Prep Baseball Report

Updated Florida 2016 Rankings Released

By Justin Burgess
Florida Area Scout

It is now already March and we are well into the 2016 high school season in the Sunshine State. We are three months away from the draft and there have been many performances around the state that have helped certain prospects, while some players have not had as strong of a start. Now that there has been ample opportunity for most of the top prospects to be seen and showcase their tools, it is time release an updated version of the Top 200 Florida 2016 rankings.

The top three players—Austin Bergner, Cole Ragans, and Jesus Luzardo—remain the same as they all have lit up the radar gun and have mostly dominated when they have stepped onto the mound. As for the rest of the top prospects, a couple have fell out of the top 10, some have jumped into the top 10, and a few players have jumped dozens of spots into the top 30.

RHP Austin Bergner has mostly been in the 90-94 mph range this spring and has touched 95 mph on occasion. His velocity, 6-foot-4 frame, projectability, and ability to throw two solid off speed pitches for strikes gives him an advantage over all of the other pitching prospects in Florida. The North Carolina commit has the potential to be a first round pick if he is able to dominate his opponents, maintain his velocity, and consistently show that at least one of his off speed pitches is already a pro-level pitch.

Cole Ragans, a Florida State commit, has gotten off to a strong start this year as he has been up to 93 mph in multiple starts and shut down the hitters that he has faced. The Lefty also stands at 6-foot-4 and he possesses a clean delivery and arm action and throws an advanced curveball for strikes. If Ragans continues to pitch at a high level, he has a very strong chance of being selected in the first three rounds of the draft.

LHP Jesus Luzardo may in fact have gotten off to the best start out of all three of these pitching prospects as he has silenced opponents with a 0.66 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched. The Miami commit has also been up to 94-95 mph with an above average curveball and solid changeup that he throws for strikes. Unfortunately for Luzardo and Stoneman Douglas, it appears that he may have a torn UCL. Depending on if this is in fact the case and if it will require surgery, this could potentially affect his draft status. Without this injury, he is almost certainly a top three-round pick. That being said, the majority of pitchers these days are fully recovering from Tommy John surgery, so Luzardo has a bright future in this sport regardless of whether he decides to attend Miami or sign a professional contract out of high school.

The two young men who have catapulted themselves into the top 10 are Gregory Veliz and DJ Roberts. Veliz is a legit two-way player who possesses an electric arm. Even though he could probably hit and pitch at Miami, his future is likely on the mound as he has been clocked up to 97 mph this spring and consistently sits in the 90-93 mph range. This is especially impressive considering that he plays shortstop on his off days and will only improve as he continues to focus on pitching. As for Roberts, he is more of a physical specimen at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds. The South Florida commit has visible strength and a quick arm that produces a fastball that has been clocked up to 94-95 mph this spring. With raw talent and athletic ability, Roberts has a fairly high ceiling as he continues to learn how to pitch develop his off speed.

A look at the Top 10 2016 Florida Rankings:

1 Austin Bergner FL Windermere Prep 2016 RHP North Carolina
2 Cole Ragans FL North Florida Christian 2016 LHP Florida State
3 Jesus Luzardo FL Marjory Stoneman Douglas 2016 LHP Miami
4 Drew Mendoza FL Lake Minneola 2016 SS Florida State
5 Colton Welker FL Marjory Stoneman Douglas 2016 SS Miami
6 Bo Bichette FL Lakewood 2016 3B Arizona State
7 Tyler Baum FL West Orange 2016 RHP North Carolina
8 Gregory Veliz FL North Broward Prep 2016 RHP Miami
9 Austin Langworthy FL Williston 2016 OF Florida
10 DeAundre (DJ) Roberts FL Atlantic Coast 2016 RHP South Florida

>> CLICK HERE to View Complete 2016 Top 200 Florida Rankings