Analyzing The Top 2021 College Baseball Recruiting Classes
Below is a breakdown of the top recruits and names to know in each of the best recruiting classes in the country. To see our 2021 Top 25 recruiting classes, click here.
Recruiting coordinator: Craig Bell
Top recruit: Andrew Painter, RHP (No. 3)
Overview: The Gators have had some outstanding recruiting classes under coach Kevin O’Sullivan and Bell, including two that rank among the 10 best since 2000. This class has the potential to stack up favorably with Florida’s best. It’s a big class—in part because the Gators expect to this summer lose a plethora of talent to pro ball—and runs very deep.
Hitters: One of the strengths of the class is in the outfield, where Florida has signed a few impact talents.
Jay Allen (16) has elite athleticism and also impresses on the football field. He made noise on that front this summer when he was invited to Elite 11, a competition/camp for the best quarterbacks in the class, but he remains committed to baseball. Unlike many multi-sport stars, he has a good feel for hitting and offers plenty of upside. Ty Evans (35) had a strong summer at the plate, showing the ability to hit consistently against top arms. He has above-average speed and profiles well in the outfield, though he also has experience on the infield. Michael Robertson (62) has elite speed and is one of the fastest runners in the draft class. He knows how to get the most out of that speed and his tools play well at the top of the order. Corey Robinson also offers plenty of speed and athleticism with a chance to add power in time. Matt Prevesk stands out for his power potential from the left side.
Shortstop Jake Fox (94) doesn’t have the dynamic toolset of some of his classmates but is a good all-around player who figures to stay up the middle on the infield and develop into a productive player for the Gators. Catcher Rene Lastres has a strong 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame and offers both a strong arm behind the plate and a powerful righthanded swing. Infielder Deric Fabian, the younger brother of Florida center fielder Jud Fabian, has good athleticism and a long, lean 6-foot-3 frame that portends more power. Jac Caglianone has two-way potential as a lefthander and first baseman. He has impressive lefthanded power at the plate and can also run his fastball into the low to mid 90s, giving him a legitimate chance to develop as a pitcher, hitter or both.
Pitchers: Florida again has put together an impressive array of talent on the mound. Painter is the top-ranked pitcher in the high school class and ticks just about every box a prep pitcher needs to. Listed at 6-foot-6, 230 pounds, he has a strong four-pitch arsenal and throws a lot of strikes. His fastball reaches the mid 90s and could eventually hit those velocities consistently, as he physically matures. Righthander Chase Petty (17) is a bit undersized at 6 feet, 180 pounds but has a big arm. His fastball reaches 100 mph, and he pairs it with a good slider. Phillip Abner (22) is one of the best lefthanders in the prep class and has a solid three-pitch arsenal. His fastball gets into the mid 90s and he creates a lot of groundball outs with it and his changeup. Righthander Brandon Neely (31) has exciting stuff and an aggressive approach on the mound. He wasn’t as consistent this summer as pro scouts would have liked to see, but he offers plenty of upside. Lefthander Pierce Coppola (50) has a big 6-foot-8, 210-pound frame that gives him good extension and projection. His fastball sits around 90 mph now and he throws a lot of strikes, giving evaluators plenty to dream on. Righthanders Karl Hartman, Fisher Jameson and Anthony Ursitti all have big frames as well, with each listed at least at 6-foot-4. They all offer exciting upside and give the Gators’ class impressive depth on the mound. Righthander Kyle Larsen reclassified from the 2022 class and has s strong frame with advanced pitchability.
Recruiting coordinator: Mike Baxter
Top recruit: Jordan Lawlar, SS (No. 2)
Overview: The Commodores are again in the mix for the top-ranked class, which they have landed in the last three odd-numbered years (2015, 2017, 2019). It’s an impressive all-around class and still includes righthander Christian Little, who has announced that he will graduate a semester early and enroll at Vanderbilt this winter. As he’s still signing in November, he is credited in this class until his enrollment is official.
Hitters: Lawlar has five-tool potential and brings an advanced approach to the game. He’s one of the best hitters in the draft class, has above-average power potential and is a well above-average runner. His athleticism plays well at shortstop and he has good arm strength. Lawlar is one of several exciting infielders in the Commodores’ class. After Lawlar, shortstop Davis Diaz (82) has the strongest pedigree. He has an advanced feel for the game and a well-rounded skill set. He has a compact swing, a good understanding of the strike zone and is a consistent defender. Shortstop Rob Gordon offers a bit more projection as he physically matures. He’s rangy, has good instincts in the infield and has upside offensively. Jonathan Vastine is a good athlete with the tools to play up the middle, either on the infield or in center field. He has a good feel for the barrel and is an above-average runner. Outfielder Joshua Baez (25) has impressive raw tools and a powerful 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame. He has plus raw power and while that comes with some swing and miss, he has a solid approach at the plate. Outfielder Christian Smith has a good lefthanded swing and a projectable 6-foot-2 build. He stands out for his hittability and could develop into a middle-of-the-order hitter in time. Anthony Migliaccio is a switch-hitter with power potential and offers defensive versatility, showing the ability to play in the outfield or behind the plate. Outfielders Kenneth Mallory and JD Rogers are both good athletes and have intriguing skillsets.
