Prep Baseball Report

McHenry Preseason ID: Quick Hits

By Illinois Scouting Staff

On Feb. 12, the PBR Illinois team hosted its second Preseason ID event of the new year: the McHenry Preseason ID. For the past six 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 Saturday’s showcase, and we’re publishing them within this Quick Hits piece. Throughout the rest of this week, we’ll be taking a deeper dive into all of the data we collected, too, with the help of our Blast Motion, TrackMan, and Vizual Edge technologies.

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



+ C Austin Leonard (Hampshire, 2023) starts in a quiet, spread setup and has minimal wasted movement throughout his swing while creating above-average bat strength. Leonard consistently peppered baseballs back up the middle with an average exit velocity of 90.5 mph and an 88 percent hard-hit rate (percentage of ball struck at 90-plus mph). Leonard also led the event in max hand speed at 26.4 mph, according to the Blast Motion sensor.

+ Two right-handed bats to follow in the 2024 class belong to OF/C Payton Sensabaugh (Marian Central Catholic) and C/INF Sean Kempf (Crystal Lake Central). Sensabaugh has a lean, wiry frame and creates all kinds of whip in his swing. His hands are loose and work freely throughout his swing. Sensabaugh stays level through the zone, has a line drive approach and creates sneaky jump off the barrel for his size. Kempf has a compact, 5-foot-10, 175-pound frame with strength throughout. Kempf swings with controlled intent, has some length through the zone with uphill tendencies and was on the barrel a lot throughout his round. Kempf averaged 90.4 mph off his bat during BP.

+ Another standout 2025 from the event was INF/C Calen Scheider (Hampshire). Offensively, the 5-foot-8, 135-pound, lean, right-handed hitter has a loose, athletic swing with fluidity throughout. The path is efficient, repeatable and he stays through the hitting zone a long time with advanced feel for the barrel, for his age. Defensively, Scheider features athleticism that allows him to stand out behind the plate and in the infield. Behind the plate, he showed quick, receptive hands along with a strong arm that topped at 74 mph from the crouch; also recorded a low pop time of 2.03 from behind the plate. His loose arm also played up on the infield and showed room for projection, topping at 79 mph. His footwork behind the plate on the infield was quick and efficient and allowed him to move confidently and quicker than his peers. Follow 2025 multi-positional prospect.


+ OF Peter Mitchell (Jacobs, 2022), an unsigned senior, put together a solid all-around performance at the event. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound, athletically-built, left-handed hitter, has a fluid swing with easy bat speed. Mitchell has natural lift in his swing, was on the barrel throughout his round (averaged 84.3 mph exit velocity) and showed athletic feet and topped at 84 mph from the outfield. Also, ran a 4.47 home-to-first. 

+ OF Joey Garlin (Huntley, 2023) is a high-motor, 5-foot-9, 170-pound, right-handed hitting outfielder with a compact, strong swing with sneaky pop off the barrel; max of 90.6 mph exit velocity during BP. Garlin also ran a 4.08 home-to-first, winds up through release in the outfield and showed off a loose arm with throws topping at 84 mph.

+ Another 2024 right-handed bat who showed some strength and barrel awareness in BP was Kyle Boelkens (McHenry). Boelkens, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound outfielder, takes an aggressive swing, creates bat speed and works uphill through the zone at times.


+ Long known as one of the top defensive middle infielders in the state, J.R. Nelson (Stevenson, 2023) continued to show his innate feel on the infield as well as an improved right-handed swing. Defensively, he has fluid and quick actions, taking direct routes to the ball which in turn allow his soft quick hands to work out in front and swiftly. Nelson also showed an above average arm; the ball jumps out of his hands as he delivers from multiple angles and consistently from a high ¾ slot, topping at 86 mph. Offensively, he showed a more direct, shorter bat path with feel for the barrel and strength through contact. Nelson’s swing is built to spray line-drives to all fields and he averaged 88.2 mph off the bat.

