Tournaments | Story | 7/22/2019

16u, 17u PG Super25 Notes

Vincent Cervino         Parker Fronk         Jerry Miller         Tyler Russo        
Photo: Dylan Lesko (Perfect Game)
16U Super25 National Championship

After an extremely dominant summer, the No. 1 player in the class Dylan Lesko (2022, Buford, Ga.) turned in another stellar performance with five strikeouts in only 2 2/3 innings on the mound to preserve his pitch count. Lesko has been terrific this summer and continued to show why with a victory during pool play of the PG Super25.

Lesko checks almost every box of a young pitching prospect with a clean delivery and arm action, good present stuff and near limitless projection upon the 6-foot-3, 170-pound frame. The delivery is fluid, compact, and easy to repeat while everything comes out of Lesko’s hand easily. Easy is the operative word to describe him on the mound as the top-ranked 2022 commands all three of his pitches, has a plan of attack and can throw anything to any hitter. The fastball topped out at 92 mph a handful of times and sat in the 88-91 mph range with good life. The breaking ball was a bit inconsistent but flashes hard downer action while the changeup is a very advanced pitch in the 77-80 mph range. He has excellent feel for pitching and for the zone and at this point it’s only a matter of time until Lesko chooses where he’s going to continue his playing career at the next level.

-Vinnie Cervino

Coming out of the pen for FTB Tucci-Orlando 2020 was Bobby Boser (2021, Wesley Chapel, Fla.). Boser stands at 6-foot, 180 pounds and has an athletic frame and a fluid delivery. He ran his fastball up to 88 mph and was sitting 85-86. He showed good command with his fastball which also has some arm-side run to it. Boser did not show any offspeed as his fastball was overpowering for hitters and did not need to show one. Boser also plays third base and has a solid glove at the hot corner. Boser threw 1 1/3 innings and struck out two and not allowing an earned run and also hit a double going 1-for-3 on Wednesday.

Another stand out for FTB Tucci-Orlando 2020 was right fielder Andrew Sieczkowski (2021, Bradenton, Fla.). Sieczkowski went 1-for-2 with a run scored a walk and consistently finds barrel. He has a high leg kick with a slightly open stance and hits well to all fields. He has good pop to all fields and will look to do damage during his at-bats. Sieczkowski stands 6-foot-3, 195 pounds with big and broad shoulders. He has a strong arm from right as he has hit upper-80s from the mound. Sieczkowski is a fun player to watch and he will look to continue to get stronger over the next couple of years and continue to develop his game.

Cole Hertzler (2021, Barto, Pa.) started at first base for PA Rebels College Goals and looked good at the plate. Hertzler stands in the box at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds and has a large frame with good present strength already. Hertzler is a big boy and has good pop to all fields and swings hard. He looks for fastballs that he can handle early in the count and looks to do damage. Hertzler has a slightly open stance and uses his strong upper body to drive the baseball. Hertzler looks solid at defense he has soft hands and good footwork around the bag.

I-Elite Bahamas shortstop is Kristen Munroe (2021, Delray Beach, Fla.) and he looked sharp on offense and on defense. Munroe stands at 5-foot-11, 175 pounds and has an athletic frame with room to fill out. Munroe went 1-for-4 with a triple that he laced to right-center to lead off the game and he also scored two runs. He has a good swing with good bat speed and gets his hands to the zone quick. He also has good speed and runs the bases hard. Defensively, Munroe looked really good. He looked comfortable fielding balls to both sides and had a couple good plays coming in on the ball and throwing on the run. Munroe has a good arm with soft hands which is exactly what you want at shortstop.

Starting pitcher for Ostingers 2021 Reed on Wednesday was righthander Sean Hermann (2021, Valrico, Fla.). Hermann, who is committed to the University of South Florida, looked dominant in his outing. Hermann had his fastball at 82-84 mph and with his three-quarters delivery he has good arm-side run on it. He also has a curveball at 73-75 mph and a changeup at 74-75 mph. He has really good command of all three pitches and was comfortable to throw any pitch in any count. He was able to throw his fastball on both sides of the plate which kept hitters off balance. He also works very quick and controls the tempo of the game which also keeps hitters off balance and frustrated. Hermann threw 2 1/3 innings allowing only one hit and striking out three.

