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September 15, 2020
We were fortunate to have a perfect September day for our showcase on Saturday at Baldwin Park. We had about 70 players and 20 colleges represented. I will go over some of the top performers from the event. Special thanks to the Italian American Baseball Foundation for sponsoring the event.
Nick Giardino (Clarke 2022)
The younger brother of Chris – entering his freshman year at Molloy College – he is a promising young player as well. I recently watched Nick fire a complete game during a Boys of Summer league game. One of the best compliments you can give a ballplayer is that he looks like he belongs. Nick looked like that when he pitched the complete game and he was one of the best performers in attendance on Saturday. He is quite an athlete – displaying some wheels with a 6.59 60-yard dash. At the plate, he had one of the best exit velos at 90.2 (as per Rapsodo), shooting line drives all over the diamond. On the mound, he wasn’t overpowering but he knows how to pitch and pounds the lower 1/3 of the strike zone. Once he adds some more strength, he could be a potential two-way guy at the next level.
Phil D’Aguanno (Bethpage 2021)
D’Aguanno has been one of the most effective pitchers on Long Island this summer. Each time I’ve seen him, he has been dominant. Although his fastball tops out in the low 80s, he knows what he is doing and for that reason, I think he would be effective as a Division-II starting pitcher. He mixes his pitches well and is always around the strike zone, but he can also elevate his fastball when he needs a strike out. Repeats his delivery well and is ultra-competitive. At the plate, he showed some thunder in his bat with an exit velocity at 90.2 and he plays a very smooth shortstop. At the Division-III level, he could be a two-way player. He will be one of the top pitchers in Nassau next year. Great athlete as well, ran a 6.9 60-yard dash.
Ezequiel Clase (Walt Whitman 2019)
He was one of the older players in attendance but that shouldn’t mitigate how he performed. Clase had the highest exit velocity at 97.0. He was an outstanding player at Walt Whitman and is currently at SUNY Ulster. Defensively he is stout, he made all the plays and displayed great football, a quick transfer with strong, accurate throws at 84 MPH, which was the strongest of all the infielders.
Ryan Opak (Holy Cross 2021)
Opak had a great showing in all facets. His 84 MPH throw was tops among all outfielders. He combined that with great athleticism – 6.67 60-yard dash. Additionally, he has a nice line drive approach that yielded 84 MPH exit velocity. He garnered some attention from the Division-II schools, which I certainly think would suit his style of play.
Nicholas DelVecchio (Holy Trinity 2023)
Nicholas recently transferred to Holy Trinity from St. Anthony’s and I expect him to make an impact right away. He is a smooth-swinging lefty bat and plays a stout SS with the ability to make some sparkling plays as well. He can hit the ball all over the field. His max exit velocity was 77.2 but that will jump up as he physically matures. He will need to improve his foot speed but that typically does as the player reaches their peak strength years. Like Giardino, he simply looks like he belongs.
Aidan Bardi (Wantagh 2024)
Bardi put himself on the map with an other-worldly performance in 2019. He smacked 73 HR (one the small fields) including 18 in one week in Cooperstown. He is now entering HS and we will see how that power translates, but he showed his potential on Saturday. His 84 MPH exit velocity is nothing to scoff at for a player of his age. More importantly, his swing looks like it will allow him to continue to add power as he physically matures. In a showcase setting, especially for a freshman it can be easy to overswing and do more than you’re capable of. But Bardi stood within himself and just smacked line drives all over. He also showed his athleticism with a 7.09 60-yard dash and played extremely well at SS but just needs to work on getting a truer throw to first, some of them tailed into the runner.
Zach Rosenzweig (Plainedge 2024)
Rosenzweig had one of the best performances behind the dish with a 2.2 pop time. That is quite impressive for a freshman. At the plate, his 86.8 velocity was towards the top of the leader boards and given his age – you can say that’s the most impressive. If he continues to progress at this rate, he can be a highly-sought after player once he is looking where to attend college.
Connor Kelly (Massapequa 2021)
Connor really was impressive with a 96.2 exit velocity – which was second among all players. He is a Massapequa kid, so you know he has the fundamentals that are hammered into their subconscious at a young age. He also ran a 6.78 60-yard dash and was very smooth in the infield. His throws were accurate at 73 MPH from an over-the-top arm slot.
J.J. Palumbo (St. John the Baptist 2023)
J.J. has made massive strides over the past calendar year as he has physically matured and also lost his baby fat. He hit the ball with authority, registering an 82.9 exit velocity which is a big improvement over last year’s event. Behind the plate, he can block the ball with the best of them – also thriving on breaking balls. I think Palumbo has the ability to play the infield, but his best asset is behind the plate. A hard-nosed player, he is on the right trajectory.
Anthony Schieble (John Glenn 2022)
Schieble got my attention with two things he did very well – his exit velocity of 90.2 stood out among the best in attendance. His lefty swing produced some well-struck line drives. Additionally, his command on the mound was great to see. He pitched at our tournament back in July as well so I know he can execute in-game as well. His velocity of 70-73 MPH didn’t jump out, but he was down in the zone and if he gets a growth spurt he will add 5-10 more MPH. His breaking ball was 60-65 MPH.
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