Analyzing College Baseball's Top Recruiting Classes In 2019
You can click each of the teams below to jump directly to their capsule.
- Ole Miss
- Mississippi State
- Louisiana State
- Arizona State
- South Carolina
- Oklahoma State
- North Carolina
- Georgia Tech
- Texas A&M
- Brigham Young
Recruiting coordinator: Mike Baxter
Top recruit: Jack Leiter, RHP (No. 21)
Overview: The Commodores land their record sixth No. 1 recruiting class (2005, ’11, ’12, ’15, ’17) and extend their record streak of Top 25 classes to 15 years. They lead the nation with nine recruits from the BA 500, which includes all draft-eligible players. And for the second year in a row, they landed the top-ranked player to make it to a four-year campus. A year ago, that was Kumar Rocker, who helped Vanderbilt win the national championship and won Freshman of the Year and College World Series Most Outstanding Player honors along the way. This year, it’s Jack Leiter, another prep righthander with a famous father who headlines the class.
Hitters: Shortstop Carter Young (178) is the only position player from USA Baseball’s 18U team that won the gold medal at the 2017 World Cup to make it to college. He was a rising junior then but struggled over the next year and saw his draft stock fall. He has solid tools across the board and should be ready to step right into the middle of Vanderbilt’s infield. Catcher Maxwell Romero (275) stands out for his above-average power and arm strength. He’s a solid defender, and if he can refine his offensive approach to get the most out of his power, he has significant upside. Infielder Parker Noland (458) is an advanced lefthanded hitter with the ability to hit for power. Infielder Tyler McKenzie (492) is the younger brother of Indians prospect Triston McKenzie, who was committed to Vanderbilt out of high school. Tyler has plenty of athleticism and exciting raw tools but is still learning how to put them all together. Ryan Keenan and Nick Maldonado both have two-way potential but are more advanced as hitters. Keenan is a lefthanded-hitting outfielder who profiles as a top-of-the-order hitter, while Maldonado is an infielder with a strong arm who has been up to 93 mph off the mound.
Pitchers: At 6-foot-1, 191 pounds, Leiter isn’t physically imposing like Rocker, but he does have advanced stuff and figures to make an immediate impact this spring. His fastball reaches 94-95 mph and sits in the low 90s, while his curveball and changeup were among the best in the high school class. Lefthander Spencer Jones (78) had his spring cut short by surgery to repair a small fracture in his elbow but has premium stuff and size (6-foot-7, 212 pounds) when he is healthy. His fastball has gotten up into the mid-90s, and he has the makings of a plus curveball. While his long-term future is on the mound, he only came to pitching recently and is a strong two-way player who could also figure into the Commodores’ lineup. He spent the summer hitting in the California Collegiate League and had a solid performance, increasing the likelihood he gets a chance as a hitter. Righthanders Michael Doolin (410) and Chris McElvain (329) stand out most for their polish and control, two traits that should help them get on the mound quickly. Righthander Sam Hliboki (482) is projectable and performed well against high-level competition while in high school.
|21||Jack Leiter, RHP||R-R||6-1||195||Yankees (20)||Delbarton HS, Morristown, N.J.|
|78||Spencer Jones, LHP/1B||L-L||6-7||205||Angels (31)||La Costa Canyon HS, Carlsbad, Calif.|
|178||Carter Young, SS||B-R||6-0||177||Selah (Wash.) HS|
|275||Maxwell Romero Jr., C||L-R||6-0||185||Reds (38)||Pembroke Pines (Fla.) Charter HS|
|329||Chris McElvain, RHP||R-R||6-1||195||Summit HS, Spring Hill, Tenn.|
|410||Michael Doolin, RHP||R-R||6-3||200||Andrean HS, Merrillville, Ind.|
|458||Parker Noland, 3B||L-R||6-1||195||Marlins (31)||Farragut (Tenn.) HS|
|482||Sam Hliboki, RHP||L-R||6-3||185||Harvard-Westlake HS, Studio City, Calif.|
|492||Tyler McKenzie, SS||R-R||6-1||160||Benjamin HS, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.|
|Nick Maldonado, SS/RHP||R-R||6-2||195||Seton Hall Prep, West Orange, N.J.|
Recruiting coordinator: Carl Lafferty
Top recruit: Jerrion Ealy, OF (No. 62)
Overview: Three years after landing the first top-ranked recruiting class in school history, Ole Miss is bringing in another strong class that challenged Vanderbilt for No. 1. The Rebels shepherded the whole group through the draft without losing any recruits, and the result is a deep class, particularly strong in hitters. The class also includes two two-sport stars in Jerrion Ealy and John Rhys Plumlee, who will be suiting up for the football team this fall. That helps boost the athleticism of the class, but it does come with some added risk as well.
Hitters: Ealy headlines the class and becomes one of the most exciting, dynamic players in college baseball. A two-sport star who will also play running back for the Rebels, Ealy is tooled up with plus arm strength, defense, power and speed. The biggest question remains his hitting ability—primarily in his approach at the plate. He has tremendous upside, though it also comes with some elevated risk as a two-sport athlete. Plumlee (341) is more advanced as a quarterback, but his athleticism, speed and above-average power potential make for an intriguing package, and he brings a quality with him to the diamond. Catcher Hayden Dunhurst (103) is an advanced lefthanded hitter with the chance to be a plus hitter for both average and power. He’s got a strong arm behind the plate but is bat over glove and needs refinement defensively. Shortstop Connor Walsh (144) was one of the fastest players in the prep class, and he’s a talented defender at shortstop with solid actions and above-average arm strength. He has a short swing that produces some pop, but his bat is behind his glove for now. Trey LaFleur (370) has two-way talent but his long-term future is as a hitter, where he can make the most of his above-average athleticism and speed. He likely fits best as a corner outfielder and could still get on the mound, where the lefthander gets his fastball up to 91 mph. First baseman Cael Baker was the junior college player of the year and is a physical righthanded hitter. It doesn’t make for a sexy profile, but he has a short swing, good bat speed and the ability to drive the ball to all fields. Outfielder Hayden Leatherwood, a junior college transfer, gives the class another solid lefthanded hitter who is ready to contribute.
Pitchers: Righthander Andrew McDaniel (147) has shown impressive promise in the past, running his fastball up to 95 mph with good feel for his big curveball. But he was shut down with a sore elbow this spring. He looked better this summer in bullpens, and if he can regain his best stuff once he’s fully healthy, he has big upside as a starter. Righthander Derek Diamond (270) was also limited by injury last spring, in his case a shoulder injury. At his best, he pitches in the low 90s and has a good feel for spin. He’s also very athletic and has a chance to be a two-way player, but he’s much more advanced on the mound. Righthander Wes Burton also dealt with some injury concerns this spring, helping to push him to campus. He’s another projectable arm and can already run his fastball up to 94 mph. Righthander Braden Forsyth, a junior college transfer, saw his velocity climb throughout the last year. By the end of the spring, he was up to 95-96 mph with a good slider while working out of the bullpen, a role he figures to reprise at Ole Miss.
|62||Jerrion Ealy, OF||R-R||5-9||180||D-backs (31)||Jackson (Miss.) Prep HS|
|103||Hayden Dunhurst, C||L-R||5-11||209||Rockies (37)||Pearl River Central HS, Carriere, Miss.|
|144||Connor Walsh, SS||R-R||6-1||185||Niceville (Fla.) HS|
|147||Andrew McDaniel, RHP||R-R||6-2||180||St. Thomas Moore HS, Lafayette, La.|
|270||Derek Diamond, RHP||R-R||6-2||195||D-backs (40)||Ramona (Calif.) HS|
|341||John Rhys Plumlee, OF||R-R||6-0||192||Hattiesburg (Miss.) HS|
|370||Trey LaFleur, OF||L-L||6-3||192||Dodgers (21)||Tate HS, Cantonment, Fla.|
|Cael Baker, 1B||R-R||6-0||245||Wabash Valley (Ill.) JC|
|Braden Forsyth, RHP||R-R||6-3||200||Meridian (Miss.) JC|
|Hayden Leatherwood, OF||L-R||6-1||200||Northwest Mississippi JC|
Recruiting coordinator: Craig Bell
Top recruit: Hunter Barco, LHP (No. 32)
Overview: Though this class ranked No. 1 on signing day, that included righthander Nolan Crisp and center fielder Jud Fabian, who graduated a semester early and played for the Gators in the spring. Still, for the seventh year in a row, Florida landed at least five players from the BA 500 and, as a result, has a top-five class for the seventh straight year and ninth time in 12 years under Bell and coach Kevin O’Sullivan.
Hitters: Josh Rivera (333) last fall starred in Jupiter, Fla., at Perfect Game’s World Wood Bat Association World Championship, earning MVP honors after leading the Florida Burn to the title. He has an exciting toolset and makes a lot of hard contact at the plate. He has solid arm strength and hands and fits well at third base. Catcher Nathan Hickey (364) stands out for his offensive ability, as he is an above-average hitter for both average and power. He needs work defensively, but he has a strong frame and a big arm. Shortstop Isaac Nunez (453) is a strong defender with a solid arm, steady hands and some juice in his bat. Outfielder Brock Edge, the son of former Florida punter Shayne Edge, had a productive career at Santa Fe (Fla.) JC and gives the Gators another lefthanded bat.
Pitchers: Barco was the second highest ranked player to make it to campus this year, trailing only Vanderbilt righthander Jack Leiter. Barco was the top prep lefthander in the class, and he has three pitches with plus potential. His fastball sits in the low 90s and consistently reaches the mid-90s to go with an excellent split-changeup and tight slider. At 6-foot-4, 212 pounds, he’s big and physical and also packs easy lefthanded power at the plate. Righthander Tyler Nesbit (194) came on strong last fall and was named most valuable pitcher in Jupiter. He wasn’t as sharp this spring, but he’s got a lean, projectable frame and three pitches that project to be at least average offerings. Righthander Brandon Sproat (233) was drafted in the seventh round by the Rangers but became the lone prep player drafted in the top 10 rounds not to sign. He’s also lean and projectable with a loose arm and a good fastball-slider combination. Righthander Andrew Roberts is slated to be a two-way player as a righthander and corner infielder. He throws in the upper 80s with sinking action. Righthander Hunter Mink has a strong frame and a loose arm, producing a good fastball-curveball combination. Lefthander Ryan Cabarcas gets good life on his fastball and should fit well in the bullpen.
|32||Hunter Braco, LHP/1B||L-L||6-4||208||Mets (24)||The Bolles School, Jacksonville|
|194||Tyler Nesbitt, RHP||R-R||6-3||185||Rockies (32)||Labelle (Fla.) HS|
|233||Brandon Sproat, RHP||R-R||6-2||165||Rangers (7)||Pace (Fla.) HS|
|333||Joshua Rivera, 3B||R-R||6-2||205||Padres (22)||IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.|
|364||Nathan Hickey, C/INF||L-R||6-0||205||Providence School, Jacksonville|
|453||Isaac Nunez, SS||R-R||6-0||190||Lake Brantley (Fla.) HS|
|Andrew Roberts, RHP/3B||R-R||6-3||180||Trinity Prep HS, Winter Park, Fla.|
|Hunter Mink, RHP||R-R||6-1||160||Palm Harbor (Fla.) University HS|
|Ryan Cabarcas, LHP||L-L||5-11||155||American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla.|
|Brock Edge, OF||L-L||6-0||170||Santa Fe (Fla.) JC|
Recruiting coordinator: Kirk Saarloos
Top recruit: Riley Cornelio, RHP (No. 69)
Overview: TCU took a bigger class this year, a necessity after being hit hard in the draft over the last few years and last year going heavy on junior college transfers. This year’s group has the potential to quickly make an impact, both with pitchers and position players.
