Prep Baseball Report

Ohio Procase 'Most Talented We Have Had Yet'

Bruce Hefflinger and Dylan Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer and Editor in Chief/NW Scout

Follow on Twitter- @PrepBaseballOH
Follow on Twitter- @PBROhioScout
Follow on Instagram- @pbrohio

Interested in attending a PBR Ohio event? Check out our schedule by clicking here.

Complete Statistics

To view the Positional Stats, Click Here.
To view the Pitching Stats, Click Here.
To view the Trackman Analytics, Click Here.
To view the Blast Analytics, Click Here.

Ohio Procase ‘Most Talented We Have Had Yet’

HILLIARD - What a showing was put on by a group of 74 players at the Ohio Procase last Sunday, a PBR event held at the Bo Jackson Elite Sports venue.

“Year after year this event continues to grow and as a whole I think this group was the most talented we have had yet,” explained Jordan Chiero, PBR Ohio Director of Scouting. “Obviously when talking about the best players in the state there are several things that stand out. However, the most eye popping thing for me this year was the raw power we had on both sides of the ball.

“These athletes are continuously getting more physical/advanced so we are starting to see some numbers we've only seen sparingly in the past. We had 15 arms 90+, 35 at 85+ and near double-digit guys with 100+ exit velocities using wood. We even saw a 95 off the mound.”

It was not only a time to shine on the field, but also a time to make memories for those participating.

“I thought it was a great event and was well run,” noted Colton Hartman of Lebanon. “It is easily the most talented showcase of the year for Ohio.”

Not only talented, but great to be a part of for everyone.

“I thought it was a well put on event,” related Troy Sudbrook of Avon. “Any PBR event gets you ready to perform because of the reputation and impact it has, but it was even more so evident with the Procase. The set-up was executed very well and it’s always fun to have Steff (Alex Stefanelli, PBR Ohio Director of Social Media) over there on the side shooting some pics of the players as well.”

Others were also impressed.

Simon Bargo: “ I had a great time at the event. It is so much fun competing in a different environment than a game while getting to watch everyone do what they love and be successful with the best players from all over the state. There are many relationships growing up with people in the game and it was just so much fun with Jordan, Alex, and the amazing staff.”

Jacob Bean: “I really enjoyed this Procase and everything ran really smoothly. Great staff and great players there.”

Cam Gilkerson: “Overall I thought the event was . It was great to get all the best players together.”

Noah LaFine: “I was excited to see so many highly-skilled guys at the event. Spending time around elite athletes, like those at the Procase, makes me want to become even better.”
Luke Vaughn: “The Procase was a great event loaded with a lot of talent in every position. I loved going out and competing with the best from Ohio.”

Mason Eckelman: “I liked the environment and the amount of skilled athletes that were there. It helped me assess myself and get an idea of what I need to work on.”

Will Harding: “The event felt different from other PBR events I have attended. I could feel the talent of the other players around me. Everybody carried themselves like a college athlete and all the other players there were locked in. Even though we were competing, all the guys were friendly and talked to each other. It was cool to see guys from all over the state and see some people that I have met at showcases through the years.”

Some have been to the Procase previously.

“This event was tons of fun,” explained Ben Zink of Northmont. “It was really cool to not only see improvements on my own numbers, but also the improvements of others around me. Both years I’ve come, this event has been incredible.”


An astonishing 15 out of 36 pitchers that participated at the Procase hit 90 miles an hour with their fastball. Additionally, eight more had a top velo of 89. Of those reaching 90, five were left-handers including Hartman, a junior committed to Louisville who led the way with a 95 heater.

“My highlight was my bullpen,” related the 39th-rated southpaw in the nation. “I had great velo and my off-speed was nasty.”

Bean had the top velocity among right-handers with a 93.

“Getting to pitch in front of the PBR scouts and hitting a good velo off the mound was a highlight for me,” said the Cardinal High School junior, a Kent State commit ranked 10th among 2023 right-handed pitchers in Ohio. “I feel that being calm under intense or nerve-racking situations is a big help for the future.”

Bargo, a Milford junior, was one of three pitchers to clock in at 92, joining Reynoldsburg senior Preston Allen and Zink.

“I had fun showcasing numbers and watching everyone have a blast,” the 6-5 185-pound Campbell commit said. “Being around guys that I have known and played other sports with was a memory that will stick with me.

