Prep Baseball Report

Updated Overall 2016 Rankings Released

By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

Over the course of three-plus months, which has spanned the high school season, state-specific and the national summer showcase circuit, our scouting staff has been hard at work. The Class of 2016 has taken center stage this summer, and many players have taken significant leaps forward.

Our updated Top 400 Class of 2016 overall rankings reflect everything our boots-on-the-ground scouting staff has seen. For the first time in more than a year, there is a new No. 1 overall prospect: LHP Jason Groome (IMG Academy HS, FL). The 6-foot-5, 210-pound Vanderbilt recruit has left little question he is the top prospect in the country after his consistently dominant performances over the last three months. Groome’s easy velocity regularly ranges between 93-95 mph, and has shown significant improvements with his secondary stuff. The only question surrounding Groome right now is if he will remain at IMG Academy or go back to New Jersey for his senior year.

After Groome, much of the top 10 remains somewhat intact. RHP Riley Pint (St. Thomas Aquinas HS, KS) – the previous holder of the No. 1 spot – still has electric stuff, though his infrequent showings at some national events has made it more difficult to evaluate from a draft perspective. RHP Austin Bergner (Windemere Prep HS, FL) remains right at the top, while RHP Ian Anderson (Shenendehowa HS, NY) continues to climb the national lists. The lanky 6-foot-3 Vanderbilt recruit has freakishly easy velocity, which has climbed into the mid-90s this summer, to go along with a sharp 77-80 mph slider and well above-average changeup.

C Cooper Johnson (Carmel Catholic HS, IL) has separated himself as the top catching prospect in the country after his performance at USA Baseball’s Tournament of Stars. Johnson’s catch-and-throw abilities are without peer, and his bat continues to show improvements. Johnson isn’t the only high-level catching prospect near the top of the rankings. Herbert Iser (Osceola HS, FL), left-handed hitting T.J. Collett (Terre Haute North Vigo HS, IN) and left-handed hitting Ben Rortvedt (Verona Area HS, WI) are also high-level prospects. Collett features arguably the best left-handed bat in the country, while Rortvedt has established himself as another premium left-handed hitter with top-level arm strength.

RHP/INF Gregory Veliz (Key West HS, FL) is arguably the top two-way prospect in the country, as the Miami recruit has been up in the mid-90s on the mound and is an athletic left-handed hitting shortstop in the field. LHP Cole Ragans (North Florida Christian HS, FL) also holds firm in the top 10.

Two of the fastest-rising prospects in the country are RHP Zach Linginfelter (Sevier County HS, TN) and RHP Ryan Zeferjahn (Topeka Seaman HS, KS). Both have shown mid-90s velocity recently and continue to get stronger and stronger. Another big climber in the overall Top 400 is RHP Nick Hanson (Prior Lake HS, MN), a 6-foot-6, 210-pound Kentucky recruit who was the top prospect at the PBR Midwest ProCase in late June.

For the first time New Jersey prospects are included in the overall rankings. It is important to note that the PBR overall rankings only reflect the states that we intimately know from our boots-on-the-ground scouting staff, which is currently comprised of 26 states and Ontario. New Jersey’s 2016 class is deep in talent, headlined by RHP Gianluca Dalatri (Christian Brothers Academy HS, NJ), RHP Tyler Mondile (Gloucester Catholic HS, NJ), C Brandon Martorano (Christian Brothers Academy HS, NJ) and RHP Austin Bodrato (St. Joseph’s Regional HS, NJ). If Groome moves back to New Jersey, the Garden State will be the center of the scouting universe.

Other big risers in the overall rankings include: SS/RHP Nolan Jones (Holy Ghost Prep HS, PA), J.J. Bleday (Crawford Mosley HS, FL), LHP Jesus Luzardo (Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS, FL), SS Colton Welker (Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS, FL), LHP Ben Brecht (New Trier HS, IL), INF Daniel Bakst (Poly Prep Country Day HS, NY), LHP Ryan Rolison (University School, TN), RHP Zachary Hess (Liberty Christian Academy HS, VA), and OF Jaren Shelby (Tates Creek HS, KY), to name a few.

A Look at the Top 20:

Rank Name State School Class Pos Commitment
1 Jason Groome FL IMG Academy 2016 LHP Vanderbilt
2 Riley Pint KS St. Thomas Aquinas 2016 RHP LSU
3 Austin Bergner FL Windermere Prep 2016 RHP North Carolina
4 Ian Anderson NY Shenendehowa 2016 RHP Vanderbilt
5 Cooper Johnson IL Carmel Catholic 2016 C Mississippi
6 Herbert Iser FL Osceola 2016 C Miami
7 T.J. Collett IN Terre Haute North Vigo 2016 C Kentucky
8 Cole Ragans FL North Florida Christian 2016 LHP Florida State
9 Gregory Veliz FL Key West 2016 RHP Miami
10 Zach Linginfelter TN Sevier County 2016 RHP Tennessee
11 Ben Rortvedt WI Verona Area 2016 C Arkansas
12 Ryan Zeferjahn KS Topeka Seaman 2016 RHP Kansas
13 Nick Hanson MN Prior Lake 2016 RHP Kentucky
14 Drake Fellows IL Joliet Catholic Academy 2016 RHP Vanderbilt
15 Jeff Belge NY Henninger 2016 LHP St. John's
16 Gianluca Dalatri NJ Christian Brothers Academy 2016 RHP North Carolina
17 Gavin Lux WI Indian Trail 2016 SS Arizona State
18 Brenden Heiss IL Jacobs 2016 RHP Arkansas
19 Zack Thompson IN Wapahani 2016 LHP Kentucky
20 Karl Kauffmann MI Brother Rice 2016 RHP Michigan

CLICK HERE to view Top 400 Overall 2016 Rankings

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