Diamonds in the Rough: Week 2


Ted Williams
Ground Forces

Over the next few months, the Prep Baseball Report (PA/NY) crew will be highlighting players in several different article formats, including Ted Williams’ "Diamonds in the Rough" feature series.

The recruiting process can be tough sledding at times and for whatever reason, talented players can remain uncommitted for extended periods of time. Included below are some players who have stood out at events throughout the showcase year and deserve more love for their abilities. Featured in this article: two late-blooming '21's, two '22's that have impact potential, and a seasoned '23 SS who can be a protypical middle guy moving forward. 

DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH: WEEK 2

Logan Hurd OF / Warwick, NY / 2021


The Spin: Fueled by a strong 5-foot-10, 185-pound frame and an abundance of athleticism, the ‘21 OF jumps out with the way he moves in all facets of the game. A quick 6.80 runner with likeable qualities defensively, Hurd easily fits the profile of any everyday centerfielder at the next level. Making the ‘21 OF even more interesting is the fact that he plays the game at a speed above everyone else on the field while maintaining a “calm and collected” type of control throughout. Offensively, the right-handed hitter gets it done with advanced rhythm to go along with some simplicity while maintaining a mostly pull-side approach. Looking deeper at the measurables, what sticks out most is the combination of a high rotational acceleration (nearing 20 G’s of force per Blast Motion) and consistently quick bat-speed (76.18 mph average according to Trackman Baseball), which suggests the ability to develop power as he matures. An already solid 92 mph peak bat-exit velocity worked well with zero groundballs off of the bat during his batting practice round in August (58% fly balls, 33% line drives, 8.3% hard hit rate) which should only further excitement around future power chances. An all around solid player with both a high floor and newfound high ceiling, Hurd could find himself sneaking up the rankings following what should be a breakout ‘21 campaign for Warwick.


Scott Scheppy RHP / Newburgh Free Academy , NY / 2021


The Spin: In the case of Scheppy, the velocity isn’t quite there yet (T83 on the fastball) but advanced pitchability more than makes up for it allowing him to have no issues dicing up hitters in game action. The 6-foot, 170-pound righty absolutely attacks the zone with a quick arm and high-spin fastball (80% zone rate) which lives comfortably above the belt. Hitters had a hard time getting on top of it creating a higher than average fly ball rate during the Last Chance Preview in July. Add in the fact that he also possesses a quality 72 mph SL from the same window (average of 12 inches of horizontal movement per Trackman Baseball) and you can see how deceptive he can be. Where today’s game is obsessed with velocity, Scheppy is a nice breath of fresh air in how he stays ahead and keeps hitters off balance, and it helps that he’s an absolute competitor on the bump. We were very impressed with how he handled baserunners while managing the run game and the righty also made some big time pitches in impact moments. Overall, the velocity is expected to creep a little, and with the development of a third pitch, you’re talking about a rotational piece at the next level. 


Tyler Sausville OF / LHP / Colonie , NY / 2022


The Spin: One of the biggest “winners” from the NY State Games back in July, Sausville put up an MVP type of performance going 4 for 6 in game action ending up just a double shy of the cycle (two triples). The left-handed hitter repeatedly barreled the baseball up this summer against premier pitching evidenced by quick hands (23.1 mph peak hand speed per Blast Motion) and ability to match plane in the box (65% on plane efficiency). Although the frame isn’t massive, the 5-foot-7, 150-pound outfielder gets it done with above average twitch and sneaky strength throughout. Generated a max rotational acceleration of 30 G’s at the plate and an average of 73 mph bat-speed, pointing towards a guy you can trust at the top of the lineup who can also accrue extra base hits at a high rate. Furthering the conversation as to why Sausville will be an impact bat moving forward, look at his 57% line drive rate or 84 mph average bat-exit velocity according to Trackman Baseball. Defensively you’re looking at a solid OF who can handle at least any two of the three outfield positions notching a 7.18 60-yard dash and well above average 88 mph arm-strength. 


Emil Sander OF / 3B / Skaneateles, NY / 2022


The Spin: If you’re looking for a player who possesses multiple legitimate tools, Emil Sander would be your guy. Not only did he record an impressive 6.59 60-yard dash at the NY State Games, but the right-handed hitter put forth one of the better BP rounds at the NY Futures showcase in September raising eyebrows. Although he had longer limbs at 6-foot, 175-pounds, Sander stayed behind and inside the baseball well allowing his leverage to play out in front. Worked the middle of the field methodically during batting practice while staying off of the ground (10% groundball rate) allowing for some carry off of the barrel to both gaps. A standout 25 G rotational acceleration coupled with a peak of 58% on plane efficiency per Blast Motion should tell you that the movements are controlled, yet powerful in the box. The Skaneateles product generated a solid 91 mph bat-exit velocity and utilized an aggressive approach in game action jumping on the first FB out over the plate with a high success rate. While the aforementioned footspeed gives him the ability to patrol the outfield, Sander also hones a strong 83 mph throwing arm from his position opening the door to play any of the three positions at the next level. We’re all in on the ‘22 OF because of three high level traits: size, in-game intelligence, and standout tools, a combination you don’t see too often.


Samuel Stafura SS / OF / Walter Panas, NY / 2023


The Spin: We always love seeing high level infielders do their thing on our stage and Stafura certainly fit the bill exploding onto the scene at the NY State Games back in July. The ‘23 SS checked in at an athletic 5-foot-11, 171 pounds and featured advanced, gliding movements across the diamond during defensive evaluations with a high motor early on in the routes. The movements were so polished that we feel comfortable about him sticking on the left side moving forward as an already impressive 82 mph arm strength will only keep improving as he matures. The right-handed hitter holds his own offensively although the power numbers won’t jump off of the page. A solid 86 mph peak bat-exit velocity per Trackman Baseball is backed up by a 38% line drive rate and 42% on plane efficiency according to Blast Motion, telling you that the bat to ball skills are relatively high. Stafura demonstrated rhythm in the hands during batting practice allowing for increased timing at the front of the plate in order to utilize a controlled, gap to gap approach. The adjustability is there and with an uptick in power in the coming years, you’re looking at a high level player on both sides of the ball. 


UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
2021 Preseason All-State - South/Central PA 02/06 Iron Horse Sports Complex
Super 60 Pro Showcase NATIONAL 02/07 MOSH Performance Center
2021 Preseason All-State - Pittsburgh (3PM Session) PA 02/07 All American Fieldhouse
2021 Preseason All-State - Pittsburgh (9AM Session) PA 02/07 All American Fieldhouse
2021 Northeast ProCase (2021 Grads Only) PA 02/13 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 Preseason All-State - Erie PA 02/13 Erie Premier Sports
2021 Preseason All-State - North/Central PA 02/14 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 Preseason All-State - East (11AM Session) PA 02/27 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 Preseason All-State East (3PM Session) PA 02/27 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - Central PA 03/06 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - East PA 03/14 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - West PA 03/14 All American Fieldhouse