Headed North: Players on the Climb

John Northrup
Scouting Supervisor

Welcome back to our second year of PBR New York’s Headed North – where we select members to discuss, highlight, and point out what is to be seen this coming spring and summer at the ballpark. To kick off our first article in 2018, we will look at two 2019 graduates and one 2018 prospect that have a special skill set and are looking to break out during the spring season. Outfielder Jacob Wheeler (Liverpool), Outfielder/RHP Nick Crandall (Olean) and second basemen Nathan Poag (Glens Falls) all have tools to key on for the 2018 season.

Headed North

Jacob Wheeler OF / SS / Liverpool , NY / 2019

Liverpool High School and Syracuse Sportszone product. The 5-foot-8, 160-pounder attended four PBR New York events in 2017 putting up consistent numbers throughout the summer. The righty features a clean, smooth swing with line drive ability and a good eye for the strike zone. He uses his whole body frame throughout the swing which will only get better with added strength development. This past summer his exit velocity peaked at 81 MPH at the ENY All-Star Games, but with his work ethic, look for this to increase in future events. Wheeler defensively is fluid getting to the spot while taking good routes. Shows accurate arm strength with good throwing mechanics and a positional arm velocity from the outfield at 76 MPH. Wheeler has developed a good foundation offensively and defensively and continues to get better. His quickness will need to improve, but this will come in time. Overall Wheeler is a college prospect that could break out any minute. A couple key adjustments and more reps will improve his game and take it to the next level. Look for a break out spring/summer for Wheeler.

Nick Crandall OF / RHP / Olean, NY / 2019

Olean High School and Northeast Twins product. The 5-foot-9, 145-pounder attended two PBR New York events over the summer of 2017 flashing good numbers and a potential for growth. The righty features a quick swing with a top exit velocity recorded at 82 MPH, set at our St. Bonaventure campus series event in July. With added strength and reps, look for this to increase along with his potential gap to gap power. Defensively Crandall posted an 80 MPH positional velocity from the outfield, with room for growth. Mechanically he is smooth with good routes, fluid movement, and an accurate arm. This plays into his potential on the mound as well. His fastball peaked at 76 MPH with consistent secondary pitches. Pitches are consistent in the strike zone with repeatable mechanics to keep hitters off balance. Overall Crandall is another college prospect that will continue to improve. With added strength, quickness, and work on the mound, he could be potentially a two way player at the collegiate level.

Nathan Poag 2B / 3B / Glens Falls , NY / 2018

Glens Falls High School and Tri-City Bombers product. The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder has attended five PBR events in the past and has continued to progress throughout. The righty thus far has posted a high of 81 MPH for exit velocity with the ability to increase due to his quick hands and bat. Poag shows line drive potential with the ability to make consistent contact with a compact swing. Defensively Poag is athletic getting to the baseball showing control and good body awareness up the middle. He shows fluid fielding mechanics with good separation and a quick transfer to get the ball out of the glove and towards the target. Thus far, his personal best positional velocity is 75 MPH, and has continued to increase each event he has attended. Overall Poag is a collegiate prospect to keep an eye on for this athletic ability and his potential to get better.

As we wait for the temperatures to increase, all of us can start thinking about the upcoming season. We hope that your preparation over the long winter months has paid off and wish you all the best of luck finishing up your workout programs prior to the start of spring practice. For Jacob Wheeler, Nick Crandell and Nathan Poag we here at PBR are looking forward to keeping an eye on your teams season this spring and watch your continued development as a player. With Prep Baseball Reports continuous coverage throughout the whole high school baseball season, you can check on these three players as well as many others and their respective teams.

For all other players out there – as always, keep working hard! The entire PBR New York staff will be out working hard in our effort to dominate the state in coverage for high school baseball and events all summer long. We want to wish you luck in the final stages of preparation for spring practice and look forward to a long journey that 2018 will bring.

See you at the yard…



New York Winter Open NY 02/11 Paul Gerry Fieldhouse - Loch Sheldrake, NY
Rising Stars Winter Showcase NY 02/11 Paul Gerry Fieldhouse - Loch Sheldrake, NY
Preseason All-State West (NYS Games Trials) SOLD OUT NY 02/19 Pinnacle Sports Campus - Victor, NY
Preseason All-State Downstate (NYS Games Trials) NY 02/21 House Of Sports - Ardsley, NY
Preseason All-State East (NYS Games Trials) NY 02/22 All-Star Academy - Latham, NY
Preseason All-State Long Island (NYS Games Trials) NY 02/23 All Pro Fieldhouse - East Setauket, NY
Rising Stars Instructional Showcase NY 02/25 Spencerport, NY