2021 Recruiting: 10 Classes That Just Missed The Top 25
With 300 Division I college baseball programs, it isn't easy to break into the Top 25 recruiting classes. Narrowing down the field is a difficult task that always leaves some impressive classes off the list. With that in mind, here are 10 more classes that fell just outside the Top 25, listed in alphabetical order.
The Top 25 classes can be viewed here. Four-year transfers are not considered a part of the recruiting rankings. Player rankings are according to the 2021 BA 500, which includes all draft-eligible players.
Recruiting coordinator: Noah Jackson
Top recruit: Rodney Green, OF (No. 224)
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. He’s an excellent athlete with a quick lefthanded swing and plenty of power projection remaining. He’s an above-average runner and covers ground well in center field.
Catcher Caleb Lomavita (293), the Gatorade Hawaii Player of the Year, is a good defender behind the plate with plus arm strength. He’s a good athlete and the righthanded hitter has some developing power, making for an intriguing overall package. Infielder Jack Johnston was high school teammates with Williams and has impressed against high-level prep competition. He’s a solid all-around player with a good righthanded swing.
Listed at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, righthander Tucker Bougie has a strong build and is coming off an excellent spring. His fastball gets into the low 90s and he mixes it with a promising changeup and slider. Righthander Christian Becerra has an advanced feel for pitching and a solid four-pitch mix that should help him quickly carve out a role with the Golden Bears. Andres Galan has two-way ability as a righthander and infielder. His fastball sits around 90 mph, and he has good feel for his breaking ball.
Recruiting coordinator: Jeff Palumbo
Top recruit: Trey Yesavage, RHP (No. 491)
ECU, coming off its second straight super regionals appearance, brings a strong class to Greenville that’s especially impactful on the mound. New pitching coach Austin Knight, promoted after Jason Dietrich was hired away to be the head coach at Cal State Fullerton, will build the core of future Pirates staffs around lefthanders Merritt Beeker and Erik Ritchie and righthanders Jake Hunter, Jordan Little, Wyatt Lunsford-Shenkman and Yesavage.
Yesavage offers significant upside. His fastball has already reached 96 mph and he’ll get to that velocity (and possibly more) with more consistency as he continues to develop and hone his skill set on the mound. Little also has a projectable look at 6-foot-3, 185 pounds with a low-90s fastball. Beeker is perhaps the most advanced of the newcomers on the mound. His fastball sits around 90 mph, and he has good pitchability. Hunter has a strong frame and pounds the strike zone with his three-pitch mix. Lunsford-Shenkman has some upside as well, combining a physical build at 6-foot-2, 225 pounds with a solid three-pitch mix, including a fastball that gets into the low 90s. Ritchie has a projectable build but already has a good feel for pitching, giving him upside if he grows into more velocity.
Catcher Ryan McCrystal has a strong lefthanded swing and has solid power potential. He has a strong arm and could soon take over behind the plate for the Pirates. He has experience as a pitcher as well and can run his fastball into the low 90s, but he’s more likely to make an impact at ECU as a catcher. Outfielders Cade Cunningham and Luke Nowak add serious speed to the class. Cunningham, a junior college transfer who began his college career at Gardner-Webb, is a plus runner and this spring stole 32 bases for Florida Southwestern State. Nowak has top-of-the-scale speed and a quick lefthanded swing. First baseman Jacob Jenkins-Cowart adds another powerful lefthanded bat to the class.
Recruiting coordinator: Derek Simmons
Top recruit: Luke Hayden, RHP
The Hoosiers took advantage of a strong year in the state of Indiana and landed a strong recruiting class despite losing a few recruits in the draft process.
Hayden has a strong build and a powerful fastball-slider combination. His fastball has been up to 97 mph, but he more typically pitches in the low 90s and his slider can be a swing-and-miss offering. Lefthanders Grant Holderfield and Ryan Kraft both have strong frames and good pitchability. Their fastballs sit in the upper 80s and they throw a lot of strikes.
