Class of 2017 Rankings Update: Counting Down to Number One

By Greg Williams
WV Director of Scouting

A busy summer of scouting and events leading up to the West Virginia Top Prospect Games culminates with an update to our West Virginia Class of 2017 rankings. This class has had an opportunity to compete at the varsity level for two years now and the list of ranked prospects has grown from 10 to 20. By the time this class reaches graduation this list is likely to more than triple in size. Today we begin the countdown to the current No. 1 ranked player in the class by looking at numbers 8-10.

looking ahead:

8/17: No. 5-7 
8/18: No. 1-4 and the complete list
8/19: Initial class of 2018 top five prospects revealed 

No. 8, Austin Bullman, Jefferson HS, RHP/3B

Bullman is a 6-foot-1, 165-pound RHP/OF. He went 5-0 with a 1.62 ERA for Jefferson in 2015 helping the Cougars win the Class 3A state title. Bulman sits in the low 80's with command of a three-pitch mix. The right-handed hitter drove in 26 runs, scored 24 runs and hit at a .292 clip as a sophomore. Bullman will join a deep returning Cougar pitching staff that will make them among the favorites to win a state title again in 2016.

No. 9, Brett Linton, Musselman HS, LHP

Linton is a 6-foot, 160-pound lefty that sits in the low 80's. He went 5-4 in 2015 as a sophomore for a Musselman team that went 14-19. Linton led the Applemen pitching staff in innings pitched (41.2), and was second on the staff in strikeouts with 51. He held opposing hitters to a batting average below .250 on the season.

No. 10, Abe Stearns, Point Pleasant HS, RHP/SS

Stearns worked three very effective innings sitting 77-78 from a high 3/4 arm slot at the 2014 WV Top Prospect Games. The right-hander also commanded a 70 mph changeup thrown at near fastball arm speed to keep batters off balance. Stearns yielded two hits and no runs during his time on the hill. The 5-foot-9, 150-pound right-handed hitter went 2-for-5 at the plate from a square stance with a short swing path. Stearns barreled the baseball frequently in batting practice with a bat exit velocity of 82 mph. He displayed an accurate 72 mph arm across the diamond defensively with the ability to make throws from multiple arm angles.

current WV class of 2017 rankings:

Rank Name State School Class Pos Commitment
1 Josh Petit WV George Washington 2017 SS
2 Conner Nurse WV Washington 2017 RHP Liberty
3 Kirk Jennings WV Cabell Midland 2017 3B
4 James (Austin) Bulman WV Jefferson 2017 RHP
5 Chris Bailey WV Chapmanville Regional 2017 C
6 Brett Linton WV Musselman 2017 LHP
7 Abe Stearns WV Point Pleasant 2017 RHP
8 Dylan Carroll WV Jefferson 2017 RHP
9 J.T. Harris WV Bridgeport 2017 2B
10 Tim Zuspan WV Cross Lanes Christian 2017 1B