Prep Baseball Report

Illinois Class of 2022 Rankings Updated

By Illinois Scouting Staff

The 2022 class in Illinois boasts a number of potential draft picks this summer with a number of others possessing the ceiling to be high drafts a few years down the road. This year’s senior class features high-end talent at the top, reminiscent of the 2020 group which saw SS Edward Howard (Mount Carmel; No. 16 overall by the Cubs) get nabbed in the first round and RHP Ben Hernandez (De La Salle) go not too far afterwards, coming off the board at No. 41 overall to the Kansas City Royals. This 2022 class not only features two prospects that could be selected as high, or higher, but also a strong crop of others who are making their own draft noise as well.

+ Holding onto the top spot on this board and amongst the top prospects in the entire country, the local draft buzz around LHP Noah Schultz (Oswego East; Vanderbilt) is in full-force. Already an outlier at 6-foot-9, 225-pounds, Schultz made waves with his first start of the season. Reports had his fastball sitting anywhere from 92-96 mph to go along with some of the best secondary stuff he has shown to-date. While his patented 3,000+ RPM slider is very much one of the top standalone pitches in the country, Schultz’s changeup appears to be trending upward. He started to show that at the PBR Midwest Fall Championships this fall and it reportedly has taken an even bigger jump from there. Schultz may be the most unique Illinois’ prep prospect ever and it’s starting to look like he’ll be a lock to go in the first round, if not be one of the first prep pitchers off the board come July.

Noah Schultz (9/1/21)

Another highly-talented arm in the class that is getting all kinds of draft buzz is RHP/3B, Owen Murphy (Riverside-Brookfield; Notre Dame), who comes in at No. 2 on the Illinois big board. Murphy is one of the top athletes in the class who took home the PBR Player of the Year last spring for his work on both sides of the ball. He is a legitimate two-way prospect at the college level and attended this winter's Super 60 as a third baseman. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound third baseman stood out with his right-handed bat, launching the furthest batted ball of the star-studded event at 392 feet. He also had the second-highest average exit velocity off the bat at 97 mph over the course of two rounds of BP while showing smooth defensive actions and clean arm that plays easy across the diamond at 90 mph. With all that said, it is Murphy’s arm talent on the mound that has him looked at as one of the top prospects in the country; currently the No. 32 overall prospect in the 2022 class. Murphy is a highly-athletic strike thrower with all kinds of polish and composure to himself on the mound. We have seen Murphy sit comfortably in the low-90’s in the past, topping at 94 mph with ease but it is his advanced four-pitch arsenal, that he can throw in any count, that really sets him apart from the rest of his peers in his class. Murphy is sure to draw plenty of pro attention as moves through his final spring season, where he should be considered one of the favorites to bring home the PBR Illinois Player of the Year, for the second year in a row.


+ OF/QB1 Jack Lausch (Brother Rice) has been a headliner across the amateur baseball landscape over the past few days, especially after delivering a walk-off dagger to defeat IMG Academy at the Prep Baseball Report National High School Select tournament. Committed to Northwestern to play football, it’s clear that Lausch’s athletic talents extend to the baseball field and he’s up three spots in this most recent update. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound is a true thoroughbred athlete with all kinds of dynamic upside to his game. The left-handed hitter flat-out dominated at LakePoint this past week, hitting in all sorts of capacities against high-end national competition, unfazed by velocity. He’s always shown a short, twitchy left-handed swing with all sorts of athleticism and barrel feel in the box, while also patrolling center field for the Crusaders at an above-average rate. Should Lausch decide to play baseball at the collegiate level, the Wildcats are getting a dynamic athlete capable of impacting their program from the very second he steps on campus. 


+ The upside that OF Brendan Summerhill (Whitney Young; Arizona) possesses from a power-speed standpoint is rare and it’s a huge reason why he’s slotted at fourth overall on our board. At 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, Summerhill looks the part at first glance and supports it with an array of standout tools at his disposal. He attended the Super 60 Pro Showcase this February, starting his workout off by running one of the event’s fastest 60-yard dash times at 6.54. Summerhill generates natural loft from the left side with a clean, easy swing engineered to elevate the baseball that oozes power projection as he continues to physically mature. To go along with the power projection, Summerhill already has shown a polished, mature in-game approach, staying inside the baseball and covering the whole plate. He is not afraid to do most of his damage to the middle/opposite side of the field, driving balls with authority the other way. He reached a 93 mph high from the outfield at the Super 60, covering ground with athletic strides and attacking the ball with confidence. Summerhill’s in-game performance likely dictates how much pro attention he’ll attract this spring, but the physical upside for him to be a quality professional or collegiate standout in the Pac-12 is evident. 