Outfielder Carter Mathieson was named the player of the year in Indiana after leading the state in home runs (16). The lefthanded hitter has a strong build and knows how to get to his power. He’s an above-average runner and has a solid arm in the outfield. Outfielder Ryan Gilbert has a big, strong build at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds. He’s an impressive athlete with the chance for plus speed and power. If he puts it all together, he has tremendous upside. Shortstop Max Johnson stands out for his defense, which could help him quickly work his way into the lineup. He’s an above-average runner. Catcher Matt Ellis, a junior college transfer, has a strong lefthanded swing. He this spring hit 17 home runs for Walters State (Tenn.) JC and could step right into the middle of the order for the Hoosiers.
Recruiting coordinator: James Ramsey
Top recruit: Logan McGuire, RHP (No. 372)
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. His fastball has been up to 95 mph but typically sits around 90 to go with a pair of good breaking balls and solid control.
Lefthander Cody Carwile was a finalist for the Florida Mr. Baseball award after an impressive spring. Like McGuire, he has a projectable frame at a listed 6-foot-4, 195 pounds and has good control. His fastball sits in the upper 80s and he pairs it with a good slider, a combination that figures to get better as he gets stronger. Righthander Aeden Finateri is more physically mature at 6-foot, 215 pounds and he has a powerful fastball that gets into the mid 90s. His split-change is his best offspeed pitch and he figures to quickly carve out a role on staff, whether in the rotation or the bullpen. Righthanders Cameron Clines and Carter Daniels are both coming off Tommy John surgery but if they can regain their previous form, they will give the class two more premium arms. Clines can run his fastball into the mid 90s and gets swings and misses with the pitch. Daniels may have the best pure arm of the group and his fastball can reach 95 mph.
Kristian Campbell long stood out as a prep player and has a strong, athletic frame at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds. The righthanded hitter has a good feel for hitting and makes a lot of contact. He’s an above-average runner and a good athlete who has a chance to stick at shortstop. Jett Lovett is an impressive athlete with two-way ability. He’s an above-average runner and the lefthanded hitter has a good feel for the barrel. On the mound, he can run his fastball up to 94 mph. He can fit in a variety of roles for the Yellow Jackets and is likely to find a spot somewhere as a freshman. Brandon Prince this spring stole 40 bases for Georgia Highlands JC and his speed and feel for the game will help him contribute quickly.
Recruiting coordinator: Jason Hagerty
Top recruit: Justin Colon, SS (No. 266)
Mizzou hit the transfer portal hard as it looks to reset following a last-place finish in the SEC, but it also brings in a strong recruiting class. Colon and outfielders JuJu Stevens (310) and Carlos Peña (426) all drew draft interest but made it to campus and bring significant upside to Columbia.
Colon stands out most for his defensive ability, impressing for his hands, infield actions and plus arm strength. His bat will take more time to come along, but he projects as Mizzou’s shortstop of the future. Stevens and Pena, however, are more offensive-oriented. Stevens creates impressive bat speed and is a good athlete who can play center field, though his aggressive approach at the plate does come with some swing and miss. Peña has a strong, lefthanded swing, plus raw power and a solid track record of success at the plate. He profiles in right field. Catcher Shea McGahan is a good defender with a strong arm. He’ll need to continue to physically develop to reach his ceiling, but he does a good job handling a pitching staff.
Mizzou’s transfer class is more focused on the mound, but it does add some intriguing arms through its traditional recruiting class as well. Lefthander Tony Neubeck has a big, physical frame and throws a lot of strikes with his sinker. Lefthander Nathan Landry, a junior college transfer, stands out for his pitchability. His fastball sits around 90 mph, and he throws a lot of strikes with a four-pitch arsenal. Righthanders Sam Bryan and Zach Dantuono both offer upside but were limited this spring by injury and will need to get back to full health before they are ready to make an impact for the Tigers.
