Elite Prospect Showcase Analysis: Class of 2014 Pitchers

By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting

Justin VardianOf the 25 pitchers to throw a bullpen session at the Elite Prospect Showcase six were uncommitted seniors. That number very quickly became five, as RHP Justin Vardian (Bishop McCort) committed to Penn State within hours after the completion of the event. The 6-foot, 175-pound righty, ranked No. 34 in the PA Class of 2014, created a stir by sitting 88-89 with a very loose arm. He stayed within himself and showed good late life to his fastball thrown from a high 3/4 arm slot. Vardian also commanded three complimentary pitches. His 11/5 curveball showed 11/5 rotation at 75 mph, his 78 mph slider showed good late bite and his 76 mph changeup showed arm side run at near fastball arm speed. Vardian becomes the second pitcher in the class from Bishop McCort HS (Nathan Neiderhiser, Youngstown State) to commit to a Division I program.

Following is a look the remaining Class of 2014 prospects that threw during the course of the event in alphabetical order:

RHP Patrick Boyer (Greensburg Salem HS)

Boyer is a 6-foot-5, 205-pound righty that sat 83-84 from a high 3/4 arm slot with plenty more in the tank. He showed solid command with a three complimentary pitches. Boyer commanded a 72 mph curveball with 11/5 rotation, a 76 mph changeup at near fastball arm speed and a 73 mph splitter that shows diving action. Boyer has some shortness to his delivery that could be adjusted to allow for additional velocity.

RHP Alex Dirienzo (Somerset HS)

Dirienzo is a two-way prospect that should act as the No. 1 starter for Somerset HS this spring. He has made significant strides on the mound in recent months and has been drawing considerable interest as a pitcher and two-way player. The 6-foot, 180-pound righty sat 85-86 from a high 3/4 arm slot. He has a very quick arm and pounds the strike zone. Dirienzo also displayed a 74 mph 11/5 breaking curveball and a 76 mph changeup at near fastball arm speed. The changeup showed some good late arm side run and was thrown consistently for strikes.

RHP Richard Gawel (Hazleton Area HS)

Gawel sat 81-82 from a high 3/4 arm slot. The 6-foot, 180-pound righty also commanded a 70 mph 11/5 breaking curveball and a 74 mph slider. Gawel utilizes the two breaking pitches as his complimentary pitches in lieu of throwing a changeup. He has an athletic build and the potential to add velocity with continued physical development.

RHP Corey Neel (Harriton HS)

Neel has a projectable frame at 6-foot-4, 210-pound. He sat 81-83 from an over the top arm slot. His 12/6 curveball at 66 mph has the makings of a dominant out pitch if thrown with more velocity. The pitch shows hard down action and is thrown from the same over the top arm slot. Neel also commanded a 77 mph changeup thrown at near fastball arm speed.

RHP Zach Newmyer (Red Land HS)

Newmyer sat 81-83 from a 3/4 arm slot, touching 85 mph. He has a long, loose arm action that allows for arm side run to his fastball and his 75 mph changeup that is thrown at near fastball arm speed. Newmyer also commanded a 73 mph 11/5 curveball that has a looping break. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound righty, ranked No. 146 in the PA Class of 2014, has shown continual development and with his projectable frame should continue to see velocity gains for some time.

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