Updated & Expanded 2021 Rankings


TJ Hunt
Director, PBR New Jersey

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Though we have not been able to scout players in this strange and difficult spring, there is still plenty to talk about, including an update to the 2021 New Jersey Rankings. This talented group had 12 players represent the state in the recently released PBR Overall Rankings. After four successful events this winter and a massive amount of new information gathered by our scouts with their boots on the ground, we expanded our rankings to 290 players. Along with some talented newcomers, the rankings also see some big risers throughout.

At the Top

The top spot in the 2021 rankings remains Florida commit RHP Chase Petty (Mainland HS, NJ). Petty's surge to the top of the rankings in the last year or so has been incredible to see. His arm is electric from a true-3/4 slot with armside run, up to 94 MPH - and a swing-and-miss slider up to 83 MPH. Petty was one of the top overall performers at the Future Games last August.

Holding in at No. 2 is North Carolina commit LHP Anthony Solometo (Bishop Eustace Prep HS, NJ). Solometo made a big splash this offseason, transferring from one South Jersey parochial school power in Gloucester Catholic to another parochial power in Bishop Eustace. Eustace, who had lost a sizable chunk of the middle of their lineup and arguably South Jersey's top all around player in Matt Orlando (Maryland) to graduation, automatically received a major boost in the addition of Solometo. With the unique situation going on presently, will Solometo still have to sit the allotted 30-days if the season starts up? If the season is cancelled, will he have to sit out those 30 days next year? Only time will tell. In any case, Solometo's stuff is advanced and he showcased it at major national events last summer, including the Area Code Games. He's an upper 80s guy and will touch 90-92 consistently. He possesses a hard, late slider at 78-81 - a true out pitch for him. 

Remaining at No. 3 is OF Mike Bello (Pope John XXIII HS, NJ). Bello has been at the top of the 2021 rankings since he burst on to the scene in the fall of his freshman year at the Fall Underclass Games at Montclair State University. At the Preseason All State in early March, Bello was one of the top overall performers - running a 6.70 60 yard dash and showing an explosive, compact swing path at the plate. The physical 6-foot-2 200-pounder is the NJ junior class's top 2021 draft bat.

The Top 10

RANK   NAME STATE SCHOOL CLASS POS COMMITMENT
1 Chase Petty NJ Mainland 2021 RHP Florida
2 Anthony Solometo NJ Bishop Eustace 2021 LHP North Carolina
3 Mike Bello NJ Pope John XXIII 2021 OF Auburn
4 Shane Panzini NJ Red Bank Catholic 2021 RHP Virginia
5 Jimmy Romano NJ St. Joseph's Montvale 2021 RHP Duke
6 Aries Samek NJ Teaneck 2021 SS Clemson
7 Pierce Coppola NJ Verona 2021 LHP Virginia
8 Ian Petrutz NJ Clearview Regional 2021 OF Maryland
9 Anthony Stephan NJ Ridgewood 2021 SS Virginia
10 Justin Szestowicki NJ Kingsway 2021 SS North Carolina

Click HERE for the full list of 2021 NJ Rankings

Risers

Over the last few months encompassing many events as well as our boots-on-the-ground scouting, our staff has been countless prospects perform at high levels preparing for their seasons. Although the season is on hold for now, here are some players whose stock rose throughout the offseason.

One player that rose his stock is Duke commit RHP Jimmy Romano (St. Joseph's Montvale HS, NJ). We got a chance to see Romano in action last spring during the Bergen County tournament with his upper 80s fastball and wipeout slider. This winter, Romano has been up to 92 MPH, and showed plus stuff with an 80 MPH late-breaking slider. An athletic frame at 6-foot-1 180-pounds, Romano's easy high-3/4 arm action profiles him as a starter-type at the next level.

Another player that rose into the Top-10 is Virginia recruit LHP Pierce Coppola (Verona HS, NJ). The lanky-athletic 6-foot-7 200-pounder possesses a fastball that sits 86-89 and has touched 90-91 on several occasions this winter. It's not often where a 6-foot-7 lanky high schooler shows as much body control and repeatability on the mound - but Coppola shows functional strength in his mechanics and advanced body awareness for his size and age. His curveball shows big 1/7 depth at 70-72 and possesses a late-tumbling splitter to boot. Coppola will be an interesting name to watch for this time next year for the MLB Draft. 

