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2016 Vanderbilt baseball commitments

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Will Vanderbilt's 2016 recruiting class lead the program on more runs to Omaha?
John Peterson
Vanderbilt baseball commitments for 2016
Player PG/BA Description and draft risk

Ian Anderson, RHP

6-3, 170, R/R

Shenendehowa (N.Y.)

4/12

Entering his senior year, the slender right-hander already sits in the low 90s with his fastball with regularity. He's got a clean delivery with loose arm action and adds a 74-77 curveball with adequate depth, as well as a change-up. Anderson's work ethic draws raves and he has been described as "built by the gods to pitch." He's a solid first-round candidate for the 2016 draft and plays summers for the Clifton Park Knights. He represented America with J.J. Bleday and Brax Garrett with Team USA Baseball 18U.

Drafted Round 1, Pick No. 3 overall by the Braves (slot value: $6,510,800)

Signed with Braves.

J.J. Bleday, OF/LHP

6-4, 195, L/L

Titusville (Fla.)

150/NR

The class's first commitment is a tall, athletic player with a loose, three-quarters delivery. Bleday's most trusted pitch seems to be a sharp-breaking overhand curve, which he compliments with a mid-to-high-80s fastball that has potential for more. He's also a talented outfielder and looks as if he'll play there. The brother of former University of Virginia LHP Adam Bleday, J.J. transferred from a small high school in Pennsylvania to Titusville High and plays summers with the Indiana Prospects. He was also a part of Team USA 18U.

Drafted Round 39, Pick No. 1,164 overall by the Padres.

Did not sign.

Alex Brewer, 3B

6-0, 190, L/R

Forrest (Tenn.)

305/NR

A stocky high school shortstop who attends the same high school that produced former VU and Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Minor, Brewer was the District 9-A MVP as a sophomore, and one of three finalists for Tennessee's Class A Mr. Baseball as a junior. He was also a member of Team Tennessee. His athleticism and bat project to corner infield or outfield positions. Brewer chose VU over Memphis, Mississippi State, MTSU and Tennessee.

Tyler Duvall, C

5-11, 190, L/R

Lebanon (Ohio)

171/472

Renowned for his defense behind the plate, Duvall moves and throws well and does a good job of framing pitches, and possesses tools and athleticism reminiscent of former Commodore catcher Spencer Navin. As a hitter, he's a lefty with quick hands and projectable power. A sometimes-pitcher, he's got an 80s fastball and plays summers with the Midland Redskins. Suffered a UCL injury this spring.

Joe Fulcher, RHP

6-2, 185, R/R

Munford (Tenn.)

199/NR

A fast-rising prospect who exploded onto the summer scene about the time he committed to VU, the reason for Fulcher's rise was a fastball that shot from the low-80s into the high-80s, and sometimes touched 93. His four-pitch mix includes a slider, change and curve. Chose Vandy over Mississippi State, Memphis and MTSU.

Braxton Garrett, LHP

6-3, 190, R/L

Florence (Ala.)

7/10

As a sophomore, Garrett threw 57 innings, striking out 108 hitters and posting a 1.23 ERA. His fastball consistently sits in the high-80s to the low-90s and he also has a breaking ball, change-up and a sinker. He plays his summers for the powerful East Cobb Astros and goes by "Brax." A potential first-rounder in 2016, Garrett was a member of Team USA Baseball 18U.

Drafted Round 1, Pick No. 7 overall by the Marlins (slot value: $3,756,300)

Signed with Marlins.

Jackson Gillis, LHP

6-3, 225, R/L

Wilmington (Mass.)

311/267

Gillis sat 87-91 with his fastball as a junior, to which he adds an outstanding curve ball and a change-up. In 2015, he struck out 69 batters in 39 2/3 innings with a 2.90 ERA. Gillis chose VU over Louisville, Arizona State, Wake Forest, Miami and Boston College.

Drake Fellows, RHP

6-5, 190, L/R

Joliet Catholic (Ill.)

70/281

A big-bodied player with a terrific frame who, as a junior, ran his fastball into the low-90s---some reports said mid-90s--and adds an improving, high-70s slider. As a junior, he had a 9-1 record with 98 strikeouts and just 11 walks in 77 innings, with just 44 hits allowed. Fellows, selected for the 2015 Perfect Game U.S. All-American Classic, chose VU over just about every other high-end baseball program in America.

Thomas Jones, OF

6-3, 190, R/R

Laurens District 55 (S.C.)

