High School | General | 4/20/2021

Summer Preview: 2022 Corner Infield

Jered Goodwin        
Photo: Tucker Toman (Perfect Game)
As high school baseball is starting to get going across the country in most regions, with some states actually heading into the playoffs, it all means the summer circuit is right around the corner. Over the next several weeks we will look at the top-ranked players at each position, in each class, while also taking a look at some gut-feel players that could be big risers. With players having more access to individual development, things will undoubtably change at a rapid pace in the early months of the Perfect Game schedule. This provides a good look at some of the top performers coming into 2021 who look primed to continue dominance or make their mark on a national level. 

Class of 2022: Catchers
Class of 2023: Catchers
Class of 2024: Catchers
Class of 2025: Catchers

Tucker Toman, 3B, (S.C.) 
6-1/187 S/R
Commitment: Louisiana State University 
PG Events: 20
Key Stats: 81 games, .407-1-69 with a 1.070 OPS

Short Story: Toman's blend of athleticism, baseball IQ and toughness is something that has been admired on the biggest stages for years. The range and feel at the hot corner is only overshadowed by his ability to consistently drive the gaps for extra bases from both sides. The lethal swing, especially from the left side, is one pass away from changing a game. 

Big Moment: Like a good handful of players on this list, Toman has a long resume coming into his 17U summer. A former PG Select Festival participant, the South Carolina native had arguably the best batting practice at the 2020 Underclass All-American Games that saw a number of balls leave the yard, including belting one over the scoreboard. He followed it up by barreling up live pitching the next couple of days with ease. 

Bold Prediction: Toman will separate himself given his vast ability on both sides of the ball. The opposite field drive he gets off the bat will start to translate to the whole field, and we will see a special display of both hit and power from start to finish. 

Xavier Isaac, 1B, (N.C.)
6-4/240 L/L
Commitment: University of Florida
PG Events: 22
Key Stats: 98 games, .332-6-72 with a 1.009 OPS

Short Story: Isaac is just an extremely physical mauler in the left-handed batters box. He can make any field look small and is very patient, drawing a ton of walks. He can pick it in the dirt around the bag with soft hands and very good athleticism for his physical stature. 

Big Moment: On his way to earning a ring at the 15U WWBA, Isaac checked every box that surrounds his profile. He walked nearly 30 percent of the time, produced 21 runs, and provided really good defense at first base. The power also showed up with three extra-base hits that also included a long home run. He hasn’t stopped building on his resume since. 

Bold Prediction: There are not many players that can get early Ryan Howard-ish comps, but that is the type of strong frame and all-fields power that Isaac could potentially have. This summer he brings that outrageous power to every event, and it consistently shows up. 

Sal Stewart, 3B, (Fla.)
6-3/202 R/R
Commitment: Vanderbilt University 
PG Events:37 
Key Stats: 138 games, .456-2-111 with a 1.158 OPS

Short Story: Stewart has a strong frame and lots of strength that he sequences well in the right-handed batters box. He is a run-producing machine that does not waver from his middle-of-the-field approach in which he gets enormous carry off the bat that leads to extra-base hits in bunches. The arm strength stands out defensively with plenty of carry to make all required plays at third base. 

Big Moment: With 415 plate appearances under his belt there is a lot to look at. After the shutdown due to the pandemic, Stewart was fantastic during the entire 2020 showcase season. The .545 average and 1.540 OPS he produced at the 16U WWBA against the top summer competition in the country pretty much speaks for itself. It was a week of watching the hit tool, power tool, and strike zone discipline show up in nearly every game. 

Bold Prediction: There may not be another prospect in the country that a team would want up late during a tight game. Stewart wants to be in that moment, and so does his team. Plan to see the former PG Select Festival participant continue to do what he does, rake in the big moment. 
Yoel Tejeda Jr., 1B, (Fla.) 
6-6/205 S/R
Commitment: University of Florida 
PG Events: 54
Key Stats: 123 games, .255-5-70 with a .797 OPS, 38+ IP with 38 strikeouts. 