COPPOLA VIDEO

 

UPenn recruit OF Cole McGonigal (Seton Hall Prep HS, NJ) was one of the most impressive players to come out of this offseason, highlighted by his performance at the Preseason All State showcase at the beginning of March. Broad-shouldered and athletic at 6-foot-3 195-pounds, McGonigal ran an event-best 6.56 laser-timed 60 yard dash and was consistently atop the leader boards in Blast Motion metrics in Rotational Acceleration and Bat Speed. Off the tee, McGonigal was 97 mph as well. At the plate, simple, wide setup with hands below back shoulder. Uses a foot lift and stride to start swing as hands move up and back. Lightning quick hands through the zone with explosiveness in hips, McGonigal showed loud contact throughout his round of batting practice. Interesting name to follow this spring and summer.

MCGONIGAL VIDEO

 

We've seen uncommitted INF Dean Ferrara (Ramapo HS, NJ) multiple times over the last 18 months - and his strides this offseason were impressive. Strong, athletic build at 5-foot-10 175-pounds, Ferrara has put on noticeable strength since we last saw him in the fall of 2019. 7.13-runner, Ferrara shows present strength in the box - recording one of the top exit velocities of the Preseason All State showcase at 94 mph. Opened setup with hands above back shoulder, Ferrara uses a leg kick to shift weight on to back leg as hands move back and barrel becomes parallel to the ground. Explosiveness in hips and hands, Ferrara's bat shows some lag in the zone. Uphill in finish and balance throughout. In the field, smooth, athletic movements laterally, and is able to throw from multiple slots with ease. High-follow prospect with a lot to like in the middle infield.

High school teammates and future college teammates at Elon, OF's Nicholas Carr (Don Bosco Prep HS, NJ) and Charlie Granatell will be a strong 1-2 punch in the middle of the order for the Ironmen this spring and next. Carr, a 6.84 runner in early March, was among the top-2 highest Blast Motion recordings for Rotational Acceleration and Bat Speed. A neutral start in the box with hands above back shoulder and bat parallel to the ground, Carr uses a small foot lift and stride to start swing as hands move down and back. A short, compact stroke through the zone with line drive pop, Carr possessed balance throughout his swing. Granatell, a physical 5-foot-10 188-pound frame, ran the 60 in 6.80 seconds this offseason. Starts in a slight crouch with hands below back shoulder and bat rested. Uses a small stride to start swing as hands move back. Easy, fluid swing path through the zone with an uphill finish. Both athletes impressed this winter.

INF Nick Garagozzo (Lenape HS, NJ) has put on some strength since we last saw him in the fall as well. 5-foot-9 16-pounds, Garagozzo has some quickness to his hands from the left side with some pull side pop. Starts in a tall, opened stance with hands in line with back shoulder. Uses a small foot lift to re-center body to the plate and shifts weight back. Hands move up and back in load. Smooth, easy barrel path with uphill finish. 88 mph across the diamond with efficient movements in the field.

Uncommitted C Zachary Rogacki (Jackson Memorial HS, NJ) continues to show why he is one of the top players in the state still looking for a landing spot. 7.38 runner and consistently 1.97-2.06 pop time in showcase setting, Rogacki's smooth left handed swing and simple line drive approach, a advanced catch-and-throw ability will make him a top commodity this summer.

ROGACKI VIDEO

 

RHP/3B Mark Capell (Biotechnology / Marlboro HS, NJ) is an interesting two-way option for coaches to keen in on this summer. On the mound, the projectable 6-foot-1 195-pounder was 83-85 at the Preseason All State Showcase in March. Primarily from the stretch, Capell possesses a long arm action from a high-3/4 with slight hitch at the top of the arm path. Loads into back leg as he drives down the mound, Capell shows uphill shoulders and and firm landing leg with extension on release. Breaking ball showed tight 11/5 spin and flashed a changeup with armside fade as well. 

At the plate, Capell shows some pop from the right side. Wide setup with hands just above back shoulder, Capell uses a small foot lift and stride to start swing with a compact, simple path through the zone. Gap to gap type hitter. From 3B, Capell topped at 90 mph across the infield, which was one of the highest recorded infield velocities from the event. Fields ball outfront and carries momentum toward target. One of the top uncommitted players in the state.

