Underclass Games: Top Infielders


TJ Hunt
Director, PBR New Jersey

With the fall season finally wrapped up it is time to highlight some of the top performers from each of the showcases by position. This fall's talent was outstanding, led by numerous top performers at each position and from different grade levels. A mixture of both committed and uncommitted players, the series of Underclassmen and Upperclassmen event performers made this fall stand out from others.

Take a look below at the Underclass Games Top Infielders
Rank Name State School Class Pos INF Velo
1 Chris Maldonado NJ Seton Hall Prep 2022 SS 83
2 Jason Arrigo NJ Ridge 2021 SS 81
3 Aidan Watson NJ Morristown 2021 SS 80
4 Matt Miceli NJ Somerville 2021 SS 79
5 Shane O'Neill NJ Morristown 2022 RHP 78
^ Anthony Stephan NJ Ridgewood 2021 SS 78
6 Jay Bant NJ Wall 2021 3B 77
7 Connor Ruscansky NJ North Hunterdon 2021 SS 76
^ Christian Ortiz NJ Linden 2021 3B 76
^ Jake Vitale NJ Sterling 2021 SS 76
^ Devin Russell NJ Mountain Lakes 2022 C 76
^ Luca Matonti NJ Northern Highlands Regional 2021 SS 76
^ Jayden Hylton FL Palm Beach Gardens 2022 1B 76
8 Dean Ferrara NJ Ramapo 2021 SS 75
9 Joey Bogart NJ Gloucester Catholic 2022 2B 74
^ Brandon Feigin NJ Toms River North 2021 RHP 74
^ Nick Bergamotto NJ Caldwell 2022 2B 74
10 Noah Rodriguez NJ Don Bosco Prep 2021 3B 72

 

 

Anthony Stephan SS / Ridgewood, NJ / 2021

We’ve been able to see Stephan a couple of times now, and he first got on the radar in June at the Rising Rebels Scout Day. Stephan’s lean, athletic build at 5-foot-11 170-pounds and quick, powerful left handed swing made him the top infield prospect to come out of this event. Starts in a neutral, athletic stance with hands above back shoulder. As pitch comes in, loads on to back leg and uses a small, controlled foot lift and stride to start swing. Bat wraps around head slightly. Quick, explosive hips and hands through the zone produce gap to gap power. Exit velocity topped at 85 MPH. In the field, Stephan shows athleticism and a bounce to him that stood out. Topped at 78 MPH across the diamond with back spin and carry. Glove exchange is easy and ball gets out of hand swiftly with ease. Certainly a top prospect to keep an eye on.

 

 

 

 

Christopher Maldonado SS / Seton Hall Prep, NJ / 2022

The Maldonado name has been a mainstay in the PBR NJ and Overall rankings since Christopher’s brother Nick was a freshman, and it looks like Christopher has the potential to be right there with his big brother. Chris Maldonado’s swing and defensive abilities and lean athletic build made him stand out at this event. At the plate. Maldonado starts in a neutral stance with hands in line with back shoulder. Uses a small leg lift and stride to start swing with hands loading down and back with fluidity and rhythm. Short, quick hands through the zone, Maldonado possesses line drive pop with the ability to add more with added strength. Exit velocity topped at 84 MPH. In the field, Maldonado dazzled with his easy glovework and loose arm action. Topped at 83 across the diamond, Maldonado’s baseball actions play up. Fields ball in front and plays through his throws with momentum carrying to first base. His gather stays at his midsection and take a couple of steps that coincide with a long, loose arm stroke before releasing the ball from a high-¾ slot. Maldonado is a top prospect in the 2022 class.

 

 

 

 

Jayden Hylton 1B / Basking Ridge, NJ / 2022

Hylton’s lanky-athletic frame at 6-foot-5 185-pounds made him stand out to scouts at the event, and his offensive prowess, similar to his older brother Brandon (plays at Stetson), make him one of the most projectable players in the 2022 class. Unlike his big brother, Jayden is right handed -- but possesses the same feel for the barrel as his left handed older brother. The younger Hylton starts in a tall, narrow stance and opened. Hands are stationed above his back shoulder. As pitch comes in, he uses a leg lift and stride to start his swing. Hands load minimally. Elastic torso produces a whip-like turn and is able to drive the ball into the gaps. Exit velocity topped at 88 MPH. In the field, Hylton raised eyebrows with his ability around the base. On a slick afternoon at Ramapo College, Hylton put on a clinic at first base with glovework on both the receiving end of throws, and with ground balls. Replaces his feet with ease and footwork is sound for such a lanky athlete, Hylton will add strength and become an even more offensive threat. One of the top prospects in the NJ 2022 class.

