Prep Baseball Report

2023 Metro East Kickoff Classic: Preview

By: Diego Solares
Area Scout, Illinois & Missouri

The fifth annual Metro East Kickoff Classic, sponsored by Prep Baseball Report, is back in 2023 and with a larger field of competitors than ever. Beginning on Tuesday, March 14, this four-day event will feature teams spanning the entire state of Illinois competing against each other in the St. Louis area across nine venues in the Metro East: GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Ill., SIU-Edwardsville's Roy E. Lee Field, Edwardsville High School, Blazier Field at City Park in O'Fallon, Belleville East High School, Father McGivney High School, Belleville West High School and Alton High School.

The PBR Illinois staff will provide on-the-ground coverage of the Kickoff Classic, producing game updates, post-game analysis that will impact our Power 25 rankings, as well as scout notes on the top performers through the week. Our homepage,, will house everything IHSA baseball fans will need in order to stay updated on this opening week of action, including daily schedules, participating team previews, game scores, player scouting reports, and more.

For all Metro East Kickoff Classic coverage,  visit the event's homepage. For up-to-date information throughout the event be sure to follow PBR Illinois on Twitter at @PBRIllinois.

*NOTE: Weather is unfortunately threatening the status of this year's Kickoff Classic, so some of the teams previewed below may not make the trip to the Metro East, ultimately. Still, we wanted to share with you some of the players to note on these teams ahead of their season's start, whether or not they're able to attend this year's Kickoff Classic.*

participating TEAMS & HEAD COACHES

Althoff Catholic (Rich Sauget), Alton (Scott Harper), Belleville East (Ryan Wiggs), Belleville West (Todd Baltz), Breese Central (Ryan Meyer), Champaign Central (John Stabb), Civic Memorial (Nick Smith), Coal City (Greg Wills), Collinsville (Brett Swip), Columbia (Neal O’Donnell), Dunlap (Eric Stone), Edwardsville (Tim Funkhouser), Effingham (Curran McNeely), Father McGivney (Chris Erwin), Freeburg (Drew Gericke), Galesburg (Jeremy Pickrel), Glenwood (Casey Erickson), Harrisburg (Jay Thompson), Jacobs (Jamie Murray), Joliet Catholic Academy (Jared Voss), Joliet West (John Karczewski), Kaneland (Brian Aversa), LaSalle-Peru Township (Matt Glupczynski), Lincoln-Way West (Jake Zajc), Lockport (Scott Malinowski), Lockport Township (Scott Malinowski), Mahomet-Seymour (Nic DiFilippo), Marist (Kevin Sefcik), Marquette (Missouri; John Meyer), Mount Carmel (Brian Hurry), Mascoutah (Don Eddy), Moline (Craig Schimmel), Mt. Vernon (Pierce Borah), Nashville Community (Chad Malaway), New Trier (Mike Napoleon), Normal Community (Ryan Short), Normal West (Chris Hawkins), North Clay (John Frech), O'Fallon Township (Joe Bauer), Oak Forest (Ron Czarnecki), Oswego (Joe Giarrante), Plainfield North (John Darlington), Pleasant Plains (Dave Greer), Quincy (Matt McClelland), Rochester (Matt Carlson), Salem Community (Brian Lipe), St. Joseph-Ogden (Josh Haley), Teutopolis (Jordan Thoele/Justin Fleener), Triad (Jesse Bugger), and Washington Community (Kyle Wisher).



Hank Gomric, OF, 2024: Saint Louis commit. 6-foot-5, 205-pound athlete with long, lanky highly projectable levers. Has shown our staff loud tools in the past; 6.94 60, 99.5 mph max exit velocity, 90.5 mph average.

Bauer Dalke, RHP, 2024: 6-foot-6, 165-pounds. Features a low-to-mid-80s fastball with above-average feel for his secondaries. Pitched to a 2.08 ERA over 37 innings last season, walking just 11 and striking out 38.


Jayden Diaz, C, 2023: Wabash Valley JC commit. Was a standout at the Battle for The Arch last September. Physical 5-foot-9, 188-pound left-handed bat with easy juice and polished feel to hit. Accurate arm behind the plate, above-average receiver.

Austin Rathgeb, OF, 2024: Strong statured 5-foot-11, 190-pound uncommitted junior that flashed above-average raw power and bat strength to the pull-side at the GBA Scout Day this February.


Zander Mueth, RHP, 2023: Mississippi commit. The top-ranked pitching prospect in the Illinois’ 2023 class, ranked No. 29 overall nationally. Long-limbed 6-foot-5, 190-pound frame, has added strength this winter. Fastball has been up to 96 mph in the past, holds low-to-mid-90s from a lower arm slot with a swing-and-miss slider. Will occasionally flash run and sink on a changeup. Certain to garner high level draft buzz this spring.

Dylan Mannino, RHP, 2023: Western Kentucky commit. 6-foot-3, 165-pound frame with loose, lean levers that project. Competitor on the mound, features a high-80s fastball that’s been up to 91 mph in our looks and a sharp slider that’ll consistently miss bats to pair off it. A potential impact high-ceiling arm.

Owen Kelly, RHP, 2023: Saint Louis commit. Lean, lanky 6-foot-4, 195-pound with plenty of room to fill out. Strike thrower with a three pitch mix. Features a mid-to-high-80s fastball from a loose, clean ¾ slot and spins a short wrinkle slider at 78-81 mph from the same slot around the zone. Also has a feel for a 79-81 mph changeup consistently spotted in the lower quadrant. Clear poise and mound presence, one of the top arms in southern Illinois.

Ean DiPasquale, RHP, 2023: Minnesota State commit. Strong, imposing 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame. Swings a physical left-handed bat with juice, has also pitched in the upper-80s on the mound previously.

Joseph Mendiola, INF, 2023: St. Charles CC commit. Sturdy 5-foot-8, 180-pound athlete with compact strength. Swings one of the more productive right-handed bats in southern Illinois, batted .450/.512/.667 last season with 36 RBIs, 12 doubles,  and four home runs.

