Prep Baseball Report

McHenry Preseason ID: Quick Hits

By Drew Locascio and Peter Hamot
Illinois Scouting Staff

On Saturday, Feb. 11, the PBR Illinois staff traveled to Pro Player Academy in McHenry to host the McHenry Preseason ID - an event that’s been on our winter calendar since 2016. This event provides our staff an up-close opportunity to check on 100+ high school prospects hailing from all high school classes, this region of the state, and the Fox Valley Conference, early in the year. 

Today we take a closer look at some of the immediate standouts who caught our attention on the day. Stay tuned in the coming days and weeks for much more coverage from the event.



+ Illinois-Chicago commit, RHP Ethan Dorchies (Cary-Grove), was one of the biggest winners on the day, setting a new personal record, running his fastball up to 91.5 mph. Dorchies stands out immediately thanks to his long, loose-limbed, upside 6-foot-5, 195-pound frame and young look. The ceiling and present stuff make Dorchies one of the more interesting arms in the class. The fastball plays with life and jumps out of the hand with big extension down the mound that makes his firm fastball seem to play up that much more. He also showed off a late-breaking horizontal cutter in the low-80s with 2238 average rpm and a splitter in the upper-70’s with all kinds of tumble and action to it at times. Dorchies should continue to climb up the board in Illinois as he corrals and polishes his overall arsenal.

+ RHP Mark Takasaki (Jacobs) has a 6-foot-2, 185-pound, athletic, strong frame and showed one of the livelier fastballs on the day. The pitch came out of the hand clean and easy with late jump and sat at 86-87 mph with some play at the top of the zone. He is still rounding out his arsenal but it's a live arm to keep an eye on moving forward. 

+ C Sean Kempf (Crystal Lake Central) made us take notice of his offensive abilities at the Illinois State Games this past August and continued to show well with the bat at the McHenry Preseason ID. Kempf has a compact, loose, strong swing that was on the barrel throughout his round of BP. Kempf averaged 89.9 mph off the bat and wore out both gaps throughout his round. Defensively, Kempf topped at 75 mph with a low pop-time of 2.06 seconds. His throws played with backspin and were mostly on the bag, coming from an over-the-top slot. His transfer is quick and clean, working directionally out of the crouch in-line with second. 

Ryan Kondrad (Lake Zurich) is a physical, 6-foot, 195-pound corner infielder, with a loose, whippy, heavy barrel with a chance to impact the middle of an order at the next level. When Kondrad’s swing syncs up he gets easy jump off the barrel and flashes pull-side power. On the infield, Kondrad is sure-handed with steady and reliable actions, utilizing a quick/clean transfer throughout his plays including the double-play turn. His arm plays from a ¾ slot across the diamond, reaching up to 84 mph.

+ OF Charlie Smerek (Harvest Christian) has a well-proportioned, 5-foot-10, 160-pound frame and he took aggressive, loose swings while staying on plane and working gap-to-gap during his round of BP. He showcased a whippy/loose arm from the outfield; reaching up to 82 mph from a ¾ slot. 

+ OF Payton Sensabaugh (McHenry) is a highly-athletic, right-handed bat who shined in the Swift athletic testing portion of the event. Sensabaugh led the event with a 33” vertical jump while also running the best 30-yard split of the day, at 3.75. The 5-foot-8, 145-pound, wiry junior also has a loose, quick swing at the plate that stays flat through the hitting zone with ability to backspin line-drives to all fields. From the outfield, Sensabaugh plays through the ball athletically with steady hands, reaching up to 82 mph with a loose/clean ¾ slot. 

+ INF Mason Primack (Glenbrook North) carries strength in his 5-foot-10, 170-pound frame and took an intentful round of BP. Primack got long at times but his aggressive right-handed swing stayed on-plane and on the barrel with a lifted approach and 90+ max exit velocity. Defensively, Primack moves athletically around the infield with active feet, using steady hands out front and securing the ball into his body. His arm plays short and quick out of the glove from a ¾ slot, reaching up to 85 mph across the diamond.

