Prep Baseball Report

The PBR Illinois All-Decade Team

By Illinois Staff

Prep Baseball Report’s roots began in Illinois, starting in 2005. Over the years, the state has produced an incredible amount of high-level prospects, many of whom have advanced to play the game professionally.

Some of the most famous names over years weren’t necessarily the most decorated high school performers. As we were putting together the PBR Illinois All-Decade Team, we combed through all our all-state teams, players of the year and reams of data we had covering the state.

Sean Duncan, Prep Baseball Report President, intimately scouted all the players listed below, and vividly recalled all the players’ exploits over the years. The All-Decade Team consists of prospects that played between 2010-2019. We took into account their entire career as a high school player, and how they impacted their team – not where they were drafted and if they are currently aspiring toward big league dreams.

Some of the players were no-brainer selections, others there’s plenty of room for debate. But one thing is for certain: We were in the trenches over the entire decade, and have insights from class to class over the last 10 years.




In the 2011 class, Thompson was the top prospect, hands down. Thompson, one of the most decorated left-handers to come through Illinois in the decade, led Teutopolis to consecutive state titles his junior and senior season and did so in style. Thompson twirled complete games in both wins and capped his senior season off in style, striking out the side in nine pitches. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound, left-hander finished his dominant senior season with an 11-0 record, while striking out 112 batters and walked only seven in 66.1 innings with a minuscule 0.11 ERA. In his junior season Thompson finished 9-1 with 93 strikeouts, 10 walks and a 0.47 ERA in 59 innings. Thompson was drafted in the 29th round out of high school by the Twins but ultimately elected to head to John A. Logan JC following his senior year. He was drafted in both of his years at Logan and signed with the Texas Rangers after they called his name in the 12th round of the 2013 draft and he spent two years in pro ball.

Derek Thompson (February, 2011)


Funkhouser was a two-time PBR First-Team All-State selection and went down as one of the most highly-touted Illinois arms of the decade. He spent three seasons at the varsity level for Oak Forest and went 32-3 over that span, capped off by an 11-2 senior campaign. He racked up 123 Ks, against just 25 walks, in 78.2 innings in his final season of high school ball. As a junior, Funkhouser led Oak Forest to a Class 3A runner-up finish after he went 12-0 with a 0.84 ERA. In 82.2 innings, he struck out 134 and walked 25. He also posted a 9-1 record as a sophomore. From a pure stuff perspective, few Illinois prep arms have matched the talent inside Funkhouser’s arsenal. Coming out of high school, his fastball sat in the 88-90 mph range and topped 94 mph in the playoffs with command of the strike zone with three pitches.

Naturally, he went on to dominate at Louisville, too. He was a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American in 2014. In 2015, his 122 strikeouts were the third most in a single season for a Cardinals pitcher, and he went 13-3 with a 1.94 ERA, too. He was drafted in the first round, but did not sign, following his junior season in Louisville and finished his four-year career as the program’s all-time leader in wins (35), strikeouts (376), and innings pitched (380.2). Funkhouser signed with the Tigers after they selected him in the fourth round his senior year and he spent the majority of 2019 in Triple-A.


Fellows dominated the East Suburban Catholic Conference as a sophomore, was its Pitcher of the Year as a junior, and was similarly sharp in his senior spring, with MLB scouts in attendance at each of his starts. He punched out 98 batters in 73 innings, walked just 11, and planted his stuff into Vanderbilt’s rotation for the three seasons he was a part of that staff. Fellows’ tremendous strikeout-to-walk ratio was his calling card throughout his career and made him one of the more dominant high school arms the state has seen. The 6-foot-5 right-hander finished his high school career with a 23-3 record over 184.2 innings pitched, amassing 268 strikeouts to just 38 walks, leading to a 0.76 ERA.

