Prep Baseball Report

PBRT Illinois Fall Open: Takeaways

By: Scouting Staff

This past weekend, the PBR Illinois staff hosted the Illinois Fall Open at The Rantoul Family Sports Complex in Rantoul, IL. 

Our scouting staff put together a list of players we deemed as the top prospects in attendance, and you can read up on all of those players, below. 


Chicago Hustle

+ INF Brady Green (Oak Park-River Forest, 2025) is a recent PBR Future Games participant who played well all weekend in front of our staff. Green is currently uncommitted and stands in at a well-built 5-foot-11, 170-pounds with present strength throughout his frame. The right-handed hitter showed the ability to make loud contact to all fields; quick barrel through the zone with a flat path, uses the ground through impact. Defensively, Green primarily played up the middle in the infield and showed to be sure-handed with a strong arm to pair. His arm-strength translated over to the mound as well, cruising around 81-82 mph out of the ‘pen for the Hustle with a breaking ball in the mid-60s. 

(Brady Green)

+ LHP Ryan Frano (Glenbard East, 2025) gave an upside look over the weekend for the Hustle. Projectable 6-foot, 180-pound frame with room to add on strength. The southpaw cruised around 82 mph with his fastball, flashing late run through the zone. To pair off the fastball he went to a sweeping breaking ball for S/M, playing at 69-71 mph. 

(Ryan Frano) 

+ OF Timmy Leark (Oak Park-River Forest, 2025) was one of the top uncommitted prospects in attendance over the weekend. 5-foot-10, 160-pound build with an athletic frame, still has room to add on plenty of muscle as he matures. High-level athlete, cruising to a 6.88 60-yard dash in-event over the summer. The left-handed hitter was a tough out all weekend, fighting deep into counts and showing willingness to use the whole field. Quick and direct hands allow him to manipulate the barrel and stay on time. Quality defender in the outfield with a quick first step and easy range. Present arm-strength was put on display when he hopped on the mound and cruised at 86 mph. 

(Timmy Leark)

+ Xavier commit INF/RHP Roman Jackson (Gulf Breeze, 2025; FL) is an athletic two-way player to mention from the weekend. Jackson is an athletic 6-foot-2, 185-pounds with room to fill in the frame. At the plate from the right side, Jackson has a smooth swing that works uphill with pop. Jackson launched an opposite-field home run on Saturday in the Hustle’s first game on the weekend. Jackson later hopped on the bump for game two on Saturday and showed upside with his two-pitch mix. Jackson has a clean, drop and drive delivery paired with a short and whippy arm action. His fastball sat in the low-80’s, topping out at 84 mph, complemented by an upper-60’s curveball that had 11/5 bite for swings and misses. Jackson finished the outing with two strikeouts over two innings, allowing one run.

+ C/INF Vincent Ippolito (Willowbrook, 2025) had a strong showing on the weekend. Above-average defender behind the plate, works to present pitches around the zone and steal strikes. Active and willing blocker, moves well side-to-side and deadens the ball out front. Clean catch/throw, reaching as low as 2.03 for his pop-time between innings. Strong right-handed swing, uses controlled aggression through the zone with intent to lift, leaving the yard for a home run in the championship game. Did damage to his pull-side consistently with multiple hard-hit balls sent that way. 

+ Providing an intriguing look on the bump Saturday was RHP Brian Kud (Glenbard East, 2025). Kud is an athletic 6-foot, 155-pounds that works with intent down the mound. Kud worked with an upper-70’s fastball that touched 80 mph multiple times and was able to find the bottom of the zone routinely. Kud also showed a sharper breaking ball that had the ability to create whiffs. Kud finished the day punching out four over 2.2 IP in relief. 

(Brian Kud) 

+ OF Kendall Wallace (Oak Park-River Forest, 2025) got off solid swings all weekend from the right side for Hustle. Wallace is currently uncommitted and stands in at a lean 6-foot, 165-pounds. Right-handed hitter with a wider base at the dish that uses a minimal stride before moving into a loose-wristed swing that has the ability to hit the baseball where it's pitched. Wallace is a 2025 prospect to keep an eye on moving forward. 

