Prep Baseball Report

Rock Valley Scout Day: Takeaways

By: Peter Hamot
Area Scout, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Oct. 3rd, PBR Illinois traveled to Rockford, IL for the Rock Valley JC Scout Day. The event featured over 35 players and allowed our staff to get an inside look at the Golden Eagles before the 2024 season.

Continue reading to see which players stood out from the loaded event, with scouting reports and videos, below. 



+ RHP Ethan Storm (Sycamore, 2022; Central Michigan commit) gave our staff one of the most impressive looks of the fall. True sophomore, the athletic right-hander stands at 6-foot-2, 205-pounds with noticeable strength throughout. Explosive movement patterns down the mound, leading with a strong front leg into a drop/drive lower-half, stride works in-line into a powerful lead-leg block. Short arm out of the glove that transitions into a high ¾ slot, clean path from the glove into release. Storms fastball explodes out of his hand, sitting 93-95 mph and topping out at 96 mph (+2700 RPM) with carry and finish through the zone, locating mostly to his glove-side. Curveball has out-pitch potential with 12/6 shape, falling off the table with late depth at 78-79 mph (+2700 RPM). He also flipped in a slider at 78-82 mph, playing with shorter 10/4 action and spinning over 2700 RPM as well. His splitter showed signs of potential when kept down in the zone, playing at 86-88 mph with over 13” of horizontal movement on average. Storm struck out 71 in 54 IP last spring, only walking 34 along the way. Highly intriguing arm that should garner some pro interest this coming spring.  

+ RHP Griffin Smith (Appleton North, 2022) was a recent winner at the Region Four showcase in Wisconsin, and impressed once again in this look. The true sophomore is listed at 6-foot-2, 180-pounds, lean strength with some room to add on more muscle. Fluid tempo on the mound, high leg-lift works into a slight drop/drive lower-half, stride works in-line to the plate with an athletic finish. Long/loose arm swing out of the glove, working uninterrupted into a ¾ slot. Smith’s fastball topped out at 90.6 mph, sitting right at 89-90 mph with an average IVB of 17.4, also spinning over 2400 RPM at times. Slider played with 10/4 action and some depth before the plate, 81-82 mph (+2600 RPM). He also featured a changeup that looks to be a quality third offering, playing clean out of the hand with over 20” of run at times, 81-82 mph. Smith led the Golden Eagles in innings pitched last spring with 64, pairing with a 3.52 ERA, 89 strikeouts and 23 walks.  

+ RHP Kahler Key (La Crosse Aquinas, 2022) will look to be another key arm for the Golden Eagles this coming spring, returning 21.2 innings from last season. Towering 6-foot-7, 240-pound frame. Key has an up-tempo delivery that works in-line, front hip tends to open and swing into footplant. Medium arm circle out of the glove that works into an over-the-top slot. His fastball played with noticeable carry and life, averaging 24.1 for his IVB while sitting 86-88 mph, T89. He went to a downer curveball at 71-76 mph (+2600 RPM), backing up on him at times but playing with sharp action when kept down. His final offering was a changeup at 78-81 mph, averaging around 16” of run.  

+ RHP Eric Williamson (Union Grove, 2022) is a name to know for the Golden Eagles moving forward. 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame with some strength in his lower-half. Clean delivery, drives with his lower-half well and creates noticeable separation in his hips and shoulders at footstrike. His fastball played at 86-88 mph, topping out at 89.6 (+2300 RPM) with some carry and run through the zone. He went to a short, lateral cutter at 80-82 mph to pair off the fastball, thrown for some strikes and spinning over 2300 RPM. Slider plays with 10/4 action and depth, kept mostly to his glove side at 75-77 mph (+2500 RPM). His final offering was a fading changeup at 81-82 mph, playing with around 16” of run.  

