Updated Class of 2016 Rankings: Risers

By Ryan Quigley
Illinois Scouting Director

The PBR Illinois scouting staff recently released the updated Class of 2016 Illinois rankings. Yesterday, we took a look at the shuffling within the Top 10. Click Here to read the article about the Top Ten Shakeup. We’ve scouted extensively this winter, both at our own events, private workouts, and travel program college camps. The following rankings update reflects that work and will also be our final update before the start of the 2015 spring high school season.

Today we’ll take a look at some prospects who have risen significantly in the rankings thanks to their recent performances this winter.

+ Taft OF/LHP Jack Suwinski narrowly missed out on the Top 10, coming in at No. 13, up from No. 21. Suwinski is a legitimate two-way prospect, though his bat may be his calling card, impressing with bat speed, and proven success at various national events.

+ Lemont’s Garret Acton is one of the biggest risers within the Top 25, rising from No. 27 to No. 16 thanks to consistent upper 80’s to low 90’s fastball velocity. Acton impressed at the Preseason All-State sitting 90-91 mph with command of the bottom half of the strike zone.

+ Bloomington Central Catholic LHP Jacob Gilmore jumps from No. 40 in to the top 25 at No. 24.  The Illinois State commit recently sat 84-87 mph at the Preseason All-State Showcase, and there’s likely more in the tank thanks to his lanky 6-foot-3 frame and quick arm.

+ Fenwick’s Jay Militello took one of the biggest leaps into the top 25, impressing with 87-88 mph fastball velocity from an athletic, 6-foot-3 frame. Militello also plays the middle infield and can swing it, but his future may be on the mound. He’s a three-sport athlete starting on the Varsity soccer team as a sophomore, and currently is the sixth man on Fenwick’s hoops squad, so his ceiling in baseball could be high when he focuses on one sport in college.

+ St. Viator shortstop Jack Coney makes his debut in the Top 50 at No. 40 thanks to an impressive winter showing. The Purdue-commit has the necessary skills to stay at shortstop at the next level.

+ Normal University’s Zach Frey had previously impressed the PBR scouting staff with his catch-and-throw skills, but his ability on the mound (unknown to us previously) vaults him into the Top 100 at No. 55, up from No. 130. Frey impressed with three pitch feel, an 86-87 mph fastball, and the top overall changeup at the Preseason All-State Showcase.

+ St. Rita’s Mateo Zunica rises from No. 105 to No. 58 thanks to his impressive batting practice display at the Preseason All-State Showcase. Zunica hit .400 as a sophomore on varsity last season for the Mustangs, so it shouldn't have come as a surprise. What was surprising however was his arm strength and athleticism, running a 7.28 60 (6.9 reportedly this winter at a college camp) and 84 mph from the outfield.

+ Glenbrook North’s Michael Oh rises from No. 91 to No. 68. Oh has gotten himself into better shape physically, and impressed at the Preseason All-State Showcase showing improved velocity sitting in the mid 80’s touching 86 mph.

+ Providence’s Tom Kelley had the top outfield arm at the Preseason All-State showcase, throwing 90 mph, and moves up to No. 71 from No. 145. Kelley has a physical frame at 6-foot-1, 182-pounds, and impresses with bat speed as well (87 mph exit velocity).

+ Edwardsville’s Trey Riley jumps into the Top 75 at No. 74. Riley impressed with his left-handed bat and mid-to-upper 80’s fastball that touched 89 mph on his final pitch at the Preseason All-State Showcase.

Those are some of the biggest risers within the Top 100. Tomorrow’s article on the updated Class of 2016 rankings will focus on prospects new the rankings.

Click Here to view the Illinois Class of 2016 Rankings - extended to 250 prospects

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