Brentt Eads, President & Executive Editor of Extra Inning Softball, has been compiling and ranking the top 100 high school/club players in each grad class since 2013 when he first did the Hot 100 for the Class of 2014.
Since he began publishing his lists, he’s done 11 grad years and updated most of them as many as three times for a total of more than two dozen lists!
And whereas the rankings lists were originally just 100 prospects deep, he’s now going several hundred players deep in each class.
After all these years and updates (27 total), here’s what he thinks are the common factors that help a player be the top-rated prospect in her class…
As we wrap up the 2024 Extra Elite 100 (and note that it will be updated several more times before these standouts go off to college!), we see that the top of the class is heavily dominated by pitching talent, not surprising as, at that young age, coaches frequently put their top athletes at pitcher.
In fact, of the Top 29 we’ll see that 12 pitch in some capacity.
And as we look at the players who’ve been No. 1 in the past, you see a lot of similarities. More on that in a minute…
First, let’s look at the list of players who’ve been on the top of their class when they came out as I ranked them at the time (between 2013 and today), first while at Student Sports before posting for Full Count Softball, then FloSoftball and now Extra Inning Softball.
(Note that when there were different players for updated lists, the first ones listed are the more recently ranked.)