Prep Baseball Report

Illinois 2024 Rankings Updated

By: Illinois Scouting Staff

After a long winter full of events and a good chunk of the IHSA season now behind us, the Class of 2024 in Illinois was long overdue for an update. There were a ton of new names who entered into the fold, as well as a number of others who continue to elevate their game, warranting plenty of movement and expansion (now 200 players) to the list. The top of the class features many of the same names as before but four new faces enter the back-half of the top-10 for the first time.

The No. 1 prospect in the state remains unchanged, as RHP Ryan Sloan (York; Wake Forest) sits atop the list. Listed at a strong-bodied 6-foot-4, 220-pounds, the right-hander can work his fastball up to 95 mph with more velocity likely to come thanks to the ease of his operation. The separator for Sloan is his feel for his off-speed, as he can rip off a sharp slider with over 2,600 RPM and a heavy fading changeup to mix up the looks. He has shown well time after time in front of our scouting staff, perhaps most notably his showing at this past winter’s Preseason All-State Upperclass, where our scouts had this to say about the talented arm: 

One of the top arms in the country, Sloan showed off some premium arm strength out of a ¾ slot, working at 92-94 mph and touching 95 mph with a big running fastball. Sloan backs it up with a hard sweeping slider at 80-82 mph and revving at 2600-2700 rpm. His changeup rounds out an elite three-pitch mix that will likely put him in 2024 draft discussions come this summer”.

Ryan Sloan

Rounding out the top three, we see MIF Tyler Bell (Lincoln-Way East; Pitt) at No. 2, and UTIL Cole Crafton (Lincoln-Way West; Louisville) at No. 3. 

Bell, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound switch-hitter, rises two spots within the rankings as he continues to prove himself to be a premier middle-infielder not just in the state, but also the country. His showing at this past winter’s Preseason All-State only further proved this assessment, as we had this to say about Bell from the event: 

“Pittsburgh commit, made the Illinois State Games his coming out party last August and skyrocketed up the 2024 Illinois board as a result. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound switch-hitter swings a mature  bat from both sides of the plate, with loose athletic hands and easy effort throughout. Bell creates easy bat speed, natural loft off the barrel and works to both gaps. Throughout both rounds of BP, from both sides of the plate, Bell peaked at 99.3 mph, averaging 91.6 mph with his furthest batted ball traveling 350’. Bell also led the loaded field with an average bat speed of 79.6 mph. On top of the offensive prowess, Bell is one of the top infield defenders in the state with smooth, confident, easy actions and a strong arm that plays true with life across the diamond at 90 mph” 

Tyler Bell 

Crafton, now sitting at No. 3 in the state, has all sorts of versatility on the diamond, as he can play both the infield/outfield and even hop on the mound, where we saw him up to 90 mph this past summer. Also a high-level football prospect, the QB1 has premier athleticism, and it shows within all aspects of his game. His left-handed stroke is simple yet powerful, and he’s been an instrumental piece in Lincoln-Way West’s success this spring, as they currently sit at No. 9 in the Power 25 with a 20-6 record. 

Making their way up to No. 4 is CIF Cash Campbell (Montini; Iowa). Campbell wields one of the top bats in the state, and his feel to hit paired with his pure bat-strength is rivaled by few, if any in the class. Here is what we had on Campbell from the O’Hare Preseason ID:

Continued to show at O’Hare that he is one of the top left-handed bats in the class and it was arguably the best round of BP we have seen from him to-date. Campbell has continued to shape his 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame and he seemed determined throughout his round to show off as much power to all fields as he could while staying easy, balanced and fluid throughout. It was an extremely mature round of BP that led to an event-best 98.7 mph max exit velocity and max batted ball distance of 369’. Campbell moves well for his size laterally with sure-handed actions and a clean transfer. His arm played with some ease and life out of the hand, reaching up to 81 mph across the diamond. 

Cash Campbell

LHP/OF Brayden Mazzacano (Schaumburg; Illinois) has been making some noise on both sides of the ball as of late, rising up six spots to No. 6. The 6-foot-2, 165-pound two-way prospect has all sorts of upside within his frame that is still untapped, and his stuff should only continue to rise as he develops. Here’s what he had to say about him at the O’Hare Preseason ID:

“Mazzacano opened our eyes last summer with his two-way abilities at a PBR At The Rock tournament. He committed shortly thereafter to Illinois and his prospect status does not look to be slowing down anytime soon. Currently the No. 12 ranked player in the class, Mazzacano, has some of the best two-way upside in the class. Offensively, he showed off a short, quick, twitchy left-handed swing, resulting in an event-best 92.4 mpg average exit velocity and T98.3, second-best. The 6.93 runner is also a natural in the outfield moving with quick, efficient feet, fluid actions and a strong arm that plays at 89 mph. That same arm strength plays just as well on the mound. He topped at 89 mph with the fastball and complimented it with a 75-78 mph slider that is thrown with feel/intent and a changeup that landed for strikes 60% of the time with an average of 15.7 inches of horizontal movement. He is a name to know in the 2024 class and looks to be just scratching the surface of his ceiling”.

