Prep Baseball Report

Joliet Preseason I.D.: Quick Hits

By Illinois Staff

On March 28, the PBR Illinois team hosted this first-ever Joliet Preseason I.D. at the new Rhino Baseball Academy in Shorewood, Ill. The event marked the end of our high school winter showcase circuit, and around 120 players from the area participated.

Today, our staff collaborated to highlight the biggest takeaways from Sunday’s showcase, and we’re publishing them within this Quick Hits piece. Over the next couple of days we’ll be diving deeper into all of the data we collected rolling out even more coverage from the event.

For now, take a look at the Quick Hits from Sunday.



+ There’s been a ton of buzz in the 2022 class following the loaded Preseason All-State event a couple weeks ago and yet, after the dust from that showcase has somewhat settled, RHP Ashton Izzi (Oswego East, 2022; Wichita State commit) stirred it up again while making a case for himself to be ranked among the top-10 players in the state. At 6-foot-3, 175 pounds, he’s always been a live-armed righty with upside that was still feeling out his repertoire. Well since last August’s PBR Future Games, he’s added some velocity – now sitting 92-93 mph touching 94 – and he showed a much improved slider that he threw with greater conviction and consistency than we’ve seen in the past. It showed true 10/4 shape with the ability to land it for strikes while missing in spots that would help him expand the strike zone. Same goes for his changeup that showed above-average action and consistency, where he landed and expanded the zone.

+ A pair of uncommitted arms in the 2022 class showed particularly well: RHP Abram Wills (Coal City) and Chase Martin (Roanoke-Benson). Wills is a strike-throwing machine; a robust and durable 6-foot, 195 pounds, he attacks the strike zone with three competitive pitches that all have feel for the zone. He sat a comfortable 86-87 mph, touching 88, with an 11/5 curveball and sinking changeup. Martin, on the other hand, paints a different picture with a long and lanky frame at 6-foot-3, 146 pounds and an innate ability to spin the baseball. Martin features two distinct breaking balls, both well-above-average, with spin rates ranging from 2,400 rpm to north of 2,700 on his curveball. They both showed tight/sharp action on separate planes, giving him an intriguing four-pitch arsenal bookended by an 85-87 mph fastball and a changeup. 

+ Another 2024 came to the forefront on Sunday, RHP Ryan Anderson (Minooka) is a 6-foot-5, 180-pound right-hander who looks every bit the part on the mound, showing advanced presence and moxy for his age. It’s a clean arm with low effort resulting in an 82-83 mph fastball that flashed sink action. His curveball plays with 11/5 shape at 70-72 mph and has the makings of an above-average offering with good feel for an arm-side action changeup as well. 

+ Mitchel Stanton (Marian Catholic, 2024) is a freshman who showed upside on the mound. Listed at 6-foot-2, 184 pounds, Stanton has long levers and showed above-average three-pitch feel for his age. Stanton works from an over-the-top slot creating tilt, angle and occasional sink to his 77-80 mph, T81 fastball. He also consistently landed his upper-60s mph curveball for strikes with sharp spin at times. 

+ Speaking of spin, RHP Hank Liss (Evanston, 2023) has some of the better spin metrics in the 2023 class when it comes to breaking balls. On Sunday, Liss, a 6-foot, 170-pound right-handed pitcher, was throwing a slider up to 70 mph from a low ¾ slot that was spinning at a max of 2,918 rpm, and at an average of 2,811. His mid-60s curveball wasn’t far behind, consistently landing for strikes, with an average of 2,704 rpm, peaking at 2,752. Liss also ran his fastball up to 85 mph with a peak spin rate of 2,395 rpm; 2023 arm to follow moving forward. 


