Prep Baseball Report

Updated Florida Class of 2017 Rankings Released

By Doug Freeman and Mike Maerz

With the conclusion of Diamond Club and Jupiter, it’s time to make one more adjustment to the Florida Class of 2017 Rankings before we end the year. While the top five spots remain unchanged, there has been a shakeup not only in the top 10, but throughout the entire list of 200 as well. Below is a look at the top five:

The top spot still belongs to SS Brady McConnell (Merritt Island HS, FL). The wiry, 6-foot-2, 169-pound Florida recruit is a high-level, quick-twitch athlete with advanced baseball skills and IQ. He generates easy bat speed, takes quality at-bats, and is an advanced defender at shortstop. He came come down to earth some after a strong start to the summer, but his athleticism and projection still land him in the top spot.

Holding onto the No. 2 spot is C M.J. Melendez (Westminster Christian HS, FL), who climbed 10 spots from No. 12 in a previous update. Melendez is one of the most impressive defensive catchers in the country, showing flexibility behind the plate, advanced receiving skills and a very strong arm with a quick, clean transfer that produces a pop time as low as 1.89 seconds.  He has quick hands with some present power and a balanced approach from the left side of the plate. He has widely been regarded as one of the top defensive catching prospect in the country and the bat has continued to become more consistent, inching him closer to the top spot.

Staying at the No. 3 spot is 3B/RHP Joe Perez (Archbishop McCarthy HS, FL), who has a strong, athletic body on a 6-foot-2, 208-pound frame. At the plate, Perez has a short, quick step for his load with quick hands. He shows an aggressive approach and good hip rotation with leverage. The Miami recruit possesses some present power and can drive the ball with authority. At third base, his hands are solid and he has plenty of arm strength to make throws from the left side of the infield. He can look like an infielder throwing from the mound, but has sat 90-93 mph, touching 94-95 late in the summer. He has a slight hip turn in his delivery and mixes in a sharp, swing-and-miss slider. Perez might have the most intriguing future, he is a high end guy on both sides and a strong spring could land him off of draft boards on day one.

SS Mark Vientos (American Heritage HS, FL) remains at the No. 4 spot as the Miami recruit is a projectable, 6-foot-3 shortstop with plus arm strength and advanced actions. Vientos has an advanced approach at the plate with quick hands and he consistently finds the barrel, which tends to produce line drives into the gaps during game action with some power potential. Perhaps the most intriguing fact on Vientos is that he has consistently shown high end tools and will not turn 17 years old for another month. He may end up sliding over to to third base, but the frame has plenty of room to fill out which on draft day will make him an extremely interesting option for teams.

The No. 5 spot still belongs to 1B Alejandro Toral (Archbishop McCarthy HS, FL), who has a true presence in the box. He is relaxed at the plate with a good base and rhythm. He gets into a strong hitting position and has an easy swing with an ideal plane through the zone. The ball explodes off his bat and he has proven to be able to drive balls out of the park against some of the top pitching. There has been some inconsistencies come up at times, but the frame looks leaner and he has the best pure power in the state. A more consistent swing while still showing plus power during the spring will go a long way on draft day.

Although the top five remain the same, in all reality the entire Top 10 are very close together and a solid group that we will continue to follow going into the spring all the way to the draft. We will break down some of the risers in the days to come.

Here’s a look at the Updated Top 10:

Name State School Class Pos Commitment
1 Brady McConnell FL Merritt Island 2017 SS Florida
2 M.J. Melendez FL Westminster Christian School 2017 C Florida International
3 Joe Perez FL Archbishop McCarthy 2017 3B Miami
4 Mark Vientos FL American Heritage 2017 SS Miami
5 Alex Toral FL Archbishop McCarthy 2017 1B Miami
6 Jeter Downs FL Pace 2017 SS Miami
7 Jack Leftwich FL TNXL Academy 2017 RHP Florida
8 Jake Eder FL Atlantic 2017 LHP Vanderbilt
9 CJ Van Eyk FL Steinbrenner 2017 RHP Florida State
10 Tim Elko FL Hillsborough 2017 3B Mississippi

For the complete list of the updated Florida Class of 2017 Rankings, CLICK HERE