2018 Rankings Update: Risers

By Jacob Gill
Pennsylvania Assistant Director of Scouting

Today's article on prospects who made big jumps in our soon-to-be updated 2018 rankings is the second installment of a preview for the entire list being released at the end of the week. The rest of the series will be devoted to an early look at the first eighteen prospects on the list (i.e. the Top 18 in '18). Where these risers fall among the 75 prospects in the updated Class of 2018 rankings will be released on Sunday.

Three juniors -- Cumberland Valley 3B/OF Justin Williams, Downingtown East left-handed pitcher Hutch Gagnon and Greensburg Central Catholic right-handed pitcher Jack Liberatore -- all made sizable jumps in the rankings with Williams moving into the aforementioned Top 18.

Justin WilliamsHutch GagnonJack Liberatore

Williams (top left) is a physical right-handed hitter who verbally committed to Penn State following a solid performance as a member of Team Pennsylvania at the PBR Future Games in August. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder showcased a 97 mph bat exit and 89 mph arm strength across the diamond while excelling at the plate over the course of the three day event.

Gagnon (top center) is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound lefty that has put on 15 pounds and 6-7 mph to his fastball since standing out at the PA Underclass Games in June of 2015. The junior now sits in the mid-80s with solid feel for a curveball/changeup off-speed mix.

Liberatore (top right) also shined at same event in 2015 and has likewise seen an up-tick in velocity now sitting in the mid-80s. The 2017 high school graduate recently made the decision to forgo the college ranks following his senior season and will instead play a year at the post-graduate level. The 6-foot-2, 165-pounder comes from good bloodlines with older brother Collin now a sophomore right-handed pitcher at Pitt.

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