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2017 Recruiting Rankings: The Top 25

Brady-McConnell-2017-alyson-boyer-rode

 
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)

READ MORE: Recruiting Archives

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.

1Vanderbilt
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
69Jake Eder, lhpL-L6-4210Mets (34)Calvary Christian Academy, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
134Austin Martin, ssR-R6-0170Indians (37)Trinity Christian Academy, Jacksonville
167Philip Clarke, cL-R5-11190Christ Presbyterian Academy, Nashville
213Tyler Brown, rhpR-R6-5220Reds (26)Crestview HS, Greenwich, Ohio
242Jayson Gonzalez, 3bR-R6-2210Bishop Amat HS, La Puente, Calif.
275Joe Gobillot, lhpL-L6-6240St. John's School, Houston
326Hugh Fisher, lhpL-L6-5185Briarcrest Christian School, Memphis
364Pat DeMarco, ofR-R5-11205Yankees (24)Winder-Barrow HS, Winder, Ga.
368Cooper Davis, ofL-R5-11185Blue Jays (25)St. Aloysius Gonzaga SS, Mississauga, Ont.
437Mason Hickman, rhpR-R6-6230Pope 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.

2Florida
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
39Brady McConnell, ssR-R6-3175Reds (33)Merritt Island (Fla.) HS
88Tommy Mace, rhpR-R6-7200Reds (12)Sunlake HS, Land O'Lakes, Fla.
135Hunter Ruth, rhpR-R6-4195Cubs (32)Buchholz HS, Gainesville, Fla.
173Jack Leftwich, rhpR-R6-4220Tigers (39)The Next Level Academy, Longwood, Fla.
251Jordan Butler, lhp/ofL-L6-2195Yankees (34)Alonso HS, Tampa
307Calvin Greenfield, cR-R6-1195Jensen Beach (Fla.) HS
Brady Smith, c/3bR-R6-1195The Next Level Academy, Longwood, Fla.
Connor Churchill, rhpR-R6-5200East Lake HS, Tarpon Springs, Fla.
Wil Dalton, ofR-R6-1185Orioles '16 (29)Columbia State (Tenn.) JC
Shane Shifflett, infR-R5-11185Venice (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.

3Arkansas
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
73Bryce Bonnin, rhp/ofR-R6-1190Cubs (26)Barbers Hill HS, Mont Belvieu, Texas
128Cole Turney, ofL-L6-0225Indians (34)Travis HS, Richmond, Texas
183Jackson Rutledge, rhpR-R6-8255Rockwood Summitt HS, Fenton, Mo.
305Casey Opitz, cS-R5-11175Indians (27)Heritage HS, Littleton, Colo.
499Hunter Milligan, lhpL-L6-4215Greenbrier (Ark.) HS
Casey Martin, 2b/3bR-R5-11175Lonoke (Ark.) HS
Caleb Bolden, rhpR-R6-2175Rays (16)Pleasant Grove HS, Texarkana, Texas
Heston Kjerstad, ofL-R6-3190Mariners (36)Randall HS, Amarillo, Texas
Zebulon Vermillion, rhpL-R6-4190Shawnee Mission East HS, Prairie Village, Kan.
Jacob Nesbit, ssR-R6-0175Coppell (Texas) HS
Adley_Rutschman_USABaseball.jpg

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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.

4Arizona State
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
206Alika Williams, ssR-R6-2175Yankees (32)Rancho Bernardo HS, San Diego
241Boyd Vander Kooi, rhpL-R6-5210D-backs (36)Skyline HS, Mesa, Ariz.
252Zach Hogueisson, ofL-R6-4200Christian HS, El Cajon, Calif.
399Trevor Hauver, infL-R6-0190Royals (37)Perry HS, Gilbert, Ariz.
413Drew Swift, ssR-R6-0150Hamilton HS, Chandler, Ariz.
421Adisyn Coffey, ssR-R6-2170Delta HS, Muncie, Ind.
436Spencer Torkelson, ofR-R6-1205Casa Grande HS, Petaluma, Calif.
Gage Workman, infS-R6-4175Brewers (14)Basha HS, Chandler, Ariz.
Drake Davis, rhpR-R6-0185Rockies (38)Ralston Valley HS, Arvada, Colo.
Colby Davis, rhpR-R6-8225Yankees (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.

