2019 NCAA Baseball Recruiting Rankings
Wednesday marks the start of the week-long period for high school seniors and junior college transfers to sign their National Letter of Intent and make their college commitments official. As college baseball programs firm up their 2019 recruiting classes, Baseball America presents its first-ever fall recruiting rankings.
Baseball is unique among college sports because the pro draft siphons off many of the elite talents in the prep class, meaning that recruiting classes can’t be considered final until they get to campus next summer. Since 2000, Baseball America has ranked recruiting classes then and will continue to do so. But it is useful as players make their commitments official to take a snapshot of how the top recruiting classes stack up during the fall signing period.
Much figures to change between now and the signing deadline for drafted players in early July. Players’ performance this spring will lead to them rising and falling in the rankings. Some will make significant jumps in velocity or power. Some will sneak through the draft or fall due to signability, while others will get picked higher than expected.
These recruiting rankings may end up looking much different than those that will be released at the start of the 2019-20 school year. But the best classes combine elite players with strong depth and will be able to withstand some losses to the draft.
Florida leads the rankings, just edging No. 2 Vanderbilt and No. 3 Louisiana State. All three classes have a case to be No. 1, but the Gators get top billing for their impressive all-around class. The headliner is outfielder Riley Greene, who is the third-ranked prep player in the country and may be the best all-around hitter.
Florida also has high-end arms in righthander Matthew Allen and lefthander Hunter Barco and some players with rising stocks this fall such as righthander Tyler Nesbitt and infielder Josh Rivera. The class also includes well-regarded outfielder Jud Fabian and righthander Nolan Crisp, who are slated to graduate high school a semester early and join the Gators this spring.
LSU, which landed the top-ranked 2018 recruiting class, has another outstanding group, which includes righthander Daniel Espino, one of the best pitchers in the class, and third baseman Rece Hinds, who stands out for his power.
It is no surprise to see three Southeastern Conference powers atop the rankings. The SEC has produced the top-ranked class for eight straight years. Florida has landed a record six straight top-five classes and is well on its way to another, and Vanderbilt looks certain to extend its record of 14 straight ranked classes. Seven SEC schools—half the conference—are represented in the top 12.
Recruiting coordinator Craig Bell
Top recruit Riley Greene, OF (No. 3)
Recruiting Coordinator: Mike Baxter
Top recruit: Spencer Jones, LHP/1B (No. 14)
Recruiting Coordinator: Nolan Cain
Top recruit: Daniel Espino, RHP (No. 5)
Recruiting Coordinator: Bryant Ward
Top recruit: Corbin Carroll, OF (No. 7)
Recruiting Coordinator: Kirk Saarloos
Top recruit: Quinn Priester, RHP (No. 25)
Recruiting Coordinator: Jake Gautreau
Top recruit: Landon Sims, RHP (No. 28)
Recruiting Coordinator: Bradley LeCroy
Top recruit: Nasim Nunez, SS (No. 22)
Recruiting Coordinator: Scott Forbes
Top recruit: Brennan Malone, RHP (No. 4)
Recruiting Coordinator: Karl Nonemaker
Top recruit: Hayden Mullins, LHP (No. 16)
Recruiting Coordinator: Jerry Zulli
Top recruit: C.J. Abrams, SS (No. 2)
Recruiting Coordinator: Clay Van Hook
Top recruit: Bobby Witt Jr., SS (No. 1)
Recruiting Coordinator: Justin Seeley
Top recruit: Matthew Thompson, RHP (No. 9)