ELIMIRA, N.Y. - Despite troublesome weather throughout the day, weather that plagued the entire upstate New York region, the 2014 PGCBL All-Star went off without a hitch, thanks in large part to tireless work from the Elmira grounds crew at Dunn Field. The rain did put a damper on some of the Scout Day activities, including on-field batting practice, but the 60-yard dash and home run derby still went on as planned, as the weather cleared late in the day.
It was evident from the first runner that there was certainly some speed in attendance at the 2014 PGCBL All-Star game. 17 players posted times under seven seconds. These players are listed below. Times are as announced by the PGCBL from the field.
John Razzino - 6.40
Nick Walker - 6.50
Luis Silverio - 6.50
Josh Gardiner - 6.50
T.J. Dixon - 6.53
Jack Gerstenmaier - 6.59
Chris Kalousdian - 6.59
Cedric Mullins - 6.63
Justin Korenblatt - 6.70
JaVon Shelby - 6.80
Mike Carter - 6.81
Trey Stover - 6.87
Chris Gaetano - 6.90
Jayson Sullivan - 6.91
Colin Hawk - 6.94
Jonathan Pryor - 6.94
Sean Aspinall - 6.97
Home Run Derby
In the absence of on-field batting practice, more emphasis was placed by the scouts in attendance on thoroughly evaluating the home run derby, and there was plenty of raw power on display to be examined. With that, without a batting practice that we would have broken down, we take a look at the opening round of the home run derby at historic Dunn Field.
Nick Jewett (Albany, IF, Trinity) showed off a compact stroke and lift to his pull side, powering one long drive over the left-center field fence in his home run derby round. He’s a line drive hitter, but his strength in this performance was abundantly clear as well.
Willi Martin (Watertown, IF, Mount Olive) showed off easy pull-side power right away in his derby round, launching a loud home run well over the left field fence on one of his first swings. Martin shows very quick hands on the inner third and uses his hips very well to drive the baseball. He has power that will clearly play well in game action.
Jake Salpietro(Amsterdam, OF, Fairfield) was among the most comfortable hitters in home run derby action, working from a calm, open approach and showing off extra quick hands. The ball seemed to have an extra gear off his bat as he crushed four home runs in his round. A couple of these were of the towering variety. On pure bat speed alone, he was a standout for scouts in attendance.
Not to be shutout, Zach Wall (Newark, IF, Young Harris) lined a rocket over the left field fence with two outs two go in his round. He gets excellent extension in his swing and has the swing path of an effective gap hitter in game action.
A physically imposing lefthanded hitter,Brennan Price (Glens Fall, IF, Felician) looks the part in home run derby competition. He keeps himself upright at the plate and generates good leverage in his swing path. He certainly remains a power lefty bat to watch.
Corey Lerche (Utica, IF, Gloucester C.C.) showed off a quick, powerful righthanded stroke, staying inside the ball well and resisting the temptation to get long in his swing path for the derby. The juice in his bat is very noticeable.
Zach Collett (Mohawk Valley, IF, New Haven) works from a quiet approach, but made some of the day’s loudest contact, including a laser over the left field wall on one of his first swings. Through a slight forward bat tip, he gets his hands in an excellent position to generate power, and the power appears to come very easily to him. He slugged three home runs in his opening round.
Mark Williams(Adirondack, IF, La Salle) was yet another hitter that immediately looked the part as he stepped to the plate, working from a powerful, slightly crouched position. He produced consistent, hard line drives to his pull side with second gear carry. He clubbed five home runs in his second round, getting into a groove and using his good lift.
Zac Bellinger (Elmira, IF, St. Rose) showed his comfort in the derby competition right away, blasting a towering home run to right field on his first swing. He uses his lower half very well to generate power and is very aggressive with his hands. Bellinger has a clear lefty power approach. He end up with six home runs, and produced multiple deep drives that could have jockeyed for the day’s longest, including his sixth and final homer. He followed with a five spot in his second round. Continuing that momentum, Bellinger finished with four home runs in the finals to clinch the title. This is a power bat scouts will be keeping tabs on.
All-Star Game Action
Bryson Hough (Elmira, RHP, Bucknell) took the mound to start the game for the West All-Stars, showing off an 86-88 mph fastball, flashing a 77-79 mph slider from a three-quarters arm slot. He proved to be particularly tough on righty batters, showing good deception and command of his fastball. He also flashed a 75-77 mph changeup with late action.
Ryan Clark (Amsterdam, RHP, UNC Greensboro) showed off a very live fastball up to 91 mph, working mostly between 88-90. He has quick, very clean arm action and a tall, projectable frame to go with it. He also mixed a late biting 72 mph curveball with the potential to be a big league average offering. Clark also flashed a changeup at 79 mph. His heavy fastball and projection will keep him squarely on scouts’ radar screens moving forward.
Rollie Lacy(Adirondack, RHP, Creighton) has an athletic, wiry frame, a frame that could allow him to continue adding velocity. He worked steadily at 87-88 mph on Tuesday night, showing good movement. Lacey showed good confidence in a 74-75 mph changeup and a short, tight 77-79 mph slider. He mixed in a bigger curveball at 74-76 mph as well.
Austin Foote (Albany, LHP, Indiana) showed off good deception with his three-quarters, shorter arm action, but it was his stuff that impressed above all else. He lived at 86-87 mph with his fastball, flashing late arm side running action. His best offering on Tuesday was a sharp, two-plane 78-80 mph slider that he commanded to both sides of the dish. He would occasionally subtract from this pitch to throw more of a true curveball at 75 mph.
