Prep Baseball Report

South Suburban Open: Quick Hits

By: Illinois Staff

On Tuesday, June 20th the PBR Illinois team hosted the South Suburban Open at Ozinga Field in Crestwood, IL. This open event was for all high school classes (2024-27), and gave our staff a chance to get a look at 30+ uncommitted prospects before the summer gets into full swing.

For a closer look at the showcase details and the technologies we'll have on-site to assist our in-person evaluation for all in attendance, click here. For a complete look at those registered to attend this event, view the most up-to-date version of the roster by clicking here.

For now, we take an early look at some of the top takeaways from the event with much more content to come in the coming weeks.


Putting together one of the more impressive performances of the day was 1B/OF Karim Patterson (Latin School of Chicago, 2025) who stands at a strong 6-foot, 205-pounds. A left-handed hitter, Patterson produced one of the loudest rounds of BP on the day, recording a max exit velocity of 99 mph (event high) as well as a max distance of 314’. He showed strong, quick hands and present bat speed (71.5 mph avg.) with natural power in his swing. Defensively, he showed off an impressive arm from the infield and outfield, topping at 84 mph across the infield and 88 from the outfield; both event highs. To cap off his day he hopped on the mound and put together one of the more impressive bullpens at the event. He showed a smooth delivery that works downhill paired with a long and fluid arm. Patterson showed a three-pitch mix with a fastball that sat 81-82 mph with heavy armside run. He mixed in two separate breaking balls both with similar 1/7 shape, and landed both pitches for strikes. 

OF/LHP Cody DelFavero (Morris, 2024) stands at a strong, 5-foot-8, 181-pounds. DelFavero is a left/left prospect who took one of the more physical rounds of BP on the day. He flashed strong, explosive hands with a natural uphill path and registered a max exit velocity of 92.9 mph (87.8 mph avg). Defensively, he showed smooth feet and a strong arm, producing a max velocity of 84 mph on throws to home plate. In the mound he showed three-pitch feel from the left side with his fastball touching 81.1 mph with command to the glove side. His curveball showed a 10/4 shape, and he rounded out his arsenal with a change-up that showed downer action that he was able to land for strikes. Also ran a 7.17 60 time. 

2B/RHP Griffin Meeker (Tremont, 2026) is a 5-foot-11, 172-pound, high-waisted athletic right-handed hitting two-way prospect with projection throughout his frame. Meeker began the day by running one of the fastest 60 times at the event (7.16). Meeker has a simple approach from the right-side of the plate with an athletic and direct swing that was consistently on-plane, barreling the baseball for line drives up the middle and to the pull-side, producing upper-80s exit velocities. Defensively, he has soft hands with athletic and fluid actions to both sides paired with an accurate arm. In Meeker’s bullpen he impressed with his loose arm that showed acceleration out front.

OF/RHP Wilson Wemhoff (Hampshire, 2025) is a 5-foot-8, 194-pound two-way prospect who started the day off by running a 7.16 60-yard dash. At the plate he has a controlled swing with quick hands and was consistently on the barrel with authority and loud contact throughout his round. Wemhoff repeatedly back spun the baseball with power coming easily as he produced some of the hardest contact of the day (97.1 mph max EV), the second highest of the event. He also showed off a strong arm in the outfield and put together one of the better bullpens of the day. The right-hander displayed a quiet delivery that has acceleration downhill combined with a long, whippy arm that worked out of a ¾ slot. Wemhoff featured a four-pitch mix, with his fastball playing at 83-85 mph, topping out at 86 mph while filling the zone with heavy arm-side run. He mixed in a curveball that landed for strikes with 11/5 shape, a developing slider with slurve action, and a developing changeup as well.

RHP/SS Andrew Dawson (Oak Forest, 2026) is a 5-foot-11, 153-pound right-handed pitcher who had one of the better days on the mound. He works with a segmented drop/drive delivery paired with a quick and clean arm working out of a high ¾ slot. Dawson navigated a three-pitch mix with the fastball sitting 82-85 mph, topping out at 86.5 mph (an event high) with arm-side run that worked better to the glove side. The off-speed consisted of a curveball that had 12/6 shape with sharp downer action, and then a changeup that had sinking action playing well off of the fastball. Dawson also flashed one of the stronger arms among the infield group at the event with an 82 mph max velocity from across the diamond.