Missouri Baseball: Five Questions to Answer Entering 2022
Coming off of a tough 2021 season, Missouri has hit the reset button.
Recruiting coordinator: Rich Wallace
Top recruit: Roman Kimball, RHP (No. 284)
Link Jarrett’s tenure at Notre Dame is off to an outstanding start. This spring, in his first full season as head coach, the Fighting Irish won the ACC and advanced to super regionals. Now, Notre Dame welcomes a premium recruiting class to South Bend, with some high-impact players leading the way.
Kimball is a bit undersized at 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, but he is a good athlete with a big arm and throws a lot of strikes. His fastball reaches 96 mph, and he has a good feel for both his changeup and slider. Lefthander Jack Findlay (454) has an advanced skill set, combining pitchability, control and feel for spin. His fastball works around 90 mph, and he has a full complement of secondary pitches. Righthander Radek Birkholz, the Gatorade Colorado Player of the Year, has a similar profile to Kimball. He’s listed at 6-foot, 200 pounds, throws his fastball in the low 90s and is a good athlete.
Nick DeMarco, the Gatorade Illinois Player of the Year, has two-way ability as a shortstop/righthander. The righthanded hitter has power potential and his arm and glove play well on the left side of the infield. On the mound, his fastball sits around 90 mph, and he pairs it with a good curveball. Catcher Joey Spence was drafted in the 18th round by the D-backs but upheld his commitment to Notre Dame. He’s a lefthanded hitter with solid power potential and is a solid defender behind the plate. His athleticism plays well there, and he can also play an infield corner. Outfielder David Jefferson stands out for his athleticism and well above-average speed, a profile that fits well with the Irish’s offensive philosophy.
Recruiting coordinator: Justin Seely
Top recruit: Roc Riggio, 2B/OF (No. 176)
The Cowboys again bring one of the best classes in the Big 12 to Stillwater. They also this summer played heavily in the transfer portal, ultimately injecting a lot of new talent into the roster. Riggio, who was drafted in the 11th round by the Brewers, figures to be one of the best incoming freshmen in the country after a standout prep career. He stands out for his hittability and easy lefthanded swing. He’s got more power than his 5-foot-10, 185-pound frame portends. His bat’s ahead of his glove, but he can play second base or the outfield. Overall, his profile may remind Cowboys fans of Kaden Polcovich.
Infielder Zach Ehrhard was drafted in the 13th round by the Red Sox but didn’t sign. He has a good feel for hitting, is an above-average runner and offers some versatility defensively. Lefthander Ryan Ure was drafted in the 17th round by the Rangers but like Riggio and Ehrhard opted not to sign. Listed at 6-foot-7, 230 pounds, he has a projectable build and already has a good feel on the mound. His fastball sits around 90 mph and he has a promising changeup and breaking ball.
Carson Benge, the younger brother of former Cowboy Garrett Benge, has two-way ability as an infielder/righthander. The lefthanded hitter has a good swing and could grow into more power as he physically matures. He also can run his fastball up to 96 mph, giving him a chance to contribute on the mound. Third baseman Aiden Meola comes from an athletic family—his father Tony was the goalkeeper for the U.S. men’s national team at the 1990 and 1994 World Cups and his older brother Jon played on Stetson’s 2018 super regional team. Aiden has a powerful righthanded bat and is a well-rounded player. Garrett Martin and Lyle Miller-Green are both junior college transfers who this summer were teammates at Chatham in the Cape Cod League. Both are big, physical righthanded hitters who will add powerful bats to the lineup.
Recruiting coordinator: Jack Marder
Top recruit: Jacob Walsh, 1B/LHP (No. 155)
Coming off a strong season that ended with it hosting a regional for the first time since 2013, Oregon landed an impressive recruiting class. The Ducks hit the transfer portal hard for some immediate impact pieces, including righthander Adam Maier, a breakout performer in the Cape Cod League, but the class is strong through the prep and junior college ranks.
