The Mailbag: Answers to Your Questions

By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting

"The Mailbag", is a new feature that provides followers the opportunity to ask a question regarding amateur baseball in Pennsylvania. The feature has become quite popular in short order since we introduced the idea on December 17. We will continue to answer many of your questions on a daily basis as they are received on Twitter @pbrpennsylvania.

Ground rules

We will answer a variety of questions, but can't possibly answer every question that is posed on a daily basis. Questions about specific teams, leagues or individual prospects are less likely to get answered than are more general questions that would be of interest to the masses. We will be running in-depth season previews of high school programs from around the state in the weeks leading up to the start of the high school season. We will also break down some of the top prospects in each classification and by geographic region at that time.

Top Questions

Would a player get more exposure in a AAAA school over a single A school?
Not necessarily. While recruiting is a year-round process, college coaches have their team's season to focus on during the spring, so they do the bulk of their in-person evaluations during the summer and fall. As for PBR Pennsylvania's coverage, we make an effort to see games each spring involving schools from every classification, as well as independent schools.

Who are your top outfielders in AA this year?

Ranked #3 in the 2015 class and verbally committed to Wake Forest, Jimmy Webb (Loyalsock Twp) ignites the offense for the reigning AA champ. Marten Pauwels (Springfield Twp), who has big-time power potential, caught during the HS season, but played OF over the summer and will likely end up on a corner in college (he originally committed to Temple, but may re-open his recruiting process). Jordan Miller (Susquehannock) and Kyle Wise (Saegertown) will be teammates at Slippery Rock next year. In the 2016 class, Brian Verratti (Neumann-Goretti) was leading off for the Saints as a freshman in the state tournament last spring.

Debating on whether or not to go to the Eastern PA College Prospect Showcase since it is in the off-season. What are some benefits of going? Do you know how many schools will be there scouting?
Any player that utilizes the winter months to play another sport or to step away from baseball activities to rest and get stronger should not be attending the Eastern PA College Prospect Showcase or any other showcase for that matter. Winter showcases are an opportunity for those players that are still actively training to show improvements they have made since the fall and provides a spring board to additional opportunities in the spring and summer months with a good showing. The winter months are a quiet period for DI schools so all schools in attendance will be DII, DII, JUCO and NAIA schools.

What is the selection process for picking players for the Midwest Future Games?
Most members of the roster, but not all, will have attended at least one PBR event. Pennsylvania is a huge state and the time it takes to properly scout the talent in a given class is endless. We will run 3 separate events this winter that coupled with what we have already seen from the Class of 2016 will aid us in our initial invitations. We will utilize the high school season and the PA Top Prospect Games in June to finalize any remaining roster spots that have not been filled.

What players get invited to the Midwest Future Games?
The 2014 Midwest Future Games will be for top prospects from the Class of 2016 and select players from the class of 2017. Invitations are extended to top prospects in each of the 10 states that PBR operates. Team Pennsylvania invitations will begin to go out shortly after the completion of the Preseason All-State Showcase. Here is a link to view last year's Team PA roster >>

ask nathan rode

PBR National Supervisor Nathan Rode is also fielding questions and posting his answers on the PBR main Twitter handle (@prepbaseball). CLICK HERE to ask Rode a question regarding topics in the 10 state PBR coverage area or amateur baseball nationwide.

Would a coach actually stop following a prospect due to something posted on social media? If so, what kind of things would warrant this?
Yes. This is a big deal to me. With the internet, kids need to understand that it's very easy for things that you say or do to spread like wild fire. What used to be rumor and hearsay can now be easily confirmed if it's documented on things like Twitter and Facebook. Every coach/scout will have their own opinion on stuff that's posted, but the best way to put it is you have to try to be as mature and professional as possible. Coaches and scouts understand that they are still kids and they're bound to make mistakes so I'm not saying someone has to be perfect. But illegal activity, racist remarks and other severe, immature behavior would be a big strike in my mind. --Nathan Rode

Do you check out kids that aren't involved in PBR?
Absolutely. Our goal is to be the No. 1 source for high school baseball in each state we're established. Yes, we run events and that makes it easy to see the kids that attend. But we also go to high school games in the spring and attend other events/showcases to see players and talk to college recruiters and scouts to collect information. --Nathan Rode

Any PA kids that could have a shot at being drafted this upcoming draft?
There are a few guys that have a chance to take a step forward in the spring, but right now, RHP Zach Schellenger (Devon Prep) and SS Liam Sabino (Blair Academy) have the best draft status. Schellenger has a big, projectable frame and has shown increased velocity lately. Sabino has a good swing and a strong arm. I don't think he has the speed to stick at shortstop, but his arm easily plays at third base and his strength should translate to power down the road. However, his commitment to Vanderbilt will be a factor. Vandy has had a lot of success lately in their recruits making it to campus. They're a College World Series contender every year and that, along with their academics, is a difficult thing for recruits to turn down. --Nathan Rode

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