Prep Baseball Report

Chicago Preseason ID: Preview Story

By: Gavin Smith
Area Scout, Content

This Sunday, February 18th, the Prep Baseball Illinois team is hosting the Chicago Preseason ID at the Pullman Community Center in Chicago, Ill. This is an open event for all high school classes (2024-27), and gives our staff an ample look at the area's top players.

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.


We've been hosting this event for the past five years, and it's consistently provided us a look at prominent players who've later gone on to receive invitations to select events, like the PBR Future Games and Illinois State Games. Among the players in attendance at this event in 2023, there are already 17 commitments among them.

A pair of corner infielder’s showed well at this event last year in Trey Blanchette (Kankakee, 2024; Kankakee CC commit) and Justin Butcher (Taft, 2024). Blanchette had a loud showing, producing a max exit velocity of 95.2 mph, an average of 84.6 mph, with a quick and twitchy right-handed stroke. Butcher, also a right-handed hitter, had a peak exit velocity of 91 mph, and defensively recorded an 85 mph bullet across the diamond. Both players earned invites to the Illinois State Games after their performance, with Butcher committing to Lake Michigan JC shortly after the State Games last August.

We're looking forward to checking in on the next crop of talent from this event to earn next-level attention in the coming weeks, months, and years.


This year's roster is shaping up nicely, just like in year's past.

RHP Jack Gianikos (Maine South, 2026) will be an arm to keep an eye on at this Sunday’s event. Gianikos jumped on our radar after a ‘pen this fall, where he showed feel with four pitches, which included a low-80s fastball (T84.3 mph). His best off-speed is presumably his slider, which features 19.8 inches of horizontal action, sitting 69-70 mph. 6-foot-3, 180-pound build, and ranked No. 65 in the state’s 2026 class.

We saw RHP/1B Ashton Janowski (Oak Forest, 2025) this past summer at the Hounds Scout Day. Janowksi showed well at the plate, producing a max exit velocity of 92.2 mph and a max distance of 323 feet. On the mound, he was up to 80.6 mph, with a loose, easy arm action.

OF/RHP Matthew Jackson (Prospect, 2026) stands in a 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame with signs of more yet to come. He has a simple right-handed swing that we’ve seen produce a max exit velocity of 93.6 mph and a max distance of 320 feet. He has a strong arm that’s reached 86 mph on his best throw to home, and his fastball on the mound has been up to 81 mph in looks this past summer.

Perusing the event roster, we’re set to meet a majority of players who’ve not yet attended a PBR showcase, and we’re eager to add more names to our follow lists.


Because of the high number of prospects set to attend Sunday’s event, it is imperative that you read our adjusted showcase itinerary below, which will allow our staff to swiftly and efficiently educate and evaluate the players set to attend.

Additionally, in an effort to continue and develop contactless check-in strategies, upon arrival, players will scan a QR Code with their smart phone camera that will lead them to a Google Form. On that Form, players will enter their name (matching the spelling on their PBR profile) and hit submit. Upon submission, players will be prompted to click a link that will direct them to their jersey color and number, located next to their registered name.


Please bring snacks and drinks as events can run long, especially depending on your position.


  • All Players: 8:45 am


Click here to learn more about our tech partners that have enhanced our players showcase experience. Partners like TrackMan, Vizual Edge, and Blast Motion have helped both our in-event evaluation process, as well the compilation of our post-event scouting reports – and they're also a tool for our players to learn more about their measured and collected data, that can be applied to improve upon their game.