2018 Rankings Update: Top Newcomers



By Greg Williams
Pennsylvania / West Virginia Director of Scouting

Today's article on the top newcomers to our soon-to-be updated 2018 rankings is the first installment of a preview for the entire list being released at the end of the week. Other articles will feature big risers as well as a sneak preview of the first eighteen prospects on the list (i.e. the Top 18 in '18). Where these newcomers fall among the 75 prospects in the updated Class of 2018 rankings will be released on Sunday.

Kris Pirozzi

Punxsutawney right-handed pitcher Brandon Matthews has shown signs over the past year that he is developing a similar skill set on the mound as his older brother John, now a freshman at Kent State. Matthews is long, and loose with plenty of room to add to his 6-foot-2, 150-pound frame. The junior has shown the ability to spin a curveball along with commanding a tight slider to go along with a low 80s fastball.

5-foot-11, 180-pound right-handed pitcher Kris Pirozzi (top right) jumped onto our radar this summer with his mid-80s fastball that he ran up to 88 mph at a pair of PBR events in August and September. The Lampeter-Strasburg junior also showed the ability to spin his curveball at 69-71 and some feel for a change-up at 74-76 with occasional hard diving action.

Taylor RohrerGreencastle-Antrim left-handed pitcher Nathan Starliper played second fiddle last spring to Penn State freshman Myles Gayman, but should see a considerable increase in workload this coming spring. The Maryland commit has shown command of a mid-80s fastball and the ability to spin a mid-70s curveball.

A pair of polished left-handed pitchers with similar skill sets also make their first appearance in the rankings. Plum's Ryan Kircher (4-0, 1 save, 1.14 ERA) and Manheim Central's Taylor Rohrer (5-2, 2.44 ERA) both had breakout sophomore seasons. Kircher, at 5-foot-10, 150-pounds has shown steady velocity increases and has displayed upper 80s velocity at times this fall. The 6-foot, 160-pound Rohrer (bottom right) sits in the low-to-mid 80s with similar command of his secondary offerings.

Penn-Trafford corner infielder Zach Mancz flashed the left-handed swing that drew plenty of college interest over the course of the summer at the PA Travel Championships in August. The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Pitt commit went 3-8 with a double and routinely showed an ability to stay inside the baseball and hit it the other way with authority.

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