Prep Baseball Report

2023 NJ State Rankings Unveiled

TJ Hunt
Director, PBR New Jersey

Fresh on the scene without having completed a semester of high school, the whispers across the country of a talented 2023 class have steadily increased after a full summer and fall of action on the diamond. Still very much maturing as players, both physically and mentally, these wide-eyed freshmen are eager to make an impact at the varsity level as well as the national stage...and some already have.

Year in and year out, New Jersey produces a ton of top tier national talent. Here’s a look at the first batch of current freshmen from across the state that have caught our eyes already - a mere 2.5 months into their high school careers...

To see the full list of 35 players, CLICK HERE

Leading the way for the 2023s at the state level for New Jersey is Duke recruit LHP/OF AJ Gracia (The Ranney School). Gracia was the focal point of the recent Underclass Games at Centenary University in October, where he stood out with exceptional left handed power and easy, repeatable arm on the mound. I think he projects as a pitcher at the next level, but that shouldn’t take away from his all ready imposing stature at the plate. The 6-foot 145-pounder pumped the bottom half of the strike zone at an easy 81-82 MPH with some late armside life with his fastball. He stood out that day with his two-plane breaking ball, a late-breaking 1/7 curveball with swing-and-miss ability at 67-68 MPH. He punched out 5 of 6 batters he faced on the day.



Coming in at No. 2 is talented LHP Stanley Cedeno (St. Joseph’s Montvale HS, NJ). Cedeno, a Bronx Bombers product, has been up to 85 and sat consistently 82-84 earlier this fall at the Big Apple Championships in NY. Clean, easy from a true-¾ slot, Cedeno’s athleticism and knack for the bottom half of the strike zone is impressive for his age.

No. 3 is highly touted RHP/Utility Aidan Teel (Mahwah HS, NJ). The Teel name should be familiar to high school baseball fans from New Jersey all ready - his older brother, Kyle, a 2020 Virginia recruit, is New Jersey’s top High School Draft Prospect. The younger brother Teel has the makings of yet another top athlete from Mahwah. Lanky, athletic with twitchiness in the infield, Teel was one of the top performers at the 2019 New Jersey State Games held at Don Bosco Prep HS in July. His fastball was up to 84 MPH from a high-¾ slot, sitting 82-84. He flashed an 11/5 breaker for strikes at 68-69 with some two-plane depth. At SS, Teel clocked the highest infield velocity as the youngest player at the event at 89 MPH, and ran a 7.18 60 yard dash to boot. Aidan, like his brother, can also catch.



No. 6 is SS Griffin Mills (Delbarton HS, NJ). Mills was an attendee with the PBR New Jersey Junior Future Games team in August. A 7.01 runner, Mills’ 6-foot-1 165-pound athletic frame stood out as a top player for the NJ squad, and had college coaches whispering throughout the event as a player to star on their notepads. Mills’ fastball has been into the mid-80s but has sat comfortably at 80-83 with a long, easy arm stroke.

No. 7 3B Allen Hernandez (Don Bosco Prep HS, NJ) leads the talented Don Bosco Prep core of freshmen this year. Broad shouldered and imposing in the batter’s box at 6-foot-1 200-pounds, the ball jumps off his bat - 94 MPH recorded exit velocity off a tee. Neutral start to his stance with hands high above his back shoulder, Hernandez uses a short, simple foot stride and fluid load to start his swing with explosive hips and hands through the zone. The ball sounds different off of his bat right now and will only continue to improve throughout his four years for the Ironmen.

No. 9 RHP Zachary Konstantinovsky (North Brunswick HS, NJ) was another standout at the Underclass Games in October. The 5-foot-11 165-pounder was 80-82 from a ¾ slot with some downhill action and was one of the top pitchers to come out of the event. Tall, fall type, lands squarely to homeplate and creates some hip-shoulder separation at first foot strike. His body control and strength are advanced for his age.



Rounding out the Top 10 is lanky right hander Charles Batista (Don Bosco Prep HS, NJ). Batista, along with Mills, led the pitching staff for the 14U Junior Future Games team at Lakpoint in the summer. The 6-foot-2 170-pounder right hander was 81-82 with a long, effortless arm.

The Top 10

1 AJ Gracia NJ Ranney School 2023 OF Duke
2 Stanley Cedeno NJ St. Joseph’s Montvale 2023 LHP  
3 Aidan Teel NJ Mahwah 2023 RHP  
4 Justin Sweeney NJ Egg Harbor Township 2023 RHP  
5 Ben Schild NJ Middletown South 2023 RHP  
6 Griffin Mills NJ Delbarton 2023 SS  
7 Allen Hernandez NJ Don Bosco 2023 3B  
8 Ryan Jaros NJ Cranford 2023 1B  
9 Zachary Konstantinovsky NJ North Brunswick 2023 RHP  
10 Charles Batista NJ Don Bosco Prep 2023 RHP

To see the full list of 35 players, CLICK HERE

Players to Watch

  • The catchers in this class are really deep from everything our scouts have seen so far. Aidan Paradine (Bayonne HS, NJ), Braden Connors (Bergen Catholic HS, NJ) and Mark Gialluisi (St. Joseph’s Metuchen HS, NJ) are all players to keep an eye on. All three possess advanced catch and throw abilities. Connors, a left handed hitter, dominated pitching at both the Junior Future Games and the Underclass Games in October. Simple, short approach with a small foot stride and balance throughout his swing - Connors mashed a double down the right field line at Centenary U. and had hard outs the whole day. Gialluisi has a muscular frame at 5-foot-10 170-pounds. His arm strength is plus, 76 MPH from behind the plate. Possesses some quickness to his barrel with a short, compact stroke, too.

  • C’s Charlie Taub (Edison HS, NJ), Jason Schooley (Cherokee HS, NJ), Logan Eilbacher (Notre Dame HS, NJ), George Krenkel (Red Bank Catholic HS, NJ) and Dom Bello (Pope John XXIII HS, NJ) will all be players for recruiters to keen in on, too. Like the three aforementioned catchers, these five are all top talents that will provide some pop to the middle of the order in HS as they continue to mature.

  • RHP and corner infielder Jack Kirchner (Bishop Eustace Prep HS, NJ) will be a two way prospect to watch, too at a physical 6-foot 180-pounds.

  • I was really impressed with INF Connor Watson (Morristown HS, NJ) at the Underclass Games, too. Watson, the younger brother of Monmouth recruit Aidan, has a similar, athletic frame and twitch to his game and certainly will be a key contributor come spring time.


  • RHP Alex Kranzler (Old Tappan HS, NJ) is an interesting arm to follow. 6-foot-1 185-pounds and up to 78 with a late breaking curveball at 65-66 - Kranzler’s strength as just a freshman will be a big problem for opposing teams in Bergen County.

  • SS Rodney Pena (DePaul Catholic HS, NJ) has a strong arm from SS and can certainly see him making a name for himself on the varsity level for the Spartans this spring. 

  • SS’s Evan Brown (Cherokee HS, NJ) Zachary Selfon (Mahwah HS, NJ) and Nicolas Lorenzo (The Pingry School) all have similar, scrappy games to them. As these three continue to mature, they will be names to follow on the recruiting trail.