Pitchers: Little is one of the best pitchers in the class and would be in first-round consideration if he doesn’t enroll early at Vanderbilt. Listed at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, he has a solid four-pitch mix and profiles as a starter. His fastball gets up to 95 mph and he throws a lot of strikes. Righthander Michael Morales (49) has a solid all-around profile. His stuff isn’t overpowering, but at his best he has a good three-pitch mix and can run his fastball into the mid 90s. Righthander James Peyton Smith (57) has seen his velocity increase over the last year and he now runs his fastball up to 98 mph. While some pro scouts may see him fitting a reliever profile, he has a good changeup and slider and has a chance to develop as a starter at Vanderbilt. Lefthander Carter Holton (66) has a smaller frame at 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, but runs his fastball up to 95 mph with feel for a solid slider. While he doesn’t offer much physical projection, his stuff plays well now, and he has an advanced mindset on the mound. Righthander Miles Langhorne (88) has a big 6-foot-4 frame and a promising four-pitch mix, especially his fastball-curveball combination. His upside is clear, though he still needs to hone some of the rough edges to his game. Lefthander Ryan Ginther (92) saw his velocity jump in the last year, with his fastball reaching the mid 90s to go with a good curveball. His frame (5-foot-10, 200 pounds) doesn’t offer much physical projection, but his fastball-curveball combination plays well. Lefthander Devin Futrell doesn’t have the velocity of some of his classmates, as his fastball typically works in the mid to upper 80s, but he projects to add more velocity as he grows into his 6-foot-5 frame and his pitchability helps his stuff play up now. Righthander Greysen Carter is a good athlete and stands out on the basketball court, as well. He pitched well this fall, running his fastball into the mid 90s.
3. Louisiana State
Recruiting coordinator: Nolan Cain
Top recruit: Ian Moller, C (No. 13)
Overview: The Tigers have yet another high-end recruiting class that’s especially rich in pitching. It’s a larger class, as LSU prepares to lose a lot of talent—especially on the mound—to the draft.
Hitters: For the second year in a row, LSU has signed the top prep catcher in the class. Last year it was Drew Romo, who was drafted 35th overall by the Rockies. Moller is comparable to him and stands out for his impressive all-around ability. He’s a good receiver with above-average arm strength and the chance to hit for power. Catcher Carter Jensen (48) isn’t regarded quite as highly as Moller but gives the class enviable depth behind the plate. The lefthanded hitter has good feel at the plate and should grow into raw power. He’s not as advanced defensively, but with solid arm strength and hands he has the tools to improve. Infielder Luke Leto (61) scuffled this summer after not getting to play or even practice much this spring. Still, he’s a strong all-around hitter with lefthanded power and his athleticism should play well at second or third base. Shortstop Connor Simon (76) stands out for his defense and his feel for the game. He was a bit inconsistent at the plate over the summer, but he has solid offensive upside thanks to his bat speed and strength. Josh Pearson, the younger brother of Angels prospect Jacob Pearson, has plus speed and an impressive track record of hitting. He could quickly work his way into the Tigers lineup, perhaps at left field or second base. Outfielder Joshua Stevenson is the younger brother of Nationals outfielder and former LSU star Andrew Stevenson and is more physical and a better hitter than his older brother at the same age, though he is a tick slower. Infielder Brennan Holt has gotten stronger over the last year and now offers an intriguing power-speed combination. Catcher Brayden Jobert impressed at the plate this spring for Nicholls State before transferring to junior college. He’ll now head to LSU in 2021, adding more depth to the lineup.
Pitchers: Lefthander Brock Selvidge (15) is one of the top lefthanders in the class and is coming off a strong summer. Listed at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, he’s a physical lefthander with a low-90s fastball that reaches 95 mph, a good changeup and a hard slider. He’s got all the tools to become a starter. Righthander Ben Kudrna (26) made a jump this summer and he could have another one in him, thanks to a projectable 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame. His fastball reaches 95 mph, and he mixes in a good changeup and slider. He’s always been a good strike thrower and is now coming into his own. Louisiana State got former ace Kevin Gausman out of the Colorado prep ranks and it is back in the Centennial State for righthander Cale Lansville (54). Lansville has a strong 6 feet, 205-pound frame and good three-pitch mix. His fastball sits around 90, touching 94 mph, and he pairs it with a curveball that has swing-and-miss potential. Righthander Grant Taylor (73) has a powerful 6-foot-1, 230-pound frame and a promising fastball-curveball combination. His fastball has long shown the ability to reach the mid 90s, but typically sits closer to 90 mph and he pairs it with a big, downer curveball. Righthander Samuel Dutton has a shorter build and an energetic delivery. He comes right after hitters with a four-pitch mix that should quickly play at the next level. LSU also secured commitments from righthanders Jason Bollman and Dawson Gause, who are both junior college transfers. Bollman has run his fastball up to 97 mph in short stints, but in longer outings pitches in the low 90s and has good feel for his changeup. Gause has a physical frame and throws his fastball in the low 90s to go with a good changeup and slider.
Recruiting coordinator: Bryant Ward
Top recruit: Alonzo Tredwell, RHP (No. 19)
Overview: The Bruins continue to excel on the recruiting trail and have put together the West Coast’s best class. It’s especially deep and talented on the mound and could give coach John Savage a wealth of pitchers to deploy over the next few years.
