Prep Baseball Report

Preseason All-State, Upperclass: Preview

By Andy Sroka
Illinois & Wisconsin Assistant Director

On Saturday, Feb. 25, the PBR Illinois staff will host its premier event of the winter, Preseason All-State: Upperclass at The MAX in McCook, Ill. This is an invitation-only event that features many of the top juniors across the state, especially its top uncommitted 2024 talent. This event is limited and exclusive to the top prospects in Illinois and serves as a springboard as we prepare to enter the high school season.

 Last year’s event was also particularly useful for our staff to find Class of 2024 prospects to invite to the inaugural Illinois State Games, which took place near the beginning of August at the Rantoul Family Sports Complex in Rantoul, Ill., slated at the same location and during the same time of year again in 2023.

 To see which prospects are scheduled to attend, click here.


The 2022 Preseason All-State was the first time the event had been split into separate upperclass and underclass events. Historically, it had been limited to the top juniors in the state of Illinois only, since 2012. There are already 85 committed members of the 2022 event roster, of players now entering their senior spring, and 18 are currently committed as part of this Saturday’s roster.

Last year’s roster featured SS/3B Ryan Niedzwiedz (West Aurora, 2023), who’s now a Southern Illinois-Edwardsville recruit ranked inside the top-20 in the state fresh off an excellent performance at January’s Preseason ProCase event where he showed as one of the top players in attendance.

Ryan Niedzwiedz (2/1/23)

INF Kerim Orucevic (Maine South, 2023; UC San Diego commit) is a senior who starred at both last year’s Preseason All-State showcase, as well as this year’s ProCase. Infielders Tony Konopiots (Downers Grove North, 2023; West Virginia), Jaden Correa (De La Salle, 2023; Nebraska), and Eduardo Letamendi (Von Steuben, 2023; Illinois State) each participated both at this event as well as the ProCase. Same goes for OF Luke Stulga (St. Laurence, 2023; Illinois State), who’s been one of the state’s top performers both in-game and in showcase settings really ever since this event last year.


Of the highly ranked already committed players participating in Saturday’s showcase, many stand out, and that’s including the No. 1-ranked junior in Illinois: RHP Ryan Sloan (York, 2024; Wake Forest). Sloan was a participant at last year’s event as an underclassman, where he reached a 91.7 mph high and went on to star on the national circuit last summer.

Few prospects had as successful seasons last year as SS Tyler Bell (Lincoln-Way East, 2024; Pitt), who was another player who thrived at last year’s underclass version of this event. Bell is an athletic switch-hitting-shortstop who we saw hit a ton from both batter’s boxes across multiple looks in 2022, and he's a natural middle infielder on top of it. He’s now the No. 4-ranked player in Illinois’ junior class, but there’s even more upside remaining here, and we’re eager to see how his offseason progressed.

Tyler Bell (8/9/22)

RHP Aidan Hayse (Joliet Catholic, 2024; Tennessee) is a live-armed, wiry 6-foot-3 righty with the kind of pure stuff that could boost his overall prospect stock substantially on Saturday. He’s presently ranked inside the state’s top-10, but there’s clearly additional upside to his arm talent given his athleticism and room for strength to positively impact his lean frame – and he’s already shown us his advanced feel for a deep arsenal.

OF Brendan Tunink (Newman Central Catholic, 2024) capped a whirlwind year with an end-of-summer commitment to Notre Dame following the PBR Future Games. The athletic left-handed-hitting outfielder popped onto the radar at a summer showcase and he completely took off from there, now headed into this event as the No. 10-ranked player in the state.

Brendan Tunink (7/27/22)

There are several other teammates of Tunink’s from last summer’s Team Illinois Future Games roster headed to Saturday’s showcase: SS Kenny Perez (De La Salle, 2024; Cincinnati), SS/3B David Cox (Nazareth Academy, 2024; Northwestern), C Jimmy Janicki (Downers Grove North, 2024; Troy), OF Khamaree Thomas (Kenwood Academy, 2024; Michigan State), and RHP Luke Weber (Highland Park, 2024; Illinois). Perez is another top-10-ranked member of the class on Saturday’s upperclass roster, and his prowess at shortstop combined with his right-handed bat strength grants him one of the most interesting ceilings in Illinois’ junior class.

Kenny Perez (7/27/22)

And it’s been a bit since we’ve seen SS/RHP Cooper Malamazian (Nazareth Academy, 2024; Indiana) in the showcase setting as well. He’s a top-20-ranked player in the state who helped guide his high school to a 3A state title in 2022 as just a sophomore. He’s consistently showed advanced actions at shortstop, an upside right-handed swing, as well as arm talent that’s kept him intriguing as a pitcher, too.

