Back

2023 Ontario Rankings - Inaugural Release


PBR Ontario Staff
PBR Ontario

 

Ontario Insider: Inaugural 2023 Ontario Rankings 

We made it to the 2023 class. 

After the summer circuit finally got underway, we got to take a look at players in Ontario’s 2023 class. As a staff, we felt as though we had seen enough to put together what we feel is a strong Top 50 rankings list in our province. 

This class is an exciting one. There’s draft bloodlines, familiar names, athletes, big time bats and big bodies. Without wasting any more time, we present to you our inaugural 2023 Rankings.

The First No. 1

This probably won’t come as much of a surprise, but the lone D1 commit in the 2023 class, and our first No. 1-ranked player in the province is Myles Naylor, out of the Ontario Blue Jays. The third Naylor is the youngest of Josh (1st Round, 2015) and Bo Naylor (1st Round, 2018). 

To think there’s a third who is already committed to Texas Tech, like older brother Josh, is pretty remarkable. But our guess is he wants to carve his own path a bit, too.

At 6-1, 190-pounds, Naylor has a big build and may be the biggest Naylor when all is said and done. The body isn’t twitchy yet, but there’s movements in the field that look natural. Right now he’s at shortstop, and it’s still too early to tell if he’ll stick there, but he plays the game with a calmness and was very poised as the youngest player on the field for the CPBL all-star game. 

At the plate he was showcased as a switch-hitter when he first hit the circuit, but he stuck more on the right side as the summer went on. From what we’ve seen, there’s some juice in the bat from both sides in BP, but the right-handed side has favoured him a bit more in-game. He put up some real good swings against older arms in September and did not look out of place or over-matched at all. 

THE TOP ARM

When we first came out of COVID with our Future Games Trials, Kaleb Thomas got on the mound and caught eyes immediately. He’s not an imposing figure by any means, standing at a slender, wiry 5-11, 170-pounds. He sat 85-86 that day, and a few weeks later at Tigers Scout Day, he was up to 89. The pitch-ability isn’t there yet, and there isn’t a ton of muscle right now, but the frame has a chance to fill out nicely. When it’s good, the slider is tight, but he struggles to command it a bit. Overall, it’s tough to overlook Thomas (a true 2022), who has a shot to come out this spring and be 90+ on the mound with one of the quickest arms in the class.

 

MIDDLE OF THE DIAMOND

The Mississauga Tigers make a lot of noise in the 2023 rankings and have 4 players in our top ten, starting with catcher and our No. 2 prospect David Stanley. A good looking player at 6-foot-1, 180-pounds, Stanley has some now juice in his bat. We didn’t have much of a chance to see him behind the plate, but his BP is loud, and he’s a 6.85 runner. There’s always been a lot to look forward to with him since we saw him at the Junior Future Games Trials in February. With his athleticism, it’s too early to tell if he’ll stay at catcher, but don’t be surprised to see him elsewhere on the diamond.

One of the players we really like in this class and has a very high ceiling is our third ranked player in outfielder Asafa Jones. A big, strong, physical player, he’s a left-lefty combo, and it has a chance to be something special. There’s power in his bat right now, gap-to-gap hitting ability, to go along with athleticism as he glides to balls in the outfield and shows arm strength in game. There is a lot of tools to like and to dream on with Jones and will be someone who is watched closely from this 2023 class. 

 

Brodie Peart is the second-ranked infielder behind Naylor, but he’s no slouch, either. Peart doesn’t run well right now, and the feet are somewhat slow, but the body projects extremely well, his actions are a step ahead, and he looks the part. From an offensive standpoint, he performs well in game, and with some gains to his lower half quickness, he could be someone to keep a very close eye on going forward. 

 

Coming in at No. 7 is Cole Leclair and his teammate is catcher Lachlan Maude, currently ranked 9th in the Top 10. Maude easily has the best body projection with his high-waisted, strong 6-foot-3 and, 200-pound frame, the bat plays in game and works as a gap-to-gap hitter. It’s very physical, and has a chance to be very good down the road. There is also a chance we could see him on the mound at some point and wouldn't be shocked to see it work well off the bump as well. 

