Prep Baseball Report

Last Chance Open I.D. - Top Prospects

By TJ Hunt
New  Jersey Scouting Director

On Saturday November 5th, PBR New Jersey hosted the last showcase of the fall, the Last Chance Open I.D. Showcase, at The NJ Sports House in Oakland, NJ. This showcase was intended to update profiles heading into the winter, and to be seen to garner invites to future invite-only PBR NJ events. Here are some of the top performers from the event:


Jeremie Torres, RHP, Paramus Catholic HS, NJ, 2017
Torres has a lanky build with long, wiry limbs at 6-foot-2 160-pounds. Topped at 82 and sat 81-82 mph. Short, Whippy-loose arm action. Showed 11/5 breaking ball with sharp downer action at 70-72 mph and a straight changeup at 69-70 mph. Shows athleticism and explosiveness in delivery. Elastic body type, minimal effort in delivery. Up tempo delivery, drop and drive type pitcher. Stays over the rubber well on backside, helping him get into legs well. Shoulders have an uphill plane on first contact. Hips clear while independently of shoulders/upper body on first contact - showing flexibility and the "whip" action of a prototypical pitcher. High-3/4 slot, get some natural armside run on fastball. Landing is square and athletic. Shows body control and good extension on finish.


OTHER TOP PLAYERS (alphabetical by last name)

Matthew Bettio, RHP/OF, Montville HS, NJ, 2019
Bettio is physically built at 6-foot-1 195-pounds. Recorded the top Exit Velocity at the event at 87 mph and the top outfield velocity at 84 mph. Offensively- sets up with a slightly opened stance and weight evenly balanced. Tall, narrow set up.  Hands are above shoulder with bat flat and parallel with the ground. As pitch comes in, Bettio uses a a big stride and cocks hands up and back for a load. Gets deeper into a crouch as weight is shifted to back leg. Aggressive swing with average hand speed. Defensively- recorded throws up to 84 mph from outfield. Attacks ground balls with momentum heading toward home plate. Fields ball on outside of gloveside foot helping him maintain direction toward target as he goes to throw. Pitching- topped at 81 mph, sat mostly 79-80. Showed a small 10/4 breaking ball at 63-67 mph, and a changeup with some armside fade at 72-73. Slow delivery, drop and drive type pitcher when he gets to balance point. True 3/4 arm slot with a long arm action. Can get more velocity and extension if he can finish over front leg. Finishes pitches standing up instead of out front or with backside following through, cuts himself off. Simple fix with stride length and added lower body strength. Interesting prospect with some projectability. 

Adam Conte, C, DePaul Catholic HS, NJ, 2020
Conte has a strong, stockier build at 5-foot-10 180-pounds. Recorded pop time of 2.37 and threw 68 mph down to second base. Offensively- starts with a slightly opened stance in a crouch with weight on front leg. As pitch comes in, weight shifts to back leg and uses a small front foot stride to start swing. Bat is just above shoulder prepitch, parallel with the ground. As pitch comes in, hands load back, left arm/elbow locks out in load causing him to get long in swing occasionally. Makes up length in swing with explosive hips. Defensively- has some feel for receiving and blocking. able to move laterally to get in front of dirt balls to either side. Needs to work on funneling toward home plate more. Best pop time was 2.37 - can shave off some time with cleaning up footwork and exchange. Slight hitch when he comes out of the shoot from crouch to exchange and then to throw. Pop times will improve if he can eliminate hitch and make throws in one explosive movement.

Julian Greco, C, Christian Brothers Academy HS, NJ, 2018
Greco has a stocky build at 5-foot-9 170-pounds. Offensively- starts in a deep crouch with bat over shoulder, parallel with the ground. As the pitch comes in, Greco shifts weight back and uses a foot stride simultaneously to start his swing. Weight drifts from back to front causing him to rise up out of crouch on finish. Recorded an exit velocity of 77 mph. Defensively- Shows some feel for framing and blocking. Funnels ball toward homeplate well. Recorded one of the best catcher velocities at 73. Best pop time was a 2.11.

