Prep Baseball Report

Ohio Insider: Winter Showcase Breakout Performers

By Jordan Chiero and Dylan Hefflinger
Ohio Director of Scouting / Editor in Chief/Scout

Over the winter months, PBR Ohio held numerous showcases across the great Buckeye State. We have seen numerous prospects participate in their first PBR showcases, located prospects that we have never heard of, were impressed by prospects that have improved immensely and everything in between.

It has been a pleasure watching all of these prospects over the months and look forward to seeing these guys improve over the spring and summer months. To view Spring Team Previews, click here.

Below we highlight some of the top performers from the winter showcases. Later we will look at some of the top unsigned senior prospects, the top freshman prospects, all culminating in the release of our All-Winter Teams which will include a 1st, 2nd, 3rd and freshman teams that will be announced.

Interested in attending a PBR Ohio event? Check out our schedule by clicking here.

Ohio Insider: Winter Showcase Breakout Performers

Class of 2017

Logan SaboName: Logan Sabo
Position: LHP
State Rank: 174th in Ohio's 2017 Class
High School: Moeller
Height/Weight: 6-foot-1, 170-pounds

Breakout Performance: We got the chance to see Logan throw at our Cincinnati Preseason preview. He is currently ranked 174th in the 2017 class but will not be there for long. Logan is a very good athlete with long limbs and the frame to fill out. He showed a very impressive three-pitch mix with a mid-80s fastball and good feel for his curveball and changeup. His best days are still ahead of him and has a chance to be one of the top LHP in the state for the 2017 class.

Colin ClarkName: Colin Clark
Position: LHP
State Rank: N/A - Will be ranked in upcoming rankings
High School: Logan Elm
Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 180-pounds

Breakout Performance: Colin has the chance to make the biggest jump in the 2017 rankings as he is currently unranked. We saw him perform at our Stark Summit event and he was very impressive. He is an athletic, 6-foot-3, 180-pound southpaw with an extremely loose arm. He showcased a fastball sitting between 81-84 mph with a sharp curveball and good feel for a changeup. With his frame, loose arm, and athleticism there is very little doubt that his velocity will jump once he fills out and matures. Also, Colin is a very good basketball player and when we saw him he had just began getting into the swing of things baseball wise. Wouldn’t be surprised to see his velocity jump as early as this spring as he continues to get into baseball shape.

Josh StoverName: Josh Stover
Position: RHP/SS
State Rank: 66th in Ohio's 2017 Class
High School: Westerville North
Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 165-pounds

Breakout Performance: We got the chance to see Josh perform twice this winter at our Cincinnati Preseason preview and at our Stark Summit event. He was very impressive both as a position player and as a pitcher. He made our top performers list at Stark Summit both as a pitcher and for his play in the infield, while also making the top performers list in Cincinnati for his infield play. In the infield he showed off athletic actions with the arm to stay on the left side of the infield and also was able to produce hard contact at the plate in both events. What is really exciting about Josh is his velocity jump on the mound. When we saw him this past summer he was consistently 82-84 mph and got up to 85. This winter he was consistently 85-87 mph while touching 88 numerous times. With his frame and athleticism he should see even more increases as he matures.

Treyben FunderburgName: Treyben Funderburg
Position: RHP/SS
State Rank: N/A - Will be ranked in upcoming rankings
High School: Beavercreek
Height/Weight: 5-foot-11, 165-pounds

Breakout Performance: This winter was our first chance to see Treyben as he attended multiple of our events. He made the top performers list multiple times as a pitcher and in the field. Currently unranked in the 2017 class but that will change after his performances this winter. On the mound he is very fun to watch with the ability to throw from over the top and drop down to side-arm without much velocity decrease. From over the top he consistently sat in the mid-80s each time we saw him and topped out at 86 mph. He also had one of the better curveballs we saw all winter from his normal slot. When he drops down to sidearm he is consistently 81-84 with nasty run and sink. His sidearm delivery isn’t a project but a weapon as he looks comfortable and has control over a slider that has sharp action across the plate and a changeup that has similar run and sink to his fastball. As well as he performed on the mound he also showed legitimacy to him being viewed as a two-way prospect at the next level. He is a switch hitter that has more pop from the right side but was able to make hard contact from the left side as well. In the field he has smooth actions and showed the arm/athleticism to play on the left side of the infield or be a viable option at second base.

