Prep Baseball Report

Midwest Fall Championship: Standouts

By Shooter Hunt and PBR Staff
Scouting Staff

Each year, PBR Tournaments’ Midwest Fall Championships kicks off the fall season with a one-stop shop recruiting buffet at the pristine confines that is Grand Park outside of Indianapolis. The event, which features teams from the midwest across each of the four high school classes, overlaps with the prestigious Puma Classic, a junior college tournament that brings in recruiters from all across the country. This year, more than 200 college coaches and professional scouts were in attendance in hopes of finding future impact players and prospects.

There is simply not a better way to start the fall.

Below are just some of the high school players than made an impact on my look while at the Fall Championships:

2022 Draft Focus: 

Gage Stanifer RHP / Westfield, IN / 2022

Stanifer, a Cincinnati recruit and recent riser in the 2022 Overall Rankings, made a loud impression on the host of scouts in attendance to see the marquee matchup between Team Indiana and the Reds Scout Team. Working 90-92 from a near ¾ slot, the athletic and projectable 6-foot-3, 185-pound right-hander pounded the zone while collecting a full smattering of swings and misses with the fastball. However, it was his feel for a sharp, 80-81 breaking ball that stood out above all else. Manipulating shape depending on counts, the slider was a true swing-and-miss offering, tunneling the fastball (when at its best) and diving off the table late. Stanifer worked ahead in counts, putting some talented hitters on their heels before exhibiting a killer instinct to collect strikeouts. The delivery is easy and repeatable, and given his overall athleticism and room to add strength to the frame, there is a good chance that Stanifer continues trending upwards.


Gavin Jones RHP / North Royalton, OH / 2022

Jones, an Alabama recruit, carries a frame that has become synonymous with Ohio prep products at 6-foot-3, 205-pounds with square shoulders and defined strength throughout an athletic frame. The physical right-hander procured a collection of uncomfortable swings and misses from a stacked lineup thanks to a fastball that featured considerable arm side life at 88-91. A shorter, late takeaway out of the glove works to the ear as the ball jumps a bit at the plate as he gets strong use of the lower-half in driving down the mound. While Jones demonstrated the ability to drop in his upper 70s slider for strikes as a future average offering, it was the profile of his changeup off the fastball that really stood out. Killing spin with similar arm side action, he showed confidence in throwing it in all counts, and it has a chance to be a weapon moving forward. It is easy to dream of Jones racking up innings thanks to the frame and short arm stroke, but his ability to continue as a starter moving forward thanks to a three-pitch arsenal is what will be most intriguing to follow over the next year (and beyond).


+ Three Illinois prospects from Cangelosi Sparks’ 2022 squad pulled our attention in-game, and while we were already familiar with the two arms below – who came away as two of this event’s best performers from a year ago – the physical 6-foot-2, 210-pound right-handed hitter Izquierdo showed why he made an impact on the 2022 overall rankings on our latest update:

+ 1B Victor Izquierdo (Lockport Township HS, IL): At 6-foot-2 210-pounds, Izqueirdo is one of the most intimidating bats in the state. Compact/repeatable swing with effortless power, Izquierdo rocketed balls all over the yard with impressive exit velocity, including just missing a homerun to deep left-centerfield. The Navy commit also possesses impressive athleticism for his size/positional profile; he was hand timed going first to third in 12.45 seconds with long athletic strides. Around the bag, Izquierdo shows smooth glovework and soft hands with the ability to handle throws in the dirt with ease. Izquierdo has been climbing our rankings since last spring, and he continues to improve rapidly each time we see him.

+ LHP Noah Schultz (Oswego East HS, IL): Schultz got the nod for Cangelosi Sparks Black in their playoff game against Rhino Baseball and dominated, twirling four scoreless innings and rarely allowing anyone to reach base. Schultz is a bit of an anomaly on the mound, standing at a long-limbed 6-foot-9, 216-pounds with impressive control of his body downhill. He pounded the zone with an 89-93 mph fastball, topping at 94 mph in his final inning of work. Schultz’s fastball works from a tight, deceptive window and comes out of a low average release height, creating an especially difficult look for hitters given his size. The “bread-and-butter” of Schultz’s arsenal is one of the nation’s best sliders; a 76-78 mph offering that regularly spins at 3,000+ RPM and naturally sweeps across the zone. Schultz turned to his changeup as his outing went on and it proved effective as he threw it with fastball arm speed, spotting it up on the arm-side of the plate and down in the zone. Committed to Vanderbilt, Schultz is amongst the top prep pitchers in the entire country for the 2022 class and will be on a large amount of draft boards this coming summer.

