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2021-2022 Newcomer Breakdowns: Recruiting Classes 11-15


Aaron Fitt | Shooter Hunt | Nathan Rode

Every year, D1Baseball ranks the Top 25 recruiting classes in the country after they show up on campus. These rankings consider all newcomers who arrived at D-I schools this fall or at the semester break: freshmen as well as transfers from junior-college and four-year schools. For the third year in a row, we decided to wait until the end of the fall to rank the Top 25 classes, so that all the additional insights we gain by traveling the country watching scrimmages and writing fall reports can help inform our rankings. Then we got together with Nathan Rode and Shooter Hunt of our partners at Prep Baseball Report and hammered out which groups of newcomers stand out the most. Nobody knows high school baseball prospects like Rode and Hunt, so their perspective combined with our fall travels and conversations with coaches and scouts give us the most well-informed recruiting class rankings anywhere.

All week, we’re counting down our Top 25 with a batch of five teams every day, continuing today with teams 11-15: Wake Forest, Georgia, TCU, Oregon State and Tennessee. The analysis of each class was written by either Aaron Fitt, Nathan Rode or Shooter Hunt.

**Player rankings in parentheses refer to where current freshmen ranked in the Class of 2022 Overall Rankings (which also included players who signed pro contracts out of high school this past summer).

11. WAKE FOREST

OVERVIEW: Wake Forest cracked this list for the first time in 2020 at No. 19, thanks to a stable of arms making it to Winston-Salem. The 2021 group has 17 newcomers–five four-year transfers, a junior college transfer and 11 freshmen, including the highest-ranked recruit to make it to a campus.

BLUE-CHIP FRESHMEN: LHP Josh Hartle (5) was the top southpaw in the 2021 class, but withdrew from the MLB Draft, giving the Demon Deacons the best recruit in the country. He is loose and projectable with a fastball in the low 90s and the ability to manipulate spin on his breaking ball. He has present feel as well as tremendous upside, making him a strong candidate to crack the weekend rotation early on and be an elite pick in a few years. SS Daniel Corona Jr. (57) is a good athlete with athletic actions and a strong arm. He has a smooth stroke from the left side and knack for driving the ball the opposite way.

IMPACT TRANSFERS: C Mark Black (Chipola JC) was a high school standout in the 2020 class and originally committed to St. John’s, but shifted to Chipola JC last year where he hit .288 with three home runs and 28 RBIs in 38 games. He’s a backstop by trade, but could play some outfield to get his bat in the lineup earlier. LHP Zach Grace brings a low-90s fastball and deception over from Iona, where he tossed 27.1 innings and struck out 29 while walking 14 over two seasons. OF Kyle Joye, a transfer from Chapman, has right-handed pop. 3B Zach Seghal provides infield depth and a high baseball IQ. He transferred from Stanford. RHP Gabe Golob, an NYU transfer, has a quality four-pitch mix and performed well last summer, striking out 43 and walking 19 in 39 innings in the Coastal Plains League. LHP Jacob Grzebinski brings 91 career innings from Georgetown and left-handed depth for the Deacs.

SLEEPERS: OF Nick Kurtz (333) is tall with long levers, left-handed power, good pitch recognition and feel for the barrel.  C Gio Cueto (412) shows a nice line-drive stroke and promising defensive skills. 1B Troy McGirt has hitterish tendencies and is a good leader. UT Elie Kligman can play anywhere on the field and has a relaxed set-up and approach from the left side. RHP Carson Cotugno could be a factor out of the bullpen early with an advanced slider. DH/C Chris Katz has a compact swing that allows him to impact the ball to the middle of the field. 2B/CF Tommy Hawke is a high-energy spark plug who can disrupt a defense and handle the bat.

— Nathan Rode

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