PBR Louisiana: 2023 Rankings Update

Alex Armand
Louisiana Scouting Director

It feels like yesterday prospects in the 2023 class were taking their first steps on to high school campuses across the state, and it still feels a little odd that they are now seniors!  As we've mentioned over the past couple of weeks, there are a few key times over the course of each 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 area 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.  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!  We were fortunate to see a lot of 2023 prospects at our events, as well as during the summer season with their summer teams.  The 2023 class has always been a talented one, especially at key positions up the middle of the field (Pitching, Shortstop, Catcher, and Centerfield), and that remains the same to this day.  Below, we highlight a few of prospects who have stood out over the spring and summer, including a new number 1 player in the class!  Today's rankings release is the last of our rankings updates, but the fall is just getting started for our staff.  We have our Senior Games coming up on September 17th at LSU-Eunice, followed by our State Games on September 25th at Tulane, our Northern Louisiana Fall ID on October 16th at the Sterlington Sports Complex, and one more Southern Louisiana Fall ID event in October at Catholic BR HS, which we'll be announcing a formal date very soon.  Be sure to follow us, across all of our social media platforms, as we head into the fall season to get prepared for another jam packed and exciting spring high school season!





-2023 LHP/OF Jake Brown (Sulphur HS):  A lot of good things have happened for the Sulphur product over the course of the last twelve months, and for his performance, Brown has moved into the #1 spot in this state rankings update for the 2023 class.  The LSU commit had a stellar spring for the Tors, both on the mound and at the plate.  Brown hit out of the leadoff spot for Sulphur and finished the year hitting at a .477 clip with 2 HR, 28 RBI, and 40 R.  On the mound, Brown was dominate as well, finishing the spring with a 8-3 record and a 1.73 ERA with 131 strikeouts across 73 innings pitched.  He led Sulphur to a semifinal appearance, was named the District 3-5A MVP, and was also named to our PBR Louisiana All-State Team.  Brown carried over the success that he had in the spring to the summer season as well.  At the Area Code Games, Brown filled up the zone in two relief innings and was able to command his entire arsenal.  Operating out of a 3/4 slot, he sat 88-92 mph with his FB (2400 RPM) and his go-to secondary offering was a much improved tight slurve at 80-82 mph.  He also mixed in a low-80's CH as well.  Finally, Brown ended his summer by dominating at the Team USA trials, where he threw 8 innings and gave up 4 hits, 0 earned runs, while tallying 12 strikeouts and only 2 walks, which earned himself a spot on the final roster for Team USA.  His stock has certainly shot up over the summer, as Brown is now a legitimate draft prospect that area scouts will be watching a lot over the coming months, as we head towards next summer's MLB draft. 




-2023 RHP Hayden Harmon (Glenbrook HS):  The Glenbrook Apaches were unable to participate in post-season play this past spring, as they were in their first year with the LHSAA.  Heading into year 2 with the association and now eligible to compete for a state title, the Apaches should be one of the favorites in Class 1A, especially with the return of Harmon on the mound.  The Louisiana Tech commit has steadily worked his way up the ladder, thanks to a heavy FB with life and good tilt that's been up to 91-92 mph.  His out pitch, however, is a sharp and tight, late-breaking SL in the upper-70's to low-80's that's been registered up to 2,932 RPM per Trackman Baseball/.  Harmon finished the summer season with a 1.82 ERA and 60 strikeouts across 38 innings pitched.  Combine him with other stars such as Maddox Mandino, Easton Sanders, and others, and it's easy to see why Glenbrook fans should be excited for this upcoming baseball season.  Harmon moves up to #11 in this rankings update.




-2023 LHP Harrison Waghalter (Catholic BR HS):  Long, lean, and wiry 6'1" 165 lbs. frame with plenty of room to add strength.  Nearly two years ago, at our All-State Games at LSU-Eunice, we came away impressed with the Catholic BR product after a productive outing that day.  Fast-forward to today, and it's cool to see what he's accomplished during that time, as he's become one of the Bears "go-to" guys on the mound.  This past spring, Waghalter compiled a 8-1 record with a 1.34 ERA for Catholic BR, as they won another LHSAA Division I State Championship, and in true fashion, Waghalter saved his best performance for when the Bears needed it most.  Catholic BR matched up against Jesuit in the semifinals, and unfortunately, had to endure an over hour and a half rain delay, but that didn't stop Waghalter.  He ended up pitching 6 innings, allowing 3 hits with 1 walk and 7 strikeouts, as the Bears defeated the Blue Jays by a score of 3-1.  Little did he know, that Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field, where he defeated the Blue Jays that day, would become his future college home, as Waghalter announced his commitment to Southeastern Louisiana University at the end of this summer.  Waghalter moves up to #30 in this rankings update.




-2023 C Jake LaRocca (St. Louis Catholic HS):  LaRocca was a member of our 2021 Future Games team, coming off of a nice sophomore campaign that saw him hit .331 with 3 HR and 35 RBI.  He was arguably one of the hottest hitters at that event, along with teammate 2023 Reid Snider, and his bat didn't cool off during the spring either, as Larocca pretty much stayed in the leadoff spot for the Saints, who finished the season as a semi-finalist, before losing to eventual State Champion Vandebilit Catholic.  The Louisiana Tech commit finished his junior spring hitting .407 with 5 HR, 14 2B, 2 3B, 33 R, and 23 RBI, earning himself 1st Team All-State honors.  Larocca moves up a few spots in this update and is now the #1 catcher our state rankings.




-2023 OF Eli Lirette (Lakeshore HS):  The Lakeshore HS product made a splash at our Southeastern Louisiana Preseason ID, at Mandeville HS, back in January and he hasn't slowed down since.  Lirette is as "tooled" up as any prospect in the 2023 class.  At our Southeastern Louisiana Preseason ID, he started the day off showing elite speed by posting a 6.38 (laser) in the 60.  In the defensive portion of the day, he flashed well above average arm strength by recording a 91 mph positional velocity.  He then capped his day by taking a quality BP round, working gap to gap, with some present power and a 96 mph max exit velocity.  Lirette was one of the leaders for the Titans this past spring, as they finished their spring season with a state tournament appearance.  During the spring season, Lirette also announced his college commitment to Tulane University.  He didn't slow down this summer either, as he hit .338 for the Knights Knational 17U group with 1 HR, 3 2B, 4 3B, 11 RBI, and 18 SB.  Lirette moves up to #22 in this rankings update.