High School : : Rankings
Friday, March 01, 2013

Regional HS Preview: Northeast

Jheremy Brown        
Photo: Perfect Game

2013 Perfect Game High School Baseball Preview Index

Northeast Region: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont

Talent in New Jersey, UNC recruits highlights Northeast Region

This spring will be a stronger year for the state of New Jersey than usual. New Jersey may not be as heavily scouted in the high school ranks compared to a California or Florida, with maybe one or two top draft eligible talents emerging from the state each year, but 2013 is different.

Big time schools have recruited within the state heavily and for good reason. The state's top two talents come in the form of a pair of Perfect Game All Americans, left-hander Robert Kaminsky and right-hander Chris Oakley. Kaminsky started the Classic for the East squad and is considered the top prep southpaw in the nation. Both players have committed to player for North Carolina, as has one of the area's top sluggers, first baseman Joe Dudek.

Catcher Matt Thaiss and right-handed pitcher Jesse Roth have also committed to play for a perennial ACC powerhouse at Virginia, while outfielder Jarret DeHart has signed on with Louisiana State. One of the region's top pitchers, Michael Shawaryn, remains uncommitted, and is expected to draw considerable attention this spring.

The Northeast is usually a pipeline for the Vanderbilt Commodores program, with current and recent collegiate stars including Tyler Beede, Kevin Ziomek, Rhett Wiseman, Chris Harvey, Pedro Alvarez and Jason Esposito all hailing from the Northeast. However it appears as though North Carolina head coach Mike Fox and the Tar Heels are dipping their toes into the region's talent.

Fox has been here before, having recruited Matt Harvey (Mystic, Conn.) and watched him develop into a first-round pick after three years on campus; he is seeing the same thing this year with third baseman and projected first-round pick Colin Moran (Rye, N.Y.). North Carolina's 2013 recruiting class has eight players ranked within Perfect Game's top 500 high school players, and of those eight, five are from the Northeast.

Top-ranked Robert Kaminsky chose UNC over various ACC and SEC schools. The 6-foot-8 Chris Oakley is another big piece of the recruiting class. A.J. Bogucki and Zach Gallen are two more advanced right handed pitchers who touch the low-90s, and Joe Dudek is a sound defensive first basemen with power potential.

Northeast High School Dream Team

C - Matt Thaiss, Sr., Jackson Memorial (NJ)
Thaiss’ name may get lost in the shuffle a bit with this year's impressive crop of draft eligible catchers, possibly the best collection of prep backstops in any given draft year. With quick feet and a smooth transfer, he has popped 1.87 seconds and has one of the stronger arms in the country behind the plate. A left-handed batter, Thaiss uses his hips well and gets his bat quickly through the zone to generate power in his swing.

1B - Justin Bellinger, Jr., St. Sebastian’s (MA)
Bellinger is a large-framed underclassmen (2014) who stands 6-foot-6 and possesses a smooth left-handed stroke with prodigious power potential. His hit tool was on display all summer at various tournaments, hitting .300 or better in five tournaments in which he was named to the events' All-Tournament Teams due to his performances. Still growing into his body, watch for Bellinger once he puts it all together, which should result in a big spring. Joe Dudek made this one of the tougher calls on the list as he has a good feel for the game both in the box and defensively at first base.

MIF - Liam Sabino, Jr., Blair Academy (NJ)
Sabino, like Bellinger above, is a junior Vanderbilt commit and near the top of the 2014 class. He broke out at last year's Junior National Showcase and has secured himself as one of the nation's top shortstops by showing off his superb athletic actions, quick feet and strong arm across the diamond (88 mph). A Pennsylvania native who attends school in New Jersey, Sabino has all the tools and the frame to remain at short, plus he can hit. Sabino has a loose, quick swing and as a result can drive the ball. Once his mechanics are cleaned up a little and he adds some strength, he should see his power develop as well.

MIF - Dylan Manwaring, Sr., Horeseheads (NY)
Manwaring has strong bloodlines being the son of Gold Glove catcher Kirk Manwaring. But Dylan is his own player and came on very strong toward the end of the summer with his all-around game. With a strong, mature build, Manwaring profiles as a third baseman and has the arm strength and power potential to remain there. He's a two-way talent that has been up to 92 on the mound, and could contribute both ways should he honor his commitment to Wake Forest.

