Prep Baseball Report

NJ: Updated and Expanded 2019 Rankings

By TJ Hunt
Director, New Jersey

The summer season has finally come to a close, and as we rev up our engines and head into the fall, it is time to reflect on some big risers in the 2019 class in this edition of the Updated NJ 2019 Rankings.

It is important to note, however, how incredibly talented this class is. Up and down the list, there are many high caliber players that have and will commit to big name colleges. This class has made their claim with 27 players being named to the Overall Rankings, including 6 in the Top 100.

New Jersey has always been known for it's baseball talent and perhaps none more evident than this class thus far. Lets take a look:

Take a look at the full list HERE.

RHP/SS KC Hunt (Ramapo HS, NJ) takes his spot as the new No. 1 player in the class. The 6-foot-3 170-pounder right hander from North Jersey has gotten his fastball up to 92 MPH this summer and sits 86-89 with a four pitch mix for strikes. Long, wiry and ultra-projectable, Hunt is the second highest ranked uncommitted player in the country at No. 19, according to the recent release of the Overall Rankings. Hunt features a sharp 11/5 slider, a knuckle-curve with late splitter-like dive, and a changeup with late armside run and sink; loose, whippy with his arm action from a true-3/4 slot. 

Vanderbilt recruit SS Anthony Volpe (Delbarton HS, NJ) rises a couple spots to No. 2 in this edition of the updated rankings. A state champion from this past spring, Volpe impressed at the recent Area Code Underclass Games in California earlier this month with his slick, effortless actions at shortstop and a knack for finding the barrel in big situations.

Fellow Vanderbilt recruit RHP/SS Nick Maldonado (Seton Hall Prep HS, NJ) comes in at No. 3. The broad shouldered 6-foot-1 195-pound righty sat 87-91 at the Area Code Games with polished mechanics and command of three pitches. 

No. 4 is RHP Ron Cole (Neptune HS, NJ), a recent Kentucky recruit from the Jersey Shore area. Cole's heavy sinking fastball at 87-90 touching 91 and command of an 11/5 breaking ball at 74-76 to go along with his lean, lanky and projectable frame made him one of the top arms in the state this summer.

Rounding out the Top 5 is Virginia recruit, C Tate Ballestero (Morristown HS, NJ). Ballestero jumped on to the scene this spring and summer with his athleticism and versatility in the field. A switch hitting catcher with gap to gap power, Ballestero possesses a strong arm with pop times between 1.9-2.00 on the bag. Another player representing NJ at the Area Code Games, Ballestero has an effortless way to his game.

At No. 6 is Maryland recruit OF Stephen Restuccio (Hammonton HS, NJ). Restuccio can play anywhere on the field including all three OF positions, both corner infield spots, and can let it loose from the mound, too. Broad shouldered, athletic at 6-foot-1 195-pounds – ran the 60 yard dash in 7.12 seconds at ACUG. Sat 87-89 touching 91 earlier this summer on the mound. Possesses raw power from the right side, using a big leg kick and quick hands to produce gap to gap pop.

No. 7 is Kentucky recruit LHP Alex Margot (Collingswood HS, NJ). Margot is one of the most proejectable prospects in the state at 6-foot-3 190-pounds with a long, loose arm from the left side. Has been up to 87 this summer with armside run on his fastball and easy command of a breaking ball with sharp 1/7 tilt at 67-68.

No. 8 is uncommitted C Cade Hunter (Lenape HS, NJ). Hunter burst on to the recruiting radar at the Future Games earlier this month, runnning a 6.86 60 yard dash and showing a short, compact stroke from the left side with power to all fields. He mashed an RBI double at the event, the eventual winning run in a 1-0 game to help Team NJ go undefeated. In game, recorded a 1.93 pop time throwing a runner out at second base. Big upside at 6-foot-2 185-pounds.

No. 9 is Georgia Tech recruit 3B Drew Compton (Governor Livingston HS, NJ). Compton has a strong, broad shouldered frame at 6-foot-2 185-pounds and shows plus power from both sides of the plate. Upside is through the roof with Compton as he still has room to fill out frame.

And rounding out the Top 10 is yet another Vanderbilt recruit, RHP Jack Leiter (Delbarton HS, NJ). Leiter has been up to 90 this summer with a loose, quick arm. Shows depth on breaking ball with 11/5 movement at 74-75. Was dominant in several outings in Georgia.

