Prep Baseball Report

Alabama Class of 2024 Rankings: Official Release

PBR Alabama Staff

After a busy summer full of events, the Class of 2024 Player Rankings is long overdue for an update as these players have just started their final year of their high school careers. There were a ton of new names who entered into the fold, as well as a number of others who continue to elevate their game, warranting plenty of movement and expansion (now 215 players) to the list. Most of the same names are still inside the Top-10 from the last update, but there's some shakeup within.

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+ SS Carter Johnson (Oxford, 2024) continues to his steady ascension up the list he's made over the past few updates, and after rising to No. 3 in the previous update before the summer, the Alabama recruit takes over the No. 1 spot after a monumental summer at multiple events. Johnson has continued to perform at the highest level with the bat and the glove in numerous looks, including the 2022 PBR Future Games, 2023 PBR National Program Invitational, East Coast Pro, and the USA Baseball PDP to name a few. After leading his club to a Class 6A State Championship in the spring, the smooth-swinging left-hander has vaulted his name into serious MLB Draft consideration, and was recently included in PBR's 2024 MLB Mock Draft. Hear what Shooter Hunt (PBR Vice President, Scouting) had to say about him this summer:

"The opportunity to make a big splash was present for Johnson, and the sweet-swinging Alabama native was more than prepared. Belting a home run early on in the event, the high-waisted, 6-foot-2, 180-pound infielder opened eyes with each and every plate appearance as his smooth stroke and innate ability to turn the barrel played throughout en route to going 5-for-16 with two home runs and two walks. Loose-wristed with quick hands, the left-handed hitter got on plane early, and seemed to discredit any thought that his bat lacked impact upside. Spraying line drives early on his batting practice rounds, he calmly sent a multitude of balls over the wall to the pull side including several deep to right center field in providing ample evidence as to what might ultimately blossom. That power potential clearly carried over with the early home run in-game, and he continued to take great at-bats throughout in presenting one of the higher chances to hit in the class. Likely a more versatile infielder with the chance to play any spot on the dirt, Johnson is not a burner down the line or on the basepaths, but his athleticism and confident hands (along with a plus-arm) should allow him to at least start off at shortstop in the professional ranks. Regardless, the bat is the carrying tool, and if looking for recent MLB Draft helium follows, Johnson holds a similar profile to Colt Emerson."

SS Carter Johnson (6/27/23)

+ RHP Connor Gatwood (Baker, 2024) is another prospect, like Johnson, who continues to climb up lists and finds himself at No. 2 in this update after a big showing on the 2023 summer circuit. Another former PBR Future Gamer from 2022, the uncommitted right-hander possesses an elite, high-spin fastball that works in the mid-90s and has been up to 98 mph. His big fastball to go along with above-average secondary offerings and a projectable 6-foot-5, 190-pound frame makes him another potential 2024 MLB Draft candidate from the Yellowhammer State. Hear what David Seifert (PBR Director of College Scouting) had to say about him from this summer's East Coast Pro:

"Touching 98 mph in the first inning, uncommitted RHP Connor Gatwood (Baker HS, AL) struggled at times to find the strike zone with his heater, but at 6-foot-5, 195 pounds, he's super athletic with a quick arm and the raw talent is rare. He does need polish with his control and the lengthy time to the plate from the stretch that allowed a couple stolen bases, but time, instruction and repetitions are all he needs. Look for Gatwood to continue to climb follow lists this fall. He’s a potential Day One talent."

RHP Connor Gatwood (8/3/23)

+ RHP Christian Chatterton (Brooks, 2024) is another hard-throwing right-hander that makes a sizable jump rising a couple spots to No. 3 in this update. An Auburn recruit, Chatterton is a good athlete with defined strength to his 6-foot-0, 195-pound frame, and looks to attack hitters earlier in the count with his big fastball that has been up to 95 mph. Featuring two distinct breaking balls in his arsenal, both are swing-and-miss pitches and uses them both in late counts. He's made a good jump this summer in terms of velocity working into mid-90s with his fastball, and continues to cement himself as one of the top right-handed pitchers in the country. See his scouting report from the North AL Preseason All-State Quick Hits article in January:

"Chatterton (Brooks, 2024) continued his trend of one-upping his prior performance at a Preseason All-State event, as the Auburn recruit showed solid feel for his four-pitch mix during his extended bullpen. Also ranked inside the Top-5 in his respective graduation class, Chatterton worked his fastball up to 91.8 mph while working in the 90-91 mph range throughout. Standing 6-foot-0, 195-pounds is an athletic mover down the mound and does an excellent job of staying balanced over the rubber throughout his delivery. Coming out of a H 3/4 arm slot, the junior right-hander uses some effort and a strong lower-half throughout his delivery that produces a quick arm with a ball that seems to jump out of the hand with ride throughout the zone. Chatterton showed a tight slider at 76-78 mph (2300 rpm) and a 73-74 mph (2600 rpm) breaking ball with more depth and 11-5 shape as his primary secondaries, while also turning over some fading changeups at 76-77 mph. The junior is an impressive arm that continues to enjoy standout performances at this event over the course of the last three years."

