Prep Baseball Report

2023 Illinois Rankings Release

By Andy Sroka & Drew Locascio
Illinois Staff

It is still extremely early, perhaps even premature, to be forecasting Class of 2023 prospects, especially since many of these rising sophomores haven’t even played a varsity game. Then again, with the way recruiting has been trending, high-level 2023 prospects are already making verbal commitments. In fact, we know of nine committed prospects in the state’s sophomore class already, seven of whom are ranked inside the top-10.

Over the course of the last year, we’ve seen an impressive amount of talented 2023 prospects, several of whom are in the national rankings. With that said, we have released our initial 2023 rankings, a modest list of 25 prospects that have stood out among their peers. Certainly this list will change and evolve in time, as we know many players will grow, develop and mature. We also know that we likely haven’t seen many other 2023 prospects that may be deserving of this list.

+ The highest-ranked prospect from Illinois in the national 2023 rankings is naturally the No. 1-ranked player in our state rankings debut: Zion Rose (Brother Rice; Louisville commit). One of three sophomores already committed to Louisville, Rose has advanced physicality and wields the top right-handed bat we’ve seen in this class to date. At a 2020 winter workout, our staff was in attendance to see Rose put together a sub-6.60 time in the 60-yard dash, all while taking one of the best rounds of batting practice – managing to stand out amongst the likes of legitimate pro prospects three years older than him, like Ed Howard and Wisconsin’s A.J. Vukovich.

Zion Rose (7.3.20)

Rose has plus bat speed for his age, swinging off a short path, using the entire field efficiently, making sound contact in all directions. His athleticism is also an asset defensively, as he’s versatile enough to spend time at catcher, third base, or in the outfield. Rose should continue to see his name towards the top of the class over the next few years. 

+ We just saw the state’s top-ranked arm, RHP Parker Detmers (Glenwood; Louisville), this past weekend at the PBR Fall Limited Series in Normal, and came away highly impressed. He broke out at a PBR Wisconsin tournament earlier in the summer, and lands at No. 2 overall in this class today. Here’s our scouting report from last weekend’s performance:

6-foot-3, 205-pound, right-handed pitcher. Workhorse, wide-shouldered build; strong, thick lower half with athleticism throughout frame. Report from below (July 28th) was confirmed and elevated with this most recent outing. Extremely poised, comfortable, confident look on the mound. Controls the game. Handled adverse conditions (40 degree weather and rain) with zero issue. Commands the fastball, creates angle, occasional boring action, comes out of the hand easy; sat 85-88 mph in his first inning. Can add and subtract when needed. Still had upper-80s in his third and final inning. Curveball is above-average offering with potential to be a go-to out pitch, gained feel as the outing went on, 73-75 mph. Showed a heavy changeup in warmups, thrown with arm speed and intent, down in the zone. High floor/high ceiling 2023 prospect. Currently ranked No. 109 in the overall rankings.

Parker Detmers (10.3.20)

+ SS Ryan Jefferson (Providence Catholic; Illinois) has done nothing but shine for our staff this fall, impressing at PBR tournaments in Indiana, Wisconsin, and again just last weekend in Normal. Last weekend’s scouting report:

“5-foot-10, 145-pound, wiry, loose-bodied, left-handed hitting shortstop. Continues to reaffirm his status as one of the shortstops in the Midwest with every look. Highly-advanced bat-to-ball skills. Did not see a swing-and-miss throughout the weekend and almost every ball in play seemingly is on the barrel with line-drive flighted contact to the entire field. Stays within himself, hits the ball where it's pitched, lets it travel and finishes on balance. Despite the hanging leg-lift that Jefferson utilizes, takes are comfortable with a ready to swing mindset. Bounces all over the field, including on the bases. Defensively, all the tools and actions to play a high-level shortstop down the road. Seemingly plays best when on the move where he shows off advanced athleticism, body control and ability to throw from any arm angle. Advanced internal clock. One of the top 2023s in the state.”

Ryan Jefferson (7.21.20)

+ We arrive at No. 4, the top uncommitted sophomore on this list: OF Adison Worthman (Bloomington). Here’s what we had to say about his breakout showing at Underclass Games from late July: “It is impossible to miss Worthman when he walks into the building thanks to his 6-foot-2, 230-pound, physically-advanced, imposing frame. On top of that, he turned in a head-turning workout. Worthman ran an event-best 6.57 60 and was runner-up with a 94 mph exit velocity off a tee. The powerful right-handed hitter averaged 91.01 mph off the bat during BP, third best on the day. Worthman cemented himself as one of the top uncommitted position players in the class.”

Adison Worthman (7.21.20)

Worthman also impressed PBR National Crosschecker Shooter Hunt this summer: “The sheer raw ability of Worthman is sure to have college coaches glued to his games moving forward as they envision him as a key run-producer in their lineups. As physically-gifted as any player in the class, Worthman runs a 6.57 60-yard dash to go along with a 103+ mph exit velocity per Trackman. At 6-foot-2, 230-pounds, he impacts the baseball with great force before turning up top speed in  an instant. The bat speed is electric, producing eye-opening power, and while there is some rawness to the  approach right now, the upside is immense, and in-game at-bats should quickly allow him to approach a high ceiling.”

+ Dillon Head (Homewood-Flossmoor; Michigan) emerged as a high-follow member of this 2023 class at the 2019 PBR Junior Future Games where he represented Team Illinois. Head is a left/left athlete and a dynamic outfielder where his speed plays best. He’s a 6.79 runner who tracked everything down with advanced instincts and a quick first step, profiling as a true lockdown center fielder. From the left-handed batter’s box, Head looks like a top-of-the-order bat with a fluid, loose swing that’s direct to the ball. His toolset translates to the football field as well, where he excels for the Vikings.

