Southwestern Pennsylvania College Prospect Showcase Analysis: Class of 2020 and 2019 Analysis



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By Dan Williams
West Virginia / Western Pennsylvania Director of Scouting

The summer rush of PBR events continued this week with the Southwestern Pennsylvania College Prospect Showcase.  24 prospects from three states gathered to display their talents at Ross Memorial park home of the Washington & Jefferson College Presidents.  Today we begin our analysis of the prospects in attendance by taking a look at those who participated from the Classes of 2020 and 2019..

+ For complete results from all prospects in attendance - CLICK HERE.

Top Prospects

Joshua HoffmanJoshua Hoffman, 2019, Belle Vernon Area,  SS/OF
5-foot-9 155-pound right-handed hitter sets up neutral and initiates swing with heel raise and no stride. An aggressive lower half weight shift and hip turn results in good separation.  Hands are loose and direct to baseball. Fast twitch skills are obvious in hip and hand speed as well as sixty time of 6.57. There is some bat wrap lending to length.  Head is still and there is good balance and rhythm to swing.  Hoffman consistently barreled the baseball in batting practice and recorded bat exit velocity of 91 mph.

Defensively, reads and routes are somewhat tentative in OF.  Hoffman would benefit from getting behind baseball, catching ball at it's height and playing through more consistently.  He looked much more comfortable at shortstop where excellent footwork and range were present.  Hoffman created good angles and hops with his feet.  Hands are soft with commitment to playing ball bottom up and out front.  A clean quick transfer was present on throws of 82 mph across infield.

Brandan ReaBrandan Rea, 2019, Canon-McMillan, C
5-foot-9, 160-pound right-handed hitter initiates swing from neutral set up with short stride staying neutral.  Good separation is achieved through weight shift and hip turn away from hands. Head is still and there is good balance and rhythm to swing.  Hands are loose and direct to baseball. Rea gets bat on plane early and maintains throughout hitting zone with ability to use all fields and cover whole plate.  Bat exit speed of 77 mph does not jump off page. However, swing mechanics are solid and bat speed should improve with continued physical maturation.

Defensively, good framing and blocking skills were noted.  Clean transfer, quick feet and short throwing motion allow 71 mph arm strength to play up to pop times of 1.99 - 2.16.

Matthew SchietromaMatthew Schietroma, 2019, Pine-Richland, SS
5-foot-10, 165-pound right-handed hitter initiates swing from neutral set up with short controlled stride. Separation is achieved threw hand and upper body movement as opposed to weight shift and hip turn.  Hands are quick and loose. Head is still and there is solid balance and rhythm to swing. Lower half turn is somewhat passive and there is length to swing. Schietroma recorded a bat exit velocity of 85 mph and made swing play in batting practice consistently barreling the baseball.

Defensively, attacks the ball creating good angles and hops while playing ball out front.  Range is adequate.  Hands are soft and Schietroma consistently plays through ball. A smooth, quick transfer and 75 mph arn strength across the infield were demonstrated.  Sixty time of 7.22 is reflective of athleticism and should continue to improve with strength gains.and maturity.

Calvin BickerstaffCalvin Bickerstaff, 2020, Steubenville (OH), RHP/1B
6-foot-4, 175-pound right-hander sat 82-83 with his fastball which was relatively straight while working out of a high 3/4 arm slot.  Arm action is long and loose and Bickerstaff was able to consistently repeat his delivery. Long frame and levers create interesting angles.  Curveball thrown at 72-73 was somewhat inconsistent in it's break although at it's best was sharp with an 11-5 shape. Changeup lacked separation at 77-80 mph but had considerable run and sink.  Bickerstaff showed ability to command his secondary offerings.  He would benefit from landing slightly less open with his front hip and driving more aggressively over his front knee.  Overall, frame, velocity, delivery and athleticism make Bickerstaff a very interesting follow in Class of 2020 .

