Diamonds in the Rough: Week 8


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. More specifically, we will be focusing on five standout uncommitted prospects who possess either a high floor or high ceiling in their game.

Jerry Crispino III SS / OF / Cumberland Valley , PA / 2021


The Spin: High-waisted in a compact 5-foot-7, 185-pound frame with plenty of strength, Crispino III put forth a magnificent effort at the PA State Games in June where he was painted all over our Blast Motion leaderboards. The physical right-handed hitter started wide with a balanced stance allowing an aggressive lower half to generate simple, usable power through the hitting window (25.7 G’s of rotational acceleration) while notching easy bat speed (75 mph peak). The body showed off high-level movement strategies in the box, becoming even more noticeable when looking at a near perfect 84% on-plane efficiency coupled with a 57% line drive rate during batting practice (per Trackman Baseball). A mostly gap to gap approach with backspin off the bat should play well into some extra-base hit ability down the line, which would peg him to slot into a middle of the order role at the collegiate level. You’re looking at a seasoned hitter who can be trusted to handle the bat better than most, evidenced by an impressive 93 mph bat-exit velocity / 85.3 mph average. The primary shortstop demonstrated adequate footwork defensively with a feel for getting around the baseball while featuring a quick-triggered release out of the glove. With the current size and his projection coming offensively first and foremost, he’ll most likely see a move to third base where he possesses a quality 81 mph throwing arm and the ability to make the play on the run from a multitude of slots.


Michael Cunningham RHP / OF / Spring-Ford, PA / 2021


The Spin: The 5-foot-9, 155-pound primary right-handed pitcher flashed legitimate two-way abilities at the PA Unsigned Senior Night in September with multiple high spin-rates offerings as well as obvious athleticism in all phases of the game. The righty worked mostly up-tempo showing off a clean and quick arm from a high ¾ slot generating 2264 RPM’s and 16 inches of induced vertical break on an 82-84 mph fastball. With the ability to really spin the baseball (2352 RPM CB and 2569 RPM SL) while showing impressive command (100% zone rate each per Trackman Baseball), you’re looking at an advanced arm who continuously attacks hitters, hinting at a climbing strikeout rate down the line. The slider (73-75 mph) demonstrated more bite to it as the premiere out pitch getting up to 11.7 inches of horizontal movement while featuring frisbee action at times. Add in a 74-76 mph changeup with good feel to it (15 inches of horizontal movement / 67% zone rate) and you have something cooking on the bump. After running an impressive 6.91 60-yard dash, the right-handed hitter showed comfortability in the box generating a 50% line drive rate with a short time contact (23.70 mph hand speed according to Blast Motion). The combination of a 72 mph peak bat speed coupled with 20 G’s of rotational acceleration ranked highly amongst his peers pointing towards future power development. Likewise, Cunningham featured above-average range in any direction during defensive evaluations using the aforementioned footspeed to patrol gap to gap with ease. An 82 mph throwing arm from his position should open the door to slot into any two, if not three of the outfield positions moving forward. 


Alex Kuehn RHP / SS / Coatesville Area, PA / 2022


The Spin: An obvious standout from the West Chester Dragons scout day this past weekend, Kuehn did seemingly everything at an advanced level. Still extremely projectable at 6-foot-1 150-pounds, the Coatesville Area product should have plenty of time to add functional strength as he matures, which only heightens a well above-average ceiling at this point. The primary right-handed pitcher featured almost “picture-perfect” mechanics with the ability to hold direction allowing for easy extension, (up to 7 feet per Trackman Baseball) which made an 82-83 mph fastball play up in velocity with extra life to it. A tight 67-69 mph curveball with swing and miss shape to it (16.5 inches of HM) held the zone at 50% and was thrown with increased feel out in front on the release. The changeup raised eyebrows as well at 73-75 mph, getting up to 20.1 inches of fade to the arm-side with 7.13 feet of extension while creating advanced deception at the plate. The right-handed hitter popped offensively with a leveraged approach allowing for a 73% line drive rate per Trackman Baseball. Quick hands (23.40 mph hand speed according to Blast Motion) generated consistent contact points at the front of the plate allowing for an impressive 90 mph bat-exit velocity during a standout round of batting practice. The shortstop ranged with smooth footwork in either direction playing effortlessly to the glove side with downhill momentum. Good body posture and the ability to get around the baseball with consistency led to high level pace across the diamond coupled with a powerful 83 mph arm strength. This has all the makings of a prolific riser in the class with the chance to continue making significant jumps in all phases over the course of the next couple years. 


Tyler Mullen RHP / SS / Lakeland , PA / 2022


The Spin: Another long and tall right-hander with leverage on the bump and out-of-this-world projection, the 6-foot-1, 155-pound Lakeland product showcased one of the higher-spin fastball’s of the year with a 2773 RPM posting at the PA State Games this summer. Mullen got it done with advanced hip-shoulder separation racing down the mound allowing for a whippy arm-action on an 83-85 mph fastball while attacking hitters early on in counts, filling the zone up at a 73% rate per Trackman Baseball. A 68-70 mph breaking ball featured two-plane depth at times (-11.7 inches of IVB / 14.9 inches of HM) flashing as a true out pitch with similar fastball arm-speed. With a 73-75 mph slider generating up to 2676 RPM’s towards the left-handed batters box, the righty showed command of two different-shaped offspeed offerings giving hitters multiple tough looks when ahead in the count. Assuming additional weight will be added onto a lengthy frame sooner rather than later, you have an arm trending towards “Conference Starter” status down the line. The ‘22 RHP has also proven the ability to pitch at a high level in-game as well as at multiple PBR events, which should make him that much more dangerous in the coming years. 


Mason Fixx C / SS / Canon-McMillan, PA / 2023


The Spin: The 5-foot-11, 160-pound switch-hitter keeps getting better offensively and continued trending in the right direction with a standout batting practice round at the Pittsburgh Outlaws scout day just a few weeks ago. Naturally a right-handed hitter, Fixx peppered balls around the yard with good bat to ball skills and plate coverage allowing for a gap to gap approach in the box. A 44% fly ball rate points to loft present in the swing hinting at plenty of extra-base-hit abilities as he further improves on a solid 88 mph bat-exit velocity down the line. Looking at a 63% on plane efficiency (per Blast Motion) should inspire the confidence that he can stay consistent offensively as he adds functional strength, which will likewise improve an already quality 21 mph peak hand speed at the plate. Known for his defense first, the primary backstop is extremely seasoned for a ‘23, showcasing advanced receiving abilities and pop times as low as 2.08. A quick release from the crouch hides a mere 70 mph throwing arm at the moment that we expect to continue getting stronger throughout development. All in all, if the offense continues to climb, you’re looking at a player that could compare admirably to the top 50 in his class. 


Previous Diamonds in the Rough

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