Pac-12 2020 College Baseball Recruiting Breakdown
Recruiting is the lifeblood of every program in college baseball. After presenting the Top 25 recruiting classes and the 10 classes that just missed the cut, Baseball America is breaking down every class in several of the biggest conferences in the country.
Presented here is team-by-team analysis for the Pac-12. Four teams from the conference ranked in the Top 25 and three more made the next 10 classes. Links to full breakdowns for those teams can be found below, as well as a snapshot view of the class. Full breakdowns for the four teams that didn't make the rankings can be found here.
All rankings are according to the 2020 BA 500, which included all eligible players.
The Wildcats’ recruiting has reached new heights since coach Jay Johnson took over the program in 2015 and this year marks the first time the program has landed a top-five class. Davis certainly looks the part of an offensive corner outfielder—he’s listed at 6-foot-1, 211 pounds and has a loose, whippy lefthanded swing to go with big raw tools. Catcher Daniel Susac (118) is a strong defender behind the plate and the switch-hitter offers offensive upside. Infielder Jacob Berry (219), another switch-hitter, has power potential from both sides of the plate. Righthanders TJ Nichols (111) and Chase Silseth (305), a junior college transfer, both can contribute quickly on the mound, giving the class a solid all-around balance.
The Sun Devils’ class is mostly focused on position players, as their pitching staff returns mostly intact in 2021. Moss has an impressive feel for hitting and may grow into more power as he physically matures. Hunter Haas (246) can play all over the infield and, while he doesn’t have any one standout tool, he has excellent feel for the game. Third baseman/righthander Ethan Long has true two-way ability and offers power both at the plate and on the mound. Joe Lampe, a versatile junior college transfer, and catcher Logan Paustian both figure to make quick impacts in Tempe.
Recruiting coordinator: Noah Jackson
Top recruit: Paulshawn Pasqualotto, RHP
After seeing 11 of its players drafted and signed over the last two years, Cal had a young roster in 2020 and expected to lose just a few players even if the draft was 40 rounds as scheduled. As a result, the Golden Bears brought in a small recruiting class with just six players.
Pasqualotto is the most prominent newcomer and could quickly work his way into the rotation. His fastball gets up to 93 mph and he pairs it well with an advanced changeup that has splitter-like action. He’s a good athlete who could also see action as an outfielder. Righthander Dez Loessberg also runs his fastball into the low 90s and has a good feel for his offspeed stuff. He could quickly help out of the bullpen for Cal.
Outfielder Jag Burden played at a high level throughout his prep career and should be able to make a smooth transition to the college game. His speed plays well in center field and the lefthanded hitter has a good feel for the barrel. Shortstop Josh Rolling comes to Cal after one year in junior college. He was drafted coming out of the Nevada prep ranks and offers good athleticism and some offensive upside. Shortstop Brian McClellin is coming off an all-star summer in the San Diego League, where he more than held his own against older competition. He’s a strong defender with a compact righthanded swing. Trevor Tishenkel gives the class another good lefthanded bat who fits well as a corner outfielder.
As year two of coach Mark Wasikowski’s tenure at Oregon begins, the Ducks have added a large recruiting class that is especially deep on the mound. It is a position player who is their highest-rated recruit, however. Ashford is a two-sport star and was the third player ever to be selected for the Under Armour All-America Game in both baseball and football. He’ll keep playing both sports at Oregon—he was rated as a four-star quarterback recruit by 247 Sports—and offers plenty of upside in both. On the diamond, he’s a plus runner and has big raw power, but is still relatively raw due to his time on the gridiron. If he can refine his raw tools at Oregon, he has huge potential.
Catcher Josiah Cromwick has a strong arm behind the plate and his athleticism gives him some defensive versatility. He’s a steady hitter and makes a lot of contact. Outfielder Colby Shade stands out for his well above-average speed. His speed plays well in center field and makes him a threat at the top of the lineup.
Righthander Isaac Ayon has a strong 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame and attacks hitters with a good fastball-slider combination. He throws his fastball in the low 90s and his slider shows good promise. Righthanders Scott Ellis and Logan Mercado both have two-way ability. Ellis shows feel for three pitches and can run his fastball into the low 90s, giving him a chance to quickly carve out a role on the staff. His athleticism also plays well in the outfield. Mercado attacks hitters with a fastball that reaches the low 90s and a good changeup. He has advanced feel on the mound, and can also play on the infield. Lefthander Rio Britton isn’t as advanced but offers good upside and will figure into a prominent role in time. His fastball gets up to 90 mph and his offspeed stuff shows promise.
The Beavers’ recruiting class took an expected hit when righthander Mick Abel was drafted 15th overall. That dropped it out of the Top 25, but Oregon State still has a solid group of newcomers, led by Kasper. His athleticism and raw tools give him plenty of upside. Many of the Beavers’ position players in the class fit a similar profile, including outfielder Thomas Dukart and shortstop Paul Myro. Righthanders Jaren Hunter and Ian Lawson are both Oregon natives who could quickly carve out roles on staff.
