Prep Baseball Report

Illinois Class of 2024 Rankings: Risers

By: Gavin Smith
Area Scout

As the summer comes to an end and the 2024 class heads into their senior campaigns, we take a look at the risers in the state’s 2024 rankings.

Yesterday, our staff officially updated our 2024 board, highlighting several of the state’s top prospects within our release. You can find that by clicking HERE

We'll dive deeper into the rankings themselves today, shining light on a handful of players that earned a rise up our board after showing well to our staff. Below you'll learn more about these names that are trending upward as the fall is set to start.


Dayton Murphy SS / 2B / Crystal Lake South , IL / 2024

From 7/22/23:...Murphy has continued to show well in front of our staff since impressing at the 2022 PBR Future Games last summer. Athletic middle-infielder that possesses advanced actions, making a number of notable plays throughout the weekend. Rangy defender with above-average arm strength and the ability to make tough throws on the run. At the plate, simple swing with quick hands that allowed for two hits during Saturday’s contest. Quick runner out of the box as well. Exciting player that competes with a high motor. Currently ranked No. 39 in the state.

Jimmy Anderson SS / RHP / Joliet West, IL / 2024

From 8/08/23: Another big winner from last week’s event: MIF/RHP Jimmy Anderson (Joliet West, 2024). Fresh off a commitment to Heartland, the 6-foot, 180-pound Anderson shined all over the field on both sides of the ball. His strong showing started in Tuesday’s workout, where Anderson barreled line drives to all fields from a balanced, postured right-handed swing with natural backspin feel. Defensively, Anderson’s a free-flower on the dirt and his sure-handed actions paired with above-average arm strength are likely to keep him on the left side moving forward. Anderson also hopped on the mound, pitching at 85-87 mph while landing a 72-74 mph curveball for strikes consistently.

Luke Landrus C / SS / St. Joseph-Ogden, IL / 2024

From 7/23/23:...Highly projectable, 6-foot-2, 170-pound frame. Advanced catch/throw operation, consistently working around 1.90 seconds for his pop-time while even reaching slightly lower at times. The right-handed hitter has a fluid load with a simple and short stride. He fires through the zone with a loose and uphill path, power should continue to rise as he fills out and matures. Showed the ability to work the ball to the whole field with authority.

Jackson Smith SS / 2B / Providence Catholic , IL / 2024

From 7/21/23:...Smith is a talented left-handed hitter that has continued to show well after a successful spring where he was named PBR Third Team All-State. Twitchy athlete standing at a lanky 6-foot, 175-pounds with plenty of room for added strength. Compact left-handed swing with quick hands that work inside the ball, helping utilize an all-fields approach. Above-average bat-speed with advanced feel for the barrel. Tripled down the rightfield line on Friday, showing off an above average run tool. Defensively, ranges well to both sides up the middle and has the arm-strength to play both positions. High-ceiling prospect that has been trending up in 2023. Currently ranked No. 86 in the state’s 2024 class. Committed to Bradley shortly following the event.

Devan Tupper RHP / RHP / Normal University, IL / 2024

From 8/08/ athletic right-handed-pitching prospect with a high ceiling. Standing at 6-foot-3, 175-pounds Tupper was confident in his three-pitch mix, mostly working backwards against hitters. His mid-to-upper 80s, T87.3 mph, fastball played with rise and run, topping out at 19.6” of ride through the zone and 16.8” of horizontal movement. Tupper was confident in his upper-70s curveball as he threw it in any count and was able to throw it for strikes and generate swings-and-misses out of the zone with it. Tupper also threw a upper-70s changeup with hard running action with 17.3 inches of horizontal movement.

Eric DeCosta 3B / RHP / Wheaton Academy, IL / 2024

From 3/02/ another right-handed hitter with an impressive frame and present bat strength. DeCosta has a 6-foot-4, 215-pound, long, high-waisted frame with plenty of more physical development to tap into down the road and creates leverage and bat strength in his swing. DeCosta swings with controlled intent, natural loft throughout and registered a 101.3 mph max exit velocity and 375’ max batted ball, both land him in the top-three from the event. Powerful right-handed swing with more to tap into moving forward.

