Prep Baseball Report

Week 5 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 …

No. 1 Brother Rice vs. No. 23 Normal University - 4/16/22

By David Seifert
Director Of College Scouting

Jack Lausch, OF, Brother Rice, 2022
In a matchup against No. 14 ranked 2022 prospect RHP Jake Swartz (University HS, IL) the dual sport athlete impressed in every facet of the game, combining tools with performance. At the plate he has a polished approach with good balance, a compact swing and super quick hands. After producing loud contact on a line out to center field in his first at-bat, Lausch squared another, this one deep to center for a triple in his second at-bat. The Northwestern signee for football (QB) showed at least average tools across the board with plus speed, above average arm strength, strong defense and pop in his bat.

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Jack Lausch

Jake Swartz, RHP, Normal University, 2022
Started on the mound against the No. 1 ranked (4A) Brother Rice. Full over the head delivery. Clean arm action with full path. Average arm speed from a three-quarter release point. Fastball up to 91 mph, mostly 88. Below average life. Spin rate 2050-2300 rpm. Threw strikes to the middle of the plate, more control than command. Breaking ball backed up early, then found some quality ones midway through the second inning and throughout the remainder of the game. Better ones spun with slurve shape around 2500 rpm at 81-82 mph. Went to his 81-82 CH in the 3rd inning. Solid feel, just needs to throw more often and let develop. Overall, didn't have his best stuff, but competed and kept his team in the game after giving up four runs in the second inning.

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Jake Swartz

Yorkville vs Joliet West - 4/12/22

By Peter Hamot
Area Scout

Lorenzo Rios, C, Yorkville, 2022
Presbyterian commit, currently ranked No. 147 in Illinois. Physical, evenly proportioned frame, 6-foot-2, 205-pounds. Hit lead-off and started behind the plate for No. 17 Yorkville on Tuesday. At the plate, the left-handed hitter moves with a fluid load into a repeatable stride; his hands work quick and direct to the ball with a level path, remaining loose throughout the operation with his arms and upper-half - also demonstrating a mature/patient approach at the plate, working at-bats and getting deep into counts. Behind the plate, Rios possesses reliable/receptive hands; working underneath the ball to pull it up into the zone, also working to frame close pitches with minimal movement in his hands. His arm plays with backspin from a short, high ¾ slot while actively controlling the run game; also popping a 2.03 down to second during warmups. 

Simon Skroch, LHP, Yorkville, 2024
Uncommitted. Wiry, 6-foot-1, 165-pound frame, highly projectable with room to fill out. Impressed on the mound against a talented Joliet West club on Tuesday; going six innings with eight strikeouts, three walks, four hits and just one earned run. The left-hander’s arm plays with a clean arm-circle out of the glove, moving into a high ¾ release. Skroch moves efficiently down the mound with an up-tempo pace; reaching balance point and driving off his back leg with a slight drop/drive lower-half, staying over the rubber with his back knee while striding out and remaining in-line with the plate throughout. His fastball worked 82-84 mph and reached up to 85 mph; playing with sink into the zone and setting up his other offering effectively. His go-to secondary pitch was a sharp 1/7 curveball in which he showed tremendous control for; spotting around the zone while also burying in the dirt when he was ahead in the count. Sure-fire 2024 follow for the coming years. 

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Simon Skroch

Nate Harris, LF, Yorkville, 2024
Uncommitted, currently ranked No. 25 in the Illinois 2024 class. Ultra-physical, 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame, broad shoulders with a high-waist and well-proportioned frame. Started in left-field and hit out of the three-hole for No. 17 Yorkville on Tuesday; finishing the day 1-for-4 with a double down the line that looked to be just a single but was stretched into extra bases. The right-handed hitter starts in an athletic/open stance, working back to the plate with a long knee-knock stride; hands start high and create some separation at foot-strike before moving with a flat path to the ball, hands are extremely quick and strong through contact with easy power to the whole field. Harris showed off an extremely strong arm from the corner outfield position as well as highly quick/athletic feet; covering ground with ease and making impressive throws to bases with effortless velocity and carry. Harris is a must-see 2024 prospect for any college coach. 