Chase Spencer (2021, Plano, Texas) looked great on the mound for D-BAT Elite-Clementz on Wednesday. Spencer threw three innings allowing only three hits, no runs, and striking out one. Spencer is 6-foot, 160 pounds with an athletic frame and still has plenty of room to get stronger. Spencer ran his fastball up to 88 mph with a lot of arm side run that missed barrels. Spencer was confident throwing to both sides of the plate and liked to use that movement on his fastball to get in on righties and jam them, which he did very well. He also has a very hard slider at 75 mph that has tight break and gets a lot of swing and misses. Spencer has a very athletic windup and really explodes down the mound and the ball jumps out of his hand. Spencer worked really fast during his outing and absolutely dominated hitters.

Shortstop for 2021/2022 Tidewater Drillers on Wednesday was Kyle Edwards (2021, Virginia Beach, Va.). Edwards looks very smooth at short making plays look routine and also shows off his strong arm throwing across the diamond. Edwards is 5-foot-11, 160 pounds and shows off a lot of athleticism on the baseball field. Edwards has good pop at the plate and runs well also. He plays the game hard, which makes him a fun player to watch. Edwards went 1-for-3 with a triple, one RBI, and a run scored.

First baseman for East Cobb Astros 16U on Thursday was Jared Jones (2022, Marietta, Ga.). Jones is an absolute stud and is one of the hardest outs in the class. Jones stands at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds and is an absolute monster in the box. Jones, who is uncommitted, does not get cheated while he is in the box and makes hard contact with every swing. There are not many pitches that he can not handle either. He is very athletic for how big he is, and it shows on defense while he is at first. Jones has great pop to all fields and is a serious bat in any lineup. Jones went 1-for-4 with a solo shot to deep left field that was absolutely crushed.

Lefthanded pitcher Fisher Paulsen (2021, Acworth, Ga.) is another product of East Cobb Astros 16U and he started on the mound on Thursday. Paulsen is 5-foot-11, 160 pounds and has plenty of room to get stronger, too. Paulsen was sitting 81-82 mph with is fastball all game and showed good command with it too. He was able to throw his fastball to both sides of the plate and it also has good arm side run to it. His slider has a tight break to it at 72 mph which he had good command of also. He threw three innings only allowing one hit and striking out four.

Brian Boully (2021, Dover, Fla.) started on the mound for Ostingers 2021 Reed and looked good. Boully stands at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds and has an athletic frame. He does a really good job on working down the mound and getting downhill movement on his fastball. He ran his fastball up to 87 mph while sitting at 84-86 with good command too. He also has a curveball which he uses for swing and misses at 73 mph and it has good break to it. Boully threw three innings allowing one earned run and striking out four.

Starting pitcher for PA Rebels College Goals was righthander Gabe Mallo (2020, Schwenksville, Pa.). Mallo was turning some heads when he was running his fastball up to 91 mph and sitting 88-89. His fastball had good life to it and it came out very smooth from his delivery. Mallo has a very live arm action as he whips his arm down getting some good velocity with his fastball. Mallo also has a tight slider at 78 mph that had hitters buckling during his outing. Mallo, who is committed to Millersville, commanded both pitches well and looked comfortable throwing off behind in the count. Mallo is 5-foot-8, 165 pounds and has an athletic build to him. Mallo threw 4 2/3 innings allowing two earned runs and striking out five.

Nick Moore (2021, Plano, Texas) started on the mound for D-Bat Elite-Clementz and he looked very sharp. He threw five innings allowing only one run on four hits and striking out nine. Moore stands at 6-foot-1 and has a very athletic frame and shows great athleticism on the mound. He has great mound presence already and and has a very smooth delivery. Moore ran his fastball up to 87 mph and it had good run to it also. He also has a wipeout slider that is 74 mph and had hitters looking silly at the plate. Moore dominated on the mound Thursday and is a very fun player to watch.