Hitters: Shortstop Cody Schrier (41) is the Bruins’ top position player in the class and has the skills to step right into the lineup right away if he makes it to school. He has a strong track record of performance on big stages in high school and a solid set of tools. He drives balls to all fields, has plus speed and his glove plays well up the middle. Outfielder Nick McLain is the younger brother of UCLA shortstop Matt McLain and Arizona State outfielder Sean McLain. He’s a switch-hitter with power potential, especially from the right side, has plus speed and has a strong arm. While Matt McLain played center field for UCLA as a freshman before moving to shortstop, Nick profiles as the Bruins’ center fielder of the future. Catcher Jack Holman has a physical frame at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds and a powerful lefthanded swing. He’s big for a catcher and will need to improve his throwing, but is a steady receiver, giving him a chance to develop behind the plate. Infielder Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek comes from excellent bloodlines—his mother, Danielle Martin, played softball at UCLA and his father, Mark Grudzielanek, is a former all-star and Gold Glove winner. Martin-Grudzielanek is still growing into his 6-foot-3 frame but has a good righthanded swing and will fit somewhere on the infield, likely either as an offensive second baseman or third baseman. Alex Fernandes has well above-average speed and uses it well both on the bases and in the field, likely fitting either at second base or the outfield.
Pitchers: Tredwell has a big 6-foot-7, 225-pound frame and the upside to match. He missed this summer due to Tommy John surgery, but when he’s healthy he has an easy delivery and a promising three-pitch mix that figures to take a step forward as he physically matures. He also has two-way ability as a first baseman thanks to his big power potential at the plate, though his future is on the mound. High school teammates Gage Jump (37), Eric Silva (38) and Luke Jewett (63)—as well as Schrier—will head to Westwood from JSerra Catholic High in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. Jump, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound lefthander, doesn’t stand out for his physicality, but has a good fastball-curveball combination. His fastball sits around 90 mph and touches 94 and plays up. Silva, a 6 feet, 180-pound righthander, played a lot of shortstop growing up before taking off on the mound. His fastball reaches 94 mph, and he attacks hitters with a good four-pitch mix. Jewett, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound righthander, has a more projectable build than his teammates. His fastball sits in the low 90s and he pairs it with a good slider. Righthander Thatcher Hurd (68) was a catcher earlier in his prep career before moving to the mound as a sophomore. Listed at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, he throws in the low 90s and projects to add more velocity in time. Righthander Josh Alger last winter injured his knee playing basketball and missed the summer as a result. He offers plenty of upside thanks to his athleticism, projection and a fastball that gets up to 92 mph already. Lefthander Ethan Flanagan and righthander Nate Leibold also were sidelined this summer but offer intriguing upside and some projection. Righthander James Hepp has an ultra-projectable 6-foot-7 frame and fills up the strike zone with a fastball that currently works in the mid to upper 80s.
Recruiting coordinator: Josh Elander
Top recruit: Brady House, SS (No. 1)
Overview: The Volunteers have been recruiting well under coach Tony Vitello and Elander, who came to Knoxville in 2017. They broke through with a top-20 class in 2020, but their 2021 class, headlined by House, takes it to another level.
Hitters: House, the top-ranked player in the nation, is the gem of the class. He’s a 6-foot-3, 215-pound shortstop who has both an outstanding set of tools and a strong track record of success. He could end up with both plus hit and plus power, to go with the ability to play shortstop (though some pro scouts believe he’ll eventually settle at third base). Ryan Spikes (60) and Christian Moore (75) can do a lot of things to impact the game. Spikes is a good hitter with a consistent righthanded swing and plus speed. He’s played a lot of shortstop and his hands and infield actions fit up the middle, but he’s athletic enough to play anywhere on the diamond. Though Moore stands out most offensively and didn’t pitch much this summer, he has two-way ability. He stands out most for his raw power and profiles well as a third baseman, though he could also settle in the outfield. James McCracken also has two-way ability as an outfielder/lefthander. A righthanded hitter, he has some power and is a good hitter, while on the mound the lefthander can run his fastball up to 92 mph and competes well. Cross Jumper has two-way ability as an outfielder/righthander and is a very good athlete who was also a high school quarterback. He’s come along as a hitter, but also has a strong track record on the mound. Blake Burke and Kavares Tears give the class a pair of powerful lefthanded hitters who could play either first base or a corner outfield spot. Ryan Miller is another good, versatile lefthanded hitter who can catch and play the outfield. Tennessee also added a pair of junior college transfers on the infield. Dayton Dooney was a Freshman All-American at Arizona in 2019 and is a good righthanded hitter who likely fits best as a corner infielder. Seth Stephenson, a switch-hitter and plus runner, offers defensive versatility.
Pitchers: Righthander Chase Burns (9) has perhaps the most impressive stuff of any pitcher in the prep class. He’s come on strong over the last year and this summer saw his fastball reach 100 mph. He has two breaking balls to go with his overpowering fastball and has some feel for his changeup. Righthander Kruise Newman is a good athlete with two-way potential thanks to his lefthanded swing. On the mound, he can run his fastball up to 94 mph and has a good feel for his breaking ball. Righthander Grant Cherry has some projection left to him, but already throws his fastball in the low 90s and shows feel for his breaking ball. Righthander Drew Beam has an athletic 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame and throws a lot of strikes. His fastball sits around 90 mph now, but his stuff figures to take a step forward as he physically matures. The class also includes righthander Julian Aguiar, a junior college transfer. His fastball reaches 93 mph and he adds another experienced arm to the group.
6. Mississippi State
Recruiting coordinator: Jake Gautreau
Top recruit: James Wood, OF (No. 5)
Overview: As Chris Lemonis enters his third season as coach at Mississippi State, the Bulldogs are increasingly taking on the identity he wants to build around and this class fits that approach. It’s full of athleticism, both among position players and pitchers.
