Prep Baseball Report

Preseason All-State: Upperclass Top Performers

TJ Hunt
Director, PBR New Jersey

The 2023 NJ Preseason All State Upperclass event was littered with top end talent from around the state. The PBR NJ staff had a prime opportunity to see these guys just ahead of a highly anticipated high school campaign.

CLICK HERE for a list of all of the stats from the event.

Top Position Player Performances

+ The first position player we highlight is 2024 3B/OF Yoan Feliz (Vineland HS). Feliz is physical and sturdily built at 6-foot-1, 190-pounds. Simple and compact approach at the dish, loading into the back hip in a minimal load. Hips clear through the zone, creates torque in his torso. An impressively consistent round, with an average exit velo of 90.7 MPH, top of 96 MPH.


+ A steady performer over the years, 2024 OF Trent Jenks (Chatham HS) produced some of the top metrics of the event. 2022 PBR Futures Games Team NJ alum. At the plate, Jenks starts in a calm and upright stance, real comfortable in the box. Big load, gets the hands cocked into position behind his body. Strong throughout, extension through the zone. Average exit velo of 95.6 MPH, with a top at 100.1 MPH. Showed a strong arm in the outfield with throws reaching 84 MPH.


+ 2024 3B Ben Larner (Ridge HS) has a compact build at 5-foot-10, 180-pounds. Balanced and slightly crouched stance at the dish. Bigger leg kick, stays on time. Swings with controlled aggression. Minimal hand load. Some uphill tilt to the swing with gap-to-gap potential. Top exit velo of 97 MPH.


+ A top uncommitted senior is 2023 OF/3B AJ Lauletta (Bishop Eustace Prep). Is strong and athletic at 6-foot-1, 195-pounds. Ran the 60-yard dash in 7.04 seconds, top positional velo of 79 MPH. Offensively, Lauletta sets up wide and closed, bend to the knees. Compact load with no stride. Slightly coils into the back hip, lower half works efficiently. Gets the arms extended, consistently firm contact to all fields. Top exit velo of 96 MPH.


+ One of the top backstops from the event was 2024 C Danny Scullion (Shawnee HS). Possesses a strong and broad-shouldered build standing at 6-foot-1, 235-pounds. Athletic mover behind the dish for his physicality, recording pop times in the 1.87-2.13 second range with throws topping at 77 MPH. One of the loudest rounds of the day at the plate, recording an average exit velo of 96.5 MPH and a top of 99.7 MPH. Showed off those strong wrists, serious pullside pop. Max distance of 390 feet.


+ A consistent performer we have been able to see multiple times this preseason is 2024 OF Ezra Sadowsky (Ridge HS). Strong athlete at 6-foot-2, 190-pounds. Creates pre-pitch rhythm in the hands pre-pitch, with a hanging load. Stays inside the ball, higher finish. Sadowsky recorded a top exit velo of 96 MPH, surpassing his previous top.


+ 2024 OF Nicholas Urioste (Delbarton). Another top uncommitted 2024 OF in New Jersey. Stays ready offensively, with his weight pre-loaded over his backside. Open stance, hands back pre-pitch. Ability to turn the barrel with quick hands, has intent to do damage in each one of his swings. Top exit velo of 96.6 MPH. Ran the 60-yard dash in 7.03 seconds.

+ Got a chance to see a top player in NJ, as well as the nation, in 2024 UNC recruit SS Jon Young Jr. (Cherry Hill West HS). Premium build at 6-foot-1, 187-pounds. A must-watch round of BP for Young Jr., who consistently pounded the RCF gap with exit velos up to 99.5 MPH. Smooth, effortless actions at the plate. Hands fly through the zone with an explosive lower half. Max distance of 369 feet. Strong set defensively as well, showing an active lower half and clean glovework.


+ 2024 OF Paul Santos (Marlboro HS) was another familiar face at the event, after representing team NJ at the 2022 PBR Futures Games last summer. Santos is a high energy quick-twitch athlete, who exemplifies top of the order presence with a line drive approach. Athletic and crouched stance, stays into a firm base. Minimal load, allows the hands to work. Top exit velo of 89.3 MPH to go with a 7.10 second 60-yard dash.


+ Another catcher who stood out on this day was 2024 C Jake Merz (St. Joseph’s Regional). Physical and compact at 5-foot-10, 175-pounds. Defensively, Merz recorded pop times in the 1.80-2.03 second range, on-target throws topping at 76 MPH. At the plate, starts with his weight slightly shifted onto his backside. Quick stride, pre-pitch rhythm. Firm contact throughout. Top exit velo of 92.5 MPH.


+ 2024 3B Julian Casale (James Caldwell HS). Real relaxed at the plate in his setup, feet even and weight balanced. Small but smooth weight transfer. Works to stay inside the ball with easy gap-to-gap power. Showed feel for the barrel. Extension in the back leg, stays tall throughout the swing. Top exit velo of 94.2 MPH.

Top Pitching Performances

+ The first arm we take a deeper dive into is 2024 RHP Jack Chavez (Westfield HS). Chavez has a starter’s build, durable at 6-foot, 190-pounds. Clean, repeatable delivery with a longer arm action and high ¾ slot. Maintains his rhythm and tempo. Even shoulder tilt. FB was consistently located in the zone at 88-90 MPH and an average spin rate of 2420 rpm. CB showed shorter break with tight spin at 70-73 MPH. Showed a CH at 77-78 MPH.


