Prep Baseball Report

Illinois 2025 Rankings: Risers

Illinois Scouting Staff

Yesterday we updated our Illinois class of 2025 rankings for the first time since late March, and there was quite a bit of movement throughout. Continue reading below to see which prospects made some notable jumps up the list.

Click HERE to find the complete updated 2025 rankings.


Cameron Appenzeller LHP / Glenwood, IL / 2025

5/11/24: "South Carolina commit. Currently ranked No. 3 in the state and No. 287 overall. Was dominant in his start against Normal West. Stands in a lean 6-foot-5, 180-pound frame with plenty of room for added strength. Through five innings on the mound, struck out 13, walked none, allowed one earned run and three hits, also struck out the first 10 batters of the game. Aside from Appenzeller’s stuff, his competitiveness/confidence in his pitches is what truly stands out on the mound, threw his breaking ball for strikes and in any count, and looks confident to go out and win every game that he toes the rubber. In pre-game, Appezeller was hitting his catcher in the chest on nearly every throw, spanning out to deep center field in a minor league stadium. His delivery is easy with athletic movement down the mound, and it’s paired with a clean, quick arm out of a low ¾ slot. His fastball sat 88-91 mph early on with heavy arm-side run, producing well over 10 swings-and-miss throughout the game; he later settled in the mid-to-upper 80s as his outing went on. He mixed in a curveball that sat 76-79 mph, spotting up the pitch to the outside for RHH, also working inside for swing-and-miss. His frame and ease/control in the delivery along with his future projection makes Appenzeller a high-follow LHP in the 2025 class."

Conor Essenburg 1B / Lincoln-Way West, IL / 2025

5/06/24: "Kansas State commit. Currently ranked No. 11 in the state, and No. 188 nationally. Essenburg got the start on the mound and batted out of the two-spot for the Warriors on Monday. The strong and athletic 6-foot-1, 198-pound two-way prospect continued to show the type of upside he’s been putting on display all spring. On the bump, the southpaw works with clean, longer arm action with acceleration out front. The ball has life out of the hand, with his fastball sitting 90-93 mph in the early stages of his outing, before settling in at 87-90. He showed two different breaking balls; a sharp curveball at 75-78 mph, and a slider at 77-80 mph that plays more horizontally. He was able to get 2300+ rpm on each breaking ball, and induced some uncomfortable swings throughout his start. Essenburg also put together some competitive at-bats against a talented arm. In his first at-bat he displayed a mature approach, not chasing pitches out of the zone, and in a 3-2 count, sent a hanging breaking ball into left on a hard line drive. The right-handed hitter has some easy strength in the swing and showed the ability to make hard contact to all fields. The two-way prospect finished the day 1-for-3 at the plate, while tallying seven strikeouts over five innings of work on the mound."

Joseph Chiarodo OF / Edwardsville, IL / 2025

4/16/24: "Alabama commit and one of the top arms in Illinois’ junior class; ranked No. 8 overall in the state. 5-foot-11, 180-pound athlete with strength throughout his frame, particularly in the lower half. Took the mound for the Tigers in a conference win over Collinsville; tossed five strong innings, striking out six with a walk and three earned runs. Power mover, sits into his back hip and works downhill in a drop/drive pattern with noticeable athleticism, repeats. Strong front side, stays closed up front and finishes onto a firm lead leg through release. Bulldog-like demeanor on the mound, highly competitive and in control. Short arm draw out the glove, travels to release on a short, compact arm circle that finishes out of a high ¾ slot. Fastball touched 93 in the first, sat 90-92 mph early, settled at 88-90 mph. Jumps out the hand with life on the corners, strikes often and pitches off it. Slider was the best it has ever been over our numerous looks. Stays on fastball tunnel with sharp, late swing-and-miss break at 80-84 mph. Able to land it for strikes too, though mostly used for whiffs in this look. Depth and more vertical action to a 74-76 mph curveball, tight spin and strike feel. Starting to show more comfort and feel for a changeup at 81-83 mph, favored it to left-handed hitters. High level athlete that has four-pitch feel and polish who consistently performs each time we see him."

