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Illinois Class of 2024 Rankings Update


By: Diego Solares
Area Scout, Illinois & Missouri

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.

Below you’ll find an updated look at the state’s incoming junior class, as we’ll highlight the top-10 prospects, including a few risers and newcomers that impressed us throughout our summer looks. We’ll dive deeper into the class as the week progresses, so be on the lookout for that.

For now, learn about the top of this class, below. 

THE TOP 10

+ There’s a fresh face at the top of this board, as RHP Ryan Sloan (York, 2024; Wake Forest) climbs one spot to No. 1 overall. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Demon Deacons’ recruit thoroughly impressed at the Preseason All-State event in the winter, parlaying that into a loud, prominent showing when we saw him in the spring and extending York’s season deep into the IHSA playoffs. Sloan, most recently, showed his high-upside stuff at the Underclass Area Code Games, running his fastball up to 93 mph with a potential swing-and-miss breaking ball. Built like a traditional starting pitcher that can stand to tack on more strength as he continues to physically mature, expect Sloan to be a high-end national follow throughout his high school career.

Ryan Sloan


+ ATH/QB1 Cole Crafton (Lincoln-Way West, 2024) occupies the second spot on these updated rankings and the Louisville commit continues to prove he’s one of the top left-handed bats in the Midwest. After anchoring a Warriors team that was a staple inside our Power 25 this spring, Crafton produced on the summer circuit for our staff, most notably in Rantoul during the Illinois Summer Championships. At 6-foot-3, 210-pounds, Crafton’s ability to generate easy bat speed from the left side while working gap-to-gap with authority is evident. It’s not hard to see why he’s a prominent quarterback recruit when you watch him play and his athleticism on the diamond stands out. Set to enter his junior year, Crafton continues to be an upper-tier prospect in Illinois that should garner some MLB Draft attention next summer.

Cole Crafton


+ Staying put at third overall is C/INF Collin Mowry (Lincoln-Way Central, 2024), who’s also committed to Louisville. Mowry stood out on a talented Chicago White Sox team and caught the attention of Shooter Hunt, who had this to say about him at the event:

“...on a White Sox team that took the best batting practice of any team at the event, Mowry was towards the top of that list. The sturdy and athletic, 6-foot, 195-pound catcher worked effortlessly short-to-long through the zone showcasing quickness to the hands with considerable power potential. His ability to create quickness in a short window stood out along with the ability to change planes and utilize the whole field. An athlete on the diamond, his positional versatility will likely help aid his future prospect status.”

Collin Mowry


+ Rising up eight spots to fourth on this list after arguably the most impressive showing at the Illinois State Games is INF Tyler Bell (Lincoln-Way East, 2024). At 6-foot-1, 170-pounds with plenty of room for physical maturity, Bell is a true switch-hitter with present gap-to-gap power from both sides of the plate. He hammered some balls with authority in-game, and while we mostly saw his right-handed stroke throughout the week, his left-handed swing may be one of the cleanest in the entire state, regardless of class. Sure-handed on the infield with arm strength to pair, Bell’s ability to stick on the left side with a prominent offensive skill-set has him trending upward rather quickly as his junior year begins.

Tyler Bell


+ Jumping up one spot to fifth overall is 6-foot-6, 190-pound RHP Ryan Anderson (Minooka, 2024; Arizona). Anderson represented Team Illinois at the Future Games last year as an underclassman, emerging from the event as one of the team’s biggest winners. His performance out of the ‘pen in a crucial moment was arguably the most impressive look we saw at Creekside this summer, as he easily generated upper-80s heat and spun a low-70s slider to pair. An easy mover downhill with plenty left in the tank, Anderson has one of the highest ceilings on the mound in this class.

Ryan Anderson


+ Checking in at sixth is RHP Luke Oblen (P27 Academy, 2024; Louisville), who’s been a name-to-know on the mound in this class since we were introduced to him at the Underclass Invitational in October of 2020. Our latest look came at the Area Code Games, where Oblen pitched at 87-89 mph with his fastball and spun a 75-79 mph while killing spin on his changeup, too. At 6-foot-2, 185-pounds, Oblen’s a name we’ll follow closely throughout the fall and into the off-season.

