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High School  | General  | 2/20/2024

Mid-Atlantic Dream Team & Top Tools

David Rawnsley     

The Mid-Atlantic Region has a strong combination of high performing position talent and hard throwing pitchers, head-lined by two Perfect Game All-Americans in right handers Tegan Kuhns (Pennsylvania) and Jake Yeager (Maryland).  The Region’s top talent, 15th ranked third baseman Andre Modugno (New Jersey) chose to play his senior year at IMG Academy in Florida.

It’s a banner year for Maryland high schools as they have two representatives in the Perfect Game Pre-Season Top 50 in 32nd ranked St. Johns College High School and 38th ranked Archbishop Spalding High School.  St. Johns features six senior D1 position players in their lineup, while Archbishop Spalding has a deep pitching staff lead by Yeager and a very strong group of underclass talent.

C – Gavin Kelly (Sr., Pittsburgh Central Catholic HS, Pa.)

Kelly was raised as a shortstop and still has the tools and actions to play that position at the college level, highlighted by his 6.68 speed.  But that athleticism has turned him into one of the better defensive catchers in the 2024 class nationally.  Kelly hasn’t developed much power in his bat yet but has outstanding barrel to ball skills and hit .534 in 18 games at Pittsburgh Central Catholic last spring and .380 in 37 games of PG tournament play in 2023, with more walks than strikeouts in both places.  He is signed with West Virginia.

1B – Ryan Costello (Sr., Ranney HS, N.J.)

The left-handed hitting Costello was one of the dominant hitters on the 2023 PG circuit, hitting .477-5-33/1.340 in 35 Perfect Game tournament games while adding a home run and numerous hard-hit balls at the PG National Showcase.  Impressively, Costello struck out only 6 times last summer while drawing 19 walks.  Originally a Pittsburgh commit before his standout summer, Costello is signed with Louisiana State.

MIF – Aidan West (Jr., Long Reach HS, Mary.)

West is a very polished defensive shortstop with solid athletic tools across the board, including 6.72 speed and an upper 80’s arm across the infield.  Along with his defensive skills, West is a left-handed hitter, always a plus on a middle of the field player, and has the swing mechanics and 6-foot-2, 190-pound build to grow into some power in the future.  He is committed to North Carolina State and checks in at 77th nationally in the 2025 PG class rankings.

MIF – Will Rhine (Jr., John Carroll HS, Mary.)

Early season reports out of Maryland say that Rhine has taken the next step as a prospect and is ready for a big 2024 season.  The Alabama commit passes the eye test with a strong and very projectable 6-foot-3, 195-pound build and is young for the 2025 class, not turning 17 years old until late in the spring.  Rhine’s best present tools are his bat, where he’s a true switch-hitter with blossoming power from both sides of the plate.

3B – Chase Harlan (Sr., Central Bucks East, Penn.)

Harlan looks the part of a high-level third baseman with a chiseled 6-foot-3, 205-pound build and has the requisite strong arm and powerful right-handed bat to go along with it.  A Clemson signee, Harlan hit .333-2-25 in 40 PG tournament games in 2023 after hitting .435-5-21 during the spring at Central Bucks – East HS.  He also has the athleticism and speed to play either of the corner outfield positions and might end up there early in his Clemson career.

OF – Trevor Johnson (Sr., Bellefonte Area HS, Pa.)

Johnson is a strong and fast left-handed hitting outfielder who impressed at the 2023 PG National Showcase.  He dominated 4A baseball in Pennsylvania as a junior, hitting an eye opening .558-11-30 with a 24:2 walk to strikeout ratio.  Notably, Johnson kept that same type of strike zone control during the PG summer circuit, walking 13 times compared to only 3 strikeouts in 23 PG games (.327-2-10).  A 6.64 runner, Johnson is signed with Duke.

OF – Luke Dickerson (Sr., Morris Knolls HS, N.J.)

