Prep Baseball Report

Class of 2023 State Rankings

PBR California Staff

With the calendar flipping to November players in the 2023 class around the state of California are firmly acclimated to walking the halls of high school campus. A little less familiar for some might be varsity level baseball. However, for many of the hundreds of players in the Class of 2023 that our team of scouts have seen since May, the reality of varsity baseball is just a couple months away. 

The summer and early fall periods have allowed us time to bear down on players in all classes and this class is no different. Having seen many of these players in various settings it became clearer and clearer to us that this class has a chance to be very special in the next few years. There’s depth, and there’s quality depth, this class has both of those things. 

The leadup to the release of our initial 2023 California State Rankings was an arduous one as many players will undoubtedly make big jumps and many more will be added to the list which will expand in the coming years. As such we wanted to be representative of the quality of the players in the class while also keeping in perspective that each of these players has a long way to go in being a fully developed player. 

In compiling our initial Class of 2023 rankings one thing became clear, pitching will lead the way in this class. With many freshmen still playing two positions, there are potentially as many as six pitchers in the Top 10 alone, the position is well represented in the overall Top 25 as well. 


Leading the way at the top of the rankings is RHP Duke Ekstrom (Point Loma HS) , a long-limbed, 6-foot-1, 160-pounder whose loose, whippy arm has electric potential in it from his tall delivery through to his extended lower 3/4 arm slot. Works comfortably in the mid-80’s while ramping up for more at times while working mainly to the arm side. His curveball shows quality depth and manages maintain spin and angle despite lower arm slot. Eckstrom’s changeup flashes major upside coming from the same arm slot and tunnel as his fastball before diving down in the zone. Eckstrom showed that his present stuff is enough to garner attention, but when paired with his potential that’s when it’s easy to see him where he is our rankings. 

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Checking it a number two is the top arm in the class from Northern California and one of the most exciting in all the state in RHP Kenny Connelly (Clayton Valley Charter HS) who show a loose lean and quick arm action with good body control and repeatable mechanics. Connelly possesses a live fastball to the arm side that he pairs with presently average and projectable secondary pitches. He’s a strike thrower with a durable frame that had an electric fall gaining national attention for his present stuff. 

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The third spot is held down by RHP/OF Owen Egan (Yucaipa HS) who saw his stock rise after a huge summer and early fall campaign. Egan, a very athletic, proportionally strong athlete who projects well in all facets of his game, particularly at the plate where he has the type of power that catches your attention immediately, shows versatility on the mound and in the outfield where he can play either corner spot and has some tools to play in center field. Egan also works in the mid-80’s on the mound with a compact, fluid arm that has some quickness to it. 

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The fourth spot in goes to Dean West (Notre Dame HS) a freakishly athletic outfielder with the type of tools that have college recruiters very interested already. A sub-7.0 runner who uses his athleticism in the outfield where he easily tracks down balls with fair range while showing a developing arm with accuracy. A left-handed hitter, West shows a balanced swing with repeatable mechanics with fast hands while creating torque with excellent use of the lower half. Present line drive hitter who projects for added power with continued physical maturation. 

Rounding out the Top Five is SS/2B Austen Roellig (Rancho Cucamonga HS). The middle infielder shows electric hands up the middle with very good range to both sides and enough arm strength to stay on the left side of the infield. There’s sneaky power in the stroke where Roellig shows the ability to pepper gaps with line drives. 


1 - Stanford, Oregon, San Diego


LHP: 1; 3B: 3; C: 3; OF: 4; RHP: 7 MIF: 7


1 Duke Ekstrom CA Point Loma 2023 RHP  
2 Kyle Connelly CA Clayton Valley Charter 2023 RHP  
3 Owen Egan CA Yucaipa 2023 OF  
4 Dean West CA Notre Dame 2023 OF  
5 Austen Roellig CA Rancho Cucamona 2023 SS  
6 Brady Reynolds CA Liberty 2023 C Stanford
7 Nolan Stevens CA Franklin 2023 LHP  
8 Toby Twist CA Garces Memorial 2023 OF  
9 Kai Caranto CA Harvard Westlake 2023 SS  
10 Ryan Featherston CA Stockdale 2023 RHP Oregon

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