Upperclass Games: Top Infielders


TJ Hunt
Director, PBR New Jersey

Another year, another successful Upperclass Games showcase. The showcase occurred on Sunday September 23rd at Woodbridge High School. Again, we appreciate all of the players and coaches that were so flexible in the last minute change – and we look forward to having some of these players at future events.

The Upperlcass Games had a plethora of talent to sift through. Over the next few weeks, we will be breaking down some positions and players of note from the Upperclass Games and Underclass Games – as well as various events we cover(ed) throughout the fall season – leading into our update of the state rankings for each grad class at the end of the fall.

First we start off with the Top Infielders from the Upperclass Games

Anthony Schooley SS / Cherokee, NJ / 2020

Villanova recruit. Schooley’s lean athletic build at 6-feet 165-pounds and smooth, powerful left handed swing make him one of the top players in the 2020 class. His talent is unwavering – and is well known in the state since his elite-level performance at the 2018 Future Games against some of the best uncommitted talent in the country. Schooley starts in a tall, athletic stance with hands above back shoulder. Uses a big leg kick as a timing mechanism and hands show rhythm throughout load process. Front foot gets down and hands explode through the zone to create gap to gap power. Schooley’s energy and enthusiasm for the game were apparent when sitting in the dugout with him over the course of the three days.

 

 

Shane Hickey SS / Jackson Liberty , NJ / 2020

Hickey has an athletic build at 6-foot-1 160-pounds. Hickey stood out with his powerful left handed swing at the dish, both during BP and in gameplay. He starts in a tall, narrow stance with feet neutral and bat above back shoulder, parallel to the ground. As pitch comes in, he uses a leg kick and stride to start swing. Hands load down slightly and back with fluidity. Short, compact swing and shows some explosiveness in his hips in hands at contact. Finishes balanced with a slight uptick. Maintained true line drive pop throughout the event, with gap to gap potential. Had his best 60 measured at 7.25. In the field, velocity topped at 80 MPH. Long, easy arm action with some arm side run, Hickey moves laterally with ease and fields the ball with momentum carrying him to 1B. Able to throw from multiple different arm angles on the bag.

 

 

Kyle Vinci 1B / Delbarton, NJ / 2020

Vinci, who has been a mainstay in the middle of perennial state contender Delbarton since his freshman year, is another player that continues to impress with his athleticism with such a strong, broad shouldered frame. At 6-foot-3 225-pounds, Vinci has been consistently around the 7.00 range with his 60-yard dash – running a 7.06 most recently. At the plate, Vinci starts with his hands above his back shoulder and in a neutral, slightly opened stance. Creates rhythm in hands prepitch. As pitch come in, he sits back on his back side as a form of weight exchange and uses a small foot stride to start his swing. Hands load down and back effortlessly. The ball explodes off of Vinci’s bat with carry into the gaps. Exit velocity topped at 93 which was one of the best recordings of the event. In the field, Vinci’s velocity across the infield topped at 70 MPH on a wet, dreary afternoon. Shows some bounce and athleticism while working double play feeds and replaces feet with swiftness and ease. Uncommitted as of right now, but Vinci is due for a big spring with his developing power and middle of the order bat this year as a junior for the Green Wave. Expect big things.

 

 

Brian Brown RHP / Camden Catholic, NJ / 2019

Brown’s emergence as one of, if not the top uncommitted 2019 in the state has been staggering. At 6-feet 185-pounds, Brown is well put together and possesses both a live arm on the bump, and a powerful stroke at the plate. A legit two-way prospect at the next level, Brown’s actions in the infield are outstanding – he’s able to throw from multiple different angles with carry, upwards of 85 MPH. His primary infield position is 3B, but is athletic enough to play SS and 2B in a pinch with ease. At the plate, exit velocity topped at 86 MPH. Starts in a neutral, tall set up with hands above back shoulder. Quiet from the start, as pitch comes in, Brown uses a small weight transfer and foot stride to start swing. Hands stay stagnant through load process. Explosive hips and hands through the zone a slight uptick in his finish help him drive the ball into the gaps. Don’t expect Brown to remain uncommitted for much longer.

