Prep Baseball Report

Illinois 2025 Rankings: Updated

By: Drew Locascio
Illinois/Wisconsin Scouting Supervisor

As the spring is winding down we have had the luxury of scouting games and prospects all spring long during the IHSA Season. With the playoffs underway and the summer right around the corner, the time has come to update the list once again. It has expanded by 25 players, with the top 225 players in the 2025 class now ranked.


For the first time in a long while we have a new No. 1 prospect in LHP Cameron Appenzeller (Glenwood). The South Carolina commit has been on a steady upward trend since our first looks at him last summer and continues to show dynamic, upward trending stuff in every look. He has been up to 91 mph this spring and his breaking ball has turned into a difference maker pitch and is arguably the top breaking ball in the class. Here is a recent Scout Blog report from Diego Solares:

South Carolina commit, now ranked No. 1 overall in the state’s 2025 class and set to take a big jump in our upcoming national update as well. Long, lean-limbed 6-foot-5, 180-pound frame that offers plenty of physical upside and room to fill out. Multi-sport athlete; was a sectional golfer in the fall and also a second team All-Conference honoree for Glenwood’s basketball team. Dominated in his most recent start against O’Fallon, fanning 12 in a complete game three-hit shutout with just one walk. Has struck out 74 batters in 38 ⅓ innings this spring, allowing two earned runs with 10 walks and a .114 batting average against. Ultra easy, simple, and in-line mover that works quick and repeats. Stays closed to footstrike and finishes onto a stable lead leg, consistently sticks the landing. Arm plays with some length on the backside out of draw and finishes from a clean, loose ¾ slot. Produces some of the most effortless velocity you’ll find, pitching in the upper-80s with his fastball and touching 90 mph in the first inning a handful of times. Jumps out the hand and gets on hitters quickly, tough angle that grabbed several uncomfortable swings-and-misses. True command for the corners in this look, consistently worked on the inner-half to both handed hitters and went there when he wanted to. Knows how to add and subtract; would dial it back when he needed to get in the strike zone and also comfortably reached back for upper-80s at any point in time, especially as his outing went on. Slider has the makings of a future plus pitch. Works out of the same arm window as his fastball and tunnels off an arm-side heater. Natural sweep with more depth and hard bite than we’d seen in the past, 77-80 mph, true swing-and-miss pitch that’s going to only improve as he continues to add on velocity. Real feel to back foot it to right-handed hitters, went there multiple times and doubled up on it. Confident demeanor on the mound, understands that he’s one of the top arms in the state and uses it to his advantage. A budding name-to-know southpaw for the 2025 MLB Draft cycle that should only gain more buzz as he continues to toe the rubber.

UTIL Jaden Fauske (Nazareth) continues to stay at No. 2 in the state and is one of the most potent left-handed hitters in the Midwest and country for that matter. After yet another strong spring that earned him ESCC Offensive Player of the year, Fauske is set to rise Nationally into the Top 25 in the country. Fauske has all kinds of physicality in the box with a polished approach and can play almost anywhere around the diamond defensively.

LHP Jack Bauer (Lincoln-Way East; Virginia) slots in at No. 3 in the state. The 6-foot-3, 177-pound, long-levered left-hander has had an up-and-down spring but still features some of the most impressive arm talent in the state and Midwest.

One of the biggest risers at the top of the class is the new No. 4 Conor Essenburg (Lincoln-Way West; Kansas State). Essenburg is a dynamic two-way prospect who performed at an extremely high level all spring long and has led the Warriors to an impressive spring which included an undefeated 23-0 record at one point in early May this spring. Essenburg is a true ace on the mound running his fastball up to 93 mph to go along with two above-average offspeed offerings. He is also one of the top right-handed bats in the class and should draw plenty of pro intrigue this summer.

C Quinn Schambow (Libertyville; Oklahoma State) and 3B CJ Deckinga (Minooka; Michigan State) have continued to show well this spring and slot in at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively.

