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2017 Recruiting Rankings: The Top 25



 Shortstop Brady McConnell was the highest ranked position player on the BA500 not to sign after June’s draft. Instead, he anchors Florida’s No. 2 ranked recruiting class and will likely step into its lineup immediately to replace three-year starter Dalton Guthrie, who was drafted in the sixth round by the Phillies. (Photo by Alyson Boyer Rode)

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Baseball America's recruiting class rankings, compiled by national writer Teddy Cahill, are based on conversations with college coaches and pro scouts across the country this fall, as well as countless more discussions during the spring as a part our information-gathering for the 2017 draft. The rank column in the charts below refers to the 2017 BA 500 (which included all draft-eligible players). Draft references are for 2017 unless otherwise noted. The rankings do not consider transfers from four-year schools.

1. VANDERBILT vanderbilt Recruiting Coordinator: Mike Baxter Top Recruit: LHP Jake Eder (No. 69 on the BA500)

The Commodores escaped the draft with their class fully intact and hauled in a record 10 players from the BA 500. As a result, Vanderbilt tops the recruiting rankings for the fifth time (2005, ’11, ’12, ’15) and extends its record streak of Top 25 classes to 13 years. This year’s class was largely assembled by pitching coach Scott Brown and former recruiting coordinator Travis Jewett, who left to become head coach at Tulane last July. D.J. Svihlik took over from Jewett last year, before Baxter replaced him this summer. While the Commodores’ coaching staff has had more turnover than usual in the last 15 months, the newcomers have stuck together and present a deep, talented class for Vanderbilt to build around for the next few years. Eder headlines the class and has frontline starter upside thanks to his size and arm strength. His fastball sits around 90 mph and he pairs it with a curveball that is inconsistent, but has the makings of an above-average pitch. Like Eder, Brown, Fisher, Gobillot and Hickman all have impressive size, standing 6-foot-4 or taller. Brown and Gobillot have the best arm strength of the group and have both touched 96 mph with their fastballs, but are still working to refine other parts of their games. Fisher provides the most projection and has a fast, loose arm that gives him a chance to eventually throw his fastball in the mid 90s when he fills out his frame. Hickman doesn’t match his new teammates’ stuff, but his pitchability, deception and durable build should allow him to immediately carve out a role on the Commodores’ staff. Led by Clarke and Martin, the class’ position players are also strong. Martin is an athletic, versatile player who has the tools to stay up the middle and with above-average speed and a feel for hitting. Clarke is a bat-first catcher, but his tools give him a chance to become a solid defender in time. Gonzalez fits the third base profile well thanks to his above-average power and arm strength. Davis and DeMarco are both above-average runners with good feel for the barrel. Davis is a slightly better runner, while DeMarco offers more power potential and is a little more advanced defensively.

1 Vanderbilt
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
69 Jake Eder, lhp L-L 6-4 210 Mets (34) Calvary Christian Academy, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
134 Austin Martin, ss R-R 6-0 170 Indians (37) Trinity Christian Academy, Jacksonville
167 Philip Clarke, c L-R 5-11 190   Christ Presbyterian Academy, Nashville
213 Tyler Brown, rhp R-R 6-5 220 Reds (26) Crestview HS, Greenwich, Ohio
242 Jayson Gonzalez, 3b R-R 6-2 210   Bishop Amat HS, La Puente, Calif.
275 Joe Gobillot, lhp L-L 6-6 240   St. John's School, Houston
326 Hugh Fisher, lhp L-L 6-5 185   Briarcrest Christian School, Memphis
364 Pat DeMarco, of R-R 5-11 205 Yankees (24) Winder-Barrow HS, Winder, Ga.
368 Cooper Davis, of L-R 5-11 185 Blue Jays (25) St. Aloysius Gonzaga SS, Mississauga, Ont.
437 Mason Hickman, rhp R-R 6-6 230   Pope John Paul II HS, Hendersonville, Tenn.

 

2. Florida Recruiting Coordinator: Craig Bell Top Recruit: SS Brady McConnell (No. 39) Florida

For the fifth year in a row, Florida’s recruiting class has at least five players from the BA 500. As a result, the Gators have a top-five recruiting class for the fifth straight year and seventh time in 10 years under Bell and coach Kevin O’Sullivan. McConnell, the top position player not to sign out of the draft, headlines the class and could step right into Florida’s lineup, replacing three-year starter Dalton Guthrie (sixth round, Phillies). McConnell has a good feel for hitting, well above-average speed and all the tools necessary to stick at shortstop in the long run. The Gators lost two catchers off their national championship team in the draft and two more recruits at the position, but still have intriguing newcomers at the position in Greenfield and Smith to team with senior J.J. Schwarz. Greenfield is a solid defender with a strong arm, though his offense will need more development. Smith converted to catching late in his high school career and is understandably still developing defensively, but has solid raw tools to go with good hittability. Outfielder Wil Dalton has an intriguing combination of above-average speed and raw power, and could give Florida the true center fielder it lacked last season. Shane Shifflett is a plus runner and has the versatility to play all over the diamond early in his career with a chance to eventually settle at second base. On the mound, Florida again brought in a bevy of exciting arms for O’Sullivan to work with. Mace has the most upside of the group. By the end of his senior season he was running his fastball up to 94 mph and had a hammer curveball to go with it. The ball comes out of his hand easy and projects to throw even harder as he continues to get stronger. Ruth also has exciting potential and touched 97 mph this spring, but will miss this year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in the spring. Butler and Leftwich are equipped to throw significant innings right away. Leftwich is built like a workhorse starter with a mid-90s fastball and advanced pitchability. Butler attacks hitters with an average fastball and a wipeout slider that proved to be an effective combination when coming out of the bullpen for USA Baseball’s 18U national team. He is likely to reprise that role this year for the Gators, but could eventually start. He also has good raw power at the plate and will be a two-way player in college. Churchill can’t match his new teammates’ overpowering stuff, but stands out for his command and pitchability, earning comparisons to former Florida ace Hudson Randall.

2 Florida
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
39 Brady McConnell, ss R-R 6-3 175 Reds (33) Merritt Island (Fla.) HS
88 Tommy Mace, rhp R-R 6-7 200 Reds (12) Sunlake HS, Land O'Lakes, Fla.
135 Hunter Ruth, rhp R-R 6-4 195 Cubs (32) Buchholz HS, Gainesville, Fla.
173 Jack Leftwich, rhp R-R 6-4 220 Tigers (39) The Next Level Academy, Longwood, Fla.
251 Jordan Butler, lhp/of L-L 6-2 195 Yankees (34) Alonso HS, Tampa
307 Calvin Greenfield, c R-R 6-1 195   Jensen Beach (Fla.) HS
  Brady Smith, c/3b R-R 6-1 195   The Next Level Academy, Longwood, Fla.
  Connor Churchill, rhp R-R 6-5 200   East Lake HS, Tarpon Springs, Fla.
  Wil Dalton, of R-R 6-1 185 Orioles '16 (29) Columbia State (Tenn.) JC
  Shane Shifflett, inf R-R 5-11 185   Venice (Fla.) HS

3. Arkansas Recruiting Coordinator: Nate Thompson Top Recruit: RHP/OF Bryce Bonnin (No. 73)

The Razorbacks were one of the winners in this year’s draft, and not just because Friday starter Blaine Knight chose to return to school for his junior year instead of starting his professional career. Former recruiting coordinator Tony Vitello also hauled in Arkansas’ highest-ranked class ever before leaving to become head coach at Tennessee. The class is headlined by Bonnin, the fifth-highest rated player to make it to college. His professional future is on the mound, where his sinker-slider combination has plus potential. He was primarily a hitter for the first three years of his high school career, however, and he has the athleticism to get a chance to be a two-way player at Arkansas. Bonnin leads a strong group of freshman pitchers. Rutledge and Vermillion throw in the low 90s already, and their frames offer plenty of projection. Bolden has already started tapping into his projection, making a jump during his senior year. He should be able to compete for innings right away. Milligan missed most of the spring after tearing his labrum. He had surgery to repair it and offers projection and a solid fastball-curveball combination. Among the position players, Turney established himself as one of the best power hitters in the prep class during the summer of 2016, but struggled at the plate this spring. He had shoulder surgery this summer and the Razorbacks are confident they’ll be able to get him back on track once he is fully healthy. Infielder Casey Martin, the Arkansas Gatorade player of the year, bases his game around his plus speed and profiles best as a second baseman. Opitz and Kjerstad both have older brothers who played in the minor leagues and provide the Razorbacks with two more solid options for their lineup. Nesbit and Easton Murrell have the versatility to play anywhere in the infield and could play their way into the starting lineup in time.