Another 2026 of note was SS/RHP Padraig Hurley (Illinois Lutheran, 2026), who is listed at 5-foot-8, 144-pounds. The right-hander has a step-behind, drop/drive delivery with a short, whippy arm from a high ¾ slot. Hurley displayed feel for the zone with his three-pitch mix. The fastball sat 79-82 mph, topping out at 82.9 mph with four-seam action. He mixed in two breaking balls, with the curveball presently showing the better feel of the two.

SS/RHP Benjamin Shea (Lincoln-Way West) and 3B Anthony Massa (Lincoln-Way West, 2024 are two uncommitted incoming seniors of note from the event. Shea showed a quick and direct swing with occasional jump to the pull side. Shea produced a max exit velocity of 90.8 mph (86.2 mph avg), and a max distance of 316’ while also showing smooth and athletic actions on the infield with an arm that played loose and topped at 83 mph. Massa has a 6-foot-1, 200-pound frame with present strength and quick hands from the right side of the plate (26 mph avg), recording a max exit velocity of 93.1 mph and a max distance of 337’. Defensively, Massa’s hands worked easy, and he played through the ball, consistently making accurate throws.

C/RHP Robert Soto Jr. (Reavis, 2027) is a young prospect to follow from the event while showing off some of the top bat speed of the event with a max of 75.3 mph. He stayed on-plane while consistently driving the ball to all parts of the field, and producing a max exit velocity of 91.7 mph with a max distance of 314’. Behind the plate, Soto moved around easily and showed a quick and clean transfer, recording a low pop time of 2.17. Also hopped on the mound, throwing a three-pitch mix with a fastball that showed armside run, a curveball that flashed 12/6 shape with sharp actions, and a change-up that played at the bottom half of the zone.

The trio of incoming juniors SS/RHP Jonny Lee (Romeoville, 2025), C/3B Peyton Ablin (Lincoln-Way Central, 2025), and SS/RHP Dylan Visvadra (Huntley, 2025) all impressed. At the plate, Lee showed a simple and repeatable approach with a bat path that was consistently level and on-plane. Ablin had a repeatable and level swing that was on-plane, and he produced one of the highest max exit velocities of the event (94.3 mph). Visvadra showed a simple swing path during BP and showed middle-of-the-field power. His defense was arguably his best attribute during the workout, showing smooth and easy actions with a loose arm.

RHP Jack Wilson (New Trier, 2024) is an uncommitted incoming senior with some present pitch ability. The right-hander has a drop/drive delivery, moves easily downhill with a high-intent, short arm action out of a ¾ slot. Showed a four-pitch mix with his  fastball sitting 82-83 mph, topping at 83 mph. Including both a four-seam and a two-seam, each showed arm-side run and feel for the zone. Both the curveball and the slider had 11/5 shape and landed for strikes, with the curveball being the better of the two.

OF/C Ethan Highfill (Sandburg, 2024) has a strong 6-foot-1,183-pound frame and showed the ability to hit to all parts of the field in BP while recording a max exit velocity of 94.3 mph. He also got on the mound and worked with an uptempo, side-saddle delivery that moved athletically downhill. His arm was long and aggressive from a ¾ slot. Highfill worked a four-pitch mix with the fastball sitting 82-83 mph, topping at 83.6 mph with ride through the zone. The slider was sharp and played well to the glove side while the curveball is developing with gradual break, and the circle-changeup stayed down in the zone.

CIF Jack Hughes (Evergreen Park, 2024) warrants a mention, showing a quick and on-plane right-handed swing that produced a max exit velocity of 94 mph. From the infield, he moved with intent and showed a strong arm on throws across the diamond reaching a max velocity of 81 mph.

RHP Brady Backes (LaSalle-Peru, 2025) is a 6-foot-1, 183-pounds incoming junior that works with a hybrid, side-step delivery but showed more comfort working from the stretch. The arm works short, with acceleration out front from a high ¾ slot. Backes currently works with a five-pitch mix consisting of a fastball, curveball, slider, changeup, and cutter. The fastball sat 84-85 mph, topping at 85.6 mph with ride while the changeup was the best of the off-speed offering playing with some feel at the bottom of the zone. The curveball was the better of the breaking balls, displaying sharp 12/6 action.