Uncommitted C Jimmy Brennan (Pope John XXIII HS, NJ) has gained some strength this offseason as well. 7.13 runner, Brennan is one of the most athletic backstops still looking for a home at the next level. At the plate, starts in a crouch with hands above back shoulder and bat parallel to the ground. Uses a small foot lift and stride to start swing as hands load back slightly. Short simple path through the zone. Line drive hitter. Behind the plate, showed off his arm strength with 76 mph throws down to 2B. Topped at 2.00 in a showcase setting.

Uncommited RHP Joe Skapinetz (Gil St. Bernards HS, NJ) has a projectable 6-foot-4 215-pound lanky, athletic frame. His fastball was 83-85 mph with a max of 85 mph. Had a tight curveball (66-69) with 10/4 shape. Showed command and sinking action on his changeup (73-75). Consistent, repeatable mechanics and body control for a player his size. Long, effortless arm action into a high-3/4 slot with some late, heavy life. High follow.

SKAPINETZ PITCHING VIDEO

 

Uncommitted RHP Andrew Tofolo (Eastern HS, NJ) has a projectable 6-foot-2 185-pound frame. Fastballs at 84-86 with armside life in early March. Athletic balance point and uphill shoulders going down the mound, Tofolo creates extension over landing leg on finish with some effort at the end. Slider was the better of the two breaking balls on this day - sharp, hard 11/5 with smaller break at 74 mph.  More in the tank.

TOFOLO VIDEO

 

Uncommitted RHP/OF Tyler Lender (Cherokee HS, NJ) has a physical 6-foot-2 200-pound frame. On the mound, fastball was consistently 86-87 with running life and a compact arm strong. Breaking ball showed some 10/4 spin at 70-72; changeup had armside fade at 75-77 mph. At the plate, strong athletic crouch position to start with hands above back shoulder. Small leg kick to start swing as hands move back slightly. Strong, compact bat path through the zone with line drive pop. 6.72 runner. Advanced athlete for his age.

Uncommitted RHP Nicholas Burg (Cherokee HS, NJ) has a durable frame at 6-foot-2 200-pounds. Fastball sat 87-88 and touched 89 in early March. Curveball had 10/4 break at 74-75 and a changeup with fade at 77-80. Primarily out of the stretch, Burg rises into a firm, athletic balance point and drives down the mound using his back side. Uphill shoulders as he descends, he finishes over a bent landing leg. Short, quick arm stroke into a high-3/4 slot with a slight hitch at the top of his path. Was a top performer at the Preseason All State.

Newcomers

Uncommitted SS/RHP Alex Jankowski (Marlboro HS, NJ) has a monster performance at the Preseason All State showcase earlier this month. 91 MPH across the infield and a 7.17 runner, Jankowski shows present strength at the plate with a gap to gap approach and open stance. Smooth load and leg kick to produce pop. He's got some next-level twitch in the middle infield. Controlled actions and quick, athletic glove exchange. On the mound, has been up to 85 mph, but more in the tank. His breaker has some 11/5 shape at 65-69. Athletic, broad shouldered frame at 5-foot-11 175-pounds.

JANKOWSKI VIDEO

 

Uncommitted RHP Andrew Glauber (Red Bank Regional HS, NJ) has an athletic frame at 5-foot-11 165-pounds. High-3/4 slot with some late life on his fastball, he was 83-84 at the Preseason All State event in early March. Shows some 11/5 depth on his curveball at 64-65. Easy, repeatable mechanics, level shoulders down the mound.

Uncommitted RHP Cole Hansen (Montgomery HS, NJ) has a strong, athletic frame at 6-feet 195-pounds. Showed a quick arm at both the Winter Open Showcase in January and the Preseason All State showcase in March. Fastball consistently sits 85-86 touching 87 from a high-3/4 slot with a short, quick arm path. Breaking ball shows big 10/4 depth at 68-71.

INF'ers Xavier Baker (DePaul Catholic HS, NJ) and Ty Sallie (Parsippany Hills HS, NJ) both have similar, twitchiness to their game. Baker possesses next-level speed, running a blistering 6.76 at the Preseason All State Showcase - and advanced arm strength across the infield at 88 mph. Athletic build at 5-foot-8 160-pounds, Baker's compact bat path and consistent feel for the barrel make him a player to watch for this spring and summer. Sallie, a Morris County Cubs product, shows strength to his frame at 5-foot-10 165-pounds. A 6.96 runner, Sallie has explosiveness to his swing path at the plate. A simple start - hands above back shoulder with bat parallel to ground, Sallie uses a leg kick to start swing as hands move up and back with some fluidity. Explosive hips and hands through the zone, Sallie shows gap to gap pop in the box.