Austin Musso RHP / Mascoutah, IL / 2025

4/29/24: "Kansas commit, ranked No. 10 overall in the state’s 2025 class. 6-foot-2, 195-pound strong, well-proportioned athlete with present strength throughout and room for more. Have seen him multiple times this spring and this was our best look to date in a highly anticipated Mississippi Valley Conference matchup against Triad. Tossed a complete game shutout, allowing two weak infield hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Has a 0.41 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 15 walks over 34 innings pitched this spring, holding opponents to a .136 batting average against. Works with tempo and pace, gets onto his backside and rides the slide to footstrike. Clean, in-line mover down the mound, consistently maintained his direction to the plate throughout. Long arm swing with scap retraction on the backside, accelerates out front and finishes out of a fast high ¾ arm slot. Fastball touched 91 early, pitched at 88-90 mph with true command of the plate, spotting it on either corner when he wanted. High spin with easy life and jump out the hand, holds plane with carry. Tight spin on slider, works it to right-handed hitters for swing-and-miss on occasion to the glove-side corner of the plate, 77-80 mph. Will also flip in a high arching, gradually spun curveball at 69-73 mph with big depth for strikes. High pitchability arm that consistently dominantes each time he takes the mound."

Luke Mensik RHP / Lincoln-Way Central , IL / 2025

5/06/24: "Xavier commit. Currently ranked No. 27 in the state and listed at an athletic 6-foot-1, 180-pounds. Mensik got the start for the Knights and was stellar in his six innings of work. Perhaps what stands out the most with Mensik is his competitive fire on the mound, pitching with no fear and an apparent confidence in himself. He is an athletic mover downhill with a simple and methodical delivery, paired with a short and quick arm. Mensik kept hitters off-balance throughout his start with his two-pitch mix. HIs fastball had juice behind it in the first inning, sitting 90-91 mph, before settling in at 86-88 later in his start. His out-pitch in this game was a 75-80 mph breaking ball with 2600+ rpm on average. Mensik showed the ability to manipulate the shape of the breaker; throwing it with more bend and depth at times, or throwing a sharper late-breaking one when needed. Mensik has shown better with each look and the ace of the Knights will be one to continue to follow as we start tournament-play across the state soon. Final line: W, 6 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 1 ER, 6 K."

Aidan Flinn LHP / Marist, IL / 2025

5/10/24: "Illinois commit. Currently ranked No. 140 in the state, Flinn got the start for the RedHawks and showed high upside throughout his start. He is every bit of 6-foot-6, 200-pounds with room to still grow into the frame. He is a loose and athletic mover down the mound, working in-sync with his long levers. His fastball plays with late, hard life through the zone at 88-90 mph, seemingly getting quality extension on the pitch. His go-to off-speed offering was a sweeping-type breaking ball that he was confident throwing to both sides of the plate; back-dooring right-handed hitters or throwing it at their back foot. To complement his repertoire, he pounded the zone with both pitches to make for a 77% strike clip in the outing. The southpaw is a tough matchup for any lineup he opposes, and he more than held his own against the No. 1 team in the state; finishing with six strikeouts over his five innings of two-run ball."

Lucas Krebs SS / Edwardsville, IL / 2025

4/16/24: "Uncommitted. Strong, athletic well-proportioned athlete that’s tacked on notable strength over the last six months. Started at shortstop and hit in the three-hole for the Tigers in this look. Easy bat speed and balance at the plate, put together highly competitive at-bats against a low-90s arm with a real breaking ball, too. Continues to show his improvements defensively. Free mover on the infield, comfortable on the move and understands how to slow the game down. Arm plays free and easy across the infield, able to make all throws from either side at shortstop. Helped turn two double plays that ultimately proved pivotal in the Tigers’ win. One of the top juniors still on the market in Illinois."

