PA Notebook: The Mailbag



By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting

Welcome to "The Mailbag", a new feature that provides followers the opportunity to ask a question regarding amateur baseball in Pennsylvania. We will answer your questions on a daily basis as they are received on Twitter @pbrpennsylvania. We will also periodically compile some of the best questions and offer answers to the public in "The Mailbag".

Ground rules

We will answer a variety of questions, but can't possibly answer every question that is posed on a daily basis. This feature was introduced at 4:00pm eastern time yesterday and we received 70 questions in the first seven hours.

Many of the questions involved predictions on how a certain high school will do this coming spring or who the best player is likely to be in a given conference or classification. These questions are less likely to be answered than those that are more specific to the general public. We will be running in depth season previews of high school programs from around the state in the new calendar year leading up to the start of the high school season. We will also break down some of the top prospects in each classification and by geographic region at that time.

Top Questions

What can I expect to gain from going to the Eastern or Western Pa college prospect showcase?

These two showcases are designed for prospects that have never attended a PBR event or that are looking to showcase improvements that they have made since they were last seen. Prospects in attendance will be vying for opportunities to be invited to attend future invitation only events and a place in the class rankings that will be updated at the end of the winter. Prospects in attendance will also have video of their performance, statistical information and an evaluation added to their profile page following the event. CLICK HERE for complete details on all events on the winter/summer schedule.

What is the average velocity across the infield for D1 recruits?

Top infield prospects that garner significant Division I interest typically show velocity readings in the mid-80s or better across the diamond. While this measurement is not the sole means of evaluating an infielder's ability, it certainly gives an indication of a prospect's ability to make plays on a routine basis with success.

If a player feels he has been under recruited should he settle at a school or keep looking?

High school prospects have much of the responsibility in their own recruitment. A player that feels he has been under recruited probably has not worked hard enough to get in front of schools that he has an interest in. Players need to be proactive in contacting schools via email and phone to make sure that the coaching staff at a school is aware of their interest in being recruited. It is also highly suggested that players make these contacts themselves and refrain from having their parents doing the work for them.

How can a player improve their ranking?

Player rankings are updated four times a year in all classes. The next update will be in March just prior to the start of the HS season. We evaluate players at our events (http://www.prepbaseballreport.com/pennsylvania/events), events run by colleges and other organizations, and in HS/Travel baseball game play.

What makes a good pitcher?

Often times it appears that all that scouts look for is velocity. While velocity is definitely important, the ability to change speeds, command all four quadrants of the plate & throw any pitch in the arsenal at any count are invaluable. Size & velocity are a big determinant for most Division I recruiters, but the ability to pitch does not get overlooked.

Do you think any PA Prep players can go in the first three rounds of the draft?

June is still a ways off and things can change, but that is not likely. There will definitely be some draft picks in the 2014 Class, but look for the 2015 Class to have a greater likelihood of a prospect or two hearing their name called in the top 10 rounds. 

What high school will have the best pitching rotation this coming year?

There will be a number of pitching staffs that should be very talented but on paper the nod goes to Parkland HS with RHP Gabe Mosser (Shippensburg recruit), LHP Connor Higgins (Indiana commit), RHP Rhett Jacoby (Penn State commit) & RHP Chris Rabasco (#21 in PA Class of 2015).

What one person had the biggest influence on a high school team last spring, and led their team to success?

While Blackhawk HS did not have the team success that they had experienced in the past two years, it would be difficult to find a player in the state that meant more to his team last year than LHP/OF Brendan McKay (PA Gatorade Player of the Year & Louisville recruit). He went 7-0 on the mound with a 0.09 ERA & had 101 K's. He is also one of the top hitters in the WPIAL. >> http://www.prepbaseballreport.com/profiles/PA/Brendan-McKay-8103956472-1597304286

How do players from PA get noticed by ACC and SEC schools?

Most of these prospects have participated for quality travel programs and have been in front of Division I coaches for several years on the regional and national level. Commitments are becoming prevalent for top prospects at an earlier age every year. Coaches from around the country contact our staff daily inquiring about PA prospects that they have viewed on our website. These are talented players, but they have also worked very hard to put themselves in front of the programs that they have the greatest interest in.

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