Updated Illinois Class of 2017 Rankings: Prospects New to the Rankings



By Ryan Quigley
Illinois Scouting Director

Back in August we released our inaugural 2017 class rankings, which included twenty of the top sophomores in Illinois. Yesterday, we extended that list to fifty prospects, as the fall season allowed the Prep Baseball Report scouting staff to track down emerging talent at tournaments and showcases.

Over the next two days we will take an in depth look at several prospects new to the rankings and provide a short scouting report on them. We have a considerable amount of scouting information (video and verified statistics) on prospects who have attended a PBR event, but it is not a prerequisite to enter the rankings as any worthy prospect we come across on the scouting trail merits consideration.

2017 prospects looking to make an impression on the PBR scouting staff can Request an Invite to the Underclass Invitational in January, or attend one of our two Preseason I.D. Showcases

Let's take a look at some of the new prospects to the 2017 rankings, with more to come tomorrow.

Prospects new to the 2017 rankings

10. Austin Marozas, RHP, Plainfield South
Marozas is the highest ranked prospect making his debut into the rankings. The 6-foot-5, 190-pound physically impressive and projectable right-handed pitcher was recently named the No. 3 Overall Prospect at October’s Underclass Showcase. Works from a long, loose, high ¾ arm slot, slight stab in back of arm swing doesn’t affect ability to get out front. Toe up at balance point, shoulders stay level throughout delivery, starts from the first base side of the rubber, lower half stride direction drifts, works across his body falling towards third base, lands square, athletic finish. Fastball with late finish through the zone sat from 82-86 mph, mostly 84-86. Slider and curveball show similar 11/5 shape, threw both for strikes. Slider sat 69-71 mph, curveball sat 66-69 mph. 77-78 mph flashed arm side run. Marozas has as high of a ceiling as any prospect we’ve seen in the 2017 class. His feel for four pitches was impressive, he’ll be a high follow prospect in the class of 2017.

13. Easton Bertrand, OF/3B, Manteno
6-foot-2, 175-pound lanky, athletic, projectable right-handed hitting outfielder/middle infielder ranked as the No. 4 overall prospect at October’s Underclass Showcase. Hits from a square setup, short stride, balanced throughout swing, short, level bat path produced line drives from gap-to-gap during batting practice with 78 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 86 mph from the outfield from short, high ¾ to ¾ arm slot. Arm slot fits more in the infield. Impressed defensively at short, but may be a third baseman if he outgrows the middle of the diamond. Threw 85 mph from short across the diamond with soft hands, quick and fluid footwork, plays through the baseball. Ran a 6.98 60. Bertand is a high follow prospect in the class of 2017.

14. Dylan Jones, OF/RHP, Oswego East
6-foot-2, 180-pound muscular and athletic left-handed hitting outfielder/right-handed pitcher ranked as the No. 5 overall prospect at October’s Underclass Showcase. Hits from a tall, open setup, short stride, short, uphill bat path produced line drives from gap-to-gap with pull side power, 83 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, threw 85 mph from the outfield from long, high ¾ arm slot with accuracy and carry. Plays through the baseball, soft hands, fielding, natural outfield fielding actions. Ran a 7.14 60. On the mound, fastball sat 82-84 mph, touching 87 mph with run from long, high ¾ slot with some effort. Lands closed at foot strike, lower half stride direction stays in line with home plate. Curveball with 11/5 shape sat 69-72 mph. 72-75 mph changeup was thrown with good arm speed, mostly straight action. Jones is a high follow prospect in the class of 2017.

15. Sam Faith, 3B, St. Charles North
6-foot-2, 180-pound switch-hitting third baseman impressed this fall at a Chicago Scouts Association workout at Hampshire High School. Faith looked more natural swinging from the right side, but also showed pop from the left side taking a pitch off the wall in left-centerfield during batting practice. Threw 82 mph across the diamond from a short, low ¾ arm slot, showcased soft hands fielding, above average infield actions. Ran a 7.18 hand timed 60-yard dash.

19. Mike Addante, OF, Jacobs
5-foot-10, 150-pound athletic left-handed hitting outfielder ranked as the No. 6 overall prospect at October’s Underclass Showcase. Hits from a balanced spread out stance, hands load back smoothly, short stride, fluid rhythm, slightly uphill bat path, gap-to-gap hitter, 77 mph exit velocity off the tee.. Defensively, threw 83 mph from the outfield from long, loose, high ¾ with carry and accuracy. Showcased soft hands, quick and fluid footwork, aggressively attacks the baseball with quick and clean exchanges, natural instincts. Ran a 7.00 60-yard dash. Addante looks to be the premier defensive outfielder in the 2017 class we’ve seen so far.

