Class of 2023- Rankings Updated

Brett Thorney
State Scouting Director

As of today, The PBR Arizona- Class of 2023 Player Rankings has been updated. PBR Arizona has had a chance to spend countless hours covering outside game & tournament action in addition to holding some of their own events over the last several months. We have had the chance to see many quality prospects during this time of all different skill levels including players that been on the radar for sometime now as well as players that have progressed more recently. As we get closer to the Spring season, we want to continue to follow these prospects even more as there are still many needs to be filled at all of the different levels of college baseball.

As always, the evaluation process is a fluid and ongoing with multiple viewings in order to get the best feel for players abilities. It’s important to note that individual players will continue developing at their own pace, and surly this list will have many more updates in the future.  As we get into HS games, PBR will once again be out in full force to see the progress players have made. 

On paper, the AZ- Class of 2023 seems to have some strong talent at the top of the board with depth that keeps popping up. Last year at this time, the 2022 class had 2-3 DI commitments in January. The 2023 class already has 16 total prospects committed to play DI baseball. In this update, pitching seems to be coming off the board led by Washington commit, Derek Schaefer. The class currently has seven pitchers committed to DI programs including: Derek Schaefer (Washington), JD DeCremer (Oregon State), Connor Mattison (Long Beach State), Bradyn Barnes (Arizona State), Justin Chambers (Washington State), Linden Reaburn (New Mexico State), & Charles Heil (Army).

Not on the list or feel that you may have been overlooked? Look out for our Preseason events that will be held in January & February. In addition to covering HS games & tournaments, these events are huge identifiers for prospects around the state of Arizona.

Grant smith's upside leaps him to No. 2 

2023 RHP/OF Grant Smith (Pinnacle)- Uncommitted, Smith is a player that we were able to see in our coverage this fall and we were lucky enough to have him in attendance at our Fall Underclass Showcase. His upside is undeniable standing at a 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame with long limbs, plus athleticism and above average strength.  He doesn't currently know how much potential he has at this time or quite know how his stuff/body works yet. However, you can see the ceiling is through the roof at this point. Smith throws with some rawness from long arm action, coming out of a 3/4 slot. Uses a tall delivery and neutral leg lift. At our fall event, Smith worked his FB 85-87mph before a suggested adjustment. With a small adjustment, he was easily working 89-91mph with some run. When thrown hard, he also showed some potential on a SL at 73-76mph and a CH at 78-81mph. All of his pitches move all-over the place at this time but once he learns his stuff, he should have a strong arsenal to work with. Smith also shows two-way capabilities with some power potential at the plate. At our Fall Underclass he launched a couple balls over the LF fence at 100mph with ease. He also ran a 6.95 60-yard dash as a capable OF. Smith is going to be a strong follow going forward. 

Schaefer's continued progression on the hill lands him At no. 3

2023 RHP Derek Schaefer (Cactus Shadows)- Washington commit, Schaefer is a player that we have been following for quite some time now. He has attended a couple events and we were able to see him in live game action this fall. He might have made the most improvements out of anyone at the top of the board from our previous update. He even has a shot to continue improving in the future with his ultra projectable body at 6-foot-2 160-pound frame. In the Fall Classic, he sat 86-89mph early in his start with downhill tilt. He followed that up with a solid showing at our Fall Underclass showcase in October. We had previously only seen him touching 87mph & up to 84mph at our 2023 Top Prospect Games back in summer. He mixes in two solid secondary pitches, making for 3 quality pitches. Threw his CV at 72-74mph with some swing & miss potential at 2450rpm. Also mixed in a CH that he can throw a bit more in the future at 78mph to the arm side. Outside Schaefer's pitching look for him to be a contributor as a position player for Cactus Shadows as well. He has the ability to play the infield as well catch when needed. Schaefer's upside & athleticism should give him the ability to keep making strides in the future. 


mcentire's bat shows

2023 OF/C Carson McEntire (Mountain Ridge)- Oregon State commit, McEntire's bat has always stood out as he shows as arguably one to top hitters in the AZ 2023 class. He seemed to set himself apart in many area's offensively which led to his commitment to Oregon State. There weren't many bats out there in Arizona throughout our fall coverage that were comparable with McEntire's . Every time you turned he seemed to be driving the ball to the warning track in the LCF gap with natural pop & obvious strength through his swing. His awareness & ability to sit on offspeed pitches was also impressive helping him create a consistent approach. He didnt play a ton in the summer due to covid and some arm issues but it didn't look like he missed a beat. We had primarily seen McEntire catch in the past but he spent most of the fall in the OF where he seems to have above average ball tracking skills, quick reads and deceptive speed. It will be interesting to see if he spends some more time behind the plate in the future or continues to roam the OF.  His strength & athleticism gives him ability to be versatile. His stock could continue to rise down the road.  



1 Roch Cholowsky AZ Hamilton 2023 SS UCLA
2 Grant Smith AZ Pinnacle 2023 RHP  
3 Derek Schaefer AZ Cactus Shadows 2023 RHP Washington
4 Carson McEntire AZ Mountain Ridge 2023 OF Oregon State
5 Zachary Wadas AZ Brophy College Prep 2023 1B Texas Christian
6 James DeCremer III AZ Brophy College Prep 2023 RHP Oregon State
7 Joshua Tiedemann AZ Hamilton 2023 SS Texas Christian
8 Luke Jones AZ Campo Verde 2023 C  
9 Connor Mattison AZ Canyon View 2023 RHP Long Beach State
10 Ryan Kucherak AZ Hamilton 2023 SS