Ohio Insider: Updated Class of 2018 Player Rankings (August)

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By Jordan Chiero and Dylan Hefflinger
Ohio Director of Scouting / Editor in Chief/Scout

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Ohio Insider: Updated Class of 2018 Player Rankings (August)

With the summer showcases coming to a close, Prep Baseball Report Ohio takes a look at the Class of 2018 Player Rankings. Many new prospects come into the rankings while many prospects have made jumps, some drastically. Below we will take a look at “What’s New At The Top”, “Rising Prospects”, and some of the top uncommitted prospects.

What's New At The Top

Casey ManigliaRHP/OF Casey Maniglia (Pictured right, Solon HS) was far from an unknown commodity (previously ranked 5th), but he made a statement at the PBR Future Games. His performance in Indianapolis left little doubt that he is a legitimate two-way prospect at the next level. Consequently, he made the jump to second overall, trailing only RHP Austin Becker (Vanderbilt recruit), who continues to show flashes of being a future top round draft pick.

Over the summer, INF Zach Dezenzo (Marlington HS) separated himself from other position players in his class. After a dominate summer on the travel circuit and followed by a strong showing at the Future Games, he moved up to the No. 5 spot in the 2018 class. Dezenzo received national interest from SEC and ACC programs but recently issued a verbal pledge to The Ohio State University.

Loveland High School has produced a string of high level players over the course of the past few years. And, the next in line appears to be RHP Cole Ayers, who shows all the signs of a future weekend starter with a fastball that runs up to 88 mph accompanied by one of the best breaking balls in the class. Ayers moved his way into the top 10, finding his way to the No. 9 spot.

The Risers

Mitchell SmithAs spring turn into summer, the competition starts to heat up around the state and a number of prospects showed they deserved to move up the rankings. Here are some of the more significant jumps in the 2018 class.

It was a special few months for INF/C Mitchell Smith (Pictured right, Pickerington North HS). After being the shortstop for a state championship team, he proceeded to use the summer to prove he is one of the top bats in the 2018 class. Time will tell whether he ends up behind the plate or in the infield, as he has the tools to do either. He made a significant move up to our No. 12 spot.

OF Ryan McCurry (Pictured right, Solon HS) used strong performances at the Top Prospect Games and Future Games to move his way up to our No. 21 position. McCurry possess elite level speed as showed by running a laser timed 6.47 60-yard dash at Top Prospect Games. Ryan McCurryHe also showed that he can do more than hold his own at the plate against some of the top competition in the Midwest.

What a difference a few weeks made for Bloom Carroll’s Colin Sells. He used the Future Games Trials to earn a Future Games invite where he showed he belonged with the elite players from around the country. The 6-foot-4, right-handed pitcher ran his fastball up to 87 mph at both events with a sharp breaking ball. He saw the most significant jump in the class as he moved all the way up to No. 23.


With many new players now on our radar, we added 50 players to the rankings in the 2018 class. Here are more of the more notable newcomers to the 2018 rankings:

Kyle MusicRHP Kyle Music (Pictured right, Milford HS) is a projectable, 6-foot-5 righty, who participated on Team Ohio at the 2016 Future Games. He consistently sat 84-86 mph on multiple occasions while running it up to 88 mph. His breaking ball was inconsistent at times but has potential to be one of the better breaking balls in the class.

LHP Drake Batcho (Champion HS) may be the diamond in the rough from this summer. At a recent workout, we saw the 6-foot-4, 190-pound southpaw generates a 86-87 mph fastball. His arm action is clean with above average arm speed. At present, his changeup is his best off-speed pitch.

One of the more intriguing prospects in the 2018 class is Pickerington Central’s Trenton Gillison, who is also attracting national interest for football. The 6-foot-5, 235-pound beast of an athlete put on a show with his batting practice at Top Prospect Games, hitting multiple tape measure shots. His frame makes his 7.19 60-yard dash very impressive and makes one believe he will end up in the outfield.


Tyler McDonoughBelow we look to name the top two to five prospects in specific categories for the 2018 class. Beyond the top three, there are numerous prospects that can help a collegiate program in some capacity.

+ Top Right-Handed Arms: Cole Ayers, Kyle Music, Cole Niekamp

+ Top Left-Handed Arms: Drew Batcho, James Myers

+ Top Two-Way Prospects: Casey Maniglia, Marcus Ernst, AJ Fritz

+ Top Catching Prospects: Tyler McDonough (Pictured right), Mitchell Smith

+ Top Corner Infield Prospects: Cameron Swanger, Trenton Gillison

+ Top Middle Infield Prospects: Grant Vera, Gregg Gilbert, Ryan Strittmather

+ Top Outfield Prospects: Ryan McCurry, Josh Thompson

+ Sleeper Prospects: Seth Gergely, Bryce Johnson, Gavin McGaughey, Hunter Collins


Name State School Class Pos Commitment
1 Austin Becker OH Big Walnut 2018 RHP Vanderbilt
2 Casey Maniglia OH Solon 2018 OF
3 Cal Conley OH Loveland 2018 SS Miami
4 Nicholas Northcut OH Mason 2018 RHP Vanderbilt
5 Zach Dezenzo OH Marlington 2018 SS Ohio State
6 Nick Thwaits OH Fort Recovery 2018 RHP Kent State
7 Keegan Fish OH Lakota West 2018 C Ohio State
8 Nolan Clegg OH Toronto 2018 OF Ohio State
9 Cole Ayers OH Loveland 2018 RHP
10 Devan Nail OH Elyria 2018 SS Kent State

***** To view the entire top 140, please click here.