Prep Baseball Report

Updated Illinois Class of 2017 Rankings: Top Ten Shakeup

By Ryan Quigley
Illinois Scouting Director

The Prep Baseball Report Illinois scouting staff recently released our updated Illinois Class of 2017 player rankings, extended to 100 prospects. Today, we’ll take a look at the shuffling that occurred within the Top 10, and tomorrow we’ll focus on prospects new to the rankings and those who rose in our 'Revelations and Risers' article. We’ve scouted extensively this winter, both at our own events, private workouts, and travel program college camps. The following rankings update reflects that work and will also be our final update before the start of the 2015 spring high school season.

The 2017 rankings can be a bit more difficult when it comes to tracking down players, as not every future prospect plays varsity baseball as a freshman or sophomore, and not every prospect has reached their physical maturity yet, so there’s a bit more projection involved.

Illinois has a new No. 1 overall prospect in Texas Christian-commit, OF Brad Czerniejewski (Lake Forest HS). Czerniejewski (pronounced “churn”-e-esky) was named the Top Overall Prospect at the Underclass Invitational in January, and impresses with plus tools across the board. His bat speed (95 mph exit velocity) is what really stands out, perhaps unmatched regardless of class in Illinois.

Moving up from No. 7 to No. 2 is McHenry West’s Bobby Miller, a 6-foot-5, 190-pound RHP/1B committed to Louisville. Miller touched 90 mph on the mound with late arm side run at the January Underclass Invitational, and also showed a smooth left-handed swing capable of producing 90 mph exit velocity. His ceiling on the mound is high thanks to his athleticism and extremely projectable frame.

Brother Rice RHP/1B Ryan Kutt has impressed already in the young spring season, and sat 86-88 mph this winter with one of the state’s better sliders, an upper 70’s offering with two-plane break. Kutt also hits in the four-hole for the Crusaders, who recently upset No. 2 ranked Lincoln-Way North.

Mount Carmel OF/1B Bobby Seymour is making his varsity debut for the Caravan in 2015. The Wake Forest-commit his a left-handed power hitter, capable of leaving the yard to all fields.

Staying put at No. 5 is Batavia RHP Glenn Albanese, a hulking 6-foot-5, 215-pound right-hander that impressed recently in a bullpen sitting 89-90 mph. Albanese has the potential to draw national recruiting interest on the mound thanks to his size and clean arm action, producing easy velocity.

Making his rankings debut at No. 6 is Waterloo RHP/SS Erik Kaiser. The 6-foot-4, 185-pound right-hander has flashed upper 80’s fastball velocity from a loose, quick, high ¾ arm slot, reportedly touching as high as 91 mph and is receiving significant recruiting interest from several SEC schools.

Westmont C/MIF Joe Donovan impressed this winter with his plus arm behind the plate, capable of touching 81 mph from the crouch and reeling off pop times in the low 2.0’s. The Michigan-commit is ranked No. 7 in the 2017 class, and is the top ranked backstop in Illinois’ sophomore class.

Joliet Catholic LF/1B KC Simonich moves up to No. 8 thanks to his fluid, left-handed swing, and he’s already hitting in the No. 3 hole for the state’s No. 1 ranked team. Despite a lanky 6-foot-3 frame, Simonich is already displaying power potential, and it’s scary to think what he could be at the plate in the next few years with an additional 20 pounds on his skinny 165-pound frame.

Lemont RHP Ryan Sublette (fastball up to 87 mph) and Mount Carmel INF Zion Pettigrew (85 mph across the infield) round out our Top 10 after impressing this offseason at college camps and the October Underclass Showcase.

ILlinois Class of 2017 Top ten

Rank Name State School Class Pos Commitment
1 Brad Czerniejewski IL Lake Forest 2017 OF Texas Christian
2 Bobby Miller IL McHenry West 2017 RHP Louisville
3 Ryan Kutt IL Brother Rice 2017 SS Illinois
4 Bobby Seymour IL Mount Carmel 2017 1B Wake Forest
5 Glenn Albanese IL Batavia 2017 RHP
6 Erik Kaiser IL Waterloo 2017 RHP
7 Joe Donovan IL Westmont 2017 C Michigan
8 KC Simonich IL Joliet Catholic Academy 2017 3B
9 Ryan Sublette IL Lemont 2017 RHP
10 Zion Pettigrew IL Mount Carmel 2017 SS


Click Here to view the complete IL Class of 2017 rankings – extended to 100 prospects.

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