Prep Baseball Report

Updated & Expanded 2022 Rankings

TJ Hunt
Director, PBR New Jersey

Follow on Twitter @PBRNewJersey

Follow on Instagram @PBRNewJersey

Though we have not been able to scout players in this strange and difficult spring, there is still plenty to talk about, including an update to the 2022 New Jersey Rankings. This talented group had 22 players represent the state in the recently released PBR Overall Rankings. After four successful events this winter and a massive amount of new information gathered by our scouts with their boots on the ground, we expanded our 2022 NJ State Rankings to 170 players. Along with some talented newcomers, the rankings also see some big risers throughout. Let’s take a look at some highlights from this edition of the rankings.

CLICK HERE for a look at the full list of NJ 2022 Rankings


The top spot of the 2022 rankings remains uncommitted RHP Nazier Mule (Passaic County Tech HS, NJ). Mule, who is also a formidable player at the plate, has been up to 94 MPH at various events in the summer time and has shown elite-level arm speed on the bump. 6-foot-1 physical frame, Mule has arguably the highest ceiling of anyone in this class not only in NJ but in the country - with his national ranking at No. 9 overall. Mule is certainly a fun player to watch.

Holding the No. 2 slot in the 2022 rankings is Louisville recruit 2022 3B Rocko Brzezniak (St. John Vianney HS, NJ). As good of an arm as Mule is on the mound is exactly as good as Brzezniak is with the bat. One of the most impressive offensive forces NJ Baseball has seen in quite some time - quite possibly since 2016 6th Rounder Joey Rose out of Toms River North. Brzezniak shows elite level strength and advanced power production. A true gap to gap bat and middle of the order run producer at the next level.



Remaining at No. 3 is Clemson recruit Christopher Maldonado (Seton Hall Prep HS, NJ). Maldonado burst on to the national scene at the Future Games last August where he put on an offensive show both in the skills day and throughout the three gameplay days. A Jack-of-all-trades type guy, Maldonado can stay in the middle of the infield and will rotate in the infield during his high school season. Elite level athlete with bloodlines to prove projection.


1 Nazier Mule NJ PCTI 2022 RHP  
2 Rocko Brzezniak NJ St. John Vianney 2022 3B Louisville
3 Christopher Maldonado NJ Seton Hall Prep 2022 SS Clemson
4 Tom Finnegan NJ Ocean City 2022 RHP Vanderbilt
5 Zach Crotchfelt NJ Jackson Memorial 2022 LHP Auburn
6 Caden Dana NJ Don Bosco Prep 2022 RHP Kentucky
7 Donovan Zsak NJ St. Joseph's Metuchen 2022 LHP Virginia
8 Kevin Jaxel NJ Don Bosco Prep 2022 RHP Virginia
9 Carson Applegate NJ The Hun School 2022 SS Kentucky
10 Trevor Cohen NJ Holy Spirit 2022 OF

CLICK HERE for a look at the full list of NJ 2022 Rankings


No. 4 is Vanderbilt recruit RHP Tommy Finnegan (Ocean City HS, NJ) is a 6-foot-7 lanky-athletic hurler with a heater that gets into the upper 80s and room for more as he continues to fill out his frame. Also a top performer at the Future Games on the same team as Maldonado, Finnegan was a guy who college coaches had known a lot already. Finnegan spins a tight 11/5 curveball for strikes at 75-76. Quick, easy arm action.

RHP Caden Dana (Don Bosco Prep HS, NJ) rises a few slots within the top 10 to No. 6 in the state. Another guy at this level with projection on the mound, Dana was 88-90 MPH on the mound in March. The spin is what separates Dana from the pack - a sharp, downer curveball with strikeout pitch potential. 

A big winner from this offseason was No. 12 RHP Zach Stichweh (Seton Hall Prep HS, NJ). Stichweh was 88-90 at the Future Games Trials in February. Physical, athletic frame at 6-feet 190-pounds, Stichweh has a clean arm action from a ¾ angle. Smaller, harder breaker at 75-77 and a hard split-change at 84-86.

Another high riser from this offseason was No. 15 RHP/C Sebastian Pisacreta (Bishop Eustace Prep HS, NJ). Rarely do you see a guy who is a catcher-pitcher combo, and it’s even more rare to see a guy who is equally as good at both. It’s hard to decide what Pisacreta’s future will be right now, but the athleticism, arm strength, and power at the plate are certainly present. Physical build at 5-foot-11 190-pounds, Pisacreta was 83-84 on the mound with a fastball that jumps. 1.93-2.03 pop time in showcase setting - Pisacreta possesses advanced catch-and-throw capabilities and has a right handed stick with gap to gap pop. I was very impressed with Pisacreta’s workout this offseason.



