Prep Baseball Report

Illinois 2025 Rankings Updated

By Drew Locascio
Illinois/Wisconsin Scouting Supervisor

After a long winter full of events, including the Preseason All-State: Underclass and a good chunk of the IHSA season now behind us, the Class of 2025 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 100 players) to the list. There are a number of impressive prospects who did not make the current list that are worth following moving forward and should enter the fold in the future. 

For now, we take a look at the sophomores who earned a spot on the updated top-100 list. The top of the class is currently loaded with Power 5 commits with a few shakeups towards the top of the class.

The No. 1 prospect, LHP Jack Bauer (Lincoln-Way East) continues to sit at the top of the class. The Virginia commit continued to show off his elite arm talent this past winter at the All-State Underclass. Here is what we had on Bauer at the event:

…Bauer clearly put in work this offseason, continuing to see his fastball velocity climb, now up to 92.6 mph. That velocity, however, was not the most impressive part of this smooth operating, easy left-handers bullpen as he showed off a much-improved, high-spinning, mid-70’s slider with all kinds of horizontal action, playing with an average of 16.6 inches of horizontal movement and an average of 2743 rpm. The pitch is thrown with much more arm speed and intent than we have seen in the past and has a chance to be a wipe-out offering if he can harness it moving forward. The changeup was also an above-average offering, landing in the zone 50% of the time with an average of 16.5 inches of horizontal movement, heading the opposite direction as the slider. Highly-impressive early season look at one of the top 2025 left-handed arms in the country.

Jack Bauer (2/25/23)

C/UTIL Jaden Fauske (Nazareth; Louisville commit) comes in once again at No. 2 in the state. The physical left-handed hitter has been tools across the board, is a versatile defender and has performed at a high-level on the mound for the first time this spring during varsity action. Here is what we had on Fauske from a game this spring:

4/29/23….Louisville commit, currently ranked No. 2 in the Illinois’ 2025 class. 6-foot-2, 182-pound, wide-shouldered, physical, athletically-built, left-handed hitter. Ability to play multiple positions but started at third base and hit in the three-hole against Kenwood. Finished 2-for-3, with two RBI, run scored and a walk. All kinds of presence and confidence in the box. Quiet, relaxed takes, sees pitches deep into the zone with twitchy, strong hands. Ball jumps off the bat, creates bat speed and uses the whole field. Hit a missile, run-scoring single, right back up the middle in his second at-bat of the day. Advanced left-handed bat that continues to impress every time we see him.

Jaden Fauske (4/29/23)

RHP Tucker King (Lyons Township) was one of the biggest risers in the recent update, now sitting at No. 3 in the state, as well as the top uncommitted prospect in the state. King has been a key member of the Lyons staff this spring after showing elite-level stuff this winter, including one of the higher ceilings in the class. Below is a report on King from this spring:

4/10/23….Uncommitted. 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, durable starters build with even more room to add on strength as he matures. The right-hander impressed through five innings of work against an extremely potent Trojans lineup, allowing three earned runs on four hits, striking out nine against two walks. King works with some pace on the mound and attacks the zone with his fastball, sitting 88-89 mph early on and reaching back for 90 mph on his best bullet - settling in at 86-88 mph later in the game. His fastball plays with clear life and arm-side action through the zone, setting up his sweeping slider at 81-83 mph, thrown for strikes and to put hitters away, also thrown with confidence and flashing plus action at times. His final offering was a developing changeup at 82-83 mph, mostly straight. High-level 2025 arm to follow closely. 

Tucker King (4/10/23)

LHP/1B Conor Essenburg (Lincoln-Way West) climbs within the Top-10 after an impressive winter showing which has parlayed into a standout spring for one of the top squads in the state. The Kansas State commit is the top two-way prospect in the state and is equally as impressive on the mound and at the plate. Here is a report from the spring:

4/18/23…..Kansas State commit. 6-foot-1, 190-pound, frame, continues to tick up with quality lean muscle throughout. True two-way prospect, got the start on the mound and hit in the two-hole. Took a number of quality, intentful swings on the day. Presence in the box, consistently on-time, selectively aggressive, loose, strong hands and the bat stays in the zone a long time with well above-average bat speed. Fouled a 92 mph fastball straight back in his first at-bat before seeing a breaking ball up in the zone and barreling it to deep center field for a double. Just missed a ball in his final at-bat, flying out to left field. Overall, impressive offensive showing. Finished 1-for-3 with a double and run scored. On the mound, he was equally as impressive. Athletic mover down the mound, short, clean arm action, ¾ slot with seemingly more velocity to come. Fastball gets all kinds of natural running and sinking action, late life and held 85-88 mph throughout, touching 89 early. Showed a well-above average breaking ball that played with feel, anywhere from 74-79 mph with the ability to manipulate shape and depth. Waited until late in the outing to show a changeup and used it with two strikes for consecutive strikeouts at 78 mph. One of the top left-handed arms in the class with upside to all parts of his game. Got the win going five innings, two hits, one run, 11 strikeouts and two walks. 

