Looking at South Carolina's 2020 baseball class
Baseball season in the SEC is over, which means the Gamecocks are focused now on tying up their 2020 recruiting class and building the next few.
As they begin to look at their class, their 2020 one is absolutely loaded with 20 players signed and set to enroll hopefully soon, depending on how the draft and COVID-19 situation plays out.
Those things are still a few months away, but as baseball season ends, here's a very early look at the Gamecocks' 2020 class.
Catchers: Alek Boychuk, Connor Cino
Infielders: Lukas Cook, Jack Mahoney, David Menham, Sawyre Thornhill, Jalen Vasquez
Outfielders: David Cromer, Brandon Fields, Josh Shuler
LHPs: Magdiel Cotto, , Kameron Dunlap, Luke Little, Jackson Phipps
RHPs: Cade Austin, Travis Luensmann, Jake Madden, Will Sanders, Sam Swygert, CJ Weins
Top 500 high school prospects: Brandon Fields (37), Will Sanders (44), Jackson Phipps (79), Alek Boychuk (82), Josh Shuler (98), Jack Mahoney (108), Lukas Cook (129), Travis Luensmann (132), Magiel Cotto (211), Jalen Vasquez (242), Cade Austin (262), Sam Swygert (484)
Breaking it down: There's a reason this is widely considered a top five class in the country given the amount of top 500 prospects and the good mix of junior college and high school talent scattered from top to bottom in this 2020 class.
If the draft happens the way it's always scheduled to—which is currently up in the air given the COVID-19 pandemic—the Gamecocks having plenty of draft-eligible players currently on the roster and this 2020 class has plenty of players to come in and fill the voids of some of the team's big time players if the juniors or the seniors, if they get another year of eligibility, opt to go pro.
The biggest pieces of their high school classes are guys like Fields, Sanders, Phipps, Boychuk and Shuler—all top 100 prospects—and much like they did with the 2019 class, the Gamecocks bring in one of the best collection of junior college talents in the country.
Little is the highest-rated of all the junior college players currently signed, considered a top five junior college arm in the country, sitting in the upper-90s from the left side at San Jacinto Junior College.
Every other junior college prospect—Mendham, Thornhill and Weins—are all considered top 100 prospects with Weins easily a top 25 guy and one good enough the Gamecocks locked him up a full year before he was set to graduate from Wabash Valley.
There's a good mix of positional players, bringing in two catchers the year the Gamecocks expected to lose both grad transfers in Dallas Beaver and Bryant Bowen, plus bringing in a lot of pitchers who are already in the 90s or high-80s with good breaking balls, which gives pitching coach Skylar Meade a lot to work with on the mound starting with the 2021 season.
There's no doubt a lot of these players will get professional looks, but it's still very early in the evaluation process and things could change as the draft, whenever it is, gets closer as for who comes to school and who doesn't.
There's a reason this class is considered a top five class and this class is a step in the right direction for getting the Gamecocks back to the postseason.