Hitters: Wood is one of the most exciting position players in the country. Listed at 6-foot-6, 230 pounds, he’s a very good athlete and was a talented basketball player before giving up the sport to focus on baseball. His strength and build allow him to easily produce a lot of hard contact and prodigious power. He’s an above-average runner, covers ground well in the outfield and has a strong arm. Third baseman Aaron Downs (69) has a strong, physical build at 5-foot-11, 210 pounds and a lot of upside. He’s been up and down offensively over the last couple years, but if he can put everything together, he has the raw tools to be a middle-of-the-order hitter. Shortstop Jordan McCants (72) is the younger brother of Mississippi freshman TJ McCants and the pair could be the rare pair of brothers on the opposite side of the rivalry. McCants has an exciting skillset, combining well above-average speed, good athleticism and the hands and infield actions that could make him a top-of-the-order hitter and shortstop. Catcher Gray Bane has good defensive skills and a strong arm. His glove is ahead of his bat, though he has made strides as a hitter in the last year. Outfielder Trey Higgins also plays quarterback in high school and brings that athleticism to the diamond, though he is a little raw. A switch-hitter, he has power potential from both sides and above-average speed. Hunter Hines has a big 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame and produces plenty of lefthanded power. He fits best as a corner infielder, likely first base. Matt Corder, a junior college transfer, is an excellent athlete and can play anywhere on the diamond except catcher. He has above-average speed, righthanded power potential and has two-way potential thanks to a good fastball-slider combination. Sawyer Robertson, who’s rated as a four-star quarterback by 247 Sports and is committed to play football at Mississippi State, is also expected to join the class. His athleticism translates well to the diamond, where he covers ground well in the outfield and has a strong, powerful righthanded swing.
Pitchers: Maddux Bruns (10) is the top-ranked lefthander in the prep class and has standout raw stuff. His fastball this summer reached the upper 90s and he shows a good feel for spin, giving him a pair of sharp breaking balls. His control is not as advanced as his stuff and is something he’ll need to refine to reach his considerable ceiling. Still, he has frontline starter upside and would provide immediate impact in Starkville. Lefthander Pico Kohn (55), the 2020 Alabama Gatorade Player of the Year, has a projectable 6-foot-5, 205-pound frame and dominated hitters throughout the year. His fastball isn’t overpowering – it sits in the upper 80s and touches 90 mph – but it produces swings and misses and should add velocity in time. His curveball has made strides and could also be a plus pitch in the future. Righthander Jack Walker missed this summer due to injury but offers exciting upside. Before his injury, he threw a lot of strikes with a fastball that reached 94 mph with heavy sinking action and he showed feel for both his breaking ball and changeup. Lefthander Cole Cheatham saw his velocity start to take a jump over the last year and still has room for more growth. His fastball gets up to 92 mph now and he pairs it with a good breaking ball. Righthander Jackson Conn has a big 6-foot-5, 195-pound frame and the arm strength to match. His fastball reaches 92 mph now, with more velocity to come, and his breaking ball and changeup show promise as well. Bradley Wilson has two-way potential as a righthander and catcher. He’s stayed under the radar, but has a strong, athletic frame, feel for spin and is also a good receiver behind the plate. Lefthander Andrew Walling got an up-close look at Mississippi State this spring with Oregon State, in February throwing two scoreless innings against the Bulldogs. He transferred to junior college after the season and is now headed back to Starkville next year. His stuff this fall made a jump and his fastball has touched 97 mph to go with a pair of good breaking balls.
Recruiting coordinator: Norberto Lopez
Top recruit: Irving Carter, RHP (No. 12)
Overview: After landing the top-ranked 2020 recruiting class, Miami has another strong class in 2021. As they did with their 2020 class, the Hurricanes have some exciting arms in the group to go with some athletic position players teeming with upside.
Hitters: Lorenzo Carrier (46) has two-way potential as an outfielder/righthander but his biggest impact is likely to come as a hitter. Long and lean at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, he’s a good athlete, a plus runner and has power potential. On the mound, his fastball sits around 90 mph and he has good feel for his curveball. Infielders Ariel Garcia and Dorian Gonzalez both have intriguing overall toolsets. Garcia has loud tools and a projectable frame but needs to get more consistent at the plate to reach his ceiling. Gonzalez has a good feel for the game and the defensive skills to play shortstop. Outfielder Edgardo Villegas has a good lefthanded swing and stands out for his feel at the plate. He’s a plus runner with a strong arm, tools that play well in center field. Gabriel Gutierrez stands out for his feel at the plate as well thanks to his righthanded swing. He hasn’t done much on the national scene and he doesn’t have standout athleticism, but his bat will play. Renzo Gonzalez offers two-way potential as an outfielder and lefthander. He has some pop at the plate, and his fastball-curveball combination is particularly tough on lefthanded hitters. Shortstop Henry Wallen, a junior college transfer, gives the Canes more depth on the infield in the class.
