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Draft  | Story  | 11/15/2023

MLB Draft: Top Prep Tools

Tyler Kotila      Tyler Henninger      Isaiah Burrows     
MLB Draft Board: Top 200

Continuing with our weekly #MLBDraft content, this week the PG Draft Team looks at each of the five tools (hit, power, speed, fielding, arm) and picks out one player for each category, along with a breakdown of pitchers (fastball, curveball, slider, changeup and command). Several names could easily fall within any category and even more so, most of the top players could fall into a variety of categories and as such, we decided each player could only be used once for this project. This week we looked exclusively at the prep ranks, meaning next week we will do the same breakdown, only from the collegiate ranks. 




Tool: Hit


Hunter Carns, C/OF, First Coast HS (FL)
College Commitment: Florida State | Latest Draft Board Rank: 28


When it comes to a polished hit tool on the prep level, look no further than Hunter Carns. The backstop has been a monster on the prep circuit this fall and is looking to carry his loud fall into an even louder Spring. He continues to add polish to an operation that already produces loud results. Carns has been one of my favorite prep bats for some time now. I remember watching him play up as a ‘24 with the 18U NEB National teams in 2021 and 2022. He was leaner then and still getting it done with a simple stroke from the right side. Fast forward to the fall of 2023, and Carns routinely hit balls above 100 mph with a more filled-out frame. The hit tool has only taken steps forward, continuing to show the ability to stay on time and stay through balls with continued added strength. While we’re talking hit-tool here, the polish on the hit-tool has also reaped some benefits for Carns’s juice, which could be something to monitor this spring in the Florida prep season. The Florida State commit competes in the box and seemingly is always on the barrel doing damage; there’s a reason he moved further up the draft board this fall. -Tyler Kotila
 

PJ Morlando, OF/1B, Summerville HS (SC)
College Commitment: South Carolina | Latest Draft Board Rank: 6


Morlando has all the elements needed to be a top of the line hitter at the next level. There are absurd bat to ball skills present, an innate awareness of the strike zone, and massive bat speed that can punish baseballs. A simple setup with little movement pre-pitch allows Morlando to consistently find the barrel. Quick hands and explosive hips fire the barrel with authority and accuracy you just don't see often. A sound approach stays on pitches with the ability to lace balls gap to gap. The South Carolina commit posted a .440/.541/.720 slash line in PG events this year with a minuscule 4.4% whiff rate. The simplicity of the swing and the traits Morlando possesses hint at one of the best prep bats we’ve seen in a while. -Tyler Henninger

Tyler Head, OF, Windermere HS (FL)  
College Commit: North Carolina State | Latest Draft Board Rank: 129 


Going a bit down the board but there’s all types of hitting tools to put Head right in the top of the prep class. It’s great swing decisions from an easy left-handed swing and above-average bat speed with ample amounts of power projection. He checks the physical boxes you want in a prep bat, but the high end quality of the hit tool has taken off the past two years.  -Isaiah Burrows

Tool: Power


Myles Bailey, 1B/3B, Lincoln HS (FL)
College Commitment: Florida State | Latest Draft Board Rank: 137


Another Florida State commit, Myles Bailey, deserves a tip of the cap for what he showed this fall. He showed out with the 5 Star National team and showed why he's someone to be reckoned with when he's in the batters' box. Bailey was mashing baseballs, showing some insane strength off the barrel. Bailey had a couple of real well-struck balls well above 100 mph, including one he torched at 119 mph per Trackman. Bailey's a corner infielder who has some absurd juice to do damage from the left side. A 6-foot-4, 235-pound frame only plays to his advantage, generating a bit more "oomph" with some violent swings. The power is clear and evident; it's not just pull-side either; he uses the whole field and can truly do damage all over. He made some noise this fall in Jupiter, hitting .444 with a double and a huge home run during bracket play, driving in seven runs along the way as well. The juice is there and makes his profile even more desirable as part of this 2024 draft class. -TK


Aiden Harris, 3B, Pro Development Group (VA)
College Commitment: Virginia | Latest Draft Board Rank: 48


