2024 Overall Rankings Update: Summer Stock Report
August 25, 2023
Now that the prospect gauntlet known as the summer circuit has winded down, an update to the 2024 Overall Rankings is warranted. From start to finish, this group of talented young prospects stepped on the field each day in hopes of catching the eye of the multitude of MLB scouts that followed them on the trail. From the PBR Procases that kicked off the summer, to the PBR National Program Invitational (NPI) at Lakepoint that offered an initial glimpse at hotly contested gameplay, to the late summer in Alabama at East Coast Pro, over to San Diego for Area Codes, and all the while mixing in MLB’s Prospect Development Pipeline League in hopes of donning the red, white, and blue for Team USA, these players have hardly stopped for nearly three months.
All the while, PBR’s boots-on-the-ground staff has followed, monitored, and evaluated. From tournaments, to events, to practices and workouts, meticulous notes were taken as new players were uncovered and many mainstays of years past elevated their games’ to new heights. There are sure to be ebbs and flows to this list over the next ten-plus months as the journey to July’s MLB Draft marches on, but for now, a look at the Top 500 players in the 2024 class:
***CLICK FOR TOP 500***
A look at the Top 10:
|1||Bryce Rainer||CA||Harvard Westlake||2024||SS||Texas|
|2||Cameron Caminiti||AZ||Saguaro||2024||LHP||Louisiana State|
|3||Konnor Griffin||MS||Jackson Prep||2024||OF||Louisiana State|
|5||PJ Morlando||SC||Summerville||2024||OF||South Carolina|
|7||Garrett Shull||OK||Enid||2024||SS||Oklahoma State|
|8||Noah Franco||FL||IMG Academy||2024||OF|
|9||Derek Curiel||CA||Orange Lutheran||2024||OF||Louisiana State|
|10||Levi Sterling||CA||Notre Dame||2024||RHP||Texas|
SUMMER STOCK REPORT
+ A slim market of shortstops continues to just that: slim. In fact, for all the movement and versatility that #1 overall prospect, Bryce Rainer (Harvard-Westlake, CA), displays with regards to shifting into any position on the dirt or in the outfield, he might hold the strongest potential of any of the top infield prospects for sticking at the most coveted infield spot. Silky smooth with the glove to go along with a plus-arm, his value jumps higher when thought of in this light. There was some swing-and-miss at the plate, at times, but his moxie in the box and especially the power potential from the left side leave plenty to like.
Carter Johnson (June 2023)
+ Breakout stars of the summer, #4 Carter Johnson (Oxford HS, AL) and #6 Caleb Bonemer (Okemos HS, MI), entered June as sleeper favorites in the class, but are hardly kept secrets anymore. Johnson possesses one of the sweetest strokes in the class with a hit-tool that has shined for well over a year now. The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder was perpetually on the barrel against the top arms in the class, and while some questioned the impact ability early on in the summer, the Alabama recruit did his best to remove doubt in delivering a plethora of extra-base hits. Though it is unfair to assign overly gaudy comparisons, the whispers of fellow Alabama-native and rising MLB superstar, 2019 SS Gunnar Henderson (Orioles), are not far fetched. Johnson’s athletic frame still holds considerable projection, and while he does not hold the same speed that Henderson displayed, there is a chance that he can assert himself as a true shortstop with a strong spring presence. As it stands, Johnson’s present ranking could ultimately be too low…
Caleb Bonemer (August 2023)
+ Meanwhile, Bonemer’s summer so perfectly encapsulated the importance of area scouts in identifying a learning curve, and especially in getting multiple looks at a prospect. After finishing up his junior campaign in the state of Michigan, the sturdy and athletic, 6-foot-1, 195-pounder was thrown into the unforgiving PDP buzzsaw that had him facing the top arms in the country in the sweltering heat that is summer in North Carolina. The right-handed hitter took his lumps early, striking out seven times in 14 at-bats, but to scout the results without the process did not tell the full story of the Virginia recruit’s summer. It was his response to that adversity in late June that is likely to sing his praises next July. Over the following six weeks, Bonemer went on a tear, as his power potential shined on the national circuit, and his skill level, especially the hit-tool, caught up (surpassing) to the premium arms he was facing. That learning curve, starkly similar to so many cold-weather hitters, provided the industry a look at the future potential of the infielder’s premium bat. Even more distinguishing than the coveted power to all fields was the grinded two-strike approach that still yielded loud contact in eliciting minimal holes. While Bonemer likely shifts off of shortstop in the future, his middle-of-the-order bat still warrants attention elsewhere on the dirt. In short, Bonemer helped alleviate much of the doubt that cold weather hitters deal with, and his strong will in overcoming the early hurdles that the summer gauntlet thrust at him have him primed for earlier Day 1 consideration.
