Prep Baseball Report

PA Travel Baseball State Championships Team Review: Team PBR Red

By Greg Williams
Pennsylvania / West Virginia Director of Scouting

and Jacob Gill
Pennsylvania Assistant Director of Scouting

The inaugural Pennsylvania Travel Baseball State Championships concluded without a champion, as rain washed out the final day of competition, but twelve teams from around the region were still able to play from sun up to sun down on the Friday and Saturday of action. Over the coming week-plus, we will highlight some of the top performers and prospects from each team, continuing today with ...

Team PBR Red

Lakeland 2017 OF/RHP Jordan Art continues his upward progression as a prospect turning in a 6.96 60-yard dash during showcase activities preceding the tournament. The 6-foot, 165-pound primary outfielder mixed an 80 mph fastball with sink and a 72 mph slider/cutter during an effective inning on the mound during tournament action. The right-handed hitter made things happen offensively going 1-for-5 with three walks, three stolen bases and scored four runs.

Red Land middle infielder Nate Chapman made the defensive play of the tournament when he ranged to his glove side behind the second base bag to make a diving stop and scrambled to his feet to make a solid throw across the diamond for the first out of the silver bracket semifinal game. The 5-foot-8, 140-pounder flashed above average defensive skills throughout the course of the tournament. He has good feet and body control with an ability to make the slow roller play in rhythm. While his offensive results were limited, his hands work and he flashed some bat speed. Undersized in stature, Chapman has all the intangibles to have success at the next level.

Central Bucks South C/3B Eric Gross displayed the solid all-around skill set that led to his commitment to Ursinus College shortly before the start of the tournament. The 5-foot-8, 170-pound right-handed hitter displayed the ability to routinely barrel the baseball in game action with a simple gap-to-gap approach. Above average defensive backstop showed an in-game 2.08 pop time and showed a soft wall when blocking.

Whitehall 2018 RHP/3B Matt Ziminsky's stuff wasn't quite as crisp as normal (six hits in two innings, although five of those came on the ground), but he still flashed an arsenal that will get plenty of outs at the next level. Fastball sat 82-83 and was accompanied by a low-70s 11/5 curveball and a change-up at 72-74 with good sell and sink that he trusted enough to throw to right-handed hitters and double-up. The two-way prospect showcased 85 mph arm strength across the diamond during showcase evaluations with an ability to play multiple infield positions.

Red Lion Area 2018 LHP Tyler Stabley flashed advanced pitchability from a 3/4 arm slot. He commanded both sides of the plate while occasionally dropping down for an additional look at his fastball. Stabley also authored a 63 mph curveball with 1/7 rotation and an advanced changeup at 68 mph. The rising junior worked three effective innings allowing just two hits and no earned runs.

West Chester Henderson 2018 RHP/OF Brady Bash stands at a projectable 6-foot-2, 175-pounds and has good arm speed that generated a fastball at 82-84 along with an upper-60s curveball. Athletic two-way prospect showcased an 86 mph bat exit velocity and 82 mph arm strength from the outfield in defensive evaluations prior to the tournament's start. Right-handed hitter went 4-for-8 with three RBI and a stolen base in game play.

Pennsbury 2017 IF/RHP Billy Bethel went 2-for-8 while making a number of loud outs over the course of the weekend. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound right-handed hitter showcased an 82 mph bat exit velocity and the ability to barrel baseball to all fields. Bethel flashed solid 82 mph arm strength and a skill set that will allow him to play multiple infield positions at the next level. The righty sat 80-83 on the bump with command of a a 70 mph curveball with 11/5 rotation.

Northern York 2018 Alex Lilja is a 5-foot-10, 170-pound right-handed pitcher with good arm speed. Out of an over-the-top slot he worked with a fastball that sat 81-82, touching 83, a tight 12/6 curveball at 66-71 that he used mostly as a chase offering, and a rare mid-70s change-up. At times, he would spin off hard toward the first base line, making his command inconsistent, but his stuff allowed him to record four strikeouts in two innings.