Harris possesses the ability to hit balls to places not many hitters can. The young slugger consistently posts triple-digit exit velocity numbers and hit a ball nearly 500 feet during the HR Derby at PG All-American Classic. A simple swing stays balanced and generates massive raw power with ease. Showing strong hands and a path geared to launch, Harris can consistently turn the raw power to loud in-game contact. The power plays middle to pullside and can make big league stadiums look small. The fact that Harris will be just 17 years old come draft time makes the ridiculous power even more impressive. -TH

Andre Modugno, 3B/OF, IMG Academy (FL from PA) 
College Commitment: Duke | Latest Draft Board Rank: 97
 

Modugno has some of the best pure physical tools you can find in a prospect, but there’s light tower power potential here that flashes in game. It’s 70-grade raw power with easy torque and leverage, and he’s hit some absolute majestic shots in BP and live looks. The power stands out big amongst this prep class.  -IB

Tool: Running
 

Caleb Bonemer, SS, Okemos HS (MI)
College Commitment: Virginia | Latest Draft Board Rank: 23

Caleb Bonemer is another player whom I’ve enjoyed watching on the prep circuit. He’s shown that there’s some juice in the right-handed swing from the 6-foot-1, 195-pound physical shortstop. He showed that juice this summer and caught some attention, but his athleticism and speed are overlooked a bit. Bonemer ran a 6.35 60-yard dash at the 2023 National Showcase. He can move. He’s quick out of the box and can get moving around the basepaths, utilizing some speed and athleticism. He’s a tooled-up player, but it’s hard to overlook the speed/athleticism of the right-handed hitting shortstop. While he’s got a really simple and easy right-handed stroke that helps him find ways on base, his speed certainly helps him leg out the extra-base hit and find ways to stretch for an extra-90 or even beat out a hard-hit ball in the 6-hole. Bonemer’s got the tools that should excite plenty, and while the power showed more often this summer and the hit-tool all around is attractive, do not overlook the athleticism and speed from the Virginia commit. -TK


Dante Nori, OF, Northville HS (MI)
College Commitment: Mississippi State | Latest Draft Board Rank: 31


Nori is another player that is in the running for multiple selections here, but the run tool is what gets him mentioned. The outfielder posted an eye-popping 6.15 60-yard dash at PG National and consistently shows the ability to put pressure on defenses during in-game action. Nori swiped a total of 44 bases during his PG career and was only caught three times, including a successful 28 bags on 29 attempts over the last two years. The speed can create runs all on its own and can set the tone quickly at the top of the order. -TH

Bryce Clavon, SS/OF, Kell HS (GA) 
College Commitment: Georgia | Latest Draft Board Update: 55 


Clavon is a plus runner and one of the most dynamic athletes you can find in the class. He’s a 6.4 runner with plus twitch that plays an impact on all facets of the game. He gets top gear on the paths for bags or defensively ranging either way on the dirt or roaming grass in center. The run tool and athletic tools are awfully impressive.  -IB

Tool: Fielding
 

Carter Johnson, SS, Oxford HS (AL)
College Commitment: Alabama | Latest Draft Board Rank: 40


When it comes to a toolsy defender, Carter Johnson is precisely that. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound shortstop is an athletic mover with tools that should translate to stick on the left side of the dirt in the long term. He has made some noise with his bat, getting it done as a left-handed hitter, including with some really nice swings down in Jupiter. He has the tools in the box, but we’re here to talk defense. Johnson’s got a feel for the spot, taking good angles to the ball. Being able to funnel efficiently into throws that are accurate across the diamond. He’ll suit up for Oxford HS in Alabama this Spring and is committed to Alabama’s program. Keep an eye on him this spring to see the bat continue to deliver, paired with smooth play up the middle as a shortstop. He’s got the traits to like on both sides of the ball, and a good spring on the prep circuit could only make these tools shine a bit brighter. -TK


Derek Curiel, OF, Orange Lutheran HS (CA)
College Commitment: Louisiana State | Latest Draft Board Rank: 18


