Early Signing Period - Division 1 Recruiting Class Breakdown


Chris Kemlo and PBR Staff
PBR Ontario Scouting Director

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Ontario Insider: Early Signing Period - Division 1 Recruiting Class Breakdown

The NCAA early signing period starts November 8th, 2017 and will run through the 15th. With the start of the fall signing period upon us, we look to break down each individual Division I commitment from in-province prospects, where they are headed and what tools they will bring with them.

Over the next two weeks, we will breakdown the recruiting hauls for Division II and JUCO programs as well as other programs that have signed players from province.

***** Below we talk in-depth about each in-state prospect headed to play D1 outside the province

Canisius

Jacob Kush RHP / 2B / Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute, ON / 2018

Overview: With the new coaching change and longtime skipper Mike McRae now at Virginia Commonwealth University, long time assistant Matt Mazurek steps in as Head Coach with a firm grasp on the program and its players. The two early commits are the Kush brothers in Jacob and Kyle, with the Golden Griffs getting a right-handed arm in Jacob while Kyle brings a defensive presence up the middle along with upside at the plate. Jacob works in the 85-88 range with his fastball that shows life and run from a quick ¾ slot while the curveball has late action and Jacob shows good feel and ability to locate it and move around the zone. As both brothers continue to add strength and mature, these are two big commits for Canisius as both look to be major contributors to the roster early and often.

Kyle Kush SS / 2B / GUelph Collegiate Vocational Institute, ON / 2018

Overview: With the new coaching change and longtime skipper Mike McRae now at Virginia Commonwealth University, long time assistant Matt Mazurek steps in as Head Coach with a firm grasp on the program and its players. The two early commits are the Kush brothers in Jacob and Kyle, with the Golden Griffs getting a right-handed arm in Jacob while Kyle brings a defensive presence up the middle along with upside at the plate. Kyle can play all over the infield with smooth actions up the middle this year while the arm continues to get stronger as does he. Shows good footwork and body control defensively, moving to both sides and making plays on the run while the offensive game is still developing but the swing is short and compact with contact oriented at-bats and feel for the barrel are there. As both brothers continue to add strength and mature, these are two big commits for Canisius as both look to be major contributors to the roster early and often.

East Tennessee State

Thomas Murphy RHP / All Saints, ON / 2018

Overview: Thomas Murphy, one of the top right-handers in the 2018 class inks his deal with East Tennessee St. after a promising 2017 summer that saw him make gains across the board. A member of the Southern Conference, State gets a strong and physical arm in the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Murphy with a fastball that gets into the upper-80s and should be a low-90s guy when all is said and done. The curveball and changeup all have the stuff to be quality offerings at the next level and the possibilities to be a three pitch starter with above average stuff make Murphy an intriguing righty heading into his freshman season. As he refines his delivery and continues to attack the strike zone, A Friday, Saturday type starter could be where Murphy ends up when all is said and done.

Harvard

Matt Jenkins OF / Crescent, ON / 2018

Overview: Not necessarily known for their baseball program instead of their rich academic history, Harvard gets a talent in Matt Jenkins, a right-handed hitting outfielder with a chance to bring some real power to the lineup as well strength and athleticism. At 6-foot-1 and a stocky strong 205-pounds, Jenkins is suited for a corner position in the outfield while the 7.1 runner plays a solid outfield with a more than suitable arm for the Crimson. The biggest upside is what Jenkins can bring to the table offensively. The swing is fluid and generates bat speed, while there is some swing and miss, the balance and finish, along with the path suggests that Jenkins is going to hit and be able to potentially be a middle of the order bat.

Marshall

Ryan Capuano RHP / 3B / Birchmount Park, ON / 2018

Overview: As the newest Division 1 commit from the 2018 class, Ryan Capuano must of enjoyed his recent visit to Virginia as not long after he was the newest member of the Herd’s 2018 class. Capuano made strides this summer as the velocity spiked and the stuff became sharper, as he would typically sit in the 85-88 range while touching 90 mph on a few occasions. The arm is loose works with clean action in the back and outfront, at 6-foot-1, 190-pounds, not much to project physically but he will add some strength and quickness. A competitor on the mound, at times Capuano did face some fastball command issues but was usually able to work around that and get himself out of jams. With a big jump last year, we expect Capuano to continue to trend upwards and Marshall has gotten themselves the number three ranked arm currently in the 2018 Ontario class.

