Prep Baseball Report

Illinois Class of 2024 Rankings: Risers and Newcomers

By: Drew Locascio & Diego Solares
Illinois Scouting Staff

With a full spring and summer circuit under our belt, it’s time that we update our individual state rankings, starting with the 2024 class.

Earlier this week we updated the state's overall board and highlighted the top-10, including a few more standout names towards the top. To find that official release, click HERE.

You'll find the complete updated 2024 rankings by clicking HERE.

Today we're shining some light on several uncommitted prospects who have either climbed up our rankings from last update or debut for the first time. Read below for more information, including video, on these risers and newcomers.


James Love 3B / Joliet West, IL / 2024

From 8/15/22: "...proved why he’s a high-end prospect in the state’s 2024 class throughout the Illinois State Games. Love started his week by effortlessly producing low-90s exit velocities in BP on average, squaring his hardest ball up at 97.3 mph. He found the barrel in-game with authority, generating natural backspin and carry off the bat, while handling velocity with ease as well. Love impressed defensively as well, showcasing body control and lateral agility at third base on several occasions, especially on two particular slow rollers. Still uncommitted, Love is a name to know in the class and has his arrow pointed up coming off the event."

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Ethan Eberle LHP / Normal Community, IL / 2024

From 8/15/22: "...has been dominant on the PBR circuit all summer long, coming off a strong showing at the PBR Future Games. The southpaw dominated once again at the State Games, working his sinking fastball in the 84-86 mph range from a tough slot for opposing hitters. His curveball had tight spin and late breaking action, coming from a similar fastball slot at 69-70 mph. Eberle struck out four over his three inning stint."

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Sir Jamison Jones C / St. Rita, IL / 2024

From 5/2/22: "...Illinois State commit. Physical 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, right-handed hitting catcher. Wide, balanced setup, minimal pre-pitch action, loads into the back leg, short stride. Strong, athletic hands, repeatable swing, power swing to the pull side, gap-to-gap approach. Behind the plate, Jones showed soft hands when receiving pitches, athletic stance with runners on, smooth footwork, quick exchange. Jones threw a runner out stealing second and back picked a runner at second."

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James Novakovic SS / New Trier, IL / 2024

From 8/17/22: "...was one of the top all-around prospects on the day. Novakovic has a calmness and polish to everything he does on the field starting with his presence in the left-handed batters box. Novakovic stays quiet and simple, routinely getting the barrel through the zone on time and making hard lifted contact to the pull-side gap while staying balanced throughout.  Novakovic has active bouncy feet on the infield while playing through the baseball in rhythm with clean, soft hands and polished glove-to-hand release."

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