3 Arkansas
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
73 Bryce Bonnin, rhp/of R-R 6-1 190 Cubs (26) Barbers Hill HS, Mont Belvieu, Texas
128 Cole Turney, of L-L 6-0 225 Indians (34) Travis HS, Richmond, Texas
183 Jackson Rutledge, rhp R-R 6-8 255   Rockwood Summitt HS, Fenton, Mo.
305 Casey Opitz, c S-R 5-11 175 Indians (27) Heritage HS, Littleton, Colo.
499 Hunter Milligan, lhp L-L 6-4 215   Greenbrier (Ark.) HS
  Casey Martin, 2b/3b R-R 5-11 175   Lonoke (Ark.) HS
  Caleb Bolden, rhp R-R 6-2 175 Rays (16) Pleasant Grove HS, Texarkana, Texas
  Heston Kjerstad, of L-R 6-3 190 Mariners (36) Randall HS, Amarillo, Texas
  Zebulon Vermillion, rhp L-R 6-4 190   Shawnee Mission East HS, Prairie Village, Kan.
  Jacob Nesbit, ss R-R 6-0 175   Coppell (Texas) HS
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4. Arizona State Recruiting Coordinator: Ben Greenspan Top Recruit: SS Alika Williams (No. 206)

The Sun Devils had one of the worst seasons in program history this spring, finishing under .500 for the second time ever. Arizona State will hope its first top-five recruiting class since 2009 will help it turn its on-field fortunes around. After losing three infielders from its 2016 class as Day 1 draft picks, Arizona State fared better this year. Williams leads a strong crop of infielders who will be able to immediately compete for playing time. He is the top defender, earning comparisons to Nick Ahmed, and has a simple swing that generates surprising power. While Williams is viewed as the defensive star, Swift and Workman both have strong defensive tools as well. Workman graduated high school a year early and while he may end up at third base once he fills out, his length gives him good present range. Swift is a little more conventional with quick feet and above-average speed that plays well in the middle of the infield. Hauver has a strong, compact swing that gives him usable lefthanded power. Coffey comes from a small, Indiana high school and isn’t as polished as the other infielders, but he has intriguing tools to develop. Hogueisson and Torkelson both project as physical corner outfielders. Torkelson is more advanced at the plate, where he has a strong, clean swing, while Hogueisson is a little more athletic and projectable. Vander Kooi, the Arizona Gatorade player of the year, could be a two-way player for the Sun Devils, but his professional future is on the mound. He is still learning the finer points of pitching, but his fastball reaches 93 mph and he has some feel for his breaking ball. Drake Davis has a good sinker-slider combination and an up-tempo delivery that makes him a good fit in the bullpen. Colby Davis was a late-bloomer and will likely require more development time, but has a good combination of projectability, arm strength (he touched 93 mph) and strike-throwing ability.

4 Arizona State
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
206 Alika Williams, ss R-R 6-2 175 Yankees (32) Rancho Bernardo HS, San Diego
241 Boyd Vander Kooi, rhp L-R 6-5 210 D-backs (36) Skyline HS, Mesa, Ariz.
252 Zach Hogueisson, of L-R 6-4 200   Christian HS, El Cajon, Calif.
399 Trevor Hauver, inf L-R 6-0 190 Royals (37) Perry HS, Gilbert, Ariz.
413 Drew Swift, ss R-R 6-0 150   Hamilton HS, Chandler, Ariz.
421 Adisyn Coffey, ss R-R 6-2 170   Delta HS, Muncie, Ind.
436 Spencer Torkelson, of R-R 6-1 205   Casa Grande HS, Petaluma, Calif.
  Gage Workman, inf S-R 6-4 175 Brewers (14) Basha HS, Chandler, Ariz.
  Drake Davis, rhp R-R 6-0 185 Rockies (38) Ralston Valley HS, Arvada, Colo.
  Colby Davis, rhp R-R 6-8 225 Yankees (23) Chaparral HS, Scottsdale, Ariz.

5. South Carolina Recruiting coordinator: Mike Current Top recruit: SS Noah Campbell (No. 111)

The Gamecocks were able to keep their impressive recruiting class nearly intact despite former head coach Chad Holbrook resigning less than a week before the draft. But South Carolina lost just one player to the draft and no players changed their commitment, giving new coach Mark Kingston a strong group of newcomers in his first year. The class is heavy on pitching after the Gamecocks lost several key pieces of last year’s staff, but also features a few exciting position players. Campbell is a premium athlete with exciting offensive tools, including plus-plus speed and above-average power. Questions remain about where he fits best defensively, but he has a chance to stay in the middle of the infield. South Carolina returns its whole outfield, but Jacobsen’s feel for hitting and baseball instincts should play immediately in college. His plus speed helps his profile as a center fielder and top-of-the-order hitter. Jenkins and Streater offer less polish but have enticing tools. Jenkins has big righthanded power and profiles as a corner outfielder, while Streater was a successful high school quarterback with a good swing. On the mound, Chapman and Mlodzinski stood out as the top two prep arms in the state this year. Mlodzinski touched 95 mph and his curveball has the chance to develop into a plus pitch. Chapman was the state’s Gatorade player of the year and offers a projectable package with a good fastball-curveball combination. Roberts isn’t overwhelming physically, but his velocity jumped this spring and he touched 94 mph to go with advanced pitchability. Stone also has arm strength and a chance for a good three-pitch mix with more refinement. Chapman and Demurias give the Gamecocks two quality junior college transfers who will be expected to contribute immediately in some role. Chapman has the stuff to start, while Demurias, who began his college career at Florida, has a solid fastball-slider combination that should play well in the bullpen, where his Southeastern Conference experience would be beneficial.

5 South Carolina
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
111 Noah Campbell, ss B-R 6-1 185 Brewers (19) Cardinal Gibbons HS, Raleigh, N.C.
154 Kyle Jacobsen, of R-L 6-0 185 Brewers (33) Alatoona HS, Acworth, Ga.
172 Carmen Mlodzinski, rhp R-R 6-2 190   Hilton Head (S.C.) HS
201 Logan Chapman, rhp R-R 6-3 180 Reds (32) Easley (S.C.) HS
418 Ian Jenkins, of R-R 6-0 208   Collins Hill HS, Suwanee, Ga.
  Shane Roberts, rhp R-R 6-1 185 Yankees (28) Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) HS
  Ridge Chapman, rhp R-R 6-1 215 Red Sox (39) Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.) JC
  Corey Stone, lhp L-L 6-2 175 Rangers (27) Mid-Carolina HS, Prosperity, S.C.
  Eddy Demurias, rhp R-R 6-0 180   Miami-Dade JC
  Mason Streater, 3b R-R 6-0 180   Byrnes HS, Duncan, S.C.

6. Auburn Recruiting coordinator: Karl Nonemaker Top recruit: RHP Tanner Burns (No. 38)

The Tigers broke out on the field in coach Butch Thompson’s second season on the Plains, reaching the Tallahassee Regional final. Auburn follows that success with its first top-10 recruiting class in five years, which was largely assembled by former recruiting coordinator Brad Bohannon before he was hired as head coach at Alabama. Burns, the highest rated player to make it to college, is the star of the group. While he lacks ideal height, he has just about everything else scouts look for. He has a pair of plus pitches in his fastball, which reaches 96 mph, and his hard slider, and he throws his whole arsenal for strikes. Burns is also a gifted hitter (he hit 16 homers in the spring), and Auburn will likely find a way to get his bat in the lineup. The Tigers will also find room in their lineup for Williams, who has plus raw power and a good feel for hitting. Where he ends up defensively is still an unanswered question, but he’ll get a chance to develop as a catcher with a move to the outfield an option as well. Venter had a big spring at junior college and his offensive tools give him a chance to hit in the middle of the lineup. Julien adds another dynamic piece to the Tigers’ offense with his plus-plus speed and loose, quick swing. He has played second base for Canada’s Junior National Team and could also fit in the outfield. Ward is a physical and toolsy with enough speed and athleticism to play anywhere in the outfield. Like Burns, Greenhill, Ward’s high school teammate, is a short, power righthander. His fastball also reaches the mid 90s, but his secondary stuff and control isn’t as advanced. Hoerter also has significant upside as he fills out his projectable frame and starts to throw harder. Owen is more advanced and pounds the strike zone with his four-pitch arsenal. His fastball sits in the upper 80s and he mixes in a solid changeup and two breaking balls. Glavine, the son of Hall of Famer Tom Glavine, isn’t overpowering (his fastball sits in the mid 80s), but has good feel and pitchability.