“It’s nice that the scouts appreciate the effort and recognize that it doesn’t just happen overnight,” the 11th-rated 2023 right-handed pitcher in the state continued. “I always appreciate feedback that I can use to get better everyday.”

Seniors Landon Beidelschies, Joseph Valentine, Connor Preisel and Parker Dillhoff were other southpaws in addition to Hartman that hit the coveted 9..0, Beidelschies and Valentine both touching 91.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was Zink, an outfield recruit that threw 90.

“My highlight of the day was my bullpen,” noted Zink, the fourth-ranked 2022 outfielder in the state who is headed to Wright State as a potential two-way player. “I improved on not only my velocity, but my offspeed stuff was significantly better as well.”


As impressive as the pitching was, the catching depth may be the best in the state this coming season and that was evident at the Procase.

Badin senior Jimmy Nugent, a Penn State commit, had the top velocity behind the plate at 86 while Vaughn, a junior at Elder, recorded the top pop time of 1.78.

“I think the highlight of the event for me was popping a 1.78-1.86 and earning the best pop time at the event,” explained Vaughn, a Central Florida commit ranked 42nd in the country among 2023 catchers. “Another highlight was just my overall performance at the plate and behind the dish. But I can’t be satisfied with my performance, I know I have a lot more left in the tank, I just have to keep working.”

Centerville senior catcher Matthew Graveline, a future Buckeye, had the second best velo at 85 and was number two at pop times with a 1.81-1.89 performance. Nugent was third among catchers at pop with a 1.84-1.93 with Jackson junior Garret Wright, a Bowling Green commit, fourth in both categories.

Eckelman, a Michigan recruit, was another that hit 80 velo behind the plate, while displaying his usual overall ability with 97 exit velocity and 7.17 time in the 60.

“I’m using my numbers as motivation for the spring and also next year,” pointed out the Walsh Jesuit junior, who is the top-ranked 2023 catcher in Ohio. “It gave me an idea of how my skill compares to the other top players in the state.”


It is not often that freshmen are invited to the Procase but, then again, it is rare when ninth-graders like Zion Theophilus and Luke Pappano, a pair of 6-1 165-pounders, come around. Each sparkled, both as pitchers and at the plate from the left side as well as in the field.

Theophilus had 93 exit velocity, 92 outfield velo and ran a 6,98 time in the 60 while Pappano had 94 exit velo, 88 outfield velocity and a 6.69 clocking in the 60. On the mound, the right-handed Theophilus hit 90 while the southpaw Pappano touched 86.

“The event was better than any that I had been to in the past and it felt good to be one of the youngest there,” noted Theophilus, a Moeller 15-year-old ranked 17th in the nation among freshmen right-handed pitchers. “The highlight of the event had to be when everyone was watching me throw. I love the spotlight and seeing all those people watch a freshman throw 90 felt great.”

There was more that the top-ranked 2025 right-handed pitcher in Ohio, a Duke commit, enjoyed.

“Being one of the youngest, it allowed me to see how the other kids carried themselves and how I can try to maybe become like them,” Theoplhilus said. “Performing in front of the scouts is also something I enjoy doing. I love to show others what I've got.”

Pappano, the top-rated 2025 in Ohio and a Kentucky commit, also enjoyed being in the limelight.

“I thought the event was very well organized,” the St. Xavier High School 14-year-old said. “I enjoyed being around extremely talented players, which was very motivating.

“My highlight was being able to showcase all of my abilities (5 tools) in such a short period of time. Being around all of the older players motivated me and it also provided an example of what I would like to be and want to work toward in the future.

“It was an honor to see that scouts wanted to watch me and all the other players,” added Pappano. “It showed that all of my hard work has been recognized by them. Lastly, it made me incredibly focused.”

A number from the 2024 class also shined, with LaFine one of those that stood out.

“My highlight of the event was my bullpen,” the Vanderbilt commit said. “Being one of the younger guys there, it gives me exposure to see and learn things from the older guys.”

Additionally, sophomores like LaFine’s high school teammate Parker Falkenstein, Ryder Kirtley of Troy, Hayden Blosser of Avon Lake, Jackson Frasure of Chaminade-Julienne and Parker McDaniels of Olentangy Berlin were among those that had solid showings. Falkenstein ran a 6.71 60 and Kirtley 6.72, while Blosser had 88 infield velocity, Frasure 97 exit velo and McDaniels 1.89 pop time to go along with 94 exit velo.