Walsh has a big, physical frame at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds and he split time in high school between baseball and football. He shows the ability to hit the ball to all fields and he has plenty of lefthanded power to tap into. He’s a good athlete and can also pitch, but his biggest upside is as a hitter. Catcher Anson Aroz (470) stands out for his above-average arm strength and polish as a receiver. He’s a switch-hitter and has good contact skills at the plate. Infielder Garrett Cutting has solid bat speed and packs some power into his righthanded swing. He is a good defender whose speed and athleticism will play up the middle. First baseman Carson Lydon has a strong, powerful lefthanded swing.
Matt Dallas, a junior college transfer, has an advanced approach on the mound and can run his fastball into the low 90s. He also offers versatility as a position player, capable of playing on the infield or in the outfield. He’s an above-average runner and has some feel at the plate, allowing him to be used in a number of ways. Righthander Jace Stoffal is coming off an impressive spring in the junior college ranks and attacks hitters with a sinker that gets into the low 90s. Righthander Jacob Hughes, whose older brother is an all-conference player at Gonzaga, throws a lot of strikes with his three-pitch arsenal and offers solid upside.
Recruiting coordinator: Mike Brown
Top recruit: Bransen Kuehl, RHP/OF (No. 253)
Gary Henderson this summer was promoted to head coach, taking over the program after the retirement of Bill Kinneberg. He hired Brown as his recruiting coordinator, reuniting the duo that previously worked together at both Kentucky and Mississippi State. As they take over, they welcome a large, talented group of newcomers to Salt Lake City.
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. Listed at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, the South Dakota native is a great athlete and can run his fastball up to 95 mph and flashes a plus slider. His athleticism and speed play well in the outfield. Righthander Cameron Day this year was the top player in Utah and offers exciting upside. His fastball sits in the low 90s and has reached 95 mph to go with a developing slider and changeup. Righthander Jaden Harris is a good athlete and has a strong build. He runs his fastball into the low 90s. Lefthander Bryson Van Sickle, a junior college transfer, is a good athlete with a solid three-pitch arsenal.
Infielder Elija Hammill (498) played with the Canadian Junior National Team in high school. He’s a switch-hitter with a strong build and has good contact skills from both sides of the plate. Third baseman Zach Toglia, the younger brother of former first-round pick Michael Toglia, creates good bat speed and has the potential for solid power as a righthanded hitter. He has a strong 6-foot-3 frame that profiles well at third base. Infielder Landon Frei is a good athlete with a quick righthanded swing that portends solid power. He projects to be able to play up the middle for Utah.
Recruiting coordinator: Kevin McMullan
Top recruit: Casey Saucke II, SS (No. 474)
Virginia lost a couple recruits to the draft, including outfielder Benny Montgomery, the eighth pick of the draft. While that knocked the Cavs out of the Top 25 after ranking No. 19 on Signing Day, they still bring a solid group 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. He’s an above-average runner, but some pro scouts saw him as a future third baseman. His hands and arm strength play well on the left side of the infield. 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. He has a strong, physical frame at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds and the switch-hitter has power potential. He’s quick and athletic behind the plate and can also move around the diamond defensively. Shortstop Tristian Shoemaker has above-average speed and is a good athlete. Those skills play well defensively and the righthanded hitter also shows offensive upside.
The class also features the last two winners of the Gatorade Virginia Player of the Year. Jay Woolfolk won the honor in 2020 and Griff O’Ferrall won in 2021. Woolfolk is ultra-athletic and also playing quarterback for Virginia. He can do a bit of everything on the diamond but is best on the mound, where his fastball gets into the mid 90s and he pairs it with a hard breaking ball. He’s a bit raw but offers considerable upside. O’Ferrall is a plus runner who projects to play up the middle on the infield. He this summer led the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League in batting (.404).