Hitters: Outfielder Austin Plante (266) was a part of a loaded team at Lake Travis High in Austin, and his teammates Brett Baty and Jimmy Lewis were both selected on Day 1 of the draft. Unlike them, Plante made it to campus and gives TCU an athletic, lefthanded hitter to plug into its lineup. A former football player, he has a physical profile and plus power. Catcher Kurtis Byrne (413) also offers physicality that translates both offensively and defensively. His arm strength and hitting ability play well right now, and he should be able to this season split time behind the plate with returning catcher Zach Humphreys. Phillip Sikes, a junior college transfer, can do a lot of things athletically on the diamond and has a chance to take over one of the outfield corners right away for TCU. He also has experience closing, and his fastball-slider combination plays well out of the bullpen. Outfielder Sam Thompson runs well and has a physical, twitchy frame and intriguing upside if he can refine his approach.
Pitchers: Cornelio is the latest premium pitcher to join the Horned Frogs. He has solid stuff across the board, starting with a low-90s fastball and a pair of breaking balls that can be at least average offerings. He has an up-tempo delivery that adds deception, and as he learns to repeat it better, his command should improve. Righthander Jacob Meador (172) is undersized at 5-foot-11, 170 pounds and his fastball sits in the upper 80s, but he throws it with a very high spin rate that leads to lots of swings and misses. He has advanced command and good feel for both his above-average curveball and changeup. That pitchability should help him quickly find a role with the Horned Frogs. Lefthander Nolan Hudi also stands out for his pitchability and big-game experience. He’s not overpowering but has a good feel for manipulating the ball and pitches with an edge. TCU also added several important junior college transfers, led by righthander Drew Hill (382). He began his college career at Utah Valley before transferring to junior college, where he impressed with a solid three-pitch arsenal. His fastball can get up to 97 mph in short stints and is typically in the low 90s when he starts, the role he likely will fill for the Horned Frogs. Righthander Harrison Beethe has a big, physical frame and can also run his fastball up to 97 mph. He offers big upside if he can harness his powerful stuff. Righthander Johnny Ray has been limited by injuries the last two years—first Tommy John surgery and then an oblique strain—and comes to TCU as a redshirt sophomore. He has been up to 95 mph and presents an exciting toolset if he can kick the injury bug. Lefthander Grant Miller is unconventional but won big at McLennan (Texas) JC. His fastball is essentially a cutter that sits 86-87 mph, and he pairs it with a slider with good depth. Lefthander Austin Krobe is more of a project who comes to TCU as a sophomore with raw upside.
|69||Riley Cornelio, RHP||R-R||6-3||190||Pine Creek HS, Colorado Springs|
|172||Jacob Meador, RHP||R-R||5-11||170||Mariners (31)||Centennial HS, Burleson, Texas|
|266||Austin Plante, OF||L-L||6-4||215||Lake Travis HS, Austin|
|382||Drew Hill, RHP||R-R||6-0||180||South Mountain (Ariz.) JC|
|413||Kurtis Byrne, C||R-R||6-1||210||Cardinals (38)||Christian Brothers College HS, St. Louis|
|Phillip Sikes, OF/RHP||R-R||6-2||190||D-backs (33)||Pima (Ariz.) JC|
|Nolan Hudi, LHP||L-L||6-0||185||Calvary Christian HS, Clearwater, Fla.|
|Harrison Beethe, RHP||R-R||6-4||230||Brewers (39)||North Iowa Area JC|
|Sam Thompson, OF||L-L||6-0||195||Owasso (Okla.) HS|
|Johnny Ray, RHP||R-R||6-3||205||Logan (Ill.) JC|
Recruiting coordinator: Bryant Ward
Top recruit: Michael Curialle, SS (No. 101)
Overall: The Bruins brought in a smaller class, with just nine newcomers, but it is another standout group. The class is well-rounded with a good mix of position players and pitchers. The position players are physical and toolsy and the pitchers offer projection, meaning this class may look even better after a few years in Westwood.
Hitters: Curialle came on strong this spring and anchors this Bruins class. Listed at 6-foot-3, 198 pounds, he’s strong and physical, but also very athletic. He has a powerful swing, and if he can cut down on his strikeouts, projects to hit for both average and power. He has a plus arm that will play on the left side of the infield, though he also has the speed to man center field. Outfielder Emanuel Dean (323) is toolsy and athletic. A former football player, he has a powerful swing and plus raw power. He’s still raw on the diamond but offers big upside. Catcher Darius Perry (479) also needs some refinement but has a solid defensive skill set. He has some intriguing raw power if he can get to it consistently. Patrick Caulfield has piled up stolen bases over the last year both at Santa Barbara (Calif.) JC and in the West Coast League. His speed also plays well in the outfield and he has some power in his wiry frame, making for an intriguing overall package.
Pitchers: Josh Hahn (354), the California Gatorade Player of the Year, has two-way potential but is most likely to contribute first on the mound. The lefthander pounds the zone with a good three-pitch mix and sits 89-92 mph with his fastball. As a hitter, he has some raw power and feel for hitting. Righthander Jared Karros (485), the son of former big leaguer and UCLA star Eric Karros, stayed off the showcase circuit and was mostly off the grid during his prep career. He pounds the strike zone with an upper-80s fastball and a changeup that shows plus potential. His stuff and pitchability are enough for him to contribute right away, but there’s hope for more as he fills out his ultra-projectable 6-foot-7 frame. Lefthander Jake Saum is an impressive athlete with a good fastball-slider combination and pitchability that will play right away. Righthander Adrian Chaidez, a junior college transfer, last year converted from catching to pitching and can run his fastball up to 93 mph. He’s worked as both a starter and a reliever and will likely fit in UCLA’s bullpen. Righthander Charles Harrison is young for the class and it may take him some time to reach his potential, but he has the makings of a solid college pitcher. He throws his fastball around 90 mph and has some feel for his breaking ball.
|101||Michael Curialle, SS||R-R||6-3||198||Rockies (31)||JSerra Catholic HS, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.|
|323||Emanuel Dean, OF||R-R||6-3||215||Servite HS, Anaheim|
|354||Josh Hahn, LHP/1B||L-L||6-2||190||Huntington Beach (Calif.) HS|
|479||Darius Perry, C||R-R||6-2||215||Rockies (38)||La Mirada (Calif.) HS|
|485||Jared Karros, RHP||R-R||6-6||175||Mira Costa HS, Manhattan Beach, Calif.|
|Patrick Caulfield, OF||R-R||5-10||180||Santa Barbara (Calif.) JC|
|Adrian Chaidez, RHP||R-R||6-1||170||Cypress (Calif.) JC|
|Jake Saum, LHP||L-L||6-0||170||St. Bonaventure HS, Ventura, Calif.|
|Charles Harrison, RHP||R-R||6-1||160||Canyon HS, Canyon County, Calif.|
6. Mississippi State
Recruiting coordinator: Jake Gautreau
Top recruit: Will Bednar, RHP (No. 190)
Overview: Mississippi State had 10 players drafted off last year’s College World Series team and needed a big class to fill those holes. This group does just that and includes an impressive all-around mix, both in terms of current talent and future projection and the variety of positions represented.
Hitters: Outfielder Kyte McDonald (415) is a no-doubt center fielder thanks to his plus-plus speed. He also has plenty of athleticism and upside to go with a quick righthanded swing. Brandon Pimentel is coming off a big freshman season at Howard (Texas) JC and comes to Mississippi State with three years of eligibility left. He is a physical lefthanded hitter with big power who profiles at first base or a corner outfield spot. Mississippi State brought in a bevy of players with two-way potential, a strategy coach Chris Lemonis used to great effect at Indiana, but which hasn’t been done as much in Starkville lately. The group is headlined by catcher/righthander Logan Tanner (312) and outfielder/righthander K.C. Hunt (313). Tanner is attempting the incredibly difficult double but has real talent at both positions. As a catcher, he’s an excellent defender, though his bat isn’t as advanced. On the mound, his fastball reaches 95 mph, and he mixes in a slider and a changeup. Hunt, the younger brother of former first-round pick Shooter Hunt, has a long, lean, athletic frame that plays well on the mound, where he has a deep, intriguing arsenal that even includes a knuckleball. He has good feel at the plate and profiles best as a corner outfielder. Kamren James, the younger brother of Mississippi State righthander Keegan James, is very athletic and has a powerful frame. He has the tools for shortstop, but if he gets as big as his brother, he’s likely to settle at third base and can also hit 93 mph on the mound. Drew McGowan has an athletic, lean frame that plays well both in the outfield and on the mound. He’s a plus runner and has a chance to hit for power, as well as get on the mound and throw an upper-80s fastball and good curveball.
Pitchers: Bednar, the younger brother of Padres prospect David Bednar, can run his fastball up to 96 mph to go with two breaking balls and a changeup. He dealt with some tightness this spring, limiting his pro looks and helping to push him to campus. Righthander Landon Sims (198) has a big fastball that gets up to 97 mph. That alone makes him stand out, and if he’s able to refine his hard, biting slider and changeup he offers considerable upside. Lefthander Davis Rokose (480) offers advanced pitchability that should help him quickly contribute. His fastball gets up to 92-93 mph, and he has a good feel for his curveball and changeup. Righthander Josh Hill has a big, physical frame and good feel for his three-pitch mix, particularly a curveball that should play well in the bullpen right away.
|190||Will Bednar, RHP||R-R||6-3||215||Mars (Penn.) Area HS|
|198||Landon Sims, RHP||R-R||6-2||215||South Forsyth HS, Cumming, Ga.|
|312||Logan Tanner, C/RHP||R-R||6-2||200||George County HS, Lucedale, Miss.|
|313||K.C. Hunt, RHP/OF||L-R||6-4||180||Ramapo HS, Franklin Lakes, N.J.|
|415||Kyte McDonald, OF||R-R||5-11||180||Antonian Prep HS, San Antonio|
|480||Davis Rokose, LHP||L-L||6-1||180||Chattahoochee HS, Alpharetta, Ga.|
|Kamren James, SS/RHP||R-R||6-4||205||DeSoto Central HS, Southaven, Miss.|
|Brandon Pimentel, 1B/OF||L-L||6-3||225||Howard (Texas) JC|
|Drew McGowan, OF/RHP||L-R||6-3||175||University Heights Academy, Hopkinsville, Ky.|
|Josh Hill, RHP||R-R||6-2||220||Indianola (Miss.) Academy|
7. Louisiana State
Recruiting coordinator: Nolan Cain
Top recruit: Maurice Hampton, OF (No. 35)
Overview: A year after navigating the draft well and landing the top-ranked class as a result, LSU lost several players but still ended up with a strong group of newcomers. The class is loaded up with athletic position players, starting with Hampton, who instantly becomes one of the most athletic players in the country. There aren’t as many pitchers, but the Tigers should be able to get a few impactful arms out of the class.