Not to be outdone, position players made a stellar showing as well with Gilkerson hitting 104 exit velocity - and, yes, this was with wood bats.

“The highlights for me would probably be BP,” noted Gilkerson, a Hilliard Darby junior headed to Wright State. “I felt that I had one of my better rounds, especially being in basketball right now and not being in full baseball shape yet. I just tried to have fun and be loose. I felt like I was just hitting a round of BP and not thinking too much.”

Nugent was second in exit velo at 102 while four others had 101, including Harding and Sudbrook, both of which had strong overall performances.

Harding tied Walsh Jesuit teammate Alejandro Covas for the best time in the 60 at 6.45 while throwing 89 from the outfield.

“The highlight of the event for me was definitely my 60 time,” the ninth-rated senior outfielder in Ohio related. “I knew I would get a good number but was surprised when I heard that I ran a 6.45. I was happy I did well compared to the other guys there. I gained some good weight in the offseason and it was good to see that it didn’t slow me down.

“My performance made me confident for the season and for college,” the Holy Cross commit continued. “It was a big confidence booster to see that I stacked up well with the best guys in the state. It made me feel ready to play and compete.

“Another takeaway was that preparation pays off. I started getting ready to hit with wood a few weeks before and started stretching my legs and arm a few days before the event. It all worked out and my body felt great all throughout the showcase.”

Sudbrook, a senior shortstop at Avon, hit 87 infield velo in addition to 101 exit velocity and a 6.96 time in the 60.

“That was probably the best hitting performance I’ve shown at a PBR event,” the Toledo commit pointed out. “To reach 101 exit velo with a wooden bat kinda excited me a little bit.”


Zink gave a glimpse of what he can do as a two-way player while Hartman also stood out on the mound and at the plate.

The 17-year-old Zink committed to Wright State back in 2019 with the idea of being a two-way and did not disappoint at the Procase. In addition to his strong performance on the hill, the fourth-rated 2022 outfielder in the state reached 100 exit velo and 93 outfield velocity to go along with a 6.78 time in the 60.

“My performance at the Procase gives me a lot of confidence going into this spring and summer on the mound and in the batter's box,” the 6-1 210-pounder admitted.

Hartman should also not lack confidence after recording the top outfield velo of 94 which matched his exit velo. In addition, the 24th-ranked senior in Ohio had a 6.99 time in the 60.

“It was great to perform in front of the scouts,” Hartman said. “I thought it was just a great event and was well run. It is easily the most talented showcase of the year for Ohio.” 

Additionally, senior Nate Shaw put up good numbers at the plate, running and on the mound where he is expected to play at Wright State. Shaw, whose velo topped at 89 while also displaying a curve, change and cutter, had the second best infield velo of 90 to go along with 92 exit velocity and a 6.79 time in the 60.


There were 11 players that took part that have yet to make a college decision, six of which were sophomores.

Preston Allen, a 2022 from Reynoldsburg, topped out at 92 while also throwing an impressive 84 mph cutter. Fellow senior Collin Ames of CHCA hit 89 with his fastball while Bellefontaine junior Alex Caudill did the same. Sidney sophomore RHP Mitchell Davis displayed potential with an 86 fastball while 2024 southpaw Keegan Holmstrom from Grove City also showed promise. 

McDaniels and Dominic Brancel, a 2023 from Hawken, both had sub-2.0 pop times behind the plate while Blosser excelled with 91 exit velo, and a 6.93 60 time to go along with 88 infield velo. Fraser had the best exit velocity among the uncommitted at 97. Left-handed hitting Alex Koelling of Mason is another 10th-grader that exhibited projectability.

Perhaps the top overall performance of those not yet hooked up with a college was that of Walsh Jesuit 6-1 190-pound junior Covas. The sixth-ranked uncommitted 2023 in Ohio ran a 6.45 time in the 60 to go along with 96 exit velo.


Baseball was not the only thing on the mind of those attending the event. Friendships were also renewed as well as new ones being made

“My 100 percent favorite part of the event was meeting and talking with some of the other best talents in the state,” noted Sudbrook, a Toledo commit ranked 10th in Ohio among 2022 shortstops. “I got to meet and create relationships with many of the kids that I’ve heard about and seen videos of and talking with them in person about their own journey was very cool.”

