2020 College Baseball Recruiting Rankings
For the first time in program history, Miami ranks No. 1 in Baseball America’s 2020 recruiting class rankings.
The Hurricanes’ class is led by a trio of players who ranked in the top 100 of the BA500 top prospects for the 2020 draft (which includes all draft-eligible players). They brought in seven BA500 prospects overall.
Gino DiMare is entering his third season as Miami’s head coach after 19 years as an assistant coach under Jim Morris. He said this class stands out among the Hurricanes’ best during his long tenure in the program.
DiMare was quick to credit pitching coach J.D. Arteaga and players development coach Jonathan Anderson and especially recruiting coordinator Norberto Lopez for their impact putting the class together.
“It’s a testament to coach Lopez,” DiMare said. “It takes work ethic, knowledge of evaluating players, and along with JD and the rest of the staff, it’s a testament of their hard work.”
The competition this year for spots throughout the Top 25 was fierce, owing to the five-round draft. With fewer players drafted, more prominent prospects are headed to college this fall, making for an exemplary freshman class. Louisiana State closely followed Miami and earned the No. 2 ranking, followed by Vanderbilt, Arizona and Florida.
Miami’s top-ranked class snaps a nine-year streak of SEC programs topping the recruiting rankings. The last No. 1 class that came from another conference was Stanford’s top-ranked group in 2010.
While the SEC doesn’t have the top-ranked class this year, its schools continued to recruit at a high level and account for 10 of the top 25 classes in the country. The ACC and Big 12 both have five classes ranked.
The recruiting rankings take into account all players from the high school and junior college ranks and were compiled following many conversations with coaches and scouts. Four-year transfers were not considered for the ranking.
Recruiting coordinator: Norberto Lopez
Top recruit: Victor Mederos, RHP (No. 59)
Overview: Miami landed three top-100 recruits and five top-200 recruits, leading the nation in both categories. As a result, the Hurricanes have the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, their first ever top-ranked class. Miami has strong depth among its incoming position players, but just as importantly brings in high-impact talent on the mound, which will help it rebuild its pitching staff after it this summer lost all three of its weekend starters to pro ball.
Hitters: Yohandy Morales (77) offers big upside thanks to a loose righthanded swing and big 6-foot-4, 195-pound frame that gives him plenty of power projection. He’s already big for a shortstop, but his hands and footwork are good enough to keep him on the infield. Catcher Carlos Perez (137) stands out for his catch-and-throw ability and reminds some of former Hurricanes star Yasmani Grandal. He has big offensive potential as well but needs to improve his feel for hitting to get the most out of his bat speed. CJ Kayfus (344) is a standout hitter with a smooth lefthanded swing. He is an excellent defender at first base with enough athleticism to play left field as well. Outfielder Chad Born has a good feel for the barrel and produces good bat speed but is still developing his power. Infielders Luis Espinal and Dominic Pitelli are the sleepers of the class because they didn’t play much on the showcase circuit. Espinal is a corner bat with big power potential, while Pitelli stands out for his ability at shortstop to go with plus speed and athleticism.
Pitchers: Mederos has a physical 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame and a powerful mix on the mound. His fastball gets up to 96 mph and he pairs it with a sharp, biting slider, while also mixing in a changeup and curveball. Righthander Alejandro Rosario (60) doesn’t match Mederos’ physicality but has a big arm. His fastball gets up to 97 mph and he mixes in a changeup and slider. Righthander Jake Smith (146), a junior college transfer, is listed at 6-foot-5, 180 pounds and combines projection with present stuff. He throws his fastball in the mid 90s and pairs it with a promising breaking ball that could play in the Hurricanes’ rotation right away. Righthander Jamar Fairweather has a strong frame and has been up to 95 mph but didn’t show quite that much velocity last summer.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Nolan Cain
Top recruit: Dylan Crews, OF
Overview: In Crews and righthander Ty Floyd, the Tigers have cornerstones for this class both in the lineup and on the mound. As a result, LSU has a top-10 class for the sixth time in seven years.
Hitters: Crews is the latest premium outfielder to land in Baton Rouge and gives LSU a direct replacement for Daniel Cabrera, who was drafted in the second round. Crews was himself a projected top-two rounds pick before formally removing his name from the draft a week before the event. He has a loose, simple righthanded swing and drives the ball to all fields. He produces good bat speed and has a chance for plus power, which he’ll need to fit the prototypical corner outfield profile. Shortstop Jordan Thompson (215) is a good defender with a strong arm. He’s made some strides offensively in the last year and has some power potential. Tre’ Morgan has been one of the best hitters in New Orleans over the last couple of years and fits well either at first base or a corner outfield position. Brody Drost (367) has true two-way potential as an outfielder/lefthander. He profiles well in right field thanks to a smooth lefthanded swing and also has solid upside on the mound.
Pitchers: Floyd (69) headlines the class on the mound thanks to his electric fastball that sits 92-95 mph and has a high spin rate, helping him to produce swings and misses. He mixes in a big breaking ball and a changeup. Righthander Blake Money (359) has a big, 6-foot-7, 245-pound frame but repeats his delivery better than many young pitchers his size. That helps him pound the strike zone with a fastball that sits in the low 90s, a curveball and changeup. Righthander Theo Milas (402) pitched for the Canadian Junior National Team and his advanced pitchability helps his stuff play up. His fastball sits around 90 mph and he has good feel for both his changeup and curveball, a combination that figures to help him get on the mound quickly for the Tigers. Righthander Michael Fowler has a projectable 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame but missed this summer due to injury. He got back on the mound this fall and was still throwing a lot of strikes with a fastball in the low 90s and a powerful slider. Lefthander Javen Coleman doesn’t have the most overpowering stuff but has built a strong track record of performance. His fastball sits in the upper 80s but produces lots of swings and misses thanks to its riding life, and he pairs it well with a 12-to-6 curveball. Righthander Brooks Rice offers big upside after previously focusing more on being an infielder. His fastball already reaches 94 mph from a low, whippy arm slot.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Mike Baxter
Top recruit: Enrique Bradfield, OF (No. 66)
Overview: The Commodores last fall landed their record sixth top-ranked recruiting class thanks to a star-studded freshman class that arrived in Nashville. This year’s class also has premium talent, but unlike the last two years when a Vanderbilt righthander was the highest-ranked player to make it to campus (Kumar Rocker in 2018, Jack Leiter in 2019), this year’s group is built more on position players. It marks Vanderbilt’s record 16th straight Top 25 class.