Hitters: Hampton is a two-sport star who will also play cornerback this fall for LSU and is the highest-rated position player to get to campus. He is an outstanding athlete and has also shown the ability to barrel up premium pitchers. His approach needs some refinement, not uncommon of two-sport players, and his plus-plus speed plays well in center field. Cade Doughty (79) is a well-rounded player with solid tools across the board. He might be able to stick at shortstop for LSU but may end up at third base, where his skillset fits well. He’s coming off a strong summer in the Cal Ripken League and should immediately take on a spot in the Tigers’ lineup. Catchers Alex Milazzo (260) and Hayden Travinski (261) add to LSU’s depth at the position and will both see time behind the plate this spring. Milazzo was one of the best prep defensive catchers in the country and has a plus arm, but his bat lags behind his glove. Travinski is a bat-first catcher with well-above average power and an above-average arm, though his receiving needs work. Zack Mathis, a junior college transfer, has packs plenty of power into his 5-foot-8 frame and will likely end up at second or third base this spring. Shortstop Zach Arnold is a good defender who has a chance to hit and play right away after performing well this summer in the California Collegiate League. Shortstop Collier Cranford was sidelined most of this spring due to Tommy John surgery but is a plus runner and can play anywhere on the infield thanks to his hands and twitchy athleticism. Outfielder Mitchell Sanford was a star quarterback in high school and flew under the radar because of his football commitments. He’s a lefthanded hitter with good athleticism and a chance to develop into a key player for the Tigers in the mold of Mark Laird or Andrew Stevenson.
Pitchers: Lefthander Jacob Hasty has a projectable frame to go with a fastball that has touched 94 mph and a curveball that can reach 2900 rpm, which is well above-average. Lefthander Brandon Kaminer, a junior college transfer who began his career at Miami, stands out for his pitchability and control. His stuff isn’t overwhelming, but he knows what he needs to do to get outs and should be ready to step in as a starter, likely mid-week or on Sunday. Righthander Farmer Abendroth was limited by mononucleosis this spring but is a good athlete with a powerful fastball and a good breaking ball when he’s right.
|35||Maurice Hampton, OF||R-R||6-0||214||Padres (23)||Memphis University HS|
|79||Cade Doughty, SS||R-R||6-1||195||Tigers (39)||Denham Springs (La.) HS|
|260||Alex Milazzo, C||R-R||5-10||185||Zachary (La.) HS|
|261||Hayden Travinski, C||R-R||6-3||234||Airline HS, Bossier City, La.|
|Zack Mathis, 2B/3B||L-R||5-8||190||Twins (38)||San Joaquin Delta (Calif.) JC|
|Zach Arnold, SS||R-R||6-2||190||Orioles (34)||Great Oak HS, Temecula, Calif.|
|Brandon Kaminer, LHP||L-L||6-0||180||Wallace-Dothan (Ala.) JC|
|Collier Cranford, SS||R-R||6-0||175||Zachary (La.) HS|
|Jacob Hasty, LHP||L-L||6-2||210||Liberty Christian School, Argyle, Texas|
|Mitchell Sanford, OF||L-R||6-2||180||Berwick (La.) HS|
8. Arizona State
Recruiting coordinator: Ben Greenspan
Top recruit: Justin Fall, LHP (No. 141)
Overview: After taking a smaller class in 2018, Arizona State is back in the Top 25 with a strong 2019 class. The Sun Devils loaded up on pitching this year, while also mixing in some promising hitters, highlighted by catcher Michael Carpentier Jr. Righthander Tyler Thornton, a transfer from Saint Mary’s, will also provide a big boost after a Freshman All-American season in 2019, but he does not count toward the recruiting rankings.
Hitters: Carpentier (287), whose father was a Dodgers farmhand, was one of the top catchers last year in California and earns praise for his baseball instincts. He’s an advanced defender with a plus arm who blocks and receives well. He’s not as toolsy offensively, but the lefthanded hitter has good bat-to-ball skills and should be ready to compete on both sides of the plate. Sean McLain, the younger brother of 2018 first rounder and UCLA sophomore Matt McLain, is a versatile, competitive player. He isn’t as polished as his older brother but has a good righthanded swing and experience playing both in the outfield and infield. The Sun Devils signed a trio of intriguing outfielders. Hunter Jump, who returns to Tempe after a year at Central Arizona JC, is a steady, proven lefthanded hitter, who should be in the mix in right field. Alex Helmin and Seth Nager are both projectable and offer plenty of upside but are still a little raw. Helmin, a righthanded hitter, has big bat speed that portends more power, while Nager, a lefthanded hitter, has a chance for solid all-around tools. Brian Kalmer is a corner infielder with big strength that should translate into above-average power if he can refine his swing.
Pitchers: Fall, a junior college transfer, offers big-time projection, but also has instant-impact potential. His fastball gets up to 95 mph, but his changeup, slider and control all need more refinement. If new pitching coach Jason Kelly can help Fall unlock some of his potential, he could be one of the best pitchers in the Pac-12, but he’s taking a big step up from the New Jersey junior college ranks. Righthander Seth Tomczak (159) also offers significant upside. He touched 94 mph and flashed a plus slider at the 2018 Area Code Games, but after suffering an ankle injury on the basketball court over the winter, his stuff wasn’t as loud in the spring. Lefthander Cooper Benson can’t match the pure upside of Fall and Tomczak, but he is perhaps the best plug-and-play option in the class. A little undersized at a listed 6-foot, 200 pounds, he played against high-level competition throughout his prep career and comes to school with a good feel for his fastball-changeup combination and a track record of throwing strikes. Lefthander Graham Osman has a spike-curveball that gives him a chance to quickly find a role in the bullpen. Righthander Cameron Dennie missed the last year due to Tommy John surgery but is now ready to get back on the mound. His fastball was up to 91 mph before his injury and he showed good feel for spin and control, a combination that offers plenty of promise if he can recapture his previous form. Righthander Nick Wallerstedt, who has two-way potential, is ultra-athletic and has a fast arm, capable of running his fastball up to 93 mph.
|141||Justin Fall, LHP||L-L||6-6||235||Royals (34)||Brookdale (N.J.) JC|
|159||Seth Tomczak, RHP||L-R||6-3||170||D-backs (26)||Argonaut HS, Jackson, Calif.|
|287||Michael Carpentier Jr., C||L-R||6-0||195||Rays (30)||Yucaipa (Calif.) HS|
|Cooper Benson, LHP||L-L||6-0||200||San Luis Obispo (Calif.) HS|
|Sean McLain, OF/2B||R-R||5-11||175||Beckman HS, Irvine, Calif.|
|Graham Osman, LHP||L-L||6-3||182||Colorado Academy, Denver|
|Cameron Dennie, RHP||R-R||6-2||180||Plymouth (Ind.) HS|
|Hunter Jump, OF||L-R||5-11||185||Central Arizona JC|
|Brian Kalmer, 3B/1B||R-R||6-2||195||Corona del Sol HS, Tempe, Ariz.|
|Nick Wallerstedt, RHP/OF||R-R||6-3||185||Mountain Pointe HS, Phoenix|
Recruiting coordinator: Karl Nonemaker
Top recruit: Hayden Mullins, LHP (No. 119)
Overview: Auburn continues to recruit well under head coach Butch Thompson and this year landed its fourth-straight Top 25 class. This group has some premium players—another high upside pitcher in Mullins and the ultra-versatile Nathan LaRue—and strong depth, especially on the mound.
Hitters: LaRue (210) offers plenty of versatility and figures to be a two-way player for the Tigers. He has good pop as a hitter and can play the outfield or catch, where he’s a solid defender with a good arm. He also throws his fastball in the low 90s with a good curveball when he gets on the mound. Travis Odom also offers the Tigers versatility. He’s a good athlete with a powerful swing and a chance to stay in the infield. He also can get on the mound, where he can run his fastball up to 90 mph and mix in a slider. Infielder Mason Greer, the son of former big leaguer Rusty Greer, fits best at second or third base and is a switch-hitter with some power in his bat. He’s played at a high level throughout high school and should be able to quickly contribute. Tyler Miller was drafted out of high school in 2018 but went on to junior college. He comes to Auburn with three years of eligibility remaining, and the lefthanded hitter figures to fit at either second or third base. Catcher Ryan Dyal is a solid all-around player, both offensively and defensively. He has good hands at the plate and has good catch-and-throw skills.
Pitchers: Auburn has had success getting a frontline pitcher to campus to headline its recruiting class over the last few years. This year’s top arm is Mullins, who has solid stuff and a good feel for spin. He isn’t particularly physical and battled some arm tightness this spring, but he should be able to quickly help the Tigers. Righthander Mason Barnett (250) has run his fastball up to 95 mph with a good changeup and a developing breaking ball. He figures to quickly carve out a role on the pitching staff. Righthanders Trace Bright (353) and Ramsey David (301) will need more time to develop and grow into their projectable frames. David mostly throws his fastball around 90 mph and has a good changeup and slider, all of which give him a chance to start if he continues to mature. Bright typically throws in the upper 80s now and will need to improve his control but also exhibits starter traits. Righthander Drew Baker was a catcher until his final year of high school, when he started pitching. He moved to the mound full time last year in junior college and saw his stuff take a jump. He comes to Auburn as a sophomore and throws his fastball in the mid-90s out of the bullpen.
|119||Hayden Mullins, LHP||L-L||6-0||190||Hendersonville (Tenn.) HS|
|210||Nathaniel LaRue, C/RHP||R-R||6-2||200||Blue Jays (25)||McGill-Toolen HS, Mobile, Ala.|
|250||Mason Barnett, RHP||R-R||6-1||205||Cartersville (Ga.) HS|
|301||Ramsey David, RHP||R-R||6-1||180||Buford (Ga.) HS|
|353||Trace Bright, RHP||R-R||6-3||185||Trinity Presbyterian HS, Montgomery, Ala.|
|Drew Baker, RHP||R-R||6-2||185||Dodgers (16)||Chipola (Fla.) JC|
|Mason Greer, 2B/3B||B-R||6-1||190||D-backs (37)||Colleyville (Texas) Heritage HS|
|Ryan Dyal, C||L-R||5-11||190||East Coweta HS, Sharpsburg, Ga.|
|Tyler Miller, 2B/3B||L-R||6-2||185||Pirates '18 (23)||East Mississippi JC|
|Travis Odom, SS/RHP||R-R||6-0||185||Christ Presbyterian Academy, Nashville|
Recruiting coordinator: Sean Allen
Top recruit: Sammy Faltine, SS/RHP (No. 89)
Overview: After last season’s disappointing last-place Big 12 finish, Texas brings an infusion of talent to Austin. This year’s class has some of the same high-upside players that the Longhorns stocked up on last year but also includes more of the kind of players who will be able to quickly contribute and add depth to the lineup and pitching staff.
