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Draft  | Story  | 5/9/2024

PG Draft: Hotbed Breakdowns

Tyler Henninger      Isaiah Burrows      Tyler Kotila     
Photo: Jac Caglianone (Florida Athletics)
The talent within the game of baseball has continued to improve across the nation and seems to be at an all-time high. You can find quality players pretty much anywhere now, whether it is in small town South Dakota or the coasts of California. With that being said, there are places in the country that feature an abundance of talent. These “hotbeds” are loaded with potential draft prospects and are sure to be filled with scouts in the seats. While the location of these hotbeds changes from draft class to draft class, this year there are five states that feature far more talent than the rest: Florida, California, Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina. Each of these states have over 20 prospects on the latest Top-400 draft board, when combining both college and prep players. This week the draft team takes a deeper look into those hotbeds and the talent you can expect to come from them in this year’s draft class. 

Top-5
Region Total Players
FL 45
CA 42
TX 37
GA 31
NC 23

 
Texas




Rk. Name Level Pos. B-T School Hometown State Commitment
4 Braden Montgomery C OF S-R Texas A&M Madison MS  
26 Theo Gillen H SS/OF L-R Westlake Austin TX Texas
32 Ryan Johnson C RHP R-R Dallas Baptist Red Oak TX  
33 Wyatt Sanford H SS L-R Independence Frisco TX Texas A&M
36 Walker Janek C C R-R Sam Houston State Portland TX  
44 Braylon Payne H OF L-L Lawrence E. Elkins Missouri City TX Houston
50 Dasan Hill H LHP R-L Grapevine Grapevine TX Dallas Baptist
54 Sawyer Farr H SS S-R Boswell Fort Worth TX Texas A&M
63 Anthony Silva* C SS R-R TCU San Antonio TX  
67 Jared Thomas* C OF/1B L-L Texas Waxahachie TX  
81 Cade Arrambide H C R-R Tomball Tomball TX LSU
103 Brayden Bergman H RHP/1B R-R Plano East Parker TX Baylor
104 Jaxon Jelkin C RHP R-R Houston Bellevue NE  
113 Kevin Bazzell C IF/C R-R Texas Tech Forney TX  
141 Parker Smith C RHP R-R Rice Bellaire TX  
144 Christopher Cortez C RHP R-R Texas A&M Las Vegas NV  
156 Kyle Robinson C RHP R-R Texas Tech Vienna VA  
171 Payton Tolle C LHP/1B L-L TCU Yukon OK  
177 Lebarron Johnson C RHP R-R Texas Jacksonville FL  
204 Jalin Flores* C 3B R-R Texas Helotes TX  
210 Ryan Prager C LHP L-L Texas A&M Dallas TX  
211 Sawyer Strosnider H OF L-L Brock Weatherford TX TCU
216 Gavin Kash C 1B L-R Texas Tech Sour Lake TX  
234 Jason Flores H RHP R-R Naaman Forest Wylie TX Texas
239 Sam Erickson H OF L-L Flower Mound Flower Mound TX Texas A&M
265 Ali Camarillo C SS R-R Texas A&M Chula Vista CA  
266 Bryce Navarre H LHP L-L Montgomery Montgomery TX Texas A&M
272 Michael Catalano H RHP R-R Frisco Fricso TX Oklahoma
279 Cooper Williams H LHP L-L Alvin Alvin TX Texas A&M
287 Blaine Brown H LHP L-L Shadow Creek Pearland TX Rice
301 Casan Evans H RHP R-R St. Pius X Houston TX LSU
315 David Hogg II H SS R-R Mansfield Mansfield TX LSU
335 Nolan Traeger H C L-R Concordia Lutheran Spring TX TCU
369 Carson Luna H SS R-R St. John's Houston TX Texas
388 Tanner Witt C RHP R-R Texas Houston TX  
391 Donte Lewis H RHP R-R St. Thomas Catholic Pearland TX Kansas State
399 Daylan Pena C 1B R-R Texas State Corpus Christi TX  


