Prep Baseball Report

VA 2017 Rankings: First Look

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By Jerry Shank
Maryland / Virginia Scouting Director

With the Fall now coming to an end, PBR Virginia is beginning our update to the Virginia Class Rankings. Our first stop is the 2017 class. There has been much shifting around the ranks in our never-ending effort to determine the top prospects across the state. Our rankings reflect a combination of current ability with projection for the future. Here we give you a sneak peak of the Top 15 players in the state with our full rankings to be released later today.  

Starting at the top we have a new player taking over the No. 1 spot in SS Tanner Morris of Miller School (UVA commit). Morris has had an outstanding summer showing off his solid actions as a defender while showing off his excellent handling of the bat at the plate. Morris has continued to climb over the summer and combined with his projectable frame that boasts room for more growth and strength as a player.

Moving down one spot is Grassfield RHP Hunter Perdue (UVA). Perdue would have easily maintained the top spot after the summer if not for the rise of Morris and his ability. Perdue has himself shown increase in velocity rising up from the 88-89 range early in the spring to now pitching more in the 89-91 range in game. Perdue has a durable pitchers frame and looks to still have some more velocity in the tank as he moves along.

At No.3 is Matt Cooper of Norfolk Academy (Clemson). Cooper has a strong body with versatility to be at a corner outfield position when he isn’t at his primary position behind the plate.  He is a strong physical hitter at the plate who also runs well for his size.

Our first big mover in the rankings goes to OF/LHP Michael Ludowig of Briar Woods HS (Wake Forest). Ludowig has a great frame to go along with his athleticism. Showing 60-speed ranging in the 6.6-6.8 range consistently and translates that speed well in game with 4.2-4.3 home to first times. He shows some strength at the plate as well although his lower half gets him in trouble at times right now. Then you combine that with his arm strength where he has shown up to 90 mph on the mound. All this makes for an interesting prospect from the man at Briar Woods.

Another riser in the rankings is RHP Kyle Whitten of Osbourn Park (UVA). Whitten has a projectable frame at 6-4 190 and looks to have more in his tank as he continues to fill out. Whitten already pitches in the 87-89 range topping out at 90 mph. There is still room for development within his delivery that should translate as he matures.

If you had a to pick one pitcher to pitch in a big game tomorrow, you might not go any further than our No. 6 ranked player in LHP Andrew Abbott (UVA). Abbot is an extremely competitive pitcher who shows advanced command with his pinpoint accuracy on all his pitches. Any critique on Abbott would be his smaller frame for a pitcher at 5-foot-11. He pitches at 85-87 mph with an aggressive approach attacking the strike zone.

Our biggest riser into the top 10 is LHP Evan Justice of Collegiate (NC State). Justice has been up to 88 to go along with his lanky, projectable 6-foot-4, 170-pound frame pitching with regular effort. Justice could be the sleeper of the 2017 class down the road and that is why he rises into the top 10 from the No. 22 spot previously.

But enough talking. Again here is our first look at the Top 15 in the rankings with the full release to come later today. Stay tuned.

top 15

1 Tanner Morris VA Miller School 2017 SS Virginia
2 Hunter Perdue VA Grassfield 2017 RHP Virginia
3 Matt Cooper VA Norfolk Academy 2017 C Clemson
4 Michael Ludowig VA Briar Woods 2017 OF Wake Forest
5 Kyle Whitten VA Osbourn Park 2017 RHP Virginia
6 Andrew Abbott VA Halifax County 2017 LHP Virginia
7 Tyler Solomon VA Battlefield 2017 C Vanderbilt
8 Anthony Simonelli VA Millbrook 2017 RHP Coastal Carolina
9 Erik Stock VA Greenbrier Christian 2017 SS Old Dominion
10 Evan Justice VA Collegiate School 2017 LHP North Carolina State
11 Mikey Polansky VA Hickory 2017 3B Virginia Tech
12 Will Liverpool VA Bishop O'Connell 2017 RHP West Virginia
13 Antonio Menendez VA Herndon 2017 RHP Wake Forest
14 Nathan Perry VA Bassett 2017 C High Point
15 Toma Shigaki-Than VA Oakton 2017 RHP Duke


Want more detail in what goes into the Virginia player rankings? Email your questions to [email protected]