Patrick Mendiola, C, 2023: Saint Louis commit. 5-foot-9, 185-pound athlete with strength, broad shoulders. Like his brother, enjoyed success offensively last spring, batting .337/.468/.564 with 11 doubles and four home runs. Captains this staff behind the plate. Is an adequate receiver with soft hands and arm strength, popping as best as a 1.86 at the Canes Scout Weekend in October of 2022.


Brayden Biggs, C/RHP, 2023: McKendree commit. 6-foot, 150-pounds, lean limbs with room to fill out. Long, loose right-handed bat. Has shown us arm strength behind the plate (81 mph) and on the mound, pitching in the mid-80s with his fastball while spinning a 2400+ RPM curveball to pair in the low-70s.

Jake Stedman, INF, 2024: 5-foot-10, 170-pound proportionally strong uncommitted junior, has added strength over the winter. Short and direct right-handed swing, uses the whole field and should hit at the top of the Maroons’ lineup. Also sure-handed and versatile on the infield, 86 mph across at the St. Louis Preseason ID this February.

John Hilpert, OF/RHP, 2025: 5-foot-9, 160-pound athlete, bulked up over the off-season and has started to fill out his frame. Strong right-handed swing with intent to elevate and juice, recently recorded a max exit velocity of 97.5 mph and 364 ft. peak distance at the A’s Scout Day. Also a follow on the mound, pitching at 83-85 mph with his fastball and spinning a 71-73 mph slider, averaging 2600+ RPM.


Conner Freeze, INF, 2023: Quincy commit. 6-foot, 180-pounds. Starts at shortstop and is a team captain for the Cougars. Batted .380 last spring with 41 total hits, including 11 doubles, and scored 35 runs, driving in 31 of his own.

Chase Lewis, RHP/INF, 2023: Uncommitted. 6-foot-2, 225-pounds, returns as a top two-way contributor for Breese Central. Totaled 51 hits in 2022, 12 going for extra bases, bringing home 35 runs and batting .415. Also pitched to a 2.90 ERA over 36 innings with a 2-1 record and 41 strikeouts.

Cody Dickshot, OF, 2023: 5-foot-10, 180-pounds. Stole 22 bags for Breese Central last season, drew 44 walks and scored 44 runs total. Batted .385 with 40 hits.

Zane Schrage, RHP/INF, 2024: 6-foot-5, 195-pounds. Won four games with three saves as a sophomore with a 1.59 ERA over 26 innings of work.


Bryer Arview, MIF, 2023: Western Kentucky commit. PBR Future Games alum. 6-foot-1, 185-pounds with a simple left-handed swing, works direct to contact and doesn’t try to do too much. High bat to ball skills, batted .447/.544/.741 as a junior last spring with 19 stolen bases. Is also an advanced up-the-middle defender with soft hands, clean actions, and foot rhythm. Ran a 6.75 60 at the Preseason All-State last winter. One of the top seniors in southern Illinois.


Ethan Bagwell, RHP, 2024: Missouri commit. Highly physical 6-foot-2, 230-pound frame, really fills out the uniform. Made 12 appearances as a sophomore last spring, struck out 70 batters over 39 innings pitched. Pitches in the upper-80s with his fastball, running it into the low-90s on occasion, and confidently spins a mid-to-high-70s slider for strikes, as well as out of the zone for whiffs. Also the quarterback at Collinsville. One of the top junior arms in the state.

Bryce Lemp, LHP/OF, 2024: 5-foot-11, 185-pound athlete with strength, particularly in the lower half. Pitches in the mid-80s with his fastball, touching 85 mph, and spins a tight slider with some depth off it for strikes at 74-76 mph, 2200+ RPM. Mostly worked in relief last season, pitching to a 2.91 ERA over 33 ⅔ innings, punching out over a batter per inning. Showed a physical uphill left-handed bat at the Pirates Scout Day this winter with bat speed, too. Uncommitted.


Dominic Voegele, RHP, 2023: Kansas commit. 6-foot-2, 180-pounds with lean strength and room to fill out further. Has risen drastically up our 2023 rankings over the past calendar year, currently slotted within the top-400 nationally. Excels on the mound, pitching in the low-90s with his fastball and spinning two swing-and-miss breaking balls, adding a firm changeup with late sink this winter. Also starts at shortstop and bats in the middle of the lineup for Columbia. Quarterbacks the football team and plays defense. A do-it-all type of player that is amongst the top prospects in Illinois, regardless of class.

Alex Schreckenberg, 2B, 2023: McKendree commit. Upside 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame. Batted .377 with a .455 on-base percentage last spring while starting at second base and hitting in the upper part of the lineup.


Jaxon Tresenriter, RHP/OF, 2025: Projectable 6-foot, 150-pounds. Clean and easy arm action, works from a ¾ slot that creates natural run and sink. Fastball has played in the low-to-mid-80s previously, throws a slurvy breaking ball off it for strikes. Upside arm with more in the tank.

Davis Weeks, MIF/RHP, 2025: Strength in a 6-foot, 165-pound build; defends with some bounce on the left side of the infield. Smooth, controlled actions, efficient fundamentals. Also a follow prospect on the mound; he sat 80-82 mph (82.7 max) at Preseason All-State (2/25/23) this winter on a fastball that has above-average spin for its velocity, and carry.


Riley Iffrig, 1B, 2023: Indiana State commit. 6-foot-3, 215-pounds. PBR Future Games alum and a top-50 prospect in the Illinois’ senior class. Standout left-handed bat that heavily produced for the reigning state champions; .433/.550/.615 line last spring with 10 doubles and 32 RBIs, walking more times than he struck out.

Cole Funkhouser, MIF, 2023: Central Missouri commit. 5-foot-8, 150-pounds. Hard-nosed and competitive, plays the game hard consistently. Advanced defender up the middle, high IQ. Short and compact right-handed swing with a knack for contact. Reached base at a .426 clip last spring with almost more walks than strikeouts.

