Prep Baseball Report

Week 3 Games

By Illinois Scouting Staff

The Illinois Scout Blog provides insider information and scouting notes from the PBR Scouting Staff during the season. This running blog will feature information on underclass prospects, unsigned seniors, draft prospects, and anything else that is notable. We will provide a wide range of information, including player evaluations, velocities, pop times, home to first times, and more. Simply put, the Illinois Scout Blog is loaded with information …

Glenbard West vs Downers Grove North - 4/29/21

Peter Hamot
Area Scout

George Wolkow, OF/3B, Downers Grove North HS, 2024
South Carolina commit, currently ranked No. 4 overall in the 2024 class. Towering, athletic 6-foot-7 220-pound build, extremely long-limbs, with even more room for development. One of the top national prospects in his class. Offensively, left-handed hitter, hit in the 5-hole as a freshman. Finished the game 2-for-4 with 2 singles. Ball jumps off the bat with minimal effort, consistent hard contact to all fields, quick hands that work directly to the ball. Athletic setup, short/quiet stride, fluid load with pre-pitch rhythm in hands and explosive lower-half. Quick and athletic out of the box, runs well for his size and age. Aggressive on the basepaths, always looking to take the extra base. Defensively was in right-field this game. Showed off his arm in IO with strong, accurate throws to all bases, has been reported up to 90 mph from the outfield. Above-average reads off the bat with a quick first step. Was able to cover ground and track down fly balls with ease and above-average range. High-level 2024 prospect. 

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George Wolkow

Tony Konopiots, 3B/SS, Downers Grove North HS, 2023
Uncommitted. 6-foot-1 185-pound, right-handed hitting, third baseman with wide-shoulders and strong lower-half. Offensively, hit in the 3-hole this game, finished 2-4 with 2 singles. Wide, slightly crouched setup, short stride and quiet load. Simple swing, lets his hands work, direct path, quick bat, ability to turn on inside fastballs with ease. Ball jumps off the bat. Defensively, quiet/clean footwork, advanced body control on the move; made a slow roller play look easy. Sure-handed with a quick release. Arm played strong across the infield (T87 mph in March at the Underclass Invitational). Overall, has a chance to be a well-above average defender at third base. 2023 uncommitted prospect on the rise. 

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Tony Konopiots

Oswego vs. Plainfield North - 4/27/21

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

Brandon Bak, LHP, Plainfield North, 2022
Uncommitted, currently ranked No. 84 in Illinois. 6-foot-1, 165-pound, left/left, two-way prospect. Started on the mound for Plainfield North and led off at the plate. Despite uneven results on the mound, Bak is a follow left-handed arm in the class. Compact arm action works from an over-the-top slot. Directional delivery, loads into back leg and lands square down the mound. Fastball comes out of the hand easy, true four-seam action, plays straight with above-average spin metrics; sat 83-85 mph with a max rpm of 2529 on the fastball. Also, creates above-average spin on his curveball, works 12/6 to 1/7, 71-72 mph (T2506 rpm). At the plate, loose, athletic left-handed swing. Creates bat speed and whip through the zone, Finished 1-for-3 with two walks and two RBIs.

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Brandon Bak

Ryan Nelson, SS, Plainfield North, 2023
5-foot-11, 150-pound, lean, left-handed hitting shortstop. Started at shortstop and hit in the six-hole for Plainfield North as a sophomore. Offensively, wide balanced setup, minimal pre-pitch action and simple overall swing. Loose hands, stays inside the baseball, direct path and looks to control the barrel. Used the whole field with natural lift at times. Defensively, smooth actions, steady hands and arm plays from a ¾ slot across the diamond. Left-handed hitting infielder with the tools to stick up the middle of the diamond.

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Ryan Nelson

Tyler Stack, C, Oswego, 2023
Xavier commit; currently ranked No. 30 in the Illinois’ 2023 class. 6-foot-3, 190-pound, highly-athletic, upside frame with lean strength throughout. Hit in the four-hole and Dh’d for Oswego. Confident look in the box; pre-pitch rhythm in his hands, slight leg-lift timing trigger, foot gets down in plenty of time. Loose levers, long path, stays within himself and uses the whole field. Finished 1-for-2 with two walks. Upside 2023 prospect.

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Tyler Stack

Blake Hamblin, RHP, Oswego, 2021
Unsigned Senior. 6-foot-2, 180-pound, physical, wide-shouldered, right-handed pitcher. Started on the mound for Oswego and struck out four in 3.1 innings pitched. Fastball showed inconsistent control but was tough to square up when in the zone; sat 84-85 mph. Also, showed the makings of a three-pitch mix. Curveball played at 74 mph while his changeup plays with fastball arm speed, mostly straight action and sat 78-79 mph.

 Marist vs. Nazareth - 4/26/21

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

John Hughes, LHP, Nazareth, 2024
6-foot, 180-pound, left-handed pitcher, currently ranked No. 180 in the 2024 National rankings. Started on the mound for Nazareth. Extremely impressive look at one of his first starts of his high school career. Has polish and pitchability well beyond his years. Held one of the top offenses in the state in check during his five-inning start. Scattered three hits, two earned runs struck out nine and did not walk anyone. Threw 68 pitches in five innings, 69% of them landing for strikes. Ability to throw three-pitches for strikes at any time. Understands how to hold a running game, make quality two-strike pitches and stayed away from the middle of the plate throughout his start. Fastball sat 82-83 mph (2150 rpm) throughout, velocity plays up, sneaky finish at times, mostly straight action and can locate to both sides of the plate. Curveball continues to make progress. Consistently landed it for strikes early in the count and was able to start it as a strike and finish it out of the zone to act as a put-away pitch with two strikes; sat 67-68 mph and worked off a 1/7 plane with occasional depth. Changeup is currently a well above-average offering. Feel for the bottom of the zone, maintains arm speed and flashed late fade to the arm-side; 73-74 mph. High-follow, high-pitchability left-hander in the 2024 class with more velocity to come.

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John Hughes

Ryan Smith, OF/RHP, Nazareth, 2021
Unsigned senior, currently ranked No. 47 in Illinois; arguably the top uncommitted 2021 in Illinois. Frame continues to add quality lean muscle; listed at a highly-athletic, 6-foot-2, 195-pounds. Hit in the three-hole and started in left field before coming on to pitch later in the game. Impressed both at the plate and with his ceiling on the mound. At the plate, finished the day 3-for-4 with two RBIs, a run scored and a stolen base. Right-handed hitter, above-average hand speed and strength at the plate. Barrel has length through the zone but consistently on time and was driving balls with authority. Took a first pitch curveball and barreled a ground ball through the left-side for a two-run single in his first at-bat. Also, smoked a line-drive back up the middle in his last at-bat of the day. Came out of the bullpen and threw the final two innings of the game. Despite mixed results, there is a lot to like on the mound. Quick, lively arm action, ball jumps out of the hand with seemingly more in the tank. Fastball, which sat 88-90 mph showed late life and finish through the zone; showed control, late running action with a tendency to miss up at times. Curveball showed much better sharpness than we have seen in the past. Works off an 11/5 plane with the ability to land for strikes. Occasional late depth and bite. High-follow 2021 unsigned senior. 

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Ryan Smith

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