6 Auburn
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
38 Tanner Burns, rhp/of R-R 6-0 210 Yankees (37) Decatur (Ala.) HS
114 Steven Williams, c/of L-R 6-3 210 Yankees (35) Deerfield-Windsor HS, Albany, Ga.
357 Brendan Venter, 3b/1b R-R 6-1 215   McLennan (Texas) JC
439 Cody Greenhill, rhp L-R 6-0 190   Russellville (Ala.) HS
451 Edouard Julien, 2b R-R 6-3 215 Phillies (37) Cardinal-Roy SS, Quebec City
  Ryan Hoerter, rhp R-R 6-4 180 Pirates (36) Indian Trail HS, Kenosha, Wisc.
  Jack Owen, lhp L-L 6-1 175   Jserra HS, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
  Judd Ward, of L-R 6-0 190   Russellville (Ala.) HS
  Peyton Glavine, lhp L-L 5-11 170 Angels (37) Blessed Trinity HS, Roswell, Ga.
  Cade Evans, ss/2b B-R 6-0 175   Boyd Buchanan School, Chattanooga

7. Florida State Recruiting coordinator: Mike Martin Jr. Top recruit: LHP Shane Drohan (No. 106)

For the fourth straight year, Florida State hauled in a top 10 recruiting class. This year’s group is pitching rich, and all three drafted players in the class are pitchers. The Seminoles return their entire rotation from a team that advanced to the College World Series, but Drohan, Pollock and Van Eyk all have a chance to quickly work their way into significant roles on the Seminoles’ staff. Van Eyk looked to be headed for a top-three rounds selection before a forearm injury sidelined him in the spring. He’s healthy now, however, and can run his fastball into the mid 90s with a hammer curveball to complement it. Drohan isn’t as polished or consistent as Van Eyk, but offers considerable upside as a big lefthander with a chance to have three above-average pitches. Pollock is a late bloomer who comes from the Lincoln High program in Tallahassee that produced ace Tyler Holton and other Seminole stars over the years. Pollock throws his fastball in the low 90s, pairing it with a good breaking ball, and has more projection as he continues to fill out. Ahern, Grady and Scolaro are all athletic strike throwers that have a chance to provide immediate help in the bullpen. Among the position players, Salvatore and Swanson should help fill the holes in the infield after Florida State lost three starters from last year’s team. Salvatore is a steady shortstop, while Swanson’s athleticism gives him the ability to play anywhere on the infield to get his above-average bat speed into the lineup. Albert’s smooth lefthanded swing attracted initial attention from pro ball, but he scuffled as a senior wound up going undrafted. If the Seminoles can get him back on track, he projects as a solid outfielder. Foster, who started his college career at Auburn, hit 10 home runs in junior college last year and brings some added thump to the Seminoles lineup, along with the ability to catch and play first base.

7 Florida State
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
106 Shane Drohan, lhp L-L 6-3 200 Phillies (23) Cardinal Newman HS, West Palm Beach, Fla.
109 C.J. Van Eyk, rhp R-R 6-3 190 Mets (19) Steinbrenner HS, Lutz, Fla.
310 Cooper Swanson, ss R-R 6-1 195   Canterbury HS, Fort Myers, Fla.
402 Reese Albert, of L-L 6-1 190   Jupiter (Fla.) HS
406 Austin Pollock, lhp L-L 6-3 180 Cardinals (40) Lincoln HS, Tallahassee, Fla.
  Tyler Ahearn, rhp R-R 6-2 180   IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
  Jonah Scolaro, lhp/of L-L 6-0 175   Durant HS, Plant City, Fla.
  Mike Salvatore, ss R-R 6-0 180   Northwest Florida State JC
  Conor Grady, rhp R-R 6-3 190   Tampa Catholic HS
  Jon Foster, c/1b R-R 5-11 205   Chattahoochee Valley (Ala.) JC

8. Miami Recruiting Coordinator: Gino DiMare Top recruit: RHP Chris McMahon (No. 76)

Coming off its worst season in decades, as its 44-year NCAA Tournament streak came to an end, Miami hopes to move past that disappointment quickly with the help of a strong recruiting class. The strength of the class is its depth of position players, particularly important after the Hurricanes ranked last in the ACC in batting, but is topped by a potential ace in McMahon. The Pennsylvania native combines athleticism with a quick arm that allows him to run his fastball up to 95 mph, with the potential for more velocity in the future. Federman doesn’t stand out for his velocity, but has the ability to throw three pitches for strikes and has plenty of big game experience after helping Archbishop McCarthy to three straight state titles. Cloonan was mostly an outfielder in high school and will get a chance to be a two-way player, but projects better on the mound, where he has a loose, quick arm and the makings of three pitches. Toral stood out on the showcase circuit last summer as a premier lefthanded power hitter, but a down senior season helped push him to college. Rivera has a physical frame and produces above-average bat speed and power with a quick, simple swing. Allen has a similar offensive skill set to Toral, albeit with less track record. He is a little more athletic, which may allow him to play the outfield to get both their bats in the lineup. Gil fits the third base profile with good righthanded pop and a strong arm. Reyes began his college career at Florida before transferring to junior college last season. He is a powerful righthanded hitter who profiles well in an outfield corner. Escala and Zamora are both strong defenders at shortstop. Zamora is the more advanced of the pair, but both have a chance to break into the Hurricanes lineup.

8 Miami
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
76 Chris McMahon, rhp R-R 6-2 192 Brewers (33) West Chester (Pa.) Rustin HS
199 Alex Toral, 1b L-L 6-2 220   Archbishop McCarthy HS, Southwest Ranches, Fla.
329 Gabe Rivera, of R-R 6-0 200   Killian HS, Miami
440 Connor Allen, 1b/of L-L 6-4 210   Merritt Island (Fla.) HS
  Raymond Gil, 3b R-R 6-2 180 Athletics (37) Gulliver Prep, Miami
  Danny Reyes, of R-R 6-2 215 Red Sox '15 (39) Broward (Fla.) JC
  Freddie Zamora, ss R-R 6-1 180   Killian HS, Miami
  Dylan Cloonan, lhp/of L-L 6-2 190   Westminster Christian HS, Miami
  Daniel Federman, rhp L-R 6-0 195   Archbishop McCarthy HS, Southwest Ranches, Fla.
  Willie Escala, ss R-R 5-11 170   South Dade HS, Homestead, Fla.

9. Kentucky Recruiting coordinator: Roland Fanning Top recruit: RHP Zach Haake (No. 150)

Under first-year head coach Nick Mingione, the Wildcats advanced this spring to super regionals for the first time in program history. Kentucky followed that up with a 25-man recruiting class, its large size necessitated by the number of upperclassmen on last year’s team. This year’s class is the Wildcats’ highest ranked since 2008, when they landed the fourth-ranked class in the country. This year’s recruits are headlined by Haake, who established himself as one of the top junior college pitchers this spring. He is a projectable righthander with three pitches that at least flash above-average in his fastball, slider and changeup. The Wildcats have a crowded rotation already, but he could well break into it this spring. In addition to Haake, Kentucky adds a trio of exciting prep arms. Dobzanski, the New Jersey Gatorade player of the year, projects as a starter with a solid three pitch mix and premium athleticism that helped him excel in football and wrestling in addition to baseball in high school. Jordan had Tommy John surgery this spring and has some rawness to his game, but the 6-foot-8 righthander has the tools to turn into a power arm in the mold of Alex Meyer, who headlined the ’08 class. Marozas has a lively sinker that sits around 90 and intriguing raw tools. Kentucky has more immediate needs in its lineup after seeing four position players drafted in June. Polcovich, the son of former Pirates shortstop Kevin Polcovich, is a pure hitter and could fill one of the holes in the infield, possibly at third base. Dawson was the Opening Day shortstop as a freshman at Louisiana State before getting surpassed by Kramer Robertson for the job and transferring to junior college. He is a premium defender at shortstop and should solidify the position for the Wildcats. Like Dawson, Aklinski stands out for his defense but also has some physicality at the plate. Black’s feel for hitting and mature approach at the plate should allow him to step right into the lineup. Benoit and Kessler are both toolsy with strong, athletic frames and the potential to develop into solid hitters.

9 Kentucky
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
150 Zach Haake, rhp R-R 6-4 185   John A. Logan (Ill.) JC
231 Brad Dobzanski, rhp R-R 6-3 195 Giants (39) Delsea Regional HS, Franklinville, N.J.
401 Ben Jordan, rhp L-R 6-9 225   West Carter HS, Olive Hill, Ky.
445 Kaden Polcovich, inf B-R 5-10 180   Deer Creek HS, Edmond, Okla.
486 Austin Marozas, rhp R-R 6-7 225   Plainfield (Ill.) South HS
  Trey Dawson, ss R-R 6-2 190 Tigers '15 (32) Chipola (Fla.) JC
  Coltyn Kessler, c L-R 6-3 210   Rockwood Summit HS, Fenton, Mo.
  Ben Aklinski, of R-R 5-11 195   Phoenix (Ariz.) JC
  Troy Black, inf R-R 6-0 210   Murray State (Okla.) JC
  Luke Benoit, of R-R 6-4 210   IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.