+ RHP Austin Loberger (Bradford) is another sophomore to know for this upcoming spring. Listed at 6-foot-2, 200-pounds with evenly proportioned weight, still has room for added strength. Loberger impressed with feel for his three-pitch mix, starting with a running fastball at 85-87 mph, playing with around 16” of run on average. He then went to a big-breaking slider with 10/4 action, playing at 73-74 mph (+2300 RPM) and kept mostly to his glove side. His final offering was a heavy fading changeup at 77-79 mph, averaging just over 20” of run while also controlling it around the zone.  

+ RHP Sam Pritchard (Grayslake North, 2022) returns to the Golden Eagles with 24 innings under his belt from last season, striking out 39 along the way. 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame with strength in the lower-half and round shoulders. The big right-hander has a clean operation with a fluid tempo, working with a controlled leg lift into a high balance point, transitioning into a drop/drive lower-half while working in-line. Long arm out of the glove that moves into a ¾ release. His fastball cruised at 87-89 mph (+2600 RPM) with some carry and run to his arm-side. To pair off the fastball he went to a downer curveball at 72-75 mph (+2600 RPM), tunneling well off fastballs in the upper-half of the zone. He also spun a 10/4 slider over 2400 RPM, 74-76 mph and kept mostly down in the zone. His final offering was a changeup at 80-82 mph, playing with just under 16” of run on average, kept primarily down.  

+ LHP Troy McLeese (Normal Community, 2023) gave an unorthodox yet intriguing look throughout his ‘pen, going between two different arm slots. From his normal ¾ slot, the freshman worked in the 80-85 mph range while also going to a mid-60s slider and upper-60s changeup. The southpaw would also drop down to a submarine slot and run a heavy running fastball (+20” avg. HM) up to 77 mph - also flipping in his slider and changeup a few ticks off his higher slot.  

+ A slew of freshman right-handers worth mentioning for the Golden Eagles are Michael Cook, Mason Lei, Conner Williar and Jackson Wohlers, all cruising in the upper-80s with upside off-speed to pair - while Chase Wiese, Derek Huber and Max Strash worked in the mid/upper-80s with quality off-speed as well.  


+ 1B Javier Garcia (Harlem, 2022) looked every bit the part of a power bat for the Golden Eagles. Strong-bodied frame at 6-foot-3, 230-pounds. The right-handed hitter blistered baseballs to his pull-side with a max EV of 102.2 mph, averaging 94.1 mph with a max distance of 389’. He showed above-average BLAST metrics to pair, averaging 22.8 mph for his hand-speed and 79.7 mph for his average bat-speed. Garcia turned in a .273 batting average in 77 at-bats last spring. 

+ INF Israel Delgado (Sandburg, 2022) is a top returner for the Golden Eagles, turning in a .327 batting average in 49 at-bats last spring. Strong right-handed swing that uses the ground through impact, likes to go the other way with line-drives, Delgado reached up to 96.3 mph for his max EV with a max distance of 367’. Delgado showed clear feel for the infield with soft hands and fluid footwork, moving well to both sides of his glove. Well above-average arm, reaching up to 92 mph across the diamond with life out of the hand and carry.  

+ OF/C Grant Garrett (Grayslake North, 2022) is another top returner for the Eagles, hitting his way to a .314 batting average in 86 at-bats last spring with nine doubles, 27 RBIs and 23 stolen bases. The right-handed hitter showed a smooth stroke with a pull-side preference, working up to 92 mph for his max EV with a max distance of 330’. Above-average runner, recording a 6.79 in the 60. 

+ C Sean McGurk (Streator, 2022) saw a good chunk of playing time last season for the Golden Eagles, turning in a respectable .250 batting average in 116 at-bats with seven doubles. The left-handed hitter has intent in his swing, looking to lift the baseball with an uphill path while using the whole field - reaching up to 93.5 mph for his max EV with a max distance of 342’. McGurk is a quality defender behind the plate, looking to present pitches around the zone and steal strikes. Clean catch/throw behind the plate, gains easy ground to second while staying low, reaching up to 78 mph from the chute with a top pop-time of 1.96 seconds. 7.00 runner in the 60-yard dash.  

