2021 ACC College Baseball Recruiting Classes Breakdown
Recruiting is the lifeblood of every program in college baseball. After presenting the Top 25 recruiting classes and the 10 classes that just missed the cut, Baseball America is breaking down every class in several of the biggest conferences in the country.
Presented here is team-by-team analysis for the ACC. Seven teams from the conference ranked in the Top 25 and three more made the next 10 classes. Links to full breakdowns for those teams can be found below, as well as a snapshot view of the class. Full breakdowns for the four teams that didn't make the rankings can be found here.
Player rankings refer to the 2021 BA 500, which included all draft-eligible players. Players transferring from four-year schools were not considered for the recruiting class rankings.
Recruiting coordinator: Kevin Vance
Top recruit: Sean Hard, RHP (No. 374)
BC brought in some high-end pitching that could make a quick impact on the mound. Hard is the headliner and comes to school after being drafted in the 20th round by the Yankees. He’s a hard-thrower with a fastball that reaches 95 mph and sits in the low 90s with room to add more velocity in time. He needs to refine his control and secondary stuff, but he’s got the tools to develop into a Friday starter for the Eagles.
Righthander Luke Delongchamp has a strong build and an impressive track record. His fastball can get into the low 90s and he pairs it with a promising breaking ball. He spent the summer in the Perfect Game Collegiate League and acquitted himself well, going 2-3, 2.55 with 31 strikeouts and 12 walks in 24.2 innings. Lefthander Matthew Nunan attacks hitters with a fastball-curveball combination. His fastball works in the upper 80s and he gets a lot of depth on his curveball, which he can throw for strikes. Righthander Julian Tonghini has a solid three-pitch mix and this summer pitched in the Futures League. His fastball gets into the low 90s and his changeup and slider play off it well.
Chris Markovich is a good athlete with a sound righthanded swing. He has good arm strength and can play on the left side of the infield. Sam McNulty has a strong build at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds and a powerful righthanded swing. He hit four home runs this summer in the Futures League and projects as a corner infielder. Infielder Aidan Harrington is a good athlete who also played football in high school. He’s a solid defender.
Recruiting coordinator: Bradley LeCroy
Top recruit: Will Taylor, OF (No. 21)
Ranking: No. 22
The Tigers saw Bubba Chandler and Joe Mack sign for a combined $5.5 million after both were taken in the top 75 picks but still end up with a strong class, headlined by Taylor—the highest-ranked prep player not to sign. He’s an excellent athlete who in high school also stood out as a quarterback and wrestler and is now playing wide receiver for Clemson’s football team. While he has impressive physical tools, he also has more feel for baseball than many toolsy, multi-sport athletes. The versatile Spencer Rich this spring led all Florida junior college players in batting (.438) and is a plus runner.
Recruiting coordinator: Josh Jordan
Top recruit: Alex Mooney, SS (No. 65)
Ranking: No. 9
In eight years under head coach Chris Pollard and Jordan, Duke has leapt forward as a program. Their efforts in recruiting have played a key role in the Blue Devils’ rise and this year’s class takes it to another level. This is Duke’s highest-rated class, highlighted by Mooney, who is one of the highest-rated incoming freshmen in the country. He’s a heady, aggressive player with a well-rounded skill set that will play right away in college. Watch out for Jonathan Santucci (437), who has two-way impact potential as an outfielder and lefthander.
Recruiting coordinator: Mike Metcalf
Top recruit: Jackson Baumeister, RHP/C (No. 83)
Ranking: No. 19
Florida State again got a top-100 draft prospect to campus to headline its class, with Baumeister joining the likes of Drew Mendoza and Carson Montgomery in recent years. But this class also has solid depth, as the Seminoles loaded up on athletic, versatile position players and pitchers that have a combination of solid present stuff with some projection remaining. Baumeister could attempt the difficult pitching/catching double, but his professional future is likely on the mound. Outfielder James Tibbs (382) has a smooth lefthanded swing, good feel at the plate and above-average power projection.
Recruiting coordinator: James Ramsey
Top recruit: Logan McGuire, RHP (No. 372)
Ranking: Next 10
Georgia Tech doesn’t have a big class, but it still has plenty of impact, especially on the mound. McGuire has a projectable 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame and good present stuff that could quickly earn him a role in the Yellow Jackets rotation. Shortstop Kristian Campbell long stood out as a prep player and has a strong, athletic frame at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds.
