Back

O'Hare Preseason ID: Catcher Analysis


By: Illinois Scouting Staff

On Sunday, Feb. 13, the PBR Illinois staff traveled to the Bo Jackson Elite Sports Dome in Bensenville, Ill., to host the O'Hare Preseason ID - one of the largest showcases on our winter calendar. This event provided us an ample opportunity to check-in on some of the area’s high school prospects and identify several names as we prepare for the IHSA season, as well as future invite-only events on the PBR Illinois calendar.

In the week that followed this event, we produced post-event analysis that includes performance highlights inside of our Quick Hits story, a look at the traditional stats measured within our Statistical Analysis piece, batted-ball and pitch data compiled in TrackMan Files, swing metrics captured on the Blast Motion Board, and sight scores from an athletic perspective tracked on the Vizual Edge Scoreboard.

You can learn more about the state-of-the-art technologies featured at our showcases within the hyperlinks above. Today we’ll begin our post-event process by rolling out the individual scouting reports of the day, starting with the catcher position while working our way across the diamond as the week continues.

TOP CATCHING PROSPECTS

1. Ricky Collazo, IC Catholic Prep (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C
Body: 6-0, 196-pounds. Strong sturdy frame, thick lower half.
Hit: LHH. Balanced setup, smooth load, short stride.  Present bat/wrist speed. Works on top of the baseball. Flashed easy pull-side power when elevated.
Power: 96.3 max exit velocity, averaged 81.9 mph. 344’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 78 mph. Short, over-the-top slot, throws play with carry and accuracy on the bag.
Defense: 1.93 - 2.02 pop times. Soft, receptive hands, works under the baseball. Quick/directional feet out of the crouch, moves athletically into blocks.
Run: 7.41 runner in the 60. 

2. John Philip Ferraro, Oak Park-River Forest (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/1B
Body: 6-1, 195-pounds. Strong, physical frame.
Hit: LHH. Wide, balanced setup. Smooth load with a short and repeatable stride. Direct hands to the ball. Loose arms throughout the swing. Flat path into the zone with a line-drive approach.
Power: 86.3 max exit velocity, averaged 77.5 mph. 314’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 76 mph. Short, over-the-top slot, throws were consistently on the bag.
Defense: 1.94 - 2.04 pop times. Quick/clean transfer with directional footwork. Deadens the ball out front on blocks.
Run: 7.82 runner in the 60. 

3. Gael Urbieta, Loyola Academy (IL), 2025
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-10, 175-pounds. Well-proportioned frame.
Hit: RHH. Tall stance, smooth load, steady toe-tap trigger, short stride.  Simple swing, short to the baseball, uphill barrel through the zone. Gap-to-gap approach, loud contact throughout, power upside.
Power: 90 max exit velocity, averaged 83.8 mph. 308’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 75 mph. INF - 83 mph. Short, over-the-top slot, arm plays with easy carry and accuracy.
Defense: 2.05 - 2.20 pop times. Ultra quick/clean transfer out of the glove, feet work directionally to bases on throws. Deadens the ball out front on blocks.
Run: 8.00 runner in the 60. 

4. Joey Gainer, St Francis (IL), 2025
Positional Profile: C/SS
Body: 5-9, 160-pounds. Well-proportioned frame.
Hit: RHH. Balanced, slightly open setup. High hands. Smooth load and strides short. Attacks the baseball with intent. Short and uphill bat path. Pull-side approach with intent to elevate that way. Power upside as physical maturity continues.
Power: 87.3 max exit velocity, averaged 82.1 mph. 304’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 70 mph. Short, over-the-top slot.
Defense: 2.11 - 2.39 pop times. Sure-handed, strong wrists, works under the ball to present pitches around the zone. Feet work directionally out of the crouch, gains ground on throws.
Run: 7.73 runner in the 60. 

5. Brandon Brokowski, Evanston Township (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C
Body: 6-1, 180-pounds. Athletic build.
Hit: RHH. Upright start with a slight knee bend. Hands load back. Short stride. Loose hands, level path to contact, line drive approach. Repeats, works in rhythm.
Power: 92.7 max exit velocity, averaged 84.3 mph. 302’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 74 mph. Short, over-the-top slot, consistently put throws on the bag with carry.
Defense: 2.00 - 2.10 pop times. Soft, receptive hands, works under the baseball. Quick/directional feet out of the crouch, gains ground, moves athletically into blocks.
Run: 7.36 runner in the 60. 