Dillon Head (7.21.20)

+ Like Jefferson, C Ryan Bakes (Huntley) has been on fire in front of our staff all summer and now into the fall. His huge summer as an uncommitted high-follow allowed him to parlay his performance into an invitation to the PBR Future Games as one of the younger players in attendance, and he fit right in. Hunt has had this to say about Bakes and his physical profile: “Barrel-chested with defined strength throughout a compact, 5-foot-9, 181-pound frame, Bakes brings plenty of athleticism to the diamond as a 6.8-runner who boasts 101+ exit velocities. With minimal pre pitch movement, the right-handed hitter works uphill through the zone with impressive bat-speed, and intent to do damage, especially to the pull side. Behind the plate, his quick feet and smooth transfer allow a strong, 80 mph arm to play with carry in producing pop times at 1.92-2.00. Overall, lots to like about Bakes as a potential run-producer with advanced athleticism behind the plate.”

Ryan Bakes (8.2.20)

Bakes’ summer production rolled seamlessly into the fall, and he’s coming off a performance at a PBR Wisconsin tournament in which he homered three times, landing a spot on the All-Underclass First Team.

+ C T.J. Schuyler (Antioch; Indiana) is listed at a highly athletic 6-foot-2, 170 pounds, and there’s plenty of room to add more strength. He has a simple, easy swing with quick, strong hands. Overall, his feel for hitting is advanced, as he lets the ball travel, stays within himself, controls the barrel and makes hard contact to all fields. Defensively, he shined at last fall’s PBR Underclass World Series where he showcased loose, flexible hips, soft hands and a strong arm. Schuyler was also one of the top prospects at this summer’s Underclass Games which featured the best 2023 talent in Illinois and Wisconsin. Schuyler looks to be scratching the surface of his immense upside.

TJ Schuyler (7.21.20)

+ OF Trey Swiderski (Joliet Catholic) is our third Louisville commit on this list, and like others on it, he’s been one to watch this late summer and fall as well. His power potential is becoming his trademark, and he showed it off at both the PBR Midwest Fall Championships and the PBR at The Rock Fall Championships, slugging no-doubt homers in both events. We drafted our most recent scouting report on Swiderski following last weekend’s event in Normal, too:

6-foot-1, 170-pound outfielder; wide-shouldered, athletic build with room for continued physical development. High-ceiling, right-handed hitter with present pull-side power. Bat works fast and strong, short to the ball, uphill through the zone. Looks to do damage on every swing, pull-side tendencies. Free swinging mentality at times, occasional swing-and-miss. Stock will continue to ascend as he polishes his approach. Defensively, former first baseman has transitioned rather easily to the outfield. Potential to be one of the top right-handed power bats in the class.

Trey Swiderski (10.3.20)

+ We were looking forward to getting our first in-person look at RHP Zander Mueth (Belleville East) at last weekend’s Limited Series, and he did not disappoint. His upside 6-foot-1, 170-pound frame and low-effort upper-80s velocity make for a sky-high ceiling. Our scouting report from the weekend:

Uncommitted. 6-foot-1, 170-pound, loose-bodied, right-handed pitcher. Athletic, lively frame with plenty of room for continued physical development. Fluid delivery works with tempo and rhythm, slightly across body, lands square, easy effort throughout. Long, uninterrupted arm path, works loose and quick out front, ¾ slot. Fastball jumps out of the hand, lively, action through the zone. Fastball has varying action, occasional hard run and sink to the arm side, straightened out, jumped to the glove side. Showed control. Worked comfortably at 83-85 mph and bumped it up to 87-88 mph whenever he needed or wanted too. Breaking ball has tight spin, gets underneath at times, 11/5 to 10/4 shape, 70-73 mph. Changeup, thrown with arm speed and feel, used sparingly, 78-81 mph. High-ceiling, athletic, right-handed pitcher. Has the potential to become one of the top arms in the state.

Zander Mueth (10.3.20)

+ Rounding out the top-10 is Notre Dame commit LHP Brady Louck (Plainfield East). He arrived loudly this summer with a statement pitching performance at a PBR Wisconsin tournament. There, Louck was blowing it by hitters with a well-placed 81-83 mph fastball and an above-average breaking ball. He one-upped that performance at a PBR Creekside Tournament where he commanded the fastball to both sides of the plate, showed advanced feel for his breaking ball and touched 86 mph with the fastball. Louck was all set to participate at this summer’s Future Games but committed to Notre Dame before the event. Louck is a high-pitchability left-handed pitcher with one of the better breaking balls in the class. 

Brady Louck (6.20.20)


1 Zion Rose IL Brother Rice 2023 C Louisville
2 Parker Detmers IL Glenwood 2023 RHP Louisville
3 Ryan Jefferson IL Providence Catholic 2023 SS Illinois
4 Adison Worthman IL Bloomington 2023 OF  
5 Dillon Head IL Homewood Flossmoor 2023 OF Michigan
6 Ryan Bakes IL Huntley 2023 C  
7 TJ Schuyler IL Antioch 2023 C Indiana
8 Trey Swiderski IL Joliet Catholic 2023 OF Louisville
9 Zander Mueth IL Belleville East 2023 RHP  
10 Brady Louck IL Plainfield East 2023 LHP Notre Dame

For a complete look at the state’s Class of 2023 Rankings, click here. And stay tuned for additional coverage of Illinois’ budding sophomore talent.