Preseason Power25 Countdown: No 1 IMG Academy


Doug Freeman
Florida Scouting Director

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the Top 25 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage:


                     INF Josh Rivera

Team: IMG Academy
Preseason Rank: 1
2018 Record: 18-7
FHSAA Class: Independent
Head Coach: Kason Gabbard
Returning Starters: 8


TOP PLAYERS
Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
William Bartlett, 1B, 2019 (Arizona)
Tommy Benson, INF/RHP, 2019 (North Alabama)
Jax Cash, C, 2019 (South Carolina)
Rece Hinds, INF, 2019 (LSU)
Kevin Karstetter, INF, 2020 (FAU)
Houston Koon, INF, 2019 (NC State)
Brandon Llewellyn, RHP, 2020 (Notre Dame)
Brennan Malone, RHP, 2019 (North Carolina)
Tripp McKinlay, INF, 2020 (Washington)
Corbin Morrison, LHP, 2020 (Tennessee)
Jack O’Dowd, INF, 2020 (Vanderbilt)
Josh Rivera, 3B, 2019 (Florida)
Patrick Romeri, OF, 2019 (Vilanova)
Jimmy Starnes, RHP, 2019 (West Virginia)
Heston Tole, 1B, 2020 (Arkansas)
Kyle Westfall, OF, 2019 (Texas Tech)
Kendall Williams, RHP, 2019 (Vanderbilt)

X-FACTOR

Kendall Williams. While the team is loaded with talent, including top overall prospect in the state, Brennan Malone, Williams is equally as talented and adds high-end depth in the pitching rotation. Proved to be a dominant force his junior year and has continued to make big strides heading into 2019.

KEY PLAYERS LOST

Levi Kelly
Blaze Alexander
Bryce Reagan
Andrew Stanley
Wyatt Beddow

OUTLOOK
While IMG does not compete in district play under FHSAA, the team does follow all of the guidelines and the talent is undeniable.IMG will compete on the national stage at three prominent events, including the NHSI in Cary, NC. Seeing as they can not compete for a state title, these events will prove vital to competing at the highest level. With 18 DIvision 1 recruits on the roster, this is by far IMG’s most talented team on paper. Led by the No 1 overall prospect in the state on the mound in RHP Brennan Malone, the Ascenders have six players in the Top 50 of the 2019 Florida State rankings and overall the depth of talent is impressive. The offensive firepower will be led by Rece Hinds, Josh Rivera, William Bartlett and many more. Tommy Benson, who registered a record breaking 111 mph exit velocity at this years Super60 has been a riser offensively as well. While the pitching staff is loaded with talent, including top overall prospect in the state, Brennan Malone, Kendall Williams is equally as talented and adds high-end depth in the pitching rotation. Proved to be a dominant force his junior year and has continued to make big strides heading into 2019. Overall, on paper, this should be one of the most talented teams in the country. As this is the first year a lot of these players will play together and with there being so much talent, it will be fun to watch how they compete as a team. Overall, the talent can not be denied and such, making them our Preseason Power25 No 1 team going into 2019.

 RECENT NEWS