Prep Baseball Report

Rising Stars State Games: South Region Analysis

Doug Freeman
Florida Executive Director

The inaugural Rising Stars State Games took place November 7-8 at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach, FL. The event featured some of the top 2024-2025's in the state competing for regional bragging rights. Day one featured two showcase workout and two live games. Day two featured four games.

After all the games were finished, the North Region came out on top and captured the Rising Stars State Games crown. If you missed our Stats Story, featuring all the stats from the Rising Stars State Games, CLICK HERE.

This week we will start breaking down every player from the Rising Stars State Games region by region. We started with the North RegionEast Region, and West Region already. Today, we continue with the South Region. Check out complete scouting reports on every player from the South. 

South Region Analysis

Niko Benestad C / 1B / Stoneman Douglas , FL / 2024

Positional Profile: C/1B - Uncommitted, Massive power profile, especially for his age. The swing has a ton of natural ability in bat speed and rotation, he will need to continue to make adjustments as he faces higher levels of pitching, but the raw power tool is elite.
Body: 6-foot-1, 215-pounds. Big, stocky, strong for age, strong overall build.
Defense: 2.05-2.19 pop times. Sound defensive catcher, will need to improve his flexibility as he matures, but quiet with strong hands and blocked well. Overall, has a chance to be a solid catcher.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. Average arm.
Hit: RHH. Stands tall, slightly open, has a small leg kick and short and simple load for a trigger.  Has some steepness at times, but direct to the ball and generates elite level bat speed and torque.
Power: 92 mph exit velocity. Elite power profile potential as he has a great ability to rotate through the zone and generate above average bat speed. Strong lower half and was able to translate in game.
Run: 7.87 runner in the 60.  

Anthony Ciscar RHP / OF / St Thomas Aquinas, FL / 2024

Positional Profile: RHP/OF - Uncommitted, Very projectable, especially on the mound, Long, lean and athletic with a ton of upside with how the arm works as he matures..
Body: 6-foot-2, 170-pounds. Long, lanky, lean and projectable.
Defense: Comes through the ball well.
Arm: RH. OF - 89 mph. Plus arm for class.
Hit: RHH. Knees bent, hands push back for load. Some steepness through the zone, creates leverage.
Power: 83 mph exit velocity.
Run: 7.86 runner in the 60. 

Delivery: Simple, clean separation, takeaway is also clean and straight back with some length, will make some big jumps as he learns to use the lower half.
Arm Action: RH. Arm works free and loose, high 3/4 with a lot of life.
FB: T84, 80-84 mph. Ball jumps out of the hand with life.
SL: 72-75 mph.  

Jayden Dubanewicz OF / RHP / Stoneman Douglas , FL / 2024

Positional Profile: OF/RHP - Uncommitted, Athletic with a quick arm and a lot of upside with feel to pitch, projectable frame and present stuff.
Body: 6-foot, 140-pounds. Lean, athletic, upside in the frame as he matures.
Defense: Solid outfield actions.
Arm: RH. OF - 83 mph. Above average, quick arm.
Hit: RHH. Simple, short stride and load, hands preset below shoulders, does clear the back side. Level, but somewhat rotational though the zone.
Power: 86 mph exit velocity.
Run: 7.03 runner in the 60. 

Delivery: Tall, simple, slightly closed, a little rotational and falls off to first base side but repeats well and a lot of upside.
Arm Action: RH. Some length straight down behind him, but showed a quick arm from a 3/4 slot.
FB: T83, 78-82 mph. Gets to extension well with his fingers on top of the ball and worked downhill. Showed life with numerous swing and misses.
CB: 71-73 mph.
SL:  mph. Tight with some late action.
CH: 72-76 mph. 

Devin Fitz-Gerald SS / RHP / Stoneman Douglas, FL / 2024

Positional Profile: SS/RHP - Uncommitted, Athletic middle infielder who impresses defensively with feel and actions. Offensively, he has a feel to hit and overall a chance to stick at short and be a top of the order player.
Body: 5-foot-7, 140-pounds. Athletic, wiry and lean.
Defense: Really moves with purpose and functional athleticism. This gives him a quick first step and works with rhythm and under control to and through the ball.
Arm: RH. INF - 78 mph. Average arm, but has plenty for short and quick release.
Hit: Switch. Switch hitter with similar setup on both sides. Upright with a leg kick and works with rhythm, especially from the left side.  Right handed, it is compact and direct, has some steepness at times, but hands work well. Left handed really continues to impress both in BP and in game. Gets into his legs well, balanced and clears the back side, adjusts with hands both location and offspeed, aggressive while staying compact and overall a lot of checked boxes especially from the left side that should project well as he matures and adds strength.
Power: 88 mph exit velocity. Right handed is solid, but left handed has a chance to be elite level hit ability. Aggressive, but under control. Really good posture and hands work freely. A lot to like overall, but especially form the left side.
Run: 7.45 runner in the 60. 

