West Suburban Open: Quick Hits
July 6, 2022
On Tuesday, June 28th, the PBR Illinois staff traveled to Lee Pfund Stadium in Wheaton, Illinois, to host the West Suburban Open. This event featured more than 20 prospects from the 2023-to-2026 graduating classes and provided our staff an opportunity to check-in on them as the summer progresses.
Now, at the event’s conclusion, we’ll start to pump out content from the day, starting with these quick hits. Below you’ll find players from the day that popped to our staff, all of which are uncommitted.
The biggest winner on the mound from last Tuesday’s event was RHP Tom Ford (Lisle, 2024). Standing at a lanky 6-foot-6, 185-pounds, Ford has plenty of room to fill out his high-waisted and projectable frame. His delivery is simple, pitching exclusively out of the stretch with a drop/drive lower-half, remaining in-line to the plate throughout his stride. His arm works loose and quick with a long arm circle out of the glove, transitioning into a high ¾ slot. The tall right-hander worked primarily in the 86-89 mph range, but reached back for 90-91 mph on his last couple bullets while playing with life at the top of the zone. His curveball looked to be his best off-speed offering on this day, playing with sharp 11/5 shape and downward action, also tunneling off his fastballs effectively while locating down under the zone, 68-70 mph. He went to a slider for his third offering, pulling off to his glove-side at times but flashing sharp 10/4 bullet action, 73-76 mph. Having seen Ford up to 88 mph this past winter, his three mph jump is no surprise as he has started to control his body down the mound more consistently.
Another arm that stood out was LHP Charlie Hynes (Saint Ignatius, 2023), offering a different look to would-be hitters while boasting a dynamic three-pitch mix. 6-foot-2, 190-pounds, strong, workhorse build. Down the mound, Hynes works with a smooth/fluid tempo throughout his operation, moving into a drop/drive lower-half while keeping his back knee over the rubber as he pushes downhill, remaining in-line to the plate throughout his stride. His arm works loose and clean from a ¾ to low ¾ slot, giving a tough look for would-be hitters, especially left-handers. The southpaw filled up the zone with his fastball, playing with sinking action at 84-87 mph. His slider showed out-pitch potential, working off a 2/8 plane with sharp action and feel for the zone, 70-75 mph. To round out his three-pitch mix, Hynes went to a changeup at 74-79 mph, thrown with intent and playing with heavy fading action at-times.
RHP Stevie Hobbs (Glenbard North, 2023) turned in one of the better ‘pens on Tuesday. 5-foot-11, 185-pounds, athletic build. Hobbs works with an up-tempo pace on the mound from his balance point, moving into a drop/drive lower-half while remaining in-line to the plate in his stride, shoulders remaining level throughout the operation, front foot lands square. His fastball worked in the 83-87 mph range, topping out at 88 mph on his last bullet; playing heavy with life through the zone. His curveball bites off an 11/5 plane with sharp action, kept mostly down in accordance to the zone, 69-72 mph. His final offering was a running changeup at 77-80 mph, playing with horizontal fading action and thrown with fastball intent.
Another 2023 right-hander that showed well on Tuesday was Drew Koenig (Oak Park-River Forest). The 6-foot-2, 185-pound right-hander has a lean build, looking to have some room for added strength in the coming years. With a fluid tempo, Koenig coils slightly into his balance point before moving into a drop/drive lower-half, remaining in-line with the plate down the mound. His arm plays with a short/repeatable arm circle out of the glove before moving into a ¾ slot. His fastball rides through the zone, spinning at a max of 2,306 RPM with an IVB max of just under 17 inches, 83-85 mph. To pair off his fastball, Koenig went to a sharp 11/5 breaking ball with slurvy shape at times, some strikes, 65-68 mph. His final offering was a changeup at 71-72 mph, thrown with fastball arm-speed and fading late to his arm-side.
In his first PBR showcase, LHP Tommy Van Daff made a strong first impression. Athletically built at a lean 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, Van Daff shows some upside in his build with room for added strength in the coming years. Working exclusively from the stretch, the left-hander drops quickly into his back knee from balance point, dropping and driving down the mound while remaining in-line with the plate throughout his stride. His arm plays long out of the glove, transitioning into a ¾ slot. Van Daff sat comfortably in the 81-83 mph range with his fastball, topping out at 83.5 mph while playing with sinking action through the zone. His curveball plays off a 2/8 plane with some sweeping action, thrown for strikes at 60-62 mph. To fill out his arsenal, Van Daff went to a fading changeup at 70-72 mph, playing with mostly horizontal action and thrown with intent.
