High School | Rankings | 5/26/2020

Top 15 Righthanded Pitchers: 2020 & 2021

Jered Goodwin        
Photo: Mick Abel (Perfect Game)

Top 15 Outfielders 2020 & 2021 | Top 16 Outfielders 2022 & 2023

Each week Jered Goodwin and Jheremy Brown will break down the top nationally ranked prospects at each position in the 2020-2023 classes, but there’s a twist. Instead of keeping them ranked within their specific classes as you'd find in the most updated national rankings, we will blend the top 2020s and 2021s into a top 15 list and then do the same with the 2022s and 2023s to see where they stack up against one another putting grad year aside. The 2020/2021 list will always be the first release, followed by the 2022/2023 with a different breakdown amongst positions weekly and this week we look at a talented crop of righthanded pitchers.

1. Mick Abel
Abel might have had the loudest performance at the Perfect Game National Showcase last summer of any arm that threw.  His 6-foot-5 frame and long levers give him uber-projection. He sits comfortably in the low-to-mid-90s and can reach back for more when he needs to. His low 3/4 slot is perfect to help tunnel his fastball with a mid-80s slider that is exceptionally hard to square up when he gets fully extended and locating to his glove side. The righthander is developing a changeup that will be a solid third offering as he learns to keep his hand speed up and turn it over. Abel’s ceiling is immense, and he gained some strength over the winter that led to reported jumps on all his offerings.  

2. Andrew Painter
At 6-foot-7 and 220-pounds, Painter might be the best of the bunch when he is in his mid-20s. He is a great athlete, as he also plays for a top high school basketball program. His limbs and release give his fastball a big downhill plane. The arm action is fluid and very clean and there has been big development with his curveball. He is throwing it harder and the pitch has really started to tighten up. He has a good changeup for a young hurler and the one thing he has always done is throw a ton of strikes. Now that he is adding strength, the entire repertoire is making huge strides. 

3. Christian Little
The St. Louis, MO native is a proportioned 6-foot-4 and 210-pound prospect. His frame has plenty of room to fill out and should easily as he matures. He has a quick arm and consistent release that creates good tilt. He can already peak in the mid-90s, with more to come, but sits comfortably in the low-90s right now. He has a good feel for his fastball and shows the ability to locate to both sides of the plate. His big breaking curveball plays well off his 4-seam fastball and will easily be a go-to offering in the future. There will be plenty of eyes on Little all summer and the development of his changeup will be something to watch.  

4. Jared Kelley
The next in line of the hard throwing and strongly built righthanded Texans is Jared Kelley. He has a physical presence on the mound that is backed up by his elite raw stuff. He has a pretty athletic delivery that he repeats well with a longer arm stroke and slight crossfire that adds deception. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and has peaked at 99 mph in the past. He gets some arm side run on occasion as well. His low-80s breaking ball shows signs of being a swing and miss pitch as he learns to locate it consistently. His best current off-speed pitch is his low-80s changeup, which flashes plus at times. There are few high school pitchers that have the type of power arsenal along with the control that Kelley consistently displays.

5. Alex Santos
The young 6-foot-4 righthanded pitcher from the Bronx, New York has continued to rise over the course of his high school years. Each time he toed the rubber he made a jump in stuff and pitchability. His long body and coil over the rubber help hide his hand and create deception for hitters. He has a whippy arm with an easy release that gets good extension. His slider and changeup are both around 80-mph and play well off each other. This is one of the favorites of many Perfect Game scouts and for good reason. He has a high ceiling arm, athletic, young, completive, and already showing signs of polish. It’s hard to imagine Santos not making an immediate splash in college or pro ball next year.  

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