Prep Baseball Report

College Baseball's Elite Programs use PA to Boost Talent Base in 2015

By Jacob Gill
Philadelphia Region Director of Scouting

It's Opening Day for Division I baseball and there is no shortage of Pennsylvania products who will get an opportunity to have a major impact on the national scene. Using season preview materials from Baseball America and, below is a rundown of Keystone Staters receiving pre-season accolades and playing for some of the nation's elite programs.

Preseason All-Americans

Cincinnati outfielder Ian Happ (Mt. Lebanon) was selected as a 1st-team Preseason All-American by both Baseball America and Happ's 2014 stats:
.332 AVG, 32 R, 13 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 27 RBI, .497 SLG, 32 BB, 6 HBP, 35 K, .443 OBP, 19-24 SB

Virginia outfielder Joe McCarthy (Scranton) was named a 2nd-team All-American by Baseball America. While it may or may not have had an impact, it was announced prior to going to press that McCarthy had back surgery and would miss a good portion of the season. McCarthy's 2014 stats:
.301 AVG, 55 R, 16 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 49 RBI, .449 SLG, 35 BB, 18 HBP, 34 K, .417 OBP, 11-12 SB

Preseason Top 25 Rankings

Vanderbilt Commodores
#1 in
#1 in Baseball America
Current Players
Liam Sabino, Fr, IF, Blair Academy (NJ) [Pennsylvania resident]

J.J. Bleday, 2016, LHP/OF, Titusville [transferred to Mosely HS in Florida this year]

Florida Gators
#2 in
#6 in Baseball America
Current Players
Jason Lombardozzi, Jr, IF, Chambersburg (College of Central Florida)

Virginia Cavaliers
#3 in
#4 in Baseball America
Current Players
John La Prise, Jr, IF, Devon Prep
Joe McCarthy, Jr, OF, Scranton
David Rosenberger, Jr, LHP, Allentown Central Catholic

Ryan Karstetter, 2015, 3B, State College [transferred to IMG Academy in Florida]
Cameron Simmons, 2015, OF/RHP, Spring-Ford
Jake McCarthy, 2015, OF, Scranton
Nolan Jones, 2016, RHP/IF, Holy Ghost Prep
Max Kranick, 2016, RHP/IF, Valley View
Michael Siani, 2018, OF/LHP, Penn Charter

North Carolina Tar Heels
#6 in
#17 in Baseball America
Current Players
Nick Raquet, Fr, LHP, State College
A.J. Bogucki, So, RHP, Boyertown

Brendon Little, 2015, LHP, Conestoga
Kyle Datres, 2015, SS/RHP, Loyalsock Township
Joe Lancellotti, 2017, OF/RHP, Archbishop Wood

Louisville Cardinals
#11 in
#12 in Baseball America
Current Players
Sutton Whiting, Sr, IF, Wilmington Area
Danny Rosenbaum, Jr, IF, Plymouth Whitemarsh
Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, Fr, Blackhawk

Maryland Terrapins
#14 in
#16 in Baseball America
Current Players
Andrew Bechtold, Fr, IF, Garnet Valley
Jake Drossner, Jr, LHP, Council Rock North
Zach Jancarski, Fr, OF, Springside Chestnut Hill
Jared Price, Jr, RHP, Twin Valley

Nick Dunn, 2015, C, Shikellamy
Cameron Enck, 2015, RHP, Lampeter-Strasburg
Zach Guth, 2015, LHP, Franklin Area
Jon Dignazio, 2016, LHP, North Allegheny
Ty Friedrich, 2016, C, Lower Dauphin

Alabama Crimson Tide
#20 in

Current Players
Mike Oczypok, R-So, RHP, Spring-Ford

Mike Nikorak, 2015, RHP, Stroudsburg

Florida State Seminoles
#21 in
#21 in Baseball America
Current Players
John Sansone, Jr, IF, Neshannock

Nebraska Cornhuskers
#23 in

Chad Luensmann, 2015, RHP, Bellwood-Antis
Carter Cross, 2016, RHP/IF, Cathedral Prep

Arizona State Sun Devils
#24 in
#18 in Baseball America
Connor Higgins, 2015, LHP, Parkland

Clemson Tigers

#24 in Baseball America
Current Players
Pat Krall, So, RHP, Downingtown West (Temple U)

Liberty Flames

#25 in Baseball America
Current Players
Parker Bean, So, RHP, South Western
Austin Bream, Jr, 1B/OF, Seneca Valley
Tyler Morris, Fr, OF, Warwick

Zack Helsel, 2015, RHP, Altoona Area
Alex Kirilloff, 2016, 1B/LHP, Plum

Elsewhere around Division I (from Baseball America's conference previews)

