Prep Baseball Report

2024 Prep Baseball Illinois Player of the Year: Ryan Sloan

By: Gavin Smith
Content Manager, Area Scout

Over the past few years Ryan Sloan has been considered the top prospect in Illinois’ 2024 class and one of the top prospects in the entire country (No. 6). Throughout this spring season, Sloan has been dominant on the mound for York, and he’s been one of the most popular names across Illinois baseball all season.

For his impressive efforts this spring, the Wake Forest signee has been named this year’s 2024 Prep Baseball Illinois Player of the Year.

It was an impressive season for Sloan as he tallied 46 innings on the mound and struck out 90 batters, walking only five, and allowing two earned runs on the year - good for a 0.30 ERA.

Each game he took the mound, Sloan was met with pro scouts throughout the ballpark. His 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame is intriguing as he has all kinds of strength and athleticism throughout his build. What’s equally impressive is his fastball that our staff has seen sit 94-98 mph paired with a sharp biting slider in the mid-80s, and a change-up in the upper-80s that’s touched 90 mph with heavy, late fade.

Looking back at Sloan’s progression over the years has been very intriguing to see, as our first look at the big right-hander was back in June of 2019 at the age of 13. His fastball was only up to 72 mph at the time, but looking through his progression in his profile, his metrics and mechanics slowly ticked up, with his biggest jump happening between 2022 and 2023, going from upper-80s to consistently mid-90s and beyond.

Our staff was able to get out and see Sloan multiple times this spring and below was a report from March 25th:

“The Wake Forest signee and top prospect in the state took the ball to start for the Dukes and turned in a strong two-inning performance, striking out six. Sloan is currently ranked No. 10 in the country at a physical 6-foot-4, 225-pounds with a strong lower half that he uses to his advantage down the mound. He showed command of an explosive 94-97 mph fastball that touched 98 multiple times in the first inning, before settling in at 94-95 in the second. Sloan showed a mature feel for the zone with his fastball, rarely missing by much (76% strikes) and was able to get a talented lineup to chase the pitch. His slider was untouchable in this look at 82-86 mph with often times over 2400+ rpm, playing off the same plane as his fastball with sharp bite to it. Sloan showed the ability to get guys to chase the slider while also backing it up on batters inside, leading to uncomfortable called strikes. He only threw his changeup a handful of times at 86-87 mph, but was able to strike a batter out with it later on in the outing. Sloan also appeared to be working on adding a fourth pitch to his arsenal, showing a cutter in warmups that could make his repertoire that much better down the road. The Prep Baseball All-American is likely to hear his name called this July at the MLB Draft, and will be one to watch each time he steps on the hill for the Dukes.”

We saw him again on April 15th where he struck out five, walked one and allowed no earned runs against Lyons:

“Wake Forest commit. Currently ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 7 in the country. Strong, durable build with a developed lower-half, listed at 6-foot-4, 225-pounds. The right-hander is a fluid and controlled mover on the mound, working into a high balance point with some pace before driving down the mound, keeping his back hip over the rubber while working in-line, athletic finish, repeats well for size. Loose, uninterrupted arm action that plays long out of the glove in the back, delivers his arsenal from a high ¾ window, quickness out front. He worked his fastball up to 98 mph three times in the first inning, cruising in the 95-97 mph range with life to his arm-side, working it to both sides of the plate. Go-to secondary was his slider, playing in the 82-85 mph range with late 10/4 bite and depth, similar release window to the fastball, ability to land for strikes and was also placing it below the zone to his glove-side for swing and miss. Changeup is a quality third offering at 88-89 mph, showing the ability to land it for strikes and selling the pitch with arm-speed, played with some late dive to get under barrels. Flashed what appeared to be a cutter at 93-94 mph, short lateral action, miss was glove side with it. High-level prep arm that should continue to garner first day draft attention as the spring plays out.”

Our last and most recent look at Sloan came in last Friday’s (June 7th) state semi-final game, where, despite the loss, Sloan still had an impressive outing on the mound:

“Wake Forest signee. Currently ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 6 nationally; made his final high school start on Friday night and did not disappoint. Standing in at a physical 6-foot-4, 225-pounds with a presently strong lower-half, Sloan is an efficient mover down the mound with an in-sync delivery. The ball comes clean out of the hand from a ¾ slot, with a ton of life through the zone, especially on the fastball. His heater sat 96-98 mph in the first, before settling in at 94-96 with over 2500 rpm at times. His secondary stuff was just as polished; with his slider playing tight at 79-84 mph with over 2400 rpm for late, sharp bite, while also going to a heavy arm-side fading changeup at 88-91 mph. He punched out eight batters over the course of the outing, with half of them coming from the fastball, while the other four came from the slider. Sloan has certainly positioned himself to hear his name called early when the MLB Draft rolls around in July; with what he has done not only this season but with what he has done throughout his high school career.”

Although Sloan’s prep career is now over, the future continues to look bright whether he hears his name get called in the 2024 MLB Draft, or if he makes his way to Winston-Salem to play for the Demon Deacons. His draft stock has continued to rise over the last year, and it would come as no surprise to hear his name called on day one of the draft.


+ 2023: Blake Wolters, RHP, Mahomet-Seymour

+ 2022: Owen Murphy, RHP/INF, Riverside-Brookfield

+ 2021: Owen Murphy, RHP/INF, Riverside-Brookfield

+ 2019: Matt McCormick, C/RHP, St. Laurence HS

+ 2018: Matt McCormick, C/RHP, St. Laurence HS

+ 2017: Cole Kmet, LHP/OF, Saint Viator HS

+ 2016: Mike Madej, 2B, Providence Catholic HS

+ 2015: Bryan Hudson, LHP, Alton HS

+ 2014: Jake Latz, LHP, Lemont HS

+ 2013: Ryne Roper, SS/RHP, Harrisburg HS

+ 2012: Zack Weigel, OF/LHP, Oak Park-River Forest HS

+ 2011: Sam Travis, 3B, Providence Catholic HS

+ 2010: Shane Conlon, LHP/1B, Naperville Central HS

+ 2009: Nick Tindall, C, O'Fallon HS

+ 2008: Jake Odorizzi, RHP/SS, Highland HS

+ 2007: Jake Smolinski, SS/RHP, Rockford Boylan HS

+ 2006: Connor Powers, 1B, Benet Academy HS

+ 2005: Michael Bowden, RHP/3B, Waubonsie Valley HS