Dickerson plays shortstop during the spring but played centerfield for most of the summer and has obvious tools for a future in centerfield, including blazing 6.24 speed in the sixty.  He was a first team All-New Jersey selection as a junior, hitting .483-8-28 with 33 walks and 18 stolen bases, then came back and hit .407-1-14 with 20 more stolen bases in 33 PG tournament games in the summer.  Dickerson is signed with Virginia.

OF – Charles Batista (Sr., The Hun HS, N.J.)

Batista is a 6-foot-5, 215-pound tool monster who runs a 6.8 sixty at his size, throws 94 mph from the outfield and 92 mph from the mound and posts 100+ mph exit velos with his right-handed bat.  The challenge with the Penn State signee will be making consistent enough contact to get into his enormous raw power.

RHP – Jake Yeager (Sr., Archbishop Spalding HS, Mary.)

Yeager was a 2023 Perfect Game All-American and is ranked 64th nationally in the present PG 2024 class rankings.  He’s been up to 95 mph at PG events and throws both a slider and curveball along with a change up.  A Maryland signee, the 6-foot-4, 195-pound Yeager struck out 47 hitters in 30 innings as a junior at Archbishop Spalding HS while going 4-1, 1.00.

LHP – David Shields (Sr., Mt. Lebanon HS, Pa)

Shields was a member of the 2025 class when he was selected for the 2021 Perfect Game 14U Select Festival but has since re-classified to the 2024 class, where he’ll be very young for the class on draft day.  Shields has outstanding feel for a fastball that’s just beginning to touch the low 90’s and also throws a power curveball and quality change up.  Shields threw a no-hitter in the finals of the 6A Pennsylvania state championships in 2023 and is signed with Miami.

RHP – Tegan Kuhns (Sr., Gettysburg Area HS, Pa.)

Kuhns is the top ranked pitcher in the Mid-Atlantic Region at 29th nationally and is the 7th ranked pitcher in the 2024 class.  The Tennessee signee works in the low 90’s with his fastball and tops out at 94 mph with more to come as he fills out physically.  Kuhns best pitch is a 80 mph slider that has swing/miss characteristics with 2800+ spin rates.  He went 4-2, 1.21 as a junior last spring with 61 strikeouts and only 8 walks in 29 innings.

RHP – Myles Upchurch (Jr., St. Albans School, D.C.)

Albans is a three-sport athlete who was the District of Columbia Player of the Year in baseball as a sophomore.  He only threw in one PG event last summer but that one was impressive, as Upchurch struck out 17 hitters in 10 innings while allowing only 4 hits over two games at the WWBA 16U National Championships.  The Alabama commit worked in the 90-93 mph range with his fastball while throwing a curveball, slider and change up.

RHP - Chris Levonas (Sr., Christian Brothers Academy, N.J.)

Levonas has drawn national scouting attention early this year and comparisons to former New Jersey first round pick Chase Petty with a series of indoor appearances that had the slender 6-foot-1 athlete throwing in the 94-97 mph range with elite level spin rates on his slider and curveball.  That’s a jump from the 89-93 mph that Levonas threw last summer on the PG tournament circuit.  Levonas, who is a Wake Forest signee, posted a 0.98 ERA in 42 innings last spring for Christian Brothers Academy with 72 strikeouts and only 12 walks and 17 hits allowed.

UT – Tague Davis (Sr., Malvern Prep, Pa.)

Davis is the son of Ben Davis, a seven-year big leaguer who was the second overall pick in the 1995 draft.  He more resembles another Pennsylvania native and Louisville commit/star at this point in 2017 first round pick Brandan McKay than his switch-hitting catcher father.  Davis tops out at 91 mph on the mound with his best tool being his left-handed power.  He’s hit seven home runs the past two high school seasons, including hitting .350-7-28 as a junior.  Davis is ranked 62nd overall in the PG 2024 class rankings.

