NPI: Impact Underclassmen (Committed)
June 23, 2022
While a full host of 2023 MLB Draft hopefuls were squaring off in front of large gatherings of scouts and fans, the next wave of prospects were littered amongst adjacent fields. The 2024 & 2025 classes were well represented at the prestigious, National Program Invitational (NPI), and used the major platform to create significant buzz. Below, a look at some of the (committed) future impact players who were must-see performers in front of PBR’s Vice President of Scouting, Shooter Hunt.
Dalton Wentz SS / RHP / Amherst County, VA / 2024
Wentz, a South Carolina recruit, drew the start for the Dirtbags against one of the tournament’s top offenses in Knights Knation National 16U. The true two-way talent (also a switch-hitter) and 43rd ranked player in the country then went on to dominate the game, setting the tone from the first inning where he stranded a leadoff base runner at third. Moving an 89-92+ fastball around the zone, there was great intent to go inside on both left and right-handed hitters, and he did so in dominant fashion. Bullying with the fastball, Wentz applied the pressure by routinely going 0-1, and was fearless in the zone with the pitch. He flashed two breaking balls with a firmer, 77-78 slider that tunneled the fastball being the best. He went five innings, striking out six while allowing just one hit and a run. The switch-hitters competitiveness and aggressive nature also transfer over to the offensive side of the ball. Utilizing loose wrists with quick hands, and getting significant torque from quality rotational acceleration, it is hard to distinguish whether his highest upside is at the plate or on the mound. There is clear power potential thanks to the controlled violence that each swing displays, and his eagerness to succeed makes it hard to bet against either option.
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