Prep Baseball Report

PBR at The Rock 16U: Day 1 Quick Hits

By Wisconsin Staff

Welcome back to the PBR @The Rock 16U tournament, an invite-only event pitting some of the top programs across Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio against one another. Under a modified format, the PBR Wisconsin staff is hosting this 40-plus team tourney and after each gameday, we’ll be highlighting the best things that we saw, starting with Day 1.

+ The Illinois Indians will be a team to follow throughout the weekend thanks to a bevy of follows in the 2022 class. In their first game of the tournament, OF Jack Alport (Buffalo Grove, 2022), OF Josh Outlaw (Maine West, 2022), SS Casey Hintz (Saint Viator, 2022) and RHP Jake Kohanzo (Barrington, 2022) all showed well. Alport, a right-handed hitting center fielder, led off for the Indians and drove a home-run down the left-field line in his second at-bat. The left-handed hitting Outlaw took consistent, competitive at-bats all game long and finished with a double down the left field line and a double down the right-field line. Outlaw has a lean, loose frame with upside to his game. Hintz impressed with his overall feel for the game. The right-handed hitter stays within himself at the plate, controls the barrel, lined a two-strike single up the middle and reached safely on a well-placed bunt down the third-base line. Hintz also is an above-average runner; registered a 4.2 down the line on the bunt, 4.60 on a turn. Kohanzo got the start on the mound, and ran his fastball up to 85 mph, sitting mostly 81-82. 

+ GRB MKE Green leadoff hitter David Wilhite (Stillman Valley, IL, 2022) is a left-handed-hitting middle infielder with upside to his game. Wilhite has a loose, easy swing with feel for the barrel and sprays the ball around the yard. Projectable 6-foot-4, 190-pound, RHP Nolan Klug (Menomonee Falls, 2022) is a follow arm in Wisconsin. Klug has a directional delivery, clean arm and touched 84 mph with his fastball. 

+ The Northern Illinois-area program sent one of Wisconsin's rising 2022 arms to the mound in their first game of the weekend: RHP Tyler Deleskiewicz (Badger). The 6-foot-5, 200-pound righty delivers the ball with some funk, as his lanky levers work from the stretch-only. He has a fast, loose arm that produces some hard fastballs that carry through the zone. He was sitting 86-88 mph early and more than just maintained that velocity, but was touching 89 more often into the third. He flips in a 70-73 mph breaking ball, a 12/6 shape with some tight spin, though he consistently landed it up at the top or above the zone on this day – he went to it frequently, however, demonstrating some confidence for it.

He was rarely in trouble, but if he was, it probably came from a walk. Deleskiewicz is still honing is long limbs, so the release is inconsistent. But, when he's all synced up, he possesses one of the state's top fastballs in this 2022 class.

Deleskiewicz tossed six shutout frames, allowed just one hit, walked three, and K'd eight.

+ The morning block featured a couple competitive contests, including the meeting between Hitters White and Slammers-Coyote. Pitching dominated in the narrow 2-0 Slammer victory. Starter RHP Justin Orloff (Deerfield, IL, 2022) dodged barrels in 5.2 efficient innings, having allowed just four hits and one walk, with three Ks along the way. He pitched from a tall release, creating some downhill tilt to home at 77-79 mph, with some run. He got in a small jam late, in the sixth, and was relieved by live-armed RHP Cade Nowik (Lake Forest, IL, 2022), who got out of his inherited jam and another one in the seventh against the middle of a tough Hitters lineup. Nowik's fastball carried through the zone at 83-85 mph that earned some whiffs consistently. He K'd the last batter of the ballgame with the tying run on second to secure the 2-0 win.

Nowik also doubled and drove in a run to help his own cause.

As for Hitters White, they were delivered a quality start from big LHP Willard Peterson (Evansville, 2022). Ranked on the state's 2022 board, Peterson is a steady strike-thrower with a cut fastball that sat 77-80 mph, throughout his six complete innings. The confidence he has for his breaking ball, a 2/8 offering with above-average action that he can land at the backdoor for righties or bury under the zone. He K'd seven in six innings and allowed just a couple runs on five hits, two walks.

At the plate, Hitters scuffled against the Slammers arms apart from two-way standout RHP/INF James Reese (Univ. School of Milwaukee, 2022). Reese has big arm strength that works well on the mound, but he can clearly defend up the middle and hit – he tallied three hits on the barrel Friday morning while his teammates combined for only two.