+ RHP Julius Sanchez (LaSalle-Peru HS, IL): Committed to Illinois, Sanchez worked out of the ‘pen for Cangelosi Sparks in the semi-final game and the 6-foot, 205-pound right-hander came out with an explosive showing during his two innings of work. His second bullet of the inning touched 94 mph and he exclusively sat at 90-92 mph throughout his outing with success at the knees. He also showed a sharp downer breaking ball thrown with conviction that profiles as a swing-and-miss pitch at the next level, spotted up below the zone. It was an impressive look at the state’s 10th ranked prospect in the 2022 class.  

+ SS Shai Robinson (Homewood-Flossmoor HS, IL): Robinson’s defensive prowess has long been talked about internally at PBR as he is easily one of the top defenders in the Midwest, but it was his bat that did the talking for the Reds Scout Team in a doubleheader look at the squad. Wiry-athletic at 6-foot, 175-pounds, the right-handed-hitting Illinois State recruit opened some eyes with a home run and ground rule against some impressive arms. Twitchy with quick hands that load with a late coil, there is some present bat speed with sneaky power to the pull side. Looking the part defensively, Robinson’s fluid actions and confident/soft hands easily looked the part on the left side of the diamond.

+ 3B/RHP Mitchell Voit (Whitefish Bay HS, WI; Michigan): Voit’s premium athleticism has continued to mold him into a high-level position player, as he’s progressed well from the mound, too. This past weekend, Voit showed more of the same – a fast right-handed bat with an impact batted-ball profile that produced all summer long. The tools are off the charts, as the two-way Michigan recruit is a 6.80 runner with top-of-the-scale arm strength matched by the exit velocity he generates against quality competition, while operating a reliable third base. Voit is putting the tools together to produce in-game, too, to continue progressing as a high-follow two-way player in the Midwest.

Mitchell Voit (9/11/21)

+ C Hayden Christiansen (Richmond-Burton HS, IL; Xavier): The Xavier recruit has consistently impressed our PBR Illinois and Wisconsin staffs, especially this summer, connecting for loud, far contact repeatedly and against velocity. Christiansen uses both gaps effectively, and he’s strong enough to juice gap-to-gap contact over the fence with enough frequency to profile inside the middle of a lineup long-term. This past weekend in Grand Park, we got to see that version of Christiansen yet again, as he launched a ground-rule double on the inner half that he didn’t totally square up, but was still able to crush.

Hayden Christiansen (9/11/21)


Zander Mueth RHP / Belleville East, IL / 2023

Mueth’s silky smooth delivery and loose/whippy arm stroke are sure to have scouts salivating, and that’s only after taking into consideration that he is only now starting to add strength to one of the most projectable frames in the class at a long limbed 6-foot-5, 185-pounds. The Mississippi recruit worked effortlessly at 88-92 (1750-1880) as he struck out 11 in four innings while just starting to get ramped up for the fall. The fastball featured considerable arm side life and sank at times as the ball jumped out of a low ¾ slot with impressive posture and ease to movement down the mound. Mueth showcased a 76-79 sweeping slider (2200-2300) that was thrown for strikes for the most part, but that he got under at times. He also flashed a pair of developing changeups. In what looked like “bullpen effort”, Meuth was still electric in everything that he did, and there appeared to be much more velocity in the tank. Clearly the results were dominant, but leaving this outing my biggest takeaway was that Mueth still has considerable upside, and that the excitement of what he might ultimately develop into far exceeds the astounding arsenal that he already possesses. The wiry-athletic right-hander is currently ranked 12th overall in the 2023 class and was the best prospect at the entire event.