OF Savion Flowers (Kenwood Academy, 2024; Eastern Kentucky) possesses one highest ceilings in the state’s junior class, as an advanced 6-foot-5 athlete with arm strength and left-handed bat speed. He’s another top-20-ranked player in the class coming Saturday.


Jimmy Anderson SS / RHP / Joliet West, IL / 2024

From the Aurora Preseason ID, 2/4/23: "... continues to show well every time we see him. Anderson is an athletic, two-way prospect, who led the event with a 31.7 inch vertical and is an easy mover with everything he does on the diamond, especially at the plate. The 6-foot, 180-pound, 7.15 runner showed off an easy right-handed stroke that flashes whip through the zone and works on an uphill path through the zone. He registered a max exit velocity of 95.2 mph, 88.7 average with his furthest batted ball traveling 335 feet. Defensively, he has fluid, athletic actions and topped at 87 mph (up from 83 mph in the past). Follow two-way prospect in the 2024 class."

Eric De Costa 3B / Wheaton Academy, IL / 2024

From the Illinois Summer Championships, 6/23/22: "... a 6-foot-4, 205-pound with all kinds of upside and power potential at the plate. It's a loose swing from both sides of the plate with more jump off the barrel and loud contact coming from the right-side of the plate. The swing stays on-plane working with natural loft throughout and controlled intent. High-follow bat and frame in the 2024 class."

Tom Ford RHP / Lisle, IL / 2024

From the Illinois Summer Championships, 6/23/22: "The biggest winner on the mound from last Tuesday’s event was [Ford]. Standing at a lanky 6-foot-6, 185-pounds, Ford has plenty of room to fill out his high-waisted and projectable frame. His delivery is simple, pitching exclusively out of the stretch with a drop/drive lower-half, remaining in-line to the plate throughout his stride. His arm works loose and quick with a long arm circle out of the glove, transitioning into a high ¾ slot. The tall right-hander worked primarily in the 86-89 mph range, but reached back for 90-91 mph on his last couple bullets while playing with life at the top of the zone. His curveball looked to be his best off-speed offering on this day, playing with sharp 11/5 shape and downward action, also tunneling off his fastballs effectively while locating down under the zone, 68-70 mph. He went to a slider for his third offering, pulling off to his glove-side at times but flashing sharp 10/4 bullet action, 73-76 mph. Having seen Ford up to 88 mph this past winter, his three mph jump is no surprise as he has started to control his body down the mound more consistently."

Kyle Hartmann C / Sycamore, IL / 2024

From Preseason All-State, 2/26/22: "Hartmann, a 5-foot-9, 175-pound catcher, was one of the first hitters of the event and made a statement right out of the gate. The right-handed hitter swings with serious intent, aggression and looks to elevate the balls into both gaps with authority. With that said, Hartmann stays flat and long through the zone with the ability to create backspin to the pull-side gap. Hartmann’s hardest barrel came off the bat at 94.3 mph with his furthest batted ball traveling 334 feet. Hartmann also tied the event-high to second base (80 mph), with a low pop time of 1.96. Follow 2024 catcher with a potent right-handed bat."

Seth Impson C / RHP / Springfield, IL / 2024

From the Battle for The Arch, 9/27/22: "The lone two-way prospect on Team Illinois, [Impson] continues to impress every time we get our eyes on him and came away a winner once again. Impson has a lean, athletic, 6-foot, 165-pound frame with more physicality to come and athleticism to all parts of his game. At the plate he stayed loose and easy, lining hard contact back up the middle with fluid rhythm throughout BP, flashing sneaky juice with his furthest batted ball traveling 356’. He finished game play 2-for-2 with a double and HBP. Behind the plate, he is an active, bouncy defender and his arm plays clean and quick with accuracy and a 2.02 low pop time. He also hopped on the mound and struck out four, walked one and did not give up a hit in two innings of work, running his fastball up to 84.5 mph with a three-pitch repertoire."

Luke Jurack OF / 2B / Hinsdale Central, IL / 2024

From the IHSA season, 5/2/22: "Lean, athletic-looking build, standing 5-foot-10, 170-pounds. The right-handed hitter impresses throughout the day with multiple quality at-bats, including two singles and a walk. Jurack moves with a simple operation through contact, starting with more weight on the back leg and moving with a short/repeatable stride; his hands work short and direct to the ball, displaying a clear intent to hit line-drives. Jurack roamed centerfield for the Red Devils and showed off some easy range and athletic jumps, reading the ball well off the bat and cruising the outfield with confidence. His arm is an asset as well, delivering strong accurate strikes to his target with some carry."

Ethan Eberle LHP / Normal Community, IL / 2024

From the Illinois State Games, 8/10/22: "... has been dominant on the PBR circuit all summer long, coming off a strong showing at the PBR Future Games. The southpaw dominated once again at the State Games, working his sinking fastball in the 84-86 mph range from a tough slot for opposing hitters. His curveball had tight spin and late breaking action, coming from a similar fastball slot at 69-70 mph. Eberle struck out four over his three-inning stint."

