Illinois 2018 Rankings Updated

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

Now that the 2016 and 2017 rankings have been revised and updated we take a look at the 2018 class. Over the course of the last four months, the Prep Baseball Report’s scouting staff has honed in on this rising crop of juniors. We scouted a countless number of high school baseball games throughout the spring, along with numerous showcases, tournaments, camps and events this summer. Everything we have seen over that time has come into play when updating the 2018 class.

Although there are some significant shakeups in the updated and expanded Class of 2018 rankings, the top of the class has many familiar names. OF Alek Thomas (Mount Carmel) has been the head of the class and nothing is changing this time around. Thomas, a dynamic athlete, was the only sophomore to make PBR First Team All-State this spring. Thomas a potential multi-sport athlete at the Division I level, hit .394 with seven doubles, five triples and 10 home runs this spring. He also added 45 RBI and 46 runs scored in 38 games played.

RHP Jacob Maton (Chatham-Glenwood) jumped up to No. 2 after his scintillating performance at the PBR Future Games in early August. 6-foot-3, 170-pound Maton, sat 88-89 mph with his fastball, touching 90 once, but it was his slider that turned heads. Maton unveiled a slider (which he had previously classified as a cutter) that had sharp, late bite, thrown aggressively and around the zone at 78-80 mph.

LHP Steven Sanchez (Mundelein) was another pitcher on Team Illinois whose stock rose following his performance at the PBR Future Games. Sanchez, now ranked No. 3, committed to Arkansas shortly following the event. Sanchez who is a monster on the mound, at 6-foot-8, 230-pounds, sat 84-87 mph with steep angle and arm-side finish, over his two outings of the event.

Right behind Sanchez, is OF Zaid Walker (Homewood-Flossmoor). 6-foot-1, 200-pound, Walker possesses all of the tools to become a high-follow draft prospect in the 2018 class. During the positional workout day at the PBR Future Games, Walker separated himself with his high-level tools and offensive prowess. Walker ran a 6.76 laser-timed 60, was clocked at 92 mph from the outfield and flashed elite bat speed with power potential at the plate.

Left-handed hitting catcher Chase Stanke (Marmion) rounds out the Top 5. 6-foot-2, 175-pound, Stanke, an Arkansas commit, has a chance to be a middle of the order type of bat at the next level. Behind the plate he flashes a strong, accurate arm and is an above-average receiver.

RHP Jake Rosing (Richmond Burton), MIF Branden Comia (Sandburg), OF Brooks Coetzee (Mahomet-Seymour), Dakota Kotowski (Providence Catholic), and Evan Tenuta (Sandburg) round out the rest of the top 10 prospects. Six of the top 10 prospects are still uncommitted.

A look at the top 10 prospects:

Name State School Class Pos Commitment
1 Alek Thomas IL Mount Carmel 2018 OF
2 Jacob Maton IL Chatham-Glenwood 2018 RHP
3 Steven Sanchez IL Mundelein 2018 LHP Arkansas
4 Zaid Walker IL Homewood-Flossmoor 2018 OF
5 Chase Stanke IL Marmion 2018 C Arkansas
6 Jake Rosing IL Richmond Burton 2018 RHP Louisville
7 Branden Comia IL Carl Sandburg 2018 SS Illinois
8 Brooks Coetzee IL Mahomet-Seymour 2018 OF
9 Dakota Kotowski IL Providence Catholic 2018 OF
10 Evan Tenuta IL Sandburg 2018 RHP

Keep an eye out the rest of this week for a further breakdown of the updated 2018 rankings. We will take a look at several of the top new prospects and some of the biggest risers. Also, 2018 state ranking updates are taking place around our coverage area and overall rankings will be updated in the near future. Stay tuned the next couple of weeks to find out how Illinois fits into the overall picture.

CLICK HERE for complete 2018 Illinois Rankings.