Prep Baseball Report

Top-10 Stories of 2022: No. 6 High Level MLB Draft Follows In The IL 2023 Class

By: Diego Solares
Area Scout, Illinois & Missouri

This past July, Owen Murphy (Riverside-Brookfield, 2022; Atlanta Braves) and Noah Schultz (Oswego East, 2022; Chicago White Sox) were two high school prospects from Illinois to get drafted in the first round of the MLB Amateur Draft and signed. Later on, RHP Ashton Izzi (Oswego East, 2022; Seattle Mariners) and 3B Luke Adams (Hinsdale Central, 2022; Milwaukee Brewers) were also selected, each of them agreeing to contracts with their respective clubs.

Similarly to the group that preceded them, the Illinois’ 2023 class has the makings of another stellar draft crop from the ‘Prairie State’.

There are two high-end prospects at the top that each, respectively, have a chance to hear their names called rather early this upcoming July: OF Dillon Head (Homewood-Flossmoor, 2023; Clemson) and RHP Zander Mueth (Belleville East, 2023; Ole Miss):

+ Head is a dynamic, do-it-all type of athlete that can bring positive production in multiple areas around the diamond. He earned first team all-state honors this spring after batting .478, reaching base at a .545 clip, and swiping 33 bags in the process. Head parlayed that success to a standout year at multiple spots, including at the Area Code Games and this September at the PBR Cup. He earned high praise from several evaluators from the professional ranks, and also caught our President of Scouting Shooter Hunt’s attention at LakePoint:

“...Head’s timing was a bit off throughout the weekend, but that did nothing to dissuade the idea of the Clemson recruit as a Day 1 draft pick candidate next summer. After a brilliant summer, PBR’s 28th ranked player in the class continued to showcase his elite speed and athleticism while getting off quality swings, albeit without quite as much success. There is electricity to the hands as he remains compact throughout a quick stroke, and while the frame is less intimidating at a listed 5-foot-11, 180-pounds, there is some surprising power present to the pull side. Willing to change planes and adjust while covering the plate, Head passes the eye test as a future top of the order bat. Though the results at the plate did not jump out throughout the weekend, it was the intangibles, and especially the defense that stood out from the speedy centerfielder. Perhaps the quickest first step in the class, Head’s closing speed on fly balls stands apart from most of his peer’s, and he fearlessly charged ground balls while demonstrating confident belief in his hands. There was some swing and miss present in this look, but it mainly appeared due to timing issues that are more easily resolved with the repetitions that are more difficult to find in the fall.”

Dillon Head (8/8/22)

+ Mueth’s status as a premier right-handed arm in the nation remains unchanged - he’s currently slotted inside the top-30 nationally for the 2023 class. At 6-foot-5, 190-pounds, Mueth’s undeniably high upside is evident when you watch him toe the rubber. His movement patterns down the slope are eerily similar to some of the game’s best arms and allow him to produce easy low-to-mid-90s heat from a loose all-around operation. Mueth’s go-to secondary offering is a sweeping slider that works out of his ¾ slot, flashing swing-and-miss spin in our looks this spring. Though he’s still fully harnessing feel and consistency for it, it’s a pitch that has proven capable of missing barrels to our staff. A report on him from an up-close look this spring:

“...Mississippi commit. Long-limbed, elastic frame, standing 6-foot-5, 190-pounds, ultra-projectable and fluid moving. Mueth got the start against No. 1 Edwardsville and went 3.2 innings while racking up five punchouts to just one walk, one hit and didn’t allow a single run. The right-hander’s arm is ultra loose throughout his arm swing into release, playing long out of the glove and into a ¾ slot with effortless arm-speed. Down the mound, it is hard to find many pitchers that replicate the fluidity and flexibility of Mueth; coiling into balance point with a high leg-kick before moving down the mound with an athletic drop/drive lower-half, creating elite hip/shoulder separation at foot strike with impressive mobility throughout, also controlling his long limbs with ease and repeating constantly. Mueth’s fastball explodes out of the hand with heavy sinking action to the arm-side, sitting 93-95 mph, mostly 94-95 and topping out at 96 mph; locating often to the outer half of the plate to righties and missing barrels constantly. The separator in Mueth’s arsenal is his wipeout slider; thrown with fastball arm-speed and out of a near identical release window, diving off a 10/4 plane with late/sharp action and kept down, 80-82 mph - also collecting a number of swing-and-misses. He flashed a changeup very briefly in his outing at 83 mph, playing with heavy fading action to the arm-side and coming out of a similar fastball release slot. It is hard to find anyone in the country with the pure electricity that Mueth possesses on the mound.”

