Prep Baseball Report

NJ State Games: Top Pitchers

TJ Hunt
Director, PBR New Jersey

The 3rd Annual New Jersey State Games has come and gone and it's time to create an analysis of the top performers from each position. The pitchers certainly led the way with the talent pool, with 25 pitchers registering velocities of 84 MPH and above. Take a look at the list of top pitching performers below:

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RYAN RAMSEY LHP / PASCACK HILLS, NJ / 2019 / maryland recruit

Quite simply, Ramsey was dominant. He struck out all four hitters he faced and flashed a fastball that sat 86-88 touching 89 from a high-3/4 slot. Ramsey has emerged as one of the top pitchers in the state after a successful high school campaign, and continued his dominance at this event. He mixed in a hard, late-biting curveball at 72-74 and a true swing and miss changeup at 79-81. Almost every pitch he threw was at the knees and on the black. A sure-fire selection for the No. 1 pitcher out of the event.



KENNETH LEVARI RHP / ST. AUGUSTINE PREP, NJ / 2020 / old dominion recruit

Levari came out of the gates at the event pumping 86-88 with his fastball as the first pitcher to throw during gameplay. He flashed an 11/5 breaking ball at 73-76 from a high-3/4 slot and quick, clean arm action. His fastball has late arm side run to it and was able to get weak contact with it.



SHAWN RAPP LHP / DELBARTON, NJ / 2019 / north carolina recruit

Rapp's success on the diamond this spring noted – as the Delbarton Green Wave made it all the way to the Non-Public A final for a second straight year, and he was an integral part of the rotation. At the event, he continued to solidify why he's one of the top left handed pitching prospects in the rising senior class. He was 84-85 with a loose, wiry quick arm from a high-3/4 slot and broke off some breakers that had sharp, downer 12/6 movement at 72-75 and a smaller, harder slider at 77-78. 



JACOB GOMEZ LHP / RUTHERFORD, NJ / 2020 / Old dominion recruit

The 5-foot-10 165-pound left hander continues to solidify why he's one of the top lefties in the 2020 class in NJ. He sat 82-84 touching 85 with a devestating 1/7 breaking ball with sharp, late action at 66-68. Gomez also mixed in a changeup with fade at 67-68. Overall, Gomez is a polished prospect with sound mechanics and feel for the bottom half of the strike zone. 



DOMINIC BUONADONNA RHP / MILLVILLE, NJ / 2019 / binghamton recruit

A recent Binghamton recruit, Buonadonna stood out at the NJ State Games with his electric fastball and tempo. The lanky 6-foot 175-pounder sat 85-86 and touched 87 and flashed a slurvy breaker at 70-73 and a 75-76 MPH chagneup with armside fade for strikes at 76-78. Tall, firm leg on the back side helps him create some power into his landing foot. Lands square to home plate with balance throughout. 




Seitter had a similar impact when compared to his Wladyka Baseball teammate, Jack Kramer. We first got a look at Seitter last year at the Underclass Games at Montclair State – and his projectability was without question. He rose to be one of Ridgewood's top starters in the spring, leading them to the North I Group IV sectional title. Seitter at the NJ State Games was outstanding, sitting 85-86 touching 88 and featuring a true swing-and-miss breaker at 73-76 with 11/5 action. It seemed that all the coaches at the event were keening in on Seitter, who brought some serious energy to his outing on the bump.




JACK KRAMER RHP / SAINT PETER'S PREP, NJ / 2019 / sacred heart recruit

 A recent Sacred Heart recruit, Jack Kramer blew up at this event, putting him at the No. 3 slot for top pitchers to come out of it. The right hander sat 83-85 touching 86 and separated himself from the pack with his command of three advanced offspeed pitches – an 11/5 curveball at 75-76 and a changeup with armside run and sink at 74-75. 




Every time I've seen Duffy I've been continually impressed with his growing arsenal of pitches. The 6-foot-3 200-pounder has a durable, athletic frame and sat 85-87 touching 88. His curveball has some 11/5 action at 70-72. He shows some effort in his finish, but the ball certainly jumps out of hand from a high-3/4 slot. His pitchability will continue to improve as he gets more innings under his belt. Certainly one of the top uncommitted arms in the '20 class, a 2018 Future Games participant as well.



DANIEL WILKINSON LHP / SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ / 2019 / villanova recruit

A Villanova recruit, Wilkinson had a workman-like outing sitting 83-84 from the left side with some armside run and sink to his fastball and a breaker that he would drop in for strikes at 63-65 and a changeup with armside fade at 75-77. One of the state's top pitchers for Scotch Plains in the early part of the spring, before an injury put him on the shelf. He's a tough arm to pitch up, with some funk to his delivery. A slight stab on the back side and closed off shoulders as he descends down the mound, Wilkinson throws from a high-3/4 slot.




Deer burst onto the scene at the Summer Preview North Showcase at Fairleigh Dickinson University early on in June and did not disappoint again at the NJ State Games. He has a lean, projectable, athletic build at 6-foot-3 170-pounds with room to fill out. Primarily out of the stretch, Deer's fastball sat 84-85 with a long, clean arm action and more of a true-3/4 slot. His effortless velocity and athletic looking frame project him to add more notches to his fastball this fall, too. His breaker has 11/5 tilt at 67-70 and his changeup was interesting to watch. It had more of a cut action to it at 74-75, but recorded several swing and misses to it and two strike outs with it to boot. Deer is another uncommitted name to watch for this fall.




