First two 2013 prospects are off the board



By Sean Duncan

One day after delivering standout performances at the Prep Baseball Report Midwest Future Games, two Class of 2013 prospects have verbally committed, making them the first rising juniors from Illinois to come off the board.

Harrisburg RHP/SS Ryne Roper, who’s the No. 1-ranked Class of 2013 prospect in Illinois, has verbally committed to the University of Illinois. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Roper has been a standout performer at Harrisburg since his freshman year, when he went 10-1 on the mound and tallied 17 doubles, 6 homers and 35 RBI on the Bulldogs’ Class 2A runner-up squad. As a sophomore, Roper earned PBR third-team All-State honors after he belted 11 homers, 6 doubles and 48 RBI. In two varsity seasons, Roper has amassed an 18-3 record on the mound.

Last weekend, Roper earned Most Valuable Player honors at the Prep Baseball Report Midwest Future Games, powered by Under Armour. In two games, Roper tallied five hits and drove in three runs. He also pitched two scoreless innings behind an 85-87 mph fastball, helping Team Illinois to a 2-0 record.

Roper will join his older brother, Reid, who earned PBR first-team All-State honors as a senior in 2010, at Illinois. …

Spencer Gaa, a Class of 2013 SS from Metamora HS, has verbally committed to Bradley University. The 6-foot-1, 165-pound is arguably the best athlete in the Class of 2013. At the PBR Midwest Future Games, Gaa ran a 6.47 60, the best time of the event. A few weeks earlier, Gaa earned top prospect honors at the PBR Class of 2013 Showcase. In addition to his speed, Gaa possesses a strong arm from shortstop and tremendously quick hands at the plate.