Diamonds in the Rough: Week 7

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 pitchers in the '21 and '22 classes who have the ability to impact collegiate rosters. 

Armando Ricci RHP / SS / Shaker, NY / 2021

The Spin: The long and lean, 6-foot, 180-pound right-handed pitcher made his presence felt at the Northeast Pride Scout Day in October with a slow pace to the delivery while creating plenty of arm speed on an 84-85 mph FB. Although Ricci worked mostly down in the zone in the times we’ve seen him, he might have better future success above the belt evidenced by tons of ride on the heater (20.4 inches of induced vertical break per Trackman Baseball). A 67-69 mph curveball was the out pitch while holding advanced arm speed and getting up to 18 inches of horizontal movement across the plate. Considering the 50% zone rate present and comfortability on the extension out in front, you have legitimate strikeout potential down the line. The righty mixed in a slider as well with late break to it generating late sweep to the left-handed batters box (11 inches of horizontal movement). Add in a quality 73-75 mph CH that really pulled the string while getting up to 11 inches of horizontal movement and you have four solid pitches ready to go for the next level. With ability to continue adding strength coupled with the already present flexibility (hip-shoulder separation), it isn’t out of the question to see Ricci shoot up the rankings with a strong performance in his final high school season. Sidenote: the Shaker product was recently seen touching 87 mph in a pen just a day ago. 

Mario Marsillo RHP / St. Joseph By The Sea , NY / 2021

The Spin: Checking in at a solid and well put-together 5-foot-9, 160-pounds, Marsillo possesses advanced lower half strength allowing for good backside drive off the bump. The right-handed pitcher wasted no time attacking the plate at our NY Unsigned Senior Night in September with a heavy, up-tempo pace getting on top of hitters with noticeable hand speed at release allowing for high spin (2248 RPM’s) on an 83 mph fastball. A high ¾ slot allowed for the hand to get on the side of the ball at times creating tough cut action (2.2 inches of horizontal movement) at the plate, especially to left-handed hitters. The St. Joseph product got tons of swing/miss with a tight 61-63 mph breaker generating two-plane, 11/5 shape (-18.3 inches of induced vertical break / 16 inches of horizontal movement) while holding the zone at a 33% clip, which makes sense seeing how well he supinated the fastball. With additional feel on a 75-76 mph CH that also got an inch and a half of cut (100% zone rate), there was legitimate deception in any count creating tough at-bats against. If the velocity continues to jump into the mid to upper 80's, Marsillo would be a “must have” due to the fact that nothing comes out straight and each pitch sees a significant amount of movement. Because of his dedication in the weight room and competitive fire on the hill, there's evidence he can get there sooner rather than later. 

Derek Duval RHP / Fonda-Fultonville, NY / 2022

The Spin: The large, 6-foot-1, 250-pound righty featured a strong, physical frame and was imposing on the hill at the NY State Games in July pounding the zone early in counts at a 53% rate. An 83-85 mph FB got tons of extension (7.01 feet average per Trackman Baseball) coupled with advanced ride (22.2 inches of induced vertical break) making it appear harder and heavier to hitters in the box, looking almost unhittable at times. Though the curveball didn’t get too much break at 74-76 mph, (7.3 inches of horizontal movement) it was thrown hard and showed good arm speed allowing for late dive across the plate. The fastball/curveball combination is a solid punchout pairing at the moment and should allow for high-level strikeout potential down the line with extra spin/shape on the breaking ball. Adding in a quality changeup would give Duval the ability to have a full repertoire ready for the collegiate level while giving him something a little slower that could get hitters off time. With the durability present in the frame, you’re looking at a pitcher with starter traits who still has more velocity in the tank. 

Sean Michael LHP / OF / Minisink Valley, NY / 2022

The Spin: A good athlete in a prototypical 5-foot-10, 170-pound frame, Michael moves well evidenced by a 6.73 60-yard dash at the Northeast Pride Scout Day back in October. The primary southpaw displayed a short, high 3/4 arm-action from the stretch only, with impressive flexibility in the upper half allowing an 81-82 mph fastball to play up in induced vertical break, (22 inches) as well as notching up to 14.5 inches of horizontal movement to the arm-side. A 50% zone rate affirmed what the eye-test saw, he pounded the zone early setting up the offspeed for when he was ahead in the count. Though a 74-76 mph SL featured only 4.7 inches of horizontal movement and was inconsistent at times, it showed the ability to be a solid pitch when he got on top of it. Considering the fact that the changeup was thrown with good deception and notched up to 13.7 inches of arm-side movement at 73-76 mph, he featured two solid offspeed pitches that with further development could turn him into a legitimate starting pitcher candidate. The right-handed hitter demonstrated present two-way capabilities as well, matching pitch-plane early in the swing with a simple bat path to the baseball (85% on plane efficiency per Blast Motion). A 40% line drive rate allowed for confidence that he can repeat the movements in the box while generating an impressive 91 mph peak bat-exit velocity during batting practice. Looking at a well-advanced 23.4 mph hand speed and 20.1 G’s of rotational acceleration at the plate, you have a hitter that offers sneaky pop down the line on top of what he already gives you on the bump.

Owen Stewart RHP / C / Elmira Notre Dame, NY / 2022

The Spin: The projectability is there for the long and athletic 6-foot-2, 180-pound primary righty allowing for good extension on the front side of a high ¾ slot with a big arm-swing in the delivery. An 84-86 mph fastball came after hitters early with high spin (2288 RPM’s) and impressive ride (24 inches peak induced vertical break) while pounding the zone at a high clip (61% zone rate) at our NY Futures event in September. A slow and hard-breaking 65-67 mph curveball featured a “tall and fall” approach with -11 inches of induced vertical break as well as 12.2 inches of horizontal movement per Trackman Baseball, showing two-plane shape at times while generating swing/miss at the plate. The changeup at 72-73 mph was thrown with quality feel notching a 67% zone rate and will be devastating with slightly more arm speed, which would only increase deception at the plate. Overall, you’re looking at a highly seasoned righty in the ‘22 class who is just starting to come into his own. We expect the velocity to continue climbing and if that’s not enough to like, you can look no further than the 1.91-1.97 pop time and 80 mph arm strength from the crouch that he accrued from his secondary catching position, hinting at possible two-way considerations at the next level.

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