Illinois Class of 2025 Rankings: Update

By: Drew Locascio & Diego Solares
Illinois Scouting Staff

For the last time this year, our staff has updated the state’s 2025 rankings with the offseason in full force. We’ve expanded the list slightly to include a few fall standouts, whether it be at showcases, tournaments, or other events.

Below we’ve touched on some shuffling towards the top of the board, and we’ve also highlighted a few risers while also touching on a few fresh faces new to this update.

We’ll spotlight more players as the week rolls on, but for now here are some prospects trending upward in this class as we head into the offseason.


+ Holding onto the top spot is LHP Jack Bauer (Lincoln-Way East, 2025), who recently came off the recruiting market after a commitment to Virginia. Bauer represented Team Illinois at the PBR Future Games as an underclassman and has one of the highest ceilings in the Midwest attached to a 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame. He’ll hold his spot inside the top-100 nationally with plenty of room to climb down the road.

+ Though most of the state’s top 10 remains unchanged, there’s a new face slotting at No. 2 on our board; C/INF Jaden Fauske (Nazareth, 2025). The Louisville recruit had arguably the most impressive showing we’ve seen from him to date this fall, really looking the part of a high level name in the region at the Underclass Showcase in October. He brought a professional look to his workout, certainly adding strength since we last saw him, and earned high praise from our staff as a result:

“…Fauske continues to add quality strength to his 6-foot-2, 182-pound frame and showed well across the board. At the plate, the left-handed hitter is calm and relaxed in the box, creating advanced bat strength and jump off the barrel with ease and confidence. He looks to elevate the baseball with authority and led the event with an average exit velocity of 90.5 mph, his furthest batted ball traveling 354’.  Defensively, he showed a quick, strong arm, especially from behind the plate, topping at 79 mph from the crouch with multiple pop times coming in at sub-2.00. Fauske has a quick glove-to-hand release and profiles equally as well at both defensive spots.”

Jaden Fauske

+ Also starring at the Underclass Showcase in October was LHP Anthony Karbowski (Hampshire, 2025), who committed to Louisville shortly afterwards. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound southpaw vaults up more than 20 spots to slot inside our top-20 in the state, providing our staff with a dynamic viewing in his ‘pen. Our notes on him from that day:

“…entered this event as one of the top prospects on paper, and solidified his status as a name-to-know southpaw in the Illinois’ sophomore class. At 6-foot-2, 180-pounds, Karbowski pumped his fastball from a fluid, up-tempo delivery at 84-86 mph, topping at 87 mph on his firmest bullet. Karbowski also spun a low-70s breaking ball with sweeping action, peaking at 2,486 RPM on his highest spun pitch, while averaging nearly 2,300+ RPM as well. At the plate, Karbowski elevated contact to the pull-side from an athletic right-handed swing throughout his round of BP. Already slotted inside the top-50 prospects in the Illinois’ 2025 class, Karbowski generated positive momentum at this event heading into an integral off-season.”

Anthony Karbowski


Another left-handed arm to rise up the list was Aidan Flinn (Marist). Flinn is a long-limbed, projectable 6-foot-5, 185-pound recent Illinois commit. Flinn is far from reaching his ceiling but currently controls his extra long levers well for his age while featuring a compact, clean arm action and fastball that plays in the low-80s. Flinn now sits at No. 32 in the state and has a chance to continue to rise up the board as he grows into his frame over the next few years.

A pair of players who each impressed at the White Sox ACE Scout Day find themselves trending upwards - INF Jimmy Downs (Mount Carmel, 2025) and LHP Aaron Scott (Lincoln-Way East, 2025; Illinois State):

+ Downs wields a highly physical right-handed bat for his age, thumping balls across the yard at a higher average rate while flashing noteworthy raw power at peak, too. He looked the part of a real middle-of-the-order type bat in BP, generating plenty of positivity from our staff:

“…continues to show off an advanced right-handed bat with big power potential. Downs put on a show in BP, which was one of the best of the day, using the entire field while showing off consistent, hard, lifted contact. It’s a loud, heavy barrel with loose, strong hands and jump off the bat. Downs registered the hardest hit ball of the day at 100.4 mph off the bat and his furthest batted ball traveled 374’. Defensively the corner infielder has clean footwork, steady hands and a strong accurate arm.  His top velocity across the infield was 83 mph.”

Jimmy Downs (9.17.22)

+ Scott committed to Illinois State in early November and the loose, polished southpaw earned his way into our rankings after a clean look this fall. He’ll work the zone with a three-pitch mix that projects, and does so relatively easily, suggesting there’s more velocity to come down the road:

“…came away a winner from the event. The southpaw cruised with his fastball in the 79-81 mph range, reaching up to 18.7 IVB. His curveball played off a 1/7 plane and was thrown with fastball intent, 63-66 mph. Changeup sat 70-74 mph and played with slight fading action to the arm-side. Offensively, the right-handed hitter kept his bat on-plane and was on the barrel consistently with hard gap-to-gap contact throughout his round.”

Two more names find themselves on our 2025 board for the first time this update after impressing at the Underclass Showcase in October - OF Ben Toft (New Trier, 2025) and RHP/1B Keegan Luxem (Hersey, 2025):

+ Toft is shaping up to be a dynamic athlete in this class, testing fairly highly from a measurable standpoint and showing that in all aspects of his game too. He’s wiry with upside, and will certainly be one to follow throughout the winter:

“…is a left/left outfielder to know in the 2025 class. Toft put together an impressive stat line across the board, running a 6.93 laser-timed 60, topping at 86 mph from the outfield with a max exit velocity of 93 mph. Toft has athletic hands at the plate, staying short and level through the zone with a line-drive, middle of the field approach. Defensively, he is a fluid mover with natural outfield actions and quick arm. Also, turned in the second best vertical jump of the event at 32.7 inches.”

Ben Toft (10.16.22)

+ Few in the class are built physically like Luxem, who boasts a hulking 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame. He’s imposing on the mound with arm strength to pair and translates that physicality to the batter’s box, too. Luxem was one of the top arms at this October event amongst a talented group, and you’ll find his nugget from that day here:

“…made a loud statement in his ‘pen on Sunday. Standing at an already physical 6-foot-4, 200-pounds, Luxem catches the eye before he even steps on the mound. His delivery is simple and he showed the ability to control his limbs and repeat before moving into a high ¾ slot. His fastball plays with some angle through the zone and a max IVB of 19.8, sitting 82-84 mph throughout his ‘pen with spin reaching over 2,300 RPM. His curveball has potential, playing with sharp 11/5 action at times while occasionally missing up in the zone, 66-67 mph. His final offering was a changeup at 75-76 mph, playing with tilt when kept down and arm-side fade through the zone. With Luxem’s ability to control his body at his young age, the command over his arsenal should only continue to tick up as he develops in the coming years.”


1 Jack Bauer IL Lincoln-Way East
2025 LHP Virginia
2 Jaden Fauske IL Nazareth Academy
2025 C/INF
3 Joe Olson IL St. Laurence
2025 LHP
4 Ethan Moore IL Oak Park-River Forest
2025 SS Louisville
5 Enzo Infelise IL Providence Catholic
2025 C/INF
6 Tanner Thomas IL Arcola
2025 RHP
7 Conor Essenburg IL Lincoln-Way West
2025 1B/LHP
8 Jack Wheeler IL Morris
2025 INF
9 Cody Freitas IL Bradley-Bourbonnais
2025 RHP/INF
Illinois State
10 Ezra Essex IL Marian Catholic
2025 OF -