Zander Mueth (5/25/22)

Aside from that duo, this class offers more talented prospects at the top that are certain to garner professional interest from now until July:

+ Third on our state board is 3B/OF George Wolkow (Downers Grove North, 2023; South Carolina). Wolkow was previously the top-ranked 2024 graduate in Illinois before he reclassified, adding even more juice to an already loaded draft cycle. Wolkow is unique in many ways - he’s a unicorn at 6-foot-7, 230-pounds, swings left-handed, and his age almost certainly plays into his favor when team’s run him through their draft models. Wolkow attended the Area Code Games this summer, earning praise from our national staff after a strong showing:

“...a year younger than most of the participants after reclassifying, Wolkow, a South Carolina recruit, delivered thunderous barrels to multiple balls throughout the week, and had many scouts buzzing about his future upside. Long and athletic at 6-foot-7, 230-pounds, there is some length to the swing, but the power potential quickly makes up for it, and even at a young age, the left-handed hitting third baseman demonstrates impressive understanding of the movement patterns that those long limbs create.”

George Wolkow (8/8/22)

+ The younger brother of Los Angeles Angels’ southpaw Reid Detmers, RHP Parker Detmers (Glenwood, 2023; Louisville) is absolutely a name-to-know from a draft perspective in this class. Physically built at 6-foot-3, 205-pounds with a strong, starter’s frame, Detmers helped lead his Glenwood squad to the 3A state championship game this spring and rode that momentum into a productive summer. Similarly to his older brother, Detmers pumps the zone with three pitches, and he owns some of the highest pitchability in the entire class. A brief nugget on him from the Area Code Games in August:

“...a Louisville recruit, stands at a strong 6-foot-4, 210 pounds. He is the younger brother of 2020 first-round pick Reid Detmers and its clear spin runs in the family and has been passed down, as he showcased a tight one with depth at 76-77. His fastball was 89-92, touching 93 and he mixed in a mid-80s changeup. In three innings of work, Detmers allowed a hit and walk while striking out three.”

Parker Detmers (6/10/22)

+ C/OF Zion Rose (IMG Academy, 2023; Louisville) brings elite athleticism and an ability to use it across the diamond. Rose, who transferred to IMG Academy in Florida for his senior season, has long been one of the state's most well-known names, hovering towards the top of these class rankings since their initial release. He was a catalyst for Brother Rice's potent offense this past spring, earning first team all-state honors in the process, and stood out on a national scale too at the Area Code Games:

"...delivered hit after hit while taking quality at-bats throughout the entire event. More physical at 6-foot-1, 205-pounds with lean, defined strength throughout, the bat path is direct with some thunder in the barrel, and his ability to work the count against elite arms stood out, as did the bat speed. There is clear power present with even more likely on the way. An adequate defender, Rose might see that tool tick up with more reps with quality arms, especially after missing last summer with an injury. However, the energy that he brought to his work behind the plate definitely stood out."

Zion Rose (8/9/22)

+ Headed to the Super 60 in early February, C Colin Barczi (Naperville Central, 2023; Vanderbilt) wields arguably the loudest right-handed bat in this class, generating eye-popping power from a highly physical 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame. Barczi went on a power surge this spring, clobbering 13 home runs with a ridiculous 1.764 OPS. Barczi’s shear strength translated to the summer circuit, where he displayed his more than advanced raw power on a national level:

“...Vanderbilt recruit, refused to get cheated from the right side, and routinely got off some of the biggest hacks of the entire event. Physically impressive with an athletic, 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame, there is electricity to the hands and bat speed with some of the highest exit velocities consistently coming off of his barrel. Behind the plate, the receiving is a bit crude, but the arm strength is plus-plus, and he put some balls right on the bag with easy carry.

Colin Barczi (8/10/22)

+ Another right-handed arm to know in this class who could garner interest in this upcoming cycle: Ryan Geraghty (Mundelein, 2023; Wichita State). Geraghty helped lead the Broncos to a runner-up finish at the 4A level this spring, earning first team all-state honors after an explosive season. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound senior punched out 118 batters over 64 ⅔ innings, pitching in the low-to-mid-90s with his fastball while ripping off a real swing-and-miss slider to pair. He’s at his best when he’s getting whiffs, something Geraghty did at the Area Code Games in August:

“...Wichita State recruit, allowed a hit and walk in two innings while striking out four. Loose out of the glove with a quick, continuous arm stroke, the athletic right-hander worked 92-93 with more in the tank, and countered with a tunneled slider at 78-79 with 2800+ rpm that took sweeping shape with plus potential as a swing-and-miss offering. He also flashed feel for a changeup at 84 mph. Geraghty showcased some of the best stuff at the event, and appears destined to catch helium next spring.”

