'I want either Baez or Schwarber'

'I want either Baez or Schwarber'

Torion Rhone

This 12-year-old, who attends Franklin STEAM Academy in Champaign, was the leading participant in last month's Champaign-Urbana Little League Home Run Derby when he smacked five home runs for Campus Sportswear at the annual event.

His pick: Bryce Harper

Why: "He has the second-most home runs in the league, and he is the only one with experience and the only one with a 40-homer season. But I want either Javier Baez or Kyle Schwarber, the two Cubs players, to win."

Bailey Dowling

The St. Joseph-Ogden rising junior hit 21 home runs in her sophomore season after delivering an area-best 22 in 2017. She's now just 18 home runs away from setting an IHSA state record.

Her pick: Kyle Schwarber

Why: "He waits for his pitch to jack the ball from the left side of the plate. He has fast hands and great hip rotation."

Brayden VonLanken

The Tuscola rising senior led the area prep baseball scene with nine home runs in 2018.

His pick: Bryce Harper

Why: "As much as I hate to go against my favorite team's participants in Javy Baez and Kyle Schwarber, Harper has the best chance."