‘24 SS Charlie Bates (CA) making it look easy on defense.— Shooter Hunt (@ShooterHunt) June 26, 2023
Bounces around w/ lots of energy & confident hands. Advanced g2h w/ athletic throws from all angles.
👍👍#MLBDraft24 || @PBR_California pic.twitter.com/Ht5GcLw48B
+ #12 SS Charlie Bates (Palo Alto HS, CA) was the best defensive shortstop of the summer, and likely the one that the majority of scouting departments walked away anticipating to stick there long term. A consummate performer on both sides of the ball, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound left-handed hitter possesses a high floor with innate barrel accuracy. There were glimpses of power production throughout the summer, and just how impactful the bat can be, is likely to carry his immediate value with regards to the draft. There is some it-factor to the way he handles himself on the diamond, and the ability to prance around at shortstop with twitchy glovework is even more alluring in this year. His ranking on this list obviously quantifies how much value PBR has assigned to his prospect potential.
Noah Franco (August 2023)+ Griffin vs. Morlando vs. Shull vs. Franco
Featured prominently at #3-#5-#7-#8, this trio of outfielders is set to embark on a whirlwind next 10 months with significant attention being paid by decision makers. The youthful Konnor Griffin (Jackson Prep, MS) carries the most enticing tools in the draft thanks to a frame that is dripping with athleticism and upside at a lean, yet strong, 6-foot-4, 205-pounds. A quality defender on the infield, his impact potential in center field with gazelle-like strides and a plus-arm stands out against the other two. At the plate, the right-handed hitter features a polished approach with ultra intriguing power potential. Nearly a year younger than the other two, the bet being made here is on the hit-tool continuing to progress and shine throughout the spring. Griffin is the easiest sell to a front office as there are few in the game that walk around with his explosive athleticism, and he combines a skillset that cannot be taught with the aptitude to refine and develop.
+ PJ Morlando (Summerville HS, SC) established himself as an impact-bat all summer, and successfully transitioned to the outfield. The 6-foot-3, 198-pound left-handed hitting slugger possesses some of the biggest raw power in the class, and routinely gets to it in driving balls with authority to all fields. While the light tower power production is set to get him paid this year, it was the in-game adjustments and willingness to battle deep into counts that shines brightest on his long-term potential at the plate. Equally adept at getting off dangerous cuts early in counts as he is spreading out late and spraying firm contact around, the hit-tool is what might ultimately drive the elimination of any doubt in Morlando’s upside.
+ Similar to Morlando, Garrett Shull's (Enid HS, OK) transition to the outfield has come in flawless fashion. Beyond the strong athleticism and frame (6-foot-1, 190-pounds), the Oklahoma native’s switch-hitting bat is the ultimate carrying tool. Closing out his summer in impressive fashion, Shull appears well-equipped with both hit and power tools, and his high exit velocities only help elevate the presently impressive bat-to-ball skills. Stepping into the box with a quiet intensity, Shull looks like a “doubles machine” who will hit for a long time.
+ Noah Franco (IMG Academy, FL) might be the biggest wildcard in the class. Similar to Griffin, his wide, square-shouldered, 6-foot-3, 188-pound frame oozes projection with significant strength set to be added in coming years. While his left arm provides plenty of upside on the mound, it was his bat, and more specifically his decision making, that stood out throughout the summer. Getting off aggressive hacks in all counts, Franco demonstrated advanced pitch recognition skills while showcasing significant power to the pull side with innate plate coverage. A dynamic athlete with a rare skill set, the reclassed two-way prospect has the high ceiling to surpass all in the class.