Texas is absolutely loaded with high end college and prep talent. The college side has arguably a Top 5 talent in Texas A&M’s Braden Montgomery but the Aggies also boast a good of depth pieces in shortstop Ali Camarillo and arms Ryan Prager and Christopher Cortez. Move over to Sam Houston and there’s a potential first round name in catcher Walker Janek, who is a well above-average athlete and plus defender behind the plate who brings a good amount of hit/power to the profile. Texas has some serious offensive firepower coming to this year’s class in Jared Thomas and shortstop Jalin Flores, along with arguably one of the top seniors in college with right-hander LeBarron Johnson. Ryan Johnson out of DBU should hear his name called early come July as he’s equipped with incredible pace and one of the best sliders in the class. Houston’s Jaxon Jelkin has come onto the draft scene since the season began and has ran it up to 95 mph with a high-spin slider and changeup from a starter’s build. TCU shortstop Anthony Silva is a premier defender at the six-hole with one of the best arms in the entire group, as well. On the prep side, you need to start up the middle with its high end talent in Wyatt Sanford, Theo Gillen and Sawyer Farr who represent the Dallas/Austin area. All three have been absolutely stellar in different facets this spring, but have well-rounded tools and loads of physical projection. Sawyer Strosnider is another Dallas area product with big tools across the board. Tomball catcher Cade Arrambide has put on yet another power display with a 70-grade arm behind the dish that controls the running game. Elkins High School’s Braylon Payne has been gaining tons of steam this spring with his blend of athleticism and defensive ability in center field at just 17 years old. Concordia Lutheran catcher Nolan Traeger is also one of the best defensive backstops you can find in the prep ranks. There are also some enticing arms, and Grapevine lefty Dasan Hill has separated amongst the pack getting into the upper-90s with legit spin to his arsenal, as well from an ultra fast arm. Blaine Brown, Donte Lewis, Casan Evans, Cooper Williams and Jason Flores are another group of arms to round out a super deep slate of talent from the Lone Star state this year. 
 
Georgia

Rk. Name Level Pos. B-T School Hometown State Commitment
2 Charlie Condon C OF/3B R-R Georgia Marietta GA  
92 Arnold Abernathy H OF L-R North Cobb Acworth GA Tennessee
115 Conrad Cason H RHP/SS R-R Greater Atlanta Christian School Lilburn GA Mississippi State
138 Alex Hernandez H 3B/RHP R-R Forsyth Central Cumming GA Georgia Tech
145 Charlie Foster H LHP R-L Brookwood Snellville GA Georgia
152 Michael Mullinax H OF S-R North Cobb Christian Canton GA Georgia
155 Bo Walker H OF R-R Starrs Mill Peachtree City GA Georgia Tech
158 Levi Clark H C R-R Walton Marietta GA Tennessee
168 Nate Taylor H RHP R-R Buford Flowery Branch GA Georgia
176 Jackson Barberi H RHP R-R Brookwood Snellville GA Florida
183 Cade Brown H 3B R-R Parkview Lilburn GA Georgia
191 Bryce Clavon H SS R-R Kell Kennesaw GA Georgia
199 Chase Fralick H C L-R McIntosh Peachtree City GA Auburn
207 Erik Parker H SS R-R North Gwinnett Suwanee GA Georgia
220 Rustan Rigdon H SS S-R Metter Metter GA Vanderbilt
222 Camron Hill C LHP L-L Georgia Tech Fayetteville GA  
227 Clinton Harris H RHP R-R Brookwood Stone Mountain GA Auburn
263 Tate Strickland H RHP R-R Harrison Powder Springs GA Tennessee
275 Thomas Higgins C RHP R-R Georgia Southern Baxley GA  
285 Terrence Kiel II H OF S-R Pace Academy Atlanta GA Texas A&M
294 Cole Royer H RHP R-R Pierce County Waynesville GA Georgia Tech
295 Payton Green C SS R-R Georgia Tech Cary NC  
308 Kolby Branch* C SS R-R Georgia Lucas TX  
316 Joshua Evans H LHP R-L Peachtree Ridge Lawrenceville GA Georgia Tech
330 JoJo Jackson C OF S-R Georgia State Stone Mountain GA  
344 Dane Moehler H RHP R-R Walton Marietta GA Clemson
357 Bryant Olson C LHP L-L Mercer Monroe GA  
359 Connor Shouse H RHP R-R Pickens County Ball Ground GA Georgia Tech
362 Caleb Daniel H C L-R Cartersville Cartersville GA Georgia
372 Asher Sabom H RHP R-R North Cobb Christian Ball Ground GA Georgia
385 Blake Aita* C RHP R-R Kennesaw State Canton GA  


