Prep Baseball Report

New York State Games Preview: North Country Region

New York staff

John Northrop of Jefferson Community College brings an eclectic 23-man roster to Prep Baseball Report's 2016 New York State Games, from high school programs ranging as far north as Watertown, down Interstate 81 through Liverpool and Baldwinsville, and eastward to Shenendehowa.

Vincenzo Alteri (2017) and Will Magovney (2017) completed a run earlier in the month to the state Final Four for Immaculate Heart Central in Class C. Alteri is a 6-foot-0, 190-pound shortstop who raked over .500 for the Cavaliers for the second straight season. From a family of pitchers, Magovney mixed speeds, dropped hooks and strung together back-to-back gems at Onondaga Community College in leading IHC into the final weekend of the season.

Carthage, which competes with IHC in the “A” Division of the Frontier League (Watertown), is represented by a pair of juniors. James “JD” Uhlinger (2017) is a sparkplug middle infielder and a coach’s dream — a solid fielder, tough out and natural leader. Tyler Hike (2017) is a 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher who leaves the ball low, and who will get stronger.

Caleb Kolb (2018), a 5-foot-10, 210-pound corner infielder, just completed his sophomore season for Watertown High School.

“He’s got a really good swing,” Northrop said. “Slow, compact, keeps his head still. This is a good opportunity for him going into his junior year.”

Northrop was given the job to coach this team in late-February, relatively late in the recruiting process. He rounded up a list of local talent from the north country, but welcomed talent from other parts of the state to complete the roster.

Located about 70 minutes north of Watertown, Liverpool High School wrapped up an 18-5 season in Class AA, falling to rival Cicero-North-Syracuse and the arm of Luke Dziado in the sectional final. Zach Scannell (2017), a 6-foot-0, 220-pound first baseman, didn’t get much burn for the Warriors, but Northrop is excited to see what the power hitter has in store.

“He’s a big kid from a baseball family,” Northrop said. “He can really hit. A middle of the order type. I saw him at the PBR competition in February. Keeps the bat-head in the zone. And he can move. Definitely a college guy.”

Other Liverpool talent includes Nick Antonello (2017), Devan Mederios (2017) and Owen Valentine (2017). Mederios is a 6-foot-4 multi-positional prospect who throws with good mechanics on the mound, but Northrop is anxious to see him roam the outfield.

Baldwinsville (13-9) beat Liverpool two out of four times. Jarrod Williams (2017), a 6-foot-0, 195-pound corner infielder and outfielder, posted a .429 on-base percentage in 43 plate appearances for the Bees. Williams drove in eight RBIs and batted .281.

“His versatility,” Northrop said. “He’s a big kid who can hit, with a good arm and he knows the game. He can play anywhere.”

While Shenendehowa’s No. 3 overall draft pick Ian Anderson was drawing most of the attention in Binghamton last weekend en route to a state title, Northrop had his eyes on teammate Michael Spulnick (2017), a late addition to his North Country team. Spulnick is ranked No. 1 among all second base prospects in the state.

“He can run and hit,” Northrop said. “He’s going to fit in well with what we’re doing.”

Northrop attended the PBR showcases last year to recruit for his JCC baseball program. This season he’s bringing his entire coaching staff, and he’s excited to see all of the talent the state has to offer.

Readers can view the North Country’s complete roster by scrolling down here. View the team’s prospective pitching matchups here.