Prep Baseball Report

Updated Illinois 2022 Rankings

By Illinois Scouting Staff

With another season coming to an end and the off-season nearly in full swing, our staff recently released one final update to the Illinois’ 2022 rankings before the calendar turns to the new year. Several of these prospects find themselves on our national rankings as well, while others used impressive all-around fall showings to ascend up our board. 

Read below for quick informative nuggets on notable prospects from the fall. 

+ LHP Noah Schultz (Oswego East; Vanderbilt) has jumped into the top spot in the state, moving into the top-20 of our soon to be released 2022 national board, as well. The 6-foot-9, 230-pound southpaw made waves in multiple draft circles throughout the fall, turning heads start after start against high-end competition throughout. We saw him absolutely dominate at the PBR Midwest Fall Championships this September and this is what one of our scouts had to say: 

Schultz got the nod for Cangelosi Sparks Black in their playoff game against Rhino Baseball and dominated, twirling four scoreless innings and rarely allowing anyone to reach base. Schultz is a bit of an anomaly on the mound, standing at a long-limbed 6-foot-9, 230-pounds with impressive control of his body downhill. He pounded the zone with an 89-93 mph fastball, topping at 94 mph in his final inning of work. Schultz’s fastball works from a tight, deceptive window and comes out of a low average release height, creating an especially difficult look for hitters given his size. The “bread-and-butter” of Schultz’s arsenal is one of the nation’s best sliders; a 76-78 mph offering that regularly spins at 3,000+ RPM and naturally sweeps across the zone. Schultz turned to his changeup as his outing went on and it proved effective as he threw it with fastball arm speed, spotting it up on the arm-side of the plate and down in the zone. Committed to Vanderbilt, Schultz is amongst the top prep pitchers in the entire country for the 2022 class and will be on a large number of draft boards this coming summer.” 

Noah Schultz (9/12/21)

+ Occupying the second spot in our updated state rankings is RHP/INF Owen Murphy (Riverside-Brookfield; Notre Dame). Murphy, who was selected to the 18U USA National Team this fall, is another highly-regarded draft prospect in his own right. A top-35 overall prospect on the Prep Baseball Report 2022 National Rankings, Murphy generated plenty of buzz from professional teams heading into the off-season. He’s a high-end athlete with exceptional body control down the mound, a knack for repeatedly throwing his low-90s fastball for strikes, and owns an advanced aptitude to spin two distinct breaking balls. Murphy offers upside offensively as well, consistently hitting against quality competition throughout this year’s circuit. He’s amongst the top players to come through Illinois in the past few years and will be one to watch at the Super 60 in February. 

Owen Murphy (8/8/21)

+ Another arm to make waves in Illinois this fall is RHP Ashton Izzi (Oswego East; Wichita State), up two spots to No. 9 in the state. Izzi is a highly-athletic, quick-armed right-hander who has consistently ran his fastball into the mid-to-upper 90’s this summer and fall. 

Ashton Izzi (8/6/21)

+ One of the biggest risers towards the top of the rankings is SS Shai Robinson (Homewood-Flossmoor), up five spots in this update, now sitting at No. 11 in the state. An Illinois State commit, Robinson has long been one of the top middle infield defenders in the state and his frame and right-handed bat continue to tick up. Robinson flashed pull-side pop this fall, handling velo and taking consistent, competitive at-bats against velocity.

Shai Robinson

+ RHP/C Tony Pluta (St. Viator) used an all-around impressive fall to rise more than 20 spots in our updated rankings, currently sitting at No. 22 in Illinois. Pluta unlocked a new level of arm strength this fall, as reports had his fastball up to 94 mph late into the season. He also boasts an analytically friendly arsenal with a favorable release height, advanced vertical carry on his heater, and noteworthy spin rates throughout his repertoire. Pluta, also a talented catcher in his own right, recently committed to Arizona.

+ Perhaps the biggest winner this fall was RHP Sean Episcope (Latin School of Chicago), who now rises more than 40 spots, to the No. 28 overall spot on our board. Episcope impressed our staff in multiple looks throughout the fall circuit, including an impressive relief outing at the PBR Midwest Fall Championships followed up by one of the most dominant outings we saw at The Rock all year. The 6-foot, 195-pound Episcope bumped his fastball up to 91 mph multiple times in our looks, including six straight 90 mph heaters to start his afternoon outing at The Rock. Episcope’s go-to pitch is a true 12/6 breaking ball with downer swing-and-miss action at 73-76 mph and it’s a pitch that he boasts supreme confidence in, throwing it at all times in any given count. His success both on and off the field culminated in a commitment to Princeton shortly after the season concluded. 

