Prep Baseball Report

Preseason All-State Showcase: Class of 2017/18 Corner Infielders

By Jacob Gill
Pennsylvania Assistant Director of Scouting

Of the close to 100 prospects to showcase their abilities over two days of the 2016 Preseason All-State Showcase, one dozen worked out as primary corner infielders. Today we continue our analysis of the event with those individuals. (Note: each player will be listed during the course of this series of articles at their primary position. An evaluation of a secondary position will be included if the player attended as a two-way prospect).

Drew Baughman, 2018, 3B, Cumberland Valley
Liberty commit has physically dwarfed his peers since we first met him and is now a 6-foot-3, 220-pound switch-hitting manchild. Registered a 97-mph exit velocity from the left side and 100-mph from the right (the first time triple digits has been recorded at a PBR PA event). A natural righty, he attacks the baseball with legit bat speed and shows huge power potential. From the left side he bars his front arm, but still flashes very good bat speed and has some loft in his swing. He has a balanced, simple approach from both sides. Defensively, he doesn't have the quickest feet, but he showcased soft hands, an accurate 81-mph arm, and an ability to complete the slow roller play.

Grant Breneman, 2017, 3B, Cedar Cliff
6-foot, 190-pound right-handed hitter. Starts from a slightly open stance and strides to square. A bit of stiffness in his swing due to physicality and slight armbar, but shows a simple, quiet approach with flat swing path through the zone. Recorded an 89-mph exit velocity, an increase of 9-mph from his appearance in this event last year. Defensively, he exhibited solid feet on approach and an ability to complete the slow roller play. Would like to see him get better extension and follow his throws (78-mph across the diamond) to prevent the ball from sailing on him.

Joseph Carpenter, 2018, 1B, Cedar Crest
6-foot-1, 205-pound right-handed hitter. Hit from a square, upright stance. Fairly flat swing path and showed some juice when he was able to elevate the baseball. Was often late getting his front foot down, causing him to not be able to tap into his physical strength. Could benefit from widening his base to make it easier to incorporate his lower half as well. Defensively, he exhibited playable actions and some carry on his 71-mph arm strength.

Peter Giombetti, 2018, 1B, Great Valley
6-foot-1, 175-pound right-handed hitter. Hit from a wide, square stance, at times incorporating a toe tap and other times a short forward stride. Posted a 79-mph exit velocity that would likely be more representative of the strength in his frame if he would more fully incorporate his backside into his swing. Casts hands with some length and showed some ability to get the baseball airborne. Defensively, he showcased 71-mph arm strength and playable footwork when making double-play feeds.

Jacob Herrit, 2018, 3B/RHP, Knoch
Moved well defensively, showed soft hands, and an easy, accurate, 81-mph arm across the diamond. 5-foot-11, 185-pound right-handed hitter. Ran a 7.12 60-yard dash and posted 82-mph exit velocity. Hit from a slightly open stance and kept head still throughout swing. Swing is primarily generated from the top half and would benefit from additional rhythm and incorporation of backside.

Good arm with feel for three-pitch mix. Herky-jerky wind-up into drop-and-drive delivery with short, quick arm action out of that same over-the-top slot. FB sat 82-83 with a bit of late armside run. Showed a solid curveball with 12/6 action at 71-73 and a mid-70s change-up with sink and fade.

Daniel Keer, 2017, 1B/RHP, Marian Catholic
6-foot-3, 220-pound right-handed hitter who is a good athlete, especially for his size. Ran a 7.00 60-yard dash and posted 94-mph exit velocity. Hit from a slightly open stance with slight squat and short stride. Swing has some length to it, but he showed some ability to drive the baseball when he was on time with his front foot. Defensively, he showed an average skill set with good feet around the bag and 75-mph arm strength.

Solid, repeatable mechanics from a 3/4 arm slot. Sat 81-84 with some arm-side run to his fastball. Flashed a 72 mph curveball with 11/5 rotation and a 74 mph changeup thrown at fastball arm speed. Solid frame projects for additional velocity moving forward.

Tommy Savastio, 2017, 1B, Cedar Cliff
6-foot-1, 190-pound right-handed hitter. Ran a 7.16 60-yard dash and posted 91-mph exit velocity. Started from a slightly open stance, rocked weight to backside, and strode to square. Tended to swing the bat with his shoulders, which created some length in his path and caused him to steer the ball to the opposite field and not fully tap into his power potential. Defensively, he exhibited solid actions and an accurate 78-mph arm.

Daniel Shubert, 2017, 1B, Springside Chestnut Hill
6-foot-2, 210-pound right-handed hitter with power potential (93-mph exit velocity). Starts from a square stance with relaxed set-up and hits against his front side well. Significant barrel movement via bat waggle in load and some length in his path led to inconsistency being on time on this day. Defensively, he fields the ball out front well and showed solid footwork and accurate feeds on double play feeds.

Jake Trautman, 2017, 1B, Pittsburgh Central Catholic
6-foot-4, 230-pound left-handed hitter with big power potential (94-mph exit velocity this event; has been up to 97 previously). Starts from a slightly open stance with small rock of weight to backside, and keeps head still. Struggled to be on time and elevate the baseball during his BP round at this event, but that hasn't been an issue in the past (including when he launched a towering home run in game action last July). Defensively, despite not having the quickest feet, he exhibited solid, fundamental footwork on double play feeds, along with 70-mph arm strength.

Charlie Varriano, 2017, 3B, Hempfield Area
5-foot-11, 205-pound right-handed hitter. Ran a 7.04 60-yard dash and posted 92-mph exit velocity. Relaxed set-up from square stance and just opens front foot slightly in place with heel-raise stride. Simple approach with short path to the ball and his hands work. At times, in the past, his back elbow has crept up on him, but he is doing a better job of keeping it at or below his hands in recent months. Defensively, he exhibits good hands, follows his throws well, and continues to show incremental arm strength gains (up to 84-mph this event).

Matthew Williams, 2017, 1B, Sayre Area
6-foot-1, 200-pound left-handed hitter. Somewhat unique load in which he starts to draw his hands back prior to rocking his weight to his backside. Slightly uphill swing path has some length in it, while he stays behind his front side and shows some pullside power potential (87-mph exit velocity). Solid across the board skill set defensively, with good actions and hands, along with 82-mph arm strength.

Justin Wright, 2018, 3B, Hempfield Area
6-foot-1, 180-pound right-handed hitter. Ran a 7.26 60-yard dash (has been 7.11 previously) and posted a 94-mph exit velocity. Hits from a square stance with short lift-and-replace stride. Continues to showcase a balanced, easy, repeatable swing in which his hands work. Quality defensive skills as well, with good hands, a feel for getting the right hop, good footwork through the catch, and accurate 82-mph arm strength.

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