Sorry to double up on you guys, but here’s some more draft coverage stuff. The Yankees usually like to take a few local guys at some point during the draft, so let’s take a look at what New Jersey, New York and Connecticut have to offer this year.
Aside from UConn kids, Jersey probably has the two best area talents. Carl Thomore (OF, East Brunswick HS) has one great tool which is power. Before a gruesome injury dislocating his ankle he was a plus runner but now is just average. He’s a hard worker, aggressive and has an average arm. Ideally, he’ll be an average to above average hitter in LF. Kevin Comer (RHP, Tabernacle HS) is a big 6’4”, 210 specimen that’s been a bit inconsistent. Usually he sits in the low 90s, shows a good 12-6 curveball and the feelings of a changeup. Committed to Vanderbilt, he may just go to school and get drafted higher in about 3 years.
Late Round Prospects:
Seton Hall RHP Joe DiRocco can sit in upper 80s while touching 90-91 and offers just average to below average command/secondary offerings…. James Pugilese, a RHP from junior college sits in the low 90s, with an average curveball. He’s projectable (6’3”, 195) but his max effort delivery scares some. Likely a reliever…. Mike Russo (RHP, Kean) is a big dude- 6’6”, 220 with a good fastball that touches the mid 90s but a below average breaking ball.
William Jerez (OF, Brooklyn HS) is a Dominican native who has pitching experience but has played CF this year. He’s played on “Hank’s Yanks”, the Steinbrenner team in Florida. At 6’4”, 190 he’s about as projectable as it gets, with lean muscle mass. His swing is long, though it has raw power in it with good loft and extension. With plus speed and a plus arm, Jerez has plenty of tools, although he’s received mixed reports from some. Joe Panik (SS/2B, St. Johns) is a bat first prospect I touched on earlier. With excellent plate discipline and strike zone awareness, he has gap power and a clean, smooth LH swing. Without the arm to play SS in the pros, he still has the athleticism and range to make plenty of plays.
Late Round Prospects:
Nick Tropeano (RHP, Stony Brook) has a fastball that sits in the upper 80s and plenty of secondary pitches. His changeup is plus and he has a hard slider. Projectable at 6’4” 205, he’s posted good college numbers and if he can find some more velocity, he’s a nice find….Dan Paolini (OF, Siena) has a plus tool in power and that’s about it. His long swing with an uppercut didn’t play well in Cape Cod last summer and that’s concerned many scouts. He’s a good athlete who should wind up in LF…. Matt Marra (SS, Le Moyne) is a draft eligible sophomore, with good hands although he figures to wind up at 2B. Line drive swing with gap power, also can throw in the low 90s and a fringy breaking pitch… Michael Anarumo (LHP, Le Moyne) has a sinker that tops out around 90 and a fringy slider. Good size, 6’5”, 200 lbs, more velocity may be there with some work… Michael Gallic, (OF, Marist) is an athlete with good speed and defense in CF with above average raw power…. David Bartuska (RHP, Lackawana College) has a quick delivery that produces a low 90s fastball and average slider. Concerns rest with his delivery, which isn’t that clean…. Nick Albero (LHP, Lackawana College) also throws in the low to mid 90s with good movement and offers an above average changeup and average curveball. Also has a concerning high effort delivery and most likely a reliever… Zach Kraham (RHP, Albany) and David Kubiak (RHP, Albany) represent the upstate college well. Kraham can run it up to 94, with a good downward plane, an average curveball and changeup and a fringy slider he’s still developing. He can struggle with command. Kubiak has a bad delivery, an OK changeup and no real breaking pitch…. Kevin McKague (RHP, West Point) was a potential pick in the first few rounds, despite his military commitment before a back injury derailed him. Throws mid 90s and flashed a plus slider…. Jerry Coleman (OF, Clarkson) is extremely athletic as a D III standout, who is a plus runner as well as a switch hitter…. Elvin Soto (C, NY HS) was originally regarded as a better prospect but has had a disappointing senior year. Good receiving skills, shows some pop as a switch hitter from the right side. Pittsburgh committed… Glen Gronkowski, brother of Rob Gronkowski of New England Patriots fame is headed to Kansas State for football as well as baseball. He’ll go to school but I thought I’d throw him in here for fun.
A place as fearsome as its nickname “The Nutmeg State” would imply, its talent is based around a strong University of Connecticut team.
George Springer (OF, UCONN) and Matt Barnes (RHP, UCONN) are near locks to go in the first round. For fun though, Springer is usually said to have the highest ceiling as a somewhat raw (for college that is) OF prospect that does just about everything well in CF. Barnes runs his fastball up to 98, sits around 94, throws a 2-seam fastball with good movement, a cutter with late life and a sharp curveball that flashes plus. Oh yeah, he also has a mid 80’s changeup that has pretty good fade. Ah, to have a first round pick.
Nick Ahmed (SS, UCONN) doesn’t get as much attention as his two aforementioned teammates, but he’s nearly as good. At 6’2”, 205, Ahmed is a plus runner with a plus arm, very athletic and has decent range. He struggled on the Cape last summer at the plate, but has looked better this spring.
Late Round Prospects:
Mike Nemeth (1B, UCONN) will probably be the 4th UConn player selected. A solid defender, Nemeth has more gap power at this point and makes plenty of contact… Kevin Vance (RHP, UCONN) is a reliever prospect, touches 94 but has showed lower velocity this year. He flashes an above-average curveball and average changeup…. David Fischer (RHP, UCONN) is also a reliever who has lost some velocity. Fastball has good movement and sink and his changeup is fringy…. Starting pitcher Gregg Nappo (LHP, UCONN) has a fastball in the upper 80s, a cutter, 2-seamer, average curveball and good changeup. Good command and advanced feel are thrown around with him… Elliot Glynn (LHP, UCONN), touches 88 with a sinking fastball and throws a slider and curveball, both average offerings…. Doug Elliot (C, UCONN) has a good feel for catching, with good receiving skills and an OK arm. He’s a contact hitter without much power… John Andreoli (OF, UCONN) questions about his bat are prevalent and he doesn’t hit for much power. He’s fast though, a good athlete and has good defensive instincts with an above average arm… Sal Romano (RHP, Southington HS) is our lone prep candidate, who has projectable size (6’4”, 220) and already throws in the low 90s. Has an average curveball and some feel for the changeup. He’s likely not done growing yet as he has a size 16 shoe (!).
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