Fellows finished his Vanderbilt career with the sixth-most strikeouts (308) in the program’s illustrious history, too. The Padres drafted Fellows with their sixth-round pick and Fellows signed, though it was after the Commodores lifted the national title over Michigan in the College World Series championship. Because Fellows was tied to Vandy’s title run, San Diego opted to delay his pro debut until 2020, allowing him to rest after a grueling, but rewarding, close to his collegiate career.

Drake Fellows (2/7/16)


+ Latz was the first-ever PBR Player of the Year after a decorated senior season. The southpaw beautifully authored a three-hit shutout in Lemont's state title victory over Sacred Heart-Griffin just days after being drafted in the 11th round by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Latz finished his three-year varsity career with a 10-0 record, one save and a 0.23 ERA as a senior, doing so against top-level competition. His record included wins over top 25-ranked opponents Mount Carmel, Sandburg, Lincoln-Way West (twice), Brother Rice, and Sacred Heart-Griffin. In 62.1 innings, Latz struck out 114 and walked only 12. He allowed only two earned runs and 29 hits all season, and finished with a 0.66 WHIP.

Come playoff time, Latz was even tougher on opponents striking out 33 to just four walks in three playoff wins. Latz struck out 11 in his state title victory and with emphasis, striking out seven in the last three innings pitched. Latz's repertoire consisted of one of the best left-handed breaking balls the state has seen in the last decade, followed by a polished fastball that he showed the ability to command and dial up to 92 mph when he wanted to in his senior campaign. 

After earning sparse playing time in Baton Rouge, Latz announced his transfer from the SEC heavyweights to Kent State where he redshirted for the 2017 spring. Regardless of his inaction, the Texas Rangers drafted Latz with their fifth-round pick and he signed. He was back on a mound for a short stint in 2017 and pitched 81 innings in 2018 in affiliated ball. He started 11 games for the Rangers' High-A club in 2019 and sported a 1.76 ERA with 60 Ks in 51 innings. 

Still only 23-years old, Latz looks prepared for a promotion and a new challenge in pro ball in 2020.

Jake Latz (8/4/12)


James has been a two-way standout since his freshman year, and helped elevate Normal West into one of the state’s most consistent programs. The University of Illinois recruit finished his stellar career in impressive fashion, amassing a 10-1 record with two saves as a senior en route to a first-team PBR All-State selection. In 67.2 innings, he racked up 106 strikeouts to 20 walks. He finished with a 1.34 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP. The left-handing hitting James also delivered at the plate, batting .411 with 10 doubles, four triples, three homers and 38 RBIs. The 6-foot-2 James, who earned PBR second-team All-State honors as a sophomore, completed his illustrious career with 28 career wins and 288 strikeouts, both school records.

In Champaign, he continued to be a dual threat in his four years on campus. He turned to coaching following his playing career, with stops at Heartland CC and Xavier before earning a volunteer assistant position at Northern Kentucky over the summer, where he'll be this spring.

Matt James (May, 2013)



Few players in the state have walked into a program as prominent as Edwardsville and forced their way into the middle of its lineup as quickly as Westcott, without budging. He’s been a staple since his freshman season to a Tigers team that’s perennially competed for state titles, though had fallen just short, until the 2019 squad went the distance last June. Westcott was arguably the most feared hitter in the state, routinely getting his fair share of free passes. When teams actually do pitch to him, he has the ability to leave any part of the yard thanks to some of the best pure power in the Midwest. Westcott is much more than just a pure power threat, however. He rarely chases out of the zone, impressively recognizes spin, and uses the entire field effectively. Westcott slugged nine homers and drove in 39 RBIs as a junior last spring and was a critical piece to the team’s dramatic run to the 4A title. As a sophomore Westcott earned First-Team All-State honors after hitting .519 with 12 doubles, seven home runs and 34 RBIs. As a freshman he helped lead Edwardsville to a 4A runner-up finish and was a Second-Team All-State selection after hitting .435 with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs. He’s been committed to Louisville since the spring of that freshman campaign and he’ll have one final spring to further polish his status as one of the best first basemen to take the diamond in Illinois.

