Evaluating the Pitchers from the Western PA Top Prospect Showcase



By Greg Williams and Shaun Vernesoni

The Prep Baseball Report Western PA Top Prospect Showcase on August 15 featured an impressive group of prospects from the west side of the state. The day got off to a fantastic start with 15 pitchers displaying their talents on the mound at Pullman Park in Butler, PA.

Several pitchers showed extremely well but the most impressive performance was turned in by Adam Bleday, the No. 6 ranked player in the PBR Pennsylvania Class of 2013. Bleday, who recently committed to the University of Virginia, topped out at 87mph with excellent location and late arm side run. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound lefty also showcased a solid 76mph curveball and a sinking changeup that sat 78-80.

A look at the top pitchers at the event by class:

                                                              Class of 2013:

Blaise McCarty (Riverside) showed the second best velo of the day, topping out at 85mph. The 6-foot-0, 170-pound right hander had good movement on his fastball and showed excellent control of his secondary pitches as well. His curveball had an 11/5 break out of a high ¾ arm delivery, while his changeup sat 71-73 with late downward and arm-side run.

Trevor Farrell (Connellsville) sat 80-81 with his fastball while topping out at 82mph. Farrell is a strike thrower who hides the ball well. He displayed a 65mph curveball with 11/5 action and a hard, late break. Farrell used near fastball arm speed on his 65mph changeup.

Raymond Bailey (Alton, IL) sat 79-80 with his fastball, touching 80mph. Bailey’s best pitch was a 12/6 curveball with late break that sat 67-70. Bailey also exhibited a 71mph changeup that had late downward movement. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound right hander from Alton, Illinois showed excellent control and solid mechanics.

Justin Beimel (St. Marys) showcased the showcases only splitter and it was a good one. Beimel sits 67-68 with the pitch and consistently throws it for strikes. His splitter shows good downward late movement. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound right hander couples the splitter with a fastball that tops at 80mph and an 11/5 curveball that sits 66-67mph. Beimel has excellent control as evidenced by his ability to throw all three pitches to corners of the plate.

Matt McCarthy (Pine Richland) used good mechanics and rhythm to consistently throw strikes with three pitches. The lefty topped at 76mph with his fastball and sat 60-62 with his 2/8 curveball. McCarthy’s changeup was one of the best of the day. He used near fastball arm speed on the pitch that sat 64-66.

William Morris Jr. (Ringgold) touched 78 with his fastball, 60 with his curveball and showcased a knuckle ball that sat 58-60mph.

                                                               Class of 2014:

Nathan Neiderhiser (Bishop McCort) had one of the top bullpen sessions of the event. The 6-foot-1, 165-pound lefty used solid mechanics to top at 81mph on his fastball. His two secondary pitches were both impressive. Neiderhiser showed a 69mph curveball with a hard, late 2/8 break. He also used near fastball arm speed with his 70mph changeup. Neiderhiser hides the ball extremely well and was one of the top strike throwers of the session.

Matt Rafferty (Seneca Valley) had a solid showcase on the mound until he asked if he could show one more pitch. After topping out at 81mph with his fastball, 68mph with a tight breaking 12/6 curveball and 71mph with a changeup that showed late arm-side run, Rafferty asked to show his cutter. The pitch sat 72-74mph with hard, late 10/4 slide. It was easily the nastiest pitch thrown by any of the pitchers at the event. It has the potential to be a dominant out pitch if it can be harnessed.

Justin Abbs (North Allegheny) had a bullpen session that would make a pitching coach proud. The 5-foot-10,185 pound right hander consistently pounded the strike zone with an array of pitches that were down in the zone and on the corners. Abbs best pitch was a 67mph sinking changeup that showed late downward action and significant arm-side run. He coupled the pitch with a 76mph fastball out of a 3/4 arm angle and a 67mph curveball to demonstrate a solid assortment of pitches.

Bobby Suder (Central Valley) showcased a 78mph fastball out of a high 3/4 arm slot. The 6-foot-0, 170-pound right hander hides the ball well and is a consistent strike thrower. Suder’s 69mph changeup showed some late arm side run and was thrown with good arm speed. His curveball topped at 62mph with an 11/5 break.

Dan Lopresti (Seneca Valley) worked out of a high 3/4 arm slot to produce difficult angles for hitters. The 6-foot-0, 180-pound lefty topped at 73mph with his fastball, 63mph on a curveball that has tight 1/7 rotation and 66mph on his changeup that showed late sink.

                                                                Class of 2015:

Matthew Yough (Karns City) displayed a good deal of potential, topping at 73mph with a deceptive delivery and late arm side run on his fastball. The 5-foot-10, 145-pound right hander also threw consistent strikes with a 64mph curve ball and a 67mph change up. With some physical growth Yough should develop additional velocity and break to his curveball.

Garitt Woodburn (California) topped out at 71mph out of a low 3/4 arm slot. The 5-foot-7, 150-pound right hander also displayed a 67mph curve ball and a 65mph changeup.

PA Top Prospect Classic 2012