Prep Baseball Report

McHenry Preseason I.D.: Quick Hits

By Illinois Staff

On Jan. 31, the PBR Illinois team hosted its first showcase of the new year: the McHenry Preseason I.D. For the past five 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, and this year was no different.

If you missed us in McHenry, check out our showcase page to see when we’re in the neighborhood next.

Today, our staff collaborated to highlight the biggest takeaways and highlights from Sunday’s showcase, and we’re publishing them within this Quick Hits piece. Throughout the rest of this week, we’ll be taking diving deeper into all of the data we collected, too, with the help of our Blast Motion and TrackMan devices.

For now, check out our notes and findings from Sunday’s event in McHenry.




+ RHP Tyler Deleskiewicz (Badger, WI): Ranked as PBR Wisconsin’s No. 5 player in its 2022 class, Deleskiewicz is also its top overall uncommitted prospect, and one of the top on-the-market names in the Midwest. The long-levered junior is listed at a true 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, and he generates premium velocity with relative ease, sitting exclusively 89-90 mph on Sunday, per TrackMan, with a 90.3 max fastball velocity. His unique delivery from a ¾ slot makes for a tough at-bat, especially when combined with his fastball’s metrics, including a spin rate measured at 2,363 rpm on average. Deleskiewicz’s curveball features late, sharp action to make for a genuine one-two punch to earn his swings and misses.

+ RHP Jameson Sheehan (Cary-Grove): An established quarterback prospect, Sheehan continues to impress from the mound as well, after making a noteworthy first impression to our staff from back in the fall. In October, Sheehan was up to 87 mph, and on Sunday, he sat exclusively in the upper-80s, reaching a 90.2 mph high. The Cary right-hander reaches the upper-80s range with minimal effort, and the fastball spins at an above-average rate of 2,411 rpm on average, while flashing carry from a high, steep slot. His changeup works off that same plane effectively, and he spots it especially well. Sheehan’s projectable 6-foot-4 build, athleticism, and present stuff make him a high rising follow junior in Illinois.

+ RHP Jacob Filip (Lakes Community): Filip, listed at 6-foot, 180 pounds emerged as an arm to follow at his first-ever PBR event. During his bullpen, he showed advanced arm strength, sitting 86-88 mph (89.4 max), while flashing sink and running action at times. The offspeed is currently behind his lively fastball, but his slider showed promise, spinning at a max measured rate of 2,310 rpm.

+ RHP Sam Pritchard (Grayslake North): Pritchard is an athletic 6-foot, 175-pound arm with strength in the lower half. His simple delivery helped him reach 85-87 mph with minimal effort, and he showed the feel to spin a couple different breaking balls, though his slider was the one that looks like it has the greater potential to earn swings and misses, featuring later action and bite.

+ RHP Kyle Kaempf (McHenry): Kaempf, listed at 6-foot-1, 160 pounds, worked 85-88 mph, touching 89 from a quick, uptempo delivery. His changeup showed to be his best secondary pitch, with excellent feel and arm speed, while adding depth to his curveball. On top of his strong showing on the mound, Kaempf should be in no hurry to put down the bat. The right-handed hitting infielder, stays compact, creates whip in the barrel and consistently lined balls back up the middle in BP. Defensively, he plays with body control, sure-hands and a loose arm. Follow 2022 two-way prospect.

+ RHP Adam Guazzo (Huntley): Guazzo made a case for himself to be one considered as one of the highest additions to the 2022 state rankings when we update the board next, following the winter. A well-proportioned 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, Guazzo showed off a big arm sitting 87-89 mph, with a plus slider for his age at 74-77. Since this same event last year, Guazzo made the change to work out strictly as a pitcher, and he’s seen a 10 mph spike over that time.

+ RHP Nathan Chapman (Jacobs): The Jacobs junior sat 85-86 mph – up from the 82-84 range in August – with a well-above-average curveball, 75-76 mph, featuring sharp 11/5 action.


