Illinois Signing Day: Big 12 Outlook
November 20, 2023
On Nov. 8, thousands of high school baseball players across the country signed their National Letters of Intent to lock in their official commitments to their respective schools, with hundreds of these signings hailing from Illinois.
Over the next few weeks, we will spend some time highlighting the names from Illinois that signed their NLI to play baseball at the Division I level. We’ll do so by breaking these names up by conference, starting with the Big Ten which you can find HERE, and the ACC which can be found HERE.
Today, we'll be looking at the players from Illinois that signed to play at schools in the Big 12 with videos, scouting reports and more, below.
The four time National Champions are no stranger to success on the baseball field, and they’ve been dipping their hands into Illinois as of late, most recently with RHP Ryan Anderson (Minooka).
Anderson has continuously shown well in front of our scouting staff throughout his prep career. Currently ranked No. 26 in the state, Anderson has a natural ability to fill up the zone with all of his offerings, highlighted by a fastball that can reach 90 mph, a sharp mid-70s slider, and diving changeup with arm-side life. Listed at 6-foot-6, 214-pounds, Anderson’s ability to pound the zone and repeat his delivery is especially impressive for his size, and his innate ability to miss barrels makes him an intriguing prospect headed to Tucson next fall.
DeCosta has been known to our staff as a power bat since we first got our eyes on him, and he still possesses that trait, but it's his prowess on the mound that has taken him to another level as of late. Listed at 6-foot-4, 215-pounds, the right-hander can work his fastball up to 90 mph to pair off a sharp, lateral slider to miss bats. He moves well for his size with clean movement patterns and still looks to have plenty more in the tank, appearing to only be scratching the surface of his potential on the mound.
Koch, a former Future Gamer, certainly passes the eye test with his projectable 6-foot-5, 190-pound frame, and he’s shown flashes of his potential to our staff on multiple occasions. The ball jumps out of his hand with his easy movement patterns and can reach up to 90 mph, ripping through the zone with over 2500 RPM at times. To pair off the fastball he can go to both a curveball and a slider, both showing the ability to miss bats with above-average spin and action. His final offering is a low-80s changeup in which he kills spin, playing with some arm-side fade.
Staying on the topic of high-upside arms, RHP Daniel Cercello (Neuqua Valley) fits that mold perfectly. The towering 6-foot-7, 185-pound right-hander still has all sorts of room to add on strength to his projetable build, and pairing this with his low-effort delivery makes him a likely candidate for a velocity jump. This isn’t to say his fastball isn't already impressive, as he’s worked up to 93 mph on a couple different occasions already. His off-speeds have been making strides as well, showing better feel and shape to his breaking ball this past fall, as well as improved arm-speed to his changeup with late fade.
The Jayhawks are sticking to their recent trend of power arms from Illinois, this time getting RHP Jeremy Allen (Hersey).
Allen was a winner this past winter at the Preseason All-State Upperclass, as well as this past fall, dominating in perhaps the most talented tournament to date at The Rock. He pitches aggressively in the zone, attacking hitters with a fastball that can reach 90 mph. He also has confidence in a sharp slider around 80 mph, landing it for strikes and to put hitters away.
The Cowboys have landed a handful of commits from Illinois as of late, most recently signing C Sir Jamison Jones (St. Rita).
There’s an undeniable thunder in Jones’ bat, routinely blistering baseballs over 100 mph, including an eye-opening 113.8 mph at Area Codes this past summer. There’s clear physicality in his frame, listed at 6-foot-2, 215-pounds with broad shoulders and evenly proportioned strength throughout. His simple and balanced approach in the box paired with his strength makes him one of the more dangerous bats in the class, and he has a legit chance to impact a lineup early on in his collegiate career. He also brings value on the other side of the ball; he’s a vocal leader, showing the ability to handle pitching staffs well and command a defense even in pressure situations, and his catch/throw makes him a weapon behind the plate to limit the run game.
(Sir Jamison Jones)