Long Island is where the pitching prospects can be found. Local players from both the college and high school ranks have a shot to hear their name called during Major League Baseball’s amateur draft Monday.
Here is a look at some of the names that have been bandied about by local scouts. Although none of them have been projected to be selected in the early rounds, Long Island could see quite a few players get the opportunity to live the dream this week.
“I would love the opportunity to play at the next level,” Hofstra senior catcher Vito Friscia said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted.”
The power-hitting Friscia was a staple in the Pride lineup for the past four years. He slammed eight home runs and drove in 31 runs this season. Over his career, Friscia had 206 hits, including 25 home runs and 109 RBIs. He was an All-Colonial Athletic Association first team selection in 2018.
The 6-3, 225-pounder, who played at Valley Stream Central HS, is a durable backstop who played 188 of the 195 games in his career. He had a .985 fielding percentage and a .479 on-base percentage. He could be a middle-round pick.
The 6-3, 190-pound righty had a 7-2 record with a 1.32 ERA for the Panthers. He struck out 79 in 75 innings and allowed 51 hits. He had three games of more than 10 strikeouts, pumping the velocity up to 91 mph. He could be a late-round pick.
Infield, Stony Brook University
The 5-11, 170-pound prospect, who played at Smithtown West HS, was a first-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball magazine in 2018. He batted .342 with 68 hits, including five homers, 24 RBIs, and 58 runs scored in 52 games in 2019. Grande is versatile and can play any infield position. He had a career average of .339 with 12 home runs, 64 RBIs and 174 hits in 143 games. He’s a junior. He could be a late-round pick.
RHP, West Virginia
The 6-1, 192-pound righty, who went to Mount Sinai HS, had an outstanding 2019. He had a 4-2 record with eight saves and a 2.36 ERA and had his velocity up into the low 90s. He had 42 strikeouts and eight walks in 34 1/3 innings and opponents hit only .208 against him. He is a junior. He could be a middle- to late-round pick.
Outfield, Stony Brook
The speedy 6-foot, 200-pound outfielder is from Colonia (New Jersey) and a key cog in the Seawolves’ run to the America East title. He hit .345 with 10 home runs and 44 RBIs with a .637 slugging percentage. He also had 13 doubles and two triples. He has a 1.000 fielding percentage and he’s a junior.
HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS
CF, Bay Shore HS
He’s a five-tool prospect with a baseball pedigree. His dad, Joaquin Andujar, played in two World Series for the Cardinals. The speedy centerfielder has a plus-arm. He also hit three home runs and has power to all fields.
RHP, Kellenberg HS
The 6-1, 210-pound righty did not have impressive stats in his senior year, but his velocity has been clocked as high as 95 mph and the potential for greatness is there. The three-year starter had a 2-2 record with 42 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings. He is committed to the University of Miami and could be a middle- to late-round pick.
RHP, Center Moriches HS
The 6-3, 218-pound righty did not log many innings this spring. He was slowed by an ankle injury suffered during the basketball season. He finished with six saves and a 0.67 ERA for the defending state champions. His fastball, which is consistently between 90-92, was clocked at 95 mph against Ward Melville late in the spring. He had 10 saves, a 0.67 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 27 innings as a junior. He is committed to Maryland. He could be a middle-round pick.
RHP, Chaminade HS
The 6-2, 190-pounder emerged as a pro prospect this spring, leading the Flyers to the CHSAA title with a 7-0 record and a 0.44 ERA. The CHSAA pitcher of the year had 53 strikeouts in 46 1/3 innings and opponents hit .150 against him. His velocity is consistently between 87-89 mph. He is committed to George Washington University. He could be a late-round pick.
RHP, Connetquot HS
The 6-4, 210-pound starter threw six shutouts for the Thunderbirds and watched his velocity tick up to 92 mph during the season. The three-year varsity starter allowed only one walk and one hit batsman in 50 innings with 70 strikeouts and a 0.50 ERA. He is committed to Elon. He could be a middle-round pick.