Pitchers: Carter is one of the top pitchers in the prep class thanks to his 6-foot-4, 210-pound build, solid three-pitch arsenal and competitiveness on the mound. He throws his fastball in the low 90s, touching 95 mph, and he mixes in a good changeup and slider. Righthander Karson Ligon (84) has a chance to pitch with premium velocity, but still needs some refinement on the mound. His fastball touches 95 mph and there’s more velocity to come, to go with a promising changeup and curveball. Righthander Gage Ziehl doesn’t have the pro buzz of some of his classmates, but he has a strong prep track record and solid stuff. His fastball works in the low 90s and he pairs it with a good curveball. Righthander David Rossow and lefthander Rafe Schlesinger have projectable builds, already throw in the low 90s and offer plenty of promise. Righthander Nick Anello missed this summer due to injury but impressed when he was healthy.
Recruiting coordinator: Nate Thompson
Top recruit: Braylon Bishop, OF (No. 18)
Overview: The Razorbacks continue to recruit well, and this year put together a class that’s especially strong among position players. That group figures to soon form the core of the Arkansas lineup.
Hitters: Bishop is one of the toolsiest and most athletic players in the nation. He has lightning quick bat speed, is a plus runner and should develop into a solid defensive center fielder. The consistency of his hit tool is his biggest knock in scouts’ eyes, but he’ll be an immediate impact player if he makes it to Arkansas. The Razorbacks have a strong group of infielders, including Maxwell Muncy (56), Drake Varnado (59), Kendall Diggs, Jude Putz and Peyton Stovall. Muncy does a lot of things well on the diamond, starting with a strong righthanded swing. He squares a lot of balls up, creating good power potential, and can play pretty much anywhere defensively, including shortstop. Varnado is a good athlete with plus speed and the tools to play anywhere on the infield. He has a good righthanded swing and figures to grow into more power in time. Diggs profiles best at third base thanks to his strong arm and powerful bat. He has quick hands and power potential. Stovall and Putz can stay up the middle on the infield and should develop into solid all-around players. Catcher Max Soliz has a big righthanded bat and generates a lot of power with his 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame. He’s big for the position, but has a chance to stay behind the plate. Outfielder Gabe D’Arcy also has a big frame at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds and a powerful righthanded bat.
Pitchers: Not to be outdone by the position players, Arkansas’ pitching recruits offer a lot of upside as well. Lefthander Hagen Smith (81) this summer was sidelined while he recovered from Tommy John surgery he had in 2019, but once he’s back to full health he has impact potential. He has a physical frame, throws in the low 90s and mixes in a solid slider. Righthander Brady Tygart (99), meanwhile, came on strong this summer and has an athletic build. His fastball gets up to 95 mph and he pairs it with a hard slider. Lefthander Drew Gray has two-way potential and will join his older brother Evan, a second-year freshman righthander, in Fayetteville. Gray has two-way potential as a corner outfielder and lefthander. He has a projectable 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame, throws a lot of strikes and has a good fastball-curveball combination. Righthander Vincent Trapani has long been a good strike thrower and now has seen his velocity tick up to the low 90s. Righthander Austin Ledbetter is a talented high school quarterback and has good feel on the mound. Righthander Dylan Carter, a junior college transfer, saw his stuff make a jump this summer and now runs his fastball into the low to mid 90s, giving him intriguing upside.
Loudest Tools Of The 2020 Perfect Game All-American Classic
Hitters who showcased some of the louder tools at one of the more prominent and heavily scouted events of the high school calendar.
Recruiting coordinator: Bradley LeCroy
Top recruit: Joe Mack, C (No. 14)
Overview: The Tigers put together a strong all-around class, meshing premium talent with some high-end projection. After its five-year streak of Top 25 classes was snapped in 2020, this class should see Clemson comfortably return to the final ranking.
Hitters: Mack is the latest big, powerful catcher with a strong arm the Tigers have signed, joining the likes of Chris Okey, Adam Hackenberg and Jonathan French. A lefthanded hitter, Mack has plus raw power and played impressively this summer when facing high-end pitching. He also took a step forward defensively and is now firmly among the top prep catchers in the nation. Outfielder Will Taylor (28) is an excellent athlete who also stands out as a quarterback and wrestler. While he has impressive physical tools, he also has more feel for baseball than many toolsy, multi-sport athletes. He has good bat-to-ball skills and well above-average speed, traits that give him a chance to quickly establish himself as the Tigers’ center fielder and leadoff hitter. Aries Samek is a bit rawer than Taylor but also has an exciting set of raw tools. He’s a plus runner, offers raw righthanded power, has a strong arm and the athleticism to settle into one of a few positions, likely second or third base. Gavin Abrams and Billy Amick are also good athletes who can move around the diamond. Abrams has a powerful lefthanded bat, while Amick has a good combination of righthanded power and speed. David Lewis has a physical build and plenty of righthanded power. He profiles as a corner infielder and middle-of-the-order hitter.
Pitchers: Bubba Chandler (43) is a premium athlete and two-sport star who has had a whirlwind 2020. It began with him committed to Georgia as a two-way baseball player and off the football recruiting radar as a quarterback. That changed this spring when Clemson offered him the chance to play both sports. He then impressed pro baseball scouts, especially on the mound. He has a physical build, can run his fastball up to 94 mph and has a good feel for both his breaking ball and changeup. He also has above-average speed and offers solid power at the plate, but his baseball future is likely as a pitcher. Righthander Billy Barlow also is a prep football player and brings that competitive mindset to the mound. His velocity has improved over the last two years, and his fastball now reaches 94 mph to go with a good breaking ball. Lefthander Rocco Reid has good feel on the mound and a solid three-pitch mix. His fastball works in the low 90s and he built a strong prep track record that should transfer to success in college. Righthander Casey Tallent doesn’t have as much upside as some of his classmates, but he too has a skillset that will help him quickly get on the mound for the Tigers. He fills up the strike zone and attacks hitters with a fastball that sits around 90 mph and a sweeping slider.
