Prep Baseball Report

Updated Florida Class of 2018 Rankings Released

By Doug Freeman
Florida Scouting Director

With the conclusion of the PBR Future Games and summer coming to an end it is time to breakdown and re-arrange the 2018 rankings. There has been a lot of moving and adding to this class as it is one of the more talented classes both with high end potential draft talent as well as a deep pool of talented players overall. In fact, 34 out out of the top 40 on the list have committed somewhere already.

Trying to determine who was the No. 1 overall player in the state has been a difficult process as really all of the top 5 have attributes and qualities that could put them at the one spot if not now, but in the near future. For now though, Miami recruit RHP Slade Cecconi (Trinity Prep, FL) moves all the way up from the No. 29 spot to take over the No. 1 spot in the state. This jump is not only directly related to the uptick in velocity this summer, but also the continued development of two plus pitches in his change up and curveball. The 6-foot-3 190-pounder shows a very clean arm action and delivery with a fastball that sits 89-91 mph touching the occasional 93, 94 along with a  74-78 mph slider. The fastball has late life and slider has depth when he is on time and out in front. With the frame and stuff to project on, expect to see him continue to get better each and every time out.

Staying at the No. 2 spot is LSU recruit OF Elijah Cabell (Winter Park HS, FL). The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder has been impressive all summer, especially at the plate. With an advanced approach along with a strong lower half and good timing and rhythm throughout his swing, Cabell has consistently shown the ability to drive the ball deep into the gaps or over the fence. He has great bat speed and feel for the barrel. The ball explodes off his bat and sounds different than most of the prospects in his class. He stands out in the outfield with a quick first step, good range, and the ability to track the ball well. His throws are on line with carry.

Moving up from the No 14 spot to No. 3 is Florida State recruit 3B Brandon Howlett (George Jenkins HS, FL) . The physical 6-foot-1 190 pound third basemen has really filled out and continues to show an advanced approach with power that has led to his rise in the 2018 class. He is very aggressive with plus bat speed while being able to use a strong lower half and stay balanced throughout the swing. His ability to drive the ball and the aggressiveness in the box show why he will continue to be one of the top players in the 2018 class.

Coming in at No. 4 is Florida recruit C/OF/RHP Mason Denaburg (Merritt Island HS, FL). The 6-foot-3 190-pound projectable, lean athlete has impressed both on the mound and at the plate making him an extremely interesting two-way prospect going forward. At the plate, he shows good rhythm in his setup which led to a balanced, level swing with very quick hands through the zone. He is consistently on time with extension through the baseball driving the ball into both gaps. On the mound he showed a loose, quick arm with some extension out in front. He throws out of the high ¾ arm slot and works quickly with a fastball sitting 90-91 mph with some run and touches 92. He also mixes in a curveball that sits 73-74 mph with some depth and shape. Behind the plate, he has displayed good hands with a strong, accurate throw down to second base. The multitude of skills and athleticism makes him very intriguing going forward.

Finally, rounding out the No. 5 spot is Miami recruit  LHP Jonathan Gates (Nature Coast Technical HS, FL). The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder has an athletic, loose, and strong body. He has a repeatable delivery and stays in line when he breaks towards the plate. Gates throws with confidence and can get into a good rhythm. Throwing out of the high ¾ arm slot, he pounds the zone with an 87-90 mph fastball that touches 91. He shows an above average curveball at 76-79 mph and a sharp slider at 81-82 mph. He throws strikes with all three pitches and appears to be one of the top arms in the 2018 class.

Here's a look at how the Top 10 stacks up:

Name State School Class Pos Commitment
1 Slade Cecconi FL Trinity Prep 2018 RHP Miami
2 Elijah Cabell FL Winter Park 2018 OF Louisiana State
3 Brandon Howlett FL George W. Jenkins 2018 3B Florida State
4 Mason Denaburg FL Merritt Island 2018 C Florida
5 Jonathan Gates FL Nature Coast Technical 2018 LHP Miami
6 Kristofer Armstrong FL The Benjamin School 2018 RHP Florida
7 Levi Kelly FL IMG Academy 2018 RHP Louisiana State
8 Lyon Richardson FL Jensen Beach 2018 RHP Florida
9 Nander De Sedas FL Montverde Academy 2018 SS
10 Connor Scott FL Plant 2018 OF Florida

For a complete look at Florida Class of 2018 Rankings, CLICK HERE