Prep Baseball Report

Illinois 2025 Rankings: Risers & Newcomers

By: Drew Locascio & Gavin Smith
Illinois Scouting Staff

As the fall comes to an end and the 2025 class heads into their junior year off-season, we want to shed some light on some of the prospects that elevated their game as well as those entering the rankings for the first time. For a look at the complete 2025 rankings, click HERE.

Yesterday, our staff officially updated our 2025 board, highlighting several of the state’s top prospects within our release. You can find that by clicking HERE.

Below, you can find every single player ranked within the Top-100 that made a jump within the rankings or made their debut.


Trey Meyers OF / 1B / New Trier, IL / 2025

From 7/26/23: “...owns one of the more physically impressive skill-sets on Team Illinois with elite athleticism to pair. At 6-foot-6, 210-pounds, Meyers ran a 6.58 60, which was one of the fastest times of the entire Future Games, reaching a peak run speed of 21.1 mph in the process. Meyers wore out the right-center gap in BP, going the other way with comfort and consistency with a peak exit velocity of 95 mph and max distance of 346 feet, per TrackMan. He drew two walks in game one, barreled a single to left field with authority in game two, and ran a 4.38 down the line on a routine groundout to third in game three. Given his size and athleticism, Meyers is another high ceiling name-to-know on this Team Illinois’ roster.”

Cooper Eggert RHP / OF / Providence Catholic, IL / 2025

From 7/18/23: “Another name-to-know prospect in the Illinois’ 2025 class that has shown well in a number of looks this summer and again at the event was OF/RHP Cooper Eggert (Providence Catholic). Physically, Eggert really looks the part in a uniform, boasting a presently strong 6-foot-1, 180-pound frame with plenty of room to add on. A left-handed bat, Eggert got off several ‘A’ swings throughout BP and the ball jumped off his barrel with ease when he found it. He averaged 87.4 mph per batted ball, reaching a max exit velocity of 96.4 mph and peak distance of 346 feet, per TrackMan. Eggert is also a follow on the mound, pitching in the low-80s at this event with feel to spin a 2300+ RPM breaking ball.”

Jackson Natanek SS / RHP / Brother Rice, IL / 2025

From 8/8/23: “A former member of Team Illinois at the 2022 PBR Future Games, RHP/SS Jackson Natanek (Brother Rice, 2025) was a major winner at this year’s Illinois State Games. A legitimate two-way prospect, Natenek really stood out on the mound in this look. Athletic with quick levers, his fastball was up to 87.8 mph, sitting mostly 84-87 mph, and spinning it at a max of 2590 RPM. He threw a true sinker, too, at 86.1 mph with 18.3” of horizontal movement and 5.1” of induced vertical break. Pairing that with his slider that spun at 2826 RPM, on average, with an average horizontal movement of 13.3”, Natanek’s sequence of sinker/slider has out-pitch potential. During his two innings of work, he struck out three, allowed one hit and no runs. Positionally he continues to prove he is one of the steadier middle infielders in the state and took a number of competitive swings and at-bats throughout the two days.” 

Toby Peterson LHP / OF / Palatine, IL / 2025

From 7/26/23: “A lean, lanky 6-foot-2, 170-pound athlete, LHP Toby Peterson (Palatine, 2025) showed plenty of upside in two different outings at the Future Games. Peterson bumped his fastball up to 88 mph, pitching in the mid-80s, from a fast, athletic ¾ slot with natural sink at times. His primary secondary was a 78-79 mph slider that he threw with intent and conviction, generating natural sweep while spinning it around the zone. Peterson appears to just be scratching the surface of what his future entails on the mound.”

AJ Putty 1B / 3B / Huntley, IL / 2025

From 8/8/23: “...keeps showing a highly physical right-handed swing, something the 6-foot-4, 210-pound junior showed at the PBR Future Games a few weeks ago, too. Putty’s bat strength shows rather quickly in BP, as he generates easy power from the right side, averaging 88 mph per barrel while peaking at 97.3 mph, too. His furthest batted ball traveled 377 feet, which was one of the highest marks of the entire event. His power showed in game, as Putty scorched a ball deep into the left-center gap on Wednesday morning that just missed a home run by a few feet.” 

Aidan Nohava 3B / 1B / Brother Rice, IL / 2025

From 8/8/23: “...caught our eye on day one with an impressive round of BP. Nohava is athletic at the plate with a fast, intentful right-handed swing, squaring his hardest ball up at 97.3 mph with a peak distance of 355 feet, per TrackMan. The 6-foot, 190-pound junior found the barrel twice in game on Wednesday, too.”  

Dominic Bonilla 3B / C / Hope Academy, IL / 2025

From 8/8/23: “The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Illinois State commit showed athletic hands at the plate from the left side, staying on plane and on his barrel throughout his round of BP. Bonilla comfortably used the whole field and squared his hardest ball up at 95.6 mph, per TrackMan. He scored three times over three games, picking up a hit and walking twice.”

Lincoln Causero RHP / 3B / Hersey, IL / 2025

From 7/15/23: “In a three-inning stint, Causero once again showed well on the mound, a trend from the winter and throughout the early portion of the summer. His fastball reached 87 mph and hovered in the mid-80s, as the right-hander relied on the lively pitch for most of his outing. Causero sprinkled in a slider and changeup as well to keep hitters off balance, allowing zero hits and becoming a part of a combined no-hitter in a 14-0 win. Previously over the summer, Causero hit 88 mph, making him an intriguing follow, as he has already earned an invite to the Illinois State Games in a couple of weeks.”