+ RHP Chase Ignatius (Barneveld, 2022) showed out both on the mound and at the dish to kick off Thursday’s session. At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, he has a physical frame with inherent strength. Ignatius showed off a lively fastball, ranging from 82-85 mph, touching 87, with some hard, natural tail. He mixed in a sweeping curveball with 10/4 shape at 65-68 mph to help miss barrels. Ignatius also showed excellent control of the strike zone, with over 65 percent of his pitches being thrown for strikes. His final line on the mound was 5 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 8 K. At the dish, Ignatius showed off his present bat strength. His bat works on an uphill plane through contact, staying in the zone. Chase finished 2-for-3 with a single, a triple, and a run scored.

+ RHP Mason Krznarich (Arrowhead, 2022) carved against Phenom Wisconsin, relying almost exclusively on his fastball. A SIZE arm with long levers that really gets down the mound, generating good extension to home that added an extra level of difficulty, clearly, for opposing bats. Krznarich stayed steady at 82-84 mph in his four no-hit, overpowering innings, and he touched 85-86 mph in the first. Moreover, Krznarich struck out 11 of the 14 batters he faced, allowing just a lone walk and hit each.

+ Illinois Lightning 1B Daniel Pacella (Mundelein, 2022; Kentucky commit) consistently drove the ball with authority in two games on Day One. The left-handed hitting Pacella drove two balls to the opposite field in game one and followed it up by scorching a ball up the middle for a single in game two. He has prodigious raw power with impressive bat speed, making him one of the top power-hitting threats in the Illinois’ 2022 class. 

+ The CBT Wolfpack 16U have several interesting offensive threats scattered throughout their lineup, but it was SS Jalen Gellings (Campbellsport, 2022) that led the way today. A strong right-handed hitter with athleticism, Gellings went 3-for-3, finding the barrel in all three at-bats and showing off easy bat speed. We’ve gotten several looks at Gellings this summer and he continues to impress each time as his prospect stock steadily rises. 

+ PBA Gold and the Decatur Commodores battled one another in a close contest. On PBA's side, they sent an interesting prospect, RHP Torin Byrnes (Temper, 2022), a high-waisted, lanky righty. He throws from a clean over-the-top slot with arm speed, producing 84-86 mph fastballs, and he reached back for several 87s in favorable counts. His feel to spin is a little raw, so the breaking ball is mostly a change-of-pace offering, 66-70 mph, that keeps his opposition on their toes. Byrnes also showed a few changeups, 72-73 mph, with sink and fade while somewhat maintaining his arm speed. The present stuff combined with his room to grow and fill out, make him an upside arm in this class to get to know.

Byrnes cruised through four frames and really dealt with his first bout of command issues in the fifth that Decatur took advantage of. His line isn't as impressive as his outing was in reality; 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 5 BB, 11 K.

For the Commodores, they received a gutsy performance from RHP Jack Armstrong (Shiloh, IL, 2022). PBA consistently threatened to break the game open, but Armstrong held steady and kept his team in the ballgame, which ultimately paid off big time. He sat 77-80 mph, topping 81, from a ¾ slot, mixing in a slurve-y breaking ball at 68-70. Armstrong struck out six in his 3.2 innings before turning it over to the bullpen.

Byrnes also chipped in at the plate in this one, launching what must have been one of the days hardest hit balls. He crushed a ground-rule double on Franklin Field, to its deepest alley in left-center. His RBI single in the sixth also brought his team back into the ballgame.

+ Jimmy Athans (Badger, 2023) got his tournament off on the right foot with a 4-for-7 day, pounding out three doubles and five RBI over the course of two games. The sophomore to be is playing up a level with GTS 16u squad and he fits right in better than most. He's a physical compact build and looks quiet and confident in the box.

+ Arguably the day’s best game was a classic contest between ISA Stars Royal and Top Tier Americans, ending in a 3-2 win for the Stars. RHP Griffin Smith (Appleton North, 2022) got the nod for ISA and RHP Brady Ginaven (Munster, 2022) opposed him for Top Tier. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound Ginaven only went two innings but looked like a follow talent, sitting 84-85 mph with his fastball and mixing in feel for an advanced sinking changeup. A nationally ranked prospect in his class, Ginaven’s size and the ease with which he works on the mound give him a fairly high ceiling.