Hitters: Faltine is perhaps the most versatile player in the country. He can play anywhere on the field except catcher and oozes with athleticism. He has all the tools to play shortstop, and he’s going to get a shot to win the job of the Longhorns. He can also get on the mound and impress with a high-spin rate fastball that sits around 90 mph and three promising secondary offerings. Catcher Silas Ardoin, the son of former big league catcher Danny Ardoin, is an advanced defender that can compete for time behind the plate this spring. He’s average over power right now, but projects to grow into more pop as he matures. Camryn Williams also comes from a baseball family—his father Reggie Williams is a former big leaguer—and comes to Texas after stops at Dallas Baptist and San Jacinto (Texas) JC. He’s a switch-hitter with some power and is capable of playing anywhere on the infield. Shortstop Murphy Stehly, another junior college transfer, will also be in the mix at shortstop, where he is a steady defender. Outfielder Douglas Hodo, whose father was on Texas’ 1983 national championship team, is one of the fastest players in the country and ran a 10.84 100-meter dash in 2018. His speed plays on the diamond and he’s started refining his approach at the plate, allowing him to better tap into his offensive ability. Brenden Dixon was an integral part of the Argyle (Texas) High team that was named High School Team of the Year. He has good hittability and profiles well at second base.
Pitchers: Righthander Jared Southard (231) saw his velocity tick up this spring, reaching 95 mph after mostly sitting around 90 during the previous summer. He’s a good strike-thrower and showed feel to spin both a curveball and a newly added slider. He’s fairly advanced already and figures to find a role on staff quickly. Andre Duplantier (241), the cousin of D-backs righthander Jon Duplantier, has two-way potential but is future is likely on the mound. He attacks hitters with a sinker-slider combination that will play right away in the bullpen. His fastball is mostly 88-90 mph right now, but his athleticism and projectable frame portends a velocity jump sooner than later. Lefthander Peter Hanson has started to mature physically, and his stuff has started to make a jump as well. He has an easy delivery, pitches in the upper 80s, touching 92 mph, with a good breaking ball and control. Righthander Will Swope has big-game pitching experience as the former ace of The Woodlands High, which has produced the likes of Jameson Taillon and Paul Goldschmidt. Swope pounds the strike zone from a crossfire delivery and can run his fastball up to 93 mph but typically sits a tick lower. Righthander Dawson Merryman, a junior college transfer, throws from a submarine slot and had a very effective summer in the Cape Cod League. He could start but figures to pitch out of the Longhorn bullpen right away.
|89||Sammy Faltine, SS/RHP||R-R||6-3||200||Red Sox (39)||Fort Bend Travis HS, Richmond, Texas|
|231||Jared Southard, RHP||R-R||6-2||210||Angels (20)||Rouse HS, Leander, Texas|
|241||Andre Duplantier, RHP/3B||R-R||6-2||195||Summer Creek HS, Houston|
|Silas Ardoin, C||R-R||6-0||185||Rockies (36)||Sam Houston HS, Lake Charles, La.|
|Camryn Williams, SS/3B||B-R||6-2||200||Mariners '16 (39)||San Jacinto (Texas) JC|
|Dawson Merryman, RHP||R-R||6-1||220||Midland (Texas) JC|
|Peter Hanson, LHP||L-L||6-3||200||Oak Ridge HS, El Dorado Hills, Calif.|
|Murphy Stehly, SS||R-R||5-11||190||Orange Coast (Calif.) JC|
|Douglas Hodo, OF||R-R||5-10||190||Boerne (Texas) HS|
|Will Swope, RHP||R-R||6-2||215||The Woodlands (Texas) HS|
11. South Carolina
Recruiting coordinator: Trip Couch
Top recruit: Brett Thomas, RHP (No. 95)
Overview: After a disappointing 2019 season, South Carolina brings in a big class that’s heavy on junior college players in an effort to quickly get back on track. The Gamecocks will need some of their big arms who were injured this spring can regain their previous form to get the most out of this class. There’s also some solid prep talent in the class, which should help build a more stable foundation over the next few years. Mike Current took the lead on assembling this class before trading positions with Couch on staff and becoming South Carolina’s director of player development.
Hitters: The South Carolina coaching staff had Paul DeJong at Illinois State and sees some similarities between him and Brennan Milone (134), who stands out for his pure hitting ability but is tough to profile defensively. Aside from his hitting, the rest of his tools are average across the board and he’ll be able to stay in the infield, though probably not at shortstop. His hittability will play wherever he ends up defensively and should help him contribute quickly. Catcher Jax Cash (486) is coming off Tommy John surgery but showed strong defensive tools before his injury. His biggest question is offensively, where his tools will flash, but need to translate better in games. Outfielder Noah Myers ran wild in junior college last year and is an asset on the bases. The Canadian native is still a little raw, but he’s a good center fielder and should improve offensively as he gets stronger. Infielder Jeff Heinrich, a junior college transfer, has a good feel for hitting and average speed. He fits best at second base defensively and has enough contact ability that he could hit in the two-hole. Outfielder Anthony Amicangelo, a junior college transfer, is a strong, pure hitter who generates a lot of extra-base hits without a ton of swing-and-miss. Braylen Wimmer has above-average power and speed potential, making for an especially interesting combination if he’s able to stay up the middle on the infield.
Pitchers: Thomas came on strong this spring as he returned healthy from injury and ran his fastball up to 97 mph. He typically throws the pitch a tick slower and combines it with a breaking ball that he has good feel for. He’s a bit raw still but should be able to at least take on a role in the bullpen and grow into a spot in the rotation in time. Righthanders Thomas Farr (213) and Andrew Peters (459), both junior college transfers, have big arms but missed the spring due to injury. While Peters had Tommy John surgery, Farr did not require surgery. Both have been up to 98 mph in the past and if they can regain their form, they add premium stuff to the staff. Peters is more likely to start in the long run, but either could pitch in the Gamecocks’ rotation this spring. Righthander Brannon Jordan (467), also a junior college transfer, is coming off a strong summer in the Northwoods League, where he showed off a good fastball-slider combination that will play either in the rotation or the back of the bullpen. Righthander Trey Tujetsch is undersized but can run his fastball up to 92 mph and has a good feel for spin, traits which figure to get him on the mound quickly for South Carolina.
|98||Brett Thomas, RHP||R-R||6-5||210||Riverwood HS, Atlanta|
|134||Brennan Milone, SS/3B||R-R||6-1||190||Dodgers (28)||Woodstock (Ga.) HS|
|213||Thomas Farr, RHP||R-R||6-1||200||Rangers (37)||Northwest Florida State JC|
|459||Andrew Peters, RHP||R-R||6-2||190||Rays (21)||Logan (Ill.) JC|
|467||Brannon Jordan, RHP||R-R||6-2||190||Rays (31)||Cowley (Kan.) JC|
|486||Jax Cash, C||R-R||6-4||205||IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.|
|Noah Myers, OF||L-L||6-3||195||Blue Jays (30)||Wabash Valley (Ill.) JC|
|Jeff Heinrich, 2B||R-R||6-0||195||Giants (40)||McHenry (Ill.) JC|
|Trey Tujetsch, RHP||R-R||6-0||170||Ardrey Kell HS, Charlotte|
|Anthony Amicangelo, OF||R-R||5-10||205||Johnson County (Kan.) JC|
Recruiting coordinator: Norberto Lopez
Top recruit: Dylan Eskew, RHP (No. 165)
Overview: The Hurricanes bring in another very solid class—their fourth straight in the top 15. It’s especially strong on the mound, an area Miami has been beefing up over the last few years.
Hitters: Outfielder Hylan Hall (230) has impressive raw tools and athleticism but had a rocky spring that was derailed by a suspension and a knee injury. At his best, he’s a plus runner with a quick swing who can impact the game in several different ways. He has an aggressive approach to the game that shows up at the plate, on the bases and in the outfield. It makes for a high-upside profile, but it’s not without risk. Catcher/outfielder Jared Thomas is a lefthanded hitter with a good combination of power and arm strength. He’s more advanced as an outfielder, but his tools give him a chance behind the plate if he can refine his receiving. Mykanthony Valdez has big raw power but is still learning to get to it in games. He fits well at either infield corner.
Pitchers: Eskew and fellow righthander Alex McFarlane (186) headline the class and give the Hurricanes two more high-end arms. Eskew made a jump over the last year and this spring ran his fastball up to 94 mph and sat in the low 90s. He’s still projectable and has a good feel for spin, allowing him to throw two different breaking balls. McFarlane, a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is very projectable and athletic, but he was inconsistent this spring. At his best, his fastball reaches 95 mph and has a plus slider. His ceiling is probably the highest of anyone in the class. Righthander Jason Diaz (398) has a fast arm and attacks hitters with a good fastball-slider combination. His fastball typically sits around 90 mph, but he’ll flash higher and should be able to hold that velocity in time. Yordani Carmona and Carson Palmquist give the Hurricanes needed lefthanders with good secondary stuff. Carmona has a bit more advanced pitchability, while Palmquist offers more projection, but both can quickly contribute. Lefthander Spencer Bodanza, a junior college transfer, is more advanced then Carmona and Palmquist and adds a successful, experienced pitcher to the staff. He pounds the strike zone with a fastball that sits around 90 mph and mixes in a slider. Righthander Jake Garland stands out now for his pitchability and solid three-pitch mix. If he’s able to make another jump in velocity, he could be the class’ sleeper.
|165||Dylan Eskew, RHP||R-R||6-3||185||D-backs (24)||Sickles HS, Tampa|
|186||Alex McFarlane, RHP||R-R||6-3||173||Cardinals (25)||Habersham Central HS, Mt. Airy, Ga.|
|230||Hylan Hall, OF||R-R||6-2||190||Ocoee (Fla.) HS|
|398||Jason Diaz, RHP||R-R||6-2||210||Kellenberg Memorial HS, Uniondale, N.Y.|
|Carson Palmquist, LHP||L-L||6-3||170||Riverdale HS, Fort Myers, Fla.|
|Yordani Carmona, LHP||L-L||6-2||195||Pace (Fla.) HS|
|Jared Thomas, C/OF||L-R||6-0||185||Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS|
|Jake Garland, RHP||R-R||6-4||225||Jupiter (Fla.) HS|
|Mykanthony, 3B/1B||R-R||6-2||205||Calvary Christian HS, Clearwater, Fla.|
|Spencer Bodanza, LHP||L-L||6-1||185||Hillsborough (Fla.) JC|
Recruiting coordinator: Bradley LeCroy
Top recruit: Mack Anglin, RHP (No. 126)
Overview: Clemson has focused on premium pitchers in its last couple classes and landed some good ones this year, led by Anglin. But they also mixed in some strong position players, starting with catcher Jonathan French. Overall, it’s a well-balanced class for the Tigers.