BEST OF THE REST (LISTED ALPHABETICALLY)

Zach Bava, Naperville North (IL), 2025
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-6, 150-pounds. Athletic build.
Hit: LHH. Crouched setup, bat wraps at load, quick leg lift trigger.  Present hand speed and rotational acceleration, short and level path to contact, line drive approach, backspins to the pull-side.
Power: 91.4 max exit velocity, averaged 81.9 mph. 325’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 71 mph. Short, 3/4 slot, some life out of the hand.
Defense: 2.18 - 2.28 pop times. Steady hands, works to present pitches around the zone.
Run: 7.86 runner in the 60. 

Jake Bentivenga, New Trier (IL), 2025
Positional Profile: C/RHP
Body: 5-10, 180-pounds. Strong, sturdy frame.
Hit: RHH. Upright stance with a narrow base. Long hand load. High leg kick trigger.  Uphill to contact with intent to elevate, flashed power to the pull-side.
Power: 87 max exit velocity, averaged 77.1 mph. 312’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 67 mph. Short, high 3/4 slot, put throws consistently on the bag.
Defense: 2.22 - 2.46 pop times. Sure-handed, quick/clean transfer. Works in-line on throws.
Run: 8.80 runner in the 60.

Jack Braun, York (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/2B
Body: 5-9, 175-pounds. Athletic build.
Hit: LHH. Starts tall in the box, smooth load, short stride.  Level bat path with leverage to the pull-side, flashed power that way and intent to elevate.
Power: 88.7 max exit velocity, averaged 81.7 mph. 309’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 68 mph. Short, straight over-the-top slot.
Defense: 2.12 - 2.22 pop times. Sure-handed, works under the baseball. Athletic blocker, moves well out of the crouch.
Run: 7.33 runner in the 60. 

Jack Davis, Prospect (IL), 2025
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-11, 160-pounds. Well-proportioned frame.
Hit: RHH. Tall stance, smooth hand load, short stride.  Long bat path, gap-to-gap approach and repeats.
Power: 80.2 max exit velocity, averaged 73.5 mph. 248’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 69 mph. INF - 70 mph. C: Short, over-the-top slot, some life out of the hand. INF: Short, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.34 - 2.55 pop times. Sure-handed, works to present pitches around the zone. Feet work in-line out of the crouch with a clean transfer. INF: two-hand gather out front, showed ability to maintain body control.
Run: 8.31 runner in the 60. 

CJ Donnelly, New Trier (IL), 2025
Positional Profile: C/RHP
Body: 6-1, 160-pounds. Athletic build.
Hit: SH. Tall in the box, hands load straight back as bat wraps, strides short.  Short and level path to contact, hands work, line drive approach and repeats. Similar swing from both sides.
Power: 83.3 max exit velocity, averaged 76.1 mph. 297’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 69 mph. Short, over-the-top slot.
Defense: 2.19 - 2.25 pop times. Sure-handed, works under the baseball to present strikes. Feet work in-line on throws.
Run: 7.62 runner in the 60. 

Matthew Garcia, Addison Trail  (IL), 2025
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-11, 135-pounds. Lanky, thin-levered frame.
Hit: RHH. Stands tall in the box, hands load back, no stride.  Short path to contact.
Power: 75.9 max exit velocity, averaged 70.5 mph. 210’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 68 mph. Short, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.18 - 2.37 pop times. Steady hands, works to pull down pitches at the top of the zone. Feet work short and quick out of the crouch.
Run: 7.25 runner in the 60. 

Jacob Hall, Warren (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C
Body: 6-1, 200-pounds. Well-proportioned frame.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, minimal hand load, short stride.  Level path to contact, hands stay short, worked back up the middle, occasionally loud off the barrel.
Power: 89.3 max exit velocity, averaged 74.9 mph. 289’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 74 mph. Short, over-the-top slot, consistently put throws on the bag.
Defense: 2.04 - 2.18 pop times. Steady hands, glove starts low and works under the baseball to present pitches around the zone.
Run: 7.35 runner in the 60. 