5South Carolina
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
111Noah Campbell, ssB-R6-1185Brewers (19)Cardinal Gibbons HS, Raleigh, N.C.
154Kyle Jacobsen, ofR-L6-0185Brewers (33)Alatoona HS, Acworth, Ga.
172Carmen Mlodzinski, rhpR-R6-2190Hilton Head (S.C.) HS
201Logan Chapman, rhpR-R6-3180Reds (32)Easley (S.C.) HS
418Ian Jenkins, ofR-R6-0208Collins Hill HS, Suwanee, Ga.
Shane Roberts, rhpR-R6-1185Yankees (28)Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) HS
Ridge Chapman, rhpR-R6-1215Red Sox (39)Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.) JC
Corey Stone, lhpL-L6-2175Rangers (27)Mid-Carolina HS, Prosperity, S.C.
Eddy Demurias, rhpR-R6-0180Miami-Dade JC
Mason Streater, 3bR-R6-0180Byrnes 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.

6Auburn
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
38Tanner Burns, rhp/ofR-R6-0210Yankees (37)Decatur (Ala.) HS
114Steven Williams, c/ofL-R6-3210Yankees (35)Deerfield-Windsor HS, Albany, Ga.
357Brendan Venter, 3b/1bR-R6-1215McLennan (Texas) JC
439Cody Greenhill, rhpL-R6-0190Russellville (Ala.) HS
451Edouard Julien, 2bR-R6-3215Phillies (37)Cardinal-Roy SS, Quebec City
Ryan Hoerter, rhpR-R6-4180Pirates (36)Indian Trail HS, Kenosha, Wisc.
Jack Owen, lhpL-L6-1175Jserra HS, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
Judd Ward, ofL-R6-0190Russellville (Ala.) HS
Peyton Glavine, lhpL-L5-11170Angels (37)Blessed Trinity HS, Roswell, Ga.
Cade Evans, ss/2bB-R6-0175Boyd 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.

7Florida State
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
106Shane Drohan, lhpL-L6-3200Phillies (23)Cardinal Newman HS, West Palm Beach, Fla.
109C.J. Van Eyk, rhpR-R6-3190Mets (19)Steinbrenner HS, Lutz, Fla.
310Cooper Swanson, ssR-R6-1195Canterbury HS, Fort Myers, Fla.
402Reese Albert, ofL-L6-1190Jupiter (Fla.) HS
406Austin Pollock, lhpL-L6-3180Cardinals (40)Lincoln HS, Tallahassee, Fla.
Tyler Ahearn, rhpR-R6-2180IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
Jonah Scolaro, lhp/ofL-L6-0175Durant HS, Plant City, Fla.
Mike Salvatore, ssR-R6-0180Northwest Florida State JC
Conor Grady, rhpR-R6-3190Tampa Catholic HS
Jon Foster, c/1bR-R5-11205Chattahoochee 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.

8Miami
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
76Chris McMahon, rhpR-R6-2192Brewers (33)West Chester (Pa.) Rustin HS
199Alex Toral, 1bL-L6-2220Archbishop McCarthy HS, Southwest Ranches, Fla.
329Gabe Rivera, ofR-R6-0200Killian HS, Miami
440Connor Allen, 1b/ofL-L6-4210Merritt Island (Fla.) HS
Raymond Gil, 3bR-R6-2180Athletics (37)Gulliver Prep, Miami
Danny Reyes, ofR-R6-2215Red Sox '15 (39)Broward (Fla.) JC
Freddie Zamora, ssR-R6-1180Killian HS, Miami
Dylan Cloonan, lhp/ofL-L6-2190Westminster Christian HS, Miami
Daniel Federman, rhpL-R6-0195Archbishop McCarthy HS, Southwest Ranches, Fla.
Willie Escala, ssR-R5-11170South 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.

