Prep Baseball Report

PDP 2024: Shooter's Standouts (Pitchers)

Shooter Hunt
Vice President, Scouting

Major League Baseball’s Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) in conjunction with USA Baseball brings together nearly 100 of the top prospects in the country (each summer) to compete in a competition-type event to help select USA Baseball’s 18U team. This year’s team will head to Taiwan in hopes of winning a gold medal at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup.

Beyond the team aspect of the tryout, the event also serves as a one-stop-shop in discovering the next wave of MLB Draft hopefuls. Full workouts and games (daily) provide an in depth look at the players who are sure to be scouted most intensely over the next year.

As a whole, this class is unique in the fact that the upper echelon of draft talent has not separated itself yet. Most years, there is a clear group of power arms and starters who head into the summer ready to assert dominance as early Day 1 candidates. Perhaps much of this can be attributed to the rare two-way prospects (Bryce Rainer, Konnor Griffin, Noah Franco) who carry significantly high ceilings on the mound, but exert much of their focus as position players. Regardless, there was a host of high upside pitching seen in Cary, and many of these arms will have a big impact on next year’s draft. As always, PBR remains committed to providing the most up-to-date and credible information in the industry, and will monitor the growth of this class’ pitching prospects closely.

Below, a look at 10 arms that made an impact on PBR’s Vice President of Scouting, Shooter Hunt.

Levi Sterling SS / RHP / Notre Dame, CA / 2024

Sterling was already off to a great start this summer after his performance at the PBR SoCal Procase, and with what he showed in Cary his name warrants being placed in the upper echelon of arms in the class. Still splitting his time as a talented position player (3-for-6 with 2BB on the week), the 6-foot-5, 192-pound right-hander was flawless across two outings working four innings without yielding a hit, walk, or run while striking out five. Effortlessly working through a polished, athletic delivery he pumped the zone with four pitches for strikes from a ¾ slot. The fastball sat 91-93 with north of 2400 rpm as he worked it to both sides of the plate with some riding life along with manipulated run to the arm side at times. Once again, the changeup (83-85) showcased as a plus-offering, thrown with fastball intent, and is likely to be a weapon suitable against either left or right-handed hitters. Only amplifying his value as a future starter, the square-shouldered Sterling exhibited aptitude for spinning two distinct breaking balls, a curveball (75-77, 2600+) and slider (83-84, 2500+). Dropping in the curveball with ease for strikes early in counts with more depth, the slider was depended on to put right-handed hitters away late in counts. Tunneling the fastball until late, he toyed with the shape at times, and while it was not plus in this look, the upside (and especially the adjustments made) was inherently exciting. In a class of arms that is very much trying to sift the top, Sterling continues to set the bar early on in the summer, and shows little sign of backing down. Interesting to note, the projectable right-hander was one of the youngest players at the event and will not turn 18 until well after the 2024 MLB Draft.


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