Diamonds in the Rough: Week 5
January 13, 2021
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. More specifically, we will be focusing on five standout uncommitted prospects who could be impact players at the next level.
Evan Fisher 1B / 3B / Sachem East , NY / 2021
Rankings StateRank: 132 / POS: 9
The Spin: The hulking 6-foot, 200-pounder put an imprint on the Team Beast scout day in September notching a standout 100.3 mph bat-exit velocity per Trackman Baseball. The right-handed hitter showcased a simple approach during batting practice yielding easy juice and high-quality bat speed (79.1 mph peak) to whip through impact generating a top batted ball distance of 383 feet. A 64% hard hit rate gives confidence that he can consistently barrel the baseball up and a 36.4% line drive rate should give him the ability to hit for some average as well. Considering he recorded a max of 20.5 G’s of rotational acceleration (according to Blast Motion) at the plate, the power output is efficient and will only keep climbing as he becomes more refined. An offensive force first and foremost, the Sachem East product ran an impressive 7.32 60-yard dash in that frame displaying the athleticism he possesses. Defensively, the first baseman featured a medium center of gravity on the approach with a soft glove hand working out in front while demonstrating average range to either side. Although the defense won’t blow you away, it’s more than enough to get that bat into the lineup and if he keeps developing offensively, you’re looking at an impact hitter who can lock down a spot in the middle of a collegiate lineup for years to come.
UPDATE: Fisher has committed to Coker College.
Benjamin Gilbert RHP / OF / Guilderland , NY / 2021
Rankings StateRank: 187 / POS: 63
The Spin: The projectable 6-foot-3, 175-pound two-way prospect wowed us at the NY Unsigned Senior Night in September on the bump where the primary righty featured legitimate pitchability and a feel for four pitches in the zone. Gilbert utilized a “tall and fall” delivery on the mound getting plenty of sink on an 81-83 mph fastball (16 inches of induced vertical break and 18 inches of max horizontal movement per Trackman Baseball). Even more impressively, he held the zone at 100% with a short-breaking 65-67 mph curveball while showing different plane on a 66-69 mph slider (17 inches of max horizontal movement). Add in hard arm-side dive on a 72-74 mph changeup (7 inches of induced vertical break) and you can start to see the “starting pitcher” traits in his game. If the mound isn’t enough evidence, the Guilderland product could find a spot in the outfield where he ran a 7.07 60-yard dash demonstrating long strides that can cover plenty of ground in space. An accurate 83 mph arm strength should give him ability to play any two of the three outfield positions, and quality footwork should allow him to step onto the field earlier rather than later. The right-handed hitter put forth a solid round of batting practice with a leveraged approach featuring extremely quick hands (24.30 mph peak hand speed per Blast Motion) allowing for bat-exit velocities creeping up around 88 mph. With a 46% line drive rate and increased barrel awareness, you’re looking at a complete player in all phases of the game.
John Luis OF / Environmental Studies , NY / 2022
Rankings StateRank: 84 / POS: 18
The Spin: The twitch continues to stand out for the 5-foot-7, 155-pound outfielder proving that he can play at a really high level despite the lack of size. Our last time seeing him in July at the NY State Games, the right-handed hitter crushed a deep home-run down the left field line on the 10th pitch of an at bat showing off the competitive fire he possesses. The swing worked with precision featuring quick hands (21.6 mph peak hand speed per Blast Motion) and a short bat path to the baseball allowing him to see the ball deeper while make decisions later in the box. An impressive 74% on plane efficiency hints at above-average barrel awareness and created consistency at impact (55% line drive rate). A 6.75 60-yard dash is lucrative with the ability to slot into a centerfield position at the next level and a live 84 mph arm strength proved to be more than serviceable during defensive evaluations. With more strength and physicality on the horizon, Luis will only continue getting better and should be a close follow over his final two seasons of high school baseball.
Michael Alcantara C / 1B / George Washington , NY / 2022
Rankings StateRank: 103 / POS: 14
The Spin: The switch-hitting 5-foot-11, 190-pound backstop should be considered an impact defender first and foremost with pop times getting down as low as 1.91 seconds and a solid 75 mph arm strength from the crouch. A lightning-quick transfer might be the most noticeable of his defensive attributes getting the ball in and out of the glove with ease giving him the means to shut down the run game if need be. Offensively, Alcantara mirrored the setup from both sides of the plate with increased comfortability from the left evidenced by a strong batting practice round with hard, consistent contact at the NY State Games (91.4 mph peak bat-exit / 82.3 mph average). A 38% line drive rate and 43% fly ball rate per Trackman Baseball worked well with a natural gap to gap approach while displaying the extra-base hit ability present. With increased blocking technique on either side of the plate coupled with advanced receiving skills, the George Washington product could be a day one starter and has shown leadership qualities at a premium position. Add in a more than serviceable 7.37 60-yard dash and you can see the athleticism and strength in the movements allowing for continued development on all fronts of his game.
Charles West LHP / OF / Ward Melville, NY / 2023
Rankings StateRank: 42 / POS: 4
The Spin: The lean and projectable 5-foot-10, 140-pound lefty gets it done with smooth, repeatable mechanics allowing an 80-81 mph fastball to get an upwards of 2241 spin while holding the zone at 36% per Trackman Baseball. The Ward Melville product liked to hammer the left side of the plate with 12 inches of arm-side horizontal movement and then dropped in a sharp 69-72 mph breaking ball showing 1/7 shape and 2355 RPM’s as the out pitch. In ten at-bats charted at the NY State Games, the lefty was ahead in the count in seven of them showing the ability to consistently command each pitch. Add in a 74-75 mph CH displaying good sell with more extension than the fastball (6.27 feet / 5.83 feet), and you can see the potential to be a headache to opposing hitters. Considering the fact that more strength will be added over the coming years, the ‘23 LHP should continue adding velocity which will only make already solid in-game results that much better. A young prospect who does all the little things well, West has the ceiling necessary to catapult up the class rankings over the next few years.
Previous Diamonds in the Rough
|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|