Inside the Illinois Rankings: 2018 Risers

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

The Illinois updated 2018 rankings were released yesterday and today we delve deeper inside the rankings. With four-plus months of baseball being played since the last rankings update, plenty of prospects improved their stock and have risen in the rankings.

Some of the biggest risers in the 2018 class were standouts at the PBR Future Games this summer. The high school season, summer showcases, tournaments and events also played major roles in prospects rising in the rankings.

OF Dakota Kotowski (Providence Catholic) a member of Team Illinois at the PBR Future Games made one of the biggest moves in the updated rankings, climbing almost 30 spots and now sits in the top 10. All summer long the 6-foot-3, 200-pound, Kotowski showed himself as one of the top power bats in the class. He routinely squares baseballs up with authority to both gaps.

Another Team Illinois member who made a significant rise is RHP Evan Tenuta (Sandburg). Tenuta, now at No. 10, saw a bit of a velocity jump this spring but took things to a different level this summer. The quick-armed right hander now consistently sits in the upper 80’s and has shown the makings of a three-pitch mix.

Maybe the biggest surprise of the Future Games was SS Jamarion Loston (Morgan Park). Loston, who rose more than 40 spots and now sits in the top 15, was arguably the best defensive middle infielder at the entire event. The 5-foot-8, 150-pound slick fielder features top-level hands, ultra-quick transfer and is exceptional on the move.

Video of Jamarion Loston (Future Games)

Another notable riser from the Future Games and now in the top 20 is 3B Francois Castillo (Roberto Clemente). Castillo has fluid, athletic actions, soft hands and a big arm across the diamond; 88 mph.

6-foot-2, 175-pound, switch-hitting infielder Jacob Plastiak (Andrew) is equally as impressive from both sides of the plate and has potential to be a middle of the order bat at the next level. Plastiak, a recent Wichita State commit, swung a hot bat all summer and is now ranked No. 22 in Illinois.

1B Anthony Herron (Simeon) and LHP Sean Sinisko (Geneva) both Team Illinois members at the Future Games, round out some of the biggest risers in the top 30. Herron features advanced bat speed and legitimate pull-side power while Sinisko is a 6-foot-5 lefty who sits in the mid 80’s.

Some other notable risers include LHP Kyle Salley (Homewood-Flossmoor), RHP Sammy Butera (Niles West), RHP Riley Gowens (Libertyville) and LHP Tyler Horvath (Romeoville).

Stayed tuned for another look inside the Illinois Class of 2018 Rankings coming soon. We will take a look at a number of the top newcomers to the rankings. With the 2018 class expanding to a Top 100 there will be plenty of prospects worth noting.

CLICK HERE for a look at the updated rankings.