Prep Baseball Report

Unsigned Senior Showcase: Takeaways

By: Drew Locascio, Isaiah Glidden, and Gavin Smith
Illinois Scouting Staff

On Feb 5, PBR Illinois hosted the winter’s Unsigned Senior Showcase, as it does each and every winter, at the MAX complex in McCook, Ill., where over 30 prospects participated. These class of 2023 athletes remain uncommitted headed into their final season of their prep careers.

Today, we will begin breaking down the event’s highlights inside of this Quick Hits post. Stay tuned throughout the week as we continue to break down the in-depth metrics measured at this event, with the help of our tech partners TrackMan, Blast Motion, and Vizual Edge. Here are some of the day’s top performers, broken down by position players, two-ways and pitchers. 


INF/OF Luke Bafia (Benet Academy) is an upside right-handed hitter, and he turned in one of the better performances at the event. Bafia is listed at an athletic 6-foot-1, 190-pounds and ran a 6.90 in the 60-yard dash to start his day off, which was good for the second-best time at the event. He then proceeded to take a smooth round of BP, utilizing a quiet approach that flashed some favor to his pull-side, recording a max exit velocity of 95 mph and his furthest batted ball traveled 352 feet. Defensively, Bafia is an athletic mover with quick feet, and a strong arm that topped at 86 mph across the infield and 93 mph from the outfield (an event high). Toolsy unsigned senior to follow moving forward.

C Dylan Johnson (Waubonsie Valley) was one of the most confident looking hitters at the event. Johnson has a strong, athletic frame at 6-foot-2, 205-pounds and hits left-handed from a wide base coupled with quick hands and an aggressive, yet controlled swing. He recorded an average exit velocity of 87.7 mph and a max exit velocity of 96 mph. Johnson was making routine, loud contact back up the middle of the field throughout his round. Behind the dish, he flashed clean, athletic movements on his throws down to second paired with a quick arm that allowed him to record the top pop-times of the day at 2.02-2.08. Johnson also ran a 7.27 laser-timed 60.

1B/3B Jack Celler (Jacobs) is listed at a physical 6-foot-3, 215-pounds and he put together arguably the loudest round of BP the day. In the right-handed box, Celler impressed with a loose, whippy, heavy barrel that recorded some of the day's best batted ball metrics, a 101.6 max EV and a 389 foot max distance, both of which were event highs. He also led the event with a 94.9 average exit velocity, which speaks how he lived on the barrel for much of the round.

OF Ethan Lopez (Richards) was one of the more toolsy prospects at the event. Lopez, a 5-foot-11, 165-pound outfielder, started the day off running a 6.88 in the 60-yard dash, an event best. At the plate, he recorded an average exit velocity of 87.8 mph, a max exit velocity of 96 mph, and an average distance of 265 feet. From the outfield, he showed athleticism with quick feet and topped at 84 mph.

 INF/OF Stephen Combs (Harvest Christian) is listed at an athletic 6-foot, 178-pounds with room for added strength. Combs started the day off by running a 7.00 in the 60-yard dash. He then followed up with a polished round of BP, flashing an aggressive left-handed swing path with an uphill approach and recorded a max exit velocity of 92.6 mph, with an average of 89.4 mph. Defensively, Combs worked out in the infield and from the outfield. He plays with steady hands, gets around the baseball on the infield and winds up through release. He topped at 83 mph across the infield and 81 mph from the outfield.

OF Cole Clemens (Naperville North), listed at strong 6-foot, 205-pounds, ran a 7.10 60-yard dash and was atop the board for most of the hitting data points. The left-handed hitter has a balanced setup, strong hands and a gap-to-gap approach, registering a 97 mph exit velocity, 90.9 mph average. Defensively he plays with clean footwork and easy range, getting around and behind the baseball while gaining ground through release, topping at 84 mph.

OF Marcus Taylor Jr. (Bishop Noll, IN) is listed at a wiry 6-foot-1, 168-pounds with room to add strength. Taylor began the day running one of the better 60s at the event with a 6.92. Offensively, Taylor displayed a compact, lifted swing with an all-fields approach, registering a 90.8 mph max exit velocity. In the outfield, he showed athletic movements, and worked in-line with the target, showing some arm strength that recorded an OF velocity of 84 mph.


OF/RHP Aidan Capone (Auburn) was one of the top winners from the event and should be a two-way prospect to follow closely moving forward. Capone has an athletic 6-foot-2, 180-pound frame that has added quality strength since our last look in August of 2022. On the mound, he showed an up-tempo, athletic delivery, paired with a quick and lively arm. The fastball sat 86-88 mph, with late run and jump through the zone. Capone also mixed in a mid-70s slider with a late wrinkle and a changeup that played at 75-78.5 mph with an average of 17 inches of horizontal movement. At the plate, Capone flashed a whippy, strong barrel with a pull-side approach, he recorded one of the top exit velocities of the day (97 mph). From the outfield, he showed athleticism getting to the ball, and a strong arm that was recorded at 92 mph. Additionally, Capone ran a 6.97 60-yard dash.