9Kentucky
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
150Zach Haake, rhpR-R6-4185John A. Logan (Ill.) JC
231Brad Dobzanski, rhpR-R6-3195Giants (39)Delsea Regional HS, Franklinville, N.J.
401Ben Jordan, rhpL-R6-9225West Carter HS, Olive Hill, Ky.
445Kaden Polcovich, infB-R5-10180Deer Creek HS, Edmond, Okla.
486Austin Marozas, rhpR-R6-7225Plainfield (Ill.) South HS
Trey Dawson, ssR-R6-2190Tigers '15 (32)Chipola (Fla.) JC
Coltyn Kessler, cL-R6-3210Rockwood Summit HS, Fenton, Mo.
Ben Aklinski, ofR-R5-11195Phoenix (Ariz.) JC
Troy Black, infR-R6-0210Murray State (Okla.) JC
Luke Benoit, ofR-R6-4210IMG 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.

10Michigan
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
230Jesse Franklin, ofL-L6-2197Mariners (37)Seattle Prep HS
263Jeff Criswell, rhpR-R6-3185Tigers (35)Portage (Mich.) Central HS
424Danny Zimmerman, 1b/rhpR-R6-3235Redondo Union HS, Redondo Beach, Calif.
428Isaiah Paige, rhp/ofR-R6-2180Damien HS, La Verne, Calif.
Ben Dragani, lhpL-L6-5220Catholic Memorial HS, Waukesha, Wisc.
Joe Donovan, cR-R5-10170Cubs (33)Westmont (Ill.) HS
Angelo Smith, lhp/ofL-L5-10160White Sox (40)Richards HS, Oak Lawn, Ill.
Jack Blomgren, ssR-R6-0170Craig HS, Janesville, Wisc.
Matthew Schmidt, infR-R6-2195Yankees '15 (37)Cypress (Calif.) JC
Blake Beers, rhpR-R6-5210Loyola 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.

11Louisiana State
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
82Daniel Cabrera, ofL-L6-1185Padres (26)Parkview Baptist HS, Baton Rouge, La.
214Nick Storz, rhp/1bR-R6-6255Tigers (31)Poly Prep Country Day School, Brooklyn
226A.J. Labas, rhpR-R6-3220Mets (17)Trinity Christian Academy, Jacksonville
Cam Sanders, rhpR-R6-2170Padres (18)Northwest Florida JC
Hunter Feduccia, cL-R6-2185LSU-Eunice JC
Mason Doolittle, cR-R6-4220Jupiter (Fla.) HS
John Kodros, lhpL-L6-4170Coppell (Texas) HS
Taylor Petersen, lhpL-L6-1185Chandler-Gilbert (Ariz.) JC
Matt Schroer, rhpR-R6-4200Arcadia HS, Phoenix
Trent Vietmeier, rhpR-R6-3210Montour 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.

12Virginia
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
174Griff McGarry, rhpR-R6-2175Rangers (31)Menlo HS, Atherton, Calif.
212Devin Ortiz, ss/rhpR-R6-2175St. Joseph Regional HS, Montvale, N.J.
224Andrew Papantonis, ssR-R6-2190Delbarton HS, Morristown, N.J.
267Tanner Morris, ssL-R6-2190Miller School, Charlottesville, Va.
Andrew Abbot, lhpR-R6-0175Yankees (36)Halifax County HS, South Boston, Va.
Alex Tappen, 1b/ofR-R6-2190Wissahickon HS, Ambler, Pa.
Kyle Whitten rhpR-R6-3190Osbourn Park HS, Manassas, Va.
Robb Adams, lhpL-L6-3180Desoto County HS, Arcadia, Fla.
Christian Hinka, ofL-R6-2160Delaware Valley Regional HS, Frenchtown, N.J.
Brendan Rivoli, cL-R6-0195Boone 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.