Georgia has long been acclaimed for its deep talent and this year remains the same. It has arguably the top prospect in the entire draft in Georgia’s Charlie Condon who is on a record setting home run pace with 33 and counting. More talent seeps through the state on the collegiate side, as well. Blake Aita is one of the top arms with a potential stater type upside for Kennesaw State this year. Georgia Tech boasts one of the top lefties in the state in Camron Hill and shortstop Payton Green. Georgia State outfielder JoJo Jackson is a twitchy switch hitter with budding tools and sound bat-to-ball skills that have been put on display this year. On the prep side, things get even more interesting as a slew of arms have really popped up this spring. Alex Hernandez is one of the best two-way talents in the entire prep class and the strength has shown up quite loud. Conrad Cason and Jackson Barberi both have stood out amongst a deep crop getting into the high-90s and Cason reaching 98 mph this spring. Nate Taylor headlines a strong Buford rotation and with an awfully athletic operation on the hill. Charlie Foster is one of the top lefties in the entire class with a high octane arm. Arnold “Jay” Abernathy out of North Cobb is one of the most explosive athletes in the class with tons to like in a left-handed bat. Cade Brown of Parkview is arguably one of the top hit tools in the prep class, and Walton High catcher Levi Clark has once again shown some of the best in-game power in the Georgia crop. There are a slew of ultra toolsy outfielders as well in Bo Walker, Terrence Kiel or do-it-all athlete Bryce Clavon who has bounce on the dirt or grass. Michael Mullinax is another highly touted outfield prospect out of North Cobb Christian with some of the loudest tools in the state.  Georgia is once again loaded with top-end prospects. 
 
-Isaiah Burrows

Florida

Rk. Name Level Pos. B-T School Hometown State Commitment
1 Jac Caglianone C 1B/LHP L-L Florida Tampa FL  
18 Cameron Smith* C 3B R-R Florida State Lake Worth FL  
21 James Tibbs III C OF L-R Florida State Marietta GA  
39 Chase Mobley H RHP R-R Durant Plant City FL Florida State
40 Kellon Lindsey H SS/OF R-R Hardee Senior Wauchula FL Florida
46 Hunter Carns H C/OF R-R First Coast Jacksonville FL Florida State
49 Colby Shelton* C SS L-R Florida Lithia FL  
51 Johnny King H LHP L-L Naples Naples FL Miami
72 Noah Franco H OF/LHP L-L IMG Academy Bradenton FL TCU
99 Lazaro Collera H RHP R-R Florida Christian Miami FL Miami
109 Tyler Head H OF L-L Windermere Winter Garden FL NC State
112 Devin Fitz-Gerald H IF S-R Marjory Stoneman Douglas Margate FL NC State
114 Talan Bell H LHP L-L Hagerty Oviedo FL Clemson
121 Joshua Whritenour H RHP R-R A3 Academy Hudson FL Florida
128 Luke Heyman* C C R-R Florida Longwood FL  
132 Gage Ziehl C RHP R-R Miami Macedon NY  
140 Rafe Schlesinger C LHP L-L Miami Holbrook NY  
167 Schuyler Sandford H RHP R-R St. John's Country Day St. Augustine FL Florida
170 Anthony Quigley H OF R-R Taravella Sunrise FL South Florida
193 Jaime Ferrer C OF R-R Florida State Tallahassee FL  
197 Bobby Boser C OF R-R South Florida Wesley Chapel FL  
200 Dylan Jordan H RHP R-R Viera Melbourne FL Florida State
212 Kaiden Lopez H OF/RHP R-R Oviedo Orlando FL Ole Miss
217 Fabio Peralta H OF L-L Miami Christian Miami FL Miami
238 Ty Evans C OF R-R Florida Auburndale FL  
240 Myles Bailey H 1B L-R Lincoln Tallahassee FL Florida State
250 Pierce Coppola C LHP L-L Florida Verona NJ  
251 Christopher Rembert H SS/OF R-R Catholic Pensacola FL Auburn
262 Michael Torres H OF L-L Doral Academy Charter Miami FL Miami
273 Noah Sheffield H SS R-R Tampa Jesuit Tampa FL Florida State
282 Manuelle Marin H SS R-R ESB Academy Hialeah FL Tennessee
286 Gavin Adams C RHP R-R Florida State Boynton Beach FL  
289 Andrew Tess H C R-R Calvary Christian Clearwater FL Pittsburgh
298 Brandon Neely C RHP R-R Florida Seville FL  
300 Akhil Nimmala H 3B R-R Strawberry Crest Valrico FL UCF
319 Aidan King H RHP L-R Bishop Snyder Bryceville FL Florida
322 Jackson Miller H OF R-R The Benjamin School Jupiter FL Ole Miss
326 Ethan Puig H INF R-R Westminster Christian Miami FL Miami
328 Drew Brutcher C OF L-R South Florida Lakeland FL  
333 McCall Biemiller H LHP L-L Tampa Jesuit Tampa FL Florida
343 Mack Estrada J RHP R-R Northwest Florida Valrico FL Florida State
353 Carson Dorsey C LHP L-L Florida State Panama City Beach FL  
366 Ian Farrow C OF R-R FGCU Merritt Island FL  
379 Colby Martin C RHP R-R Southeastern Lititz PA  
387 Andreas Alvarez H RHP R-R Northside Christian Largo FL Auburn