+ Another winner from the aforementioned Super 60, RHP Ethan Patera (Downers Grove South; Louisville) holds the fifth spot on our latest state board. Patera owns a traditional starter’s look, standing at 6-foot-4, 230-pounds with a strong, sturdy frame that checks professional boxes from a size standpoint. He was up to 95 mph when we saw him in February, pitching at 92-93 mph. Patera caught the attention of Shooter Hunt, our Vice President of Scouting, at the event, having this to say about the Louisville signee: 

Patera’s bullpen might end up being a microcosm for what to expect in coming years for the fact that it steadily got better the longer he was on the mound, culminating in plenty to take away and like about the future. At 6-foot-4, 230-pounds, the big right-hander has an elite, workhorse frame with the power stuff to match. He worked 92-93, touching 95 mph, flashing a power-changeup (86-88) with significant arm side life and sink (1859 RPM avg.) along with a short, true-slider (82-83) that was thrown for strikes. But beyond the three-pitch mix, Patera’s mound presence stood out. With tunnel vision throughout, the Louisville recruit gained confidence with each pitch, and was at his best towards the end. The upside that he presents is obvious, and should those final pitches be a glimpse at what is to come with regards to consistency this spring, Patera could find himself rising up some draft boards.


+ Another arm shooting up scouts radars is RHP Ashton Izzi (Oswego East). The 6-foot-3, 175-pound wiry, athletic, Wichita State commit has seen his velocity and stuff continually tick up over the last few years and he showed no signs of slowing down in his first outing of the spring. Izzi, who we have seen up to 94 mph, was sitting anywhere from 92-96 mph with even some reporting a tick harder, depending on the gun. He also flashed a promising hard slider and a changeup to give him a starter profile moving forward. There is all kinds of upside to still tap into when looking at the frame and his quick, athletic arm. Izzi is yet another high-ceiling arm in the class who may be nowhere near his ceiling yet. He moves up three spots to No. 6 in the class.

+ INF Estevan Moreno (Montini Catholic; Notre Dame) maintains the seventh spot in the state board, and rightfully so. Moreno’s proven to us over the last year that he owns one of the state’s strongest right-handed strokes and that he’s able to tap into it during game-like action. He performed in the spring for Montini Catholic, impressed at our Midwest ProCase, and blasted several home runs at our 17U PBR at The Rock Championships this summer. One of several Illinois participants at the Super 60, Moreno’s physicality was on display yet again. He took one of the event’s louder BP rounds, generating easy juice with his 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame. Moreno’s max exit velocity (103 mph), average exit velocity (94.6 mph), hard-hit rate (85.7%), and peak batted distance (390 ft.) were all towards the top of this loaded event’s batted-ball leaderboard. He’s still quick enough to run a 6.86 (has ran a sub-6.6 in the past) while ranging around the infield well enough to continue to project on the left side, though the long-term fit at third base feels more natural, and he has the arm strength to pair, reaching a 91 mph high across the infield. The other factor that made Moreno’s Super 60 performance even more impressive was that he did it while he was in the middle of basketball season, one in which he earned All-Chicago Catholic League Honorable Mention. He looks every bit the part of an impactful middle-of-the-order bat at the next level. 


+ Few possess the sheer strength and athleticism that OF Alex Stanwich (Lincoln-Way East; Tennessee) presently does, long known as one of the toolsiest prospects in this class. Standing at a chiseled 6-foot-2, 200-pounds, Stanwich has been a sub-7.00 runner for years now, running a 6.70 at the 60-yard dash this February and running as low as a 6.58 on our lasers previously. There’s not much effort to his operation at the plate, as he utilizes his forearm strength to generate above-average bat speed and power fairly easily. Stanwich’s hardest-hit ball at the Super 60 came off his wooden barrel at 101.8 mph and his furthest batted ball landed at 391 ft., second-best of the event. Stanwich has shown off his physicality early into this IHSA season, having already blasted three home runs to go along with six extra-base hits in the Griffins’ six games. Defensively, Stanwich confidently attacks the baseball with fluid, natural feet and impact arm strength to pair, peaking at 97 mph to home at the Super 60. That arm strength also plays on the mound where he sits comfortably around 90 mph with an above-average breaking ball. If Stanwich continues to hit at a high rate this spring, he will warrant plenty of pro looks before the summer.

