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Class of 2023 State Rankings


PBR California Staff

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LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - This summer season has been unlike any we’ve seen before. With the restrictions in place throughout the state due to COVID-19 players were often forced to travel out of state to play in tournaments. At PBR California we were able to host many events during that time allowing us to see players up close and personal. Our team of scouts also traveled throughout the state and outside of it to see players to continue the evaluation process on them. As always, the evaluation process is a fluid and ongoing process with multiple viewings in order to get the best feel for players abilities. It’s important to note that as players continue their development, some show marked improvement at a much more rapid pace. That doesn’t indicate that other players got worse or went backwards, it’s just how player development works.  

In addition to the evaluations of players, our scouts, both those in California and nationally, have also had multiple discussions with each other to review our individual lists and then make adjustments based on what we've each seen. As such, the previous rankings have been scrutinized, picked apart, reorganized... and certainly not for the last time.

Having had the opportunity to see the players on the field, sometimes with each other at a showcase and other times playing against each other in competition vs other elite competition, we present these rankings with an apples to apples perspective.

The new rankings show a shift in the Top 10, along with a new number 1 and a new entrant into the top 10. These updated rankings see the list grow from 50 to 100 players in total. 

After much deliberation, we present the updated Class of 2021 Player Rankings.

THE TOP FIVE

There’s a new No. 1 player in the state and it’s Toby Twist of Garces Memorial HS (Oregon commit) who showed time and time again this summer that his progress and development is just getting started. Twist shows a quick arm, athletic frame, and swing-and-miss stuff. The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder also shows some feel at the plate, but it is his 86-89 fastball, and especially his sharp breaking ball, that continue to raise his stock.

Up one spot to No. 2 is Kyle Connelly of Clayton Valley Charter HS (Cal commit) whose growth and physical development is beginning to translate on the mound where he features an upper-80’s fastball and a hard, projectable curveball with 11/5 shape. Calm, cool, and collected on the mound, Connelly has legit swing-and-miss stuff on the mound. 

At No. 3 is Duke Ekstrom of Point Loma HS (Vanderbilt commit) and is one of the top arms in the country. Ekstrom has grown a bit since the spring and continues to add physical strength helping his loose, whippy arm action generate increased velocity. Touching 89 mph and living in the mid-80’s, it’s the advancements he’s made with the changeup recently that have really stood out. Pair that with his hard slider and Ekstrom has a true three-pitch mix.

Moving into the No. 4 spot is Will Burns of Mission Viejo HS who is a legitimate two-sport athlete at the next level. Burns, an uber-athletic 6-foot-2, 175-pound quarterback at Mission Viejo, doesn’t have the same polish as some of the other infielders, but his big tools stood out. The right-handed hitter has plus-bat speed and power potential, and gets on-plane early with impressive rotational acceleration that should provide for quick adjustments and advancements in the future. He’s twitchy in all phases of the game, but the bat has the makings of a middle-of-the-order type guy, even if he is forced to move off of shortstop in the future. 

Holding down the No. 5 spot is Brady Reynolds of Liberty HS (Stanford commit), the top catcher in the state for his class. Hitting from the left side, Reynolds shows strength with present gap power, using a reverse toe tap to work the hands down and back into power position before working slightly uphill through the zone. He continuously finds the barrel and is able to manipulate its angle through the zone. Defensively, there's room for improvement with the footwork and with a deep crouch, but the arm is strong and accurate to the bag.

LINK TO FULL RANKINGS LIST

A LOOK AT NUMBERS 6-10

No. 6 - RHP/OF - Owen Egan - Yucaipa HS (UCLA commit)

With a fastball up to 90 mph and legitimate power at the plate, Egan is a bona-fide two-way standout. 

No. 7 - RHP - Cole Stokes - Redondo Union HS

Working in the mid-to-upper 80’s Stokes’ changeup and slider are showing swing-and-miss capabilities. 

No. 8 - 1B/LHP - Nolan Stevens - Franklin HS

Mid-80’s fastball with a sharp, tight breaking ball. Stevens flashes very good metrics on both pitches. Can swing it too. 

No. 9 - SS - Austin Roellig - Etiwanda HS

Premium defender with developing power at the plate. Hitting ability is advanced for his age. 

No. 10 - SS - JP Acosta - Buchanan HS

Elite defender with speed and range who projects to stay at SS in the future. Bat continues to shine. 

NOTABLE RISERS

No. 11 - RHP - Landon Stump - Live Oak HS (Oregon commit)

Mid-to-upper 80’s fastball with a hard, biting slider. High spin rate guy. Very projectable frame.

No. 15 - 3B - Eric Bitonti - Aquinas HS (Arizona commit)

Left-handed hitter has an uphill path through the zone with a relaxed approach. Projectable 6-foot-4, 180-pound frame.

No. 22 - LHP/1B - Brandon Luu - Northwood HS (Arizona St. commit)

Legitimate power in bat, but it’s on the mound where he should make a living working mid-80’s presently. 

No. 26 - SS - Trent Caraway - Santa Margarita HS (Oregon St. commit)

Premium defender who is showing present and projectable power at the plate. 

No. 31 - RHP - Ryan Speshyock - Dos Pueblos HS 

Has the look of a future power pitcher who is currently up to 89 mph. Very good Trackman metrics on all pitches. 

COMMITS BY POSITION

*Based on primary position listed in player profile

1B: 6, 2B: 3, 3B: 5, C: 17, LHP: 2, OF: 18, RHP: 22, SS: 28

COMMITS BY COLLEGE

*Based on commitment listed in player profile

6: Oregon, Long Beach St.

4: Arizona St. UCLA

3: San Diego

2: Arizona, Cal, San Diego State, Santa Clara, Stanford, UCSB

1: Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, Fresno St., UNLV, Oregon, St. Mary’s, TCU, Vanderbilt

LINK TO FULL RANKINGS LIST

UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
Norcal Underclass ID Showcase CA 10/10 Islanders Field - Lathrop
SoCal Underclass I.D. Camp CA 10/10 Great Park
SoCal Upperclass I.D. Camp CA 10/10 Great Park
SoCal Underclass I.D. Camp II CA 10/11 Great Park
SoCal Upperclass I.D. Camp II CA 10/11 Great Park


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