Delivery: Simple, repeatable. Came in relief and attacked the zone with multiple pitches.
Arm Action: RH. Compact arm action, clean and repeated well.
FB: T77, 73-77 mph.
CB: 66-70 mph.
CH: 68-70 mph. 

Gavin Gargiulo 1B / RHP / Coral Springs Charter , FL / 2024

Positional Profile: RHP/1B - Uncommitted, Two way player who showed true upside and tools on both sides of the ball.
Body: 6-foot, 165-pounds. Athleticism with strength in the lower half and shoulders with room to fill out.
Defense: Sound defender, works under control and hands work well.
Arm: RH. INF - 79 mph. Above average arm.
Hit: RHH. Slightly wider than shoulder width, has a small leg kick trigger and quality load and separation. Hands work free and easy and the upper half posture is solid. Doesn't fully access the lower half strength as it is somewhat rotational, but with that still generates power. A lot to like as he puts together the clean upper half with a more utilized lower half.
Power: 85 mph exit velocity.
Run: 7.47 runner in the 60. 

Delivery: Simple separation, full arm swing lands slightly closed.
Arm Action: RH. Athletic, arm works clean from high ¾.
FB: T83, 79-82 mph.
CB: 73-76 mph. Spins well with late depth when out in front.
CH: 73-75 mph. 

Dylan Howell C / SS / ESB Academy , FL / 2024

Positional Profile: C/SS - Uncommitted, Very athletic catcher who has a chance to be a plus defender. Upside with the bat, but the athleticism really plays behind the plate.
Body: 5-foot-11, 140-pounds. Lean strength and athleticism in the frame.
Defense: 2.08-2.19 pop times. Super utility player, solid in the infield, but behind the plate he has a chance to be a plus defender. Athleticism plays in his setup and blocking. In quality positions to do both and also gets rid of the ball quickly and accurately from behind the plate.
Arm: RH. C - 74 mph. INF - 82 mph. Above average, quick arm.
Hit: RHH. Stands tall and open with a leg kick trigger, shoulder turn load and lands balanced slightly wider than shoulder width. Compact and level through the zone. Quick hands that work well, can get a little steep, but a lot of upside offensively.
Power: 86 mph exit velocity.
Run: 7.57 runner in the 60.  

Gabriel Jardine LHP / 1B / Stoneman Douglas, FL / 2024

Positional Profile: LHP/1B - Uncommitted, Strike throwing competitor who knows how to pitch at a young age.
Body: 5-foot-10, 160-pounds. Lean, with upside with high waist and long arms.

Delivery: Works with a quality tempo and rhythm. In line and drives down off the back leg well.
Arm Action: LH. Clean, half circle takeaway with free and easy arm action.
FB: T75, 71-74 mph. Attacked down in the zone to both sides of the plate.
CB: 62-66 mph. Feel with some depth.
CH: 67-70 mph. Above average feel and fade.

RJ Machado SS / OF / ESB Academy, FL / 2025

Positional Profile: SS - Uncommitted, Advanced simple swing. He was compact, level and had an advanced ability to be on time and balanced. Very projectable offensive toolset.
Body: 5-foot-11, 165-pounds. Strength and athleticism throughout an athletic frame.
Defense: Athletic, under control, hands work well out in front.
Arm: RH. INF - 83 mph. Well above average arm for class.
Hit: RHH. Slightly open and knees bent, athletic setup overall. Hands really work, very quick through the zone, fires backside well and tools are high level for his age.
Power: 85 mph exit velocity. Very quick hands that have a chance to hit at a high level in the future
Run: 7.13 runner in the 60.  