Brayden Zilis SS / Minooka, IL / 2025

3/29/24: "Uncommitted, currently ranked No. 40 in the state. Took the ball and was dominant over his four innings of work, scattering just two hits, no runs, two walks and three strikeouts. The slender, 5-foot-10, 170-pound right-hander is a loose, athletic mover with a whippy arm, upside in the movement patterns. He cruised with his fastball in the 83-86 mph range, topping out at 87 mph early. He went to a slider in the 75-78 mph range, landing it for strikes and also placing to his glove-side, collecting some uncomfortable swings throughout the day. The left-handed hitter also swung it well at the plate, leaving the yard to left/center in the first at-bat of the game. It’s an upside swing, working with a controlled load and slight bat-tilt before firing through with loose hands. After he came out from pitching he moved over to shortstop and showed fluid, natural actions. Overall feel for the position, displayed a quick first step with easy range behind him, making an impressive play on a pop-up that put him on the move to shallow left field. High-follow two-way prospect in the state."

John McAuliffe OF / Marist, IL / 2025

4/03/24: "Uncommitted. McAuliffe had an impressive week going 7-for-10 with a grand slam, two triples, five RBIs and four runs scored. His most impressive performance of the week came against Fenwick, going a perfect 4-for-4 with a grandslam, triple, five RBIs and two runs scored."

Gavin Triezenberg SS / Brother Rice , IL / 2025

5/01/24: "Arizona commit. Currently ranked No. 39 in the state. Physical, 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame with proportioned strength. Started at shortstop and hit out of the three-hole for the Crusaders. Moves extremely well on the infield for his size, soft glove-to-hand with quality timing through the ball, plays on the move. The right-handed hitter finished the day 2-for-3 with a double, RBI and a run scored, displaying quality plate coverage with loose, whippy hands through the zone. Aggressive on the basepaths, took a curveball off the head and stole second first pitch against a premium backstop."

Ike Young SS / Monticello, IL / 2025

4/22/24: "Uncommitted. Currently ranked No. 162 in Illinois’ 2024 class. Stands in a high-waisted and projectable 6-foot-1, 160-pound frame with plenty more to come. Started on the mound for the Sages, and although he didn’t get the results he wanted, it was still an impressive look at the uncommitted junior. Athletic mover with a high leg lift with tuck, tall and fall delivery down the mound, foot lands closed towards third base. Clean and quick arm path out of a ¾ slot with noticeable acceleration out front. Came out of the gate throwing three 90 mph fastballs in a row, but sat mostly 87-89 mph early on, showed clear ride through the zone with arm-side run at times. Mixed in a breaking ball at 74-77 mph with varying shapes, worked best when thrown hard, producing 12/6 shape, garnering multiple swings-and-misses. A must-know uncommitted junior in Illinois."

Calen Scheider RHP / Hampshire, IL / 2025

2/10/24: "C/RHP Calen Scheider (Hampshire, 2025) once again impressed our staff on both sides of the ball, and he’s likely just starting to scratch the surface of his potential. Listed at a lean and projectable 6-foot, 155-pounds, Scheider still has plenty of room to pack on strength in the coming years. On the mound, the right-hander displayed a loose and easy arm action from a ¾ slot, creating a notable amount of sink on his fastball that cruised around 84-88 mph, topping out at 88.9 mph. He maintains arm-speed on both his breaking balls, with his curveball coming in around 75-76 mph with tight, sharp 11/5 shape. His slider plays harder in the upper-70s, coming in with more lateral action at times. He also featured a changeup to cap off his dynamic arsenal, playing with late dive and heavy run (T17.6”), flashing the ability to land it for strikes. Offensively, the right-handed hitter has a loose/whippy barrel, giving off an athletic look with a controlled finish. He worked primarily up the middle of the field, staying through the baseball and creating a max EV up to 90.7 mph. Defensively, Scheider works athletically through the baseball while remaining in-line to second, playing low and staying in his legs with a quick transfer to produce a pop-time as low as 1.83 seconds, topping out at 82 mph with scattered accuracy." 

