ACC 2020 College Baseball Recruiting 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. Five teams from the conference ranked in the Top 25 and two 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 seven teams that didn't make the rankings can be found here.
All rankings are according to the 2020 BA 500, which included all eligible players.
Recruiting coordinator: Greg Sullivan
Top recruit: Joe Vetrano, LHP/1B
The Eagles continue to tick up as a program and this class adds to their already exciting roster. Vetrano has two-way potential and could quickly make an impact in a variety of roles. On the mound, his fastball sits around 90 mph and he has good feel for his breaking ball. He has a strong, powerful lefthanded swing that creates a lot of bat speed and raw power.
Outfielder Cam Leary has a long track record of hitting as a prep and his lefthanded swing should continue to play well in college. Catcher Brendan Roney stands out behind the plate both for his catch-and-throw skills and his leadership. Offensively, he’s got some juice in his righthanded bat. Travis Honeyman is a strong hitter who is versatile enough defensively to move around the diamond, which will help him break into the Eagles’ lineup. Shortstop Corbin Lanowitz is a good, athletic defender who can move around the infield and has a smooth lefthanded swing.
Lefthander Charlie Coon fills up the strike zone with his three-pitch arsenal. His fastball reaches 91 mph and his feel for pitching will help him find a role on staff. Righthander John West has a big, athletic frame at 6-foot-9, 250 pounds and while he’s made some big strides over the last couple years, still offers a lot of upside. A prep basketball star, his fastball gets up to 93 mph and as he further refines his control, he could make a big jump. Righthander Joey Ryan has a strong 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame and was also a star hockey player in high school. He’s a bit more advanced than West with a fastball that sits around 90 mph and some feel for his offspeed pitches, but he will have more upside as he gets more experience. Righthander Aidan Crowley figures to quickly make an impact thanks to his pitchability and aggressive mentality.
The Tigers again have a strong recruiting class, headlined by Grice, who was one of the best two-way prep players in the country. He had among the best raw power in the draft class and is a solid all-around pitcher as well. Infielder Max Wagner, the Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year, has an advanced profile and could quickly make an impact. Righthanders Alex Edmondson and Ricky Williams (410) lead a deep class on the mound. Williams is big and projectable, while Edmondson has performed at a high level, but missed the last year due to injury.
Recruiting coordinator: Josh Jordan
Top recruit: Nick Conte, RHP
Duke lost a pair of recruits during the draft, including first-rounder Jordan Walker. Despite that, the Blue Devils have another solid class that adds a lot of physicality and upside to the roster.
In contrast to some of his classmates, Conte is undersized at a listed 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, but packs a punch. His fastball has reached 95 mph and he pairs it with a hard slider, a combination that could help him quickly find a role in the bullpen. Righthanders Collin Bosley-Smith, Adam Boucher and Cade Udell have big, athletic frames (the trio are all listed at 6-foot-4 or 6-foot-5) and low-90s fastballs. They all have the potential to develop into future starters for the Blue Devils.
Catcher Alex Stone also stands out for his size (6-foot-5, 220 pounds) and has an intriguing skillset. He’ll need to refine his tools—especially his receiving—but he has big righthanded power potential and a strong arm behind the plate. Luke Storm also has a physical 6-foot-5 frame but moves well (he’s an average runner) and profiles well at third base. He’s a switch-hitter with a quick, balanced swing and some power potential. Josh Allen and Luke Fox are both former high-level football players and have two-way ability as lefthanders/outfielders. Fox is a bit more advanced on the mound, while Allen could step into either role for the Blue Devils. Both offer real upside as they focus on baseball and hone their skills.
The Seminoles got a big boost to the class when Montgomery became the highest-ranked player to go undrafted. It is the second time in four years that Florida State has landed the top player to make it to school (Drew Mendoza, 2016) and Montgomery adds an instant impact arm to its pitching staff. Righthander Jackson Nezuh (378) was a late addition to the class but should also be able to make a quick impact thanks to his solid stuff and control. Outfielder Anthony Shaver (133) has loud tools and big upside. Lefthander Andy Armstrong and infielder Vince Smith also could quickly work their way into the Seminoles’ plans.
The Yellow Jackets landed a top-10 class headlined by Parada, the highest-ranked position player not to be drafted. He looks to be the latest high-end prospect in Georgia Tech’s catching pipeline but stands out the most for his offense and projects to quickly become a middle-of-the-order hitter on The Flats. Outfielder Jake Deleo (267) was a late bloomer but has come on strong over the last couple years and has significant upside thanks to his power-speed combination. Georgia Tech didn’t bring in a large group on the mound, but it got one of the more projectable pitchers in the class in righthander Marquis Grissom Jr. (151). His fastball sits 88-92 mph now, but there’s room for growth and he had perhaps the best changeup in the prep class.
