Prep Baseball Report

McHenry Preseason I.D.: Quick Hits

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

On Sunday, Jan. 27, the McHenry Preseason I.D. took place at Pro Player Academy in McHenry, IL. The event, which is in its fourth year, is known for shining a light on some of the top high school talent in Northern Illinois and this year was no different. 

The event featured over 100 players from all high school classes and there were a number of performances worth taking an early look at.

Below is a quick look at a few of the standouts from the day. There are plenty of other prospects not mentioned who we will touch on over the next few days and weeks.




Illinois commit, Camden Janik (Wauconda, 2021), continues to prove he is one of the top catchers in the state. Janik has a big arm from the crouch (81 mph) that carries and is consistently on the second base bag.

Prairie Ridge HS, who already has two ranked catchers in the 2019 class, Alex Powers (UIC commit) and Ben Harris (Judson commit), has a 2020, Jake Masini, who will be waiting in the wings. Masini has a plus arm behind the plate (81 mph from the crouch) and athletic defensive actions. At the plate, Masini stays short to the ball with quick twitch in his right-handed swing.

Michael Rastrelli, a 2021 catcher from Mundelein, was one of the top sophomore backstops in attendance. Rastrelli is advanced behind the plate with natural catcher actions and throws a true ball that plays up at 77 mph.

Daniel Contreras (Boylan Catholic) was another 2021 worth noting. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound, right-handed hitting catcher has a fast bat with natural lift in his swing.

5-foot-10, 185-pound, freshman Nico Acevedo (Crystal Lake Central) is a physical right-handed hitter with advanced bat speed and made a lot of hard contact to the pull side in BP.


Jimmy Fairley (Huntley, 2020) put together one of the more complete bullpens on the day. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound, right-hander pounded the bottom of the strike zone with his three-pitch mix and a fastball in the low-80’s.

2021 Ryan Weaver (Cary-Grove) is a 6-foot-1, 175-pound left-handed pitcher with upside. Weaver has a long, easy, quick arm and a fastball that sits in the low-80’s and seems to play up. Weaver also showed feel for his changeup at the bottom of the zone.

Dylan Petrey (Hampshire, 2021) is undersized at 5-foot-9, 140-pounds but his arm action and delivery project for more velocity down the road. Petrey’s arm works loose and quick from a ¾ to low ¾ slot and he pounded the zone with a fastball that had late run and sink. Petrey threw his four-pitch arsenal with conviction and featured a knuckleball that had potential swing-and-miss action.

Two physical 2021 right-handed pitchers with upside were Riley Kirk (Wauconda) and Parker Swanson (Prairie Ridge). Kirk has a 6-foot-1, 210-pound powerful frame, a fastball in the upper-70’s and a sharp, tight breaking ball. Swanson is listed at 6-foot-3, 200-pounds and has a long, easy arm action, upper-70’s fastball and good feel for his breaking ball.

The top 2022 arm in attendance was arguably RHP Jacob May (Dundee-Crown). May, a 6-foot-1, 150-pound, wiry right-hander's fastball sat comfortably in the low-80’s with liveliness through the zone. May complemented his fastball with a sharp breaking ball with feel for the zone and a sinking changeup.


When it comes to middle infielders from the day, the crop of 2020’s, stands out amongst the rest. Valentine Cerna (Grant), Carter Foat (McHenry), Luke Roman (Wheaton Academy), Bryan Belo (Jacobs), Evan Tocmo (Huntley) and Jonathan Gardner (Barrington) all have natural infield actions and have the tools to stick on the dirt moving forward.

2022 Braden Thelander (Prairie Ridge) emerged as a 2022 middle infielder to follow moving forward. Thelander has sure hands, plays well on the move, has a quick exchange and live arm that was 81 mph across the diamond. At the plate, Thelander takes an aggressive hack and has quick twitch in swing.


6-foot-3, 190-pound, Keegan Garis (Prairie Ridge, 2020), had one of the more projectable frames in attendance. Garis has a loose left-handed swing with bat speed and worked gap-to-gap in BP. Defensively, Garis profiles as a third baseman with clean actions, steady hands and plenty of arm strength across the diamond.

Two of the more physical right-handed hitters in attendance were CIF Mikal Ashley (Grant, 2020) and 1B Brandon Jernigan (Huntley, 2020). The 6-foot-1, 230-pound Ashley, has trimmed up his frame over the winter, losing 15 pounds since our last look. The new look Ashley showed the same controlled aggression and advanced bat speed in BP that we have become accustomed too. Jernigan is another physical right-handed hitter who does not get cheated at the plate. Jernigan looks to drive the ball with authority to the pull side and was also 89 mph across the diamond.

1B Maxwell Thompson (Warren) was one of the more impressive 2021 hitters in attendance. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound, strong, well-proportioned, right-handed hitter has a simple, compact swing with feel for the barrel and advanced bat speed for his age.


A trio of left-handed hitters stood out in the outfield; Nicholas Gregory (Dundee Crown, 2020), Carson Roberts (Wheaton North, 2020) and Joey Hagen (Johnsburg, 2021). Gregory ran a 4.25 home-to-first and has a loose, handsy swing, creating whip in his swing. Roberts is a 6-foot-2, 195-pound, physical specimen with advanced tools. Roberts ran a 3.94 home-to-first, was 87 mph from the outfield and registered a 90 mph exit velocity from a tee.  Hagen a left/left sophomore ran a 4.38 home-to-first, was 83 mph from the outfield and has a quick bat.

Two offensive minded 2022 outfielders to follow moving forward are Nathan Chapman (Jacobs) and Rick Powell (McHenry). Chapman is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound, right-handed hitter with an easy, repeatable swing and present bat speed. Powell, also a right-handed hitter, stays flat through the zone and works gap-to-gap.


Two-way prospects, Brayden Childress (Robinson, 2020) and Jack Owens (Mascoutah, 2020) have similar profiles and hail from the southern part of Illinois. Childress is a physically-advanced 6-foot-3, 205-pound, RHP/1B. At the plate, Childress has a loose, strong, right-handed bat and stays short to the baseball. Childress looks natural at first base, runs a 4.37 home-to-first, and sat 80-82 on the mound.

Owens, recently moved to Mascoutah HS from Texas and made the McHenry Preseason I.D. his first PBR event. Owens, a strong, 6-foot-2, 210-pound 1B/RHP, takes an aggressive, angry hack at the plate and registered a 95 mph exit velocity from a tee. On the mound, Owens topped at 82 mph.