Prep Baseball Report

Updated 2022 NJ Rankings

TJ Hunt
Director, PBR New Jersey

The 2022 Rankings have some new names and a few shake ups after a fall season that looked a little bit different that falls in years past.

The Top 10

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

To view a complete list of the rankings, CLICK HERE


Top 10 Shake Ups

+ RHP Caden Dana (Don Bosco Prep HS, NJ) rises to the No. 2 slot in the rankings after an impressive showing at the Area Code Games. The projectable 6-foot-3 200-pound Kentucky recruit sat an easy 90-93 and countered it with a sharp 11/5 breaker in the mid to upper 70s. The curveball has swing-and-miss potential moving forward, and he showed confidence in the pitch throughout. He also flashed feel for a faded 83-84 changeup that he showed confidence throwing right-on-right. Each pitch was thrown for strikes whenever he wanted and in any count. Dana has a shorter arm stroke that allows the ball to jump on hitters at the plate, and while his frame is already strong, there is upside as he continues to utilize more of his lower-half throughout the delivery. Regardless, he showcased frontline stuff, and his competitiveness and athleticism (he also plays on Don Bosco’s powerhouse football team) is likely to draw plenty of attention next year.

+ Dana's high school teammate, RHP Kevin Jaxel - a Virginia recruit - rises a couple slots and settles into the Top 5 at No. 5. Another top performer at the ACG, the 6-foot-5, 195-pound right-hander has an athletic frame that is easy to dream on and already sports some lean, natural strength throughout. He moved fluidly through a polished delivery with some aggression towards the plate as the arm moved quickly through a medium-sized arm stroke before an 88-89 fastball jumped on hitters at the plate. He pounded the zone, and was fearless in attacking hitters with each of his pitches. The curveball (73-74) had shorter break with 11/5 shape, and was thrown for strikes, and tunneled well off the fastball. He also flashed one at 77 mph that, although it was bounced, came out of the hand with tight spin and closer to slider-shape which hints at the aptitude for him to find a wipeout offering in the future. Jaxel also had comfort throwing a faded changeup (77-81) whenever he wanted. His delivery was more dynamic and he moves down the mound well which is even more impressive given the long frame. Both pitching prospects possesses massive upside given their big frames and all-around athleticism.

+ Stetson recruit 1B Jayden Hylton (Ridge HS, NJ) had one of the most impressive showings at the Area Code Games, and had scouts (and agents alike) swooning with his potential and high ceiling. The wiry, athletic 6-foot-5 200-lbs has elite altheticism for his size - a 6.77 runner and 100+ on the exit velocity, Hylton's stroke is fluid with a quiet set up prepitch and gap to gap pop off the bat.

Top Newcomers

+ No 20 LHP JT Kroner (Colonia HS, NJ) is a Rutgers recruit and possesses a fastball in the mid-80s and a clean arm stroke. Drops a 1/7 breaker in for strikes and rounds out a three pitch mix with a changeup that has armside fade.

+ No. 25 RHP/OF Jackson Kraemer (The Hun School, NJ) is a Wake Forest recruit - and a legitimate two-way prospect at that. Physical 6-foot-2 195-pounds with a clean, quick arm. Fastball was up to 87 mph at the Fall Limited Series and possseses a sharp 11/5 breaker with tight spin for strikes. At the plate, rhythm and gap to gap pop through contact.

+ No. 36 C Drew Uccello (Shawnee HS, NJ) is still uncommitted at the time of this article, but is an interesting prospect to keep an eye out for. A left handed hitting catcher is always coveted at any level of baseball, and one with the quick twitch athleticism like Uccello is even more sought after. 7.01 runner, Uccello is quiet prepitch with a fluid load and line drive pop off the bat. One of the top performers at July's Future Games Select.

+ No. 62 SS Nicholas Bisaccia (New Providence HS, NJ) was a standout performer in September at the Upperclass Games. Twitchy at the plate with 92 exit velo and present athleticism with a 6.86 60, the ball jumped off Bisaccia's bat during batting practice with a compact stroke to the gaps.

+ No. 65 SS Tommy Kendrick (Jackson Memorial HS, NJ) stood out at last weekend's NJ Marlins Scout Day. A switch hitter, Kendrick possesses line drive pop from both sides of the plate and plays shortstop with soft hands and agile movements.

Stay tuned for the 2023 update.