Updated Kentucky Class of 2023 Rankings
September 5, 2022
After a flurry of summer events, the time has come to update the Kentucky Class of 2023 rankings. The top five includes two Kentucky commits, an Eastern Kentucky commit, a Louisville commit, and a Troy commit. This class features a multitude of many other talented players who will continue their careers next year in college. There is also the possibility of a few of these young men garnering some MLB interest next spring.
For now, here’s an in-depth look at the Top Five.
LHP Evan Hart sits at the top of the class. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound lefty has added mass to a developing frame and it’s paying off for the University of Kentucky commit. Hart is just scratching the surface of his uber-talented potential. He profiles as a weekend starter in the future and will likely garner a significant amount of interest from MLB scouts next spring. Hart still has some work to do to get to that point but the talent and stuff is there. He offers up an 87-91 mph fastball that has plenty of swing and miss because of the ride through the zone. This is not only backed up by the swing-and-miss he routinely gets, its proven with his hop score of 104 (average MLB pitcher is 100). His best secondary pitch is a nasty, 74-76 mph sweeping slider that is hard to barrel and has proven to be effective against both right and left-handed hitters.
RHP Mitchell Berger follows Hart in the No. 2 spot. The workhorse righty brings a bulldog mentality to the mound with the stuff to certainly back it up. Berger, an Eastern Kentucky commit, showed a sizeable jump in velocity this summer, working 88-91 while occasionally touching 92. He offers a hard fading changeup in the low-80’s, but the difference is a 74-76 mph power 12/6 curveball with spin rates in the 2700’s that generates plenty of swing-and-miss. Berger’s physical frame helps in holding velocity throughout a game, and he profiles as a college starter with three effective pitches.
#EKU ‘23 RHP Mitchell Berger(@ATYBerger) Brick of human w/ + ease of op. Quick tempo deliv, simple+non manufactured. Patience over rubber in stride, strong lower half put him in great position to throw. Clean, easy full AA (H3/4). FB 88-90 T92 bore, CB 74-76 🔨25-2700! Let’s goo! pic.twitter.com/GwHubbX7HO— Justin Goetz (@JGoetzPBR) July 23, 2022
RHP Thomas Howard occupies the No. 3 spot in the rankings. At 6-foot-3, 220-pounds, Howard has the makeup to be a workhorse for the Cards as he brings an 87-91 mph fastball that will certainly elevate. His 74-77 mph, 11/5 Power curveball has all the makings of being a swing-and-miss offering at the college level, and he features an effective changeup in a good three-pitch mix that bodes well moving forward. A three-sport athlete, Howard’s athleticism will serve him well on the mound when he steps foot on the Louisville campus.
2023 @LouisvilleBSB Thomas Howard The physical 6’3” #225 Right Hander has settled in here in Lexington. Howard profiles as a starter and shows why here— PBR Kentucky (@PBRKentucky) April 29, 2022
FB85-88 T89|| Working both sides with ASR
SL75-77|| Late tilt S/M
CH78-80|| Hard run @ShooterHunt @prepbaseball @FDHSBaseball pic.twitter.com/pbScxlHngq
SS Aydan Hamilton, a Kentucky commit, checks in at No. 4. The 6-foot-5, 185-pound left-handed hitter followed up an impressive Future Games performance in 2021, with an outstanding, although injury-abbreviated campaign this past spring. In 20 games, Hamilton hit .490 with six doubles, three home runs, and 21 RBI while also swiping a perfect 16-for-16 in stolen bases. Hamilton has middle-of-the-order power to go along with smooth feet and hands on the left side of the infield. He may see a switch to third base at Kentucky, but Hamilton, who is also a standout on the basketball court, possesses the athleticism to play shortstop beyond high school as well.
Intriguing upside from ‘23 SS Aydan Hamilton (KY).— Shooter Hunt (@ShooterHunt) July 28, 2021
LHH took quality g2g round w/ simple stroke working slightly uphill.
6’4” frame will carry much more w/ power on the way.
Athlete who also hoops. #PBRFG21 || @PBRKentucky pic.twitter.com/pYP0xV7tDU
SS Cooper Smith rounds out the top five, a sizeable jump up the rankings for the St. Xavier HS standout who was arguably the best player in the state down the stretch this past spring in leading the Tigers to a state title. Simply a gamer on the field, Smith racked up 63 hits that culminated in a .460 batting average. He routinely drove the ball to the gaps as evidenced by his 11 doubles, 13 triples, and three home runs, and he scored an astounding 56 runs while striking out just 13 times in 137 trips to the plate. Smith is a versatile defender with the ability to play nearly any position on the field, and that should bode well for him moving forward.
2023 @TroyTrojansBSB Cooper Smith jumps on this high offering and goes deep to the gap for a run scoring double. The former Futures Games alum is starting to fill out physically and develop real power@prepbaseball pic.twitter.com/m2ZvCwxrG9— PBR Kentucky (@PBRKentucky) June 4, 2022