+ OF Rick Powell (McHenry, 2021) had one of the strongest rounds of BP on the day, reaching up to 97.4 mph for his max EV with an average of 93.4 mph. Strong right-handed stroke, flat path with intent to do damage. His BLAST metrics were impressive, averaging 22.6 mph for his hand-speed and 75.8 mph for his bat-speed. Turned in a .273 batting average last spring in 132 at-bats, including seven home runs and 31 RBIs. Smooth and confident actions in the outfield, playing through the ball with intent and steady hands. Arm played with noticeable life and carry through his target, topping out at 90 mph while consistently placing accurate throws on the bag.  

+ INF Jackson Lindquist (Winnebago, 2022) is a toolsy sophomore to know for the Golden Eagles. Another top returner to the lineup, hitting his way to a .297 batting average in 145 at-bats with eight doubles, six home runs, 27 RBIs and 19 stolen bases last spring. Simple right-handed swing, feel for the barrel with body control through impact - reaching up to 91.6 mph for his max EV with a max distance of 356’. Fluid defender on the infield with soft hands, pairing with an above-average arm (T86 mph). 6.97 runner in the 60, speed compliments multiple aspects of his game; giving him easy range on the infield and also making him a threat to steal bases.  

+ INF Cole Kersten (McHenry, 2022) had one of the better batting averages on the team last spring, boasting a .351 average in 77 at-bats. The right-handed hitter showed feel for the barrel throughout his round, working line-drives to the whole field with a flat path through the zone. His bat-speed is above-average according to BLAST, averaging 73.2 mph throughout his round. 

+ CIF Ethan Krueger (Wauwatosa West, 2022) impressed throughout his round of BP with a strong right-handed stroke, reaching as high as 97 mph for his max EV with an average of just under 90 mph. He showed the ability to drive the ball with authority to the whole field, working with extension through impact to stay through the hitting zone, also reaching up to 358’ for his max distance.  

+ 1B Ryan Buschmann (Deforest, 2022) saw some success in his limited time last spring, working a .308 batting average out of 39 at-bats. The left-handed hitter has easy pop in his strong 6-foot-1, 210-pound frame, appearing to use minimal effort throughout his round.  

+ INF/OF River Lindsey (New Berlin Eisenhower, 2023) popped as a freshman to know from the scout day. Listed at an athletic 6-foot-1, 190-pounds with room to fill out. A switch-hitter, Lindsey provided a loose and easy stroke from both sides, staying flat through the zone and giving a similar look from each side. He reached up to 91 mph for his max exit velocity, working line-drives consistently to the whole field. Took defensive reps in both the infield and outfield, boasting soft hands and fluid footwork at each position. Arm is above-average, reaching up to 84 mph on the infield and 87 mph from the outfield. Well above-average runner, recording a 6.54 in the 60.  

+ C Nick Mardis (Bloomington Central Catholic, 2023) is a new face to keep an eye on for the Golden Eagles. Listed at a physical 6-foot-1, 215-pounds with present strength throughout and round shoulders. Mardis took a loud round of BP from the right side, reaching up to 100.3 mph for his max EV with a max distance of 380’. Quick, strong hands at the plate, uses the middle of the field while showing power to his pull-side with a home run. Clean catch/throw behind the plate, reaching as low as 2.00 for his pop-time while topping out at 74 mph from the chute. 7.04 runner in the 60.  

+ OF Ethan Chance (Plainfield South, 2022) returns to the squad after recording a .278 batting average in 18 at-bats last spring. 6-foot-1, 180-pound frame with some strength throughout, still has room to add on muscle. The right-handed hitter impressed with easy pop up the middle and to his pull-side, creating extension through impact with a flat barrel path - reaching up to 92.5 mph for his max EV.  

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