Hitters: French was one of the best prep catchers in last year’s draft class and figures to make an instant impact for the Tigers. He’s physical but has more of a hit-over-power profile at the plate right now. He’s got all the tools to be an above-average defender and stands out now for his receiving and blocking. Outfielder Dylan Brewer (452) never played on the travel ball circuit and popped up late in the draft process but has plenty of tools and projection. He’s raw and has the potential to develop into a center field with power thanks to his athleticism and plus speed. Pierce Gallo has the defensive tools to stay at shortstop. He’s glove over bat right now but as he gets stronger, he figures to improve offensively. JD Brock looked more like a pitcher a couple years ago but has really come on as a hitter. He has a solid lefthanded swing and profiles well as a corner outfielder, though he may still get a chance to pitch for Clemson.
Pitchers: Anglin has big-time upside and last summer it looked like he wouldn’t make it to Clemson when he showed a fastball that got into the mid-90s and two promising secondary offerings. But Anglin, an Ohio native, started spring slowly, like many Northern prep pitchers, and that, as well as his signability, helped push him to campus. He has the features of a future Friday starter and should quickly make an impact for the Tigers. Lefthander Paul Labriola is big and projectable and if he grows into his 6-foot-6 frame, could leave school as a top-100 pick. His fastball has been up to 93 mph with good life but he’ll need to refine his breaking ball. Lefthander Geoffrey Gilbert was the South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year and figures to quickly carve out a role on staff thanks to his polish, a fastball that’s up to 93 mph and a good breaking ball. Lefthander Ryan Ammons is the sleeper of the class and also has a chance to contribute quickly. He was a three-sport athlete in high school and could make strides now that he’s playing baseball full-time. Righthander Nolan Hoffman also could find a role quickly thanks to his high-spin rate fastball that makes him very difficult to square up. Righthander Nick Clayton has a projectable frame and should add more velocity as he gets stronger.
|126||Mack Anglin, RHP||R-R||6-5||195||Highland HS, Marengo, Ohio|
|130||Jonathan French, C||R-R||6-0||210||Indians (30)||Parkview HS, Lilburn, Ga.|
|452||Dylan Brewer, OF||L-L||6-3||180||Giants (32)||Latta (S.C.) HS|
|Pierce Gallo, SS||R-R||6-3||185||Walton HS, Marietta, Ga.|
|JD Brock, OF/LHP||L-L||6-2||195||Hough HS, Cornelius, N.C.|
|Geoffrey Gilbert, LHP||L-L||6-2||200||Bishop England HS, Charleston, S.C.|
|Nick Hoffman, RHP||R-R||6-3||200||Centerville (Ohio) HS|
|Paul Labriola, LHP||L-L||6-6||190||Cardinal Newman HS, West Palm Beach, Fla.|
|Ryan Ammons, LHP||L-L||6-0||175||Wren HS, Piedmont, S.C.|
|Nick Clayton, RHP||R-R||6-5||190||York (S.C.) HS|
14. Oklahoma State
Recruiting coordinator: Marty Lees
Top recruit: Bryce Osmond, RHP (No. 41)
Overview: The Cowboys have their best class since they ranked No. 4 in 2013, a group that helped propel them to the College World Series in 2016, their first Omaha appearance since 1999. This year’s class is headlined by Osmond, the fourth-highest ranked player not to sign in the draft.
Hitters: Kaden Polcovich is coming to Oklahoma State following an outstanding summer in the Cape Cod League. The junior college transfer who started his college career at Kentucky was the No. 41 ranked prospect on the Cape. He has the versatility to play second base or the outfield for the Cowboys, and the switch-hitter gets to his solid power well. Blake Robertson is big and athletic and has a pure lefthanded swing with power potential. He’s got a shot to stick at third base, but if not, his athleticism will play in an outfield corner or first base. Outfielder Caden Trenkle has a fundamental, simple swing and does a good job of driving the ball to all fields. Young for the class, he may have a power jump coming in time. Cameron Thompson has a strong, righthanded swing and profiles well as a corner outfielder.
Pitchers: Osmond is the class’ headliner and the best recruit to make it to a Big 12 campus in more than five years. Athletic and projectable, he offers big upside on the mound. At his best, he’s been up to 96 mph with a true plus slider, feel for a changeup and good strike-throwing ability. He has some rawness to his game still but seeing how he develops under pitching coach Rob Walton’s tutelage will be fascinating. Righthander Justin Campbell uses his 6-foot-7 frame to throw from a big downhill angle. His fastball typically sits in the upper 80s, with a chance for more, and he has good feel for his curveball and changeup. He has two-way potential as a power-hitting first baseman, but his future is on the mound. Righthander Kale Davis has a strong frame, a loose, easy delivery and fills up the strike zone, giving him a chance to contribute early in his career. Lefthander Colton Bowman and righthander Wyatt Cheney also have a strong track record of performance and strike throwing.
|41||Bryce Osmond, RHP||R-R||6-3||175||Nationals (35)||Jenks (Okla.) HS|
|Blake Robertson, 3B||L-R||6-4||215||Twins (26)||Santa Fe HS, Edmond, Okla.|
|Kaden Polcovich, 2B/OF||B-R||5-11||200||Northwest Florida State JC|
|Justin Campbell, RHP||L-R||6-7||215||Astros (18)||Simi Valley (Calif.) HS|
|Caeden Trenkle, OF||L-L||5-10||195||White Sox (28)||Hillsboro (Texas) HS|
|Colton Bowman, LHP||R-L||6-2||200||Bullard (Texas) HS|
|Kale Davis, RHP||R-R||6-4||220||Westmoore (Okla.) HS|
|Cameron Thompson, OF||R-R||6-3||205||Owasso (Okla.) HS|
|Ryan Bogusz, RHP||R-R||6-2||175||Lone Star HS, Frisco, Texas|
|Wyatt Cheney, RHP||R-R||6-1||175||Liberty Hill (Texas) HS|
Recruiting coordinator: Jason Jackson/Jerry Zulli
Top recruit: Myles Austin, SS (No. 116)
Overview: The Crimson Tide have recruited at a high level since the arrival of head coach Brad Bohannon, Jackson and Zulli, all of whom brought strong reputations as recruiters to Tuscaloosa. That paid off with this class, which is loaded with high-upside players. If Alabama can help them develop, this group will help the Tide return to regionals.
Hitters: Austin is the most famous player in the class and has the upside to become a first-round pick in three years. Austin is athletic and toolsy but will need to refine his hittability to reach his considerable ceiling. Owen Diodati (363) is a little more polished as a hitter. He played for the Canadian Junior National Team at this year’s 18U World Cup and the lefthanded hitter has plus raw power to go with above-average speed. He caught in high school but is expected to shift to the outfield in college. Zane Denton, the younger brother of former second-round pick Bryce Denton, stands out as a pure hitter. He’s a switch-hitter who can hit for power from both sides of the plate and is likely to settle in at first base. Outfielder Jackson Tate was originally committed out of high school to Troy to play football but then decided he wanted to play baseball and went to junior college. He’s tooled up with plus speed and above-average power, and, if he proves he can handle SEC pitching, he'll make a big impact on the Tide’s lineup. Logan Keller and Peyton Wilson don’t have quite as much upside as their classmates but have what it takes to be solid players for Alabama. Keller has a good approach at the plate and the hands and arm strength for third base. Wilson is the latest member of his family to suit up for Alabama joining his older brothers John Parker (football) and Ross (baseball). Peyton is a switch-hitting catcher and has the athleticism and versatility to play anywhere up the middle.
Pitchers: Alabama landed a pair of projectable lefthanders late in the recruiting cycle that have huge upside and will likely play a big role if the Tide climbs in the SEC West standings in the next few years. Connor Prielipp throws his fastball in the low 90s and pairs it with a wipeout slider that has registered more than 3,000 rpm, which is an elite spin rate. His tools are very exciting, and he has Friday starter upside, but the Wisconsin native is also going to be making a big step up in competition and how quickly he adjusts to the SEC will be critical to his development. Antoine Jean was a late bloomer but by the end of the spring was throwing in the upper 80s with an easy arm action and impressive feel for the strike zone. There’s more projection in his frame and he earns praise for his competitiveness and moxie, which has helped him succeed for the Canadian Junior National Team, which he played for at this year’s 18U World Cup. Lefthander Garrett Hester doesn’t have quite as much upside but figures to be ready this spring to take on a role for the Tide thanks to a fastball that sits around 88-89 mph with a high spin rate and good secondary offerings. Righthander Ryan O’Connell is a junior college transfer with a good sinker-slider combination coming out of a lower slot, comparable to South Carolina’s Reid Morgan.
|116||Myles Austin, SS||R-R||6-3||185||Brewers (20)||Westlake HS, Atlanta|
|363||Owen Diodati, OF||L-R||6-3||215||Blue Jays (29)||Stamford Collegiate SS, Niagara Falls, Ont.|
|Connor Prielipp, LHP||L-L||6-2||170||Red Sox (37)||Tomah (Wisc.) HS|
|Antoine Jean, LHP||L-L||6-1||160||Twins (17)||École Édouard-Montpetit, Montreal|
|Jackson Tate, OF||R-R||6-1||190||Mariners (34)||Lawson State (Ala.) JC|
|Zane Denton, 3B/1B||B-R||6-0||195||Ravenwood HS, Brentwood, Tenn.|
|Logan Keller, 3B/2B||R-R||6-1||185||Lake Brantley HS, Altamonte Springs, Fla.|
|Garrett Hester, LHP||B-R||6-1||170||Adrian (Mo.) HS|
|Peyton Wilson, C/OF||B-R||5-8||175||Hoover (Ala.) HS|
|Ryan O'Connell, RHP||R-R||5-11||190||Wabash Valley (Ill.) JC|
Recruiting coordinator: Kevin McMullan
Top recruit: Chris Newell, OF (No. 85)
Overview: Virginia did well in the draft, losing just one signee, and benefits with another strong recruiting class. It’s a little heavier on position players after last year’s class focused more on pitchers, but the Cavaliers also mixed in some high-upside arms.
