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Standout 2024 Players From MLB's States Play



Major League Baseball brought together two teams composed of some of the top 2024 players in the country for its States Play event last weekend in Phoenix.

With one game in a major league park at Chase Field and two more at the D-backs and Rockies spring training stadium of Salt River Fields, the event included multiple players who have a chance to be day one picks in the 2024 draft.

These were some of the standout players from States Play.

Owen Paino, SS, New York

Paino was the most impressive player at States Play. A Mississippi commit ranked No. 7 in the 2024 class, Paino went 2-for-5 with a walk, with one of his outs a hard barrel fly out to center field. Paino stands out physically at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, but it's the ease of operation to his game that jumps out more. That's especially true in the batter's box, where he's calm, balanced and tracks the ball well with a mature approach and a good eye for the strike zone. He has a compact swing from the left side with a good bat path, staying through the ball to drive the ball well to all fields. It's a hit-over-power offensive profile right now, but with clear strength projection for more impact to come as he gets into his prime.

There's a smoothness to his game both at the plate and in the field. His hands and feet work well and he has a strong arm, with a good internal clock and a knack for slowing the game down. He made multiple impressive defensive plays, one coming in on a slow ground ball at shortstop. On another at second base, he ranged well to his left, sliding to field a ground ball in shallow right field, then popping up quickly to get rid of the ball and record the out at first base.

Paino also made a heads-up play at second base when a batter hit a soft line drive right at him. Paino alertly noted the batter wasn't running out of the box and that no infield fly rule had been called, so he let the ball drop and went to turn the double play, only for the umpire to wipe it away by calling an infield fly after the ball hit the ground. At his size, there's some chance Paino might outgrow shortstop and slide to third base, where he could be a plus defender, but right now he has the actions and instincts for shortstop.

J.D. Dix, SS, Wisconsin

An Alabama commit ranked No. 21 in the 2024 class, Dix made a strong impression at States Play, going 3-for-5 with a triple and a walk. At 6-foot-2, 170 pounds, Dix has a lot of space left to fill out and already stood out for his maturity at the plate. He's a switch-hitter with a compact swing from both sides, good bat-to-ball skills and plate discipline for his age. Hitting from the left side, he did a good job of staying on a curveball on the outer half, driving it the opposite way into the left-center field gap for a triple.

Mason Brassfield, LHP/OF, California

Brassfield played both ways, but it was what he did on the mound that made the strongest impression and the reason the Texas Christian commit ranks No. 23 in the 2024 class. In three innings, Brassfield faced 11 batters and struck out six with two walks. He's an athletic lefty who touched 92 mph in this outing, with the physical projection on his 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame where he should be throwing in the mid 90s or better soon. Brassfield's best pitch was his 82-84 mph slider, a sharp breaking ball with good tilt that produced several swings and misses, with the potential to develop into a plus pitch.

Ty Southisene, SS, Nevada

Southisene looks like a butterfly in the infield. He floats around with graceful movements at shortstop, where he's light on his feet with fluid actions, quick hands, good body control and a nose for the ball. Playing second base, Southisene started two 4-6-3 double plays, including one where he had to field the ball on an in-between hop, with clean feeds to second base on both plays. He also turned a smooth pivot at second base on a 6-4-3 double play and made another nice play there charging in on a slow roller. An instinctive player, Southisene demonstrated his high baseball IQ on a ground ball to him at shortstop with one out where he alertly saw the runner at second base break for third and threw him out there. The No. 6 player in the 2024 class and a Tennessee commit, Southesine's hand-eye coordination plays well in the infield and at the plate. At 5-foot-9, 157 pounds, power might never be a part of Southisene's game, but he seldom swings and misses, going 2-for-5 with a pair of singles up the middle at States Play.

Anson Seibert, RHP, Kansas

Seibert has an enormous frame at 6-foot-8, 230 pounds, attacking hitters with steep downhill angle. The Tennessee commit overpowered hitters in his three innings, striking out six of the 12 batters he faced with one walk. Seibert pitched at 89-92 mph and touched 93, consistently blowing it past hitters for empty swings. He used his short-breaking slider effectively, landing it in the zone to complement his fastball. That fastball was the predominant pitch for Seibert, and the strength projection is there for more velocity to come. He's committed to Tennessee.

Danny Arambula, INF, California

After a strong showing at USA Baseball's 16U/17U National Team Development Program in July, Arambula was one of three underclassmen to earn an invitation to the 18U National Team trials. He's committed to Louisiana State and could end up along the lines of Cade Doughty, a 2022 Blue Jays second-round pick and a strong offensive performer for LSU who mostly played second and third base with occasional time at shortstop. Arambula has a compact build (6 feet, 190 pounds) and a simple, direct swing from the right side without many moving parts and is comfortable using all fields. He went 2-for-6 with two singles to center field, two walks and two strikeouts, with both strikeouts coming on big strike zones that should have been his third walk in one case.

Josh Springer, C, California

An Oregon commit, Springer was a standout performer both offensively and defensively. At 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, Springer is a righthanded hitter who does a good job of staying on breaking pitches, something he showed when he pulled a curveball for a double into the left field corner. He nearly had a second double on a line drive scalded the opposite way that the first baseman got a glove on to keep to a single. Springer came through with another hit in the clutch when he drove a fastball down and in the zone for a walkoff single to left field. Behind the plate, Springer impressed with his catch-and-throw skills, blocking well and showing good throwing mechanics, with a back pick on a runner at second base.