+ One of the biggest breakout performances came from C/INF Danny Rollins (Lake Park, 2023). Rollins, who was making his PBR debut, has a well-rounded skillset but it was his right-handed bat that should be a big asset for him moving forward. Rollins has sneaky strength in his 5-foot-9, 165-pound build, he and gets a lot out of his right-handed swing. He has strong, quick hands, feel for the barrel and took controlled/aggressive swings throughout his round of BP. Rollins’ peak exit velocity registered at 95.7 mph with an average of 89.7 and a max distance measured at 355 feet. Rollins is also quick and clean out of the chute with an accurate arm and low pop time of 2.01. 

+ Another 2023 catcher who made a strong impression at his first-ever PBR was William Millard (O’Fallon). Millard has a wiry/athletic frame and took a polished round of BP. The right-handed hitter has athletic quick hands, repeats his swing, and was consistently on time and on the barrel throughout his round. The swing works with rhythm and has line-drive, pull-side of the field tendencies. Defensively, he is a sound receiver with quick feet, clean release and a low pop time of 2.02.

+ Andrew Mack (Minooka, 2023) was yet another catcher who showed the ability to handle the bat from the right side of the plate and stick behind the plate. Mack has athletic strong hands at the plate and flashed pull-side power potential in his round of BP. Mack’s peak exit velocity registered at 95.4 mph with a max distance of 355 feet. Defensively, he is quick and efficient out of the crouch with a 77 mph arm and low pop time of 2.00.

+ One of the top all-around performances of the day came from Kerim Orucevic (Maine South, 2023). The left-handed-hitting infielder ran a 6.88 to start the day and showed all kinds of fluid rhythm and moxy in the box. He is confident and aggressive working uphill through the zone with loose, athletic hands and quality bat-to-ball skills. Defensively, he plays best when on the move where he can let his athleticism and natural instincts take over. He also showed a smooth, quick double play turn and the ability to throw from multiple angles. High-follow left-handed hitting athlete. 

+ Another 2023 who has shown well on the infield this winter is Carter Storti (Lemont). Storti is a steady defender with an arm that plays with carry across the diamond and he has above-average bat-to-ball skills with present bat speed from the right-side of the plate.

+ 2023 Kade Schneider (Barrington) has a frame that will catch your attention at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, and authentic switch-hitting ability. The swing works with long, loose levers from both sides of the plate with the left-handed swing flashing easy jump off the barrel and the right-handed swing working slightly more aggressively. Follow switch-hitter with a highly-projectable frame. Also ran a 7.27 with a peak exit velocity of 96.26 mph; 352 feet max distance as well.

+ INF Gavin Dobbels (Yorkville, 2022) is a highly interesting switch-hitting infielder who has seen all of his measurables tick up since our last look. Dobbels, listed at 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, is a steady defender who shows clean actions, smooth hands and made the slow roller play look easy and natural. Offensively, it's potent from both sides of the plate with twitchy/quick hands, fluid rhythm and a polished approach working gap-to-gap.

+ C/INF Joe Jefferson (Normal West) came away from his first PBR event as a 2022 to follow moving forward. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound, right-handed hitter has an athletic, hitterish look in the box. He has a flat path that is direct to the baseball and he works gap-to-gap with the ability to occasionally backspin the baseball. Defensively, he has the ability to stay behind the plate or move to somewhere on the infield.

+ Dylan Sayles (Hononegah, 2022) has had a number of impressive showings over the past couple of months and the trend continued in Joliet. Sayles has a fluid left-handed bat that stays flat through the zone with occasional jump off the barrel. Defensively, he shows equally as well in the outfield where his arm plays at 85 mph as he does behind the plate. Sayles was 79 mph from the crouch with a low pop time of 2.01.

+ One of the top rounds of BP on the day belonged to 1B Haden Kriston (Loyola Academy, 2022). Kriston has a strong 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame, ran a 7.11 in the 60 and was consistently on the barrel in BP. It's a balanced right-handed swing with advanced bat speed, a level path and power potential. Kriston registered a peak exit velocity of 95.5 mph, average of 88.9, with a max distance of 357 feet off the bat.