Prep Baseball Report

Top-10 Stories of 2019: No. 9 Trio of Illinois top prospects relocate

By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer, Associate Scout

Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee each inherited a premium former Illinois homegrown talent in 2019. These three prospects are now highly ranked names in their new homes and would have been some of the top talent repping Illinois if they still called our state home.

Vytas Valincius, from St. Laurence to Tennessee

  • This summer, Illinois lost its former No. 1 overall prospect of the 2021 class, Vytas Valincius, when he transferred to the Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tenn. Valincius had long been one of, if not the, top prospects inside this 2021 class. He’s developed a well-earned reputation as one of the most imposing right-handed bats in the state. The physically-advanced 6-foot-3, 240-pound, right-handed hitter, topped an exit velocity of 107 mph back in February and has some of the best raw power in the country. What makes Valincius such a premium prospect is his advanced feel to hit and his maturity in the box. Valincius rarely chases out of the zone and has power to all fields. If he shows he can profile at third base moving forward his stock will only continue to rise. 

    When he landed in Tennessee, he was named the No. 2 overall prospect in the state and he’s the No. 38-ranked overall prospect in the country. Valincius committed to South Carolina in the fall of 2018.

Vytas Valincius (2/18/19)

Cam Collier, from Illinois to Georgia

  • It looked like Cam Collier was going to be Illinois’ gem of its incoming freshman class, the 2023s, when he and his family announced their move to Georgia, where he now attends Mount Paran Christian in Kennesaw. Early on, he was earning himself not only best-in-state status, but Collier was (and is) hurdling toward the top of the Class of 2023 national board. Georgia’s a hotbed for baseball talent and its freshman class is only the latest example of this. That being said, Collier was named its No. 2 freshman by our PBR Georgia team back in September. When PBR National Crosschecker Shooter Hunt dropped the first edition of the National 2023 Overall Rankings, he called Collier the No. 9 overall prospect in the country.

    We had the pleasure of seeing Collier ourselves multiple times in 2019, our first viewing came at a showcase in March where he was up to 83 mph on the mound and was an advanced middle infielder with an athletic, strong frame (6-foot, 190-pounds) and a middle-of-the-order, left-handed bat. As of now, Collier has legitimate two-way potential but his prowess as a left-handed hitter will make it hard for him not to be a position player in the future.

Cam Collier (3/3/19)

Aidan Stewart, from Marian Catholic to Alabama

  • Aidan Stewart is a two-way prospect who reclassified from a 2020 to 2021 grad class this past year and also moved from the Chicagoland area to Alabama where he attends Next Level Academy in Metkumpa, outside of Montgomery. We saw Stewart play well for the Spartans at the start of the season, where he was up to 88 mph on the mound back in March. He’s always been one of the toolisiest prospects in the state, and he reasserted that impressive toolset at the PBR Future Games this past August while representing Team Alabama. There, Stewart touched 91 mph on the mound, produced a top exit velocity of 97 mph, and topped 94 mph across the infield. Stewart recently committed to Missouri.

    Stewart is a 6-foot-5, 178-pound, high-ceiling, two-way prospect, who started switch-hitting in the past year. Stewart seems to be just scratching the surface of his immense upside and would be a highly-ranked 2021 prospect in Illinois.

Aidan Stewart (PBR Future Games, 7/31/19)