2021 Pac-12 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 Pac-12, which had a banner year in the recruiting class rankings. UCLA brought in the top-ranked class in the country, marking the first time since 2010 (Stanford) that the conference had the No. 1 recruiting class. Oregon State joined UCLA in the top 10 and Southern California and Washington also landed Top 25 classes. Three more schools 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 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: Dave Lawn
Top recruit: Anthony Susac, RHP (No. 292)
Arizona went through a coaching change over the summer, as Jay Johnson was hired away by Louisiana State and Chip Hale returned to his alma mater to take over as head coach. Between that turnover and the draft, the Wildcats lost some key pieces of their recruiting class but still bring a solid group of newcomers to Tucson.
Susac joins his cousin Daniel Susac, the Wildcats All-American catcher, on the roster. Susac is coming off an elbow injury that sidelined him this spring but when he’s healthy, he has a low-90s fastball and an advanced changeup and slider. He offers significant upside once he returns to full health. Josh Randall caught a lot in high school, but his big arm plays even better on the mound. His fastball gets up to 95 mph with a high spin rate and pairs it with a power curveball. He could see action as a two-way player, but his long-term future is likely on the mound. Lefthander Eric Orloff has intriguing upside thanks to his fastball-curveball combination, control and his size (6-foot-3, 215 pounds).
First baseman Noah Turley comes to Arizona after one season at Yavapai (Ariz.) JC, where he hit .417/.527/.908 with 22 home runs. Listed at 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, he has big raw righthanded power and could make an immediate impact in the middle of the order. Infielder Luis Tuero, another junior college transfer who began his college career at Miami, brings a solid lefthanded bat to the class. Outfielder Matty Clark is a righthanded hitter with a solid combination of speed, power and hittability. Tommy Splaine can do a lot of things well on the diamond and has two-way potential. He’s a solid catcher with a good righthanded swing and the defensive versatility to also play on the infield when he’s not catching.
Recruiting coordinator: Sam Peraza
Top recruit: Will Rogers, C (No. 210)
Like their Copper State rivals, the Sun Devils went through a coaching change this summer with Willie Bloomquist returning to his alma mater to replace Tracy Smith. Arizona State wound up with a compact group of incoming freshmen, supplemented by a few junior college and four-year transfers. It’s still a solid group, headlined by Rogers, who was drafted in the 17th round by the Brewers but went unsigned. He has a powerful righthanded swing that would play well in the middle of the lineup. His catching isn’t as advanced, but he has a strong arm and the athleticism to take a step forward defensively.
Infielder Cameron Magee is a good athlete who can play up the middle but also has the versatility to play nearly anywhere on the diamond. He has an easy lefthanded swing and should grow into some power in time. In addition to Rogers, Arizona State added prep catchers Ryan Campos and Luke Hammond. Campos receives well and has a strong arm and a quick lefthanded swing. Hammond, listed at 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, has a powerful righthanded bat and can also play on the infield corners. He’s also a good athlete and was an all-Ohio football player as a wide receiver.
Arizona State doesn’t have a freshman pitcher in its recruiting class but did add one from the junior college ranks to go with a few four-year transfers, highlighted by Adam Tulloch (West Virginia). Righthander Andrew Lucas began his college career at Cal State Northridge before transferring to South Mountain (Ariz.) JC, where he was a two-way player. He has a strong arm and can run his fastball into the low 90s.
Despite losing shortstop Carson Williams to the Rays as the 28th overall draft pick, Cal brings a stout group of newcomers to Berkeley that fell just outside the Top 25. Green was well off the radar early in his prep career, but this spring came on strong and comes to Cal as a highly rated recruit, although he remains raw. Catcher Caleb Lomavita (293), the Gatorade Hawaii Player of the Year, is a good defender behind the plate with plus arm strength. Righthanders Tucker Bougie and Christian Becerra stand out on the mound.
Coming off a strong season that ended with it hosting a regional for the first time since 2013, Oregon landed an impressive recruiting class. Walsh shows the ability to hit the ball to all fields and he has plenty of lefthanded power to tap into. Catcher Anson Aroz (470) stands out for his above-average arm strength and polish as a receiver. Matt Dallas, a junior college transfer, has two-way ability and figures to quickly find a role somewhere on the diamond.
The Beavers haven’t had a Top 25 class since 2016, when Adley Rutschman arrived in Corvallis. While this class probably doesn’t have a future No. 1 overall pick in it, its standout players and balance of hitters and pitchers set Oregon State up well for the future. Kmatz stands out for his advanced pitchability and above-average control, traits which help his already solid stuff play up. Righthander Victor Quinn (414) has a big arm and a fastball that reaches 98 mph. Infielders Mason Guerra (181), the Oregon Gatorade Player of the Year, and Travis Bazzana, who this summer set the West Coast League’s single-season hitting record (.429), make for a high-upside duo. Outfielder Tyree Reed (275) was this year limited by injuries but offers plenty of raw tools.
After putting together a Top 25 class a year ago in Jason Gill’s first season at USC, the Trojans this year have another solid class. Hammond was one of the best prep pitchers in Texas in this year’s draft class and combines solid present stuff with projectability. Infielder Caiden Huber (217) made a leap this year when he put on 20 pounds and began to grow into his promising lefthanded power. Matt Keating (412), a junior college transfer, has two-way ability and could pitch in high-leverage innings and hit in the middle of the order.