The big takeaway from this tight-knit contest was the masterful pitching performance by Smith. It’s no easy task navigating through the Top Tier Americans’ lineup, but Smith did so exceptionally well, tossing five innings of one-run ball and striking out seven. He sat 79-80 mph, touching 81 mph several times with a fastball that featured heavy arm-side run. His ability to consistently mix in both his offspeed pitches, especially an advanced changeup with sinking action, and keep hitters off balance stood out. Smith’s performance today put him firmly onto the prospect radar. 

Following Ginaven out of the bullpen was LHP Tanner Wagnon (Plainfield Central, 2022), who made his presence felt quickly after striking out the side in his first inning of work. Wagnon worked quickly and effectively, sitting 79-81 mph with the fastball while mixing in a high-spin 12/6 curveball to pair. There’s a lot to like with Wagnon on the mound, most notably his advanced arm speed and controlled athleticism he shows. 

ISA gave the ball to RHP Sam Dodd (Hortonville, 2022) and tasked him with closing the game out for his squad. Dodd tosses two innings, allowing one earned run and striking out four while successfully securing the victory. He pitched well last weekend at our Badger State Battle tournament and rode that momentum here, sitting 79-81 mph with the heater and touching 82 mph, too. 

+ GRB Rays Yellow put on a slugfest on Friday, launching four home runs and scoring 15 times. The first round-tripper came off the bat of Jenkin Alexander (Sun Prairie, 2022), a talented and ranked middle infielder in Wisconsin’s 2022 class. In the following inning, the tooled-up Dominic McVay (Mineral Point, 2022) and Edgerton’s Peyton Lee (2022) hit back-to-back jacks to extend the lead even more for GRB. Aidan Ripp (Sun Prairie, 2022) capped off the team’s electric performance with a home run over the wall in center field. 

+ Center fielder Carson Flugaur (Franklin, 2022) had an impressive show for their morning game against Prime 9. At the plate, Flugaur went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and an RBI. In the top of the second, Flugaur showed off his speed with an infield single, and to start the fourth inning, he drove the baseball to right-center for an inside-the-park home run. To end his day, Flugaur hit a line-drive to left field. Flugaur took the mound for the bottom of the fifth and faced the minimum. Fastball sat 78-80 mph topping at 81, while mixing in a couple curveballs.

+ Starting RHP Sebastian Gutierrez (Nazareth Academy, IL, 2022) went to work for his team against PTA White going three innings, striking out three while not allowing a hit. Gutierrez’s fastball sat 81-83 mph, while topping at 85 mph, later dropping to 78-82. Curveball 60-61 mph, change up 68-70 mph.

Top Tier Nationals’ second game’s starting pitcher Cole Shamhart (Oak Park-River Forest, 2022) went four strong innings, striking out four and allowing two hits. Shamhart’s fastball sat 77-79 mph throughout, slider 63-64 mph, change up 67-69 mph. 

After shining at a PBR Illinois showcase on Wednesday, Top Tier’s right fielder Bearden Awadzi (Wheaton Warrenville South, 2022) went 2-for-2 with a triple and two RBIs. Awadzi started his day with a walk. In the top of the fourth, Awadzi hit a solid line-drive to the left fielder. To end his day, Awadzi lined a triple over the right fielders head to score two runs. He has some noteworthy tools that show themselves often, so he’s establishing himself as a name to know in this class.

+ Right fielder Gavin Vos (Waconia, MN, 2022) showed impressive speed recording two triples in the same inning. To start the top of the second, Vos lined a triple to the right-center gap. Later in that inning Vos hit the base of the right-center fence for a bases-clearing triple.

+ RHP Parker Detmers (Glenwood, 2023; Louisville) is the youngest brother to the most recent Los Angeles Angels first-round pick, LHP Reid Detmers (Glenwood, 2017; Louisville), the 10th overall selection in the 2020 draft. Parker looks to be well on his way to following a similar path, with a Louisville commit already on his resume. Detmers started the nightcap for the Decatur Commodores and lived up to the hype. Playing up a year, Detmers struck out nine over five innings, allowing just three hits and one earned run. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound righty sat an ultra easy 84-86 mph in the early going and flashed a sharp curveball at 71-72 mph with an occasional fading changeup. His repertoire showed everything it needs to fit a starter’s profile at the next level and one of the top arms in the Midwest and beyond.