Nolan Traeger, C, Texas

Traeger doesn't turn 17 until July, so he's one of the younger players in the 2024 class, but he has a mature approach beyond his years from the left side of the plate. He went 1-for-3 with three walks, smoking a line-drive single up the middle and barreling a ball deep into the left-center field gap for a hard out. Traeger consistently shows a good eye for the strike zone with a simple swing and a knack for using the whole field. He's a TCU commit.

Cade Townsend, RHP, California

Townsend has one of the better curveballs in the 2024 class that he flashed in two effective innings, striking out three of the nine batters he faced with one walk and one hit allowed. At 6-foot-1, 182 pounds, Townsend is a Mississippi commit with good arm speed and a fastball that was mostly 89-92 mph. He throws his curveball with power and tight rotation at 76-78 mph, as well as good depth when it's at its best.

Cameron Caminiti, OF/LHP, Arizona

States Play featured exclusively 2024 players with one exception in Caminiti, a freshman at nearby Saguaro High in Scottsdale, Ariz. and one of the most talented 2025 players in the country. Caminiti has big upside on the mound, though he didn't pitch here, but he still made a strong impression as a position player. An LSU commit, Caminiti has a simple swing that he showed in a left-on-left matchup where he drilled a fastball for a line-drive single the opposite way. His biggest highlight came in right field, where he made a diving catch ranging to his left.

Samuel Richardson, INF/OF, Mississippi

It's rare to see a 17-year-old hit a ball out of the park to the opposite field, whether it's in batting practice or a game. But Richardson has vicious bat speed and showed off his ability to annihilate a fastball when he drove one out to the right-center field berm at Salt River Fields. A Missouri commit, Richardson takes an aggressive swing that has a lot of moving parts, so it will probably be a power-over-hit offensive profile, but it's some of the best raw power in the 2024 class.

Zach Swanson, RHP, Washington

Swanson has one of the better fastball/curveball combinations in the 2024 class. He struck out three of the 10 batters he faced in two innings, allowing three hits with one walk and a hit by pitch. He's still learning to corral it at times, but it's power stuff starting with a fastball that was mostly 89-93 mph and touched 94 with more room to climb as he adds weight to his 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame. He also was able to miss bats with a sharp, power curveball at 78-80 mph. Swanson is an Oregon State commit.

P.J. Morlando, OF/1B, South Carolina

Morlando's combination of hitting ability, plate discipline and power stack up among the best in the country for the 2024 class. The No. 12 player for 2024 and a Mississippi State commit, Morlando didn't do much during his six plate appearances, but his talent still stuck out. He's 6-foot-3, 196 pounds with a sweet, powerful lefthanded swing. It's a simple move to the ball with his lower half, allowing him to keep his head locked in to track pitches well before unleashing a fast, compact swing that's direct to the ball and leads to a high contact rate. In BP, Morlando showed off some of the best raw power in the class, and while a lot of young hitters need bigger swing movements to generate that type of impact, Morlando is able to drive the ball from a quiet, balanced swing.

Andre Modugno, INF/OF, New Jersey

Like Morlando, Modugno didn't have a loud performance (he did record a single and walked twice), but his physicality, tools and athleticism stuck out quickly. Modugno, who is from New Jersey but goes to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., has a long, sleek build at 6-foot-5, 205 pounds with big raw power that has a chance to be a plus to plus-plus tool, along with a plus arm that could give him another 70 tool on the 20-80 scale. A Duke commit, Modugno is an excellent athlete, too, with plus speed underway.

Tague Davis, 1B/LHP, Pennsylvania

Davis intrigued with his potential at the plate and on the mound. He has big league bloodlines, too, as the son of Ben Davis, a seven-year catcher in the big leagues and No. 2 overall pick in the 1995 draft by the Padres. A strong, physical 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, Davis put on a show from the left side during batting practice with several balls blasted over the fence. On the mound, Davis pitched at 87-90 mph here (he touched 91 mph at Area Code Underclass this summer) and showed an advanced changeup in the upper 70s with good sink and separation off his fastball. He started a righthanded hitter with a first-pitch changeup for a swing and miss, then doubled up on it for a called strike on the outside corner before finishing him with a breaking ball for the called strike three.

Dalton Wentz, SS/RHP, Virginia

A South Carolina commit, Wentz threw two innings he struck out five of the eight batters he faced. At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds with an aggressive delivery, Wentz has a strong arm that produced a fastball ranging from 89-93 mph. He also showed some feel for a slurvy slider at 78-81 mph, and while he didn't use his changeup much, it had solid fading life. He's also a switch-hitting shortstop who has been a consistent performer on the summer circuit, showing a short swing with a steeper path from the left side.

Stunner Gonzales, RHP, California

Gonzales has been trending up throughout the year and that continued at States Play, where he retired all six batters he faced and struck out two in his two innings. He just turned 16 in August, so he's one of the younger 2024 players and will be 17 on draft day. He also has a build that screams projection at a lanky 6-foot-7, 190 pounds that should allow him to add to a fastball that was 87-90 mph in this look and has been up to 92. Gonzales showed some feel to spin a curveball at 69-74 mph that he used for a swinging strikeout. He's uncommitted for college.

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