Illinois 2022 Rankings: Risers


By Andy Sroka & Drew Locascio
Illinois Staff

On Tuesday, the PBR Illinois staff updated and expanded its Class of 2022 Rankings. Today, we’re spending our time breaking down the new-look board further, by assessing the prospects with their arrows pointed up after climbing the rankings.

The summer showcase circuit is a critical one for prospects in between their sophomore and junior years, making this particular end-of-season update one of the most important each year. This update covers a busy event circuit for the state’s incoming juniors, one that includes the PBR Future Games, at which a handful of the names below earned invitations to.

We’re focusing on the prospects ranked outside the top-10, as three of the class’ most significant and largest Risers landed spots at Nos. 4, 5, and 8: OF Jack Lausch (Brother Rice; uncommitted), RHP Julius Sanchez (LaSalle-Peru; Illinois commit), and RHP Kyle Rossy (Glenbard West; uncommitted). We covered each of these three at length inside the hyperlink provided above.

Without further ado, let’s check in on some more names whose diligent work paid off in a big way this summer.

ON THE RISE

Estevan Moreno SS / 3B / Montini Catholic, IL / 2022

NOTRE DAME COMMIT

Up a significant couple places in this update, Moreno has been on the radar for awhile now. His loud, powerful right-handed bat has propelled him up the state rankings ever since we first debuted our 2022 board. Moreno’s power profile is substantial, and he’s shown it can work in-game on multiple occasions. His strong 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame has felt like it would project best at third base in the past, but the Montini Catholic prospect has done especially well to maintain his ability to patrol shortstop, a noteworthy development. He committed to Notre Dame following a stellar showing at the PBR Future Games in early August.


Jimmy Rolder 3B / SS / Marist , IL / 2022

ILLINOIS COMMIT

Few can claim to be as big a ‘Winner’ this summer as Rolder, who earned an invite to the PBR Future Games as a member of Team Select, but went on to really impress at that event and beyond. He’s a physical and strong 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, with viable speed and strength tools that help him get the most out of his impact right-handed bat. His size looks like it’ll project best at third base in the future, and his athleticism could help him become an asset defensively, too. He committed to Illinois after the Future Games and went on to to show well in front of our staff again at the PBR Midwest Fall Championships. He rises over 45 spots to No. 17 overall.


Ashton Izzi RHP / Oswego East, IL / 2022

WICHITA STATE COMMIT

The pitcher making the greatest gains inside this update is Izzi, who lands a spot inside the top-20 overall after several live looks this summer. It all began at the start of the season, at the Underclass Trials, where he was up to 88 mph with an athletic, easy arm. He earned an invite to the PBR Future Games as a member of Team Illinois where he ticked up to 91 mph in a strong outing. The offspeed is a work-in-progress, but his athleticism suggests his slider can became a future out-pitch, and it already looked a little sharper at the PBR Fall Championships in Indy earlier this month – and his 6-foot-3, 155-pound frame projects nicely. Izzi recently committed to Wichita State to cap a huge, successful summer season.


Shane Curtin LHP / Lyons Township, IL / 2022

Curtin climbs over 20 spots, situated right under Izzi on the ‘22 board, after putting together impressive outing after impressive outing this summer. He dominated in both live looks and showcase settings, and ticked-up velocity at the All-State Games helped him land an invite to Team Illinois where he impressed yet again. Curtin pitches with polish and poise from an athletic, wiry 5-foot-11, 155-pound build. He utilizes a true three-pitch mix with a mid-80s fastball, up to 87 mph, and a slider and changeup that works very effectively off it. The changeup is one of the state’s best, and he gets the most out of his feel breaking ball. This athletic lefty is one of the top uncommitted prospects in Illinois’ junior class.


Brendan Summerhill OF / Whitney Young, IL / 2022

KENTUCKY COMMIT

Built at an especially impressive 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, Summerhill used it to swing one of the summer’s hottest bats. He was all set to become a member of Team Illinois’ Future Games roster, too, before landing a commitment to Kentucky shortly before the event. An under-the-radar prospect no longer, Summerhill climbed 30 spots in this update for his smooth, advanced left-handed bat that also carries a little power potential. His athleticism helps him barrel hard-hit contact to all fields, as evidenced by an opposite-field home run at LakePoint earlier in the summer. His athleticism has pulled him into the outfield, where he’s transitioning well, defensively, and where his sub-7.00 speed will be better suited.