C Colin Barczi (Naperville Central HS, IL)Barczi has arguably the most raw power in the state and that was no different this weekend at the PBR Fall Championship. Barczi’s loose/violent swing has scouts from all over keeping close tabs on him. With tremendous bat-speed, the Vanderbilt commit was no stranger to finding barrels over the weekend, including an inside-out double over the centerfielder’s on a 3-2 pitch to start a rally for Cangelosi Sparks Black 2022. From behind the plate, it is hard to find another 2023 with a stronger arm. Barczi’s arm possesses effortless velocity and true carry to the bag, paired with his quick transfer, teams were not very willing to take the chance and run on him. Also a 6.69 runner, the 6-foot-2 200-pound Barczi is athletic enough to play elsewhere on the diamond as well at the next level.

LHP Brady Louck (Plainfield East HS, IL): Listed at 5-foot-10, 160-pounds, Louck’s physical stature does not stand out on a Reds Scout Team pitching staff that is lined with wide-shouldered, 6-foot-3 fireballers, but his mound presence is MUCH bigger than his frame, and the Notre Dame recruit was excellent in a quick stint against Team Indiana. Throwing more than 80 percent strikes in two innings without giving up a run and striking out a pair, the southpaw worked mostly 86-88 with a fastball that peppered the bottom of the zone to both sides from a true ¾ slot. Long and loose out of the glove, Louck’s confidence and ability to throw strikes allow the stuff to play up as does his ability to land a low 70s breaking ball that showcases tighter spin.

RHP Matt Sauser (Normal University HS, IL): This top-10-ranked prospect in Illinois’ gifted 2023 class showed well while pitching for Team Indiana this past weekend, displaying advanced spin feel with upper-80s velocity from a highly projectable 6-foot-3, 170-pound frame. The Iowa commit was up to 88 mph in Grand Park with a wipeout slider, 75-77 mph, and features the intriguing combination of present stuff and upside worth monitoring as a follow right-hander in the Midwest. 

+ SS Cal Fisher (Deerfield HS, WI): Fisher, a Notre Dame recruit, looked the part at shortstop throughout the Underclass Area Code event, where clean hands and crisp footwork combined with elite glove-to-hand ability to shine in Los Angeles. Fast forward a month to the Fall Championships, and the glove continues to look the part as he made some sensational plays up the middle for the Reds Scout Team. Carrying himself like a professional, the 6-foot, 185-pounder is a bonafide “winner” which carries over to his at-bats. The right-handed hitter has quick hands that remain more compact to the frame, and he utilizes a more direct path to the ball with some present gap-to-gap strength. While it wasn’t loud production, Fisher’s ability to battle deep into counts against some big ‘22 arms stood out including a pair of two-strike hits against Team Indiana.

+ OF Caleb Karll (Madison West HS, WI): The uncommitted outfielder was last seen blasting a home run at the PBR Future Games in August, and looked the part of a middle-of-the-order type bat in a quick look in Indy. Built with some defined strength on a thicker, 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame, Karll took aggressive cuts in all counts with the intent to do damage. Working short to long, there is some heaviness to that barrel, and Karll’s quick hands whip it through the zone with plenty of power potential. Most intriguing about the approach was his ability to change planes and adjust from pitch to pitch. That tracking capability should warrant well for future advancements.

+ RHP Thomas Burns (Hortonville HS, WI): Burns has flashed some of the best stuff in Wisconsin’s 2023 class, including down in Georgia while representing Team Wisconsin at the PBR Future Games, and the 6-foot-3, 180-pound righty has ticked up even more in that short time since. At Grand Park, Burns was pitching in a greater tempo and rhythm, confidently pumping in his upper-80s fastball for strikes, topping 89 mph early on. He also unleashed several downer 12/6 curveballs that bit late beneath the zone, 72-74 mph, earning swings and misses. Burns did well to hold his stuff well throughout the outing, and he’s looking more and more like one of the state’s top pitching prospects.

+ OF Easton Breyfogle (Benilde-St. Margaret’s HS, MN): Breyfogle exploded onto the scene at the PBR Future Games before pledging a commitment to Arizona. A dynamic athlete with a high waist on an ultra projectable 6-foot-2, 170-pound frame, he was one of my favorite players at Lakepoint in August and looked even better in Indy to kick off the fall. Fluid through a load from the left side, the ability to work short to long with considerable drag in the zone stands out along with the quick hands and especially the future power potential. The little things and subtle actions that come so naturally are sure to excite scouts in the future along with his willingness to play at a high motor at all times with a chance to be a premium defender who is already showing attention to detail in his routes.