Leclair had himself a really good end to the season and every aspect of his game has improved since the start of 2020. He runs better, the swing is more polished, the actions have become more athletic and free while the body has gotten stronger and Leclair looks to be really turning a corner. 

 

THE TOP TEN ARMS

At No. 6 is 6-foot-2, 175-pound righty Jack Cohen. The delivery is somewhat violent, but it’s clean, it’s lanky, and his pitch-ability is high. Cohen performs in game, as he lives low 80s with his fastball, but with good command. The curveball is low 70s, but shows some bite to it. Give him an offseason of work, and as he gets bigger, Cohen can make some noise in the 2023 class.

 

Coming in at No. 8 is Griffin Howell. The Windsor arm has been on the radar for some time now, since we saw him at the Windsor Scout Day in Fall 2019. Howell came to our Future Games Trials and was mid 80s, with a short, darty arm action, but the ball comes out quick. The breaking ball has some early depth, but has a chance to spin hard down the road. He's continue to make strides and improve every time we've seen him. Lots to like about Howell's game right now. 

 

Rounding it out at No. 10 is Ryan James. An exciting prospect, James is 6-0, 175, and pitches with a ton of swagger. James is low to mid 80s right now, but the ball has life to it, and tight spin to his breaking ball. It’s extremely long, lean, and athletic on the mound. When all is said and done, James might make big jumps in years to come.

 

DON’T SLEEP ON


Darren Lowe-Gaillard RHP / 3B / Silverthorn Collegiate Institute, ON / 2023

Report: We saw Lowe early in 2020 and everything worked and was clean off the mound. It’s a smooth arm swing in the back with present command of both his fastball and curveball offerings. There is some arm speed out-front and while it is 5-foot-11, the body should fill out and the stuff and velo will climb and sharpen. Exciting to follow the progress of this arm out of the 23’ class.


Nolan Goranson SS / RHP / Iroquois Ridge , ON / 2023

Report: The third-baseman Goranson turned some heads at the Future Game Trials this summer and the bat was the talking point. He hits with his hands up and uses a leg kick to load, generating bat speed with an uphill path, driving balls to his pull side with rhythm and fluidity in his swing. At third, he moved well, the hands worked out front and with confidence while the arm plays from the hot corner. The frame will get bigger and stronger and Goranson shows athleticism that looks to play a role in his development over the next few years. 

 

Lachlan Harrison LHP / OF / Loyola Catholic Secondary , ON / 2023

Report: We’ve heard a lot of Harrison and every class always has a few left-handed arms to pay attention too, and Harrison is one of them. Right now he is 6-foot-3 and there are no red flags to the arm or the delivery. We look forward to getting a good look at Harrison early on in 2021.  


Sebastian Salazar 3B / RHP / Bluevale collegiate, ON / 2023

Report: There is lots to like with Salazar, the size, the actions, and he played well last summer with the Junior Future Games team at Lakepoint in Georgia. There is some small mechanical adjustments he needs to make and can see him in numerous positions, but the hot corner and catcher is where we think he profiles most. The bat has some pull side juice at the present time and will see Salazar early on in 21' to get a look at how the time off has treated him. 


Lucas Alberti SS / OF / Humberside Collegiate Institute, ON / 2023

Report: Right-handed hitter who creates rhythm in the box and hits from a relaxed and balanced position. There is looseness in the swing to go along with some twitch and put together a strong BP round this summer at our Trials, using the whole field and some bat speed and whip to go along with a 90 mph exit velo. Really like where he is at from the offensive side and Alberti looks to have a nice feel for the box at the present time. 

 

Overall there is a lot of exciting players from this first initial list of the 2023 class. As always, you can be sure that there will be movement over time as players develop, evolve and grow as these players are just sophomore's in high school for the most part. That said, you can't deny the talent throughout with a lot of athletes on the list and we can't wait for Ontario (and Canadian) baseball to be played again and bring more information and updates to this already talented 23' class.

To see the full list of 50 players in the 2023 Ontario Rankings, CLICK HERE