Prep Baseball Report

Illinois 2025 Rankings: Update

By: Drew Locascio, Gavin Smith & Diego Solares
Illinois Scouting Staff

After a busy fall that featured a number of PBRT tournaments and a handful of showcases, we hit refresh on the class of 2025 rankings. Throughout the list there were modest updates with the Top-10 staying largely intact, and a handful of prospects making noticeable jumps up the list after strong falls.


1 Jack Bauer Lincoln-Way East LHP Virginia
2 Jaden Fauske Nazareth Academy C Louisville
3 Quinn Schambow Libertyville C Oklahoma St.
4 CJ Deckinga Minooka 3B Michigan St.
5 Conor Essenburg Lincoln-Way West 1B/LHP Kansas St.
6 Ethan Moore Oak Park-River Forest SS Louisville
7 Enzo Infelise Providence Catholic C Oklahoma
8 Joseph Chiarodo Edwardsville RHP Alabama
9 Andrew Winslow Triad RHP Oklahoma St.
10 Cameron Appenzeller Chatham-Glenwood LHP South Carolina

Remaining in the top spot is LHP Jack Bauer (Lincoln-Way East; Virginia commit) who has done nothing but continue to solidify himself as one of the nation’s top prospects. Bauer recently attended the inaugural Prep Baseball All-American Game in September and opened eyes with his fastball up to 95 mph.

Read below to hear what Ian Smith had to say about his performance at the All-American Game:

From 9/23/23:Pure electricity from the left side. Standing 6-foot-3, 177-pounds with high-level projection remaining, Bauer uses a slower, methodical delivery with a loose arm action out of a three-quarters slot. Fastball will explode out of the hand at 92-94, touching 95 with heavy arm-side run. Shows aptitude to paint both sides of the plate and ability to create swing-and-miss with the pitch. Innate feel to spin (Avg. 2633) a low-80s slider that will get some sweep and can creates whiffs. Changeup could be trending towards an above-average pitch at 82-84 with present plus command and arm-side fade while maintaining arm speed. The Virginia commit will miss bats with all three pitches, and shows a ceiling that can remain one of the best pitchers in the class.”

Jaden Fauske (Nazareth; Louisville commit) and Quinn Schambow (Libertyville; Oklahoma State commit) are the top two catchers in the class sitting at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Fauske is an athletic left-handed hitting prospect that’s also a standout on the football field, recently taking home a state championship in both baseball and football. Schambow has a strong arm (T84 mph) behind the dish posting a pop-time of 1.86 at the Future Games this past summer, all while going 5-for-6 at the plate and showing an upper-80s fastball on the mound.

Read below to hear what Shooter Hunt had to say about Fauske at Area Code:

From 8/16/23: “Fauske handled the barrel as well as any player at the event in eliciting the look of a professional bat with visible flick and inherent plate coverage. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound left-handed hitting catcher looked plenty comfortable with each plate appearance against some of the top arms in the country, and went 3-for-7 with a double and a home run, driving in five runs on the week. Handsy with a whippy barrel that turned heavy with easy plate coverage, there is a strong chance that he combines both hit and power-tools in the future, and develops into a run-producing bat. The defensive skills behind the plate looked to be more future average, but his athleticism might allow for a corner outfield spot as well. Overall, it was a breakout week at the plate from Fauske."

3B CJ Deckinga (Minooka; Michigan State commit) had one of the largest jumps in the last rankings update, climbing over 70 spots and now sitting at No. 4 in the state. A long and athletic, 6-foot-4, 180-pounds, Deckinga was arguably the biggest winner on Team Illinois at the Future Games this summer.

Shooter Hunt had this to say about him after the event:

From 8/11/23: “Deckinga’s breakout performance at the Future Games was highlighted by a booming home run in the first game of the week with Team Illinois. Wiry and ultra-athletic with a projectable, 6-foot-4, 174-pound frame, the right-handed hitter showcased some dynamic movements through impact to go along with lightning-quick hands that showcased some explosive upside. There is still some rawness in the approach, but the fact that he was able to perform (3-for-8) in-game is comforting when imagining where he might be in two years. A 6.97-runner with long strides, he likely profiles in the outfield. Overall, Deckinga presented one of the highest upsides at the event.”

No. 5 Conor Essenburg (Lincoln-Way West; Kansas State commit) and No. 6 Ethan Moore (Oak Park-River Forest; Louisville commit) have consistently stayed in the top-10 throughout their prep careers thus far. Essenburg is an intriguing two-way prospect with a strong bat and a fastball up to 90 mph from the left side. Moore is an athletic switch-hitting middle infielder with fluid hands and easy bat speed. He’s also a premier defender up the middle with athletic actions and soft hands.

C Enzo Infelise (Providence Catholic; Oklahoma commit) checks in at No. 7 in this update. The right-handed hitting catcher has continued to show high production at the plate with his advanced bat-to-ball skills and above-average strength. Infelise is also a strong defender behind the plate with his quickest pop-time being recorded at 1.85.

There is a quartet of junior arms from southern Illinois that slot consecutively in this update at eighth, ninth, tenth, and 11th, respectively in RHP Joe Chiarodo (Edwardsville; Alabama), RHP Andrew Winslow (Triad; Oklahoma State), LHP Cameron Appenzeller (Glenwood; South Carolina), and RHP Austin Musso (Mascoutah; Kansas):

+ Perhaps the biggest splash in this entire update belongs to Appenzeller, rising more than 50 spots in this update after stealing the show at this year’s Battle for The Arch and committing to South Carolina shortly afterwards. Also a notable basketball player for Chatham, Appenzeller oozes upside and projection, toeing the rubber at 6-foot-5, 165-pounds. It’s about as easy, controlled, and effortless of an operation as you’ll find in the entire state, drawing comparisons to former Belleville East star and third round draft pick LHP Drew Gray (2021; Chicago Cubs).

From 9/26/23: “...Appenzeller checks so many boxes, starting with a long, lean-limbed 6-foot-5, 165-pound frame. He’s an ultra easy mover that exerts little-to-no-effort as he works downhill, producing presently impressive stuff with plenty more to come down the road. In this look, Appenzeller ran his fastball up to 88 mph, pitching at 84-87 mph, from as loose and clean of an operation you’ll find in the state. He showed feel for a 73-76 mph breaking ball that flashed sweep from the same arm angle as his fastball, and it’s a pitch that should continue to rack up swings and misses at a high rate as he starts to throw it with more velocity. A natural pronator, Appenzeller did throw a firm, naturally fading changeup at 79-80 mph with the action to be an effective pitch at the next level, though he used it sparingly. Just starting to scratch his ceiling on the mound, Appenzeller has the potential to be the next big arm out of Chatham, a high school program that has produced countless upper-tier arms over the last few decades.”

+ We’ve become increasingly familiar with Chiarodo, Winslow, and Musso, as the trio from the Metro East continues to show as the standard for pitching prospects in this 2025 group. Chiarodo has long been one of the more prestigious names in the class, and he’s helped the Edwardsville Tigers capture consecutive 4A state championships before his junior year of high school. Both Winslow and Musso represented Team Illinois at the Future Games, and they both recently committed to Big 12 programs as well - Winslow to Oklahoma State and Musso to Kansas.