Slade Caldwell (August 2023)
+ Slade Caldwell is the new 6’4”
Hardly 5-foot-7, Slade Caldwell asserted himself as a force in the class thanks to stellar showings at each stop along the summer tour. A speedy center fielder, his left-handed stroke impacts the ball with impressive force, and he routinely took the best at-bats in the class against the best arms that it had to offer. Although the frame is not the typical Day 1 profile, the Ole Miss recruit helped eliminate much of that doubt, and depending which club is in consideration, it is fair for Caldwell to be considered higher than where he currently stands on this list.
+ Amplifying the necessity and importance (per usual) of area scouts, even more than usual, this year’s crop of pitching still remains relatively unsettled. In the “unicorn” appearances that the top pitching (and overall) prospect, Bryce Rainer, has been seen in, he has not disappointed. Maintaining his highest of ceilings with mid-to-upper 90s heat whenever he wants it, Rainer is the premium arm in the class who hardly ever throws. Beyond him, however, the summer provided a glimpse at a full collection of arms that are hovering with anticipation of catching helium next spring:
Cam Caminiti (August 2023)
+ LHP Cam Caminiti (AZ), a reclassed prospect who will not turn 18 until after the draft, checks in at #2 overall thanks to an athletic 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame and a left arm that generates easy mid-90s heat with more in the tank. Looking the part of a future starter, the collegiate two-way prospect is easy to bet on thanks to the present and potential stuff. His less frequented summer circuit looks almost served as a benefit, and each look has provided a new revelation.
Stock Report: Pitching
Levi Sterling (August 2023)
1. Levi Sterling (CA)
Everything seems to come easy for the 6-foot-4, 190-pound right-hander who simply spectacular from start to finish including a loud introduction at the PBR Procase at USC in early June. One of the class’ youngest prospects (he won’t turn 18 until after the draft), Sterling’s starter profile shined with each look, and the effortless 90-94 that he churned to both sides of the plate, is likely to see a steady jump considering the fact that he splits time as a talented infielder with a nice right-handed stroke. Low-pulsed with an arsenal that displays both aptitude and upside, Sterling is hardly a finished product…and that’s a good thing.
2. William Schmidt (LA)
Schmidt’s ascension into the elite stratosphere of pitching prospects in the class has been nothing short of sensational. The past saw the wiry, 6-foot-4, 180-pound right-hander discovering how good he could potentially be, but this summer saw him take the next step into the expectation of success. Loose out of the mitt with a mid 90s fastball and future above average changeup, it is the 3000+ rpm curveball (78-79) that raises his stock the highest. It is the best secondary offering in the class, and along with a loose arm and projectable frame, provide plenty to dream on with regards to a future frontline starter.
3. Ryan Sloan (IL)
Sloan’s electric look in San Diego had him looking like a slam-dunk Top 50 pick with an opportunity to jump up into the back half of the first round with a strong spring. Featuring potentially the most impressive pitching frame in the class at 6-foot-4, 220-pounds with some loose athleticism and room to add strength, the Illinois-native works 93-96 with a quick arm that delivers out of a 3⁄4 slot with hop through the zone, and high likelihood of adding more velocity by next spring. His demon, power-changeup (86-87) holds plus-potential as a weapon to both left and right-handed hitters, and a gyro-slider at 81-85 is set to intrigue the industry for the next 10 months. A workhorse frame with the power-stuff to match? That will play.
4. Tegan Kuhns (PA)
There is some unteachable electricity in the right arm of Kuhns, and the dynamic mover offers up three above average offerings with metrics that elicit strong future whiff potential. A wiry-thin and athletic, 6-foot-3, 168-pound right-hander, the ball explodes out of the hand with fastballs that spin up to 95 mph to go along with a 3000+ rpm breaking ball and changeup that kills spin with power-intent. Older for the class, it should not matter given the carrying-tool arsenal, and spring looks should come early and often in Pennsylvania.