On the other side of the field against Moore was Michael Marrero (2021, Corozal, P.R.). Marrero also had himself a great outing throwing five innings allowing one earned run and striking out five. Marrero had his fastball up to 87 mph with some good life to it and had great command with it too. He liked to go in on righties jamming him using that good run. His best pitch is his slider that was really tight at 75 mph. Marrero has a good frame at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds and works down through the mound. Marrero will be a fun pitcher to keep your eyes on as he continues to get stronger.

Starting pitcher on championship Friday for East Cobb Astros 16U was Will Robbins (2021, Cumming, Ga.). Robbins rose to the action taking the mound and throwing 6 1/3 innings while allowing only two earned runs and striking out eight. His fastball was at 84 mph and it was sneaky fast. He mixed in his curveball a lot which was 68 mph with a big break. His ability to throw his curveball in any count and since he threw it a lot, it made his fastball look a lot harder than 84 and it got in on hitters. Robbins is 5-foot-11 and shows good athleticism on the mound. Robbins does a great job keeping hitters off balance and he will look to continue to dominate the rest of the summer.

-Parker Fronk

Dig In Baseball and D-Bat Elite 2021 East Coast matched up in a battle between two 3-1 teams. The winner would take Pool B honors and gain a top seed in the playoffs. When the dust settled, Dig In posted a 6-0 victory and the tournament playoffs second seed.

The fundamentally-sound Dig In club followed their long-standing script of sound pitching, flawless defense, aggressive base running, and timely hitting to take control of the game early and pull away late, in securing the shutout victory over a solid D-Bat club.

Southpaw Emmanuel Kraft (2022, Silver Spring, Md.) was masterful in picking up the complete game victory for Dig In. His cool and calm demeanor coupled with his ability to command the strike zone with three quality pitches, was quite impressive. His fastball, while certainly not overwhelming from a pure velocity (67-71 mph) standpoint, was never straight. Each heater showed consistent arm side run and heavy sink at the plate. He pitched to all quadrants and to both edges and rarely made a mistake over the heart of the plate. The rising junior at Montgomery Blair HS complimented his active fastball with a 12-to-6 breaking curveball that he ably added and subtracted velocity on and a tumbling change-up that he threw out of the same window as his fastball. In seven total innings, Kraft only had two balls that were barreled up. A crafty outing for the lefty Kraft.

One of the more competent catchers in Fort Myers this week has been Dig In’s Josh Lantz (2021, Mount Airy, Md.). The junior-to-be at Mount Saint Joseph High School is a gritty, intelligent, and tough receiver who possesses soft hands and keen ability to frame pitches. He also has a quick trigger and a sense of timing when he throws the baseball, as evidenced by his pick-off of a D-Bat runner at second base in the visiting club’s only true scoring opportunity of the game. Lantz is also a threat at the dish. He was on base three different times. He uses a smooth and easy approach with a short, flat, compact swing path and a knack for driving the ball up the middle of to the opposite field.

Ethan Giacalone (2020, Olney, Md.) is a sturdy and athletic righthanded-swinging corner infielder shows consistent ability to drive the ball to the pull side. He incorporates a solid lower half and gets his barrel to the ball routinely. The rising senior at Sherwood High School is also a heady baserunner who can and will take the extra base if given the opportunity.

Georgetown Prep junior-to-be Brock Rose (2022, Brookeville, Md.) is an athletically-gifted corner outfielder and a multi-tool player who shows a number of projectable skills. His ability with a bat in his hands is quite apparent. His 2-for-3 day was highlighted by a line drive single and a ringing double. He drove in two key runs using a flat quick path and a middle-of-the-field mentality. He shows an advanced ability to always get his barrel to the ball. He is also a smooth fielding outfielder who shows plus arm strength.

-Jerry Miller

17U Super25 National Championship

Wake Forest commit Brock Wilken (2020, Valrico, Fla.) had an outstanding week at the plate as he was chosen as the Most Valuable Player of the 17U division going 8-for-20, picking up five doubles and a home run while driving in 11. The physical 6-foot-4 corner infielder/catcher has significant strength in the swing with a high level of control of the body as he adjusts to get on a line drive plane well. He is smooth and fluid through contact with very present bat speed as he swings with high intent. He extends well after contact as the ball comes very loud off the bat with carry through both gaps. Defensively, Wilken doesn’t seem to have a sure-fire home for where he will play at the next level as he moved around playing at both corner infield positions and catcher through different looks, but the bat will play at a very high level once he makes it to campus.