Jake Rifenburg LHP / Benet Academy, IL / 2025

2/24/24: "LHP Jake Rifenburg (Benet Academy) was one of the biggest winners from Saturday’s event. At the same event last year, Rifenburg’s fastball sat 78-80 mph, but this year, he showed significant strides in velocity, with his fastball sitting 87-89 mph with carry through the zone. He showed a sharp, late breaking curveball that sat 73-74 mph with 1/7 shape. Rifenburg’s changeup was thrown with intent, and he created clear fade/sink to the arm-side (avg. -11.6” HM). An instant uncommitted name to know in the state’s junior class." 

Mason Orton LHP / Mahomet-Seymour High School, IL / 2025

7/18/23: "LHP Mason Orton (Mahomet-Seymour, 2025) was arguably the top southpaw in attendance. Currently ranked No. 65 in the state, the 6-foot, 158-pound Orton shows a simple, easy delivery from the left side paired with a long arm action that plays from a low ¾ slot. Orton worked a four-pitch mix, with his fastball sitting 83-84 mph, topping out at 85.7 mph flashing life and run to the arm side. Playing off his fastball was a cutter that sat 77-78 with slight horizontal movement. Orton rounded out his repertoire with a sweeping curveball and a developing changeup that had a similar profile to his fastball."

Davis Collie 1B / Sycamore, IL / 2025

5/03/24: "Uncommitted. Physical 6-foot-2, 204-pound frame with broad shoulders and strength throughout. Started at first base and hit out of the five-hole for Sycamore, finishing the day 2-for-3 with a single and a double. Confident, intimidating presence in the box, confident in his takes, was getting a number of quality swings off throughout his at-bats while seeing the ball well. Strong left-handed swing, stays through the ball and flat through the zone."

Sam Driscoll OF / Mt. Zion, IL / 2025

3/30/24: "Uncommitted. 5-foot-9, 163-pound athlete with compact strength. Came away a winner from the Preseason All-State this winter and impressed during this live look. Started in center field and hit leadoff for the Braves, also pitched in the second game of this conference double-header. Polished at the plate in all aspects of his game. Doesn’t expand the strike zone, swung and missed one time in the strike zone in four at-bats, confident takes. Stays short and direct to contact, keeps a level barrel with length through the hitting zone. High bat-to-ball skills, profiles as a true top-of-the-order left-handed bat. Had two hits in this look - a backspun double to kickoff a run scoring rally and a two strike RBI single to the opposite field after working a deep count. Has a complete understanding of himself and his offensive game. Showed above-average foot speed in center field with a quick first step and accurate rountes. Arm played true with carry in I/O and showed twice in game, both on throws to home. Took the mound in the second game of the double-header, allowing two unearned runs on three hits over four innings of work, striking out five while walking two. Athletic mover down the mound, quick arm that works from a high ¾ window. Fastball touched 86 mph earlier, pitching in the low-to-mid-80s. Spun two breaking balls, both in the low-70s; a more vertically spun curveball off a 1/7 axis and sweeping, more slurvy-type slider with true lateral tilt."

Charlie Taczy RHP / Cary-Grove, IL / 2025

2/10/24: "RHP Charlie Taczy (Cary-Grove, 2025) has been a consistent winner in front of our staff, especially at this event over the years, and his showing on Saturday was arguably his best to date. There’s all sorts of upside in his 6-foot, 155-pound frame, and his loose/easy moving operation indicates more velocity in the future. He showed mature feel over his arsenal, starting with his heavy sinking fastball, which worked in the 83-86 mph range with over 13” of run on average. To pair off his fastball he went to a sharp, 10/4 slider with late bite and depth, averaging just over 2,500 RPM at 75-76 mph. He also went to a heavy fading changeup with similar traits to his fastball, coming clean out of the hand with over 17” of run on average, 79 mph. Highly projectable arm that has proven to be an in-game performer."

