Prep Baseball Report

Illinois 2020 Rankings Updated

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

Over the last couple of months we have updated and expanded the 2018 and 2019 rankings in Illinois. Earlier today the overall 2020 rankings got a facelift and were also expanded to 400. Over the last couple of weeks we have also taken a hard look at the 2020 class in Illinois and today expanded it from 60-to-80 of the top sophomores around the state.

There have been a number of showcases, camps and high school games since the last rankings update and in that time many new sophomores have come to the forefront. The Underclass Invitational took place in February and featured many of the top players in the Illinois 2020 class. Also, a large number of the sophomores on the updated list are playing a role on varsity rosters this spring.

When it comes to the top of the class, nothing has changed since the last update. RHP/SS Jack Mahoney (St. Viator) remains at the top. The South Carolina commit, played a huge role as a freshman for the 2017 Class 3A state champions. Mahoney, a three-sport athlete, is the everyday shortstop for St. Viator and has special talents on the mound. At last summer’s Future Games, Mahoney emerged as a national prospect with his abilities as a right-handed pitcher. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound, right-hander sat an easy 86-88 mph, touching 89 while pounding the bottom half of the strike zone. Mahoney also flashed a 75 mph slider with feel and late bite. Mahoney is now ranked No. 58 in the overall rankings.

The biggest riser within the Top 10 was RHP/INF Ben Wiegman, (Carmel Catholic), who rose four spots and now occupies the No. 3 slot in the state. Wiegman, a Louisville commit, has added quality strength to what was already an advanced frame and now comes in at 6-foot-3, 205-pounds. Wiegman, who started on varsity as a freshman, put together an electric bullpen at the Underclass Invitational in February. Wiegman showed off a lightning quick arm, every fastball was 90 plus and mixed in a firm curveball with sharp action at 81-82 mph. Wiegman now sits in the top 75 of the overall rankings.

Power hitting 1B Drake Westcott (Edwardsville) also climbed one spot within the Top 10. The Louisville commit, had one of the more impressive freshman seasons in recent memory in 2017. Westcott earned PBR Second-Team All-State honors last season after hitting .435 with 11 doubles and 12 home runs for Class 4A runner-up Edwardsville. The left-handed hitter has an advanced feel for hitting to go along with the best raw power in the state. So far this spring Westcott is hitting .532 with eight doubles and three home runs.

Another riser within the top 10 is Oklahoma commit, 2B/OF Marquis Jackson (Brother Rice). The dynamic Jackson has been starting everyday at second base and hitting in the middle of the order for a Brother Rice club that has one of the more potent offenses in the state. The left-handed hitter takes consistent, competitive at-bats and has a knack for squaring up the baseball. Jackson also plays the game with passion, energy and causes havoc on the basepaths.

New to the Top 10 is RHP Ben Hernandez (De La Salle). The 6-foot-2, 185-pound, Illinois-Chicago commit, put together the most polished and advanced bullpens at the Underclass Invitational. Hernandez projected a starter’s profile at the next level with his effortless delivery and arm action which produced an upper-80’s fastball and well-above average feel for three pitches. Hernandez continues to see his frame lean out and get more and more athletic.

Ben Hernandez (2.18.18)

The top uncommitted prospect in the state is C Jack Payton (Brother Rice), who comes in at No. 10. Payton is a physically gifted right-handed hitter who continues to see his stock rise. Like, the previously mentioned Jackson, Payton is a key component to the Brother Rice lineup. Payton has a strong arm behind the plate and a chance to hit for a lot of power in the future.


1 Jack Mahoney IL St. Viator 2020 RHP South Carolina
2 Christian Knapczyk IL Joliet Catholic 2020 SS Louisville
3 Ben Wiegman IL Carmel Catholic 2020 RHP Louisville
4 Briar Stinson IL Rushville-Industry 2020 OF Kentucky
5 Drake Westcott IL Edwardsville 2020 1B Louisville
6 Edward Howard IV IL Mount Carmel 2020 SS Oklahoma
7 Marquis Jackson IL Brother Rice 2020 OF Oklahoma
8 Alec Gonzalez IL Mount Carmel 2020 SS Tennessee
9 Ben Hernandez IL De La Salle 2020 RHP Illinois-Chicago
10 Jack Payton IL Brother Rice 2020  


A few arms who rose significantly and are knocking at the door of the Top 10 are LHP Payton Hutchings (Coal City) and RHP Eben Heine (Plainfield North). Hutchings is committed to Illinois while Heine is now the top ranked uncommitted arm in the state. We will touch more on them in the coming days when we break down some of the top newcomers and a few more risers in the state.

CLICK HERE for complete 2020 Illinois Rankings.

CLICK HERE for the 2020 Overall Rankings Story.


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