Prep Baseball Report

2023 Rankings: Just Missed - Unsigned Pitchers

By Peter Hamot and Illinois Staff

Updating the rankings within the state is one, if not the most difficult task our staff faces. There are only a certain amount of spots within the rankings, so naturally some players will be left off. With that being said, there are still plenty of college-caliber players in the state that didn't crack our Top 300.  

Today, we would like to shine light on some unsigned senior pitchers that just missed within our rankings.


Caden Archer RHP / Edwardsville , IL / 2023

(3/18/22) 6-foot-1, 190-pound, right-handed pitcher, wide-shouldered, athletic frame. Came out of the bullpen and did not allow a hit in his two-inning win while striking out two. Control was spotty throughout but showed a live, upside arm. Long, full arm circle, works loose and quick out of a ¾ window. Fastball showed life through the zone and sat 81-85 mph in cold windy conditions. Also showed a 68 mph slurvy breaking ball. 

Marco Arroyo RHP / 3B / Loyola Academy, IL / 2023

Aidan Capone OF / RHP / Rockford Auburn, IL / 2023

Positional Profile: OF/RHP
Body: 6-1, 160-pounds.
Delivery: Athletic mover, quick into leg-lift, lower-half moves in-line with the plate from balance point.
Arm Action: LH. 3/4 slot, long arm action.
FB: T84.6, 82.5-84.6 mph. Showed arm side run, variable control. Occasional sink action. T2223, 2151 average rpm.
CB: 63.0-65.5 mph. Changes to over the top slot, played mostly down. T1991, 1892 average rpm.
CH: 71.1-72.8 mph. Arm side run at times. T1888, 1795 average rpm.

Mason Denlow RHP / Evanston, IL / 2023

(8/21/22) The 6-foot-1, 165-pound right-hander works with a controlled tempo on the mound, moving into a drop/drive lower-half that remains in-line with the plate, landing with a closed front foot. His arm works short out of the glove with a repeatable arm circle into a high ¾ slot, producing a fastball up to 85.5 mph with life through the zone and running action to the arm-side at times. His curveball plays with 11/5 shape, flashing sharp action at times at 69-73 mph (T2258 RPM). His final offering was a changeup that flashed heavy fading action, 73-74 mph.

Daniel Giusto RHP / Lincoln-Way East, IL / 2023

(8/10/22) RHP Daniel Giusto (Lincoln-Way East, 2023) punched out five over three scoreless innings on the second day, pounding the zone with a quality two-pitch mix. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound uncommitted senior pitched in the low-80s with his fastball, pairing it up with a 2,400+ RPM breaking ball at 66-70 mph.

Jack Helms RHP / Mattoon, IL / 2023


Positional Profile: RHP/RHP
Body: 6-4, 182-pounds. Broad-shouldered frame with projection.
Delivery: Slightly up-tempo pace, high leg-kick into a slight coil at balance point, drop/drive lower-half, stride works in-line with the plate.
Arm Action: RH. Long reach out of the glove into a 3/4 slot.
FB: T84.1, 81-84 mph. Plays mostly straight, slight running action at times.  T2262, 2128 average rpm.
SL: 69-73 mph. Sharp 10/4 bullet shape, some feel for the zone.  T2247, 2184 average rpm.
CH: 76-78 mph. Maintains fastball arm-speed, fades slightly to the arm-side, showed control over the zone.  T1554, 1519 average rpm.

Heath Hornke RHP / Normal West , IL / 2023

(7/19/22) The 6-foot-1, 160-pound right-hander put up easily the best spin metrics on the day throughout his entire repertoire. His fastball cruised at 79-81 mph, averaging 2,245 RPM and reaching a top IVB of 18.8. His spin really starts to stand out on his breaking balls; spinning his curveball at an average of 2,423 RPM (T2505 RPM), 68-70 mph - and his slider at an average of 2,652 RPM (T2704 RPM), 73-74 mph. 

sam larson RHP / Lake Forest, IL / 2023


Positional Profile: RHP/3B
Body: 6-2, 180-pounds. Athletic, lean build.
Delivery: Fluid tempo, works with a flexible leg-lift into a slight drop/drive lower-half, stride remains in-line to the plate with front foot landing square.
Arm Action: RH. Short arm out of the glove, hides ball behind, transitions into a high 3/4 slot.
FB: T86.2, 84.8-86.2 mph. Some ride through the zone, mostly straight. T2246, 2178 average rpm.
CB: 70.4-71.5 mph. 11/5 shape, some depth and feel for strikes.  T1882, 1770 average rpm.
SL: 70.1-70.7 mph. Similar action and velo to curveball; tend to blend together. T1749, 1743 average rpm.
CH: 78.9-80.3 mph. Similar action to FB, mostly straight with slight action to the arm-side at times. T2040, 1983 average rpm.