Hitters: Newell is a good athlete with a lean frame, plenty of projection and just enough question marks to push a player of his quality to campus. He has above-average speed and raw power but will need to prove he has enough hittability to take advantage of those tools. He can play center field for Virginia and figures to quickly carve out a spot in the lineup. Shortstop Max Cotier (451) stands out for his bat-to-ball skills, solid defensive tools and above-average speed. He’s got a solid set of tools and as he gets stronger, he figures to make a jump over the next few years. Tate Ballestero (475) has taken to catching well after moving to the position late in his high school career and offers the versatility to move around the diamond. He’s a switch-hitter with power potential from both sides of the plate. Outfielder Liam Deegan has a big, physical frame and supplies solid righthanded power. Outfielder Evan Sleight is an above-average runner and a good athlete who has a lot of raw tools to tap into. Virginia also brought in two junior college hitters who should be able to quickly make an impact. Shortstop Walker Jenkins stands out for his defense, as well as his plus speed and arm strength. Outfielder Marc Lebreux is also a plus runner and has a strong lefthanded swing.
Pitchers: Righthander Matthew Wyatt has a good sinker-slider combination that should help him get on the mound quickly for the Cavaliers. He drew strong draft interest early in the spring before making it known that he intended to uphold his commitment to Virginia. Righthander Jayson Hoopes has a projectable frame and needs to get stronger to make the most of his stuff. He throws in the upper 80s to low 90s now and shows some feel for both his slurvy breaking ball and changeup. Righthander Jacob Hodorovich is a bit undersized but can run his fastball up to 92 mph and has good feel for spin. Lefthanders Griffin Agee and Jake Baldino both offer significant projection as they grow into their long, lean frames. Agee has a promising three-pitch mix and Baldino has advanced control. Virginia also added lefthander Kyle Petri, who transferred after an excellent freshman year at University of Chicago and doesn’t impact the rankings. He was a late bloomer in high school and is now throwing in the low 90s from a strong frame.
|85||Chris Newell, OF||L-L||6-3||187||Cardinals (37)||Malvern (Pa.) Prep HS|
|451||Max Cotier, SS||L-R||6-1||160||Canterbury School, New Milford, Conn.|
|475||Tate Ballestero, C||B-R||6-4||192||Morristown (N.J.) HS|
|Jayson Hoopes, RHP||R-R||6-3||170||Cubs (36)||St. Augustine Prep, Richland, N.J.|
|Matthew Wyatt, RHP||R-R||6-4||210||Loyola Blakefield HS, Towson, Md.|
|Griffin Agee, LHP||R-L||6-5||206||Jefferson Forest HS, Forest, Va.|
|Walker Jenkins, SS||L-R||5-11||175||Madison (Wisc.) JC|
|Marc Lebreux, OF||L-R||6-1||175||Seminole State (Okla.) JC|
|Jake Baldino, LHP||L-L||6-4||175||Walton HS, Marietta, Ga.|
|Liam Deegan, OF||R-R||6-3||210||Godwin HS, Richmond, Va.|
17. North Carolina
Recruiting coordinator: Scott Forbes
Top recruit: Joseph Charles, RHP (No. 142)
Overview: The Tar Heels put together a deep recruiting class that was built more around players who can quickly contribute in college, rather than players with big pro upside. So while they lost a couple players in the draft, they were mostly able to keep the class together and have a group of newcomers who will help UNC this spring.
Hitters: Infielder Patrick Alvarez is a perfect example of the kind of player UNC targeted. At 5-foot-8, he’s undersized for pro ball, but played at a high level in high school, has a good feel for the game and solid hittability. He has good on-base skills and can play shortstop, though he profiles best at second base. Tyler Causey will slide over to third base for the Tar Heels and is reminiscent of Florida State All-American Drew Mendoza. When the lefthanded hitter grows into his big, 6-foot-5 frame, he figures to add more power and hit in the middle of the order. Eric Grintz and Kyle Smith both can catch and have enough athleticism to play elsewhere in the field. Grintz can go to the outfield and has some Chris Iannetta in him. Smith has experience at the infield corners and offers some righthanded power that can play right away. Outfielder Tyler Kehoe has a good feel for hitting. He’s a bit of a tweener in the outfield as he’s not a burner, but his instincts help make up for his speed and he can play all three outfield spots. Mike Madej began his college career at Purdue and started every game as a freshman at third base before taking a redshirt year. After playing last season at Northwest Florida JC, where he stood out at second base, he now comes to Chapel Hill. The switch-hitter has a good feel for hitting and a lot of defensive versatility.
Pitchers: Charles has a powerful arm and has touched 97 mph. His slider has plus potential, but it and his control have been inconsistent at times. When he’s right, he’s electric, but he’ll need to find a way to harness his pure stuff to unlock his potential. Righthander Isaiah Bennett missed the spring while recovering from Tommy John surgery but is ready to go this fall. He was throwing in the low 90s before his injury and has some projection to him. Lefthander Nick James was named Mr. Baseball in Tennessee after an excellent senior season. His fastball gets into the low 90s and he has a good feel for spinning his breaking ball. The class also includes some interesting righthanders who transferred from junior college. Kyle Mott is big and athletic and saw his velocity jump last year to go with some feel for spinning the ball. Gage Gillian helped Walters State (Tenn.) reach the Junior College World Series in each of the last two years as its closer and has a hammer breaking ball that he can throw for strikes. Even Reifert didn’t harness his stuff in junior college, but he’s up to 97-98 mph and if he can improve his pitchability in Chapel Hill, he offers big upside.
|142||Joseph Charles, RHP||R-R||6-3||190||Mets (25)||TNXL Academy, Altamonte Springs, Fla.|
|Tyler Causey, 3B||L-R||6-5||195||Marlins (37)||Nation Ford HS, Fort Mill, S.C.|
|Isaiah Bennett, RHP||R-R||6-1||175||Padres (36)||Pine Forest HS, Fayetteville, N.C.|
|Kyle Smith, C||R-R||6-0||185||D-backs (36)||New Hanover HS, Wilmington, N.C.|
|Patrick Alvarez, INF||R-R||5-8||170||Myers Park HS, Charlotte|
|Nick James, LHP||L-L||6-1||195||Clarksville (Tenn.) HS|
|Mike Madej, 2B/OF||B-R||5-10||175||Northwest Florida State JC|
|Evan Reifert, RHP||R-R||6-3||195||Rangers '18 (30)||North Iowa Area JC|
|Kyle Mott, RHP||R-R||6-4||180||Pitt (N.C.) JC|
|Tyler Kehoe, OF||L-L||5-10||180||Carroll HS, Radnor, Pa.|
2020 NCAA Baseball Crystal Ball Predictions
Baseball America's annual predictions series picking the national champion, player awards and Omaha sleepers.
18. Georgia Tech
Recruiting coordinator: James Ramsey
Top recruit: Zachary Maxwell, RHP (No. 138)
Overview: The Yellow Jackets were one of the winners of the draft signing deadline, as they held together their entire recruiting class. As a result, Georgia Tech has its first Top 25 class since 2015 after a couple close misses in the interim.
Hitters: Outfielder Tres Gonzalez (245) stands out most for his plus speed and bat-to-ball skills. He has good baseball instincts and makeup and is a solid defender with the speed for center field. If he’s able to get a little stronger, his combination of feel for the game and tools makes for intriguing upside. Andrew Compton is a switch-hitter with power potential from both sides of the plate. He’s a bit raw defensively, but his raw tools give him a chance at third base. Even if he has to move to first base, his bat should profile. Jake Holland and Andrew Jenkins give the class an interesting pair of catchers. Holland is a strong defender and has some power at the plate. Jenkins came to the position late after mostly playing third base and left field. His athleticism translates behind the plate, and he’s got a good feel for hitting. Outfielder Stephen Reid has solid offensive tools but went a bit under the radar this spring after a broken thumb sidelined him. Jadyn Jackson and Harrison Thiel are solid defenders up the middle and add depth to the Yellow Jackets' infield.
Pitchers: Maxwell is big and physical and saw his velocity tick up this spring to the point he was touching 98 mph. He has a high spin rate on his curveball and has some feel for a changeup and a slider. He’ll need to improve his control to get the most out of his powerful arsenal, but if he can put it all together, he as big upside. Jackson Finley is an excellent athlete with two-way potential as a righthander/outfielder. On the mound, he works in the low 90s with a good breaking ball and a loose, easy delivery. He has a good swing as well, which could help him contribute quickly. Lefthander Dalton Smith flew under the radar in high school but has a good frame and promising three-pitch mix. Righthander Jackson Arnold has a quick arm and can run his fastball into the low 90s.
|138||Zachary Maxwell, RHP||R-R||6-6||245||Yankees (30)||North Paulding HS, Dallas, Ga.|
|245||Tres Gonzalez, OF||L-L||6-1||165||Dodgers (37)||Mount Vernon Presbyterian HS, Atlanta|
|Andrew Compton, 3B||B-R||6-2||195||Livingston HS, Berkeley Heights, N.J|
|Jake Holland, C||R-R||6-3||210||Montverde (Fla.) Academy|
|Jackson Finley, RHP/OF||R-R||6-3||206||Richmond Hill (Ga.) HS|
|Andrew Jenkins, C||R-R||6-0||205||Pace Academy, Atlanta|
|Stephen Reid, OF||R-R||6-1||210||Livingston HS, Berkeley Heights, N.J|
|Dalton Smith, LHP||R-L||6-1||190||Lowndes HS, Valdosta, Ga.|
|Jackson Arnold, RHP||R-R||6-0||180||Auburn (Ala.) HS|
|Jadyn Jackson, SS||R-R||6-0||180||Lanier HS, Buford, Ga.|
Recruiting coordinator: Thomas Eager
Top recruit: Henry Gargus, 1B/OF (No. 293)
Overview: After losing nine players off its super regional team to the draft, Stanford brings in a bigger group than normal and will be looking to its newcomers to quickly step up. The Cardinal landed a strong class, especially among position players, to land their first Top 25 class since David Esquer took over as head coach.
