Analyzing The Top 2020 NCAA Baseball Recruiting Classes
In conjunction with our annual initial ranking of incoming recruiting classes, Baseball America presents a class-by-class breakdown of our top 15.
Below, you'll find the top recruit in each class, an overview and notable hitters and pitchers.
The recruiting rankings take into account all players from the high school and junior college ranks and were compiled following many conversations with coaches and scouts. Baseball America will continue to update the 2020 recruiting class rankings over the course of the year, with the final update coming at the start of next school year when these players begin their college careers.
Recruiting coordinator: Sean Allen
Top recruit: Jared Kelley, RHP (No. 1)
Overview: The Longhorns have landed top-10 classes in each of the last two years and this year’s class has a chance to be their best under Allen and head coach David Pierce. It starts with Kelley, the top-ranked player in the country, but there’s plenty of other talent in the group.
Hitters: Outfielder Petey Halpin (20) and outfielder/righthander Jared Jones (22) are a pair of premier talents from the California prep ranks. Halpin is a top-of-the-order hitter with excellent feel for the barrel. At a listed 6-foot, 180 pounds, he doesn’t produce much power, but his track record of hitting is long. Jones is one of the best two-way players in the class and can impact the game in several ways. As a pitcher, his fastball can get into the upper 90s but still needs to refine his control. As a position player, He’s an above-average runner with good athleticism and big raw power.
Tanner Witt (38) also has two-way potential and profiles well at third base. On the mound, he can run his fastball up to 94 mph and has a high spin rate breaking ball. Shortstop Carson Tucker, the younger brother of Pirates shortstop Cole Tucker, and has advanced infield actions. He’s a good hitter and figures to develop a bit more power as he continues to physically mature. Dylan Campbell has an unorthodox swing but has an advanced feel for the barrel and the athleticism to play either second base or the outfield. Third baseman Ivan Melendez, a junior college transfer, opened eyes when he hit 17 home runs last spring and his raw power doesn’t come with a lot of swing and miss.
Pitchers: Kelley is the prototypical Texas power pitcher and looks like a Friday starter. He has easy velocity with his fastball reaching the upper 90s consistently, while also showing the feel to locate the pitch. His breaking ball isn’t a wipeout pitch, but it’s solid, and he can throw his changeup in any count. Righthander Travis Sthele also has a big arm but is a bit undersized. His fastball can get up to 96 mph, but he typically sits in the low 90s with advanced pitchability that gives him a chance to start. Righthander Reid Taylor throws his fastball in the low 90s and has a swing-and-miss breaking ball that will play out of the bullpen right away. Righthander Aaron Nixon has two-way potential but is further advanced on the mound. He attacks hitters with a good sinker-slider combination.
Recruiting coordinator: Mike Baxter
Top recruit: Robert Hassell, OF/LHP (No. 5)
Overview: The Commodores this fall landed their record sixth top-ranked recruiting class thanks to a star-studded freshman class that arrived in Nashville. This year’s class also has premium talent, but unlike the last two years when a Vanderbilt righthander was the highest-ranked player to make it to campus (Kumar Rocker in 2018, Jack Leiter in 2019), this year’s group is built more on position players.
Hitters: Hassell has a long, loose, athletic frame at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, and does a lot of things easily on the diamond. His long-term future is as an outfielder, thanks to a smooth lefthanded swing and an ability to drive the ball to all fields. He also pitches and has a low-90s fastball that would give him a chance to do both at Vanderbilt. Outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong (11) has played for USA Baseball throughout high school and has a long track record of success in international competition. He’s a potential five-tool player who’s a strong defender in center field with impressive hittability and the chance to grow into power as he physically matures.
Outfielder Enrique Bradfield (28) has elite speed, a quality Vanderbilt hasn’t had the last couple years. That plays well in center field and offensively, thanks to his bat-to-ball skills. He’ll need to get stronger to reach his offensive ceiling, but it makes for an intriguing package. Jack Bulger (55) played outfield with the 18U National Team but has mostly been a catcher during his prep career. He’s more advanced as a hitter and opinion is split as to whether he’ll be able to stay behind the plate, but his arm strength gives him a chance. Infielder Jack O’Dowd is the son of former Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd and has the mentality expected from a player who grew up around the game. He has an easy, smooth lefthanded swing and the versatility to play anywhere on the infield. First baseman Gavin Casas, the younger brother of Red Sox prospect Tristan Casas, has a good lefthanded swing and plenty of raw power to tap into if he can continue to refine his plate approach. Outfielder Calvin Hewett has exciting raw tools but has flown a bit under the radar as a New Hampshire prep product. Outfielder/righthander Grayson Moore has true two-way potential thanks to some power in his bat and a good fastball-breaking ball combination. He offers good projection and raw tools and figures to help the Commodores in some capacity.