3B - Ryan Sullivan, Sr., Hopkinton (MA)
Sullivan, a Connecticut commit, is a physically mature third baseman from Hopkinton High School, where he owns the school’s all time home run record. He has a strong, loose swing and the ball jumps off his bat when he squares it up. His tools play at third base right now, showing some range, a quick transfer and enough arm strength for the position, throwing 83 across the infield last summer at the National Showcase.

OF - Jarret DeHart, Sr., Shawnee (NJ)
OF - Ryan Summers, Sr., Berkshire (MA)
OF - Thomas Milone, Sr., Masuk (CT)?
This year's outfield may not stack up to last year's which featured Perfect Game All-American Rhett Wiseman and the fleet-footed Fernelys Sanchez, but it does have three intriguing players including Jarret DeHart, who also made team last year. With his 6-foot-2 frame DeHart is able to generate a lot of power from his quick, left-handed bat, and uses his lower half very well in his swing. Ryan Summers hit well throughout this summer, making the All-Tournament team at both the WWBA 17u National Championship (.304 2 home runs 6 RBI) and the WWBA World Championship (.500 1 HR 3 RBI). Swinging from the right side, the well proportioned Summers put a charge in the ball throughout the season, putting his gap-to-gap power on display while catching the attention of those in attendance. Thomas Milone, who has committed to play for Connecticut, burst onto the scene late in the summer debuting at the East Coast Pro Showcase and instantly drew comparisons to Wiseman. Both are similarly built and have the same power potential from the left side, and although Milone might be a step behind on running, he is a more polished outfielder than Wiseman was at the same stage in their careers.

UT - Matt Vogel, Sr., Medford Patchogue (NY)
Vogel, a South Carolina commit, was up to 93 mph last fall down in Jupiter, Fla. at the WWBA World Championship after sitting in the low-90s throughout the summer. With a high leg kick, Vogel is able to get good extension out front while pitching downhill. When he isn’t on the mound, he shows quick hands up the middle and smooth infield actions along with a strong arm across the diamond. At the plate, he has a quick bat and a line drive swing plane. Both Joe Dudek and Dylan Manwaring were in contention for this category as well.

LHP - Robert Kaminsky, Sr., St. Joseph Regional (NJ)
RHP - Chris Oakley, Sr., St. Augustine Prep (NJ)
RHP - Michael Shawaryn, Sr., Gloucester Catholic (NJ)
RHP - Mark Armstrong, Sr., Clarence Center (NY)
RHP – A.J. Bogucki, Sr., Boyertown (PA)
This is the position that is usually deepest in the Northeast and the 2013 class is no different. Robert Kaminsky has been well documented to this point, and he leads the way in a 2013 draft class that is unusually deep in left-handed pitching. With a fastball that sits in the low-90s, Kaminsky also has one of, if not the best, breaking balls in high school baseball, a hard, downward breaking curveball that was on display all summer. Oakley joined Kaminsky in San Diego for the East squad and didn’t disappoint all summer. With an extra-large frame, Oakley is able to repeat his delivery well and throw his pitches on multiple planes. He topped out at 95 last summer and was in the low-90s throughout. Both Shawaryn and Armstrong could explode this spring as their throwing was limited last summer, but when they showed up they left a big impression. For Armstrong, his scene was the East Coast Pro in which he topped out at 92, showing big arm strength thanks to his large 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame. For Shawaryn, he put his pitchability on display on the biggest stage last October at the WWBA World Championship. In his four innings on the mound in Jupiter, Fla. Shawaryn stuck out 10, didn't walk a single batter and gave up only one hit while peaking at 92. What is more impressive than his stat line is the advanced control and pitchability he displayed, working both in and out with three solid pitches. Rounding out the top five is AJ Bogucki, yet another big bodied RHP who hails from Pennsylvania. He sits in the high-80s to low-90s with his fastball to complement his hard biting mid-70s slider, an upper-70s change and a curveball. Just missing the cut are Jesse Roth, a big bodied righty with some projectability and already in low-90s; Zach Gallen who has made some big strides on the mound over the last year; hard throwing junior Jeremiah Muhammad; and two other juniors, Brandon Bielak and Colton Hock.

Northeast Region Best Tools

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