Curiel has been ranked near the top of the class for quite some time now, due to his strong offensive ability but also for what he can do with the glove. The outfield showcases advanced actions on the defensive side of the ball. A 6.59 runner, Curiel has the speed and instincts to handle center field long term. He shows the ability to get good reads off the bat and can chase down balls in the gap when needed. The ability to roam the outfield with ease stands out above his peers. Curiel’s glove gives him value no matter what happens at the plate. -TH

Charlie Bates, SS, Palo Alto HS (CA) 
College Commitment: Stanford | Latest Draft Board Update: 58 


Bates is one of the premier prep shortstops in the class with carrying defensive tools. He has plus actions on the dirt with some real soft hands and crisp transfers, showing innate feel for the leather. Bates has all the traits you want on the dirt and projects there long term. Complete package defensively.  -IB


Tool: Throwing
 

Drew Rogers, C, Hamilton (AZ)
College Commitment: Georgia Tech | Latest Draft Board Rank: 121


Drew Rogers is another player who took some strides on the circuit over the last calendar year. The right-handed hitting backstop has traits to like on both sides of the ball. He showed off some good swings at Jupiter, flashing the juice and finding ways to work on the barrel and produce results, but we're talking defense. Outside of his excellent game management skills and superb traits behind the dish, Rogers can surely throw. The backstop has tools working out of the crouch. At the 2023 National Showcase, Rogers showed out, popping a 1.79 throw down to second, throwing 85 mph to pair. Shoutout to Tyler Henninger for the tweet above, showcasing some of Rogers's impressive work behind the dish. Not only does he have good footwork, but his throws come out clean, and he can stay around the tag zone at second. Rogers took home the Rawlings Defensive Player of the Year award in 2023 and was well deserved with his skillset behind the dish. His traits behind the dish are going to garner some attention next spring with Hamilton HS, more than they have already. -TK


Konnor Griffin, OF, Jackson Preparatory (MS)
College Commitment: Louisiana State | Latest Draft Board Rank: 8


Griffin possesses an extremely loud set of tools across the board, including massive arm strength that can play from multiple positions. The LSU commit has been up to 94 mph on the mound, but what he can do around the diamond is even more impressive. During PG National, Griffin reached 96 mph from the outfield and 96 mph across the infield. A strong, athletic frame shows fluid actions and the ability to create momentum into powerful throws. The plus-plus arm strength creates strong, on-line carry with ease. -TH

Cade Arrambide, C, Tomball HS (TX) 
College Commitment: LSU | Latest Draft Board Update: 36 


Arrambide has a 70-arm that simply pops behind the dish. It’s a power arm with tons of carry. He also threw 102 mph from the outfield at National and the arm talent is absurd at points with his ability to gun runners from difficult slots.  -IB

Top Pitching Tools

Fastball
 

Lazaro Collera, RHP, Florida Christian HS (FL)
College Commitment: Miami | Latest Draft Board Rank: 122


Lazaro Collera, a right-handed pitcher who has taken some serious strides, is one of the premier arms on the circuit. He is committed to the University of Miami and made some noise with his performance this summer and fall. The fastball has taken some jumps, and not just in terms of velocity. Collera’s fastball was up to 98 mph at the 2023 National Showcase. He commanded it well and threw it for strikes on the big stage. The pitch often works the mid-90s and spins up above the 2,000 RPM mark, showing some good vertical break from the high slot he throws from. Collera uses his 6-foot-6, 230-pound frame well, allowing him to sequence well with the fastball as his primary option. He’s taken some serious strides, and the velocity jump showed this summer on the circuit. He uses the long levers well, and it causes hitters some problems. Fastballs in the upper-90s with a whippy arm action make for a tough look, and Collera is able to execute that. -TK


Trey Gregory-Alford, RHP, Coronado HS (CO)
College Commitment: Virginia | Latest Draft Board Rank: 117


The development of Gregory-Alford’s fastball this year was one of the more fun storylines on the circuit. The physical, 6-foot-7 righthander went from sitting in the low-90’s to overpowering hitters at 97 mph on the way to an All-American Classic appearance. The tall frame creates an uncomfortable angle at release and makes the offering tough out of the hand. When combined with the big time velocity and heavy sinking action, the pitch nearly becomes unhittable. Grgeory-Alford already can overpower hitters the heater and could still add even more velocity down the line. -TH