Hitters: Bradfield has elite speed, a quality Vanderbilt hasn’t had the last couple years. That plays well in center field and offensively, thanks to his bat-to-ball skills. He’ll need to get stronger to reach his offensive ceiling, but it makes for an intriguing package. Jack Bulger (183) played outfield with the 18U National Team but has mostly been a catcher during his prep career. He’s more advanced as a hitter and opinion is split as to whether he’ll be able to stay behind the plate, but his arm strength gives him a chance. Outfielder/righthander Grayson Moore (251) has true two-way potential thanks to some power in his bat and a good fastball-breaking ball combination. He offers good projection and raw tools and figures to help the Commodores in some capacity. Infielder Jack O’Dowd (370) is the son of former Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd and has the mentality expected from a player who grew up around the game. He has an easy, smooth lefthanded swing and the versatility to play anywhere on the infield. First baseman Gavin Casas (381), the younger brother of Red Sox prospect Tristan Casas, has a good lefthanded swing and plenty of raw power to tap into if he can continue to refine his plate approach. Outfielder Calvin Hewett has exciting raw tools but has flown a bit under the radar as a New Hampshire prep product.
Pitchers: Righthander Patrick Reilly (103) took a step forward last fall and saw his velocity jump up, touching 95 mph. Listed at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, he has a strong, physical frame and a clean delivery, giving him the tools to make more strides soon. Lefthander Nelson Berkwich (387) and righthander Miles Garrett are undersized but have solid stuff. Berkwich’s fastball plays up thanks to its life and his delivery’s deception, while Garrett’s fastball-slider combination gives him a chance to compete right away. Righthander Gage Bradley (362) offers good projection and athleticism. He throws a lot of strikes and has the potential to make a good jump in velocity as he physically matures. Lefthander Hunter Owen has a big 6-foot-5 frame and a solid fastball-curveball combination. He’ll need to refine his control to reach his ceiling but offers big upside if he can put it all together.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Dave Lawn
Top recruit: Chase Davis, OF (No. 55)
Overview: Coach Jay Johnson has taken Arizona recruiting to new heights since arriving in Tucson in 2015 and now has landed five straight Top 25 classes, more than the program had totaled in the first 15 years of the rankings. This class is also the Wildcats’ highest-ranked class ever, bringing in impressive talent across the board.
Hitters: Davis looks the part as a 6-foot-1, 211-pound tooled-up lefthanded hitting outfielder with premium talent. His loose, whippy swing and strength produce plenty of raw power and he does a good job of putting the bat on the ball. He profiles best as a corner outfielder thanks to his plus arm strength and average speed. Catcher Daniel Susac (118) has the tools to follow in the footsteps of his older brother Andrew Susac, a big league catcher. Daniel, listed at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, is big and athletic and has plenty of offensive upside as a switch-hitter with power potential. Jacob Berry (220) is a switch-hitter with the ability to hit for power from both sides of the plate who profiles well at an infield corner. First baseman TJ Curd produces impressive bat speed and has an advanced approach at the plate, giving him big power potential. Outfielder Kyle Casper has a solid overall skill set and covers ground well in the outfield, a big asset in the spacious alleys of Hi Corbett Field.
Pitchers: Righthander TJ Nichols (111) came to pitching late but has shown significant promise on the mound. He has a big arm and can run his fastball up to 94 mph to go with a hard slider. He also plays shortstop and has two-way potential at Arizona, but his long-term future is likely on the mound. Righthander Chase Silseth (305), a junior college transfer, throws his fastball in the low 90s and has solid pitchability, traits that will help him quickly find a role on the Wildcats’ staff. Lefthander Riley Cooper stands out for his advanced pitchability and secondary offerings. His fastball sits in the upper 80s and his overall package gives him starter upside. Righthander Ryan Kysar and lefthander Javyn Pimentel have the stuff to contribute quickly out of the bullpen.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Craig Bell
Top recruit: Colby Halter, INF (No. 106)
Overview: Florida was the biggest winner of this year’s draft as it held on to nearly every member of its top-ranked team. That is an unqualified positive for the Gators, but it led to them bringing in a slightly smaller recruiting class than initially expected. It’s still a premium group and Florida extends its streak of top-five recruiting classes to eight years.
Hitters: Halter made a jump last year and was one of Team USA’s best hitters at the World Cup. His overall toolset doesn’t stand out, but he has good hittability and understanding of the game. He’ll likely be able to quickly find a way into the Gators’ lineup. Sterlin Thompson (196) wasn’t a fixture of the showcase circuit in 2019 but played his way onto draft boards in the fall and early this spring. He stands out most for his bat, as the lefthanded hitter has the chance to hit for average and power. Jordan Carrion (394) has standout defensive tools that are rare for college shortstops. He’s not as advanced offensively, but if he can continue to improve as he develops physically, he has a lot of upside. Carrion and Halter both have a chance to contribute on the mound, as well. Catcher Mac Guscette (457) has a long track record of success and also figures to make an immediate impact in Gainesville. He’s a good defender and has some juice in his bat. Catcher/first baseman Wyatt Langford has a strong frame and is a good hitter with power potential.
Pitchers: Lefthander Timmy Manning (135) has the most upside on the mound of the Gators’ commits. At 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, he has plenty of projection and can get his fastball into the low 90s at times. His best pitch is his curveball, which is a true hammer, and will play right away. Righthander Franco Aleman (315), a Cuban native and junior college transfer, had a standout 2019 summer in the Cape Cod League, where he ranked as the No. 26 prospect. There’s a lot to like about him now, but he may just be scratching the surface as he has plenty of projection in his 6-foot-7, 220-pound frame, and is still learning the finer points of pitching. Righthander Ryan Slater also has projection to go with solid strike-throwing ability and athleticism and has a chance to be a two-way player as well. Righthander Chase Centala stands out for his strike-throwing ability, which will help him to quickly carve out a role on the staff. Righthander Blake Purnell has a projectable 6-foot-4 frame and a promising arsenal.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Trip Couch
Top recruit: Brandon Fields, OF
Overview: The Gamecocks have put together another strong class that has especially good depth among its position players and navigated the draft well, losing only lefthander Luke Little in the process.
Hitters: Fields was the Gamecocks’ top-ranked prep player before he officially withdrew from draft consideration. He also has opted not to play football in college after initially committing to play both sports (he was rated as a three-star running back, according to 247 Sports). He’s a bit raw owing to his football background but has plus athleticism, speed and raw power and offers significant upside. Catcher Alek Boychuk (259) has played at a high level for a long time, dating back to playing for USA Baseball’s 12U National Team in 2014. He’s a solid catcher with a simple swing that works well. Shortstop Jalen Vazquez (301) stands out for his defense, which is good enough to give him a chance to step right into the Gamecocks’ lineup. Outfielder Josh Shuler (404) also has impressive tools but is still learning how to get the most out of them. He has above-average speed, good raw power and profiles well as a corner outfielder. David Mendum is a physical lefthanded hitter whose powerful bat could play in the heart of the order.