RHP/OF Joseph Chiarodo (Edwardsville; Alabama) is up a spot to No. 7 and has been a true ace for the Tigers this spring, as well as one of their top position players. Here is a Scout Blog report we had on Chiarodo from 4/16/24 this spring:

Alabama commit and one of the top arms in Illinois’ junior class. 5-foot-11, 180-pound athlete with strength throughout his frame, particularly in the lower half. Took the mound for the Tigers in a conference win over Collinsville; tossed five strong innings, striking out six with a walk and three earned runs. Power mover, sits into his back hip and works downhill in a drop/drive pattern with noticeable athleticism, repeats. Strong front side, stays closed up front and finishes onto a firm lead leg through release. Bulldog-like demeanor on the mound, highly competitive and in control. Short arm draw out the glove, travels to release on a short, compact arm circle that finishes out of a high ¾ slot. Fastball touched 93 in the first, sat 90-92 mph early, settled at 88-90 mph. Jumps out the hand with life on the corners, strikes often and pitches off it. Slider was the best it has ever been over our numerous looks. Stays on fastball tunnel with sharp, late swing-and-miss break at 80-84 mph. Able to land it for strikes too, though mostly used for whiffs in this look. Depth and more vertical action to a 74-76 mph curveball, tight spin and strike feel. Starting to show more comfort and feel for a changeup at 81-83 mph, favored it to left-handed hitters. High level athlete that has four-pitch feel and polish who consistently performs each time we see him.

C Enzo Infelise (Providence Catholic; Oklahoma), RHP Austin Musso (Mascoutah; Kansas) and SS Ethan Moore (Oak Park-River Forest; Louisville) round out the rest of the Top-10. Musso, who slots in at No. 9 has been lights out for much of the spring for Mascoutah, who currently sit at No. 16 in our Power 25 thanks to a 26-5 record. Here is a report from 4/29/24 this spring:

Kansas commit, ranked No. 10 overall in the state’s 2025 class. 6-foot-2, 195-pound strong, well-proportioned athlete with present strength throughout and room for more. Have seen him multiple times this spring and this was our best look to date in a highly anticipated Mississippi Valley Conference matchup against Triad. Tossed a complete game shutout, allowing two weak infield hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Has a 0.41 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 15 walks over 34 innings pitched this spring, holding opponents to a .136 batting average against. Works with tempo and pace, gets onto his backside and rides the slide to footstrike. Clean, in-line mover down the mound, consistently maintained his direction to the plate throughout. Long arm swing with scap retraction on the backside, accelerates out front and finishes out of a fast high ¾ arm slot. Fastball touched 91 early, pitched at 88-90 mph with true command of the plate, spotting it on either corner when he wanted. High spin with easy life and jump out the hand, holds plane with carry. Tight spin on slider, works it to right-handed hitters for swing-and-miss on occasion to the glove-side corner of the plate, 77-80 mph. Will also flip in a high arching, gradually spun curveball at 69-73 mph with big depth for strikes. High pitchability arm that consistently dominantes each time he takes the mound.


A couple of arms making moves in this update are RHP Luke Mensik (Lincoln-Way Central; Xavier) and LHP Aidan Flinn (Marist; Illinois).

Mensik is up nine spots to No. 18 in the state. Mensik is highly-competitive, is up to 91 mph, fills up the strike zone and features a well above-average breaking ball as a go-to out pitch. Here is a Scout Blog entry from 5/6/24:

Xavier commit….listed at an athletic 6-foot-1, 180-pounds. Mensik got the start for the Knights and was stellar in his six innings of work. Perhaps what stands out the most with Mensik is his competitive fire on the mound, pitching with no fear and an apparent confidence in himself. He is an athletic mover downhill with a simple and methodical delivery, paired with a short and quick arm. Mensik kept hitters off-balance throughout his start with his two-pitch mix. HIs fastball had juice behind it in the first inning, sitting 90-91 mph, before settling in at 86-88 later in his start. His out-pitch in this game was a 75-80 mph breaking ball with 2600+ rpm on average. Mensik showed the ability to manipulate the shape of the breaker; throwing it with more bend and depth at times, or throwing a sharper late-breaking one when needed. Mensik has shown better with each look and the ace of the Knights will be one to continue to follow as we start tournament-play across the state soon. Final line: W, 6 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 1 ER, 6 K.