USC didn’t lose any of its recruits in the draft and ended up with one of its best recruiting classes in years as a result. In Smith, Nate Clow (483) and Alex Rodriguez, the Trojans have a formidable trio of infielders, all of whom can play up the middle. Smith is the most advanced and his ability to hit for both average and power will help him quickly get in the lineup. Clow has good feel at the plate, while Rodriguez is the best defender of the group. Outfielder Carson Wells (341) unlike his older brother Austin Wells, has a speed and hit over power profile that plays well at the top of the lineup. Jaden Agassi, the son of tennis greats Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, has two-way ability and power on both sides of the ball.
North Carolina State Baseball: Five Questions to Answer Entering 2021
NC State is one of the most consistent programs in the country, and expectations should be high once again in 2021.
Stanford held together this talented class through the draft process without losing any recruits. The result is the Cardinal’s first top-10 class since coach David Esquer took over the program in 2017. Bowser has a strong, powerful frame and may profile better at the hot corner, but figures to quickly find a home on the left side of Stanford’s infield. Tommy Troy (199) has plus speed and athleticism to go with the versatility to play all over the diamond. Outfielder Eddie Park (489) also has premium speed and will fit at the top of the Cardinal lineup. On the mound, Stanford brings in the Bruno twins from South Florida—lefthander Ryan (168) is the bigger prospect, but righthander Jaden is solid in his own right. Righthander Joseph Dixon (273) has two-way potential and has a similar profile to the kind of pitchers Stanford has had success with in recent years.
UCLA’s class took the biggest hit in the draft as its top-four recruits were all drafted and combined to sign for more than $8 million. Despite those losses, the Bruins still have impact newcomers, starting with Rajcic. The righthander has advanced pitchability that could play right away in the rotation. Third baseman Kyle Karros joins his older brother Eric with the Bruins and gives the class a powerful bat. Jonathan Vaughns (427) has two-way ability and is a two-sport athlete at UCLA (he was a three-star football recruit) and outfielder Carson Yates also offers plenty of athleticism.
Recruiting coordinator: Jay Brossman
Top recruit: Ben Kibbe, RHP
The Utes put together a solid all-around class that should be able to provide some impact talent to the program. Kibbe made some strides over the last year and saw his velocity tick up, now reaching 93 mph with good sinking action. He pairs it with a good breaking ball and throws a lot of strikes, giving him a chance to quickly find a role. Lefthander Gage Webster comes to Utah from the Alaska prep ranks. Listed at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, he offers upside to go with a fastball that gets up to 91 mph and a good feel for the strike zone.
Kai Roberts combines good athleticism with a physical 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame. He runs well and has lefthanded power potential. He profiles best defensively at third base, but his feel for the game helps him move around the diamond. Owen Mortensen has two-way ability as a catcher and righthander. He’s more advanced behind the plate, where he has a strong arm and his righthanded power plays well. On the mound, his fastball can reach the low 90s.
Fontenelle, first baseman Mike Brown (255) and lefthander/outfielder Tyson Guerrero (253), a junior college transfer, form a formidable trio to headline the Huskies’ class, which just missed the Top 25. Fontenelle and Brown look to be future middle-of-the-order hitters at Washington, and both offer lefthanded power potential. Guerrero stands out most on the mound and could step right into the Huskies’ rotation, while his athleticism plays well in the outfield. Righthander Reilly McAdams has a lot of upside and could also develop into a weekend starter.
Washington State has a very large incoming class this fall after the program’s first year under coach Brian Green and his staff. The group has a little bit of everything, including both a large freshman class and several junior college transfers who could make an immediate impact.
Russell stands out defensively, combining smooth infield actions, soft hands and solid arm strength. There’s little doubt that he’ll be able to take over at shortstop for the Cougars, and he offers a good, consistent righthanded swing. Keith Jones fits the right field profile well, thanks to a strong arm, average speed and big lefthanded power potential. He’s an aggressive hitter but doesn’t sell out for power. Gunner Gouldsmith is a good infielder with a high baseball IQ who will play anywhere on the infield. He’s a switch-hitter with above-average speed and a line-drive stroke.
Righthander Duke Brotherton (409) has a projectable 6-foot-3 frame and has the potential to make a big jump during his college career. His fastball gets into the low 90s now and he has the makings of a good curveball and changeup, a package that gives him a chance to one day front the Cougars’ rotation. Righthander Will Sierra, a junior college transfer, has a big right arm and can run his fastball up to 96 mph. He can help the Cougars in a variety of roles. Righthanders Cooper Barnum and Kolby Kmetko both attack hitters with fastball-slider combinations that could help them quickly get innings for the Cougars.