Kayden Jennings, INF, 2023: Illinois-Springfield commit. 5-foot-11, 175-pound athletic, well-proportioned frame. Advanced athlete, has run a 6.7 60 at our events in the past and shows that on the diamond. Sure-handed defender on the infield that can play multiple positions too.

Alec Marchetto, RHP, 2024: 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, strong lower half. Represented Team Illinois at the PBR Future Games last summer. Pitches in the mid-to-upper-80s with a tight, lateral spin on a 75-76 mph breaking ball that he’s comfortable throwing around the zone in all counts. Worked almost exclusively out of the ‘pen last spring with a 0.99 ERA over 35 ⅓ innings.

Joseph Chiarodo, RHP/OF, 2025: Alabama commit. Added strength and explosiveness on a 5-foot-11, 180-pound frame this off-season. Stuff ticked up as a result, pitching in the upper-80s with his fastball at the GBA Scout Day, topping at 90 mph. Throws three pitches off it - 78-80 mph curveball, 80-81 mph changeup, 81-83 mph cutter, with the former being the most polished of the trio. Also runs a 6.87 60 with aggressive right-handed bat speed and juice (100.8 mph), and will see time in the outfield this spring. One of the top prospects in the current Illinois’ sophomore class.

Lucas Krebs, INF, 2025: 6-foot, 174-pounds, looks the part. Came away from the GBA Scout Day as an arrow-up name. Swings a fast right-handed bat and generates hard contact as a result. Posted a max exit velocity of 95.5 mph, furthest ball traveled 344 feet. Active feet on the infield with advanced arm strength to pair for age (90 mph).

Tyler Powell, RHP/3B, 2025: Strong 6-foot, 190-pound athlete, thick lower half. Pitchability arm with four pitches, including an 85-87 mph fastball. Faded a firm 80-81 mph changeup to the arm-side corner at the GBA Scout Day, and spun two different breaking balls with to pair; 68-69 mph curveball, 75-78 mph slider. Also has raw right-handed power - 91.7 mph average exit velocity, 97.3 mph peak, 375 ft. max distance.


Josh McDevitt, RHP, 2023: Missouri commit. Athletic 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame, strength in the lower half. Impressed our staff in a ‘pen this winter, holding 91-93 mph on his fastball with carry. Late break on a true swing-and-miss breaking ball at 78-80 mph with bite and depth off his fastball’s plane. A true frontline arm for the Red Hearts that is amongst the top prospects in the state’s senior class.

Camden Raddatz, INF/RHP, 2024: 6-foot, 185-pounds with added muscle. Came away from the Preseason All-State as a winner, improving in multiple areas of his game. Repeats hard contact off a short and direct right-handed swing, averaging 95.2 mph per batted ball, peaking at 100.4 mph. Was 85 mph across the infield with a sure-handed glove that can stick on the dirt. Also pitches at 85-87 mph with his fastball and spins a breaking ball with sharp spin on occasion. Uncommitted.


Gabe Smith, RHP, 2023: Mississippi commit. Imposing 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame. Fluid mover down the mound for his size. Ticked up this winter, sitting in the low-90s at a workout in front of our staff with heavy horizontal action. Feel for a fading changeup at 81-83 mph and will also spin a mid-to-high-70s slider with occasional late break and depth. Will rise up the state’s 2023 rankings in our next update and is one of the premier senior arms in the state.

Jackson Rodgers, RHP, 2023: Western Illinois commit. 6-foot-2, 170-pound athlete with lean, wiry strength. Fastball plays in the mid-80s, topping at 87 mph with natural arm-side run. Primary secondary is a changeup that mimics fastball action in the upper-70s. Pitched to a 2.63 ERA with 58 strikeouts and 15 walks over 42 ⅔ innings last season.

Daniel Gierer, INF, 2023: 5-foot-10, 160-pound uncommitted senior. Ran a 6.70 60 at the GBA Scout Day last summer with a quick and level right-handed swing. Was one of the top performers for Father McGivney last season, batting .452/.566/.704 with 20 doubles and 36 RBIs.


Lane Otten, RHP, 2023: Physical 6-foot-3, 200-pound uncommitted senior. Features a mid-to-upper-80s fastball that plays best down in the zone. Has shown our staff a mid-to-high-70s slider in the past with late break and sharp lateral spin. Hurled 48 ⅔ innings last spring with a 1.58 ERA and 52 strikeouts to 13 walks.


Easton Steck, INF, 2023: Illinois-Springfield commit. 6-foot-2, 185-pounds. Multi-sport athlete, stands out on the basketball court. 6.66 runner in the 60, easy hand and bat speed from a short, simple right-handed swing that’s shown above-average raw power in the past.


Parker Detmers, RHP, 2023: Louisville commit. Prototypical starter’s frame; 6-foot-3, 205-pounds. One of the more polished arms in the country, pounds the strike zone with his entire offering. Pumps his fastball in the low-90s consistently, topping at 93 mph in our looks, and lives around the strike zone. Lands a mid-to-high-70s breaking ball for strikes and can put it out of the zone for whiffs, too. Also fades and sinks a low-80s changeup from the same arm speed and conviction as his fastball. An elite tier prospect in the state’s senior class, currently ranked fourth overall on our in-state list and 60th nationally.

Lane Lorton, RHP, 2023: Parkland JC commit. Physical 6-foot-4, 205-pound athlete. Fastball was up to 87 mph last June at the Illinois Summer Championships, sitting in the low-to-mid-80s. Sweeping low-70s slider is his primary secondary, rounds his arsenal out with a changeup.


Ross Rider, RHP, 2023: 5-foot-11, 190-pound multi-sport athlete that played running back and wide receiver for Harrisburg this past fall. Expected to be a top arm in the Bulldogs rotation.

Ethan Golish, INF, 2024: Top returner from last year’s team, earned all-conference honors as a sophomore and is looked at as an important bat within this offense.