 

 

 

 

Jason Arrigo SS / Ridge, NJ / 2021

Arrigo has a strong, athletic build at 5-foot-8 160-pounds. Stood out at this event with his physicality at the plate and knack for finding the barrel in BP and during gameplay. At the plate, exit velocity topped at 80 MPH. Starts in a wide, opened stance with hands above back shoulder and in a crouch, with weight visibly on back leg. Hands start above his back shoulder. As pitch comes in, Arrigo uses a small foot lift and stride. His hands load up and back with rhythm. Short hands create extension to the baseball. Line drive hitter with noticeable ceiling at the plate. In the field, throws topped at 81 across the diamond. Easy footwork, and short quick arm action. Glovework is smooth and exchange is quick and clean.

 

 

 

 

Jay Bant 3B / Wall, NJ / 2021

Bant has a strong, broad shouldered build at 5-foot-11 205-pounds. LHH at the plate, starts in a tall, neutral stance with hands above back shoulder, creates hand rhythm prepitch. Uses a small leg lift and stride to start swing. Explosive hips and hands through the zone produce gap to gap power. In the field, projects as a corner. Fields ball out in front from 3B and continues momentum toward 1B and plays through his throw. Clean arm action, high-¾ slot.

 

 

 

 

Noah Rodriguez 3B / Don Bosco Prep, NJ / 2021

Rodriguez has a broad shouldered, athletic frame at 5-foot-10 195-pounds. Was one of the top offensive threats at the event. At the plate, starts in a neutral LH stance with hands above back shoulder. Uses a foot lift and stride to start swing. Hands load down to just above back shoulder. Quick hips and hands through the zone produce line drive pop -- the ball sounded different off of Rodriguez’s bat during BP, and has shown noticeable strides since we first got a chance to see him last winter. In the field, took reps from 3B. Topped at 72 MPH across the diamond. Short, slingshot looking arm action and plays through his throws with some armside run.

 

 

 

 

Matt Miceli SS / Somerville, NJ / 2021

Miceli has a lean, athletic build at 5-foot-9 150-pounds. Impressed with his versatility in the infield at all positions, most specifically his glovework at SS. At the plate, starts in an opened  stance and in a crouch with hands below his shoulder and weight on back leg. Creates rhythm in hands prepitch. Uses a small leg lift to start swing and hands load straight back. Short, compact and quick hands through the zone produce line drive pop. Uphill finish, maintains balance throughout. Miceli was incredible in the infield during gameplay -- making an outstanding play to his gloveside at SS and completing a long throw in time to get the runner. Actions play up for his age, 79 MPH across the infield which was one of the top velocities for his age at the event. Short, quick and easy arm action with backspin and carry on the ball. Glove exchange is clean and quick -- creates momentum through his throws.

 

 

 

 

Jake Vitale SS / Sterling , NJ / 2021

Vitale has an athletic build at 5-foot-11 145-pounds with room to fill out. Ran the 60 yard dash in 7.34-seconds and topped at 78 MPH with his exit velocity. Offensively, Vitale is left handed and starts in a slightly opened  stance with hands above back shoulder. Uses a foot tap and stride to start swing. Hands load straight back. Smooth left handed swing through the zone with extension in wrists and arms to the baseball. Easy, balanced throughout, finishes uphill. Defensively, throws topped at 76 MPH across the infield from SS from a lower-¾ slot.  Recoil in throws, fields ball under body and has a quick glove exchange at midsection. Able to throw from different slots on the run.

 

 

 

 

Devin Russell SS / Mountain Lakes, NJ / 2022

Russell has an athletic build at 5-foot-11 163-pounds. Stood out offensively during the event. Starts in a tall, balanced stance with hands just above back shoulder. Uses a small leg kick and stride to start swing. Easy power as just a freshman; has apparent pop in his bat that will only continue to improve as he gets stronger. In the field, throws topped at 76 MPH. Fields ball out in front of body and gathers at the chest. Lower glove exchange and short action action across the infield. Definitely a prospect to watch for as he continues through his high school career.

 

 

 

 

Aidan Watson SS / Morristown, NJ / 2021

Watson has a lean, athletic build at 6-feet 160-pounds. At the plate, starts in a neutral stance with feet square to home plate and bat just above back shoulder. Uses a leg kick to start swing. Hands load down and back with fluidity. Short, explosive swing through the zone -- line drive hitter with more in the tank. Impressed with his barrel awareness at the plate and prowess in the infield during the workout and in game play. Exit velocity topped at 81 MPH. Defensively, shows smooth action across the infield at 80 MPH. Fields ball out in front and brings to a gather at his mid section. Whippy arm action with carry. Definite follow as he continues to fill out his frame.