Updated Class of 2023 Player Rankings (September)

Jordan Chiero and PBR Ohio Staff
PBR Ohio Director of Scouting

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Updated Class of 2023 Player Rankings (September)

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 this 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 summer, 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 “The Risers”, "The Newcomers”, "Uncommitted Tools" 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

There was some shuffling inside the top 10 even though the top two spots stayed the same with Auburn commit Colt Emerson and Uncommitted Clay Burdette continuing to prove they are national level prospects.

Mason Eckelman C / 2B / Walsh Jesuit, OH / 2023

Report: One of the hotter names of the recruiting circuit this summer was C Mason Eckelman (Walsh Jesuit). The talented backstop is hearing from schools across the country after showing time in time again this summer he’s one of the state's top in game bats and defenders behind the dish. Eckelman was one of two catchers selected for Team Ohio at the PBR Future Games and was impressive enough to move up to the No. 3 spot in the 2023 class.

Connor Walendzak OF / SS / Perrysburg, OH / 2023

Report: To say Purdue commit Connor Walendzak is one of the most improved players in the state from winter to now is a BIG statement considering he was already considered a top 25 talent in his class. Check out the comparison between his Preseason All-State numbers and his showcase measurables he put up for Team Ohio at the Future Games:

Preseason All-State:

  • 60-yard dash: 7.05
  • Outfield Velocity: 78
  • Exit Velocity: 83

Future Games:

  • 60-yard dash: 6.69
  • Outfield Velocity: 85
  • Exit Velocity: 100

Not only did the numbers improve he also raked all summer, was a finalist for offensive MVP for Team Ohio, and really grew as a defender in the outfield. Walendzak earned several D1 scholarships before committing to Purdue.

Blake Bowen 3B / SS / Wooster, OH / 2023

Report: A guy who makes his way back into the top 10 is UTL Blake Bowen. After talking to several college coaches following the future games there were more than a few who thought Bowen was one of the biggest winners of the event. The physical, left-handed bat took a monster BP and had a huge last game against New Jersey. The performance solidified him as one of the more electric bats in that class. The offers started to pour in for Bowen before deciding to further his academic/athletic career at the University of Kentucky.

Stock Up

CJ Richard OF / SS / Archbishop Moeller, OH / 2023

Report: A guy that really helped himself this summer is CJ Richard. A multi-sport standout at Moeller HS who is one of the best pure athletes in the class. A 6.6 runner that showcased the ability to handle the bat at the top of the lineup and is one of those rare, true centerfield candidates.

Mason Onate SS / OF / Olentangy Liberty, OH / 2023

Report: Infielder Mason Onate (Olentangy Liberty) garnered attention from a large group of D1 programs before ultimately committing to Tulane University. Very cerebral player who is one of the top defenders in the class regardless of position. Offensively he’s a guy who profiles at the top of the lineup. Can spray it around the yard and will only get more physical with maturity. Received multiple offers prior to making his decision.

The Newcomers

Nik Copenhaver RHP / 1B / Badin, OH / 2023

Report: Scouts are going to be attracted to the upside of this newcomer to the rankings, RHP Nik Copenhaver (Badin HS). He’s 6-foot-4 with an easier delivery and a feel to get hitters out already. Fastball can run up to 86mph and he complements it with two playable secondary offerings.. It’s easy but he has the physical traits that could lead to him being one of the top arms in the state’s 2023 class.

Dominic Brancel C / OF / Hawken, OH / 2023

Report: A guy we liked so much during the summer we invited to play for Team Ohio but couldn’t due to prior obligations was C Dominic Brancel out of Hawken HS. One of the more well-rounded skill sets in this class who stands out on both sides of the ball. Block/receive abilities are advanced for class and he is a very accurate thrower. At the plate his swing comes together well and he does a nice job of creating natural energy into contact. We’ve seen him barrel up balls consistently in game, highlighted by a no doubt home run to left field.

Nathan Manley C / 3B / Moeller, OH / 2023

Report: Sticking behind the dish we have Nate Manley (Moeller HS). Nate was impressive enough at the Future Games to already pick up multiple D1 offers. Another guy with a well-rounded skill set but the tool that jumps out is his catch/throw abilities. Ball jumps out of his hand, he’s accurate and he has no problem/hesitation about throwing to any base. At the plate he has a smooth compact stroke and can accelerate efficiently through his turn. Lived above 90mph in BP for Team Ohio, topping at 97mph. Talented ball player.

Keep An Eye On These High Follows

Nicky Sackett 2B / SS / Stow-Munroe Falls, OH / 2023

Report: A slick fielding infielder that is a good athlete and has an efficient stroke. Expect his name on this list as he continues to develop physically. Very talented player.

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

Report: Talented two-way prospect who had a very strong summer for Bo Jackson Elite.

Jay Tomes SS / 2B / Westerville Central, OH / 2023

Report: Very functionally athletic with a smooth stroke and quick/athletic actions in the infield.

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

Report: Don’t be surprised if this is a high velocity arm down the road. Power arm that should only raise his stock over the next few years.

James Hayek SS / OF / Upper Arlington, OH / 2023

Report: Physical left-handed hit tool that has a combination of athleticism/arm strength that can fit multiple roles as a defender. Would have factored in as a freshman at an always talented high school.

JP Wagner SS / 2B / Toledo St. John's Jesuit, OH / 2023

Report: Athletic dude with bat speed. Left-handed hitter that starts in a balanced stance. Athletic mover with an aggressive stroke. Worked all fields in BP. Athletic actions with solid ball skills in the field.

Bradyn Shaw SS / RHP / Defiance High School, OH / 2023

Report: Shaw had a big leap in velo from 2019 to 2020. The fastball sits 78-82 mph and should continue to rise with the arm speed and athleticism. Three-pitch pitcher with confidence in his breaker and changeup. His maturation physically also helped him as a positional prospect. He shows well at short and at the plate.


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 | Ethan Stewart | Ryan Piech | Benjamin Rabatin | John Simecek

+ Top Left-Handed Arms: TJ Takats (Video) | Jacob Tabor | Ben Schechterman | Kaden Kiser | Carsen Cox

+ Top Outfield Prospects: CJ Richard | Cam Gilkerson | A.J. Dallmayer | Colton Hartman | Max Palinski

+ Top Middle Infield Prospects: Joey Canzoni | Drew Denham | Braedyn Moore | Toby Hueber | Caden Bates

+ Top Corner Infield Prospects: Cole Cahill | A.J. Havrilla | Carter Hanson

+ Top Catching Prospects: Mason Eckelman | Dominic Brancel | Nathan Manley | Seth Yacobucci | Will Kocher | Ethan Sweat


Rank   Name State School Class Pos Commitment
1   Colt Emerson OH John Glenn 2023 SS Auburn
2   Clayton Burdette OH Moeller 2023 RHP Ohio State
3 Mason Eckelman OH Walsh Jesuit 2023 C Michigan
4 Tommy Skelding OH Marlington 2023 RHP Kentucky
5   Blaine Albright OH Bath 2023 LHP Ohio State
6   A.J. Ewing OH Springboro 2023 SS Wright State
7 Evan Shapiro OH University School 2023 RHP
8   Gavin Ehrhardt OH Avon 2023 OF Cincinnati
9 Connor Walendzak OH Perrysburg 2023 OF Purdue
10 Blake Bowen OH Wooster 2023 3B Kentucky

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