Mid-Atlantic Region Top Tools

Best Hitter for Average:
Ryan Costello (Sr., Ranney HS, N.J.)

One wonders if Costello might be due for significant scouting attention this spring due to his advanced left-handed bat.  His 2023 Perfect Game numbers just jump off the page, with a .477 average, 5 home runs and an incredible 19:6 walk to strikeout ratio in 35 games.  That’s right, 5 home runs and only 6 strikeouts on good volume!

Best Hitter for Power: Chase Harlan (Sr., Central Bucks East, Penn.)

Harlan’s swing and strength is built for power and it’s easy to imagine his developing into one of the best power hitters in the ACC should he make it to Clemson.

Best Runner: Luke Dickerson (Sr., Morris Knolls HS, N.J.)

Dickerson’s 6.24 sixty, including a 1.42 10-yard split, make him one of the fastest runners in the country.  Interestingly, much of Dickerson’s lower half twitch and power probably come from his hockey background, as Dickerson is a prolific scorer on the ice, having notched 75 goals in his four-year high school hockey career.

Best Defensive Catcher: Gavin Kelly (Sr., Pittsburgh Central Catholic HS, Pa.)

Few catchers can match Kelly for his agility and athleticism behind the plate.  He has plenty of arm strength for the position and his lower half quickness and balance ensure that he will make accurate throws.

Best Defensive Infielder: Aidan West (Jr., Long Reach HS, Mary.)

West is as polished and smooth as they come on a 16-year old middle infielder and is a mainstay defensively on the Canes National Team, one of the top age group travel teams in the country

Best Defensive Outfielder: Luke Dickerson (Sr., Morris Knolls HS, N.J.)

Dickerson may not be a full-time outfielder but his top of the scale speed gives him a chance to be a top defender if he continues to play on the grass at the next level.

Best Defensive Arm: Charles Batista (Sr., The Hun HS, N.J.)

If Batista doesn’t make it as a hitter, it’s easy to see him get a chance on the mound.  Along with topping at out 92 mph, Batista did strike out 30 hitters in 24 innings last spring and also picked up a Most Valuable Pitcher award last fall at a Northeast PG tournament while playing for the East Coast Ghost Scout Team.

Best Fastball: Chris Levonas (Sr., Christian Brothers Academy, N.J.)

Part of the comparison between Levonas and Chase Petty making the rounds this early spring is based on their common 6-foot-1, 170-pound builds and New Jersey backgrounds but also on their electric fastballs.  Levonas hasn’t found Petty’s triple digits yet, but there’s still lots of time to go this spring.

Best Off-Speed Stuff: Tegan Kuhns (Sr., Gettysburg Area HS, Pa.)

This is basically a toss-up between Kuhns swing and miss slider and Levonas’ two hard spinning breaking balls, including a 3,000+ rpm curveball.  Kuhns has the advantage in track record and throwing strikes with his nasty spinners.

Best Pitchability: William Kirk (Sr., Ramsey HS, N.J.)

David Shields would be a worthy pick in this category but Kirk has similar stuff as a 6-foot-2 southpaw who is edging into the low-90’s with lots of physical projection remaining.  But Kirk’s high school numbers are so absurd, even for a top prospect, that he needs recognition.  The Virginia commit walked only 3 hitters in 39 innings as a junior with 87 strikeouts, moving his three-year high school totals to 123 innings, 19 walks and 201 strikeouts.  Kirk also hit .444-4-23 as an outfielder when not on the mound.

Best Multi-Sport Athlete: Johnathan Coombs (Jr., DeMatha HS, Mary.)

Coombs, who goes by “Bud”, is a high ceiling baseball talent who is ranked 84th in the 2025 PG class rankings based on his big power and speed combination.  He’s stated many times that he would like to play both baseball and football at the college level.  But with the football recruiting websites talking about a competition between Penn State and Michigan for the three-star running back, the pressure seems to be there for Coombs to continue in the long-term as a football standout.