Pitchers: Lefthander Jackson Phipps (178), listed at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, is projectable and made some strides over the last couple years, but still has more room to grow. He throws his fastball in the low 90s and has the makings of a good curveball, a combination that will help him quickly make an impact for the Gamecocks. Righthander Will Sanders (200) offers at least as much projection with his 6-foot-6, 195-pound frame. He runs his fastball into the low 90s and figures to add more velocity, which would also help his secondary stuff. Lefthander Magdiel Cotto (222) made a jump going into this spring and his fastball ticked up from the upper 80s to the low 90s, touching 95 mph. He’s a solid strike-thrower and has the makings of a pair of good secondaries, a package that when combined with his 6-foot-4 frame gives him big upside. Infielder/righthander Jack Mahoney is more advanced as a position player and probably profiles best at third base, but his long-term future may be on the mound, where he can run his fastball up to 95 mph. Righthander CJ Weins, a junior college transfer, has a good fastball-slider combination that will play right away for South Carolina, either as a starter or reliever. Righthander Travis Luensmann has a big, 6-foot-6 frame, runs his fastball up to 95 mph and throws a lot of strikes, despite a bit of a crude delivery. Righthander Samuel Swygert don’t have as much upside as some of his classmates but throws a lot of strikes with a fastball that sits around 90 mph.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Thomas Eager
Top recruit: Drew Bowser, SS
Overview: After bringing in a large 2019 class that ranked No. 19, Stanford adds another talented group this year that didn’t lose a single player to the draft process. It’s the Cardinal’s first top-10 class under head coach David Esquer, who took over the program in 2017 following the retirement of Mark Marquess.
Hitters: Bowser has a strong, powerful frame and the tools to profile at third base. The righthanded hitter creates good bat speed and has the potential to hit for plenty of power, to go with the arm strength and hands to fit at the hot corner. Tommy Troy (199) has plus speed and athleticism and the versatility to play nearly anywhere on the diamond, but will likely stick up the middle. Offensively, his swing is geared toward contact and making the most of his speed, but he has surprising pop, making for a dynamic overall package. Outfielder Eddie Park (489) has the skills to be a top-of-the-order hitter thanks to his above-average speed and bat-to-ball skills. He’s a good defender and has a strong track record against good competition, giving him a chance to quickly get into the Cardinal lineup. Carter Graham has a strong frame and good power potential and has the look of a physical corner player.
Pitchers: Stanford brings in the Bruno twins from South Florida—lefthander Ryan (168) is the bigger prospect, but righthander Jaden is solid in his own right. Ryan has an excellent pitcher’s frame at a listed 6-foot-3, 185 pounds and throws his fastball in the low 90s, touching 96 mph. His control and breaking ball need a bit of refinement, but he has all the raw tools to project on. Jaden, listed at 6-foot-4, 188 pounds, is projectable and has a good three-pitch mix. He needs to be a bit more consistent with his pitchability but like his brother has the raw tools to work with. Righthander Joseph Dixon (274) has two-way potential but stands out on the mound. As a strike-throwing righthander with a solid four-pitch arsenal, he fits in well with the pitchers Stanford has had success with in recent years, but has a little more velocity and can run his fastball up to 93 mph. Righthander Brandt Pancer fills up the strike zone with his three-pitch mix. His fastball sits in the low 90s and his slider is his best secondary offering. Righthander Tommy O’Rourke missed the 2019 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and showed promise before his injury. The season’s cancellation this year meant the New Jersey native didn’t get back in game action but is throwing again and continues to show promising stuff.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Sean Allen
Top recruit: Tanner Witt, RHP/3B
Overview: Texas had the top-ranked class on Signing Day and going into the draft and, following the first round, just one of its five top-100 recruits had been drafted (shortstop Carson Tucker) and Gatorade Player of the Year Jared Kelley was still on the board. But the Longhorns dreams of a spectacular coup were dashed when the draft resumed and ultimately, they lost their top four recruits to the draft. The news isn’t all bad, however. The class had strong depth and Texas bolstered it following the draft with a couple late additions and it has a third straight top-10 class as a result.
Hitters: Dylan Campbell has an unorthodox swing but has an advanced feel for the barrel and the athleticism to play up the middle, either in the infield or outfield. He has some solid power in his 5-foot-11, 200-pound frame. Third baseman Ivan Melendez, a junior college transfer, opened eyes when he hit 17 home runs in 2019 and he added four more in 22 games this spring. His raw power doesn’t come with a lot of swing and miss. Shortstop Mitchell Daly is a plus runner whose athleticism plays well defensively. Offensively, he stands out for his hittability.
Pitchers: Witt has real two-way potential and will get a chance to do both in Austin, but his upside may be the highest on the mound. His fastball sits in the low 90s and can get up to 96 mph to go with a good curveball. As a hitter, he profiles well at third base and offers impressive raw power. Righthander Travis Sthele (171) also has a big arm but is a bit undersized. His fastball can get up to 96 mph, but he typically sits in the low 90s with advanced pitchability that gives him a chance to start. Righthander Lebarron Johnson (319) was originally committed to Florida and didn’t join Texas’ class until after the draft. He has an athletic, projectable build and offers considerable upside. His fastball velocity jumped into the low 90s early this spring and his curveball showed promise. Righthander Aaron Nixon (403) has two-way potential but is further advanced on the mound. He attacks hitters with a good sinker-slider combination. Lefthander Lucas Gordon (411) stands out for his polish, pitchability and impressive prep track record. His fastball sits around 90 mph, and he has impressive control of it and his offspeed pitches, which will help him quickly carve out a role on the Longhorns’ staff.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Nate Thompson
Top recruit: Nate Wohlgemuth, RHP
Overview: Arkansas in 2017 landed a top-five class that lived up to that billing and produced top-100 draft picks Heston Kjerstad and Casey Martin. This Razorbacks’ class will be counted on to help replace those players and has the potential to follow in their footsteps in terms of impact and pro potential. This class initially included infielder Robert Moore, who instead graduated a semester early and quickly established himself as a starter in Fayetteville.
Hitters: Third baseman Cayden Wallace (144) has an athletic, physical frame and has a prototypical skillset for the position. He gets to his raw power well thanks to a simple, repeatable swing that should help him quickly get in the Razorbacks’ lineup. Michael Brooks (349) has a solid all-around skill set and the versatility to play anywhere on the infield. He isn’t the flashiest player in the class but has an advanced understanding of the game and does a lot of things to make an impact. Outfielder Clayton Gray profiles in center field thanks to his above-average speed. He also has some strength in his bat that plays as doubles pop now, but figures to turn into home run power in time. Shortstop Jalen Battles, a junior college transfer, is a good athlete with solid defensive ability and offensive upside if he can tap into his power potential. Brady Slavens was off to a sensational start to 2020 in the offensive Kansas junior college ranks and hit .507/.543/1.240 with 14 home runs in 22 games. He’s played all over the diamond and profiles well in a corner position.