Chris MeyersName: Chris Meyers
Position: SS/3B
State Rank: 134th in Ohio's 2017 Class
High School: Miamisburg
Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 180-pounds

Breakout Performance: Chris has come a long way physically and ability wise since the first time we saw him. He showed up to our Miami Valley Preseason Preview five inches taller and put on 25 pounds of solid weight. During this time period his 60-yard dash time has improved by almost a full second from 7.92 to 6.96. Chris now is a physical, athletic 6-foot-2, 180-pounds and was very impressive at our event. From the left side he showed excellent strength and bat speed and consistently was able to create backspin on his line drives. Has some power potential and projects as a middle of the order bat at the next level. In the infield he moves very well for his size with some fluidity to his actions. He is a shortstop now but if he continues growing and getting stronger a move to third base could be in his future. He definitely has the arm to do it as he threw with 87 mph arm strength across the diamond at Miami Valley.

Dalton EarichName: Dalton Earich
Position: RHP
State Rank: 51st in Ohio's 2017 Class
High School: Manchester
Height/Weight: 6-foot-1, 175-pounds

Breakout Performance: Dalton attended several of our events this winter and impressed at each one. Simply put, this kid’s stuff is nasty and with his frame it should get even better as velocity increases. He was consistently 84-85 at our last even touching 86 with some of the heavier run you will see from a high school pitcher. He has the ability to start his fastball over the heart of the plate and run it into the hands of a righty. He also showed command of a changeup that has similar movement to his fastball and a sharp 11/5 curveball.

Dauson DalesName: Dauson Dales
Position: OF/C/RHP
State Rank: 123rd in Ohio's 2017 Class
High School: Ayersville
Height/Weight: 6-foot, 195-pounds

Breakout Performance: The three-sport athlete took a break from the hardwood on the basketball court to participate in his first PBR showcase, The Border Games. Being the QB/LB in FB as well as the top player on the basketball team (in the district finals), Dales has not been able to work on his baseball craft since the summer. That being said Dales still looked the part as the athletic 6-foot, 195-pounder worked a gap-to-gap approach, showing good bat speed (90 mph exit velocity) with a short swing and a line drive approach. Dales showcased his athleticism with a 6.89 60-yard dash. Dales will be an interesting follow this spring and summer when he is in baseball shape. Dales has also been seen in the mid-80s on the mound, making him a legit two-way prospect.

Zach StraleyName: Zach Straley
Position: RHP/SS
State Rank: N/A - Will be ranked in upcoming rankings
High School: Lake
Height/Weight: 6-foot, 180-pounds

Breakout Performance: This winter was our first time seeing Zach as he attended several of our events. Currently unranked in the 2017 class, but he will be ranked in our upcoming rankings. He has a strong, athletic build at 6-foot, 180-pounds and has potential to be a two-way prospect. He showed well in batting practice with decent actions in the infield. With his arm strength and ability to run a move to the outfield wouldn’t be out of the question at the next level. However, his breakout performance this winter was on the mound. His velocity jumped at each event and was consistently 86-88 mph the last time we saw him. He will need to improve command of his offspeed but when in the zone his curveball was sharp with good depth and his changeup has late run and sink as well.

Class of 2018

Grant VeraName: Grant Vera
Position: SS/2B
State Rank: 34th in Ohio's 2018 Class
High School: Tiffin Calvert
Height/Weight: 5-foot-10, 165-pounds

Breakout Performance: We first saw Grant at our Western Winter Showcase and had a second look at him at our Central Ohio Preseason Preview. What jumps out about Grant right away is his ability to play shortstop at a high level. Very sound mechanically with the ability to remain fluid and athletic on the move. He is the best defender we saw all winter. He also was impressive at the plate. With smooth, efficient movements to his loading sequence he gets through the zone with good strength and bat speed. Both times we saw him he consistently made hard contact and reached a top exit velocity of 93 mph.