13Louisville
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
372Bobby Miller, rhpL-R6-5210Orioles (38)McHenry (Ill.) HS
422Reid Detmers, lhpL-L6-2190Braves (32)Glenwood HS, Chatham, Ill.
425Michael Kirian, lhpL-L6-6240New Riegal (Ohio) HS
496Liam Jenkins, rhpR-R6-6215Giants (40)Wabash Valley (Ill.) JC
Drew Campbell, ofL-L6-0175Olney Central (Ill.) JC
Zach Britton cL-R6-1190Batesville (Ind.) HS
Glenn Albanese, rhpR-R6-6215Batavia (Ill.) HS
Trey Leonard, ofL-R6-0175Washington HS, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cameron Masterman, 3b/1bR-R6-2200Oldham County HS, Buckner, Ky.
Ben Bianco, cR-R6-2210Oxford (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.

14Texas Christian
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
133Adam Oviedo, ssR-R6-1185Twins (35)Alvarado (Texas) HS
171Caleb Sloan, rhpR-R6-3205Regis Jesuit HS, Aurora, Colo.
455Russell Smith, lhpR-L6-8235Cubs (38)Midlothian (Texas) HS
R.J. Lan, ofR-R6-0200La Mirada (Calif.) HS
Johnny Rizer, ofL-L5-11190Blinn (Texas) JC
James Notary, rhpR-R6-4205Rockies (35)Broomfield (Colo.) HS
Tristan Hanoian, 2b/ssL-R5-7165Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS
Colton Parish, cL-R6-0185Blinn (Texas) JC
Augie Mihlbauer, lhpL-L6-0190Mukwonago (Wisc.) HS
Brad Czerniejewski, ofR-R6-2190Lake 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.

15Clemson
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
139Spencer Strider, rhpR-R6-1195Indians (35)Christian Academy of Knoxville (Tenn.)
215Kier Meredith, ofL-L5-11175Cubs (28)Glenn HS, Kernersville, N.C.
350Sam Weatherly, lhp/ofL-L6-3175Blue Jays (27)Howell (Mich.) HS
Justin Hawkins, infR-R6-3205South Carolina-Sumter JC
Sam Hall, inf/ofR-R6-2185Topsail HS, Hampstead, N.C.
Sheldon Reed, 1b/ofL-R6-4200Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.) JC
Matthew Cooper, c/ofR-R6-3200Norfolk (Va.) Academy
Bo Majkowski, ofL-R6-0180Johns Creek (Ga.) HS
Holt Jones, rhpR-R6-8200Santa Monica (Calif.) HS
Bryce Teodosio, ofR-L6-3200Mauldin (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.

16UCLA
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
62Garrett Mitchell, ofL-R6-2185Athletics (14)Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS
380Sam Glick, lhpL-L6-1175Orioles (39)El Toro HS, Lake Forest, Calif.
435Chase Farrell, rhpL-R6-3178Astros (40)Valencia HS, Santa Clarita, Calif.
Zach Pettway, rhpR-R6-1190Wilson HS, Long Beach, Calif.
Holden Powell, rhpR-R5-11170Mount Whitney HS, Visalia, Calif.
Michael Townsend, rhpR-R6-0175Los Alamitos (Calif.) HS
Kevin Kendall, ssL-R5-10160La Mirada (Calif.) HS
R.J. Teijeiro, 3bL-R6-1190St. 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.

17Southern California
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
94Kyle Hurt, rhpR-R6-4205Phillies (34)Torrey Pines HS, San Diego
259Ben Ramirez, ssL-R6-3180Cubs (35)Eastlake HS, Chula Vista, Calif.
456Jamal O'Guinn, 3bR-R6-2200Buchanan HS, Clovis, Calif.
498Alex Cornwell, lhpL-L6-1175Cubs (37)Maranatha HS, Pasadena, Calif.
Isaac Esqueda, lhpL-L6-0204Bishop Amat HS, La Puente, Calif.
Riley Lamb, rhpR-R6-0180Elk Grove (Calif.) HS
Brian Gursky, lhpL-L6-1195IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
John Beller, lhpL-L5-11170St. John Bosco HS, Bellflower, Calif.
Trevor Halsema, ofR-R6-2165Madison HS, San Diego
Augie Sylk, lhpL-L6-4190Palisades 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.

