2017 New England Collegiate League Top Prospects
|NEBCL Top Prospects|
|Kameron Misner, of, Newport (So., Missouri)|
|Charles King, rhp, Newport (So., Texas Christian)|
|Blake Whitney, rhp, North Adams (Sr., South Carolina Upstate)|
|Dazon Cole, rhp, Valley (Jr., Central Michigan)|
|Tommy Jew, of, Mystic (So., UC Santa Barbara)|
|Niko Hulszier, of, Valley (Jr., Morehead State)|
|Hernen Sardinas, 1b/of, Plymouth (So., Maine)|
|Jimmy Titus, ss, Ocean State (So., Bryant)|
|Cam Alldred, lhp, Upper Valley (Jr., Cincinnati)|
|Giovanni Dingcong, of, Danbury (Sr., St. Thomas Aquinas)|
Postseason recap: The Valley Blue Sox finished second in the Northern Division, and went 5-0 in the playoffs—including a 2-0 sweep of the Ocean State Waves in the finals—to claim a NECBL championship. The Blue Sox exploded for nine runs in the first game against the Waves, led by a 3-for-5 night by Braxton Morris (Morehead State). David Marriggi (Towson) allowed three runs in five innings pitched for the win. Niko Hulszier (Morehead State) and Michael Wroth (American International) each recorded a pair of hits in the decisive second game of the championship series, as Tanner Thomas (Utah) tossed five innings of one-run ball to keep Ocean State’s bats silent.
1. Kameron Misner, of, Newport (So., Missouri)
Misner followed up his impressive freshman campaign at Missouri (.287 with seven home runs and 12 doubles) with an all-star summer with Newport in which he hit .387/.479/.652, with eight home runs and 13 doubles. His bat is easily his best tool—he has an easy, across-the-middle stroke and is willing to hit to both sides of the field despite impressive pull power. But his speed and strong arm have helped him find defensive success in the outfield. Listed at 6-foot-4, 219 pounds, he already passes the eye test but still has room to fill out and potentially add even more power.
2. Charles King, rhp, Newport (So., Texas Christian)
Possibly the best starter in the NECBL, King posted a 2.57 ERA in four starts for the Gulls. He struck out 18 and walked just five and flashed one of the best pitching repertoires in the league. He had three reliable pitches—including a downhill fastball that hit 92-94 and a strong slider. King has a projectable pitcher's body at 6-foot-5, 215 pounds and has room to grow after only one year at TCU in which he made 20 appearances.
3. Blake Whitney, rhp, North Adams (Sr., South Carolina Upstate)
Whitney flat-out dominated for the SteepleCats this summer. He struck out 80 batters in 52 innings and kept runs off the board with a 2.01 ERA. The righty features an above-average fastball that hits 93-96, but he stymied hitters all summer with a tight, wipeout slider that was in the high 80s. The 6-foot-3, 175-pounder has good makeup and a pro-ready slider that is a strong strikeout pitch, as he showed this summer with North Adams and back at school where he struck out 82 batters in 73.2 innings.
Kameron Misner Has Elite Tools, But Can The Production Follow?
Misner has a chance to be the first Missouri position player taken in the first round since 1971.
4. Dazon Cole, rhp, Valley (Jr., Central Michigan)
The 5-foot-10 Cole may be small in stature, but he has an electrifying fastball that runs up to 95 mph. He has a strong, projectable secondary pitch in his slider, which features good depth and spin and runs in the mid 80s. An explosive pitcher with loose arm action, Cole packs a punch despite his size. He worked out of the bullpen for the Blue Sox, and posted a 0.98 ERA and struck out 18 in 18.1 innings. His velocity and size helped earn him comparisons from league coaches to the Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman, although Cole might project best as a relief arm.
5. Tommy Jew, of, Mystic (So., UC Santa Barbara)
Jew redshirted in his first season at UCSB, but he made up for lost time on the field this summer with the Schooners. He hit .328/.394/.578 with eight home runs and showed gap-to-gap power that will only grow as he continues to develop. He has an extended slap swing, which stays in the zone a while, and has enough power to hit some balls out of the park despite not having the type of swing that lifts balls into the air. While he’s listed as an infielder for the Gauchos, Jew spent his summer in the outfield for Mystic. With good speed (6.6 60-yard dash time) and a strong arm, Jew showed he could play strong defense in the outfield.
6. Niko Hulszier, of, Valley (Jr., Morehead State)
Hulszier came to the Blue Sox following a pair of impressive seasons at Morehead State—he hit .345 as a freshman, and .349 with 27 home runs as a sophomore at the Eagles' home run-harboring park. Then he won the annual home run derby in Omaha's TD Ameritrade Park. He’s a pure athlete with a strong frame (6-foot-1, 210 pounds), a strong arm in the outfield and legitimate power to all fields. His combination of raw power and speed (6.7 60-yard dash time) is tantalizing, although he’s a free swinger (he struck out 54 times in 40 games with Valley). His swing gets good lift out of the ball, and if he can improve on his discipline, his extra-base hit numbers are sure to grow.
7. Hernen Sardinas, 1b/of, Plymouth (So., Maine)
After spending an entire summer watching him from the Pilgrims dugout, manager Greg Zackrison questioned how Florida schools let Sardinas, a Miami native, leave the state. Sardinas flashes elite hand-eye coordination and hit seven home runs and 10 doubles after a slow start to the summer. After facing upper-level pitching for the first time, Sardinas was able to change his approach and reap the benefits. He showed good opposite-field power from the left side of the plate, hitting several home runs into left field, and didn’t lose his composure with two strikes on him. He has good speed , so a shift to the outfield might be in the listed 6-foot-2, 205-pounder's future.
8. Jimmy Titus, ss, Ocean State (So., Bryant)
The Northeast Conference rookie of the year, Titus found immediate success with the Bulldogs this spring and hit .296 and eight home runs. His offense is ahead of his defense, and he projects as a third baseman at the next level. He hit .275/.342/.412 with the Waves and has a line-drive swing that stays in the zone for a long time and an advanced approach at the plate. His quick feet and strong arm aid him in the field and will continue to do so even if he’s moved from short.
9. Cam Alldred, lhp, Upper Valley (Jr., Cincinnati)
Alldred’s fastball velocity isn’t eye-popping on paper (he was consistently hitting 86-89 this summer), but a good sidearm run, a repeatable delivery and a plus slider all made him one of the best arms in the NECBL. He posted a 2.25 ERA in seven starts and struck out 38. He has a good body at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds and excellent command of his pitches.
10. Giovanni Dingcong, of, Danbury (Sr., St. Thomas Aquinas)
The NECBL’s all-time home run leader, Dingcong has power, power and then more power. He hit .312 with 13 home runs with Danbury this summer and was able to cut down on his swing a bit, which helped bump up his average. Strikeouts are a concern—he whiffed 47 times in 35 games, earning him plenty of Adam Dunn comparisons with his all-or-nothing approach. He’s a good athlete for 6-foot-2, 230 pounds and moves well in the outfield. His power is real, and it’s arguably the best in the league. With a strong bat and an athletic makeup, he’s shown value despite his high strikeout rate.