Loaded Illinois Recruiting Notebook



By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

It’s been a busy few days of commitments, as many players have named their schools right before the early signing period. A look at who’s going where:

+ RHP Ryan Nutof (South Elgin HS), the top uncommitted pitcher in Illinois’ 2014 class, finally decided on his school when he committed to Michigan earlier in the week. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Nutof is ranked No. 15 in Illinois’ 2014 class and 68 overall. He solidified his status as a top-level prospect with a strong five-inning outing in Jupiter in October. Nutof pitches in the upper-80s, and we’ve seen him as high as 91 mph.

+ Ohio University landed a major coup when it received a verbal commitment from one of Illinois’ top 2015 prospects, OF Ryan Sargent (Jacobs HS), on Wednesday. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Sargent is currently ranked No. 21 in Illinois’ 2015 class and 106 overall. Sargent had a breakout performance for Team Illinois at the Midwest Future Games in August, when he barreled up top-level pitching all three games, showing excellent plate coverage and the ability to drive the ball to all fields. In the final day, Sargent went 2-for-2 with a stand-up triple to right-center field. He also singled, stole a base, and scored a run to lead off the seventh inning. Sargent hit safely in his last four at-bats, and one of the two outs he made – a line-shot to centerfield – was arguably the hardest hit of the bunch.

+ Evan Sandmann (Lincoln-Way East HS), who’s one of the most versatile prospects in Illinois’ 2014 class, has committed to Dallas Baptist. The 6-foot, 160-pound left-handed hitter can play several positions well. At the PBR Top Prospect Showcase in June, he fired consistent sub-2 pop times (81 from crouch), ran a 6.99 60, and was clocked at 86 mph from shortstop and the outfield. Sandmann is currently ranked No. 83 in Illinois’ 2014 class.

+ Michael Fidler, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound RHP/INF from Aurora Central Catholic HS, has committed to Tennessee-Martin. Fidler enjoyed a strong summer campaign.

+ Tanner Kehrer, a 5-foot-9, 150-pound MIF/OF from Belvidere North HS, has committed to Judson University. Kehrer was clocked at 81 mph from shortstop and 85 from the outfield at the Preseason All-State Showcase last February.

+ Matt Strzelczyk, a 6-foot-2, 160-pound LHP from Lincoln-Way North HS, has committed to Black Hawk College. Strzelczyk recently showed well at the PBR Unsigned Senior Showcase in October, showing three-pitch feel and a 78-79 mph fastball.

+ Jack Ciombor, a 5-foot-11, 160-pound MIF from St. Francis HS, has committed to St. Joseph’s College. Ciombor, who helped St. Francis advance to the Class 3A championship game, had a solid showing at the PBR Unsigned Senior Showcase.

+ Ryan Donegan, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound catcher from Sandburg HS, has committed to Concordia in Wisconsin.

+ Cameron Powell, a 6-foot RHP/OF from Bradley-Bourbonnais HS, has committed to North Dakota.

+ Anthony Serafini, a 5-foot-8 RHP from Providence Catholic HS, has committed to North Central College.

+ Austin Black, a left-handed hitting OF from Stevenson HS, has committed to Harvard.

+ Frank Waliczek, a LHP from Heartland CC, has committed to the University of San Francisco. Waliczek, a 2012 graduate of Barrington HS, went 6-0 with a 3.07 ERA for Heartland last year.

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