Prep Baseball Report

PBR at The Rock Fall Championships: Quick Hits Day 3

By Wisconsin Staff

The PBR Wisconsin staff is headed back to The Rock Complex one last time in 2020 to host the PBR at The Rock Fall Championships, a tournament featuring two divisions – an Upperclass and an Underclass – with prospects representing classes 2021 through 2024, and teams from Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota.

Because there are so many talented uncommitted prospects that made the trip to Franklin, Wis., for this event, we previewed some of the names to know for you ahead of time:

We previously published Quick Hits posts on Saturday and Sunday at the following links: Day 1 and Day 2. Below are highlights from Sunday’s action, filled with notes from bracket play and the championship games.


+ Illinois commit SS Ryan Jefferson (Providence Catholic, 2023) had himself quite the weekend, showing off well advanced bat-to-ball skills to pair with borderline elite up-the-middle actions for his age. He stayed hot here, spraying a double into the left-field gap, giving Cangelosi a 3-2 after three innings. Swiderski clutched up again in his second at-bat, continuing to show his prodigious pop by scorching one to left field for a two-run double. After a sacrifice fly by INF Jake Stefanos (Marist, 2023), the Sparks led 6-2 through four innings of play.

+ RHP Cole Van Assen (Brother Rice, 2023) was brilliant for Cangelosi after overcoming some early adversity. He threw five innings of two-run ball, striking out nine and allowing just three hits. His fastball 83-85 mph early, dipping into the 80-81 mph range as he went on, with some late action to both sides of the plate. He complimented it with two above-average offerings; a sharp, late-breaking curveball spinning off an 11/5 axis and a fading change up that he comfortably threw to both handed hitters. Given his 6-foot-4 and 165-pound frame, Van Assen is a high upside pitching prospect to follow moving forward.

+ Once he departed, however, the Canes battled back, scoring two in the sixth off a single to right field. Leading 6-4 into the seventh, Stefanos and 3B/RHP Blake Pietryk (Waubonsie Valley, 2023) each drove in runs for Cangelosi, making it an 8-4 game with three outs remaining. Swiderski, who came into pitch after Van Assen, threw a 1-2-3 scoreless inning, ending the game on a strikeout to seal the deal for the Sparks.

+ GRB Rays MKE were very competitive this weekend in the Underclass Division, and it was another successful day at the ballpark for 3B/2B Brady Davidson (St. Joseph, 2023). We’ve seen the 5-foot-8, 165-pound sophomore barrel baseballs on repeat this summer, and he continued to do so Sunday, including the homer he slugged. SS Noah Dreier (Brookfield Central, 2023) consistently garners our attention for his glovework up the middle of the infield. He’s a natural defensively and he tends to make the difficult play look easy, with above-average range and arm strength. RHP Tyler Lusic (Waterford Union, 2023) was up to 81 mph on the mound and he projects well as a 6-foot-2, 160-pound sophomore. He can also spin a tight breaking ball off a 12/6 plane with depth.

+ Prospect Training Academy’s 17/18U squad pitched two of Wisconsin’s most intriguing uncommitted left-handers on Sunday: Taylor Kilps (Whitnall, 2022) and Owen Rice (East Troy, 2021). Both project very well, as Kilps is 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, and Rice is listed at 6-foot-4, 175 pounds. Kilps was a member of Team Wisconsin at the PBR Future Games and, while raw, has some special upside for the ease in which he’s able to reach the mid-80s, topping 85 mph Sunday. Rice has been a prospect gaining steam this fall. From a tough slot, making for an uncomfortable at-bat, Rice made an appearance on Friday and Sunday and was up to 86 mph in both looks, with better feel for the breaking ball, as he can backdoor it to righties or get lefty bats to chase it away.

+ Despite Pro Player’s sophomores coming up just short as runners-up in the title game, it’s worth mentioning the play of C Ryan Bakes (Huntley, IL, 2023) throughout the entire weekend. Bakes homered three times, twice on Friday and once yesterday, and seemingly never got out, finding the barrel in nearly every at-bat. He showed well at the PBR Future Games for Team Select as an underclassman and he continues to impress in all aspects, including behind the dish, where he just looks the part of someone who could certainly become an asset defensively at the next level. Bakes’ play all summer has solidified him as one of the top prospects in the Illinois’ 2023 class and he’s also nationally ranked.

+ The Illinois Indians showed a few follow prospects over the weekend, and Sunday gave our staff the latest look at RHP Jake Kohanzo (Barrington, IL, 2022). He’s a big and strong 6-foot-2 righty who gets to some easy velocity. It looked like he was showing a couple different fastballs Sunday, one four-seam type that was able to reach 86-87 mph and a heavy, running two-seam type in the low-80s. He also mixed in an aggressive curveball with above-average depth.

+ Top Tier’s 17U squad rallied on Sunday to earn a place in bracket play, and they received several huge performances that took them all the way to the title game. These uncommitted juniors showed particularly well:

  • C Ryan Louthan (Joliet Catholic, IL, 2022) was one of the team’s hottest hitters this weekend, though especially on Sunday. He sliced a couple of barreled baseballs into his opposite left-center gap, and pulled another double into the right field corner. He’s a brawny left-handed hitter who is prone to loud contact, and he showed some upside defensively, with arm strength.

  • OF Evan Jones (Normal University, IL, 2022) is a physical 6-foot-2, 185-pound prospect who was connecting for hard-hit contact on repeat over the weekend. It’s a fast right-handed swing and his size helps him hit the ball especially hard.