OF Collin Feeney (Ridgewood HS, NJ) is an impressive athlete at a lean, athletic 6-feet 180-pounds. Ran the 60 yard dash at the Winter Open Showcase in 6.76 seconds, and showed some carry to his throws at 85 mph from the outfield. Simple, neutral start in the box with hands below back shoulder and bat perpendicular to the ground. Uses a small foot stride to start swing. Compact barrel path. Line drive approach.

FEENEY VIDEO

 

RHP Kyle McCaffrey (Verona HS, NJ) has a projectable, lanky frame at 5-foot-11 155-pounds. A known strike thrower, McCaffrey sat 82-84 at the recent Wladyka Baseball Pitcher Showcase in early March. Possesses a curveball with big 11/5 break for strikes at 68-70 and a straight changeup at 70-72. 

Uncommitted Players to Watch

RHP Krisopher Giangreco (Delran HS, NJ) possesses some heavy, late life to his fastball at 82-84 mph. Durable 6-foot-2 195-pound frame, Giangreco has a short, quick arm action from a 3/4 slot. Drives off back side in balance point, his breaking ball has late, 11/5 downer break at 70-72.

C Nicholas Yedman (Moorestown HS, NJ) has elite-level catch-and-throw abilities from behind the plate. Consistently 1.94-2.02 with 76 mph velocities out of the crouch - the athletic looking 6-foot-1 17-pound backstop can control a running game.

3B/RHP Thaddaeus Lydon-Warner (Haddonfield Memorial HS, NJ) has some stregnth to his frame at 5-foot-11 185-pounds. On the mound, sat 83-85 with a long arm action and high-3/4 slot. Sharp 11/5 breaker for strikes at 71-72 and a changeup with armside fade at 78-79. At the plate, the right-handed hitter had a max exit velocity of 85 mph. Starts in an open stance, has a smooth load and uses a small leg kick to initiate his swing. Showed a flat swing plane. Was able to find some barrels in his rounds. Up the middle approach. 

OF Matt Faris (Ridgefield HS, NJ) is listed as a primary pitcher, but it was his offensive ability that really stood out at the Preseason All State showcase. Lean, athletic frame at 5-foot-10 175-pounds, Faris was clocked at 6.83 60 yard dash, which was one of the top times of the event. Compact setup with a crouch on his back leg, hands below back shoulder. Uses a small leg lift to start swing as hands move up and back. Line drive hitter with a flat bat path.

Top Uncommitted Players by Position

+ RHP: Ethan Dodd | Joe Skapinetz | Dan Merkel | Andrew Tofolo | Nicholas Semon | Tyler Lender | Nicholas Burg | Brandon Feigin | Anthony Scarlata | Connor Grotyohann

+ LHP: John Hacker | Brandon Chorzelewski | Brian Young | Julian Costa | Jayden Shertel | Joseph Mascio | Ryan Sekman | Dominick Castiglia | Kieran Hollander

+ 1B: Tywone Malone | Trevor Smith | David Alleva | Luke Crawford | Ian Murphy

+ 2B: Gabriel Francisco | Michael Ruiz | Hunter Rivera | Frankie Romond | Owen Ayers

+ SS: Alex Jankowski | Chris Serrano | Dean Ferrara | Andrew Schmid | Xavier Baker | Gabe Diaz | Jason Arrigo | Nick Garagozzo | Kyle Corso

+ 3B: Noah Rodriguez | Mark Capell | Thaddaeus Lydon-Warner | Vincent Panzarino | Jared Beebe

+ C: David Zamora | Tyler LeRoy | Allen Suero | Logan Rooney | Ty Gilligan | Karson Harcourt | Nicholas Yedman | Jimmy Brennan

+ OF: Kyle Adorno | Nicholas Czarnecki | Richie Sica | Collin Feeney | Benjamin Ribicoff | Danilo Perdomo | Cael Magill | Kabel Willis