Pitchers: Righthander Patrick Reilly (77) took a step forward this fall and saw his velocity jump up, touching 95 mph. Listed at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, he has a strong, physical frame and a clean delivery, giving him the tools to make more strides soon. Lefthander Nelson Berkwich and righthander Miles Garrett are undersized but have solid stuff. Berkwich’s fastball plays up thanks to its life and his delivery’s deception, while Garrett’s fastball-slider combination gives him a chance to compete right away. Righthander Gage Bradley offers good projection and athleticism. He throws a lot of strikes and has the potential to make a good jump in velocity as he physically matures. Lefthander Hunter Owen has a big 6-foot-5 frame and a solid fastball-curveball combination. He’ll need to refine his control to reach his ceiling but offers big upside if he can put it all together.
Recruiting coordinator: Nate Thompson
Top recruit: Masyn Winn, SS/RHP (No. 18)
Overview: Arkansas in 2017 landed a top-five class that has lived up to that billing and now is set this spring to produce several high-round draft picks. This Razorbacks’ class will be counted on to help replace those players and has the potential to follow in their footsteps in terms of impact and pro potential.
Hitters: Winn is a true two-way player with dynamic ability both as a shortstop and righthander. He’s only listed at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, but that belies strength in both his bat and in his arm. He’s an above-average runner and has good bat-to-ball skills. On the mound, Winn reached 98 mph this fall and mixes in a curveball. Shortstop Robert Moore (41) stands out for his defense—his hands and arm strength fit well at the position—and he’s a top-of-the-order type hitter. Outfielder David Calabrese (47) played for the Canadian Junior National Team and is a good defender with above-average speed. The lefthanded hitter does a good job of barreling up balls and consistently making hard contact.
Third baseman Cayden Wallace (49) has an athletic, physical frame and has a prototypical skillset for the position. He gets to his raw power well thanks to a simple, repeatable swing that should help him quickly get in the Razorbacks’ lineup. Outfielder Clayton Gray profiles in center field thanks to his above-average speed and he also has some strength in his bat. Michael Brooks has a solid all-around skill set and the versatility to play anywhere on the infield. He isn’t the flashiest player in the class, but has an advanced understanding of the game and does a lot of things to make an impact. Shortstop Jalen Battles, a junior college transfer, is a solid defender and a good athlete.
Pitchers: Righthander Nate Wohlgemuth (46) has a strong but undersized frame and throws from a three-quarters arm slot. His fastball sits in the low 90s with running action and he mixes in both a good changeup and breaking ball. Righthander Markevian Hence (58) impressed this fall and has an athletic, projectable frame. He has a fast arm and his fastball gets up to 96 mph to go with a promising curveball and changeup. Lefthander Nick Griffin (78) probably has the most projection of any of the Razorbacks’ recruits. Listed at 6-foot-4, 175 pounds, his fastball sits around 90 mph and ticks higher at times, to go with a promising slider. He’ll need to refine some of the fine points of his game to reach his considerable ceiling, however. Righthander Jaxon Wiggins has a big, projectable 6-foot-5 frame and has made some strides over the last year to now run his fastball up to 94 mph. Righthander Gabriel Starks gives the Razorbacks another promising arm, though he is not as polished as some of his classmates.
Recruiting coordinator: Bryant Ward
Top recruit: Tyler Soderstrom, C (No. 7)
Overview: By UCLA’s standards, this is a large class—a baker’s dozen of high-end prep prospects. It’s headlined by a quartet of players from USA Baseball’s 18U National Team. Getting that group though the draft won’t be easy, of course, but there’s significant upside for this class in Westwood.