Drake Westcott (7/9/19)



+ The MVP of the 2011 PBR Future Games, Roper went on to commit to Illinois soon after the August event following a huge sophomore spring for Harrisburg. He slugged 11 homers, six doubles, and drove in 45 runs as a sophomore all while handling a prominent role on the mound, where he went 8-2 with a 2.66 ERA. Roper was a four-time all-conference selection and two-time All-State. His dominant senior season was highlighted by an 11-0 record on the mound which included seven shutouts, one perfect game and one no-hitter. He also notched two saves, 106 strikeouts to only eight walks and a 0.41 ERA. Offensively, he batted .468 with 10 homers, 11 doubles, four triples, 39 RBI, 46 runs, 25 walks, 12 stolen bases and struck out only five times. 

He starred in multiple sports at Harrisburg, and was even a critical reason why the school won a 2A basketball title in 2013, but Roper’s most decorated sport was baseball. He earned the title of Gatorade Pitcher of the Year in 2013 as a senior before heading out to Champaign. He transferred from Illinois to Union for the 2016 baseball season and finished his playing career at the Jackson, Tenn., college.

Ryne Roper (May, 2013)


+ Donovan tragically passed away on Nov. 5, 2015, as one of the most dynamic Illinois prep players in recent history, the top player inside the state’s 2015 class and among the best prep players in the country. PBR President Sean Duncan memorialized the Donovan he knew on the baseball field as “one of my all-time favorite players to watch, because he combined rare high-level athleticism with true baseball skill.” 

The legend of Donovan’s game grew before he ever stepped foot on a varsity field at Westmont. He wasn’t your first draft of a high-profile athlete of mythological proportions. He was a thin 5-foot-11 baby-faced kid – but he was explosive – and it was that unlikely combination that made him exhilarating to watch. He went on to shine in Illinois, the Midwest, and eventually USA Baseball’s Tournament of Stars event. Donovan was garnering a reputation as one of the toolsiest middle infielders in the country. In his senior spring, Donovan hit .483 with 17 doubles, five triples, seven home runs, 33 RBI, 64 runs scored, and 44 stolen bases. He helped lead the Sentinels to a program record 30 wins in 2015, and the school’s first state trophy with a third-place finish in Class 2A in 2014. Donovan was selected in the 30th round of the MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers, but opted to attend Michigan instead. His memory on the diamond lives on as one of the best talents the state has ever produced, especially in the last decade.

Charlie Donovan (2/1/15)


+ Madej was named the 2016 PBR Player of the Year after a four-year run on the Celtics' varsity squad. At PC, Madej was a line-drive machine, a legendary clutch performer, and an all-time gamer – nobody made a greater contribution to the only state championship three-peat in Illinois high school baseball history, and nobody in the state was more valuable in 2016. Madej led Providence to a 30-7 record and a historic third consecutive 4A state title to conclude his memorable prep career. He operated as the Celtics' three-hole hitter and second baseman and won four state titles (one in football) while at Providence. The switch-hitter was a starter on varsity since his sophomore year and was a third team All-State selection as a junior. Known for his propensity to deliver in the clutch, Madej went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored in the 2016 state title game. In 2015, Madej delivered the walk-off RBI single in extra-innings to give the Celtics a 6-5 win over Mount Carmel that year's title game. In his final spring season, Madej hit .446 with 17 doubles, three triple, two home runs, 30 RBIs, and 45 runs scored in 42 games.

After high school, Madej spent a season at Purdue before transferring to JUCO powerhouse Northwest Florida State and slashed .354/.432/.451 last season. His production at the plate caught the eye of North Carolina, and Madej has since transferred into the Tar Heels' program to be a member of that dugout this upcoming season.

