Inside The Rankings: 2017 Risers

By Justin Burgess
Florida Area Scout

The 2017 rankings have been released and there have been many adjustments made, especially to the top end of the list. With this deep pool of talent, it takes multiple looks to see who is consistent, who separates themselves from the rest of the pack and who continues to progress. Multiple high profile events this fall gave us the chance to really break down the top players and see who deserves to be ranked towards the top. Here are a few players who made a significant jump in the 2017 rankings:

Francis Villaman, SS, Olympia HS
Villaman is an athletic and projectable shortstop at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds. The Florida State commit possesses the soft hands, range and arm strength to remain a high-level defender at the college and professional level. He has also proven to be able to really swing the bat against quality competition and continues to acquire more power with strength and maturity. Villaman is now the sixth-ranked prospect in a class and state that is loaded with shortstops.

Joseph Perez, 3B/RHP, American Heritage
Perez is a strong, physical player at 6-foot-2, 210 and has proven so far to be the top two-way player in the state. The South Florida commit is an advanced hitter who can really drive the ball with authority. In Jupiter he swung the bat well and showed that he has the hands to stay at the hot corner. He also shines on the mound where his fastball sits in the 88-92 mph range. If he goes to school, it should not surprise us if continues to hit and pitch. Perez has jumped to being ranked eighth overall in the state of Florida.

Tyler Ahearn, RHP, Dwyer HS
Coming in at the number nine spot behind Perez, Ahearn has had an excellent fall in which he has proven be the most polished right-handed arm in this class. The Florida State commit possesses a very clean arm action and easy delivery that he is able to repeat throughout the game. His fastball sits 87-91 mph and he spots up with three high-level pitches. His performance in Jupiter solidified him being a top ten prospect in the state.

Mason Doolittle, C, Jupiter HS
The Louisiana State commit is the top catching prospect in the state and he possesses a projectable frame at 6-foot-3, 185 pounds. Doolittle shows advanced actions behind the plate and shows off an easy, plus arm when he throws down to second. At the plate he has a line drive approach and has shown that he can hit top-level pitching at big events. Doolittle’s game will continue to improve as he continues to fill out and get stronger.