Jason Harris, RHP, Mt. Olive HS, NJ, 2019
Harris has a slender build at 5-foot-7 160-pounds. Topped at 82 mph and sat 81-82 for most of his outing. 3/4 arm slot with armside sink and run on fastball. Short, quick arm stroke, with an uptempo delivery. Harris shows some effort in finish, but that effort makes his slider that much more deceiving. One of the better breaking balls from the event, Harris' breaker had sharp 11/5 break between 62-64. Showed a changeup with armside run at 73-74 mph. Quick arm with the potential to but on some more velocity with weight/muscle gain. Wiry-slender body type with room to grow.

Jose Mercado, OF, St. Joseph's (Mont.) HS, NJ, 2018
Mercado has a stocky build at 5-foot-9 180-pounds. Offensively-  recorded an exit velocity of 81 mph. Starts with feet slightly opened and hands below shoulder with bat perpendicular with the ground. As pitch comes in, hands load back and up first, just before weight shifts back. Small leg lift and stride brings lower half back to a square position with hands high and bat wrapped around head. Short path to the ball, finishes on back leg. Defensively- attacks groundballs well from the outfield position. Recorded velocities that topped at 83 mph. Finishes through throws  from OF, positions body well to gain momentum toward target.

Collin Musto, C, St. Joseph's (Mont.) HS, NJ, 2017
Musto is big bodied at 5-foot-10 195-pounds. Offensively- took one of the better batting practice rounds from the event. Recorded an exit velocity of 74 mph. Starts in a tall, narrow stance with hands high above shoulder and bat parallel with the ground. Uses a leg kick to start swing. Minimal hand load. Heavy on front leg on landing, causing him to drift most of his weight forward which could take away power. Defensively- recorded best pop time at 2.12. Topped at 74 mph down to second base. Shows a low target when receiving, smothers dirt balls well. Slight hitch in arm action, but lower half continues toward second base in one fluid movement on throws.

+ Harry Padden, SS, A.P. Schalick HS, NJ, 2019
Padden has an athletic build at 5-foot-7 140-pounds. Offensively- starts in a wide stance with a slight crouch. Hands are even with back shoulder with the top of the bat pointing straight up. As pitch comes in, Padden uses a big leg kick to start his swing. Hands are fully loaded back as leg kick descends. Quick hands provide some pop. Swing can get long but will continue to improve as strength is added. Defensively- shows great baseball actions in the field. Moves laterally to field ground balls smoothly and effortlessly. Throws were on line, topped at 80 mph across the infield. High-3/4 arm slot with some backspin on throws. Able to throw from multiple arm slots.

+ Anthony Palmisano, C, Colonia HS, NJ, 2018
 Palmisano has a physical build at 6-foot-1 175-pounds. Offensively- sets up in an tall, opened stance with weight on back side. Uses a small toe tap to start swing. Hands are even with shoulder and load back as pitch arrives. Athletic explosiveness is still developing, recorded a top exit velocity of 79 mph. Hands need to be quicker to the ball, but frame and actions are there. Defensively- flexible hips help him get deep into a catchers squat. Shows feel for framing pitches and a quiet body. Throws topped at 77 mph to 2B, the top catcher velocity of the event. Best pop time was 2.12. Foot replacement on throws is fluid and exchange is sound. Finishes with momentum going toward 2B.

David Ring, 2B, Ramapo HS, NJ, 2019
 Ring has a long, wiry build at 5-foot-10 150-pounds. No. 41 ranked 2019. Offensively- starts in a crouch with wide feet and hands/bat rested on back shoulder. Uses a foot stride to start swing, hands load up and back simultaneously. Shows some elasticity in hips in finish. Swing is somewhat long, but has shown that he can get the barrel on velocity. Recorded an Exit Velocity of 80, an improvement from last June. Defensively- footwork is sound and shows athletic movements. Short, stabby arm action on throws that topped at 75 mph across the diamond. Able to throw from multiple arm slots. 