Recruiting coordinator: Eric Snider
Top recruit: Daylen Lile, OF (No. 27)
Overview: The Cardinals have a deep, large recruiting class in anticipation of losing several key players from their current team to the draft. As it typically does, Louisville has a well-balanced class between pitchers and position players.
Hitters: Lile, a Louisville native, is the class’ standout player and one of the best prep hitters in the country. The lefthanded hitter has fast hands and shows the ability to consistently spray line drives to all fields. He’s a good athlete but isn’t a burner, which may ultimately push him to an outfield corner. Shortstop Noah Smith is a good athlete and stands out defensively thanks to his smooth infield actions, good arm and hands. He’s still physically maturing and projects to be a solid hitter in time. Infielder Kurtis Reid is more physical and has a short, powerful righthanded swing. He’s versatile enough to play anywhere on the infield and likely profiles best as an offensive second baseman or third baseman. Catcher Austin Bode is a good lefthanded hitter with some strength and power in his swing. He’s a good athlete behind the plate and has solid arm strength. Outfielder Camden Jordan is a good athlete who’s also a standout wide receiver and has several mid-major football offers. His future is on the diamond, however, where his above-average speed plays well on the bases and in center field. Outfielder Eddie King is a good athlete as well and the righthanded hitter has a lot of upside as he physically matures. Will Cook and Jack Tinberg both have two-way potential as infielders and pitchers, with both slightly more advanced as hitters. Cook has a projectable 6-foot-5 frame that portends more power, both as a lefthanded hitter and righthanded pitcher. Tinberg profiles as a first baseman/lefthander.
Pitchers: Righthander Ethan Wood offers the most upside on the mound. He has an ultra-projectable build at 6-foot-7, 215 pounds, and will add more consistent velocity as he physically matures. He pitches both from a high arm slot and one that is almost sidearm and throws strikes from both slots. His fastball sits around 90 mph and he pairs it well with a sweeping slider. Righthanders Kade Grundy and Will Koger don’t match Wood’s upside but have more polished looks and could quickly take on significant roles at Louisville. Grundy was a three-sport star in high school and brings a competitive, mature approach to the mound. His fastball sits around 90 mph and he mixes in his breaking ball and changeup well. Koger also brings poise on the mound and has an easy delivery. His fastball sits around 90 mph and he pairs it with a good breaking ball. Righthander Carson Liggett also has a similar profile to Grundy and Koger, though his track record isn’t as lengthy. His fastball works in the upper 80s, reaching 93 mph, and he has a four-pitch arsenal. Righthander Kyle Walter has a big 6-foot-5, 235-pound build and he uses his height well on the mound. His fastball gets up to 92 mph and he has good feel for his changeup. Righthander Landen Looper, the son of former big leaguer Braden Looper, has a strong 6-foot-3 frame and a solid three-pitch mix. His fastball reaches 91 mph. Jason Davis has two-way potential as a righthander and outfielder. He’s further ahead on the mound and can run his fastball up to 94 mph.
11. Texas A&M
Recruiting coordinator: Justin Seeley
Top recruit: Izaac Pacheco, SS (No. 8)
Overview: Like many teams, Texas A&M enters 2021 with a veteran roster and could lose several players off its current team. With that in mind, the Aggies put together a deep class that should be able to quickly contribute in College Station.
Hitters: Pacheco leads an exciting group of infielders in the class. He has a physical build at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds and a strong lefthanded swing. He produces a lot of bat speed and has an advanced approach at the plate, giving him middle-of-the-order impact potential. He’s more athletic than his size suggests and that, plus a solid glove, gives him a chance to stay at shortstop, though many pro scouts project him as a third baseman. Shortstop Austin Stracener has a long track record of success and combines present tools with solid upside. He has a smooth lefthanded swing, can play anywhere on the infield and has above-average speed. Shortstop Ty Hodge has standout athleticism and is now coming into his own on the diamond. He has plus speed and a quick righthanded swing that gives him intriguing offensive upside. Shortstop Chase Valentine may be the best defender in the Aggies’ class, as his hands, arm and infield actions all play well up the middle. The righthanded hitter isn’t as advanced offensively, though as he continues to physically mature, his bat can take a step forward.
Pitchers: Righthander Rawley Hector (53) pitched as an underclassman for USA Baseball’s 18U National Team in the 2019 World Cup. After a solid performance on the international stage, however, a knee injury this summer set him back a bit. When he’s healthy, he stands out for his pitchability and solid three-pitch mix. His fastball sits around 90 mph with more velocity to come, and he shows feel for both his changeup and curveball. Righthander Will Rizzo was also limited this summer by injury. He has a strong, physical build at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, and when he’s healthy his fastball reaches 94 mph. Lefthander Ryan Prager has a prorotypical build at 6-foot-3, 185 pounds and stands out for his advanced pitchability. His fastball sits around 90 mph now, touching 93, and he has good feel for his breaking ball and changeup. He has the look of a future starter for the Aggies and should be able to contribute quickly. Righthander Ty Sexton has a big, athletic 6-foot-6, 200-pound build and is a prep quarterback. His fastball sits around 90 mph and he throws it from a steep downhill angle, mixing in a good changeup. He offers plenty of projection and upside, particularly once he is focused full-time on baseball. Righthander William Maynard was more of a position player early in his prep career but has come on strong on the mound. His fastball gets up to 93 mph, he shows an ability to manipulate his pitches well and is a good athlete, giving him intriguing upside. Righthander Braden Edwards has a good sinker-slider combination and could see a jump in velocity as he grows into his 6-foot-4 build. Righthander Logan Henderson, a junior college transfer, throws his fastball in the low 90s and pairs it with an advanced changeup, a combination that will play right away for the Aggies.
