Prep Baseball Report

Updated Illinois 2016 Rankings Released

By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

After a long high school season, and many regional and national events scouted over the summer months, we have updated and expanded the Illinois 2016 rankings. Illinois’ 2016 class is shaping up to be one of the more interesting group of prospects in recent years. This crop of rising seniors features high-end national talent and impressive overall depth already.

Over the course of the last three-plus months, more and more names emerged to the fore, while many prospects have made significant leaps in their games, which made the process that much more difficult.

Cooper JohnsonWhile there have been some seismic shifts in the expanded 250 list, the top 10 remains largely intact. C Cooper Johnson (Carmel Catholic HS) cemented his status as the No. 1 prospect in the class – and made a loud statement as the top catching prospect in the country at the Tournament of Stars – with his consistently dominant defensive play and improving offensive skills.

Right behind Johnson is RHP Drake Fellows (Joliet Catholic Academy HS) and RHP Brenden Heiss (Jacobs HS). Fellows, a Vanderbilt recruit, has long been identified as one of the top arms in the country, while Heiss features one of the nation’s most electric fastballs. SS Tyler Fitzgerald (Rochester HS) and RHP/3B Cal Coughlin (Lake Forest HS) have been fixtures in the top 10 since we first released 2016 rankings.

LHP Ben Brecht (New Trier HS), an athletic 6-foot-7 UC Santa Barbara recruit, catapults to No. 6 after he followed up a dominant high school campaign with an impressive showing at the PBR Midwest ProCase in June. 3B Joey Polak (Quincy Notre Dame HS), arguably the top right-handed power bat in the state, C/RHP Sam Ferri (Niles Notre Dame HS), OF Jack Suwinski (Taft HS) and SS Jeremy Houston (Mount Carmel HS) round out the top 10. Suwinski, a pure left-handed hitter with pop, is the only uncommitted prospect in the top  10.

There were also many big climbers over the last three-plus months. Some of the biggest risers include: RHP Kevin Malisheski (Wauconda HS), INF Alec Trela (Normal Community HS), RHP Dylan Mulvahill (Evanston HS), OF Mateo Zunica (St. Rita HS), INF/RHP Nolan Gazouski (Rockford Christian HS), LHP Matt Walker (Morris HS), OF/2B Darius Hill (Morgan Park HS), 3B/C Joe Aeilts (Champaign Central HS), SS Charlie Maxwell (Evanston HS), and SS Lorenzo Elion (Simeon HS), to name a few.

A look at the top 10:

Rank Name State School Class Pos Commitment
1 Cooper Johnson IL Carmel Catholic 2016 C Mississippi
2 Drake Fellows IL Joliet Catholic Academy 2016 RHP Vanderbilt
3 Brenden Heiss IL Jacobs 2016 RHP Arkansas
4 Tyler Fitzgerald IL Rochester 2016 SS Louisville
5 Cal Coughlin IL Lake Forest 2016 3B Texas Christian
6 Ben Brecht IL New Trier 2016 LHP UC Santa Barbara
7 Joey Polak IL Quincy Notre Dame 2016 3B South Carolina
8 Sam Ferri IL Notre Dame College Prep 2016 C Arizona State
9 Jack Suwinski IL Taft 2016 OF
10 Jeremy Houston IL Mount Carmel 2016 SS Indiana

CLICK HERE to view complete Top 250 Class of 2016 Rankings