Brayden Mazzacano 

Rising up seven spots to the No. 7 position is RHP Luke Teschke (Monticello; Illinois State). The 6-foot-1, 175-pound right-hander has been trending in the right direction as of late, recently showing well in-game to our scouting staff:

Illinois State commit. Ranked No. 14 in the Illinois’ 2024 class. Stands at an athletic 6-foot-1, 175-pounds. The right-hander started on the mound and threw a complete game with 15 strikeouts, two walks, two hits allowed and three earned runs. Athletic delivery, repeatable, high leg lift with slight tuck, tall and fall delivery, works in-line down the mound, toe is slightly closed at footstrike. Long, loose arm out of a high ¾ slot, clear acceleration out front. Fastball showed control of the zone (70% strikes) sat 90-91 mph, topped out at 92 mph with carry through the zone. Mixed in a curveball that sat 75-76 mph with 11/5 shape, occasional depth and landed in the zone for strikes. Threw one changeup at 82 mph.

Luke Teschke

One of the bigger risers into the Top 10 in this update is C Jimmy Janicki (Downers Grove North; Troy), who rises eight spots to No. 8 in the rankings. Janicki is one of the top defensive catchers in the entire state, and he also provides plenty of value with the bat, as the right-handed hitter boasts some of the top BLAST metrics in the class to pair with his simple yet strong swing. Here’s what he had on him from the Preseason All-State Upperclass this past winter: 

“Continues to fill out the uniform with his 6-foot-3, 210-pound, broad-shouldered frame and he showed the top hand speed of the event, averaging 24.6 mph to go along with a peak exit velocity of 100.7 mph, 91.4 mph average. Janicki’s round progressively got better as he went and by the end of it he was all over the barrel, with easy, loud, line-drive contact back up the middle and to the pull-side. He als showed his usual clean and easy actions behind the plate with an accurate strong arm that played at 82 mph (up from 80 mph) with pop times ranging from 1.94-1.97”.

Jimmy Janicki 

Coming in at No. 9 is OF Brendan Tunink (Newman Central Catholic; Notre Dame). A true standout for Team Illinois at the Future Games this past summer, the Notre Dame commit has continued to cement himself as a top prospect in the state’s ‘24 class with some of the highest upside to pair. At the Future Games, Tunink earned praise from our Vice President of Scouting, Shooter Hunt, as he had this to say about his performance from the star-studded event:

“What began as a “sleeper pick” after the workout day, quickly turned into a must-see upside prospect by the end of the event, as Tunink was at peak form throughout his residency at Lakepoint. Hitterish in the fullest sense of the word, the 5-foot-11, 165-pound outfielder went 5-for-9 on the week with a home run, and showed off some of the highest upside of any player at the plate. The left-handed hitter carries a quiet confidence to the plate, and utilizes a short stride to rock the hands back before working uphill through the zone, staying behind the ball with some intent to lift. There is some heaviness to the barrel, and while the frame is still developing, the ball comes off the barrel at an impressive clip with plate coverage coming naturally. Relaxed throughout a smooth approach, there is likely much more power on the way, and the 6.87-runner was likely a name that many colleges walked away with”

Brendan Tunink (4/21/23)

Finishing off the Top 10 is RHP Aidan Hayse (Joliet Catholic; Tennessee). The 6-foot-3, 175-pound right-hander has an abundance of untapped upside within his fluid-moving delivery and projectable frame; boasting a fastball up to 91 mph to pair off a sharp slider around 80 mph. He recently stood out at the Preseason All-State Upperclass, where our scouts had this to say about the future Volunteer: 

Tennessee commit, has a young, athletic look, short, quick, loose arm action and well above-average stuff across the board. Hayse pumped his lively, jumpy fastball in the zone at 89-90 mph. His slider is thrown with conviction and late, sharp biting action at 77-80 mph (2178 average rpm) with a low-spinning changeup in the upper-70s with late fade and sink. The ceiling is arguably as high as any in the class and he continues to harness his well above-average arsenal".

Aidan Hayse (5/3/23)

**CLICK HERE** for a look at the updated and expanded Illinois Class of 2024 rankings.

Stay tuned over the coming days for more of an inside look at the rest of updated list.

Related Content