12. Florida State
Recruiting coordinator: Mike Metcalf
Top recruit: Edwin Arroyo, SS (No. 30)
Overview: The Seminoles loaded up on athletic, versatile position players and pitchers that have a combination of solid present stuff with some projection remaining.
Hitters: Arroyo is one of the best defensive shortstops in the prep draft class. The Puerto Rican native has excellent infield actions, good hands and plus arm strength. A switch-hitter, he figures to grow into solid power in time and has good bat-to-ball skills. Outfielder James Tibbs (87) has a smooth lefthanded swing, a good feel at the plate and above-average power projection. He’s a solid athlete who profiles best as a corner outfielder. Catchers Jaime Ferrer and Satchell Norman give Florida State good depth at the position. Both have powerful righthanded bats and offer good athleticism behind the plate. Norman is a bit more advanced as a receiver, while Ferrer’s speed and arm also fit well in the outfield. Shortstop Mayes White is an excellent athlete who also stands out as a high school quarterback. The righthanded hitter has a good feel for the barrel and more baseball instincts than many dual-sport athletes, giving him a chance to quickly make an impact. Treyton Rank has two-way ability as an outfielder and righthander but may be more advanced as a position player. The righthanded hitter has a good approach at the plate and can drive the ball to all fields. Connor Moore has stayed under the radar but has solid all-around tools, a good understanding of the game and the defensive versatility to move around the diamond. First basemen Cade Bush and Aiden Mastantuno add a pair of powerful bats to the class.
Pitchers: Jackson Baumeister (64) has two-way ability as a righthander and catcher. It’s a tough double to pull off and may ultimately require him to pick one position, though Florida State has experience in the area, as Buster Posey did both. Baumeister, listed at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, has plenty of arm strength that plays well at both positions. On the mound, his fastball typically sits around 90 mph and touches 94 and he projects to have more consistent velocity in the future. He has solid righthanded power at the plate and his athleticism gives him a chance to develop as a catcher. Righthander Brodie Chestnutt has a big 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame and exciting upside. His fastball can reach 91 mph with heavy life and he has promising offspeed stuff. Righthander Dylan Jacobs also has a projectable frame at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds. His fastball sits around 90 mph, touching 93, with late life. He has a good feel for his curveball and can manipulate its shape well. Lefthander Mitchell Bratt pitches for the Canadian Junior National Team and offers advanced pitchability. He throws a lot of strikes with his upper-80s fastball and has good feel for his curveball. Righthander Preston Wetherell has a projectable 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame and competes well on the mound, attacking hitters with a fastball that sits around 90 mph and a good curveball.
13. North Carolina State
Recruiting coordinator: Chris Hart
Top recruit: Kahlil Watson, SS (No. 7)
Overview: Hart has put together some impressive classes over the last decade as NC State’s recruiting coordinator. This year’s class has a chance to be as good as any of them, especially its group of position players.
Hitters: Watson is an electric athlete and has emerged as one of the top position players in the country. The lefthanded hitter has an advanced approach at the plate, consistently produces hard contact and is a plus runner. He’s made strides defensively over the last few years and his arm, hands and infield actions play well at shortstop. The Wolfpack have excelled at developing premium shortstops in recent years (Trea Turner, Will Wilson, Jose Torres) and Watson could be the next in line. Third baseman Tommy White (40) has a strong, physical 6-foot-2, 240-pound frame and the powerful righthanded swing to match. He has a long track record of hitting and can drive the ball out to all fields. While pro scouts mostly see him as a future first baseman, his arm strength and hands give him a chance to stay at the hot corner. Shortstop Payton Green doesn’t have as much buzz as Watson, but he also offers plenty of upside. He’s a good athlete, has a projectable 6-foot-3, 180-pound build and both his bat speed and ability to square up balls should lead to more power in time. He has promising defensive tools as well, giving him the chance to develop as a shortstop. Catcher Jacob Cozart, the son of High Point coach Craig Cozart, has a physical 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame and a powerful lefthanded swing. He’s developed into a good receiver and has solid arm strength, giving him a chance to play right away behind the plate. Will Marcy is a good athlete and has a solid track record at the plate and above-average speed. His bat and defensive versatility will help him carve out a role in the lineup. Outfielder Trendon Craig, a junior college transfer, has a strong, athletic build and big righthanded power potential.
Pitchers: Righthander Carson Kelly is an excellent athlete with a projectable 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame. He offers good pitchability and throws a lot of strikes now, traits that will serve him well as he physically matures. He throws his fastball-slider combination from two arm slots and can run his fastball up to 91 mph over the top, while also dropping down to a sidearm look to add some deception. Righthander Brandon Hudson has a projectable look at 6-foot-4, 185 pounds and can run his fastball up to 91 mph. He offers good upside as he gets stronger and refines his approach on the mound. Righthander Sam Griesbauer has a physical 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame and a good sinker-slider combination. Righthander Jacob Halford and lefthander Jacob Dienes both have projectable looks, clean and athletic deliveries and could be primed to take a step forward. Righthander Justin Lawson, a junior college transfer, has impressed this fall with a low-90s fastball and good slider.