(Kendall Wallace)

+ RHP Nick Reno (Lemont, 2025) had a dominant showing on the bump to send the Hustle to the championship game on Sunday, firing seven innings while only surrendering one earned run and striking out 10. Projectable frame, standing 6-foot, 160-pounds with plenty of room left to fill out. The right-hander cruised around 80 mph with his fastball throughout his outing, settling in at 79 for his last inning of work. To pair off the fastball he went to an upper-60s breaking ball to garner S/M. Flashed a changeup in the low-70s that mimics fastball arm-speed. 

Chicago White Sox ACE

+ INF/RHP Danny Mackey III (Lincoln-Way East) flashed two-way ability over the weekend. At 6-foot-4, 190-pounds, Mackey provides a physically imposing frame on the field. On Saturday, Mackey tallied three hits in the two games we saw of him and also started on the mound in game two. Offensively, Mackey was more of a line-drive singles hitter who showed the ability to stay back and drive the ball where it was pitched. On the bump, Mackey tossed three shutout innings against a tough Chicago Hustle lineup, scattering four hits. Mackey worked his fastball mainly from 75-78 mph, mixing in a changeup in the low 70’s to induce ground balls.

+ Leadoff hitter, OF Mateo Morales (Homewood-Flossmoor, 2025) was a spark plug atop the ACE lineup over the weekend. The R/R OF had a handful of at-bats where he showed the ability to battle off tough pitches and not give at-bats away, drawing walks and making hard contact. Morales would come around to score three out of the four times he got on base for ACE during Saturday’s action. 

+ CIF Kayin Timble (Von Stueben, 2025) swung the bat well over the weekend with a number of hard hit balls to pair from the right side of the dish. Timble stands in at a sturdy 6-foot, 205-pounds and possesses an intentful, short and direct bat path. Timble had two hits in Saturday’s action

Mud Dog Baseball Select 2024

+ LHP Michael Bailey (Marian Catholic, 2024) gave an upside look when he got to toe-the-rubber for the first matchup of the tournament. Standing at a lean and projectable 6-foot-2, 170-pounds, Bailey ran his fastball up to 81 mph and maintained his velocity throughout his start. He added in a fading changeup to keep hitters guessing. After working through a bumpy first inning, he settled in and dominated the rest of the way. He finished with a dozen strikeouts and retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced.

(Michael Bailey) 

+ LHP Colin McCarty (Lincoln-Way West, 2024) was nails for the Mud Dogs as he fired a complete game to send his squad to the championship game. Settled in nicely after a bumpy first inning; cruised with his fastball at 81-84 mph, working it to both sides of the plate. To pair off the fastball he went to an upper-60s breaking ball and low-70s changeup. 

(Colin McCarty) 

+ OF Jacob Willis (Lincoln-Way West, 2024; Loras commit) looked the part as a scrappy top-of-the-order bat for the Mud Dogs. 5-foot-10, 180-pound frame with an athletic build. Simple left-handed stroke that looks to keep the ball on a line; slight knee-knock load transitions into a flat path, easy to stay on time. Found multiple barrels throughout the weekend. 

(Jacob Willis) 

+ INF Josh Hill (Marian Catholic, 2024) is an athletic 6-foot, 170-pounds with room to add strength. He showed well throughout the weekend, consistently finding holes in the defense. Hill played a pivotal role in Mud Dog’s comeback victory in their first matchup on Saturday, collecting a pair of hits and driving in three runs. He launched an RBI ground-rule double deep to his pull-side, and later drove in the go-ahead and eventual game-winning runs.

(Josh Hill) 

+ MIF Ben Shea (Lincoln-Way West, 2024) is an athletic 5-foot-10, 170-pounds with strength in his lower half. Shea started at shortstop and hit third all weekend for the eventual tournament champions. He was productive offensively, recording hits, scoring or driving in a run in all but one game. Defensively, he displayed dependable actions up-the-middle of the field.