Marcus ErnstName: Marcus Ernst
Position: SS/RHP
State Rank: 23rd in Ohio's 2018 Class
High School: Dublin Coffman
Height/Weight: 6-foot, 170-pounds

Breakout Performance: We saw Marcus at our Central Ohio Preseason Preview in Columbus. What is really impressive about Marcus is that he could have made this list as a pitcher or a position player. At the plate he is able to create a ton of energy from the left side. He has an advanced approach at the plate showing the ability to drive the ball to all parts of the field. Showed off his strength and bat speed by registering an exit velocity of 92 mph. On the mound he can flat out pitch with an impressive three-pitch mix. His fastball got up to 84 mph and he showed advanced feel for both his curveball and changeup. He has an athletic build with a frame to fill out so he still may be far from his ceiling physically.

Devan NailName: Devan Nail
Position: SS/RHP
State Rank: N/A - Will be ranked in upcoming rankings
High School: Elyria
Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 175-pounds

Breakout Performance: Our Northern Ohio Preseason Preview was our first chance to see Devan perform and he can flat out play. He is another guy that will make a big jump in our rankings as he is currently unranked in the 2018 class. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound shortstop has a projectable build with room to fill out and is a very good athlete. Upside is through the roof. In the field he has athletic actions with one of, if not the quickest transfers we saw all winter. A fluid athlete that moves laterally with ease and shows extreme confidence in his glove. At the plate he used a simple approach but was able to get efficient use out of his mechanics to create consistent hard contact. Looks to be one of the top middle infielders in the 2018 class and should only get better as he matures physically.

Tyler HaysName: Tyler Hays
Position: RHP/1B
State Rank: N/A - Will be ranked in upcoming rankings
High School: Copley
Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 175-pounds

Breakout Performance: This winter was our first time seeing Tyler as he attended our Mahoning Valley Open ID and Northern Ohio Preseason Preview even. He is currently unranked in the 2018 but that will change very soon. He has a prototypical build at 6-foot-4, 175-pounds with room to fill out and is a possible two-way prospect. He was very impressive on the mound with his fastball consistently 84-86 mph and an arsenal of offspeed pitches. He has a true slider/curveball combination both were sharp and had good depth. He also showed feel for a changeup with some run and a splitter with good downward movement. He may have the highest ceiling on this list with his frame, athleticism, age, and the fact he still has some things to clean up in his delivery. He also showed that he can swing the bat. A very aggressive hitter who has strength and bat speed with power potential to his pull side.

Ryan StrittmatherName: Ryan Strittmather
Position: SS
State Rank: 36th in Ohio's 2018 Class
High School: Elyria Catholic
Height/Weight: 5-foot-11, 160-pounds

Breakout Performance: This winter, we had the pleasure of watching Ryan perform three times (Western Ohio Winter Showcase, Northern Ohio Preseason Preview and The Border Preview). Over the winter, you could see how much Ryan had been putting in work on and off the field. He has gotten stronger, quicker and more athletic since the first time we saw the shortstop in 2014. In Ryan's most recent showcase, The Border Games, he was a standout on defense, showing a quick first step with good feet and quick hands. His actions were smooth, showing the ability to field through the ball. At the plate, the 2018 shortstop showed a good bat path with the ability to work all fields. Ryan had good bat speed with good rhythm and a 90 mph exit velocity. 60-yard dash wise, Ryan has showed incredible improvement over the years and now runs a 6.84.

Jackson MeterName: Jackson Meter
Position: RHP/C
State Rank: N/A - Will be ranked in upcoming rankings
High School: Defiance
Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 205-pounds

Breakout Performance: The Border Preview was the second time we were able to see Jackson Meter throw off the mound. Currently unranked, look for Jackson to make a big leap into the rankings in the near future. The strong-bodied righty transferred from Napoleon HS to Defiance HS after his freshman year and it looks as though the transfer has worked out so far for Meter. The fastball velocity has jumped six mph from early 2015 and now sits in the low-80s, topping out at 84 mph with heavy action. The tight 12/6 curveball sits in the mid-70s with good arm speed. Speaking of good arm speed, the change is thrown at 77-79 and Meter has a good feel for the pitch.

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