Top '24 Draft prospects show tools in States Play Invitational

September 25th, 2022

Who doesn’t love some state bragging rights early in the fall? Baseball fans can get their fix this weekend, emanating from the greater Phoenix area, where top 2024 Draft prospects will take center stage in the States Play Invitational.

The event is being held for the first time since 2019, albeit with a new flavor in ‘22: exit the individual state vs. state matchup between high school seniors, enter an East vs. West format featuring high school juniors, many of whom rank near the top of the ‘24 Draft class. And a majority of this year's event can be seen live on

USA Baseball was at the forefront of the player selection process, collaborating with scouts, cross-checkers and MLB’s development staff to choose an elite-level pool of players, many of whom are already verbally committed to many of the nation’s top college baseball programs.

“Really when it came to this year, we thought, OK, ‘The concept works, but let’s get more players involved, more of the top-tier players,’” said Del Matthews, MLB’s vice president of baseball development. “And so we expanded it to where it’s still kids coming from those states, but we divided it up regionally, east and west.”

As opposed to past iterations of States Play, this year’s installment will have an eclectic America-wide vibe with players from 22 states being represented.

The East squad boasts prep talent from Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin, while the West cohort is made up of players from Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Washington.

The two sides will play a three-game series, which began Friday night at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the Spring Training home of the Rockies and D-backs. The series took a seismic turn Saturday, as Arizona’s Chase Field played host to Game 2.

“The Spring Training facility at Salt River is beautiful and first class, and obviously so is Chase Field,” Matthews said. “It’s going to be great for the kids. And hopefully, it just inspires them to continue to want to play the game and achieve their goals.

“This is kind of a preview of some of those kids that have an opportunity to make the All-American Game [next year], and it kind of gives us a first look and an opportunity to see them in a competitive environment in a Major League stadium.”

The series shifts back to Salt River for Game 3 on Sunday, which is streaming live on It’s a weekend chock full of opportunity: to learn from former big leaguers on the respective coaching staffs; to showcase each player’s talent; and to compete against some of the top rival talent in the 2024 class.

Participants, who have been hand-selected on an invite-only basis, will have ample resources at their disposal. The respective managers for both clubs, Jonny Gomes (East) and Howie Kendrick (West), combined for 28 Major League seasons between them. Two-time All-Star Brad Penny will serve as the West’s pitching coach, as both squads will receive high-level instruction.

States Play alumni are headlined by a pair of rookies who made their impact felt at the big league level this season in the Royals’ and the Mets’ . There are nine other past participants who currently rank within their organization's Top 30 Prospects list, per MLB Pipeline.

“Anytime you get on a plane to go play baseball and compete with your peers -- maybe guys that you’ve played against, maybe guys that you’ve heard about -- you kind of relish that opportunity as a competitor,” Matthews said. “You want to see how you stack up against some of the other names that you’re hearing. You want to compete against those kids. Ultimately, all these kids want to one day play professional baseball, so this is part of the process.”

Here are the complete rosters, with each player’s college commitment:


Ashton Alston, RHP, Christian Community HS (Tenn.) - Alabama
Talan Bell, 1B/OF/P, Hagerty HS (Fla.) - Florida State
Matthew Conte, C, Dexter Southfield (Mass.) - Wake Forest
Tague Davis, 1B/LHP, Malvern Preparatory HS (PA) - Louisville
JD Dix, SS, Whitefish Bay HS (Wis.) - Alabama
Mekai Griffin, RHP/OF, Trinity Catholic HS (Fla.) - Miami
Sean Griggs, IF, Red Bank Catholic HS (N.J.) - Alabama
Aiden Harris, 1B/RHP, Manchester HS (Va.) - Virginia
Justyn Hart, 1B/LHP, Marian Catholic HS (Ill.) - Missouri
Sir Jamison Jones, C, St. Rita of Cascia HS (Ill.) - Illinois State
Andre' Modugno, IF/OF, IMG Academy (N.J.) - Duke
PJ Morlando, 1B/OF Summerville HS (S.C.) - Mississippi State
Ethan Murray, SS, Buford HS (Ga.) - Georgia Tech
Kolt Myers, 3B/RHP Bartram Trail HS (Fla.) - Florida
Owen Paino, SS, Roy C. Ketcham HS (N.Y.) - Ole Miss
Mavrick Rizy, RHP, Worcester Academy (Mass.) - UConn
Anson Seibert, RHP, Blue Valley Southwest HS (Kan.) - Tennessee
Ariston Veasey, C, Starrs Mills HS (Ga.) - Georgia
Jaxon Walker, CF, Loudon HS (Tenn.) - Georgia
Dalton Wentz, SS, Amherst HS (Va.) - South Carolina


Danny Arambula, IF, Yucaipa HS (Calif.) - LSU
Easton Barrett, OF/LHP, Springville HS (Utah) - Arizona State
Charlie Bates, IF, Palo Alto HS (Calif.) - Stanford
Mason Brassfield, LHP/OF, Bakersfield Christian HS (Calif.) - TCU
Tristan Bristow, RHP, Harlan HS (Texas) - Vanderbilt
Cameron Caminiti, OF, Saguaro HS (Ariz.) - LSU
Max Charles, SS/CF/P, Liberty HS (Ariz.)
Stunner Gonzales, RHP, La Costa Canyon HS (Calif.)
Trey Gregory-Alford, RHP, Coronado HS (Colo.)
David Hogg II, SS, Mansfield HS (Texas) - LSU
Jayden Kea, C, Kamehameha Schools (Hawaii)
Naulivou Lauaki Jr., 3B/RHP, Springville HS (Utah) - Oregon
Nicholas Montgomery, 1B/C, Cypress HS (Calif.) - Arizona State
Dante Nori, CF, Northville HS (Mich.) - Mississippi State
Samuel Richardson, IF/OF, Lewisburg HS (Miss.) - Missouri
Ty Southisene, SS, Basic High School (Nev.) - Tennessee
Josh Springer, C, Corona HS (Calif.) - Oregon
Zach Swanson, RHP, Toutle Lake HS (Wash.) - Oregon State
Cade Townsend, RHP, Santa Margarita Catholic (Calif.) - Ole Miss
Nolan Traeger, C, Concordia Lutheran HS (Texas) - TCU
Hustyn Wheeler, LHP/OF, Sandra Day O'Connor HS (Ariz.) - Oregon State