Drew Kleinheider SS / 2B / Father McGivney, IL / 2025

From 8/8/23: “Hitterish at the plate, MIF Drew Kleinheider (Father McGivney) owns one of the purest, more polished right-handed swings in the Illinois’ 2025 class. Kleinheider kept a long, flat barrel through the hitting zone throughout his round, finding it regularly (89%) as a result and peppering line drives to all fields with ease. He showed more bat strength than we’d seen from him in the past, posting an average exit velocity of 87.8 mph, to go along with a 93.1 mph max as well. Kleinheider trimmed his 60 time down .16 seconds from the winter, running a 7.13 at this event, and he’s a fluid, sure-handed up the middle defender that’ll stick on the dirt at the next level.”

Demir Heidelberg 1B / 3B / Homewood Flossmoor, IL / 2025

From 8/8/23: “ sure to catch eyes with his 6-foot-3, 175-pound athletic and projectable frame. A 6.88 runner, Heidelberg has athletic traits for a CIF and it shows with his hands and loose arm actions on his throws across the diamond. His round of BP was impressive, too, where he peppered the baseball with upper-80s exit velocities and a peak of 96.9 mph. He had one of the quickest bat speeds at the event with an average speed of 76.2 mph which helped him send his farthest ball 330 ft. Heidelberg’s combination of power, speed, and athleticism at the first base position will surely draw college coaches attention.”

Braxdon Decker RHP / OF / Highland , IL / 2025

From 8/8/23 “...caught our attention on the mound in his PBR event debut. The 6-foot-2, 160-pound multi-sport athlete from southern Illinois is a lanky mover on the mound with a loose, whippy arm and low-effort delivery to pair. His fastball is plenty unique - it peaked at nearly 2500 RPM while also moving 22 inches horizontally at max and played in the low-to-mid-80s, touching 87 mph. Decker showed plenty of confidence in his low-70s slider, landing it for strikes in hitters’ counts, and spinning it at 2482 RPM at peak. Decker appears to just be scratching his surface on the mound and is a name to follow headed into the fall of his junior year.”  

Wilson Wemhoff OF / RHP / Hampshire, IL / 2025

From 8/8/23: “...had one of the liveliest arms from the outfield during Tuesday’s workout at the Illinois State Games, and he translated that arm strength to the mound, too. A steady defender with a long and loose arm, Wemhoff sent a ball 90 mph on his best throw to home. His round of BP produced a max exit velocity of 94.7 mph, but sat consistently in mid-80s from the right side of the plate. He barreled his farthest ball a distance of 352 ft. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound prospect ran a 7.11 60 time, too. Wemhoff hopped on the mound Wednesday night and pitched at 84-86, touching 87 mph, with his fastball, that showed noticeable carry (20.8”) at peak.”


Brandon Menser RHP / 3B / Sesser Valier , IL / 2025

From 9/26/23: “We’d heard plenty of positive things about Menser heading into the event and the 6-foot-4, 165-pound southeastern Illinois’ native rose even higher than our expectations. A quick-twitch athlete with loose, athletic levers, Menser pumped the day’s firmest fastball, touching 90 mph in his first inning of work and pitching in the upper-80s throughout, averaging 19 inches of vertical carry, too. It’s a fast arm with explosive arm speed that has the potential to really run it up there from a velocity standpoint, especially as he gains more comfort moving down the mound and adds more strength to his frame. Off his heater, Menser showed arguably the day’s best breaking ball; a power mid-to-upper-70s pitch with straight downer bite thrown with conviction and intent behind it, spinning at more than 2500 RPM. Presently, there’s plenty to like with Menser, and the upside itself is incredibly intriguing, too. He’s a high-end name-to-know arm in the state’s current junior group.” 

Nathan Matoush LHP / Hillsboro, IL / 2025

From 9/26/23: “Another arm to know from this event is LHP Nathan Matoush (Hillsboro, 2025), who showed well at Creekside earlier this summer and pounded the zone over his two innings of work at this event. The strong, physically built 6-foot-2, 195-pound southpaw pitched at 84-86, touching 87 mph, with his fastball, and it played up too, working from a tighter, deceptive arm window. Matoush spun a 68-72 mph breaking ball for strikes and he turned over a firm 77-81 mph changeup, too.”

Beni Espinosa SS / 2B / DePaul College Prep, IL / 2025

From 10/8/23: “One of the top overall performances of the day came from MIF Beni Espinosa (DePaul College Prep, 2025). To start, Espinosa put up some noteworthy numbers in the athletic testing portion of the event. He marked a 60-yard dash time of 7.26 and also reached a max jump height of 30.7”; both of which are intriguing given his age and his stronger 5-foot-10, 180-pound frame. During his BP round, Espinosa really turned heads with the ease and fluidity of his smooth right-handed swing. Metrically, his hardest hit ball of the day came off at 94.6 mph and he averaged 90.5 mph, speaking to just how much he was on the barrel throughout his round. Defensively, the middle infielder is an athletic mover with sure-handed actions and paired that with an accurate arm that has the ability to throw from multiple slots when needed.”