10. Michigan Recruiting coordinator: Nick Schnabel Top recruit: OF Jesse Franklin (No. 230)

Coach Erik Bakich landed the first of Vanderbilt’s No. 1 classes in 2005 when he was the Commodores’ recruiting coordinator. Now in his fifth year as head coach at Michigan, he and Schnabel hauled in the highest-ranked class not just in program history, but also in Big Ten Conference history. The class comes at an opportune time for the Wolverines, who had 11 players drafted in June, tied for the most in the country. Franklin is a physical, toolsy outfielder reminiscent of former Nebraska star Ryan Boldt. Franklin still has some rawness to his game after starring in three sports in high school, and the start of his college career may be slowed by shoulder surgery he had after his senior season, but he figures to be a fixture of the Wolverines lineup for the next three years. Zimmerman leverages his strength and size well to tap into his significant power potential. His future is as a hitter, but he will get a chance to continue pitching for the Wolverines, likely out of the bullpen, thanks to his ability to run his fastball into the low 90s. Donovan is a solid catcher with a strong offensive track record. He wears No. 0 to honor his older brother Charlie, who was also slated to play for Michigan before he died in 2015. Blomgren isn’t as high profile as some of the premium players to come out of Wisconsin in recent years, but he has the defensive skills to be Michigan’s shortstop of the future. Schmidt, the son of Rockies scouting director Bill Schmidt, gives the Wolverines another powerful hitter capable of playing first or third base. Michigan added a strong crop of pitchers, including Criswell and Dragani, who this summer both helped lead Midland (Ohio) win the Connie Mack World Series. Criswell has touched 94 mph with his fastball and has the makings of a sharp, 12-to-6 curveball with a projectable frame. Dragani has more advanced pitchability, effectively working with an upper-80s fastball, a good changeup and a breaking ball that he consistently throws for strikes. Athletic and projectable, Paige already is a very difficult matchup for hitters because of his deceptive fastball. Like Paige, Smith is athletic and has a chance to play outfield as well as pitch. He has a fast arm that allows him to throw his fastball in the low 90s and mix in a good curveball. Beers has a big arm and has touched 94 mph with a good curveball, but was limited by a back injury during his senior year.

10 Michigan
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
230 Jesse Franklin, of L-L 6-2 197 Mariners (37) Seattle Prep HS
263 Jeff Criswell, rhp R-R 6-3 185 Tigers (35) Portage (Mich.) Central HS
424 Danny Zimmerman, 1b/rhp R-R 6-3 235   Redondo Union HS, Redondo Beach, Calif.
428 Isaiah Paige, rhp/of R-R 6-2 180   Damien HS, La Verne, Calif.
  Ben Dragani, lhp L-L 6-5 220   Catholic Memorial HS, Waukesha, Wisc.
  Joe Donovan, c R-R 5-10 170 Cubs (33) Westmont (Ill.) HS
  Angelo Smith, lhp/of L-L 5-10 160 White Sox (40) Richards HS, Oak Lawn, Ill.
  Jack Blomgren, ss R-R 6-0 170   Craig HS, Janesville, Wisc.
  Matthew Schmidt, inf R-R 6-2 195 Yankees '15 (37) Cypress (Calif.) JC
  Blake Beers, rhp R-R 6-5 210   Loyola HS, Los Angeles

11. Louisiana State Recruiting coordinator: Nolan Cain Total recruits: 17 (12 freshmen, 5 JC transfers)

A veteran Tigers team this spring finished as runners-up at the College World Series. Many of those players moved on to pro ball, however, leaving plenty of room for this year’s newcomers, LSU’s fourth-straight Top 25 class. Cabrera stood out as one of the best pure hitters in the prep class thanks to his smooth swing and advanced approach at the plate. He is difficult to profile, however, because his swing is geared more for line drives than power and he is an average runner. That helped push him to LSU, where he will likely step right into the lineup and possibly help out of the bullpen as well. The Tigers went heavy on pitching this year after losing rotation stalwarts Alex Lange and Jared Poche’ to the draft. Storz is an imposing figure on the mound and the hardest thrower of the group, capable of running his fastball up to 95 mph. While he missed some time this spring due to injury, he typically throws in the low 90s with a tight slider. Labas was a late addition to the class, changing his commitment from North Florida to LSU after the Ospreys made a coaching change. He has a strong three-pitch mix, a starter’s build and advanced pitchability. Sanders, the son of former major league righthander Scott Sanders, has exciting raw stuff, typically attacking hitters with a low-90s fastball and a good breaking ball. He’s an above-average athlete and, if he’s able to throw strikes consistently, should be able to carve out an important role on the staff. Kodros and Schroer offer plenty of projection. Kodros throws from a funky, three-quarters slot that makes him especially though on lefthanders and could quickly earn a role as a lefty specialist as he physically matures and adds to his mid- to upper-80s fastball. Schroer is athletic and a little under the radar but already consistently runs his fastball up to 93 mph. Petersen and Vietmeier, a volunteer firefighter in his hometown, have good sinkers that will fit well in the bullpen. Working with the new pitchers will be Doolittle and Feduccia. Doolittle has above-average arm strength and raw power, while Feduccia is a solid defender with some feel for hitting. They are expected to split time behind the plate this season as the Tigers replace starter Mike Papierski.

11 Louisiana State
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
82 Daniel Cabrera, of L-L 6-1 185 Padres (26) Parkview Baptist HS, Baton Rouge, La.
214 Nick Storz, rhp/1b R-R 6-6 255 Tigers (31) Poly Prep Country Day School, Brooklyn
226 A.J. Labas, rhp R-R 6-3 220 Mets (17) Trinity Christian Academy, Jacksonville
  Cam Sanders, rhp R-R 6-2 170 Padres (18) Northwest Florida JC
  Hunter Feduccia, c L-R 6-2 185   LSU-Eunice JC
  Mason Doolittle, c R-R 6-4 220   Jupiter (Fla.) HS
  John Kodros, lhp L-L 6-4 170   Coppell (Texas) HS
  Taylor Petersen, lhp L-L 6-1 185   Chandler-Gilbert (Ariz.) JC
  Matt Schroer, rhp R-R 6-4 200   Arcadia HS, Phoenix
  Trent Vietmeier, rhp R-R 6-3 210   Montour HS, McKees Rocks, Pa.

12. Virginia Recruiting coordinator: Kevin McMullan Total recruits: 11 (11 freshmen) Coach Brian O’Conner largely has built the Cavaliers’ success on strong pitching staffs and athletic, versatile position players. That is exactly what Virginia brought in again with this year’s recruiting class. Morris, Ortiz and Papantonis give the Cavaliers a strong trio of athletic infielders. Papantonis is an outstanding athlete, who may have played his way into the first few rounds of the draft had he not torn his ACL playing football last fall. He is the best defender of the group with the tools to stay at shortstop and intriguing bat speed. Morris has a good feel for the barrel and the contact-oriented approach favored by the Cavaliers. He may be best suited defensively for third base, where his strong arm profiles well. Ortiz is a two-way talent with the jury still out on where his long-term future lies. He has the athleticism and hands to play the left side of the infield when he’s not pitching, though that double is rare. On the mound, he is projectable and attacks hitters with an upper-80s fastball and a sharp breaking ball. Hinka and Tappen have the physicality to profile in a corner and the power potential to match. Hinka graduated high school a year early to enroll at Virginia, yet impresses with his maturity. McGarry leads the newcomers on the mound. He is an athletic, projectable righthander with a fastball that sits around 90 mph and a sharp curveball. Abbott, Virginia’s Gatorade player of the year, stands out for his polish, control and changeup, which gives him a chance to quickly carve out a significant role on the staff. Adams and Whitten both offer upside and projection as they fill out their lanky frames. Whitten has run his fastball up to 95 mph, more typically pitching in the low 90s with a slurvy breaking ball. Adams throws his fastball in the upper 80s and combines it with a good changeup and a developing slider.

12 Virginia
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
174 Griff McGarry, rhp R-R 6-2 175 Rangers (31) Menlo HS, Atherton, Calif.
212 Devin Ortiz, ss/rhp R-R 6-2 175   St. Joseph Regional HS, Montvale, N.J.
224 Andrew Papantonis, ss R-R 6-2 190   Delbarton HS, Morristown, N.J.
267 Tanner Morris, ss L-R 6-2 190   Miller School, Charlottesville, Va.
  Andrew Abbot, lhp R-R 6-0 175 Yankees (36) Halifax County HS, South Boston, Va.
  Alex Tappen, 1b/of R-R 6-2 190   Wissahickon HS, Ambler, Pa.
  Kyle Whitten rhp R-R 6-3 190   Osbourn Park HS, Manassas, Va.
  Robb Adams, lhp L-L 6-3 180   Desoto County HS, Arcadia, Fla.
  Christian Hinka, of L-R 6-2 160   Delaware Valley Regional HS, Frenchtown, N.J.
  Brendan Rivoli, c L-R 6-0 195   Boone Area HS, Birdsboro, Pa.