Recruiting coordinator: Eric Snider
Top recruit: Will Koger, RHP (No. 171)
Ranking: No. 20
The Cardinals did a good job navigating the draft, losing just 41st overall pick Daylen Lile. The result is a large class that is well balanced between pitchers and position players. Koger got stronger over the winter and then this spring took a step forward and touched 95 mph with his fastball. He’s still only just beginning to reach his potential and he brings significant upside to campus. Infielders Noah Smith and Kurtis Reid bring intriguing upside to the lineup.
Recruiting coordinator: Norberto Lopez
Top recruit: Lorenzo Carrier, OF/RHP
Ranking: No. 7
After landing the top-ranked 2020 recruiting class, Miami has another strong class in 2021. As they did with their 2020 class, the Hurricanes have some exciting arms in the group to go with some athletic position players teeming with upside. Carrier, the Delaware Gatorade Player of the Year, was ranked just outside the top 100 of the BA 500 before he officially removed his name from the draft, solidifying his commitment to Miami. The Hurricanes also got good news when righthander Gage Ziehl (469) opted not to sign after being drafted in the 11th round by the Cubs.
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Recruiting coordinator: Bryant Gaines
Top recruit: Vance Honeycutt, SS/OF
UNC’s class took a hit in the draft, as Anthony Solometo and James Triantos were both drafted in the second round and signed for nearly $5 million combined. The Tar Heels did hang on to Honeycutt after he was drafted in the 20th round by the Giants, however. Listed at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, he has an athletic build and is an above-average runner. The righthanded hitter has started to tap into some of his power and has the versatility defensively to play in the middle of the infield or in the outfield.
First baseman Alberto Osuna this spring was named junior college player of the year after hitting .459/.530/.870 with 25 home runs for Walters State (Tenn.). Listed at 6-foot-1, 240 pounds, Osuna has plenty of power in his righthanded swing and will step into the middle of the UNC lineup. The class includes a couple more players with similar profiles to Honeycutt. Casey Cook and Joe Jaconski both have impact potential in their lefthanded swings and the defensive versatility to play nearly anywhere on the diamond. Outfielder Reece Holbrook, the son of College of Charleston coach Chad Holbrook, stands out for his speed and athleticism and could be a top-of-the-order hitter.
Righthander Alden Segui has a strong build at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds and a powerful arm. His fastball reaches 96 mph and sits in the low 90s with sinking action. He pairs it with a hard, tight slider and can also mix in a changeup. Lefthander Brandon Schaeffer, a junior college transfer, stands out for his pitchability and solid three-pitch mix. He this spring struck out 79 batters and walked four in 47.2 innings, pounding the zone with a fastball that sits around 90 mph to go with a changeup and slider. Righthander Nicholas Argento offers a lot of upside. His fastball gets into the low 90s and he has good feel for spinning his breaking ball.
North Carolina State
Recruiting coordinator: Chris Hart
Top recruit: Payton Green, SS (No. 112)
Ranking: No. 12
Hart has put together some impressive classes over the last decade as NC State’s recruiting coordinator. This year’s class has a chance to be as good as any of them, especially its group of position players, even after losing Kahlil Watson as the 16th overall pick in the 2021 draft. Green and third baseman Tommy White (163) look like the future heart of the Wolfpack lineup. Green’s a good athlete with the tools to be impactful both offensively and defensively. White has a powerful righthanded swing and a long track record as a hitter.
Recruiting coordinator: Rich Wallace
Top recruit: Roman Kimball, RHP (No. 284)
Ranking: Next 10
Notre Dame welcomes a premium recruiting class to South Bend, with some high-impact players leading the way. Kimball, lefthander Jack Findlay (No. 454) and righthander Radek Birkholz, the Gatorade Colorado Player of the Year, give Notre Dame plenty of upside on the mound. Catcher Joey Spence upheld his commitment to Notre Dame after being drafted in the 18th round by the D-backs and Nick DeMarco was the Gatorade Illinois Player of the Year and has two-way potential.
Recruiting coordinator: Ty Megahee
Top recruit: Tyler Kennedy, RHP
Pitt hit the transfer portal hard this year, bringing in some high-impact players like catcher Tatem Levins (La Salle) to bolster the roster after an exciting season. Its traditional recruiting class offers intriguing upside as well.
