Class of 2016 Prospects Impress at Preseason All-State Showcase

By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting

The 2013 Preseason All-State Showcase was highlighted by impressive performances turned in by pitchers and position players in every class. While the Class of 2016 had only five prospects represented, those in attendance performed well and served notice that they will be prospects to watch for the next four years. Today we analyze the performance of those in the Class of 2016.

  • JessellJake Jessell, C/RHP, Woodland Hills HS

    Jessell came into the event having impressed earlier in the winter at a Western PA Open ID event. He left B2B Baseball Academy having solidified his spot among the elite players in his class. The freshman, who has already been added to the Team Pennsylvania roster for this summer's PBR Midwest Future Games, began his day by taking one of the more impressive rounds of batting practice of any player at the event. Jessell used strong lower half actions and quick hands to barrel everything with significant pop in his bat. Defensively the 6-foot, 220-pound catcher showed signs of being an elite backstop. He displayed throws of 79 mph out of the crouch and pop times of 2.03-2.09. Jessell completed his day with a solid bullpen session sitting 82-84 mph out of a high 3/4 arm slot. He also commanded a sharp breaking 11/4 curveball and showed a 73 mph changeup that is still developing.

  • Braxton Giavedoni, OF, Punxsutawney HS

    Giavedoni is a 5-foot-9, 165-pound prospect who runs very well. He turned in one of the top home-to-first times of the day at 4.00. Giavedoni showed athletic movements in the outfield and the makings of a powerful outfield arm on throws of 80 mph. Offensively, he has an athletic approach and extremely quick hands. He uses a short, flat bat path to the baseball allowing the barrel to stay in the hitting zone for extended periods of time. He showed the ability to consistently square the baseball to all fields and with his foot speed he will be a high average guy that should put pressure on defenses with his above average foot speed.

  • John Matthews, SS/RHP, Punxsutawney HS

    Matthews is a 5-foot-11, 150-pound prospect who has the potential to be one of the top middle infielders in his class. He showed athletic actions and a solid 82 mph throwing arm. Matthews moves well laterally and takes precise angles to the baseball. He showed a quick exchange and the ability to make plays on the move. Offensively, Matthews showed a short swing path and good extension with a bat exit velocity of 79 mph. He squared the baseball consistently and showed the potential for some power with added maturity to his athletic frame. Matthews completed his day by throwing a very solid bullpen. Using an over the top arm slot, Matthews sat 77-79 with a long, loose arm. Matthews showed command of a developing 69 mph curveball and a 72 mph changeup with arm side run. His best pitch was a 71 mph slider that has late break.

  • Ian Luberti, C, Northampton Area HS

    Luberti is a 5-foot-9, 170-pound prospect who showed well. Behind the plate Luberti showcased throw of 79 mph out of the crouch and pop times of 2.09-2.14. With continued work, he demonstrated the arm strength to be a sub-2.0 catcher. Offensively he used a 75 mph bat exit velocity to square most pitches and used all fields. Luberti will be an interesting follow as he continues to fill out and develops physically.

  • Nate Fassnacht, SS/2B, Ephrata HS

    Fassnacht is a 5-foot-7, 140-pound switch-hitting middle infield prospect that continues to get better. He showed a 75 mph arm and good range during his defensive workout. Fassnacht is fundamentally sound and will continue to develop defensively as he matures physically. Offensively he shows the potential to be a legitimate switch-hitter at the high school level. His left-handed swing is a bit long and less explosive than his dominate side. As a right-handed hitter he showcased a 78 mph bat exit velocity and the ability to square the baseball consistently. He stays behind the baseball well from the right side and gets to extension regularly.

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