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Fairfield SR C Sebastian Salvo
Canisius SR 1B Connor Panas
Canisius JR 2B Anthony Massicci
Quinnipiac SR SS Scott Donaghue
Canisius SR 3B Jesse Puscheck
St. Peter’s JR OF Rob Moore
Fairfield JR OF Jake Salpietro
Quinnipiac JR OF Rob Pescitelli
Canisius SR RHP Devon Stewart
Iona JR RHP Mariano Rivera
Siena SR RHP Ed Lewicki
Fairfield SR RHP EJ Ashworth
Iona JR RHP John Daddino
I’m not sure I’ve had less information for any conference so far than the limited info I scrounged up on the MAAC. That’s not to say that there aren’t hidden gems to be found here; it’s just that the gems are so deeply hidden that they are well past the point of digging that I was able to do. The few players that I do have notes on are actually pretty darn interesting relative to the prospects found at other similarly sized conferences across the conference.
One such interesting prospect is Canisius SR 1B/3B Connor Panas. Panas is a multi-dimensional offensive threat capable of beating you with a single the other way, a deep ball to his pull side, or speed on the base paths (22/26 SB the past two seasons). I don’t know nearly as much as I’d like about his defensive ability, but if he can play a reasonable third base then he’s an even better prospect than I currently give him credit for. I’ve heard from those in the know that even if he can’t play third regularly, he should be athletic and instinctual enough to work as a four-corners utility player in the pros. He’s joined in the Canisius infield with fellow prospects JR 2B/SS Anthony Massicci (steady glove, plenty of arm, nice power/speed/patience offensive blend) and JR 3B Jesse Puscheck (game built on raw strength and physicality).
It’s possible that I’m overrating the Canisius position players seeing as only five hitters from the school have been drafted before, but I don’t think it’s that nuts to imagine a scenario where the three players listed above plus JR 1B/OF Brett Siddall and SR OF Mike Krische warrant serious draft consideration this spring. Add SR RHP Devon Stewart to the mix and you’re looking at a half-dozen total prospects with a shot to sign pro contracts. Even if just the biggest names of the bunch (Siddall, Stewart) and one other Golden Griffin gets picked in June, it will tie the 2011 group of Sean Jamieson, Chris Cox, and Shane Davis as the largest to enter pro ball together.
The alliterative pair of Fairfield SR C Sebastian Salvo and Manhattan SR C Mikey Miranda impressed in limited at bats last year. Interesting power bats like Siena JR 1B/OF Fred Smart, Quinnipiac SR 1B Vincent Guglietti, and St. Peter’s JR OF Rob Moore all could wind up drafted with productive springs.
The aforementioned Stewart’s considerable stuff has never matched his less than stellar results. I think that’s in part because he’s currently asked to shoulder a much larger role as a starter than he’ll be asked to in the bullpen as a professional. In short bursts, his fastball moves from 87ish-92ish up to a far more dangerous mid-90s (95/96) peak. His time as a starter has helped him round out his repertoire, so it’s not uncommon to see him throw an average or better slider or changeup in any given outing. If he can get either pitch to move up half a grade or so in a relief role, then he’ll have more than enough stuff to move quick once the pros get their hands on him.
Bloodlines can be overrated, but I’m buying the potential benefits that Iona JR RHP Mariano Rivera has and will continue to reap as the son of baseball’s all-time best closer. Senior was known for many things such as piling up 652 saves, finishing his career with an inconceivable 205 ERA+, and throwing arguably the greatest singular pitch known to man; while awesome, none of those things (well, maybe some of that cutter magic could rub off…) will translate to helping Junior achieve success on the diamond. It is fair to believe that the insane work ethic and preternatural ability to make adjustments on the mound could be traits passed down from father to son. For now, Rivera is a nice looking relief prospect with enough fastball (88-92, 94 peak) and an above-average slider to compensate for his lack of size and middling track record to date. To a man, every person I spoke to remarked that they believed Rivera would be a better professional than college player.
Siena SR RHP Ed Lewicki is a an all-caps FAVORITE thanks to his plus low-80s changeup, a mid-70s curve that can be an out pitch at times, and a plenty of projection left in his 6-4, 185 pound frame. Iona JR RHP John Daddino’s name doesn’t come up much in my notes, but pitchers who strike out 15.88 batters per nine in a season get special priority here. He’s high on my list of players I want to know more about this spring. I’m not sure if he’ll be drafted or not, but Rider SR RHP Kurt Sowa deserves credit for pitching well over the years while also making such fine films as Seven Samurai, Rashomon, and Drunken Angel. That’s talent.
2015 MLB Draft Talent – Hitting
- Canisius SR 1B/3B Connor Panas
- Canisius JR 2B/SS Anthony Massicci
- Canisius JR 1B/OF Brett Siddall
- Canisius SR 3B Jesse Puscheck
- Siena JR 1B/OF Fred Smart
- Quinnipiac SR 1B Vincent Guglietti
- Fairfield SR C Sebastian Salvo
- Rider SR 3B Nick Richter
- Niagara JR 2B Michael Fuhrman
- Rider SR 1B/OF Justin Thomas
- St. Peter’s JR OF Rob Moore
- Fairfield JR OF/SS Jake Salpietro
- Manhattan SR C Mikey Miranda
- Quinnipiac JR OF Rob Pescitelli
- Manhattan JR 1B/OF Christian Santisteban
- Quinnipiac SR SS Scott Donaghue
- Marist SR 1B/OF Steve Laurino
- Canisius SR OF Mike Krische
- Fairfield JR 1B Brendan Tracy
- Iona SR OF Jimmy Guiliano
2015 MLB Draft Talent – Pitching
- Canisius SR RHP Devon Stewart
- Iona JR RHP Mariano Rivera
- Siena SR RHP Ed Lewicki
- Fairfield SR RHP EJ Ashworth
- Iona JR RHP John Daddino
- Marist SR LHP Rich Vrana
- Monmouth JR LHP Anthony Ciavarella
- Rider JR RHP Vincenzo Aiello
- Siena JR RHP Bryan Goossens
- Siena JR RHP Rick Morales
- Monmouth SR RHP Adam Yunginger
- Rider SR RHP Kurt Sowa
- Marist SR RHP Chris Napolitano
- Monmouth SR RHP Chris McKenna
- Quinnipiac JR LHP Justin Thomas