Landon Jasinski, Brother Rice (IL), 2024
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-8, 160-pounds. Athletic build.
Hit: LHH. Balanced setup, low hand slot, strides short.  Simple swing with little added movement, short and direct to contact.
Power: 85.3 max exit velocity, averaged 76.3 mph. 317’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 69 mph. Short, 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.16 - 2.26 pop times. Soft, strong hands, works to present pitches around the zone.
Run: 7.72 runner in the 60. 

Ben Jarnecke, Fenwick (IL), 2025
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-11, 162-pounds. Athletic build.
Hit: RHH. Crouched setup. Wide base. Active hands pre-pitch. Short stride.  Quick wrists, long and uphill path to contact.
Power: 85.8 max exit velocity, averaged 77.8 mph. 315’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 77 mph. Short, 3/4 slot, whippy arm.
Defense: 2.28 - 2.44 pop times. Sure-handed, clean transfer. Deadens the ball out front on blocks.
Run: 7.50 runner in the 60. 

Eisen Kim, Niles West  (IL), 2024
Positional Profile: C/1B
Body: 5-11, 175-pounds. Athletic, well-proportioned frame with added physical projection.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup with an athletic base. Smooth load into back hip. Short stride. Quick hands. Compact, level bat path through the zone. Pull-side power. Hits the ball where it is pitched.
Power: 88.8 max exit velocity, averaged 79.4 mph. 327’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 77 mph. Short, over-the-top slot.
Defense: 2.11 - 2.26 pop times. Soft, strong hands, works under the baseball to present pitches.
Run: 8.05 runner in the 60. 

Connor Lasch, Loyola Academy (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/1B
Body: 5-11, 190-pounds. Sturdy stature.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup. Hands start high. Short stride. Strong hands and forearms, flashed above-average bat strength. Steep barrel, loud gap-to-gap approach. Power upside.
Power: 91.1 max exit velocity, averaged 81.9 mph. 338’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 73 mph. INF - 78 mph. Short out of the glove into an over-the-top slot, some carry down to second.
Defense: 2.12 - 2.31 pop times. Steady hands when receiving. Feet work in-line to the base out of the crouch. Drops quickly to block balls in the dirt.
Run: 7.44 runner in the 60. 

Quinn Mateja, Lyons Township  (IL), 2024
Positional Profile: C/1B
Body: 6-1, 155-pounds. Lean, lanky levers, high-waisted frame.
Hit: RHH. Crouched setup. Weight starts stacked onto the backside. Hands load back, minimal stride Short, direct swing. Works uphill at times. Pull-side tendency.
Power: 85.8 max exit velocity, averaged 77.3 mph. 301’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 69 mph. Short, over-the-top slot, plays from the knees at times.
Defense: 2.18 - 2.28 pop times. Sure-handed, works under the baseball. Feet work quickly out of the crouch in-line to second on throws.
Run: 7.87 runner in the 60. 

Vince McDowell, Montini Catholic  (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-9, 155-pounds. Lean, lanky frame. Plenty of room for continued physical development.
Hit: RHH. Athletic look, balanced setup, smooth load, short stride.  Uphill path to contact, steep barrel, elevates to the pull-side.
Power: 89.2 max exit velocity, averaged 77.1 mph. 316’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. Short, clean over-the-top slot. Throws play with some carry, mostly put on the bag.
Defense: 2.01 - 2.11 pop times. Soft, receptive hands, strong wrists, works under the baseball. Gains ground out of the crouch while staying in-line.
Run: 7.51 runner in the 60. 

Jacob Meyers, Glenbrook North (IL), 2025
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-8, 150-pounds. Athletic frame.
Hit: RHH. Tall stance, minimal load, strides short.  Hand/wrist speed, short to contact with a slightly uphill path, worked the other way.
Power: 83.1 max exit velocity, averaged 71.6 mph. 287’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 65 mph. INF - 66 mph. C: Short, over-the-top slot. Routinely put throws on the bag. INF: Short, 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.30 - 2.62 pop times. C: Clean transfer, feet work in-line out of the crouch. INF: two-hand gather out front, clean transfer.
Run: 7.94 runner in the 60. 