+ This left-handed-hitting infielder, Ryan Quinlan (Huntley, 2023), has had his arrow pointing up for some time now, and he took one of the more polished rounds of batting practice on the day. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound, uncommitted junior stays balanced, compact and highly-repeatable at the plate with athletic, strong hands. Quinlan was all over the barrel creating advanced bat strength with relative ease; averaged 94.8 mph exit velocity (an event-high) and he recorded a max of 99.3. Quinlan also registered a 90 percent hard-hit rate, as nine of his 10 swings registered an exit speed exceeding 90 mph. He also went on to produce one of the top rounds of infield defense on the day. Quinlan’s instinctive feel and natural movements allow him to make the infield portion of the showcase look easy. Footwork is smooth and easy as he moves swiftly with body control on the move. While on the move, his athleticism and clean glove-to-hand exchange allows him to deliver strong accurate throws from lower slots, topping at 83 mph. His natural athleticism allowed him to record a . High-follow, left-handed hitting middle infielder.

+ 1B Ravi Thakkar (Huntley, 2023) is a physical, 6-foot-1, 215-pound, right-handed hitter who routinely squared up baseballs with authority to the pull-side gap. Thakkar’s swing works with fluid pre-pitch rhythm, strong hands and registered a max exit velocity of 93.7 mph.

+ CIF Christian Graves (Jacobs) continues to show well as one of the more physical bats still uncommitted in the 2023 class. The broad-chested, 6-foot-2, 210-pound right-handed hitter, has a determined look in the box, takes aggressive, intentful swings and rattled the cage when his swing synced up. Graves led the event with a max exit velocity of 99.4 mph while registering a hard-hit rate of 66 percent. On top of that, Graves recorded the second highest average bat speed at McHenry, measured at 77.6 mph.

+ Dillon Putty (Huntley, 2023) and AJ Putty (Huntley, 2025; mentioned at length below) showed off similar profiles in their right-handed bats. Both are physical, while Dillon's listed at 6-foot-2, 218 pounds and his right-handed bat registered the third highest average exit velocity of the event (92.3 mph; 95.9 max), and his best struck ball traveled an estimated 335 feet. Regarding his freshman brother AJ, you can find more on him inside the two-way section a little later on.

Sheppard Graf (Lake Forest, 2023), a 6-foot-3, 200-pound corner infielder, showed a physical bat that should fit that position profile. Graf stays simple and quiet pre-pitch while creating above-average bat speed and staying on balanced through contact. Graf was routinely on the barrel (96.2 mph max exit velocity), working long through the zone with a gap-to-gap approach.

+ Here's two left-handed-hitting first basemen to follow in the 2023 class: CJ Filipek (Huntley) and Blake Binkowski (Lincoln-Way East). Filipek has a 6-foot-1, 190-pound, well-proportioned frame with strength throughout. Offensively, he has a fluid, compact, repeatable swing that stayed through the zone a long time with uphill tendencies, coupled with feel for the barrel from a gap-to-gap approach. As for Binkowski, he has an ultra physical 6-foot-3, 225-pound build and he utilizes it well in the box. Binkowski swings with aggression, looking to elevate the baseball with authority. He registered a max exit velocity of 98.2 mph and a max batted distance of 346 feet.

+ One of the top 2023 infielders on the day looked to be Caden Guenther (Jacobs, 2023). The 6-foot, 160-pound, athletically built middle infielder showcased advanced rhythm and actions during the infield portion of the showcase. His footwork is clean and efficient, built for the middle of the diamond while showing a short, quick arm action. The ball comes out of his hand with carry at 76 mph. 

+ Switch-hitting infielder Dylan Harer (St. Viator, 2023) made a statement with his left-handed swing during his round of BP in McHenry. The high-waisted, athletically-built, 6-foot-1, 180-pound infielder took a polished round of BP. Harer stays extremely quiet and on balance while letting the ball travel and using quick, loose hands to pepper hard line-drive contact to all fields. This was an impressive look at the upside left-handed bat.

+ INF Kaeden Wagenaar (Jacobs, 2024) swings an upside, fluid right-handed bat with plenty of upside as he continues to fill out his wiry 5-foot-8, 130-pound frame. Wagenaar hits with fluid rhythm throughout, loose hands and easy effort. He was consistently on the barrel, stays flat through the zone and gets extension through contact. Follow 2024 right-handed bat. 