Ruggieri has a broad shouldered, durable frame at 6-foot-6 245-pounds and sat 84-86 touching 87 in his outing of work. Velocity will only increase with Ruggieri, who is still growing into his big frame. The projection on the bump for Ruggieri has college coaches certainly keeping an eye on him. Another victim to an early-spring injury that kept him on the shelf for most of the high school season, Ruggieri is coming into his own as a rising junior. He shows feel for an 11/5 breaker at 74-75 and a straight changeup at 78-82. Every time I've seen Ruggieri in a game-setting, his velocity has gone up several notches.




Modugno is one of, if not the top uncommitted 2019 arm in NJ right now. His wiry-athletic 6-foot-6 190-pound frame speaks for itself – but more importantly, stepped up in a big role for one of New Jersey's top high schools in the spring. Up to 88 in the spring multiple times, Modugno sat comfortably at 84-86 in his inning of work and flashed feel for an 11/5 curveball for strikes at 70-72, touching 75. The lanky righty throws from a high-3/4 slot and lives in the bottom half of the strike zone with his fastball, and his a clean, polished look to his mechanics with an effortless finish.





It's hard to overlook Parks' lanky, athletic 6-foot-3 185-pound frame and fastball that sits in the mid 80's right now. He was 82-84 touching 85 during his outing, but again, we speak about his high ceiling on the bump. A long, athletic arm action and more of a tall/fall type pitcher going down the mound right now. His breaker shows flashes of 11/5 bite at 72-75. More of an over the top slot right now, Parks is only going to continue to improve as he gets more innings under his belt. 




The 1-1A punch of Parks and Racobaldo in the rising junior class for Gloucester Catholic is scary – and the rich seemingly continue to get richer down in South Jersey with these prospects. Racobaldo is almost a carbon copy of his high school teammate Parks, both in stature (lanky 6-foot-4 190-pounds) and pitchability. The right hander sat 82-83 touching 85 and a curveball with downer break at 68-70 and slider at 70-71 with more side to side movement. Racobaldo shows some explosiveness with his arm action upon finish, and will finish on the first base side of the rubber. Wiry-athletic, Racobaldo has tons of room to fill out his frame.




A recent Rider recruit, Heine showcased why he was one of the top uncommitted arms coming into the event – with a fastball that sat 83-84 touching 85 from a high-3/4 slot with a long, loose arm. His curveball and slider showed similar, smaller 11/5 break for strikes. A big pick up for Rider in the NJ 2019 class.




Along with Modugno (and O'Hara, see No. 18 on this list), Ciaramella has continued to impress with his pitchability. An All-Shore Conference performer in the spring, Ciaramella' fastball was 84-86 touching 87 in his outing of work. Where Ciaramella separates himself from the rest of the top uncommitted arms is his command of two quality offspeed pitches. His breaking ball has sharp, late bite at 69-72 with tight spin and is tough to pick up out of his hand, while his changeup had heavy armside fade at 77-78 that he was able to get a few swings and misses on. Don't expect Ciaramella to be uncommitted for much longer.




Iovine is an interesting arm to keep a note of, and I was impressed by his athleticism and the way his arm worked on the mound. Certainly a high riser in the rankings after his performance during gameplay, his fastball sat 82-83 touching 85 and flashed a sweeping 11/5 breaker at 69-71. Also showed feel for a changeup with armside run at 74-75. Another pitcher from the event that his long and lanky at 6-foot-1 173-pounds, Iovine projects to add more velo as his innings start to climb and gets another year stronger.




O'Hara is an interesting athlete because he performs at a high level both on the bump and behind the plate – something that is more of a throw back and is not usually seen at the high school level anymore. On the mound, he was 82-84 touching 85 from a high-3/4 slot. A long, loose arm, O'Hara still needs some polishing, but his broad-shouldered athletic frame bodes well for him down the road. His breaker had 11/5 tilt at 71-72 and he also flashed a changeup with armside run at 76-77.




We first got a good look at Spiegel at last year's NJ State Games down in Red Bank – and penciled him as a follow. A year to get bigger and stronger, Spiegel had one of the most efficient outings of the day, setting down the lineup he faced (4 batters) in order with a heavy fastball that sat comfortably at 82-83. His curveball showed 11/5 bite at 73-74 but his changeup seemed to be the better of the two offspeeds, with heavy armside sink and run at 73-76 that he got a bunch of swings and misses on.




Cole continued his workman-like efforts on the mound during the NJ State Games. A top performer at Diamond Nation's Garden State Underclass Games in June, Cole has command of two offspeed pitches that are advanced for him. A curveball with sharp 11/5 break at 73-74 and a changeup with armside fade at 74-75 with fastball arm action and four-seam spin that makes it difficult to pick up. His fastball sat 81-83 touching 84 on this day and will continue to bump up velocity notches as he adds strength to his lanky 6-foot-1 150-pound frame.




Hallquist, similar to the aforementioned Cole and Spiegel, has similar velocity at 81-82 touching 83, but was another pitcher who stood out for how quickly he worked and how efficient his inning was. More of an over the top slot, Hallquist has a true-12/6 breaker at 72-74 and flashed command of a changeup at 74-75.



Continue to follow right here for more top performers from each position, leading into a top overall performers article to come soon.

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