With the 2019 baseball season just two months away it’s time to take a look at the future of Hurricanes baseball. The Miami Hurricanes currently have the nation’s fifth best baseball recruiting class according to Perfect Game. After two consecutive year’s of top ten classes making campus in Coral Gables, this is yet another encouraging signing class for Miami, especially if the top-tier talent makes it to campus after the MLB Draft.
Here’s a quick look at some of the talent that could make it’s way towards Coral Gables:
SS/2B Matthew Lugo
Matthew Lugo is yet another great middle infielder that has chosen to further his baseball career at the University of Miami. At 6-1, 185 lbs Lugo has some room to add weight and power to his frame. His swing shows promise, and Lugo shows great bat speed, with more room to grow as he gets on to the next steps in his career. He is also a standout defensively, and truly has the arm strength to play shortstop, along with excellent footwork. His glove may be his best attribute, and he could turn into one of the better defensive players in college baseball if he chooses to attend The U.
As time has gone on Lugo has continued to rise up scouts’ boards. Time will tell how the MLB Draft treats Lugo, and whether or not he will make it to campus and become a member of the Hurricanes.
OF Hylan Hall
Hylan Hall, a one time Florida commit, is one of the best outfield prospects in America, along with being one of the best prep hitters in America. At 6-2, 190 lbs Hall has a very athletic frame, and a swing that allows him to get the bat to the ball with all the strength in his body. Hall is no slouch in the field either, with a strong arm that will get better as his fielding approach gets better. In fact, MLB.com singled out Hall’s arm after a Tampa Bay area scouting event (Hall was not the only Miami recruit mentioned in the article). The young outfielder already has an immense amount of skill, and even more potential.
At this point, much like Lugo, Hall is rising up the draft boards. We will see how things pan out next summer, but it seems unlikely that Hall will make it to campus before the 2020 season.
RHP/OF Alex McFarlane
Alex McFarlane is yet another outstanding pitcher that Miami will look to bring in to bolster its’ already talented staff. At a lanky 6-3, McFarlane throws a hard 94 mph fastball that has shown some cutting action, which him and Coach J.D. Arteaga will hope to develop if he arrives on campus in Coral Gables. However, his secondary repertoire is limited, and he’ll need to develop a breaking pitch in order to survive in the ACC. As a hitter, McFarlane has a swing that needs some development but could become formidable with a few tweaks, and in the outfield he does well using his natural arm strength to get the ball back to the infield.
McFarlane has a chance to be another top-tier MLB Draft pick, much like the two players above him. Once again only time will tell how things begin to shake out in the months leading up to the MLB Draft.
RHP Jason Diaz
Diaz joins McFarlane as another extremely talented pitcher in this recruiting class for Miami. He also tops out at around 94 mph, but his fastball shows a lot of life, and seems to keep hitters constantly off balance. Notably, Diaz’s secondary arsenal is a little more developed; with an excellent change up to go along with his formidable fastball. Diaz doesn’t have as much room to grow physically as McFarlane does, but his ability to put movement on the ball gives him room to grow into an elite pitcher.
Diaz is yet another strong MLB Draft prospect, and the way his senior season goes may determine how likely it is that he makes it to campus in Coral Gables.
3B Mykanthony Valdez
At 6-2 205lbs Mykanthony Valdez has a great frame to grow into at the hot corner. His most notable attribute is his power. He can hit the ball really far, but he has some issues getting contact to put that power to full use. His swing is powerful, but he often gets too far under the ball, and sometimes doesn’t keep his back foot planted enough to make good contact. He shows good potential fielding wise, especially in his arm, but he needs work on focusing and getting back to his fundamentals.
It’s unclear how Valdez will be seen by scouts ahead of the MLB Draft, but he’s shown a lot of potential and is starting to show up on some scouts’ lists. Only time will tell if Valdez will make campus, but there is a chance.
RHP Austin Thomas
Austin Thomas has the physical attributes to grow into an extremely hard-throwing pitcher in the near future. At 6-5 220 lbs Thomas can probably still add some speed to a fastball that already tops out at 91 mph. Thomas has a very easy delivery and does a great job of pounding the ball down in the zone. He has a good start on a slider and curveball, but he’ll need to develop them further to dominate at the college level.
Considering Thomas’ physical stature he’ll be a prospect on many MLB teams radar’s. Once again once draft boards come out it will be interesting to see where Thomas lands, but nevertheless he has a serious amount of potential.
