First Thoughts: WNY Prospect Preview



By PAUL GOTHAM
New York Staff

Less than one week after the completion of Prep Baseball Report’s 2016 New York State Games, players took the field at Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex on the campus of Houghton College for the WNY Prospect Preview. A few hidden gems found their way to the surface. 

How Do You Like Me Now? 

Thomas Bednarski (2018/Alden) created a buzz with his first toss from the mound, and the 6-foot-1 right-hander continued to deliver from there. Bednarski registered in the 86-87 mph range and touched 89. He showed a tight curve at 70 and threw his slider for strikes at 70-71. With a solid, sturdy frame (175 pounds), it’s easy seeing Bednarski adding velocity as he matures. 

Bednarski was not the only arm drawing attention.   

Jack Zielinski (2017/Pittsford-Sutherland) threw 80-81 with arm-side run. Smooth and effortless, the left-hander generates power through extension which he brings through with a fluid motion. Zielinski tossed his curve ball at 69 and spotted his change-up at 71. Brian Norsen (2019/Frontier) sat 81 and touched 83 with downward action. Showing clean mechanics, the right-hander threw a 12 to 6 curve ball at 65. Alex Johnson (2019/Tapestry Charter) also showed downward action on his fastball. Johnson sat 78 and touched 83. The right-hander spotted his change-up at 74. 

Tyler Brill (2017/Bishop Timon) sat 80 and touched 82. The left-hander showed a tight curve at 67 and threw his change-up for strikes at 75. Nathan Hampson (2018/Victor) touched 80 and commanded his breaking ball at 69-72. At 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, the left-hander has a lot of upside. 

With a curve ball at 64 and change at 72, Brian Herrmann (2019/Canisius) threw 78-79 and touched 80. Matthew DeRoller (2017/Bishop Kearney), coming off a steady showing in the NYS Games, touched 81 after throwing 79-80. Standing 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, it is easy to see this right-hander adding velocity at the next level. Justin Wisniewski (2017/City Honors) threw 79-80 with a breaking ball 68-70. Ronald Loomis (2017/Livonia) touched 82 and spotted a change at 71. Matthew Dessena (2017/Hornell) sat 78 with downward action and touched 80. The right-hander spotted his change-up at 70. 

Throwing Darts 

Brian Chatt (Lockport/2017) led the way from behind the plate with a POP time of 1.95. Loose and easy with his arm action, the 5-foot-9, 165-pound back stop showed pinpoint accuracy with his tosses. Coming off an impressive showing in last week’s NYS Games, Jake Zurat (2017/Williamsville-North) continues to show consistency at 2.0. The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Zurat is steady behind the plate and packs plenty of pop with the stick. It was Zurat who delivered the game winner when Niagara edged Hudson Valley on Day 2 of the NYS Games. Justin Augustine (2018/Greece Arcadia) registered a POP time at 2.06.

Zielinski led the way with an outfield velocity of 80. Cameryn Williams (2018/Baldwinsville) registered at 79 from the outfield while Dawson Bailey (2017/Lewiston-Porter) and Jack Shaughnessy (2017/Brighton) came in at 75.  

Omar Rosa (2018/Fairport) paced the infield velo at 77. Aaron Potter (2017/Depew) and Hampson threw at 75.

Nice to Know Ya; Time For Me To Exit 

Bailey led the exit velocity times at 90. The first-team All-Western New York selection continues to deliver. Potter and Shaughnessy followed at 88. Hampson and Zurat clocked in at 87 with DeRoller, Norsen and Pat Bigham (2017/Greece Odyssey) getting in at 86.   

Prep Baseball New York turns its attention to the Futures Game on July 20th at Sullivan Community College.