+ RHP Jackson Rodgers (Father McGivney HS, IL): Rodgers is a break-out prospect in the Illinois’ junior class, especially following last weekend’s performance for Gators Baseball Academy on Friday night. He debuted in the state’s 2023 update recently, but he might already be due for a major rise up the rankings after dealing mid-80s stuff from an athletic, loose arm, with projectability, listed at 6-foot-2, 170 pounds.


Trever Baumler RHP / Dowling Catholic, IA / 2024

Baumler was brilliant in a playoff victory for the Iowa Sticks over an uber-talented Indiana Bulls Black 2024 squad, and worked 84-86 while getting lots of swing-and-misses on the fastball. Quick-armed with an athletic 6-foot-1, 155-pound frame, the right-hander also hit in the 4-hole throughout the weekend, and should continue seeing significant jumps in the future. The changeup was his best secondary offering at 74-75 as he demonstrated confidence in throwing the pitch in all counts, and received multiple swings and misses. The brother of 2020 5th round draft pick (Orioles), Carter Baumler, there is much to like about the future upside.

Griffin Tobias SS / Lake Central , IN / 2024

Tobias first came on my radar at last year’s Fall Championship, and continues to trend up as one of the more intriguing shortstops in the Midwest’s 2024 class. Just starting to develop physically at 5-foot-11, 145-pounds, Tobias is the catalyst for a stellar Indiana Bulls Black 2024 team. Athletic on the dirt with the ability to stick at shortstop thanks to clean/confident hands and quick release, he is a leader on the field who will likely boost a recruiting class in the future. At the plate, the right-handed hitter possesses some quickness to the hands with a more direct path from a more fluid load, and flashed some sneaky pop in the playoff round with a deep double to the gap. A definite player to follow closely moving forward.

JD Dix SS / 3B / Whitefish Bay, WI / 2024

It doesn’t take long to find the 6-foot-2, 170-pound Dix on the ballfield for a talented Hitters 2024 club as his natural athletic actions stand out on the infield and the quick hands are apparent from both sides of the plate. Working freely with the hands in sync with a minor leg kick from both sides of the plate, the ball comes off the barrel differently, and he demonstrates the ability to change planes and utilize the entire field. Dix’s internal clock and ability to slow the game down on both sides of the ball are key separators in what makes him one of the top players in the country, and as he continues to fill out and add strength, a considerable jump is likely to come.

RHP Tyson Barker (Harrison HS, IN): Barker looked like another future power arm coming out of the Hoosier state when he hopped on the mound and ran the fastball up to 87 mph thanks to a quick arm and physical frame. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound right-hander still has some physical development left, and the velocity seems destined to continue rising. Utilizing a continuous arm stroke that features quality extension and quickness out front, the fastball featured some ride and run to the bottom of the zone, and he also flashed an intriguing slider that should tick up sooner rather than later.

RHP Nolan Buss (Arrowhead HS, WI): Buss has made big strides in syncing up his release point more regularly, which has translated to more strikes this fall, without sacrificing velocity. Last weekend, Buss sat 84-86 mph and reached back for 87-88 several times early on, on a fastball that really exploded through the strike zone. Facing a quality lineup, Buss earned plenty of ugly swings and misses on the fastball alone. He has long levers attached to a 5-foot-11, 165-pound frame, and Buss is really only just scraping the surface of his massive potential.

+ CIF Tyne Weeden (Johnston HS, IA): Weeden is one of the more imposing 2024s in the country thanks to a compact, 6-foot-1, 200-pound frame that features thicker defined strength throughout. That strength plays at the plate where, from the left side, he gets off aggressive hacks that promise substantial power potential in coming years. Setting up early and allowing the hands to work, there is strength through the zone on an uphill plane while getting quality use of the lower-half. Weeden looked the part of a future run-producing middle-of-the-order bat at the next level. 
+ LHP Justyn Hart (Marian Catholic HS, IL): Hart was a close follow, for me, coming out of the summer after a quality performance at LakePoint, and the athleticism and ease of the arm stroke continue to promise much more to come. He worked 81-83 with the fastball which included minimal effort from a ¾ slot, and showed impressive mound presence going up against a talented lineup. Repeating a simple delivery with ease, Hart was able to find a consistent slot on the fastball, and while the breaking ball is still developing, there is a chance he develops a firmer slider to tunnel the fastball in the near future. 