+ TJ Roman, SS, St. Joseph's (Mont.) HS, NJ, 2020
 Roman has a lanky build at 5-foot-9 155-pounds. Offensively- Roman sets up in a wide stance with a crouch. Hands are set up high above his back shoulder. He uses a small stride/toe tap to start swing. Power comes from hips, minimal weight transfer and hand load. Quiet approach. Flat bat path - recorded an exit velocity of 71 mph. Power will continue to improve as he matures, but fundamentals are there. Defensively- agile movements at shortstop. Exchange is clean and throws topped at 77 mph across the infield. High-3/4 slot, throws had backspin and carry. 

+ Valentino Salgado, SS, Hudson Catholic HS, NJ, 2019
Salgado has a stocky build at 5-foot-6 158-pounds. Offensively- starts with wide feet and weight evenly balanced. Hands are just above shoulder with bat parallel to the ground. Loads weight back and uses a small leg kick to start swing. Hands are loaded straight back, top arm locks out. Drifts to the ball on swing, can get more out of legs if he can stay back over his backside more. Defensively- put on one of the better performances in the infield. Throws topped at 79 mph across the infield - but feet were quick and showcased very athletic movements when moving laterally. Showed quickness and soft hands especially on back hand, where his planting, catch, and throw were seemingly in one motion. Slow roller Salgado showcased how he can contort his body to throw in a different direction from where he is running. Impressive defensive showing overall.

+ Israel Santana Jr., C, Elizabeth HS, NJ, 2019
 Santana has a slender, lanky build at 5-foot-10 155-pounds. Offensively- starts in an opened stance with hands and bat near ear. As pitch comes in, Santana uses a small leg kick to start his swing, accompanied by a hand load that goes back. Swing has some quickness to it, and gets good extension on contact and finish. Balanced finish. Recorded an exit velocity of 78 mph. Defensively- sets up with a narrow base in receiving, adjusts to a wider set up for blocking and throwing. Smooth lateral movements to block and quick/explosive movements when coming out of the shoot to throw. Exchange is clean and quick, footwork is sound. Replaces feet well and finishes toward target. Throws topped at 72 mph, pop times between 2.15-2.28. Increase in muscle to fill out frame will only help Santana down the road.

+ Jack Tirrell, SS, Colts Neck HS, NJ, 2018
Tirrell has a lanky-athletic build at 5-foot-11 160-pounds. Offensively- LHH starts in a crouch with neutral feet and the bat rested on his back shoulder. As pitch comes in, Tirrell uses a big leg kick and loads hands back and up. Swing is fluid but gets long occasionally. Good athlete has shown well at multiple PBR events in the past (June '16 and NJ Games July '16). Recorded an Exit Velocity of 85 mph. Defensively- athletic actions in the field and quick lateral movements stood out with Tirrell. Throws topped at 82 mph, but he has been up to 83 mph. Able to throw from multiple different arm slots. 

Jackson Yeatts, RHP, West Morris Central HS, NJ, 2019
Yeatts has an athletic build with long limbs at 5-foot-11 175-pounds. Topped at 77 mph, sat primarily 76-77 mph. Flashed a breaking ball with sharp 11/5 depth at 64-66 mph, one of the best breaking balls from the event. Showed a changeup with armside run at 70-71 mph. Delivery is show and methodical to start. Balance point is tall. Falls down the mound into finish. Can get more velocity if he gets more into back leg and drives off of mound instead of drifting/falling. Shoulders have a downward plane which can be attributed to Yeatts falling down the mound. High-3/4 arm slot, arm action is free and loose. Has the frame, command, and feel for offspeed pitches to develop more down the road. Ceiling is high if he continues to put some muscle on to frame.

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