INF Sohrab Rezaei (University of Chicago Lab, 2023) had one of the top all around performances from the day. At the plate the 5-foot-8, 165-pound, right-handed hitter stays extremely compact and repeatable with above-average barrel feel. Rezaei sprayed hard, lifted contact to all parts of the diamond and was on the barrel at a high-rate. Rezaei averaged the top bat speed of the event at 75.6 mph. Defensively, he is an athletic, bouncy defender with soft confident hands and plays well on the move. His arm plays accurately from multiple slots and topped at 82 mph (has been 84 in the past. Rezaei also ran a 6.88 60 and registered a max exit velocity of 94 mph.
One of the more intriguing rounds of BP came off the bat of OF Jayden Malone (Metea Valley, 2023). Malone, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound, right-handed hitter, stays quiet throughout letting the ball travel deep into the hitting zone. He stays short, quick and strong through contact with present twitch and bat speed. Malone has advanced hand speed, leading the event in a wide margin at an average of 25.7 mph. He also showed off the top rotational acceleration by a wide margin as well. Malones furthest ball off the bat traveled 344 feet. He also takes confident, concise routes in the outfield, topping at 78 mph and running a 7.05 60.
Catcher Joey Raineri (Lisle, 2023) flashed some power in his right-handed swing. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound, backstop stays long through the zone, getting extension and driving balls consistently to the middle, pull-side of the diamond. His hardest batted ball came off the bat at 95 mph and traveled 338 feet. Raineri also registered the top on plane efficiency of the event averaging 84 %.
INF Isaac Sobieszczyk (Willowbrook) is a strong-bodied 2023 who has the ability to stick on the dirt moving forward. At 6-foot-2, 205-pounds, he has an above-average feel for the infield with athletic, clean actions and sure-hands while his arm plays at 83 mph across. Offensively, it's a loose, strong swing with uphill tendencies and a high fly ball rate off the bat while working to both gaps. Upside power potential that profiles at third base moving forward.
Switch-hitting Eric DeCosta (Wheaton Warrenville South, 2024) is a 6-foot-4, 205-pound with all kinds of upside and power potential at the plate. It's a loose swing from both sides of the plate with more jump off the barrel and loud contact coming from the right-side of the plate. The swing stays on-plane working with natural loft throughout and controlled intent. High-follow bat and frame in the 2024 class.
Left/left outfielder Brendan Tunink (Newman Central Catholic) featured some of the highest upside at the event. Tunink has a 5-foot-11, 165-pound, athletic, squared shouldered frame with plenty more strength to come down the road. He ran a 6.87 60 and showed a polished swing with present bat speed and power. Tunink registered the second highest average bat speed of the event at 73.9 mph. He also had the top average exit velocity at 90.2 mph and routinely squared up baseballs in the air to the pull-side of the diamond. It's an athletic, repeatable swing that works on balance and with minimal effort. Defensively, he moves with fluidity, getting around and playing through the baseball in rhythm and with ease to go along with an arm that topped at 85 mph.
One of the more polished rounds of BP came off the bat of INF Raymond Sansonetti (Jones College Prep, 2023). Listed at 5-foot-11, 155-pounds, the right-handed hitter showed above-average feel for the barrel while spraying hard, line-drive contact to all fields. The bat stays level through the zone and he creates occasional barrel-whip. Defensively, he plays with rhythm and pace on the infield. He is a confident defender with soft hands and his arm played at 80 mph across.
Another infielder who stood out on the day was SS Aidan Thaxton (St. Ignatius, 2023). Thaxton has highly-athletic actions at shortstop with advanced glove presentation and quick glove-to-hand release when he wants. He plays in control and naturally on the move with the ability to throw from multiple slots. His arm topped at 84 mph and ran a 6.87 60 which is down from a 7.15 from 2021. Offensively, he has an upright, relaxed setup in the right-handed batters box and works gap-to-gap with fluid rhythm and relaxed look. Follow 2023 middle infielder.
One of the top 2025s in attendance looked to be left/left outfielder Kolin Adams (Mount Carmel). Adams has a repeatable, polished swing at the plate, especially given his age. He stays balanced, and calm throughout, letting the ball travel deep in the zone while showing loose, quick hands and the ability to handle the barrel. Adams sprayed hard line-drive contact to all fields. Defensively, he plays with smooth, easy actions and his arm topped at 82 mph from the outfield.
2025 infielder, Nikolas Nelson (Dekalb), showed above-average defensive actions and abilities during the defensive portion of the event. Nelson has loose, confident actions, quick feet and soft hands that play from the ground up. He topped at 76 mph across the diamond.