Class of 2017 Rankings Update: The Countdown Continues

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 continue the countdown to the current No. 1 ranked player in the class by looking at numbers 5-7.

looking ahead:

8/18: No. 1-4 and the complete list
8/19: Initial class of 2018 top five prospects revealed 

No. 5, Chris Bailey, Chapmanville Regional HS, C/RHP

Bailey is a 6-foot-1, 200-pound C/RHP that hit .425 with 27 RBI while going 5-1 with a 1.85 ERA on the mound during his freshman season in 2014. Bailey was a key component in Chapmanville Regionals run to the State semifinals in 2014 and to the state finals in 2015. The junior has shown two-way abilities with the ability to play multiple defensive position. Bailey has the potential to play both corner infield positions in addition to catching and could also see time on the mound at the next level.

No. 6, Ben Arthur, George Washington HS, OF

Arthur flashed the top 60-yard dash time of all prospects in attendance at the recent WV Top Prospect Games at 6.62. The 6-foot-1, 165-pound outfielder displayed plenty of fast-twitch actions showcasing an 84 mph arm from the outfield and an 83 mph bat exit velocity. Arthur starts his right-handed swing from a square stance and stays behind the baseball well using all fields with regularity. He went 3-for-7 with a double and three RBI over the course of two games played while swiping two bases. Arthur gets good jumps in the outfield and utilizes his foot speed to cover a great deal of territory.

No. 7, Drew Hefner, Bridgeport HS, C/3B

Hefner displayed advanced catch and throw skills behind the plate at the recent WV Top Prospect Games. The 5-foot-8, 175-pound backstop showcased pop times of 2.00-2.08 on throws of 75 mph from the crouch. The left-handed hitter starts from a slightly open stance and utilizes a leg lift stride to initiate his swing. Hefner registered an 80 mph bat exit velocity and showed a direct swing path with a feel for the barrel in batting practice.

current WV class of 2017 rankings:

Rank Name State School Class Pos Commitment
1 Josh Petit WV George Washington 2017 SS
2 Conner Nurse WV Washington 2017 RHP Liberty
3 Kirk Jennings WV Cabell Midland 2017 3B
4 James (Austin) Bulman WV Jefferson 2017 RHP
5 Chris Bailey WV Chapmanville Regional 2017 C
6 Brett Linton WV Musselman 2017 LHP
7 Abe Stearns WV Point Pleasant 2017 RHP
8 Dylan Carroll WV Jefferson 2017 RHP
9 J.T. Harris WV Bridgeport 2017 2B
10 Tim Zuspan WV Cross Lanes Christian 2017 1B