No. 17 is OF and Future Games alum Ben Romano (The Hun School HS, NJ). Right off the bat, Romano has the physicality of top of the line athlete in the D1 level. Football player as well, Romano’s advanced athleticism (6.9 60) and strength at the plate with a loose whippy swing will surely draw college coaches to watch him this summer.

Two SS’s to really keen on are No. 18 Ryan Taylor (St. Augustine Prep HS, NJ) and No. 19 Johnny Pilla (Don Bosco Prep HS, NJ). Taylor is one of the top all-around athletes in this class right now. Ran a blazing 6.62 60 yard dash this winter and put on a show during his BP rounds with some whip to his swing and short, compact stroke. Easy actions in the infield. Pilla is a left handed hitter with top-of-the-order abilities and twitchy actions in the field. A 6.90 runner this winter, Pilla’s athleticism and effortless stroke from the left side can be an asset in any lineup. Look for both of these guys to make a big jump this summer, once we are all able to play baseball again.




SS/RHP Ryan Weingartner (St. Augustine Prep HS, NJ) has been on the radar for quite some time now - and continues to impress with his smoothness in the infield and whippy, athletic arm on the mound. On the mound he’s 84-86 with late armside life and a slurvy breaker at 67-71 with 11/5 bite. At the plate, shows feel for the barrel from the right side with explosive hips and gap to gap pop. Legitimate two-way prospect at the next level, Weingartner will add even more velocity as he continues to fill out his wiry, athletic frame at 5-foot-10 150-pounds. Certainly a player to highlight this summer, and will undoubtedly make big jumps.

C Andrew Lombardi (Middletown North HS, NJ) is an advanced player for his age right now. If a school is looking for a legitimate prospect behind the dish - this is your guy. Compact frame at 5-foot-9 180-pounds, Lombardi has a strong lower half and quiet, but explosive right handed swing. True middle of the order catchers are hard to come by, but Lombardi has the makings of one in the Garden State. 1.92-2.11 pop times in showcase setting, 76 arm velocity.

SS Josiah Brown (Delbarton HS, NJ) looks to be a solid fit up the middle for the Green Wave after the departure of Yankees 1st Rounder Anthony Volpe in 2019. Brown, a switch hitter, shows strength from both sides of the plate and the twitchy-bounce in the infield to maintain at SS. a 7.06 runner and 86 MPH across the diamond, expect Brown to be a major guy as the weather starts to heat up in the summer.




LHP John W. Ormsby IV (Paul VI HS, NJ) is going to be a guy that explodes this summer on the showcase circuit. Lefty that's consistently 83-86 and tops at 87? Yup. True swing-and-miss curveball? Yup. And a changeup with armside fade to boot. It's controlled and easy with a shorter arm stroke. Spin is the separator.

RHP Chase Topolski (Lenape HS, NJ) stood out at the South Jersey Elite Scout Day in February with his explosive fastball at 84-85 with heavy life and ability to spin a tight 11/5 curveball at 64-67.

RHP Christian Pareja (Passaic County Tech HS, NJ) has shown some pitchability at 82-85 with late armside run on his fastball. Flashes a curveball at 73-74 and a slider at 74-75 with smaller 11/5 bite. Changeup has armside fade in the zome at 77-79. Clean, athletic delivery and repeatable mechanics on the mound

C Billy Mulholland (Pascack Hills HS, NJ) has made impressive strides to his game over the course of the last year. Has put on noticeable strength, Mulholland stood out as both a catch-and-throw top performer and an offensive threat at a couple events this winter. Broad shouldered, Mulholland stands at 6-foot-1 198-pounds. 1.95-2.05 pop time in showcase format this winter and one of the top catcher velos from behind the dish at 78 mph that we saw. Mulholland’s compact, explosive approach makes him a middle of the order bat in any lineup.

RHP Jesse Specter (Moorestown HS, NJ) has an athletic frame at 5-foot-10 165-pounds. Really jumped out at the Future Games Trials with a fastball at 83-84 with a long arm action a high-¾ slot. Breaker showed some late 11/5 action at 65-66 for strikes. 

