Prep Baseball Report

Updated Florida Class of 2018 Rankings: Risers

By Mike Maerz
Director of Florida Operations/Area Scout

With the release of the updated Florida Class of 2018 Rankings yesterday, today we look at some of the biggest risers. The following five players which includes a Miami, a Florida State, and three Florida recruits have performed well over the summer and recently seen their stock rise in the rankings.

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.

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.

Another big riser who not only impressed during the high school season where he took a No-Hitter all the way into the seventh inning during the state finals, but also drew high attention of numerous coaches and scouts during the Under Armour Classic was RHP Christian Scott (Calvary Christian Academy, FL). Now at the No. 16 spot, the 6-foot-3, 165 pound Florida recruit has a long, lean and highly projectable build with a clean, easy, uninterrupted arm action from a 3/4 slot.  He shows good poise and works quickly on the mound by throwing a lot of strikes. The fastball sits 87-88 mph and has touched 91 along with a 69-71 mph curveball and low-70s changeup. With plenty of room to fill out and with added strength, he will become more consistent with his velocity and continue to rise as one of the top arms in his class.

One of the last major risers moving up to the No. 36 spot is 3B/RHP Roberto Pena (Flangan HS, FL). The recent Florida recruit standing at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds has a strong, solid, athletic build with a good lower half and has shown the ability to make the plays, displays soft hands, and has a strong and accurate arm from across the diamond. At the plate, Pena is balanced and comfortable in the box with good bat speed and some loft in his swing with a good feel for the barrel. He has also displayed some pull-side pop which allows him to drive the ball with authority. On the base paths, Pena is an aggressive runner with good instincts. Also demonstrates some good baseball IQ.

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