Prep Baseball Report

Class of 2017 Rankings Update: The Complete List

By Greg Williams
WV Director of Scouting

A busy summer of scouting and events leading up to the West Virginia Top Prospect Games culminates with an update to our West Virginia Class of 2017 rankings. This class has had an opportunity to compete at the varsity level for two years now and the list of ranked prospects has grown from 10 to 20. By the time this class reaches graduation this list is likely to more than triple in size. Today we complete the countdown to the current No. 1 ranked player in the class and reveal the complete list.

coming tomorrow:

Following a full season of high school play and a complete summer of action the initial top five West Virginia prospects in the Class of 2018 will be released.

inside look at the top four prospects in the class:

No. 1, Conner Nurse, Washington HS, RHP

Nurse is a 6-foot-5, 190-pound right-handed pitcher that has made a large jump over the past 12 months. The athletic, long-limbed righty sits 84-86 and has the ability to run his fastball up to 88 mph. The Liberty University commit went 3-1 with a save and a 2.79 ERA as a sophomore in 2015. Nurse had a 3-to-1 strikeouts to walks ratio (45 K's, 15 walks) in 32.2 innings of work for the Patriots. He allowed less than a hit per inning (18 total) while throwing a first pitch strike to over half the batters he faced. Nurse has plenty of room to add to his long frame and projects to continue to see velocity gains in coming years.

No. 2, Kirk Jennings, Cabell Midland HS, OF/3B

Jennings has a very projectable 6-foot-4, 195-pound frame. The right-handed hitter starts from a slightly open stance and utilizes a short lift-and-replace stride to initiate his swing. Jennings displayed above average barrel whip and a feel for the barrel in one of the top rounds of batting practice at the recent WV Top Prospect Games. The junior registered a 90 mph bat exit velocity and went 3-for-6 at the plate in game action. Jennings flashed athletic actions defensively and the ability to go get the baseball with his foot speed (6.70 60-yard dash). While he lists third base as his alternate position, his 80 mph arm strength and athleticism will likely make him an outfielder at the next level.

No. 3, Philip Hoffman, Wahama HS, RHP/C

Hoffman is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound RHP/C that displayed a power fastball during the West Virginia Class A state semifinals in June. The right-handedr topped at 88 mph in the first inning, and showcased a hard-biting curveball early on in his complete game effort. Hoffman struck out nine on the day including striking out the side in the first and recording five of his strikeouts in the first two innings.

No. 4, Josh Petit, George Washington HS, SS/2B

Petit has a projectable 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame and ran a 7.25 60-yard dash. The left-handed hitter starts from a wide, square stance and displayed good rhythm and the ability to stay inside the baseball during a solid round of batting practice at the recent WV Top Prospect Games. Petit went 1-for-5 in game action while barreling the baseball in each trip with a bat exit velocity of 77 mph. The junior showcased a soft glove hand and good footwork defensively with a 77 mph arm across the diamond. His size and foot speed will likely dictate a move to a corner infield position at the next level.

UPDated WV class of 2017 rankings (Top ten):

Rank Name State School Class Pos Commitment
1 Conner Nurse WV Washington 2017 RHP Liberty
2 Kirk Jennings WV Cabell Midland 2017 3B
3 Philip Hoffman WV Wahama 2017 RHP
4 Josh Petit WV George Washington 2017 SS
5 Chris Bailey WV Chapmanville Regional 2017 C
6 Ben Arthur WV George Washington 2017 OF
7 Drew Hefner WV Bridgeport 2017 C
8 James (Austin) Bulman WV Jefferson 2017 RHP
9 Brett Linton WV Musselman 2017 LHP
10 Abe Stearns WV Point Pleasant 2017 RHP

* CLICK HERE to view the complete list.