Mike Madej (2/15/15)



Travis was named the 2011 PBR Player of the Year after leading the Celtics to a state runner-up finish and ending his senior season with a .504 batting average, 17 home runs, 17 doubles, three triples and 75 RBI. He also tallied 53 runs, 68 hits and a 1.023 slugging percentage. Perhaps his most impressive statistic and the reason he drove in 75 runs was his .542 batting average with runners in scoring position. At the time only 11 players in state history produced more homers in a season than Travis, and his 75 RBI ranked third at the time, according to the IHSA website. Instead of signing with the Reds as their 40th-round pick, Travis fulfilled his commitment to Indiana where he went on to thrive as a Hoosier. He was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2012 after hitting .319 and slugging .509 as one of the conference’s top power threats. A similarly impressive sophomore season was compounded by a remarkable junior campaign in which he was named the Big Ten Player of the Year. Travis led the conference in hits (85), RBIs (58), homers (12), and slugging (.576). His three-year track record of hitting at Indiana landed him a second-round pick with the Red Sox in 2014 and he went on to make his MLB debut in 2017. Travis has tallied seven career home runs so far, including the six he slugged in 2019. Last Wednesday, he was traded to the Rangers, so he’ll have a fresh start in 2020.



McCormick was the first Illinois prospect ever to be named the PBR Illinois Player of the Year in consecutive seasons after stellar offensive campaigns in 2018 and 2019 for a loaded St. Laurence squad. McCormick was also a mainstay in the three-hole and behind the plate or at third base for the Vikings since his freshman season. McCormick earned Third-Team All-State honors in his inaugural season. As a freshman the prolific left-handed hitter hit .381 with 12 doubles, four homeruns, 39 RBIs and walked more than he struck out. As a senior, McCormick hit for power and average, while striking out only nine times in 157 plate appearances. He slashed an impressive .419/.563/.810, good for an OPS of 1.380. The 6-foot, 205-pound prospect also added 51 RBIs with the help of 22 total extra-base-hits, including nine home runs. He also K’d 24 in 19 innings of work as the Vikings’ go-to arm out of the bullpen. His junior season was arguably more impressive than his last. In 2018, he hit .510 with nine more homers and 48 more RBIs and he struck out only twice all year.

Like Travis, McCormick was also selected by the Reds in the 40th round, and he too stayed true to his commitment to West Virginia. There, he’s already stirring some momentum as a name to know for the 2022 draft, when he’s next eligible.

Matt McCormick (2/3/19)



+ Thomas wrapped up an illustrious, high-profile career at Mount Carmel in 2018 following a dynamite senior season under the microscope for the Caravan. As one of the top prep talents in the country, Thomas continually performed in front of scouts and earned First-Team All-State selections in his final three seasons on varsity. Despite not earning First-Team honors as a freshman, he was an impact performer on a squad that finished 4A runner-ups and had Division I talent all over the diamond. Thomas is also one of the few Illinois prospects who ran the table as the No. 1 prospect in his respective class from the first rankings release to the last. In his senior season, He hit .423 with 10 homers, seven doubles, and four triples in 2018 all while gracefully roaming center field, which earned him a ranking at No. 19 on our PBR Draft Board.

After somewhat surprisingly slipping to the second round, the Arizona Diamondbacks called Thomas’ name with the 63rd pick. Thomas turned down the opportunity to play football and baseball at Texas Christian and so far Thomas has made the most of that decision. Thomas has found success ever since he stepped foot on a pro diamond and has elevated himself into one of the best prospects in a very talented Diamondbacks system. As a teenager in Class-A Kane County last year, Thomas hit .312 with eight homers and recorded an OBP of .393 in just over 400 plate appearance at the level, striking out under 18 percent of the time. He was rewarded with an end-of-season promotion to High-A where he’ll most likely start 2020.

Alek Thomas (2/4/18)


+ Payton spent parts of four years as a member of St. Rita’s varsity squad and was an impact on the Mustangs from the moment he earned a late season opportunity his freshman year. He helped St. Rita finish runners-up in his junior season, where he hit 12 homers, 10 doubles, and four triples, with a .438 batting average and a .979 slugging percentage. This was coupled with his status as the top defensive outfielder in the state. 

