2024 Players Who Impressed At The WWBA Championships
Some of the top high school players in the country in the 2024 class stood out at a pair of recent Perfect Game tournaments in Fort Myers, Fla.
Starting with the WWBA Sophomore World Championship from Sept. 23-27 and followed by the WWBA Underclass World Championship (where there was mostly a mix of 2023 and 2024 players) from Sept. 30 through Oct. 4, several players who look like potential high-round draft picks or future college baseball standouts were on the field.
Below are reports and videos on some of the best players at those tournaments, a mix of players who are already committed to some of the top programs in college baseball and several promising players who are uncommitted.
Michael Mullinax, OF, Georgia
Mullinax is one of the top players in the 2024 class, a switch-hitter with an exciting mix of athleticism, tools and skills that translates in games. He performed well throughout the summer, often playing up against 2023 competition, and that success carried over into the fall. At the WWBA Underclass in Fort Myers, Mullinax went 10-for-16 (.625) with three doubles and a home run, then he went to Jupiter and went 3-for-6 with four walks playing up against mostly 2022s. Mullinax is a strong, lean 6-foot-1, 185 pounds with a quick swing from both sides. He's a power/speed threat, running plus times from home to first with the strength to drive the ball for extra-base impact now and more coming as he fills out. A Georgia commit, Mullinax moves around well in center field, with a strong arm for his age.
Derek Curiel, OF, California
Curiel is one of the most polished players in the 2024 class, with smooth, fluid actions at the plate and in the field. The Orange Lutheran High outfielder has a simple, direct lefty stroke with minimal wasted movement, staying calm and balanced throughout his swing. He has a knack for making frequent contact, showing the ability to square up fastballs and soft stuff. It's a hit-over-power offensive profile right now, with a chance for Curiel's power to jump over the next few years as he fills out his slender 6-foot-1, 170-pound frame. He glides around well in center field, too, with a good gait, so getting stronger could help him get faster, with good reads and reactions off the bat already. He's uncommitted for college.
Ty Southisene, SS, Nevada
Southisene has a smaller build (5-foot-8, 155 pounds) and some of the best bat-to-ball skills in the 2024 class. He has a quick righthanded stroke and rarely swings and misses, regardless of whether it's a fastball or an offspeed pitch. His hand-eye coordination, elite contact skills and strike-zone judgment make him one of the top performers in the class, hitting line drives to all fields with gap power. He's a well above-average runner who is quick out of the box, getting home to first in 4.1 seconds from the right side. Southisene's high baseball IQ shows up on the defensive side, where he's an instinctive player who reads the ball well off the bat. He has good footwork, takes good angles to the ball and is smooth on the double play pivot with good body control. He's a Tennessee commit.
Tegan Kuhns, RHP, Pennsylvania
Kuhns is one of the best pitchers in the 2024 class, with an array of arrows pointing in the right direction. The North Carolina State commit pitched three scoreless innings with four strikeouts, no walks and only one hit allowed in the Sophomore WWBA. His fastball explodes out of his hand and is already one of the best in the class, touching 91 mph in Fort Myers, with the arm speed and plenty of physical projection in his 6-foot-2, 155-pound frame to throw in the mid 90s or better with natural strength progression the next few years. Kuhns' best pitch, though, is his curveball, which has extremely tight rotation and sharp bite to miss a lot of bats with spin rates tickling 3,000 rpm.
Owen Paino, SS, New York
A Mississippi commit, Paino immediately stands out for his size, as he's already a well-proportioned 6-foot-3, 195 pounds at 15. While Paino's physicality is clear, what sticks out on the field is how smooth and under control he plays. He consistently hits well in games and showed that in Fort Myers, going 10-for-25 (.400) with a double, a triple, four walks and three strikeouts between the Sophomore WWBA and Underclass WWBA. Paino has a compact, balanced swing from the left side and controls the strike zone well with a mature approach for his age and the ability to make hard contact to all fields. Paino fields his position well at shortstop, though at his size there's a chance he could outgrow shortstop and end up at third base.
Erik Parker, SS, Georgia
Parker sticks out quickly for his athletic 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame with a ton of physical upside, especially for one of the younger players in the class. Parker has quick, athletic movements at shortstop, where he moves around well with good body control. At the plate, he drives the ball well for his age already, with significant power potential once he fills out and gets stronger. Parker is a South Carolina commit.
Andre Modugno, 3B/OF, New Jersey: Modugno is 6-foot-5, 195 pounds with one of the best blends of physicality, athleticism and raw tools in the class. He has a tall, athletic build with big power, arm strength and above-average speed. A Duke commit, Modugno is still learning to sync everything up in games to make more consistent contact, but his upside is obvious if everything clicks. Modugno went to Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey as a freshman but transferred to IMG Academy in Florida this year.