OF/RHP Preston Wallace (Lincoln-Way East) was another interesting two-way look at the event. Listed at 5-foot-11, 155-pounds, Wallace has plenty of room to add on strength as well. On the mound his fastball sat 81-83, that played mostly straight with some life out of the hand. As for his offspeed offering, he featured a low 70's curveball that profiled similar to his 69-72 mph slider.  His changerup played at 74-75 with slight fade. At the plate, Wallace worked a center/right field approach, and reached a max exit velocity of 89 mph. From the outfield, he showed a strong arm that worked in-line with the target, reaching a max velocity of 90 mph on his throws home. Wallace also recorded a respective 7.00 in the 60-yard dash, too.

OF/RHP Jason Sullivan (Sandburg) got Sunday’s event started with a bang as he put together one of the day's top ‘pens. Out of methodical and directional delivery, Sullivan ran his fastball up to 86.8 mph with late life through the zone with occasional cutting action. He also was able to spin in two different breaking balls, the first being a sweeping slider and the second a more traditional 11/5 curveball that he was able to throw down in the zone. He rounded out his four-pitch mix with a changeup that he sold well, and featured some late run/depth in the zone. Offensively, Sullivan works from a wide setup and utilizes quick hands to create exit velocities up to 96.3 mph.

INF/RHP Peter Lemke (St. Francis) was another two-way prospect that had a strong all-around showing. On the mound, the polished, smooth operating 6-foot, 186-pound, right-hander showed a fastball that played up to 84.3 mph, with the ability to manipulate the baseball, mixing in a 82-83 mph sinker with different action and sink to it. His slider played at 73-75 mph with tight horizontal break and some feel while throwing it with conviction. His changeup sat 75-77 mph with some fade and late depth. Polished arm with presence and feel on the mound. At the plate, showed quick hands, an opposite field approach, and registered a max exit velocity of 92 mph. 

OF/RHP Philip Peltes (Duchesne, MO) made his trip our from Missouri worth it on Sunday. Checking in at an impressive 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, Peltes gave us an impressive look on the mound, where the right-hander worked his fastball 83-85 mph with life and ride through the zone. His slider sat 76-79 mph with tight horizontal action and he also flashed feel for a developing changeup. At the plate, Peltes showed an uphill swing and an approach that favored the pull-side. His max exit velocity of the day was 83 mph. He also recorded a max velocity from the outfield of 87 mph.


RHP Connor Hale (Saint Joseph-Ogden) is an athletic, 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior with a strong lower half. On the mound, he has a quiet, repeatable delivery, with a long, quick arm out of an over the top slot. His fastball sat 82-85 mph, with sinking action, and used it to his advantage as he kept it low in the zone. He also showed feel for a curveball in the low-70s with 12/6 shape that he able to locate in/around the bottom of the zone. He rounded out his four-pitch mix with a 10/4 slider and changeup in the high 70s with depth. 

RHP Emanuel Castillo (Lake View) worked out of the stretch only, with a short arm path out of a ¾ slot, and a 2-pitch arsenal. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Castillo sat 80-82 mph with cutter-like movement in and around the zone. His lone offspeed offering was a slider that sat in the 65-68 mph range with horizontal movement, and was also able to throw it in the zone or as a chase pitch just outside the zone.

RHP Ryan Wiles (Prairie Ridge) is listed at 5-foot-8, 150-pounds. On the mound,  he showed an up-tempo delivery, paired with a quick, short arm out of a ¾ slot. His fastball sat 81-82 mph, mostly straight with some life out of the hand. He also featured two different breaking balls, the first being a more traditional curveball with 11/5 action and some depth. The second being a slider that was thrown slightly harder and featured sweeping action. He rounded out his four-pitch mix with a changeup that sat 72-73 mph with late fade and depth.

5-foot-10, 155-pound, RHP/C Payton Evans (Bloomington), made his mark on the mound sitting 81-83 mph, topped out at 84 mph with carry through the zone. His slider played at 66-68 mph with feel and sweeping action. The changeup sat 77-79 mph, thrown hard for strikes with some late run. Evans also ran a 7.31 in the 60-yard dash and had a max exit velocity of 84 mph as a position player.

Yet another arm to know was RHP Casey Shell (Lake Zurich). Shell has a proportional 6-foot, 180-pound frame and pitched out of the stretch with a quick arm. His fastball sat 81-83 mph, topping at 84 mph with cutting action. He featured two off-speed offerings, a curveball that sat 69-71 mph with 11/5 break and a changeup that sat 73-78 mph, thrown at the same arm-speed as his fastball.