2021-2022 Newcomer Breakdowns: Recruiting Classes 6-10

Aaron Fitt | Shooter Hunt | Nathan Rode

Every year, D1Baseball ranks the Top 25 recruiting classes in the country after they show up on campus. These rankings consider all newcomers who arrived at D-I schools this fall or at the semester break: freshmen as well as transfers from junior-college and four-year schools. For the third year in a row, we decided to wait until the end of the fall to rank the Top 25 classes, so that all the additional insights we gain by traveling the country watching scrimmages and writing fall reports can help inform our rankings. Then we got together with Nathan Rode and Shooter Hunt of our partners at Prep Baseball Report and hammered out which groups of newcomers stand out the most. Nobody knows high school baseball prospects like Rode and Hunt, so their perspective combined with our fall travels and conversations with coaches and scouts give us the most well-informed recruiting class rankings anywhere.

All week, we’re counting down our Top 25 with a batch of five teams every day, continuing today with teams 6-10: Oklahoma State, Florida State, NC State, LSU, and Duke. The analysis of each class was written by either Aaron Fitt, Nathan Rode or Shooter Hunt.

**Player rankings in parentheses refer to where current freshmen ranked in the Class of 2022 Overall Rankings (which also included players who signed pro contracts out of high school this past summer).

6. Oklahoma State

OVERVIEW: The Cowboys reeled in arguably college baseball’s best collection of four-year transfers, but that’s not the only strength of this deep class. OSU also bolstered its lineup with some exciting freshmen and juco transfers, forming a balanced and versatile class overall.

BLUE-CHIP FRESHMEN: IF Roc Riggio (61) was a high-profile recruit who brings a nonstop motor and a compact left-handed stroke that produces hard line-drive contact, as well as a patient approach that could make him a valuable table setter. At 5-foot-9, 167 pounds, Riggio fits into the Nick Madrigal/Robert Moore mold as a pure hitting machine who also defends very well at either second or short. He also showed off sneaky pull-side pop in batting practice, with a compact, quick line-drive stroke. It’s easy to dream on the upside of LHP Ryan Ure (182), who oozes projection at 6-foot-8, 226 pounds with a whippy high three-quarters arm action. He worked at 86-91 along with a promising slurve at 77-79 and feel for a changeup in our fall look, but there’s so much more in the tank.

IMPACT TRANSFERS: RHP Victor Mederos was a blue-chip recruit for Miami who posted uneven results as a freshman this spring (5.11 ERA with a 35-18 K-BB mark in 44 innings). He has always stood out most for his pure arm strength, and he pitched at 94-98 with life in our fall look, along with the makings of three legit secondary pitches: a solid power curveball at 80-83, a hard slider at 87, and an improving changeup at 87-90 that he’ll throw against both righties and lefties. Offensively, Northern Kentucky transfer Griffin Doersching brings enormous right-handed power, which he put to good use by hitting 13 homers in each of his first two seasons and 20 more last spring as a 4YR JR for the Norse. The winner of the 2019 College Home Run Derby in Omaha, Doersching can put on a serious display in batting practice, routinely hitting missiles off the massive scoreboard in left or over the scoreboard altogether and into the parking lot. Juco transfer Lyle Miller-Green is a 6-foot-5, 240-pound beast who ranked second in the Cape League with eight homers. His game has plenty of swing-and-miss and his approach needs refinement, but his right-handed power is prodigious. Garrett Martin, another juco transfer, is a similar player with huge raw power from the right side and some swing-and-miss to his game, but at least one of those two sluggers should pan out, and if they both do then Oklahoma State has even more lineup options. A third juco transfer, Chase Adkison, is a bounceback from the now-defunct Boise State program by way of San Jacinto JC. Adkison stood out this fall for his polished receiving and blocking skills as well as his accurate arm. In the batters’ box, he’s a mature, disciplined right-handed hitter with a quiet approach and some pop to the pull side.

SLEEPERS: OSU’s transfer haul doesn’t stop there. Kentucky transfer Jimmy Ramsey and Ohio State transfer Bayden Root should be two valuable bullpen weapons from the right side. Ramsey strikes an imposing figure on the mound at 6-foot-9, 265 pounds, and he worked at 90-93 from a funky three-quarters delivery in our fall visit, mixing in a decent slider at 82-83 and a quality changeup at 84-85 with good fade. Root was primarily a slider monster out of the Ohio State bullpen last year—and that slider is a real weapon, with elite spin and tight tilt. But pitching coach Rob Walton said his fastball velocity and command have taken a jump this fall—he’s pitching at 90-95 and pitching off the heater much more than he used to, while also mixing in a quality changeup. Another transfer from Kentucky, Dillon Marsh, should serve as a valuable veteran piece from the left side. A sturdy 6-foot-1, 222-pounder with a compact arm circle to a high three-quarters slot, Marsh commanded his 87-90 fastball and mixed in an excellent sinking changeup and a useful curveball and slider in our fall stop. From the high school ranks, IF Carson Benge (341) is a wiry, projectable left-handed hitter with bat speed and athleticism, and the Cowboys think he’s polished enough to push for a significant role early in his career. The coaches couldn’t stop raving about versatile freshman Zach Ehrhard (434) this fall, as he was a consistent on-base machine who handled himself well at second base, shortstop and the outfield. He’s a twitchy 5-foot-11 athlete with some sneaky pull-side pop and a knack for grinding out tough at-bats. Catcher Ian Daugherty (210) brings good hands, agility and an accurate arm behind the dish, as well as right-handed strength with the bat.

— Aaron Fitt

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