13. Louisville Recruiting coordinator: Eric Snider Total recruits: 11 (9 freshmen, 2 JC transfers) After seeing seven pitchers drafted in the top six rounds over the last two years, including 2017 Player of the Year Brendan McKay and All-American closers Zack Burdi and Lincoln Henzman, Louisville needed to replenish its pitching staff. The Cardinals emphasized pitching in this year’s recruiting class, bringing in several pitchers who should be able to quickly take on key innings. Detmers and Jenkins are perhaps the most likely to make the biggest immediate impacts. Detmers dominated high school hitters with his upper-80s fastball and sweeping curveball, throwing back-to-back no-hitters this spring. He throws all his pitches for strikes consistently and has an advanced understanding of his craft, giving him a chance to fill one of the openings in the Cardinals’ rotation. Jenkins, who began his college career at Arizona State, is an imposing figure on the mound and throws his fastball in the low 90s and has a hard slider. He has room for further development, but pitching coach Roger Williams has had success developing pitchers like him. Kirian, a big, projectable lefthander, isn’t as polished as Detmers but has a chance to have three average offerings. Albanese and Miller are power righthanders with projection. Both have run their fastballs up to 94 mph; they typically pitch with a little less velocity and need to make their offspeed offerings more consistent. Campbell’s athleticism gives him a chance to grab a spot in the outfield despite a Louisville lineup crowded with returnees. He can play all three positions, and has the speed and contact-oriented approach well-suited to the top of the order. Britton is athletic behind the plate and has the tools to become a good defender in time, while also providing a solid offensive approach. Leonard, a raw, toolsy outfielder with plus speed, needs to refine his baseball skills. Masterman has the raw power to profile as a corner infielder once he polishes the rough edges on his game, especially defensively. Bianco, the son of Mississippi coach Mike Bianco, is a physical catcher with good receiving skills and the kind of makeup expected from a coach’s son.


13 Louisville
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
372 Bobby Miller, rhp L-R 6-5 210 Orioles (38) McHenry (Ill.) HS
422 Reid Detmers, lhp L-L 6-2 190 Braves (32) Glenwood HS, Chatham, Ill.
425 Michael Kirian, lhp L-L 6-6 240   New Riegal (Ohio) HS
496 Liam Jenkins, rhp R-R 6-6 215 Giants (40) Wabash Valley (Ill.) JC
  Drew Campbell, of L-L 6-0 175   Olney Central (Ill.) JC
  Zach Britton c L-R 6-1 190   Batesville (Ind.) HS
  Glenn Albanese, rhp R-R 6-6 215   Batavia (Ill.) HS
  Trey Leonard, of L-R 6-0 175   Washington HS, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  Cameron Masterman, 3b/1b R-R 6-2 200   Oldham County HS, Buckner, Ky.
  Ben Bianco, c R-R 6-2 210   Oxford (Miss.) HS

14. Texas Christian Recruiting coordinator: Kirk Saarloos Total recruits: 17 (11 freshmen, 6 JC transfers) In back-to-back years, TCU didn’t lose any prep commits to the draft and, as a result, hauled in a pair of top-10 classes anchored by slugger Luken Baker and lefthander Nick Lodolo. The Horned Frogs’ luck ran out this year, as three of its commits were selected on Day 1 of the draft and signed. Despite those losses, TCU landed the top recruiting class in the Big 12 Conference for the third year in a row. Oviedo headlines the group and will likely be counted on to immediately take over a spot in the Horned Frogs’ lineup that lost three starting infielders. He is a solid defender at shortstop with soft hands, a strong arm and consistent infield actions. He has upside offensively and above-average raw power. Hanioan could also factor into TCU’s infield thanks to his premier defensive ability up the middle. His offensive upside isn’t as high, but he knows how to get the most out of his tools. Lan and Rizer could quickly provide impact in the outfield. Lan was a two-sport star in high school and turned down offers to join 10 of his teammates in playing Division I football. He is physical and athletic and fits well in right field with a chance to play center field as well. Rizer has the tools to take over in center field and is a strong hitter with the potential to hit in the middle of the order. Parish, Rizer’s junior college teammate, has good catch-and-throw skills and enough athleticism to also play the outfield. Czerniejewski has impressive offensive tools, but will need to refine his game to unlock his upside. TCU also added more impressive arms to its already formidable staff. Sloan has the most upside of the newcomers, but will need to improve his pitchability to harness his stuff. His fastball has touched 97 mph with the makings of a pair of above-average offspeed offerings, but at this point he’s more of a thrower than a pitcher. Smith leverages his outsized frame well and repeats his delivery well for a young, tall pitcher. He has more projection, but throws his fastball around 90 mph now with some feel for his secondary stuff. Notary has a good fastball-curveball combination that he throws from an over-the-top delivery that will likely play well in the bullpen. Mihlbauer’s fastball sits around 90 mph and he throws from a low slot that gives hitters a different look.

14 Texas Christian
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
133 Adam Oviedo, ss R-R 6-1 185 Twins (35) Alvarado (Texas) HS
171 Caleb Sloan, rhp R-R 6-3 205   Regis Jesuit HS, Aurora, Colo.
455 Russell Smith, lhp R-L 6-8 235 Cubs (38) Midlothian (Texas) HS
  R.J. Lan, of R-R 6-0 200   La Mirada (Calif.) HS
  Johnny Rizer, of L-L 5-11 190   Blinn (Texas) JC
  James Notary, rhp R-R 6-4 205 Rockies (35) Broomfield (Colo.) HS
  Tristan Hanoian, 2b/ss L-R 5-7 165   Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS
  Colton Parish, c L-R 6-0 185   Blinn (Texas) JC
  Augie Mihlbauer, lhp L-L 6-0 190   Mukwonago (Wisc.) HS
  Brad Czerniejewski, of R-R 6-2 190   Lake Forest (Ill.) HS

15. Clemson Recruiting coordinator: Bradley LeCroy Total recruits: 14 (12 freshmen, 2 JC transfers) Clemson navigated the draft well, losing only one player from a talented class to pro ball. Strider, Meredith and Weatherly are three critical pieces for the Tigers to build around, supplying them with a pair of high-level pitchers in Strider and Weatherly, and a replacement for center fielder Chad Pinder in Meredith. Strider has a big arm and touched 96 mph with his fastball this spring. He largely relied on his fastball in high school and pounds the strike zone with it, but also has a changeup and slider to develop. He figures to work in Clemson’s rotation or at the back of the bullpen this spring. Weatherly is athletic and projectable, with an upper-80s fastball, a slider and a good changeup. His future is likely on the mound, but he has enough talent at the plate to get a chance to be a two-way player for the Tigers. Meredith is a top-of-the-scale runner and a premium defender in center field. His bat is still catching up to the rest of his game, but his contact-oriented approach plays well with his speed and gives him the look of a future top-of-the-order hitter. Hawkins and Redd add two experienced hitters to the lineup. Hawkins was a shortstop in junior college but will likely move to an infield corner for Clemson while adding pop to the lineup. Reed put up big numbers in junior college and has plus raw power. Cooper is big and athletic, and offers another powerful bat. He runs well enough to play the outfield or first base to help get his bat in the lineup early in his career as he develops defensively behind the plate. Majkowski, the son of former NFL quarterback Don Majkowski, is a bit of a tweener, but earns praise for his approach to the game and has some feel for hitting. Teodosio may have the best raw power in the class, but will need to refine his swing to allow him to get to it consistently. Jones is also a bit of a project on the mound, but has significant upside and projection if he adds velocity as he fills out his huge frame.

15 Clemson
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
139 Spencer Strider, rhp R-R 6-1 195 Indians (35) Christian Academy of Knoxville (Tenn.)
215 Kier Meredith, of L-L 5-11 175 Cubs (28) Glenn HS, Kernersville, N.C.
350 Sam Weatherly, lhp/of L-L 6-3 175 Blue Jays (27) Howell (Mich.) HS
  Justin Hawkins, inf R-R 6-3 205   South Carolina-Sumter JC
  Sam Hall, inf/of R-R 6-2 185   Topsail HS, Hampstead, N.C.
  Sheldon Reed, 1b/of L-R 6-4 200   Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.) JC
  Matthew Cooper, c/of R-R 6-3 200   Norfolk (Va.) Academy
  Bo Majkowski, of L-R 6-0 180   Johns Creek (Ga.) HS
  Holt Jones, rhp R-R 6-8 200   Santa Monica (Calif.) HS
  Bryce Teodosio, of R-L 6-3 200   Mauldin (S.C.) HS

16. UCLA Recruiting coordinator: Bryant Ward Total recruits: 8 (8 freshmen) A year after hauling in a 14-man recruiting class that also ranked No. 16 on this list, UCLA brought in a smaller but highly talented group this year. What its eight-man class lacks in depth, it more than makes up for in raw talent. Mitchell is the third-highest ranked player to make it to college this year and has true five-tool potential. He is an exceptional athlete with well above-average speed, plus raw power and a good feel for the game. His knack for hitting—and subsequently his ability to get to his power consistently—remains raw, but he has all the tools to profile in center field and make an immediate impact for the Bruins. Kendall is a steady defender with good hands who is coming off a solid summer in the West Coast Collegiate League. Teijeiro is coming off a shoulder injury and, when healthy, has a strong arm and good feel for the barrel. On the mound, UCLA brought in several high-upside, projectable arms, with Farrell and Glick leading the way. Glick stood out through last summer and fall before losing his control in the spring. He has an athletic, projectable frame and throws his fastball in the upper 80s with a curveball that flashes plus, giving coach John Savage plenty of tools to work with as he tries to get Glick back on track. Farrell has a good feel for his fastball-slider combination and should make a big jump when he fills out his long, lanky body. Pettway, Powell and Townsend aren’t as projectable as Farrell and Glick, but all three provide good pitchability and should be able to quickly carve out a role on UCLA’s staff. Powell has the most velocity, sitting 90-92 mph with his fastball to go with a good slider. Pettway’s fastball sits a tick lower, but he has a good changeup and a feel for spinning his breaking ball. Townsend is more of a sleeper, throwing his fastball in the upper 80s and mixing in a good curveball.

