Updated 2017 Florida Rankings: Newcomers

By Mike Maerz
Director of Florida Operations/Area Scout


Now that we’ve looked at some of the biggest risers in the Class of 2017 rankings, let’s take a look at some of the newcomers. The first player, C M.J. Melendez is moving to Florida from Alabama after his father, Mervyl Melendez, took the head coaching job at Florida International. Ranked No. 12 in the Florida 2017 class, Melendez is one of the top defensive catchers in the country. He shows good flexibility and a very strong arm with a quick, clean transfer with his throws up to 83 mph from behind the plate. The left-handed hitter has quick hands with some present power and a balanced approach. Once Melendez decides on a high school for the upcoming spring, look for him to make an immediate impact in the lineup.

Following Melendez is C Cal Greenfield (Jensen Beach HS, FL), who comes in at the No. 13 spot in the state after his recent move from Illinois. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Florida recruit is physically advanced with a strong, athletic build. At the plate he has an open set-up, with quick bat speed generating hard contact with backspin and gap-to-gap power. Greenfield displays soft hands, quick footwork and athleticism behind the plate while his throws have been up to 82 mph from behind the plate.

Next on the list of newcomers is SS David Vazquez (Westland Hialeah HS, FL) coming in at No. 51. The North Carolina State recruit stands at 6-foot-1, 170 pounds with a slightly open stance at the plate with good rhythm, which produces a level swing that has some pop. Vazquez has shown the ability to drive the ball gap to gap and with more room to fill out expect to see some more power come. Defensively, he has average hands and works around the bag well. He could improve his first step quickness, but overall is a very solid defender.

Following Vazquez is RHP Max Holmes (Providence HS, FL), who moves into the No. 55 spot. The South Florida recruit stands at 6-foot-3, 195-pounds with a fastball that sits 86-88 mph, topping out at 90 mph recently and he displays command to both sides of the plate. His curveball has tight spin and has shown depth while being able to throw the pitch for a strike. He also a swing-and-miss changeup, in which he maintains the same arm speed as his fastball.

Wrapping up the newcomers in the updated rankings is SS/OF
Willy Escala (South Dade HS, FL), who comes in at the No. 56 spot. The Miami recruit stands at 5-foot-11, 165 pounds with a lean and athletic body with visible strength and natural actions all over the field. He recently ran a 6.65 in the 60-yard dash at the PBR Florida ProCase as well. In the infield, Escala displays soft hands and quick, light feet with online and accurate throws. At the plate, he has an upright stance with a smooth swing and an aggressive approach with the ability to use the whole field.

CLICK HERE for the entire 2017 updated rankings