With the #1 player being announced today in the updated 2022 Extra Elite 100, we thought it would be good to once again revisit the who, what, when and why of the softball player rankings.
Brentt Eads 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 while managing Student Sports Softball.
Since he began publishing his lists, he’s done 10 grad years and updated most of them as many as three times for a total of two dozen lists!
And whereas the rankings lists were originally just 100 prospects deep, he’s now going as deep as 500 players in each class.
After all these years and updates (25 total), here’s what he thinks are the common factors that help a player be the top-rated prospect in her class… note: this is an updated version of the article that was published in March when the Class of 2023 #1 was announced!
As we wrap up the 2022 Extra Elite 100 today (and note that it will be updated several more times before these standouts go off to college!), we see that the freshman class has many players committed to teams in the 2019 Women's College World Series, traditional powers like UCLA, Oklahoma, Florida, Washington and more.
In fact, there's a possibility that the #1 player announced later today in the Class of 2022 will someday sign for a current World Series participant (or maybe not, since that's a few years away!).
As we look at the players who’ve been No. 1 in the past, you notice that they, more often than not, sign with Top 25 programs because, simply, winning attracts talent and talent leads to winning.
Let’s start by looking 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, then at Full Count Softball, next at 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.)