Mount Pleasant (DE) two-way prospect Cason Fowler flashed solid table-setting skills, drawing four walks and scoring four runs on the weekend. The 5-foot-9, 150-pound left-handed hitter ran a 7.28 60-yard dash and flashed 88 mph arm strength from the outfield. The southpaw also flashed ability on the mound sitting 76-77 from a high 3/4 arm slot. 

It's been a busy summer for Oley Valley 2017 IF Pete Vaccaro. At each stop the 5-foot-9, 185-pound left-handed hitter has done nothing but hit. The uncommitted senior routinely drove baseballs out of a minor league park during multiple rounds of batting practice at the Big 26 Classic in July. He followed that up with another impressive performance in a PBR uniform going 5-for-8 with a double, two RBI, one run and four walks. Where he lands on the field defensively at the next level is still in question but his offensive abilities are not. The run producer routinely barreled advanced velocity in premier events this summer while using all fields.

Parkland 2017 right-handed pitcher Ryan Giovenco continues to bring consistent stuff to the mound with him. Out of a three-quarter slot, he pounded the zone with good command of a fastball at 80-83 that touched 84 and had consistent cut to it. The Trojans co-ace also incorporated a slider at 66-69 and a change-up at 69-72.

Slippery Rock corner infielder Danny Williams made the move across the diamond from his primary defensive position at third base to fill a need during the course of tournament action. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound left-handed hitter, named his region's Player of the Year for 2016 in District 10, went 3-for-9 with a walk, a HBP, a sacrifice fly and an RBI during the course of the weekend. Williams has a simple, line drive approach at the plate with a flat barrel path that allows him to stay in the hitting zone for an extended period of time.

Neumann-Goretti 2018 1B/LHP Joe LaFiora participated solely as a pitcher for Team PBR Red. While his velocity was down from what we have previously seen, he repeated his delivery, threw strikes, and located well to his arm side. Fastball sat 74-76 with occasional tail, while he also utilized a big 11/5 curveball at 58-60 and a rare upper-60s change-up.

Butler Area 2018 OF Isaiah Lucas can really hit. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound right-handed hitter starts from a square stance and utilizes a heel-raise stride to initiate his swing. Lucas has an athletic frame with a short, flat barrel path. He turned in an 88 mph bat exit velocity and ran a 7.28 60-yard dash during showcase evaluations. Although his defensive skills currently lag beyond his offense Lucas is a prospect to watch in this class. The rising junior went 5-for-8 with a double and two RBI during the course of game play.

Pennsbury 2018 C/1B Josh Tesarck showcased advanced arm strength (88 mph infield and 77 mph from the crouch) during showcase evaluations. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder has some length to his throwing motion behind the plate, but showed good carry with a top pop time of 2.07. The right-handed hitter also has some length to his swing but creates above average barrel whip (90 mph bat exit velocity) and shows some present power. Some shortening of his swing and added strength through physical maturity will likely lead to more consistent offensive numbers moving forward.

Seton-La Salle Catholic 2017 OF Nick Krugh ran a solid 7.00 60-yard dash and displayed capable defensive actions at all three spots in the outfield over the course of the weekend. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound right-handed hitter gets out of the box well (4.47 home-to-1B). Primarily a line-drive, gap-to-gap hitter, Krugh's frame suggests the potential for some power at the next level.

Central Bucks East 2017 RHP Ari Silverstein worked quickly and effectively sitting 81-84 out of a 3/4 arm slot with a chest-high leg lift. 11/5 breaking curveball was effective at 65-68 and could become a quality secondary offering if thrown harder. Silverstein also commanded a 65 mph changeup as a third pitch in his arsenal striking out three in two innings of scoreless work.

Souderton Area 2018 RHP Blaise Sclafani made a name for himself sitting 81-84 with an up tempo delivery out of a 3/4 arm slot. The former primary catcher, in his first year of concentrating his efforts on the mound, starts with a side rocker step and utilizes his 6-foot-5, 180-pound frame effectively in getting over his front leg routinely. The rising junior also commanded a solid slider with late break at 71 mph as his primary secondary pitch. Sclafani worked four innings allowing just one run on two hits.

PA Travel Baseball State Championships News