18Texas A&M
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
176Asa Lacy, lhpL-L6-4215Indians (31)Tivy HS, Kerrville, Texas
239Jack Conlon, rhpR-R6-4219Orioles (4)Clements HS, Sugar Land, Texas
293Zach DeLoach, of/rhpL-R6-2200Hebron HS, Carrollton, Texas
Michael Helman, 2b/ofR-R6-1190Hutchinson (Kan.) JC
Nolan Hoffman, rhpR-R6-3195Hutchinson (Kan.) JC
Dustin Saenz, lhpL-L5-11185King HS, Corpus Christi, Texas
Aaron Walters, c/of/1bL-R6-1200Center Point (Texas) HS
Chandler Jozwiak, lhpR-L6-1170Brenham (Texas) HS
Will Frizzell, 1bL-R6-5215Rockwall (Texas) HS
Christian Roa, rhpR-R6-4205Memorial 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.

19East Carolina
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
120Gavin Williams, rhpL-R6-6200Rays (30)Cape Fear HS, Fayetteville, N.C.
158Spencer Smith, cR-R6-1200Rangers (37)Northern HS, Durham, N.C.
Chandler Jenkins, ofL-L6-1180Catawba Valley (N.C.) JC
Seth Caddell, cR-R5-9190Pinecrest HS, Southern Pines, N.C.
Alec Burleson, lhp/1bL-L6-1215East Lincoln HS, Denver, N.C.
Connor Litton, 3bR-R6-3220Cowley County (Kan.) JC
Jake Kuchmaner, lhpL-L5-11185Marvin Ridge HS, Waxhaw, N.C.
Cole Beavin, rhpR-R6-5175West Orange HS, Winter Garden, Fla.
Collin Watt, 3bR-R6-1185Roberson HS, Asheville, N.C.
Josh Netterville, ofB-R6-0182Northwest 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.

20Oklahoma
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
295Cade Cavalli, rhp/infR-R6-4200Braves (29)Bixby (Okla.) HS
321Tyler Hardman, 3bR-R6-3210Rockies (37)Temescal Canyon HS, Lake Elsinore, Calif.
Ledgend Smith, lhpL-L6-3195Brewers (18)Binger-Oney HS, Binger, Okla.
Justin Mitchell, c/ofR-R6-0200Royals (39)Platte County HS, Platte City, Mo.
Justin Cooke, cB-R6-2195Norman (Okla.) HS
Levi Prater, lhpB-L6-0175Byng HS, Ada, Okla.
Dylan Criquet-Danielson, ssR-R6-2180Marshall (Minn.) HS
Michael Jensen, rhpR-R6-5225Holy Family Catholic HS, Victoria, Minn.
Brett Lorah, rhpR-R6-0180Seminole State (Okla.) JC
Jake Terry, rhpR-R6-3185Page 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.

21Florida International
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
143Logan Allen, lhpL-L5-11190Orioles (16)University HS, Orange City, Fla.
264Christian Santana, rhpR-R6-3210Brewers (15)American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla.
Jose Garcia, cR-R5-11205Red Sox (38)Doral Academy Prep HS, Miami
Joe Sanchez, lhpL-L6-2190Braves (39)TERRA Environmental Research Institute, Miami
Jan Figueroa, rhpR-R6-4200Beltran Baseball Academy, Florida, P.R.
Everett Hurst, rhpR-R5-11175Sebring (Fla.) HS
Will Saxton, lhp/1bL-L6-3215Lake Highland Prep, Orlando, Fla.
Cody Cortelli, rhpR-R5-11165American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla.
Adan Fernandez, of/1bR-R6-3205Archbishop McCarthy HS, Southwest Ranches, Fla.
Andrew Fernandez, cR-R6-2200Archbishop 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.