+ C/RHP Ryan Kelly (Huntley): Kelly had one of the better all-around days at the event. First during BP, Kelly averaged the highest average exit speed at the event (91.2 mph), using his physical 5-foot-11, 190-pound stature well. That physique complements his game as a catcher, where he’s quick and clean from the chute, popping in the low 2.00s consistently with big arm strength that carries. And he hopped on the mound later in the day where he was just as impressive. After sitting 82-83 mph early in the ‘pen, Kelly reared back for 86 and 87 with his final two pitches, averaging significant induced vertical break through the zone, measured at over 18 inches. Kelly’s quickly become a name-to-know junior in the state.

+ 1B Caleb Royer (Grant Community): Royer, a junior, is listed at a projectable 6-foot-4, 180 pounds, and he demonstrates a fluid, simple, repeatable left-handed swing. Royer also flashed above-average bat strength, producing a max exit velocity of 97.0 mph, in addition to reliable actions at first base.

+ 1B Jacob Buysse (Mundelein): Fellow first baseman Buysse is another large, physical follow in the state’s junior class, listed at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds. Buysse, a right-handed hitter, was one of four prospects to average an exit speed over 90 mph (90.3), underscoring his power potential, generated from his size and strength, in addition to his above-average bat speed.

+ OF/RHP Rick Powell (McHenry): Powell is a strong, broad 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, and he uses it well from the right-handed batter’s box. Powell takes aggressive, violent swings with present bat speed and produced some of the day’s hardest-hit contact, per TrackMan, including a 95.6 mph high. Defensively, he projects as a corner outfield fit, but he has the traits to excel there, including arm strength that plays from the mound, too. Powell sat 83-84 mph (84.7 max) with a quick, loose arm that carried through the zone and his offspeed of choice looks like a short, firm breaking ball that fits more of a slider’s mold.

+ C Alexander Tagler (Lemont): Tagler, made an impression in his PBR debut this fall and continued to show well again on Sunday. Tagler has a strong, compact 5-foot-8, 180-pound frame and creates above-average bat strength from a simple, repeatable swing. Defensively, he continues to improve his glove-to-hand release and his arm played true at 75 mph from the crouch, with a low pop time of 1.97.



+ RHP Andrew Ressler (Huntley): Ressler is a high-follow, uncommitted arm who continues to see his velocity, stuff, and frame tick up. Listed at 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, he attacked the zone on Sunday with a fastball that sat 87-88 mph, touching an 88.5 mph max, while mixing in a low-70s breaking ball that consistently landed for strikes and showed improved spin; it averaged 2,429 rpm (2,501 max).

+ LHP Lleyton Grubich (McHenry): Seemingly improving in each and every latest look, Grubich reached a new high on Sunday, where he touched 85.2 mph on his fastball that also features hard, late arm-side action that he’s shown an ability to spot on the corners. He located his offspeed especially well, a curve and change combination that he shows advanced feel for.

+ LHP Ian Boal (Johnsburg): Boal is a wiry lefty with a quick arm, and he throws from a low slot. On Sunday, he was up to 84.0 mph, with run, and a biting breaking ball that projects to earn swings and misses. Likely indicating more in the tank to develop, Boal was up to 89 mph from the outfield.

+ LHP Jake Swanson (Grant Community): Swanson fits into a similar profile as Boal and Grubich, a left-handed-throwing two-way player who showed well-above-average arm strength from the outfield at 90 mph, who's biggest upside looks to be on the mound. On Sunday, Swanson reached a 84.0 mph max fastball velo, with above-average feel for his curveball and changeup.

+ LHP Chandler Alderman (North Boone): Yet another high-follow uncommitted left-handed arm who made a strong impression on Sunday. Alderman, also a quarterback on the football team, sports a wide-shouldered, athletic, 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame and controls his body well, given his age and frame. The arm and delivery work clean and he consistently worked his low-80’s fastball (up from 76-78 mph this fall) down in the zone with tilt and an average spin rate of 2246 rpm. He also showed feel for his entire arsenal, including a curveball and slider that played in the low-to-mid 70’s with tight spin (2341 rpm average for both). 

+ LHP Chris Rogers (Grayslake Central): The 6-foot-2, 185-pound southpaw impressed with an above-average breaking ball, topping at 75 mph with a spin rate of over 2,200 rpm. His current fastball velocity of 82-84 mph is sure to jump in the coming years, given his long, loose arm action and ability to spin the baseball.