+ RHP/OF Kyle Connelly (Lincoln-Way Central, 2024) hosts a compact frame at 5-foot-11, 195-pounds. He put together an impressive two-way performance during the club’s second matchup of the weekend, recording a go-ahead RBI on a hard base-hit to his pull-side late in the game and firing 3.1 scoreless innings. On the mound, he operates with a short arm action from a high ¾ window. He offered a heavy dose of low-80s fastballs, consistently working inside on hitters. 

Rhino Baseball 2025

+ LHP Chase Reeder (Naperville Central, 2025; Illinois State commit) gave a strong look on the first day of the tournament. 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame with some strength throughout. Attacked the zone with his fastball at 81-83 mph, playing with some carry and earning S/M. He showed clear confidence in a 1/7 breaking ball to miss barrels, also dumping it in for strikes, 69-71 mph. 

(Chase Reeder) 

+ LHP Zack Ziroli (Downers Grove North, 2025) impressed throughout our brief look. Upside frame, listed at 6-foot-1, 175-pounds with room for added strength. The southpaw worked his fastball up to 82 mph, playing with heavy run/sink at times. He paired the fastball off a big-breaking curveball in the mid-60s, landing it for strikes and even back-dooring some hitters with it. 

(Zack Ziroli) 

+ RHP Joe Stellano (Reed Custer, 2024) is a lean and athletic 5-foot-11, 160-pounds that moves down the mound well. Utilizing a long and loose arm action with a slight stab out of the glove, Stellano pitched comfortably in the low-80s, with his firmest bullet at 84 mph. He mixed in a low-70s slider with bite that plays well off of the fastball. 

(Joe Stellano) 

+ C Noah Brandt (Somonauk, 2025) looked the part over the weekend, currently coming in at No. 46 in the state. 5-foot-10, 160-pound frame with some lean strength throughout. The left-handed hitter sees the ball deep and works to stay on-time, using the whole field consistently with a line-drive approach. Clean catch/throw behind the plate, reaching as low as 1.90 for his pop-time in-event this past summer. Strong hands behind the plate that work to steal strikes, deadens the ball out front on blocks and moves well side-to-side. 

(Noah Brandt) 

Sliders Baseball 17U

+ RHP Kam Couch (Wheaton Warrenville South, 2024) gave hitters a tough look from his 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame. Low ¾ release, created a sinking fastball in the 80-82 mph range and paired with an effective SL/CH combination to keep hitters off-balance.  

+ MIF Merrick Sullivan (Benet, 2025) really looked the part at the plate this past weekend. The right-handed hitter has some pre-pitch rhythm in his hands, working into a short toe-tap load before firing through the zone with a loose and flat path, staying through the zone a long time with a hitterish presence in the box. Quality defender up the middle with steady hands and some range to both sides of his glove. A name to follow heading into the spring season. 

+ RHP Alan Spencer (Saint Bede Academy, 2025) got to toe-the-rubber in the first matchup of the tournament for Sliders Baseball. Standing at 6-foot, 200-pounds with a compact and sturdy build, Spencer utilized a low-80s fastball and a low-70s breaking ball to miss bats. Despite running into some trouble, Spencer still recorded nine of his twelve outs via the strikeout.

+ OF Logan Mills (Heyworth, 2025) hosts an athletic frame at 6-foot, 185-pounds. The right-handed hitter was productive at the dish for Sliders during their first game of the weekend. He recorded a pair of hits, the first being a hard hit ball through the back side of the infield. 

Top Tier Americans 2024

+ RHP Bryce Koch (Barrington, 2024; Cincinnati commit) looked the part on Saturday afternoon in his outing. Koch is a slender 6-foot-5, 190-pounds that is a fluid mover downhill. Koch works from a stretch-only delivery and throws the ball from a loose, high ¾ slot. Koch’s arsenal was headlined by a high-80’s fastball that played in the 86-89 mph range, touching 90 mph with a spin rate range of 2300-2400+ rpm. Playing off his fastball was a mid-70’s breaker (2200+ rpm) that landed for strikes and induced some swing and miss. Koch had to work around trouble at times, but managed to leave his outing only surrendering one run and punching out five after four innings.