Jackson Miller OF / RHP / N/A, FL / 2025

Positional Profile: OF/RHP - Uncommitted, Elite level tools for class. High end bat speed and athleticism that if it all clicks could be some of the best raw tools in the state.
Body: 5-foot-11, 180-pounds. Very strong for age. Strong forearms to lower half while also athletically built.
Defense: Very twitchy and athletic, moves well in outfield and comes through the ball well.
Arm: RH. OF - 85 mph. Plus arm for class.
Hit: RHH. Stands upright, slightly wider than shoulder width. No load and really works to get out front.  Extremely quick hands, has no load so he can be in and out of the zone at times, but showed elite hands speed. Works out front on a strong front side and has a chance for real power with the hand speed.
Power: 92 mph exit velocity. Elite level hand speed, despite no load, was able to use athleticism to get on time. A lot of high end tools to work with.
Run: 7.08 runner in the 60.  

Ethan Puig 3B / 1B / Gulliver Prep, FL / 2024

Positional Profile: 3B/1B - Miami, Advanced hitter with a swing that should continue to play at a very high level. Very hitterish and should mature into above average power as well.
Body: 5-foot-11, 172-pounds. Strong lower half, well built, rooms to add a lot of strength.
Defense: Solid defender and will need to continue to progress as he matures and sticks at third.
Arm: RH. INF - 81 mph. Average arm.
Hit: RHH. Stands tall and confident, leg kick trigger and controlled load. Works with a quiet, simple rhythm. Is on time consistently and gets balanced in the lower half with quality overall posture. Hands work freely while the lower half rotates well and is balanced over the back side.
Power: 89 mph exit velocity. Advanced feel to hit with present gap to gap power and more to come.
Run: 7.85 runner in the 60.  

Alex Rodriguez OF / LHP / Stoneman Douglas , FL / 2024

Positional Profile: OF/LHP - Uncommitted, Lean, athletic two way player who has high ceiling athleticism. Really hit all weekend, on time level, and shows a feel for the barrel. Really like the overall upside.
Body: 5-foot-8, 145-pounds. Wiry, long, lean and athletic
Defense: Athletic, long strides play well and will have a chance to stick in center.
Arm: LH. OF - 81 mph. Average arm with some carry.
Hit: Switch. Tall, slightly open and separates as leg works back down to the ground.  Loose hands that create natural leverage while staying on plane.
Power: 86 mph exit velocity. More compact in game where he showed a level, simple path and was on time and on the barrel all weekend.
Run: 6.81 runner in the 60. Easy, long strides has a chance to be a plus runner.

Delivery: Slightly closed, simple, rushed at times and feel to pitch, when in sync and on time it worked well.
Arm Action: LH. Straight back take away, arm works quick.
FB: T76, 73-76 mph.
CB: 64-68 mph. 

Charlie Stumberger 3B / OF / Elite Squad Academy, FL / 2026

Positional Profile: 3B/OF - Uncommitted
Body: 6-foot, 150-pounds. High waist, long limbs, wiry.
Defense: Solid defender, works with hands out front and will continue to progress as he matures.
Arm: RH. INF - 73 mph. Average arm for class.
Hit: LHH. Wide, balanced lower half, with a simple no stride load. Hands drop on load and level through the zone. Rotational at times, but does compete on time in the box.
Power: 80 mph exit velocity.
Run: 8.22 runner in the 60.  

Alejandro Vazquez SS / Stoneman Douglas, FL / 2024

Positional Profile: SS/3B - Uncommitted, A lot of athleticism and upside. Moves athletically defensively and offensively the swing has present bat speed and was consistently on time.
Body: 5-foot-11, 155-pounds. Athletic, lean, durable build.
Defense: Above average defender, works with rhythm to and through the ball and feet and hands work well together.
Arm: RH. INF - 83 mph. Above average arm.
Hit: RHH. Athletic setup, slightly open, works with rhythm through the load and separation.  Clears back side, works on time and in rhythm, gets connected early and stays on plane through the zone.
Power: 85 mph exit velocity. Compact, athletic swing, balanced with bat speed, offensively projects well
Run: 7.4 runner in the 60.  

Edward Wood III OF / 3B / Royal Palm Beach, FL / 2024

Positional Profile: OF/3B - Uncommitted
Body: 6-foot-2, 152-pounds. Long, lean, long limbs, a lot of projection left.
Defense: Has present tools and a solid foundation for growth.
Arm: RH. OF - 71 mph. Average arm.
Hit: RHH. Stands tall, slightly wider than shoulder width, simple, quiet load and separation. Some steepness in the path, but long limbs create leverage, has present bat speed and a feel for the barrel and upside offensively.
Power: 85 mph exit velocity.
Run: 7.9 runner in the 60.  


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