Jayson Yano (Newark, RHP, Stevens) threw a mixed bag of pitches at opposing hitters on Tuesday night. He generates big action at 84-86 mph on a two-seam fastball, and dialed it up to 87 when he needed it. He adds and subtracts to his fastball, adding movement to induce groundballs. Yano also shows good command of a late diving 78-79 mph changeup that works consistently down in the zone with. He also flashed a big 11-to-5 curveball at 71 mph.
E.J. Ashworth(Amsterdam, RHP, Fairfield) gave hitters a lot to look at on Tuesday night, showing a lot of arms, legs, and moving parts in his delivery. He attacked with an 86-88 mph fastball, working fast and showing off late sinking action down in the zone. Ashworth also spotted a 76 mph curveball with good 11-to-5 shape.
Jake Sale (Watertown, RHP, Parkland CC) came in working from a high, straight over the top arm slot and pounded his 88-90 mph fastball down in the zone. He mixed a 74 mph curveball, but right now Sale mostly pitches off of his fastball. He pitched aggressively in this one, and induced weak swings on the fastball.
Ed Lewicki (Mohawk Valley, RHP, Siena) was another of a number of pitchers who gave hitters an uncomfortable at-bat on this night. He came at hitters from an aggressive delivery and an over the top arm slot, working mostly at 88-89 mph. Because of the moving parts to his delivery, his velocity appeared to play up another tick or two. He topped at 90 mph, working quickly, and attacking the zone with the fastball. Lewicki also flashed a late biting 75 mph curveball and an 80 mph changeup.
Sam Sinnen (Elmira, RHP, Old Dominion) came in pumping strikes at 85-86 mph with his fastball, showing off a repeatable delivery and clean arm action. He also showed excellent command of his 73-74 mph late breaking 11-to-5 curveball.
Taylor Blatch(Amsterdam, RHP, Florida State) emerged from the bullpen pumping his fastball and changing hitters’ eye levels. He worked at 88-92, topping at 93 mph with his fastball from an easy delivery. And, he effectively mixed a 73-75 mph 10-to-4 sweeping curveball. Blatch is a good athlete that projects to add more velocity.
Pat Geraghty(Adirondack, RHP, Florida Tech) gave the game it’s first submarine arm angle of the night, and giving righty batters something very difficult to look at in the process. Geraghty threw a 76-79 mph sinking fastball with good late movement.
Kevin Cowan (Glens Falls, RHP, William Patterson) showed a solid feel for a sweeping 72 mph breaking ball and worked mostly at 86 mph from a three-quarters arm slot. He also flashed a late diving 78-79 mph changeup.
Travis Laitar (Newark, RHP, Cortland State) showed a long, clean over the top arm action, working consistently around 84-86 mph with occasional cutting action.
Nick Petrella (Mohawk Valley, RHP, Skidmore) flashed an easy, clean three-quarters arm action and a fastball that hovered around 85-88 mph. He mixed a 74 mph changeup with excellent arm speed and location. It was his go to pitch in this outing. Petrella did a very good of attacking the strike zone with his fastball. He also spun a 71 mph curveball to help combat righthanded batters.
Josh Garran (Utica, RHP, Pace) came out of the pen showing off a quick arm and a wiry, athletic frame. He also immediately flashed a good feel for a sharp, biting 76-78 mph slider. Garran varied the speed of this pitch and threw a couple at 74 mph. He touched 89 mph with his fastball, working mostly between 86-88 with late life through the zone.
Kyle Zurak (Albany, RHP, Radford) opened eyes in the scout section right away, touching 90 mph on the first pitch he threw and showing good life from a high, over the top arm slot. He flashed a sharp 78-81 mph slider and worked mostly at 87-89 mph with his fastball through most of his outing.
Thomas Hackimer(Amsterdam, RHP, St. John’s) came on to relieve Zurak, throwing a moving fastball from a low sidearm slot. He worked between 83-85 mph with his fastball with command down in the zone. He also showed a feel for a frisbee breaking ball that he could backdoor to lefty batters.
Jon Escobar (Watertown, RHP, Holy Cross) came out of the bullpen throwing as hard as anyone threw all night, touching 92 mph with the first pitch out of his hand. He touched as high as 94 mph consistently with a fairly clean arm action and excellent lower half use. At 92-94 mph with a useable 72-74 mph curveball, Escobar has certainly grabbed the attention of scouts with this All-Star outing. He misses bats with his fastball and knows how to attack the zone.
Matt Horton (Elmira, LHP, Cornell) goes at hitters with an aggressive, funky, deception delivery and a high energy arm action. He worked very quickly and pounded the zone with an 85-87 mph fastball, and showed a good feel for a sharp 71 mph downer curveball.
Lucas Godlewski(Mohawk Valley, RHP, Herkimer C.C.) was the final pitcher of the night, showing an 84-86 mph fastball with a sound, repeatable delivery.
Tuesday’s game was almost completely dominated by pitching, but one of the standouts in terms of tools was JaVon Shelby (Amsterdam, IF, Kentucky). Shelby squared a ball hard in the seventh inning, hitting a rope to center field. He also showed quick twitch, smooth defensive actions and plus speed.
Also squaring the ball hard twice was infielderCollin Hawk (Mohawk Valley, IF, Cincinnati), who earlier in the day ran a 6.94 60-yard dash. He was even more impressive in the field, showing fluid, confident middle infield actions. At the plate, he shows good life off his bat and flashes pull side power potential.