16 UCLA
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
62 Garrett Mitchell, of L-R 6-2 185 Athletics (14) Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS
380 Sam Glick, lhp L-L 6-1 175 Orioles (39) El Toro HS, Lake Forest, Calif.
435 Chase Farrell, rhp L-R 6-3 178 Astros (40) Valencia HS, Santa Clarita, Calif.
  Zach Pettway, rhp R-R 6-1 190   Wilson HS, Long Beach, Calif.
  Holden Powell, rhp R-R 5-11 170   Mount Whitney HS, Visalia, Calif.
  Michael Townsend, rhp R-R 6-0 175   Los Alamitos (Calif.) HS
  Kevin Kendall, ss L-R 5-10 160   La Mirada (Calif.) HS
  R.J. Teijeiro, 3b L-R 6-1 190   St. Francis HS, Mountain View, Calif.

17. Southern California Recruiting coordinator: Gabe Alvarez Total recruits: 12 (11 freshmen, 1 JC transfer) After being hammered by the draft in recent years, USC lands its highest rated class since its 2011 class ranked No. 11. The class is heavy on pitching and particularly lefthanders, which was a point of emphasis with only two returning to the staff this year. The class is headlined by Hurt, who has a powerful fastball and is built like a workhorse starter. He missed time this spring after tearing his meniscus in January and his velocity was down in the spring, but his fastball has touched 95 mph with heavy sinking action in the past. His changeup has plus potential and he mixes in an average breaking ball. He is polished, throws all his pitches for strikes and should quickly find himself in the Trojans’ rotation. In O’Guinn and Ramirez, USC adds a pair of intriguing infielders, though there are questions about where they fit best defensively. Ramirez will fit well at third base if he adds more power as he physically matures. O’Guinn has outgrown shortstop and has the offensive potential to profile in a corner, but is more about projection at this point. Halsema is a physical hitter with the power potential to profile in a corner. Among the lefthanders, Cornwell has the best stuff, running his fastball up to 92 mph to go with a curveball that has plus potential. But he’s still learning how to harness it and will have to throw strikes more consistently to reach his ceiling. Esquada’s control is more advanced, and he throws strikes both with his upper-80s fastball and good curveball. Gursky offers more projection in his long, loose frame. He has touched 92 mph with the makings of a good curveball and a developing changeup. Sylk also offers projectability and, while it may take him a while to figure it all out, he has intriguing physical tools to work with. Beller doesn’t match his new teammates’ stuff, but has advanced pitchability and understands how to get outs with his mix of a mid-80s fastball, curveball and changeup. Lamb was a two-way player in high school, but has begun to make a jump as he has focused more on pitching. He has a quick arm and has touched 94 mph with his fastball.

17 Southern California
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
94 Kyle Hurt, rhp R-R 6-4 205 Phillies (34) Torrey Pines HS, San Diego
259 Ben Ramirez, ss L-R 6-3 180 Cubs (35) Eastlake HS, Chula Vista, Calif.
456 Jamal O'Guinn, 3b R-R 6-2 200   Buchanan HS, Clovis, Calif.
498 Alex Cornwell, lhp L-L 6-1 175 Cubs (37) Maranatha HS, Pasadena, Calif.
  Isaac Esqueda, lhp L-L 6-0 204   Bishop Amat HS, La Puente, Calif.
  Riley Lamb, rhp R-R 6-0 180   Elk Grove (Calif.) HS
  Brian Gursky, lhp L-L 6-1 195   IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
  John Beller, lhp L-L 5-11 170   St. John Bosco HS, Bellflower, Calif.
  Trevor Halsema, of R-R 6-2 165   Madison HS, San Diego
  Augie Sylk, lhp L-L 6-4 190   Palisades Charter HS, Pacific Palisades, Calif.

18. Texas A&M Recruiting coordinator: Justin Seely Total recruits: 14 (11 freshmen, 3 JC transfers) Fresh off their first College World Series appearance since 2011, the Aggies landed their first Top 25 recruiting class since 2012. The class features Conlon, the highest-drafted high school player to make it to college. He went through a long ordeal after being drafted 128th overall by the Orioles to end up in College Station, derailed twice by physical exams. He was declared a free agent after the Orioles did not make the minimum required offer to a player who does not pass a physical; a similar exam scuttled a potential deal with the Giants. Conlon chose to head to college, and his low-90s fastball and sharp slider will likely earn him a spot either in the rotation or the back of the bullpen. The Aggies again have a strong group of newcomers on the mound in addition to Conlon. Lacy has the most upside as a projectable lefthander with a chance for three average-or-better offerings, but he has some rough edges to refine before he can reach his ceiling. Saenz is much more advanced, and his fastball sits 89-93 mph and he mixes in a good slider and changeup. His size limits his prospect potential and raises questions about his durability, but he’ll likely find a role on the staff. Hoffman comes to A&M from the same junior college that produced former Aggie starter Kyle Simonds, and Hoffman compares favorably. He attacks hitters with a sinker-slider combination and fills up the strike zone, giving him a chance to break into the rotation. Jozwiak also has a solid sinker-slider combination and fits well in the bullpen, while Roa offers plenty of projection as he is young for the class and very athletic. The Aggies also brought in some position players who will be able to strengthen their lineup after a down season offensively. DeLoach has two-way potential and will focus on hitting first with good bat-to-ball skills. He showed more power this spring, though that came with some questions about whether he will be able to stick in center field or if he will have to move to a corner. Helman was named the Division I junior college player of the year after leading the country in batting (.487), hits (111), runs (103) and total bases (189). His skill set fits well at the top of the lineup, where he can use his above-average speed and on-base skills effectively. He is another option in center field, or could take over at second base if Braden Shewmake moves to the left side of the infield. Frizzell and Walters both offer significant offensive potential. Frizzell is a prototypical power hitting first baseman, while Walters has a chance to catch, but is athletic enough to play elsewhere to get his bat into the lineup while he develops defensively.

18 Texas A&M
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
176 Asa Lacy, lhp L-L 6-4 215 Indians (31) Tivy HS, Kerrville, Texas
239 Jack Conlon, rhp R-R 6-4 219 Orioles (4) Clements HS, Sugar Land, Texas
293 Zach DeLoach, of/rhp L-R 6-2 200   Hebron HS, Carrollton, Texas
  Michael Helman, 2b/of R-R 6-1 190   Hutchinson (Kan.) JC
  Nolan Hoffman, rhp R-R 6-3 195   Hutchinson (Kan.) JC
  Dustin Saenz, lhp L-L 5-11 185   King HS, Corpus Christi, Texas
  Aaron Walters, c/of/1b L-R 6-1 200   Center Point (Texas) HS
  Chandler Jozwiak, lhp R-L 6-1 170   Brenham (Texas) HS
  Will Frizzell, 1b L-R 6-5 215   Rockwall (Texas) HS
  Christian Roa, rhp R-R 6-4 205   Memorial HS, Houston

19. East Carolina Recruiting coordinator: Jeff Palumbo Total recruits: 16 (11 freshmen, 5 JC transfers) The Pirates landed their first ever Top 25 class a year ago and return to the rankings this year with another strong group of newcomers headlined by Williams and Smith. Williams is big, projectable and has frontline starter upside. He has an easy delivery and has already touches 95 mph, giving some the belief that he could eventually hit 100. His curveball still needs work, but he has made strides with his pitchability and should be ready to immediately take on a role either in the Pirates’ rotation or at the back of their bullpen. Smith has plus raw power that fits well in the middle of the order. He needs to cut down on some of his swing and miss and refine his defense behind the plate, but his athleticism gives him a chance to make the necessary improvements in both areas. Caddell is also an offensive catcher with a strong arm, and, like Smith, has the versatility to play in the outfield to get his bat in the lineup. Jenkins fits best in an outfield corner and was named the Division II junior college player of the year after hitting .460/.516/.868 with 18 home runs. He has a smooth swing and can drive the ball to all fields. Litton and Watt will likely battle to take over at third base for the Pirates. Watt has more upside and projects to have solid power once he fills out his frame to go with good defensive tools. Litton is more experienced and offers righthanded power from his physical frame. Netterville won three events at Maryland’s state indoor track finals last winter and has an intriguing set of raw tools. He and Jeremy Whitehead give the Pirates a pair of speedsters in the outfield. While Williams is the standout on the mound, Beavin, Burleson and Kuchmaner are all solid college arms. Beavin offers some projection, but is presently more about pitchability and has big-game experience. His fastball sits in the upper 80s and he has a good feel for his breaking ball. Burleson and Kuchmaner are solid lefthanders who have a good feel for their craft and have a winning mentality.

