Preseason All-State: Upperclass Preview
March 3, 2023
On Saturday, March 4th, the PBR Indiana staff will host our annual Preseason All State: Upperclass event at Pro X Athlete on the campus of Grand Park in Westfield, IN. This invite-only event perennially brings in the top talent from Indiana’s junior class (2024 graduates) from across the state. We have seen nearly 150 college commits at this event in the past two seasons, and we already have 23 current division one recruits on this year’s roster. Today, I highlight some of the committed prospects that I am looking forward to checking in on, as well as some top uncommitted prospects from Indiana’s loaded 2024 class.
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The All-State event will feature seven of the top ten ranked prospects in Indiana’s 2024 class. All seven of these players have already made Power 5 commitments, but are now looking to continue to raise their stock and put their name in early conversations as potential draft prospects for next year. I am excited to see the group of talented arms in LHP Caden McCoy (Texas A&M), RHP Jack Brown (Louisville), RHP Nash Wagner (Alabama), and RHP Cameron Sullivan (Notre Dame). McCoy and Brown shined at last year’s Preseason All-State: Underclass event while Sullivan was one of the biggest winners from our PBR Future Games team last August. Wagner is coming off an injury-stricken 2022 but is expected to show off his low-90s fastball again now that he is fully healthy.
Not to be outdone by the arms, the talented trio of top-ranked bats in C Hogan Denny (Indiana), OF Ahmaad Duff (Alabama), and OF Hunter Snow (Baylor) will be must-see prospects at the All-State event. Denny has one of the most accurate and powerful barrels in the class and will likely put on a show in BP, while Duff is the best athlete in the class and will likely put up the most impressive 60 yard dash time of anyone on the roster. I’m excited to see Snow’s progress after an offseason of training, as he was one of the biggest standout bats from our PBR Future Games team last August.
The committed talent at this event is not limited to the players listed above, because the 2024 class from Indiana is one of the deepest crops of talent we have seen in recent years. Two arms in particular that I expect to have breakout showings on March 4th are RHP Max Winders (Western Kentucky) and LHP Ethan Lund (Purdue). Both Winders and Lund have shown pitchability and the frame to increase velocity, so I am excited to see their progress.
RHP's Griffin Tobias (Indiana) and Simon Wilkinson (Illinois) are athletic arms that have consistently been up near the top of the 2024 rankings. RHP Gavin Kuzniewski (Ohio State) had a breakout performance at last year’s Preseason All-State: Underclass and will look to do much of the same at this year’s event. RHP Brendin Oliver (Cincinnati) is another long and projectable arm that will look to run his fastball into the low-90s and improve his stock.
A group of standout bats from our PBR Future Games team will be in attendance this weekend in INF Isaac VanderWoude (Virginia), 3B RJ Cromartie (Notre Dame), OF Cole Decker (Cincinnati), and SS Noah Coy (Cincinnati). I also expect C JT Stiner (Virginia Tech) to standout with a loud round of batting practice.
Indiana’s 2024 class still has a ton of quality uncommitted talent left on the board, with a majority of the uncommitted talent attending the event this weekend. The first players that comes to mind for me are RHP Adam Buczkowski (Carmel HS) and RHP/OF Nick Heitman (Mt. Vernon HS). Buczkowski had a big showing at the PBR Future Games in August and continued to show strides last fall, running his fastball up to 89 mph with improvements in pitchability. His high-waisted frame, ability to pitch from multiple arm slots, and his ability to spin a high-level slider should draw the attention of college coaches. Heitman, an athletic, 6-foot-3 righty with an extremely live arm, has the potential to put up one of the top fastball velocities at the event. I’m interested to see the progress of RHP Vince Hoover (Tipton HS) - a physically advanced 6-foot-4, 225 pound righty that has been up to 90 mph. RHP Paddy Keefer (Marian HS) was a big riser last fall, showing increased fastball velocity (87 mph) and one of the best changeups in the class. I’m interested to see where RHP Michael Fliss (North Central HS) is at - another big riser from the fall with a projectable, 6-foot-5, 195 pound frame and a fastball that was up to 88 mph. RHP Conner Vander Luitgaren (Center Grove HS) is a “dark horse” candidate to have a big showing. Vander Luitgaren has the ability to command the zone with multiple pitches, can spin a solid breaking ball, and has reached into the upper-80s this winter.
The top-ranked uncommitted SS in Indiana’s 2024 class is Brayden Hibler (Westfield HS). Hibler is a slick-fielding shortstop with some of the best defensive actions in the class and improving strength that should translate to more arm strength and bat speed. A high-IQ player with a 6-foot-2, 165 pound frame, I’m excited to see how Hibler’s measurables improve after an offseason of training. OF/C AJ Beggs (Center Grove) is another highly-ranked uncommitted player from the ‘24 class that will be in attendance. Beggs has strength in his right-handed bat and offers intriguing athleticism in a 6-foot, 200 pound frame. SS Chase Bays (Marian HS) is an impactful hitter that could make some noise in his batting practice round, as well as with his arm strength in the defensive portion of the workout. SS Joshua Girvan (Zionsville HS) continues to trend upwards and has put his name on the list with some of the top uncommitted shortstops in the state. Girvan shows an impressive toolset - a 6.83 runner with 100+ exit velocities and quick feet in the infield.