Pitchers: Wohlgemuth has a strong but undersized frame at a listed 5-foot-11, 205 pounds. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot that gives good running action to his fastball, which sits in the low 90s and has reached 97 mph. His changeup is his best secondary pitch, but his curveball gives him a good third offering. Lefthander Nick Griffin (198) probably has the most projection of any of the Razorbacks’ recruits. Listed at 6-foot-4, 185 pounds, his fastball sits around 90 mph and ticks higher at times, to go with a promising slider. He’ll need to refine some of the fine points of his game to reach his considerable ceiling, however. Righthander Jaxson Wiggins (267) has a big, projectable 6-foot-6 frame and has made some strides over the last year to now run his fastball into the mid 90s. Righthander Ryan Costeiu, a junior college transfer, has good stuff that can play right away for the Razorbacks, with a low-90s fastball and a good changeup. Righthander Gabe Starks is yet another promising arm with a fastball that reaches the mid 90s, though he’s not as polished as some of his classmates.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: James Ramsey
Top recruit: Kevin Parada, C
Overview: After last year landing their first Top 25 class since 2015, the Yellow Jackets this year put together an even better class and shepherded it intact through the draft process. This one is heavy on position players, including some who can quickly make an impact at the college level.
Hitters: Parada is the headliner of the class and the highest rated position player in the draft not to sign. He’s a strong, powerful hitter who has performed at a high level throughout the last two years. Pro scouts were not as convinced about his ability to catch as they are about his bat, which may have ultimately pushed him to college. His athleticism and bat would play in the outfield, but the raw tools are there for him to catch and the Yellow Jackets have had plenty of recent success developing catchers. Outfielder Jake Deleo (268) is something of a late bloomer but has made tremendous strides over the last two years. Listed at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, he has an intriguing combination of above-average power and speed. He’s a little raw, but he can impact the game in a variety of ways and has significant upside. Outfielder Hank Thomas was an all-state basketball player in Ohio and brings that athleticism to the diamond. While he’s listed at 6-foot-5, 185 pounds, the lefthanded hitter has a better feel for hitting than most young players his size. Outfielder John Marant also has a large, 6-foot-5 frame that comes with big power potential. Infielders John Anderson and Dylan Strickland have a strong track record of hitting in Georgia’s highest high school classification and should be able to bolster the Yellow Jackets’ lineup. Outfielder Nate McCollum is also playing football at Georgia Tech and is rated as a three-star wide receiver by 247 Sports. On the diamond, his premium speed plays well and he has shown a good feel for hitting during his prep career.
Pitchers: Righthander Marquis Grissom Jr. (151), whose father was an all-star outfielder, leads the class on the mound. He’s athletic and projectable at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, and has an advanced changeup. He needs to refine his breaking ball and there’s room for growth in his fastball, which sits 88-92 mph now, but he offers impressive upside. Grissom isn’t the only big leaguer’s son in the Yellow Jackets’ recruiting class. Righthander Dawson Brown, the son of former all-star Kevin Brown, doesn’t have as much pure stuff as Grissom Jr., but has a good feel for his craft. He throws from a very low three-quarters slot and gets a lot of movement on his fastball and slider, giving him a chance to quickly help out of the bullpen. Righthander Xander Stephens is perhaps the most advanced of the trio and is coming off a decorated prep career. His fastball sits in the upper 80s and he pounds the zone with his three-pitch mix.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Mike Metcalf
Top recruit: Carson Montgomery, RHP (No. 40)
Overview: The Seminoles’ class was just outside the Top 25 going into the draft, but they were one of the biggest winners of the event and jump to just outside the top 10 in the final rankings. Florida State didn’t lose a signee to the draft, landed the highest ranked player to make it to college (Montgomery) and added another premium arm following the event.
Hitters: Outfielder Anthony Shaver (133) is tooled up and was off to a strong start to his senior season of high school before it was halted. His above-average bat speed translates to power and he has plus speed which plays well both on the bases and in the outfield. His approach still needs some refinement, but he offers plenty of upside. Infielder Vince Smith produced a strong track record of performance in big high school events and has solid all-around tools. He has a quick swing that is geared toward hitting line drives to all fields, has above-average speed and has good actions that play anywhere on the infield. Catcher Sebastian Jimenez is tall for a catcher at 6-foot-4 but receives well and has above-average arm strength. He produces impressive bat speed and power offensively, making for an intriguing all-around package. The Seminoles also added some strong junior college transfers in outfielder Casey Asman and catcher Colton Vincent. Both have impactful bats and some versatility, which should help them carve out a role in the lineup.
Pitchers: For the second time in four years, Florida State has the highest ranked player to make it to school, following Drew Mendoza in 2016. Montgomery has a formidable fastball-slider combination and both offerings are swing-and-miss pitches. His fastball sits in the low 90s with angle and running action that makes it tough to square up and has been up to 96 mph, while his slider was one of the best of any high school pitcher in the draft class. He’ll need to refine his control and changeup like many prep pitchers, but he’s ready to step into a big role for the Seminoles. Righthander Jackson Nezuh (378) didn’t join the Seminoles class until after the draft but he should be able to quickly contribute. He stands out for his control and pitchability with solid stuff across the board. If he can add more power as he gets stronger, he could take a significant jump. Lefthander Andy Armstrong has advanced feel for pitching and has performed at a high level on big stages in high school. He pounds the strike zone with an upper-80s fastball and a good breaking ball. Lefthander Ross Dunn has a strong, physical frame and runs his fastball up to 93 mph with the makings of a good changeup. Lefthander Wyatt Crowell throws from a low three-quarters arm slot, making for a difficult at-bat. His fastball sits in the upper 80s and he mixes in a tight slider.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Scott Daeley
Top recruit: Corey Collins, C (No. 139)
Overview: With some premium talent leaving Athens for pro ball this year, Georgia put together a large recruiting class. It kept that group together through the draft, bringing a combination of immediate impact and strong depth. The result is the Bulldogs’ highest-ranked class since 2012.
Hitters: Collins and fellow catcher Fernando Gonzalez (339) put the class in an enviable position behind the plate. Collins is the stronger offensive player of the pair thanks to his strong lefthanded swing and all-fields approach. He’s athletic and has good catch-and-throw skills. Gonzalez has all the tools to develop into an excellent defender. He has plus arm strength, is a talented receiver and has good athleticism, but he’ll need more development as a hitter. Parks Harber (384) has a strong, physical frame (listed at 6-foot-3, 214 pounds) and was also a talented quarterback in high school. He offers big power potential and profiles as a corner infielder. Garrett Spikes was a three-sport star in high school who drew interest as a football recruit and was a two-time state champion wrestler. He has plenty of athleticism and bat speed, and he can play all over the field, which will help him quickly get in the Bulldogs’ lineup. Outfielder Trippe Moore is a good athlete with above-average speed who can play all three outfield positions and should hit for power. Infielder Caleb Ketchup gives the class a solid, versatile defender.
