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Tournaments  | Story  | 11/22/2022

2025 Rankings Risers: Pitchers

Tyler Russo     
Photo: Tyler Baird (Perfect Game)
Josh Hammond, High Point, N.C.
No. 141 ➡️ No. 17

Hammond ticked up nicely over the summer, but it was his performance this fall at Jupiter that was the catalyst for his massive jump to this top 20 spot in the class. He’s a really physical right-hander with significant stuff, peaking as high as 94 on the fastball, but it’s the slider that stands out in a big way, throwing some truly hellacious ones as high as 3000 RPMs. There’s command issues there at times but the stuff gives him the upside of one of the top arms in what is a really talented class and he’s still somewhat just scratching the surface in terms of what he could be.

Tyler Baird, Huntersville, N.C.
No. 65 ➡️ No. 18

Baird is one of the more steady progressors over the course of last 18ish months and he’s still a good ways from what the ceiling is. He’s a 6-foot-4, 165-pound right-hander with a special kind of mix, running the fastball up to 90 this fall with serious turbo sink/run and the combination of a really sharp breaking ball and a changeup that brakes with a parachute gives him highest-level starter upside.

Thomas Stewart, Lakewood, Colo.
No. 86 ➡️ No. 50

Stewart turned in a really nice outing at the Sophomore WWBA as he struck out eight in five no-hit innings and he’s evolving into one of the more intriguing arms in the younger class. He’s 85-88 with the fastball now as the life allows it to play well up in the zone and he’s got a weapon with the breaking ball, throwing it with plenty of conviction and getting true vertical break that ultimately projects really well as the velocity across the board ticks up.

Jay O’Neal, Cedartown, Ga.
No. 67 ➡️ No. 57

O’Neal might be one of the best strike throwers in recent memory when it comes to an upper-tier arm and he’s steadily climbing because of it, jumping 10 more spots in this latest update. He’s thrown 72 innings in PG events this year, tallying over 85 strikeouts, and has only walked a ridiculous eight batters. He was up to 92 this fall and it’s a really good fastball in terms of the combination of traits and true command while a sweeping slider and low-80s changeup are a pair that will help him continue to perform at a high level.

Grant Wren, Melbourne, Ark.
Top 500 ➡️ No. 61

It was a true breakout performance on the national stage for Wren when he took the mound at the Sophomore as he showed one of the biggest arms of the event. He’s a massive 6-foot-5, 190-pound right-hander who was up to 93, showing he can get downhill explosively with the fastball, making it even tougher to hit given the plane, and ripped off some mid-70s hooks that pair well. There are things to be refined but there’s no doubting it’s some of the best arm talent in the class right now.

Noah Campbell, Winter Springs, Fla.
No. 223 ➡️ No. 75

Campbell had one of the biggest showings of the entire Sophomore WWBA event as he racked up 15 strikeouts in six innings across two appearances and the stuff has really started to take shape. He’s up to 88 with the fastball with a tough angled release, allowing the fastball to play even better, while the sharpness in the slider has improved as he throws it well out of the same lower release and can miss bats already while still just barely scratching the surface as a whole.

David Ramirez, Kemah, Texas
No. 154 ➡️ No. 93

Ramirez climbs into the Top 100 here after a fall circuit where he continued to establish that he is still one of the more projectable arms in the country but has begun to tick up. He’s a wiry left-hander who has been up to 90, pitching at 86-88 in a good look this fall, while showing tons of projection on the breaking ball. He checks a ton of boxes and has a chance to really pop as we get into next summer.

Jackson Garland, Ashland, Va.
No. 186 ➡️ No. 115

Garland is a competitor and that’s exactly what he did at the Sophomore, allowing only one run over six innings in a big matchup. He’s up to 88 now with bat-missing life and the ability to hold velocity throughout while the curveball is a pitch with big depth and bite that he can go to when he needs to miss a bat. It’s a profile that should continue climbing above the nice jump he already made in this latest update.

Joe Olson, Chicago, Ill.
Top 500 ➡️ No. 122

Jupiter was Olson’s first event on the PG circuit, and he was good across a pair of outings. He’s a physically built left-hander who worked in the 85-88 range, commanding it to both sides of the plate and throwing a ton of strikes as a whole while he’s got a full mix with a mid-70s breaking ball and changeup into the low-80s, a starter’s profile that debuts well inside the national rankings of the 2025s.