LHP/1B Yordani Carmona
Yordani Carmona is a 6-2, 195 lbs pitcher from Hialeah, FL. With a 90 mph fastball and a strong curveball and changeup Carmona shows potential to be a great starting pitcher in college and possibly the next level. He needs to work on keeping his arm speed the same between his fastball and his breaking pitches, but he has a strong foundation to build on. He also plays first base, and is working on developing his footwork to get even stronger defensively. He has a solid swing and has a lot of bat speed that can continue to grow.
Carmona will probably come to Miami and play for the Hurricanes. He’s an absolutely huge addition to the roster, Miami needs to add more left handed arms to balance out the pitching staff.
RHP Dylan Eskew
Dylan Eskew is a 6-3, 185 lbs right handed pitcher who can also play third base. He has a strong frame and has shown a capability to hit as high as 92 mph on the radar gun, but needs time to develop into his frame. He has inconsistent secondary pitches, and will need to work on sharpening his skills to succeed in college. Eskew has good arm strength and shows good fielding instincts, along with a swing that shows some power.
Eskew is another player that will probably make it to Coral Gables. He has a chance to become a strong member of the Hurricanes’ pitching staff in the future.
C/OF Jared Thomas
Jared Thomas is a 6-0, 185 lbs catcher from California. He’ll look to enter into an already strong catcher room with a strong swing that shows a capacity to drive the ball. Occasionally Thomas can be a little ground ball prone, but he shows a swing that has room to grow into one that can consistently make solid contact. He has great arm strength from behind the plate, but he’ll need to improve his speed in getting the ball out from behind home.
Jared Thomas is another player that will likely make it to Coral Gables, and he has a lot of upside to continue to improve and grow into a strong catcher in college and beyond.
LHP/1B Alex Munroe
Alex Munroe is a 5-10, 185 lbs pitcher with a lot of strength and an upper-eighties fastball. He has a strong slurve but a changeup that still needs some improvement in order to be a threat at the college level. He has a lot of room to grow into another strong member of J.D. Arteaga’s pitching staff.
Alex Munroe is another recruit that will probably make it to campus for Miami and he’ll look to continue his development in the orange and green.
LHP/1B Carson Palmquist
Carson Palmquist is a 6-3, 170 lbs left-handed pitcher with a frame that projects well and a high eighties fastball that compliments a very well-developed changeup. However, he still needs to add a strong third pitch to his repertoire. He is currently working on a curveball that needs to develop some more rotation and speed to make it truly competitive at the college level. Palmquist is a little rough around the edges right now, but with the help of J.D. Arteaga he could become a hidden gem in this recruiting class for the Hurricanes.
At this point it seems likely that Palmquist will make it to campus in Coral Gables, unless he develops quicker than expected. He has a lot of talent and could become an extremely valuable lefty in the pitching staff for the ‘Canes.
RHP/IF Jake Garland
Jake Garland is a 6-4, 225 lbs right-handed pitcher with an extremely dangerous curveball. It is extremely formidable and, in a rare case for high school pitchers, is well-developed enough to be thrown at any time in the count. He accompanies his strong breaking pitch with an upper 80s fastball that shows potential to enter into the low 90s, however, he needs to work on adding some break onto the pitch to increase its’ effectiveness. Finally, he is working on developing a changeup to look to confuse hitters even more with breaking action out of his hand.
Garland is an extremely talented recruit with one of the hidden gems of a young pitcher, a strong off-speed pitch. He’ll need to continue to work on his fastball and add a changeup, but he has some extremely valuable tools that will probably lead to him becoming yet another strong pitcher in Coral Gables.
C/1B Daniel Labrador
Daniel Labrador is a 6-1, 200 lbs catcher who shows an extremely large amount of defensive potential. He has an extremely strong arm and a well-developed transfer that gets the ball away from home and to second base with impressive accuracy and speed. He also shows a strong penchant for blocking, and for framing pitches and managing a game, one of the most underrated qualities in a catcher. Offensively, Labrador shows a good swing that is capable of putting the bat on the ball with a lot of speed of the barrel. He may need to work to develop some power, but he shows a lot of talent.
Labrador is a talented player who can become an extremely important piece of the program in the future. He shows strong defensive instincts and a well-developed swing that has room to grow.
The Hurricanes 2019 recruiting class is small, but it is extremely talented. After bringing in a few larger classes in the past few years, the baseball staff has done a great job of bringing in a class of players that fills out the roster with a tremendous amount of talent. Time will tell how the MLB Draft treats Miami, but there is a lot of hope for a strong group of players to make it to Coral Gables in the near future.