Prep Baseball Report

McHenry Preseason I.D.: Preview

By Illinois Scouting Staff

This Sunday, Jan. 27, the PBR Illinois team will host its third showcase of the new year, the McHenry Preseason I.D., at Pro Player Academy in McHenry, Ill. For the past three years, this event has provided our staff with an opportunity to evaluate high school-aged prospects from Northern Illinois, primarily. The McHenry event has historically revealed to us some of the area’s top talent.

This year should be more of the same. There are over 100 prospects slated to join us already for this weekend’s event, and there’s still time to register, too.

For a look at the most up-to-date roster, click here. For registration information, click here.

Taking a look back at last year’s roster, there are 15 prospects who have already since committed to play at the next level, including Camden Janik (Wauconda, 2021), who committed to Illinois in mid-October. The catcher from Wauconda is set to join us again this Saturday to partake in the event once again. When our staff unveiled the first edition of the state’s 2021 rankings, Janik debuted on the board at No. 15, where he still sits today as the No. 3-ranked backstop in the class. He broke out in 2018, earning invites to the preseason Underclass Invitational as well as the summer’s Underclass Games in Chicago.

As far as the juniors who plan on attending, there are a handful worth paying attention to ahead of the event. Huntley’s Mikal Ashley is a two-way prospect who we first saw at last year’s McHenry showcase. The biggest weapon in Ashley's arsenal is his right-handed bat. The 6-foot-1, 245-pound, physical right-handed hitter, takes an aggressive, controlled hack at the plate and has power potential. On the mound, Ashley has ran his fastball up to 85 mph in the past.

Mikal Ashley (1.28.18)

Another junior to circle on this year’s roster is RHP Cole Bhardwaj, from Jacobs. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound righty operates on the mound with a loose, clean and easy arm action from a high ¾ slot. He, too, was at last year’s McHenry event, where he sat 80-82 mph with life as a sophomore, with a work-in-progress curveball and changeup. He’s continued progressing in our annual looks, so it’ll be interesting to see the kind of gains he’s since we last saw him in July.

There are also 21 players registered for the event from Huntley HS, who finished second in state in Class 4A last spring.


**Everyone please bring turf/gym shoes. Metal and molded spikes are NOT ALLOWED.**

  • Position Player check-in time: 2 to 2:20 p.m.

    • Offensive Evaluations (exit velo, mechanical analysis, batting practice)

    • Defensive Evaluations (arm strength, mobility, positional reps)

  • Pitchers Only check-in time: 5:45 to 6 p.m.

    • Bullpen Sessions (15-pitch session, mechanical analysis)

    • Catcher Evaluations (evaluating receiving/blocking)

  • Catchers will stay for both sessions