RHP Christian Chatterton (1/7/23)

+ 3B Henry Allen (Auburn, 2024) comes in at No. 4 in this update thanks to a strong spring and summer where he continued to show possibly the highest power upside in the class. A Mississippi State recruit, Allen is a sure-fire, middle-of-the-order hitter and swings it in that regard with controlled aggression. There's plenty of polish to overall offensive approach and is an advanced hitter for a prospect of his age. He has the ability to fit at either corner position on the infield, and is another prospect in the senior class in Alabama that has a chance to garner some MLB Draft consideration in a year. Hear what Shooter Hunt (PBR Vice President, Scouting) had to say about him this summer:

"Nestled on the left side of an infield that features the top two players in the class (Rainer, Paino), Allen was not to be missed, and struck firm blows to each ball as he showcased some controlled aggression with each swing. Comfortable completing each situational task, his two-handed finish presented some emphasis for maintaining a longer stay of the barrel in the zone. Firm contact pervaded with big exit velocities on some line drives that seemed to reach the wall without hardly getting above eight feet off the ground. There was a keen, tunnel-vision approach to his rounds, including defensively where his strong arm stood out across the diamond."

3B Henry Allen (8/6/23)

+ LHP Jackson Sanders (Valley, 2024) is one of the top southpaws in the class and possesses some of the highest upside of any prospect on this list. An Auburn recruit, Sanders comes in at No. 5 in this update after a strong showing on the summer circuit. A long-limbed 6-foot-3, 190-pounder, Sanders works his fastball into the low-90s with a tight slider and gradual curveball as his primary secondaries. Still one of the top southpaws in the country in the current senior class, Sanders possesses some of the highest upside in the class in the Yellowhammer State thanks to his athletic build, swing-and-miss arsenal of pitches, and his elite competitiveness on the bump.

LHP Jackson Sanders (6/27/23)

+ 3B/RHP Braden Booth (Bob Jones, 2024) is a legitimate two-way prospect that can run his fastball into the low-90s on occasions, but our staff really likes the right-handed bat and how its performed in multiple viewings over the past couple of years. Regardless, he's another elite talent inside the Top-10 and comes in at No. 6 in this update. Booth, a Mississippi State recruit, is a superb athlete with a polished right-handed stroke that consistently delivers firm contact to all fields with power potential. See his scouting report from this spring:

"Booth (Bob Jones, 2024) continued to cement himself as one of the top two-way players in the state, regardless of graduating class, with another strong showing at last weekend’s event. With the Patriots playing just two games on the weekend, the Mississippi State recruit got the nod on the mound and worked deep into the game to earn the win. The question remains to be answered on what he will do at the next level, but we believe he certainly has the ability to do both. After the bat had jumped out to us in the early part of the spring, Booth displayed some frontline stuff on the mound during his start. Working into the sixth inning on Saturday, the right-hander consistently sat anywhere from 89-93 mph for the majority of his outing with tailing action, and was still sitting 90-91 mph in the fifth inning. Although showing an electric fastball, Booth mixed all four of his pitches effectively while throwing them in any count. He featured a firm slider at 80-84 mph with tight horizontal break, a slower breaking ball at 74-76 mph with prototypical 11-5 shape, and a heavy-fading changeup 81 mph that was nearly unhittable against left-handed hitters. He also recorded a pair of hits in their doubleheader action, and finished earning the win going 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB, and 7 K’s against a scrappy lineup on 95 pitches, 54 of which were for strikes.

3B/RHP Braden Booth (6/11/23)

+ 3B/C Tanner Waldrop (Auburn, 2024) is one of the top left-handed hitters in the class, and behind Johnson, you won't find a smoother swing like the left-hander's. An Auburn recruit and former PBR Future Gamer, Waldrop is a versatile defender than can play multiple infield positions and even catch, but the hit tool and power projection are certainly the carrying tools. He possesses excellent bat-to-ball and can spray to all fields within his approach. After a decent spring, the left-hander had a strong summer circuit and looks poised for a good senior season. See his scouting report from this spring:

"Waldrop (Auburn, 2024) seems to be getting hot at the right time as he enjoyed a three-hit game in the early game on Saturday. Facing quality arms in all four at-bats, the Auburn commit showed a very disciplined approach and consistently took good swings, especially when he worked himself into a plus count. In his first at-bat, Waldrop was able to get the barrel to a pitch on the inner-half and pulled it down the line in right field. In his next at-bat, the junior got a pitch over the heart of the plate and showed impressive bat speed to drive a ball to the gap in right-center field that barely missed leaving the yard as he settled for an inside-the–park home run off the wall. Waldrop was able to showcase his speed coming around to score later in the inning. Later, the left-hander was able to smoke a liner up the middle off an upper-80’s fastball. Waldrop’s versatility on the field makes him even more intriguing."

