State Report: Pennsylvania

Second straight solid year in the Keystone State




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THIS YEAR'S CROP
***** One for the books
**** Banner year
*** Solid, not spectacular
** Not up to par
* Nothing to see here
Rating compares this year's group to what a state typically produces, not to other states
After going a decade without a four-star year, Pennsylvania has its second in a row. The state has a solid balance between high school and college prospects at the top, while college arms fill out the rest of the list. The state has three players in BA's Top 200, including two who are considered top-two-round talents. Though they didn't make the Top 200, righthanders Ray Black and Cody Weiss and outfielders Mike Papi and Justin Bianco were all in consideration.
 
There is some family flavor to this year's group as well. Cam Gallagher is the younger brother of Dodgers farmhand Austin, and John Leonard is the younger brother of Joe, a third-round pick out of Pittsburgh in 2010.

NATIONAL TOP 200 PROSPECTS

1. Cam Gallagher, c, Manheim Township HS, Lancaster (National Rank: 64)
2. Derek Fisher, of, Cedar Crest HS, Lebanon (National Rank: 66)
3. Kyle McMyne, rhp, Villanova (National Rank: 153)

OTHER PROSPECTS OF NOTE

4. Ray Black, rhp, Pittsburgh
5. Cody Weiss, rhp, La Salle
6. Mike Papi, of, Tunkhannock Area HS
7. Justin Bianco, of, Peters Township HS, McMurray
8. Joe Tuschak, of, Northern HS, Dillsburg
9. Tanner Wilt, rhp, North Alleghany HS, Pittsburgh
10. Jordan Steranka, 1b, Penn State
11. Kevan Smith, c, Pittsburgh
12. David Chester, 1b, Pittsburgh
13. Mike Francisco, lhp, Villanova
14. Eric Aschley, rhp, Mercyhurst
15. Blaine O'Brien, rhp, Keystone
16. Vincent Voiro, rhp, Pennsylvania
17. Paul Cusick, rhp, Pennsylvania
18. A.J. Holland, rhp, St. Joseph's
19. Patrick O'Leary, rhp, Council Rock North HS, Newtown
20. Chris Kirsch, lhp, Lackawanna
21. Zack LaNeve, ss, Pine-Richland HS, Gibsonia
22. John Leonard, ss, Connellsville Area HS

SCOUTING REPORTS

Cam Gallagher, c
Manheim Township HS, Lancaster

At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, Gallagher doesn't look like a high school player who can stick behind the plate, but until this spring his defense was considered superior to his bat. He has had a good season and showed improvement at the plate while endearing himself to scouts by playing with energy and taking batting practice with wood bats after games. Because he's big, Gallagher's swing can get long at times, but his strength helps him get by. He has strong hands and arms that allow him to hit to all fields. Scouts would like to see more feel at the plate from him, but he has the potential to bring an average hit tool and plus power to a premium defensive position. Gallagher's older brother Austin is a Dodgers farmhand, and they come from a baseball family. Though he is committed to East Carolina, the younger Gallagher seems interested in starting his pro career and could go in the first three rounds.

Derek Fisher, of

Cedar Crest HS, Lebanon

Heading into the spring, Fisher looked like he could sneak into the first round thanks to his bat and body. Terrible weather in Pennsylvania has made it tough for scouts to get a good look at him, however, and Fisher has been inconsistent when he has played. He has swung and missed a lot, been too aggressive on balls out of the zone and not aggressive enough on strikes. He has an extra load at the plate this spring and now it seems to be a mental block. When he is on, Fisher shows an above-average bat with above-average power. He has a strong frame at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds and has shown good speed in the past. He plays center field now but eventually will get too big and will have to move to left field, and he should provide solid defense there. He is committed to Virginia and isn't considered an easy sign, but he could still go in the first two rounds if scouts see him perform well before the draft.