Bryce Koch RHP / OF / Barrington, IL / 2024

From 5/04/23: ...6-foot-4, 190-pound frame, athletic and projectable with room to fill out. Came out of the ‘pen for Barrington and gave a brief, but impressive look in his one inning of work. He worked Exclusively out of the stretch, moving fluidly and athletically while working in-line down the mound with little perceived effort. His arm is quick and plays from a high ¾ window, creating a fastball that sat 89-90 mph with life through the zone. He flashed a sharp, two-plane breaking ball at 77-79 mph, kept down and playing off the fastball effectively. High-follow 2024 arm.

Brady Gilroy OF / SS / Burlington Central, IL / 2024

From 10/09/22: ...was another outfielder that had a strong showing on Sunday. 5-foot-9, 165-pound build, compact/athletic with round shoulders. The right-handed hitter has sneaky pop off the bat, reaching up to 93.5 mph for his max exit velocity (339’ max distance). He uses a line-drive approach at the plate, staying on the barrel up the middle of the field with quick hands. 6.99 runner in the 60-yard dash, his speed easily translates to the outfield; moving with clean/fluid footwork and soft hands through the ball (T84 mph OF). High-follow 2024 prospect.

Jayden Patel 3B / SS / Lake Park, IL / 2024

From 8/08/23: Easily one of the biggest winners from the Illinois State Games was INF Jayden Patel (Lake Park, 2024). Patel, who’s still uncommitted, stands at an upside 6-foot-2, 170-pounds with lean strength and physical upside throughout his stature. He stays short and fluid from the left side with above-average bat-to-ball skills and stays within himself. Aside from a polished showing in BP on Tuesday, Patel hit throughout the entire event in game, spraying the ball to all fields comfortably. Patel has the actions to stick on the left side of the infield in the future, and his arm strength was evident during the workout (90 mph) as well as in-game. He’s an arrow-up name from Rantoul that should take a noticeable rise in our next rankings update.

Max Kaplan LHP / LHP / New Trier, IL / 2024

From 8/08/23: ...showed impressive pitchability during his three innings on the mound. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound southpaw has been trending up this summer after a successful spring for the New Trier Trevians. Kaplan displayed a clean operation on the mound with a sequenced delivery. Filled up the zone with a fastball that worked in the low-80s, T83.3 mph with noticeable arm-side run. Often went to a low-70s changeup that played with fade to get swings and misses. Tallied five strikeouts during his outing. Works quickly with a competitive demeanor. Kaplan is an uncommitted follow in the state’s 2024 class that continues to trend up as the year continues.” 

Brandon Schultz OF / LHP / Stevenson , IL / 2024

From 8/10/22:...ran one of the event’s fastest 60-yard dash times, blazing to a 6.62 60-yard dash and reaching a peak speed of 21.1 mph. Schultz’s speed translated to the gameplay portion of this event, and his bat strength showed in BP, peaking at 96.9 mph with a 351 foot max distance. Schultz had a couple of hits throughout the week and his speed played on the bases. In the outfield he topped out at 85 mph on the workout day.

Frankie Bilecki LHP / 1B / Marist, IL / 2024

From 8/08/ one of the top arms in the state that’s been trending up all summer, leaving behind strong impressions on our staff at The Rock and Creekside. At 6-foot-2, 190-pounds, Bilecki is an intentful mover downhill with a power fastball, peaking at 88.6 mph, while pitching at 85-87 mph throughout. Off that, Bilecki spun a tight slider with late break that grabbed uncomfortable, off-balance swings in the mid-to-upper-70s. He punched out four batters over two innings of work at this event and is a high follow uncommitted southpaw headed into the fall.

Gavin Duran SS / 2B / Harvest Christian, IL / 2024

From 8/08/23:...came away one of the event's biggest winners. Compact 5-foot-7, 175-pound frame with a strong lower-half and some strength throughout. The left-handed hitter has a quality approach in the box to pair with above-average bat-to-ball skills. Has some rhythm in his pre-pitch, athletic hands allow him to find the barrel and work the whole field. Averaged 91.6 mph for his exit velocity in BP, topping out at 96.7 mph with a max distance of 340'. Averaged 71 mph for his bat-speed to pair with an average on-plane efficiency of 78.1 %. Sure-handed defender up the middle that can likely stick on the infield moving forward. Scrappy prospect to know, plays with a high motor.