Nolan Maciejewski OF / Tinley Park, IL / 2025

5/01/24: "Uncommitted. Maciejewski was mentioned within the Week 3 Diamond Notes after an impressive week. He’s at it again, going 13-for-22 with one home run, one triple, three doubles, eight RBIs, 14 runs scored, three stolen bases and one walk. In their 9-8 win over Bremen, he went 4-for-5 with one RBI and two runs scored. His most impressive performance came in their 14-3 win over Morgan Park, going 3-for-4 with a home run, triple, four RBIs and four runs scored. He also started on the mound in the game and threw four innings, struck out five, walked three, allowed one run and three hits. Season Stats: On the year, Maciejewski is hitting .583 AVG with an OBP of .643 with 4 HR, 3 3B, 8 2B, 22 RBI, 41 R, 20 SB."

Braxdon Decker RHP / Highland , IL / 2025

5/04/24: "Uncommitted, ranked No. 86 overall in the state’s junior class. Long, lanky 6-foot-2, 160-pound multi-sport athlete (basketball) that’s still growing into his frame and should continue to tack on mass over the next few years. Started for the Bulldogs and threw two strong innings, punching out four with a hit allowed. Athletic in-line mover, open front hit at footstrike, sticks the landing and finishes onto a firm lead leg. Arm is loose and easy with natural whip, finishes out of a clean ¾ arm slot. Fastball played at 85-87 mph, touching 87 mph multiple times, with hard, natural running action that drew several uncomfortable swings against right-handed hitters. Easy out the hand, plenty more in the tank. Spun a sweeping slider at 71-74 mph, paired it well off fastball and spotted it to the glove-side corner of the plate with consistency. Finding his footing as the spring comes to an end, is an upside arm with plenty ceiling to follow for one of the top 3A teams in the state."

Mac McGarry RHP / Nazareth Academy, IL / 2025

4/13/24: "Uncommitted, ranked just outside the top-100 for the state currently. McGarry is an intriguing uncommitted arm to follow after our look at him Saturday. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound righty is an athletic mover on the mound paired with a loose, quick, and compact arm. He came out of the ‘pen for the Roadrunners and tossed two perfect innings against a very talented Hilltopper lineup to earn the save. He pounded the zone, with 20 of his 23 pitches finding the strike zone to make for an impressive 86% clip. His fastball played with sink and sat 86-87 mph, touching 88 mph a couple times in his first inning of work. His go-to secondary offering was a short, late-breaking slider that also flashed wipeout capabilities. McGarry will be an arm to continue to monitor on a very talented Nazareth squad. Final line: S, 2 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 4 K"

Ryan Schaffnit RHP / Morton, IL / 2025

4/05/24: "Uncommitted. Currently ranked No. 118 in the state’s junior class. Started on the mound for the Potters and was dominant. Stands in a hard-to-miss frame at 6-foot-6, 215-pounds, and he’s clearly added strength to the frame since last spring. It’s an easy delivery with a clean arm with quickness out front, showing the ability to command the zone with both his fastball and change-up. His fastball sat 84-86 mph with clear arm-side run. His change-up was his most impressive off-speed offering, going to it often to both RH and LH hitters, sat 73-76 mph and totaled seven swing-and-misses with the pitch. Schaffnit’s curveball sat 68-71 mph with 11/5 shape; produced two swing-and-misses. Threw four innings, struck out seven and allowed one hit, 34/42 strikes. A high-follow name-to-know in the state’s junior class."

Dax Dunnill LHP / Edwardsville, IL / 2025

5/04/24: "Uncommitted, ranked No. 128 overall in the state’s current junior class. Physical 6-foot-3, 200-pound athlete that really looks the part in a uniform. Entered in relief for Edwardsville in a win, punching out two with one walk and no hits in his one inning stint. Tough look for opposing hitters, gets onto his backside and squares his shoulders to first base to hide the baseball. Lead leg swings to footstrike, finishes with intent through his lead leg and drifts towards the third base side after release. Short compact arm stroke, finishes from a loose and clean ¾ slot. Fastball touched 90, pitching at 86-89 mph, played down in the zone and for strikes. A high-ceiling arm that’s still fully harnessing the power stuff he has on the mound."

