2019 New England Collegiate Baseball League Top Prospects
Postseason Recap: Despite losing both regular season matchups, the Keene Swampbats were able to sweep the best-of-three series against the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks to claim the Fay Vincent Sr. Cup. Keene won its fifth NECBL championship in team history and its first since 2013.
The Swampbats showed their versatility on both the offensive and defensive sides throughout the series, winning an explosive Game 1, 14-10, and securing a much more conservative Game 2, 4-2. In the first game of the series, Keene was led by Kyle Ball (Stetson) at the plate, with the infielder going a perfect 5-for-5 with a home run. In Game 2, righthander Jonathan Edwards (Georgia Southern) was absolutely dominant on the mound for the Swampbats. Edwards took over in the top of the fifth inning and finished the game with 4.1 hitless innings and 10 strikeouts.
1. Nander De Sedas, SS, Martha’s Vineyard Sharks (Sophomore, Florida St.)
Coaches and scouts have described De Sedas as the best infield defender in the NECBL and wouldn’t be surprised if he emerged as a star down the road. Playing mostly shortstop and second base, De Sedas has fluid motions around the bag to go along with a plus arm. At 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, he’s got an athletic frame that also has room to develop more power in the near future. The main critique De Sedas faces at the plate is that he may try to do too much because of his inexperience as one of the younger players in the league. The infielder hit .242 with 17 walks and 26 strikeouts for the Sharks this season. He has all the tools to stand out offensively, however, as a switch-hitter with the ability to hit for power from both sides. He needs to refine his approach at the plate, but if he’s able to do so, he has significant upside. De Sedas will be a draft-eligible sophomore this spring.
2. Hudson Haskin, OF, Newport Gulls (Sophomore, Tulane)
Haskin put together an excellent spring, hitting .372/.459/.647 with 10 home runs and earned Freshman All-America honors. He carried that performance into the summer with Newport, where he hit .306/.340/.500 with five home runs and 17 stolen bases. Haskin has an intriguing combination of power and speed to go with a strong frame at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds. He doesn’t have a smooth swing, but he’s done a fair job so far in college of making contact. He has above-average speed, giving him a chance to stay in center field. Haskin, like De Sedas, will be a draft-eligible sophomore this spring.
3. TT Bowens, 1B, Mystic Schooners (Redshirt junior, Central Connecticut State)
At 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, it only takes one look at Bowens to realize he’s a physical player. The first baseman has natural raw power—he won the home run derby, is a good hitter and has plenty of raw talent. Early in the NECBL season, Bowens had a slight tendency to chase pitches, but he has overcome that bad habit as the summer progressed and coaches now believe he doesn’t try to expand the zone much. In 40 games this summer, Bowens hit .331/.420/.694, led the NECBL with 16 homers and set a single-season record with 53 RBIs. The biggest critique of the Connecticut product is that he occasionally struggles with routine plays at first, mostly relying on his athleticism to get the job done on defense.
4. Trey McLoughlin, RHP, Mystic Schooners, (Junior, Fairfield)
McLoughin has a polished arm with good control of the zone. The junior has the potential to be a starter at the next level thanks to a three-pitch mix that he uses to attack batters. His four-seam fastball typically clocks in at 92-94 mph, he has a solid changeup that he can throw for strikes and a good slider. At 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, McLoughlin doesn’t use max effort in his delivery and still has some room to fill out his body, so his velocity could rise even more in the coming years. He was arguably the best starter in the NECBL during the regular season, allowing 27 hits, striking out 48 and walking six over 36 innings.
5. Randy Bednar, OF, Keene Swamp Bats (Junior, Maryland)
After struggling last summer in the NECBL, Bednar fared much better this year. He hit .337/.406/.586 with nine home runs and 10 stolen bases, showing off a solid toolset. Listed at 5-foot-9, 195 pounds, Bednar has a strong frame and produces solid power. There’s a bit of swing-and-miss in his game, but overall he does a good job of barreling up balls. Bednar isn’t a burner, but he has good instincts on the bases and enough speed to steal bases. He profiles best in an outfield corner, which puts some pressure on his bat, but his power and feel for hitting give him a chance.
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6. Elijah Dunham, OF, Ocean State Waves, (Junior, Indiana)
Dunham may not look exceptional on defense, but the ball goes in his glove and he’s athletic for a 6-foot, 220-pound outfielder. He’s also one of the premier bats in the NECBL thanks to a compact swing and physical presence that allows him to really barrel the ball. Dunham is never an easy out and is very patient and in control at the plate, always waiting for a ball that he can drive with power. Dunham has long had an exciting toolset but hasn’t really put it all together yet. He took a step in that direction this summer, hitting .360/.408/.574 with six home runs and eight stolen bases.
7. Justyn-Henry Malloy, 3B, Newport Gulls, (Sophomore, Vanderbilt)
Several coaches put Malloy in the same group as De Sedas and Thomas, labeling them as talented but raw players on elite college teams that have the potential to be leaders on a College World Series squad. Malloy is a strong guy with plus power to the gaps and a plus arm who also runs well for his size. His swing has changed slightly since high school, but it looks good with some loft. During the regular season, Malloy hit .324 with six home runs and walked more times than he struck out. He’s hit home runs that coaches thought were definite pop-ups. If Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin can continue to improve and mold the raw talent that Malloy possesses, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be a great draft prospect.
8. Thomas Spinelli, LHP, Martha’s Vineyard Sharks (Redshirt junior, Florida Southern)
Spinelli impressed out of the bullpen for Martha’s Vineyard, going 1-2, 1.40 with 33 strikeouts and three walks in 19.1 innings this summer. His velocity ticked up this summer, and he threw his fastball in the low 90s. His changeup is his best secondary offering, and he also throws a hard, slurvy breaking ball. He has some funk to his delivery, adding deception, and he comes right after hitters and pounds the strike zone. All together, it makes for an intriguing package for the 6-foot-1, 220-pound lefthander
9. David Bedgood, 2B, Keene Swampbats, (Junior, Tulane)
Bedgood had a standout summer for Keene, hitting .331/.406/.634 with 14 home runs, the second most in the game. Keene’s ballpark is hitter friendly, but he showed the ability to use the whole field to hit and gets to his power well when he can turn on the ball. He has a professional approach at the plate with an impressive balance between slowing the game down to patiently wait for his pitch and aggressively capitalizing on pitching mistakes. Bedgood is a little undersized at 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, and he's just an average defender, but he’s still athletic and may have room to grow as a top or bottom of the order-type bat at the next level.
10. Madison Jeffrey, RHP, North Adams SteepleCats, (Sophomore, West Virginia)
Jeffrey has the chance to ride his velocity all the way to the major leagues with scouts believing he has the potential to add more in the next few years. In the NECBL, Jeffrey boasted a 93-95 mph fastball that topped at 96 mph several times in addition to a nice breaking ball. There is a bit of a tradeoff, as his control and location start to decline the higher his velocity gets, but that can improve in the future. It also didn’t stop him from posting a 1.92 ERA along with 22 strikeouts in 14 innings out of the bullpen for the SteepleCats. Because of his max effort delivery and command over only two pitches, Jeffrey projects as a reliever.