Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 21 Oak Park-River Forest

By: Peter Hamot
Area Scout

The Illinois high school baseball season kicks off on March 14, opening day for regular season action under IHSA regulations. Over the next two weeks, leading up to opening day, we’ll be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2022 spring season, touching on programs spanning all state classifications, counting down through the official PBR Illinois Preseason Power 25 Rankings.

Perennially, we’ve submitted a Preseason Questionnaire to high school head coaches across the entire state. Their responses have been flooding in and we’re using the detailed insight they’ve provided in our team-by-team preseason analysis.

Our 2022 preseason coverage begins today.

Team: Oak Park-River Forest
Preseason Rank: No. 21
2021 Record: 17-8
Conference: West Suburban Conference (Silver)
IHSA Class: 4A
Head Coach: Kevin Campbell

Roster Preview

David Andolina RHP 2022 Lehigh
Matt Butterly LHP 2022 Kalamazoo College
Jack Chambers INF 2022 -
Evan Eberle RHP 2022 Concordia (MN)
Jack Flagg RHP 2022 Illinois Wesleyan
Daniel Michaud 1B 2022 -
Giovanni Pamias INF 2022 Bryant & Stratton JC (WI)
Cole Shamhart RHP/3B 2022 -
Jack Spinks RHP 2022 Joliet JC
Hank Babwin RHP 2023 -
Kevin Cortez INF 2023 -
John Philip Ferraro C 2023 -
Jack Gooch OF 2023 -
Francis Heinzmann RHP 2023 -
Calvin Proskey RHP 2023 UC Santa Barbara
Dylan Wipf RHP 2023 -
Mason Phillips OF 2024 -

Newcomer to watch

C/1B John Philip Ferraro (2023): Arguably the most important component in a great pitching staff is a reliable catcher, and the Huskies are in good hands with Ferraro behind the dish. New head coach Kevin Campbell is already a fan of Ferraro, stating that, "Ferraro possesses great leadership skills and loves working with our pitchers, not to mention he has tremendous baseball IQ."

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound backstop should have no trouble handling the high-caliber arms the Huskies will be rolling out, already showing well defensively in 2022. Scouting Report from 2/13/22: "(Ferraro) took an impressive round of catcher defense. His lower half worked directly to his target, without much added movement, and his quick, clean transfer allowed him to generate pop times in the 1.94-to-2.04 range while topping at 76 mph, too."

On top of his defense, the left-handed hitter should provide a quality bat in the lineup too, boasting a fluid swing with easy pop.


RHP Calvin Proskey (2023; UC Santa Barbara commit): Proskey will not only bring his live arm to the rotation, but also his experience, after leading the Huskies' pitching staff back in 2021 as only a sophomore. The 6-foot-2, 155-pound right-hander is currently ranked No. 34 in Illinois' junior class, and he'll certainly be an arm to watch for this coming spring, thanks to a fastball that runs up to 87 mph and his control over the zone with three pitches. As Proskey continues to grow and mature, it would be no surprise to see a jump in velocity this coming spring, which would only make the UC Santa Barbara recruit that much tougher on his opposition. 


The Huskies are coming off a strong 2021 campaign that inclues a second place finish inside the West Suburban Conference (Silver) and a playoff run that ended in the sectional championship game against New Trier. With a total of 10 impact players returning to the roster, OPRF will look to repeat, and ultimately surpass, their success from the 2021 season.

The depth on the mound will be huge asset for the Huskies, it's a fleet of arms that stacks up against some of the best staffs in the state based on its sheer number. Right-handers David Andolina (2022; Lehigh) and Proskey are expected to lead the staff, followed by RHP Jack Spinks (2022; Joliet JC) and RHP Cole Shamhart (2022). With four quality starters to turn the ball to, the Huskies already stack up well for playoff format while also having plenty of arms in the bullpen. Right-hander Evan Eberle (2023; Concordia-St. Paul) will be one of the first out of the 'pen for the Huskies this year, boasting a fastball up to 88 mph with a tight-spinning breaking ball. Other arms such as RHP Jack Flagg (2022; Illinois-Wesleyan), RHP Dylan Wipf (2023), RHP Jack Chambers (2023), and RHP Francis Heinzmann (2023) make up a quality group that might just be considered depth pieces on a staff like this one, but could earn much larger roles in most other programs.

OF Mason Phillips (2024) returns to the lineup for Oak Park-River Forest after starting as a freshman during 2021. Phillips brings elite athleticism to the top of the lineup on top of his impressive defensive capabilities, and he's emerged as a high-follow member of the state's Class of 2024. Scouting Report from 5/20/21: "Uncommitted. 6-foot 175-pound highly-athletic frame with advanced strength for his age. Right-handed hitting outfielder starts on varsity as a freshman on a solid Oak Park-River Forest club. Offensively, starts in an athletic stance, leg-lift stride, hands work quick and direct to the ball. Was not overwhelmed by plus velocity (92-94 mph) and was comfortable in the box, especially for this age. Defensively; shows plus reads off the bat with athletic jumps, advanced fly-ball tracking ability and able to cut off balls going into the gap. Arm played well with strong and accurate throws to bases."

Mason Phillips (7/20/21)

The Huskies will have a solid infield to play behind their pitching staff, thanks to MIF Giovanni Pamias (Bryant & Stratton, WI, 2022), INF Kevin Cortez (2023), CIF Dan Michaud (2022) and Shamhart (mentioned above). MIF Jadyn Hsieh-Bailey (2023) is also a versatile weapon that could be seeing split time at either middle-infield position this coming spring. 

Bottom Line

Similar to years past, Oak Park-River Forest will rely heavily on pitching and overall depth to play into their success, and its 2022 path to more playoff success appears to be the same. A strong and deep pitching rotation should set up an equally deep bullpen, and give the Huskies a good chance to hold leads late in games. 

With some key returning players to help lead the new faces, the Huskies are in a good position to fight for the outright West Suburban Conference title, with the hopes of climbing even further through the IHSA postseason.

Make sure to follow @PBRIllinois on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the 2022 season.

Find more information on the 2022 Huskies below:

Team Website
Team Schedule
Team Twitter