21. Taylor Jackson, MIF/OF, Kenwood
5-foot-7, 145-pound multi-positional player, lean athletic frame, thin build, projects really well. Ranked as the No. 7 overall prospect at October’s Underclass Showcase. Quick twitch type athlete, fluid athleticism high upside. Ran an event best 60 at 6.92. Offensively hits from an open stance, smooth loading action, short stride, maintains strong balance through contact. Bat speed is present, excellent path to the baseball, gets good extension, hands work extremely well. Line drive type hitter with gap to gap potential, hard contact hits off of firm front side, excellent barrel control. 79 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively played both outfield and middle infield, looks to project better as a middle infielder. Advanced athletic actions, moves quickly and attacks the baseball, highly athletic and plays through the baseball well. Natural defender on the infield, soft hands and excellent body control with athletic arm action, short loose, quick release from high ¾ slot. 79 mph from the outfield, 75 mph across the diamond.

23. Justin Diaz, MIF, Lake View
5-foot-11, 150-pound lanky and athletic right-handed hitting middle infielder/right-handed pitcher ranked as the No. 8 overall prospect at October’s Underclass Showcase. Hits from a balanced setup, hands load back smoothly, short stride, above average bat speed, short, level bat path produced line drives from gap-to-gap with fluid rhythm throughout. 78 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, showcased plus hands fielding the baseball, fluid footwork, plays through the baseball. Arm works athletically, short, loose, high ¾ slot with carry and accuracy at 82 mph across the diamond. Ran a 7.49 60. On the mound, fastball sat 81-84 mph with sink from short, quick, and loose high ¾ slot. 66-68 mph curveball showed 12/6 shape, 70-71 mph slider had sweeping action, gets on the side of it at times. Tall and fall type delivery, smooth rhythm, level shoulders throughout delivery, lands square but slightly across his body. Diaz has legitimate two-way potential at the next level and is a high follow prospect over the next three years.

24. Thomas Farrell, 1B/LHP, St. Laurence
6-foot-2, 170-pound lanky and athletic left-handed hitting first baseman/left-handed pitcher was named the No. 9 overall prospect at October’s Underclass Showcase. Hits from a spread out, open stance, hands load back smoothly, starts with a high back elbow, explosive bat speed, short path, fluid rhythm, hit several line drives from gap-to-gap, power to pull side, loud on contact, 87 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, impresses at first base with athleticism and range. 7.06 60 runner so could athleticism fits in the outfield as well. Threw 78 mph across the diamond from long, loose, high ¾ arm slot, showed soft hands fielding, fluid footwork, plays through the baseball. On the mound, sat 79-82 mph with sink from same arm slot, works exclusively from the stretch, toe down at balance point, shoulders stay level in delivery, lower half stays in line with lower half, lands square, athletic finish. 68-69 mph sluvy breaking ball had late action, gets on the side of it at times missing arm side, but potential to be above average. 71-73 mph changeup flashed arm side run. Farrell is a high follow prospect over the next few years in the class of 2017.

26. Brendan Murphy, LHP, Mundelein
6-foot-2, 180-pound left-handed pitcher is a summer teammate of No. 2 ranked prospect Brad Czerniejewski with the Lakeside Legends. Murphy’s fastball sits in the low 80’s, touching as high as 85 mph this fall. The lanky southpaw works from a tall-and-fall type delivery, high ¾ arm slot, lower half stride direction stays in line with home plate, lands slightly closed, smooth rhythm throughout.

27. Donivan Williams, 3B, Morgan Park
6-foot, 176-pound athletic right-handed hitting outfielder/third baseman was named the No. 10 overall prospect at October’s Underclass Showcase. hits from a narrow, open setup, hands load smoothly, short stride, above average bat speed, slightly uphill path, hands and wrists work loosely in swing, hit several line drives from gap-to-gap during batting practice, 82 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively performed will in the outfield, but really impresses with soft hands and infield actions at third base. Threw 84 mph from the outfield, and 81 mph across the diamond from third from short, loose, high ¾ arm slot with carry. Arm projects to be plus. Ran a 7.23 60.

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