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High School | General | 5/12/2021

Summer Preview: 2023 RHP

Drew Wesolowski        
Photo: Ethan Robinson (Perfect Game)

As high school baseball is starting to get going across the country in most regions, with some states actually heading into the playoffs, it all means the summer circuit is right around the corner. Over the next several weeks we will look at the top-ranked players at each position, in each class, while also taking a look at some gut-feel players that could be big risers. With players having more access to individual development, things will undoubtably change at a rapid pace in the early months of the Perfect Game schedule. This provides a good look at some of the top performers coming into 2021 who look primed to continue dominance or make their mark on a national level. 

Class of 2022: Catchers | Corner Infield | Middle Infield | Outfielders | RHP
Class of 2023: Catchers | Corner Infield | Middle Infield | Outfielders
Class of 2024: Catchers | Corner Infield | Middle Infield | Outfielders
Class of 2025: Catchers | Corner Infield | Middle Infield | Outfielders

 

Special young arm out of Antioch in Ethan Robinson (2023). 87-91 mph with the fastball, sharp curveball and feel for a fading changeup. Huge arm talent. https://t.co/ookrKQ7LAc pic.twitter.com/mtGwRJPfLj


Ethan Robinson (Tenn.)
College Commitment: Vanderbilt
PG Events: 35
Key Stats: 71.0 IP / 86 K / 35 BB

Short Story: Sports one of the most physical builds in the entire class at 6-foot-5 and north of 200 pounds. Easy arm action as the ball jumps out of hand. Has been into the low-90s already and projects way more velocity down the road. Also feel for a sharp slider in the arsenal.

Big Moment: You could point to a handful of moments where Robinson impressed, but I look at his performance at the 15u World Series last July. Topped out at 91 mph and really put an exclamation point to all the hype. Ended up going a dominant five innings while striking out seven and not giving up a hit.

Bold Prediction: Robinson continues to fill out the frame and will be one of the top prep arms in his class. Smooth mechanics and an easy arm action will carry him deep into his baseball career.
 


Bryce Eldridge (Va.)
College Commitment: Alabama
PG Events: 18
Key Stats: 22.2 IP / 20 K / .30 ERA

Short Story: One of the most projectable arms in the class as he is a lean 6-foot-6. Whip to the arm and fluid with the lower half. Pure pitchability showing combined with a low-90s heater makes for big-time stress for opposing lineups.

Big Moment: His performance in Atlanta at the WWBA 15u National Championship will be one that lives on for some time. Ran the fastball up to 94 mph and looked unhittable at times. Could have thrown him into an SEC game and not even have thought twice that he was 15 years old.

Bold Prediction: Eldridge will continue to add strength to the frame and when he does, look out. All signs point to an elite type of arm by the time he leaves high school.
 


James Hays (Ga.)
College Commitment: Georgia
PG Events: 37
Key Stats: 86.0 IP / 112 K / 1.48 WHIP

Short Story: Hays possess’ some of the loudest stuff in the class. Big, physical build with a low-90s heater that explodes out of hand. Tight-spinning breaking ball to go with it as he makes some of the best opposing bats in the class look foolish.

Big Moment: Hays has thrown in plenty of big-time spots but none more impressive than his outing against older competition at WWBA Worlds last fall. Some opposing bats were almost three years older, and he flat out dominated. Ran the fastball up to 94 mph as he struck out five in 3 2/3 innings of work without giving up a hit.

Bold Prediction: Hays very well could be the hardest thrower in the entire class. Don’t be shocked to see an upper-90s fastball by the time his prep career ends. On an even scarier note, he knows how to locate.
 


Dylan Lonergan (Ga.) 
PG Events: 41
Key Stats: 75.1 IP / 121 K / 40 BB / 1.13 WHIP

Short Story: Lonergan is one of the most premier athletes in the class as he is generating big-time buzz as a quarterback in the fall. Simple operation with drop-and-drive mechanics. Looks to be going through the motions but the low-90s fastball says otherwise.

Big Moment: Don’t think you could possibly put your finger on just one moment for Lonergan. Instead, look at his career PG stats. 75 1/3 innings with 121 strikeouts and that percentage is just going to increase as the years go by. Another crazy number is he has only given up 45 hits total in 226 outs.

Bold Prediction: Lonergan has been outspoken about his love for the game of football but make no mistake about his dominance on the diamond. He will get some big time offers from schools looking to have him play both sports and very well could be in that special category of two-sport athletes.
 


Chance Mako (N.C.)
College Commitment: North Carolina State
PG Events: 12
Key Stats: 28.2 IP / 43 K / .20 ERA

Short Story: Possesses everything you look for in an up-and-coming pitching prospect. Athletic in the delivery and full of confidence. Brings his best every time we see him. Baseball explodes out of hand as he runs the heater into the low-90s with a sharp breaking ball to go with it.

Big Moment: Was lights out in the quarterfinals at the WWBA Sophomore Championship last September. Threw against one of the top-hitting lineups in the event and made it look easy. Threw a combined 4 2/3 innings on the week with seven punchouts and not a single earned run to his name.

Bold Prediction: Mako has immense upside due to his athleticism and it’s going to shine through in a big way. Look for him to add another pitch to his arsenal and continue to mold himself as one of the top arms in the country.
 


Jake Lankie (Ga.)
College Commitment: Georgia
PG Events: 43
Key Stats: 138 IP / 184 K / 1.60 ERA

Short Story: One of the true pitchers on the top of this list as he has real feel for opposing hitters’ approach. Trusts his four-pitch arsenal and mixes it up with the best of them. Low-90s heater that he pitches off of while mowing down opposing lineups with efficiency.