Offensively, initiated swing from open set up with pronounced knee-to-knee leg kick to neutral.  There was tendency to lean back with upper half and be somewhat passive in weight shift.  Mechanics created uphill swing path and difficulty being on time on this day.  Recorded bat exit velocity of 79 mph.                                                                                                                                         

Remainder of roster (in random order)

Jakob Bailey, 2019, Brooke (WV), 1B/3B/RHP
6-foot-2, 230-pound right-handed hitter initiated swing from open set up with short, knee-to-knee stride staying open. Head is still and there is good balance to swing.  Bailey was able to square multiple balls in batting practice and recorded a bat exit velocity of 81 mph.  Bailey does not fully connect with back elbow creating length.  There is some front hip sway and passive hip turn resulting in uphill swing path. Bailey would benefit from connecting more directly with back elbow and being more aggressive with his lower half turn.

Defensively, hands are adequate and 72 mph arm strength was recorded.  There is tendency to play ball deep and from top down.

On the mound, the right-hander worked out of high to mid-3/4 arm slot with fastball sitting 76-77 and showing some arm-side run. Curveball thrown at 64-66 had 11-5 shape with rolling action and little depth. Changeup lacked separation at 70-71, but was thrown at fastball arm speed and had substantial arm-side run and fade.

Mechanically, Bailey would benefit from staying tall and using his height in staying downhill.  Velocity gains may also be possible through reducing arm drag and avoiding spinning off by driving more aggressively over front side while staying in line.

John Malagise, 2019, Blackhawk, C
6-foot, 195-pound right-handed hitter initiates swing from open set up with stride to neutral.  Hands are quick and direct to baseball.  Weight shift is somewhat passive and there is tendency to lean back with upper half.  Resulting swing path is uphill.  Malagise lowers his height considerably in his load resulting in substantial head movement.  A bat exit velocity of 82 mph was recorded.  He would benefit from maintaining posture throughout swing.

Defensively, demonstrated good framing and blocking skills.  Agility, lateral movement and flexibility are above average. Pop times could be improved considerably by being more aggressive closing front hip and shortening throwing motion.

Matthew Manczka, 2019, McDowell, RHP/SS
6-foot-2 150-pound right-hander pitches out of high 3/4 arm slot. Fastball sat 80-82 touching 83 with arm-side run. Curveball thrown 66-68 had 11-5 shape and was inconsistent in it's sharpness and depth.  There was a tendency to become softer on front side and spin off on both his curveball and changeup.  Changeup sat 64-66 and had substantial arm-side fade.

Mechanically, a long, loose arm action with considerable quickness was present.  Manczka did land excessively open with stride foot resulting in some arm drag and first base fall.  He would benefit from landing more neutral/closed and driving over front side.  Overall, length of levers, arm quickness and expected strength gains make Manczka an interesting follow.

Offensively, swing was initiated from neutral with a short stride to slightly open.  Back elbow leak resulted in considerable bat drag.  A bat exit velocity of 75 mph was recorded. Manczka would benefit from staying square in stride and connecting more directly with back elbow.

Defensively, hands and feet are adequate.  Throwing motion is long for middle infielder.  Would benefit from aggressively attacking ball to create angles and hops and consistently playing through the ball.

Colby Rockacy, 2019, Keystone Oaks, 2B/OF
5-foot-10, 160-pound left-handed hitter. Rockacy initiates swing from slightly open set up with short stride to neutral. Hands are quick, loose and work well to baseball.  Head is still and there is balance and rhythm to swing.  There is some hip sway and passive lower half turn following heel plant.  Swing played to solid batting practice contact.  Rockacy would benefit from greater separation and staying behind baseball while incorporating a more aggressive hip turn.

Defensively, there is excellent lateral quickness and willingness to create hops and angles by attacking baseball. Hands are adequate and ball is played bottom up and out front.  Would benefit from following throws.  Arm strength was recorded at 78 mph on throws across the diamond. Rockacy demonstrated potential game changing speed running a 6.59 60-yard dash.

Showed willingness to catch ball at it's height during his outfield workout.  Would benefit by using his speed to consistently get behind and play through the baseball.

