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College | Recruiting | 11/16/2021

Head of the Class: No. 2 Vanderbilt

Travis Ice     
Photo: Dylan Lesko (Perfect Game)
Recruiting Rankings | 2022 High School Player Rankings | Recruiting Database

2. Vanderbilt

Full 2022-2023 Recruiting Class
Head Coach:
 Tim Corbin | Recruiting Coordinator: Mike Baxter
Top 5 Recruits:

Name Pos HT WT B-T High School Hometown ST
3 Dylan Lesko RHP 6-3 195 R-R Buford Buford  GA
4 Andruw Jones OF 6-4 180 R-R Wesleyan Suwanee GA
8 Brandon Barriera LHP 6-1 170 L-L American Heritage Hollywood FL
9 Noah Schultz LHP 6-9 230 L-L Oswego East Aurora IL
21 Andrew Dutkanych IV RHP 6-3 205 R-R Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory Indianapolis IN

*Rk. Denotes National Rank in PG HS Class of 2022

Vanderbilt is always a program that reloads rather than rebuild and its 2022 class is no exception to that, with four of their top-five commits ranking in the top-10 of Perfect Game’s class rankings, and eight commits that rank in the top-50 of the class.

Headlining Vanderbilt’s class is right-hander Dylan Lesko and outfielder Andruw Jones. Lesko has an athletic build and sits in the mid-90s with his fastball and has shown the ability to reach back for upper-90s velocity when he needs it. Even more impressive is his advanced feel for commanding his heater to all quadrants of the zone. He complements the fastball with a bat-missing changeup that has late action and a curveball that has continued to make strides each year. Jones is one of the premier position players in the class and already has an impressive defensive pedigree in center field as Perfect Game’s 2021 National Defensive Player of the Year winner, and has a solid offensive track record against high caliber competition.

The Commodores have a long track record of signing and developing top-shelf arms, and they’ve stuck to that blueprint with this recruiting class, as four of their top-five commits are pitchers. Two of the most projectable commits in this class are southpaws Brandon Barriera and Noah Schultz. Barriera has a fastball that often reaches the mid-90s, and has a sharp slider and late fading changeup. Schultz, who is 6-foot-9, 230 pounds, obviously has a very projectable frame but already shows impressive stuff at present. Throwing from a low three-quarters arm slot, his fastball sits in the low-90s but plays above the velocity due to its consistent 2600+ rpm spin rate. His best secondary pitch is a slider that has plenty of depth and bite, and he also has a changeup in the arsenal. Both arms, if they make it to campus, are candidates to take huge leaps forward and significantly improve their draft stocks.

Don’t get the impression that all the talent is on the mound in this Vanderbilt class, as they have several high-upside position players already committed as well. Sal Stewart is a third baseman who consistently finds barrels and has shown home run power in game action. RJ Austin is a shortstop out of Atlanta who shows soft hands on the defensive side of the ball and a smooth, adjustable stroke at the plate. Outfielder Ryan Clifford is another intriguing name in this class who has the rare speed and power combination. Clifford has a repeatable swing that has easy power from the left side of the box. Another up-the-middle player to keep an eye on is Ivan Arias, who is a primary shortstop who has defensive versatility and a contact-oriented, all-fields approach at the dish.

Any time you bring in a class with as much high-end talent and potential as Vanderbilt has in this class, you run the risk of losing multiple players to the Major League Baseball Draft before they ever get to campus. However, this class is as deep as it is talented which will allow the program to continue its winning ways even if some of their commits take the leap straight to professional baseball.
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