+ RHP/INF Kenny Nanos (Mundelein) made a name for himself coming out of the event. Nanos showed his athleticism with a 32.3” jump, good for third at the event. He also ran a 3.94 30-yard split, top-five of the event and showed equally as well as a position player and pitcher. At the plate, the right-handed hitter stays short and direct to the ball while staying on-top and creating hard backspin, line-drive contact to all fields. Nanos also cruised around with fluid, active footwork on the infield with steady hands; securing the ball into his body before moving into a clean transfer. On the mound he worked with a loose, quick arm, four-pitch repertoire and fastball that sat 86-87 mph with T18.2” induced vertical break.

 + A Southpaw to make note of is LHP Danny Newman (Wauconda). Newman worked his fastball up to 83 mph, sitting 81-82 mph life through the zone and to his arm-side. His best secondary offering looked to be a sharp 1/7 breaking ball at 70-72 mph - pairing with a tight 2/8 cutter at 76-78 mph (T2453 RPM). His final offering was a fading changeup at 76 mph.   


+ CIF/RHP AJ Putty (Huntley) - continues to trend in the right direction and has a chance to be an impact right-handed bat at the next level. Putty’s 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame looks as strong and athletic as-ever and he led the event with the best average exit velocity at 93.1 mph and the top average bat speed at 79.9 mph. Putty stayed on balance, in rhythm and on the barrel throughout his round showing a feel to hit to go along with some of the better power potential in the class. On the infield, Putty moves well for his size with smooth actions and soft/steady hands, playing with a clean transfer and clean high ¾ slot (T83 mph INF). On the mound, Putty showed obvious arm-strength, reaching up to 87.5 mph with his fastball and never dipping below 86 mph. He flashed some sharp 10/4 action with his slider at times, 68-70 mph. His changeup sat 72-75 mph and was thrown with fastball intent, fading some to his arm-side. 

+ MIF TJ Jakubowski (Huntley) is another 2025 who continues to get better every time we get our eyes on him. The 5-foot-10, 140-pound, high-waisted left-handed hitting shortstop looks nowhere near his ceiling as he showed off a loose, barrel-control swing with whip and athleticism throughout. It's a swing built for contact and the ability to spray line-drive contact to all fields, that should only continue to ascend as he gains quality strength that should come in time. Defensively, he features all the actions while staying fundamentally sound with an ultra-quick glove-to-hand release and easy, confident demeanor. He has a clear understanding of the position and angles of attack on ground balls. His arm plays above-average, reaching up to 81 mph across the diamond from a ¾ slot and easily firing off accurate throws on the move. A name to follow closely in the 2025 class.

+ INF/OF Ryan Dabe is yet another talented 2025 Huntley has at their disposal for the next three years. Dabe continues to add quality strength to his 6-foot-1, 180-pound frame and it translates into his right-handed swing. Dabe took intentful, controlled, strong swings throughout his round while staying on the barrel with authority. Dabe averaged 92.6 mph off the bat, second-best of the event, with a 70% hard-hit percentage. Defensively, Dabe showed off one of the stronger arms in attendance, reaching up to 90 mph from the outfield and 87 mph from the infield; pairing with active/fluid footwork and soft hands, playing through the ball in rhythm from both positions. 

+ 1B/LHP Karson Stiefer (Prairie Ridge) - is an athletic, left/left, two-way prospect. Stiefer, listed at 6-foot, 163-pounds, ran a 3.87 30-yard split, second best of the event. At the plate he stays short and quick to the baseball looking to control the barrel and spray hard line-drive contact to all fields. Defensively, he is an asset at first base with an understanding and feel for the position. On the mound, he filled up the strike zone with a polished three-pitch mix and fastball that topped at 80 mph.