Owen Ross, SS, Yorkville, 2024
Kirkwood CC commit, currently ranked No. 77 in the Illinois 2022 class. Impressive frame, wide shoulders with a physically developed lower-half, standing 6-foot-3, 200-pounds. Started at shortstop and hit out of the cleanup spot for the Foxes; finished the day 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored. The right-handed hitter starts in a slightly crouched setup, front foot open, moving with a long toe-tap stride that works back even to the plate. His hands work quick/direct to the ball with a level path, showed the ability to handle balls on the inner-half of the plate with strong hands. Impressed on defense during IO; smooth actions with fluid footwork, soft hands that play through the ball; also showed to have easy range to both sides of his glove with body control. His arm plays with noticeable velocity across the diamond with minimal effort, flicking it across the diamond at times and playing from multiple angles. Reliable glove that has middle of the order potential at the next level.

LeBaron Lee Jr, LHP, Yorkville, 2023
Illinois State commit, currently ranked No. 75 in the Illinois 2023 class. High-waisted, 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame, long limbs with an athletic look. Came out of the ‘pen for the Foxes and impressed in his inning of work. His arm works long out of the glove into an easy over-the-top slot. Down the mound, Lee moves with a high leg-kick at balance point, slight drop/drive lower-half and long/athletic stride that remains in-line towards the plate. The tall southpaw only needed his fastball to keep the opposition at-bay; cruising at 84-87 mph and touching 88 mph with effortless life out of the hand and ride through the zone. 

James Love, 3B, Joliet West, 2024
Uncommitted. Mature-looking frame, standing 6-foot, 185-pounds. Initially stood out on the field during IO, but proved to be more than capable with the bat during gameplay; finishing the day 1-for-3 with a couple impressive at-bats. The right-handed hitter starts in a crouched and slightly open setup, moving with a repeatable toe-tap stride. He creates hand separation at footstrike, pointing the barrel to the sky before transitioning into a flat path with notable hand speed. The most impressive at-bat from Love came when he sat back on a well-placed curveball to shoot it the other way for a single, battling through tough fastballs earlier in the at-bat and ripping the first breaking ball thrown his way. As mentioned before, Love stood out before the game even started during IO; showing off smooth actions with fluid feet and soft hands; he also made an incredibly tough play in-game to his back-hand side that was taking him away from the field. His arm plays with back-spin and carry across the diamond, proving to be yet another tool for the talented sophomore infielder.

Conner Hogan, LHP, Joliet West, 2023
Uncommitted. Stands out before he even steps onto the field thanks to his ultra-large 6-foot-8, 230-pound frame with well-proportioned strength. Hogan impressed on the mound throughout his outing with a quality three-pitch mix and mature mound presence. The southpaw’s arm plays long and loose out of the glove into a ¾ slot. Down the mound, Hogan moves with a fluid tempo, working into a slight drop/drive lower-half from balance point into a long stride that remains in-line. His fastball hovered around the 80 mph mark, sinking to the arm-side with notable glove-side feel, also reaching the plate with added perceived velocity due to his stride length and close release. His breaking ball was his off-speed of choice this day, going to it often and possessing feel both for strikes and under the zone, 1/7 shape with sharp action at 71-73 mph. He also displayed feel for a fading changeup at 73-75 mph, thrown off a near-identical fastball release/arm action and sinking to his arm-side. Highly intriguing southpaw with upside to keep tabs on. 

Cael Karczewski, 2B, Joliet West, 2024
Uncommitted. Compact frame, standing 5-foot-9, 150-pounds with room for added strength. Started at second-base and hit out of the two-hole for a talented Joliet West club. The right-handed hitter starts in an athletic stance and moves into a long stride, hangs foot. He creates some hand-separation at foot-strike, transitioning into a flat path with loose arms throughout, clear line-drive approach. On the infield, Karczewski moves around with fluid actions and is noticeably athletic with a hop in his step; also showing body control on the slow roller play and a clean arm that plays from multiple angles.

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