The Cardinals signed a large, balanced class and dipped into the junior college ranks more than normal in anticipation of losing several players off their 2020 team to pro ball. The shortened draft meant Louisville didn’t lose as much as expected and it now has a very strong group going into 2021. Knapczyk can stay up the middle and be a sparkplug for the Cardinals. Righthander Ben Wiegman (415) joins his older brother Drew at Louisville and combines a promising fastball with a big curveball. Righthander Alex Galvan (496) is a good athlete with a projectable 6-foot-6 frame. Righthander Cam Robinson and lefthander Luke Seed were junior college rotationmates and look ready to take on important roles at Louisville.
Miami landed three top-100 recruits and five top-200 recruits, leading the nation in both categories. As a result, the Hurricanes have the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, their first ever top-ranked class. Miami has strong depth among its incoming position players, but just as importantly brings in high-impact talent on the mound, which will help it rebuild its pitching staff after it this summer lost all three of its weekend starters to pro ball. Mederos and fellow righthander Alejandro Rosario (60) give the Hurricanes two of the top freshmen pitchers in the country, while righthander Jake Smith (146), a junior college transfer, looks ready to step into the rotation. Shortstop Yohandy Morales (77) has big upside and power projection, while catcher Carlos Perez (137) earns comparisons to Yasmani Grandal.
Vanderbilt Baseball: Five Questions to Answer Entering 2021
In the big picture, Vanderbilt is operating at an extremely high level right now, but it will go into 2021 as an inexperienced team.
As Scott Forbes takes over as UNC’s head coach, he gets a solid, well-balanced incoming class to work with. The Tar Heels put together a versatile group of position players that can play up the middle, including infielders Mac Horvath (246), Jack Riedel (368) and Johnny Castagnozzi (467). Catcher Tomas Frick brings a good understanding of the game to Chapel Hill. Carlson and righthander Cannon Pickell (448) lead the newcomers on the mound and offer some strong upside.
North Carolina State
NC State brought in a solid recruiting class that will fit in well with the program. Eisert is a switch-hitter who has a loose swing and produces a lot of line drive contact from both sides of the plate. He has a chance to grow into an intriguing power-speed threat as he physically matures. Combined with his ability to stay up the middle in the infield, that makes for an exciting overall package. Carson Falsken is also a switch-hitting middle infielder with some exciting tools. He’s an above-average runner and uses that speed well both on the bases and defensively, giving him good range to go with reliable hands.
As the Wolfpack look to replace first-rounder Patrick Bailey behind the plate, they added catchers Bryce Behmer and Danny Carnazzo. Behmer has a strong arm behind the plate and has the chance to develop some righthanded power. Carnazzo, a junior college transfer, has a powerful righthanded bat and is a reliable defender. He’s athletic enough to move out from behind the plate to keep his bat in the lineup.
Lefthanders Cameron Arnold and Trey Cooper give the class a pair of advanced arms. Though they’re a bit undersized at 5-foot-11 and won’t overpower hitters with upper-80s fastballs, they have good offspeed stuff and built impressive prep track records that should translate to the next level. Lefthander John Miralia is more physically imposing at 6-foot-7 and his curveball could help him to quickly carve out a role on staff. Righthanders Coby Ingle and Cooper King have two-way ability and low-90s fastballs. Ingle is more advanced on the mound and has a good curveball, while King brings good athleticism on the infield.
Recruiting coordinator: Rich Wallace
Top recruit: Ryan Lynch, LHP/OF
Notre Dame dipped heavily into the transfer portal this summer, adding some instant impact to its roster. While those players aren’t considered when ranking recruiting classes, lefthander John Michael Bertrand, catcher/outfielder Alex Brait, righthander Christian Scafidi and lefthander Joe Sheridan figure to play important roles for the Fighting Irish in 2021.
Leading Notre Dame’s traditional recruits is Lynch, the Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year. He stands out the most on the mound, where his fastball gets into the low 90s and he mixes in a good curveball. The righthanded hitter has an easy swing and his athleticism and average speed play well in the outfield. Andrew Byers also has two-way potential at Notre Dame. The righthander has a good fastball-curveball combination on the mound and is a strong defender capable of playing anywhere in the infield. Brock Murtha adds another athletic, versatile player to the class. He’s a powerful righthanded hitter and was a prolific home run hitter in high school on Long Island and can also get on the mound.
Righthander Tanner Kohlhepp has a strong 6-foot-3, 212-pound frame and attacks hitters with a good fastball-slider combination. Lefthander James Hulbert is also strong and physical at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds with a solid fastball-slider combination. They’ll work with batterymate Danny Neri, who is a solid defender behind the plate and has an easy lefthanded swing.