Florida State commit Satchell Norman (2021, Sarasota, Fla.) took the mound in this lone look at him and put forth a strong performance, going four no-hit innings, allowing just one run and striking out six. The primary catcher is known for his hit tool as the strength and bat speed stand out in a talented class, but showed the potential for some time on the mound in Tallahassee. The physical righthander cruised at 88-91 mph with late, running life as he worked downhill to both halves. The arm was short and quick from an athletic and repeatable delivery that allowed him to stay on line and land all three pitches. He flashed feel for a solid changeup at 81 mph and a hard-biting curveball with downward break at 73-75 mph. The strength in the lower half allowed him to play with timing throughout, consistently keeping hitters off-balanced across the outing.

Uncommitted Vince Bonanni (2020, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) has undoubted upside, but did not see the results he wanted in the box score in this brief look. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound righthander worked at 88-91 mph in this look, having previously been up to 94 mph at the WWBA National Championship in Atlanta. There is some life to the fastball as it runs to the arm side and even showed some sink at times from a low three-quarters slot. The secondary pitch is an average slider with some late, hard bite, flashing some power to it that he worked in the upper-70s and can create some swing-and-miss with. He showed occasional feel for the changeup down at 81 mph that comes out of the hand similarly to the fastball with late fade. The control was lacking significantly in this look and there is some stiffness to the delivery, but the sky is the limit for this uncommitted righthander who has been electric when everything works together.

West Virginia commit Ethan Jones (2020, Wesley Chapel, Fla.) looks every bit of the part on the mound standing at a physical 6-foot-5, 192 pounds. The long lefthander was very sound in both of his performances as he tossed three innings of one-hit, shutout baseball before tossing 3 2/3 innings of two-hit shutout baseball against the same team a couple days later. The stuff isn’t the most electric as he worked up to 87 mph on the fastball both times, but holding his velocity at 83-87 throughout the entirety of both outings. The current stuff allows Jones to create very weak contact throughout the lineup rather than creating consistent swing-and-miss, but projects to throwing much harder than what the current arm talent possesses. The entire operation Is very controlled as he uses a low-effort, balanced delivery that allows him to repeat mechanics and arm slot. Once he finds the zone, which he does often, he works in a high tempo attacking hitters early and often. There is a lot to like in what Jones projects to at the next level and with one of the most projectable bodies seen in the event, the upside is seemingly endless.

Georgia commit Patrick Holloman (2020, Mcdonough, Ga.) was outstanding in his only outing on the mound of the event as he tossed four no-hit, shutout innings while striking out nine. The lefthander, a 2016 PG 14U Select Festival player, continued to show a high level of pitchability as he paired a fastball at 84-86 mph with two very good off-speed pitches in a curveball and changeup. The body projects well to be a dominant starter at the next level with high upside from the pure arm talent. The fastball showed some life to both halves as he commanded down in the zone, picking up strikes early before putting hitters away. The curveball showed great depth and should be a solid pitch moving forward with his ability to create swing-and-miss and land it regularly. The changeup came out of the hand with a similar look to the fastball, but showed good late fade that also allowed him to create good swing-and-miss. There is a lot to like in the athletic lefthander and how his pitches should translate well to a jump in strength and velocity at the next level.

Uncommitted Andrew Ward (2020, Palmyra, Va.) has a lot to offer a program at the next level as he showed good stuff on the mound across two different looks. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound lefthander is very physical on the mound with some weight to the frame that could quickly be turned into added strength. The legs are strong allowing him to repeat a balanced delivery and drive down the mound well with a quick delivery. The arm is short and quick through a high slot that creates good plane to the fastball and life to both halves. He worked the fastball up to 90 mph in the first look and 88 mph in the second look, sitting comfortably at 85-88 mph in both looks. He showed good command of a hard-breaking ball that showed significant swing-and-miss when he could land it down in the zone. Ward also showed well at the plate as he went 3-for-8 with six walks and some strength to the swing, but the overall upside and future is very high on the mound.