Looking at the state of Florida, there’s always a good amount of talent throughout the state. Whether it's prep players on the Gulf Coast, Central, or South Florida, there’s always an abundance of talent. College players coming out of Gainesville or Tallahassee tend to get the attention, but you cannot overlook some of the other powerhouses in-state and even some JuCo talents. This year is no different. Florida has the most on our 2024 PG Draft Board (last update), with 45 players hailing from the Sunshine State ranked on our Top 400. The most obvious is the head of the class in Florida’s Jac Caglianone, whose two-way promise wows many. After that, a couple of Seminoles in Cameron Smith and James Tibbs III, are also ranked in the Top 30. However, the Gators and Seminoles may have some top-tier talent, and South Florida also has Drew Bruchter and Bobby Boser clocking in on the Top 400. There’s talent all over that’s homegrown. On the prep side, Kellon Lindsey’s wowed plenty of scouts this spring, hailing from Wauchula, in the middle of the state. The hotbeds in state like Tampa Bay have some real talent in their own right, like Chase Mobley in Plant City down the I-4 corridor near Tampa Bay/Lakeland. Also in Tampa Bay are names like Noah Sheffield, McCall Biemiller, and Dyan Jordan in Melbourne. In Central Florida, Oviedo’s own Talan Bell and Kaiden Lopez are represented on the board. In South Florida, players like Lazaro Collera, Devin Fitz-Gerald, and Ethan Puig represent the area with plenty of talent. On the collegiate side, the Canes have some names on the Draft Board, such as Rafe Schlesinger and  Gage Ziehl. There’s a ton of talent throughout the state, with players like Hunter Carns making noise in Jacksonville and Myles Bailey on the prep scene near Tallahassee. On the collegiate side, North Florida’s Mack Estrada and Southeastern’s Colby Martin are names to know. The point is there is a ton of talent throughout the state, on both the prep and college level. There’s no secret here, as this rings true any year — but this year does seem dominated by the collegiate talent, especially at the top. But that seems to be the landscape of the entire class, not just the Florida prospects. 
  
