Updated Overall 2018 Rankings Released
August 30, 2016
By Sean Duncan
Over the course of four months since the last overall Class of 2018 rankings update, much has changed. Many new names have emerged as high-level prospects and scores of players have taken significant leaps forward - or back, in some cases - all of which is to be expected at this time of year, when players step out from the high school season and into the national summer circuit.
Starting with the high school season, through regional and national summer showcases and tournaments, and culminating with the Prep Baseball Report Future Games in early August, our boots-on-the-ground scouting staff has seen a dizzying amount of baseball since the last update.
While there have been seismic changes in the updated and expanded overall Top 400 Class of 2018 rankings, one overarching theme has remained consistent throughout the years, and even strengthened over the last few months: The 2018 class is the year of the outfielder.
So talented is this outfield class, in fact, that three of the top four ranked prospects play the position. Left-handed hitting OF Jarred Kelenic (Waukesha West HS, WI) headlines the class, as the physical 6-foot-1, 190-pound Louisville recruit has crushed everything thrown his way against the top arms in the country all summer long. Kelenic has a simple yet explosive swing, one that can hit for power and consistency. He also has been clocked at 94 from the outfield, is a 6.7 runner and, for good measure, has been up to 92 mph on the mound from the left side.
Similar to Kelenic, Michael Siani (William Penn Charter HS, PA) is a left-handed hitter who features plus tools across the board. The 6-foot, 180-pound Virginia recruit has big power potential, is a 6.7 runner and was clocked at 96 from the outfield. He, too, has been up to 90 on the mound. At the Tournament of Stars and at several other top-flight events, Siani has showed that he can patrol centerfield as well as any, which makes his profile that much more exceptional.
Elijah Cabell (Winter Park HS, FL) is the only right-handed hitting outfielder of the group. The athletic 6-foot-1, 180-pound Cabell has explosive tools across the board, as well. Cabell, an LSU recruit, is an offensive force, as he has strength in the swing and premium bat speed. Left-handed hitting OF Alek Thomas (Mount Carmel HS, IL) remains in the top 10 as well.
While the outfielders are the centerpiece atop the 2018 mantel, there are plenty of high-ceiling arms, too. RHP Slade Cecconi (Trinity Prep HS, FL) catapults all the way to No. 3 after enjoying a whirlwind spring and summer that saw the projectable 6-foot-3, 185-pound Miami recruit dominate with a three-pitch mix that includes a 90-93 mph fastball, peaking at 94.
Florida’s 2018 class is exceptionally strong, even for Florida’s standards. Along with Cabell and Cecconi, 3B Brandon Howlett (George W. Jenkins HS, FL), C/RHP Mason Denaburg (Merritt Island HS, FL), LHP Jonathan Gates (Nature Coast Technical HS, FL) and RHP Kristofer Armstrong (The Benjamin School HS, FL) all sit in the top 10.
Left-handed hitting C Noah Naylor (St. Joan of Arc, ON), whose older brother, Josh, was a first-rounder two years ago, catapults into the top 10 - one of several significant risers in the overall rankings.
Other big risers include: C Hayden Jones (Carroll HS, IN), RHP/SS Spencer Schwellenbach (Saginaw Heritage HS, MI), RHP Jack Perkins (Kokomo HS, IN), SS Nander De Sedas (Montverde Academy HS, FL), RHP Cole Winn (Silver Creek HS, CO), C CJ Willis (Ruston HS, LA), LHP Brandon Neeck (Horace Greeley HS, NY), RHP Jacob Maton (Glenwood HS, IL), RHP Nic Daniels (East Lake HS, FL), RHP Ryan Cusick (Lincoln Sudbury HS, MA), LHP Ryan Weathers (Loretto HS, TN) and Nicholas Schnell (Roncalli HS, IN), to name a few.
It is important to note that the PBR overall rankings only include the states that we intimately know from our scouting staff. The updated Top 400 Class of 2018 rankings is comprised of our current 31-state coverage area, which now includes recently added North Carolina.
A look at the Top 20:
|1||Jarred Kelenic||WI||Waukesha West||2018||OF||Louisville|
|2||Mike Siani||PA||William Penn Charter||2018||OF||Virginia|
|3||Slade Cecconi||FL||Trinity Prep||2018||RHP||Miami|
|4||Elijah Cabell||FL||Winter Park||2018||OF||Louisiana State|
|5||Brandon Howlett||FL||George W. Jenkins||2018||3B||Florida State|
|6||Mason Denaburg||FL||Merritt Island||2018||C||Florida|
|7||Jonathan Gates||FL||Nature Coast Technical||2018||LHP||Miami|
|8||Kristofer Armstrong||FL||The Benjamin School||2018||RHP||Florida|
|9||Alek Thomas||IL||Mount Carmel||2018||OF|
|10||Noah Naylor||ON||St.Joan of Arc||2018||C|
|11||Austin Becker||OH||Big Walnut High School||2018||RHP||Vanderbilt|
|12||Owen White||NC||Jesse C Carson||2018||RHP|
|13||Hayden Jones||IN||Carroll||2018||C||Mississippi State|
|14||Spencer Schwellenbach||MI||Saginaw Heritage||2018||SS||Nebraska|
|17||Liam Henry||MO||Park Hill||2018||LHP||Arkansas|
|18||Levi Kelly||FL||IMG Academy||2018||RHP||Louisiana State|
|19||Lyon Richardson||FL||Jensen Beach||2018||RHP||Florida|
|20||Nander De Sedas||FL||Montverde Academy||2018||SS