Prep Baseball Report

Preseason All-State: Pitching Analysis

TJ Hunt
Director, New Jersey

The Preseason All State has come and gone, and it is time to review some of the stand out players from the event on February 10th.

+ There were 10 pitchers who topped at 81 MPH or better, 6 of which were 85 MPH+.

+ Leading the pack was St. John's recruit, 2019 RHP Sonny Fauci (Old Bridge HS, NJ), whose fastball sizzled in at 90 MPH, the top fastball velocity from the day. Fauci has a lean, broad shouldered build at 6-foot-2 185-pounds. Drop and drive type pitcher who uses strength from lower half to explode down the mound, Fauci has a longer arm swing as the ball jumps out with some late life. The right hander sat 87-90 and featured a sweeping breaking ball at 70-72 with some 10/4 shape.

+ Old Dominion recruit 2020 RHP Kenneth Levari (St. Augustine Prep HS, NJ) stood out at the event as well with a quick, explosive arm. Levari made his way back to the Preseason All-State after an impressive showing at the same event in 2017 – this time with a college commitment, some added muscle, and electric stuff. Levari was 86-88 on the mound with a sharp 11/5 breaking ball with tight spin and depth at 72-74. Also showcased a changeup at 75-77 with late arm side run and sink. Levari starts his delivery with some rhythm as his hands go over his head, and raises into a tall, firm and athletic balance point. From his balance point he creates hip lead and shoulder leverage as he drives down the mound uses his lower half. At foot strike, Levari is strong and athletic with uphill shoulders maintained. Creates extension over his lead leg on release with a whippy quick arm.

+ The highest riser from the event was definitely uncommitted 2019 LHP Zach Grace (Timber Creek HS, NJ). Grace topped at 87 MPH and sat consistently 86-87 with a long, loose and effortless arm action. Featured argueably the best breaking ball of the day – a sharp, late 1/7 curveball at 68-71, which can be a true strikeout pitch for him. Showed command for a changeup at 77-78 with arm side run and fade as well. Grace showed elasticity in hips and lower half as he drove down the mound. With his long, wiry-athletic frame, there is no doubt that there is more in the tank. Do not expect Grace to remain uncommitted for much longer after his showing. A definite follow for the spring season.

+ Uncommitted 2019 RHP Michael Decker (Clearview Regional HS, NJ) was another athlete to watch for this spring and summer. Decker is coming off a knee injury that sidelined him all of 2017 – and has re-emerged as a talented athlete in 2018. Solidly built at 6-foot-1 195-pounds, Decker's fastball was 83-84 topping at 86 MPH. Featured a smaller, tighter breaker with 11/5 movement at 69-71 and a straight changeup at 75-77.

+ Uncommitted 2019 RHPs Anthony Pron (Clearview Regional HS, NJ) and Andrew Lerario (Kingways HS, NJ) both made jumps in velocity since we last saw them in June. Pron topped at 86 MPH and sat 82-85 with a 74-75 MPH change and 68-71 MPH curveball. Lerario has added some strength in the offseason and topped at 85 MPH while sitting primarily 83-84. Featured an 11/5 breaking ball at 72-75 for strikes as well.

+ Uncommitted 2019 LHP Colin Dutton (GCIT HS, NJ) spun a tight breaking ball for strikes at 62-64 that really stood out. Dutton's long, wiry frame still has room to add muscle but the arm action and looseness is there. Fastball topped at 82 and sat 79-81.

+ Uncommitted 2019 RHP Jack Kramer (St. Peter's Prep HS, NJ) is an interesting follow for the spring. Lean, athletic build at 5-foot-11 170-pounds with a long, clean arm. Topped at 81 MPH and sat mostly 79-80. Featured a sweeping breaking ball at 63-65 as well.

+ Uncommitted 2019 Jeremiah Deanta (Memorial West New York HS, NJ) has certainly improved since we last saw him in 2017. Shorter arm action – fastball got up to 79 MPH and showcased a swing-and-miss changeup at 67-68 MPH with heavy armside sink and run.

+ Two uncommitted 2019 LHPs Joe Connington (West Essex HS, NJ) and Jake Wells (Pope John XXIII HS, NJ) were almost carbon copies of each other. Both have a long, lanky frame at 6-foot-3 160-pounds. Connington topped at 78 MPH while Wells was a tick higher at 79. Connington showed command of three pitches from a high-3/4 slot. Wells' curveball had tight spin from a high-3/4 slot as well. Both may see velocity jumps this spring and summer as they continue to put on muscle to fill their frames.

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