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Tournaments | Story | 12/30/2021

Regional Review: Northeast

AJ Denny     
Photo: Benny Montgomery (Perfect Game)
Regional Review: Texas | California | Georgia | Pacific Northwest

The Northeast is next up on the Regional Review path, and it isn’t a secret that we’ve produced some major talent up here over the past few years. With the intriguing prospects seen at the 13u level all the way up through college, the trend in the Northeast doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

Biggest 13u Moment/Breakout Player

This year’s 13u PG Select Fest showcased tons of talent from around the country, including Pennsylvania's very own Andrew Costello and Nicholas Bradley. Costello can be described as physically developed for his age with advanced tools on both sides of the field. With a 1.96 pop time and a 90 mph exit velo at the dish, Costello will surely continue to gain recognition in the future. As for Bradley, the No. 1 overall right-handed pitcher in Pennsylvania for the 2026 class, is already touching 85 mph off the bump with feel for both a curve and change in the arsenal. Bradley is naturally athletic and has tons of upside and projection left in him. Finally, we can’t go without mentioning Jayden Stroman, and if that name sounds familiar it’s because his brother is Chicago Cubs pitcher Marcus Stroman. With arguably the best play in Select Fest history to this point, Stroman displays an unbelievable amount of range from shortstop with smooth, effortless transitions and actions. The barrel skills certainly work on the offensive end, and to put it simply, Stroman is just a fun player to watch.

Biggest 14U Moment/Breakout Player

The 2025s are led by the likes of Luis Ayden Almeyda, David Shields, and Justice de Jong. Almeyda has become known as a defensive cornerstone for whatever team he takes the field with, earning Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2020 with super soft hands and a gun across the diamond. If that wasn’t enough, Almeyda also knows his way around the mound, pounding 87 mph from a developed 6-foot-2, 180-pound frame. He isn’t the only one who can carve, as Miami commit David Shields can run it up to 85 mph from the left side with complete confidence in the FB/SL/CH arsenal. Shields has the ability to dot both sides of the plate and produce swing-and-miss as shown in the 14u Select Fest, where he punched two out of the three batters he faced. Last but certainly not least, De Jong is another name with major two-way potential up to 84 mph on the mound with definite juice on the offensive front. The Duke commit swings a lightning fast bat through the zone and creates effortless backspin to all parts of the field.

Biggest College Moments

It didn’t take very long for Boston College and Head Coach Gambino to realize they had a stud in outfielder Sal Frelick. Turns out the Milwaukee Brewers agree, as the No. 15 overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft possesses multiple tools at his disposal, including blistering speed that appears both offensively and defensively. Frelick displays a plus glove in the outfield and consistently makes difficult plays look routine. At the dish, his swing plays for both contact and power, minimizing swing-and-miss with advanced discipline to pair. Truly a no-weakness get for the Brewers.

Biggest Summer Moment

While there’s probably 1,000 different moments to choose from, watching Jack O’Connor and Alex Kranzler throw 95 and 92 respectively in a 4 hit, 1-0 victory for Stars Baseball - Carroll takes the crown. If you’re looking for a pitching duel, O’Connor and Kranzler certainly delivered. O’Connor, a standout at PG Junior National and a Virginia commit, will absolutely overpower you with heavy heat as the velocity suggests, showcasing tons of downhill momentum and push off from the lower half. Kranzler, a Missouri commit, has a little more funk to his delivery from a lower three-quarter slot that produces tons of run and swing/miss potential. To sum it up, it felt as though I were watching a Power 5 weekend primetime matchup, and I’m still not sure that does it justice.

Biggest Breakout Player

The obvious answer here is superstar flamethrower Nazier Mule, who somehow continues to get better and push the ceiling further up. A true two-way talent at the highest level, the Miami commit and 2022 MLB Draft prospect is now pumping triple digits from the bump as well as 94 mph across the diamond with silky smooth hands and transitions. Mule has easy power to all parts of the field, possessing a pure stroke and effortless bat speed. As for a guy who doesn’t get as much national attention as I think he deserves, Duke commit Andrew Fischer is a name to keep an eye on in the long run. Fischer works out of an ultra athletic 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame with both tangible and intangible tools that may be overlooked by many.

Biggest Draft Moment

The top two picks of the 2021 MLB Draft belonged to the Northeast, as Henry Davis (Bedford, N.Y.) and Jack Leiter (Summit, N.J.) were drafted to the Pirates and Rangers, respectively. If that wasn’t enough credit to the region, picks No. 7 and No. 8 were also homegrown, as righty Frank Mozzicato (East Catholic HS, Ct.) and outfielder Benny Montgomery (Red Land HS, Pa.) were drafted to the Royals and Rockies, respectively. The Northeast has a history of providing gems forged by the cold, and the previously mentioned names should be no different as they continue to make a name for themselves.

A Look Ahead

After a 34-19 2020 campaign that brought the Connecticut Huskies to a Regional in South Bend, the big question that remains is who fills in for Reggie Crawford? With a solid mix of young impact guys and veterans, Coach Penders should have no problem continuing the success he’s built over the past 17 years. Penders returns captains Christian Fedko, Erik Stock, and Austin Peterson for a run that will almost definitely see UConn remain in the mix at the top of the Big East. Patrick Gallagher could be a huge X-factor in 2021 for the Huskies as a dominant Saturday option behind Peterson at the top of the rotation. Always a fun squad to watch.

Top Northeast Travel Team

18U: NEB National
National Rank: 22

17U: Long Island Body Armor Titans
National Rank: 19

16U: Clubhouse 2024 Scout
National Rank: 20

15U: All Stars Academy Prospects 15U
National Rank: 23

14U: East Coast Ghost Mocha
National Rank: 32
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