+ Staying put at seventh is OF Dennis Butler III (Simeon, 2024; Louisville), who’s been a premier prospect in this class since the 2019 PBR Junior Future Games. Butler’s left-handed stroke projects to play at the top of an order, and his speed (6.75 60-yard dash) brings added value from that perspective as well. Butler earned PBR Illinois Third-Team All-State honors after a huge spring for Simeon. The left/left outfielder hit .436 with 27 walks to only nine strikeouts good for a .596 on base percentage. However, the most impressive stat from his spring was his 58 stolen bases in a season, which tied him for 16th all-time in IHSA history. Butler is a high-end athlete that plays with all kinds of energy, competitiveness and a chip on his shoulder.

+ Rising into the top-10 after multiple impressive showings this season, RHP Aidan Hayse (Joliet Catholic Academy, 2024) has some of the loudest stuff in this class and he occupies the eighth spot on this board because of it. Hayse confirmed all the positive reports we had received at the Top Tier Scout Day this June, pitching in the upper-80s while showcasing four pitches, including a late-fading changeup at 78-80 mph and 74-77 mph power curveball with sharp spin off an 11/5 axis. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Hayse bumped his fastball up to 90 mph a few weeks later at LakePoint and continued to show a live arsenal throughout the entire summer. Committed to Tennessee, Hayse’s status as an upper-tier pitching prospect in this class is obvious.

Aidan Hayse


+ LHP John Hughes (Nazareth Academy, 2024; North Carolina) sits at ninth overall, and the 6-foot, 190-pound southpaw impressed our staff this spring before going down with an injury. Hughes has always been known for his feel to pitch and competitiveness on the mound, pounding the zone with four pitches consistently. There is arguably no other arm in the state that you would want to hand the ball to in a must-win game at the moment. Here’s our report from an earlier look this spring:

“North Carolina commit. Strong, sturdy 6-foot, 190-pound frame. Was the final arm out of the bullpen for Nazareth Academy. Simple and repeatable delivery with slight drop/drive downhill patterns, front side stays closed, maintains direction to target and finishes square. Repeated at a high level, quick worker. Short clean arm action, high ¾ slot. Fastball played at 85-86 mph, touching 87 mph multiple times in his first inning of work. Threw both a curveball and slider; the former thrown at 71-72 mph with more gradual action off a 1/7 plane and a higher aptitude to land for strikes, while the latter played at 74-75 mph with more lateral tilt. Turned to a 76-77 mph changeup against left-handed hitters that was thrown at arm speed and slot that played in the lower half of the zone.”

John Hughes


+ Fresh off an impressive performance for Team Illinois at the Future Games, INF Kenny Perez (De La Salle, 2024) is the top uncommitted prospect on these rankings, rising one spot into the top 10. Perez proved to be arguably the top position player on Team Illinois, oozing a certain ease to him in all aspects of his game. He impacted the ball with more authority than we had seen previously, averaging 91.1 mph off the barrel in BP with a 97.1 mph max, and did so while maintaining a fluid, easy, and connected rhythm at the plate. Perez’s actions defensively are advanced, as he swiftly roams around the infield with soft hands and a clean, collected presence to him that’ll stick on the left side moving forward.

Kenny Perez

MORE NAMES TO KNOW

+ Debuting on this list at No. 11 is OF Brenden Tunink (Newman Central Catholic, 2024), who was another winner from the PBR Future Games. Tunink first popped onto our radar at the West Suburban Open, earning an invite to LakePoint with Team Illinois as a result. There, the 5-foot-11, 165-pound left-handed hitter was a winner early, clobbering a home run in game one, earning 'Player of the Game' honors, and generating plenty of buzz throughout. Tunink earned a mention in Shooter Hunt’s Top Prospects piece, where our Vice President of Scouting had this to say about him:

“What began as a “sleeper pick” after the workout day, quickly turned into a must-see upside prospect by the end of the event, as Tunink was at peak form throughout his residency at Lakepoint. Hitterish in the fullest sense of the word, the 5-foot-11, 165-pound outfielder went 5-for-9 on the week with a home run, and showed off some of the highest upside of any player at the plate. The left-handed hitter carries a quiet confidence to the plate, and utilizes a short stride to rock the hands back before working uphill through the zone, staying behind the ball with some intent to lift. There is some heaviness to the barrel, and while the frame is still developing, the ball comes off the barrel at an impressive clip with plate coverage coming naturally. Relaxed throughout a smooth approach, there is likely much more power on the way, and the 6.87-runner was likely a name that many colleges walked away with.”

