Early Commitments Becoming the Norm



By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting

As noted by PBR National Supervisor Nathan Rode in a recent article, the recruiting game is trending toward younger commitments every year. The Pennsylvania Class of 2015 is a particularly talented class and the number of highly ranked prospects that have already announced college commitments is impressive. Of the top 46 players in the rankings, 24 have announced Division I commitments prior to playing a game in their junior seasons. Even more impressive is that 16 of the top 20 in the rankings have already verbally announced where they intend to play their college baseball.

The Pennsylvania Class of 2016, this year's high school sophomores already has four Division I commitments. All four have shown well at PBR events in Pennsylvania as well as on the national stage.

The Future Prospects Showcase kicks off the winter schedule of events in Pennsylvania with an eye on educating underclassmen on the recruiting process and what scouts look for in a typical showcase event. While this event is largely educational it also is an early indicator of top level talent in the state. Last year's event showcased a number of young prospects that showed the potential to be highly ranked and heavily recruited prospects in their respective classes.


2012 Future Prospect showcase standouts

SS/2B Nate Fassnacht (Ephrata HS), Class of 2016

Fassnacht has added five inches and 30 pounds to his frame since we first saw him in June of 2012. The switch-hitting middle infielder showed signs of things to come at last year's event. He saw limited action as a varsity player at Ephrata last year, but with an 82 mph bat exit velocity and a 79 mph arm across the infield it appears that continued improvement is likely for the foreseeable future. Fassnacht is ranked No. 38 in the PA Class of 2016.

OF Braxton Giavedoni (Punxsutawney HS), Class of 2016

Giavedoni showcased well in all facets of the game at last year's event. He broke into the starting lineup at Punxsutawney mid-season as a freshman and went on to hit .348. Giavedoni is ranked No. 11 in the PA Class of 2016.

RHP Max Mattei (Downingtown East HS), Class of 2016

Mattei showed solid mechanics and a 77 mph fastball in his performance at last year's event. He has added two inches and 30 pounds to his frame since and recently sat 78-80 at the Elite Prospect Showcase in November. Mattei is ranked No. 70 in the PA Class of 2016.

OF Mason Nadeau (North Penn HS), Class of 2016

Mason NadeauNadeau's all-around skill set was immediately evident at last year's event. Nadeau is a prototypical center fielder. He runs very well, 4.28 on a ground ball, and takes solid routes to the baseball. His 78 mph arm from the outfield is accurate and should only improve as he continues to add to his athletic 5-foot-9, 150-pound frame. The lefty hitter, has a short stroke with little wasted movement. Nadeau utilized a flat swing path to barrel the baseball consistently with a bat exit velocity of 79 mph. He went 2-for-5 with a triple on day two of the event, showcasing his foot speed on a ball in the gap that he legged into a triple. Nadeau was a starter in the outfield for North Penn in their run to the PA AAAA state title in 2013. The sophomore is ranked No. 10 in the PA Class of 2016.

3B/OF Maxx Harpalani (Pine Richland HS), Class of 2017

Harpalani has made great strides in just one year since we first saw him last December. He has added nearly 10 mph to his bat exit velocity, and nearly 10 mph to his arm velocity from the outfield. He has shown the skill set to be among those players ranked in his class when the first Class of 2017 rankings are unveiled in June.

SS/3B Cristian Viera (JP McCaskey HS), Class of 2017

Viera flashed signs of his potential at last year's event. He went on to show very well at the PA Underclass Games in July. The switch-hitter went 2-for-3 with a double on day two of game action. Viera will get his first taste of high school baseball this spring.

C/3B Drew Baughman (Cumberland Valley HS), Class of 2018

Drew BaughmanBaughman is a perfect example of a young prospect that shows all the tools to be highly recruited very early in his high school career. Baughman is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound C/3B that spent the 2013 spring/summer playing for Evoshield Canes North 13u and was the 2013 USSSA North East Super NIT Home Run Derby Champion (Salisbury MD). Baughman also played for GOWAGS Heat 13u and was selected for Team Pennsylvania for USA Baseball NTIS (North Atlantic). The switch-hitter put on an offensive show from both sides of the plate at last year's event. The current 8th grader showcased the top bat exit speed of the day with an impressive 89 mph.

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