Prep Baseball Report

Summer Weekend Round-Up - June 10-12

By TJ Hunt
Scouting Director, New Jersey

This weekend featured some outstanding talent both at Diamond Nation and at Selectfest’s Team Tournament. Both tournaments had some of the top tier talent in NJ playing in one spot, and college coaches flocked to see dozens of games throughout the weekend.

Friday June 10th Diamond Nation

The weekend got started first at Diamond Nation, with Coach Greg Welsh’s Jersey Shore Prospects. Red Bank Regional 2019 RHP Jack Povey got the prospect search started. Lanky and athletic for his age, his fastball was up to 83 with a true 12-6 curveball with near-fastball hand speed and release. Tall and controlled, Povey uses little effort to maintain velocity and command in the strike zone. Throws from a high-3/4 arm angle, which helps him with depth with his curveball. Povey threw twice this weekend, once in a start, and once in relief for the J.S. Prospects. Another player from Coach Welsh’s squad is 2019 RHP Dante Ciaramella from Monmouth Regional. The righthander showcased a fastball that sat consistently at 82-83 and touched 84 MPH once. Curveball has 11-5 break and is able to throw it for strikes.

Diamond Jacks’ 2018 RHP Mike Murray (Watchung Hills) raised eyebrows on Friday night. Murray throws from a funky arm angle – mixes between true ¾ and low-3/4. 84-85 for most of his outing, Murray showed endurance dialing his fastball up to 86 a couple times in the later innings of his outing.

Saturday June 11th Selectfest Tournament
@ Colonia & JF Kennedy-Iselin High Schools

Selectfest’s Tournament had tons of top talent as well. Coach Rob Maida’s 9ers had some ballplayers that colleges should take note. 2017 RHP Brad Dobzanski (Delsea) had an outstanding showcase, and was probably one of the best talents from the weekend. The 6-foot-3 185-pound righty was consistently 86-88 and touched 89 multiple times, while dialing it up to 90 once. The uncommitted hurler showcased slight run on his fastball and a sharp, hard 11-5 slider.  Showed pitchability by being able to use a slower slider with more depth and a harder, tighter breaking ball as an out pitch. One cannot have a discussion about the 9ers without bringing up Virginia commit SS Andrew Papantonis (Delbarton). Quick, agile in the field, was able to get to a one-hopper up the middle that looked like it would get through for a hit.

Coach John Wells’ Baseball U program is known for producing some excellent baseball players as well, Rutgers commit 2017 LHP Eric Heatter is certainly one of them. Heatter got his work in this weekend, and showed that the 2015 GMC Pitcher of the Year will be a force to be reckoned with when East Cobb comes around. Throws from a true ¾ arm slot with arm side run, Heatter is especially hard to pick up because there is some funk to his delivery. Shows some effort in his fastball, but that effort is deceiving.

2017 SS/2B Will Trochiano (Marlboro) will be a solid pick up for a college team this summer. Undersized, but has intangibles up the middle. Swung it well on Saturday with a double and a single – can be a sparkplug for a college lineup somewhere.

Baseball U showcased two other uncommitted arms, both 2017s. RHP Michael Farr (St. Joseph’s, Metuchen) throws a heavy ball from a high-3/4 angle. The 6-foot-4 200-pound righty utilized both a  4 seam and a two-seamer/sinker that will surely break dozens of bats this summer – 83-86 up to 87-88 a couple times. Rutgers Prep RHP Sam Beck is a tall, lanky but athletic looking pitcher with a true ¾ arm slot. Free and loose arm, topped at 84, consistently sitting 81-83. Two projectable frames that can add on muscle and velocity at the next level.

Coach Nico Vargas of the Jersey Boyz Scout Team posseses a couple arms that are worth a look, notably from this weekend is another St. Joseph’s Metuchen RHP Kyle Angel. Angel is tall and strong bodied already – at 6-foot-3 230-pounds. Angel’s breaking ball was arguably the best off speed pitch from Saturday – very tight spin with lighting-quick hand speed that makes it look like a fastball, 72-73. The righty was 86-87 for most of his outing.

Coach Guy Lynam and All Out Baseball seem to always breed some of the best South Jersey players around – on Saturday, RHP Jake Miller was a standout. Going toe-to-toe with the aforementioned Dobzanski of the 9ers, the two righties combined to allow one run, in a game that seemed like it took only an hour to complete. Miller’s stuff is hard to hit, he throws cut fastball at 83-84 that has late movement, while also possessing a slurvy breaking ball that has more downward depth when compared to his cutter.