Embry-Riddle commit Tyler Castelli (2020, Seffner, Fla.) showed that he is a very toolsy outfielder who can flat out hit as he went 11-for-24, picking up at least one hit in all but one of seven games. The projectability of the frame is to dream on at a high-waisted 6-foot-3, 170 pounds with some present physicality to it. Hitting from the left side at the plate, the stroke is smooth and quick as he adjusts the body and barrel well to stay on plane and hit solid line drives to all fields. There is some present pop to the pull side but the leverage in the swing is not there so he currently profiles as a contact hitter with great speed to back it. As he fills into the frame, he should transition into gap-to-gap power and become an impact heart-of-the-order bat. Down the line and on the bases, Castelli runs extremely well with a great first step and quick twitch actions in getting going. There is a lot to like in terms of now abilities and upside and he should become an impact player the day he steps on campus.

Uncommitted Ahmad Fitts (2020, Valrico, Fla.) didn’t light up the box score over the course of the tournament like some of his teammates but is a highly athletic outfielder with a lot to offer a program at the next level. Hitting and throwing from the left side, his game looks a bit prettier as he deploys a smooth and quick lefthanded stroke with strong wrists that keep him on plane and driving through the ball. Fitts is a naturally good runner with good instincts and a solid first step as he tracks the ball well in the outfield and gets going out of the box well.

Uncommitted Jackson Hobbs (2020, Brandon, Fla.) had a very loud week at the plate in terms of contact, but just didn’t have things fall his way many times. The physical 6-foot-2, 200-pound first baseman has a strong bat with a power tool that plays to all fields. The operation is a bit timing-reliant based on the way he loads his hands after the body gets moving, but he has shown the ability to make it all work together well and create solid contact. There is bat speed that comes from the strength in the upper half as he rotates well on time with the lower half, but the barrel can drag at times. There is a surprising level of athleticism out of the body, but there is still significant room to firm up some of the extra weight and develop into a prospect with legitimate gap-to-gap, if not home run, power.

Army commit Trevor Finan (2020, Lithia, Fla.) was very good in his lone outing of the tournament as he tossed five innings of three-hit baseball while striking out eight. The 6-foot, 150-pound righthander is very athletic both in the delivery and in fielding his position. He uses a quick arm stroke to hide the ball well and create good movement on both the fastball, worked up to 86 mph, and the breaking ball. The slider was his go-to pitch in all counts as he used a loose and slower version to land for strikes early in the count before tightening it up with two strikes and using it as a plus swing-and-miss pitch. The command was at a high level as he stayed highly composed throughout the outing and holding his velocity well. The compact frame isn’t the premier picture of projectability, but with the current stuff and the projection given how thin the frame is, Finan will be a very talented prospect that should make an impact on the mound at the next level.

Tulane commit Zachary Devito (2020, Lithia, Fla.) made three separate appearances across the event and was good overall as he picked up eight strikeouts across 6 1/3 innings of work. At a lean 5-foot-11, 155 pounds, Devito isn’t the most imposing of presences on the mound, but shows a high level of pitchability as he uses his strength in his lower half with his arm talent to work a fastball up to 89 mph and drop in two solid off-speed pitches. The fastball showed some arm-side run and riding life to it as he commanded it down in the zone to both halves. He flashed feel for a changeup with similar action and late fade while using predominantly his breaking ball as his go-to secondary pitch. Coming out as a hard slider, the breaking ball showed many flashes of plus and is a significant swing-and-miss pitch with an extremely high spin rate. There is much more velocity to come into the frame if he can get some weight to stick as the arm talent and pitchability is very much there.

Uncommitted Anthony Westbrook (2020, Parrish, Fla.) is a solid athletic catcher who stands out behind the plate and has a developing bat that projects to potential power from the left side. The actions behind the plate are strong and athletic as he is extremely flexible in his lower half allowing him to sit low in his stance and get underneath pitches down in the zone. The bodywork is advanced as he absorbs pitches in the dirt well and gets his body centered with pitches to the outer half to steal strikes. The arm is most likely the best part of his catching tools as the throws were consistently strong and on-line. The bat is a developing tool that shows some promise when he can stay controlled and on plane as there is some pop to the pull side that he taps into when he meets the ball out front with the lower half rotating on time. The upside is high given the projection of the body and the tools so it will be intriguing to see how Westbrook develops and if he can hit against some of the best arms in the class.