Noah Arnold, RHP, 2024: Athletic 5-foot-8, 155-pound frame. Threw three pitches for strikes at the GBA Scout Day this past February. Fastball sat 83-84 mph, tight spin on a 68-69 mph curveball, threw 71-72 mph changeup with arm speed.


Anthony Edge, RHP, 2023: Bradley commit. 5-foot-10, 180-pound frame. PBR Future Games alum. Competitive, bulldog-type of arm, consistently in the zone with a three-pitch mix and saw success on the mound for the Golden Eagles last spring. Fastball plays in the low-to-mid-80s, reaching as high as 87 mph in our looks. Natural fade and tumble on a 75-76 mph changeup, spins a shorter wrinkle 72-75 mph slider with depth.

Christian Graves, 3B, 2023: Bradley commit. Large 6-foot-2, 210-pound athlete, doesn’t lack strength or size. Wields plenty of inherent bat strength and has shown our scouts that in the past, both in games and a showcase setting. True middle-of-the-order type power threat.


TJ Schlageter, LHP, 2023: Louisville commit. Strong, durable 6-foot-3, 200-pound multi-sport athlete, started at quarterback for the Hilltoppers’ football team this past fall. Saw a big jump last spring, pitching in the upper-80s with his fastball, breaching the 90 mph mark at the 2A state state playoffs. Touch and feel for a changeup, also spins a breaking ball with high arch and depth. High level competitor with mound presence. One of the top left-handed arms in the Illinois’ 2023 class.

Trey Swiderski, OF/RHP, 2023: Louisville commit. Muscular 6-foot-3, 195-pound with strength throughout. Creates easy bat speed from a powerful right-handed swing engineered to elevate the baseball. Middle-of-the-order type raw power.

Aidan Hayse, RHP, 2024: Tennessee commit and one of the top-ranked juniors in the state, currently slotted at seventh on our board. Was a recent standout at the Preseason All-State, featuring a lively 89-90 mph fastball from a short, quick, and loose arm action. Showed a firm 77-80 mph slider with late sharp biting action, and faded an upper-70s changeup to round out his arsenal. Has one of the highest ceilings in the Illinois’ 2024 class.

Jacob Gimbel, LHP, 2024: 5-foot-10, 190-pounds. Started the state championship for Joliet Catholic last season. Recently sat 86-87, topping at 87.5 mph at the Preseason All-State Upperclass event. Landed a 71-72 mph curveball and 76-79 mph slider for strikes in that ‘pen, and also created natural arm-side run on a 79-81 mph changeup.


James Love, 3B, 2024: Eastern Illinois commit. 6-foot-1, 195-pound athlete with clear strength, looks the part. A major winner from this year’s winter circuit, produces regular hard contact at the plate from a fluid, powerful right-handed swing. Has proven he can produce in game to our staff in the past too.

Jimmy Anderson, SS/RHP, 2024: 6-foot, 180-pound two-way contributor for the Wolves. Swings a strong right-handed bat with consistent hard contact off the barrel. Also an athletic up-the-middle defender that can stick on the dirt moving forward. Struck out over a batter per inning on the mound across a 50+ inning workload, pitching in the mid-80s with his fastball.


Jackson Kottmeyer, RHP, 2024: 6-foot-5, 170-pound highly projectable uncommitted junior. Recently attended the Lockport Preseason ID, touching 87 mph with his fastball, sitting at 84-86 mph, pairing it with a mid-70s slider and 79-81 mph changeup.

Parker Violett, OF/1B, 2024: Strong 6-foot-3, 195-pound athlete with lean strength and room to add more mass. Swings a loud right-handed bat that produced a peak exit velocity of 99.6 mph and 393 ft. peak batted distance at the Top Tier Scout Day last June.


Mason Lynch, INF, 2023: Black Hawk CC commit. Athletic 5-foot-9, 160-pound frame. Left-handed hitter that can run, will start at shortstop and see time on the mound for LaSalle Peru this spring with a low-to-mid-80s fastball and feel for his breaking ball.

Bill Mini, UTL, 2023: Illinois Central College commit. 5-foot-11, 165-pounds. Will serve in a versatile role this spring, seeing time in the infield and outfield. Also expected to be a top arm for LaSalle Peru with a low-to-mid-80s two-seam fastball and a complimentary slider.


Kaleb Wilkey, C/INF, 2023: Muscular 5-foot-10, 180-pound multi-sport athlete. Athletic right-handed bat with strength and hand speed, regularly produced for Lincoln-Way West last spring. Expected to captain the Warriors staff behind the plate, has shown arm strength (79 mph) at our events in the past. Also a 6.89 runner. One of the top uncommitted seniors in Illinois.

Colton Kachinsky, LHP, 2023: Western Illinois commit. 6-foot-2, 195-pound multi-sport athlete with proportional strength. Fastball has played at 82-85 mph in our looks, pairing it with a sweeping breaking ball and fading changeup.

Cole Crafton, INF, 2024: Louisville commit, ranked second overall in the state’s 2024 class and 62nd nationally. Really looks the part, stands at 6-foot-3, 210-pounds. High level athlete, stands out as a quarterback recruit too. Pure and powerful left-handed swing with bat speed, has consistently performed in our looks. Primed for a big year as the Warriors compete for a 4A state championship.

Conor Essenburg, 1B/LHP, 2025: Upside 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame that presently fills out a uniform, yet has room to add more mass. Recently committed to Kansas State and is one of the top prospects in the current Illinois’ sophomore class. Smooth right-handed swing that works uphill to contact, peaked at 100.4 mph with a 95.5 mph average mark at the Preseason All-State in late February. Also pitches at 86-88 mph from the left side, spinning a 72-75 mph breaking ball for strikes while also turning over a 75-78 mph changeup.

Lucas Acevedo, SS/RHP, 2025: Illinois-Chicago commit, currently slotted at 19th overall in the Illinois’ 2025 rankings. Athletic 5-foot-10, 150-pound frame with advanced arm strength for his age that we’re eager to get an up-close look at throughout this event.