The nightcap of Saturday was between North Jersey’s Wladyka Baseball and Central Jersey’s Full Count Baseball. Wladyka’s RHP Ryan McLinskey raised eyebrows with electric stuff. Fastball consistently stayed between 86-88, touching 89 once. Showcased only one breaking ball at 70 – but the one that he threw was a true 11-5 breaker with late movement.

Sunday June 12th Diamond Nation
The Diamond Jacks have two players that will tear up the travel ball scene this summer in 2019 RHP/SS Nick Maldonado and 2018 OF Christian Hlinka. Maldonado will be in the top five PBR NJ 2019 rankings when they are complete, and is coming off a stellar freshman campaign for Seton Hall Prep where he started at shortstop and was one of the top pitchers in the rotation for the Pirates. Hlinka is from Delaware Valley HS, and has garnered attention from numerous high Division I schools. Hlinka tripled once, an opposite field shot into the gap. He utilizes a leg kick from the left side and stays balanced in his approach. Starts with his stance slightly opened, with the leg kick used to load and move his hands back.

All Out’s 15u RHP Drew Guldin (Gloucester Catholic) was 84-86 in the semifinal game. Guldin is slightly undersized and uses some effort in his delivery, but fills up the strikezone and has great tempo in doing so. 2018 RHP Ian Murphy (Gloucester Catholic) was 83-85 in the championship game for All Out. Murphy’s velocity is easy, with a loose quick arm. Has a tall lanky frame with room for muscle and added velocity.

L.I. Titans 2018 RHP Nick Payero (Monroe Township) showcased a fastball that sat 84-86 and touched 88 once.  A member of the same HS pitching staff as Eric Heatter and UNC commit Robbie Peto, Payero will be a big name to look for this summer – with a curveball at 73 with late downward tilt from a high-3/4 angle. In the same game, Wladyka’s 2018 LHP Chris Gerard game in relief and was at 81-83 touching 84. Gerard, who was one of the top pitchers on Bergen Catholic’s staff this spring, has the ability to throw three pitches for strikes – a big time curveball at 67-69 and a a changeup with arm-side fade.

Teel’s Ravens 2019s RHP/SS K.C. Hunt (Ramapo) and C John Whooley (Ramapo) both homered in the championship game against All Out for a convincing win for the primarily North Jersey team. Hunt and Whooley will both be performers in this August’s PBR Future Games, held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Last year over 170 coaches were on hand to watch top underclassmen from all over the country perform.

Baseball U North Jersey’s 2017 Chris Perdoni (Monroe Twp.) was an infielder primarily for the Falcons this spring, but touched 85 MPH at a Wagner camp in the winter. Rahway HS 2018 SS/RHP Andres Garcia has very good hands in the field and excellent range for his age – also pitched this weekend, struck out nine in six innings. 2018 C Joe Turek (Arther L. Johnson) is very strong already for his age and can play anywhere in the field. Possesses a short, quick swing at the plate.

All Out 15u’s Luke Kaschak and Brandon Drapeau, both 6-foot-4 first basemen with serious pop for their ages (both 2019s). Drapeau hit a towering home run to left in the semifinal game.

Other Players to Watch For
All Out – C Zach Fisher (Salem)

Wladyka – 2018 RHP Billy O’Brien (Don Bosco), 2018 LHP Drew Helmstetter (Don Bosco).

9ers – 2018 OF Jack Zyska (Seton Hall Prep), 2018 C Peter Serruto (Millburn).

Diamond Jacks – 2018 Peter Cosentino  (Hunterdon Central). 

Full Count – LHP Thomas Babalis (Somerville) 82-85 MPH.

Gallagher 16u Team Mizuno – 2019 Reece Horneck (Colts Neck) ran 6.72 at PBR NJ Futures Preview showcase. Exceptional barrel awareness for his age.

Gallagher 17u Underclass Team MizunoShawne Eldridge (Monroe Twp.), Joey Sacco (Steinert).

Baseball U North Jersey – 2017 INF Nick Loffredo (St. Joe’s Metuchen), 2017 OF John Sot (St. Joe’s Metuchen).

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