Kyle McMyne, rhp
Villanova

At 6 feet, 215 pounds, McMyne is a stocky righthander who is strong and well put together. He has served as Villanova's ace this season and has power stuff, with a fastball that ranges from 90-96 mph and can sit 92-93. He throws a curveball and slider that are inconsistent. He's confident in using the curve to get strikes, while the slider might be a slightly better pitch. McMyne hasn't shown great command as a starter, and a team may send him to the bullpen where that won't be as much of a factor and he can get by with his fastball and slider. As a starter, however, he has been able to hold his velocity deep into games.

Steep Drop Ahead

Righthander Ray Black just missed the BA Top 200, thanks in part to the difficulty scouts had in seeing him. While Black has some of the hardest stuff on the East Coast this year, Pittsburgh has used him sparingly in relief, and one scout failed to catch an appearance after watching six games. At 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, Black is a pure power guy. He can sit 94-97 mph with his fastball while mixing in an average to plus slider in the mid-80s. He doesn't always know where his pitches are going, however, and opponents were hitting .280 against him. In 18 innings, he was 1-1, 6.62 with four saves, 24 walks and 30 strikeouts, though he did have only one wild pitch and no hit batters. Black had Tommy John surgery coming out of high school and redshirted as a freshman. He also missed time with a knee injury and pitched just 17 innings in 2010. The team that buys into his stuff will bank on the idea that Black is just raw.

After Black, there's a drop in talent at the college level. La Salle righthander Cody Weiss has a similar build to that of Kyle McMyne and a tick less on the fastball. He'll range from 90-94 mph with his fastball, but the lack of quality offspeed stuff hinders him. He's had an up-and-down year, going 3-6, 6.32, and eventually got moved to the bullpen.

Scouts may find power in the bats of Jordan Steranka, Kevan Smith and David Chester. Smith provides a little more value because he's a catcher. He has a football background and is a strong, physical player whose power trumps his hitting despite leading the team with a .406 average in 192 at-bats. He receives well enough and could profile well as a backup. Chester doesn't have a great body, but has big power, leading the Panthers with 14 home runs.

Lefthander Mike Francisco serves as Villanova's closer and was drafted by the Phillies in the 45th round last year. He is a big-bodied guy at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds. He has some arm strength, ranging from 88-92 mph with his fastball, and has a decent curveball, but lacks command with both pitches. He also works with a changeup that has sinking action.

Righthander Blaine O'Brien is a Massachusetts native who came to Division III Keystone from Middle Georgia JC. He was 8-1, 3.61 as the Giants advanced to the D-III College World Series. O'Brien has a skinny, projectable frame at 6-foot-7, 190 pounds, and touched 93-94 mph with his fastball. He's gangly and awkward, making it hard to repeat his mechanics, but the arm strength makes him interesting. Righthander Vincent Voiro pitches with an average fastball and has touched 94. He also throws a splitter and slider, but both pitches are below-average.

Intriguing Preps

While the star power in the high school class is comparable to last year's, the depth might be better this season. A couple of players were in the discussion for the back of the Top 200 and could see their names called before the 10th round if they are deemed signable.

Mike Papi plays shortstop for his high school team but profiles as an outfielder in pro ball. He is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound grinder who bats left and throws right. He has a strong arm that some call above-average and can touch 90 off the mound. He is solid at the plate, an average hitter with average power. A strong spring performance had scouts going back to see more of Papi late in the season, as they try to assess whether he's worth buying out of Virginia.

A sturdy 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, outfielder Justin Bianco is a Pittsburgh signee with solid tools across the board. While nothing jumps out, scouts like his present strength and think he is not yet physically mature. He's a solid-average runner, and scouts also like the way he plays the game.

As the draft drew closer, outfielder Joe Tuschak generated more buzz among scouts and now could sneak into the first 15 rounds. He's a lefthanded-hitting center fielder who is committed to Coastal Carolina. His best tool is speed and he has a solid frame at 6-foot-1, 185 pounds. He also played quarterback in high school and figures to be a project if he turns pro now.