Anthony Martinez, INF, 2023: South Suburban JC commit. 6-foot-1, 200-pounds. Earned ‘Player of the Week’ honors last spring and also found himself on the PBR Third Team All-State after batting .382 with a .477 on-base percentage. Swatted five home runs and tallied 16 extra-base hits in total, driving in 33 runs and scoring 38 of his own. Also swiped nine bases. Contributed on the mound too, punching out 22 batters over 12 ⅓ innings with a 2.27 ERA.

Michael Graefen, RHP, 2023: Southeastern CC commit. Lanky 6-foot-3, 155-pound athlete with lean limbs. Fastball plays in the low-to-mid-80s from a short tight arm window, spins a slurvy breaking ball for strikes. Expected to slot towards the top of the Porters’ rotation this spring.

Joey Manzo, OF, 2023: Compact 5-foot-10, 175-pound left/left athlete that plays multiple positions on the Lockport football team too. Returns as the everyday center fielder and leadoff hitter from last season. Top of the order type of bat that has a knack for contact and speed to pair.

Niko Mastoras, INF, 2023: Saint Xavier commit. 6-foot, 180-pounds, also a football player. Everyday starter on the infield for a team that won 34 games last year, played a key role in Lockport’s run production and is expected to do so again this spring.

Dylan Nagle, INF/RHP, 2024: 6-foot-1, 176-pound athlete with projection. Arm works loose and easy from a near over-the-top slot. Fastball sat 83-86 mph at the Illinois Summer Championships last June, spinning a low-70s breaking ball off it. Has reportedly added velocity this winter. Will look to slot towards the top of the Lockport rotation this spring.


Blake Wolters, RHP, 2023: Arizona commit. Prototypical starter’s look at 6-foot-4, 215-pounds with plenty of athleticism. One of the biggest off-season winners in the entire country, exploded after breaking the PBR Super 60 fastball record with a 97.7 mph bullet. Also spins a sharp slider at 82-84 mph, peaking at 2742 RPM. Earned PBR First Team All-State honors after striking out 94 batters over 46 ⅔ innings with a 0.30 ERA and 0.71 WHIP. Certain to draw plenty of professional scouts to games throughout the spring.

Mateo Casillas, OF, 2023: Southern Illinois - Edwardsville commit. 5-foot-11, 205-pound left/left athlete that’s also a state champion wrestler. Swings a strong left-handed bat that produced in the middle of the Bulldogs’ order last season. Expected to slot into a similar role this year.


Cal Sefcik, INF, 2023: Indiana commit. Plenty of physicality within a 6-foot, 205-pound frame, lives in the weight room. Another major winner from this off-season, earning an invite to the Super 60 after a standout showing at the Preseason ProCase. Excelled in all aspects at the winter’s premier event, posting a 107.1 mph exit velocity with wood, averaging 101.9 mph per batted ball. Steady, sure-handed defender at third base, natural arm strength (90 mph) across the diamond. An early ‘Player of the Year’ candidate that enters his final season with plenty of momentum.

Collin Jennings, OF/RHP, 2023: 6-foot-4, 200-pounds, long levers with present strength and room to add more. Swings a strong left-handed bat with bat speed and upside. Also expected to contribute on the mound this spring, pumps his fastball in the mid-to-upper-80s. Remains one of the top uncommitted seniors in the state, high academic.

Frank Bilecki, LHP, 2024: 6-foot-1, 185-pounds. Recently attended the Preseason All-State, pitching at 84-86 mph with his fastball, averaging almost 19 inches of vertical break with 2359 RPM of raw spin. Spun a change-of-pace type of breaking ball at 72-73 mph. Pitched in big games on varsity as a sophomore last season and should see a more expansive role this spring.


Jack Holubowski, CIF, 2023: Missouri commit. PBR Future Games alum. 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame. Swings a fast, loud right-handed bat that has gap-to-gap power and has shown a feel to hit in the past. A premier hitter in Missouri that returns after missing the 2022 season.

Warner Lenahan, RHP, 2023: Truman State commit. 6-foot-3, 235-pounds. Returns after earning first team all-conference and all district honors as a junior last season, striking out 55 batters over 55 innings with a 2.55 ERA. Fastball plays in the low-to-mid-80s, touching 86 mph, and throws both a curveball and changeup for strikes.

Dominic Anselmo, C, 2024: Strong, well-proportioned 6-foot-1, 195-pound athlete. Recently was a top performer at the A’s Scout Day. Generates easy power from the right side from a loose, fluid, and consistent right-handed swing. Peaked at 100.9 mph, averaging 93.1 mph, and his furthest ball traveled 367 ft., per TrackMan. Explosive arm behind the plate (85 mph), popped a 1.86 on his quickest bullet, also ran a 6.71 60. A top uncommitted catcher in Missouri’s junior class.


Austin Mallee, INF, 2023: Chipola College commit. 6-foot, 185-pounds. Returns a stable right-handed bat to the Caravan lineup that should also provide quality defense on the left side of the infield.

RJ Bergren, LHP, 2023: Illinois-Springfield commit. 6-foot, 165-pounds. Fastball plays in the low-80s with carry into the zone. Consistently spins a 72-74 mph breaking ball at 2400+ RPM for strikes. Kills spin on a firm 77-78 mph changeup too averaging 14+ inches of horizontal movement.

Jaime Luna, C, 2024: Proportional 5-foot-11, 195-pound frame with athleticism and strength. Recently showed more bat speed and power at the Preseason All-State than we’d seen in the past, averaging 86.6 mph per batted ball with a peak mark of 92.9 mph during his workout. Also topped at 76 mph from behind the plate, popping a 2.06 on his quickest throw.

Xavier Crowder, ATH, 2025: Twitchy 5-foot-11, 172-pound athlete with loud tools in all areas of his game. Ran a 6.94 60 at the Preseason All-State in February of 2022. Clear bat speed from the right side, generates hard contact as a result and has comfortably worked gap-to-gap in a showcase setting. Has also been up to 91 mph on the mound, spinning a 2800+ RPM curveball in the low-70s to pair. An explosive athlete currently ranked No. 12 overall in the Illinois’ 2025 class.

