Prep Baseball Report

Rankings Update: Class of 2024

PBR California Staff

LOS ANGELES, CALIF.  After a full summer saw our team scour the state and parts of the nation for players, we were able to see many players in tournaments, showcases, game-play events, workouts and more giving us a deeper feel for the Class of 2024 in California. 
As a result of all the visibility to players in the last couple of months we have updated our Class of 2024 Player Rankings. 
With significant changes coming in the Top 10 and beyond, we have expanded the rankings from 400 to 450 players to better encompass the depth of the class. Some players are on a very fast rise up the rankings after putting together outstanding summer seasons and look to carry that into the fall and beyond.
This class is now less than a year away from any MLB Draft consideration, and while several players are already firmly entrenched in that discussion for scouts, some new faces are beginning to make themselves known. 
Below you'll find the Top 10, Top 10 Uncommitted Players, along with notes/video on several Rankings Risers. 



Rank Player POS School Commitment
1 Bryce Rainer SS Harvard Westlake Texas
2 Derek Curiel OF Orange Lutheran LSU
3 Levi Sterling RHP Notre Dame (SO) Texas
4 Charlie Bates SS Palo Alto Stanford
5 Ethan Schiefelbein LHP Corona UCLA
6 Boston Bateman LHP Camarillo Arizona St.
7 Nick Montgomery C Cypress Arizona St.
8 TP Wentworth OF Central Catholic Clemson
9 Braylon Doughty RHP Chaparral    
10 Wylan Moss RHP Mater Dei UCLA


Rank Player POS School
12 Nic Abraham RHP Franklin
13 Duncan Marsten RHP Harvard Westlake
38 Liam Golden RHP Christian Brothers
53 Justin Heffler UTIL St. Augustine
59 Elijah Clayton SS Oaks Christian
80 Walker Calvo RHP La Mirada
82 Jaylen White OF Corona
85 Justin Tillar 3B Cyress
94 Nolan Tillit RHP Orange Lutheran
96 Talin Gardini LHP/OF Patrick Henry


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

Sterling jumps all the way to the #3 spot in this release with the eye-opening numbers he put up all summer beginning with the PBR West Coast ProCase where he dominated. Sterling’s stuff saw considerable improvement since the spring where his FB velo has ticked up about 3-4 mph on average where he’s comfortably in the low 90s and touching 94 regularly. His SL also showed improved sharpness and depth in the low-to-mid 80s while also adding a sweeper. The CB and CH are already strong out pitches.  A two-way player (3B), Sterling offers potential at the plate with some raw power, however, most in the industry see his future clearly on the mound.

Braylon Doughty C / OF / Chaparral, CA / 2024

Doughty exploded on the scene at the Area Code Tryout before his coming out party at the games themselves. An uncommitted righty, Doughty’s repertoire relies heavily on a mix of his fastball that touches 96 mph with some frequency, paired with a high whiff-rate power breaking ball that gets up to 87 mph. At a physical 6-foot-1 190-pounds, Doughty has a relatively simple operation on the mound with a loose, fast arm from a shorter path and high 3/4 slot.

Anthony Lira 1B / 3B / Oakmont, CA / 2024

His showing at the NorCal ProCase prompted his ascension up the rankings. Being on the field with him, both while taking BP and then the game at-bats, there was a palpable feeling that he is a DANGEROUS and talented hitter. Very few high school right-hand hitting 1st baseman get legit draft interest but Lira is one who can and we think will. He's physical, he's a good hitter beyond having power, he can hit good pitching, and his presence in the box is real. Oh, and he's not just a hitter, he's a well-above average 1st baseman, with soft hands, light feet, and deft ability to make tough short hops look fairly routine.

Austin Steeves LHP / OF / Casa Grande, CA / 2024

A breakout pitcher in the class of 2024, not only regionally and statewide, Steeves ended the spring season with the second most strikeouts among all high school pitchers... in the nation (via MaxPreps stats). His ability to miss bats with the fastball, touches 89, settles in around 85-87 mph, is what makes him so intriguing. Left-hand hitters have a terrible time vs him due to his stuff, movement and cross-body stride but it's his effectiveness vs RHH that is astounding. They not only swing and miss a ton, they frequently CHASE his FB out of the zone. He does have a big, tight CB and this summer has developed a good CHG, so hitters in spring 2024 have more trouble ahead. Whether facing local high school compeition or the elite talent at Area Codes, his ability to punch out hitters showed up in 2023.

Liam Golden RHP / Christian Brothers, CA / 2024

June was a whirlwind of exposure and breaking onto the scene for the big right-hander, starting with BAWS 2023, which earned him a spot at the A's ACG tryout, which he took advantage of, registering the top FB (94 mph) while sitting at 93 mph, earning a spot in San Diego. The FB has sink and he presents an uncomfortable at-bat for RHHs as he is plenty willing to go inside with the heater. Has a big sweepy slider that is still developing and ultimately that pitch will be what MLB scouts grind on relative to his draft projection. The crystal ball here says Golden will get to at least 96 mph this coming spring, the slider will steadily improve, and he will be pitching in front of MLB scouts all season, depending on what his college commitment is.

Fernando Palencia SS / RHP / Arcadia, CA / 2024

A USD commit, Palencia has elevated his game since his time on Team California at the prestigious PBR Future Games to the point that MLB Scouts now are firmly aware of him. Whether at shortstop, where he’s fluid and makes all the plays, or on the mound, where he attacks hitter with a four-pitch mix, Palencia has the game for it. A smooth operator on the mound, Palencia’s low effort delivery features a fastball that touches 93 mph and three secondary pitches that he can land for strikes. However, it’s Palencia’s durability that stands out. It’s not uncommon for him to be deep into a game or a pitch count and still be touching his max velocities.

Jax Gimenez SS / 2B / Whitney, CA / 2024

If a scout projects the defense to be at least average for a HS middle infielder, then a player with at least an average hit grade is going to get attention. To go a step further, LHH are preferred over RHH. Switch-hitters, especially those who CAN hit on both sides, are valued even more. Gimenez has played 2B and SS in high school (a teammate MIF is also a D1 commit), he runs well (6.92 at ACG tryout on a slow track), and shows a playable arm (80 mph) that suggests 2B over SS. It was the bat speed, the quick hands, the crispness of his swing on both sides of the plate, and quality of contact which earned him a spot on the A's ACG team. Going back to the last HS game we saw him play (SJS D1 section final vs Franklin), he was plenty comfortable vs one of the top 2024 RHPs, Nic Abraham. So another box checked... he can hit good pitching.

Tommy Goodin 1B / 3B / Camarillo , CA / 2024

Soaring up the rankings this summer is Goodin who has shown his left-handed bat to be amongst the best in the class. Generates easy power from the left side with the ability to control and manipulate the barrel plan through the hitting zone. A consistent barrel machine who can use all fields, Goodin’s recent commitment to Vanderbilt was confirmation of his standing amongst left handed hitters in California.