Flinn is one of the biggest riser’s in the entire state with what he has shown this spring for Marist. Flinn continues to come into his own and has been the clear ace of the staff. We had an opportunity to get a quality look at Flinn against Nazareth, the No. 1 team in the state this spring. Here is our report on Flinn:

Illinois commit……Flinn got the start for the RedHawks and showed high upside throughout his start. He is every bit of 6-foot-6, 200-pounds with room to still grow into the frame. He is a loose and athletic mover down the mound, working in-sync with his long levers. His fastball plays with late, hard life through the zone at 88-90 mph, seemingly getting quality extension on the pitch. His go-to off-speed offering was a sweeping-type breaking ball that he was confident throwing to both sides of the plate; back-dooring right-handed hitters or throwing it at their back foot. To complement his repertoire, he pounded the zone with both pitches to make for a 77% strike clip in the outing. The southpaw is a tough matchup for any lineup he opposes, and he more than held his own against the No. 1 team in the state; finishing with six strikeouts over his five innings of two-run ball.

Two shortstops, who recently committed and continue to move up our list are SS Lucas Krebs (Edwardsville; Illinois) and Brayden Zilis (Minooka, Illinois State). Krebs, now at No. 25 in the state has been leading the way for Edwardsville this spring and has shown well in front of our staff a number of times. 4/16/24 Scout Blog entry:

Uncommitted. Strong, athletic well-proportioned athlete that’s tacked on notable strength over the last six months. Started at shortstop and hit in the three-hole for the Tigers in this look. Easy bat speed and balance at the plate, put together highly competitive at-bats against a low-90s arm with a real breaking ball, too. Continues to show his improvements defensively. Free mover on the infield, comfortable on the move and understands how to slow the game down. Arm plays free and easy across the infield, able to make all throws from either side at shortstop. Helped turn two double plays that ultimately proved pivotal in the Tigers’ win. One of the top juniors still on the market in Illinois.

Zilis, up 14 spots to No. 26, made waves at the Preseason All-State: Upperclass this winter as his tools ticked way up and his overall game has as well. Zilis has been a difference maker as a position player and on the mound all spring for Minooka, who has spent the entire season in our Power 25.

CF John McAuliffe (Marist) is an uncommitted left-handed hitter, who should draw plenty of attention from college coaches moving forward. McAuliffe is a quality runner who has transitioned to center field and has long shown advanced bat-to-ball skills. He is up 13 spots to No. 30 in the state.

RHP Ike Young (Monticello) is another uncommitted 2025 to know in the state. Up over 100 spots to No. 42 in the state, Young is a high-ceiling arm who is just starting to scratch the surface of his high ceiling. Here is a scout blog entry from 4/22/24:

Uncommitted. Currently ranked No. 162 in Illinois’ 2024 class. Stands in a high-waisted and projectable 6-foot-1, 160-pound frame with plenty more to come. Started on the mound for the Sages, and although he didn’t get the results he wanted, it was still an impressive look at the uncommitted junior. Athletic mover with a high leg lift with tuck, tall and fall delivery down the mound, foot lands closed towards third base. Clean and quick arm path out of a ¾ slot with noticeable acceleration out front. Came out of the gate throwing three 90 mph fastballs in a row, but sat mostly 87-89 mph early on, showed clear ride through the zone with arm-side run at times. Mixed in a breaking ball at 74-77 mph with varying shapes, worked best when thrown hard, producing 12/6 shape, garnering multiple swings-and-misses. A must-know uncommitted junior in Illinois.

C/RHP Calen Scheider (Hampshire) is yet another uncommitted prospect who should be followed closely moving forward. Scheider is a true two-way prospect who impressed on both sides of the ball all spring. On the mound, is arguably where his future sits as he has a highly-athletic arm action and above-average arsenal. Scheider who climbed 22 spots to No. 48 runs his fastball up to 90 mph and has given up 25 hits in 42.2 IP while striking out 56.

Rising to No. 60 in the class is LHP Mason Orton (Mahomet-Seymour). With the graduation/draft of Blake Wolters, Orton has taken over as the ace of the staff and looks to be one of the top left-handed pitchers still on the market in the 2025 class. We had Orton up to 88 mph this winter in a bullpen but reports have had him touching 90 at points this spring. Left-hander to know in the state.

Stay tuned for more coverage of the 2025 rankings with a podcast in the near future.

CLICK HERE for the updated 2025 Illinois Rankings.