Recruiting coordinator: Ty Megahee
Top recruit: C.J. Funk, OF
After getting off to a fast start on the field in 2020 and following the shortened draft, Pitt moved to load up on transfers, both from four-year schools and junior colleges, in this class. The prep players in the group add impact to the overall class.
Funk has a physical, athletic build and was also a star running back in high school, garnering some interest to play Division I football. But he picked baseball, where he has a strong righthanded bat and gets to his power well. Catcher Jackson Phinney also has a strong build and has both a plus arm behind the plate and good power potential offensively. Outfielder Domenic Popa is a similar player to his older brother Nico, who was an all-ACC outfielder in 2019 at Pitt. The lefthanded hitter makes a lot of contact and uses his plus speed well both on the bases and in the outfield. Shortstop Brock Franks, a junior college transfer, is a good defender who has some offensive upside, but will need to refine his approach.
Lucas Ismaili offers two-way potential as an infielder and righthander. Wiry and athletic, he has good infield actions, a balanced swing and a good approach. On the mound, his fastball has been up to 91 mph and he demonstrates good pitchability. Righthander David Ferguson has a big 6-foot-4 build, a fastball that gets into the low 90s and solid upside. Righthander Josh Collett, a junior college transfer, has a strong 6-foot-4 build and can pitch in a variety of roles, which will help him quickly take on important innings.
This class originally included lefthander Nate Savino, who instead enrolled a semester early and quickly stepped into a prominent role for the Cavaliers. Even without him, it’s a strong group overall. Teel was a top-100 player on the BA 500 before he formally removed his name from the draft and brings an exciting all-around package to Charlottesville. Alex Greene (493) has two-way potential as an outfielder/righthander and has played at a high level in high school, as has shortstop Jake Gelof, the younger brother of Virginia star Zack Gelof. The newcomers on the mound aren’t as famous as some of the players the Cavaliers typically bring to campus, but they offer strong upside even without Savino or Nick Bitsko, who was a first-round pick.
Recruiting coordinator: Kurt Elbin
Top recruit: Tanner Schobel, INF
Virginia Tech has a large incoming class, loading up on both freshmen and junior college transfers. Schobel was a standout player in high school, twice winning Division III player of the year honors in Virginia. He has a good feel for hitting and is a solid defender who can play up the middle. He does a lot of things well, has a good feel for the game and figures to quickly find a way into the Hokies’ lineup.
Lefthander Grant Umberger has good size at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, and throws a lot of strikes with his three-pitch arsenal. His fastball sits in the upper 80s and he mixes in a curveball and changeup. Righthander Griffin Green has a strong 6-foot-3 frame and throws his fastball around 90 mph, also mixing in a changeup and slider. Lefthander Jonah Hurney is undersized at 5-foot-8 but showed some swing-and-miss stuff in junior college and figures to take a spot in the Hokies’ bullpen.
Gehrig Ebel does a bit of everything on the diamond and fits best with the Hokies as a catcher/infielder. He played at a high level in high school, has a strong arm and a solid offensive approach. Outfielder Dusty Mercer is a good athlete with a quick lefthanded swing that offers solid power potential. Parker Stallard has above-average speed and athleticism that plays well both on the bases and in the outfield, giving him a center field profile.
In anticipation of losing several players to pro ball after the 2020 season, Wake brought in a large recruiting class. A shortened draft meant that didn’t really come to pass, but the Demon Deacons still were able to add a strong, deep group of newcomers.
Wilken leads the position players and offers big offensive upside. He has a physical 6-foot-4 frame and impressive righthanded power potential, though he’ll need to refine his approach to make the most of his raw pop. Where he fits best defensively remains to be seen, but there’s no question that his bat will quickly help him get into the Wake lineup. Lucas Costello is a plus runner and a good athlete who has the versatility to play all over the diamond. He has a simple, compact swing and makes a lot of contact.
Righthander Teddy McGraw missed much of the last year due to an arm injury but got back in action this summer and ran his fastball up to 96 mph. He mixes in a changeup and slider as well and figures to soon be ready for a key role for the Demon Deacons. Righthander Camden Minacci has a powerful build and a low-90s fastball with a high spin rate. He pitched at a high level in high school that should translate well. Lefthander Hunter Furtado has a projectable 6-foot-5 frame and has made significant strides over the last year, but still has plenty of room for more. His fastball sits in the upper 80s and he has the makings of a solid breaking ball and changeup. Lefthander Crawford Wade also has a projectable build to go with a fastball that gets into the low 90s and a good curveball.