Initial Illinois 2018 Rankings Released

By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

It is still extremely early, perhaps even premature, to be forecasting Class of 2018 prospects, especially since many of these rising sophomores haven’t even played a varsity game. Then again, with the recent acceleration of recruiting, high-level 2018 prospects are already making verbal commitments.

Over the course of the last year, we’ve seen an impressive amount of talented 2018 prospects, several of whom should become national prospects.

With that said, we have released our initial 2018 rankings, a modest list of 20 prospects that have stood out among their peers. Certainly this list will change and evolve in time, as we know many players will grow, develop and mature. We also know that we likely haven’t seen many other 2018 prospects that may be deserving of this list.

However, we are confident that the players included in the list have extremely bright futures, barring injuries, of course.

Alek ThomasHeading the initial list is OF Alek Thomas (Mount Carmel HS). In short order, the left-handed hitter has begun to build a reputation as potentially one of the top outfield prospects Illinois has seen in a long time. During the spring, in a lineup filled with eight Division 1 players, Thomas led state runner-up Mount Carmel in home runs with eight, including one in the Class 4A state semifinals. A clutch performer, Thomas hits balls much farther than his wiry 5-foot-10, 165-pound frame would indicate. Aside from his offensive prowess, he is highly athletic and plays a top-level outfield. He has advanced, natural baseball instincts, despite being a three-sport athlete. His father, Allen Thomas, is the strength coach for the Chicago White Sox, so it is safe to assume that he will physically develop in the coming years. And when he does, it is doubtful there will be a higher-ceiling prospect in the Midwest, possibly the country, than Thomas.

Following Thomas is RHP Jake Rosing (Richmond-Burton HS). Like Thomas, Rosing is far from reaching his physical peak. But the thin 6-foot-1, 150-pounder has a clean, quick arm with a fastball that has been up to 89 mph. Rosing recently committed to Louisville.

INF Branden Comia (Sandburg HS) made an immediate varsity impact at one of the state’s perennial powers. The solidly built 5-foot-10, 172-pound Comia hit in the middle of the order for Sandburg as a freshman and has the natural infield actions and tools to play multiple positions.

At No. 4 is OF Brooks Coetzee (Mahomet-Seymour HS). The 6-foot-1, 180-pound athlete emerged at the 2018 Prospect Games recently as the top prospect. Highly athletic, Coetzee was clocked at 89 from the outfield and delivered an easy 92-mph exit velocity. Still growing into his frame, Coetzee hit seven home runs as a freshman on varsity despite missing a chunk of time with an injury.  Following Coetzee is INF/OF/C Zaid Walker (Homewood-Flossmoor HS) and C Jordon Rogers (Simeon HS).  Walker, whose position has yet to be determined, is a premier offensive force, while Rogers is a top-level all-around catching prospect who was an impact performer on varsity as a freshman.

Enough reading about. See for yourself.

A look at the Top 10:

Rank Name State School Class Pos Commitment
1 Alek Thomas IL Mount Carmel 2018 OF
2 Jake Rosing IL Richmond Burton 2018 RHP Louisville
3 Branden Comia IL Sandburg 2018 SS
4 Brooks Coetzee IL Mahomet-Seymour 2018 OF
5 Zaid Walker IL Homewood-Flossmoor 2018 3B
6 Jordon Rogers IL Simeon 2018 C
7 Anthony Calarco IL New Trier 2018 RHP
8 Hayden Laczynski IL Minooka 2018 SS
9 Chase Stanke IL Marmion Academy 2018 C
10 Charlie Mangieri IL Dunlap 2018 1B

CLICK HERE to view the Top 20 Class of 2018 Rankings