- Tyler R. Kotila

California 

Rk. Name Level Pos. B-T School Hometown State Commitment
14 Bryce Rainer H 3B/RHP L-R Harvard Westlake Simi Valley CA Texas
29 Caleb Lomavita C C R-R California Ewa Beach HI  
30 Braylon Doughty H RHP R-R Chaparral Murrieta CA Oklahoma State
42 Malcolm Moore* C C L-R Stanford Sacramento CA  
56 Charlie Bates H SS L-R Palo Alto Palo Alto CA Stanford
57 Ryan Forcucci C RHP R-R UC San Diego San Marcos CA  
83 Derek Curiel H OF L-R Orange Lutheran West Covina CA LSU
84 Matt Ager C RHP R-R UC Santa Barbara Pleasanton CA  
88 Levi Sterling H RHP R-R Notre Dame Los Angeles CA Texas
89 Zander Darby C 3B L-R UC Santa Barbara Palo Alto CA  
91 Rodney Green Jr. C OF L-L California Richmond CA  
98 Duncan Marsten H RHP R-R Harvard Westlake Lake Balboa CA Wake Forest
108 Boston Bateman H LHP L-L Adolfo Camarillo Camarillo CA Louisiana State
120 Ethan Schiefelbein H LHP L-L Corona Corona CA UCLA
124 Dylan Volantis H LHP L-L Westlake Thousand Oaks CA Southern California
148 Austin Overn* C OF L-R USC Santa Ana CA  
160 Josh Randall C RHP R-R San Diego San Juan Capistrano CA  
166 Cody Schrier C SS R-R UCLA San Clemente CA  
180 Jacob Galloway* C C L-R USC Camarillo CA  
189 Nicholas Montgomery H C/1B R-R Cypress Cypress CA Arizona State
202 Duce Gourson C 2B L-R UCLA San DIego CA  
203 Jakob Wright C LHP L-L Cal Poly Paso Robles CA  
213 Mason Brassfield H LHP L-L Bakersfield Christian Bakersfield CA TCU
231 Josh Hanson H OF R-R IMG Academy San Francisco CA USC
235 Matthew Halbach C 3B R-R UC San Diego Los Gatos CA  
241 Jorden Espinoza H LHP L-L Aptos Watsonville CA Texas Tech
252 Cade Townsend H RHP R-R Santa Margarita Catholic Aliso Viejo CA Ole Miss
254 Ryan Stafford C C R-R Cal Poly Folsom CA  
255 Easton Hawk H RHP R-R Granada Hills Charter Northridge CA UCLA
276 Cooper Walls H RHP R-R La Costa Canyon La Costa Canyon CA Hawaii
296 Robert Hipwell C 3B L-R Santa Clara Santa Cruz CA  
309 Dylan Fien H C S-R Great Oak Temecula CA UCLA
331 Mike Villani C RHP R-R Long Beach State Ocean Side CA  
339 Ivan Brethowr C OF R-R UC Santa Barbara Olathe KS  
341 Jack Haferkamp H OF R-R Santa Fe Christian Schools Carlsbad CA UC Santa Barbara
351 Luke Jewett C RHP R-R UCLA Ladera Ranch CA  
371 TP Wentworth H OF L-L Central Catholic Ripon CA Clemson
373 Daniel Arambula H 3B R-R Yucaipa Yucaipa CA LSU
382 CJ Hood C RHP R-R Long Beach State Hickman NE  
392 Jadon Bercovich C RHP R-R San Diego State Reno NV  
395 Dub Gleed C INF R-R UC Irvine Ladera Ranch CA  
398 Logan de Groot H OF R-R Santa Margarita Catholic Coto De Caza CA UCLA


California has long been the hotbed for talent on the west coast and this year is no different. The state features 43 total players on the current Top-400 Draft Board, the second most of any state in the entire country. The group is an exciting mix of both college and prep players with high-end talent and depth. Two-way star Bryce Rainer has had as good of a spring as any player in the country, putting himself in the conversation to be a potential Top-10 pick with a chance to be the first prep player off the board. Meanwhile, Caleb Lomavita out of Cal and Malcolm Moore out of Stanford are amongst the best catchers in the class with Lomavita likely to go early on day one. The state features maybe the best group of prep arms. Braylon Doughty leads the way, skyrocketing up draft boards this spring and making a case to be a first round pick. Following him is the right-handed duo of Levi Sterling and Duncan Marsten and the left-handed trio of Boston Bateman, Ethan Schiefelbein, and Dylan Volantis. Each arm has made a name for themselves this spring and looks likely to go within the Top-5 rounds. On the college side, eleven total schools have players on the board. All three schools from the Pac-12 are represented well. UCLA’s double play duo of Cody Schrier and Duce Gourson both make the list, along with righthander Luke Jewett. Austin Overn and Jacob Galloway out of USC have made their way into the Top-200. Along with the aforementioned Lomavita, Rodney Green Jr. gives the Cal Bears two players ranked within the Top-100. A good majority of the smaller SoCal universities also have representation on the list. Righthanders Ryan Forcucci out of UC San Diego and Matt Ager out of UC Santa Barbara are the top arms in the state with both ranking within the Top-100. Both UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara, along with San Diego, Cal Poly, and Long Beach State all have multiple players appear on the board. Meanwhile, Santa Clara, San Diego State, and UC Irvine each have one. The abundance of talent in the state is truly remarkable with quality players littered up and down the coast. Very few states can compete with the talent pool that California has and this year is no different. 
 
