Everything to know about the 2023 PDP League

June 26th, 2023
The 2023 Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League kicked off Monday.USA Baseball

With the wrap-up of the College World Series and All-Star festivities in Seattle right around the corner, there is a ton of focus on the 2023 Draft these days. But this week, we’ve got our eyes on 2024 too.

Major League Baseball and USA Baseball have worked together to create this year’s edition of the Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League to be held from June 26-July 3 at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. To prepare fans for one of the biggest events on the summer showcase circuit, here are some answers to frequently asked questions for the 2023 circuit:

What is the PDP League
First held in 2019, the PDP League brings 100 of the best high-school juniors (in this case, the Class of 2024) together in North Carolina to show off their skills in front of dozens of Major League scouts and USA Baseball evaluators. Those 100 players are separated into four teams (Gray, Light Blue, Navy, Red) and will play games against each other for the next week while also completing other workouts and player-development sessions with USA Baseball coaches.

While most of the attention will be paid to how they boost their Draft stock against advanced competition, the players are also competing for USA spots at the World Baseball Softball Confederation U-18 Baseball World Cup, to be held in Taiwan from Sept. 1-10. They’ll have plenty of help along the way with former Major Leaguers Doug Mientkiewicz (Light Blue) and Jack Wilson (Red), former Pirates and Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein (Navy) and longtime Carson-Newman head coach Tom Griffin (Gray) serving as managers.

How to watch
Gregg Caserta, Bo Porter and Sam Dykstra will be on the call live from Cary. All games through Tuesday (except an off-day on Friday) will be streamed on MLB.com.

Who to watch
Full rosters for all four teams were announced Sunday. Here are five notable players worth keeping tabs on in the days ahead:

Derek Curiel, OF, Orange Lutheran (West Covina, Calif.), Team Gray: Both Curiel (another LSU commit) and Griffin are capable of showing off defensively in center field, so it’ll be interesting to see who gets the bulk of playing time in the middle of the grass for Gray. If they play together, watch out because other teams could be in trouble trying to sneak anything into the gaps. Curiel covers the zone well as a left-handed bat too, and along with his discipline and plus speed, he could be a future leadoff hitter in the pros.

PJ Morlando, OF/1B, Summerville (Summerville, S.C.), Team Light Blue: Morlando isn’t a stranger to standing out on a big stage after going 7-for-21 (.333) with three homers and three doubles in World Cup qualifiers last fall in Mexico. He’ll bring that impressive combination of power and plate discipline to Cary as well, but he’ll need his defense in the outfield corners or at first base to be at least adequate to keep his name high on 2024 Draft boards.

Bryce Rainer, 3B/RHP; Harvard-Westlake (Simi Valley, Calif.), Team Red: Harvard-Westlake has famously produced pitchers Max Fried, Lucas Giolito and Jack Flaherty and has a hitter on the way in Top 10 overall prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong. Rainer gives the program another chance at a notable bat. The left-handed slugger, who is committed to Texas, has easy lift in his swing that allows him to generate good pop for his age. He has enough arm strength for either spot on the left side of the infield but might profile best at third base, where the cannon can truly play.

Bryce Clavon; SS/OF Kell (Kennesaw, Ga.), Team Navy: Like Morlando, Clavon doesn’t have a college commitment entering this week, perhaps because he’s keeping his options open in two sports. The 6-foot Peach Stater is also a dual-threat quarterback with skills that translate well to the diamond like his well-above-average speed, strong arm and quick-twitch nature in the box. Normally a shortstop, he may get some looks in the outfield too in the days ahead, but the explosiveness he brings could ensure his future is on the diamond.

PDP League game schedule (all times ET)

June 27
Light Blue vs. Gray, 1 p.m.
Navy vs. Red, 4 p.m.

June 28
Red vs. Light Blue, 11 a.m.
Gray vs. Navy, 2 p.m.

June 29
Light Blue vs. Navy, 3 p.m.
Gray vs. Red, 6 p.m.

July 1
Red vs. Navy, 1 p.m.
Gray vs. Light Blue, 4 p.m.

July 2
Light Blue vs. Red, 12:30 p.m.
Navy vs. Gray, 3:30 p.m.

July 3
Third Place Game, 11 a.m.
Championship, 2 p.m.