INFs Nick Bergamotto (Caldwell HS, NJ) and Alex Ciccone (South Brunswick HS, NJ) have both continued to hone their crafts over the last year. Bergamotto has a short, compact stroke and line drive approach; Ciccone is wiry and athletic with feel for the barrel from the right side. Both have solid arms in the infield, with Bergamotto at 83 mph and Ciccone at 87 mph. Both follows. 


+ RHP Casey Knuckles (St. Joseph’s Montvale HS, NJ) impressed in early March with a fastball at 84-86 with late life and the ability to spin a sharp breaking ball with ease as well.

+ SS Lorenzo Meola (Watchung Hills HS, NJ) has a projectable, wiry frame at 5-foot-10 150-pounds and an elastically-strong right handed swing. Meola impressed in February at the Future Games Trials, where he was a top performer.

+ RHP/OF John Cerwinski (Seton Hall Prep HS, NJ) has a tall, lanky athletic frame at 6-foot-2 175-pounds. Possesses a live arm on the mound at 84-85 at the Future Games Trials, and was up to 87 at the Zoned Preseason event in early March. 

+ RHP Ryan Sprock (Seton Hall Prep HS, NJ) is yet another Seton Hall Prep right hander with next level stuff. Sprock was consistently 86-88 at the Zoned Preseason event. Physical frame at 5-foot-10 185-pounds.

+ RHP Zach Severino (Paul VI HS, NJ) was impressive in January at the Winter Open Showcase - where he showed a fastball that topped at 85 and sat consistently 83-85. Present strength at 5-foot-10 180-pounds, Severino’s clean arm will be a sight to see this summer. Curveball had 11/5 spin at 72-73 for strikes. Definite follow.




+ SS’s Jarrett Pokrovsky (Schalick HS, NJ) and Dominic Patrizi (Cherokee HS, NJ) have a similar style to their games. Both athletic frames with power hitting capabilities and the sure handedness to stay in the middle of the field.

+ RHP Thomas Santana (Pingry HS, NJ) has an whippy, projectable arm action from a high-¾ slot. Velocity was mostly 80-82 touching 83 in February, but expect it to jump as he continues to put on size. Effortless stuff.

+ C Joe Cilea (Colts Neck HS, NJ) is an interesting name to star. Athletic at 5-foot-10 170-pounds, 1.96-2.15 pop time in showcase setting this winter and 76 arm velo, Cilea stood out with his smooth, effortless left handed swing with easy gap to gap pop.





+ INF Connor Dreyer (Delbarton HS, NJ) - flat out mashes

 + SS Michael Whooley (Ramapo HS, NJ) - athletic, twitchy infielder with feel for the barrel

+ 1B Nick Ferri (Hunterdon Central HS, NJ) - wiry strong, smooth, simple LHH swing w/ loft

+ RHP Nicholas Rappa (St. Peter’s Prep) - 80-81, long easy arm action

+ 3B/1B Joey Gmitter (Steinert HS, NJ) - LHH; impressive gap to gap swing

+ OF Cooper Athey (West Windsor South HS, NJ) - 6.86 60; balance stroke with lift

+ SS Bryce Oliver (St. Augustine Prep) - 6.81 60, 90 exit velo, strong athletic frame

+ OF Angel Martinez (Camden County Tech HS, NJ) - athletic frame with present speed to game, added strength will make his numbers improve

+ SS Matt Leahy (Gloucester Catholic HS, NJ) - advanced with the glove in the MINF

+ 2B Joey Bogart (Gloucester Catholic HS, NJ) - athletic frame with strength at the plate

+ OF/RHP Walter Schwartz (St. Joseph’s Metuchen HS, NJ) - lanky, athletic frame with a clean arm up to 82 on the bump - LHH line drive hitter at the plate

+ RHP Ryan Rzepinski (St. Peter’s Prep HS, NJ) - durable frame at 6-6/235; 80-83 on the mound

+ RHP Clayton Poliey (Don Bosco Prep HS, NJ) - Lanky, athletic frame at 6’/165; 81-83, big 11/5 breaker for strikes

+ C/Ut. JP Kuczik (Don Bosco Prep HS, NJ) - this kid can flat out rake. Compact, strong stroke through the zone with knack for barrels.

+ 1B Peter Cortez (South Brunswick HS, NJ) - line drive hitter with quick stroke

+ 3B/RHP Sam Juckett (Paul VI HS, NJ) - physical frame, up to 84 on mound, strength at the plate

+ OF Matty Wright (Somerville HS, NJ) - LHH, loud barrels