mph to 95 mph and his infield velocity climbed from 76 mph to 82 mph. Baumgarten is a confident, easy defender with advanced actions and his arm plays up across the infield. Baumgartner has emerged as a high-follow 2021 in the class.

6-foot, 165-pound, Tristan Figus (Buffalo Grove) is another 2021 infielder who continues to make strides in his game. Figus, who attended an event last fall has seen his numbers improve in every category over only a few months. Figus has an upside right-handed bat and looks comfortable on the infield.

Two other interesting infielders who made this their first PBR showcase were Nicholas Limber Jr. (Oak Lawn) and Chazz Clark (Marist). Limber has a long 6-foot, 170-pound frame with plenty of room to fill out his frame. Limber has athletic defensive actions, soft hands and maintains body control on the move. Clark is a steady defender that swings a simple left-handed bat and ran a 7.15 60.


Daniel Dombrowski (Providence Catholic, 2020), who we have seen perform well on the mound last year, came to the event as a position player only. Dombrowski is direct to the baseball, produced line drive contact with present bat speed from the right side of the plate. His right-handed bat and ability on the mound should carry him as a player to watch for the Celtics going into his Junior year.

OF/LHP John Creviston (Brother Rice, 2021) showed promise on both side of the ball. On the mound, Creviston had feel for a three pitch mix while consistently maintaining arm speed on all offerings. The deception on his change-up stood out most. A left-handed hitter, he favors the pull side with rhythm through contact.

OF/LHP Martin Boyle (St. Ignatius, 2021) has a swing that should develop nicely as his frame continues to fill out. His bat plane works uphill and he repeated hard contact to the pull side. His arm plays loose and easy from the outfield, Boyle topped 77 mph on the mound.

OF Dylan Elazegui (Hinsdale Central, 2020) repeated loud, line-drive contact with loose hands from the left side of the dish. Also a LHP, he topped 76 mph on the bump.


The top two runners at the event, OF Gabe Wright (Brebeuf Jesuit, 2020) and C/OF Zachary McKenna (Chesterton, 2020), hail from Indiana. Wright who ran a 6.68 60, is natural in the outfield and has upside at the plate. Wright, a right-handed hitter, has a quick, strong bat and works gap-to-gap. McKenna ran a 6.87 and has physicality at the plate.

Hunter Snyder (Lake Central) is a 2023 from Indiana with a bright future. Snyder is a left-handed hitting infielder with a smooth swing and feel for the barrel. Defensively, he has natural infield actions, can play on the move and has a quick, clean transfer and accurate arm.

6-foot-2, 190-pound, OF/LHP Tavares Van Kuiken (Illiana Christian, 2020) is a physical, athletically-built, left/left prospect. Van Kuiken ran a 7.10 60, was 81 mph from the outfield and possesses bat strength at the plate.

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