Hitters: Soderstrom is the top-ranked catcher in the class after a big summer, especially at Team USA trials and Area Code Games. He comes from a baseball family—his brother Tate is a junior outfielder at Arizona and his father Steve pitched for the Giants—and has a chance to be the best of the bunch. A lefthanded hitter, he has power potential and is a physical presence behind the plate with the athleticism to also play third base. Shortstop Milan Tolentino (29) is a talented defender with the range and arm strength for the position. He has good hittability but scouts have to project on his power right now. Outfielder Jake Vogel (63) is the latest product of the Huntington Beach (Calif.) High pipeline for UCLA. He’s a well above-average runner and is wiry strong with some impact potential in his bat.
Third baseman Kyle Karros, the son of former big leaguer and UCLA star Eric Karros, will next year join his older brother Jared with the Bruins. Kyle is a big righthanded hitter with plenty of upside. The Bruins are also betting on the athleticism and upside of infielder/righthander Jonathan Vaughns and outfielder Carson Yates. Vaughns will be playing both football and baseball at UCLA and has two-way potential on the diamond thanks to his elite athleticism (he’s a three-star linebacker/safety in football, according to 247 Sports). Yates was previously more of a football player (he had interest from mid-major schools as a quarterback) but impressed at Area Code Games tryouts this summer and has well above-average speed and plenty of athleticism. Daylen Reyes can play anywhere on the infield and has the tools to contribute quickly in college.
Pitchers: Lefthander Kyle Harrison (31) and righthander Max Rajcic (35) both pitched for the 18U National Team and combined to go 2-0, 0.77 with 22 strikeouts and five walks in 23.1 innings at the World Cup. Harrison throws from a low three-quarters slot and gets good life on his low-90s fastball. Rajcic is a little undersized but has a good low 90s fastball and curveball. Both have advanced pitchability and could slot right into the Bruins’ rotation if they make it to campus. Righthanders Carson Hamro and Kenji Pallares aren’t as advanced but offer projection and promising sinker-slider combinations.
5. Mississippi State
Recruiting coordinator: Jake Gautreau
Top recruit: Austin Hendrick, OF (No. 2)
Overview: Mississippi State and Oklahoma are the only two schools that boast two top-10 recruits and no class can match the power-hitting duo the Bulldogs have in Hendricks and Blaze Jordan (10). There’s some real depth to the class beyond that pair, including some exciting pitchers.
Hitters: Hendrick has the best bat speed in the class and getting him to campus would be a coup for the Bulldogs. He’s a prototypical right fielder with a plus arm and power that would play right away in the middle of the order. Jordan was set to graduate high school in 2021 but reclassified about a year ago. He has long impressed with his ability to hit and hit for power and committed to Mississippi State when he was in eighth grade. His power is undeniable but he’s coming off a tough summer on the showcase circuit and may be limited to first base, though his above-average arm strength plays at third base. That complicates the evaluation for pro scouts (no prep righthanded hitting first baseman has been drafted in the first round in the 21st century), but in college he’d slide right into the heart of the order for the Bulldogs.
Kellum Clark (56) also has impressive offensive potential and has solid raw power. His swing still needs some refinement, but the tools still pop. He also has two-way potential thanks to a fastball that gets up to 93 mph with sink. Shortstop Logan Forsythe is an advanced defender and more bat speed and power than his 5-foot-11 frame suggests. Infielder Davis Meche might not stand out for his tools but has an advanced understanding of the game and finds a way to make things happen. Corbin Grantham, the son of former Mississippi State defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, has plus speed that plays well in center field.
Pitchers: Righthanders Mikey Tepper (100) and Jackson Fristoe highlight the pitchers in the class. Both can run their fastballs up to the mid-90s and mix in promising secondary offerings but still need some further refinement. Lefthander Dylan Carmouche has a long 6-foot-5 frame and some funk on the mound. He’ll pitch from different arm angles and has solid offspeed stuff to go with a fastball that gets up to 91 mph. Righthander Cade Smith is a bit undersized but pounds the zone with a fastball that can get up to the mid-90s, a breaking ball and a changeup. Mississippi State also has a few junior college transfers who could quickly make an impact on the mound. Righthander Cameron Tullar has the most upside thanks to his low-90s fastball and ability to spin his breaking ball. Righthander Preston Johnson has a big frame, a four-pitch mix and can run his fastball up to 95 mph. Righthander Drew Talley has a big arm and his fastball can reach 97 mph.