 

 

Christopher O'Connor 2B / Middletown South , NJ / 2020

O’Connor’s lean, athletic frame at 6-feet 183--pounds and sure-handedness in the infield bring him in to the list of notable infielders from this event. We first got a chance to see O’Connor last spring, when he had a big day against Alabama commit ‘18 Tyler Ras in the first game of the season. O’Connor’s swing is compact and quick – starting from on opened stance with hands above back shoulder and bat parallel to the ground. Uses a leg kick and stride to start swing and hands load down below his shoulder and back with some rhythm. Finishes uphill and balanced. Line drive type hitter. In the field, throws topped at 83 MPH across the diamond. Ball jumps out of his hand and shows bouncy movements as he glides laterally to ground balls hit to his forehand and backhand.

 

 

Ahmir Cournier SS / Jackson Memorial, NJ / 2019

Cournier is a recent North Carolina Central recruit – Cournier’s actions in the field and present bat speed certainly separated him from the pack. At the plate, the right hander starts in a tall, neutral stance with hands just below his back shoulder and bat slightly wrapped around his head. He creates some rhythm in his hands and wrists prepitch. As pitch comes in, Cournier uses a foot stride to start his swing as his hands/bat load up and back. Short, compact to the ball, finishes on back leg. Line drive hitter. In the field, velocity topped at 81 MPH from SS. Bouncy and athletic, Cournier seems to glide to the baseball and his glove exchange was quick and easy – one of the quickest of the day from the middle infield workout. His throws have carry and were on the bag.

 

 

Jack Winsett SS / Eastern , NJ / 2019

Rider commit. Winsett has a lanky-athletic build at 6-foot-2 170-pounds. A left handed swinger, Winsett’s versatility was on display the entire day in the field. Routinely in the mid 80s with his velocity across the infield, Winsett can play 2B, SS, and 3B with ease. At the plate, starts in a tall, slightly opened stance with bat wrapped around his head. Uses a foot stride to start swing as hands load down slightly. Line drive hitter at contact, creates barrel extension and rises up in finish. In the field, the ball jumps out of his hand from a high-¾ slot. Quick glove exchange, and is able to throw from multiple different angles.

 

 

Blaze Fadio 2B / Audubon , NJ / 2020

Fadio has an athletic build at 5-foot-10 160-pounds. A top-of-the-order type bat, Fadio starts in an opened stance from the right side with hands above back shoulder. As pitch comes in, Fadio uses a small foot lift and stride to start swing as hands load down slightly. Creates extension in hands to contact and finishes with an uptick and balanced. Exit velocity topped at 85 MPH. In the field, throws topped at 85 MPH with carry and backspin. High-¾ slot with a long, loose arm action. Can play anywhere in the infield. Clean hand exchange and glovework. Ball gets in and out of glove quickly.

 

 

Evan Cornwell SS / Pompton Lakes, NJ / 2020

Cornwell has been a frequent attendee of events recently and has gotten better and better each time we’ve seen him. He’s a switch hitter with some line drive pop that will only increase as he continues to fill out his lanky, athletic frame. At 5-foot-9 145-pounds, Cornwell can really pick it at shortstop. His actions are effortless and smooth and a strong arm (81 MPH) across the diamond. From the left side, Cornwell starts with relaxed hands from both sides of the plate and uses a toe stride and brief tap for timing. Shows fluidity in swing path and finish – line drive hitter. In the field, shows smooth actions at SS – glove exchange is smooth and ball gets out of hand quickly. Plays through throws to first base.

 

 

Jason Arnott SS / Christian Brothers Academy , NJ / 2020

Arnott has a lean, athletic build at 6-feet 170-pounds. A left handed swinger, Arnott has seen vast improvements over the course of the past year in his physicality and bat speed at the plate. Exit velocity topped at 88 MPH at this event, and was up to 89 MPH at a recent Canes Scout Day workout, too. Ran a 7.68-60 yard dash. At the plate, Arnott starts in a neutral, tall setting with hands in line with back shoulder. As pitch arrives, Arnott’s hands load down and back with some fluidity and he uses a foot stride to start his swing. Powerful hips and quick hands create barrel extension – and the ball jumps off his bat with line drive pop. In the field, Arnott’s velocity topped at 78 MPH across the diamond, and then a couple weeks after, topped at 81 MPH at the Canes Scout Day. Longer arm action from a high-¾ slot. Field ball out in front of body and is able to quickly exchange the ball to throwing hand with ease.