Inside The Rankings: 2018 Newcomers

By Justin Burgess
Florida Area Scout

As we continue to delve further into the most recent top 100 2018 rankings in Florida, today we will focus on the top players who are new to the list. Yesterday’s article on the players who rose in the rankings showed how much this list, especially the top end, had been altered. Like the risers, these newcomers also had a major impact on how the rankings have shifted. Here are the new editions who had the biggest effect on this list:

Elijah Cabell, OF, Winter Park HS
Cabell has been turning heads this entire fall as he has mostly been playing with 2016s and not only holding his own, but sticking out. Depending on when one arrives at a game, one will notice Cabell either by his bat speed or his intensity on the field. He plays the game at full speed, is loud and energetic, and possesses multiple plus tools. His showing in Jupiter is what shot him into the number one spot in this 2018 class as he was squaring up 92 mph fastballs, showing off his plus arm strength, and was just flat out confident playing against some of the best upperclassmen in the country. Look for Cabell to commit in the near future and have an explosive sophomore year.

Levi Kelly, RHP, IMG Academy
Kelly moved down to IMG Academy from West Virginia this summer to receive the best training, coaching, and exposure a high school player can receive. Formerly the top prospect in West Virginia, Kelly is still one of the best 2018 arms in Florida and comes in at the number eight spot. He stands at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds with a strong, athletic, and projectable body, and his fastball gets up to 91 mph.  The Louisiana State commit will be a part of a strong pitching staff and get to face some of the better talent across the state.

Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Dayspring Christian
Standing at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Hoglund is a strong, physical, and projectable right-hander who has a high ceiling. He possesses a loose arm with a clean and easy motion and could get more velocity if he used more of his lower half. His fastball sits 84-88 mph but he can has ran it up to 90 mph this fall. Hoglund jumped into the number 12 spot in the rankings and may continue to climb as he matures and his velocity increases. We should not be surprised if he takes a big step forward this spring and commits within the next year.

Alexandro Bello, MIF, Hialeah Educational Academy
Bello is a small, compact, and athletic infielder at 5-foot-7, 145 pounds. His frame, however, packs great strength for his size and his tools are comparable to many players who are bigger than him. At shortstop he possesses a loose, strong arm that will allow him to stay there for a long time. At our South Florida Underclass event he threw 85 mph across the diamond and showed soft hands with good range. At the plate he has a loose and easy swing and the ball really jumps off his bat. Bello appears to be a reliable asset at shortstop and is a top of the lineup-type hitter who will set the table and cause issues for opposing teams. He is now ranked number 51 in Florida.