Prep Baseball Report

Illinois 2023 Rankings Updated

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

We first launched the state's Class of 2023 Rankings back in October, on the heels of the national update. And shortly after that, we hosted a couple late fall events that prompted us to take another hard look at the rankings prior to the 2021 showcase season kicking off. A stacked Underclass Showcase on Oct. 25 was our final event of the year, and it also provided us with an excellent opportunity to add several new names to the '23 board.

Inside this January update, we added 10 players to the recently updated top-35 overall. And it bears repeating, it's still very early for these sophomores. This class has made a loud first impression to our staff, so the rankings below are sure to expand as we continue to see these players more and more over the next few years. For now, these are the Class of 2023 prospects who have revealed themselves to be the top sophomores in the state.


C Zion Rose (Brother Rice) and RHP Parker Detmers (Glenwood), both Louisville commits, remain at the top of the 2023 class in Illinois. Our colleagues at PBR Tennessee actually took in a recent winter look at the top player in Illinois' 2023 class, Rose, at an event on Dec. 19. Here's that video:

Zion Rose (12/19/20)

The biggest jump in the update came from 6-foot-4, 170-pound RHP Zander Mueth (Belleville East) who moved from No. 9 to No. 3 in the state. The recent Ole Miss commit (ranked No. 88 nationally), joins Rose and Detmers as three Illinois sophomores currently in the top-100 nationwide. Mueth shined at the Illinois Fall Limited Series in early October but his biggest statement came at the St. Louis Open a few weeks later. There, Mueth sat an easy 89-91 mph with his fastball, pairing it with an advanced slider at 76-77 mph (max spin rate of 2,509 rpm) with feel for a changeup. 

Here is what Shooter Hunt had to say about Mueth in the updated 2023 overall rankings story (12/22/20): 

There was no doubting that Mueth would see a velocity uptick when PBR first saw him this fall as the wiry-thin and athletic 6-foot-4, 170-pound right-hander comfortably worked in the mid 80s and had 88 mph whenever he needed it. Dynamic down the mound with elasticity, the delivery is polished and compact with the arm stroke working free and continuous to a loose whip that delivers from a ¾ slot. Working linear down the mound, there is no wasted movement, and Mueth’s impressive extension allows him nearly touch the glove. The uptick in velocity seemed likely to come in the spring, but Mueth gave a glimpse at his immense upside touching 91+ mph in a bullpen setting in late October. Perhaps even more excitingly, the young right-hander demonstrates advanced feel for a tightly spun slider that profiles well off the fastball with spin rates as high as 2509. With so much projection left on the frame, there is clearly lots to be excited about, and given his ability to produce spin on the baseball, look for Mueth to continue taking big strides forward in the future.

Zander Mueth (10/25/20)

The player debuting the highest on the updated '23 board is RHP Derek Jahn (Warren Township), who made his noise at the Underclass Showcase in late October. The uncommitted 6-foot, 195-pound right-hander emerged as one of the top power arms in the Midwest when he topped at 93.3 mph with his fastball, via TrackMan. The new No. 10 prospect in the state is still harnessing his command but he sat 90-92 mph, touching 93, (reaching a 2,573 rpm max spin rate) in his bullpen while featuring an above-average changeup and an aggressive slider at 79-83 mph (2,357 rpm max) that flashed wipeout potential. 


1 Zion Rose IL Brother Rice 2023 C Louisville
2 Parker Detmers IL Glenwood 2023 RHP Louisville
3 Zander Mueth IL Belleville East 2023 RHP Mississippi
4 Ryan Jefferson IL Providence Catholic 2023 SS Illinois
5 Adison Worthman IL Bloomington 2023 OF  
6 Ryan Bakes IL Huntley 2023 C South Carolina
7 Dillon Head IL Homewood Flossmoor 2023 OF Michigan
8 TJ Schuyler IL Antioch 2023 C Indiana
9 Trey Swiderski IL Joliet Catholic 2023 OF Louisville
10 Derek Jahn IL Warren Township 2023 RHP

Cal Sefcik
(Marist) and Colin Schmitke (Stevenson), the top-ranked infielders from the Underclass Showcase, enter the top-20 overall for the first time. Both continue to make big strides to their games and had their strongest showings to-date, at the event. Sefcik, ranked No. 16, is now listed at a defined, athletic, 6-foot, 180-pounds and took one of the more polished rounds of BP at the event. Sefcik repeats his right-handed swing well with on-time barrel feel that lives in the zone for a long time. Defensively, he has sure hands and a strong arm that played at 87 mph across the diamond.

