Updated Class of 2023 Player Rankings (April)


Jordan Chiero and PBR Ohio Staff
PBR Ohio Director of Scouting

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Updated Class of 2023 Player Rankings (April)

In 2020 we have had a year unlike any other ... No Spring HS season, uncertainty all summer with tournaments and showcases and the same can still be said in the fall. But that hasn't stopped us from searching far and wide throughout the state to find the best prospects we can, to help them get to college and to help colleges find prospects that fit their culture.

Despite the tumultuous year, many names came off the board to some of the top programs around the nation, many new names came to the forefront of the recruiting scene, and many prospects improved their game.

That being said, we have had the pleasure of seeing a number of solid players this past year. Prospects are popping up left and right, making velocity jumps, improving 60-yard dash times and showing more power with the bat.

Below we will take a look at “What's New At The Top", "The Risers”, "The Sleepers", and some of the top uncommitted prospects by position.

Coming soon ... We will have the Class of 2023 Rankings Positional Breakdown, which you will be able to view by clicking here.

Coming Soon ... To view the Uncommitted Positional Breakdown, click below:
RHP | LHP | OF | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | C

To view the entire rankings, please click here.

What's New At The Top

The  top 2 spots stay the same as Auburn commit Colt Emerson (John Glenn HS) and Ohio State commit Clay Burdette (Moeller HS) continue to raise their stock. However, we did have a few new names jump into the top 5. 

Colton Hartman LHP / OF / Lebanon, OH / 2023

Report: A guy that has had a rapid ascension from the middle of last summer through this offseason is Lousiville commit Colton Hartman (Lebanon HS). One of the premier two-way prospects in the country that features a three-pitch mix on the bump with a fastball that will now peak at 89mph and a run producer profile at the plate. The now 6-foot-2, Hartman has added obvious physicality to frame over the past year or so and still has room to continue that progression. Expect him only to go stock up over the next few seasons. The future Cardinal jumps up to No. 3 in the class.

Nik Copenhaver RHP / Badin, OH / 2023

Report: Another guy who was already a highly though of prospect that made another big jump is uncommitted RHP Nik Copenhaver out of Badin HS. Copenhaver showed well at the Future Games for Team Ohio, showcasing a quality 3-pitch mix and a mid 80s heater with obvious signs of more velocity to come. Fast-forward to this years ProCase and whatever program he was on this offseason obviously worked as the fastball jumps up to 91mph and the added velocity translated to near 300+rpms of spin/sharper break on the slider which elevated the pitch grade substantially. At the end of the day he was already a top 15 prospect who added velocity, improved secondary and still has more room to develop physically. We believe he’s a future power 5 prospect and the jump was good enough to land him at No. 5.

Lucas Moore OF / OF / Badin, OH / 2023

Report: Another guy who was already a well-known commodity across the state that improved his stock is Copenhaver’s high school teammate  Lucas Moore, Kentucky commit. To be fair this may have been more about getting eyes on Moore as we had very limited viewing of the future Wildcat until getting eyes on him this spring where he really impressed. You can’t teach speed and you could argue he’s the faster in-game player the state has to offer. Throwing out the number 3.8 home to first is bold but we have video/have had several watches on it and that’s exactly what Moore turned in down the line on a bunt single in game. Aside from home to first, the speed shows up in the outfield/on the bases. Also has all the tools to produce offensively/is a plug in play at the top of the lineup and is a legit CF candidate with the glove defensively. Moore goes into the top 10, landing at our No. 7 spot.

The Risers

Benjamin Rabatin RHP / SS / Normandy, OH / 2023

Report: Similar to the guys already mentioned, uncommitted RHP Ben Rabatin (Normandy HS) was already a highly touted prospect prior to this rankings update. As of September he was a top 25 prospect in the state that had a successful showing at the PBR Future Games. He then hopped on the mound at the Release Scout Day and took his stock to a different level, tossing one of the more electric pens we saw all winter. Fastball was live/up to 93mph and the secondary was very sharp. The type of bullpen you sit back, watch and are disappointed when it’s over. The performances vaulted him into the top 15 and several D1 have taken notice.

Josiah Erd RHP / C / St. Francis De Sales Toledo, OH / 2023

Report: Prior to this winter we knew uncommitted Josiah Erd (Toledo St. Francis DeSales) as a physical backstop that had shown well several times for Bo Jackson Elite in the summer, already earnings spot inside the state’s top 60. However, when he showcased his abilities on the mound he showed he’s a legitimate two-way talent. Athletic delivery, fast arm, and a mid 80s fastball that peaked at 87mph. As he continues to refine his craft/fills out that 6-foot-3 frame don’t be surprised if there’s another velo jump left in there.

