Note: we ran this story in May when we launched the 2025 Extra Elite 100 rankings, but since we've added many new readers and subscribers since then, we thought this would help our new followers understand the thinking and process that goes into choosing the top-ranked player in each class!
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 12 grad years now from 2014 to 2025 rankings and has updated most of them as many as three or four times for a total of nearly 30 player rankings lists!
And whereas the rankings lists were originally just 100 prospects deep, he’s now going several hundred players deep in each ratings update.
After all these years and updates, here’s what he thinks are the common factors that help a player be the top-rated prospect in her class…
It's become a tradition almost to update this article with each Extra Elite 100 class that we do and later today we'll announce the top-ranked player in the 2023 Extra Elite 100 so let's talk about the criteria not just for being ranked highly, but also what it takes to be listed as the #1 player in any class. 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 publishing 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.)