Prep Baseball Report

Initial Class of 2025 Player Rankings (September)

Jordan Chiero and PBR Ohio Staff
PBR Ohio Director of Scouting

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Initial Class of 2025 Player Rankings (September) 

In 2020 we have had a year unlike any other ... No Spring HS season, uncertainty all summer with tournaments and showcases and the same can still be said this fall. But that hasn't stopped us from searching far and wide throughout the state to find the best prospects we can, to help them get to college and to help colleges find prospects that fit their culture.

Despite the tumultuous summer, many names came off the board to some of the top programs around the nation, many new names came to the forefront of the recruiting scene, and many prospects improved their game.

With many names be noted and talked about by some of the most prestigious programs in the nation. Below we will take a look at The Top 5 and "On The Cusp Prospects".

To view the Positional Breakdowns, please click below:

To view the Uncommitted Class of Positional Breakdowns, click below:

To view the 2021 Summer Showcase Statistical Breakdowns, click below:

To view the entire Class of 2025 rankings, please click here.

The Initial Top 5

Luke Pappano LHP / OF / St. Xavier, OH / 2025

Report: About as talented of a two-way prospect as you can ask for at this early in the process. We will start on the mound where the 6-foot southpaw shined against some of the state’s older/top prospect. Compact, unique arm action that comes together to be on time at foot strike, and generates obvious arm speed. Fastball was up to 87mph and he popped in an above average breaking ball often. There is almost certainly more in the tank as well considering athleticism shown as a position player. 6.89 runner who moves well in all phases. Lefty stick that has gap to gap pop and should grow into a run producer type down the road.

Taylor Belza C / 3B / St Ignatius, OH / 2025

Report: Yet to play a high school game but has already received power 5 offers. The hit tools is real/very advanced for class. The raw engine is explosive, coming from the left side where he can generate mid 70s batspeed and mid 90s exit velocity. Just as impressive as the physical traits is the feel to hit. Smooth, athletic mover who very rarely expands the zone and rarely misses the barrel when he pulls the trigger. A versatile defender that can play in the infield/behind the dish. It’s early but it’d be hard to pull him from behind the dish with what we’ve seen back there. Tons of feel to receive, willingness to block albeit limited viewing when we’ve been in attendance, and a well above average arm.

Hunter Richardson LHP / OF / Wayne, OH / 2025

Report: Obviously very on in the evaluation process but Richardson shows signs of a possible front line starter down the road. 6-foot-1, well built prospect with a polished delivery that allows for easy velocity. Presently sits in the low 80s, peaking at 84mph from what we’ve seen. Secondary wise he spins a well above average breaking ball for class and changeup that shows potential of being a quality third offering. Obvious upside here.

Zion Theophilus RHP / OF / Moeller, OH / 2025

Report: It’s hard to be more impressive that Theophilus was at our Southern Ohio Rising Prospects this summer. Potential premier two-way prospect in class who’s been up to 86mph off the mound from the right side and 96mph off the bat from the left. Actions are athletic on both sides of the ball. The advanced talents he’s shown this summer have led to early college attention.

Andrew Karhoff RHP / OF / Archbishop Hoban, OH / 2025

Report: Karhoff is big, physical, and athletic. A 6-foot-3, 220-pound prospect who is a legit two-way talent who also plays hoops for Hoban. On the mound he will sit in the low to mid 80s, while topping at 86mph. Don’t expect the velocity to stall there considering already mentioned athleticism, movement patterns and a very loose/workable arm. At the plate he’s a mid 90s type guy off the bat who has all the traits you look for in a future run producer.

On The Cusp

Cooper Gilkerson RHP / 3B / Hilliard Darby, OH / 2025

Report: Coop was hard to leave out of the top 5 and would have been the No. 6 guy on this list if we went further. Good size, above average athleticism and two-way capabilities. A bit further advanced on the mound presently where he is smooth, has sharp stuff led by a low 80s heater, while also showing feel for the zone. Offensively he’s a low 90s type of the bat. Expect the engine on both sides to only get bigger as he fills out his long-levered frame. Bloodlines are there as well as his brother is a top 20 player in the ‘23 class.

Miller Hutchison 1B / 3B / Newark Catholic, OH / 2025

Report: Hutchison shows all the signs of a future power arm down the road and matches the upside of just about anyone in this class. Athletic mover with a compact, loose arm that is capable of generating fastball velocities up to 83mph. The velocity at such a young age is already impressive but considering the fact he’s 6-foot-2 and just 140-pounds….there are huge physical jumps still to come.

*** Video from 2019

Preston Zumwalt SS / 2B / Tippecanoe, OH / 2025

Report: In game he’s been as good as anyone in this class. At the plate he’s physical with smooth patterns that lead to very easy juice. Put on a show at the JR Future Games for Team Ohio in BP, driving ball after ball with authority with the ball coming as hot as 95mph off the barrel. Defensively, he is a left side of the infield candidate who has shown the ability to make plays off platform with quality/reliable hands.

Matthew Major 3B / RHP / Troy Christian, OH / 2025

Report: There’s so much to like here. It’s not hard to see that he’s the son of an All SEC defensive lineman considering how physical, smooth, and athletic he is. Major takes the type of BP that you just sit back and watch. Capable of leaving the yard presently, with natural lift and exit velocities that can climb into the upper 90s. Also shows smooth actions over at 3B and on the mound. Expect him to be one of the more electric bats in class with high velo potential on the bump as well.

Braylon Schneider RHP / 3B / Fremont Ross, OH / 2025

Report: After a strong summer and Future 50 appearance Schneider earned himself a roster spot on Team Ohio for the Junior Future Games. On the mound everything works well, showing a clean on arm that’s on time at foot strike. Considering the efficiency of patterns and room for projection left on that 6-foot frame expect him to keep climbing velocity wise and he’s already been up to 84mph. Also interesting as a position player.

Nolan Hoover RHP / SS / Gibsonburg, OH / 2025

Report: It doesn’t take long to notice Hoover when watching him in game as he affects this game on several different levels. Two-way guy who has a versatile skill set in the box and a constant threat to swipe a bag when on the bases. Defensively he’s a guy you could see in multiple spots with his athleticism and above average arm. On the bump he’s a high spin, upper 70s to low 80s guy with one of the batter breaking balls we’ve seen in that class. 


Rank Name State School Class Pos Commitment
1 Luke Pappano OH St. Xavier 2025 LHP
2 Taylor Belza OH St Ignatius 2025 C
3 Hunter Richardson OH Wayne 2025 LHP
4 Zion Theophilus OH Moeller 2025 RHP
5 Andrew Karhoff OH Archbishop Hoban 2025 RHP

***** To view the entire rankings, please click here.

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