Rivals.com division Rivals High released their first ever Top 100 High School Baseball Players this week. The rankings (found here) are topped by Griffin, GA SS Tim Beckham (pictured left), a Southern Cal commit and probable top 5 pick in the upcoming draft. Joining him at the top are Cooper City, FL 1B Eric Hosmer (Arizona State); Long Beach, CA OF Aaron Hicks (Southern Cal); Wentzville, MO P Tim Melville (uncommitted); and Santa Ana, CA P Gerrit Cole (UCLA). The top five are widely speculated to all go pro after the 2008 MLB Draft.
Rivals rankings feature two Southern Cal commits (Beckham and Hicks), six UCLA commits (led by #5 Cole), five Georgia commits (led by #7 Michael Palazzone, P), five Vanderbilt commits (led by #14 Sonny Gray, P), four Kentucky commits (led by #15 Daniel Webb).
Included in Rivals High’s inaugural release is also a ranking of the top 50 college players (which, although not clearly stated, appears only to be the draft eligible variety). Topping the list are Vanderbilt’s Pedro Alvarez (3B), South Carolina’s Justin Smoak (1B), Missouri’s Aaron Crow (P), Miami’s Yonder Alonso (1B) and San Diego’s Brian Matusz (P). The ranking can be found here.
Rivals then amalgamates the list to come up with a top 50 list of draft prospects (found here), which goes T. Beckham, Alvarez, Smoak, Crow and Hosmer.
It’s good to see Rivals supplementing Kendall Rogers at Rivals.com College Baseball with some recruiting and draft coverage. Due to rules, Kendall cannot do general coverage of baseball and speak to recruits.
Meanwhile, PGCrossChecker updated their Recruiting Rankings about a month ago (sorry for the delay in linking). Note that it is generally accepted that the mythical recruiting crown be awarded after August 15th (the MLB deadline to sign out of the draft). Leading the charge are:
1) ASU with 19 recruits (11 in PG’s top 200)
2) Georgia with 20 recruits (8 in the top 200)
3) North Carolina with 12 recruits (10 in the top 200)
4) Florida with 13 recruits (8 in the top 200)
5) Vanderbilt with 12 recruits (8 in the top 200)
Southern Cal, Central Florida, San Diego State, Arkansas and Clemson rounded out the top 10. Notes on the rankings:
1) ASU and UGA are going to have some interesting questions if they don’t lose about 1/3 of their classes to the draft (as is expected). There is no understandable way that they can meet the roster cap limit next year with all those freshmen.
2) South Carolina is noticeably absent from the top 25 (at 26 and likely to rise after the draft rounds out) for the first time in just about forever.
3) Kentucky’s class is one to really watch. They have some headline pitchers (Alex Meyer and Webb) who, if they get to campus, will solidify UK’s position in the upper half of the SEC.