(Bryce Koch) 

+ INF Jonathan Fleaka (Lake Zurich, 2024; UIC commit) was unsurprisingly on the barrel this weekend for Top Tier, showcasing a simple and direct path to the ball with sneaky pop. Clear barrel control in his right-handed stroke, looks to keep the ball on a line and doesn’t shy away from using the whole field. On the infield, Fleaka has soft hands and quality actions, making plays look easy consistently. 

(Jonathan Fleaka) 

+ UTIL Baker Shelhamer (St. Rita, 2024; Maryville commit) is a strong 6-foot-4, 205-pounds that was on the barrel this weekend. Shelhamer hit a no-doubt home run to the pull-side when we saw him on Saturday and continued to make loud contact throughout the game. Swinging from the right side, Shelhamer has a quiet presence in the box and works with minimal pre-pitch movement before swinging uphill with quick hands. Already has present power but looks to project into even more as he continues to develop. 

(Baker Shelhamer) 

Top Tier Nationals

+ C Julian Esparza (St. Laurence, 2025) proved to be a reliable backstop over the weekend with a strong bat to complement his defense. Esparza was very vocal in this look, constantly communicating with his pitchers and managing the game from behind the dish. A right-handed hitter, Esparza has a simple setup at the dish with minimal pre-pitch movement before moving into an uphill swing that stays on the barrel.

(Julian Esparza) 

+ RHP Mason Jurewicz (New Trier, 2025) provided a high-upside look out of the bullpen for Top Tier on Saturday. Jurewicz stands at a projectable 6-foot-2, 150-pound frame with long levers. The right-hander displayed a clean, high 3/4 arm action that appeared effortless at times. Jurewicz’s fastball played up in the zone sitting 80-83 mph. He often went to a 12/6 curveball that was thrown for strikes and got swings and misses. 


Midwest Halos Fall 2027

+ 3B Ethan Rudolph (St. Thomas More, 2027) gave our staff an intriguing look over the weekend. 6-foot, 172-pound frame that projects to add on strength. The right-handed hitter has an athletic stroke with loose arms and a whippy barrel, looks to project into some power as he continues to fill out. Above-average defender at third base with soft hands and fluid actions, makes plays look easy. Strong arm across the diamond that plays with accuracy and carry. 

Rhino Baseball 2026

+ LHP Rocco Szambelan (Joliet Catholic, 2026) has impressed our staff in the past and once again provided another quality look. Standing at a lean and projectable 6-foot-1, 175-pounds with plenty of room to continue adding strength. Szambelan is an athletic mover down the mound and creates a fastball in the 82-84 mph range. To pair off the fastball he went to a 1/7 breaking ball in the upper-60s that he could land for strikes. Arrow-up prospects that has already jumped five mph from the winter on the mound. 

(Rocco Szambelan) 

+ Continuing his impressive play beginning in the summer, OF Dominic Battista (Oswego East, 2026) kept the ball rolling this past weekend. Currently ranked No. 19 in the Illinois 2026 class, there is a lot to like with Battista’s game and what he presents on the field. Offensively, Battista is a top of the order left-handed hitter that has a knack for getting on base and making things happen on the basepaths. Defensively, Battista covers a lot of ground playing centerfield and is a very vocal player on the field that plays the game hard.

(Dominic Battista) 

+ Turning in a gutsy performance on Sunday in the championship game was LHP Gabe Sanders (Yorkville, 2026). Sanders worked out of trouble numerous times in the outing but managed to avoid giving up any back-breaking innings for the opposition. Sanders' best pitch on the day was his changeup that kept a very tough Top Tier lineup on their toes throughout the matchup with heavy downer action. Sanders was also able to control his 76-78 mph fastball in the zone and pitched to contact. Sanders completed six innings of work, punching out eight. 