Alec Marchetto RHP / Edwardsville, IL / 2024

From the IHSA season, 5/17/22: "Strong, durable 6-foot-1, 210-pound frame with strength attached throughout; dual-sport athlete for Edwardsville. Entered the game for the Tigers in relief and punched out five batters throughout his stint. Arm plays long on the backside, finishes out of a high ¾ slot. Side-step initiates a tempo’d delivery, stacks the backside with a heavy quad load, drives downhill from balance point and throws with aggression after footstrike. Front side stays closed throughout, maintains direction to target, drifts towards the first base side through release. Fastball jumps out the hand, four-seam type that played straight with occasional cutting action. Attacked the zone at 85-87 mph, touching 88 mph multiple times throughout his outing. Displayed plenty of confidence in a sharp 11/5 curveball at 74-76 mph, turned to it often as a putaway pitch, flashed feel to land it for strikes - tunnels well off a fastball located on the arm-side of the plate. Marchetto emerged as a high-follow uncommitted prospect in the state’s sophomore class."

Jaden Obaldo 2B / 3B / Crystal Lake Central, IL / 2024

From the Illinois State Games, 8/10/22: "... was an all-around winner offensively from the Illinois State Games, finding the barrel for a few extra-base hits across the event. Obaldo’s a physical right-handed hitter with compact strength attached to a 5-foot-9, 175-pound frame, finding the barrel with gap-to-gap feel."

Luke Oblen RHP / DePaul College Prep, IL / 2024

Recently de-committed from Louisville, now back on the market as one of the top uncommitted pitchers in the region, and currently highest ranked on-the-market prospect in the state. Oblen's a strong 6-foot-2 right-hander who's previously been into the low-90s on a projectable fastball.

Jack Olson RHP / OF / Antioch, IL / 2024

From the Kenosha Preseason ID, 2/4/23: "Olson looks to have gained some muscle mass to his athletic 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame, which seems to have helped him across many aspects of the game, starting offensively. Olson kicked off the event with a bang during the BP portion as he registered two 100+ mph EVs, with his hardest coming off at 101.6 mph and he averaged 92.8 mph. In the left-handed box, Olson works with rhythm, calmly toe-tapping into his load before delivering the barrel with controlled aggression. He then moved over to the outfield defense portion where his innate arm strength and athleticism were on full display as he topped at 89 mph on his hardest bullet from the outfield. This arm strength definitely transfers over to the mound as he recorded the highest fastball velocity of the event at 90.9 mph, which was roughly seven mph harder than he threw at this same event last year. On the mound, Olson is an athletic and clean mover, working downhill with tempo. As for his offspeeds, he was able to land all three secondaries for strikes... " 

Trevor Rehnstrom RHP / Glenbard East, IL / 2024

From the Illinois State Games, 8/10/22: "... provided an intriguing look on the mound, particularly should he fill out a 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame. Working from a relatively low-effort operation throughout, Rehnstrom’s fastball played at 82-85 mph with more left in the tank. He mixed in a 72-75 mph breaking ball with depth at 2,300+ RPM and also threw a mid-to-high-70s changeup that averaged 15.5 inches of horizontal movement."

Jack Swaney 1B / OF / Rochester, IL / 2024

From the IHSA season, 5/4/22: "Strong-bodied, 6-foot-1, 225-pounds, trimmed up a bit since our last look. Left/left prospect, started in left-field and hit out of the four-hole for Springfield. At the plate, Swaney is noticeably comfortable in the box, taking healthy swings and putting a charge into the ball whenever he makes contact; loading his hands in pre-pitch and throwing them through the zone with natural lift, easy bat-speed. In the outfield, Swaney’s jumps and reads seemed to have improved since our look last year, tracking down some balls that were in the gap and holding his own with sneaky speed."

We’re excited for our latest look at this Class of 2024 as a whole, and this event will go a long way toward our effort in doing so. Follow us on Twitter at @PBRIllinois to see the biggest takeaways of the day, and we’ll have plenty of post-event highlights on the site next week.


+ Check-in Times:

  • All Position Players: 2:00 p.m.
  • Pitchers-only: 3:30 p.m.
  • Catchers will stay for both sessions.


Click here to learn more about our tech partners that have enhanced our players showcase experience. Partners like TrackMan, Vizual Edge, Blast Motion, and Swift Performance have helped both our in-event evaluation process, as well the compilation of our post-event scouting reports – and they're also a tool for our players to learn more about their measured and collected data, that can be applied to improve upon their game. Finally, wear baseball clothes; assigned and numbered PBR jerseys will be provided.