Conor Essenburg (4/18/23)

C/1B Enzo Infelise (Providence Catholic; Oklahoma commit) continues to look like one of the top right-handed hitters in the class and flashes plus tools behind the plate. The former Team Illinois Future Gamer stays at No. 5 in the class and has stood out this spring for Providence. Here is a spring report on Infelise:

4/8/23….Oklahoma commit, currently ranked No. 5 in the Illinois’ 2025 class and No. 309 Nationally. 6-foot-2, 205-pound, mature, strong build with strength in the lower half. HIt in the two-hole and caught. Continues to establish himself as one of, if not the top, right-handed hitter in the class. Finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Took a chest high fastball and stayed on it, lining a run-scoring single off of the center field wall in his first at-bat. Also, grounded an RBI single through the left-side in his second at-bat. Calm and confident overall demeanor in the box, does not get cheated, is ready to hit with above-average bat-to-ball skills and advanced bat strength. Defensively, flashes a big arm behind the plate that he showed off in the bottom of the first inning, throwing out a potential base stealer with a strong, accurate, true throw on the bag. Talented sophomore who continues to show a knack for hard in-game contact.

Enzo Infelise (4/8/23)

RHP/OF Joseph Chiarodo (Edwardsville) is another two-way prospect that has been trending up this spring and jumps seven spots to No. 6 in the class as a result. The Alabama commit has been one of the top arms this spring for Edwardsville and slots in the outfield when not on the mound. Here is a report on Chiarodo from the spring.

4/19/23….Alabama commit, currently slotted at No. 13 overall in the Illinois’ sophomore class, will rise up the board next update. 5-foot-11, 180-pound frame with strength throughout, particularly in the lower half. Started on the mound for Edwardsville in a conference win, striking out six over four scoreless innings, walking just one. Athletic mover, gets onto his backside and works down the mound in an aggressive, yet controlled, manner, creating momentum towards the plate. Stays closed to footstrike, finishes onto a firm lead leg and maintains direction to target, repeats. Competitive demeanor on the mound, was in control of the game throughout his outing. Tight arm path, stays short on the backside and finishes out of a quick high ¾ slot with arm speed out front. FB reached 91 mph multiple times, holding 88-90 mph throughout his start. Commanded the corners, peppered the glove side at will, plenty comfortable working in to both handed hitters. Breaking ball flashed sharp slurvy spin and late break at 74-76 mph, flipped it in for strikes and got some uncomfortable swings low in the zone, too. Flashed a changeup with fade to left-handed hitters at 80-81 mph. Also singled twice and drove in two runs out of the two-hole. One of the top prospects in the state’s sophomore class that continues to trend upward and impress each time we see him. 

Joseph Chiarodo (4/19/23)

Three Louisville commits, SS Ethan Moore (Oak Park-River Forest), LHP Joe Olson (St. Laurence) and RHP/OF Tanner Thomas (Arcola), round out the No. 7 - No. 9 ranked players in the state. Moore is an athletic switch-hitting shortstop that has all the actions and tools to stick up the middle of the diamond. Olson is an upper-80s left-hander who has started on varsity since his freshman year and has a competitive demeanor on the mound. Thomas is a high-level athlete that pitches in the mid-to-upper 80s with feel for an above-average breaking ball. 

Ethan Moore (3/5/23)

SS Jack Wheeler (Morris), an Illinois commit, rounds out the top-10 in the state. Wheeler is a 6-foot-4, 185-pound right-handed hitting shortstop with a long, athletic frame and developing strength. Wheeler has a flat, repeatable right-handed swing with leverage and jump off the barrel. Defensively, he moves well for his size, plays with natural infield actions, body control and a strong, loose arm that plays across the diamond at 91 mph.

Jack Wheeler (2/25/23)

*CLICK HERE* for the updated and expanded 2025 rankings. 

Stay tuned over the coming days for more coverage on the updated 2025 Illinois rankings.