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Peoria Preseason ID: Quick Hits


By: Illinois Scouting Staff

On Wednesday, February 23rd, the PBR Illinois staff traveled to the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex in Peoria, IL., to host the fifth annual Peoria Preseason ID. This open event provided our staff an opportunity for an up-to-date look on players from the Central Illinois area prior to the start of the high school season. 

For a complete list of the player’s that attended this event, click HERE

Now, at the event’s conclusion, our staff will begin rolling out several post-event content pieces in accordance with what we saw on the day. We’ll start by highlighting the day’s noteworthy performances below inside this Quick Hits piece. As the weeks roll-on our staff will unravel more data-driven pieces from the data collected at this event, so be on the lookout for that. 

For now, here are the players that made a noteworthy impression to our scouts at Wednesday’s showcase.

QUICK HITS 

BIG WINNERS

+ The event’s most complete round of infield defense came from INF Dane Hrasky (O’Fallon, 2025). Built at a lanky 5-foot-9, 135-pounds, Hrasky floated around the infield with a confident and controlled presence to him, effortlessly covering ground laterally. His athleticism was evident early in his workout, as he ran a 7.07 in the 60-yard dash, and he solidified that metric by how he moved on the infield. He showed well advanced actions for his age throughout and a smooth, savvy glove that projects to stick up the middle in the long run. Hrasky’s arm accurately worked from multiple slots on the move and he topped at 78 mph across the diamond on his hardest bullet. Hrasky also showed an aggressive, intentful right-handed swing with extension through contact and worked gap-to-gap. Hrasky registered a max exit velocity of 85 mph, above-average given his age and frame. High-follow 2025 middle infielder.  

+ Perhaps the most noteworthy ‘pen from this event came towards the end when LHP Landen Patton (Sangamon Valley, 2024) toed the rubber. The 5-foot-11, 176-pound sophomore pumped his fastball in at 82-83 mph from a long, loose fluid arm stroke that finished from a ¾ slot. Patton’s fastball metrics make it especially unique as it averaged 21+ inches of vertical break from an average release height of 5.1 feet, creating more natural rise from that lower arm angle than most. Patton complimented his fastball with a curveball and changeup, both of which he showed feel for throughout his ‘pen. His breaking ball played at 72-74 mph at a 2,200+ RPM average while flashing hard late action off a 1/7 plane. Patton threw his changeup at 75-76 mph with intent and from a similar slot than his fastball, spotting it up in the zone with occasional fade to the arm-side. He’s certainly a follow name on the mound in the state’s 2024 class. 

NOTEWORTHY PERFORMANCES

+ Catcher Deegan Aeilts (Normal University, 2025) was one of the more intriguing left-handed hitters in attendance. Aeilts has a 5-foot-10, 140-pound, lean, loose-bodied frame and stays short and direct to the ball at the plate. Aeilts creates whip and bat speed, stays inside the baseball and lined hard contact to all fields. Aeilts recorded an 82% on-plane efficiency, one of the best of the event. Also, ran a 7.33 laser-timed 60. Young, upside left-handed bat to follow moving forward. 

+ Multi-positional prospect, OF/INF Reed Drabant (Columbia, 2023), had one of the better all around days at the event. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound, left-handed hitter, has presence in the box, stays compact and repeatable while creating present bat speed and gets extension through contact. Drabant recorded an 86.8 mph average exit velocity, second best of the event and his furthest batted ball traveled 330 feet. Drabant moved well laterally around the outfield and nearly led the event in outfield throwing velocity, peaking at 87 mph on his hardest throw from a loose, lively high ¾ slot. His arm played well on the infield as well, where he reached an 84 mph max across the diamond. 

+ Left-handed hitting infielder, Cayden Hart (Lakes Community, 2023), made his trip from Northern Illinois worthwhile. The 6-foot-1, 172-pound Hart looked the part on the infield, handling himself well on the move with rhythmic footwork. He played low to the ground throughout, showed steady hands that worked out front, and delivered accurate throws to first base. Hart’s funnel to second base on his double play feed was clean and he also controlled his body well on the run through play. Hart showed actions capable of sticking on the infield in the long term. Offensively, Hart swings with aggression and an intentful look in the box. Hart stays controlled through his finish, has natural lift to his swing and drives hard contact into both gaps. Also, ran a 7.34 60.

+ Another 2023 who had a strong day was left-handed hitting catcher Ethan Winters (Sacred Heart Griffin, 2023). Winters put up notable metrics across the board, especially when it comes to Blast Motion. Winters recorded an average hand speed of 23.6 mph, second-best of the event as well as a 27.5 mph average rotational acceleration; a mark that led the event by a wide margin. He also led the event with a 91% on-plane efficiency. Overall, it is a quiet, simple swing and he sprayed hard contact to all fields. Defensively, Winters was on the bag and accurate during his catcher workout with true throws to his target. His hardest bullet peaked at 76 mph and his quickest pop clocked in at 2.12 seconds. 

