Prep Baseball Report

Illinois 2018 Rankings Updated

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor - Illinois/Wisconsin

The summer of 2017 has been a big one for some of Illinois’s top 2018 prospects. First and foremost at the top of the class is Mount Carmel OF Alek Thomas. Just when you think Thomas can’t wow you enough, the thrifty center fielder has been outstanding this summer on a national circuit of events. Thomas continues to display his plus defensive prowess in center field, plus speed and easy plus power for his size from the left side. This weekend (July 28-29) Thomas will be getting a home game from his national circuit schedule at the Under Armour All-American game at Wrigley Field. Thomas was selected as one of the top 2018 high school draft prospects in the country for the two-day event.

CLICK HERE for 2018 Overall Rankings Release.

CLICK HERE for complete 2018 Illinois Rankings.

OF Zaid Walker moved up to No. 2 this summer as his tool set is a rare combination of physical gifts. Walker is a Michigan State commit, and just on the surface you would ask yourself, baseball or football? At 6-foot-2, 215-pounds Walker fills out a uniform like no one else in his class, recently ran a 6.46 laser timed 60 at the PBR ProCase - Midwest, where he also showed off a big arm (92 mph) and premium bat speed.

Zaid Walker (7.11.17: ProCase - Midwest)

Another big riser into the top ten is LHP James Kulak (Neuqua Valley). Kulak lead the the Wildcats this spring to an almost weekly No. 1 spot in the PBR Power 25 only to lose a tough Super Sectional to St. Laurence. Kulak put a string of outings together this spring wher you could almost pencil him in for a shutout while holding his newly discovered upper 80’s fastball into the late innings. His rise continued into the summer, leading to a commitment to Purdue in late June.

1 Alek Thomas IL Mount Carmel 2018 OF Texas Christian
2 Zaid Walker IL Homewood-Flossmoor 2018 OF Michigan State
3 Jacob Maton IL Chatham-Glenwood 2018 RHP Coastal Carolina
4 Branden Comia IL Sandburg 2018 SS Illinois
5 Steven Sanchez IL Mundelein 2018 LHP Arkansas
6 Caden Monke IL Mount Olive 2018 LHP Arkansas
7 Danny Zimmerman IL Lincoln-Way East 2018 LHP Louisville
8 Chase Stanke IL Marmion 2018 C  
9 Dakota Kotowski IL Providence Catholic 2018 OF Missouri State
10 James Kulak IL Neuqua Valley 2018 LHP Purdue

The top 50 saw several notable risers on the mound,  including RHP Scott Youngbrandt (Andrew), RHP Caleb Larson (Wheaton Warrenville South), RHP Nate Gomez (South Elgin), RHP Tyler Stuart (Herscher) and LHP Blake Struble (Carrolton) who all displayed improved stuff this spring/summer.

Blake Struble (6.6.17: Top Prospect - St. Louis)

The 2018 Rankings added 25 more prospects in this edition, expanding the ranking to 175. Some of the top new additions inside the top 100 included RHP Eric Kremer (Teutopolis), RHP Miles Powell (Deerfield) and SS Jack Housinger (Stevenson).

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