Diamonds in the Rough: Week 9 Risers


Ted Williams
Ground Forces

Over the next few months, the Prep Baseball Report (PA/NY) crew will be highlighting players in several different article formats, including Ted Williams’ "Diamonds in the Rough" feature series.

The recruiting process can be tough sledding at times and for whatever reason, talented players can remain uncommitted for extended periods of time. Included below are some players who have stood out at events and deserve more love for their abilities. More specifically, we will be focusing on five impact uncommitted prospects who could be significant risers in the class rankings throughout the calendar year.

Andrew Marcello OF / Central Catholic, PA / 2022


The Spin: Noticeably thicker in an athletic 5-10, 180-pound frame that gained ten pounds of strength since June, the Central Catholic product burst onto the scene at the Preseason All-State West with improvements in numerous important measurable categories. The right-handed hitter featured a balanced, yet powerful approach at the plate with a simple timing mechanism in the load phase allowing for quality bat to ball skills during batting practice. A 46% line drive rate (up from 20% this past summer) played heavily into developing power towards either gap (97 mph peak bat-exit velocity) and pointed towards the future ability to hit for extra-bases at the next level. Both a 74.10 mph bat speed and 355 foot max batted ball distance were evidence of the additional power output offensively, which should continue seeing tangible gains sooner rather than later. Though he likely won’t clock in at a 6.66 60-yard dash like  last year at this time, the footspeed is still there (6.93 runner) and should open the door to slot into any two of the three outfield positions at the next level. With easy movements and increased fluidity while cutting off tough angles in either gap during defensive evaluations, Marcello should give you above-average defense regardless of the level he plays at, which makes a live 92 mph OF arm (+8 mph from this summer) that much more lucrative.


Colin Marinpetro 1B / OF / West Allegheny, PA / 2022


The Spin: The physically-imposing and projectable 6-foot-6, 215-pounder keeps growing, gaining two more inches of height since we saw him this past summer. Another standout from Sunday’s Preseason All-State, the hulking left-handed hitter moved relatively smoothly for his size generating impressive power in the box with an outlandish 81.10 mph bat-speed per Blast Motion. A seasoned swing should allow for some consistency and ability to hit for average as well, evidenced by a 36% line drive rate while peppering the middle of the field with hard contact. Considering there’s room to add twenty pounds of strength yet, bat-exit velocities already up to as high as 100 mph at the PA State Games could eventually pace the entire ‘22 class in the coming year. With back to back performances seeing his average exit velocity over 90 mph, you’re looking at an unquestioned middle of the order thumper who possesses both a strong floor and ceiling down the line. Likely to stick at first base at the next level with that frame, Marinpetro moves very well laterally with a low center of gravity and soft glove hand out in front yielding solid defensive abilities to go along with a 79 mph throwing arm from his position. With the ability to pick balls in the dirt coupled with additional feel around the bag, the defense is more than enough, which should give a bat of that caliber an every day chance to play in a collegiate lineup.


Jack Whalen 2B / OF / Norwin, PA / 2022


The Spin: The long and lean 5-foot-11, 155-pound middle infielder exuded high-level athleticism and positional flexibility at the Preseason All-State West giving us a lot of traits to like in all phases of the game. The Norwin product improved both his IF and OF arm strengths by +8 mph and +9 mph respectively since this June, a testament to the hard work he’s put in over the winter while in quarantine. A primary middle infielder, Whalen repeatedly beat the ball to the spot with good posture and downhill momentum through the fielding window which aided a live, 85 mph throwing arm in getting extra carry across the diamond. With the ability to stay behind the ball in the outfield allowing the feet to utilize the entire route tree, there were impact defender qualities lurking regardless of where he was playing on the field. Considering he also possessed a 90 mph throwing arm during defensive evaluations, Whalen could realistically get on the field early at any two of the three outfield positions. The right-handed hitter has been consistently improving the hit tool, which featured a controlled leg lift while hitting into a stiff front side. Impressive hand speed in the box (23.7 mph) and a climbing line drive rate up to 56% showed the dedication on that side of the ball and should point to continued in-game successes over the coming year. With a +5 mph increase on the exit velocity from the summer until now (90 mph this weekend), you’re looking at a player who’s arrow is pointed steadily north.