Short Story: Tejeda Jr. uses his length well and spaces out front to produce huge loft to all parts of the field when he is on time during a pass. There are few that can get as hot, resulting in a chance to change games in a hurry, then the young hitter can. Added strength has allowed him to develop in the field as he is controlling the levers and showing some ability to play both corners. 

Big Moment: At the 2020 PG Florida Qualifier, Tejeda Jr. went off in big spots to propel a runner-up finish. He bashed his way to five extra-base hits, including a pair of homers. One each to right and left fields, providing a glimpse into what the ultra-projectable frame is capable of producing. 

Bold Prediction: A talented two-way prospect, the added strength/weight helps him repeat his mechanics on all sides of the ball. The hit tool shows up and he pounds the zone with his low-90s heat. He is ready to take the next step toward the very high ceiling. 

Rocko Brzezniak, 3B, (N.J.)
6-2/210 R/R
Commitment: Louisville 
PG Events: 70
Key Stats: 126 games, .484-11-109 with a 1.408 OPS 

Short Story: This comes down to the physicality that leads to elite bat speed and few have produced runs from the middle of the order like Brzezniak. The all-fields power shows up often and no park is big enough when the right-handed swing squares the ball up. 

Big Moment: During the seven games at the 16U BCS, the New Jersey native feasted on anything thrown near the strike zone. He clubbed his way to a 2.239 OPS with seven extra-base hits and 10 RBI during his seven games at the national championship. 

Bold Prediction: He will take the next step against high-level pitching and continue to do damage. Already possessing a big arm, he will solidify himself defensively on the left side with his glove and actions. 

Ethan Petry, 3B, (Fla.)  
6-4/220 R/R
Commitment: University of South Carolina 
PG Events: 19
Key Stats: 79 games, .369-3-57 with a .981 OPS

Short Story: Petry has a large frame that has not begun to fill out, but he is coordinated with good feel and functionality of his long limbs. The loose and whippy swing and well-above average bat speed help to create some of the biggest raw power in the class. The actions and arm work on the left side and Petry is very young for the ’22 class. 

Big Moment: Another standout at the 16U WWBA during the 2020 summer, the third-sacker just pummeled baseballs leading the way to a final-16 run. During the loud week that led to a .500 average with three doubles and two home runs, it was the mesmerizing jump and carry off the barrel that is the lasting memory. 
Bold Prediction: Petry adds to his resume by controlling the strike zone and pitch recognition to add even more value to his overall profile. All of the tools should lead to him being a must-watch prospect every time he strides to the plate. 
Demitri Diamant, 3B, (Nev.)  
5-11/185 R/R
Commitment: Georgia Tech
PG Events: 19
Key Stats: 51 games, .405-1-26 with a 1.077 OPS

Short Story: Like Petry, Diamant is young for the class. He is a sum-of-the-parts player with impressive feel for the game and known for his ability to impact the game and rack up wins. He can hit, field, and can also run his heater into the upper-80s on the mound, 

Big Moment: Another PG Select Festival participant, he came east for the WWBA World Championship this fall and put together a solid performance against the best older competition in the country. The solid week and advanced approach help confirm his place in the ’22 class. 

Bold Prediction: He uses the summer to put himself on the national platform more often. The overall game will be too enticing as he produces at every stop and puts up an incredibly consistent summer. 

Wilburn Furniss, 1B, (Texas) 
6-4/212 L/R
Commitment: University of Mississippi 
PG Events: 19 
Key Stats: 46 games, .356-1-27 with a .979 OPS 

Short Story: Furniss is a bruiser from the left side of the plate with strong hands that create real heaviness to the barrel. The approach is line drive oriented right now, but the mechanics portend significant lift in the future. 

Big Moment: The Fall of 2020 showed some consistency with the bat, but it surrounded an absolutely gigantic performance at the PG Kernels Foundation Championship. Furniss hit .636 with three doubles and just simply didn’t miss the barrel during the event. 