19 East Carolina
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
120 Gavin Williams, rhp L-R 6-6 200 Rays (30) Cape Fear HS, Fayetteville, N.C.
158 Spencer Smith, c R-R 6-1 200 Rangers (37) Northern HS, Durham, N.C.
  Chandler Jenkins, of L-L 6-1 180   Catawba Valley (N.C.) JC
  Seth Caddell, c R-R 5-9 190   Pinecrest HS, Southern Pines, N.C.
  Alec Burleson, lhp/1b L-L 6-1 215   East Lincoln HS, Denver, N.C.
  Connor Litton, 3b R-R 6-3 220   Cowley County (Kan.) JC
  Jake Kuchmaner, lhp L-L 5-11 185   Marvin Ridge HS, Waxhaw, N.C.
  Cole Beavin, rhp R-R 6-5 175   West Orange HS, Winter Garden, Fla.
  Collin Watt, 3b R-R 6-1 185   Roberson HS, Asheville, N.C.
  Josh Netterville, of B-R 6-0 182   Northwest HS, Germantown, Md.

20. Oklahoma

Recruiting coordinator: Roberto Gallegos Total recruits: 15 (13 freshmen, 2 JC transfers) As Skip Johnson this fall takes over the program having been promoted to head coach after a year as pitching coach, he will have a talented group of newcomers to work with. Cavalli headlines the class with big upside on the mound with a chance to be a two-way player. He missed much of the spring due to a back injury, then came back late throwing in the low 90s with two breaking balls and solid control. His future is on the mound; he also offers athleticism and a powerful bat as an infielder. Hardman is a physical, polished hitter who generates above-average raw power with excellent bat speed and a compact swing. He has mostly played third base, where he is a capable defender, but would also fit well at first base for the Sooners. Smith offers an intriguing combination of projection and pitchability. His feel for his upper-80s fastball and curveball gives him the tools to quickly make an impact, and his frame portends greater velocity in the future. Cooke and Mitchell give the class a pair of catchers with powerful bats. Mitchell has enough athleticism to also play the outfield, and Cooke offers a strong arm and tools to develop defensively. Criquet-Danielson was a finalist for Minnesota’s Mr. Baseball award as a senior, and stood out on the hockey rink as well. As he gets more time on the diamond, he will be able to tap into his exciting raw tools. Jensen, another Minnesota native, is raw on the mound, but has the makings of a power pitcher with a good slider. Terry is coming off Tommy John surgery, but has good size and an easy delivery. Lorah and Prater earn praise for their competitiveness and understanding of their craft.

20 Oklahoma
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
295 Cade Cavalli, rhp/inf R-R 6-4 200 Braves (29) Bixby (Okla.) HS
321 Tyler Hardman, 3b R-R 6-3 210 Rockies (37) Temescal Canyon HS, Lake Elsinore, Calif.
  Ledgend Smith, lhp L-L 6-3 195 Brewers (18) Binger-Oney HS, Binger, Okla.
  Justin Mitchell, c/of R-R 6-0 200 Royals (39) Platte County HS, Platte City, Mo.
  Justin Cooke, c B-R 6-2 195   Norman (Okla.) HS
  Levi Prater, lhp B-L 6-0 175   Byng HS, Ada, Okla.
  Dylan Criquet-Danielson, ss R-R 6-2 180   Marshall (Minn.) HS
  Michael Jensen, rhp R-R 6-5 225   Holy Family Catholic HS, Victoria, Minn.
  Brett Lorah, rhp R-R 6-0 180   Seminole State (Okla.) JC
  Jake Terry, rhp R-R 6-3 185   Page HS, Sand Springs, Okla.

21. Florida International Recruiting coordinator: Jered Goodwin Total recruits: 19 (17 freshmen, 2 JC transfers) Mervyl Melendez was hired as head coach last June and, little more than a year later, he and his staff hauled in the second Top 25 recruiting class in program history. It is a large class, necessitated by the fact the Panthers had 15 seniors on their roster last year, but, even after taking some hits in the draft, it also includes some premium talent. Allen, the Florida Gatorade player of the year, headlines the class as a polished lefthander with excellent pitchability who should quickly work his way into the rotation. He doesn’t have ideal size or any plus pitches, but he pounds the strike zone with his whole arsenal and has a mature understanding of his craft. Santana has more upside than Allen, but isn’t as polished. He has a projectable frame and throws his fastball around 90 mph from a downhill angle. He figures to develop into a solid starter for the Panthers as he becomes a bit more consistent and matures physically. Sanchez, like Allen, succeeds thanks to his pitchability and control. His present stuff isn’t as firm as Allen’s, but his frame is more projectable. Figueroa and Hurst offer significant projection as they physically mature and get used to the rigors of pitching in college. Saxton is tough on lefthanders and should quickly help as a lefty specialist in the bullpen. He also has a powerful bat and will get a chance as a two-way player. Garcia is the top position player in the class. He profiles well behind the plate and is a powerful hitter. Adan and Andrew Fernandez were high school teammates and helped Archbishop McCarthy win three straight state titles. Adan is a toolsy outfielder with good bat speed that portends more power to come, while Andrew, the son of former big league pitcher Alex Fernandez, is a steady defender behind the plate.

21 Florida International
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
143 Logan Allen, lhp L-L 5-11 190 Orioles (16) University HS, Orange City, Fla.
264 Christian Santana, rhp R-R 6-3 210 Brewers (15) American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla.
  Jose Garcia, c R-R 5-11 205 Red Sox (38) Doral Academy Prep HS, Miami
  Joe Sanchez, lhp L-L 6-2 190 Braves (39) TERRA Environmental Research Institute, Miami
  Jan Figueroa, rhp R-R 6-4 200   Beltran Baseball Academy, Florida, P.R.
  Everett Hurst, rhp R-R 5-11 175   Sebring (Fla.) HS
  Will Saxton, lhp/1b L-L 6-3 215   Lake Highland Prep, Orlando, Fla.
  Cody Cortelli, rhp R-R 5-11 165   American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla.
  Adan Fernandez, of/1b R-R 6-3 205   Archbishop McCarthy HS, Southwest Ranches, Fla.
  Andrew Fernandez, c R-R 6-2 200   Archbishop McCarthy HS, Southwest Ranches, Fla.

22. UC Santa Barbara Recruiting coordinator: Eddie Cornejo Total recruits: 18 (13 freshmen, 5 JC transfers)

For the second year in a row and the third time in program history, all under the guidance of Cornejo and coach Andrew Checketts, UCSB brought in a Top 25 class. The Gauchos will hope their latest infusion of talent will help them bounce back from their first sub-.500 season since 2010. Willow leads the class with his exciting offensive potential. He has a loose, quick swing that produces good bat speed and power potential. He has a strong arm and played third base with the Canadian Junior National Team and could fit there for UCSB. Fariss drew the most professional interest on the mound, where his fastball sits around 90 mph with added deception and movement from his low arm slot. He has thump in his bat that comes with some swing and miss. He will likely find a role at the back of the Gauchos’ bullpen and also work his way into the lineup as a corner outfielder. Arellano projects more as a starter down the line thanks to his combination of athleticism and stuff. His fastball sits around 90 mph and he pairs it with a promising curveball. Patterson doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but has a good pitcher’s frame and fills up the strike zone. Position players are the strength of the class. Kleszcz had an impressive spring at the plate and led all California junior college players with 18 home runs. He profiles well as a corner outfielder and could step right into the heart of UCSB’s order. Castanon has the offensive tools to quickly work his way into the lineup and has a chance to stay at shortstop, but likely won’t be asked to as a freshman with Clay Fisher returning. Mann is a plus runner and has the tools to make an impact both with his bat and glove. Troy and Williams have intriguing offensive potential, but may require more time to develop.

