The GRB Rays are excited to announce GRB Rays-Illinois. In conjunction with the Pro Player Canes, the Canes will transition to become GRB Rays-Illinois beginning in the Fall of 2021. The GRB Rays-Illinois will join the GRB Rays and continue the tradition of giving players within the organization the highest level of training and skill development as well as a platform for national college recruiting of it’s high school aged players by playing in the top travel tournaments in the nation.
GRB Rays-Illinois will be the first out of Wisconsin expansion for the Rays, joining the GRB Rays (Madison) and GRB Rays-Milwaukee. “I am excited to have Andy and Mick, and all of the families from Pro Player become a part of the GRB Rays team program. When the discussions first started for this, it was clear the passion Andy and Mick have for helping baseball players reach their highest potential. Their consistent pursuit of advancing the game of baseball matched perfectly in how we view development and success. We are all excited to get to work implementing some of the recruiting features we plan on bringing to all of the players,” said Greg Reinhard, founder of the GRB Rays and GRB Academy.
The GRB Rays began in 2010, and since the inception have sent over 311 players to the collegiate level with 11 players chosen in the Major League Baseball Draft, including one 1st round selection and one former player playing at the Major League level. Over 120 former GRB Rays players have committed from GRB to the Division 1 level out of high school.
The Pro Player Canes have been one of the top travel programs in the state of Illinois and the Midwest since 2008. In that time, the Pro Player Canes have sent over 300 players to the collegiate level, and have had 20 players selected in the Major League Baseball Draft. Six former Canes players have reached the Major League level. The GRB Rays-Illinois will be based out of McHenry, Illinois.
Tryouts for 2022 teams begin in July. More information on tryouts, including registration, can be found here: https://rays.grbacademy.com/illinois-tryouts/
In late October, Ryan Bakes committed to South Carolina. Bakes is a Class of 2023 catcher at Pro Player, having played at the 15U level for Coach Deain last summer.
Bakes is a top rated catcher nationally and is ranked the No. 6 player overall in Illinois by Prep Baseball Report. He attends Huntley High School.
South Carolina is perennially one of the best programs in the SEC and in the country. Since 2010, the Gamecocks have advanced to the NCAA Tournament seven times with six regional titles and two national championships (2010 and 2011).
Pro Player is the top travel baseball program in the area. Establishing itself with high level teams beginning in 2008, Pro Player merged with the McHenry County Hurricanes in 2013 and has been the No. 1 choice for youth and high school players in McHenry County and beyond.
With over 300 college commitments, over 20 MLB draftees, and 6 players reach the major leagues, the Pro Player Canes are the best representation of how strong baseball is in the county and surrounding area.
In the 2020 graduating class alone, Pro Player helped send 25 players to the collegiate ranks — 5 to Division-I, 7 to Division-III, and 13 to JUCO.
Pro Player carries the best game schedule in the area. All 15U-18U teams play in a variety of high level tournaments with great competition pitch by pitch.
Pro Player competes in top national, regional, and local tournaments every summer, with notable invite only tournaments — featuring Midwest Premier, Bullpen Events, Midwest Prospect League, Hitters Invite, Chicago Scouts Association Invite, as well as events from Perfect Game and Prep Baseball Report.
This type of schedule leads to Canes players being consistently alongside top players both within their own roster and against other teams.
Competition of this ilk also produces a quality level of exposure to play at the next level. Numerous tournaments Pro Player is in have college coaches and professional scouts on-site, thus leading to opportunities collegiately (Division-I, D-II, D-III, NAIA, and JUCO) and professionally.
Pro Player boasts one of the most diverse and experienced coaching and training staffs not only in the area but the Midwest. In total, there is 130+ years of coaching experience under the same roof.
The current group of coaches and instructors are highly regarded. This includes two IHSBCA Hall of Famers, four current or former varsity head coaches, four current or former varsity assistant coaches, three former professional players, and more.