Brendan Tunink


+ Another name that’s climbing up our board who had a highly-impressive showing at the Illinois Summer Championships, and now sits at 13th overall: RHP Luke Teschke (Monticello, 2024; Illinois State). There, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Teschke pumped his fastball at 88-90 mph through five shutout innings, mixing in a curveball with depth at 73-75 mph and mid-70s changeup, too. A strike-thrower with a feel for his three-pitch mix, Teschke slots at sixth on our latest rankings.


+ Another major winner from the Future Games, who rises roughly 20 spots and slots in at 15th right behind Tunink, is C Jimmy Janicki (Downers Grove North, 2024). After catching our attention during the IHSA season and earning an invite to the Future Games from there, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Janicki blasted balls in BP at LakePoint, averaging 90.9 mph off the barrel with 302 feet per batted ball. He showed some of the event’s loudest juice, ambushing his hardest ball at 101 mph at 376 feet, per TrackMan. Janicki performed throughout the event as well, finding the barrel with authority while taking home ‘Player of the Game’ honors in Team Illinois’ third and final victory. His strength translated behind the plate too, where Janicki popped in the 1.97-to-2.01 range during the workout portion, topping at 80 mph from the crouch. A standout on the football field as well, Janicki is the top uncommitted backstop in the Illinois’ 2024 class.

Jimmy Janicki


+ LHP/OF Brayden Mazzacano (Schaumburg, 2024) debuts at 16th overall after an eye-popping performance at The Rock earlier this summer, committing to Illinois shortly afterwards. Mazzacano offers intrigue on both sides of the ball, comfortably tracking down baseballs in center field with an athletic left-handed stroke at the plate, too. He generated the most buzz on the mound, pumping strikes from a loose, clean arm with athletic movement patterns downhill. His fastball played at 84-86 mph, and he spun a slurvey-type breaking ball at 72-76 mph around the zone, too.

Brayden Mazzacano


+ Another member of Team Illinois from the Future Games to rise considerably in this update, occupying the No. 19 spot on our board while climbing over 20 spots: RHP Wyatt Mammen (Lincoln, 2024). Mammen turned heads at the Illinois Summer Championships after a few strong innings of work, showcasing mid-to-high-80s heat from a relatively easy and controlled operation downhill. He one-upped himself down at LakePoint, firing a 90.8 mph bullet on his hardest pitch, sitting at 87-90 mph from a 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame. Rounding out his arsenal with a curveball and changeup, Mammen’s upside on the mound given his size and ability to generate velocity without much effort has him slotted amongst the top prospects in this class.

Wyatt Mammen

UPDATED TOP 10 BOARD

RANK   NAME STATE SCHOOL CLASS POS COMMITMENT
1 Ryan Sloan IL York 2024 RHP Wake Forest
2 Cole Crafton IL Lincoln-Way West 2024 SS Louisville
3 Collin Mowry IL Lincoln Way Central 2024 C Louisville
4 Tyler Bell IL Lincoln-Way East 2024 SS Pittsburgh
5 Ryan Anderson IL Minooka 2024 RHP Arizona
6 Luke Oblen IL P27 Academy 2024 RHP Louisville
7 Dennis Butler III IL Simeon 2024 OF Louisville
8 Aidan Hayse IL Joliet Catholic Academy 2024 RHP Tennessee
9 John Hughes IL Nazareth 2024 LHP North Carolina
10 Kenny Perez IL De LaSalle 2024 SS  

 

*CLICK HERE FOR A COMPLETE LOOK AT THE ILLINOIS’ 2024 RANKINGS*

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