+ One of the top infield rounds of the day belonged to a freshman, TJ Jakubowski (Huntley). Jakubowski flashed highly advanced actions and feel to go along with next-level, confident hands on defense. The Huntley freshman plays with a bounce to his step and fundamentally sound lateral actions, working from the ground up that leads to a clean transfer, defending in rhythm and with body control on the move. The arm is clean and loose with the ball playing true across the infield at 73 mph. Offensively, the left-handed hitter stays short and on top of the baseball with a barrel control, and a spray-type approach. High-follow 2025 middle-infield defender.

+ Left-handed hitter Easton Stewart (Hononegah, 2025) came into his first-ever PBR event with an intentful, determined look, especially in the box. Stewart, listed at a proportional 5-foot-10, 160 pounds, showed a loose, level left-handed stroke with extension through contact and line-drive approach. Follow left-handed hitter in the freshman class.

+ Big-bodied, 6-foot, 220-pound 1B Soran Leahy (Barrington, 2025) swung a loose, strong right-handed bat with upside to monitor into his freshman spring. Leahy controls the barrel well for his age and when he gets his foot down on time, he routinely barreled up balls with authority into the left-center gap. He's a young, physical right-handed bat to follow in the 2025 class.


+ C/RHP Cooper Cohn (McHenry, 2023) put together one of the top all-around performances of the day. The two-way prospect took a loud round of BP, showing quick, strong hands and consistently driving baseballs to both gaps with authority. Cohn averaged 89.6 mph off the bat, max of 96.2, as evidence of this. Defensively, he has a highly advanced skill set behind the plate, starting with his arm strength.  He consistently registered sub-2.00 pop times, with his best coming in at 1.83.  His exchange is lightning quick and his hands play quiet and soft. His throws topped at 82 mph while playing on-line, with carry and accuracy to the right side of the bag. That arm strength carries over to the mound where he profiles as a dynamic bullpen piece with a four-pitch mix. Cohn’s fastball sat 87-88 mph (average spin rate of 2,222 rpm) while showing two high-spin breaking balls; his curveball spun at nearly 2,500 rpm on average in the upper-70s, while his slider averaged 78.2 mph, spinning at 2,415 rpm. This was a particularly strong two-way showing by one of Illinois' most interesting uncommitted juniors.

+ RHP/INF Ryan Skwarek (Crystal Lake South, 2023) was another prominent two-way performer over the weekend, though he most notably popped up from the mound. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound right-hander works with an effortless drop/drive lower-half before transitioning into a loose and easy over-the-top release. His fastball possesses heavy sink to the bottom of the zone, reaching 88 mph with strikes. His curveball showed sharp 11/5 action, thrown at 70-72 mph with depth while also tunneling off his fastball. Skwarek also showed off a diving changeup at 71-74 mph, kept down in the zone while maintaining fastball intent. At the plate, the right-handed hitter has a loose, easy swing with noticeable athleticism throughout. He creates bat speed, works long and uphill through the zone with fluid rhythm. Skwarek was also a standout on the infield. Skwarek navigates the infield with the same athleticism he showed earlier in the event, defending with tempo and fielding the ball with soft, quick hands and a clean exchange. He has a loose easy arm action defensively and the ball jumps out of his hand with minimal effort, reaching an 83 mph high across the infield.

+ INF/RHP James Schott (Carmel Catholic, 2023) is a long-levered, two-way prospect with upside to all parts of his game. Schott has a loose right-handed swing, flashed barrel whip through the zone, and he registered a max exit velocity of 91.4 mph. Schott also flashed a strong arm on the infield, measured at an 85 mph high to first, and he climbed it up to 83 mph while on the mound.

+ RHP/INF Charlie Meister (Hersey, 2025) proved, yet again, to be one of the strongest members of the 2025 class after his impressive two-way showing on Saturday. The former PBR Junior Future Games participant did it all over the field, from one station to the next. On the mound, Meister works with a drop/drive lower-half while striding on-line, front foot landing closed and creating power down the mound with some intensity. His arm plays short out of the glove before moving into a high ¾ slot, and he easily repeated from a consistent window. Meister’s fastball played at 82-83 mph throughout the entirety of his ‘pen, mainly straight but showing life through the zone. His breaking ball plays off an 11/5 plane, occasionally 12/6, in the 72-73 mph range and it was thrown for strikes consistently. One of the more impressive aspects of Meister’s arsenal is a diving changeup thrown at 72-73 mph, which he is able to keep down in the zone repeatedly while maintaining fastball intent throughout his arm action. Offensively, the right-handed hitter is just as impressive putting up a loud, consistent round of BP, Meister takes a big, aggressive swing and when he is on time, the ball jumps off the barrel; 89 mph exit velocity on average during BP, which is a very noteworthy mark for a 2025 prospect. He also showed well on the infield and reached an 81 mph high across the diamond. Meister is a talented freshman in the state worth following closely.