Ryan Geraghty (8/10/22)


These players are also likely to be on professional team’s radars this upcoming season:

Brady Louck LHP / Plainfield East, IL / 2023

From 4/1/22: Notre Dame commit. 5-foot-10, 170-pound, left-handed pitcher. One of the top arms in the state and Midwest. Was instrumental in last year’s 4A State Championship run with his work on the mound and with his bat. Started on the mound and hit in the two-hole for Plainfield East. Competitive demeanor and look on the mound. Was pitching with a purpose throughout. Seemed like a playoff game type of mentality and look from Louck. Showcased his swing-and-miss stuff that we have become accustomed to seeing for some time now. Struck out nine in 3.1 innings pitched, scattering four hits, two runs and walked three. Arm works quick from a low ¾ slot. Slight deception in delivery, fastball seems to jump out of the hand and get on hitters in a hurry, sat 88-90 mph throughout. All kinds of arm-side-life and sink. Ability to control it to both sides of the plate. Not afraid to work to the glove side against right-handed hitters, especially with two strikes. Supreme confidence in his slurvy breaking ball. Thrown with arm speed and intent at 70-72 mph. Big sweeping action, sharp spin, has late bite, especially when he stays on top. Went to the breaking ball any time he wanted. Showed a changeup at 81 mph. Impressive showing for one of the top prospects in the state.

Brayden Bakes OF / Huntley, IL / 2023

From 7/1/22: Bakes' ascent over the last few weeks started at the PBR ProCase - Midwest, where he was arguably the top follow in attendance, and parlayed over to a strong showing at Creekside last weekend. Built at a chiseled 5-foot-10, 180-pounds, Bakes punished baseballs off his left-handed barrel and tied for the tournament lead in home runs with three. He’s always been one of the toolsiest athletes in Illinois, running a 6.45 60 and reaching exit velocities north of 101 mph, but Bakes has started to translate those tools into success on the diamond. Committed to Wichita State, he’s firmly an arrow-up name in the Midwest’s 2023 MLB Draft cycle.

Ryan Bakes C / Huntley, IL / 2023

From 3/19/22: Ultra-physical, 5-foot-10, 187-pound frame, broad shoulders. Is a premier defender behind the plate and proved so yet again on Saturday; using quiet/receptive hands to present pitches around the zone, quick/clean transfer with a strong arm that plays with backspin (1.95 pop-time recorded during warmups), while also boasting quick/athletic footwork on throws. His ability to move so well behind the plate makes him a highly reliable blocker of the baseball as well; moving side-to-side with ease and judging angles on balls in the dirt, deadening stray pitches out in front. Bakes possesses one of the best right-handed bats in the entire class on top of his stellar defense; starting with a wide base and using minimal pre-pitch movements. His hands work quickly through the zone with a slight uphill path, maintaining balance throughout the entirety of his swing. Premier 2023 backstop who should garner some attention in the draft next spring.

Dominic Voegele RHP / Columbia , IL / 2023

From 8/10/22: Perhaps the event’s most electric pitching performance came from Voegele, who toed the rubber Wednesday afternoon. Standing at a lean 6-foot-2, 180-pounds with upside, Voegele easily pumped his fastball at 90-91 mph, touching 92 mph with more left in the tank, and commanded it to both corners of the plate. Voegele threw two breaking balls with distinct shapes, too. He tossed a more gradual 75-79 mph breaking ball at 2,600+ RPM, landing it more comfortably for strikes, while turning to a firm low-80s slider as a more swing-and-miss pitch at 2,550+ RPM. Voegele impressed at the plate throughout the event, staying up the middle from a short, quick right-handed stroke. A high level athlete who’s a multi-sport standout at Columbia, Voegele remains a top-end uncommitted prospect in Illinois.

Brenden Stressler OF / New Trier, IL / 2023

From 3/18/22: St. Louis commit, currently ranked No. 20 in the Illinois’ 2023 class. 6-foot-2, 190-pound, wide-shouldered build with well-proportioned strength. Has seen his stock steadily climb over the past year and there is no slowing down. Is arguably one of, if not the best, pure left-handed hitters in the class. Advanced approach and polish at the plate. Sees the ball extremely deep into the zone, easy, quiet takes and minimal wasted effort. Flashes explosive hand speed, loose swing, stays inside the baseball and sprays hard line-drive, lifted contact to all parts of the field. Hit in the two-hole and finished 3-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored. Scorched one of his doubles off the very top of the left-field wall. Poised for a big offensive spring for the Trevians.

Blake Wolters RHP / Mahomet Seymour, IL / 2023

From 9/7/22: Wolters dominated for the Bulldogs this spring, earning PBR first team all-state honors and leading his high school team deep into the 3A IHSA playoffs. He’s a multi-sport athlete at 6-foot-4, 200-pounds and has seen a pretty impressive climb in velocity over the past few months, now sitting at 91-94 mph. Wolters compliments his lively fastball with three secondary offerings, including a firm 79-81 mph slider that he’ll spin on average at 2,500+ RPM. Wolters’ ceiling on the mound rivals that of any in the class.


Cal Sefcik IL Marist
2023 INF
Jake Zitella IL St. Charles East
2023 INF
TJ Schuyler IL Antioch
2023 C/RHP Indiana
Adison Worthman IL Bloomington
2023 OF
AJ Garcia IL DePaul College Prep
2023 OF