+ LHP Lucas Foley (Lake Zurich): Foley is an upside 6-foot-1, 170-pound arm with a healthy three-pitch mix. Up to 78 mph at the start of last summer, Foley sat exclusively 81-83 mph on Sunday evening with arm-side action that worked well alongside his well-located change, and he showed the feel spin his curveball well, featuring depth that he spotted under the zone.


+ C Ryan Bakes (Huntley): The lone committed player in attendance, as a South Carolina recruit, Bakes remains one of the state’s best sophomores among an increasingly stacked 2023 group. He demonstrated elite catch-and-throw skills, quick and efficient from reception through transfer, unleashing huge arm strength that reached 84 mph on target. Offensively, his brawny 5-foot-9, 187-pound build generates premium exit velocity marks, helping him produce the day’s single hardest-hit ball (97.7 mph).

+ OF Brayden Bakes (Huntley): Bakes’ uncommitted twin brother Brayden possesses similar inherent bat strength, only from the left-handed batter’s box. In fact, he reached a 97.1 mph max exit speed during his round of batting practice. His athleticism and advanced left-handed bat, and bat-to-ball traits, should keep him considered to be among the state’s top uncommitted sophomores. 

+ 3B Sheppard Graf (Lake Forest): Graf is yet another sophomore capable of impacting the ball with physicality. He, too, recorded a 95-plus max exit speed at an 87.2 mph average from the right side. Listed at a strong 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Graf has an above-average feel to hit for his age and the ball jumps off the barrel with ease. Defensively, he profiles at third base with smooth hands, body control and a quick glove-to-hand release.  

+ 3B Jake Zitella (St. Charles East): looks to have put in a lot of work over the off-season, shaping his projectable 5-foot-11 build into a leaner, more muscular stature. He swings an aggressive righty bat and made a lot of loud gap-to-gap contact in his round of BP. Zitella’s average exit speed was 85.96 mph with a max of 95.77 mph. Zitella also showed off a strong arm and sure-hands on the infield. The uncommitted sophomore emerged as one to watch moving forward.

+ SS J.R. Nelson (Stevenson): Nelson continues to separate himself from the majority of his 2023 peers as one of the top infield defenders in the state’s class. His advanced infield actions, fluid footwork, and soft hands help him effortlessly vacuum up ground balls in stride. He’s made strides offensively, in a spray approach with quality bat-to-ball skills and barrel feel that makes for solid line-drive contact.


+ LHP Brandon Schultz (Stevenson): Schultz sat 84-85 mph, touching an 85.7 max, to earn high-follow status as a freshman in McHenry. He flashed a swing-and-miss breaking ball, which has the shape and action of a slider, consistently throwing it on the backfoot of right-handed hitters while spinning at an average rate of 2,316 rpm (2,416 max).

+ RHP Liam Arnold (Palatine): Arnold was another 2024 arm throwing his breaking ball with well-above average spin and action. Arnolds curveball played in the upper-60s with 11/5 shape and late, sharp action, topping at 2483 rpm. The fastball topped at 80 mph but given his athletic 6-foot, 175-pound frame and quick arm, there is seemingly a lot more in the tank.

+ C Zachary Pyles (Warren Township): Pyles is a 5-foot-11, 210-pound, right-handed hitting freshman to keep tabs on moving forward. Right now, his bat is his calling card. It is a short, strong swing with above-average physicality and jump off the barrel for his age. Pyles most impressive swing was 351’ off the bat and he registered a max exit velocity of 93.78 mph.

+ OF Beau McBride (New Trier): McBride is a left/left freshman from New Trier built at a sturdy 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, and he was all over the barrel during his round of BP. McBride has a fluid, easy swing and recorded some of the hardest hit contact of the 2024s in attendance. His hardest-hit ball was measured at 92.7 mph, per TrackMan, and he averaged an exit speed of 86.6 which was the hardest among freshman hitters in McHenry. He projects best, defensively, in a corner outfield spot where his big arm strength can play.

+ LHP Ethan Eberle (Normal Community): Eberle was one of the more projectable young arms in attendance. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound, upside southpaw pounded the zone with an uptempo pace to his work and a loose arm that plays from a ¾ to high ¾ slot. Eberle’s fastball sat in the upper 70's and he showed well above average feel for a breaking ball and changeup.