Diamonds in the Rough: Week 4

Ted Williams
Ground Forces

Over the next few months, the Prep Baseball Report (PA/NY) crew will be highlighting players in several different article formats, including Ted Williams’ "Diamonds in the Rough" feature series.

The recruiting process can be tough sledding at times and for whatever reason, talented players can remain uncommitted for extended periods of time. Included below are some players who have stood out at events throughout the showcase year and deserve more love for their abilities. More specifically, we will be focusing on five standout uncommitted prospects who have shown the projectability necessary to take the next step in their respective game. 

Sebastian Cabral 1B / OF / Nanuet , NY / 2021

The Spin: The large 6-foot-5, 195-pound first baseman turned heads at the Rockland Elite Scout Day in November with a standout batting practice round which saw him post numerous impressive measurables including a 78.2 mph bat speed per Blast Motion. Even more interestingly the right-handed hitter was able to keep long levers controlled and inside the baseball to match pitch plane (71% on plane efficiency) allowing for repeated loft in the swing to the pull-side (88% fly ball rate, zero groundballs). As quick hands entered the hitting zone with authority (25.20 mph max hand speed), Cabral was consistently able to get his swing off in game action while dealing damage in the box. Factor in that an already solid 91 mph bat-exit velocity and 339 peak batted ball distance will only continue increasing as he could still reasonably hold 15-20 pounds of weight on the frame. Defensively, the first baseman moved adequately out of a medium-high posture while fielding with a soft glove hand out in front. Although the defense won’t blow you away, the Nanuet product is a high level offensive weapon who is worth taking a chance on given the comfortability at the plate and the obvious plus frame he possesses. 


Leo DeRisi 3B / RHP / Xavier, NY / 2021

The Spin: Standing in at a cool 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, DeRisi has a big frame but showed off the high level bat to ball skills present generating a jaw-dropping 80% line drive rate per Trackman Baseball at the NY Gothams event in August. The swing was very mature with a controlled leg lift for the timing mechanism coupled with an easy, methodical rhythm pre-load allowing for repeatability at the plate (91 mph peak bat-exit velocity / 85.4 mph average). Although he utilized a mostly pull-side approach during batting practice, the right-handed hitter was able to go backside on occasion and could control the barrel based on the quadrant he was pitched into. Defensively, the third baseman moved well above-average for his frame showing the ability to get around the baseball and downhill towards the target at the fielding window. With the size he possesses coupled with the feel for his body in space, it’s hard to imagine the ceiling doesn’t keep climbing. An impressive 84 mph throwing arm is more than enough to keep him at the hot corner down the line while he should also offer the ability to slide over to first base if need be giving you legitimate positional flexibility at either corner spot.


Matthew Salina OF / 2B / Webster Schroeder, NY / 2022

The Spin: The long and lean 6-foot, 160-pounder was the talk of the NY Futures event in September after making a Sportscenter-esque catch on a full sprint lay-out on the warning track. If that doesn’t inspire confidence that he could play the outfield at the next level, maybe a live 85 mph arm strength from his position will. The right-handed hitter put the exclamation point on his day by notching a 50% line drive rate while also showing some big time power numbers (32.9 G’s of rotational acceleration per Blast Motion which was one of the top 3 highest at an event this year). The Webster Schroeder product demonstrated good leverage in the box with ability to create backspin on ball flight to both gaps (50% fly ball rate) and should see his average distance (238 feet according to Trackman Baseball) continue to increase as he keeps adding strength onto a lanky, 160-pound frame. In game action, Salina recorded two base hits and moved quicker in space than his 7.31 60-yard dash time would indicate. All in all, you’re looking at a quality baseball player who just needs to get a little stronger in order to reach his peak. 


Jack Zawacki OF / C / Pittsford Sutherland, NY / 2022

The Spin: Another riser from the NY Futures event, Zawacki was robbed by the aforementioned Matthew Salina play on what should have been his second extra base hit of the day. Regardless the 5-foot-11, 165-pound right-handed hitter exuded quality barrel awareness in the box all day (68% on plane efficiency per Blast Motion) while recording two hits in game action. A 60% fly ball rate according to Trackman Baseball points to the ability to create loft in the swing and an 88 mph bat-exit velocity should give the confidence that he can mold into a quality situational hitter somewhere in the middle of a collegiate lineup down the line. Although he won’t blow you away in many measurable categories, the Pittsford Sutherland product is a gamer and just always seems to find a way at the plate. With a 7.40 60-yard dash to go along with a 79 mph arm strength from his position, you’re looking at a collegiate left fielder at the moment, although he also offers the ability to go behind the plate (2.24 pop time) if need be. Another player who has time to add strength and seasoning over the next couple years, we expect Zawacki to eventually move himself into the class rankings with the bat leading the way. 


Gavin Miller LHP / OF / Baldwinsville , NY / 2023

The Spin: At a mere 6-foot, 156-pounds, Miller has a ton of time to add strength and develop as he continues the maturation process, but there is still a lot to like at the moment. The left-handed pitcher repeatedly filled up the zone and consistently pitched from ahead in game action delivering from an up-tempo, ¾ slot. Both the fastball and curveball showed off high spin (2332 RPM’s and 2551 RPM’s respectively) giving hitters a tough look at the plate with ability to throw either in any count. With the fastball commanding the zone early (43% zone rate per Trackman Baseball) he was able to snap off tight 65-67 mph breakers as the out pitch which saw two-plane 1/7 shape and up to 24 inches of induced horizontal movement. Most impressively the southpaw hid the ball extremely well using the combination of hip coil in the delivery and a quick arm at release while making at-bats against very uncomfortable for opposing hitters. Add in a quality changeup at 73-74 mph showing deception at release, and you’re looking at three pitches in the zone at all times, which gives Miller the look of a conference arm down the line.


Previous Diamonds in the Rough


2021 Preseason All-State - South/Central PA 02/06 Iron Horse Sports Complex
Super 60 Pro Showcase NATIONAL 02/07 MOSH Performance Center
2021 Preseason All-State - Pittsburgh (3PM Session) PA 02/07 All American Fieldhouse
2021 Preseason All-State - Pittsburgh (9AM Session) PA 02/07 All American Fieldhouse
2021 Northeast ProCase (2021 Grads Only) PA 02/13 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 Preseason All-State - Erie PA 02/13 Erie Premier Sports
2021 Preseason All-State - North/Central PA 02/14 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 Preseason All-State - East (11AM Session) PA 02/27 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 Preseason All-State East (3PM Session) PA 02/27 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - Central PA 03/06 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - East PA 03/14 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - West PA 03/14 All American Fieldhouse