+ Additionally, here are a couple more two-way follows in Illinois and Wisconsin: INF/RHP Charlie Vercruysse (Normal University HS, IL) has some eye-popping tools; he can run, hit, defend, and he was up to 85 mph from the mound this past weekend. He’s one of Illinois’ top 2024 athletes, and he’s also performed in-game throughout the summer, and against older competition, too. As for Wisconsin’s RHP/INF Noah Wech (Manitowoc Lincoln HS), he’s an athletic 5-foot-11 prospect with up-the-middle actions on defense, and his live arm might be his best overall trait. It plays on the mound seamlessly, and he was up to 86 mph while flashing the ability to spin an above-average breaking ball for his age. 


+ 1B/RHP Gavin Meyer (Illiana Christian HS, IN): At 6-foot-4, 175 pounds, Meyer naturally sticks out on a diamond amongst freshmen peers. Presently, Meyer’s a two-way prospect, with projectable, low-80s stuff on the mound, and he swings an advanced left-handed bat that showed particularly well this past weekend. The Indiana native turned on a hard inside fastball for a base hit down the line on a short, simple swing that really projects. Given his stature, Meyer looks capable of leveraging hard-hit, lofted contact inside the middle of any lineup, especially as he grows into more strength entering his first year of high school ball.

+ RHP Tanner Thomas (Arcola HS, IL): The 5-foot-11, 165-pound right-hander also showed some impressive twitch and athleticism as a position player with bounce and a quick first step, but it was the ease of movement and the quickness of arm on the mound that really stood out in this look. Pounding the zone at 83-85 with a clean delivery, the ball jumped out of Thomas’ hand as he worked linear down the mound with quality extension out front. Even more intriguing about the upside than the presently advanced velocity of the heater, the young pitcher demonstrated impressive aptitude for spinning a breaking ball. Taking slider shape with tight spin at 70-72, the pitch exhibited the makings of a potential swing-and-miss offering in future years. Always a fan of athletes on the mound, Thomas’ speed stood out over the weekend, and there is a strong chance he continues to see consistent jumps in the future.

Tanner Thomas (9/11/21)

+ OF Brandon Logan (Fort Wayne Snider HS, IN): Having been blown away by the sheer athleticism of Logan at the Junior Future Games, this look only served to confirm the fact that he has a chance to develop into one of the better players in the class. A true center fielder with present 6.6-speed on a high-waisted 6-foot, 155-pound frame that will assuredly add strength in coming years, it isn’t hard to spot Logan on the diamond as the crispness to his game is present throughout. Hitting atop a talented Canes Midwest lineup, the right-handed hitter had a full collection of base knocks including showing off his speed-tool with a deep drive to the back side gap that resulted in a triple. There is balance and ease to the approach with present ability to slow the game down while still playing fast. The hands are quick and guide the barrel short-to-long through the zone, and his willingness to hit with two strikes stood out in a quick look.

Brandon Logan (9/11/21)

+ RHP/MIF Jack Poellot (Lake Country Lutheran HS, WI): Poellot silenced a very talented lineup in his start on Sunday morning for Hitters Baseball, tossing a complete game shutout with five Ks, no walks, and just six hits allowed, none of which went for extra bases. He’s an athletic 5-foot-11, 160-pound two-way player who continues to impress on both sides of the ball – though his work from the bump has underscored his status as one of Wisconsin’s top 2025 players. On Sunday, Poellot sat 80-82 mph for much of the game, with a fastball that he spotted effectively at the knees and up at the top of the strike zone. He simply earned late whiffs with the pitch, and inside the strike zone, too. He’s shown the ability to spin a breaking ball well for a player his age, and his athleticism from the mound gives him further room to grow and develop.