Inside The Rankings: 2017 Risers



By Drew Locascio  
 Illinois Scouting Director

The updated 2017 Illinois rankings and 2017 Overall Rankings were released last week. In the Illinois rankings story, players in the top 10 were highlighted. Today we look much deeper into some of the biggest risers in the 2017 class.  

Four right-handed pitchers jumped into the top 25 for the first time. Konnor Ash (Plainfield South), Jake Pomykalski (Lincoln-Way East), Jack Guzek (Brother Rice) and Connor Peplow (Plainfield North) impressed since the last rankings update and earned their way into the top 25.

Ash, a Connecticut commit, ranked as one of the top pitchers at the PBR Midwest ProCase held in June. Ash sat 90-91 mph out of the windup with a tight slider at 77-79 mph. 6-foot-5, 205-pound, Pomykalski, a Illinois-Chicago commit, was up to 89 mph and flashed a splitter with downer action this summer. Guzek, an Indiana State commit, features a projectable frame, a loose, quick arm and a fastball that sits comfortably in the mid to upper 80’s. Peplow, a wiry right-hander with a fast arm, came out of the bullpen during the state semifinal game and every fastball was 90 plus. During a start, earlier in the spring, Peplow, an Illinois State recruit, sat 86-88 mph throughout, touching 89 and 90 a few times.

Two infielders, Donivan Williams (Morgan Park) and Ryan Altenberger (Morton) have been ascending all spring and summer and now find themselves in the Top 30. Williams, an Illinois State commit, plays an above average third base and has potential to be a middle of the order type bat at the next level. Altenberger, still uncommitted, is a left-handed hitter who has done nothing but barrel up baseballs every time we have seen him this summer.

OF Miles Simington (Normal Community) climbed more than 40 spots and sits just outside the top 30. Simington, still uncommitted, is a strong left-handed hitter with bat speed. The left/left athlete is also an above average outfielder with natural outfield actions.

Another outfielder who rose more than 40 spots is uncommitted Robert Archbold (Warren). Left-handed hitting, Archbold, came to the PBR Top Prospect Showcase and flashed easy pull-side power, hitting a number of home runs to right field, a few which left the stadium.

Other notable risers in the top 100 include Jason Cast (Lake Forest) who is an athletic outfielder with tools. Nick Mayerhofer (Plainfield South) moved up more than 10 spots, an above average defender who could stick at shortstop at the next level and plays the game hard. Timothy Sullivan (St. Francis) jumped almost 50 spots into the top 100 largely due to his performance at the Top Prospect Showcase in June. Sullivan flashed soft hands on the infield and made consistent hard contact at the plate.

CLICK HERE to see the entire Illinois 2017 Rankings.

Stay tuned later in the week for newcomers in the rankings.

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