Recruiting coordinator: Craig Bell
Top recruit: Zac Veen, OF (No. 12)
Overview: The Florida recruiting machine rolls on. This class stands out for its position players and also includes some talented two-way players and high-end arms.
Hitters: Veen, listed at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, looks the part. The lefthanded hitter has a loose swing with plenty of leverage and power potential. He’s got some good athleticism and will likely settle into an outfield corner in the long run. Third baseman Coby Mayo (34) has big righthanded power and an advanced approach at the plate that plays well. Infielder Colby Halter (64) made a jump this year and was one of Team USA’s best hitters at the World Cup. His overall toolset doesn’t stand out, but he has good hittability and understanding of the game. He’ll likely be able to quickly find a way into the Gators’ lineup. Catcher Mac Guscette has a long track record of success and also figures to make an immediate impact in Gainesville. He’s a good defender and has some juice in his bat.
Jordan Carrion has standout defensive tools that are rare for college shortstops. He’s not as advanced offensively, but if he can continue to improve as he develops physically, he has a lot of upside. Carrion and Halter both have a chance to contribute on the mound, as well.
Pitchers: Lefthander Timmy Manning (24) has the most upside on the mound of the Gators’ commits. At 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, he has plenty of projection and can get his fastball into the low 90s at times. His best pitch is his curveball, which is a true hammer, and will play right away. Righthander Franco Aleman, a Cuban native and junior college transfer, is coming off an impressive summer in the Cape Cod League, where he ranked as the No. 26 prospect. There’s a lot to like about him now, but he may just be scratching the surface as he has plenty of projection in his 6-foot-6, 220-pound frame, and is still learning the finer points of pitching. Righthanders Lebarron Johnson, Carson Pillsbury and Ryan Slater also stand out for their projectable frames. Slater may be the best of the bunch thanks to his strike-throwing ability and athleticism, which gives him a chance to be a two-way player.
Recruiting coordinator: Clay Overcash
Top recruit: Ed Howard, SS (No. 6)
Overview: It’s a strong year for prep talent in Oklahoma and the Sooners took advantage, landing the state’s three best players in lefthander Daxton Fulton (8), infielder/righthander Cade Horton (30) and outfielder Jace Bohrofen (48). Oklahoma built well around that core and has a chance to next fall welcome its best ever class to Norman.
Hitters: Howard is the best shortstop in the class and has impressive all-around tools. He’s a smooth defender with good infield actions and above-average speed and arm strength. At the plate, he produces good bat speed and consistent hard contact that portends more power as he physically matures. Horton is an elite athlete who is slated to play both baseball and football at Oklahoma, though he’s further ahead on the diamond. He’s got two-way ability as a shortstop and righthander. As a position player, he has good infield actions and projects to hit for solid power. On the mound, he has a fast arm and an impressive fastball-slider combination. Bohrofen stands out for his athleticism and plus speed, which plays well in the outfield. He has an easy lefthanded swing and does a good job of making consistent contact with a gap-to-gap approach. Outfielder Marquis Jackson also has premium speed and athleticism and makes good use of it offensively thanks to his bat-to-ball skills.
Pitchers: Fulton has a long, projectable frame at a listed 6-foot-6, 220 pounds and is the No. 2 ranked lefthander in the class. He underwent Tommy John surgery this fall, but before the injury his fastball sits in the low 90s, he gets good depth on his powerful breaking ball and can also mix in a changeup. He throws strikes with all three pitches and as he physically matures, increased velocity should help his full arsenal. Righthander Hunter Marshall doesn’t have Fulton’s upside but has made strides in the last year and his athleticism plays well on the mound. Lefthander Tommy Lamb is still developing physically but has solid pitchability, which has helped him produce a track record of success.
Recruiting coordinator: Norberto Lopez
Top recruit: Victor Mederos, RHP (No. 14)
Overview: The Hurricanes landed the top 2019 class in the ACC and currently have the conference’s top 2020 class as well. This group has more depth among its position players, but it also includes some premium talent on the mound.