Sean Episcope (9/26/21)


+ MIF Patrick Graham (Naperville North) was amongst the state’s top uncommitted senior prospects after the summer and he used a strong fall to earn a commitment to perennial JUCO powerhouse Wabash Valley. His carrying tool had long been his advanced defensive skill-set, but Graham’s bat took a step forward in the fall, showing well offensively in front of our scouts at Grand Park and at The Rock. He turned a shorter, compact approach into a more impact-driven swing, driving the ball with more authority in our looks. Graham’s ceiling should continue to rise if he pairs his offensive improvements with an advanced up-the-middle glove. 

Patrick Graham (9/25/21)

+ LHP/OF Brandon Bak (Plainfield North) turned in two of the more dominant starts our staff saw this fall. The 6-foot-1, 165-pound UIC commit started off by hurling a gem at the PBR Midwest Fall Championships, striking out 10 of the first 11 batters he faced while showing a complete three-pitch mix. Bak toed the rubber a few weeks afterwards at The Rock and helped lead his team to a tournament title, striking out nine over 5.2 shutout innings. Across those two looks, Bak’s fastball sat at 82-85 mph, touching 86 mph and jumping out of the hand from a high, deceptive slot. He effectively landed and located a low-70s curveball in any count for strikes while rounding out his arsenal with a mid-70s changeup thrown at arm speed. Bak offers legitimate two-way upside as he’s a top-of-the-order left-handed hitter that’s a quality outfield defender, too. 

Brandon Bak (9/11/21)

+ Rising upwards of 30 spots in this recent update, LHP Gavin Sitarz (St. Charles East) was a winner after a quality showing at The Rock this September. Built at an athletic 6-foot-1, 160-pounds, Sitarz routinely attacks the zone with a quality fastball that works from a lower average release height, peaking at 86 mph while typically sitting in the low-to-mid-80s. Sitarz owns an advanced feel to spin a potential swing-and-miss slider that ranges in the mid-to-high-70s and kills spin on a fading changeup as well, thrown at arm speed. He’s a competitive pitch-ability southpaw that recently committed to Michigan State. 


+ Illinois-Springfield commit, RHP Zack Labrec (Cary-Grove), showed dynamic stuff in his start at the PBR Fall Championship in September and jumped 70 spots to No. 115 in the state. The 6-foot, 175-pound, right-handed pitcher, has a long, quick arm action from an over-the-top slot. He creates steep angle to his fastball at times, which also flashes late cut, sitting comfortably at 87-88 mph. The breaking ball is a separator spinning at 2900+ rpm, sitting in the mid-70’s with late bite and horizontal action. As he continues to polish up his arsenal, Labrec should see his stock rise in the class. 

Zack Labrec (9/10/21)

+ The top newcomer in the rankings is yet another arm to make an impact this fall; LHP Jack Taczy (Cary-Grove). Taczy is a 6-foot-3, 165-pound, long-limbed, left-hander, who made his statement at his first-ever PBR event this fall, the Unsigned Senior Showcase. Taczy, who committed to Evansville shortly after the event, has a fluid, clean delivery and easy loose arm. The fastball comes out of the hand clean and lively with occasional tilt and late arm-side-run, topping at 87 mph, sitting 84-86 mph. Taczy paired it with a true 12/6 curveball that flashed depth and tight spin. Now slotted at No. 119 in the state. 


1 Noah Schultz IL Oswego East 2022
LHP Vanderbilt
2 Owen Murphy
IL Riverside-Brookfield 2022
RHP/INF Notre Dame
3 Brendan Summerhill IL Whitney Young 2022 OF Arizona
4 Alex Stanwich IL Lincoln-Way East 2022
OF Tennessee
5 Ethan Patera IL  Downers Grove South
2022 RHP Louisville
6 Jack Lausch IL  Brother Rice
OF Notre Dame
7 Estevan Moreno IL Montini Catholic 2022 SS Notre Dame
8 Luke Adams IL  Hinsdale Central 2022  3B Michigan State
9 Ashton Izzi IL  Oswego East 2022 RHP Wichita State
10 Daniel Pacella IL Mundelein
1B Illinois State