Rhino Baseball 2026/2027

+ C/OF Shane Torres (Waubonsie Valley, 2027) is an upside backstop to know in IL. Listed at 5-foot-10, 165-pounds, the left-handed hitter has sneaky pop in his bat while throwing his hands at the ball with controlled aggression. Wide base that shifts his weight into his back hip, loads his hands in rhythm before firing through with an uphill path. 

(Shane Torres) 

+ INF Colin Kuchay (Minooka, 2026) popped as a name to follow moving forward. 5-foot-11, 140-pound frame with squared shoulders. The right-handed hitter has quick and strong hands at the plate, staying simple and on-time with rhythm in his operation. Flat path through the zone, creates extension through impact. Steady defender on the infield, sure-handed with active footwork. 

Top Tier Americans 2026

+ RHP/INF Joe Kelly (Loyola, 2026) provided another impressive look on both sides of the ball this weekend. The 6-foot, 175-pound sophomore was a standout at the Illinois State Games in August, and continued to show real two-way potential in Rantoul. In the first matchup of the weekend, Kelly provided all the offense that was needed for Top Tier. He launched a three-run home run over the left-field wall to lead his squad to a 3-0 victory. On the mound, Kelly worked his fastball in the 80-84 mph range, topping out at 85 mph. To pair off the fastball, Kelly went to a low-70s curveball with late break and a fading changeup in the mid-70s. 

(Joe Kelly) 

+ CIF/OF TJ McQuillan (Mount Carmel, 2026; Louisville commit) continues to cement himself as one of the premier left-handed bats in the IL 2026 class. Strong-bodied, 6-foot-1, 210-pound frame, wide shoulders. McQuillan was on the barrel numerous times throughout the weekend for extra-bases; short load allows him to stay on-time, hands create separation before firing through the zone with a quick and uphill path, easy jump off the barrel to the whole field. Clear feel to hit, not afraid to use the whole field and take pitches where they are thrown. Quality actions on the infield with steady hands and some range to both sides of his glove. Arm plays with some carry and life across the diamond. 

(TJ McQuillan) 

+ INF/RHP Callaghan O’Connor (Bishop McNamara, 2026; Notre Dame commit) continues to make strides as an exciting two-way prospect. O’Connor is listed at 6-foot-6, 195-pounds with long levers. Although he did not hop on the mound this weekend, O’Connor had a quality showing on both sides of the ball as a position player. The right-handed hitter controls his levers well throughout the swing, and stays through the ball well. While playing first-base, O’Connor showcased quality actions around the bag. Currently ranked No. 2 in the state, and No. 55 in the country. 

(Callaghan O'Connor) 

+ Currently ranked No. 14 nationally, and No. 1 in the state, UTL Ethan Bass (Glenbrook North, 2024; Illinois commit) looked the part this weekend. Bass measures in at a loose-levered 6-foot-2, 160-pounds with room left to fill in the frame. Bass contributed at the plate and on the mound this weekend for Top Tier, showing real two-way potential for the next level. Offensively, Bass is a right-handed hitter who has a tall setup in the box with a high leg-lift trigger that keeps him balanced throughout his swing. Bass was able to tally a couple hits during our look on Sunday. On the bump, Bass has a fluid, clean operation down the mound throwing from a repeatable ¾ arm slot. Bass’s repertoire contained a fastball that played in the low-to-mid 80’s, touching 86 mph with life through the zone (2500+ rpm). Bass would work in an upper 60’s breaker that showed downer action for whiffs when needed. Bass finished the day with nine strikeouts over 4.2 IP.

(Ethan Bass) 

+ LHP Brady Turner (Routt Catholic, 2026) has a high-waisted frame at 6-foot-3, 185-pounds. He’s an athletic mover down the bump and works with a low-effort operation. Utilizes a short arm action that works from a high ¾ slot. Turner sat in the low-80s in the first inning, peaking at 83 mph prior to settling into the upper-70s. 