Schmitke, now 5-foot-11, 175-pounds, added 25 pounds since our last look and showed strong, athletic hands in his right-handed swing. When the swing syncs up, the ball jumps off the barrel; Schmitke recorded a max exit velocity of 93.0 mph and max bat speed of 73.2 mph during his round of BP, and also showed advanced infield actions with soft, confident hands and the ability to throw from multiple angles while playing on the move.

Cooper Cohn (McHenry) did his best work this fall at a tournament in LakePoint, in front of the PBR Georgia director, Phil Kerber. Cohn, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound, twitchy, C/RHP ran his fastball up to 88 mph on the mound and showed off that same strong arm multiple times from behind the plate. Cohn plays the game with a high-level of confidence and has advanced bat speed from the right side of the plate.

Six other 2023 prospects emerged as uncommitted high-follows from the loaded Underclass Showcase this fall and earned a spot in our updated rankings. Read more about each one below:


Krew Bond OF / Mendota, IL / 2023

Bond is a 5-foot-10, 170-pound, right-handed hitting outfielder with a top-of-the-order, center field profile. Bond turned in an impressive showing at the October event, running a 6.91 60 with aggressive, confident outfield actions as well as a strong arm that topped at 89 mph from the outfield. Bond also was all over the barrel in BP with surprising bat strength; 96 mph exit velocity off of a tee. 

Colin Barczi C / Naperville Central, IL / 2023

The uncommitted catcher is listed at a strong, wide-shouldered, 6-foot-1, 185-pounds. Barczi ran one of the top 60-times of the event, a 6.91 while also taking a loud round of BP. Barczi produced an average exit velocity of 88.3 mph (max of 95.31 mph) while producing one of the highest average bat speed marks (74.2 mph). Barczi is also a quiet receiver, with an arm that played at 78 mph and a low pop time of 2.05. Barczi looks to be a middle-of-the-order type of bat who can stick behind the plate. 

Tyler Stack C / Oswego, IL / 2023

Stack, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound catcher is one of the more advanced backstops in the class. His feet work quick and clean out of the crouch with an advanced glove-to-hand release. Stack recorded a low pop time of 1.95 on the day and his arm plays at 77 mph from the crouch. Offensively, he creates lift and leverage from the right side of the plate. 

Luke Stulga OF / St. Laurence, IL / 2023

Stulga emerged as an athletic outfielder with upside at his first-ever PBR showcase. The 6-foot-2, 165-pound, long-levered right-handed hitter, ran a 6.85 laser-timed 60, showed aggressive, natural outfield actions and repeated hard contact in BP. The right-handed hitter, has a simple, repeatable swing and recorded a max exit velocity of 92.34 mph during BP.

Ryan Niedzwiedz SS / West Aurora, IL / 2023

Niedzwiedz is a 6-foot, 175-pound left-handed hitting infielder with one of the more interesting left-handed bats that we have seen to-date. It is a fluid, easy, twitchy swing that stays compact and works with natural lift to the pull-side. His top swing during BP was 96.0 mph off the bat, one of the day’s hardest hit balls. Defensively, he is a steady defender with a clean arm that plays at 82 mph across the infield. 

Andy Roman C / 1B / Wheaton Academy, IL / 2023

Roman continues to add physicality to his 6-foot-2, 185-pound, wide-shouldered frame and as a result he features some of the best pull-side power in the class. Roman's top exit velocity from the day was recorded at 98.76 mph, which was also an event best. Its an intentful, aggressive swing with a whippy, strong barrel through the zone. Defensively, he has the versatility to catch and play first base but if he can stick behind the plate, his stock should continue to rise moving forward. 

CLICK HERE for the updated 2023 rankings.