Hitters: Yohandy Morales (36) offers big upside thanks to a loose righthanded swing and big 6-foot-4, 195-pound frame that gives him plenty of power projection. He’s already big for a shortstop, but his hands and footwork are good enough to keep him on the infield. Catcher Carlos Perez (89) stands out for his catch-and-throw ability and reminds some of former Hurricanes star Yasmani Grandal. He has big offensive potential as well but needs to improve his feel for hitting to get the most out of his bat speed.
Samuel Infante gets some comparisons to Alfonso Soriano, though he doesn’t have that kind of speed. But he has feel for the barrel, exciting bat speed and the ability to play up the middle, likely at second base or in center field, but possibly at shortstop. Outfielder Chad Born has a good feel for the barrel and produces good bat speed but is still developing his power. CJ Kayfus is a standout hitter with a smooth lefthanded swing. He is an excellent defender at first base with enough athleticism to play left field as well. Infielders Luis Espinal and Dominic Pitelli are the sleepers of the class because they didn’t play much on the showcase circuit. Espinal is a corner bat with big power potential, while Pitelli stands out for his ability at shortstop to go with plus speed and athleticism.
Pitchers: Mederos has a physical 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame and a powerful mix on the mound. His fastball gets up to 96 mph and he pairs it with a sharp, biting slider, while also mixing in a changeup and curveball. Righthander Alejandro Rosario (19) doesn’t match Mederos’ physicality but has a big arm. His fastball gets up to 97 mph and he mixes in a changeup and slider. Righthander Carlos Rodriguez (82) has a wiry frame and a fast arm. His fastball sits in the low 90s and mixes in a good changeup that he’s willing to use often and curveball. Righthander Jamar Fairweather has a strong frame and has been up to 95 mph but didn’t show quite that much velocity this summer. Righthanders Jordan Dubberly and Mikey Rosario give the class a pair of junior college transfers who should be able to contribute quickly.
9. Louisiana State
Recruiting coordinator: Nolan Cain
Top recruit: Drew Romo, C (No. 9)
Overview: The Tigers have some good depth on the mound in this class, but it’s again led by high-end position players. Overall, it’s another top-10 class for LSU, which has landed a top-10 class in five of the last six years.
Hitters: Romo caught for the 18U National Team this year and—along with Tyler Soderstrom—is considered to be one of the best catchers in the class. He’s an advanced defender with a strong arm to go with impressive skills as a switch-hitter. Outfielder Dylan Crews (16) has a loose, simple righthanded swing and drives the ball to all fields. He produces good bat speed and has a chance for plus power, which he’ll need to fit the prototypical corner outfield profile. Shortstop Jordan Thompson is a good defender with a strong arm. He’s made some strides offensively in the last year and has some power potential. Tre’ Morgan has been one of the best hitters in New Orleans over the last couple of years and fits well either at first base or a corner outfield position. Brody Drost has true two-way potential as an outfielder/lefthander. He profiles well in right field and has solid upside on the mound.
Pitchers: Righthander Ty Floyd (70) headlines the class on the mound thanks to his electric fastball that sits 92-95 mph and has a high spin rate, helping him to produce swings and misses. He mixes in a big breaking ball and a changeup. Righthander Blake Money has a big, 6-foot-7, 245-pound frame but repeats his delivery better than many young pitchers his size. That helps him pound the strike zone with a fastball that sits in the low 90s, a curveball and changeup. Righthander Michael Fowler has a projectable 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame but missed this summer due to injury. He got back on the mound this fall and was still throwing a lot of strikes with a fastball in the low 90s and a powerful slider. Righthander Theo Milas pitched for the Canadian Junior National Team and his advanced pitchability helps his stuff play up. His fastball sits around 90 mph and he has good feel for both his changeup and curveball, a combination that figures to help him get on the mound quickly for the Tigers. Righthander Garrett Edwards is a star basketball player who had mid-major offers but will instead take the mound at LSU. He’s projectable with a fastball that he can run up to 92 mph to go with a cutter and slider. Righthander Beck Way, a junior college transfer, has a big arm and a powerful fastball-slider combination. His control still needs some refinement, but he has swing-and-miss stuff at his best.
2020 MLB Draft Stock Watch: 10 Players Trending Up
Here are 10 players helping their cause so far this spring in the eyes of MLB scouts and scouting departments.