Kolin Adams, OF, 2025: 5-foot-9, 171-pound left/left athlete. Hitterish at the plate, works direct and on top of the baseball with natural line drive feel. Advanced offensively for his age with polish, going to produce at the top of the lineup at the next level.

TJ McQuillan, 3B, 2026: Louisville commit, sits at third overall on the state’s 2026 rankings and 133rd nationally. 6-foot-1, 210-pounds. Extremely physical from the left side with feel to hit, averaged 95 mph per batted ball at the Preseason All-State, topping at 102.6 mph in BP.

Joey Ireland, INF, 2026: Illinois commit. Highly projectable athlete, currently stands at 6-foot, 140-pounds and runs a 7.08 60. Plenty of upside within his right-handed swing, presently spraying line drives to all fields from a flat bat path. Also a quality defender that should stick on the left side moving forward. Another top prospect in the state’s current freshman class, ranked fifth overall on our in-state list.


Zane Timon, C/RHP, 2023: Eastern Illinois commit. 6-foot, 180-pounds, came away as arguably the biggest winner from the Illinois State Games in August, jumping into the top-60 on the state’s 2023 board after previously being unranked. Explodes from the crouch, popping as fast as a 1.86 with clear carry to the bag, peaking at 79 mph on his firmest bullet. That arm strength translates to the mound, where Timon sat at 86-89 mph with his fastball, spinning a low-70s breaking ball at nearly a 2500 RPM average. Hurled 43 ⅓ innings for Mascoutah last spring with a 1.94 ERA and also reached base at a .392 clip.

Trevor Geis, OF, 2024: Wiry 6-foot-2, 180-pound athlete with lean strength and plenty of physical projection left to come. Quick right-handed swing produced above-average batted ball data at the GBA Scout Day, squaring his firmest ball up at 97.3 mph with a 335 ft. peak distance. Has arm strength from the outfield, topping at 91 mph. Also sat 85-87 mph with his fastball in a ‘pen, reaching 88 mph, and spun a curveball/slider mix for strikes consistently. Ranked inside the top-100 prospects in the Illinois’ 2024 class.

Austin Musso, RHP, 2025: Well-proportioned 6-foot-1, 180-pound athlete that also plays varsity basketball at Mascoutah. Threw a polished ‘pen at the GBA Scout Day this winter, sitting at an easy 84-86 mph during basketball season with his fastball while working the zone. Confidence and the ability to control three secondaries; 67-70 mph curveball, 76-77 mph changeup, 72-73 mph slider. A strike thrower that competes and should log plenty of innings on the mound for Mascoutah this spring.


Hunter Warren, INF, 2023: Wright State commit. Athletic 6-foot, 175-pound athlete with strength. Proven offensive producer, showed well at Creekside at the Midwest Premier Super 17. Can also defend on the left side of the infield with smooth actions.


Kayden McGee, INF, 2023: Uncommitted. Lean athletic build with wiry strength. Returns after a productive junior year where he paced the Rams in batting average (.391) and drew more walks (20) than strikeouts (14). Impact run tool, quality defender that’ll stick on the infield moving forward.

Colin McClure, INF, 2023: Rend Lake commit. Another top returner for a team that won 27 games last spring. Batted .349 with four home runs, 13 doubles, a team high 38 RBIs, and a .949 OPS.

Ethan Wielt, RHP, 2023: Lewis & Clark CC commit. 6-foot-2, 225-pounds. Fastball works in the mid-80s with feel for his breaking ball and a strong right-handed swing at the plate. Should anchor the Rams' staff in 2023.


Brenden Stressler, OF, 2023: Saint Louis commit. Stronger look at 6-foot-2, 200-pounds at the Preseason ProCase this winter. One of the top left-handed hitters in Illinois. Plenty of ease and polish, loose bat speed, has consistently performed in front of our scouts. PBR Future Games alum. Brings a true star level bat to the Trevians’ lineup. 

Graham Mastros, CIF, 2023: Saint Louis commit. 6-foot-3, 215-pounds. Powerful presence at the plate, pulls the baseball with authority and juice off the barrel. Has middle-of-the-order type of raw power.

Dylan Mayer, LHP/OF, 2023: Manhattan commit. 6-foot-3, 195-pound broad-shouldered, physical athlete with clear strength. Was a standout performer at the Inaugural State Games. Doesn’t lack strength or speed inside his right-handed swing, barreled balls at a 96.3 mph average with a 102.5 mph max. Also pitched in the low-to-mid-80s with his fastball, though we’ve heard reports he’s added velocity since then, and spins a 2500+ RPM breaking ball.

James Novakovic, INF, 2024: Purdue commit. 6-foot-1, 185-pound wiry athlete with lean strength. Pure left-handed swing, polished feel to all fields with balance throughout. Has long been an advanced defender on the infield that can stick up the middle long term. Amongst the top juniors in the state.

Justin Wood, RHP, 2024: Highly projectable 6-foot-5, 165-pound frame with long, lean limbs. Easy, repeatable delivery with a low-80s fastball, touching 85 mph in our looks last season. Lands a high-60s curveball for strikes, also throws a 73-75 mph changeup. Upside arm with big league bloodlines and pedigree.


Jacob O’Day, INF/RHP, 2023: Heartland CC commit. Wiry 6-foot-2, 165-pound frame. Fast arm speed, lively fastball, has reportedly climbed into the low-90s this winter. Led Normal Community in strikeouts (52) and innings pitched (35 ⅓) as a junior last year.

Chase Wiese, UTL, 2023: Uncommitted. Offensive catalyst. Was the starting quarterback last fall. Led the team in batting average (.387), OPS (1.132), runs scored (31), and stolen bases (20) in 2022. Also struck out 39 batters over 28 innings pitched.

