Prep Baseball Report

2024 Rankings Update: The Case For #1

Shooter Hunt
Vice President, Scouting

While PBR staff eyes are on all high school classes at all times, the summer between sophomore and junior year is when players really start to put themselves on the radar. The class itself continues to take shape, as do recruiting classes. However, Major League Baseball organizations have dug deeper into compiling information on underclassmen and things have quickly overlapped in terms of coverage. Even with the 2022 MLB Draft still to come, as well as the beginning of the 2023 class’ circuit, some 2024s will undoubtedly catch the attention of scouts in the coming months.

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With that said, this 2024 class has already presented plenty of premium talent to be followed. PBR’s massive boots-on-the-ground staff has tirelessly scoured the country all spring, and combined with winter workouts and previous looks, an official update to the overall rankings is here to serve as a summer follow list.

Below, Vice President of Scouting, Shooter Hunt, builds a case for multiple players to ultimately rise to the top spot.

Bryce Rainer SS / RHP / Harvard Westlake, CA / 2024

Commanding the top spot, once again, Rainer spent the spring exclusively as a position player after a dominant freshman campaign on the mound. Regardless of mound time, Rainer’s prospect status is equally as impressive on both sides of the ball, and his left-handed stroke is fluid with effortless bat speed and intriguing power potential. Though noticeable strength was added to his 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame, he still oozes projection, and with long graceful strides and a plus-plus arm, he can play nearly any position on the diamond. Additionally, he is the top pitching prospect in a loaded class holding equal parts polish and potential.

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Owen Paino SS / RHP / Roy C. Ketcham, NY / 2024

It is no small jump for Paino to go from No. 10 to No. 2, and the New York native is already checking plenty of boxes given his pro profile. Square-shouldered and athletic at 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, the left-handed hitting shortstop slows the game down at an impressive rate, especially for a northern hitter. Swinging a heavy barrel, the power production has already begun ticking up, and there is a strong chance that the hit and power, combined with the chance to stick at shortstop long term, will have professional clubs glued to future development.

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Theo Gillen SS / RHP / Westlake , TX / 2024

There is electricity to Gillen’s all-around game, and with a pristine, 6-foot-2, 187-pound frame with lean strength throughout that looks like it could handle the rigors of big time D-I football, he clearly has a path ready to be paved to the top spot. Another left-handed hitter with advanced barrel accuracy along with the ability to be explosive in a short window with the barrel, there is plenty to get excited about with regards to his potential and high ceiling. While he might not stick at shortstop, Gillen's dynamic ability at the plate is sure to pique the interest of MLB clubs.

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Konnor Griffin OF / RHP / Jackson Prep, MS / 2025

The biggest splash of the summer came early as the top ‘25 prospect decided to bump up a class. Griffin’s hype preceded high school, and rather than rest on his natural physical abilities, he has already demonstrated a craving to advance his skill set. A top-end, premium athlete with lean strength throughout a 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame that is still developing, he already holds an impressive understanding of movement patterns which allows him to flow effortlessly at shortstop along with producing graceful strides on the base paths. Featuring future plus arm strength with advanced glove-to-hand abilities, Griffin is a magnet for scouting eyes thanks to his crisp attention to detail along with exciting twitch. Also into the low 90s (and likely higher this summer) on the mound, there is little that he cannot do. With his five-tool package, there is clearly significant potential for Griffin to ultimately matriculate to the top spot.

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Derek Curiel OF / OF / Orange Lutheran , CA / 2024

Having just finished his sophomore campaign in the revered Trinity League of Orange County, Curiel has already proven so much on the big stage. The 6-foot-2, 170-pound center fielder continues to add strength to one of the more projectable frames in the class all while producing against some of the top arms in the country. A natural defender with some of the best instincts in the class, he profiles well at a premium spot, and the left-handed stick already produces sneaky strength to the pull side with what is expected to be a significant jump in coming years. Beyond the pure tools, his pitch recognition, plate discipline, and high baseball IQ could help him rise further in coming years as the frame fills out.