3B Tanner Waldrop (1/8/23)

+ SS/RHP Drey Barrett (Holtville, 2024) is the lone newcomer inside the Top-10, as he rises to No. 8 in this update. A Southern Miss recruit, Barrett is an elite athlete with a 6-foot-3, 200-pound with defined strength throughout. Another solid two-way prospect, the right-hander profiles as a future middle-of-the-order hitter with the ability to stick on the left side of the infield thanks to plus arm strength. He's been into the low-90s on the mound, but it's easy to see the offensive ability which should continue to carry him throughout the next level. See his scouting report from this spring:

"Barrett (Holtville, 2024) has really cemented himself as one of the top middle infielders across the state, regardless of graduation class, and showed why he’s ranked as a Top-15 prospect in the junior class in AL. Standing a strong and athletic 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame with proportional strength, the Southern Miss recruit produced in one of the bigger moments of a tightly-contested matchup between two ranked teams in their classification. After getting off some quality hacks in his first couple of at-bats but not having much to show for, the junior blasted a deep drive over the left field wall for a two-run home run that proved to be the difference in the contest after the opposing team rallied in the bottom half. For his age, the right-hander has premium bat speed and never seems to get cheated with each pass looking to drive the ball to the gaps and hit for power. Barrett does a solid job of getting into his lower-half in his swing and has good rhythm throughout. He also hopped on the mound and worked up to 89 mph while striking out 3/4 hitters he faced."

SS/RHP Drey Barrett (2/20/23)

+ RHP Jackson Hunter (Hazel Green, 2024) comes in as the third-ranked right-handed pitcher on this list, but at this point, he may be the most polished in the class. An Alabama recruit and former PBR Future Gamer, Hunter stays put at No. 9 in this update. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder possesses a clean and easy-flowing delivery that produces a fastball that has been up to 91 mph. Outside of the heater, Hunter has a firm slider and fading changeup that both tunnel well. He is an excellent competitor to go along with his starter profile. See his scouting report from this winter:

"Hunter (Hazel Green, 2024) is another former PBR Future Gamer from this past summer who continues to trend upward after a strong showing at yesterday's event. An Alabama recruit, Hunter stands 6-foot-3, 190-pounds with still the potential for more strength and projection down the road, but continues to look the part as a future starter at the next level. In his extended bullpen at yesterday's event, Hunter seemed as if he was playing catch using a delivery that doesn't require much effort, but still produces intriguing metric and velocity on all his offerings. The right-hander comfortably worked at 88-89 mph throughout his bullpen while touching 89.8 mph near the end of his outing, and mixing in a sharp slider that found the zone with consistency at 79-82 mph (2500 rpm). Hunter has clean mechanics and incorporates all parts of his frame efficiently while pounding the zone with all three offerings. Ranked inside the Top-10 in the junior class in AL."

RHP Jackson Hunter (1/7/23)

+ OF Drake McBride (Thompson, 2024) is arguably one of, if not the, top athletes in the class and is coming off a spring where he led the Warriors to a historic season as a junior. A Troy recruit, McBride stands 6-foot-2, 175-pounds and possesses a dynamic skill set with elite speed and the ability to hit for extra bases. He rounds out the list at the No. 10 spot in this update, and has a chance to see jumps as he continues to develop over the next year. See his scouting report from this spring:

"McBride (Thompson, 2024) is regarded as one of the top outfielders throughout the state, regardless of graduating class, and possesses a dynamic skill set that impacts the game in a variety of ways. McBride, a Troy recruit, stands 6-foot-2, 170-pounds and continues to show the ability to hit for some power in the middle of the Warriors' lineup. The right-hander recorded a pair of doubles on the night and drove in three runs in the process en route to a 7-0 victory. McBride shows the ability to turn the barrel with ease from the right side of the plate and possesses some intriguing pull-side power. The ball seems to jump off of his barrel and doesn't look like it takes much effort to generate loud contact. The junior is a stellar athlete that can cover tons of ground in the outfield and possesses above average arm strength with carry on throws. He possesses some immense upside and is already ranked inside the Top-15 in the junior class in AL. He finished going 2-for-3 with two doubles and three RBI's during last night's contest."

OF Drake McBride (3/7/23)


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