Pitchers: The Bulldogs went heavy on lefthanders in this class, starting with Jaden Woods (223) and Luke Wagner (322). Woods may have the best upside of the group, though he still needs to grow into his 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame to get to it. His fastball has been up to 93 mph, his slider projects as his best offering and his changeup has a chance to give him three above-average pitches. Wagner, listed at 6 feet, 175 pounds, doesn’t offer Woods’ upside, but pounds the strike zone and is very competitive on the mound. His fastball sits in the upper 80s and he has a good feel for his breaking ball. Lefthander Patrick Holloman saw his velocity tick up early this spring, touching 92 mph to go with a good breaking ball, giving him a chance to become a weekend starter in time. Lefthander Colin Caldwell pitches from multiple arm angels and could become a weapon out of the bullpen. Lefthander Liam Sullivan has a big, 6-foot-6 frame with significant upside. Georgia didn’t just sign lefthanders, however, also mixing in some impressive righthanders. Max DeJong and Hank Bearden both have good breaking balls that give them a chance to quickly contribute.More Less
Texas ChristianBig 12Notes:
Recruiting coordinator: Kirk Saarloos
Top recruit: Cam Brown, RHP (No. 131)
Overview: Some high-end pitchers lead this class, but it’s a well-balanced group for the Horned Frogs. Beyond the impact on the mound, they could also bring in solid contributors around the diamond.
Hitters: Elijah Nunez (350) is a true center fielder with premium athleticism and plenty of speed. He consistently puts the bat on the ball but has surprising power for his size, adding to his impact potential at the plate. Outfielder Luke Boyers (388) is a standout running back and looks the part thanks to a strong, wiry frame to go with plus speed and athleticism. Devan Ornelas has the skillset of an up-the-middle player and likely can stay in the infield, but his speed would also play well in center field. He’s faced high-end competition throughout his amateur career and has a solid track record, which should help him quickly get in TCU’s lineup. Shortstop Brayden Taylor has good defensive skills and figures to be able to stay at the position, though he’ll need to get stronger to reach his potential at the plate. Third baseman G Allen looks the part thanks to his powerful lefthanded bat and athleticism.
Pitchers: Brown has a strong, physical 6-foot-3 frame and this summer took a step forward with his pitchability. That’s also helped his stuff improve. His fastball sits in the low 90s, reaching 95 mph, and his slider and changeup both have a chance to be above-average offerings. Righthander Storm Hierholzer (320) has a good fastball-slider combination. He throws from a funky arm angle, creating an uncomfortable look for hitters, and figures to fit well in the bullpen. Righthander Braxton Pearson (358) came on strong last spring, adding more power to his fastball-slider combination. His fastball gets up to 94 mph and plays well with his slider. Lefthander Christian Williams has advanced pitchability and can throw both his fastball and slider for strikes on both sides of the plate. Righthander Ethan English, a junior college transfer, has two-way potential and provides power both at the plate and on the mound.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Karl Nonemaker
Top recruit: Cole Foster, SS (No. 112)
Overview: Auburn has now brought five straight Top 25 classes to campus under coach Butch Thompson. This class doesn’t have as much hype as some of the Tigers’ previous groups—like last year’s top-10 class—but it’s a strong group overall.
Hitters: Foster has solid all-around tools and has an advanced feel for the game. He has a smooth swing and barrels up a lot of balls, while also providing steady, reliable defense that could make him the Tigers’ shortstop of the future. Shortstop Bryson Ware (232) is toolsy and athletic and comes to Auburn after just one year of junior college. He has some power in his bat and the raw tools to play shortstop, but he has some rough edges to his overall game. Outfielder Bobby Pierce, another junior college transfer, is a powerful righthanded hitter. His above-average speed and plus arm play well in center or right field. Carter Frederick profiles well in an outfield corner thanks to his arm strength and powerful righthanded bat. He also has two-way ability thanks to a low-90s fastball. Catcher Ben Schorr has good catch-and-throw skills behind the plate.
Pitchers: Righthander Joseph Gonzalez (230), a native of Puerto Rico, leads the group on the mound. He has a projectable 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame and pitches with good control. His velocity started to increase this spring, getting up to 93 mph, and he pairs it with a promising curveball. Righthander Carson Swilling (327) also attacks batters with a good fastball-curveball combination. He isn’t as projectable as Gonzalez but is loose and athletic and should be able to quickly carve out a role on staff. Lefthander Cam Hill has a physical 6-foot-4 frame and pounds the zone with an upper-80s fastball. He has two-way ability as a first baseman with promising power. Righthander Jack Sokol has a projectable 6-foot-4 frame and figures to add more velocity to his 90 mph fastball as he physically matures. Lefthander Kade Snell attacks hitters with a fastball-slider combination.More Less
Texas TechBig 12Notes:
Recruiting coordinator: J-Bob Thomas
Top recruit: Brandon Birdsell, RHP (No. 145)
Overview: The Red Raiders went all in on pitching in this class. They had a young lineup in 2020, often starting five or six freshmen, so their needs mostly lie on the mound. This class deepens an already stout pitching staff in Lubbock.
Hitters: Braydon Runion, a junior college transfer, is the most impactful position player in the class. He’s a powerful righthanded hitter who also has above-average speed. He profiles well at third base or in right field. Dalton Beck has two-way ability as a center fielder and lefthander. He’s a very good athlete, runs well and keeps his bat in the zone a long time, allowing him to barrel up balls. On the mound, his fastball sits around 90 mph and he works in a breaking ball and changeup.
Pitchers: Texas Tech has a plethora of pitching coming in. Birdsell, a junior college transfer, has the highest profile and was starting to heat up when the season ended. He’s a pure power pitcher with a fastball that’s been up to 98 mph and a hard, upper-80s slider, both of which he can throw for strikes. Righthander Levi Wells (212) has touched 95 mph with his fastball and has a big, 12-to-6 curveball. He’s athletic with a bulldog mentality that could play right away in the Texas Tech bullpen. Righthander Chase Hampton (272) throws his fastball in the low 90s with a good spin rate. His breaking ball needs to firm up a bit, but he has good feel for the offering and offers solid upside. Righthander Brendan Girton (382) is a converted catcher and state-champion football player with a bulldog mentality. He attacks hitters with a good fastball-slider combination and can reach 94 mph. Lefthander Nick Gorby doesn’t have premium velocity, but he has an advanced feel for pitching. His fastball works in the upper 80s and he can work in two breaking balls and a changeup, giving him a good chance to make an impact next spring. Lefthander Matthew Luna has a big, physical frame and throws from a low three-quarters arm slot that makes for a tough matchup. He mostly attacks hitters with a fastball that sits in the upper 80s and mixes in a good slider. Righthander Miguel Obeso, a junior college transfer, has a solid three-pitch mix and a big frame at 6-foot-3, 280 pounds. Righthander Brandon Beckel may be the sleeper of the group. He has an athletic, projectable frame, throws his fastball in the low 90s to go with a big curveball and changeup.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Clay Overcash
Top recruit: Cade Horton, INF/RHP (No. 65)
Overview: It was a strong year for prep talent in Oklahoma and the Sooners took advantage, signing the state’s three best players. While lefthander Dax Fulton was drafted 40th overall and signed with the Marlins, Horton and outfielder Jace Bohrofen (141) both made it to Norman as the cornerstones of a strong class that is heavy on junior college talent.