10. Arizona State
Recruiting coordinator: Ben Greenspan
Top recruit: Colt Keith, SS (No. 40)
Overview: The Sun Devils are set to lose a bevy of players to the draft this spring, including potential first-round picks Spencer Torkelson and Alika Williams, and will be counting on this class to help replace them. It’s heavier on the position player side but has some premium talent around the diamond.
Hitters: Keith grew up in Arizona before last year moving to Mississippi, where he was named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year. He’s a physical lefthanded hitter whose bat speed helps produce solid power and makes him a middle-of-the-order threat. He has two-way potential as well thanks to his powerful arm and ability to throw in the low 90s off the mound. Infielder Blake Shapen (91) is a football/baseball recruit for the Sun Devils. He’s a premium athlete with a plus arm and big power potential, though he needs some refinement offensively—not unusual for a two-sport player.
Hunter Haas played second base for the 18U National Team at the World Cup and can play anywhere on the infield. He doesn’t have any standout tool, but his overall package makes for an impressive player. Third baseman/righthander Ethan Long has two-way ability and stands out for his power both at the plate and on the mound. First baseman Jack Moss was one of the offensive standouts at Area Code Games and has an impressive feel for hitting. The lefthanded hitter has a physical frame and may develop more power in time. Infielder Blake Pivaroff has played at a high level throughout high school and has produced a strong track record for hitting along the way. Outfielder Kade Higgins, the son of UNLV associate head coach Kevin Higgins, is reminiscent of Sun Devils outfielder Trevor Hauver. The lefthanded hitter has good feel at the plate and fits best in an outfield corner. Catcher Logan Paustian has strong catch-and-throw skills and his advanced defensive ability gives him a chance to play right away.
Pitchers: Righthander Hunter Barnhart (52), who also plays quarterback in high school, came on strong this summer. He’s athletic with a fast arm and a fastball that sits in the low 90s to go with a true curveball. Lefthander Ronan Kopp (92), listed at 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, makes good use of his size. He’s made a jump in velocity in the last year and now runs his fastball into the low 90s. Righthander Joey Hauser is a good athlete with two-way potential. On the mound, he has an easy arm action and throws in the upper 80s.
Recruiting coordinator: Jay Johnson
Top recruit: Chase Davis, OF (No. 25)
Overview: The Wildcats continue to recruit at a high level under Johnson and this class is the best group they’ve put together in his four years in Tucson. After bringing in a strong class of arms this fall, this one is heavier on position players.
Hitters: Davis looks the part as a 6-foot-1, 211 pound tooled-up lefthanded hitting outfielder with premium talent. His loose, whippy swing and strength produce plenty of raw power and he does a good job of putting the bat on the ball. He profiles best as a corner outfielder thanks to his plus arm strength and average speed. Catcher Daniel Susac (66) has the tools to follow in the footsteps of his older brother Andrew Susac, a big league catcher. Daniel, listed at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, is big and athletic and has plenty of offensive upside as a switch-hitter with power potential. Infielder Nick Yorke (90) has solid all-around tools and stands out for his hittability. His defensive tools play up the middle and he has the mentality to allow him to quickly make an impact in the Wildcats’ lineup. Jacob Berry is a switch-hitter with the ability to hit for power from both sides of the plate who profiles well at an infield corner.
Pitchers: Righthander TJ Nichols (96) came to pitching late but has shown significant promise on the mound. He has a big arm and can run his fastball up to 94 mph to go with a hard slider. He also plays shortstop and has two-way potential at Arizona, but his long term future is likely on the mound. Righthander Josh Swales has a fast, loose arm and can run his fastball up to 94 mph. Righthander Chase Silseth, a junior college transfer, throws his fastball in the low 90s and has solid pitchability, traits that will help him quickly find a role on the Wildcats’ staff.
12. Texas Christian
Recruiting coordinator: Kirk Saarloos
Top recruit: Cam Brown, RHP (No. 17)
Overview: Some high-end pitchers lead this class, but it’s a well-balanced group for the Horned Frogs. Beyond the impact on the mound, they could also bring in solid contributors around the diamond.