+ 6-foot-1, 220-pound, 1B Adrian Medina (Grant) swung a loud, potent right-handed bat that stayed on the barrel throughout his round which should fit his first base profile. Medina has strong, fast hands and stays direct to the baseball while controlling the barrel. Medina averaged 85.4 mph off the bat throughout his round of BP. 

+ C Charlie Meister (Hersey), who is also a talented football prospect, stood out during the catcher workout. Meister took one, if not the best, rounds of defense behind the plate on the entire day; working with a quick/clean transfer and active footwork that stays in-line with second, he regularly recorded pop-times under 2.00 seconds with a max catcher velocity of 79 mph. Meister also wields a strong right-handed bat with a heavy barrel and lift through the zone, resulting in hard gap-to-gap contact. Meister registered a 93.8 max exit velocity off the bat. 

+ INF Dominic Bonilla (Hope Academy) emerged last summer as a high-follow left-handed bat in the class and eventually committed to Illinois State. The smooth infielder showed natural feel for the infield throughout his defensive round; showcasing fluid, athletic actions and clean footwork to play through the ball in rhythm before moving into a quick/clean transfer. He ranges well laterally to both sides of his glove and uses pre-pitch footwork to remain athletic and ready to pounce in any direction. At the plate, he stays quiet, simple and balanced looking to control the barrel and works mainly to the pull-side gap with natural lift in his path. 

+ C/RHP Calen Scheider (Hampshire) is a wiry, two-way prospect who is a follow on both sides. On the mound, he works easy and fluid throughout his delivery with a loose, projectable arm with a feel to pitch. His fastball topped at 85.2 mph and his low-70s slider plays with tight spin and horizontal action. That same arm translated behind the plate where he showed off a quick, athletic transfer with a strong arm (T79 mph) and was consistently recording sub-2.00 pop-times. At the plate he created all kinds of whip through the zone and was spraying line-drive contact to all fields. Upside, two-way prospect to know in the 2025 class. 

+ Another physical catcher on the day was Benjamin Mitchell (Harvest Christian). The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Mitchell swings with intent and looks to do damage on every swing. There is bat speed and bat strength present while staying on-plane working uphill through the zone and flashing big jump off the barrel at times. Mitchell led the event with a 99.6 mph max exit velocity, average of 90.4 and recorded a 24.2 mph average hand speed, the second-best of the event. Defensively, Mitchell took a quality round and showed off a clean exchange, working in-line to second and recording a pop-time as low as 2.06 seconds (T76 mph). 

+ RHP Charlie Taczy (Cary-Grove) came away as an arm to follow in the 2025 class. Taczy oozes projection thanks to his 6-foot, 145-pound, loose-bodied, frame and fluid, uninterrupted quick, easy arm on the mound. Taczy was filling up the zone with a fastball up to 83.4 mph with much more to come down the road. He also is able to manipulate the baseball and get all kinds of horizontal, sinking action on a low-80s sinker that spun at an average of 2268 rpm and 15.5 inches of horizontal movement. His changeup also shows hard horizontal fade in the upper-70s and he rounds out his repertoire with a 73-75 mph slider with tight spin (2363 average rpm) and sweeping action. Would not be surprised to see Taczy make a big jump in velocity as he adds quality strength to his upside frame.

+ Another arm in the 2025 class to pop up was LHP/OF Jacob Dorn (Barrington). Dorn has an easy, repeatable delivery and loose, clean arm with a fastball that peaked at 82.1 mph. His curveball looks like the separator, showing advanced feel, landing for strikes 80% of the time with tight spin (2264 average rpm) and depth. He rounded out his three-pitch mix with a 71-73 mph changeup. 