Hitters: Horton is an elite athlete who is slated to play both baseball and football at Oklahoma, though he’s further ahead on the diamond than he is as a quarterback. He’s got two-way ability as a shortstop and righthander. As a position player, he has good infield actions and projects to hit for solid power. On the mound, he has a fast arm and an impressive fastball-slider combination. Bohrofen stands out for his athleticism and plus speed, which plays well in the outfield. He has an easy lefthanded swing and does a good job of making consistent contact with a gap-to-gap approach. Catcher Jimmy Crooks and third baseman Brett Squires were teammates at McLennan (Texas) JC and now bring big lefthanded bats to Norman. Squires has a powerful swing and hit eight home runs in 21 games this spring, while Crooks, a redshirt freshman, has strong offensive upside.
Pitcher: Oklahoma went heavy on junior college transfers on the mound, led by lefthander Dalton Fowler (209). Listed at 6-foot-6, 205 pounds, he throws in the low 90s and piled up 39 strikeouts in 19 innings this spring. Fowler figures to be a factor as Oklahoma rebuilds its rotation after losing its top three starters to the draft. Lefthander Braden Carmichael led Grayson (Texas) JC’s rotation the last two seasons. His fastball sits in the upper 80s and he mixes in a good changeup. Righthander Javier Ramos, another junior college transfer, adds a big arm to the class who should be able to quickly carve out a role. Righthanders Nicholas Andrews and Carson Atwood were two of the top prep pitchers in Oklahoma and run their fastballs into the low 90s. Lefthander Tommy Lamb is still developing physically but has solid pitchability, which has helped him produce a track record of success.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Jake Gautreau
Top recruit: Jackson Fristoe, RHP (No. 193)
Overview: Even after Mississippi State’s would-be bash brothers Austin Hendrick and Blaze Jordan were drafted and signed, this class has impact potential for the Bulldogs. Its focus is on the mound, with some big arms arriving in Starkville.
Hitters: Kellum Clark has impressive offensive potential and ranked as a top-300 draft prospect before formally removing his name from the event. He has solid raw power and while his swing needs some refinement, the tools still pop. He also has two-way potential thanks to a fastball that gets up to 93 mph with sink. Infielder Davis Meche might not stand out for his tools but has an advanced understanding of the game and finds a way to make things happen. Shortstop Lane Forsythe is an advanced defender and has more bat speed and power than his 5-foot-11 frame suggests. Outfielder Austin Reed has plus speed and a good feel for hitting. He’s highly versatile, and can play anywhere in the outfield, step into the infield in a pinch and get on the mound, where his fastball can reach 91 mph. Corbin Grantham, the son of former Mississippi State defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, has plus speed that plays well in center field.
Pitchers: Righthanders Jackson Fristoe (193) and Mikey Tepper (292) highlight the pitchers in the class. Both can run their fastballs up to the mid 90s and mix in promising secondary offerings but still need some further refinement. Righthander Cade Smith (456) is a bit undersized but pounds the zone with a fastball that can get up to the mid 90s, a breaking ball and a changeup. Lefthander Dylan Carmouche has a long 6-foot-5 frame and some funk on the mound. He’ll pitch from different arm angles and has solid offspeed stuff to go with a fastball that gets up to 91 mph. Mississippi State also has a few junior college transfers who could quickly make an impact on the mound. Righthander Cameron Tullar has the most upside thanks to his low-90s fastball and ability to spin his breaking ball. Righthander Parker Stinnett has an advanced three-pitch mix and his fastball reaches 95 mph. He throws a lot of strikes and can compete for a spot in the Bulldogs’ rotation. Righthander Preston Johnson has a big frame, a four-pitch mix and can run his fastball up to 95 mph.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Bryant Gaines
Top recruit: Max Carlson, RHP (No. 241)
Overview: Despite losing a couple players to the draft, the Tar Heels have another solid, well-balanced class loaded up with players who should be able to quickly make an impact in college. The class is especially strong up the middle.
Hitters: The Tar Heels have put together a versatile group of position players. Mac Horvath (246) stands out for his athleticism and ability to play up the middle. He has a good combination of speed and power that gives him an offensive skillset reminiscent of former North Carolina star Brian Miller. Horvath could end up in center field like Miller or he could play shortstop if he shows his infield actions are good enough. Infielder Jack Riedel (368) has a good feel for hitting and was off to a strong start this spring in the Texas high school ranks. Shortstop Johnny Castagnozzi (467) has played at a high level throughout his prep career and offers good athleticism. Catcher Tomas Frick, whose brother Patrick is in the Mariners’ system, has a strong baseball IQ and got plenty of experience in high school working with high-level arms. Outfielder Justice Thompson, a transfer from Northwest Florida State JC, has plus speed that plays well in center field. The righthanded hitter has good raw power but still needs some refinement offensively. Colby Wilkerson is an excellent defender and has the versatility to play anywhere on the infield.
Pitchers: Carlson is the younger brother of Mariners’ prospect Sam Carlson and while he doesn’t match his brother’s velocity, he’s more advanced at the same age. His fastball reaches 95 mph, but typically sits around 90 and he pounds the strike zone with it, his changeup and curveball. Overall, he’s reminiscent of former Tar Heels ace Zac Gallen. Righthander Cannon Pickell (448) has a strong 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame and was making strides this spring, reaching 97 mph in bullpens. He throws three pitches for strikes and should be able to quickly compete for innings. Righthander Tanner Quick didn’t do much on the showcase circuit and as a result has stayed under the radar. He has feel for three pitches and throws them all for strikes, and as he grows into his 6-foot-8 frame he figures to add more velocity. Righthander Travis Hamrick, like Pickell, has a powerful frame and has been up to 95 mph with his fastball.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Josh Elander
Top recruit: Alec Gonzalez, SS (No. 300)
Overview: The Volunteers have been aggressive on the recruiting trail since Tony Vitello was hired as head coach in 2018 and those efforts paid off this year with their first Top 25 class since 2016. It’s a large, deep group that stayed intact through the draft, brining an impressive array of talent to Knoxville.
Hitters: Gonzalez stands out for his defense at shortstop thanks to his plus arm, soft hands and easy infield actions. He has a contact-oriented approach at the plate, though he will need to get stronger to turn that into more offensive impact. He’s likely Tennessee’s shortstop of the future, but also has two-way ability thanks to his arm strength. Outfielder Kyle Booker has big tools and athleticism. He has a loose, easy swing and is growing into more power as his bat speed improves. His plus speed and arm play well in the outfield. Infielder Logan Steenstra, a junior college transfer, is a good defender with a high baseball IQ and can quickly earn a spot in the Volunteers lineup. Catcher Charlie Taylor produced well on big stages in his prep career and has a steady toolset. Outfielder Jared Dickey is a little more raw but has big lefthanded power that could eventually play in the middle of the order.
