Top Prospect Games East: Rapid Reaction


Kyle Campbell
Maryland Scouting Director

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Close to 30 uncommitted players from the 2020 - 2022 graduating classes came to Salisbury University last week for this year’s PBR Maryland Top Prospect Games East. Tons of talent was on display as each player participated in a pro-style workout and game in front of college coaches from around the region and our PBR scouting staff. Below are some early thoughts and notes on several top performers at the event. Be sure to continue following us right here as we bring you full analysis of all the players from the TPG East in the weeks to come.


Outfield Speedsters

Two 2020 speedsters in the outfield really caught our eye early in Dhane Blair (St. Mary’s) and Joey Bowers (Sherwood). Both are super athletic and really showed off their speed during the 60 yard dash and in the game tracking balls in the gaps with ease.

+ Blair ran the top time of the event at 6.69 while Bowers was just slightly behind him at 6.87. Blair showed a quiet setup and nice line drive approach in the box going 2-for-3 in the game with a line out to shortstop as the only out he made. He used the entire field during BP squaring up one ball after another showing some explosiveness and quick bat speed. Also a game-changer on the bases swiping a couple bags throughout the day.

+ Bowers showed off some arm strength in the outfield with an 84 mph positional velocity during the workout and also took a couple solid rounds of BP showing a nice compact swing and line drive approach. He used the whole field with occasional pop and present strength.

 

Power Bats

Three 2021 power bats stood out most at the plate in Thomas Joseph (Archbishop Spalding), Jeremiah Jenkins (St. Vincent Pallotti), and Noah Iseman (Kent County). All three showed easy pop and present strength with solid rounds at the plate during BP.

+ Joseph backed up a couple impressive rounds at the plate going 2-for-3 with a line drive single to left field and triple to the right center field gap during the game. More impressive was his pitch recognition and ability to stay back on a breaking ball and hammer it into the gap in right for the triple. Joseph, a corner type outfielder also led all outfielders with an 86 mph positional velocity and recorded an event best 94 mph exit velocity.

+ Jenkins is a 6’3’’, 215 pound left-handed hitting first basemen that also pitches. While he did not toe the rubber at this year Top Prospect Games East, he did put on a show during BP peppering the fence to the pull side in both rounds. Jenkins also followed that up with a 2-for-3 day at the plate during the game including a double and recorded a 92 mph exit velocity during testing.

+ Iseman recorded a 91 mph exit velocity during testing good for third best at this year’s event and really stays behind the ball well in his swing. The 6’3’’, 230 pound first baseman has a natural uphill swing path and really strong lower half that he uses well.

 

Slick Middle Infielders

Several middle infielders made a splash at this year’s event including Michael Burton Jr. 2020 (Atholton), Coleman Calabrese 2021 (Archbishop Spalding), Ryan Corbin 2021 (Kent Island), Cy Harwood 2020 (Huntingtown), Jackson Merrill 2021 (Severna Park), Garrett Southern (James M. Bennett), and Luke Waters (Delmar, DE).

+ Burton is athletic enough to play anywhere on the infield and showed clean actions from shortstop during the workout. He ran a 7.18 and recorded and exit velocity of 88 mph marking a big improvement since we last saw him. Really like his approach at the plate using the middle of the field and spraying line drives gap to gap. Quick hands and bat speed, present strength and pop in the bat. Went 2-for-3 in the game with two singles and a walk.

+ Calabrese is another player that showed vast improvement since we saw him last summer as well. His actions in the field and fluidity in his swing caught our eye from the workout and he backed it up with a couple hits in the games and made several nice plays in the field at shortstop. Calabrese showed range and the quickest release on the day throwing from a variety of arm slots with ease. Stayed gap-to-gap in BP and showed some pop.

+ It was the first time we got to see Corbin and he really showed a nice glove and athleticism at shortstop. Plays with soft hands and active feet and showed a solid gap-to-gap line drive type swing at the plate with pop.

+ Arguably one of the prettiest swings at the event goes to Harwood. The 5’11’’ 175 pound shortstop ran a 6.97 60-yard dash, recording an 82 mph positional velocity and 85 mph exit velocity. Harwood singled once during the game and really impressed with his approach at the plate. He stays behind the ball well and showed pop to the gaps with several squared up balls throughout BP. Quick bat speed and strong lower half involvement. Stays in lower half with a more uphill swing path with some tilt to it.

+ Athleticism and range was on full display as Merrill made an outstanding play up the middle to go along with another ball he got to in the hole and a couple routine ones he made look easy at shortstop. The left-handed hitting middle infielder showed a nice gap-to-gap line drive approach at the plate and has some pop in his swing.

+ Southern also showed smooth actions in the middle of the diamond and took a couple solid rounds of BP with a solid line drive approach. The 2020 two-way product was also up to 81 mph on the bump and recorded an 84 mph exit velocity.

+ Waters recorded the highest positional velocity of the event throwing it 87 mph across the diamond from shortstop during the workout portion. Waters plays with active feet and showed fluid actions at shortstop. He also recorded an 86 mph exit velocity and ran a 7.13 60-yard dash. Line drive approach and uses the whole field showing occasional pop during BP.

 

Hot Corner

At third base, Ben Wieman 2021 (Archbishop Spalding) showed off some arm strength with an 84 mph positional velocity and also recorded an 87 mph exit velocity. Solid with clean actions at the hot corner, good glove and a nice gap-to-gap line drive approach at the plate showing pop in the swing. Showed versatility playing the outfield as well and threw a runner out at third during the game. Wieman was up to 83 mph on the bump during the game striking out a few hitters with a nice sharp breaking ball. 

 

Two Way Guys

Bursting onto the scene at this year’s Top Prospect Games East was Cole Gursky 2020 (Snow Hill). The 6’3’’, 175 pound catcher and right-handed pitcher has a very projectable athletic frame with room to grow and fill out. Gursky was up to 86 mph on the bump and ranged 1.90 - 2.15 on five pops to second with a positional velocity of 80 mph. He also recorded an 88 mph exit velocity to go along with a nice gap-to-gap line drive approach showing some pop in the bat and ran a 7.19 60-yard dash.

Another two-way player that had a nice day was Ethan Kennedy 2020 (North County). Kennedy recorded a couple hits during the game using the whole field, was solid at third during the workout and was up to 80 mph on the bump. 

 

Pitchers of Note

+ Evan Selmer 2021 (Indian Creek) sat 81-86 mph in two innings of work with a 73-76 mph breaking ball and 68-71 mph changeup. Showed decent command with a controlled wind-up, high leg kick into a nice balance point. Long arm action with quick arm speed and strong lower half with an athletic finish. 

 + Ryan Pastor 2020 (Georgetown Prep) threw well in the game showing a nice fluid wind-up and delivery. Throws with long, loose arm action with easy effort from a high three-quarter slot. Very athletic and gets over front side well in finish. Fastball sat 76-81 mph and mixed in a 61-64 mph slider and 67-70 mph changeup with late fade.

+ Tyler Miles 2021 (Oakland Mills) has a very projectable frame at 6’4’’, 195 pounds. The righty sat 78-83 mph with 67-72 mph breaking ball and a 67-69 mph changeup. Showed a compact delivery throwing with shorter arm action from a mid three-quarters slot. Creates quick arm speed and some whip through release.

+ Nathan Dawes 2021 (Howard) hides the ball well throwing with short arm action from a high three-quarters slot. Used both sides of the plate well when attacking hitters and pounded the zone. Fastball sat 79-84 mph. Breaking ball had gradual break at 62-63 mph and changeup was 66-68 mph.

 

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