22 UC Santa Barbara
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
271 Jason Willow, 3b R-R 6-2 180 Orioles (24) Lambrick Park SS, Victoria, B.C.
489 Ben Fariss, rhp/of R-R 6-0 175 Blue Jays (39) Valencia HS, Santa Clarita, Calif.
  Jorge Arellano, lhp L-L 6-2 190 Indians (36) Downey (Calif.) HS
  Cole Kleszcz, of R-R 6-1 190 Indians (40) JC of the Canyons (Calif.)
  Marcos Castanon, ss R-R 5-11 180   Carter HS, Rialto, Calif.
  Blake Mann, of R-R 6-0 175   Chaminade College Prep, Canoga Park, Calif.
  Alex Patterson, rhp R-R 6-2 210   San Joaquin Delta (Calif.) JC
  Christopher Troye, c/1b R-R 6-4 200   Heritage HS, Brentwood, Calif.
  Drew Williams, inf L-R 6-1 190   San Benito HS, Hollister, Calif.
  Jared Nelson, c R-R 5-11 190   Phoenix JC

23. Arizona Recruiting coordinator: Sergio Brown Total recruits: 15 (11 freshmen, 4 JC transfers) For the second straight year since taking over in Tucson, Brown and coach Jay Johnson hauled in a Top 25 class. Like last year’s 10th-ranked class, this year’s group has several high-end junior college players mixed in with a strong group of freshmen. Benson and Moniot began their college careers in the Pac-12 Conference (Moniot at Oregon, Benson at UCLA) before transferring to junior college. Moniot was Oregon’s starting shortstop as a freshman and struggled offensively, but has added strength since then and is coming off a strong spring. He is a solid defender and made a cameo with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team late in its 2016 campaign. Benson missed this spring as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. When healthy, he offers excellent catch-and-throw skills. Weems has started the last two years at Yavapai and should be able to quickly earn a significant role on Arizona’s staff. His fastball sits around 90 mph and his hard slider is an above-average offering at its best. Haskell, Benson’s junior college teammate, has two-way potential thanks to a fastball that sits in the low 90s and his above-average power potential at the plate. Flanagan and Paugh are the class’s prep standouts. Flanagan was regarded as one of the state’s top prospects before he had Tommy John surgery after his junior year. Now fully healthy, he has a big, physical frame and a good feel for his three-pitch arsenal. Paugh is raw as a hitter, but he has some speed and his plus righthanded power makes him dangerous offensively. Phansalkar attacks hitters with a fastball-slider combination and offers plenty of projectability. Guardado is more polished and should be able to quickly carve out a role on the Wildcats’ staff thanks to his pitchability and feel for his three-pitch mix. Blas is coming off a solid summer in the West Coast League and has the defensive tools to be Arizona’s shortstop of the future. Williams is a plus runner and has exciting athleticism that profiles well in center field.

23 Arizona
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
322 Travis Moniot, ss B-R 6-1 190 Giants '15 (34) Orange Coast (Calif.) JC
384 Blake Paugh, of R-R 6-2 205   Chaparral HS, Scottsdale, Ariz.
431 Avery Weems, lhp L-L 6-2 205   Yavapai (Ariz.) JC
  Michael Benson, c R-R 6-1 205 Rockies '15 (34) Palomar (Calif.) JC
  Quinn Flanagan, rhp R-R 6-4 205   Corona del Sol HS, Tempe, Ariz.
  Roman Phansalkar, rhp R-R 6-2 185   Heritage Hall HS, Oklahoma City
  Cameron Haskell, inf/rhp L-R 6-4 200   Palomar (Calif.) JC
  Jonathan Guardado, rhp R-R 6-3 215   Nogales HS, La Puente, Calif.
  Jacob Blas, ss R-R 6-1 175   San Marcos (Calif.) HS
  Donta Williams, of L-L 5-10 170   Legacy HS, North Las Vegas, Nev.

24. Mississippi State Recruiting coordinator: Jake Gautreau Total recruits: 15 (9 freshmen, 5 JC transfers) The Bulldogs’ class was ravaged by the draft, as six commits were drafted and went on to sign. Still, coach Andy Cannizaro’s first class at Mississippi State has some star power. The class is led by a strong group of offensive outfielders. Anderson is an athletic, physical outfielder with the potential for above-average speed and power. He projects as a prototypical right fielder who could hit in the middle of the Bulldogs’ lineup throughout his career. Lovell, named Mr. Alabama Baseball in 2016, is strong and physical and has plus raw power. He isn’t as athletic as Anderson and is likely to end up at left field or first base. Allen and Hatcher don’t have as much power as Anderson and Lovell, but have more feel to hit. Allen has a short simple swing and could fit defensively at second base or in left field. Hatcher has a good approach at the plate and likely settles at a corner position. Gilbert had a strong season in junior college, where he worked with some power arms, and should be able to get in the mix behind the plate for Mississippi State. He has a powerful bat and is a solid defender. Foscue, Jordan and Westburg give the Bulldogs more options in the infield. Westburg is the best defender of the trio and has the tools to play up the middle. Foscue is the more offensive player who provides a solid combination of power and speed. Jordan had a strong summer in the Prospect League and is similar in stature and versatility to Bulldogs utility man Hunter Stovall. Mississippi State only brought in two pitchers this year, as it will welcome several pitchers back from injury this season. Marsh had a cardiac arrest while playing football in high school, but has bounced back well and is coming off a solid season in junior college. He attacks hitters with a fastball that gets up to 92 mph and a good breaking ball. Stephens also has good feel for his breaking ball and will likely get innings out of the bullpen early in his career, which a chance to develop into a starter as he physically matures.

24 Mississippi State
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
221 Jordan Anderson, of R-R 6-1 190 Rangers (40) Clemens HS, Madison, Ala.
474 Owen Lovell, of R-R 6-4 225   Cullman (Ala.) HS
  Tanner Allen, 2b/of L-R 6-0 180 Cubs (36) UMS-Wright Prep, Mobile, Ala.
  Josh Hatcher, of L-L 6-2 180 Angels (39) Lee County HS, Leesburg, Ga.
  Cole Marsh, rhp R-R 6-2 197   Missippi Delta JC
  Marshall Gilbert, c R-R 6-0 203   Logan (Ill.) JC
  Jordan Westburg, ss R-R 6-2 190   New Braunfels (Texas) HS
  Justin Foscue, 2b/3b R-R 6-0 190   Grissom HS, Huntsville, Ala.
  Rowdey Jordan, 2b B-R 5-10 180   Auburn (Ala.) HS
  Zane Stephens, rhp R-R 6-0 165   Suwannee HS, Live Oak, Fla.


25. Texas Tech Recruiting coordinator: J-Bob Thomas Total recruits: 16 (13 freshmen, 3 JC transfers) The Red Raiders have produced three first-team All-Freshman players in the last two years and again have a strong group of newcomers coming to Lubbock this year. Holt and Masters give Texas Tech a pair of speedsters in the lineup, something it lacked in recent years. Masters was a linebacker on his high school’s football team and brings an aggressive approach to the diamond. He is a well above-average runner with good on-base skills and profiles as a top-of-the-order hitter and center fielder. Holt is a tick slower, but still has plus speed and makes good use of it offensively. He has a shot to play shortstop, but even if he moves off the position, his hands are good enough to keep him at second base. Simonich packs solid power potential, but he is a complete hitter with a smooth swing and good approach. He has above-average arm strength and profiles at right field or third base. Kelly is a dirtbag who has a good feel for hitting and versatility, giving him a chance to work his way into the lineup somewhere. The Red Raiders also brought in several exciting newcomers on the mound. In addition to starring in baseball, Beeter was also his high school’s quarterback and valedictorian. On the mound, his fastball sits in the low 90s, touching 95 mph, and he pairs it with a power breaking ball. Wilson has two-way potential thanks to his powerful bat, but his future lies on the mound, where he throws from his fastball 93-95 mph and mixes in a slider. He could fill a role similar to Red Raiders two-way dynamo John McMillon. Gilbert has a good three-pitch mix and enough pitchability to immediately help the Red Raiders. Sublette, Simonich’s high school teammate, made a jump in the last year and now has a fastball that sits in the low 90s to go with a power breaking ball. Candelari offers good projection, but his fastball-curveball combination can play in the bullpen right away. Haveman and Queen come to Texas Tech from junior colleges and will also likely go right into the bullpen where their fastball-breaking ball combinations play well.

25 Texas Tech
Rank Name, Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Drafted Previous school
  Cody Masters, of B-L 6-2 195 Red Sox (40) Coppell (Texas) HS
  K.C. Simonich, of/3b L-R 6-3 190   Lemont (Ill.) HS
  Clayton Beter, rhp R-R 6-2 205   Birdville HS, North Richland Hills, Texas
  Kurt Wilson, rhp/ss R-R 6-2 160   Martin HS, Arlington, Texas
  Gabe Holt, ss/2b L-R 5-11 160   Veterans HS, Kathleen, Ga.
  Richard Gilbert, lhp R-L 6-2 203   Johnson HS, San Antonio
  Ryan Sublette, rhp R-R 6-2 195   Lemont (Ill.) HS
  Dane Haveman, lhp L-L 6-4 235   Hill (Texas) JC
  Nick Candelari, rhp R-R 6-3 180   Klein (Texas) HS
  Connor Queen, rhp R-R 6-1 215   Odessa (Texas) JC
  Parker Kelly, inf R-R 6-2 200   Wichita Falls (Texas) HS

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