23/58

A fantastic football prospect--Jones is the No. 19-rated recruit in South Carolina for the 2016 class, as a safety--Jones chose VU baseball over Notre Dame football. For good measure, he's also a good hockey player. As for baseball, Jones has tools reminiscent of former VU baseball player Connor Harrell (power, speed) and was an Under Armour All-American.

Drafted Round 3, Pick No. 84, by the Marlins (slot value: $741,700)

Signed with Marlins.

Zachary King, LHP

6-5, 180, L/L

Spring Hill (Tenn.)

238/412

Built like former Vanderbilt and Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year Grayson Garvin, King, a long lefty, went 5-0-1 with 99 strikeouts, 24 walks and a 1.19 ERA as a junior, earning first team all-state honors by the Tennessee High School Sports Writer's Association. Committed to VU after pitching Team Tennessee to a win in the Sunbelt Quarterfinals; he's not a huge draft risk but has a chance to change that with his size and arm this spring.

Harrison Ray, SS

5-11, 180, R/R

Lake Brantley (Fla.)

249/NR

A smooth middle infielder with soft hands and terrific athleticism, Ray's a defense-first player with a simple plate approach that gives hope that his offense can improve as he gets stronger. He played for the Orlando Scorpions (that's where former Commodore Carson Fulmer played) before moving to the Chet Lemon Juice. His arm makes him a likely second baseman at the collegiate level.

Michael Sandborn, LHP

6-1, 190, L/L

Jesuit (Fla.)

495/NR

Already operating into the 90s with his fastball as a junior, though he usually works in the upper-80s and compliments it with an effective breaking ball. Sandborn was one of eight alternates for USA Baseball's 18U team's 40-man roster in 2015, and went 4-0 with an 0.85 ERA as a junior. Attends the same high school that produced VU pitcher John Kilichowski.

Reid Schaller, RHP

6-3, 205, R/R

Lebanon (Ind.)

216/NR

Schaller has been an elite prospect for a few years, thanks to a fastball that hit 94 as a sophomore as well as an excellent curve ball and what can be described as a "bulldog mentality" on the hill. The athletic right-hander chose Vanderbilt over Michigan, Indiana and North Carolina.

Kobie Taylor, OF

6-0, 175, R/R

Portsmouth (N.H.)

153/259

Hailing from coach Tim Corbin's home state of New Hampshire, the state's top player is an athletic outfielder with a quick bat, a solid arm and good base-running skills. He excelled at the Area Code Games, where he popped onto the national radar. Older brother played baseball at Northeastern.

Drafted Round 15, Pick No. 459 overall by the Rangers.

Signed with the Rangers on June 20.

Paxton Stover, LHP (rising Jr.)

5-11, 195, L/L

Dyersburg State CC (Tenn.)

NR/NR

Stover prepped at West Tennessee's Dyer County High School--he was rated the No. 92 left-hander in the country by Perfect Game--before a 2015 season at Mississippi State, where he pitched two-thirds of an inning and struck out a hitter. At Dyersburg State in 2016, Stover started 14 games, threw 84.2 innings, struck out 110 hitters while walking 33, allowed six home runs and posted a 3.08 ERA with a .225 average against. Stover consistently operates in the low-90s and has good swing-and-miss stuff.

Justin Wilson, RHP (rising So.)

6-0, 175, R/R

Volunteer State CC (Tenn.)

NR/NR

A converted catcher who pitched some in high school at Oakland High in Murfreesboro (Tenn.), Wilson was a two-way player at Volunteer State but caught VU's eye on the mound, where he started flashing 94-6 velocity this spring, recording a 2.51 ERA in 14.1 innings, with 12 strikeouts and seven walks. Wilson committed in the spring and hurt his arm shortly thereafter; he underwent Tommy John surgery which means we likely won't see him until several weeks into the 2017 season, at the soonest.

Reed Hayes, OF/RHP (rising Jr.)

6-3, 185, R/R

Walters State CC (Tenn.)

NR/NR

Hayes hit .387 with 14 homers and 69 RBIs at Walters State in 2016, adding 24 doubles with three triples, and 13 stolen bases in 15 attempts. VU will use him in the outfield and also as a reliever. Was a 28th-round pick out of Science Hill High School in 2015.

Notes

Baseball America's rankings are for the 2016 draft class as a whole, which also includes college players, and therefore most players rate lower here than they will on Perfect Game.

Both services rank just 500 players.

Junior college players don't appear in the Perfect Game rankings.

Rankings are as of June 8, 2016.

A special thanks to New York Dore for extensive help with this list.