5. Trey Gregory-Alford (CO)
With some stellar arms situated just behind, TGA is likely the outlier “PBR pick-to-click” of this group of right-handers. High risk, high reward, there simply are not many 6-foot-5, 230-pounders who can move the way the Colorado-native does, and his quick, powerful arm sent out explosive, mid-90s fastball all summer to go along with a wipeout breaking ball that gives him two potential plus-offerings. Less prevalent this summer, previous looks saw the makings of an above average changeup, and while there is some effort in the delivery, there is value to the whiffs he generates and the power that he produces.
David Shields (June 2023)
1. David Shields (PA)
Shields was a revelation at PDP where he was nearly flawless in a dominating performance that introduced him to a new class emphatically. More than a year younger than many of the top prospects in the class, the loose-armed southpaw comfortably dominated with a low 90s fastball that he delivered to both sides of the plate with an air of confidence that evoked moxie of a player much his senior. Only elevating his status as premium arm in the class was the incessant strikes with both an advanced changeup and usable slider. A real two-way commit to Miami, the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder is an obvious athlete whose frame still holds physical projection. While his velocity was not earth-shatteringly loud, the ease of operation was, and only amplified his youthful status within the class. The velocity will assuredly tick up by next spring, but if the slider adds more bite, Shields is likely to mirror Caminiti with regards to value.
2. Ethan Schiefelbein (CA)
Another start-to-finish winner, Schiefelbein dominated the PBR SoCal Procase before asserting himself as a premier southpaw in the class. The wiry, 6-foot-1, 175-pounder collected in-zone-misses on a low 90s fastball against the country’s top hitters, but it was the breaking ball that pushed him into the upper echelon of the class. Adding and subtracting while manipulating shape, a good pitch got even better throughout the summer, and has the southern California native headed into the spring as a must-follow.
3. Boston Bateman (CA)
Bateman can climb atop a mound at any time of day and rip off a quality curveball for a strike. His plus feel for a pitch that is likely to be graded out as plus in the near future (78-81, 2700+), is even more notable when taking into account his hulking, 6-foot-7, 250-pound frame. Tunneling it effectively with a fastball that climbed up to 95 mph late in the summer, Bateman covets and collects swings-and-misses with a strong two-pitch arsenal. An impressive athlete for his size, the buzz behind the SoCal southpaw is likely to grow louder throughout the spring.
4. Cooper Williams (TX)
The 6-foot-4, 180-pound left-hander from legendary Texas velocity haven, Alvin, looked the part of the next big arm coming out of the Houston suburb. Equipped with 94 mph fastballs whenever he wants them, his three-pitch arsenal delivered whiffs against some of the top hitters in the country, and delivered a loud look at a future starter. His mid-70s sweeper and killed-spin changeup both look the part of above average pitches, and a polished delivery allows for a clean operation to be repeated in delivering clean innings. Hands down, no spring trip will be complete without a visit to the greater Houston area.
5. Johnny King (FL)
Another two-way collegiate prospect, King unorthodox delivery features the ever-coveted low release height and higher slot which allows him to procure a significant number of whiffs. After a deep postseason run that saw him rack up lots of innings throughout the spring, King’s velocity never made the “summer jump”, but it hardly held him back from showcasing a quick left arm that holds real feel for spin. The 6-foot-4, 190-pounder who will not turn 18 until after the draft held his steady low 90s throughout the summer while showcasing innate feel for a vicious curveball that rips off with nearly 3000 rpm. A dynamic athlete whose full attention on the mound might yield major returns in coming years, there is some similarity to 2022 LHP Paul Wilson (3rd round, Tigers) although with much better feel for the breaking ball.
A look at 10 players who are on the cusp of creating big buzz next spring as PBR’s picks-to-click.
Garrett Shull OF / RHP / Enid , OK / 2024
This isn’t going out on much of a limb, as Shull is already featured prominently at #7 overall, but the avenue to exploding into a Top 15 pick has been cleared. The switch-hitting outfielder was perpetually on the barrel throughout the summer, and perhaps even more importantly, those barrels were exceptionally loud. The contact from both sides of the plate screams with each swing, and the impressive, 6-foot-1, 190-pound athlete carries a hitterish presence to the plate at all times.