+ 6-foot-2, 200-pound, physical, strong, right-handed hitter, Nolan VanDuzer (LaSalle-Peru, 2024) made his presence felt in the batters box during the event. VanDuzer lets the ball travel, and stays short and quick to the baseball while flashing advanced bat speed and hand speed. VanDuzer led the event in multiple offensive categories. VanDuzer led with a 23.7 mph hand speed, average bat speed of 76.4 mph, as well as the max exit velocity of 96.5 mph and average bat speed of 89 mph. VanDuzers furthest batted ball traveled 348 feet off the bat. Physically advanced right-handed hitting sophomore.  

+ 6-foot-1, 172-pound, right-handed hitting OF/INF, Jude Strahm (Brimfield, 2024), flashed bat speed, above-average hand strength and the ball jumps off the barrel at times. Defensively, Strahm’s arm strength from the outfield was noticeable, as he reached an 86 mph high to home from a clean, loose slot with true backspin to his target. There’s certainly more untapped velocity nestled inside his lanky frame as he continues to physically mature. 

+ C Trey Carter (Williamsville, 2023) stood out from behind the plate. Carter’s catch-and-throw from behind the plate was amongst the day’s best, as he utilized a short trigger release to pop an event-high 2.00 seconds to the bag on his quickest toss. The 5-foot-10, 135-pound, right-handed hitter also showed loose, whippy levers at the plate and stays through the hitting zone a long time. 

+ One of the most complete defensive showings from this event came from 6-foot-2, 170-pound C/OF Griffin Graue (Glenwood, 2023). Graue kicked his workout off by recording the day’s hardest throw home from the outfield at 88 mph, showing life and carry through his target across all five of his outfield throws. He took a quality round of catcher defense as well, with clean actions to release and in-line footwork. Graue’s arm strength played from the chute too, topping at 80 mph with accuracy to his target and pop times in the 2.09-to-2.11 range. Graue’s effort while catching ‘pens didn’t go unnoticed either and his ability to chest up the baseball on a block was impressive, particularly after a lengthy workload. Graue has an athletic look in the right-handed box with a short, uphill path and consistent lifted contact into both gaps.

+ Another Glenwood 2023 who showed well at the plate was INF Isaac Elliott (Glenwood). The physical 6-foot-3, 205-pound, right-handed bat works short and quick to the baseball while staying strong through contact. Elliott recorded a max exit velocity of 92.2 mph to go along with an 83% on-plane efficiency, second-best of the event.

+ Two more 2023s from Glenwood HS worthy of a mention were OF Cole Workman and Alex Cashman. Workman is a 5-foot-9, 185-pound, right-handed hitter with a compact swing, stays uphill through the zone and showed feel for the barrel. He moved around the outfield swiftly as well, working around the baseball and flashing above-average arm strength for his age, peaking at 86 mph. Cashman has a long-limbed, upside, 6-foot, 160-pound frame and swings with controlled intent. Cashman showed loose, quick hands and stays flat through the hitting zone. 

+ Defensively, INF Nate Bartman (Metamora, 2023) took one of the day’s better rounds of infield defense. The 6-foot, 170-pound junior showed quick feet and lower half rhythm on the move. His hands played out front of his body and securely funneled inward with clean, sure-handed glove work throughout his defensive workout. Bartman’s arm topped at 84 mph from a loose, high ¾ slot with true, accurate throws to his target. Offensively, Bartman has a quiet swing with loose hands and above-average feel for the barrel. 

+ 3B Seamus Boyle (Moline, 2023) was another name that showed well on the infield at Wednesday’s event. A physically built 6-foot-1, 182-pound athlete, Boyle played comfortably on his feet with a quick first step and the lateral athleticism to cover ground on the move. His hands worked low to the ground and out front of his body posture with a clean hand transfer and quick trigger release. Boyle’s actions suggest he’ll be able to stick at the hot corner in the long term and could even potentially be an asset there defensively at the next level. At the plate, Boyle stays direct to the baseball with strong hands and creates leverage to the pull-side with occasional jump off the barrel.

+ Two other middle infielders of note were freshman middle infielders Cole Yates (Illinois Valley Central, 2025) and Davis Weeks (Dunlap, 2025) . Both have natural infield actions, took clean rounds and should stick on the dirt moving forward. 

RHP Cameron Ahart (Peoria Heights) is a young, upside arm to follow in the 2025 class. The 6-foot-3, 149-pound, long-levered, lean, right-hander has a smooth, on-line delivery, with a long arm action, over-the-top slot and quickness out front. Fastball topped at 80 mph with a three-pitch mix, including a splitter with heavy sinking action at the bottom of the zone. 

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