Not only did Sudbrook talk with players like Joey Canzoni, Kirtley, Carter Hanson, Patrick Fultz and Blake Bowen, there were also introductions with other Toledo recruits he had yet to meet, Cole Cahill and Dom Carlson.

“Seeing the future of Toledo and the players I’ll be suiting up with was nice,” explained Sudbrook, who was also part of the event with six other T3 Warhawks teammates, Luke Walton, Christian Ramos, Perry Miller, Wright, Blosser and Harding. “We are building a great culture throughout the organization and to be able to go out there and perform with my guys calmed me down and made it super fun.”


New friends, better numbers and gaining exposure all took place at the event for the 74 participants, which included two freshmen, nine sophomores, 36 juniors and 27 seniors in attendance. It proved to be a learning experience.

“Before I committed to play in college, it was stressful to play in front of scouts and coaches,” explained Harding. “I would overthink what I was doing instead of just letting my instincts take over. Since being committed, I haven’t thought about it as much. I just let my practice take over and go with the flow. I wasn’t nervous to play in front of everybody because I knew I had nothing to lose. Only good things could come from the showcase.”

Eckelman had the same outlook.

“I didn’t think much of it as I was competing,” Eckelman said.”I just tried to stay within myself and not prove anything to anyone. But I did think it was beneficial for my growth in scouting and getting my name out there more.”

Getting that new exposure was enjoyable.

“Performing in front of the scouts helps me in the long term to be more comfortable with high level competition and pressure situations,” LaFine related. “It's a really cool experience all around.”  

It was similar for Vaughn, who like LaFine played in a state championship game last high school season, Hoban winning the D-II title and Elder finishing second in D-I.

“It was a lot of fun performing in front of the pro scouts,” Vaughn said. “I loved getting to show them what I’ve got, and showing out in all aspects of my game.”

It was beneficial as well to Bargo.

“Knowing they are watching, coming around, and sharing feedback only makes us better,” Bargo pointed out. “It never hurts that they are smiling at these events.”

Sudbrook is another that was inspired to be around scouts and other talented players.

“You’d think performing in front of the scouts would be nerve wracking for me, but knowing I had my summer guys behind me to support me took all nervousness away,” Sudbrook said. “Eventually, I was just out there playing baseball and having fun. It was like any other day of practice.”


Sunbrook was also one of those that had the pleasure of being talked to by scouts.

“A Rangers’ scout came up to me,” Sudbrook noted. “He asked about where I go to high school, my commitment, and my grades. It was not a long conversation but my dad said when I went to finish my hitting session, the scout continued to talk to him about me. It certainly put things into perspective and gave me a little boost of energy and a self hug for sure.”

Others also had the gratification of talking with scouts.

“They talked to me about how I pitched,” Hartman related. “It means that I’m getting looks from the next level past college which is great.”

Even the youngest one there had interest from a scout.

“The Texas Rangers’ scout spoke with my dad and he was quite impressed with my athleticism and skill set for both pitching and hitting, especially given my age,” Pappano said. “He said he was excited about my future.”

Even if not talking to them on this day, it is important to put it all in perspective.

“None of the scouts talked to me but I’ve talked to the scouts who have been there,” Gilkerson said. “I just think it’s good to get your name on their radar and over the summer they can see you play real games.”

It brings incentive for the immediate future.

“Nobody talked to me on this day, but I have talked to them in the past and it has motivated me to become a better player,” Eckelman said. “It’s just another stepping stone to accomplishing my goal. I’m just thankful to the PBR staff for allowing me to perform and compete with all the other top players.” 

It was the same thought process for Harding.

“No pro scouts talked to me but that doesn’t make me upset,” Harding explained. “I performed better than I have at any other event and that’s what mattered most. If an opportunity to play pro presented itself, I would highly consider it, but getting my college education has always been a big priority.”

Zink summed it up well.

“Performing in front of scouts is always an incredible experience and is one that you can never get used to,” the senior going to Wright State said. “Those scouts being from the pro level just makes the experience even better.”

Bean concurred.

“It was an awesome experience,” Bean said. “It was nice to feel like you’re on the big stage showing your talents.”

It was that way for everyone involved, matter the age.

“I would just like to thank Jordan and the whole PBR staff for the invite and opportunity to showcase my skills, along with the continued recognition,” concluded Pappano, who will not turn 15 until March 19.  “It was an honor to be part of this elite group of athletes.”

Recent Articles