+ Though, Meister was not the only high-follow freshman at Saturday's event – 3B/RHP AJ Putty (Huntley, 2025) gave our staff yet another strong look. With one of the more impressive arms in attendance, especially for his age, the strong-bodied, 6-foot-3, 200-pound right-hander ran his fastball up to 84 mph on the mound, in a straight four-seam profile that explodes through the zone. Putty’s most intriguing change-of-pace offering was a diving changeup at 68-70 mph, which he was able to navigate around the zone with ease while also showing noteworthy sink. He rounded out his three-pitch mix with a short 11/5 breaking ball, thrown at 65-68 mph with developing feel. Offensively, Putty has advanced bat strength, with a long path, built to elevate the baseball. Putty registered a max exit velocity of 92.9 mph and a max batted-ball distance of 339 feet, both according to TrackMan. Defensively, he profiles at a corner infield spot, featuring plenty of arm strength for the left side.

+ INF/RHP Ryan Dabe (Huntley, 2025) came away as an intriguing two-way prospect to keep tabs on throughout the coming years. The projectable 6-foot-1, 160-pound infielder works from an open setup into a smooth load, utilizing a leg-kick timing trigger in the right-handed batter's box. Dabe worked gap-to-gap throughout his round of BP, using a quick, short uphill path to the ball. On the mound, the right-hander ran his fastball up to 78 mph while also showing exceptional feel for a sharp slider at 64-65 mph. He rounded out his four-pitch mix with a curveball-changeup combination to keep would-be hitters off balance. 

+ It was a productive day learning the names of freshman follows to add to our Class of 2025 watchlist, and Jake Chrzastowski (Grant, 2025) earned a place among them, especially following his performance in batting practice. The well-proportioned, 5-foot-10, 155-pound, right-handed hitter has a simple, rhythmic swing with loose, athletic hands that work off a long path with natural lift through the zone and plenty of upside attached to it. While he's a follow prospect offensively, he went on to reach an 80 mph on the mound with his fastball and showed an upside breaking ball that spun at an average of 2,224 rpm.


+ LHP Lleyton Grubich (McHenry, 2023) came away a winner at Saturday’s event, showing off impressive feel for a lively three-pitch mix. The athletic 6-foot-1, 185-pound southpaw works with a smooth drop/drive lower-half down the mound, creating easy power while remaining in-line to the plate. From a fluid ¾ arm slot, Grubich worked his fastball up to 87 mph (2,231 rpm high) with hard arm-side sink (-16.8 inches on average), all while filling up the zone. He went to a short breaking ball in the 78-80 mph range, kept down in the zone with 2/8 shape, also thrown for strikes consistently. The lefty finished off his repertoire with a unique high-spin changeup that played off his typical fastball arm speed and dove late to the bottom of the zone, again thrown for strikes. 

+ LHP Chandler Alderman (North Boone, 2023) is a long-levered 6-foot-4, 210-pound southpaw who came away as a big winner in McHenry. From a long, high ¾ slot, Alderman's arm works quick and it produced a fastball that sat 85-87 mph with hard cutting action while filling up the zone. His breaking ball pairs well off his fastball, maintaining arm speed at 78-79 mph, while controlling its sharp 1/7 shape to the bottom of the zone. With a fading changeup thrown for strikes at 79-80 mph, Alderman possesses a legitimate three-pitch mix that will play at the next level.

+ A pair more familiar southpaws put together quality performances again in McHenry this year:  Lucas Foley (Lake Zurich, 2023) and Ian Boal (Johnsburg, 2023). Foley is listed at a long levered 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, attached to a quick arm and upside to dream on. It's a rather effortless tall-and-fall delivery that could easily get more out of his lower half to pair with above-average arm speed. His ¾ slot lends well to his fastball-slider combination and workable changeup. Added conviction to his slider will help its velocity tick closer to his mid-80s fastball, creating the potential to become a wipeout pitch for him down the road.