Pitchers: The class’ strength is on the mound, as Tennessee added several impact arms. Righthander Blade Tidwell (No. 408) generated some significant pre-draft buzz when his fastball touched 97 mph in a tournament the week of the draft. Long and athletic (he also was a standout basketball player in high school), he had long been seen as projectable and was mostly throwing in the upper 80s last summer. But his newfound velocity and promising curveball give him plenty of upside. Righthander Charez Butcher (323) is still a bit raw but offers big upside as well. Listed at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, his fastball reaches 97 mph, but more typically sits in the low 90s to go with a pair of breaking balls that both flash above-average. If he can put it all together, he’ll give the Volunteers another premium arm. Twin righthanders Ben and Zach Joyce come to Tennessee from junior college. Ben (No. 318) was the better draft prospect after Zach missed the season due to Tommy John surgery. Ben could be similar to former Volunteer Andrew Schultz and his fastball has been up to 100 mph. Zach has better pitchability and offspeed stuff than his brother, but his fastball is not as powerful. Both figure to play an important role on the staff. Lefthander Shawn Scott is another high-ceiling arm. His velocity has been on the rise over the last year and he can run his fastball up to 94 mph. Lefthander Colin Ahearn earns praise for his bulldog mentality and attacks hitters with a low-90s fastball.More Less
Oklahoma StateBig 12Notes:
Recruiting coordinator: Marty Lees
Top recruit: Nolan McLean, RHP/SS (No. 233)
Overview: After last fall landing a top-15 recruiting class, Oklahoma State has another strong group this year. It’s heavy on prep position players and junior college pitchers and helps strengthen up some key areas of the Cowboys’ roster.
Hitters: Outfielder Dom Johnson (312) is one of the fastest players in the draft class and that elite speed plays on the base paths and in center field. Listed at 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, he’s not going to be a power hitter, but his speed will bring a different dimension to the Cowboys’ lineup. Third baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand had a prolific junior college career, hitting .410 with 33 home runs in 81 games for Yavapai (Ariz.) JC. He’s an impact hitter and a solid defender at the hot corner. Shortstop Orlando Salinas is an advanced defender who can step right into the middle of the infield for Oklahoma State. The lefthanded hitter has power potential, particularly when he pulls the ball. Marcus Brown has the versatility to play anywhere on the infield and is a solid defender. He has a good overall feel for the game, which helps his tools play up offensively and defensively. M.J. Rodriguez has a physical frame at 6 feet, 245 pounds, and big power potential. He’s in the mold of a player like Colin Simpson and can catch or play first base.
Pitchers: McLean is an outstanding athlete and can do a little bit of everything. He’s committed to Oklahoma State to play quarterback (he’s rated as a three-star football recruit according to 247 Sports) and can help the Cowboys as both an infielder and pitcher. On the mound, his fastball gets into the mid 90s and he also hits for power. His upside is significant, but there are still some rough edges to his game. Lefthander Justin Wrobleski (273), a junior college transfer, has touched 95 mph with his fastball and pairs it with a hard slider. He figures to play an important role on the pitching staff, either in the rotation or bullpen. Righthander Trevor Martin (372) has a physical 6-foot-5, 225-pound frame and a fastball that can get into the mid 90s. His breaking ball shows promise, and he could quickly find a role on the Oklahoma State staff. Righthander Paco Hernandez offers good upside, thanks to a projectable 6-foot-5, 210-pound frame and a fastball that already gets into the low 90s.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Carl Lafferty
Top recruit: Calvin Harris, C (No. 287)
Overview: This class isn’t as big as Ole Miss’ 2019 group that ranked No. 2 in the nation, but it still provides impact potential. The Rebels group of position players especially gives the class a lot of upside.
Hitters: Harris has built an impressive track record of hitting quality pitching during his prep career. He’s a good defender behind the plate but also has the athleticism to play elsewhere on the diamond and that versatility will likely benefit him at least at the start of his career at Ole Miss. Jacob Gonzalez (299) also impressed at the plate during high school, utilizing an advanced approach to work the middle of the diamond. Gonzalez played shortstop in high school and has a chance to stay at the position, but he may end up sliding over to third base. Shortstop TJ McCants (361) has loud raw tools and athleticism that give him a lot of upside. He’s a plus runner with power potential and the defensive ability to play up the middle. Kemp Alderman (374) has two-way ability thanks to his powerful bat and arm. He’s more athletic than his 6-foot-3, 215-pound frame portends, and his bat will profile as either a first baseman or corner outfielder. On the mound, his fastball gets up to the mid 90s with sinking action. Outfielder Huson Sapp has a good feel for the game, both at the plate and defensively. He flew under the radar a bit in high school but could develop into a key player for the Rebels.
Pitchers: Ole Miss doesn’t have a lot of pitchers in this class with premium present stuff, but the group is full of projectable strike throwers, who figure to grow into bigger roles in time. Righthander Cory Adcock throws in the low 90s with a good breaking ball and has a projectable 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame. Lefthander Luke Baker is listed at 6-foot-6, 205 pounds and has a high spin rate on his mid- to upper-80s fastball, helping him to generate swings and misses. Righthander Jack Dougherty was trending up this spring and can run his fastball up to 93 mph. Righthander Josh Mallitz throws his fastball around 90 mph and pairs it with good feel for his breaking ball. Righthander Brandon Johnson, a junior college transfer, saw his velocity spike this spring, getting his fastball into the mid 90s to go with a good slider. He’ll likely step into a key role in the Ole Miss bullpen.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Eric Snider
Top recruit: Christian Knapczyk, INF (No. 277)
Overview: The Cardinals signed a large, balanced class in anticipation of losing several players from their 2020 team. They also dipped more heavily into the junior college ranks than usually, especially on the mound. While the losses wound up not being quite as numerous as expected due to the shortened draft, Louisville is now well positioned going into 2021.
Hitters: Knapczyk is a little undersized at 5-foot-9, 150 pounds, but he’s a heady player who can be a sparkplug for the Cardinals. He’s a plus runner and a solid defender, who also has a good understanding of how to get the most out of his tools offensively. Shortstop Cooper Bowman, a junior college transfer, has plus speed and uses it well on the base paths. He’s athletic and has the tools to stay up the middle defensively for the Cardinals. Catcher Jack Payton, whose older brother Mark is in Triple-A, is a solid defender and a good leader behind the plate. He has a gap-to-gap approach at the plate and offers good power potential. Drake Westcott is a physical lefthanded hitter who profiles well as a corner infielder. Outfielder JT Benson had a standout prep career in Kentucky both in football and baseball. Strong and physical, he packs a punch in his righthanded bat and has solid speed.