22UC Santa Barbara
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
271Jason Willow, 3bR-R6-2180Orioles (24)Lambrick Park SS, Victoria, B.C.
489Ben Fariss, rhp/ofR-R6-0175Blue Jays (39)Valencia HS, Santa Clarita, Calif.
Jorge Arellano, lhpL-L6-2190Indians (36)Downey (Calif.) HS
Cole Kleszcz, ofR-R6-1190Indians (40)JC of the Canyons (Calif.)
Marcos Castanon, ssR-R5-11180Carter HS, Rialto, Calif.
Blake Mann, ofR-R6-0175Chaminade College Prep, Canoga Park, Calif.
Alex Patterson, rhpR-R6-2210San Joaquin Delta (Calif.) JC
Christopher Troye, c/1bR-R6-4200Heritage HS, Brentwood, Calif.
Drew Williams, infL-R6-1190San Benito HS, Hollister, Calif.
Jared Nelson, cR-R5-11190Phoenix 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.

23Arizona
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
322Travis Moniot, ssB-R6-1190Giants '15 (34)Orange Coast (Calif.) JC
384Blake Paugh, ofR-R6-2205Chaparral HS, Scottsdale, Ariz.
431Avery Weems, lhpL-L6-2205Yavapai (Ariz.) JC
Michael Benson, cR-R6-1205Rockies '15 (34)Palomar (Calif.) JC
Quinn Flanagan, rhpR-R6-4205Corona del Sol HS, Tempe, Ariz.
Roman Phansalkar, rhpR-R6-2185Heritage Hall HS, Oklahoma City
Cameron Haskell, inf/rhpL-R6-4200Palomar (Calif.) JC
Jonathan Guardado, rhpR-R6-3215Nogales HS, La Puente, Calif.
Jacob Blas, ssR-R6-1175San Marcos (Calif.) HS
Donta Williams, ofL-L5-10170Legacy 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.

24Mississippi State
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
221Jordan Anderson, ofR-R6-1190Rangers (40)Clemens HS, Madison, Ala.
474Owen Lovell, ofR-R6-4225Cullman (Ala.) HS
Tanner Allen, 2b/ofL-R6-0180Cubs (36)UMS-Wright Prep, Mobile, Ala.
Josh Hatcher, ofL-L6-2180Angels (39)Lee County HS, Leesburg, Ga.
Cole Marsh, rhpR-R6-2197Missippi Delta JC
Marshall Gilbert, cR-R6-0203Logan (Ill.) JC
Jordan Westburg, ssR-R6-2190New Braunfels (Texas) HS
Justin Foscue, 2b/3bR-R6-0190Grissom HS, Huntsville, Ala.
Rowdey Jordan, 2bB-R5-10180Auburn (Ala.) HS
Zane Stephens, rhpR-R6-0165Suwannee 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.

25Texas Tech
RankName, Pos.B-THt.Wt.DraftedPrevious school
Cody Masters, ofB-L6-2195Red Sox (40)Coppell (Texas) HS
K.C. Simonich, of/3bL-R6-3190Lemont (Ill.) HS
Clayton Beter, rhpR-R6-2205Birdville HS, North Richland Hills, Texas
Kurt Wilson, rhp/ssR-R6-2160Martin HS, Arlington, Texas
Gabe Holt, ss/2bL-R5-11160Veterans HS, Kathleen, Ga.
Richard Gilbert, lhpR-L6-2203Johnson HS, San Antonio
Ryan Sublette, rhpR-R6-2195Lemont (Ill.) HS
Dane Haveman, lhpL-L6-4235Hill (Texas) JC
Nick Candelari, rhpR-R6-3180Klein (Texas) HS
Connor Queen, rhpR-R6-1215Odessa (Texas) JC
Parker Kelly, infR-R6-2200Wichita Falls (Texas) HS

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