Mason Lei RHP / Freeport, IL / 2023

(6/12/22) The uncommitted incoming senior posted one of the best statistical lines in the state this past spring; firing 58 innings with 101 strikeouts and a 1.08 ERA. Throughout the season, the right-hander tossed a five-inning perfect game with 10 strikeouts and a five-inning no hitter with 11 strikeouts. Lei was a NIC10 All-Conference selection for his efforts this season.

John McGlynn RHP / Oak Lawn , IL / 2023


Positional Profile: RHP/1B
Body: 6-1, 185-pounds.
Delivery: Fluid pace on the mound, drop/drive lower-half that remains in-line to the plate, front foot lands square.
Arm Action: RH. Loose/quick arm from a high 3/4 slot.
FB: T83.7, 83.0-83.7 mph. Rides through the zone with horizontal action.  T2093, 1992 average rpm.
CB: 67.6-68.7 mph. Sharp 11/5 action, some feel.  T2464, 2399 average rpm.
SL: 67.6-68.8 mph. Sharp 10/4 shape, feel for the zone.  T2476, 2373 average rpm.

Carl Moland-Kovash C / RHP / Rolling Meadows, IL / 2023

(6/22/22) Moland-Kovash is a physical presence, standing 6-foot-5, 200-pounds. The right-hander works with a smooth tempo on the mound, controlling his limbs well throughout; he coils slightly into balance point before moving into a tall/fall lower-half, remaining in-line to the plate before transitioning into a high ¾ slot. His fastball plays with some ride and ASR through the zone, coming out at 80-83 mph. He showed feel for his breaking ball at 68-70 mph, playing off a sharp 11/5 plane, kept mostly down. His final offering was a fading changeup at 71-75 mph, thrown for strikes with similar arm-speed to his fastball. 

Aiden O'Hara RHP / Brother Rice, IL / 2023

5-foot-11, 165-pound right-handed pitcher came out of the bullpen for Brother Rice and showed intriguing stuff. Clean, uninterrupted arm action, works loose and quick from an over-the-top slot. Fastball jumps out of the hand at times, finishes through the zone and sat 84-86 mph, touching 88 in his brief stint. Lively arm with upside.

Owen Ruff RHP / Barrington , IL / 2023

(2/19/22) RHP Owen Ruff (Barrington, 2023) has shown a six mph jump in velocity since last winter. The 5-foot-11, 155-pound, wiry right-hander showed a quick, lively arm and ran his fastball up to 86.5 mph (2,237 average rpm) at the event. The fastball jumps out his hand with late hop and life through the zone, especially as he located it up in the zone. He throws an aggressive curveball that worked between a 12/6 and 11/5 plane, playing off the fastball at 72-73 mph, with tight spin and late action; 2,150 average rpm. He rounded out his three-pitch mix by killing the spin on his 78-80 mph change that showed control at the bottom of the strike zone. He’s a quick-armed right-hander with a quality three-pitch mix and seemingly more velocity to tap into down the road.

Eddie Scaccia
rhp / oswego, IL / 2023

Jason Sullivan OF / RHP / Sandburg, IL / 2023

(7/19/22) Built athletically at 5-foot-10, 150-pounds, Sullivan has plenty of room to add on strength in the coming years. The right-hander boasted the highest fastball velocity in the entire event, working in the 84-86 mph range throughout his ‘pen and playing with running action to his arm-side. Sullivan showed an aptitude for spinning the breaking ball, displaying both a sharp 11/5 curveball at 69 mph and a slider with late 10/4 shape, 70-72 mph. His changeup also looks to be a promising change of pace offering, playing with heavy fade at times and thrown with arm-speed, 72-75 mph. 

Tommy Van Daff LHP / York, IL / 2023

(6/28/22) Athletically built at a lean 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, Van Daff shows some upside in his build with room for added strength in the coming years. Working exclusively from the stretch, the left-hander drops quickly into his back knee from balance point, dropping and driving down the mound while remaining in-line with the plate throughout his stride. His arm plays long out of the glove, transitioning into a ¾ slot. Van Daff sat comfortably in the 81-83 mph range with his fastball, topping out at 83.5 mph while playing with sinking action through the zone. His curveball plays off a 2/8 plane with some sweeping action, thrown for strikes at 60-62 mph. To fill out his arsenal, Van Daff went to a fading changeup at 70-72 mph, playing with mostly horizontal action and thrown with intent.


+ CLICK HERE for a look at the updated 2023 Illinois rankings.