Pitchers: Righthander Ben Wiegman (415) will join his older brother Drew at Louisville. Ben has a good feel for pitching and pairs his promising fastball with a big curveball. Righthander Alex Galvan (496) offers big projection in his 6-foot-6, 215-pound frame. He’s a good athlete with more potential to unlock if he can hone some of the rough edges of his game. Lefthander Riley Phillips also has plenty of projection left at a listed 6-foot-4, 190 pounds. He throws his fastball in the upper 80s now and combines it with a good breaking ball. Louisville brought in a trio of junior college transfers who are expected to take on important roles in 2021. Lefthander Luke Seed and righthander Cameron Robinson were teammates at John A. Logan (Ill.) JC. Seed stands out for his pitchability and put up big numbers at the front of the Volunteers’ rotation. Robinson, listed at 6-foot-5, 182 pounds, has more projection, and can run his fastball into the low 90s. He needs to smooth out some rough edges in his game but has the raw tools to work with. Righthander Anthony Silkwood has taken a more unusual path to Louisville. The 27-year-old joined the Marines out of high school before picking baseball back up and going to junior college. He throws in the low 90s and mixes in a slider.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Ben Greenspan
Top recruit: Jack Moss, 1B/OF (No. 207)
Overview: The Sun Devils lost a bevy of players to the draft, including first-overall pick Spencer Torkelson, and are counting on this class to help replace them. It is focused on position players, as Arizona State’s pitching staff returns mostly intact in 2021.
Hitters: Moss was one of the offensive standouts at Area Code Games and has an impressive feel for hitting. The lefthanded hitter has a physical frame and may develop more power in time. Hunter Haas (247) played second base for the 18U National Team at the World Cup and can play anywhere on the infield. He doesn’t have any standout tool, but his overall package makes for an impressive player. Third baseman/righthander Ethan Long (296) has two-way ability and stands out for his power both at the plate and on the mound. Joe Lampe, a junior college transfer, brings premium speed that plays at the top of the order. He can play on the left side of the infield and has the versatility to move to the outfield if needed. Catcher Logan Paustian has strong catch-and-throw skills and his advanced defensive ability gives him a chance to play right away. Infielder Blake Pivaroff has played at a high level throughout high school and has produced a strong track record for hitting along the way. Outfielder Kade Higgins, the son of UNLV associate head coach Kevin Higgins, is reminiscent of former Sun Devils outfielder Trevor Hauver. The lefthanded hitter has good feel at the plate and fits best in an outfield corner.
Pitchers: Righthander Joey Hauser is a good athlete with two-way potential. On the mound, he has an easy arm action and a good three-pitch mix that can play right away. He has a simple approach at the plate and fits best on the left side of the infield as a position player. Righthander Jared Glenn has a projectable 6-foot-4 frame and an upper-80s fastball. He was committed to Boise State before the program shuttered. Righthander Brock Peery is a sidearmer who provides a different look out of the bullpen.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Gabe Alvarez
Top recruit: D’Andre Smith, SS (No. 129)
Overview: While coach Jason Gill only arrived at USC a year ago, Alvarez has been his alma mater’s recruiting coordinator for the last decade and has put together one of his best classes. It’s a well-balanced class with a little bit of everything to help the Trojans take a step forward.
Hitters: Smith is toolsy and athletic and packs more punch than his 5-foot-10 frame suggests. He produces good bat speed and projects to be able to hit for both average and power. He’s a solid defender at shortstop but could also be moved around the diamond to fill in anywhere the Trojans need. Outfielder Carson Wells (341) is a much different player than his older brother, former Arizona catcher Austin Wells. Carson doesn’t have his brother’s power, but instead is an above-average runner with impressive athleticism. He has good hittability and uses the whole field to hit. Shortstop Nate Clow (483) isn’t as advanced as Smith, but his loose swing works well and gives him a chance to make a lot of contact. A middle infield of Clow and Smith playing side-by-side would be a formidable one for the Trojans. Shortstop Alex Rodriguez is the best defender in the class, which gives him real upside. He needs to get stronger to make more of an impact, but, if he does, he could take off in college. Catcher Garrett Guillemette has good catch-and-throw skills and packs some punch in his righthanded bat. He still needs some refinement but has the raw tools to work with. First baseman/outfielder Malakai Wickley stands out for his powerful righthanded bat that has a chance to quickly propel him into the lineup.
Pitchers: Righthander Jaden Agassi is the son of tennis legends Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. He didn’t follow their path in sports, instead finding his home on the mound. He throws in the low 90s now and has the potential and work ethic to see that velocity tick up into the upper 90s one day. He also has a powerful bat as a third baseman but is more likely to make an impact on the mound. Righthander Tyler Stromsborg had Tommy John surgery earlier this year, but when he’s healthy, he has a low-90s fastball and can throw four pitches for strikes. Righthander Charlie Hurley mostly played water polo growing up but is now fully focused on baseball and offers big upside. Listed at 6-foot-7, 210 pounds, he has an easy delivery and throws in the low 90s already. With more time on the mound, he could take off. USC also added righthanders Garrett Clark and Toby Spach, both junior college transfers. Clark’s ability to throw three pitches for strikes plays well out of the bullpen, while Spach was mostly a basketball player growing up and offers upside.More Less
Recruiting coordinator: Dax Norris
Top recruit: Mario Zabala, OF (No. 119)
Overview: FIU brought in back-to-back Top 25 classes in 2017-18 at the outset of coach Mervyl Melendez’s tenure. Those classes haven’t yet propelled the Panthers back to regionals, but Logan Allen, the top prospect in their 2017 class, in June was drafted in the second round and the program has made strides forward. This year’s class brings in even more talent as the Panthers looks to break through.
Hitters: Throughout his coaching career, Melendez, a Puerto Rican native, has made recruiting players from Puerto Rico a focus and this year he landed the island’s top two prospects. Zabala and shortstop Steven Ondina (149), who were teammates at the International Baseball Academy, will again team up for the Panthers. Zabala has some of the best raw tools of any player to make it to college but will need to refine his in-game skills. He plays the game aggressively and his plus power and speed give him significant upside if he can improve his approach at the plate. Ondina is a premium defensive shortstop with soft hands, a plus arm and above-average speed. He has quick hands at the plate and sprays line drives to all fields, but he has a smaller frame and questions about his ultimate offensive impact helped push him to college. Rey Hernandez is a switch-hitter who produces power from both sides of the plate and has the versatility to move around the infield. Catcher Chris Eiroa has big righthanded power that plays well. Shortstop Dante Girardi, the son of Phillies manager Joe Girardi, doesn’t match Ondina’s raw tools, but is a good infielder and can stay up the middle. He produced a solid track record as a prep player and has a good understanding of the game.
Pitchers: Righthander Jermaine Vanheyningen (330), a junior college transfer, is an imposing figure on the mound at 6-foot-7 and has the fastball to match, touching triple digits this summer in the South Florida Collegiate League. He needs to refine his strike throwing and breaking ball, but the raw tools are there to work with. Righthander Matt Fernandez stands out for his pitchability and built a long track record of success in high school. He comes right after hitters with a fastball that reaches the low 90s, a curveball and changeup. Righthander Orlando Hernandez is the son of the former big leaguer of the same name and he has his father’s leg kick, though he doesn’t use it all the time. He fills up the strike zone and, like Fernandez, has a long track record of success in high school.More Less