Big Moment: Lankie has thrown so many innings in past PG events that you can’t pick just a single week. His overall stats are mind-numbing. His 184 strikeouts in 138 innings should be the main stat line but his small number of walks at 44 is also very impressive. He’s also given up just 32 earned runs, which goes to show how few barrels he finds.

Bold Prediction: I see Lankie filling out the build a bit and refining some things before becoming one of the top arms in the entire class. He goes right after hitters and will continue to generate weak contact for years to come.
 


Jacob Hudson (Calif.)
College Commitment: TCU
PG Events: 9
Key Stats: 31.1 IP / 48 K / .70 ERA

Short Story: Is one of the most premier power pitchers in the class. Physical in the build and that translates into his pitching actions as he fills up the zone while tempting the hitter in trying to out-power him. Will force you to prove you can square up his fastball in the low-90s.

Big Moment: Had a tremendous fall, but going to look to an outing more recent, South MLK Championship. Stuff was so loud on the mound as he ran the heater up to 91 mph and mixed in a fading changeup. In five innings pitched, he struck out six without giving up a hit.

Bold Prediction: Hudson has so much upside on the mound and when you bring his gamer mentality, the sky is the limit. Look for him to continue to gain velocity and become the most premier power arm in the class.
 


Grant Smith (Ariz.) 
PG Events: 9
Key Stats: 10.0 IP / 11 K

Short Story: Jumped up on the radar last fall and has gone nowhere but up from there. Low-effort release as he runs the heater into the low-90s. Athletic actions and looks as though he can pitch all day with how stress-free the motions are.

Big Moment: His performance at the West Coast Top Prospect Games last fall was his coming-out party. One of the best sinking fastballs in the class had hitters clueless at the dish. Mixed in a sharp slider as well before receiving a PG 10 once the dust settled.

Bold Prediction: Smith is still somewhat young in terms of mechanics and approach, making what he does on the mound even more impressive. Look for him to clean some things up and get much need repetitions before he makes an even bigger jump before the end of his career.
 


Hiro Wyatt (Conn.)
College Commitment: Duke
PG Events: 13
Key Stats: 40.0 IP / 45 K / .90 ERA

Short Story: Utilizes one of the quickest arms you will see in the prep game. Baseball jumps out of hand and is very hard to pick up. Fastball into the low-90s with big-time arm-side run. Misses barrels in the most violent way.

Big Moment: His performance in Atlanta at the WWBA 15u National Championship last summer was lights out. Threw a combined nine innings as he struck out 13 batters without giving up a single run. Possibly one of the loudest outings of the week as he picked up all-tournament team honors.

Bold Prediction: Wyatt seems to make small strides every time we see him, and a big jump is right around the corner. Don’t be shocked to see a mid-90s heater here sooner rather than later.
 


Chase Meyer (Ga.)
College Commitment: Georgia
PG Events: 41
Key Stats: 74.1 IP / 94 K / 1.18 WHIP

Short Story: Has one of the most explosive fastballs in the entire class. Has been up to 93 mph with plenty more in the tank. Very deceptive in his delivery and mixes in a sharp slider that gets ugly swing-and-miss.

Big Moment: His PG career has been nothing short of stellar, but I look back to the new year as he dominated in Fort Myers at the National Underclass Main Event Showcase. Was up to 93 mph and had guys running out of the box. Earned a PG 10 in the process of his dominance.

Bold Prediction: Meyer has all the makings of an upper-90s arm by the time his prep career comes to an end. Look for him to be on the hunt for triple digits before he graduates from high school.

Gut Feels

Brandon Olivera (Fla.)
Electric on the bump. Has been up to 93 mph in the past. Legit two-way potential but may just end up finding his forever home on the hill. He has 21 punchouts in 13 2/3 innings pitched.

Cole Selvig (Wis.)
Electric stuff and already fits the body mold of a starter at the next level. Up to 91 with a big breaking ball to go with it. Huge jumps ahead for this Texas commit.

Connor Crisp (Ga.)
One of the best pure pitchers in the class. Feel for a sharp breaking ball that has guys whiffing over the top. Fastball into the low-90s and always around the zone. Has 92 strikeouts in 84 1/3 innings pitched in past events.

Landon Stump (Calif.)
Legit feel for a three-pitch mix and runs the fastball up to 91 mph. Only seen him in 10 1/3 innings of action but has 14 punchouts to his name. The Oregon commit is one to follow this summer and going forward.

Aidan Teel (N.J.)
Shows huge two-way potential but has made big strides on the bump. Up into the low-90s and goes right after hitters. Has 12 punchouts in nine innings of work. Plenty of upside here out of the right-hander.

Dylan Questad (Wis.)
Has been dominant this spring as he was up to 91 mph in an indoor showcase. Smooth, easy mechanics as he looks like he can hold velo for hours at a time. Power slider showing depth that runs horizontally late.

Drew Titsworth (Mich.)
The Michigan commit was mighty impressive this past summer. Big, physical build showing starter-type stuff in the future. Fastball into the low-90s and can really spin the breaking ball. Has 49 punchouts in 36 1/3 innings pitched while giving up just 11 runs.

Kyle Connelly (Calif.)
Shows immense upside on the bump. Legit three-pitch mix that has guys guessing before the pitch is even thrown. Up to 90 mph and is a gamer in all aspects of the word. Has 14 punchouts in just 11 1/3 innings of work.

Duke Ekstrom (Calif.)
The Vandy commit shows big-time upside as he still has room to fill out the frame. Fastball up to 89 mph from a tough slot. Proved he can tunnel the changeup off the heater. Will miss many more barrels in his prep days.

Kyler Spencer (Ark.)
Perhaps some of the most upside in the entire class. Big, physical 6-foot-5 frame and is just starting to grow into it. Fastball in the upper-80s with a sharp slider to complement the heater. Will refine some things on the mound and make a big jump this summer.

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