Prep Baseball Report

Elite Prospect Showcase: Unsigned Seniors

By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting

The Elite Prospect Showcase gave 68 talented prospects an opportunity to display their talents for college coaches in early November. Of those in attendance, 11 were unsigned seniors looking to find the right college fit.

Justin VardianRHP Justin Vardian (Bishop McCort HS) did not waste much time in announcing his commitment. Following an electric bullpen session that saw him sit 88-89 Vardian quickly announced his verbal commitment to Penn State, one of the five Division I schools in attendance. 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.

Wes CarsonIn the days following the event, C/3B Wes Carson (Marriotts Ridge HS, MD) became the 2nd prospect from the event to announce a commitment. Carson gave his verbal commitment to Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The switch-hitting backstop made an impression as soon as he walked in the building. Carson put up the top pop times of the day (1.95-2.05) while also showing solid arm strength (77 mph) with carry. From both sides of the plate, he starts from an open, narrow stance and strides to square and slightly more than shoulder width apart. The left side appeared to be his more advanced side and the ball jumped off his bat when he stayed on top. Carson's right-handed swing has a bit more length, but with his sturdy, developed frame, he has a chance to provide some pop from both sides of the plate.

Following is a look at those unsigned seniors in attendance that have yet to announce a commitment. Look for a number of these prospects to come off the board in the near future.

Unsigned seniors (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 also showed solid command of 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.

3B/2B Vincent Burrafato (Tottenville HS, NY)

Burrafato is a 5-foot-11, 175-prospect that made the trip from Staten Island, NY. The uncommitted senior showed the ability to play through the baseball and accurate throws of 74 mph across the diamond. The right-handed hitter displayed a slightly open stance and a toe tap trigger in the load phase of his swing. Burrafato showed good extension to his swing and the ability to use all fields with a bat exit velocity of 78 mph.

OF Derek Carr (Morgantown HS)

Carr is a 6-foot-1, 165-pound uncommitted senior that traveled from West Virginia to showcase his abilities. Carr showed athletic actions and good carry to throws of 81 mph from the outfield. The right handed hitter hits from a slightly open stance and uses a toe tap trigger to initiate his swing. Carr displayed the ability to routinely barrel the baseball and used all fields well. He turned in a bat exit velocity of 81 mph from the tee.

SS/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. The uncommitted senior possesses above average feet and solid hands. At times, he let ground balls get deep on him, but he exhibited good body control on the slow roller play and his 84 mph throws showed carry across the diamond that should allow him to stay on the left side at the next level. At the dish, Dirienzo starts from a slightly open, relaxed stance. He holds his hands at a good launch point and has a chance to develop gap power with his 87 mph exit velocity.

2B/OF Ross Dirienzo (Somerset HS)

Dirienzo is an uncommitted senior with gap power potential from the left side of the plate. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound prospect hits from a slightly open stance and has some lift to his swing. Dirienzo stays on his backside for a long period of time and displayed above average hip rotation. He barreled the baseball routinely in batting practice with a bat exit velocity of 84 mph. Dirienzo is a capable 2B as well as outfielder with the athleticism to play both positions at the next level. He showcased solid glove work and an 84 mph arm across the diamond.

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/3B 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. Newmyer displayed accurate throws of 80 mph across the diamond with the same long arm action he incorporates on the mound. The right-handed hitter displayed a bat exit velocity of 86 mph and the ability to barrel the baseball frequently in batting practice.

C/3B Dan Trettel (North Allegheny HS)

Trettel is a 5-foot-11, 180-pound C/3B with a big upside. He runs a 7.00 60-yard dash and has gotten significantly stronger physically in the past 12 months. Trettel showcased pop times of 2.15-2.25 on throws of 73 mph from the crouch. He blocks and receives well, and has exhibited the ability to play 3B/OF as well. Trettel displayed the ability to use all fields during batting practice, barreling the baseball routinely with a bat exit velocity of 90 mph. The uncommitted senior has a quiet approach at the plate and stays inside the baseball well.

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