  • Now three years removed from its College World Series appearance, America East favorite Stony Brook has four PA products at its disposal: freshman pitcher/outfielder Cole Creighton (Neshaminy), freshman catcher Robbie Nardelli (Valley View), freshman catcher Drew Bene (Northern Lebanon), and junior pitcher Tim Knesnik (Delaware Valley).
  • Not surprisingly, Happ was chosen as the American Athletic Preseason Player of the Year and #2 prospect in the league for the 2015 draft.
  • Atlantic-10 favorite Virginia Commonwealth boasts 10 PA players on its roster: junior outfielder Jimmy Kerrigan (Neumann-Goretti), a trio of freshman infielders in Daane Berezo (Pine-Richland), Nick Ward (Unionville), and Mitchel Lacey (Cumberland Valley), sophomore infielder Matt Davis (Cumberland Valley), redshirt freshman catcher/pitcher Brett Hileman (Hollidaysburg Area), redshirt freshman infielder Shane Dressler (Red Land), senior pitcher Tyler Buckley (Scranton), plus freshman pitchers Sean Thompson (Indiana Area) and Travis Reapsome (Warwick).
  • Three PA players are ranked among the top ACC prospects for the 2015 draft: McCarthy at #6, La Prise at #14, and Duke RHP/SS Kenny Koplove (Penn Charter) at #19.
  • Seton Hall pitcher Zach Schellenger (Devon Prep) is projected as the Big East Freshman of the Year. Freshman third baseman/outfielder Jamie Galazin is the lone PA resident (although he attended Notre Dame HS in NJ) on league favorite St. John's.
  • Gardner-Webb pitcher Matt Fraudin (Upper St. Clair) checks in as the #7 prospect from the Big South for the 2015 draft.
  • Drossner is listed as the #5 Big Ten prospect for the 2015 draft.
  • William & Mary catcher Ryan Hissey (Unionville) ranks as the #1 prospect in the Colonial for the 2015 draft. Freshman infielder Tommy Richter (Conestoga) joined the roster at league favorite College of Charleston. Sophomore RHP Cory Gantz (Hempfield) looks to contribute for projected regional team UNC Wilmington.
  • Youngstown State pitcher Kevin Yarabinec (Sharpsville Area) ranks as the #6 prospect from the Horizon League for the 2015 draft.
  • Ivy League favorite Penn could get contributions from five PA players: freshman pitcher Russell Rhoads (Episcopal Academy), junior infielder Ryan Mincher (Shaler Area), senior outfielder Paul Cotler (Friends' Central), freshman catcher Jordan Della Valle (Penn Charter), and junior outfielder Matt Greskoff (Malvern Prep).
  • Metro Atlantic favorite Canisius has rostered five PA natives: freshman infielder Ryan Creps (Indiana Area), freshman pitcher Patrick Carlson (Shaler Area), freshman pitcher Shawn Holman (Ambridge), freshman pitcher/first baseman Tyler Smith (Penn-Trafford), and sophomore pitcher Michael Ginther (West Middlesex).
  • The favorite in the Mid-American, Kent State has seven PA players on its roster: junior infielder Zarley Zalewski (Valley), senior outfielder Alex Miklos (Grove City), redshirt freshman pitcher Zach Spangler (Seneca Valley), sophomore pitcher/outfielder Jared Skolnicki (Keystone Oaks), senior catcher Jeff Revesz (Grove City), sophomore pitcher Andy Ravel (Wilson), and redshirt junior pitcher Jason Revesz (Grove City). Miklos was tabbed as the #10 prospect from the league for the 2015 draft.
  • Freshman pitcher Colton Hock (Bloomsburg Area) has joined the roster at projected regional team Stanford out of the Pac-12.
  • Preseason Patriot League favorite Bucknell has nine from the Commonwealth on its roster: sophomore outfielder Brett Smith (Delone Catholic), junior pitcher/infielder Andrew Andreychik (Danville Area), senior infielder Greg Wasikowski (East Pennsboro), senior pitcher Xavier Hammond (Pleasant Valley), junior catcher Jon Mayer (Northern York), freshman outfielder Chuckie Scales (Shady Side), freshman catcher Aaron Fritz (Minersville), and junior utility Spencer Stokes (Shipley School). Hammond and Mayer were tabbed as the #6 and #8 league prospects, respectively, for the 2015 draft. Lehigh outfielder Justin Pacchioli (Nazareth Area) was named the Preseason Player of the Year and top prospect for the 2015 draft, while two of his fellow Mountain Hawks -- second baseman Mike Garzillo (Nazareth Area) and pitcher Brandon Kulp (Quakertown Community) -- check in as the #3 and #4 prospects, respectively.

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