Diamonds in the Rough: Week 1


Ted Williams
Ground Forces

Over the next few months, the Prep Baseball Report (PA/NY) crew will be highlighting players in several different article formats, including Ted Williams’ "Diamonds in the Rough" feature series.

The recruiting process can be tough sledding at times and for whatever reason, talented players can remain uncommitted for extended periods of time. Included below are some players who have stood out at events throughout the showcase year and deserve more love for their abilities. Featured in this article; a tooled out ‘21 OF, middle of the order ‘21 bat, a table setting ‘22, a ‘22 arm with power stuff, and a sneaky effective ‘23 on the bump.

DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH: WEEK 1

Dante DiMatteo OF / 2B / Fox Chapel , PA / 2021


The Spin: The uber-athletic 5-foot-11, 155-pound frame OF has the perfect blend of projectability and standout tools while seeing tangible measurable gains over the past year. The primary outfielder is an advanced defender who can cover gap to gap with fluidity in the route tree coupled with a natural feel for his body in space. A 7.28 60-yard dash does not tell the full story about the range he possesses during game action, but a 90 mph cannon from his position certainly does; DiMatteo has the ability to handle any of the three outfield positions moving forward and the hit tool has been coming along nicely as well. The RHH has continued to ascend offensively over the past year with exit velocities peaking at 90 mph per Trackman Baseball. Liked to get to the front of the plate quickly with long levers using the help of an above average 23.70 mph max hand speed per Blast Motion. The lower half showed the ability to be adjustable and an overall low center of gravity in the box created natural loft with backspin off of the bat towards the LCF gap. With a ceiling that compares admirably to players in the top 75 in the ‘21 class, DiMatteo should be a very close follow entering his Senior campaign.


Jimmy Kirk 1B / 3B / Malvern Prep, PA / 2021


The Spin: Let’s just look at the raw data on this one: A 6-foot-2, 215-pound first baseman in the ‘21 class with a peak bat-exit velocity of 103 mph and a strong track record of in-game successes remains uncommitted... Jimmy Kirk has done nothing but mash against good pitching all summer (even fighting through a minor back injury) and stood out to me as one of the more mature hitters in his class. The RHH really understands approach in the box and consistently timed up pitches in any quadrant with a 96.21 average bat-exit velocity during batting practice at the 2020 Inter-AC Scout Day in September, good enough for an 83.3% “hard hit” rate per Trackman Baseball. By the way, that 83.3% “hard hit” was the best we’ve tracked in a round all summer at any PBR PA/NY event. Add in a 25.30 mph peak hand speed and 72% on plane efficiency per Blast Motion and you’re looking at a de-facto middle of the order bat at the next level. If there were any doubts about the defense, there shouldn’t be; Kirk could slide in as a day-one first baseman with a soft glove hand who will give you average defense at worst. 


Tim Dickinson SS / 2B / Garnet Valley, PA / 2022


The Spin: Breaking onto the scene for us back in July at the PA Prospect Games, Dickinson established a fun, up-tempo play style in-game and wasted zero time in the box. Showcased controlled aggression at the plate while jumping on the first fastball over the plate and featured noticeable high-level bat to ball skills. An impressive 63% line drive rate (per Trackman Baseball) during batting practice was an indication that the LHH can match plane early and often while repeatedly getting his swing off in game action. A 23.00 mph peak hand speed should point to ability to be short and quick into the zone and an average of 80 mph bat-exit velocity suggests consistent barrel-awareness. Recorded multiple hits in game action and proved to be a tough out with an advanced two-strike approach. Put pressure on the defense with above average footspeed on the basepaths and flashed the intelligence to run in advantage counts. The primary middle infielder was athletic in his lateral movements and covered ground in either direction while flashing an impressive 85 mph arm strength across the diamond. Overall, you’re looking at an above-average college second baseman who can easily impact the game defensively. 


Dylan Colvin RHP / OF / Shipley, PA / 2022


The Spin: We saw some absolute dudes who could spin it back in August at our PA Prospect Showcase but there were none better than ‘22 RHP Dylan Colvin. The righty featured a fluid and repeatable delivery with a quick arm at release allowing a high-spin 80-82 mph FB to jump towards the plate, commanding the zone with a 71.4% strike rate while getting heavy downhill plane on occasion. The curveball is already a plus offering rating in the top 2% in terms of spin rate (2877 rpms max / 2790 average) and horizontal / vertical break (13 inches / 13 inches). Not to be outdone, the slider demonstrated a similar tight shape to it but on a more horizontal plane getting up to 22 inches of induced horizontal movement per Trackman baseball. Add in an adequate 74-75 mph CH with some arm side fade and you’re looking at 2-3 pitches in the zone at all times. With the ability to continue getting better throughout these next two years, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Colvin jolt up the rankings with a velocity increase on deck. 


Cayde Connelly RHP / 1B / Manheim Central , PA / 2023


The Spin: He won’t overpower you with the FB (77-79 mph and 2200 rpms), but ‘23 RHP/1B Cayde Connelly was lights out over two outings in front of us this past summer. Here were the stats… PA Summer Prospect Games - 3 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs / 2020 PA Limited Series - 4 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 5 K’s. The righty stands in at a projectable 5-foot-11, 165-pounds and featured a moderate pace throughout the delivery. The curveball tunneled extremely well out of the same FB release slot creating plenty of issues for hitters at the plate while getting up to 2343 spin and two-plane 11/5 shape at times. Showed quality command of it each time we’ve seen him with a 63% in zone rate in July and ability to drop it in for strikes at any point in game action. A 68-69 mph CH is still developing and isn’t thrown too often at the moment, but a solid FB/CB pairing allows for a high strikeout rate on the bump. If the velocity continues to head north so will Connelly in the ‘23 class rankings.


UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
2021 Preseason All-State - South/Central PA 02/06 Iron Horse Sports Complex
Super 60 Pro Showcase NATIONAL 02/07 MOSH Performance Center
2021 Preseason All-State - Pittsburgh (3PM Session) PA 02/07 All American Fieldhouse
2021 Preseason All-State - Pittsburgh (9AM Session) PA 02/07 All American Fieldhouse
2021 Northeast ProCase (2021 Grads Only) PA 02/13 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 Preseason All-State - Erie PA 02/13 Erie Premier Sports
2021 Preseason All-State - North/Central PA 02/14 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 Preseason All-State - East (11AM Session) PA 02/27 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 Preseason All-State East (3PM Session) PA 02/27 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - Central PA 03/06 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - East PA 03/14 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - West PA 03/14 All American Fieldhouse