Aiden Kim LHP / OF / Central Bucks West, PA / 2022


The Spin: A possible two-way product down the line in a compact, physical 5-foot-10, 220-pound frame, the primary left-handed pitcher showed great success on the bump at the PA State Games with increased repeatability in the delivery and quality command of the strike zone (47% zone rate per Trackman Baseball). Kim attacked early with an up-tempo pace and full arm-swing from a high ¾ slot allowing an 80-81 mph fastball to play with increased spin metrics at the plate (2471 RPM’s). The southpaw liked to throw a 68 mph breaking ball in any count, dropping the arm down slightly to a 4.81 ft. average release height on the slider (5.36 ft. average on the fastball) in order to get up to 18.4 inches of wipeout horizontal movement to the glove side, appearing as the out pitch. A 74-76 mph changeup could kill spin (1285 average) and held the zone at nearly 67% while tunneling well with the fastball (5.29 ft. release height / 5.36 ft. release height). A hard worker in the weight room, the fastball recently got up to T87 mph per Rapsodo in a pen for the Bucks County Generals, who we will be getting an up close and personal view of on 2/21 at their scout day. Offensively, the left-handed hitter was plastered all over our Blast Motion leaderboards with an aggressive lower half and advanced feel for his hands at the plate. Both a 74.8 mph peak bat speed and 23.4 G’s of rotational acceleration per Blast Motion were evidence of developing power, which assisted on a noteworthy 94 mph bat-exit velocity during batting practice. A solid 42% line drive rate / 33% fly ball rate should point to the ability to situationally hit as well, which gives him seasoned tools in all facets of the game with the mound leading the way. 


Evan Alwine RHP / SS / Altoona Area, PA / 2023


The Spin: We saw the ascending ‘23 RHP dominate this past July at the PA Limited Series at Iron Horse attacking hitters with confidence on a 77-79 mph heater, and could tell he was going to be a future force on the bump. Fast forward to the Preseason All-State South-Central on Saturday - Alwine was peppering the zone with high spin (2410 RPM’s) on an 82-84 mph fastball with a loose and whippy arm-action out of a high ¾ slot. The breaking ball continues to get better appearing at 71-73 mph with an average of -8 inches of IVB, giving it solid depth at the plate. Though the changeup is somewhat stiff at the moment out of the hand, the metrics showed quality HM to the glove side (14.3 inches) as well as low spin (1700 RPM’s) giving him the ability to continue developing it into an advanced pitch as he matures. Most impressively, the Altoona product tunneled the three offerings well ranging from a 4.93-4.99 foot average release height per Trackman Baseball, which should give hitters issues down the line as his stuff becomes sharper. A true riser candidate with a high ceiling overall, Alwine could be a mid to upper 80’s guy by the turn of next year and should be a highly followed prospect to keep tabs on.


Previous Diamonds in the Rough

UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
2021 Preseason All-State - South/Central PA 02/06 Iron Horse Sports Complex
Super 60 Pro Showcase NATIONAL 02/07 MOSH Performance Center
2021 Preseason All-State - Pittsburgh (3PM Session) PA 02/07 All American Fieldhouse
2021 Preseason All-State - Pittsburgh (9AM Session) PA 02/07 All American Fieldhouse
2021 Northeast ProCase (2021 Grads Only) PA 02/13 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 Preseason All-State - Erie PA 02/13 Erie Premier Sports
2021 Preseason All-State - North/Central PA 02/14 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 Preseason All-State - East (11AM Session) PA 02/27 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 Preseason All-State East (3PM Session) PA 02/27 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - Central PA 03/06 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - East PA 03/14 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - West PA 03/14 All American Fieldhouse