+ 2024 LHP Grayson Bravo (Cherokee HS). Strong/athletic at 6-foot-1, 190-pounds. Works his hands up high in his delivery, breaking in rhythm with his lower half. Creates some funk with a higher leg kick. Gets deep into his backside, rides the slope. FB has some run from a ¾ arm slot, sat at 84-85 MPH, touching 86 MPH. SL with short lateral action at 73-75 MPH. Displayed a CH at 79-81 MPH.


+ Sturdy at 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, 2024 RHP Jared Dziergowski (Washington TWP HS) had one of the better sets of the day. Easy operation with a compact delivery on the mound. Shoulders stay in line, maintains his stride direction. FB showed late life through the top of the zone at 86-88 MPH. CB was 72-74 MPH, CH at 79-81 MPH.


+ 2024 LHP John Carlos Franconere (Pope John) is another lefty who impressed in his bullpen session. Tall and projectable build at 6-foot-2, 185-pounds. Creates some deception with a high and aggressive frontside. Gets over a strong brace leg. Slightly closed at landing. FB sat in the 85-86 MPH range, at the bottom of the zone. CB with sweep at 73-75 MPH.


+ Keeping the trend of southpaws, we have 2024 LHP Jackson Gallagher (Rumson Fair Haven). Possesses a real strong and broad-shouldered frame at 6-foot-3, 220-pounds. Easy and compact delivery, with no wasted movements and a shorter arm action. Higher frontside, gets into that back hip. FB had occasional armside run at 84-86 MPH. Showed a breaker at 71-73 MPH and a CH at 79-81 MPH.


+ 2024 RHP Jabez Hahm (Eastern Regional HS) has a strong and compact build at 5-foot-10, 190-pounds. Gradual start to his delivery with aggressive movements as he goes down the mound. Delayed hand-break adds some deception and whip to the arm. Long and loose arm action, high ¾ slot. FB with life at 85-87 MPH. Showed multiple breakers, a CB at 65-66 MPH and SL at 68-72 MPH.


+ 2024 RHP Declan Leary (Red Bank Catholic). We got a good look at Leary ahead of his junior campaign, coming off a strong 2022 season for RBC. Starter’s build at 6-foot, 192-pounds. Presence on the mound, rhythm throughout. Both halves work in sync. Higher arm slot, creates downhill angle on the FB, which was 84-86 MPH. CB showed big up/down shape, thrown for strikes at 72-74 MPH. CH was 76-77 MPH.


+ 2024 RHP Matthew Pashley (Ocean City HS) is lean and projectable at 6-foot, 175-pounds. Athletic mover down the mound with long limbs. Creates hip/shoulder separation, torque in the upper half. Arm is long and clean. Generates some serious armside run on the FB at 83-86 MPH. SL at 72-73 MPH and spin rates up to 2301 rpm. Mixed in a CH at 75-77 MPH.


+ One of the top bullpens came from Charleston Southern recruit, 2024 RHP Tristan Stephenson (Notre Dame HS). Easily projectable at 6-foot-3, 180-pounds, Stephenson will only throw harder as the body matures. Closed at footstrike, crossfire action. Arm is long and whippy. FB was located all over the zone at 84-86 MPH, touching 87 MPH. SL was his most impressive pitch, with serious tilt and swing/miss ability at 75-76 MPH and spin rates up to 2650 rpm. CH at 79-80 MPH.

Two Way Standouts

+ 2024 OF/RHP Charles Batista (The Hun School) is the type of prospect you notice the moment he steps on the field, standing at 6-foot-5, 215-pounds. Dominated on both sides of the ball at the event. Offensively, real comfortable at the plate. Simple swing, compact load. Stays strong through the zone with effortless gap-to-gap pop. Top exit velo of 96 MPH. Ran the 60-yard dash in 7.08 seconds. On the bump, Batista showed a clean delivery with smooth actions. FB was pinpointed all over the zone at 89-91 MPH. SL showed tight spin at 81-82 MPH. CH at 81-83 MPH.


+ 2025 SS/RHP Ryan Holman (Delbarton) has a been a consistent performer, showing why he is a top uncommitted 2025. At the plate, even and balanced stance, is not trying to do too much. Lightning quick barrel, turns the hands, line drives to all fields. Top exit velo of 94.6 MPH. Showed pitchability on the mound with a compact delivery and a long, clean arm action. FB sat in the 82-84 MPH range, touching 85 MPH. CB had big downer action in the zone at 67-69 MPH.


+ The loudest BP round of the day came from 2024 1B/LHP Julian Montez (Westfield HS), who has a strong and imposing frame at 6-foot-6, 247-pounds. Consistently obliterated baseballs to the pullside, easy plus power. Explosive lower half, hips clear through the zone. Accelerates through contact with advanced barrel awareness. Montez’s average exit velo was 94.9 MPH, with an event best top of 105 MPH. Max distance of 397 feet. He also showed he can make an impact on the mound, working in the 84-85 MPH range with his FB.


+ The last prospect we take a look at is 2024 SS/RHP Sergio Droz (Millville HS), who joined Jenks and Santos as members of Team NJ at the 2022 PBR Futures Games. Ran the 60 yard-dash in 7.13 seconds, top positional velo of 86 MPH in the infield. At the plate showed a fluid load with a simple approach. Hands worked directly to the ball, consistent line drives throughout his round. Top exit velo of 92.1 MPH. Droz was equally as impressive on the mound. Athletic, up-tempo delivery with a clean arm. Legitimate 3-pitch mix. FB sat 86-87 MPH. SL will be his go-to, a swing and miss pitch with late horizontal bite at 74-76 MPH. CH with late fade at 74-76 MPH.