Ethan Eberle, LHP, 2024: PBR Future Games alum. Large 6-foot-5, 215-pound frame. Fastball plays in the upper-80s with hard run and sink. Throws changeup near fastball arm slot, creates 19+ inches of run at 80-82 mph. Changeup plays at 80-82 mph with Spins 72-75 mph curveball at 2450+ RPM at peak with almost 16 inches of horizontal action on average. Comfortable landing a more firm 80-81 mph slider for strikes. True four-pitch mix, one of the state’s top left-handed arms.


Jesse Courtney, C/RHP, 2023: Illinois State commit, ranked inside the top-100 seniors in the state. 6-foot-2, 200-pounds. Arguably the team’s most valuable player, contributing on both sides of the ball in 2022. Expected to serve as their top arm this spring, pitching at 84-87 mph with his fastball and spinning a low-70s curveball effectively off his heater at this event last year.

Jake Morrill, OF, 2023: Black Hawk JC commit. Strong 6-foot, 175-pound athlete that showed well at the Central Illinois Open and Illinois State Games in 2022. Swings a fast left-handed barrel with bat strength, posted upper-80s exit velocities on average across those two events, squaring his hardest ball up at 97 mph. Also a 7.04 runner in the 60.

Mason Buzicky, OF, 2023: Uncommitted. Returns after receiving first team all-conference honors last spring. Deepens the lineup with more experience and brings value defensively up the middle.

Blake Crancer, MIF, 2024: Lean, athletic 5-foot-10, 170-pound frame. Top of the order type of right-handed bat that can jump start an offense with his knack for contact and speed (6.97 60). Smooth, sure-handed actions on the infield that’ll stick up the middle long term.


Logan Fleener, INF, 2023: Started at shortstop last season and is the lone returning position player from the 1A state champions.


Nicholas Segreti, RHP/1B, 2024: A strong 6-foot-2, 185-pound starter; the projected No. 1 arm for Oak Forest this season. Low-80s fastball with rise/run traits; averaged 17.2 inches of IVB at the Preseason All-State event (2/25/23). Sweeping curveball, 69-71 mph, that he demonstrated some feel for.  A junior to follow this spring.

Andrew Lucas, MIF, 2024: Listed at 5-foot-11, 165 pounds; athletic, glove-first prospect who projects to be Oak Forest's starting shortstop this spring; throws topped 79 mph across at our Preseason All-State event (2/25/23) where he ran a 7.44. Also a right-handed hitter with a spray batted-ball profile; line-drive type.

Christian DeGroot, C, 2024: Listed at 6-foot, 180 pounds; a dependable receiver with efficient catch-and-throw mechanics, 71 mph throws to second base at our Lockport Preseason ID event (2/20/23). Barrel feel and a line-drive profile from the right-handed batter's box.

Andrew Dawson, RHP, 2026: A freshman follow who's shown advanced velocity for his age, as well as above-average secondaries, reportedly.


Will Millard, C, 2023: Hillsdale College commit. 5-foot-11, 195-pound. Batted .434/.533/.586 last season with an all-fields approach and little swing-and-miss. Also provides a stable veteran presence behind the plate defensively, captaining a young group of talented arms. An all-conference type of performer that should be amongst the most valuable players for O’Fallon this spring.

Haidyn McGill, OF, 2023: John Wood CC commit. Left/left athlete that can really run and provide strong defense in the outfield, while also serving as the catalyst for their offense. Batted .360 last season with 36 stolen bases and reached base at a .462 clip.

Xavier Deatherage, INF, 2023: McKendree commit. 5-foot-10, 195-pounds. Brings another experienced bat to this lineup that came up clutch for the Panthers at times last spring. Slashed .315/.396/.517 with 12 extra-base hits and 26 RBIs.

David Barker, RHP, 2024: 6-foot-3, 170-pounds with long, lanky limbs. Came away from this winter as a high-follow uncommitted arm in the state’s junior class, pitching at an easy 88-90 mph at the GBA Scout Day. Ripped off a 72-73 mph slider with sweep and consistently worked the lower arm-side quadrant with a 79-81 mph changeup. Expected to serve as a top-of-the-rotation arm for the Panthers.

Michael Barker, RHP, 2024: 6-foot-3, 170-pound athlete, similar in stature to his twin brother. Another major winter winner that came away from the GBA Scout Day as a high follow prospect still on the market. Fastball topped at 90 mph on his second to last bullet, pitching at 85-88 mph throughout his ‘pen. Spun a 66-70 mph curveball with depth, also featured a straight changeup at 76-78 mph. Set to take on an expanded starter’s role in his junior campaign.

Connor Blue, 1B/RHP, 2025: 6-foot-1, 185-pounds. A true two-way talent ranked within the top-25 prospects in the state for his class. Easy bat speed and strength from the right side, short to the baseball with advanced power for his age. Reached a peak exit speed of 100 mph at the GBA Scout Day, averaging 91.6 mph per batted ball. Spins one of the better breaking balls in southern Illinois - a sharp wiffle ball like 70-72 mph slider that averages almost 21 inches of horizontal movement. Pitches in the low-to-mid-80s with his fastball and limits both spin and lift on a 71-74 mph changeup. Talented enough to impact the Panthers on both sides of the ball positively as a sophomore.


Eddie Scaccia, RHP 2023: Uncommitted. Arm strength within a 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame. Ran his fastball up to 89 mph at The Rock Fall Championships last September, though reports indicate he’s added a few ticks to that peak this winter.

Tyler Stack, C, 2023: Xavier commit. 6-foot-4, 200-pounds. Attended the Preseason ProCase this winter. Arm strength behind the plate (79 mph) with a quick release (1.94 pop). Also a 6.81 runner.

Cade Duffin, 1B, 2023: Illinois-Springfield commit. Wields one of the loudest right-handed bats in the state and translated his raw power to gameplay throughout multiple looks last year. 6-foot-3, 240-pounds.

Troy Vosburgh, INF, 2023: College of DuPage commit. Looked the part at the Illinois State Games last August. Bat speed at the plate, aggressive right-handed swing looks to elevate the baseball. Arm strength across the infield (89 mph) and pitches in the low-80s on the mound.


