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Juco  | Story  | 2/1/2023

JUCO Prospects: Top 500

Brian Sakowski      Blaine Peterson      Troy Sutherland      Cameron McElwaney     
Welcome to the 2023 JUCO Baseball season, which actually kicked off a couple of days ago. We’ve had the pleasure once more of providing the most comprehensive, well-researched and in-depth JUCO coverage available, and a lot of that work culminates in the list you see below.

JUCO is different this year. Gone are (most) of the 22-23 year olds who played their 3rd, 4th or even 5th years of JUCO last year due to the two extra COVID years granted by the NJCAA. This year it’s all about the youth movement, with nearly every of the scores of coaches we’ve spoken with pointing to having more freshmen in starting spots than they’ve had in several years. That youth movement definitely plays its way onto this board, as we have more JUCO freshmen ranked than we ever have before.

Starting at the top, there are four lefties who we see as top of class good, with Gulf Coast State freshman Christian Oppor earning the top slot, just a couple spots ahead of teammate Carson Dorsey. SoCal lefty Kyle Carr, a plus-plus athlete with three pitches that project above-average, is sandwiched between them. Wabash Valley lefty Jackson Soucie finishes up that tier. Northwest Florida State infielder Kendrey Maduro is our top positional player this year, with left side traits and huge power that he gets to with frequency. After Maduro, we’re back to the arms with righties, starting with Gavin Adams, who has been in the upper-90’s already to start 2023. Freshman phenom Marcus Phillips from Iowa Western has massive upside, while Lackawanna righty Kyle Scott is more of a veteran than those ahead of him and has some of the best pure stuff in JUCO. McLennan righty Devin Bennett has been up to 96-97 mph with an above-average breaker at times, and another freshman in Malachi Witherspoon rounds out the top 10, as a righty with huge spin traits on all of his stuff.

It's a loaded top 10, with all 10 of those players projecting to be potential Day 2 draft choices, along with several behind them. We see something along the lines of 50+ potential 2023 drafts here, with lots more down the line as developmental trajectories take clearer shape.

Make sure you tune into PGTV starting Friday where we’ll be broadcasting live from the Visit Panama City Beach College Baseball Classic, playing host to 16 of the best JUCO teams in the country. Among the players in attendance, 90 of them are ranked within this Top 500.

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