  • OF Josh Outlaw (Maine West, IL, 2022) has a left-handed swing that’s very pleasing on the eye. It’s smooth, fast, athletic, and he squared up a few baseballs on Sunday with it. He does well to find the barrel and he projects very well, as he adds strength to his 6-foot, 160-pound stature.

  • LHP Shane Curtin (Lyons Township, IL, 2022) can always be relied on to turn in a competitive outing. The highly athletic southpaw attacks the strike zone, sitting 83-85 mph, regularly going to his advanced changeup. It features swing-and-miss fade, thrown at arm speed. Curtin can also spin a breaking ball, though it’s presently more of a change-of-pace offering, more effective in left-left matchups. His ability to spot his full arsenal helps his stuff play up.

Those four weren’t the only ones to stand out for Top Tier, however. This roster features several of the state’s best prospects, like OF Alex Stanwich (Lincoln-Way East, IL, 2022; Tennessee commit). Stanwich is actually one of the country’s best athletes, with a live-wired toolset. He showed off nearly every facet of his game Sunday, too. He barreled several baseballs, including one ripped line-drive that smashed into the right field fence on a direct line. His foot speed helps him get to baseballs in the outfield others just can’t, and he showcased that in center field Sunday. In the team’s semifinal contest, he took the ball on the mound and came out sitting 88-90 mph and it exploded through the zone. He spins a really tight slider, too, thrown aggressively.

SS Christian Holmes (De La Salle, IL, 2022; Kansas State) is as dependable as it gets at shortstop. Even with the slick on-field conditions after the rainfall, Holmes could be relied on to range around the infield to make the savvy play with delicate hands and smooth footwork. Holmes also has some sneaky big pull-side pop, as he knows how and when to backspin and elevate baseballs. He crushed a low-and-in fastball for a no-doubt homer that had some serious hang time. Earlier in the day, he barreled an upper-80s fastball for a line-drive single to center, showcasing a feel to hit, in addition to his power profile.

+ RakeCity had an excellent weekend, entering bracket action as the Upperclass Division’s No. 1 seed. They also recorded the weekend’s single-greatest defensive play when center fielder Parker Baryl (St. Rita, IL, 2022) robbed the aforementioned Stanwich of a first-inning home run in the semifinals. Baryl tracked a high fly ball to the left-center fence and jumped as he arrived to the warning track to perfectly reel in the would-be homer. Later, he barreled a Stanwich heater for a single up the middle. Baryl’s an athletic left-handed hitter with a loose, simple swing that works to utilize the middle of the field.

C Kyle Jannenga (Hinsdale South, IL, 2022) showed well this past weekend as a sturdy, hulking backstop, listed at 6-foot, 205 pounds. Despite his big frame, Jannenga is athletic in the crouch and moves well out of the chute. Predictably, Jannenga connects for loud pull-side contact from the right-handed batter’s box.

+ The ProPlayer Hurricanes’ senior squad was the weekend’s most overpowering machine, and it resulted in the program winning the Upperclass Division after enduring a brief rain delay. 1B/C Kyle Hayes (St. Charles East, IL; Kirkwood CC) was the leader both from the middle of the order and from the dugout as a vocal cheerleader, energizing the squad all day. He’d been one of Illinois’ biggest ‘winners’ this summer, using his powerful 6-foot-1, 220-pound build to produce some of the state’s loudest contact. He smashed two homers Sunday and was almost always on the barrel when the balls he hit weren’t traveling over the fence.

C Camden Janik (Wauconda, IL; Illinois) was one of the weekend’s top overall performers and that carried over to Sunday, naturally, as he captained the team from behind the plate. He’s an advanced defender, blocker, and base-stealing sheriff, and he, too, swung a hot bat all weekend. He has a natural feel for the strike zone from the right-handed batter’s box, and he earned a couple key walks in the championship game.

RHP Dylan Petrey (Hampshire, IL) is one of Illinois’ most interesting uncommitted seniors, as a high pitchability type with a rolodex of pitches in his arsenal. Petrey’s advanced feel for three separates him from other uncommitted prospects his age, and his loose, quick arm helped him sit 83-85 mph early on. The breaking ball features tight 12/6 action, and he has a good feel to locate it under the zone, and the changeup is thrown at arm speed, with some late arm-side action to it. Ranked inside the state’s top-200, Petrey’s competitiveness and stuff should help him earn some more looks through the fall and into next spring.

No doubt about it, one of the weekend’s most productive hitters was 3B/1B Mason Schwalbach (Marian Central Catholic, IL). The stout, strong 6-foot, 225-pound corner infielder mashed all weekend, displaying consistent pull-side power potential with a fast left-handed bat.

+ Our Underclass Division Championship Game took place between the Cangelosi Sparks and Pro Player Canes 2023; both went 3-0 on the weekend. The higher-seeded Canes nabbed home field advantage here and struck first on a double down the left field line in the first inning by 3B Sheppard Graf (Lake Forest, 2023). It didn’t take Cangelosi long to get that runback, however, as OF/RHP Trey Swiderski (Joliet Catholic, 2023; Louisville commit) launched a two-run home run to straight away center field, making it a 2-1 game. We knew Swiderski was going to run into one at some point this weekend and he picked a perfect time to do so for his team. Pro Player responded with a solo home run of their own in the bottom half of the second, tying the game up.