Hitters: Elijah Nunez is a true center fielder with premium athleticism and plenty of speed. He consistently puts the bat on the ball but has surprising power for his size, adding to his impact potential at the plate. Devan Ornelas has the skillset of an up-the-middle player and likely can stay in the infield, but his speed would also play well in center field. He’s faced high-end competition throughout his amateur career and has a solid track record, which should help him quickly get in TCU’s lineup. Outfielder Luke Boyers is a standout running back and looks the part thanks to a strong, wiry frame to go with plus speed and athleticism. has a strong, wiry frame and plus speed and athleticism. Shortstop Brayden Taylor has good defensive skills and figures to be able to stay at the position, though he’ll need to get stronger to reach his potential at the plate. Pierce Chambers and Raphael Pelletier give the class a pair of catchers who have played against high-level competition throughout high school—Chambers with national champion Calvary Christian in Florida and Pelletier with the Canadian Junior National Team. Third baseman G Allen looks the part thanks to his powerful lefthanded bat and athleticism.
Pitchers: Brown has a strong, physical 6-foot-3 frame and this summer took a step forward with his pitchability. That’s also helped his stuff improve. His fastball sits in the low 90s, reaching 95 mph, and his slider and changeup both have a chance to be above-average offerings. Righthander Carter Baumler (94) has good athleticism and could be a two-way player as an outfielder for the Horned Frogs, but his long-term future is on the mound, where he has the potential to be a weekend starter. His fastball sits in the low 90s, he spins his slider well and shows good feel for his changeup. Righthander Braxton Pearson (97) came on strong this spring, adding more power to his fastball-slider combination. His fastball gets up to 94 mph and plays well with his slider. Righthander Storm Hierholzer, like Pearson, has a good fastball-slider combination, but his control isn’t as advanced. He throws from a funky arm angle, creating an uncomfortable look for hitters, and figures to fit well in the bullpen. Lefthander Christian Williams has advanced pitchability and can throw both his fastball and slider for strikes on both sides of the plate. Righthander Ethan English, a junior college transfer, has two-way potential and provides power both at the plate and on the mound.
Recruiting coordinator: Thomas Eager
Top recruit: Drew Bowser, 3B (No. 27)
Overview: The Cardinal this year brought in a class focused on position players, many of whom will be counted on to contribute right away. This class places a bit more emphasis on the mound, but still has some impactful position players in the mix.
Hitters: Bowser has a strong, powerful frame and the tools to profile at third base. The righthanded hitter creates good bat speed and the potential to hit for plenty of power, to go with the arm strength and hands to fit at the hot corner. Tommy Troy has plus speed and athleticism and the versatility to play nearly anywhere on the diamond, likely up the middle. Offensively, his swing is geared toward contact and making the most of his speed, but he has surprising pop, making for a dynamic overall package. Carter Graham has a strong frame and good power potential and has the look of a physical corner player. Outfielder Eddie Park has the skills to be a top-of-the-order hitter thanks to his above-average speed and bat-to-ball skills. He’s a good defender and has a strong track record against good competition, giving him a chance to quickly get into the Cardinal lineup.
Pitchers: Stanford brings in the Bruno twins from South Florida—lefthander Ryan (59) is the bigger pro prospect, but righthander Jaden is solid in his own right. Ryan has an excellent pitcher’s frame at a listed 6-foot-3, 185 pounds and throws his fastball in the low 90s, touching 96 mph. His control and breaking ball need a bit of refinement, but he has all the raw tools to project on. Jaden, listed at 6-foot-4, 188 pounds, is projectable and has a good three-pitch mix. He needs to be a bit more consistent with his pitchability but like his brother has the raw tools to work with. Righthander Joseph Dixon (83) has two-way potential but stands out on the mound. As a strike-throwing righthander with a solid four-pitch arsenal, he fits in well with the pitchers Stanford has had success with in recent years, but has a little more velocity and can run his fastball up to 93 mph. Righthander Brandt Pancer fills up the strike zone with his three-pitch mix. His fastball sits in the low 90s and his slider is his best secondary offering. Righthander Tommy O’Rourke missed last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and showed promise before his injury.
14. South Carolina
Recruiting coordinator: Trip Couch
Top recruit: Brandon Fields, OF (No. 32)
Overview: The Gamecocks have put together another strong class that has especially good depth among its position players. As it did with the 2019 class, South Carolina again has some of the nation’s best junior college players committed.
