Prep Baseball Report

On the Hunt: 10 Sleepers in 2019 class From Updated National Rankings

By Shooter Hunt

National Crosschecker

There is no bigger stage to shine on than the PBR Future Games for college prospects, but with so many incredible players present, there can be some whose performances do not get the attention that they deserve. In this installment, On the Hunt, takes a look at some of the “sleepers” from the Future Games in the 2019 class. Each player is part of the newly released and updated PBR Top 400 national rankings for the 2019 class, and exhibited the skills necessary to be one of the top players in the class. Their performances, while not garnering the mass attention of some of the other players talked about in On the Hunt in earlier articles, were most definitely noticed by recruiters, and they will be valuable pieces of some school’s recruiting class in the future.

Jeff LaRosa SS / RHP / Conard , CT / 2019

LaRosa showed much more athletic than his 7.38 60-yard dash time tells, and quickly became one of the must-watch players for Team Connecticut at the Future Games. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound, proportionally built infielder looked comfortable at shortstop where he showed off clean hands and an accurate arm. At the plate, he showed off quick hands from the left side with a balanced, athletic stance that worked slightly uphill with a loose finish. What impressed me most about LaRosa was how he elevated his game during live action. He was all over the field, and had some big hits for Team Connecticut throughout. I think he will have a chance to stick at shortstop at the next level, but as his frame continues to fill out, I picture him moving over to third base where he will have a chance to be a top level defender while also adding more power to a bat that currently shows lag in the zone, and produces line drives to all fields.

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Colin Czajkowski LHP / OF / Woodhaven, MI / 2019

Czajkowski was one of my favorite arms at the Future Games, and the possibility of what he may become should make him one of the more targeted recruits moving forward. The lanky left-hander has a long, loose arm swing that whips the ball toward the plate from slingy ¾ slot. Featuring heavy arm side run and sink, Czajkowski’s fastball made the jump that I thought it would after seeing him in the winter, and he touched 87 mph while settling in at 83-85. That number is far from complete, and there is much more coming for the 6-foot-3, 180-pounder. His changeup also showed late-fading action at 72 mph. He currently features both a slider and curveball that he varies the speeds of, and will likely morph into a sweeping, 2/8 swing and miss pitch in the future. Czajkowski’s quick hand speed should have recruiters excited for even more velocity, and with his three-pitch mix, a future weekend starter.

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Jace Pendarvis OF / RHP / Central Private School, LA / 2019

Pendarvis was a late-add for Team Louisiana, but immediately made his name known by unleashing 90 mph throws from the outfield with a short, strong arm. He was a scrappy, raw athlete at the plate who showcased strength with the bat, and will definitely have a chance to be a two-way player at the next level. His work on the mound, however, is what landed him on this list. The athletic, 6-foot, 165-pound right-hander sat 86-88 for Team Louisiana with a quick arm, and a fastball that appeared to jump on hitters at the plate. Even more impressive was his ability to control a swing and miss slider at 75-76. The snap of his fingers through the pitch was audible from behind the backstop, and it showed tilt while featuring tight spin. He mixed in a curveball that had the same snap with more depth at 72-73 as well as a changeup at 71-72. Pendarvis’ athleticism will help him continue to progress at a rapid rate. He ran a 6.86 60-yard dash, and is also a running back on the football team. I expect him to be even better come spring time, and with his breaking balls being true weapons, he will be able to get big outs at the next level.

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