Prep Baseball Report

PBR Illinois Player of the Week: C/OF Zion Rose

By: Diego Solares
Associate Scout, Staff Writer

Brother Rice is off to a scorching hot start to the high school season, winning all eight of their games thus far. The Crusaders made national headlines last week at the Prep Baseball Report National High School Select when they handed IMG Academy their only loss of the entire season in an electric walk-off win. Brother Rice would go off to finish this invite-only tournament, which featured some of the nation’s top programs, with a perfect 4-0 record.

Several Crusaders had quite the week-long showing and contributed to the 48 runs they scored,  but C Zion Rose (2023; Louisville) was the main catalyst for their offensive attack. Hitting out of the leadoff spot, Rose finished the week 17-for-24 across six total games, four games at the NHHS, batting .708 with four doubles and 12 runs scored. He swiped four bags as well, completing an all-around impressive statistical showing for one of the state’s top juniors. For his contributing efforts to Brother Rice’s success, Rose took home the National High School Select tournament MVP honors.

Rose collected two or more hits in all but one of the Crusaders six games and it was in their most important contests where he had his strongest showing. It should be noted that he produced against a duo of high-octane arms in that aforementioned walk-off win. LHP Jackson Ferris (2022; Ole Miss), who drew the start for IMG Academy, is currently the 14th overall prospect in the country, per our national rankings. Known for his bat, 1B/RHP Chase Ingram (2022) is another nationally-ranked name that opposed Rose on the mound with a fastball that’s been up to 89 mph. Rose held his own, going 3-for-5 with three singles and he scored three extremely necessary runs, too. Down to their final out of the game in the bottom of the seventh inning, Brother Rice tied things up on an RBI single from INF Christian Holmes (2022; Kansas State), scoring Rose from third. He was also on base when OF/QB1 Jack Lausch (2022; Northwestern) delivered the walk-off dagger, starting the ninth off with a single back up the middle.

Rose scored both of the Crusaders’ runs in their tight-knit victory over Baylor School. He came across to score on a single by Lausch to tie things up in the fifth inning and scored the game-winning run in the final inning on a balk, reaching via a hard single to center field. He finished that game with three hits in four at-bats, including a double.

Perhaps his most impressive individual performance came against Montverde Academy on Friday. Rose strolled up to the plate four times and left it with four hits, scoring two runs as well. He jump started the Crusaders’ offense from the get-go, kicking things off with a double in an inning where Brother Rice would bring home four runs total. The Louisville commit finished his highly impressive week with two more hits and two runs scored against Riverdale, doubling in his final at-bat of the tournament. 

Prior to this look from our PBR Georgia staff, it had been some time since we’d seen Rose. We took in an up-close look last IHSA season, with our scouts having this to say:

Zion Rose C / OF / Brother Rice, IL / 2023

“Louisville commit, currently the No. 1 ranked player in the 2023 class. Muscular 5-foot-10, 175-pound frame. Strong lower body with superior strength in his forearms and hands. Short, compact swing with easy power, ball jumps off the bat. Advanced bat speed and works directly to the ball. Featured a leg kick that kept him in rhythm and on time. Defensively, continues to show advanced ability behind the plate; Frames and presents pitches in and around the zone, athletic/willing blocker. Above-average arm behind the plate for his age. Footwork is quick, athletic and efficient out of the crouch. High-level 2023 prospect”

Because of the success he had across a six-game slate, particularly on the national circuit, Rose has been named the PBR Illinois Player of the Week, for the week of Monday, March 21 through Sunday, March 27. We're thankful for the POTW submissions we received from the coaches across the state. The players who garnered POTW consideration will earn a place within Friday's Diamond Notes story, so be on the lookout for that by the end of this week.

To check out our first IHSA Player of the Week, click HERE.