Top 25

Take a look at the full list HERE

1 KC Hunt NJ Ramapo 2019 RHP  
2 Anthony Volpe NJ Delbarton 2019 SS Vanderbilt
3 Nick Maldonado NJ Seton Hall Prep 2019 RHP Vanderbilt
4 Ron Cole NJ Neptune 2019 RHP Kentucky
5 Tate Ballestero NJ Morristown 2019 C Virginia
6 Stephen Restuccio NJ Hammonton 2019 OF Maryland
7 Alex Margot NJ Collingswood 2019 LHP Kentucky
8 Cade Hunter NJ Lenape 2019 C  
9 Drew Compton NJ Governor Livingston 2019 3B Georgia Tech
10 Jack Leiter NJ Delbarton 2019 RHP Vanderbilt
11 Lillo Paxia NJ Gloucester Catholic 2019 1B Florida State
12 Stephen Reid NJ Governor Livingston 2019 OF Georgia Tech
13 Dominic Cancellieri NJ Bergen Catholic 2019 RHP Notre Dame
14 Jake Andrey NJ Cherry Hill East 2019 RHP  
15 Cole Vanderslice NJ St. Augustine Prep 2019 RHP Villanova
16 Sam Favieri NJ Ridgewood 2019 RHP Connecticut
17 Ryan Ramsey NJ Pascack Hills 2019 LHP Maryland
18 Gerry Peacock NJ St. Augustine Prep 2019 RHP  
19 David Glancy NJ Red Bank Catholic 2019 OF  
20 Jack Povey NJ Red Bank Regional 2019 RHP  
21 Spencer Bauer NJ Christian Brothers Academy 2019 RHP  
22 Joey DeChiaro NJ Hunterdon Central 2019 LHP  
23 Joshua O'Neill NJ Nutley 2019 RHP  
24 Jordan Sweeney NJ Egg Harbor Township 2019 1B Rutgers
25 Devin Hack NJ Somerville 2019 OF Seton Hall

Top Risers
No. 4 Ron Cole
No. 5 Tate Ballestero
No. 7 Alex Margot
No. 8 Cade Hunter

No. 13 RHP Dominic Cancellieri (Bergen Catholic HS, NJ)
Cancellieri dominated at the Future Games, leading him to commit to Notre Dame shortly thereafter. He was 86-88 with a big 11/5 curveball that he got many swings-and-misses with.

No. 14 RHP Jake Andrey (Cherry Hill East HS, NJ)
One of the top uncommitted arms in the class, Andrey was equally as effective at the Future Games with a fastball that he revved up to 88 and a true swing-and-miss changeup with heavy armside fade.

No. 15 RHP Cole Vanderslice (St. Augustine Prep HS, NJ)
A Villanova recruit, Vanderslice has a lean, athletic build at 6-foot-2 170-pounds. Fastball gets up to 89 MPH with a sharp 11/5 slider with tight spin and fastball arm action at 72-73 MPH.

No. 17 LHP Ryan Ramsey (Pascack Hills HS, NJ)
A recent Maryland recruit, Ramsey shows a three pitch mix with a fastball that has gotten up to 87 MPH this summer.

No. 18 RHP Gerry Peacock (St. Augustine Prep HS, NJ)
Peacock is one of the top uncommitted arms in the state – fastball gets up to 88 routinely and commands a big 11/5 breaking ball at 63-68 MPH. Struck out 5 at the Future Games in 3 innings of work.

No. 25 OF Devin Hack (Somerville HS, NJ)
A Seton Hall recruit, Hack is a triples machine. Barrels up into the gaps and uses a his speed (6.80 60 at Preseason All State Showcase) to wreak havoc on teams.

No. 26 SS/RHP Dante Ciaramella (Monmouth Regional HS, NJ)
Ciaramella raised eyebrows at the Future Games playing for Team Select with his athleticism at SS and knack for finding the barrel. He was also up to 87 on the mound.

No. 32 SS Sean Szestowicki (Kingsway HS, NJ)
Army recruit, Szestowicki was far and away the top infielder from the Futures Preview South Showcase in June. Rangey, athletic and smooth in the infield, able to throw from multiple slots with carry (87 MPH). Shows line drive pop at the plate.

No. 35 SS Stephen DiTomaso (Haddonfield HS, NJ)
DiTomaso was a standout performer at the Futures Preview South in June with smooth, athletic actions in the field and a short, explosive swing. Ran the 60 in 6.75 seconds, one of the top times of the event.

No. 36 RHP Connor Staine (West Morris Central HS, NJ)
Staine is long and lanky and commanded both his fastball and breaking ball at the Garden State Underclass Games in June. A recent participant of the Area Code Underclass Games, Staine sits 83-85 touching 87 with more in the tank.

No. 38 RHP Jayson Hoopes (St. Augustine Prep HS, NJ)
Uncommitted, Hoopes burst on to the scene this summer at the NJ State Games in Red Bank in late July with a fastball that got up to 88 MPH. The third leg of a talented 2019 pitching staff from St. Augustine that already has Vanderslice and Peacock, expect Hoopes to continue to make jumps as he fills out his lanky frame and becomes more polished.

No. 39 RHP/SS Vincent Bianchi (Red Bank Catholic HS, NJ)
Bianchi impressed at the NJ State Games in July with a fastball that sat 83-85 and commanded a big 11/5 breaking ball at 67-70.

No. 34 RHP Joey Ventresca (Pinelands Regional HS, NJ)
Ventresca has a broad shouldered, athletic frame and got his fastball up to 86 at the Futures Preview South and commanded a curveball at 75-76 and a changeup with armside fade at 73-74.

No. 33 3B Robby Zega (Middletown South HS, NJ)
Zega's powerful bat and strong arm (87 MPH across the infield) were evident at the NJ State Games in July. A high-ceiling prospect at the plate, expect Zega to make a big jump next spring.

Other Names to Watch
No. 46 RHP/OF Dylan Maria (Highland Regional HS, NJ)
No. 50 C Max Winters (Ocean Township HS, NJ)
No. 54 RHP Michael Mahala (Seton Hall Prep HS, NJ)
No. 58 3B Grant Shulman (Wall HS, NJ)
No. 59 OF Elijah Dickerson (Rancocas Valley HS, NJ)


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