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Chase Mobley RHP / OF / Plant City, FL / 2024

When looking for any class’ top prospect, Florida is a good place to start, and at 6-foot-5, 185-pounds with a power arm and twitch to the hands, Mobley checks out as a potential No. 1 player. Loose with a whip-like arm, there is likely another jump in velocity for the big right-hander who is already into the low 90s, and features strong movement down the mound with quality extension out front. Intensifying his upside on the mound, Mobley also turns his right-handed stick with some authority, and that offensive athleticism lends well to an ability to make adjustments on the mound down the road.

PJ Morlando C / OF / Summerville , SC / 2024

The thunder exuded from Morlando’s barrel has only gotten louder since first entering high school, and should that upward trajectory continue, so too might his standing in the class. Winter workouts saw even more impressive physicality from a now 6-foot-3, 194-pound backstop, and his big exit velocities are produced in equal parts to all fields. What has allowed Morlando to grow as a prospect, and will likely decide his immediate professional value, is the work that he has put in behind the plate. The Mississippi State recruit has made quality advancements defensively, and because of that, holds the potential to stick at a premium position with a powerful bat.

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Blake Larson LHP / OF / Dowling Catholic, IA / 2024

Larson, a TCU recruit, is the biggest wildcard, and might hold the highest upside, in the group. Equipped with an electric arm on a wiry-athletic, 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame, the southpaw has the potential to make significant strides in coming years, and given his left-handedness, will be provided plenty of opportunities in front of important eyes. Already up into the low 90s with his fastball, he also sports aptitude for spin with plus potential on a big breaking ball. Also a talented hitter, his two-way potential is something to note, and only helps amplify his athleticism. Hailing from Iowa and playing for state power Dowling Catholic, his high school season will likely stretch deep into the next few Julys, which will provide limited looks on the national stage.

Garrett Shull SS / RHP / Enid , OK / 2024

Shull exploded on the Oklahoma prep scene last spring as a freshman, and catapulted himself to even greater heights in a brilliant sophomore campaign. The Oklahoma State recruit is a natural born hitter who rakes in every sense of the word, dominating from both sides of the plate with what is likely to be the top hit/power tool in the class. Stacking the statline as a 6.7 runner with exit velocities over 100 mph, there is blue collar intent in each at bat and no fear in any count. Shull gets off swings with controlled aggression at all times, and might ultimately utilize the summer as a springboard up initial draft lists.

Casan Evans RHP / SS / St. Pius X, TX / 2024

Evans brings a full arsenal to the mound and already stands on a high floor staring at a higher ceiling. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound right-hander was up to 93 mph this spring with some sizzle through the bottom of the zone, but the electric arm strength is only scraping the surface of what he brings to the mound. Exhibiting advanced feel for disrupting timing that includes manipulating the shape of spin (there is plus potential for the slider) along with a power changeup, Evans has real starter potential thanks to some of the most polished stuff in any class. Given his Texas roots, it can almost be assumed that the velocity will continue to rise, and should he continue dominating the national circuit, there is a chance he rises even higher on this list in a short time.

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Risers Building A Case:

+ RHP Schuyler Sandford (Bartram Trail HS, FL)
+ SS J.D. Dix (Whitefish Bay HS, WI)
+ LHP/OF TP Wentworth (Central Catholic HS, CA)
+ SS Sawyer Farr (Boswell HS, TX)
+ RHP Jake Neely (Clark HS, TX)
+ RHP/3B Braden Booth (Bob Jones HS, TX)
+ C Hunter Carns (First Coast HS, FL)
+ SS/P Dalton Wentz (Amherst HS, VA)
+ RHP Bradley Ferrell (South Central HS, IN)
LHP Walker Hooks (Brandon HS, MS)


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