Chase Mobley, RHP, Durant HS (FL) 
College Commitment: Florida State  | Latest Draft Board Update: 38 


Mobley can hum it up to 95-97 with plus arm speed from a tough lower slot. It has good life and carry out of the hands and misses bats all will. There are good characteristics and ranks up as one of the best heaters in the prep ranks. -IB

Curveball
 

Jack Detienne, RHP, Verona Area HS (WI)
College Commitment: Xavier| Latest Draft Board Rank: 120


One of the arms I have taken a liking to throughout the fall is Jack DeTienne. The right-handed pitcher has been exceptional for the Cincinnati Reds Scout Team, and his breaker is certainly fun. DeTienne was solid on the circuit, getting it done at Jupiter with a solid outing for the Reds Scout Team. He shows a higher-tilt pitch with great depth, working more of an 11/5 shape, spinning up above the 2,300 RPM mark. He can add and subtract with the pitch to throw it for strikes as a frontdoor pitch, or he can start it later, letting it fall out of the bottom of the zone. The breaker is just part of his arsenal, with a high-octane operation on the mound and a fastball that has been up into the mid-90s. The Xavier commit often relies on the fastball to attack hitters and get ahead, but working the low-80s with good spin on the breaker allows a nice change of pace to keep hitters off-balance. -TK


Boston Bateman, LHP, Adolfo Camarillo HS (CA)
College Commitment: Louisiana State | Latest Draft Board Rank: 146


Bateman immediately turns heads when he takes the mound. The physical lefthander stands at 6-foot-8, 240-pounds with surprising athleticism present. A loud repertoire can shut down opposing lineups out of the pen, but the curveball is what stands out. The offering works in mid-to-upper 70’s with spin rates over 2950 rpm. The pitch plays well out of a high 3/4 arm slot with a tall release point. Sharp, downward action dives off of barrels late. The offering has out pitch potential and can miss bats at a high rate. -TH

William Schmidt, RHP, Catholic HS (LA) 
College Commitment: LSU | Latest Draft Board Update: 56 


Schmidt’s breaking ball is arguably the best spin in the class. It’s a plus offering with true hammer depth and bite upwards of 3,000 RPMs. He snaps it whenever and it’s a power curve in every facet. -IB

Slider
 

Cam Caminiti, LHP, Saguaro (AZ)
College Commitment: LSU | Latest Draft Board Rank: 24


Perhaps one of the better breakers on the prep side, especially from a left-hander, comes from Cam Caminiti. The LSU commit is a standout on both sides of the ball, but looking at his breaker, it works the low-70s and can show some serious frisbee-like shape to it. With an easy and athletic delivery working down the mound, he can snap off the slider well as part of a four-pitch arsenal. He has a history of performing on the PG circuit and has been a consistent standout. The ability to land the slider is just part of what makes Caminiti a special talent on the mound, on top of being up to 96 mph on the fastball, but he’s got a good curveball that certainly allows him to drop the hammer on hitters and freeze them at times. He’s got four pitches he can mix with repeatable actions on the mound that help him navigate opposing lineups. The slider is high-tilt and tunnels well with the curveball, allowing him to change speeds, adding and subtracting effectively. -TK


Joey Oakie, RHP, Ankeny Centennial HS (IA)
College Commitment: Iowa | Latest Draft Board Rank: 49


Oakie has dominated in the state of I owa for a while now thanks to a loud pitch mix that includes a wipeout slider. The righthander throws the pitch from a low 3/4 slot that can be tough for hitters to pick up. The slider sits in the mid-80’s and shows spin rates over 2900 rpm. Oakie will vary the shape at times, but sharp horizontal action shows the ability to miss bats at an extremely high rate. It is a dominant pitch on its own, but gets even better when tunneled off the fastball. Oakie can throw it for strikes and can rely on it consistently to get outs late in counts. -TH

Masson Brassfield, LHP, Bakersfield Christian HS (CA) 
College Commitment: TCU | Latest Draft Board Update: 85 


Brassfield has one of the best sliders in the class coming from an angled release and real fast arm. It has plus traits galore with tons of bite and late lateral sweep upwards of 2,400 RPMs that misses bats at will. It’s a sharp, dart-like offering from a difficult higher slot and it tunnels. -IB