MORE UNCOMMITTED NAMES TO KNOW
A wiry, athletic 6-foot-2, 170 pound infielder that is full of quick-twitch. Smith has a quick, upward right-handed swing and looks to get the barrel to the front of the zone with pull-side intentions and sneaky pop. Smith showed solid arm strength (85 INF Velo) and some straight line speed (6.97 60) at last year’s Preseason All State event.
FROM 8/26/2022- A 2024 arm with plenty of upside. The 6-foot-3, 175 pound righty jumps into the Top 50 after a strong summer. Burton has a clean arm swing and efficient movements with the lower half as he moves down the mound, with a fastball that reaches 85 mph. At the Grand Park Summer Championships, Burton showed a tight breaking ball in the mid-70s that he could really command, landing it early in counts and burying it as an out-pitch. As Burton matures and continues to add strength and size, expect the velocity to continue to improve.
FROM 8/26/2022- A wiry athlete at 6-foot, 155 pounds, Anderson showed plenty of upside and athleticism on the mound at the Indiana Summer Championships. Anderson possesses quick arm speed, sitting 85-87 mph on his fastball. His ¾ arm slot allows his fastball to sink and run, commanding it to both sides of the plate, and he tunnels a tight, sweeper-type slider at 75-78 mph off the fastball. Although he has shown the athleticism to play up the middle, Anderson’s development on the mound is what shoots him into a Top 50 spot in the class.
Jake Mulvehill, LHP, 2024, South Bend John Adams HS
FROM 10/12/2022- Mulvehill continues to trend in the right direction, impressing on the mound at Canes Scout Weekend. The 6-foot, 185 pound southpaw sat 82-85 mph on his fastball. He shows good balance throughout the delivery, pitching from a high ¾ arm slot. A strike-thrower, Mulvehill kept hitters off balance with a fading, 74-76 mph changeup that he commanded to the armside, and a slurvey, 67-70 mph breaking ball.
Will Loftus, C, 2024, Brebeuf Jesuit HS
FROM 10/12/2022- Compact, 5-foot-11, 197 pound frame. Tons of strength in his barrel - produced an exit velocity of 100.9 mph in the showcase portion and hit a 2B in gameplay that came off the bat at 98 mph. Shows catch & throw abilities with a 77 mph arm from the crouch that produced a top pop time of 1.94. Solid receiver w/ a high motor behind the dish.
Pernell Whitsett, RHP/INF, 2024, Northrop HS
FROM 5/9/2022- Whitsett has a physical, 6-foot-1 frame with a thick lower half. Really looks the part. Very good presence in the box with good awareness of the strike zone. Smooth load with a rotational-type swing. Loose, whippy bat speed. The LHH 3B has good power potential, nearly leaving the park to the opposite field on a ball he didn’t get all of. Above-average runner with arm strength across the diamond.
FROM 10/12/2022- Physical, 6-foot-1, 190 pounder. Event-best INF velocity of 88 mph. Impressed on the mound, sitting 83-85 mph on his fastball w/ downward plane and showing a 70-71 mph CB with good depth.
Micah Rienstra-Kiracofe, OF/RHP, 2024, North Central HS
FROM 10/12/2022- Long, athletic 6-foot-1, 175 pounder. Rienstra-Kiracofe was a top performer in the showcase portion of Canes Scout Weekend, with Top-10 performances in the 60 yard dash (6.97), OF Velocity (86 mph), and Exit Velocity (97.4 mph). His strong showcase performance carried over into gameplay, where he had multiple hits and stolen bases. Rienstra-Kiracofe hits from a tall stance, using a short stride and a level bat path, with twitchy bat speed.
Kline Woodward, 3B, 2024, Bedford North Lawrence HS
FROM 10/24/2022- Woodward had a strong showing at the Fall State Games. The physical, 6-foot-3, 210 pounder is very athletic for his size, running a 6.95 60 and showing quick lateral movements at 3B. At the dish, Woodward hits from a wide stance with a tight, compact load and a short stride. Woodward showed the ability to barrel velocity in game play and showed pull side power in his BP round. He also showed good arm strength (86 mph) across the diamond.
Ethan Goodin, RHP/3B, 2024, Evansville Mater Dei HS
FROM 6/25/2022- Large, 6’5 230lb frame. Quick tempo in the box. Toe-tap timing mechanism. Shows the ability to use the ground to generate bat speed – though he lacks direction at times. Top exit velocity of 96 mph. Goodin shows sure hands in the INF and moves well laterally for his size. Also a RHP that reportedly reaches into the mid-80s with his fastball.