Cole Kenyon RHP / Lake Zurich, IL / 2025

2/10/24: "RHP Cole Kenyon (Lake Zurich, 2025) is another upside arm to know from Saturday, and he displayed the best spin-rates we saw all weekend. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound right-hander starts his arsenal with a fastball in the 85-87 mph range, spinning between 2300-2400 RPM with carry through the zone. His breaking balls are where we really see the spin take off, with his curveball coming in over 3,000 RPM at times, averaging 2,992 RPM and playing with sharp, 11/5 shape and depth. His slider has similar spin, topping out over 3,000 RPM with an average of 2,989 RPM, playing with more lateral action and late bite."

Jacob Parr OF / Lemont, IL / 2025

4/27/24: "Uncommitted. 6-foot-3, 198-pound, broad-shouldered, athletic, well-proportioned build. Left-handed hitter, started in center field and hit in the four-hole. Moves well for his size, clean arm that plays strong from the outfield. Offensively, finished 1-for-2 with a solo home run to right-field. Also walked and scored two runs. Easy, strong hands with above-average plate coverage and jump off the barrel. Physical, athletic, uncommitted left-handed hitter to know in the class."

Collin Roche C / NAZARETH ACADEMY, IL / 2025

4/13/24: "Uncommitted, currently ranked No. 145 in the state. Roche gave an upside look behind the plate on Saturday. He stood out with how strong and true his arm played behind the dish. He caught a runner trying to steal in the very first inning of the game who was caught in between 1st and 2nd; Roche tossed a seed down to the 2nd base bag which led to Nazareth tagging the runner out in a rundown. He showed athleticism and quickness out of the crouch as well, putting up pop-times in the 2.00-2.10 range. Roche also impressed with the bat from the right side. Batting out of the nine-spot, Roche has a balanced, slightly crouched setup with a short leg-kick trigger, swinging with a level path that can produce line drive contact. He finished the day 1-for-3 with an RBI, and will be a backstop to continue to follow in the state’s junior class."

Max Wille OF / Normal University, IL / 2025

4/12/24: "Uncommitted. Currently ranked No. 196 in Illinois’ junior class. Started in left field and batted fifth. A left-handed hitter, hands stayed short and direct to the ball and displayed a quick, slightly uphill path. Wille went 1-for-3 on the day with a triple, one RBI, two runs scored and a walk. He has advanced speed on the base paths, flying around the bases on his triple."

Dane Hrasky SS / 2B / O Fallon, IL / 2025

4/02/24: "Uncommitted, ranked No. 153 overall in the Illinois’ junior group. Lean 6-foot, 155-pound quick-twitch athlete. Hit leadoff and started at second base in this look. Has greatly improved at the plate over the last 12 or so months, loosening up his operation and setting his hands in a more comfortable position. Quick hands that stay short to contact with a slight bar, level through the zone. Jumped all over a fastball in his first at-bat and drove it deep into the right-center gap for a triple, coming around to score in the next at-bat. Advanced run tool, ran a 6.55 60 this winter and it shows on the field. Slashing .409/.527/.818 in 56 plate appearances this spring with nine triples, 10 stolen bases, and more walks (9) than strikeouts (8)."

Will Paxson RHP / Normal University , IL / 2025

4/15/24: "Uncommitted. Currently ranked No. 161 in Illinois’ junior class. Stands in a strong frame with athleticism at 6-foot, 181-pounds. Started on the mound for U-High and struck out two. Although the results weren’t there, it was still an impressive look at Paxson. Simple and clean mover on the mound, has a loose arm with aggression out front. His fastball sat 85-88 mph with ride through the zone. His most impressive pitch of the day was his 68-71 mph curveball that had 11/5 shape with quality spin (2300-2600 rpm), showing the ability to throw it for strikes and the ability to create swing-and-miss with the pitch. An uncommitted name-to-know in the state’s junior class."

Ryan Lazewski 2B / Fenwick, IL / 2025

2/11/24: "Staying on the topic of upside left-handed hitters, INF Ryan Lazewski (Fenwick, 2025) falls into that category as well. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound infielder has some room throughout his frame for added strength, and he’s already equipped with a high-waisted, athletic build. At the plate, Lazewski displayed loose hands throughout his operation with an uphill path, utilizing a pull-side approach and using his levers to help elevate the baseball, reaching up to 94.9 mph for his max EV. Lisowski showed athletic hands and fluid infield actions, moving well side-to-side with a clean arm action that touched 83 mph across the diamond."

