Inside The Illinois Rankings: 2022 Risers


By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

Last week we updated the Illinois 2022 Rankings list, expanding it from 45-to-100, including all of the data and analysis we saw from our winter preseason showcases. 

Today we dive deeper into the rankings, looking at some of the notable risers on our 2022 list. 

ILLINOIS 2022 RISERS

We touched on the Top-10 prospects during the initial rankings story last week and went into detail on OF Alex Stanwich (Lincoln-Way East) and RHP Owen Murphy (Riverside-Brookfield) the new No. 1 and No. 2 prospects in the class, respectively. One of the biggest moves inside the top ten was made by left-handed, power-hitting, 1B Daniel Pacella (Mundelein), who jumped from No. 39 to No. 10 in the class.

When looking outside the Top-10 the biggest two moves were made by LHP Gus Lucas (Washington) and OF Brandon Rogers (Brother Rice), both of whom are still uncommitted. Lucas, a 6-foot-5, 197-pound, multi-sport athlete, jumped from No. 29 to No. 11 after his showing at the Underclass Invitational. Lucas sat anywhere from 83-86 mph, with his last three pitches coming in at the latter. The most impressive part of Lucas’ ‘pen was the advancements he has made to his off-speed, including a curveball thrown with high-level of aggression that was mostly 77-81 mph, flashing tight spin with a chance to a legitimate out-pitch in the future. He also matched it with feel for a late-fading changeup at 72-75 mph. The sky is limit for this talented left-hander. 

Gus Lucas (2.16.20)

Rogers is also a high-level multi-sport athlete who rose from No. 21 to No. 12 thanks to his eye-opening performance at the Chicago Preseason I.D. in February. Rogers ran an event-best 6.65 laser-timed 60, was 89 mph from the outfield, 92 mph off a tee and took one of the more complete, advanced rounds of BP of the event. Rogers plays with a confident, smooth demeanor and hits with fluid rhythm from the right-side of the plate. Rogers swings with intent, aggression, loose athletic hands and present bat speed which produced a lot of hard contact, especially to the pull-side gap. Defensively, he has the foot speed, actions and arm strength to play all three spots.

Brandon Rogers (2.23.20)

Two standouts at the Underclass Invitational; RHP Jack Bach (Normal University) and OF Angelo Luna (St. Laurence) climbed into the Top-25 in the class. Bach, a wide-shouldered, 6-foot-4, 210-pounds, is up eight spots to No. 22 after putting together one of the more impressive bullpens of the event. Bach pounded the zone with a late, hard-running fastball at 86-88 mph with relative ease. He also showed a polished three-pitch mix, including a 12/6 curveball that has taken huge strides since our last look. Bach’s changeup is currently an above-average offering with advanced feel, especially from the wind-up. Bach’s performance elevates him as one of the top available arms in the class.

Jack Bach (2.16.20)

Luna, up nine spots to No. 23, has been on the radar for a while but his game continues to take major strides every time we see him. The athletic, 5-foot-11, 155-pound, right-handed hitter, ran a 6.72 (.32 seconds better than his previous high), was 91 mph from the outfield (4 mph increase) and was 96 mph off the tee (11 mph increase). Besides the numbers, Luna has high-level outfield actions that could fit at all three spots and has a fluid swing with bat speed and feel for the barrel. 

Angelo Luna (2.16.20)

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