North Carolina 

Rk. Name Level Pos. B-T School Hometown State Commitment
5 Chase Burns C RHP R-R Wake Forest Gallatin TN  
9 Nick Kurtz C 1B L-L Wake Forest Lancaster PA  
10 Vance Honeycutt C OF R-R North Carolina Salisbury NC  
11 Seaver King C SS/OF R-R Wake Forest Athens GA  
13 Trey Yesavage C RHP R-R East Carolina Boyertown PA  
17 Jacob Cozart C C L-R NC State High Point NC  
34 Jonathan Santucci C LHP L-L Duke Leominster MA  
76 Michael Massey C RHP R-R Wake Forest Suwanee GA  
82 Eli Serrano* C OF L-L NC State Fuquay Varina NC  
87 Josh Hartle C LHP L-L Wake Forest King NC  
142 Jacob Jenkins-Cowart C OF L-R East Carolina Greensboro NC  
150 Sawyer Black H OF L-R Wesleyan Christian Academy Oak Ridge NC Liberty
190 Fran Oschell C RHP R-R Duke Phoenixville PA  
192 Brock Wills* C MIF L-R UNC-Willmington Holly Springs NC  
215 Perry Hargett H SS R-R Metrolina Christian Academy Peachland NC North Carolina
236 Grant Knipp C C/RHP R-R Campbell Louisville KY  
248 Ryan Schwartz H C R-R Combine Academy Indian Trail NC Texas
303 Dom Fritton* C LHP L-L NC State Fuquay Varina NC  
305 Dalton Pence C LHP L-L North Carolina Cherryville NC  
317 Derek Vartanian C RHP R-R Campbell Monroe NC  
332 Jacob Friend C C/OF L-R Davidson Arlington VA  
345 Devin Obee C OF R-R Duke Nashville TN  
360 Wyatt Lunsford-Shenkman C RHP R-R East Carolina Leesburg VA  


North Carolina has quickly become the place to be in college baseball. The state is loaded with quality programs vying for Omaha and an abundance of talent that is draft worthy. Of the 24 players from the state on the current draft board, 21 play at the collegiate level. Not only are there a lot of talented players, they are some of the best players in the class. The high-end talent in the state might be the best in the entire country. 30% of the Top-20 is out of the state of North Carolina and 13 total players rank within the Top-150. This year an absurd Wake Forest roster makes up a good chunk of that talent. The roster features three players with the potential to go in the Top-10. Chase Burns is arguably the best arm in the entire draft, while Nick Kurtz brings a mix of power and hit ability you rarely see and Seaver King provides twitchy athleticism that very few can. Michael Massey and Josh Hartle are two other Demon Deacon arms within the Top-100. Yet another Top-10 prospect, Vance Honeycutt is one of two Tar Heels on the board. The talented outfielder possesses some of the best tools in the entire class with upside that very few show. Meanwhile, rival Duke features three players on the board, including potential first rounder Jonathan Santucci and NC State shows up with three players of their own. The Wolfpack has continually pumped out high-end defensive catchers and appear to have another one in the pipeline in Jacob Cozart. An elite framer, Cozart could very well be the first backstop off the board. Like the other universities, East Carolina currently has three players on the board. One of which is righthander Trey Yesavage, who continues to climb up boards and is making a push into the Top-10 as well. When it is all said and done, it would not be a total surprise if the state of North Carolina makes up five of the first ten picks taken. The high-end talent is truly remarkable, as the state is making it case in becoming the epicenter of elite college baseball. 
 
-Tyler Henninger