+ CIF/COF Luke Adams (Hinsdale Central; Michigan State), who sits at No. 9, checks off all kinds of boxes from a prospect standpoint. He is one of the more physical prospects in the class at a hulking 6-foot-4, 227-pounds yet he ran a 6.73 60 at the Super 60 and has been as low as a 6.66 runner in the past. He has also seen his velocity from the outfield continue to tick up, topping at 97 mph at the Super 60 while also showing some of the best raw power in the class. Adams showed a more controlled, repeatable swing than we have seen in the past, living all over the barrel during his two rounds of BP at the event. Adams registered an 85% hard-hit percentage, launched his furthest batted ball 386 feet with an average exit velocity of 96.3 mph, max of 103.3 mph. Along with his impressive metrics, Adams plays the game with reckless abandon. Adams thinks two out of the box and takes pride in showing off his base-running ability as well. It would be no surprise to see Adams put up Player of the Year type of numbers this spring while helping lead Preseason No. 8 Hinsdale Central.

+ Arguably the biggest winner from our winter circuit was 1B Victor Izquierdo (Lockport; Navy). Izquierdo attended the Preseason ProCase in January and put together an impressive all-around performance, rightfully earning an invitation to the Super 60. Standing at an ultra-physical 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, Izquierdo’s hand strength and electric bat speed are on full display in the box. He generates plenty of force through contact, flicking balls off his barrel while reaching exit speeds we’ve seen as high as 105.8 mph with wood. Izquierdo’s defensive value, albeit at first base, is important to note, as he’s extremely comfortable around the bag and his glove can be a true asset there at the next level. Already swinging it at a high level to start the spring season, Izquierdo continues to build a firm case as one of the state’s top right-handed bats. 



+ At 6-foot-8, 260-pounds, LHP Julien Hachem (Mount Carmel; Oklahoma) is another unique prospect from a physicality standpoint in the state’s senior class. Hachem rose a few spots in this most recent update, now slotted at 15th overall, and our most recent look at him during the Metro East Kickoff Classic provided us with substantial evidence to do so. Here’s what our scouts had to say about his performance: 

“Oklahoma commit. 6-foot-8, 260-pound, physically-imposing, extra-large frame. Calm, competitive composure on the mound, never seems sped up or in a hurry. Came out of the bullpen and threw two no-hit innings, recording every out via a strikeout. Long quick arm action from a ¾ slot. Attacked and challenged hitters primarily with his fastball that sat at 90 mph, touching 91; gets finish and late run through the zone. Only threw a couple of curveballs, one to freeze a hitter after a long at-bat; 1/7 shape, depth, 75 mph. Also showed a changeup at 79 mph. High-level arm in the 2022 class.”

+ Two position players on the rise after a strong showing at January’s Preseason ProCase and the start to the 2022 season are OF Brandon Rogers (Mount Carmel) and SS Christian Holmes (Brother Rice). Both are coming off injuries that made them miss the majority of the 2021 calendar year and look back to their old selves. Rogers is a dynamic, multi-sport athlete that carries himself with confidence and enthusiasm on and off the diamond. At the plate he has a loose, athletic swing that stays through the zone a long time while driving balls to both gaps with authority. He also plays a well above-average center field where his 6.55-60 speed plays on the field to go along with a strong throwing arm; topped at 92 mph at this winter’s Midwest ProCase. Rogers threw out a runner at home plate during the Kickoff Classic and took a number of intentful, quality swings. Rogers features some of the highest upside when looking at the position players in the class. 


+ SS/RHP Easton Harris (Washington; Parkland JC) is a dynamic athlete with an array of high-octane tools across the board. At 6-foot-2, 180-pounds with wiry strength and twitch, Harris recently attended the Joliet Preseason ID and put together one of the loudest all-around performances we saw in the off-season. He darted his way to a 6.77 in the 60-yard dash and repeatedly made hard, aggressive contact in BP, averaging 88.4 mph off the barrel with a 99.8 mph peak. His athleticism was on full display at the plate, showing loose fast hands and elite-tier Blast Motion metrics to pair. He uncorked a 94 mph max across the infield, one of the hardest throws we’ve seen in the last calendar year, and hopped on the mound after all of that, sitting 87-89 mph with his fastball while displaying a four-pitch mix. With his tools and athletic skill-set, Harris owns one of the highest ceilings in the class should it all click at the next level. 

