Prep Baseball Report

Wladyka Baseball Pitcher's Showcase: Top Performers

TJ Hunt
Director, PBR New Jersey

The 7th annual PBR/Wladyka Baseball Pitcher's Showcase provided a great close-up look at many of the talented arms from all over the state. Here we will take an in-depth look at some of the top pitching performances that really stood out.

CLICK HERE for a full list of stats from the event. 

2023-2024 Pitching Prospects

+ 2024 RHP Jake Czwakiel (Middletown South) possesses a real strong and physical build at 6-foot, 197-pounds. Both halves work in sync down the mound, even shoulder tilt. Compact delivery with a long and clean arm action. Stride direction stays in line, gets over his brace leg. Multiple pitches for strikes. FB sat 84-85 MPH, touching 86 MPH. 11/5 shape to the breaker at 73-76 MPH. Showed a CH at 79-80 MPH.


+ One of the most impressive performances of the night came from 2024 RHP Connor Darling (Northern Highlands). Broad-shouldered and long-limbed at 6-foot-4, 205-pounds. Rhythm and tempo to his delivery. Slight uphill tilt on his frontside. Fired in consistent darts at 87-89 MPH, touching 90MPH, with downhill angle. Short, tighter CB at 70-71 MPH with spin rates up to 2362 rpm. CH had some late depth at the bottom zone, 81-82 MPH.


+ Uncommitted 2023 LHP Chase Hermance (Wallkill, NY). The physical lefty stands at 6-foot-1, 205-pounds. Hermance was also one of the top performers we were able to catch last summer. Works free and easy with a long and loose arm action, high ¾ slot. Simple, repeatable mechanics. FB sat in the 85-86 MPH range with some later life. CB with some sweeping action, located to the gloveside. CH at 81-82 MPH, imitates FB arm speed.


+ Another southpaw to highlight is 2024 LHP Dean Qira (Wayne Hills HS). Lean and athletic frame, 6-foot, 175-pounds. Some deception to the delivery with a hitch in his frontside. Works to create some hip/shoulder separation, coils into the back hip. Some whippiness to the arm. Qira produced some of the top spin rates of the day, with his FB up to 2498 rpm and CB up to 2578 rpm. FB also had some armside run at 82-84 MPH. The CB was 66-68 MPH, with the CH at 76-78 MPH.


+ At 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, 2024 RHP Parker Rutkowski (Pope John) was another physical righty we got a good look at. Real strong legs, engages his bottom half efficiently and rides the slope. Even shoulder tilt, slightly closed at footstrike. Clean arm action with a shorter arm swing, coming from a high ¾ slot. FB sat in the 84-86 MPH range. His CB, at 71-73 MPH, had smaller break with late downer action. Mixed in a CH at 79-81 MPH.


+ The last upperclassman we take a look at is 2024 RHP Michael Zalinkanskas (Cranford HS). Tall and wiry at 6-foot-4, 200-pounds. Starts his delivery by sinking into his lower half, riding off that back hip. Slightly uphill shoulders, strong frontside. Compact arm action, high ¾ slot. FB located all over the zone, sat 84-86 MPH, touching 86.9 MPH. Short SL with late lateral break at 76-77 MPH. Showed a CH at 77-79 MPH.


2025-2026 Pitching Prospects


+ We received an electric performance from 2026 RHP Jason Amalbert (DePaul Catholic), an Indiana recruit. Lanky build with tons of projection left at 6-foot, 160-pounds. Gradual start to his delivery with more aggressive actions following his hand-break. Athletic mover, the arm moves free and easy. Clean arm action with some whip. Advanced feel for all his pitches. Will continue to make strides and a prospect that will be followed closely throughout his high school career. FB sat 87-89 MPH, reaching 89.7 MPH. Showed multiple breakers, a CB at 73-75 MPH and a SL at 75-77 MPH.


+ Another intriguing underclassman was 2025 LHP Anthony Costello Jr. (Don Bosco Prep). Physical and durable frame at 6-foot-2, 200-pounds. Keeps his arms lower during his delivery with a later hand-break. Long, loose arm action with a high ¾ slot. Firm base, higher frontside. FB showed some late run at 82-84.5 MPH. Bigger CB with 1/7 shape at 70-72 MPH. Flashed a CH at 75-76 MPH.


+ 2025 RHP Drew Slomkowski (Nutley HS). Lanky build at 6-foot-1, 155-pounds, plenty of room for growth. Tempo to his delivery, showing advanced feel for his offspeed as an arm just about to start their sophomore high school season. Arm action is long, loose, and clean. Slightly open at footstrike. FB sat in the 82-84 MPH range. CB showed big downer tilt at 68-69 MPH with spin rates up to 2483 rpm. Ability to kill spin on the CH as well, averaging spin rates in the 1300’s, at 76-77 MPH.


+ 2025 LHP Grant Como (Westfield HS) stands at 6-foot, 175-pounds, lean and athletic frame. Up-tempo delivery, with his hands working in sync with his lower half. Exaggerated hand-break, early elbow lock. The lower half moves well, culminating with a strong brace leg. Arm is long and clean. Will have success with his FB/CB combo. FB sat at 81-83 MPH. CB had 1/7 shape at 65-67 MPH, consistently tossed in the zone for strikes.


+ Keeping the trend of 2025 prospects, we have RHP Alex Faust (Millburn HS). Athlete at 5-foot-11, 165-pounds. Compact delivery with rhythm, not too many moving parts. Shorter stride, gets over his frontside. Arm is short, clean and effortlessly quick. FB will jump on you at 83-84.8 MPH. The CB was Faust’s most impressive pitch, with sharp up/down shape at 69-71 MPH and spin rates up to 2297 rpm.


+ 2025 RHP Nick Gilpin (Don Bosco Prep) is another extremely projectable arm standing at 6-foot-2, 155-pounds. Hands stay down low by his hips until his leg kick in the delivery. Uphill shoulder tilt. Engages the backside, with that trailing hip riding the slope. Arm is long and clean, high ¾ slot. Located the FB at 81-83 MPH. Sharper action on his CB, which was 71-73 MPH with spin rates reaching 2341 rpm.


+ Lanky and projectable at 6-foot-1, 160-pounds, 2025 Chris Gioia (Rutherford HS) had an impressive bullpen. Gradual delivery with rhythm, does not speed himself up. Shoulders stay in line with his frontside. Shorter arm action with his slot being just above ¾. FB worked in the 80-81 MPH range. SL was a sweeper with late lateral action at times.


+ Last but certainly not least we have 2026 RHP Christopher Marano (Depaul Catholic). The compact and athletic righty (5-foot-9, 165-pounds) is one the top 2026’s in the state of New Jersey. Up-tempo and athletic actions down the mound. Creates some serious hip/shoulder separation. Arm is long and loose, works free from a ¾ slot. FB explodes out of his hand, with late armside run at 86-87 MPH, touching 88.3 MPH. SL sat at 75-77 MPH, sharp tilt with spin rates up to 2673 rpm. CH was a plus pitch, late sink and run at 80-81 MPH.