Prep Baseball Report

Updated Florida Class of 2018 Rankings Released

By Mike Maerz
Director of Florida Operations/Area Scout

With the summer season in full swing and the beginning of July quickly approaching, it’s time to make an update to the Florida Class of 2018 Rankings. This class not only features plenty of high-end draft talent, but depth as well with 71 of the first 75 players ranked having committed to play at the Division I level. There was no movement to the first four on the list from the last update, but 3B Brandon Howlett moved into the fifth spot after an impressive spring and summer so far.

Below are individual breakdowns on each player in the Top 5 that includes reports and video followed by a look at the Top 10:

Mason Denaburg C / RHP / Merritt Island, FL / 2018

Florida recruit. Currently ranked No. 1 in the Florida 2018 Class, No. 3 Overall. The 6-foot-3, 180-pounder has a long, athletic body and looks to have added some muscle throughout the spring. At the plate, he stands tall and with a medium leg kick trigger and stays balanced through the swing. He shows easy pull side power has an extremely short, quick swing with a feel for the barrel and big power potential. Behind the plate, the athleticism is on display with good flexibility in his setup and soft but strong hands allow him to receive very well. There is a lot of potential defensively, as he can really control his body. In the outfield, he moves well and shows off an easy, quick arm with carry. Every throw he makes looks effortless, and jumps out of his hand.

Despite the potential offensively, he has made a big stride with a lot of upside on the mound. He pitches from a 3/4 slot with a lot of life on the fastball that has recently sat 93-96 mph, touching 97. Also shows a 71-73 mph slider with quality shape and the potential to be an above average pitch. Changeup sits 81-83 mph with late fading action. He is an all-around athlete and may not currently be as polished as some other players, but the present tools as well as the high ceiling keeps him in the top spot.

Slade Cecconi RHP / Trinity Prep, FL / 2018

Miami recruit. Currently ranked No. 2 in the Florida 2018 Class, No. 4 Overall. Stands at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds with long legs and athleticism. Has gotten noticeably taller and added to his frame over the past few months. Has a simple, fluid delivery throwing out of the high ¾ slot with a loose, quick arm. Repeats well, with a clean foot strike in line and gets quality extension. Fastball sits 91-94 mph with life, touching 96. Also features a 78-80 mph slider that shows depth and tight spin, throwing it for strikes. Cecconi is polished, with two present near plus pitches in his fastball and slider. As the changeup continues to develop, the projection as a potential starter makes him very interesting for teams.

Triston Casas 1B / RHP / American Heritage, FL / 2018

Miami recruit. Currently ranked No. 3 in the Florida 2018 class, No. 5 overall. Physical, athletic build with a strong lower half standing at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds on a large frame. One of the top power hitting prospects in the country. Stays balanced throughout his swing and his hands stay inside the ball well with an uphill path through the zone. Plus bat speed and plus power. Confident hitter that consistently finds the barrel and makes hard, loud contact. Ball jumps off the bat with the ability to drive the ball deep into the gaps or over the wall. Casas has an advanced approach and above average bat to ball skills. He is a first baseman only, but the power potential keeps him near the top of the country. 

Nander De Sedas SS / 2B / Montverde Academy, FL / 2018

Florida State recruit. Currently ranked No. 4 in the Florida 2018 Class, No. 8 Overall. Currently stands at 6-foot-1, 185 pounds with a strong, athletic frame and physical lower half. Stands out defensively with plus defensive actions and soft hands. He has plenty of range with an average arm and quick release. There is a lot of athleticism in his actions, but his overall feel for the position is very apparent. Offensively, the switch-hitter makes hard, solid contact to all parts of the field. He has an advanced approach and stays balanced with a short, level swing. He works gap to gap, but there is plenty of bat speed and strength in the lower half to project above average power. Nander is an overall well rounded and athletic shortstop with a lot of present tools and big potential.

Brandon Howlett 3B / SS / George W. Jenkins, FL / 2018

Florida State recruit. Currently ranked No. 5 in the Florida 2018 Class, No. 16 Overall. Stands at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds with a strong and projectable body with athleticism and loose, easy actions. Advanced approach at the plate with an upright and open stance, good rhythm, a strong separation for his load, and a leg kick. Above-average bat speed with quick hands through through the zone and uses his lower half well. The ball really jumps off his bat and shows big power potential. He has a feel for the barrel and shows very little swing and miss and the bat to ball skills work against high-level arms. In the field, he has soft hands, light feet, and a loose, easy arm with plenty of arm strength to stay on the left side of the infield. He projects as an above average defensive third baseman, with near plus hit tool and above average power.

Here's a look at how the Top 10 stacks up:

1 Mason Denaburg FL Merritt Island 2018 C Florida
2 Slade Cecconi FL Trinity Prep 2018 RHP Miami
3 Triston Casas FL American Heritage 2018 1B Miami
4 Nander De Sedas FL Montverde Academy 2018 SS Florida State
5 Brandon Howlett FL George W. Jenkins 2018 3B Florida State
6 Elijah Cabell FL TNXL Academy 2018 OF Louisiana State
7 Lyon Richardson FL Jensen Beach 2018 RHP Florida
8 Connor Scott FL Plant 2018 OF Florida
9 Jonathan Gates FL Nature Coast Technical 2018 LHP Miami
10 Carter Stewart FL Eau Gallie 2018 RHP Mississippi State

For a complete look at the updated Florida Class of 2018 Rankings, CLICK HERE