Prep Baseball Report

Updated 2018 Player Rankings

By TJ Hunt
Scouting Director, New Jersey

The newest set of PBR NJ & National 2018 rankings have been released. After a very eventful summer on the recruiting trail, there have been several risers in the rankings since they have been last updated. 3B Justyn-Henry Malloy (St. Joseph's, Mont. HS, NJ) & OF Jack Herman (Eastern Regional HS, NJ) retain their respective spots at numbers 1 & 2 in the state. Duke commit RHP Jack Carey rises a few spots to No. 3 on the list. Carey has a projectable frame and a loose arm, up to 94 in June. Recent Alabama commit RHP/OF Tyler Ras (Middletown North HS, NJ) was up to 91 this summer - ranks No. 6 in his class. Newcomer to the top 10 is Virginia commit OF Christian Hlinka (Delaware Valley HS, NJ). Hlinka possesses a compact left handed swing with gap to gap power. Watch out for St. John's commit SS Danny Serretti this fall. Serretti burst on to the scene at last fall'sUnderclass Games, landing him a commitment to the Red Storm - but fell victim to an injuries this spring and summer. The switch hitting infielder has gap to gap potential from both sides of the plate, and showcased that last year at the event. Now healthy, expect Serretti to creep up in the rankings as he rejoins the baseball circuit full time. 

A Look at the top 10:

1 Justyn-Henry Malloy NJ St. Joseph's Regional 2018 3B Vanderbilt
2 Jack Herman NJ Eastern Regional 2018 OF Maryland
3 Jack Carey NJ St. Peter's Prep 2018 RHP Duke
4 Nick Decker NJ Seneca HS 2018 OF Maryland
5 Alex Havlicek NJ Indian Hills HS 2018 RHP Virginia Tech
6 Tyler Ras NJ Middletown North 2018 RHP Alabama
7 Sean Heine NJ Shawnee HS 2018 RHP Maryland
8 Christian Hlinka NJ Delaware Valley HS 2018 OF Virginia
9 Darius Diaz NJ Perth Amboy 2018 C Kennesaw State
10 Luke Gutos NJ Moorestown HS 2018 SS

 Take a look at the rest of the rankings here.

+ No. 14 Kevin Eaise, RHP/OF, St. Augustine Prep HS, NJ
via Future Games (August 4-6, 2016)
Eaise is an athletic and  projectable 6-foot-1 195-pounds. Did not participate in the skills portion of the event, but did hit in gameplay. Had two doubles and multiple loud line drive outs. Flat bat, slight arm bar with swing. Aggressive torque in hips and quick hands through the zone. 
Pitching-  Works from a smooth, controlled delivery. Fastball jumped at 85-87 from a deeper arm-action with quick hand-speed. Curveball sat 72-74 mph with tight 11/5 shape. Command of both pitches was above average.

+  No. 13 Bradley Brush, RHP, Toms River East HS, NJ
Brush is a lean athletic RHP with a very high ceiling. Up to 88, sitting 85-87 from a 3/4 slot. Gets heavy armside sink and run on his fastball and weak contact. Delivery is slow and methodical, uses a high gloveside going down the mound to generate some leverage. Landing is square and athletic, rarely falls off the mound on either side. High follow prospect. Brush was featured as a profile of the day earlier this week.

uncomitteds to watch for
No. 50 Ryan Rue, LHP, Fair Lawn HS, NJ
Futures Preview (6/4/16)
Rue is 5-foot-10 180-pounds with a strong, athletic body. Was one of the top pitching performers of the whole event. Offensively- Rue sets up in an athletic crouch from the left side. Rotates his weight slightly forward and then back as the pitch comes in. Uses a short stride. Hands load from further from his body to closer to his back shoulder, before following his hips through the zone to start the swing pattern. Flat bat path, Exit Velocity of 82Pitching- Easy velocity and a quick left handed arm, Rue sat between 83-85 touching 86 once. Able to throw a sharp two-planed breaking ball for strikes. Strong stance on front foot landing, with shoulders slightly angled upward when the hips have cleared, creating excellent torque motion in the upper body, and a "whip" of the arm. Sound mechanics already for his age, when he is at his best, landing is square, athletic and controlled.

No. 29 Joe Turek, 1B/C, Arthur L. Johnson HS, NJ
Futures Preview (6/4/16)
Turek is a strong bodied 5-foot-10 190-pound catcher with some pop. Offensively- Turek showcased one of the better batting practices and a polished overall swing and approach. He starts in a tall crouch with his weight on his back foot. Uses a small stride and a fluid hand load. Turek's swing is explosive - hips and wrists clear the zone with force. Occasionally rises up in his finish to get lift on the ball, Exit Velocity was one of the top at the event at 86Defensively- Turek showcased a pop time between 2.08-2.13 to second base, and threw 76 MPH. Footwork is sound, but could shave some time off his pop with a shorter, quicker arm action and release.

+ No. 20 Matthew Stil, OF/RHP, Cherokee HS, NJ
New York Games (June 27-29, 2016)
Still sits in at 6-foot-2; 180 pounds with a tall athletic frame. Ran a 7.37 – 60 at NYS Games Showcase. Offensively -Stance is square to the plate with wide base, little knee bend, and hands above back shoulder. On pitch his trigger is a quick toe tap in before striding out while his hands move back slightly into a good hitting position. Trigger of hands and weight transfer provides good torque from his core on his lower body rotation. Hands are very quick to the hitting zone and an ideal barrel path though to a high two handed finish. Swing is fluid and looks easy. Provides power as well with a recorded exit velocity of  94 mph, which is a 3 mph improvement from January 2016. Pitching-Fluid delivery with a thigh high knee raise and good loose arm action. Release point is a high ¾ slot with good glove side pull. Great use of lower body creating torque used throughout entire delivery. Will improve with more reps and addition of additional strength gains. Fastball was recorded at 82-87 mph and Slider sat 74-78 mph.

No. 22 Matthew Semon, RHP, Don Bosco Prep HS, NJ

+ No. 12 Nick Payero, RHP, Monroe Twp. HS, NJ

+ No. 33 Andy Axelson, C, Roxbury HS, NJ

recent headlines