2021 Minnesota Top MLB Draft Prospects
Ranking the top high school and college MLB Draft prospects from Minnesota in the class of 2021.
Recruiting coordinator: Thomas Eager
Top recruit: Braden Montgomery, OF/RHP (No. 86)
After bringing in a top-10 class a year ago, the Cardinal this year have a smaller group of newcomers. They still added some premium talent, however, starting with Montgomery. He was one of the best two-way players in the prep class and seemingly does everything on the diamond well. He’s a switch-hitter with good bat-to-ball skills and solid power potential. On the mound, he has an easy delivery and throws his fastball in the low 90s to go with an advanced changeup and curveball. No matter where he ends up, Montgomery is will quickly make an impact for Stanford.
Catcher Charlie Saum produced a long track record of success against premium prep competition. He stands out mostly for his defense – he’s a good blocker and has a strong arm behind the plate – but he also offers righthanded power potential. Shortstop Trevor Haskins also has long stood out on the diamond and is coming off a strong summer in the California Collegiate League, where he hit .302/.362/.504 with 10 stolen bases. He has quick hands, both at the plate and on the infield, and is a solid defender. Outfielder Saborn Campbell is an excellent athlete who also drew scholarship offers for football. He’s a plus runner and has plenty of upside. Jake Sapien has two-way ability as a third baseman and righthander. He has a powerful righthanded swing and runs his fastball into the low 90s on the mound.
Listed at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, righthander Ty Uber has a strong build and a good feel for his three-pitch arsenal. His fastball sits around 90 mph, touching 93, and he throws a lot of strikes. He’s coming off a strong summer in the West Coast League, where he went 5-0, 2.65 with 58 strikeouts in 51 innings. Lefthander Gavin Nalu has a good feel for his fastball-slider combination. He’s not overpowering – his fastball sits in the upper 80s – but he could quickly become an effective weapon out of the bullpen.
UCLA has long stood out for its recruiting prowess under head coach John Savage. Now, for the first time in the 22-year history of the recruiting class rankings, the Bruins have the top-ranked class in the nation. They had the third-ranked class after signing day and after losing just one of their recruits to the draft they climbed to No. 1. Both the depth and high-end talent of the class stand out. Outfielders Malakhi Knight (72) and Nick McLain, the youngest brother of former UCLA shortstop Matt McLain, and shortstop Cody Schrier all have instant-impact potential. Hurd and lefthander Gage Jump (57) were among the best recruits to make it to campus this year. Alonzo Tredwell (338) and Josh Alger (342) were limited by injury the last two years but have two-way ability as righthanders/first baseman. The class has a little bit of everything and will form the Bruins core over the next few years.
Gary Henderson this summer was promoted to head coach, taking over the program after the retirement of Bill Kinneberg, and has an exciting group of newcomers. Kuehl has two-way ability as a righthander/outfielder and while professional scouts this spring were most excited by him on the mound, he’ll likely get a chance to do both for the Utes. Righthander Cameron Day this year was the top player in Utah and offers exciting upside. Infielders Elija Hammill (498), a former member of the Canadian Junior National Team, and Zach Toglia, the younger brother of former first-round pick Michael Toglia, add strong offensive profiles to the lineup.
The Huskies landed their first Top 25 class since 2016 with a strong mix of high-end prep prospects and junior college transfers. Debiec can run his fastball up to 98 mph, but the Huskies will have to wait until 2023 to see him in action after he this summer had Tommy John surgery. AJ Guerrero (475) stands out for his hittability and will quickly find a spot in the UW lineup, possibly in an outfield corner. Outfielder McKay Barney, a junior college transfer, adds solid on-base skills and speed. Righthanders Jared Engman and Colton McIntosh, both junior college transfers, could quickly make an impact on the mound.
Recruiting coordinator: Terry Davis
Top recruit: Hylan Hall, OF
As Washington State prepares to enter its third season under coach Brian Green, the Cougars welcome a large recruiting class that runs especially deep in junior college transfers. Hall, a junior college transfer who began his college career at Miami, has long stood out for his tools and athleticism. He has good speed and power potential and can be a middle-of-the-order hitter. If everything comes together for him, Hall has significant upside.
Lefthanders McKabe Cottrell and Cole McMillan, both junior college transfers, figure to make a quick impact on the mound. Cottrell is coming off a dominant spring and stands out for his pitchability. McMillan attacks hitters with his fastball-slider combination and runs his fastball into the low 90s. Bryce Matthews began his college career at Arkansas before transferring to junior college. He has a powerful lefthanded bat and profiles well as a corner outfielder or first baseman.
Righthander Kaden Schiefelbein leads the Cougars’ incoming freshmen. Listed at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, he has a projectable frame and throws a lot of strikes with his three-pitch arsenal. His fastball sits in the upper 80s and he’s a good athlete. Righthander Loreto Siniscalchi starred in the 2016 Little League World Series and went on to pitch for the Canadian Junior National Team. He has a projectable build and a promising fastball-curveball combination. Infielders Drake Anderson and Elijah Hainline can play up the middle and do a lot of things well on the diamond.