Brandon Walker, 2019, Dubois Central Catholic, C/OF
6-foot, 165-pound right-handed hitters swing is initiated from slightly open setup with short stride remaining open.  Head is still with good balance demonstrated.  Bat exit velocity of 82 mph was recorded. Bat is held somewhat deep in hands.  Open set up and stride create some difficulty consistently covering outer half.  There is tendency to sway with hips.  Would benefit from a more neutral stride and a more aggressive hip turn.  Foot speed is excellent for catcher as evidenced by a 7.03 60-yard dash.

Defensively, a soft glove hand with good framing and blocking technique is demonstrated.  Clean transfer, short throwing motion and quick feet allow 66 mph arm strength to play up to pop times of 2.19-2.22.

Isaac Echard, 2019, Latrobe, SS/2B
6-foot-1, 175-pound right-handed hitter initiates swing from slightly open setup with short stride to neutral.  There is good balance and rhythm to swing.  Head is still and Echard showed good feel for barrel in squaring multiple balls in his round of batting practice.  Connection of back elbow and hip turn lack some aggressiveness contributing to length in swing.  A bat exit velocity of 82 mph was recorded.

Defensively, attacks baseball creating angles and hops.  Demonstrates good lateral quickness and range as well as a confident glove hand.  There is clean, quick transfer, solid throwing motion with follow and consistency in playing through the ball.  Ball is played out front and from bottom up. Echard is a solid runner recording a 7.10 60-yard dash.  Arm strength of 69 mph will likely keep him on right side of the infield.

Ben Mossburg, 2020, Bridgeport, C/OF
5-foot-8, 145-pound left-handed hitter initiates swing from slightly open setup with short knee-to-knee stride to neutral. Head is still and there is good balance and rhythm to his swing.  Back elbow gets very high in load creating some length to swing and intermittent difficulty being on time.  Hands work well to baseball and there is solid weight shift and hip turn with recorded 73 mph bat exit velocity. Mechanics project to progressive improvement in bat speed in association with imminent strength gains.

Defensively, a soft glove hand with good framing skills was noted.  Blocking technique and lateral movement demonstrated significant athleticism.  Pop times were limited by a somewhat long transfer and 65 mph arm strength.  Again marked improvements are likely with physical maturation.

Andino Vecchiolla, 2020, Laurel Highlands, LHP
5-foot-10, 130-pound left-handed pitcher sat 70-72 with fastball touching 73  mph out of a high 3/4 arm slot. There was some arm-side run to fastball.  Curveball thrown at 57-60 mph with 1-7 shape and rolling break consistent with arm speed. Changeup was thrown at 63-64 mph with fastball arm speed and arm-side fade.  Mechanics were relatively clean with good rhythm, ability to stay in line and consistency in repeating motion demonstrated.  Arm action was long and loose with low effort. There was intermittent, subtle tendency to lean back in balance point creating early front side opening.  Overall mechanics and frame suggest substantial short term velocity jump.  Sharpness of secondary offerings will likely improve substantially as well with strength gains.

Hunter Sorenson, 2019, McDowell, RHP/3B                                                                                   6-foot, 155-pound right-handed hitter initiates swing from square stance with heel lift and no stride. Sorenson achieves good separation, head is still and there is good balance to swing. Their is an aggressive weight shift followed by a somewhat passive hip turn creating subtle bat drag.  There is some front side softness. A bat exit velocity of 79 mph was recorded and Sorenson was able to barrel multiple ball in his BP session. He would benefit from rotating more aggressively around a firmer front side.

On the mound, Stays in line well and drives aggressively over front side.  There is good balance, rhythm and repeatability to delivery. FB sat at 77 mph touching 78 with moderate arm side run. CB at 64-67 had 11-5 shape and rolling break.  Change up was thrown with FB arm speed at 69-70 mph and subtle arm side fade.  Consistency in delivery resulted in good command of both FB and secondary offerings. Mechanically, There was tendency to crunch at balance point. Benefit would be gained by staying taller and downhill.

Defensively, hands are adequate.  Sorenson would benefit from working top down, out front and more aggressively through the ball. He flashed developing arm strength of 75 mph on throws across the diamond.

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