(Brady Turner) 

+ RHP Layten Gerdes (Fieldcrest, 2026) tossed a gem on Sunday morning to send his team to the underclass championship game. Gerdes has a well-proportioned frame at 6-foot-1, 183-pounds that allows him to be a smooth and fluid mover down the mound. In this look, Gerdes was pitching efficiently and attacking hitters in the zone throughout. Gerdes was able to control his fastball in the outing, sitting 79-81 mph. Playing well off his fastball, Gerdes would then toss in a horizontal-shaped breaker up to 70 mph. Gerdes would finish his complete game (four innings) with six strikeouts, scattering one run off one hit.

(Layten Gerdes) 

Top Tier Nationals 16U

+ 1B Jhames Holley III (Homewood-Flossmoor, 2026) stood out as a strong left-handed bat for Top Tier over the weekend. 5-foot-11, 195-pound frame with some strength throughout. Holley creates some jump off his barrel with an easy and flat path, staying balanced through impact. Holley should continue to add more power as he develops and matures. 

Wow Factor North National 2027

+ INF Brady Jones (Metamora, 2028) was impressive on both sides of the ball for Wow Factor throughout the weekend. The left-handed hitter stands at a long-levered 6-foot-2, 165-pound frame with plenty of room for added strength. At the plate, Jones barreled a triple down the line, using a loose, fluid swing. Defensively, Jones played a solid third base, making a number of impressive plays with the glove. Will be a player to monitor as he continues to develop throughout his prep career.

(Brady Jones) 

+ C Haaken Hovestol (Delavan-Darien, 2027) impressed on both sides of the ball all summer in front of our staff, and continues to make strides this fall. The backstop stands at an athletic 5-foot-11, 165-pound frame with more to come. Behind the dish, Hovestol is a quiet receiver with the ability to block pitches on both sides of the plate; also showed quality movements out of the crouch. At the plate, he has a simple yet fluid swing that generates natural lift to all fields. Hovestol looks the part of one of the top backstops in the state’s ‘27 class, and will be one to watch in the spring. 

+ INF/C Ethan Data (Lane Tech, 2027) is a physical L/R prospect that flashed some natural power throughout the weekend. Data is listed at 6-foot-1, 185-pounds with strength throughout the frame. At the plate, he uses a leg-kick trigger and gets on plane early to drive balls deep into the gap. A player to monitor as he enters his first full prep season. 

+ INF/RHP Evan Daxenbichler (Limestone, 2027) gave a strong two-way showing for Wow Factor over the weekend. 5-foot-11, 155-pound frame, lean with room to fill out. The left-handed hitter showed some upside at the plate, loading with rhythm before firing through the zone with a quick and flat path, quick first step out of the box. On the mound, Daxenbichler worked his fastball up to 79 mph while looking to have more in the tank. Clean operation with minimal perceived effort, looked to repeat well. 

(Evan Daxenbichler) 

+ OF Cole Brent (Normal University, 2027) was no stranger to hard contact this past weekend. Left-handed hitter, Brent has a hitterish presence in the box that looks to use the whole field; flat path that stays through the baseball, takes the ball where it is pitched. Aggressive on the basepaths, swiping five bags on the weekend. 

(Cole Brent) 

+ SS/RHP Kash VanHouten (Canton, 2027) has consistently provided our staff with upside looks over the past couple years, including the Junior Future Games this past summer, and this weekend was no different. 6-foot, 170-pound build with a mature yet projectable frame. The right-handed hitter has a mature approach in the box to pair with above-average bat-strength; athletic stroke that stays quick and direct to the ball, creates extension through contact and looks to project into more power as he matures. Advanced actions on the infield with soft hands and fluid footwork, clear feel for the position. VanHouten also hopped on the mound and impressed with a fastball up to 84 mph with life through the zone. High-level prospect to know in IL. 

(Kash VanHouten)

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