Updated Texas 2018 Class Rankings


Toby Bicknell
Texas Scouting Director

TEXAS, USA - Now that the high school season is culminating with the Regional Finals this week and the State Tournament next week, it is time to update our 2018 Class Rankings. Our scouting staff has been all over Texas this spring, watching high school games, tracking potential draft picks, evaluating some of the top teams in the state, and chasing big games in the playoffs. The talent in Texas is second to none, and with the upcoming draft next Monday, June 4, we are proud to bring you the Texas 2018 Class Rankings. This class features plenty of high-end draft talent at the top of the list, including several players who will look to hear their names called on Day 1 of the MLB Draft. There are some noticeable changes among the top ten, as we have seen 12 of the top 13 players in the state this spring. Below we take a look at the Top 5 with full breakdown, along with a complete look at how the Top 10 stacks up. Also, make sure to stay tuned to the website for an updated PBR Draft 100.

+ At No. 1 in Texas is TCU commit, RHP Adam Kloffenstein (Magnolia HS). The right-hander works from a high-¾ slot with a quick arm stroke. His fastball got up to 95 this spring in a 1-0 complete game victory over. He was mostly 92-94 in the first three innings, locating his fastball with precision to both sides of the plate, and showing more tilt to his glove side. Kloff can locate four pitches for strikes, with all four coming from the same window. Features a plus changeup that he throws with fastball arm speed, heavy depth, and flashes some arm side fade. His slider has 11/5 shape at 84 mph. Also works in the occasional curveball with more 12/6 shape at 79-80. The command and presence stand out, besides issuing one walk in the contest, the senior seemed to throw any pitch in any count, and could move his fastball around the zone. Went more to his slider in later innings, as the pitch has sharp break and comes out of his hand on the same plane as his fastball. Ultimately took the 1-0 win with a 12 K, no-hit performance. In a game that had plenty of energy and chirping between both teams, Kloffenstein was the aggressor. Seasoned approach on the mound, with tons of competitive fire.



 

+ At No. 2 is Texas A&M commit, RHP Grayson Rodriguez (Central Heights HS). At 6-foot-5, 210-pounds, Rodriguez has a strong, long-limbed frame. He works from a high-¾ slot with a low effort delivery and a long, clean arm swing. In early April, Rodriguez’s fastball sat 96 in the first inning, touching 98 mph once. In the second inning his fastball ranged from 94-97, he locates well to his glove side, occasionally coming in to right-handed hitters. Uses a big breaking curveball with 11/5 shape and good depth at 74-78 mph. Also throws a slider at 81-83 with sharp spin and late, short 10/4 bite. His velocity held up throughout the game, still sitting 92-94 mph in the fourth, flashing 95-96 in the fifth. Good athlete when coming off the mound fielding bunts. Showed good awareness with runners on base and the ability to control the running game. Rodriguez’s raw strength and easy delivery suggest that there is still more left in the tank.



 

+ At No. 3 is Texas commit, RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson (Kempner HS). Standing 6-foot-3, 210-pounds, he has a strong, muscular, athletic frame. In early April, we saw Woods-Richardson in a tuesday night contest against FB Travis HS. The right-hander works from a high-¾ slot with a loose, quick arm swing. His fastball comes out clean and flashes steep angle at times. Started out 89-92 in the first, touching 93 once. Shows excellent feel to spin a sharp 11/5 curveball with tight rotation and depth, including throwing it the first pitch of the game for a swing and miss. The pitch was mostly 77-79 early but did climb up as high as 82. Only threw a handful of changeups at 77-79 mph. His fastball velocity held up throughout the game, climbing as high as 94 in the fourth inning, while his curveball was 81-82 in the same inning. Still touched 93 in the sixth, and 90 in the seventh. Has a natural athleticism and feel for the ball, can pitch to both sides of the plate and spin the curveball whenever he wants. A two-way player and right-handed hitter, Woods-Richardson is also an accomplished hitter. He went 2-for-2 with a single and an RBI double, both balls were scorched.



 

+ SS Jordan Groshans (Magnolia HS, TX) comes in at No. 4, and the Kansas recruit is the highest ranked position player in the class. At 6-foot-4, 170-pounds, Groshans has a long, strong, projectable frame with plenty of room to add strength. In a mid-season contest against one of the top arms in the state, he showed a seasoned approach at the plate, with easy rhythm, loose-quick hands, and commanded the plate and the strike zone. Groshans seemed to be in control of every pitch he saw, never getting sped up by velocity, taking borderline pitches, laying off breaking balls out of the zone, and being on time with every fastball he swung at. Singled through the six-hole in his first AB on a 94 mph fastball, then walked in his second at-bat. In his third AB, he hit a towering pop up foul to the right side, then kept his hands back on a hanging breaking ball, pulling it foul, then hit a deep fly ball to centerfield. Stole a bag, ran a successful hidden ball trick, essentially did all the things you want to see from a top-tier player.



 

+ Vaulting up to No. 5 is RHP Braxton Ashcraft (Robinson HS). The Baylor commit stands approximately 6-foot-6, 190-pounds, with a long-limbed, athletic, lean-muscular, projectable pitcher’s frame. In a one-game playoff series in mid-May, we saw the right-hander work from a high-¾ slot with a long, loose arm swing, and relative ease down the mound with an athletic delivery. His fastball sat mostly 91-92 in the first, hitting 93, 94, and 95 once each, flashing sinking action at the bottom of the zone. Throws two different breaking balls, an 11/5 curveball at 76-79 mph, and an 80-84 mph slider with 10-4 shape. Had pinpoint control early in the game, working quickly through the opposing lineup. Threw a complete game shutout with nine strikeouts, allowing only four hits and 3 walks (2 in the last two innings). Made several defensive plays coming off the mound, including one in the seventh on a comebacker when he turned and threw a strike to get the lead runner at third base, not allowing the tying run to get into scoring position. His velocity held up throughout the game, sitting 90-92 for the entire night, still able to hit 93 several times late in the game. With his athleticism, projectable frame, loose arm, and feel for spin, Ashcraft has a ton of upside.



 

Among the numerous risers in the rankings are C Cole Stilwell (Rockwall Heath HS), RHP Braydon Fisher (Clear Falls HS), LHP Kaden Krowka (Rockwall Heath HS), RHP Mason Hilton (Weatherford HS), SS Diego Davila (Klein Collins HS), RHP Justin Ruble (Tomball Memorial HS), and 2B Bobby Goodloe (Godley HS), RHP/SS Javan Smitherman (Kilgore HS), OF Colton Cowser (Cypress Ranch HS), OF Shane Sirdashney (The Woodlands), SS Westley Schields (Cypress Ranch HS).

Top 10

RANK   NAME STATE SCHOOL CLASS POS COMMITMENT
1 Adam Kloffenstein TX Magnolia 2018 RHP Texas Christian
2 Grayson Rodriguez TX Central Heights 2018 RHP Texas A&M
3 Simeon Woods - Richardson TX Kempner 2018 RHP Texas
4 Jordan Groshans TX Magnolia 2018 SS Kansas
5 Braxton Ashcraft TX Robinson 2018 RHP Baylor
6 Mateo Gil TX Timber Creek (Keller) 2018 SS Texas Christian
7 Mason Englert TX Forney 2018 RHP Texas A&M
8 Jonathan Childress TX Forney 2018 LHP Texas A&M
9 Jack Neely TX Churchill 2018 RHP Texas
10 Ty Madden TX Cypress Ranch 2018 RHP Texas

 

>>CLICK HERE to view the entire Texas 2018 Class Ranking.

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