PBR Louisiana: 2024 Rankings Update


Alex Armand
Louisiana Scouting Director

School is back in session across the state of Louisiana and football programs across the state are getting prepared for Week 1 of their season, which can only mean one thing....the 2022 summer baseball season is officially complete!  There are a few key times over the course of the year, where our staff gets together to review the state rankings in each class, and now is one of those times.  Over the summer, we were able to hold open events that were strategically placed to try and cover every are of the state: Lake Charles, LA (Southwest LA), Monroe, LA (North LA), and New Orleans, LA (Southeast LA).  This doesn't include our Top Prospect Games, which was held in June, at the University of Louisiana and featured 100 of the state's top prospects.  Finally, our busy summer capped off with the Future Games, from July 27-31, at the Lakepoint Sports Complex in Emerson, GA.  Needless to say, we've seen a lot of baseball over the past few months!  Below, we highlight a few prospects that caught our eye during the summer.  Be sure to continue to follow us on all of our social media platforms, as we'll continue our state rankings updates with the 2023 and 2025 classes.

 

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-2024 RHP William Schmidt (Catholic BR H.S.):  The tall, lean, and projectable 6'2" 170 lbs. Schmidt made a name for himself a little over a year ago, at one of our open events in June of 2021, and has now entered the Top 10 of our State Rankings for the first time.  A lot has happened and a lot has changed for the Catholic BR product since that event, where he was 81-84 mph with his FB, while mixing in a high spin rate breaking ball.  Schmidt has continued to improve over the last year, and most recently at the Underclass Area Code Games, worked his FB up to 91 mph, while mixing in that 2900-3000 RPM downer curveball.  The Mississippi State Bulldog commit had a very nice summer for the Knights Knational 16U squad, as he compiled a 4-0 record and a 1.73 ERA.  He struck out 36 across 24 1/3 innings pitched and only walked 7 guys, while opponents managed to only hit .220 against him.  Look for Schmidt to play a big role for Catholic BR this coming spring, as the Bears look to repeat as the LHSAA Division I State Champions.

 

 

-2024 RHP/SS Ethan Judice (Hanson Memorial HS):  We had the opportunity to see Judice during the high school season, in an early season matchup against eventual Class 4A State Champion South Terrebonne, so when we saw that he was slated to attend our Top Prospect Games this summer, we were more than excited.  If we rewind the clocks back to the summer of 2020, the athletic and twitchy 5'11" right hander made an impression on our staff, by running his fastball into the mid 80's, while mixing in a tight and sharp slider.  Fast-forward to this summer's Top Prospect Games, and Judice showed our staff the jumps that he's made in his game.  On the mound, he worked his FB in the 87-89 mph range, to go along with that still tight and sharp SL at 79-80 mph.  He's an athletic mover down the slope, with a quick arm, and ran his FB up to 92 mph at the PBR 16U National Championships, less than two weeks after the Top Prospect Games.  Judice should be a high follow on all college coaches radars, as he moves up to #11 overall in this rankings update.

 

 

-2024 OF Brooks Wright (Catholic BR H.S.):  Leading up to this summer's Top Prospect Games, we had heard a lot about the uber-projectable and athletic OF from Catholic BR, and he didn't disappoint.  His 6'3" 175 lbs. frame certainly projects, as he should be able to continue to add strength as he matures.  Wright showed off his plus run tool at the Top Prospect Games, by posting a 6.49 in the 60 (laser), and it looked like an effortless sub 6.50 60.  During BP, he showed a simple and repeatable lefthanded stroke, as he got his front foot down early working slightly uphill to the baseball, but on-plane, with uphill extension, creating backspin and showing some sneaky pop to the pull-side.  His approach, however, is to stay gap to gap and hard on a line or on the ground to use his speed in game, as we were able to clock him as fast as a 4.00 down the line in game.  At the Future Games, Wright didn't have his best offensive showing, albeit against premium arms every time he stepped into the box, however, he did show that he wasn't overmatched and that was a really good sign for a guy who's been splitting time between baseball and the gridiron in football.  We fully expect Wright to be another big-time guy coming out of state powerhouse Catholic BR, as he checks in at #14 in this rankings update.  

 

 

-2024 RHP Camden Sunstrom (University Lab H.S.):  Camden "Sunny" Sunstrom earned an invite to this summer's Future Games, after a stellar sophomore season, in which he went 9-1 for the Cubs.  The Athletic 6'1" 180 lbs. RHP came in relief during Game 1 of the Future Games against a loaded Team Carolinas lineup to throw the final three frames, and what a performance it was for Sunstrom.  He worked at a rapid pace on the mound, getting the ball back after every pitch, immediately looking for the next sign from the catcher.  The pace wasn't too fast though, as he was in complete control and set the tone against each hitter.  His FB worked in the 83-86 mph range, but it was his FB command that was most impressive, as he was able to move the ball in, out, up, and down, against both RHH's and LHH's.  What was equally exciting was his 2500-2700 RPM breaking ball, that was near "12-6" in shape with hard and late break down in the zone, and he was able to land it for strikes early and bury it with two strikes late.  Add in his quality 73-75 mph CH, and you've got a starter profile at the collegiate level with a solid three pitch mix that will only continue to get better over the next couple of years.  "Sunny" moves up to #18 in this rankings update.

 

 

-2024 RHP Aidan Grab (Mandeville HS):  Projectable 6'4" frame with plenty of room to add strength; Grab has always been a strike thrower with "pitchability", but now the "stuff" is starting to catch up, as he moves up to #20 in this rankings update.  On opening night of the 2022 High School Baseball Season, we had the opportunity to see Grab take the mound against one of the 5A favorites in Central BR.  The Skippers came out on the losing end of that game on opening night, but Grab competed his way through that performance, giving up only 3 hits over 4 IP with 5 K's.  On that night, he sat 81-84 mph with his FB, while dropping in an "11-5" shaped 63-66 mph CB.  Fast-forward to our Top Prospect Games in June, and it was evident that Grab's stuff had taken that next step, as he sat 84-86 mph with his FB and the breaking ball was a little sharper at 67-70 mph, and he earned a Future Games invite because of that performance.  Moving on to the Future Games and Grab's stuff showed even better with his FB sitting in the 85-88 mph range and he also flashed a sharp 70-72 mph SL, to go along with his CB and 74-75 mph CH, which he didn't have to really use all that much.  The frame projects and Grab throws a ton of strikes with all of his pitches in any count, and now that his stuff has started to catch up with his ability to pitch, he is turning into one of the better arms in the state's 2024 class.  

 

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