Prep Baseball Report

Florida 2015 Rankings Updated

By Rob Sidwell
Florida Scouting Director

The 2015 rankings have been updated for the final time as we head into the draft June 8. Florida is loaded again with talent, some of which will jump right into pro ball and many of which will go to college and end up in a professional uniform after their collegiate career.

The top of the rankings have been unchanged since our first release. SS Brendan Rodgers (Lake Mary) leads the way at number one and will more than likely be the first player taken from Florida in this year’s draft, probably in the top three picks. OF Kyle Tucker (Plant) has made a jump this spring in our rankings, up to No. 2, and will more than likely be the second player taken from Florida in this year’s draft. He had a tremendous spring and played well in front of a lot of decision makers. His tools played well and the power is already there with a lot more to come. I think he could be a top five pick. At No. 3, LHP Juan Hillman (Olympia) had a very good and very consistent spring and was heavily scouted, he finished the year off at Sebring touching some 95’s on the radar gun. Most likely Hillman will be the next guy taken in the draft, probably in the top 2-3 rounds.

The next crop of prospects features four right-handed arms at No. 4-7. While I still have Triston McKenzie (Royal Palm Beach) and Austin Smith (Park Vista) over Brady Singer (Eustis) because of their long term ceiling, I think Singer will be the next guy taken in the draft. Singer made a big jump this spring in velocity and was very consistent throughout the season. He consistently touched 94 mph with good secondary stuff. McKenzie and Smith had similar type stuff with a high ceiling as well, but their stuff was a bit more sporadic. Signability will have a lot to do with it as well but I think they are top three round type talents. Cole Sands had a great year but dropped a couple slots due to nothing he did but more due to the fact that Singer and Tucker made such big jumps.

Jonathan India (American Heritage) is an offensive SS with a grinder type make up and good baseball instincts. He too would be a top draft but I have a feeling he will be tough to get away from his Florida commit. No. 9 Julian Infante (Westminster Christian) is more of a power bat that will play a corner infield position, but again most likely will be a tough guy to get away from Vanderbilt in the draft. Rounding out my top 10 is OF Chris Chatfield (Spoto). He has been on the radar due to a good season with good workouts for teams during the spring. I think he will be the next position player from Florida taken in the draft behind Tucker. He still has some inconsistencies in the bat but the body is athletic with a high ceiling, adding to his already above average power.

Rank Name State School Class Pos Commitment
1 Brendan Rodgers FL Lake Mary 2015 SS Florida State
2 Kyle Tucker FL Plant 2015 OF Florida
3 Juan Hillman FL Olympia 2015 LHP Central Florida
4 Triston McKenzie FL Royal Palm Beach 2015 RHP Vanderbilt
5 Austin Smith FL Park Vista 2015 RHP Florida Atlantic
6 Brady Singer FL Eustis 2015 RHP Florida
7 Cole Sands FL North Florida Christian 2015 RHP Florida State
8 Jonathan India FL American Heritage 2015 SS Florida
9 Julian Infante FL Westminster Christian 2015 3B Vanderbilt
10 Chris Chatfield FL Spoto 2015 OF South Florida

After my top 10 in the rankings, I take a look at some guys that were a bit under the radar or not on the radar at all.

Jumping up to No. 14, 3B Zack Kone (Pine Crest) made a big jump for me this spring and is a top round talent if somebody can get him away from Duke. He is a big physical, very athletic kid who is a lot more athletic than I first anticipated running a 6.55 at the FACA All-Star game in Sebring. Desmond Lindsay (Out of Door Academy) was in my top 10 but dropped out mostly due to him battling injuries all spring. A very athletic OF with good tools and heading to North Carolina, it will be interesting to see how the draft treats him. He was a top talent before his injury.

Guys like RHP Ryan McKay (Satellite Beach) have made a big jump this spring from No. 66 to No. 22, mainly due to a big jump in velocity. He has always had the body and the live arm but has been mostly an 86-90 mph guy. However, this spring we saw him up to 93 mph with a solid average slider. He could go in that 3-5 round range depending on signability. RHP Derek West also made a nice jump up 10 spots to No. 50. He has always been a big body and big arm with below average command, but had a very good outing in Sebring at 90-93 mph with a good breaking ball and a lot of strikes.

The highest newcomer to the 2015 state rankings is Mike Rojas, a catcher from Gulf Coast HS who was not on the radar at all for me until his showing at the FACA All-Star game in Sebring. He was Michael Zimmerman’s catcher who had a tremendous year, and the grandson of Cookie Rojas. He showed a big strong durable catchers body with an average tools package behind the dish. His arm is major league average with a good release and he also hit a home run in the game. Rojas is likely to be a draft. Also new to the rankings is C Jake Anchia (Archbishop McCarthy) at No. 65. He was another catcher not on the radar but opened some eyes this spring showing an above average arm behind the dish with some strength in the bat. He could also be a draft.

Here’s a few more new prospects to the rankings to keep an eye on in the draft next week. Terry Bennet is a big strong athletic OF from Atlantic Coast HS that ran much better than I thought in Sebring at 6.45 in the 60. RHP Nate Pearson (Bishop McLaughlin), who also was a bit of an unknown, is a huge body with a big arm. He was up to 93 in Sebring and showed some mammoth raw power in BP. The two big arms from Calusa Prep were under the radar going into this spring and lit up the radar gun this year. RHP Hector Moreta was up to 96 mph and RHP Rafael Ramirez was up to 94 mph. These two arm strength guys opened a lot of eyes early on in the spring, settling in later on in the year, both should be drafts this June. RHP Tommy Romero was also a bit under the radar for me as well but came on as the season unfolded and was 88-91 mph most of the year.

With the MLB draft coming up next week it will be interesting to see what Florida will produce in terms of high school draft picks. Make sure to keep up with all of the latest draft news right here at the Prep Baseball Report.

CLICK HERE for complete 2015 Florida Rankings.

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