+ Back after missing some time last year, LHP Shane Curtin (Mount Carmel; Creighton) looked like his old self when we saw him at the Kickoff Classic a few weeks ago. Curtin, who represented Team Illinois at the PBR Future Games in 2020, owns some of the highest pure pitchability in the state. Our scouts had this to say about him in our recent look: 

Creighton commit. 6-foot, 165-pound, left-handed pitcher got the start in game one of the event for the Caravan. Despite it being the first start of the season, Curtin looked like he was in mid-season form. Went three innings of no-hit baseball, striking out eight. Only two outs (F7 and 4-3) were not recorded via a strikeout. Ultra-confident, competitive look on the mound. Highly-athletic, quick arm that plays from a high ¾ slot. Worked both sides of the plate with his fastball, will work it in on right-handed hitters with two strikes. Fastball sat 85-88 mph, touching 89 early on. Went to his patented plus changeup as his go-to secondary offering; same window and arm speed as fastball, above-average feel and late fade at 77-78 mph. Also showed a slurvy breaking ball at 75 mph. One of the top pitching performances of the event.”


+ RHP/INF Casey Hintz (St. Viator; Kirkwood CC) rises up exactly 20 spots on this update, now slotted at No. 32 in the state. Hintz has reportedly seen a consistent uptick in stuff and we’ve received reports that he’s comfortably pitching in the low-90s with his fastball. He’s off to a strong start this spring on the mound for the Lions, having not allowed an earned run in 8 ⅔ innings while striking out 16 batters. On top of his abilities on the mound, Hintz is one of the top shortstop defenders in the state with a smooth, confident glove and savvy infield actions. Another two-way prospect in the state with upside to his entire game.

+ We’ve grown accustomed to seeing consistently competitive outings on the mound from LHP/OF Brandon Bak (Plainfield North; Illinois-Chicago) over the last calendar year. The 6-foot-1, 165-pound southpaw has dominated in front of our scouts at The Rock, Grand Park, and early this spring season, too. Though he doesn’t have the upper-tier velocity that some prospects on this board do, Bak’s three-pitch feel, ability to pound the zone, and deceptive operation allow him to get outs at a high rate regardless. His track record for succeeding in key situations has Bak on a short list of names you’d want on the rubber in a must-win game across the entire state. Bak’s talents translate to the batter’s box as well, where he’s more than comfortable holding his own as a competitive spark plug atop a lineup. The UIC signee continues to climb up our board, rising more than 20 spots to his new ranking. 


+ C Jackson Bessette (South Elgin; Illinois-Chicago) has always been an above-average defender in our eyes behind the plate, but his performance at the Preseason ProCase in January cemented his status as one of the state’s elite backstop defenders, warranting a rise in the rankings. Bessette’s catch-and-throw skills are highly advanced, consistently popping in the 1.86-to-1.92 range with an 84 mph high from the crouch that played accurately, and effortlessly, to his target. Factor in soft hands that present the ball adequately behind the plate and Bessette’s all-around defensive profile at a premium position is pretty evident. He’s an impressive athlete given his 6-foot-1, 205-pound stature, running a 6.76 in the 60-yard dash on a seemingly slow track. His offensive skill-set showed improvements in our quick look, staying simple to contact with a controlled right-handed swing that drove balls back up the middle off the barrel. Bessette’s defensive ability alone could allow him to be an early contributor for Illinois-Chicago. Bessette climbs 10 spots, now up to No. 38 in the class.


+ An early season standout for one of the state’s top and hottest high school programs, OF/C Grant Huebner (Edwardsville; St. Charles CC) rises up 12 spots after a strong showing at the Kickoff Classic. Our scouts had this to say about the former PBR Future Games participant after getting an up-to-date look a few weeks ago: 

St. Charles CC commit. Spark plug type player; highly athletic with a 5-foot-11, 180-pound frame. Defensively impressed behind the plate with an extremely strong arm and steady hands; arm plays accurately, with carry, and true four-seam carry to second base. He is ultra-confident in his arm, throwing behind runners, showing it off frequently and looking to steal outs anyway he can. Offensively, Huebner hit in the three-hole for Edwardsville and finished 2-4 on the day with a single and a double, both hard-hit. He moves with a fluid pre-pitch rhythm, starting slightly open and working back to the plate with his stride; quick/twitchy hands to the ball that play flat through the zone.”

*CLICK HERE for a look at the entire 2022 Illinois Rankings*