Owen Roberts SS / Waubonsie Valley High School, IL / 2025

2/19/24: "INF/RHP Owen Roberts (Waubonsie Valley, 2025) is an uncommitted two-way to know from the event. Listed at 5-foot-11, 175-pounds, Roberts has a loose and balanced swing, looking to keep the ball on a line with extension through the zone, reaching up to 97.9 mph for his max EV with impressive hand-speed (22.5 mph avg.) and bat-speed (75 mph avg.). He’s an above-average athlete, running to a 6.96 in the 60, easily translating to the infield where he has a quick first step with easy range to pair with steady hands. He displayed a strong arm across the diamond, topping out at 85 mph. His arm-strength easily translated over to the mound, where he displayed quality feel over his three-pitch mix. His fastball topped out at 88 mph with over 2300 rpm at times, playing with carry and run. He also went to a low-70s slider (2300+ rpm) and slight running changeup at 72-74 mph to round out his repertoire."

Jonah Roper RHP / Normal Community, IL / 2025

3/16/24: "Uncommitted. Durable and athletic 6-foot-2, 203-pound frame. The right-hander threw it well out of the ‘pen for the Ironmen, going two innings while only allowing one hit, no runs or walks and striking out three. Roper has a controlled leg-lift with a slight coil into balance point, working with a drop/drive lower-half that stays in-line with the plate. High ¾ release, creates some carry on his fastball when it plays up in the zone, sitting 86-87 mph and topping out at 88 mph. His primary secondary was a sinking/fading changeup, tunneling well off fastballs at the top of the zone and consistently ending up under barrels and under the zone, 71-74 mph."

Chase Zidlicky RHP / NAZARETH ACADEMY, IL / 2025

5/20/23: "Uncommitted, long-levered, wide-shouldered frame. Came out of the bullpen for Nazareth and showed a big jump in velocity in less than a month's time. Controlled, segmented tall and fall delivery with a loose, easy arm from a high ¾ slot. Challenged with the fastball throughout, sat 83-87 mph (2500+ rpm) which was up from 81-82 on April 29th. Fastball plays out of the hand easy and clean; flashed arm-side-run and lively finish at times. Mixed in a developing curveball at 69-73 mph with 2450-2600 rpm working off an 11/5 plane and bite at times. Allowed one hit, no runs, struck out four and walked four in three innings of work. High-ceiling sophomore who looks to be just scratching the surface of his potential."

Martin Ledbetter C / Hinckley-Big Rock, IL / 2025

6/22/23: "Ledbetter set the Hinckley-Big Rock record for most home runs in a season (12) in his sophomore season this spring. A unanimous all-conference selection, Ledbetter had an impressive slash line of .563/.644/1.268 and tallied 43 RBI. Ledbetter also toed the rubber as he spun 28.2 IP and punched out 61 across those frames. Just a sophomore, Ledbetter has established himself as a high-follow prospect in the Illinois 2025 class."

Jackson Kees RHP / DeKalb, IL / 2025

Positional Profile: RHP/SS
Body: 6-3, 155-pounds. Projectable, wiry build with a high waist.
Delivery: Clean operation, easy effort, medium leg lift with a controlled tempo into balance point, tall/fall lower-half that works in-line to the plate, high front side, balanced finish.
Arm Action: RH. Long/loose arm swing, high 3/4 release, tough angle to pick up.
FB: T84, 83-84 mph. Plays with run and life through the zone, carry at the top of the zone. T2141, 1991 average rpm.
CB: 71-74 mph. Big-breaking 11/5 shape, plays off FB's at the top of the zone, feel down in the zone. T1659, 1483 average rpm.
CH: 74-76 mph. Similar fastball arm action, feel for the zone with running action. T1596, 1445 average rpm.

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