Luke Brown, LHP, 2023: Lewis commit. 6-foot-2, 225-pounds. Controls the zone with a three-pitch mix, including a fastball that reportedly breached the 90 mph mark this winter and advanced feel for 77-78 mph changeup. Also sweeps a slider in the low-70s. Pitchability arm that’ll anchor Plainfield North’s staff this spring.

John St. Clair, INF, 2023: Wisconsin-Parkside commit. Came away from the Illinois State Games in the fall as a winner. Runs a 6.54 60 with bat speed from the right side and a simple, flat right-handed swing that produces hard contact off the barrel. An impressive athlete capable of providing value in multiple areas on the diamond.

Ryan Mickenbecker, RHP, 2024: 6-foot-6, 185-pound highly projectable frame with long limbs. Fastball was up to 89.4 mph at the Preseason All-State in late February, has touched 87 mph in game in front of our scouts. Comes out easy and plays downhill from a steep angle. Run and sink on a low-80s changeup, feel for it. Pitched in big games for Plainfield North last spring, including a strong relief outing against Edwardsville in the 4A Super Sectional.


Alex Connoyer, INF, 2023: Quincy University commit. 6-foot-3, 195-pound athlete with long loose limbs that project. Showed pull-side juice with bat speed throughout the Midwest Premier Super 17 at Creekside this past summer.

Kyle Taylor, INF/RHP, 2024: Wiry 5-foot-8, 140-pounds. Worked around the zone with three pitches at the GBA Scout Day, sitting at 84-85 mph with his fastball from a quick arm, peaking at 86 mph. Spun a 72-74 mph slider with depth and slight lateral action, and also consistently spotted a 74-75 mph changeup beneath the zone at arm speed. Also athletic on the infield with active feet and rhythm.


Jack Swaney, 1B, 2024: 6-foot-3, 225-pounds. Middle-of-the-order type left-handed bat with a physical barrel that’s shown us a feel to hit over our in-game looks. Recently reached a peak exit speed of 98.2 mph at the Preseason All-State, averaging 89.2 mph per batted ball. Also swatted his furthest batted ball 384 ft., per TrackMan.

Eli Carlson, INF, 2025: 5-foot-10, 175-pound athlete with proportional strength. Showed well in BP at the GBA Scout Day, staying on the barrel throughout his round while producing consistent line drive contact. Active feet on the infield, 84 mph high across.


Taylor Voorhees, 3B, 2023: Morton JC commit. 6-foot, 175-pounds with inherent strength. Has middle-of-the-order type of power, squaring his hardest ball up at 97.6 mph at the Unsigned Senior Showcase in October of 2022, averaging 87.1 mph per batted ball.

Luke Landrus, C, 2024: 6-foot-2, 170-pound highly projectable frame with upside levers. Came away from the Illinois State Games in August as a name-to-know in the 2024 class, currently ranked within our top 50 prospects. Swings a fast right-handed bat with a certain ease to him, and flashed raw power at peak (348 ft.) with a knack to elevate the baseball (285 ft. average). Also an advanced defender behind the plate, popping at 1.93-to-2.00 with a 78 mph high from the chute.

Connor Hale, RHP, 2023: Uncommitted 5-foot-11, 185-pound athlete. Impressed at the Unsigned Senior Showcase this past February, spotting an 82-85 mph fastball down in the zone throughout his ‘pen. Threw three secondary pitches, the most notable being a low-70s curveball that he spun around the zone.


Austin Brown, RHP, 2023: Chipola JC commit. Long and lean limbs on a 6-foot-5, 155-pound frame. Fastball sat 84-86, touching 87 mph, at the Illinois State Games last fall. Slider is a weapon, spinning at 75-76 mph with almost 17 inches of horizontal movement on average with 2700+ RPM at peak. Posted a 0.50 ERA over 56 innings with 81 strikeouts and 12 walks. One of the top arms in southern Illinois.

Brady Coon, OF/RHP, 2024: 6-foot-1, 170-pound loose levered athlete with lean strength. Was a two-way winner from the St. Louis Preseason ID last month and has backed that up with production in the past. Batted .421/.476/.595 for Triad in 2022 with 34 runs scored, 12 doubles, and 29 RBIs, chipping in 17 stolen bases. Also punched out 38 batters with a 1.19 ERA and 0.91 WHIP across 35 ⅓ innings. Pitched in the mid-80s with his fastball, topping at 86 mph, and spins a slider for strikes, while fading a changeup.

Drew Winslow, RHP, 2025: Is a name we’ve heard positive things about throughout the winter. High upside and projectable athlete, has stood out on the Knights’ basketball team since his freshman year.


Garrett Cox, RHP, 2024: Strong, durable 6-foot, 195-pound athlete. Has reportedly been pitching in the mid-to-high-80s with his fastball this winter. Figures to step into a prominent role in the Washington pitching rotation.


  • Belleville East HS: 2555 West Blvd., Belleville, IL 62221
  • Belleville West HS: 4063 Frank Scott Parkway W, Belleville, IL 62223
  • Blazier Field, O'Fallon City Park: 401 E. Fifth St., O'Fallon, IL 62269
  • Edwardsville HS (Tom Pile Field): 6040 Center Grove Rd, Edwardsville, IL 62025
  • Edwardsville HS (JV turf field): 6040 Center Grove Rd, Edwardsville, IL 62025
  • Father McGivney HS: 7109 Bouse Rd., Glen Carbon, IL 62025
  • GCS Ballpark (all turf): 2301 Grizzlie Bear Blvd., Sauget, IL 62206
  • Gordon Moore Park (Lloyd Hopkins Field): 4550 College Ave, Alton, IL 62002
  • SIU-Edwardsville (Roy E. Lee Field; all turf): 5200 New Poag Rd., Edwardsville, IL 62025

For entire coverage of the 2023 Metro East Kickoff Classic visit and for up-to-date information throughout the event be sure to follow us @PBRIllinois.