Prep Baseball Report

Illinois Class of 2026 Rankings: Newcomers

By: Gavin Smith
Illinois Staff

As the summer comes to an end and the 2026 class heads into their sophomore campaigns, we want to shed some light on the new faces that entered into the rankings for the first time.

Earlier this week, our staff officially updated our 2026 board, highlighting several of the state’s top prospects within our release. You can find that by clicking HERE

Below, you can find every single player ranked within the Top-40 that is making their rankings debut.


Hunter Baugh SS / RHP / Edwardsville , IL / 2026

From 8/8/23: “ an intriguing prospect up the middle that has plenty of upside to dream on. Baugh stands at a lean, wiry 5-foot-10, 140-pound frame with room for added strength. Despite a developing frame, Baugh posted one of the highest infield velocities among ‘26 grads at the event (85 mph). During gameplay, Baugh impressed at the plate, showing off advanced bat-to-ball skills against older competition. Also featured an all-fields approach that translated to an opposite field triple among many other hits. Baugh is a prospect to watch as he physically matures throughout his prep career.”  

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Jory Crocker SS / 3B / Willowbrook, IL / 2026

From 8/8/23: “...has considerable upside on a lanky, long-limbed 6-foot-2, 170-pound frame. A 6.88 runner, Crocker controlled his levers more in this look than we’d seen previously, staying inside the baseball more consistently while keeping his barrel through the zone on a flat plane. He’s an apt defender on the dirt too, with long strides, soft hands, and an 85 mph arm across the diamond.” 

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