Matteo Nolasco, Stevenson (IL), 2025
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-11, 165-pounds. Long, lanky build. Projectable frame.
Hit: RHH. Starts tall in the box with some knee bend. Long hand load. Short stride.  Present hand speed, bat stays level through the zone, pull-side line drives.
Power: 87.8 max exit velocity, averaged 83 mph. 328’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 71 mph. Short, over-the-top slot, some shoulder rotation before release. Gains ground out of the crouch on throws.
Defense: 2.00 - 2.15 pop times. Soft, strong hands, works under the baseball to present pitches.
Run: 7.80 runner in the 60. 

Andrew Payton, Burlington Central (IL), 2024
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 6-2, 165-pounds. High upside frame.
Hit: RHH. Tall setup. Hands coil into a bat tip load. High leg kick trigger. Strides out front.  Short, level bat path through the zone. Leverages lower body well. Pull-side power. Flashed ability to go the other way.
Power: 88.9 max exit velocity, averaged 74.9 mph. 236’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 71 mph. INF - 73 mph. C: Short, 3/4 slot, some shoulder rotation before release. INF: short 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.19 - 2.50 pop times. C: Sure-handed, presents pitches around the zone. INF: Fluid feet, moves well side-to-side, keeps the ball in front to both sides.
Run: 8.13 runner in the 60. 

Nick Raju, Glenbrook North (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-8, 165-pounds. Athletic frame, compact strength.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup. Hands load back in rhythm. Short stride. Controlled through contact.  Some hand speed, short path to contact, line drives back up the middle.
Power: 85.3 max exit velocity, averaged 80.9 mph. 298’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 71 mph. OF - 80 mph. C: Short, over-the-top slot, consistently put throws on the bag. OF: Loose, over-the-top slot.
Defense: 2.11 - 2.29 pop times. C: Steady hands, works under the baseball. Feet work directionally out of the crouch towards second, gains ground. OF: Fields low, steady hands, moves into an athletic crow hop.
Run: 7.73 runner in the 60. 

Matt Reilly, Metea Valley  (IL), 2025
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-11, 143-pounds. Lean build.
Hit: RHH. Crouched setup. Hands load straight back. High leg kick trigger. Weight works out front.  Twitchy hands/wrists, level path to contact, barrel head works out front. Some juice back up the middle.
Power: 87.1 max exit velocity, averaged 73.4 mph. 278’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 68 mph. INF - 68 mph. C: Short, over-the-top slot. INF: Short, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.29 - 2.37 pop times. C: Sure-handed, clean transfer, strong blocker. INF: Soft hands, moves well side-to-side with a clean transfer.
Run: 7.34 runner in the 60. 

Collin Roche, Nazareth (IL), 2025
Positional Profile: C/1B
Body: 6-0, 160-pounds. Long, lanky frame with upside.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, hands start back, toe-tap timing trigger.  Long and level bat path, pull-side approach. Flashed juice off the barrel to the pull-side gap when levers extended, more untapped juice as frame projects.
Power: 85.1 max exit velocity, averaged 80.5 mph. 299’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. Short, over-the-top slot, put throws on the bag consistently.
Defense: 2.11 - 2.33 pop times. Soft, confident hands, works under the baseball and frames pitches around the zone. Feet work in-line out of the crouch.
Run: 7.63 runner in the 60. 

Damian Valdez, Addison Trail  (IL), 2024
Positional Profile: C/2B
Body: 5-4, 130-pounds. Small, compact frame.
Hit: RHH. Athletic stance, balanced lower half, leg lift trigger.  Short path to contact, sprayed line drives to all fields.
Power: 78 max exit velocity, averaged 70.1 mph. 253’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 73 mph. Short, over-the-top slot, some life out of the hand with throws placed on the bag.
Defense: 2.05 - 2.25 pop times. Steady hands, works directionally out of the crouch.
Run: 7.68 runner in the 60. 

RELATED CONTENT