Kennedy has a big, strong frame at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds and a powerful arm. His fastball gets up to 95 mph and he pairs it with a hard curveball. His feel for pitching should help him to quickly carve out a role on staff. Righthander Jonathan Bautista also has good control and an advanced feel for pitching that will help him get on the mound quickly. His fastball sits around 90 mph, touching 93, and he pairs it with a breaking ball for which he has good feel. Righthander Hayden Summers, a junior college transfer, has a good fastball-curveball combination and is advanced enough to make an immediate impact. His fastball gets up to 95 mph.
Shortstop Tommy Tavarez stands out for his defensive ability—he has good hands, a strong arm and easy infield actions. He’s an above-average runner and he has a twitchy righthanded swing that portends future power. Outfielder Nick Giamarusti has elite speed and was a standout football player in high school. His baseball tools are still a bit raw, but he offers intriguing upside. Jack Anderson, a junior college transfer who began his college career at Northwestern, adds a powerful righthanded bat to the class. He can catch and play first base.
Recruiting coordinator: Kevin McMullan
Top recruit: Casey Saucke II, SS (No. 474)
Ranking: Next 10
Virginia brings another solid recruiting class to Charlottesville. Saucke has an exciting combination of size at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, righthanded bat speed and projectable power—a package that is reminiscent of former Virginia third baseman Zack Gelof. Catcher Ethan Anderson graduated a year early to join the 2021 class and then impressed this summer in the Futures League, hitting .427/.552/.667 with five home runs in 29 games. The class also features the last two winners of the Gatorade Virginia Player of the Year, Jay Woolfolk (2020) and Griff O’Ferrall (2021).
Recruiting coordinator: Kurt Elbin
Top recruit: Carson DeMartini, INF
Virginia Tech has had 11 players drafted in coach John Szefc’s four years as head coach, speaking to the level of talent and development in Blacksburg. This year’s class should fit into that same mold as the Hokies look to take the next step toward the NCAA Tournament.
DeMartini is a good athlete and stands out most for his lefthanded swing. He’s an aggressive hitter who produces good bat speed and has gap-to-gap power. He likely will settle defensively at second or third base. Christian Martin has a similar profile as a good athlete with solid offensive upside as a lefthanded hitter. He’s an average runner and could be a good fit at second base. Keaton Ray creates good bat speed as a lefthanded hitter and has solid power potential. He fits best as a corner outfielder or first baseman.
Lefthander T.R. Williams can run his fastball into the low 90s and mixes in a promising changeup and breaking ball. He has a good feel for pitching, throws a lot of strikes and can manipulate his arm slot. He was limited this spring by a serious case of Guillain-Barré syndrome, which effects the nerves and hospitalized him for 54 days. He is recovering and was able to get back on the mound in May. Righthander Drue Hackenberg comes from a very athletic family—his brothers Christian (football, Penn State), Brandon (soccer, Penn State) and Adam (baseball, Clemson) all played Division I sports before going on to the professional ranks. Drue has an athletic build at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds and a good fastball-slider combination. His fastball gets up to 93 mph, his slider can be a swing-and-miss offering and his changeup has promise. Righthander Tyler Dean has a big right arm and his stuff has taken a step forward in the last year. His fastball has been up to 98 mph, typically working in the low 90s, and the added power has helped his slider develop into an out pitch.
Recruiting coordinator: Bill Cilento
Top recruit: Josh Hartle, LHP
Ranking: No. 13
Coach Tom Walter and Cilento have elevated Wake Forest’s program over their 12 years in Winston-Salem, reaching super regionals in 2017 and producing first-rounders in back-to-back years. This year, the Demon Deacons have taken a step forward on the recruiting trail and have put together their best-ever class—ranking in the Top 25 for the first time. Wake Forest got a big boost when Hartle decided to remove his name from draft consideration. Prior to doing so, he had ranked as a top-50 prospect and was getting first-round consideration. Instead, the Demon Deacons get perhaps the best prep pitcher to make it to college. Shortstop Daniel Corona (267) has a solid all-around skill set and an advanced feel for the game and Wake Forest also adds Elie Kligman, who has two-way ability as a righthander/catcher and was drafted in the 20th round by the Nationals.