+ INF/RHP Drew Borkowski III (Huntley) emerged as a name to know in the 2026 class. The two-way prospect has advanced tools across the board. The freshman tied for second with a 25.5 mph average hand speed. The right-handed hitter creates the bat speed with normal effort, stays through the zone a long time with a middle of the field approach and was all over the barrel with an average exit velocity of 85.8 mph. Defensively, Borkowski showed feel on the infield while his arm played with above-average strength and carry across the diamond, reaching up to 84 mph. His arm-strength easily translates over to the mound, where he sat 83-85 mph with his fastball. His breaking ball has out-pitch potential, playing with sharp/downer 11/5 break at 67-70 mph - he also featured a knuckleball with killed spin and unpredictable action, 71-72 mph. His delivery is controlled and simple; moving with a medium leg-lift into balance point before transitioning into a drop/drive lower-half. His arm plays short and simple out of the glove, moving into a high ¾ slot that plays quick to release. 

+ INF Andrew Deegan (Jacobs) is a left-handed hitting middle infielder to keep an eye on moving forward. Defensively, he is advanced up the middle for his age, featuring sure-hands, fluid actions and clean release. His arm plays strong across the diamond, topping at 83 mph. At the plate, he stays balanced and fluid throughout with athletic hands and was consistently on time and used the whole field. 

+ C Sonny Marsalla (Woodstock) is a switch-hitter who put together noteworthy rounds of BP from each side. It's a loose, compact swing from both sides with strength through contact and a feel to hit. Marsala was routinely working to both gaps throughout his rounds. Behind the plate he flashed a quick glove-to-hand exchange and was consistently around the bag at second base.

+ Former Junior Future Game participant, OF Ian Kelly (Huntley), continues to look like a left-handed hitting outfield prospect to follow in the 2026 class. When it comes to Blast Motion, Kelly sat at the top of the list with a 24.6 mph average hand speed. He also led the way with an average of 29 g of rotational acceleration. Kelly swung with controlled intent, a level path and was consistently on time and finished on balance. In the outfield, Kelly is an athletic mover with soft hands and active feet, playing through the baseball with intent and rhythm, reaching up to 79 mph from a crow-hop. 

+ 1B/RHP Travis Dudycha (Huntley), impressed with his overall athleticism, especially given his 6-foot-3, 180-pound, broad-shouldered, advanced frame. Dudycha shined in the athletic testing portion of the event, running a sub-4.0 30-yard split (top 10 of the event) and finishing third with a vertical jump of 31 inches. At the plate, the big-bodied right handed hitter flashed a quiet, explosive swing that averaged 88.4 mph off the bat, seventh-best of the event. He also hopped on the mound and sat in the low-80’s with a short, compact arm action and three-pitch mix.

+ RHP Brady Klepfer (Huntley) came away a winner from Saturday’s showcase with his strong showing on the mound. Listed at 5-foot-10, 163-pounds, Klepfer still has plenty of room for added strength and development in the coming years. On the mound, the right-hander works with a controlled tempo and simple delivery, using a medium leg-lift into balance point before shifting into a drop/drive lower-half, striding in-line with the plate. His fastball sat in the 81-82 mph range, topping out at 83 mph with finish through the zone. He flipped in his curveball at 71-73 mph, playing with tight/sharp 11/5 shape and some feel for the zone. His changeup came out of the hand with heavy/late dive to the arm-side, killing spin and sitting 74-75 mph. 

+ One of the day’s biggest winners on the mound was RHP Brandon Pelz (Bartlett). The 5-foot-11, 165-pound right-hander showed above-average feel for a three-pitch mix, starting with his fastball that sat 80-82 mph, topping out at 83 mph with life through the zone. He showed feel for both his breaking balls, with the first being a 11/5 curveball that flashed sharp action, 69-71 mph - and the second being a sharp 10/4 slider at 71-72 mph (T2316 RPM). His delivery is athletic, moving with a high leg-kick into a coiled balance point, drop/drive lower-half and striding in-line to the plate. His arm is long and loose out of the glove and plays from a high ¾ slot.  

CLICK HERE for a look at the McHenry Preseason ID event page.