There was a changing of the guard at the top of the New England prep baseball scene in 2023, with Worcester Academy ending Phillips Andover's five-year run at the top of NEBJ's regional rankings.
Worcester opened the season as the sixth-ranked team in New England before churning to a 17-3 record against powerhouse programs like Andover and Dexter Southfield. Worcester's dethroning of Andover speaks to a shift toward more parity and balance among the top prep baseball programs in the region.
Big picture: We likely won't see another prep program pull off a run of dominance similar to Andover's from 2018 to 2022. There's now too much talent to spread around. Prep programs from Maine to Rhode Island load up with D1 college commits, and Power Five arms seem to take the mound for top programs every time out.
The year began with a lingering question as to whether the influx of talent moving to prep schools during the pandemic served as a short-term trend. That appears to have been answered. There was no exodus from prep schools back to publics and privates. Instead, MORE talent continues to make the jump to prep programs, mirroring a trend that took place in the New England hockey world 10 to 15 years prior.