Shai Robinson SS / Homewood-Flossmoor , IL / 2022

ILLINOIS STATE COMMIT

Robinson heads up the rankings by six spots with a well-rounded, athletic profile that’s simply a pleasure to watch. The Illinois State commit has easy, fluid shortstop actions with soft handiwork that plays well alongside an accurate arm. Listed at a wiry 6-foot, 165 pounds, Robinson’s high-waisted, thin frame warrants a closer look as he can add usable muscle to his right-handed swing to help him strike the ball harder all while maintaining its repeatability and sound bat-to-ball skills. Robinson is now a top-25-ranked player in the state. 


Ysen Useni RHP / Crystal Lake South , IL / 2022

ILLINOIS-CHICAGO COMMIT

Useni’s performance at the Future Games as a Team Illinois member was one of the event’s highlights. The powerful righty completely baffled hitters at the event with mid-80s velocity and noteworthy pitchability, enhanced by his swing-and-miss changeup. When he needs it, Useni’s flashed a tight slider, giving him a projectable three-pitch mix inside a strong, durable 6-foot-3, 220-pound stature. He was one of the first prospects to commit at the Future Games, earning a verbal to Illinois-Chicago. 


Elias Hachem RHP / Mount Carmel, IL / 2022

Yet another Team Illinois representative on this list, Hachem has a striking 6-foot-7, 230-pound build, and his clean arm action is an impressive characteristic. While raw, Hachem’s loose, quick arm harbors some of the biggest upside in the state, if/when he’s able to hone his arsenal and land more strikes. He was up to 87 mph at the Future Games with developing offspeed, but the recipe is there for Hachem to blossom into one of the state’s best arms, given his downright imposing frame. He’s already getting better, which is a great sign of things to come.


Brady Banker LHP / Carmel Catholic, IL / 2022

Banker is a competitive southpaw who can fill up the strike zone with mid-80s velocity and a couple different offspeed offerings. The 6-foot, 180-pound lefty has a clean, loose arm that works from a ¾ slot that has seen its velo improve throughout the summer – touching 87 mph at the Future Games and again at the PBR Midwest Fall Championships. Banker has good feel for his curveball that works off a 1/7 plane with above-average depth and action, and the changeup is a viable third pitch to add to the mix. Still uncommitted, Banker is now ranked just outside the state’s top-40.

 

Tony Pluta C / RHP / St. Viator, IL / 2022

Pluta is a 5-foot-8, 160-pound two-way prospect with some eye-catching arm strength – having run it up to 87 mph this summer at a PBR Wisconsin tournament and earlier at the All-State Games where he was also very sharp, mixing in a tight 12/6 breaking ball. He is also especially explosive from behind the dish where his arm strength also plays, topping 80 mph on his throws through the infield. The St. Viator prospect has some exciting tools to know as an uncommitted follow in the ‘22 class.


Easton Harris SS / RHP / Washington Community, IL / 2022

Harris cut his ranking in half this summer, from No. 90 to 45, after showing well at several PBR showcases. He seemingly gets better upon each look, too. Recently, at the Joliet Open, he trimmed down his 60-yard dash time to run a personal best 6.84, while also reaching 91 mph across the infield. Defensively, he’s advanced, with easy, confident actions that help him range athletically on the move. Harris’ loose right-handed bat is getting better, creating more whippy contact and it should continue to ascend as he gains more strength. 

MORE RISERS

+ Matthew Cruise, RHP, Seneca: We got a really good look at Cruise late this summer, pitching against older competition. Sitting in the low-80s, up to 84 mph with hard sink, Cruise knows how to pitch. He regularly utilizes the changeup and his breaking ball is sharp. A short, quick arm that repeats well from a 5-foot-11, 175-pound frame.

+ Randy Seymour, INF, Lincoln-Way East: With long, lanky levers at 6-foot-1, 145 pounds, Seymour is trending up in this class for his simple, smooth right-handed bat and natural infield actions. Given his thin stature, Seymour also hits the ball a little harder than one might expect, which bodes well for his future as he adds strength and weight.

+ Myles Supurgeci, OF, Mount Carmel: Supurgeci has a live, athletic frame that helps him run an elite mark in the 60-yard dash, recording a 6.66 time this summer. He applies that foot speed well defensively, which projects to be his best tool. His right-handed bat sprays line drives to all fields, which helped him climb five spots inside the top-100.

+ Nico Acevedo, C, Crystal Lake Central: Acevedo is an athletic backstop who works well behind the plate, with quick actions and arm strength – throws topping 78 mph out of the chute. With more strength in his 5-foot-10, 190-pound physique, he’s shown some pull-side power potential from the right side in front of our staff.

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