UF commits appear on Baseball America’s list of top HS draft prospects
Earlier this week, Baseball America released their top-100 high school prospects for the 2021 MLB Draft. The Gators' 2021 recruiting class has the most commits on the list with a total of eight players.
With 20 prospects making up the class, the Gators also have the nation's second-ranked recruiting class on Perfect Game. Out of the eight commits in Baseball America’s top 100, six of them are inside the top 50. Four are pitchers, three are outfielders, and one is an infielder.
Below are the eight future Gators who earned a spot on the list.
1. #3 RHP Andrew Painter
Painter is a 6-foot-7, 230-pound right-handed pitcher out of Calvary Christian High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Painter is the top-ranked high school prospect out of Florida to make the list. He possess a four-pitch mix that includes a fastball that sits 92-94 mph and tops out in the mid-90s. He also throws two breaking balls, as he possesses a sweeping slider and an upper 70s curveball with a lot of depth. He also has some feel for a changeup that typically sits in the mid-80s.
Baseball America has Painter as a first round lock due to his size and control. While there are some prep arms that have more velocity than Painter, the Florida commit has an easy, repeatable delivery and pounds the strikezone. Some scouts have compared him to 2020 first round selection, Mick Abel.
2. #16 OF Jay Allen
Allen is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound outfielder out of John Carroll High School in Ft. Pierce, Florida. Allen is the first position player in UF's class to make the list.
Allen is arguably the most athletic high school prospect in the 2021 MLB Draft. He is a three-sport star athlete at John Carroll, an All-American baseball player, Elite 11 quarterback, and one of the best basketball players at his high school.
This is a potential five-tool player who could take his game to the next level once he solely focuses on baseball. His power is really the only question mark when talking to scouts, but the in-game power should be about average once he continues to develop as a baseball player. Baseball America currently projects Allen as a top two-round draft selection.
3. #17 RHP Chase Petty
Right behind Jay Allen in Baseball America’s top 100 is another Florida commit in Chase Petty, a right-handed pitcher out of Mainland Regional High School in Linwood, New Jersey.
Petty is arguably the best power prep arm in the 2021 MLB Draft class. The Florida commit has incredible arm speed and possess a fastball that sits 94-97 mph and was clocked at 100 mph this past summer. He also throws a slider that results in a lot of swing-and-misses due to its running life.
Baseball America likes Petty’s potential but do have some concerns whether he will be a relief pitcher due to his size and if he can’t develop a third pitch. However, there’s a lot to like about Petty and some scouts have even compared him to former Florida signee and current Houston Astros pitcher, Lance McCullers.
4. #22 LHP Philip Abner
Abner is a 6-foot, 230 pound left-handed pitcher out of Charlotte Christian High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. Abner is also the only left-handed UF commit on the list.
This is a physically mature pitcher who possesses a fastball that sits in the low 90s and tops out at 94 mph with some life. His breaking ball does have lot of late movement, but it's a pitch Abner needs to continue working on as he doesn’t consistently throw in the zone. Abner’s changeup mixes well with his fastball as he’s able to get some swing-and-misses and draw weak contact.
Abner might not be the most enticing prep prospect from a projection standpoint. Baseball America thinks it will take a team to pay over-slot value in order to keep him away from the University of Florida.
5. #31 RHP Brandon Neely
Neely is a 6-foot-2, 205-pound right-handed pitcher out of Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange, Florida.
Neely made a lot of strides this summer, as his velocity continues to go up and scouts still think he has more in the tank as well. His fastball currently sits in the low 90s and tops out at 94 mph. However, his two biggest issues are consistency and control. He has had issues throwing his off-speed pitches for strikes.
This is an interesting prospect for some MLB scouts because they see the potential but believe he has some work to do. If he’s unable to get better command on his pitch and throw his off-speed pitches for strikes, Neely could end up at the University of Florida in fear of him becoming a relief pitcher.
6. #35 OF Ty Evans
Ty Evans is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound outfielder out of Lakeland Christian High School in Lakeland, Florida.
Evans is coming off a monster summer in which he batted .412 with 14 hits and eight RBIs while also stealing 10 bases. Evans showed improvement on his hitting tools, as he improved his bat speed and had success against some of the nation's top high school pitchers. The Florida commit is one of the fastest prep prospects in the 2021 draft class and has been clocked at 6.46 in the 60-yard dash.
Baseball America was really impressed with Evans' improvements over the summer. His offensive production and defensive ability makes him an intriguing prospect for some scouts.
7. #62 OF Michael Robertson
Robertson is a 6-foot, 170-pound outfielder out of Venice Senior High School in Venice, Florida.
Robertson is one of the fastest prep prospects in the 2021 draft class, and was the fastest prospect at the East Coast Pro Showcase as well. He was clocked running a 6.26 60-yard dash and also boasts very good defensive abilities. His offense needs some time to develop, but he should add more power once he starts filling in his frame.
Baseball America compared him Robertson to former All-American and current Vanderbilt outfielder, Enrique Bradfield. Both are arguably the fastest prospects in their draft class and can cover a whole lot of ground at centerfield.
8. #94 SS Jake Fox
Fox is a 5-foot-11, 170-pound middle infielder out of Lakeland Christian High School in Lakeland, Florida. Fox is one of three Florida commits who hail from Lakeland.
The Polk County native is coming off a terrific summer, as he batted .361 with 30 hits and one home run, stole 20 bases, and posted a .938 OPS. His hitting ability improved a lot over the summer, and he also stole a ton of bags due to his high baseball IQ.
Fox is somebody who has grabbed the attention of several scouts with his emergence. Some see a little Heston Kjerstad at the plate. Kjerstad was the second overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. Fox is a player who can make an immediate impact if he makes it to campus.
Stay tuned to GatorsTerritory.