Nicholas Bestrick RHP / RHP / Sandburg, IL / 2024

From 8/08/23:...stands in at 5-foot-10, 180-pounds with strength in his lower half. On the mound Bestrick impressed with his ability to attack hitters and comfortably turn to any offering regardless of count. Bestrick’s fastball played at 86-88 mph, touching 89 mph, and he consistently threw it in the zone. Off that, Bestrick showed a true power cutter that he throws with intent (T85 mph) and he consistently threw it to the glove-side, too. He spun two different breaking balls, a low-to-mid 70s curveball with tight downer movement that he throws for strikes and an upper-70s slider that plays with sweeping action, and he threw a changeup with hard-running action (T18.8” HM) at 78-80 mph. Bestrick is a high follow uncommitted arm in the state’s 2024 class.

Dasaan Lee C / 3B / DeLasalle Institute , IL / 2024

From 8/08/23:Standing in a strong 6-foot, 200-pound frame, C/1B Dasaan Lee (Thornwood, 2024) was a regular producer throughout the event, especially on Wednesday night, where he worked on the barrel regularly to all fields. A simple and easy swing with a flat path, Lee has some quickness to the barrel at times, producing a peak bat speed of 78.8 mph in Tuesday’s workout. From the crouch, Lee posted his quickest pop time of 2.00 slightly quicker than his last recorded pop in the winter. A steady corner infielder, he produced an 81 mph velocity on throws to third base.

Samuel McArthur RHP / OF / Champaign Central, IL / 2024

From 8/08/23: McArthur toed the rubber on Tuesday afternoon at 6-foot-2, 180-pounds and showed a loose, whippy arm to go along with an athletic delivery downhill. He ran his fastball up to 89.1 mph, pitching in the mid-to-upper-80s, with seemingly more to come. McArthur spun an upper-70s breaking ball to pair with his heater and, while he didn’t have consistent feel for it in this look, it’s a pitch that has impressed our staff across a few prior looks.

Hank Gomric CF / LHP / Althoff Catholic, IL / 2024

From 3/14/23:Saint Louis commit. 6-foot-5, 205-pound long, lanky, lean-limbed athlete. Started in center field in game one of this double-header, toed the rubber to start game two. Stands tall in the box with some knee bend, lead leg lifts slightly as hands drift back. Long left-handed swing with some leverage, barrel stays in the zone. Aggressive with intent to elevate. Flashed above-average raw power, driving two balls deep to center field that weren’t off the barrel. Moved around center field comfortably, showed an average arm pre-game. Worked exclusively from the stretch on the mound, simple leg lift into a tall/fall type delivery, upright posture throughout, maintained direction to target. Arm draws down and back from the glove, finishes from a ¾ slot with some deception and loose arm speed. Fastball sat 83-84, touching 85 mph a few times early on, playing mostly straight, flashing cut. Spun a curveball at 70-71 mph, depth and late downer spin on occasion from a 1/7 plane, landed for strikes. Also threw a more lateral slider in the same velocity band, developing feel. Struck out four batters over six innings of work.

Casey Giemzik RHP / RHP / Brother Rice, IL / 2024

From 8/08/23: ...was one of the top RHPs at February's Preseason All-State showcase, and has continued to cement himself as a top uncommitted pitcher in the state. Giemzik stands at a well-proportioned 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame with strength throughout. The soon-to-be senior showed a repeatable delivery highlighted by a quick arm. Giemzik sat in the mid-80s throughout, touching 87.1 mph with plenty of carry (2525 RPM). Off his fastball, Giemzik used a mid-to-upper 70s slider as a secondary pitch that spun well (2634 RPM) with short movement.

Baker Shelhamer 1B / OF / St. Rita, IL / 2024

From 8/08/23: a prospect that is sure to draw eyes with his athletic and strong 6-foot-4, 205-pound build. He possesses easy strength from the right side of the plate where he hammered a ball 101.6 mph in BP, with his furthest batted ball traveling 354 ft. Shelhamer was on the barrel through most of his round, too, with a sweet spot percentage of 77%. A strong arm from the outfield, he fired his best ball at 91 mph on a throw to home. In-game, Shelhamer went 1-for-3, and showed easy power when he found the barrel.

