Prep Baseball Report

Inside the Illinois Rankings: 2017 Newcomers

By Drew Locascio 
Illinois Scouting Director

The Illinois updated and expanded 2017 rankings were released earlier this week and a couple of days ago we took a deeper look inside. We highlighted a handful of prospects who rose in the rankings since the last update.

With the Illinois 2017 rankings expanding from 250 prospects, there were a number of newcomers who entered the rankings for the first time.

Coming in at No. 10 in the updated rankings is the top newcomer, right-handed pitcher Marius Balandis (St. Laurence). Balandis, originally from Lithuania, now attending St. Laurence, has a four-pitch repertoire and has been up to 92 mph. Balandis and 2017 LHP Jimmy Burnette, a left/left two-way prospect who has been up to 90 mph on the mound, could provide a tough one-two punch at the top of the rotation for the Vikings this spring.

Middle infielder, Tom Josten (Fremd), is another top newcomer to the rankings. Josten, a Louisville commit, is an left-handed hitter who can run.

6-foot-4, 205-pound, RHP Ryan Loutos (Barrington) burst onto the Prep Baseball Report scene after being ranked the Top Overall Prospect at the Unsigned Senior Games in August. At the event Loutos showcased a clean easy delivery and a fastball that sat 84-87 mph. Loutos, now in the Top 75, recently committed to Washington University (MO).

Ryan Loutos (Unsigned Senior Games 8.9.16)

The next three newcomers in the rankings made their mark at the Unsigned Senior Showcase in October and all now sit in the Top 100. OF Gaoshua Williams (Providence Catholic), SS CJ Deshazer (Conant) and RHP Jack Marshall (Kaneland) were the top three prospects from the event. Williams is an impressive athlete; ran a 6.66 at the event and the ball jumps off his bat. Deshazer, a switch hitter, is a quick twitch athlete who plays with bounce. Marshall is a right-handed arm with a projectable arm action and a fastball up to 88 mph. All three are still uncommitted.

Jack Marshall (Unsigned Senior Showcase 10.9.16)

Rounding out the newcomers in Top 150 is RHP Logan Schmitt (Plainfield East), INF/OF Ronald Applewhite (Rich East, INF/OF Ernst Coupet (Homewood-Flossmoor) and 2B/OF Christian Beal (Marian Catholic). All four are still on the market.

Also, 2017 state ranking updates are taking place around our coverage area and the 2017 overall rankings will be updated soon.

+ CLICK HERE for complete 2017 Illinois Rankings
+ CLICK HERE for the 2017 Updated Rankings Story
+ CLICK HERE for 2017 Illinois Ranking Risers