JP Wagner SS / 3B / Toledo St. John's Jesuit, OH / 2023

Report: An uncommitted infielder that used this winter to improve his stock is JP Wagner (Toledo St. John's Jesuit). A top performer at Demand Command Scout Day with a lot to like. 6-foot-1, physical infielder that swings it from the left side and has advanced ball skills in the infield. Already receiving college interest and we’re excited to see him compete vs the state’s best at the Top Prospect Games.

The Newcomers

Drew Erdmann RHP / 1B / Walsh Jesuit, OH / 2023

Report: We highlighted Drew Erdmann under our “on the cusp” guys who just were on the outside looking in of the last rankings updates. At the time the young RHP was 80-82mph but showed all the physical signs of more to come. Well a lot has changed since we wrote that article...not only is Edrmann not 80-82mph anymore, he’s far from the outside looking in on the rankings. The Walsh Jesuit standout has sprouted up to 6-foot-3 and added good weight to frame. Delivery is more explosive, fastball now sits in the upper 80s, slider has elevated grade to near plus, and changeup is more than playable. After receiving several D1 offers across the midwest Edrmann committed to the University of Cincinnati.

Luke Vaughn C / 3B / Elder, OH / 2023

Report: This is a bold statement but the loudest tool we saw all winter from an uncommitted guy may have been the right-arm of C Luke Vaughn (Elder HS). The Cincinnati RBI facility had over 50 players in it at the time but the place went dead silent after the first toss from Vaughn during catcher pop times. Looks the part physically back there at 6-foot-2, 190-pounds and aside from having a bazooka for an arm he also has shown well with his block/receive abilities and has a run producer profile at the plate. We’ve gotten to see him multiple times in spring already and the tools translate to game action where he’s the backstop/anchors the middle of the lineup for a talented Elder team. He’s gone from under the radar to a top 20 rated prospect in the state’s sophomore class.

Ben Slanker OF / 1B / Canfield, OH / 2023

Report: We made the trip up north early this spring to see two of the state’s top teams matchup when Canfield took on Hoban. The field was littered with talent and one of the guys who walked away from the game the biggest winner was uncommitted OF Ben Slanker (Canfield). Slanker has about as athletic of a build that you can ask for with still room to continue to add strength. At the plate he swings it from the left side with a swing that turns from fluid/rhythmic during loading sequence to aggressive/fast-twitch when he pulls the trigger. He showed his ability to handle velocity when he turned on a 90+mph fastball to the wall for a double in his 1st AB vs Hoban.  The combination of tools/athleticism in the box that will have scouts put pen to paper when he takes BP/or they see it in game. Limited viewing of him defensively but we’ve seen him play several spots at an above average clip for Canfield in the multiple games we’ve seen this spring from them.

TOP UNCOMMITTED PROSPECTS BY POSITION

Below we look to name the top 2-5 prospects in specific categories based on primary position in profile for the 2023 class. Beyond this group, there are numerous prospects that can help a collegiate program in some capacity.

+ Top Right-Handed Arms: Nik Copenhaver | Drew Erdmann | Benjamin Rabatin | Evan Shapiro | Ben Fosnot

+ Top Left-Handed Arms: Jacob Tabor | Carsen Cox | Hunter Bays | Luke Senften | Titus Lotz

+ Top Outfield Prospects: CJ Richard | Ben Slanker | Braedyn Moore | Max Palinski | A.J. Dallmayer

+ Top 1st Base Prospects: Cole Cahill | Conner Peer

+ Top 2nd Base Prospects: Toby Hueber | Carter Potts | Nicky Sackett

+ Top Shortstops Prospects: Andrew Edrington (Video Below) | Drew Denham | Joey Canzoni | Andrew Cox | JP Wagner

+ Top 3rd Base Prospects: A.J. Havrilla | Michael Murphy | Ethan Sweat | Carter Hanson | Kyan Barnes

+ Top Catching Prospects: Luke Vaughn | Dominic Brancel | Nathan Manley | Garrett Wright | Seth Yacobucci

PBR OHIO CLASS OF 2023 TOP 10

Rank   Name State School Class Pos Commitment
1
Colt Emerson OH John Glenn 2023 SS Auburn
2
Clayton Burdette OH Moeller 2023 SS Ohio State
3 Colton Hartman OH Lebanon 2023 LHP Louisville
4
Mason Eckelman OH Walsh Jesuit 2023 C Michigan
5 Nik Copenhaver OH Badin 2023 RHP
6
A.J. Ewing OH Springboro 2023 SS Wright State
7 Lucas Moore OH Badin 2023 OF Kentucky
8
Tommy Skelding OH Marlington 2023 RHP Kentucky
9
Connor Walendzak OH Perrysburg 2023 OF Purdue
10
Blake Bowen OH Wooster 2023 3B Kentucky

***** To view the entire rankings, please click here.