Villanova commit Cameron Hassert (2020, Longmont, Colo.) had an outstanding week at the plate showing a high-level hit tool that plays to his athletic, contact-hitting profile. Across five games, the 6-foot-1, 160-pound shortstop finished the week 8-for-13 including five RBI and scoring five times himself. Hitting from the lefthanded batter’s box, Hassert deploys a very sound and smooth swing that stays on plane well with the pitch as he looks to spray the field with line drives. The hands are strong and quick as he stays short to and through the ball, getting a good first step out of the box and allowing his speed to enhance the hit tool. The athleticism in the body allows him to repeat the swing well and adjust both his hands and body to make solid contact on pitches to all parts of the zone. He showed very strong actions at shortstop and looks to stick there long term based on arm strength and range paired with how smooth the hands work.

Uncommitted Ryan Palumbo (2020, Fenton, Mo.) was very sound across two performances this week as he tossed a combined 5 2/3 innings, allowing no earned runs while striking out five. The delivery is a bit raw in it’s operation with it being segmented rather than fluid, but the 6-foot, 175-pound frame projects to some possible velocity increase as he fills into it. He worked the fastball at 84-87 mph in his three-inning look while creating weak contact with his ability to move it around to all quadrants. His go-to secondary was a soft breaking ball that showed enough downward action to create swing-and-miss. He also flashed feel for a changeup with similar action out of the hand and some late fade. There needs to be some cleaning up of the mechanics to get the arm on time repeatedly, but there is some upside to the arm strength that will be intriguing to watch.

College of Charleston commit Nicholas Dagnello (2020, Nesconset, N.Y.) was another prospect who had an outstanding week at the plate as he finished 10-for-22 including a pair of doubles and a triple, while driving in seven and scoring five times himself. The 6-foot, 205-pound corner infielder is a strong presence at the plate with some violence in a powerful lefthanded swing that creates good carry on line drives to the pull side. He creates good separation from the body with his hands and rotates on time well, meeting the ball out front with a long extension. There is some athleticism in the lower half that allows him to adjust his body to pitches around the zone.

Uncommitted Brandon Rodgers (2020, Newport News, Va.) showed a high potential for becoming a hot commodity on the recruiting market as he worked a two-pitch mix in this look with a fastball from the left side at 85-88 mph. The arm stroke is smooth as he stays balanced in the delivery, extending well to the plate creating good downhill action. Rogers showed good feel for a swing-and-miss curveball that stayed tight with 1-to-7 shape. The command lacked a bit in the look this scout got, but the stuff is good and projects to a high level as he fills into the 6-foot, 175-pound frame.

-Tyler Russo

Christian Rodriguez (2020, Hialeah, Fla.) started on the mound for Beast Mode Prime 17U and looked good. Rodriguez had his fastball up to 87 and also had his sharp breaking curveball at 72-74 mph. Rodriguez is 6-foot-3, 215 pounds and has a good-sized frame. He does a very good job getting down the mound and working towards the hitter which gives his fastball some downhill movement. He uses a high leg kick and is comfortable working on both sides of the plate and is not afraid to work in on hitters. Rodriguez threw four innings not allowing a run while striking out seven batters.

Another product of Beast Mode Prime 17U that has some serious talent is second baseman Kiobel Lugo (2020, Boston, Mass.). Lugo is 5-foot-11, 170 pounds and has good present strength already and will only get stronger. Lugo has good pop to all fields, constantly finds barrels, and is a very tough out. He also shines defensively as he makes ever play routine and plays with a lot of confidence. He has a strong arm at second, which you don't always see, and has confidence going to balls to his forehand and backhand. Lugo plays with a lot of confidence and swagger which makes him fun to watch every time he steps onto the field.

-Parker Fronk

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