He went on to start all four years at Texas and tallied a Big 12 record on-base streak of 101 games. At the time of his graduation, he was the conference’s all-time leader in total bases (385), walks (148), triples (19), doubles (50), RBI (122), and OBP (.425). In June of 2014, the Yankees used their seventh-round pick on Payton where he had been since last offseason. 

He had slowly worked his way up to Triple-A inside the Yankees’ system before the Athletics took a chance on him and Payton exploded as a 27-year-old experiencing his first new ballclub. He smashed 30 home runs in his first season at Triple-A Las Vegas with the A’s, slugging .653 with an OBP of .400. Eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, the Cincinnati Reds snagged him in December with the 12th pick and he looks poised to make his MLB debut in 2020 as a power-hitting fourth outfielder type.

Mark Payton (February, 2010)


+ The second Oak Forest product on this list, Barry earned four selections to the First-Team All-State list, from 2008 to 2011, and is one of the most legendary power hitters in the state’s history. In his senior spring, he broke the state’s all-time home run and RBI records, slugging a career 53 homers. In his prestigious junior year, he hit .578 with 17 homers and 43 RBIs. After an explosive freshman year in which he hit 13 homers and drove in 78 RBIs, second most in a single campaign, he was a victim of his own success, seeing fewer and fewer pitches to hit. Regardless, Barry’s all-time power numbers in his four years at Oak Forest lifted him to a spot on the state’s All-Decade team.

Tim Barry (May, 2011)


+ Corey Ray will go down as one of the most electrifying athletes in Illinois baseball history. The rare combination of power and speed, Ray demonstrated that he was capable of crushing tape measure home runs as well as swipe bases with ease – as he proved to do in his collegiate career. He hit .429 as a junior and .413 as a senior all while playing in the spotlight as one of the most high-profile athletes in the state. Also landing back to back selections to PBR All-State Teams.

He was drafted in the 33rd round by the Mariners out of high school but Ray went on to Louisville and was quick to make an impression. He hit .325 as a freshman and earned starting reps as the Cardinals played their way into the College World Series. He was an All-American after his sophomore season, where he hit .325 with 11 homers and 34 steals, which prompted a spot on USA Baseball’s collegiate team. In his junior spring at Louisville, he snagged 44 bases all while leading the Cards in homers (15) which turned him into one of the top prospects in the draft class. The Milwaukee Brewers selected Ray with the fifth overall pick and he climbed his way to Triple-A in 2019.

Corey Ray (2/3/13)



+ The PBR 2010 Player of the Year led the Redhawks to a 4A state title in his senior spring after a 12-0 season and a 1.45 ERA. In 82 innings in 2010, Conlon struck out 122 hitters against just 13 walks all while carrying the offensive load at the dish, too. He hit .430 as a senior and led Naperville Central in hits (61), with 15 doubles, three triples, and two home runs. He also drove in 28 runs and scored 46 times himself. It was as a junior that Conlon established himself as one of the state's best two-way talents. Not only was he 9-1 (after a 5-0 sophomore campaign), he was a talented first baseman and had a propensity to deliver in the clutch, with his 16 doubles and four homers. Conlon's summer started with a magnificent shutout over O'Fallon in the 4A semifinals and it ended when he helped St. Rita win the IHSBCA summer title after throwing six scoreless frames, with 10 Ks, before wrapping up his prep career at Naperville Central.

Following his high school career, Conlon moved on to Kansas State and continued to contribute on both sides of the ball. He capped his KSU career as a .300 hitter, with 207 hits, and was twice named to the All-Big 12 First-Team. Conlon was drafted twice and played 30 games in Rookie ball as a member of the Oakland Athletics organization before moving on to coaching. He was a Kansas State volunteer assistant for four years (2015-19) before taking a job as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator with Morehead State last offseason.

Shane Conlon (February, 2010)