Class of 2015 Pitchers Analysis: Preseason All-State Showcase

By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting

The Preseason All-State Showcase was full of quality pitching prospects in all four classes. A dozen Class of 2015 pitchers took the mound on the day with two highly regarded left-handers taking top honors. Following is a look at the sophomore pitchers who showcased their abilities. 

Higgins1. Connor Higgins, LHP, Parkland HS

Higgins has a very projectable 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame and sound, repeatable mechanics. The left-handed sophomore sat 83-85 out of a high 3/4 arm slot, but has been 85-87 earlier this winter. Higgins displayed tight rotation to his 1/7 breaking curveball at 70 mph. He also commanded a 79 mph changeup that shows arm side run. Higgins could afford to take some velocity off his changeup to separate the pitch further from his fastball and to allow greater movement. Higgins established himself as one of the elite left-handed pitchers in the Class of 2015.

Cyphert2. Dylan Cyphert, LHP/OF, Cranberry HS

Cyphert had one of the top bullpen sessions of any pitcher at the event. The 6-foot, 170-pound lefty sat 85-87 with excellent arm speed out of a high 3/4 arm slot. His fastball lacked significant movement but did show late life. Cyphert also commanded a 66 mph curveball and a 79 mph changeup. With additional work on his complimentary pitches Cyphert could become one of the prized left-handed pitching recruits in this class.

3. Ben Dum, RHP/3B, West Perry HS

Dum throws from a low 3/4 arm slot creating interesting angles with significant movement to everything he throws. The 6-foot, 175-pound sophomore showcased a fastball that had significant arm side run sitting 82-84. His 68 mph curveball has slider action to it and his 69 mph circle change showed big arm side run. Dum has a feel for all three pitches and an athletic frame that projects for spikes in velocity in the future. His bullpen session, combined with his work at 3B make him a player to watch in this class.

4. Nathan Ocker, RHP/2B, Middletown HS

Ocker is definitely a pitcher to watch in the Class of 2015. The 6-foot-1, 160-pound sophomore sat 84-85 with an over the top throwing motion. His 75 mph knuckle/curveball has good late break and he also showcased the makings of a quality cutter at 77 mph. Ocker's 76 mph changeup lacks any significant movement and will need to be developed.

5. Rhett Jacoby, RHP, Parkland HS

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound sophomore sat 82-84 out of a high 3/4 arm slot. Jacoby displayed sound, repeatable mechanics and added intrigue with a shoulder turn during his wind up that hides the baseball from the hitter. Jacoby showcased the makings of a very good 72 mph curveball with an 11/5 break. His changeup shows some arm side run at 76 mph. Jacoby is a definite follow in this class who should continue to develop as he matures physically and gets stronger.

Best of the Rest:

Casey Brown, 2B/RHP, Easton Area HS 

Brown sat 74-75 with an over the top arm angle. The 5-foot-10, 135-pound sophomore also commanded a 72 mph changeup and a 66 mph back up breaking ball. Brown should continue to develop his complimentary pitches and see spikes in velocity as he adds to his maturing frame.

Colin Claus, RHP/1B, West Allegheny HS

Claus is a 6-foot-2, 220-pound sophomore who showcased a two tier curveball out of a high 3/4 arm slot at 70 mph. Coupled with an 81 mph fastball that had cutter action to it and a 69 mph changeup, Claus has a compliment of three quality pitches he can command. Claus has the potential to develop physically and add significant velocity moving forward. He is a high follow in the Class of 2015.

Phil Fenstermacker, RHP/1B, Bellefonte HS

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound prospect commanded three pitches out of a high 3/4 arm slot. Fenstermacker sat 80-82 with a relatively flat fastball that lacked significant movement. He commanded a 73 mph 11/5 breaking curveball and a 77 mph changeup as well. Fenstermacker has sound mechanics and a solid frame that should allow for additional gains in velocity.

Billy Gregory, RHP/SS, Wyoming Valley West HS

Gregory is a 5-foot-11, 155-pound prospect that topped at 82 mph from a 3/4 arm slot. Gregory commanded three pitches and showed solid movement on all three. His fastball showed good late life with significant arm side run. Gregory's changeup shows less run, but has a good separation of velocity at 74 mph and is thrown at fastball arm speed. His 71 mph frisbee slider was by far his best pitch and had impressive 9/3 break. The fact that Gregory throws all three pitches with the same rhythm and out of the same arm slot make him a very interesting follow in this class.

Sam Lazowski, RHP/1B, Donegal HS

Lazowski is a 6-foot-4, 205-pound sophomore with projectable size. He sat 81-82 out of a high 3/4 arm slot showing good life and arm side run. He commanded a sweeping 10/4 curveball and a 72 mph changeup. Lazowski slows his body and arm speed noticeably on his changeup and will need to further develop the pitch.

Bryson Turner, 2B/RHP, Brandywine Heights HS

Turner showcased the ability to throw three pitches for strikes out of an over the top motion. As he develops physically and adds arm strength his complimentary pitches will show greater action. Turner showed command of a knuckle ball that acts as his changeup as well.

Gabe Witmer, OF/RHP, Twin Valley HS

Witmer showcased a flat fastball from an over the top arm slot sitting 79-80 mph. The 5-foot-8, 145-pound prospect also showcased a 67 mph slider with gradual break and a 68 mph changeup that he threw for strikes. Witmer is a strike thrower who will need to improve his complimentary pitches to make the next jump as a pitcher.

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