Cooper Marrs RHP / 3B / Riverside-Brookfield, IL / 2024

From 8/08/23:...Marrs, who stands at 6-foot-4, 195-pounds, repeated hard line drive contact into the pull-side gap in BP on average (92 mph) and at peak (97.4 mph) from a loose, easy right-handed swing. His simple strength showed in-game, as Marrs screamed a stand-up double into the left-center gap Wednesday night.

Toby Schriefer RHP / 1B / Bradley Bourbonnais , IL / 2024

From 8/08/23: “ a senior that carries a high ceiling on the mound. Schriefer stands at an athletically built 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame with strength throughout. He worked down the mound in a drop and drive pattern with an over the top arm action to boot. Schriefer had one of the better fastballs at the event, sitting 84-86, and topping out at 87.6 mph with big carry (T22.2” IVB) at times. Though still developing complete feel for a mid-70s slider, Schriefer’s primary secondary pitch flashed out-pitch potential with tight, late break. He also mixed in a fading changeup in the upper-70s that was primarily thrown to left-handed hitters.

Spencer Kennamann 1B / RHP / Lakes Community , IL / 2024

From 8/08/23: A physical 6-foot-4, 200-pound uncommitted follow that showed well on both sides of the ball at this event: 1B/RHP Spencer Kennamann (Lakes Community, 2024). Kennamann showed natural and inherent bat strength in BP on Tuesday, averaging 90.4 mph per batted ball, while reaching a peak exit velocity of 97 mph on his hardest barrel. His right-handed juice showed in game, as Kennamann turned around an up-and-in 90 mph fastball for a beaming double into the left-center gap on Wednesday morning. Kennamann was also up to 86 mph on the mound with a feel for a curveball/slider mix.

Ben Llewellyn RHP / OF / Downers Grove North, IL / 2024

From 8/08/23: ...toes the rubber at a physical 6-foot-3, 180-pounds with a projectable fastball and aptitude to spin two breaking balls. Llewellyn moves down the mound with intent, pitching at 83-86 mph with his fastball and flashing four-seam carry (T17.7 IVB) at times. Llewellyn landed a gradual low-70s curveball for strikes and he confidently spun a tighter, more bullet-like slider at 74-78 mph, too.

Michael Sosna RHP / Fenwick, IL / 2024

Uncommitted. Sosna stands in a 5-foot-11, 190-pound frame with a loose and quick arm. In recent looks, his fastball sat 86-88 mph with armside run, a quality changeup at 81 mph and a curveball at 78 mph. Sosna jumped 44 spots in this update, moving up to No. 151 in Illinois’ new-look 2024 class.

Tyler tylkaRHP / 3b wauconda, IL / 2024

From 8/8/23: "...takes the mound at an upside 6-foot-4, 185-pounds with room to add strength as he continues to mature physically. He’s an intentful mover downhill that controls his levers well for his size, pumping his fastball up to 86.1 mph, while pitching in the low-80s as his outing went on. Off his fastball, a true sweeping breaking ball in the low-70s that reached upwards of 17 inches of horizontal movement. He also killed spin and lift on a straight changeup at 74-77 mph."

John Balla RHP / Hersey, IL / 2024

From 8/08/23: ...showed off a loud arsenal during the nightcap on Wednesday. The right-handed pitcher stands at a broad-shouldered 5-foot-10, 175-pound frame with strength throughout. Balla uses a balanced delivery and short arm action with acceleration out front. Coming out of the bullpen, Balla fired off a heavy dose of fastballs that pounded the inside part of the plate. The fastball played up (T2410 RPM) and sat 84-86 throughout, topping at 86.6 mph. Balla showed feel for a high-spin curveball (T2820 RPM) that played with two-plane break to get swings and misses down in the zone.

Ryan Colucci 2B / SS / Lake Park, IL / 2024

From 8/08/23: an intriguing middle-infield prospect that has continued to trend upwards after adding noticeable strength to his 5-foot-10, 170-pound frame. Colucci flashed some power potential during his round of BP, reaching a peak exit velocity of 95.5 mph. His strength translated to the infield as well, where Colucci was 86 mph across the infield on his hardest bullet. In game, Colucci went 3-for-5 with a double and he turned a handful of double plays, too.”