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High School  | General  | 12/5/2023

Finest in the Field: Class of 2025

Vincent Cervino     
This time of the year, every year, out staff looks back at some of the defensive standouts, from their showings both in a showcase setting and live action, and assemble the Finest in the Field beginning today with the Class of 2025.

P – Seth Hernandez, Corona HS (Calif.)

Hernandez is the top-ranked pitcher in the 2025 class and while he possesses elite stuff he’s also a very good mover, strike thrower, and athlete. Hernandez routinely two-wayed over the course of the circuit, and in high school ball, to show off the body control and movement skill to be a net positive fielding off the mound.

C – Vincent Decarlo, Jesuit HS (Fla.)

Decarlo had a very good calendar year in 2023 and his quiet but advanced defensive skill set showed out over the course of the year. He’s got soft hands behind the plate with excellent catch-and-throw skills which resulted in a 1.83 second pop time at the Junior National Showcase with excellent arm strength.

1B – Evan Hankins, The Miller School of Ablemarle (Va.)

Hankins is a very good mover at the position that’s even more impressive when you consider he’s 6-foot-5, 215-pounds. The size gives his infielders a big target to hit but even when they make errant throws Hankins can scoop most of anything in the dirt. His body control, flexibility, and glove work all stand out at first base.

MIF – Billy Carlson, Corona HS (Calif.)

Carlson is one of the best athletes in the class with elite twitch and easy arm strength from the left side of the diamond. He’s got an excellent internal clock and routinely makes rangy plays look like he can make them in his sleep. Carlson’s athleticism and long term shortstop projection make him an outstanding defender.

MIF – Rashad Hayes, Bishop O Dowd HS (Calif.)

Hayes is another silky smooth infield defender with soft hands, a good motor, and the ability to range to all sides to make plays. His ability to control his body on the run and on the charge definitely stands out but he makes the routine plays look super easy as well.

3B – Ethan Holliday, 3B Stillwater HS (Okla.)

Holliday is the No. 1 player in the class and has made shortstop look routine in the past so you can imagine how advanced he is defensively at third base. The actions and knowledge of the position are standouts here as Holliday’s internal motor, ability to change angles, and surehandedness are all impressive.

OF – Jalen Foxx, Lyman HS (Fla.)

Foxx is a standout defender in the outfield, gliding with ease on fly balls while making accurate, timely reads as well. His closing speed on fly balls is very good and the ground he covers in both gaps is very impressive.

OF – Anthony Pack Jr., Millikan HS (Calif.)

Pack is another standout athlete who played all across the outfield this summer, seeing time at all three positions on the grass. He handles each corner with ease and can also go get it in centerfield pretty well. His versatility is a standout here and can plug and play him in any spot.

OF – Taylor Tracey, Dripping Springs HS (Texas)

Tracey has pretty significant size standing at 6-foot-6, 190-pounds, and it’s rare to see someone his size possess really impressive closing speed and play quality centerfield defense. The twitch and way he glides in the outfield are fun and he’s got the length and speed to make pretty spectacular plays.

UT – Coy James, Davie County HS (N.C.)

James fits the mold of a true shortstop who can be an asset with the glove at both positions up the middle. He’s rangy and athletic with a very good arm and his ability to control his body and change angles certainly stands out. James makes the position look easy and is one of the better infield defenders in the class.