Prep Baseball Report

Updated 2023 Rankings

TJ Hunt
Director, PBR New Jersey

We continue on with Rankings Week with the updated list of 2023 prospects in New Jersey. 

When Senator Sarlo announced the opportunity for high school players to take a "Covid-redshirt," there were some shakeups in the classes - some graduating juniors were dropped to sophomores, which made them eligible for the 2023 rankings, and so on, which is why some of the names on the list might seem familiar to other grad classes.

CLICK HERE to view the full list of 2023 Rankings.

The Top 10

1 Aidan Teel NJ Mahwah 2023 RHP Virginia
2 Ryan Jaros NJ Cranford 2023 3B Georgia Tech
3 Luca Reyes NJ Bergen Catholic 2023 OF Miami
4 AJ Gracia NJ Ranney School 2023 LHP Duke
5 Stanley Cedeno NJ St. Joseph's Montvale 2023 LHP  
6 Matt Augustin NJ Bishop Eustace 2023 RHP  
7 Justin Herbstman NJ Old Bridge 2023 LHP Virginia Tech
8 Justin Sweeney NJ Egg Harbor Township 2023 RHP Rutgers
9 Charles Batista NJ Don Bosco Prep 2023 RHP  
10 Joey Tuttoilmondo NJ South Brunswick 2023 RHP


+ A new No. 1 emerges for the NJ 2023 class - with Virginia commit RHP Aidan Teel (Mahwah) rising a few slots to take the crown. Teel joins his brother and current Virginia player, Kyle, as the top player in each of their grad years. The younger Teel has seen a solid jump to his fastball velocity, up to 94 mph this offseason.

+ The Top 10 had some shakeups with No. 6 uncommitted RHP Matt Augustin (Bishop Eustace Prep) showing some elite stuff this offseason, up to 91 mph

+ No. 9 Uncommitted RHP Charles Batista (Don Bosco Prep) has jumped back into the Top 10 in this go around. The projectable 6-foot-3 195-pound athletic looking righty saw some solid gains since we last saw him -  with his fastball up to 90 mph and showcasing the ability to spin the baseball at advanced levels (2259 rpm FB average).

High Risers

+ No. 15 Tulane commit SS Michael Lucarelli (Paul VI HS, NJ) was impressive last fall and showcased toolsy attributes in the field and a knack for the barrel from the left side. A 6.93 runner, Look for Lucarelli to have a successful spring season for Paul VI.

+ No. 25 uncommitted SS/RHP Rodney Pena (DePaul Catholic HS, NJ) is a player to watch this spring and summer. Athletic looking 5-foot-11 185-pounds, Pena's fastball has been up to 90 mph in the offseason - with a compact, clean arm action from a high-3/4 slot. Similar to his travel ball teammate, the aforementioned Batista, Pena shows the ability to spin the ball at elite levels - with a fastball that averages 2221 rpm and a slider with average spin at 2675rpm. At the plate, Pena possesses a quiet, controlled swing with power to the gaps from the right side.

+ No. 26 C/OF Cristian Bernardini (Manalapan HS, NJ) was arguably the most impressive athlete coming out of the winter offseason. 6.95 runner and a 1.97 pop time (showcase format) shows some quick twitch actions - and the ability to play the outfield with ease shows off his athleticism even more. Lanky, athletic at 6-foot 165-pounds, Bernardini is consistently on the barrel from the right side with rhythm in hands and fluid, easy load.

+ No. 27 uncommitted C Zachary McBride (Delbarton HS, NJ) has some big shoes to fill behind the dish at Delbarton, with the graduation of Willie Schwarick - who was a mainstay as the backstop for Jack Leiter over the last few years. McBride didn't bat an eye this offseason, however, emerging as a high riser in the rankings. With one of the top catch-and-throw abilities in the class, McBride showed his athleticism in February running a 7.03 60 yard dash and peppering line drives with backspin. Expect McBride to be a standout this spring.

+ No. 28 uncommitted RHP Nick Sulpizio (Bishop Eustace Prep) solidifies Eustace's young and talented pitching staff along with the aforementioned Augustin. Sulpizio is a broad shouldered, athletic 6-foot-1 185-pounds with a clean, repeatable arm and the ability to spin a breaker for strikes. His fastball has been up to 88 mph, but sits comfortably in the 84-87 range.

+ No. 30 LHP/OF Ian Kaiser (Montville HS, NJ) is a really exciting ballplayer to keep an eye on. His speed and power hitting ability make him an extra base hit machine, and his strong left handed arm has been up to 89 on the bump, too. A solid comp to Kaiser would be current Seton Hall outfielder, Devin Hack out of Somerville High School, a 2019 grad. Kaiser's game resembles a top of the lineup guy and his strong lefty arm make him a true two-way prospect.

+ Watch out for No. 34 uncommitted RHP Anthony Marano (DePaul Catholic HS, NJ). Lanky, athletic 5-foot-11 170-pounds. Fastball was up to 88 mph in March and sat mostly 86-88. Flashed a hard, late slider and a curveball for strikes. Compact, quick arm action with some armside run.

+ Uncommitted C Zachary Novakowski (Pascack Valley HS, NJ) has some strength to his frame at 5-foot-11 180-pounds. A left handed hitter with power to the gaps, in two events this offseason, Novakowski registered 97 mph exit velos and an average exit speed at 89.35 mph - indicating that he is consistently on the barrel with hard hit line drives. A 6.95 runner, his athleticism and strength really stand out. Open stance, small leg stride and smooth, fluid load. His catch and throw is advanced as well, at 1.89-2.06 pop times (showcase setting) and 74 mph arm down to 2B.

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