Who's Hot Around Illinois



By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

There were several stellar performances turned in last week for Porsche Exchange Player of the Week honors. Ultimately, senior first baseman Michael Rothmund (Willowbrook HS) earned the honors. In case you missed it, here is the story on Rothmund’s award-winning week.

Aside from Rothmund, here are several other players who received Player of the Week consideration. All statistics were reported by the players’ high school coaches or compiled by PBR staff throughout the week.

+ Braden Mosley, OF, Moline HS, 2014
The Southern Illinois recruit hit a walk-off grand slam to upend Peoria Notre Dame. He followed up his heroics by delivering two more homers, a triple and a single in a doubleheader. For the week Mosley went 7-for-12 with three bombs.

+ Nick Derr, SS, Geneva HS, 2016
Although only a sophomore, Derr is quickly establishing himself as one of the most feared hitters in the state. Last Saturday, Conant learned first-hand about his offensive prowess when he went 4-for-5 with three home runs, including a walk-off blast to lift the team to victory. For the week, the Florida State recruit went 8-for-14 with six RBI, three walks and nine runs scored while leading Geneva to a perfect 4-0 stretch.

+ Joe Aeilts, 3B, Champaign Central HS, 2016
Champaign Central has shot up the rankings, climbing to No. 12 after starting the season at 15-0. Aeilts is a big reason why. Central defeated an unbeaten Mahomet-Seymour squad on Wednesday, as Aeilts rapped three hits and had three RBI. He then had a hit, coaxed two walks, scored three runs, and registered an RBI against Lanphier on Friday.  On Saturday, Central won its Charlie Due Wood Bat tournament by defeating Springfield Southeast and Windsor Stewardson/Strasburg. On the day Aeilts, had two hits (including his fifth triple of the season), three RBI, and scored two runs. Aeilts is leading the team in hits (28), triples, total bases (42), RBI (23), slugging percentage (.824) and batting average (.549).

+ Tyler Engel, SS, VIT HS, 2015
The fleet-footed shortstop collected 12 hits, including three triples, two homers, two doubles in a seven-game stretch last week. He also scored 19 runs, drove in nine and swiped 13 bases. Engel opened the season hitting for the cycle and he hasn’t stopped since.  He also notched a two-homer game earlier in the season and swiped seven bags in a game.

+ Ben Smith, 1B, St. Charles East HS, 2015
Smith went 8-for-12 with seven RBI last week. He also delivered the game-winning hit against South Elgin, was responsible for all four runs produced in a 4-2 win over Bartlett, which included a three-run double.

+ Ben Dinter, 3B, Warren HS, 2014
Dinter went 8-for-12 with three doubles, a triple and a moonshot home run off the scoreboard. He drove in nine runs, scored five times, walked twice and swiped one base.

+ Jimmy Roche, INF, Sandburg HS, 2015
The junior infielder went 11-for-20 on the week, which included two doubles, two triples and 11 RBI for the Eagles.

+ Zack Thomas, OF/LHP, Joliet West HS, 2014
The Chicago State recruit went 8-for-12 with seven RBI, six runs scored, one double and a triple. Thomas also got it done on the mound. In six innings, he struck out 10, walked three and allowed no hits against Bradley-Bourbonnais.

+ Ethan Skender, SS/OF, Metamora HS, 2015
In three games, the Kansas State recruit blasted three home runs, drove in nine, scored six runs and swiped four bases while going 6-for-10.

+ Kevin Sullivan, SS, Brother Rice HS, 2014
The left-handed hitting leadoff man went 6-for-8 with a double and homer. He collected six runs, five RBI, and four walks while playing a stellar shortstop for the Crusaders.

+ Hunter Hart, RHP, St. Joseph-Ogden HS, 2014
For the second straight week, the Indiana recruit has put up big numbers. On Saturday, Hart threw a complete-game shutout and broke the school record with 19 punchouts. Hart improved to 5-0 with a 0.25 ERA. He has struck out 55 and allowed seven hits.

+ Ryan Earll, 3B, Lincoln-Way Central HS, 2014
Last week, Earll went 9-for-17 with two doubles and three homers. He also drove in nine, scored seven runs and was walked four times. His crowning moment came on Saturday when he went 3-for-3 with two homers and a double. For the season, he is hitting .438 with 11 RBI.

CLICK HERE to learn about how to nominate players for Porsche Exchange Player of the Week.

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