Prep Baseball Report

Underclass Report: Notes from the 2018 and 2019 Classes

By Jacob Gill
Pennsylvania Assistant Director of Scouting

On Monday, we finished up an eight-day look at uncommitted prospects with the best tools in the junior and senior classes. While it would be a tad premature to perform the same exercise for prospects who have three or four years of their high school careers in front of them, today we will detail some notables for the freshman and sophomore classes.

Six sophomores and one freshman have already given their verbal commitment to college programs:
+ Lancaster Catholic 2018 left-handed pitcher/first baseman/outfielder Dillon Marsh [see video above] and Malvern Prep 2018 right-handed pitcher Brady Devereux [see video below] to Wake Forest 
+ Bishop Shanahan 2018 right-handed pitcher/outfielder Nick O'Day to Texas Christian
+ Penn Charter 2018 left-handed pitcher/outfielder Michael Siani to Virgnia
+ Malvern Prep 2018 right-handed pitcher Billy Corcoran to Pittsburgh
+ Cocalico 2018 infielder Nick Lucky to Coastal Carolina
+ And, just this week, Red Land 2019 outfielder Tyler Kehoe became the first Pennsylvania freshman off the board when he pledged to Louisville

Butler Area right-handed pitcher/infielder Connor Ollio spent the month of August with the USA Baseball 15U National Team, the last week and a half in Aguascalientes, Mexico at the COPABE "AA" Pan Am Championships. He played in seven of the team's nine games (11 AB, 7 H, 6 R, 8 RBI, 2B, 3B, 3 BB, HBP, 0 K), while winning both of his starts on the mound (3.86 ERA, 11.2 IP, 11 H, 5 BB, 5 K, .229 opponents average, 62% strikes).

A number of talented 2018 catchers earned starting roles as freshmen:

+ Despite being a rookie for a La Salle program that, at the time, had won two of the past three PIAA class AAAA state titles, Andrew Cossetti quickly worked his way into the middle of the line-up, posting a season line of a .352 average, nine of 19 hits for extra bases, and a .455 on-base percentage.
+ Bishop Shanahan's P.J. Heintz is perhaps the most polished defender among this group, as he has exhibited solid receiving skills and advanced game awareness. In our one look at him, he also barreled two balls against a Virginia Tech-bound arm.
+ By mid-season, Zach Klapak (.414 average, six of 12 hits for extra bases) was starting behind the plate and holding down the five-hole in the line-up for Delaware Valley. [see video below]
+ One probably didn't even need to see Conestoga's Luke Czepiel in person to have an idea that he can hold his own defensively, as he was tasked during his rookie season with handling a staff that included the lively low-90s fastball of current North Carolina freshman Brendon Little, as well as the mid-80s sinker of Richmond-bound Tim Miller.

In order to stand out at any age, it helps if you can stand tall, and there is no shortage of big frame, projectable pitchers in the class of 2018, including a quartet of talented 6-foot-5 right-handers in Corcoran, Downingtown West's Drew Britt, Norwin's Christopher Wallace [see video below], and Red Lion Area's Tyler Burchett.

In addition to Marsh and Kelchner, a number of other sophomore southpaws have pitched their way onto the radar this summer and fall:
+ La Salle's Joe Miller should have an opportunity with his mid-80s fastball and clean delivery to carve out a significant role for himself on a staff that graduated 60% of its innings.
+ Downingtown East's Hutch Gagnon offers upside with his long, loose arm action as he grows into his gangly 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame. [see video below]
+ Mercersburg Academy's Beau Lowery, a West Virginia resident, saw significant action as a freshman and has touched 85-mph with his fastball.

Previous PA News