Changeup
 

Talan Bell, LHP, Hagerty HS (FL)
College Commitment: Clemson| Latest Draft Board Rank: 151


One of the changeups that is fun to watch from the 2024 class is Clemson commit, Talan Bell. The Hagerty HS product has a full arsenal at his mercy to attack opposing hitters, but it’s fun to watch him mix in the changeup against hitters, taking some off and letting the pitch fade. For Bell, he can often work the low-80s on the changeup, with the ability to seriously kill some spin down into the 1,500 RPM range. The southpaw has a fastball, curveball, and changeup to round out his arsenal and can blend in a slider on occasion, primarily relying on the three pitches. He’s worked up to 93 mph on the mound from the left side, taking a good chunk off as he pronates the changeup, killing spin and letting it fade. It’s a pretty pitch and one that allows him to sequence creatively on the mound to establish himself in counts. Bell is an athletic mound presence with plenty to like overall. -TK


Cooper Williams, LHP, Alvin HS (TX)
College Commitment: Texas A&M| Latest Draft Board Rank: 67


Williams is an interesting lefthander with projectable upside and intriguing stuff presently. Part of the profile is dynamic changeup that can make hitters look foolish. The offering can be a legit weapon to right-handed hitters and has plus potential. Williams shows the ability to kill spin rates to nearly 1100 rpm and create heavy fading action. Quality armspeed deception adds another element of difficulty to the pitch. It all combines with solid command to make for a deadly pitch that can produce whiffs consistently. -TH

Jake Yeager, RHP, Archbishop Spalding HS (MD)  
College Commitment: Maryland  | Latest Draft Board Update: 128 


Yeager’s changeup has taken huge strides and has all the components. He mimics arm speed on it awfully well with great shape and heavy fading action on it. He lands it for strikes at will and it’s one of the better cambios in the prep ranks.  -IB
 


Command
  

Tyler Guerin, RHP, Mound View HS (MN)
College Commitment: Iowa | Latest Draft Board Rank: NR


Tyler Guerin was one of the arms that did not crack the last update on the PG Draft Board, but that could certainly change moving forward. There’s a good chance that he continues to garner some more attention. Scouts are on him, and a big spring in 2024 could cement him onto some team’s draft boards come springtime. This fall, Guerin showed off some great command that stood out to me. He made quick work of the opposition, going out there and attacking hitters, looking to sit them down quickly. The Iowa Hawkeyes commit has an uber-projectable 6-foot-7, 205-pound frame with real long levers throughout. In one of the outings I saw this fall from Geurin, he threw 62 pitches over 5.0 innings of shutout ball, allowing only 2 hits while punching out 11 opposing hitters. Of those 62 pitches, 74% were strikes. Guerin can command the zone and get ahead early. The fastball has been up into the low-90s, and he has a great slider to pair in the upper-70s, creeping into the low-80s as well. The slider has a frisbee shape and allows him to bully hitters. He can miss bats and induce the swing and miss. -TK


Braylon Doughty, RHP, Chaparral HS (CA)
College Commitment: Oklahoma State | Latest Draft Board Rank: 139


Doughty has jumped onto the scene after a dominant showing throughout the circuit and has quickly risen up draft boards. The righthander features a mid-90’s fastball and a sharp breaking ball with spin rates over 3100 rpm. The stuff alone is impressive, but the ability to command the zone stands out even more. Doughty can attack hitters consistently with both pitches and rarely lets up free passes. This was on full display during Doughty’s dominant showing at the PG World Series, throwing six innings with just one walk and eleven strikeouts. The ability to dominate hitters from start to finish gives Doughty starter upside with multiple plus pitches. -TH

Levi Sterling, RHP, Notre Dame HS (CA) 
College Commitment: Texas | Latest Draft Board Update: 42 


Sterling is one of the best polished arms in the class with feel for a mix. It’s four pitches for strikes and he can mix and match with the best of the prep class. The dynamic mover he is on the hill combined with his arsenal separates him amongst a deeper prep crop. His strike throwing ability is some of the best you’ll find. -IB