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Fabio Peralta, OF, Florida: Peralta has a long, projectable build with good strength projection at 6-foot-2, 165 pounds and made hard contact throughout his time in Fort Myers with CBU United and the Brewers scout team, going a combined 11-for-27 (.407) with three doubles, a triple and seven walks. He's an athletic, lefthanded center fielder who runs well (4.15 seconds to first from the left side) and whips the barrel through the zone, driving the ball well already with a ton of space to fill out and add more power in the coming years. He's a Miami commit.
Christian Hamilton, OF, Florida: Hamilton hit well for the Canes National 16U team at the Sophomore WWBA, then continued to impress the next week playing for the Brewers scout team at the Underclass WWBA. At 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, Hamilton is a lean, athletic center fielder who glides around the outfield and stood out offensively as a switch-hitter who spread line drives around the field. Hamilton is a Miami commit.
P.J. Morlando, C, South Carolina: Morlando is already 6-foot-3, 195 pounds and one of the most productive offensive players in the class, both in terms of getting on base and hitting for power. It was more of the same for Morlando between the Sophomore WWBA and Underclass WWBA, as he hit .429/.556/.607 with a home run and two doubles in 36 plate appearances, including a walkoff single in one game. Morlando is an offensive-minded catcher who's already big for the position, so there's a chance he could outgrow catching and end up at first base, but his compact swing for his size, strike-zone judgment and lefthanded power make him one of the most dangerous hitters in the country. He's committed to Mississippi State.
Ben Reiland, SS/OF, California: Reiland is teammates with Curiel both at Orange Lutheran High and for the USA Prime National Team that played in the Sophomore WWBA. Reiland was one of the top hitters there, going 7-for-10 with a walk while showing a short, adjustable swing from the left side while staying disciplined within the strike zone. He's a slender 5-foot-9 with a line-drive approach and good plate coverage, and collected hits to all fields. He split time between the infield and outfield, ranging well on a ground ball up the middle while playing second base and charging in on a ball well for a catch in left field. He's uncommitted for college.
Aiden Harris, 3B, Virginia: Harris is one of the youngest players in the 2024 class, but he's also one of the most physically developed. He's 6-foot-3, 215 pounds and has hit well in games with plenty of strength and should tap into more power once he gets more separation and torque in his swing. Harris is committed to Virginia.
Adonys Velez, SS, Florida: Velez is a Florida State commit with smooth, quick defensive actions at shortstop. At 6-foot-1, 160 pounds, Velez isn't a burner but he has a good chance to stick at the position, with his offensive game trending up as well. He smoked a triple to center field at the WWBA Underclass playing for the Brewers scout team, continuing a strong fall at the plate.
David Hogg II, SS, Texas: An Oklahoma commit, Hogg is a smart, steady player who doesn't have one loud carrying tool but is solid across the board with good instincts for the game. He sets up at the plate with a wide base and tracks pitches well. He's a patient hitter who will draw walks and put the ball in play, using a compact righthanded swing with a flat path through the zone. It's an on-base-over-power offensive profile for now, but with the strength projection in his 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame for more power to come. He has a fundamentally sound defensive game.
Manny Marin, SS, Florida: Marin stood out as a 2024 in the WWBA Underclass event, where he went 5-for-10 with three doubles and two walks. He showed a fluid, well-sequenced swing from the right side of the plate along with smooth, easy actions at shortstop. He's uncommitted for college.
Mateo Gray, 3B/OF, Florida: Gray was an offensive force playing for TBT National 2024 at the Sophomore WWBA and the Canes National 16U Team at the Underclass WWBA, hitting .543/.590/.800 in 39 plate appearances. At 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, Gray consistently put together quality at-bats and has been a doubles machine with occasional home run power, with more of those doubles likely turning into home runs as he continues to get stronger. He's uncommitted for college.
Riley Luft, OF, Florida: Like Mateo Gray, Luft is an uncommitted player who started his Fort Myers trip with TBT National in the Sophomore WWBA before joining the Canes National 16U Team for the Underclass WWBA and was a productive hitter at both events, hitting a combined .483/.568/.724 in 36 plate appearances with seven doubles, six walks and three strikeouts. A likely corner outfielder in pro ball, Luft showed a patient offensive approach, mostly staying within the strike zone while piling up doubles.
Rylan Lujo, SS, Florida: Lujo teamed with Mateo Gray and Riley Luft in a TBT National 2024 lineup filled with promising uncommitted hitters at the Sophomore WWBA. Lujo hit leadoff and played shortstop, batting .438/.609/.562 in 23 plate appearances with five walks and no strikeouts, with a strong build (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) and average run times going home to first.
Chris Newstrom, INF/C, Arizona: Newstrom didn't have the lofty numbers of some of the other players at this event, but his upside was still evident. He has a long, athletic build (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) with promising power potential and surprising speed for his size, going home to first in 4.22 seconds from the right side. He spent time at catcher, shortstop and second base, looking most comfortable as a middle infielder. Newstrom is a Tennessee commit.