Bold Prediction: The consistency from the fall continues and he starts putting the ball in the air. This allows the power potential to start to catch up to the hit tool and we start to see more special moments out of the Ole Miss commit. 

Blaydon Plain, 1B, (Fla.) 
6-5/190 L/R
Commitment: University of Florida 
PG Events: 38
Key Stats: 142 games, .338-6-81 with a 1.065 OPS 

Short Story: The camp is probably going to be split on the long-term future of the talented two-way prospect. He has a quick shoulder and low-90s velocity on the bump. The production in the left-handed batters box also catches the eye and he seems to be cleaning up mechanically, tightening up the swing daily. 

Big Moment: There are some choices here, but the .400 average with six extra-base hits and six walks at the 16U BCS National Championship is pretty telling of the upside. This came while facing most team's No. 1 starter and helped win a national title. 

Bold Prediction: The left-handed hitter and right-handed thrower shows huge development on both sides of the ball and dominates in every way his number is called. 

Jayden Hylton, 1B, (Fla.) 
6-6/200 R/R
Commitment: Stetson University 
PG Events: 17
Key Stats: 41 games, .402-1-40 and a 1.085 OPS 

Short Story: When Hylton gets hot, it is just special. The blend of projection, current athleticism and eye-hand coordination is simply special and rare. There is some versatility defensively that can be explored, and the best days are in the future. 

Big Moment: The right-handed hitter put on a show at the 2019 Sophomore World Championship. He hit .600 with a 1.714 OPS and got huge reviews for his pitch recognition and ability to hit spin with authority. The wrists helped flick balls to all fields with zip off the bat. 

Bold Prediction: After moving to Florida and playing against excellent competition all spring he takes the next step with a wood bat in his powerful hands this summer. The looseness and whip he creates with the barrel make him a tough matchup for every pitcher he faces. 
Gut Feel

Joe Brown, 3B, (Calif.) 
5-10/180 R/R
Brown can hit and has a big reputation for his barrel skills on the West Coast and will play an aggressive national schedule. This will allow the rest of the circuit to fear his powerful right-handed swing the way pitchers in California already do. 

Jason Torres, 3B, (Fla.) 
6-2/205 R/R
Torres has always hit. Now his body looks great, a credit to his hard work, and the hit-power combination should help tie a balloon to his overall prospect status. 

Jacob Krieg, 1B, (Calif.)
6-5/220 R/R
The massive frame and overall athleticism make you take notice immediately when watching Krieg play. That goes hand-in-hand with the type of light-tower power that should show up during the summer. 

McKay Whitaker, 1B, (Ohio)
6-2/175 L/L
This is about left-handed bat speed. The consistency from event-to-event will be watched closely, but don’t be surprised if the left-handed bat produces in a big way. There is some real potential with the bat that is obvious when you see the barrel unleashed. 

Gabe Miranda, 1B, (Calif.)
6-3/195 L/L
The body just looks the part and provides a ton to dream on. It’s the polish on both sides of the ball that stands out the most, though. The bat stays in the zone and on plane and the all-fields hitting ability makes it easy to predict that this will be a breakout summer. 

Charlie Keller, 3B, (Ala.)  
6-3/190 L/R
The power has been impressive this spring as he is closing in on double-digits. The body and defense has taken an even larger step forward though. The strength in the hands and the sweet left-handed stroke could make this a special summer for Keller. 

Jack Crighton, 3B, (Mich.) 
6-2/175 R/R
The overall package makes Crighton a powder-keg just waiting for a bit more strength to ignite the massive potential. Everything is in place and the early reports from the spring are encouraging as he is playing extremely well for one of the top-ranked high school programs in the country at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Prep. 

Connor Fosnow, 3B, (Fla.) 
6-2/210 R/R
Fosnow has had some big moments during his time on the summer circuits and now has added strength that is producing some big power down the stretch of the high school season. Another prospect that is pretty young for the ’22 class, Fosnow seems primed for a breakout year. 
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