Connor Gatwood RHP / SS / Baker , AL / 2024
A Summer Helium Candidate back in early June, Gatwood exploded with an upper 90s heater (98 mph, 2600+ rpm) and 6-foot-5, 190-pound frame that immediately shot him up boards as an earlier Day 1 candidate. A premium athlete with a super quick arm and loose delivery, the unteachableness stands out, and in a class looking for elite arms, Gatwood might ultimately be the one.
Ty Head OF / LHP / Windermere , FL / 2024
Possessing one of the purest left-handed strokes in the class, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound outfielder is ultra-hitterish in the box with loose wrists and quick hands, and a developing power-tool that is likely to explode in coming years. Able to slow things down at the plate before unleashing near triple-digit exit velocities. While his rise to #35 in the class is a big jump coming out of the summer, it might ultimately look far too conservative with a strong spring showing.
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Myles Bailey 1B / 3B / Lincoln , FL / 2024
Bailey exploded onto the scene with a dynamite showing at PBR’s National Program Invitational (NPI) at Lakepoint back in June, and never slowed down. A massive presence at 6-foot-4, 225-pounds, the left-handed hitting first baseman elicits some Xavier Isaac comps (Rays 1st rounder, 2022) thanks to the left-handed power and big frame. The power outputs of the summer have cemented his status as an elite prospect in the class, and he should receive plenty of attention throughout the spring in Florida.
Braylon Doughty RHP / OF / Chaparral, CA / 2024
Always looking for the next pop up prospect in talent-dense souther California, Doughty climbed onto the scene late in the summer with a heavy fastball that jumped out of the hand at 93-96 with considerable arm side life. The power breaking ball (83-87) is likely to elevate him to new heights throughout the spring, and while he’s collecting swords look for national guys to get in for multiple looks.
Braylon Payne OF / Elkins, TX / 2024
Payne’s plus-plus speed and plus-defend tools were enough to ignite his rise to start the summer, but the advancements at the plate are what might carry him to eye-opening heights in the next 10 months. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder is a true center fielder with elite closing speed, a strong arm, and premier play making ability in the outfield, but his heavy left-handed stick, and the sneaky power displays throughout batting practice, provide plenty to dream on as his rawness at the dish shows more polish with each new look.
Tyson Lewis SS / OF / Millard West, NE / 2024
If you’re looking for one of the “freakiest” athletes in the class, Lewis is a great name to know. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound shortstop is built with the frame of an outside linebacker, and his raw strength shows up at the plate with a thunderous barrel from the left side which whips through the zone in an instant. Generating impressive force from the ground up, there is considerable power potential, and while fellow Nebraska native, 3B Kale Fountain, has received much of the attention coming out of the Cornhusker State, and deservingly so, Lewis is not far behind and has equally as high of a ceiling.
Griffin Burkholder OF / Freedom (South Riding), VA / 2024
It has become commonplace to look for the sneaky emergence of a Day 1, high-money prospect coming out of the mid-Atlantic, and Burkholder might be the next in line. THe 6-foot-2, 195-pound outfielder runs a 6.41 60-yard dash with near triple digit exit velocities, and was a huge winner coming out of East Coast Pro where his dynamite athleticism met in-game production. A big spring would catapult Burkholder into Top 50 discussion.
Jack DeTienne RHP / SS / Verona Area, WI / 2024
An unknown, uncommitted, underclassman a year ago at the PBR Future Games, DeTienne’s astronomical rise late in the summer had him looking like the “cold-weather William Schmidt”. Loose with an arm stroke that is quick out front, the Xavier recruit worked up to 96 mph, and appears to have more in the tank. Similar to Schmidt, the wiry, 6-foot-3, 170-pounder enjoys the luxury of having a swing-and-miss, top-to-bottom curveball that is likely a plus-offering. Ultra competitive, the rise only appears to be getting started for the Wisconsin native.
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William Kirk LHP / OF / Ramsey, NJ / 2024
Much as he has dominated the North Jersey high school scene for three years with meticulous perfection, Kirk did the same at multiple national stops throughout the summer. Up to 93 mph with an invisible fastball, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound southpaw also features a plus-changeup and slicing slider. As other pitching prospects were stuck on stuff, Kirk was set on efficiency in delivering performances that made it easy to envision him as a future starter.
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