Riley McDonald, St. Petersburg, Fla.
No. 168 ➡️ No. 129

McDonald at the Sophomore was some of the best we’ve seen him as he really made some nice strides in terms of the overall game this fall. He’s a touted two-way prospect with real bat speed and power upside at the plate but as a primary arm, he’s up to 88 with the fastball with real athleticism that translates to the mound, a tough low slot release that makes the fastball play better and a changeup that plays exceptionally well off the heater.

Grant McCubrey, Nashua, N.H.
No. 165 ➡️ No. 130

He’s only played one event on the tournament circuit, but he certainly made an impression this summer before eventually committing to Vanderbilt. He’s a huge 6-foot-4 right-hander with a really strong foundation, already running the fastball up to 90 mph with good carrying traits while rounding out a mix with slider and changeup. There’s obvious arm talent and it’s a power arm in the making that should climb even more with more time on the national circuit.

Evan Taylor, Ocean City, N.J.
No. 259 ➡️ No. 184

Taylor has made significant strides from this time a year ago to this fall and he had a good showing at the Sophomore WWBA. He’s up to 90 now, living in the upper-80s with a really fast arm and an athletic profile on the mound while the breaking ball has become a real swing-and-miss pitch in the mix, not to mention there’s some intrigue in that he has juice in the bat too.

Wesley Silas, Hephzibah, Ga.
No. 455 ➡️ No. 205

Silas made a big jump in terms of his stuff and as a result climbed a healthy amount in the latest update to the rankings. He’s a physical power-arm type who works hard downhill in the upper-80s with the fastball with some explosive late life and while there’s room for the secondaries to improve, there’s foundational components there that give him the chance to keep climbing too.

Austin Howard, Fairfield, Conn.
Top 500 ➡️ No. 209

Howard was somewhat unknown on a national scale coming into the fall, but he impressed in terms of his production at the Freshman WWBA and has the stuff to back it. He’s a strong-bodied right-hander who has been up to 88, pitching in the mid-80s, and the breaking ball has the foundation to miss bats while the profile as a whole projects to a good bit more in there.

Jake Lodgek, Linwood, N.J.
Top 1000 ➡️ No. 219

Lodgek made a huge impression in Fort Myers this fall when he came out with much improved stuff and landed a commitment to Miami in the process. He’s a long projectable right-hander who was 86-89 with real ride to the fastball from an athletic and controlled delivery while the breaking ball is spun well with depth in the mid-70s and he’s got a full mix to project/build on.

Grayson Burleson, Summertown, Tenn.
Top 500 ➡️ No. 235

Burleson brings a power profile on both sides of the ball and showed it across a couple of the highest-level events this fall with the ’25 All American Games and Sophomore WWBA. He’s up to 88 with the heater showing plenty of life as he gets down the slope with a fast arm and the slider is thrown well in the low-70s. He also has big juice at the dish and showed it with a big bomb in bracket play.

Brandon Reiter, Melbourne, Fla.
Top 500 ➡️ No. 250

Reiter was talked about a lot after his pair of appearances at the Sophomore as he totaled eight strikeouts across four no-hit innings. He’s an athletic, high-energy left-hander who was 85-88 as a whole on the weekend showing excellent life to the fastball with real angle and he pounds the zone. There’s a sharp, slurve-like breaking ball in the mix but he can really compete with the heater and there’s a good bit more in the tank to keep climbing like he did.

Peter Kussow, Hartland, Wis.
Top 1000 ➡️ No. 269

Kussow made his biggest impression yet at the Sophomore WWBA and he’s got a legitimate chance to continue soaring up the rankings long-term. He’s a big 6-foot-5 right-hander with all kinds of length to project on while he sat 85-87 with the fastball and showed big-time feel to spin an upper-70s breaking ball that got north of 2700 RPMs at times, significant raw spin numbers that he could harness into a special pitch.

Cory Sheridan, Aston, Pa.
Top 500 ➡️ No. 274

Sheridan had himself a big fall, totaling 18 strikeouts across 10 innings in a pair of events and the stuff ticked way up, making him very much one of the premier uncommitted arms out of the Northeast. He’s not the biggest of guys at 5-foot-10 right now but it’s a big arm, working in the upper-80s and peaking at 90, with both excellent command and life. There’s feel for a mid-70s slider that has shape and real bite that looks the part of a go-to offering at the highest level.

Drew Van Court, Woodland, Calif.
Top 500 ➡️ No. 309

Van Court committed to Oregon State at the end of the summer circuit, but he’s earned a nice bump in the ’25 rankings due to the numbers he has put up as a whole on the year. He’s an athletic right-hander who has been up to 88, pitching in the mid-80s right now but projecting to a bunch more, and he can spin it a good bit. There’s all kinds of components here and he’s one of the biggest risers in the class this year from the West Coast.