Prep Baseball Report

Rhino Scout Day: Takeaways

By Peter Hamot and Steve Nielsen
Illinois Scouting Staff

On September 30th, our PBR Illinois Staff hosted the Rhino Scout Day at the Rhino Baseball Academy in Shorewood, IL. This event gave our staff an opportunity to get an up close look at roughly 40+ prospects from the Rhino travel program, representing the 2022-to-2025 graduating classes.

Shortly after the event, our content team collaborated to pump out a handful of post-event content pieces: Statistical Analysis, TrackMan Files, Blast Motion Board

Today, we’ll wrap up the post-event content coverage from this event with takeaways and standout performers that impressed our staff, below.


RHP Ryan Anderson (Minooka, 2024) showed off a new addition to his repertoire that we have yet to see out of the 6-foot-6, 185-pound right-hander. A newly minted top ten prospect in the state’s 2024 class, Anderson added a sinker to his profile at this workout, one that sat with nearly the same velocity as his fastball at 83-85 mph, more spin (2196 avg) and hard darting action to his arm side that averaged 17.6 in of horizontal movement and 7.3 in of induced vertical movement. Anderson showed above average control of his entire arsenal with a fastball topping at 86 mph and a 74-75 mph slider averaging over 2200 rpm. 

1B Cade Duffin (Oswego, 2023) took perhaps the loudest round of BP on the day. The strong 6-foot-3, 245 pound right-handed hitter led the event in both exit velocity (T98.93 mph) and max distance (378’). Duffin starts in a balanced setup, toe-taps into a long/gliding stride and uses an uphill bat path with a quick barrel through the zone, creating natural lift. Defensively, Duffy moves well around the base for his size, possessing fluid footwork with soft hands, also reaching up to 77 mph across the infield. 

Position Players

One of the most impressive rounds of BP on the day came from OF Matthew Zeman (Montini Catholic, 2024). The right-handed hitter starts in an athletic/slightly crouched stance, short stride, loose swing with a level path to the ball. Zeman also recorded an above-average max exit velocity of 95.76 mph and max distance of 342’. Zeman has middle of the order potential. When breaking down the Blast Motion metrics, Zeman led the way in average bat speed 73.14 mph and max bat speed at 75.60 mph.

An intriguing catcher in the 2023 class is Andrew Mack (Minooka), currently ranked No. 115 in the state. Mack has a 6-foot, 190-pound frame, was 79 mph from the crouch with a low pop time of 2.02. Mack has flexible hips behind the plate with a clean/directional transfer and his throws were consistently around the second base bag. Offensively, there is present strength in his right-handed swing. His best ball off the bat registered at 91.26 mph with a max distance of 336'. Follow 2023 backstop.

Currently slotted at No. 170 in IL’s 2023 class, Carter Storti (Lemont, 2023), put together a strong all-around showing during the Rhino Scout Day. The 6-foot, 180-pound, strong-bodied right-handed hitter recorded a max exit velocity of 94.17 mph and a max distance of 304’. Storti starts in a wide/balanced stance with a toe-tap into a minimal stride and stays through the zone a long time with natural lift at times. Storti showed well on the infield as well, showing soft hands with a quick transfer, also displaying body control on the slow-roller play. 

Will Pavlick (Oswego, 2023) was another junior to impress on both sides of the ball. Offensively; the right-handed hitter has a balanced, compact, repeatable swing with a level path to the ball and line-drive approach to the middle of the field. Pavlick also put up impressive trackman numbers as well, registering a 90.63 mph max exit velocity and a 54.5% line-drive rate. On the infield; Pavlick possesses soft hands with a clean/quick transfer, paired with easy range to both sides of his glove and athletic actions. 

JT Augustyniak (Plainfield Central, 2025) emerged as an intriguing 2025 to keep tabs on. The right-handed hitter displayed a loose/simple swing with a level path to the ball, producing line-drives with a middle of the field approach. Defensively, Augustyniak displayed soft hands with fluid footwork while playing on the balls of his feet with easy range to both sides and body control on the slow-roller play. 

Victor Lowensten (Oswego, 2023) was yet another member of the Rhino 2023 group that showed well during this event. Offensively; the right-handed hitter starts in a wide/open stance with a short stride, loose hands and level path. Lowensten swings with intent and worked gap-to-gap throughout. 

Some other notable exit velocities and max distances from the event were Brandon Alzamora (93.53 mph, 341’), Chase Reeder (91.59 mph) and Arnoldo Velazquez Jr. (91.12 mph).


Unsigned senior RHP Nikolai Nawracaj (Lincoln-Way West, 2022) is a unique arm to keep an eye on this spring. Nawracaj showed a high spinning sweeping curveball that averaged over 2500 rpm at 72-74 mph out of a ¾ slot. His fastball showed above average run action at 82-83 mph. 

RHP Joe Stellano (Reed Custer, 2024) was an intriguing arm to follow moving forward. The right-hander featured a repeatable delivery and was able to fill up the zone with three pitches. His fastball sat 78-80 mph and flashed sink towards the bottom of the zone. He also showcased a short 10/4 slider in the 68-71 mph range and a fading changeup at 72-74 mph. 

At 6-foot-1, 150 pounds, RHP Christopher McCormack (Naperville Central, 2023) is a lanky arm who showed well throughout his bullpen. The right-hander’s fastball sat comfortably in the 80-82 mph range with slight cutting action. He also displayed an above average 12/6 curveball at 66-68 mph with feel for the zone. 

Some other arms that featured noteworthy statistics were RHP Brenden Mack (Yorkville, 2024); he featured a low spinning arsenal that flashed a heavy sinking changeup to go with an 80-81 mph fastball with similar action. The next noteworthy arm was LHP Caden Kuder (Coal City, 2023); he showed a lively arm with an 80-82 mph fastball out of a solid 6-foot, 155-pound frame. Lastly, RHP Carter Storti (Lemont, 2023) showed some of the better arm strength of the day on the mound; running his fastball up to 83-84 mph with consistent control to his arm side. 

+ CLICK HERE for a look at the roster, stats and more from the event.