Baseball’s Grayson Hitt makes MLB Pipeline’s 2023 Draft Top 100 list

Tzali Nislick, Staff Reporter

Alabama’s junior left-handed pitcher Grayson Hitt earned a spot in the MLB Pipeline’s 2023 Draft Top 100, which was released Tuesday night. He checks in at No. 43 as he enters his third season in Tuscaloosa. 

Hitt has a diverse repertoire that will entice scouts, featuring a mid-to-upper 90s fastball to go along with solid cutter, slider and curveball. He has the build of a major league pitcher at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds.  

“He’s the total package. He’s got a great body, he’s really athletic, he’s got arm strength, he’s got really good secondary pitches and on top of that his intangibles are really strong,” Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said. “He really checks pretty much every box that I think a pro team would be looking for.”  

Hitt struggled last season to the tune of a 5.34 ERA and 1.58 WHIP across 60.2 innings, but he has improved since his freshman year and that trend continued during the Crimson Tide’s fall practice.  

“I think the biggest improvement that he’s made from year to year is the command of his pitches,” Bohannon said. “What the pro guys saw this fall was that he was noticeably better than how he finished the season last spring. Now you start looking at the trajectory of his improvement and his development over a two, three, four-year period and there’s no reason to think that he’s not going to keep getting better.” 

Hitt’s ranking gives the Crimson Tide a top-50 MLB Draft prospect for the second consecutive year, after southpaw Connor Prielipp ranked No. 25 last year. This is becoming a norm for Alabama, which has produced three other top-100 prospects — Peyton Wilson, Dylan Smith and Tyler Gentry — since 2020. Bohannon has generated a top-10 recruiting class in four of the last five years, including a No. 7 ranking in 2023 according to Perfect Game. Highlighting this year’s class is Bryce Eldridge, who ranks No. 26 in MLB’s top-100 draft prospect list.  

“From a college standpoint, I think [Eldridge] is the most valuable amateur player in the country,” Bohannon said. 

The 18-year-old is a legitimate two-way player with a live, mid 90s fastball and raw power at the plate thanks to his 6-foot-7 frame. Eldridge mashed his way to a .316/.517/.842 slash line with three homers and 13 RBI, while also twirling three scoreless innings with five strikeouts in nine games for the USA Baseball 18U National Team in September.  

Alabama has seen 20 players selected in the MLB Draft during Bohannon’s reign, including nine in the last two years. His resume of recruiting, developing and pumping out pro talent will likely grow in 2023. 

“We’re starting to show a track record of being able to develop players at the highest level,” Bohannon said.  

Hitt and Eldridge will look to hear their names called in the 2023 MLB Draft, which will take place from July 9-11 over the All-Star break.  

Questions or comments? Email Blake Byler (Sports Editor) at [email protected]