Prep Baseball Report

NJ: Updated and Expanded 2019 Rankings

By TJ Hunt
New Jersey Scouting Director 

The 2019 Overall Rankings have been released, which means there are changes to the New Jersey rankins. There were a few newcomers to the list and a couple shakeups across the board.

The Top 10 has familiar names, starting with two Vanderbilt commits in RHP Nick Maldonado (Seton Hall Prep HS, NJ) and SS Anthony Volpe (Delbarton HS, NJ). At No. 3 is Wake Forest recruit RHP Stephen Restuccio (Hammonton HS, NJ). After being largely absent from the spring and summer scene, Restuccio rose into the top five after a strong performance in Fort Myers at the World Wood Bat Underclass Championship. The 6-foot-2 righty was 87-88 mph, touching 89, with a fluid, athletic motion. His breaking ball is still developing, but showed flashes of being a slider at 73 mph with small break.

At No. 4 is SS/RHP K.C. Hunt (Ramapo HS, NJ). A left-handed hitter, the 6-foot-3 175-pound Hunt is one of only four in the top 50 of the Overall Rankings who is still uncommitted. Hunt was 84-86 in June at New Jersey’s Futures Preview Showcase and up to 87 at East Cobb in Georgia in July. Where Hunt separates himself on the mound is with his arsenal of offspeed pitches, which he can throw for strikes in any count. Hunt possesses a sharp curveball, splitter-like knuckleball, and a changeup that he has command of. A true two-way prospect at the next level, Hunt's smooth, elastic left-handed swing and whippy arm action should not see him uncommitted for very long.

Rounding out the top five is Florida State commit, 1B/OF Lillo Paxia (Gloucester Catholic HS, NJ). There was a lot of buzz coming out of South Jersey this spring, not only because of Tyler Mondile's (6th Round, Reds) big right arm, but also because of a new face in the Rams' order that packed a powerful punch. Paxia clubbed three home runs for the Rams in 2016 as a freshman, and was a mainstay in Gloucester Catholic’s lineup down the stretch in the Diamond Classic and state tournaments. With a strong, stocky build, Paxia has been hampered with injuries since the start of the summer and sat out most of the summer and fall recovering. Expect Paxia to produce big numbers come April 1 for the Rams as they go for yet another state championship.

At No. 6 is lanky LHP Joey DeChiaro (Hunterdon Central HS, NJ). DeChiaro’s stock rose substantially after a successful spring as one of the top starting pitchers on a Hunterdon Central team that went on to win the Group IV state title. DeChiaro is mostly 81-83 on the mound, touching 84 from a high-3/4 slot. Athletic with a quick arm, DeChiaro's mechanics are sound as he creates leverage going down the mound. Still growing into his frame, he should see his velocity jump as he continues to mature physically.

A Georgia Tech recruit, 3B Drew Compton (Governor Livingston HS, NJ) comes in at No. 7 in the rankings. A legitimate switch-hitter, Compton was another prospect that remained under the radar for the spring and summer. Compton starts with his stance slightly open from both sides of the plate, with his hands even with his back shoulder and bat just above the shoulder, parallel to the ground. As the pitch comes in, Compton uses a leg lift and stride from the left side, and a toe tap from the right side to start his swing. His load is small, but his hands and hips work violently.

Delbarton RHP Jack Leiter is No. 8. Leiter's arm certainly works well, and his bloodlines are definitely important to note. The 5-foot-10, 165-pounder was 84-86 in Fort Myers from a high-3/4 slot, but his slider is where he separates himself from the pack. It has 11/5 depth at 73-76 and is a true swing-and-miss pitch when located correctly. Leiter was mentioned in last week's edition of On the Hunt, which highlights the top uncommitted underclassmen.

Ridgewood RHP Sam Favieri is No. 9 in the rankings and has made himself known across the recruiting landscape. The strong, athletic 6-foot 165-pounder is consistently 84-86 and locates an 11/5 curveball that ranges between 66-71. Favieri's ball jumps out of his hand as he starts his windup slow and then explodes to the plate.

Rounding out the top 10 is 1B/RHP Jordan Sweeney (Egg Harbor Twp. HS, NJ). Another 2019 that rose to prominence during the spring after a stellar varsity campaign, Sweeney has  lean, athletic build at 6-foot-4, 195-pounds. Sweeney batted .453 with three home runs and four doubles. On the mound, Sweeney has a long, loose arm that topped out at 82 mph in Florida.

THE new jersey TOP 20

1 Nick Maldonado NJ Seton Hall Prep 2019 RHP Vanderbilt
2 Anthony Volpe NJ Delbarton 2019 SS Vanderbilt
3 Stephen Restuccio NJ Hammonton 2019 RHP Wake Forest
4 KC Hunt NJ Ramapo 2019 SS  
5 Lillo Paxia NJ Gloucester Catholic 2019 1B Florida State
6 Joey DeChiaro NJ Hunterdon Central 2019 LHP  
7 Drew Compton NJ Governor Livingston 2019 3B Georgia Tech
8 Jack Leiter NJ Delbarton 2019 RHP  
9 Sam Favieri NJ Ridgewood 2019 RHP  
10 Jordan Sweeney NJ Egg Harbor Township 2019 1B  
11 Justin Kapuscinski NJ Marlboro 2019 C  
12 Brandon Drapeau NJ Clearview Regional 2019 RHP  
13 Luke Kaschak NJ Washington Twp. 2019 3B  
14 Tate Ballestero NJ Morristown 2019 C  
15 Jack Povey NJ Red Bank Regional 2019 RHP  
16 Chad Cole NJ Passaic Valley 2019 RHP  
17 Ron Cole NJ Neptune 2019 RHP Penn State
18 Breylin Jones NJ Northern Highlands 2019 SS  
19 Anthony Petrosino NJ Don Bosco 2019 2B  
20 John Whooley NJ Ramapo 2019 C

Click Here to view the 2019 Overall Rankings >>


No. 15 Jack Povey, RHP, Red Bank Regional HS, NJ
Projectable arm with a breaking ball to back it up. 81-84 with a true 12/6 at 68-71

No. 18 Breylin Jones, SS, Northern Highlands HS, NJ
Lean, athletic SS with advanced glove actions and a strong arm to go with it. Lanky frame, bat still developing.

No.14 Tate Ballestero, C, Morristown HS, NJ
No. 17 Ron Cole, RHP, Neptune HS, NJ (Penn State commit)
No. 22 Tyler Kaufman, C, Seton Hall Prep HS, NJ
+ No. 29 Mike Velez, RHP, St. Joseph's Metuchen HS, NJ
No. 32 David Glancy, OF, Red Bank Catholic HS, NJ
No. 38 Jacob Denner, LHP, Bergen Catholic HS, NJ
No. 43 Jimmy Pasquale, 1B, Holy Spirit HS, NJ
No. 44 Quincy Clark, RHP, Seton Hall Prep HS, NJ
No. 48 Matthew Bettio, RHP/OF, Montville HS, NJ
No. 51 Valentino Salgado, SS, Hudson Catholic HS, NJ
No. 59 Jackson Yeatts, RHP, West Morris Central HS, NJ
No. 60 Harry Padden, SS, A.P. Schalick HS, NJ