Prep Baseball Report

2023 National Rankings Updated

Shooter Hunt
Vice President, Scouting

At the top, CF Max Clark (Franklin HS, IN) still reigns as the top prospect in the class, but it is not without challenge from OF Walker Jenkins (South Brunswick HS, NC). The scenario is more likely 1A and 1B, and after recovering from a hand injury, Jenkins hit the ground running at the PBR Cup in September where he reasserted himself as a force in this draft class with 1:1 aspirations. The hit and power tools are enough for teams to line up with signing bonuses that are approaching eight figures. A physical specimen who checks all the boxes with regards to makeup and baseball IQ, it would come as no surprise for Jenkins to be the first selection in July’s MLB Draft.

Sitting in the third spot, once again, is 3B Aidan Miller (JW Mitchell HS, FL). The Arkansas recruit was a force and catalyst in helping Team USA capture a gold medal at the World Cup early on in the fall. His physicality and athleticism provide natural plate coverage with present strength to all fields and exciting upside as a middle-of-the-order bat.

***CLICK FOR TOP 500***

Earning MVP at the World Cup for Team USA was two-way prospect, RHP/1B Bryce Eldridge (Madison HS, VA). The 6-foot-7, 220-pounder was long thought to be an arm in the eyes of professional scouts, and still may be given the electric upside, but it was his bat that was put on display in Sarasota throughout the tournament. The Alabama recruit has long exhibited a sweet stroke with effortless lift, but the outputs throughout the tournament were eye-opening including one home run that cleared the batter’s eye in center field. Tall, long-limbed hitters have historically been riskier options due to their difficult movement patterns, but given some recent successes from similar collegiate and professional body types, some professional clubs could see significant value in a market inadequacy.

MLB Draft Helium Alert

Arjun Nimmala SS / Strawberry Crest, FL / 2023

In searching this class for impact, premium position value, Nimmala jumps into a short list of prospects. A wiry, 6-foot-1, 170-pounder who still shows signs of adding considerable strength, Nimmala’s quick hands and loose wrists produce eye-opening power outputs thanks to the ease of movement with which he needs to get through impact while working on an uphill plane. Perhaps equally as enticing for the scouting community, Nimmala is a natural at shortstop with fluid actions that allow him to slow the game down at an advanced level while making each play look easy and sending accurate throws across the diamond from all angels. The Florida State recruit will not turn 18 until well after the draft which should only help in driving up his value in the first round.

Colin Houck SS / 3B / Parkview, GA / 2023

Houck, a Mississippi State recruit, has long been a favorite in this class, and culminates a steady rise in being ranked at the top of Georgia's 2023 class. The QB1 prospect is still throwing up big numbers on the gridiron, but it is the powerful outputs on the diamond that have the scouting community buzzing. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder produces effortless power, and combined with obvious athleticism, is easy to dream with regards to the upside that the bat still holds.

Jonny Farmelo OF / Westfield, VA / 2023

Heading into the summer, Farmelo was a top 200 prospect in the class thanks to a sweet left-handed stroke and elite athleticism. After stout showings on multiple national stages including at the PBR Cup to begin the fall, the Virginia recruit skyrockets into the top 20 (#17), and might ultimately be too low. While not quite there (yet), there is some Max Clark esq feel to his all around game. A premium runner who routinely glides to 4.1-times in game, Farmelo is bigger than the aforementioned Clark at 6-foot-3, 215-pounds with lean, defined strength. His presence in the box is calm and collected with crisp movements and the ability to slow things down while accelerating through impact and flashing considerable power potential. Still more, his ability to cover the plate in driving the ball to the opposite field shines well on the hit-tool, and given the recent helium dark horses that the mid-Atlantic has produced (Merrill, Triantos), the northern Virginia product is a good bet to be the next in line.

Dillon Head OF / Homewood Flossmoor, IL / 2023

In another 1A-1B scenario, Head jumps into the top spot in Illinois just ahead of dynamic right-hander, Zander Mueth. There is no player in the class that the scouting community spoke more fondly of throughout the fall, and it comes with good reason. The electricity of the hands from the left side produce big exit velocities in spite of a smaller frame, and there is reason to believe that the Clemson recruit will quickly develop more power, of which he already exhibits some to the pull side with the ability to lift. However, his defensive work is what was so special this fall as he gracefully roamed center field as a plus defender with an innate ability to erase extra base hits. He has firmly put himself in Day 1 consideration with first round buzz likely to grow throughout the spring.

Cooper Pratt SS / Magnolia Heights, MS / 2023

Pratt, an Ole Miss recruit, rose up draft boards throughout the summer, and continued to impress with a quality showing throughout the fall including at the PBR Cup in September. At 6-foot-4, 195-pounds with a pristine frame that promises more strength in coming years, Pratt immediately passes the eye-test of which his play only reconfirms. A natural defender with clean, confident hands that allow him to find the right spot in the glove with each ground ball before delivering strong throws across the diamond, Pratt looks the part of a professional shortstop. Adding to his allure as a prospect is a short stroke that sees quickness in a short frame while producing firm contact to all fields with even more future power highly likely. Up into the top 20 nationally, Pratt is firmly grouped into an elite set of shortstops in the class. The spring will provide a proving ground in setting draft value, which is likely very high considering the fact that he would immediately be one of the closest follows for the 2026 draft should he make it to campus.

'Gut Feel' Guys

Colt Emerson SS / John Glenn, OH / 2023

Emerson, an Auburn recruit, has long been a steady favorite within PBR circles, and for any prospect that might have louder tools, few would ever take them over the Ohio native. A hybrid hitter who exhibits ease of adjustment from pitch to pitch, there is already a maturity to his approach and barrel accuracy that is usually rare to find in a northern hitter. Balanced from the left side, he is capable of using the whole field with some present pull side power to go along with it. Sure-handed on the infield with the potential to play any spot (along with some aptitude behind the plate), Emerson possesses some intriguing value.

Jack Radel RHP / Sioux Falls Roosevelt, SD / 2023

Radel, a South Dakota native, entered the summer as an uncommitted rising senior, and utilized the PBR National Program Invitational (NPI) as a springboard to becoming one of the most sought after recruits in the country. He ultimately pledged a commitment to Notre Dame after a dominant showing before riding out the rest of the summer on a hot streak. The delivery is ultra-athletic with clean, fluid movement down the mound that assists a quick, whippy arm in delivering fastballs that are quickly ticking up into the mid 90s. At 6-foot-4, 205-pounds, he clearly passes the eye-test, and given his relatively low mileage, there is a strong chance that he is only just starting his upward ascension.

Folger Boaz LHP / East Surry , NC / 2023

Boaz, a North Carolina recruit, did not see any action on the mound in the fall, but only due to the fact that he was busy becoming East Surry High School’s all-time leader for career touchdowns in what has been an undefeated year to date. The left-handed QB1 was up into the low 90s throughout the summer featuring both a firmer slider and bigger slurve, along with a changeup, and demonstrated control of each. In looking to the spring, the Carolina’s have perpetually produced high-level helium candidates, and given his athleticism on the gridiron and aptitude on the mound, look for Boaz to receive plenty of interest then.



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