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Illinois 2023 Fall Watchlist


Andy Sroka and Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Staff

On Jan. 18, PBR Illinois officially updated its Class of 2023 Rankings. It was the 2023 class’ second version of the in-state rankings, following the first edition released in September. After a few eye-opening performances produced at fall events, we were forced to adjust the board and expand it by 10 names.

Today, however, we’re going to be spending some time highlighting the players who ultimately missed the cut, but are high-follows in the class. All the players below earned an invitation and have registered for this winter's Underclass Invitational thanks to a strong showing at some point this fall. We previously covered additional "Watchlist" players inside these posts from October: Pitchers | Two-way Players.

Performing proficiently in front of our staff, either in a live-game setting or at an open PBR event, is typically the best way to earn an invitation to prestigious events like the PBR Future Games or dates like the Underclass Invitational, or other future invite-only events.

If you are a 2023 or 2024 grad looking to earn an invite to this winter’s Underclass Invitational check out the plethora of Preseason I.D. events you can attend before the event. 

WATCHLIST PITCHERS

Ian Boal LHP / Johnsburg, IL / 2023

Johnsburg southpaw Ian Boal is a wiry 6-foot lefty with a live arm who made his PBR event debut at a Milwaukee-area event last February and added a few ticks to the fastball by October, at the Underclass Showcase. There, Boal was up to 83 mph from a lower slot with arm-side run that complemented his changeup with a similar movement profile. Boal also showed the ability to spin a breaking ball at an above-average rate, with projectable action, to round out a follow three-pitch mix. 

Lleyton Grubich LHP / McHenry , IL / 2023

It was a highly productive 2020 for lefty Lleyton Grubich, from McHenry. It was at the McHenry Preseason I.D. last January that he made his PBR debut. There, he worked steadily in the mid-70s and just continued to get stronger throughout the year. He demonstrated pitchability traits at the PBR Fall Limited Series in Normal, with a feel for strikes. A few weeks later, he took the mound for us at the open Underclass Showcase event where he was all the way up to 83 mph, with above-average offspeed along with those same strike-throwing traits.

Gavin Parkerson RHP / 3B / Armstrong , IL / 2023

A physical central Illinois prospect listed at 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, Parkerson has impressed as a two-way player stemming from a solid all-around showing at the summer’s Chicagoland Open. There, he was up to 85 mph with a breaking ball that flashed depth and feel, and an arm-side changeup. Parkerson generates bat speed and strength from the right-handed batter’s box, too, but the next time we see him will be from the mound at the Underclass Invitational.

 

WATCHLIST POSITION PLAYERS

Joe Chiarelli MIF / Downers Grove North, IL / 2023

Chiarelli earned our attention at the Chicagoland Open in late August. The 6-foot, 150-pound, lean, loose-bodied infielder has a loose, athletic left-handed bat with upside and feel for the barrel. Defensively, he showed steady infield actions and ran a 7.14 laser-timed 60 as well. 

 

Evan Foster OF / LHP / Maroa-Forsyth, IL / 2023

The Maroa-Forsyth product made his first PBR appearance this fall at the Joliet Open and earned an invite to the Underclass Invitational as a result. The 5-foot-11, 160-pound, left/left two-way prospect has a lean, wiry frame with plenty of room for continued physical development. At the plate, he has a simple, repeatable swing that works with rhythm and balance throughout. There is minimal wasted movement throughout with pull-side lift at times. Defensively, his future may be in the outfield thanks to his 7.09 60-time and clean actions. Upside left/left prospect to follow in the 2023 class. 

Justin Gorski MIF / Rockford Christian, IL / 2023

Gorski, a Rockford-area prospect, sparks the top of a lineup with his barrel feel and foot speed. He impressed our staff at the Creekside complex in Kansas City this summer, with his loose left-handed swing and knack for getting on base. Gorski also shows middle infield actions defensively.

Eli Kieser MIF / Normal University, IL / 2023

Kieser first stands out, physically, for his long levers attached to his 6-foot-2 frame. Kieser has fluidity to his game, moving well both on defense and at the plate. Kieser’s right-handed swing is loose, simple and projects. He made his mark at a couple open events in 2020 and at the Midwest Fall Championships at Grand Park.

Jake Stefanos MIF / Marist, IL / 2023

Stefanos stood out multiple times in 2020, from our open Lockport event to the fall’s Underclass Showcase, and he’s been a follow member of this 2023 class throughout that time period. He generates easy bat speed from the right side and we’ve seen it translate seamlessly in-game. Stefanos earned a spot on the All-Tournament Second Team at the PBR at The Rock Fall Championships, where he tallied six hits while providing value defensively all over the infield and outfield, even.

Troy Vosburgh SS / OF / Oswego , IL / 2023

Vosburgh a 6-foot, 165-pound, infield/outfielder was another position player to make his PBR-debut at the Joliet Open this September and earn an invite for this winter’s biggest event for underclassmen. Vosburgh flashed some above average tools for his age topping at 89 mph from the outfield, a max exit speed of 90.53 mph and max distance off the bat of 341’ during BP.

Henry Wolfe C / 1B / New Trier , IL / 2023

Following the summer showcase circuit, we hosted a Rake City Scout Day event where we got a close look at Wolfe. He’s a strong 6-foot-2 who runs a 7.13 laser-timed 60, well-above average for his age and position. He creates leverage in his right-handed swing, was 76 mph from the crouch and had a low pop time of 2.09. 

Nolan Zurawski C / Minooka, IL / 2023

We made it back to The Rock this summer, in the Milwaukee area, to take in PBR Wisconsin-hosted tournament action where Illinois prospects are always well-represented. Back at the start of the summer, it was here where Zurawski was all over the barrel, squaring up hard-hit contact on repeat. He showed well at both catcher and third base on defense, underscoring his athleticism and versatility. Zurawski made his first PBR appearance this summer at the Underclass Games, an invite-only event for the top 2023s in Illinois and Wisconsin. 


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