2019 Northeast Procase - A Memorable Experience

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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We would like to thank all who participated in The PBR New England 2019 Northeast Procase. This was a great opportunity for 2019-2021 prospects to be put on college recruiting boards. Many players impressed during their individual workouts at the showcase.

Interested in attending a PBR New England event? Check out our schedule by clicking here.

For now, please take a look at the statistical results from the event by clicking here.

2019 Northeast Procase - A Memorable Experience

WINSTED, Ct. - There was nearly one scout for every two players on hand at one of New England’s premier showcases of the year - the Northeast Procase.

What they saw was an impressive array of athletes that put on a show those participating in will remember for a long time.

On The Mound

On the mound there were three pitchers that hit 90 or better on the gun, topped out at 92 mph by Montana Semmel of Westhill, Ct. Right behind was Nicholas Conte of North Providence, R.I., at 90.

“The event was an amazing experience especially being a 2020 grad and surrounded by a bunch of extremely talented players,” explained Conte, a shortstop as well who tied for the best infield velocity of 91 with Harold Coll of Cathedral. Ma. “To observe all the players and learn new things was outstanding.

“The main highlight for me was the pitching portion of the workout. To be able to pitch in front of that many professional scouts and perform at the level I was able to was a great experience ... as well as trying to get my name out there.”

Another 2020 that did well on the mound was Blake Bennett of Amesbury/Winchendon, Ma., who reached 89 on the radar.

”The event was a very good learning experience for me because even though I am a 2020, I got to see what it’s like to throw in front of pro scouts,” the 6-3, 210-pound right-hander said. “The highlight for me was throwing in front of pro scouts and having all my stuff work for me as well. It was also fun to talk to a bunch of guys my age that have the same goal as me going forward.”

Junior pitchers Charlie Coon and Hunter Owen were the top left-handed throwers, the 5-11, 190-pound Coon touching 88 with his fastball while Owen, a 6-5 235-pounder, hit 86 on the gun.

“I enjoyed being able to get on the mound in front of all of those pro scouts and being around some very skilled players,” said Coon, a Bryant commit from Duxbury, Ma. “The highlight for me was getting on the mound and being able to showcase my stuff and being able to talk to and develop relationships with some of the guys who I'm going to be playing with at Bryant.”

Owen also enjoyed the experience.

“I didn’t know what to expect but I really enjoyed the opportunity to get close to and converse with pro scouts,” said the Vanderbilt recruit from South Portland, Me. “Pitching in front of so many pro scouts all in one place and getting to know some of the other players who have similar baseball goals was a highlight for me.”

Positional Prospects Were Not To Be Outdone

Not to be outdone, junior Jake DeLeo was one of the standouts at the event. The Avon Old Farms, Ct., outfielder was the fastest in the 60 at 6.56, led the way with a 100 exit velocity and was tied for first in outfield velo at 90.

“I thought the event was well run and was very player friendly,” said the uncommitted 6-2, 195-pound DeLeo, the only player to turn in an exit velo of 100 (Addison Kopack of Cumberland. R.I. was second at 99). “I enjoyed being around other players with advanced skill sets. My favorite part of the whole event was meeting other talented baseball players in a competitive environment.”

Another outfielder, senior Evan Sleight, showed pop in his bat as well as speed. The Virginia signee from Belmont Hill, Ma., recorded an exit velo of 94, tied for second among outfielders, while running the 60 in 6.94, seventh best at the event.

“As the season approaches, the results are a great way to assess the outcome of hard work from the offseason so that you can take it and advance your game further to become a more complete player,” said 6-1, 210-pound left-handed hitting Sleight. “On a personal level, I will take these results and re-evaluate my game so that I can go compete with my teammates for my final year at Belmont Hill to the best of my ability.” 

Chad Knight, a versatile Duke recruit who pitches and plays third base, stood out behind the plate. The 6-0 190-pounder from Staples, Ct. who is ranked fourth in New England’s 2019 class, had the best catcher velocity at 82 and was second behind Ryan Proto of Barnstable, Ma. with a 1.94 best pop time.

Breakout Candidate

One of the breakout players was catcher Jackson Phinney, a junior from Noble and Greenough, Ma. The 6-1, 215-pounder was tied for third in catcher velo at 81 and sixth in pop time with a best of 2.0. In addition, Phinney had an exit velo of 87.

“I thought it was a very cool event, one of the better ones I have gone to,” Phinney noted. “I thought the hitting part was the best. It was also great to see all the pro scouts there.”

MLB Chatter

For many of the players, there was an opportunity to have brief discussions with some of the scouts on hand.

“I talked to a scout from the Cubs and a scout from the Angels,” Coon said. “They wanted to check in and give some feedback which meant a lot being able to know what those guys thought of how I did.”

Said Bennett: “I briefly talked to one pro scout after I threw, then had a good talk with another scout about my plans for school. I took him through my thought process of decommitting from Army and doing a post grad year. That was a highlight for me.”

Owen also visited with a scout.

“My dad and I got a chance to talk to one scout at length about what baseball looks like at the next level after college,” Owen noted.

While others did not meet with any scouts, the opportunity to get their name out there and be seen can only help down the road.

“I wasn’t approached by any scouts during the event, but I was under the assumption I might hear from them afterward,” DeLeo noted..

Added Conte: “Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to talk to any of the pro scouts but just getting the chance to show out in front of them was an honor. The event was very well organized like all of the other PBR events that I have been to.”

The hope for the underclassmen participating is to be back.

“I really enjoyed the event and want to hopefully get back there and do better next year,” Coon said.

Added Bennett: “I plan to be back year when it’s my first year being draft eligible. I’m going to show the scouts how much I progressed over the year.”

DeLeo also hopes to be part of the biggest events with PBR.

“Overall I had a lot of fun and am looking forward to coming back next year or even better, possibly the Super 60,” DeLeo said.

Sleight summed it all up as well as anyone.

“Any time players from the northeast find themselves playing baseball in early February, it’s a great opportunity to be thankful for,” Sleight pointed out. “Not only was it exciting to be playing baseball, but the competition at the event elevated the experience a large deal. It is always humbling to be around great players, so it is impactful motivation to make yourself the best you can be at an event like this.”