As for Boal, the left-hander cruised at 83-85 mph throughout his ‘pen – topping out at 86 and 2,299 rpm – with life out of the hand and arm-side ride through the zone. Boal then went to a sharp 1/7 breaking ball at 70-72 mph, showing feel for the pitch that he kept primarily down, landing it for strikes when needed. The southpaw’s changeup looks to be a true weapon in the his arsenal, thrown at matching fastball arm speed, fading late to the bottom of the zone, and for strikes.

+ RHP Andrew Ressler (Huntley, 2023) came away with yet another impressive performance this past Saturday. The Butler commit works from an athletic 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame and moves athletically down the mound. He ran his fastball up to 89 mph, sitting 87-88 mph and showing hard arm-side action while filling up the zone. Perhaps the most eye-opening aspect of Ressler's pen was his slider, averaging 2,676 rpm and coming in at 76-78 mph off a sharp 10/4 plane, which he was able to locate around the zone. 

+ RHP Parker Schuring (Huntley, 2023) is a strong-bodied right-hander who stands at 6-foot-3, 240 pounds. Schuring moves extremely well down the mound, especially for his size, showcasing a fluid drop/drive delivery that looks effortless, on top of a loose arm playing from a short and high ¾ slot. The right-hander’s fastball sat comfortably in the 84-85 mph range with ride through the zone to his arm-side. He then went on to display a sharp slider at 72-74 mph, landing for strikes repeatedly off a 10/4 plane. His changeup flashed heavy fade at times, thrown at near-fastball arm speed, 76-78 mph. 

+ RHP Spencer Kennamann (Lakes Community, 2024) is a long-limbed 6-foot-4, 175-pound right-hander who opened some eyes during his bullpen on Saturday. The Lakes Community product works at a fluid pace on the mound, moving into a long stride downhill while remaining directly in-line to the plate. From a loose ¾ slot, Kennamann sat 82-84 mph with noteworthy arm-side action, filling up the zone consistently. He featured a true slider with short 10/4 shape, thrown with intent at 73-76 mph that generated late action as it reached the plate. His changeup played off a similar plane to his fastball, diving late to the bottom of the zone at 72-73 mph, rounding out a quality mix. After his strong showing over the weekend, Kennamann comes away as an intriguing sophomore arm to keep tabs on this coming spring.

+ RHP Tyler Tylka (Wauconda, 2024) is another underclass arm who showed intrigue on the mound last Saturday. The 6-foot-3, 170-pound right-hander works fluidly down the mound with a clean, over-the-top arm action. His fastball reached an 80 mph high, running arm-side at times while showing the ability to navigate it around the zone. He paired it alongside a sharp breaking ball, 67-69 mph, working off an 11/5 plane with depth and downer shape. Tylka capped off his 'pen with impressive feel for his changeup, thrown at 72-73 mph, with natural fade that he maneuvered for strikes often.

+ For a freshman, RHP Cole Kenyon (Lake Zurich, 2025) demonstrated an especially impressive and mature four-pitch mix. The projectable 5-foot-11, 143-pound right-hander works from the stretch exclusively, utilizing a drop/drive lower-half down the mound before transitioning into a loose and whippy high ¾ arm action. His fastball sat 75-76 mph with some life through the zone while setting up two different breaking balls. The first being a curveball with 11/5 shape at 64-66 mph that he was able to control around the zone, showing depth while spinning at 2,500 rpm, a high mark for a player his age which typically signals a positive sign for the future. His slider profiled somewhat similarly, though it featured shorter action that he also landed for strikes. Kenyon's changeup featured sink/fade at 69-71 mph that he located down in the zone effectively.

+ RHP Charlie Taczy (Cary-Grove, 2025) is another projectable 5-foot-11, 125-pound right-hander with an ultra easy delivery. The long-levered Taczy worked a running fastball up to 77 mph while tunneling a sharp 11/5 breaking ball at 66-68 mph off the same plane. With a fading changeup at 68-72 mph, Taczy profiles to be a starter with his complete three-pitch mix