Hitters: Fields has elite athleticism and will play both baseball and football for South Carolina (he’s a three-star running back recruit, according to 247 Sports). On the diamond, he’s a bit raw owing to his football background but has plus speed and raw power and offers significant upside. Outfielder Josh Shuler also has impressive tools but is still learning how to get the most out of them. He has above-average speed, good raw power and profiles well as a corner outfielder. Catcher Alek Boychuk has played at a high level for a long time, dating back to playing for USA Baseball’s 12U National Team in 2014. He’s a solid catcher with a simple swing that works well. Shortstop Jaylen Vazquez stands out for his defense, which is good enough to give him a chance to step right into the Gamecocks’ lineup. David Mendum and Sawyer Thornhill, two junior college transfers, have a chance to make immediate impacts offensively for South Carolina. Mendum’s powerful bat could play in the heart of the order, while Thornhill profiles as an offensive second baseman.
Pitchers: Lefthander Jackson Phipps (54), listed at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, is projectable and made some strides over the last couple years, but still has more room to grow. He throws his fastball in the low 90s and has the makings of a good curveball, a combination that will help him quickly make an impact for the Gamecocks. Righthander Will Sanders (73) offers at least as much projection with his 6-foot-6, 195-pound frame. He runs his fastball into the low 90s and figures to add more velocity, which would also help his secondary stuff. Lefthander Luke Little, a junior college transfer, offers big-time upside and this summer ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the Northwoods League. Listed at 6-foot-8, 240 pounds, his fastball reaches 97 mph and he pairs it with a good slider. That combination produces plenty of swing and miss, but he also has a history of struggling with his control, which could push him to the bullpen. Infielder/righthander Jack Mahoney is more advanced as a position player and probably profiles best at third base, but his long-term future may be on the mound, where he can run his fastball up to 95 mph. Righthander Travis Luensmann has a big, 6-foot-6 frame, runs his fastball up to 95 mph and throws a lot of strikes, despite a bit of a crude delivery. Lefthander Magdiel Cotto and righthander Samuel Swygert don’t have as much upside as some of their classmates but both throw a lot of strikes with fastballs that sit around 90 mph, which will help them get on the mound quickly.
Recruiting coordinator: Kevin McMullen
Top recruit: Nate Savino, LHP (No. 4)
Overview: The Cavaliers appear to be set to pull off another coup. Savino is expected to graduate a semester early and enroll at Virginia this spring, following in the footsteps of righthanders Connor Jones and Mike Vasil, who both formally removed their names from draft consideration to pitch for the Cavaliers. For now, Savino still counts toward the 2020 class, which looks to be another strong one.
Hitters: Catcher Kyle Teel (37) stands out for his athleticism, which plays well behind the plate. He’s still refining his defense, in part because he’s played a lot of infield during high school but has all the raw tools. The lefthanded hitter produces good bat speed and figures to grow into more power as he physically matures. Alex Greene has two-way potential as an outfielder/righthander. He’s done both at a high level throughout high school, showing good contact skills at the plate and good feel for his three-pitch mix on the mound. Shortstop Jake Gelof, the younger brother of Virginia sophomore Zack Gelof, has played at a high level throughout high school and combines athleticism with a good feel for the game. Channing Austin has two-way potential as an infielder/righthander. He has a fast arm and can run his fastball up to 93 mph, while also showing good actions on the infield. Outfielder Addie Burrow is a plus runner with compact lefthanded swing and some power projection.
Pitchers: Savino is one of the best pitchers in the class and has the potential to be a Friday starter. His fastball gets up to 96 mph and he pairs it with an excellent slider. He throws from a low three-quarters slot and should have no trouble stepping right into an important role for the Cavaliers. Lefthander Jake Berry isn’t quite as advanced but has an ultra-projectable 6-foot-10, 230-pound frame. His fastball gets into the low 90s but plays up thanks to the extension he throws with and he pairs it with a big, sweeping curveball. He needs some more refinement, but it’s easy to dream on his potential. Lefthander Rece Ritchey is also plenty projectable at 6-foot-4, 170 pounds. His fastball gets into the low 90s with life on the pitch and he pairs it with a slurvy breaking ball that figures to improve with more strength. Righthander Avery Mabe has a strong 6-foot-4 frame and good feel for his three-pitch mix.