Illinois 2019 Rankings Updated


By Andy Sroka and Drew Locascio
Illinois Staff

We’re in the thick of the summer showcase season, especially with Future Games on deck, two weeks away, which means it’s also time for an update to Illinois’ Class of 2019 rankings. We’ve had the opportunity to evaluate a ton of talented in-state prospects – whether it was at the Midwest ProCase or at events like Chicago’s Top Prospect showcase – and we’ll find out how their most recent performances, development, and maturation have affected their position in the rankings.

We’ll start at the very top, where RHP Quinn Priester (Cary-Grove; Texas Christian) holds onto his status as one of the entire class’ top arms, nationwide. Priester has had a busy summer already as an invitee to USA Baseball’s Tournament of Stars in mid-June. He’s generated some early buzz as a potential draft pick in the next MLB Draft, currently ranked No. 15 overall on PBR’s overall board. Priester is highly athletic, sits comfortably in the low 90’s and has advanced pitchability for his age. He’s now been atop Illinois’ top 2019 board for the past 15 months.

While Priester has comfortably sat atop the state’s 2019 board, the state’s new No. 2-ranked prospect has shoved his way up the rankings. LHP Michael Prosecky (Nazareth Academy; Louisville) represents one of the highest rises in rank from late March’s update to today’s, from No. 43 to No. 2. The Louisville commit has long been projectable and athletic, but we had just waited for that seemingly imminent velocity jump, signaling the moment where he had put it together – and, well, he’s arrived.  Prosecky was trending up all spring with multiple impressive outings including a start in the state finals where he was touching 90 mph with a hard-biting slider. Prosecky took it to an even higher level with a bullpen in June where he sat an easy 91-93 mph. If the trend continues, Prosecky will be one of the more sought out draft prospects in the Midwest next spring.

Michael Prosecky (7.1.18)

Pulling in at No. 3 is Zachary Lee (Effingham; Kentucky), who slips a spot in this update to make way for Prosecky’s meteoric rise. Lee was an attendee of the 2017 Future Games where, at the time, he was one of the event’s most interesting and available righties. Since, the 6-foot-4 Effingham ace has committed to Kentucky. Like the aforementioned pitchers listed above, Lee’s capable of touching the low 90s with his fastball as he further develops a swing-and-miss offspeed offering. He, too, is stirring some glances at a national level.

RANK   NAME STATE SCHOOL CLASS POS COMMITMENT
1 Quinn Priester
IL Cary-Grove 2019 RHP Texas Christian
2 Michael Prosecky
IL Nazareth Academy 2019
LHP Louisville
3 Zachary Lee
IL Effingham 2019 RHP Kentucky
4 Matt McCormick
IL St. Laurence 2019 C West Virginia
5 Andrew Wiegman
IL Carmel Catholic 2019
SS Louisville
6 Alex Helmin
IL Providence Catholic 2019 OF Arizona State
7 Jason Hodges
IL Marist 2019 OF Arkansas
8 Grant Leader
IL Lyons Township 2019 RHP Illinois
9 Brody Harding
IL Moline 2019
SS Illinois
10 Cole Kirschsieper
IL Lincoln-Way East 2019
LHP Illinois

 

The first position player on the board is also the reigning PBR Illinois Player of the Year: C Matt McCormick (St. Laurence; West Virginia), ranked No. 4. McCormick joined Priester as the two Illinois representatives at Tournament of Stars last month. Our own national supervisor, Nathan Rode, called McCormick a “throwback” which summarizes his approach to the plate. The 6-foot, 195-pound left-handed hitting catcher hits everywhere he goes and is unfazed by velocity. He hit over .500 for St. Laurence this past season, mixing in nine homers, and remains one of the region’s top left-handed bats.

Three more position players pick up the following three spots: No. 5 SS Andrew Wiegman (Carmel Catholic; Louisville), No. 6 OF Alex Helmin (Providence Catholic; Arizona State), and No. 7 OF Jason Hodges (Marist; Arkansas). All three make use of their easy athleticism and have some serious potential in the batter’s box. Wiegman has been committed to play ball at Louisville since 2016 and has begun to grow into his lanky, athletic frame. Loose levers and a quick bat have helped him become one of the more intriguing prospects in the state – this, along with his athleticism, grants him that sky-high ceiling.

Prosecky and Helmin are the only two members of the top 10 who were not on it upon the last update. Providence Catholic’s star outfielder carries enormous upside with him in a highly projectable 6-foot-4 frame. At the recent PBR Midwest ProCase Helmin ran a 6.77 and flashed a loose right-handed swing with easy pop.

Hodges, most recently, came away from the Midwest ProCase as one of the day’s most interesting hitters in attendance. He provided scouts with a loud round of batting practice and showed off his 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame that could fit right in on the gridiron. His bat speed and strength, however, elicited some high-ceiling hopes on offense if/when he gets to Arkansas.

Jason Hodges (2.11.18)

Filling out the rest of the top 10 are pitchers RHP Grant Leader (Lyons Township; Illinois), who sits at No. 8, and LHP Cole Kirschsieper (Lincoln-Way East; Illinois), ranked No. 10. The two arms are competitive on the mound with the arsenals to make big impacts at Illinois next fall.

SS Brody Harding (Moline; Illinois) pulls in at No. 9 and will actually meet up with Leader and Kirschsieper in Champaign in 2019. Harding’s smooth left-handed swing finds a ton of barrels and his athleticism and advanced defensive actions makes him a good bet to handle the middle of the Illini’s infield one day.

Stay tuned for additional coverage regarding the latest Class of 2019 update, including newcomers to the top-200 board as well as some of the group’s highest risers.

CLICK HERE for the complete Class of 2019 rankings.

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