14. Wake Forest
Recruiting coordinator: Bill Cilento
Top recruit: Joshua Hartle, LHP (No. 11)
Overview: Coach Tom Walter and Cilento have elevated Wake Forest’s program over their 12 years in Winston-Salem, reaching super regionals in 2017 and producing several high-end prospects. This year, the Demon Deacons have taken a step forward on the recruiting trail and have put together their best-ever class.
Hitters: Shortstop Daniel Corona (58) has a solid all-around skill set and an advanced feel for the game. The lefthanded hitter has good feel at the plate and actions in the infield, which gives him the look of the Deacons shortstop of the future. His arm strength gives him a chance to be a two-way player and he can throw his fastball in the low 90s, though his future is likely as an infielder. First baseman Nick Kurtz has an athletic 6-foot-5, 210-pound frame and offers big lefthanded power potential. He’s pitched in the past but has come on more as a hitter as his prep career has progressed. Infielder Tommy Hawke has a solid track record of success in high school. He runs well, has a good feel for the game and his on-base skills play well. Catcher Christopher Katz and first baseman Troy McGirt have strong righthanded swings and long track records of hitting. Outfielder William Ray is a bit raw now, but his lefthanded swing and athleticism give him a projectable look.
Pitchers: Lefthander Joshua Hartle (11) is one of the best prep lefthanders in the country and headlines an impressive group on the mound for Wake Forest. He has advanced pitchability to go with solid stuff and some projection in his 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame. His fastball sits around 90 mph and ticks up to 94 to go with a changeup and slider. He also has two-way potential in college thanks to his feel for hitting, but his long-term future is on the mound. Righthander Peter Heubeck (83) is new to pitching but quickly has made a name for himself, running his fastball up to 95 mph from a projectable 6-foot-3, 170-pound frame. He has an easy delivery and can also throw a promising changeup and curveball. He still needs to hone some of the rough edges of his game, but his raw tools and athleticism are easy to project on. Righthander Carson Cotugno throws a lot of strikes with his three-pitch mix. His fastball gets up to 90 mph now and if he’s able to add velocity, he has exciting upside. Righthander Zachary Lewis has a similar profile to Cotugno, as he attacks hitters with a fastball that gets up to 90 mph and mixes in a hard curveball.
15. South Carolina
Recruiting coordinator: Trip Couch
Top recruit: Michael Braswell, SS/RHP (No. 42)
Overview: After this year bringing in the sixth-ranked recruiting class, South Carolina has a smaller 2021 class. It’s still a solid group, however, and can provide impact talent, especially in the lineup.
Hitters: Though Braswell has two-way ability, his biggest impact is expected to come as a position player. He doesn’t have the flashiest tools, but he’s a solid defender with the hands, athleticism and instincts for shortstop. He has a consistent approach at the plate and as he physically matures, he could grow into more power. He offers good pitchability on the mound and attacks hitters with a fastball-slider combination. Outfielder Thaddeus Ector (79) is a switch-hitter with an exciting toolset and plenty of upside. He has above-average power potential and is a plus runner. Infielder Vytas Valincius (96) has a big 6-foot-4, 240-pound frame and the powerful righthanded bat to match. He can drive the ball out to all fields and has a solid track record for hitting for average as well. He’s athletic for his size, giving him a chance to stay at third base, but his bat would play at first base if he had to move across the diamond. Infielder Cooper Kinney has a good lefthanded swing and performed well at the plate this summer. There’s some power potential in his 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame and his bat will fit somewhere in the lineup, likely at second or third base. Catcher Cole Messina has long played on big stages in travel ball and built a long track record for hitting. He has solid power potential in his strong, 6 feet, 215-pound frame and has made strides as a defender, though he is still bat over glove. Talmadge LeCroy is a versatile player who can do a bit of everything on the diamond. He can play anywhere on the infield or at catcher and the righthanded hitter has an advanced approach at the plate. Outfielder Elijah Lambros stands out for his tools and athleticism and is starting to realize his potential. The righthanded hitter offers some power potential and he’s a plus runner. Outfielder Dariyan Pendergrass has flown under the radar because he has mostly played American Legion ball, but he could prove to be a solid find for the Gamecocks. He has above-average speed, can play center field and is adding strength, which is helping the lefthanded hitter at the plate.
Pitchers: As South Carolina has done effectively in recent years, it tapped into the junior college ranks for a couple of impact pitchers. Righthander Hunter Parks was mostly a position player earlier in his career but has moved to the mound to great success. His fastball gets into the upper 90s and offers big upside. Righthander Drew Baker also has a power arm and can run his fastball into the mid 90s. His secondary stuff needs to be more consistent, but he can step into a big role for the Gamecocks. South Carolina doesn’t have those kinds of big arms among their prep pitcher recruits, but that group still can make an impact. Righthander Aidan Hunter has a projectable 6-foot-4, 195-pound build and offers good upside. His fastball gets into the low 90s now and he has good feel for his breaking ball. Lefthander Matthew Becker has a long track record of success and his feel for pitching helps his stuff play up. Righthander Samuel Simpson has a projectable frame and stands out for his feel for his breaking ball. With some more strength, he could make a jump.