Hitters: Gargus is a switch-hitter with a strong, muscular frame that produces plus power. He needs to refine his approach at the plate a bit to get the most out of that raw power, but he has the ability to quickly make an impact. He was having a solid summer in the West Coast League before a hamstring injury sidelined him, but he’ll be ready to go by spring. Kody Huff (400) developed a reputation as a baseball rat, not an unexpected result for the son of a longtime scout. His versatility gives him a chance to have a profile similar to Austin Barnes, capable of catching and playing up the middle on the infield. Brock Jones (477) is an excellent athlete who is also playing football at Stanford and was rated as a three-star safety by 247 Sports. On the diamond, he’s a toolsy outfielder with plus speed and a powerful lefthanded bat. Jones is the latest in Stanford’s strong history of two-sport stars, which includes former Pro Bowl safety John Lynch, who also played on the Cardinal’s 1990 College World Series team. Infielder Owen Cobb is a plus runner and has good all-around baseball instincts. He plays well up the middle and has played well against strong competition. Infielder Brett Barrera played at a high level in high school and is a physical righthanded hitter with some thump in his bat. He has good hands and likely will settle in at third base in college. Adam Crampton should be ready to step in defensively in the infield and has the tools to play shortstop. He has a line drive swing and as he gets stronger, should grow into more impact offensively. Outfielder Cole Hinkelman has a powerful lefthanded bat, though he is still a bit raw overall.
Pitchers: Lefthander Quinn Matthews (457) headlines Stanford’s newcomers on the mound. He has a projectable frame but already has a good idea of how to pitch with a promising arsenal. He’s advanced enough to start for the Cardinal and, if he adds velocity as he physically matures, he could develop into a strong prospect in a few years. Righthander Max Meier is similar to his new teammates Brendan Beck and Alex Williams and stands out most for his pitchability. Righthander Nate Fleischli has a little more projection in his frame and his fastball-slider combination gives him a chance to contribute quickly out of the bullpen.
|293||Henry Gargus, 1B/OF||B-L||6-1||211||Davis HS, Yakima, Wash.|
|400||Kody Huff, C/INF||R-R||5-10||175||Rays (32)||Horizon HS, Scottsdale, Ariz.|
|457||Quinn Mathews, LHP||L-L||6-4||170||Aliso Niguel HS, Aliso Viejo, Calif.|
|477||Brock Jones, OF||L-L||6-1||185||Buchanan HS, Clovis, Calif.|
|Owen Cobb, SS/2B||R-R||6-2||180||Padres (37)||Garfield HS, Seattle|
|Brett Barrera, 3B||R-R||6-2||185||Huntington Beach (Calif.) HS|
|Max Meier, RHP||L-R||6-3||205||Lawrence Academy, Groton, Mass.|
|Adam Crampton, SS||R-R||6-1||165||Oakland Tech HS|
|Cole Hinkelman, OF||L-R||6-4||215||Skyline HS, Sammamish, Wash.|
|Nate Fleischli, RHP||R-R||6-5||195||Sacred Heart Prep HS, Atherton, Calif.|
Recruiting coordinator: Eric Snider
Top recruit: Michael Prosecky, LHP (No. 227)
Overview: After a banner 2018 class, the Cardinals this year put together a well-rounded group with talented players all around the diamond. Prosecky and fellow lefthander Kellan Tulio offer the biggest upside in the class, and Louisville also added a pair of junior college outfielders in Luke Brown and Levi Usher who should provide instant impact.
Hitters: Usher (464) was a two-sport star in high school and suffered a leg injury during his senior season that derailed his hopes to sign out of high school. He went to junior college instead and put together an outstanding spring and will come to Louisville as a sophomore. He has a strong, physical frame, plus speed and a chance to hit for some power. Brown began his college career at Western Kentucky and performed well before an academic issue forced him to transfer to junior college. After another solid season, he’s now at Louisville, where his plus speed plays right into Dan McDonnell’s offensive system and gives him a shot to take over in center field. Catcher Dalton Rushing a is a physical lefthanded hitter with big raw power. Blayne Robinson’s glove is ahead of his bat, which is rare for a high school first baseman. But he’s also a physical lefthanded hitter with offensive potential to tap into. Andrew Wiegman is a good athlete and can play all over the infield. Both Robinson and Wiegman have two-way potential and could get a chance to work out of the bullpen.
Pitchers: Prosecky is a physical lefthander with a good feel for his delivery, helping him to pound the strike zone. His fastball sits in the low 90s and he has feel for his changeup. If he can improve his breaking ball, he profiles well as a starter. Tulio is also big and physical with a fastball that gets into the low 90s. However, his control isn’t as advanced as Prosecky, and he’ll need to get that straightened out to reach his upside. Righthander Ryan Hawks is perhaps the most advanced of Louisville’s incoming pitchers thanks to his strike-throwing ability. He has a physical frame, throws his fastball around 90 mph and has feel for his changeup. Righthander Duncan Hall has a big, projectable frame but was limited this spring by injury. Righthander Shane Harris has a promising three-pitch mix and a projectable frame.
|227||Michael Prosecky, LHP||L-L||6-4||200||Phillies (35)||Nazareth Academy, LaGrange Park, Ill.|
|406||Kellan Tulio, LHP||L-L||6-4||210||Emmaus (Pa.) HS|
|464||Levi Usher, OF||L-R||6-2||190||Angels (37)||Kirkwood (Iowa) JC|
|Luke Brown, OF||L-R||5-10||180||Yankees (25)||Logan (Ill.) JC|
|Ryan Hawks, RHP||R-R||6-3||200||Warren East HS, Bowling Green, Ky.|
|Dalton Rushing, C||L-R||5-11||195||Brighton (Tenn.) HS|
|Andrew Wiegman, SS||R-R||6-3||210||Carmel Catholic HS, Mundelein, Ill.|
|Blayne Robinson, 1B||L-L||6-5||210||Defiance (Ohio) HS|
|Duncan Hall, RHP||L-R||6-6||210||Miamisburg (Ohio) HS|
|Shane Harris, RHP||R-R||6-3||175||North Posey HS, Poseyville, Ind.|
Recruiting coordinator: Matt Swope
Top recruit: Bobby Zmarzlak, OF (No. 200)
Overview: Maryland landed the best recruiting class in the Big Ten and returns to the Top 25 for the first time since 2015, when Rob Vaughn, now head coach, was recruiting coordinator. The Terrapins had three players drafted and all three made it to campus. As a result, they have a nice mix of players with a high upside and players who can contribute right away.
Hitters: Zmarzlak is a physical, toolsy outfielder with a massive upside. He has well above-average raw power and plus speed. He’s been banged up over the last year—first a wrist injury last summer and then an ankle injury he suffered playing basketball over the winter, which helped push him to school. He also will need to work on refining his approach, as there’s still a lot of swing-and-miss in his game. Outfielder Tucker Flint doesn’t have Zmarzlak’s raw upside but is more advanced and figures to step right into the Terrapins' lineup. He has an easy lefthanded swing and good feel for the barrel, traits that call to mind former Maryland stars Nick Dunn and Brandon Lowe. Outfielder Troy Schreffler is a little more out of the Zmarzlak mold with a lot of raw talent and fast-twitch athleticism. He has the defensive tools to play center field and will impact Maryland’s lineup once he refines his approach. Aaron Perez missed the spring due to a labrum injury. Before he was sidelined, he showed good defensive tools up the middle on the infield. Infielder Austin Chavis put together a solid junior college career and can play anywhere on the infield.
Pitchers: Lefthander Ryan Ramsey won back-to-back state championships in New Jersey and brings a winning, strike-throwing profile to College Park. He throws his fastball 88-92 mph and has a good feel for both his breaking ball and changeup. It’s an overall package that will help him quickly slide into an important role on the Terrapins' staff. Righthander Nick Dean has an athletic, projectable frame and a quick arm. He was banged up this spring, but when he’s right his fastball sits 88-92 mph and he should be able to bump that velocity up as he physically matures. Righthander Sam Bello has a physical frame and this spring his velocity jumped into the low 90s. His makeup should help him get on the mound quickly, either as a starter or in a key bullpen role. Righthander Dave Falco could also earn a spot in the bullpen this spring thanks to a fastball that has been up to 94-95 mph. Righthander Connor Staine is coming off a solid spring and gives the class another projectable arm.
|200||Bobby Zmarzlak, OF||R-R||6-5||205||Orioles (40)||Westhill HS, Stamford, Conn.|
|Tucker Flint, OF||L-L||6-2||202||Mets (36)||Bishop Hendricken HS, Warwick, R.I.|
|Ryan Ramsey, LHP||R-L||6-0||190||Indians (36)||Pascack Hills HS, Montvale, N.J.|
|Nick Dean, RHP||R-R||6-3||175||Bensalem (Pa.) HS|
|Sam Bello, RHP||R-R||6-3||220||Iona Prep, New Rochelle, N.Y.|
|Troy Schreffler, OF||R-R||6-1||180||Central Dauphin HS, Harrisburg, Pa.|
|Dave Falco, RHP||R-R||6-4||215||Center Moriches (N.Y.) HS|
|Aaron Perez, SS||L-R||5-9||150||All Hallows HS, Bronx, N.Y.|
|Connor Staine, RHP||R-R||6-3||182||West Morris Central HS, Chester, N.J.|
|Austin Chavis, INF||R-R||6-0||170||Potomac State (W.V.) JC|
Recruiting coordinator: Clay Van Hook
Top recruit: Christian Ruebeck, RHP (373)
Overview: Oklahoma on Signing Day inked Bobby Witt Jr., the top-ranked prep prospect in the class. He went on to be drafted second overall by the Royals for the third-highest bonus of all-time. Witt wasn’t the only player the Sooners lost to the draft, but they still ended up with a solid overall class.
Hitters: Connor Beichler (376) is a well above-average runner with good athleticism and versatility. He can play either second base or the outfield, where his speed should play up. He has good contact skills at the plate and the potential for some power if he fills out his frame. Shortstop Peyton Graham is long and rangy, giving him good range on the infield. He also needs to put on some weight to produce more impact offensively, but his upside is significant. Outfielder Kendall Pettis gives the class another well above-average runner and that speed plays well. Pettis still a bit raw, but if he can refine his game, he can impact the game in several ways.