Mississippi State

Eric Cerantola RHP / St. Trinite, ON / 2018

Overview: Eric Cerantola, the top ranked arm in the 2018 class of Ontario had some tough decisions to make this summer, but eventually arrived at one of the top programs in the SEC, the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Cerantola is a 6-foot-5 right-hander that has been up to 93 with his fastball and possesses a legit curveball that shows 12/6 action with late bite and tight spin. The arm is clean and works on a downhill plane while the changeup is still developing, Cerantola has the makings of a Friday night starter in him at one of the biggest schools and toughest conferences in the nation. Was a key component to Canada’s run at the Worlds in Thunder Bay this year while his best stuff to date may of been when he finished off Australia for 4 innings in Ajax at the World’s pre-tournament games. Cerantola has the arm, frame, and curveball to be an intriguing follow for pro scouts and the former high end hockey player looks to now solely focus on baseball, this attention to the game could mean for a big winter for the Mississippi State commit.

Niagara

Calum Theal RHP / C / AN Myer, ON / 2018

Overview: Always a fixture in the Ontario recruiting scene, Niagara has added another right-hander to go on top of the three they signed out of the 2017 class in right-hander Calum Theal who is from the Canadian side of Niagara region. Theal has progresses every year with a loose and live arm and a fastball that works in the mid 80’s with action and run. The off-speed stuff is there and has a chance to be impact at the next level with 12/6 curveball and a changeup that works well off his fastball. At 6-foot-2, 160-pounds, there is a lot more to come from this righty and with the stuff he currently has and the improvements he has made to his game every year, the Purple Eagles have continued to add depth to their staff with Theal.

Northern Kentucky

Noah Richardson 1B / LHP / WF Herman Academy, ON / 2018

Overview: Noah Richardson was one of the first commits from the 2018 class as Coach Asalon was impressed with the 6-foot-3, 210-pound, left on left first baseman early on with big starts to the year and a strong showing at the Sunbelt in Oklahoma. An imposing presence at the plate with a strong lower half and muscular build, Richardson shows natural power and its loud off the bat when he gets on time and extended. The upside and power he has, mixed with athleticism at first, add in the fact he also pitched all through high school, it’s easy to see more as Richardson matures and gets at-bats. Chance to be a serious power threat for NKU throughout his collegiate career.

Oklahoma

Ben Abram RHP / Georgetown District, ON / 2018

Overview: The now 6-foot-7, 210-pound right-hander Ben Abram first became familiar with Oklahoma after his appearance at the 2015 PBR Future Games. Abram was a tall, lean prospect then with a fastball that worked in the 82-84 range with limited off-speed at the time but the arm was clean and the body control and feel for the mound were evident for a young arm at that size. The senior now finished off the 2017 season with big time performances for his country and a strong outing at T12. The fastball velocity was the best he’s ever been to finish off a year at 89 mph and the off-speed is now refined and he shows the confidence to throw at any time. There will be pro interest in Abram as we head into the new year as he continues to get better, stronger, and the 6’7 frame with downhill action and three pitches are something that need to be paid attention too. There is still room to add size and more velocity to come from the Sooner commit.

Quinnipiac

Kyle Maves 2B / C / Corpus Christi Catholic Secondary School, ON / 2017

Overview: Kyle Maves was an early commit and the extra year paid off for the left-handed hitting middle infielder. Maves has always been a scrappy, spark plug type of player who seems to ne in the right place and do the right things. Contact type hitter who can use the whole field and find the barrel. Gap type power and will drive mistakes. Sound defender who isn’t afraid to get dirty and after it. Will run and steal bags while our best 60 time is a 6.94. Always liked the way he approached and played the game. Tough nosed player who will do the little things that help teams win ball games.

Texas A&M 

Noah Naylor C / SS / St. Joan of Arc, ON / 2018

Overview: The real question about Texas A&M is if Noah Naylor will even make it there. A national prospect and potential high pick this June, Naylor could follow in the footsteps of the last player from Ontario to commit to A&M in Adam Hall and bypass school to begin his professional career. Recently Naylor was mentioned in Coffee & Curveballs as our National Crosschecker Shooter Hunt named Naylor as his favorite catcher in the top draft 100. It’s easy to see why as Naylor, a left-handed hitting catcher, the bat is easy, loose, and quick with current hit tool and power that is continuing to evolve. The arm is a rocket while his feet and transfers are quick and controlled. The best part is he can play in the infield and you can find those to debate on whether it’s best suited for third base, second, or behind the dish. Either way he has a chance to be a game changer on both sides of the ball and the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Naylor will not hold down the bases as he can run as well with 60’s in the 6.7 range the ability to run the bases. Naylor will be fun to watch this spring as the top prospect in the country will be on every team’s radar.