Pitchers: Ruebeck is undersized for a righthander but has a big arm. He’s been up to 96 mph, and there’s reason to believe there’s more in there if he can smooth out his delivery. His secondary stuff needs work as well, but his athleticism and arm strength make for an intriguing package. Righthander Dane Acker (388), a junior college transfer, locates his low-90s sinker well to all four quadrants of the strike zone, which gives him a chance to step right into the rotation. His slider and changeup could use some refinement, but there is little doubt his strike throwing will play right away. Lefthander Jake Bennett (393) has a physical frame and can run his fastball into the low 90s but typically sits a bit below that. He makes for a tough matchup and if he can improve his slider, he could pitch right away out of the bullpen. Righthander Davis Heller has a big, projectable frame. He’s already begun making strides with his velocity in the past year and as he gets stronger, he has big upside.
|373||Christian Ruebeck, RHP||R-R||6-1||170||Denison (Texas) HS|
|376||Connor Beichler, 2B/OF||B-R||5-10||160||Giants (27)||Owasso (Okla.) HS|
|388||Dane Acker, RHP||R-R||6-3||205||D-backs (23)||San Jacinto (Texas) JC|
|393||Jake Bennett, LHP||L-L||6-6||230||Nationals (39)||Bixby (Okla.) HS|
|Peyton Graham, SS||R-R||6-2||165||Waxahachie (Texas) HS|
|Kendall Pettis, OF||R-R||6-1||185||Brother Rice HS, Chicago|
|Davis Heller, RHP||R-R||6-8||220||Mesquite HS, Gilbert, Ariz.|
23. Texas A&M
Recruiting coordinator: Justin Seely
Top recruit: Blake Mayfield, RHP (No. 219)
Overview: Texas A&M was hit hard in the draft, losing its top four commits for a total of $7.09 million. The Aggies slid down the rankings from signing day as a result but were still able to put together their third-straight Top 25 class. There are some players with big upside who are raw, but they are balanced by a solid group of junior college transfers, who bring more steady experience.
Hitters: Outfielder Logan Britt (416) is one of the high-upside freshmen. The former prep quarterback is tooled up with plus raw power, above-average speed and a plus-plus arm, giving him a prototypical right fielder’s profile. He’s got work to do as a hitter, however, to make the most out of those tools. Logan Sartori is a plus runner who put together a strong junior college career. He’ll compete for the shortstop job, but a move to second base may be in the cards. Rody Barker, a former bull rider, is a steady hitter with a track record of success. His hittability, makeup and versatility—he can catch, play somewhere on the infield and has experience in the outfield—will get him in the lineup. A&M bet on upside with Zane Schmidt, a junior college transfer, and freshmen Will Johnston and Trevor Werner. Schmidt is a former hockey player and was well off the radar in high school. He’s shown good lefthanded power, however, and comes to College Station as a sophomore. Johnston and Werner both have two-way potential and huge athleticism. That plays well in the outfield and on the mound, where he’s up to 91 mph and has some feel for spin. Werner is a plus runner with a big arm, that gives him a shot at third base and out of the bullpen. If any of that trio can hit their ceiling, the upside is significant.
Pitchers: A&M committed Mayfield and JJ Goss at about the same time and they seemed to be similar pitchers. Goss took off in high school and became the 36th overall pick. Mayfield hasn’t made that jump yet, but there’s still some projection in his frame. He throws his fastball 88-92 mph, touching 94 mph, and has the makings of an above-average curveball. Righthander Evan Vanek (356) throws in the low 90s from a low slot, making him especially difficult on righthanded hitters. His control and secondary offerings aren’t as advanced, but the potential is easy to see. Righthander Mason Ornelas is the most advanced of the freshmen and could slot right into the bullpen. He has a good fastball-slider combination and fills up the strike zone well. Righthander Cam Wynne, a junior college transfer, was up to 98 mph last fall. After a knee injury in the spring, he was more 92-95 mph but with better control. He should be able to bolster the Aggies’ bullpen.
|219||Blake Mayfield, RHP||R-R||6-2||175||Marcus HS, Flower Mound, Texas|
|356||Evan Vanek, RHP||R-R||6-3||190||D-backs (39)||Heritage HS, Frisco, Texas|
|416||Logan Britt, OF||R-R||6-4||200||White Sox (35)||Colleyville (Texas) Heritage HS|
|Logan Sartori, SS/2B||R-R||5-11||185||Hutchison (Kan.) JC|
|Mason Ornelas, RHP||L-R||6-0||210||Bell HS, Hurst, Texas|
|Cam Wynne, RHP||R-R||6-6||220||Johnson County (Kan.) JC|
|Rody Barker, C/INF||R-R||5-9||185||New Mexico JC|
|Zane Schmidt, OF/1B||L-R||5-10||190||Hutchison (Kan.) JC|
|Will Johnston, OF/LHP||L-L||6-4||190||Keller (Texas) HS|
|Trevor Werner, 3B/RHP||R-R||6-3||200||Klein (Texas) HS|
Recruiting coordinator: Jay Johnson
Top recruit: Dawson Netz, RHP (No. 374)
Overview: Arizona got hit hard in the draft, losing three prep signees. The Wildcats were able to adjust on the fly, even as former recruiting coordinator Sergio Brown returned to Cal State Fullerton, his alma mater, to be associate head coach. This class looks a lot different than it did on Signing Day in November, but it ends up being a solid all-around group.
Hitters: Outfielder Mac Bingham was committed to Southern California until the Trojans made a coaching change. Toolsy and athletic, he has an intriguing combination of speed and power. He was off the showcase circuit because he also played football, but he still has solid baseball instincts. Blake Klassen is a polished lefthanded hitter who performed well in the West Coast League this summer. He has a chance to hit for average and power and is an above-average defender at first base with enough athleticism to also play an outfield corner. Catcher Kaden Hopson has good catch-and-throw skills and played at a high level throughout his high school career, including this summer when he more than held his own in the Alaska League.
Pitchers: Netz is undersized but can flash big stuff. He’s been up to 94 mph and has the makings of a solid four-pitch arsenal. His velocity wasn’t as good this spring and his stuff suffered, but if he can get his velocity more consistently into the low 90s, he has the stuff and makeup to contribute as a freshman. Righthander Wesley Scott was originally committed to Vanderbilt and formally removed his name from the draft before flipping to Arizona after the draft. He can run his fastball into the low 90s with a good slider but will need to find a bit more consistency in college. Righthander Chandler Murphy throws his fastball 88-92 mph and mixes in a good curveball and a changeup. He has the combination of pitchability and stuff to contribute immediately. Righthander Hunter Cope cuts an imposing figure on the mound at 6-foot-11. He throws his fastball around 90 mph and mixes in a breaking ball. He has perhaps the best upside of any pitcher in the class. Righthander Zachary Martinez is a foot shorter than Cope, but he competes will on the mound and pounds the strike zone with a fastball up to 92 mph. The class also features a pair of junior college lefthanders whose pitchability will help them get in the mix right away. Garrett Irvin has built a track record of success in college, first at Division II Point Loma (Calif.) and then in junior college. He isn’t overpowering, but fills up the strike zone, has a good feel for his changeup and curveball and understands what he has to do to get outs. Lefthander Ian Churchill doesn’t have quite as much pitchability as Irvin but also has a track record of success.
|Rank||Name, Pos.||B-T||Ht.||Wt.||Drafted||Previous school|
|374||Dawson Netz, RHP||R-R||6-1||190||Maranatha HS, Pasadena, Calif.|
|Mac Bingham, OF||R-R||5-11||190||Cubs (40)||Torrey Pines HS, San Diego, Calif.|
|Wesley Scott, RHP||R-R||6-1||185||Woodcrest Christian School, Riverside, Calif.|
|Garrett Irvin, LHP||L-L||6-0||180||Red Sox (40)||Riverside (Calif.) JC|
|Chandler Murphy, RHP||L-R||6-3||195||Astros (36)||Liberty HS, Peoria, Ariz.|
|Ian Churchill, LHP||L-L||6-2||185||Santa Barbara (Calif.) JC|
|Blake Klassen, 1B/OF||L-L||6-2||205||JSerra Catholic HS, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.|
|Hunter Cope, RHP||R-R||6-11||240||Mater Dei HS, Santa Ana, Calif.|
|Kaden Hopson, C||L-R||6-2||190||Redlands (Calif.) East Valley HS|
|Zach Martinez, RHP||R-R||5-10||170||Mountain Ridge HS, Glendale, Ariz.|
25. Brigham Young
Recruiting coordinator: Brent Haring
Top recruit: Tyson Heaton, RHP (NR)
Overview: Headlined by three exciting prep pitchers, BYU landed its first-ever Top 25 class and what might be the best recruiting class in program history. While the top end is eye-catching, there’s solid depth to the class, which the Cougars hope can propel them to the next level as a program.
Hitters: Outfielder Hayden Leatham put up big numbers the last two years at the JC of Southern Idaho and brings a powerful bat to Provo. He played center field in junior college but fits better at right field for BYU. Brock Watkins has a powerful bat and good hands on the infield. Hunter Swapp is a physical, toolsy outfielder, comparable to former Cougar Brennon Lund. He’s not as advanced as some of his classmates but will provide an impact bat in time. Shortstop Peyton Cole, the younger brother of Angels righthander Taylor Cole, is a long, lean lefthanded hitter who has exciting potential. Outfielder McKay Barney is a well above-average runner and was a finalist for Arizona player of the year after an impressive senior year. His speed plays well on the bases and in the outfield. Shortstop Andrew PIntar is a solid defender with a strong arm, which he shows off on the mound as well. He can run his fastball up to 94 mph, giving him two-way potential.
Pitchers: BYU loaded up on pitching in this class, grabbing three arms who have big upside and should be able to quickly contribute. Heaton may have the most upside of the group. He has advanced pitchability and already throws his fastball in the low 90s with a chance for more velocity as he physically matures. Lefthander Cy Nielson ran his fastball into the mid-90s late in the spring and mixes in a promising breaking ball. He is reminiscent of Giants prospect Seth Corry, a former BYU signee. Lefthander Cutter Clawson has a strong build and a promising three-pitch mix who came on strong over the last year. His fastball gets into the low 90s now, and he shows some feel for both his breaking ball and changeup. Righthander Carter Smith throws his fastball in the low 90s and still has some projection to his frame. Righthander Bryce Robison is undersized for a righthander but throws a lot of strikes and has a strong track record, giving him a chance to quickly earn a role on the staff. Righthander Mikade Johnson has a projectable 6-foot-6 frame and can run his fastball into the mid-90s. He was banged up this spring but, if he can bounce back, gives the class another high-upside arm.
|Rank||Name, Pos.||B-T||Ht.||Wt.||Drafted||Previous school|
|Tyson Heaton, RHP||R-R||6-2||205||Angels (40)||Yucaipa (Calif.) HS|
|Cutter Clawson, LHP||L-L||6-2||205||Nationals (33)||Laguna Beach (Calif.) HS|
|Cy Nielson, LHP||R-L||6-3||205||Indians (40)||Spanish Fork (Utah) HS|
|Carter Smith, RHP||R-R||6-3||175||Skyridge HS, Lehi, Utah|
|Hayden Leatham, OF||R-R||6-0||195||JC of Southern Idaho|
|Bryce Robison, RHP||R-R||6-1||175||Palo Verde HS, Las Vegas|
|Brock Watkins, SS||R-R||6-0||185||Pleasant Grove (Utah) HS|
|Hunter Swapp, OF||R-R||5-11||170||Jordan HS, Sandy, Utah|
|Peyton Cole, SS||L-R||6-2||190||Palo Verde HS, Las Vegas|
|McKay Barney, OF||L-L||6-1||160||Mountain View HS, Mesa, Ariz.|