Monday, December 17, 2012

12/16 In The Net Nine Combine

12/16 combine results

Our Nine Combine on 12/16 was low on quantity but high on quality.  Ten players participated in the testing and four of them gained "elite" status.  The ceiling was very high but all players turned in solid performances.

High profile 2015 prospects Kyle Datres and Travis Blankenhorn jumped to the top of the upcoming 2015 graduate leader board with their overall performances.  Nick Dunn (2015) ran the best 60 time of the day with a 6.94 time.  Mason Abate (2016) and Micheal Geesama (2017) gained Nine Baseball Elite status and will be near the top of their graduate years upcoming leaderboards.       

Click on the link above to see results in full.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Nine Baseball Chandler Combine Nov 2012

Some of the most highly recruited players in the Northeast performed at the Nine Combine for Chandler Baseball.  The highest score in the Nine Baseball Combine is continued to be held by 2014 corner infielder Max Ponzurick from Greensburg PA.  The 6'3" 227 pound Ponzurick dominates the combine with his combination of size and speed.  Max put the highest scores on the board with his 35 inch vertical jump, medicine ball throw and ball exit speed off the bat.  He did this while running a 6.94 60 yard dash that is very impressive for his size.  He was closely followed in the 2014 class by Stanford recruit Colton Hock, who displayed 88mph arm speed.  The 6'5" Hock showed his athleticism with the best shuttle run of the day and a 32 inch vertical leap.  Dom Farina should be showing up on more recruiters radar with a very strong performance.

Jawan McCalister ran the best 60 of the day with a 6.6 followed by Maryland recruit Zach Jankarski (6.7), 2015s Ryan Karsttter (6.7) and Caleb Walls (6.71), with 2014 Gerricho Rahming (6.8) and 2016 Nick Rowland (6.87).

2014 Top Performers Chandler Combine

Connor Klemann of Spring Ford High School had a big day with he second highest score overall highlighted by a 91 mph bat exit speed and a 31 inch vertical jump.

2015 Top Performers

Tommy Pellis scored the highest in the 2016 class.  He was followed closely by Nick Rowland, Logan Goodnight, Tait McGlinn and Chris Adams.

2016 top performers

Shane Muntz was very impressive scoring highest in the 2017 class.  Shane had the top score in his class in 3 of the 6 events highlighted by a 92 mph bat exit speed.  Darian Jacoby came in second in his class with a strong performance and a 6.97 60 yard dash.

2017 Top performers

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Adversity of Injury: How Zach Jancarski Rose Above

By: Ron Palmieri

All athletes, no matter what sport, have to be able to overcome certain things in order to be successful in their field. Whether it be trying to make it to the pros, climbing up the depth chart, or digging themselves out of a slump, there are certain aspects of a career that just get in an athlete’s way. Nothing, however, causes an athlete more adversity than dealing with injuries.

This is a truth that Zach Jancarski knows too well. Zach is a Junior at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. He is an outfielder who prides himself on his 90 mph throw to home. Like many athletes at his level, his sport is his greatest passion. He loves baseball and goes out of his way to excel at it. A native of Norristown, PA, he has foregone the local public school in order to play with SCHA in the much tougher Inter-Ac League. Regardless of being closer to the Philadelphia area, Zach travels west to work with Nine Baseball. And even when he doesn’t feel at his best, he still aims to compete at his highest level to try to achieve his highest dreams.

The director of Nine Baseball, Brent Ronan says that Zach is a kid you, “can’t help but root for.”  "I met Zach last winter and you could just tell right away he was a bright and engaging kid.,” says Brent, “He did all of our winter events, combine, video and advanced level clinic.  He just stood out each time.  He is a driven kid, just a dynamo.”

All of this is what makes Zach’s most recent bout with adversity such a shame. Zach was competing in his local Area Code games. He was feeling sick with a slight sore throat. He played through his games and played well but not his best. He eventually got much better and was preparing himself for Perfect Game Junior Nationals in Minnesota. All of his friends went out the night before to hit at the cages, but Zach, on the eve of the biggest event of his summer, had been hit by sickness again. This time it was much worse. He went to bed early instead of training with his friends.

 “If you know me, you know that’s a big deal,” said Zach, “I’m never one that passes up a chance to hit but, if I wanted to play well I had to get some rest.” But that rest never really came. He woke up in a sweat, feeling worse than he had earlier. He took some medicine and tried to get just a bit more sleep so he could wake up and be at his best.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t quite at his best. He ran slower, threw slower from the outfield and generally just wasn’t at his best. He was still able to attract some attention for his performance, but he wasn’t happy with it.

Eventually, once again, he got better. A short time later he was playing a four game series against the Ohio Elite in Pittsburgh. All in one play, things changed very quickly. Zach hit a slow roller right up the third base line. Zach took off quick and felt like he could beat it out of the box. “The first baseman was close to 250 pounds, and the throw was coming from behind me,” says Zach, “I beat the play but as he lunged for the ball we collided and that just knocked the wind out of me.” The collision was bad but, oddly, was not the main cause of his injury. Zach didn’t know it at the time but the ball that the first baseman was lunging for had hit him right in the back and took him down to the ground.

Zach was headed for the hospital right after the play. Upon arrival, the doctors asked him how he had been feeling lately. He told him about his bouts with illness at the Perfect Game Junior Nationals and Area Code games. They knew what the problem was immediately.

They told Zach that he had Mono, a debilitating illness that usually takes people out of commission even if they aren’t active athletes. They told him his spleen had enlarged and the ball that hit him, hit him directly in the spleen. He suffered a Grade 3 laceration on his spleen and had to be Medivaced by helicopter to another hospital. He spent five days there and lost 12 pounds. He was told he had to do nothing for 2 weeks before he could even begin his rehab. He was told his summer, as far as baseball goes, was over.

“It was really hard,” said Zach, “All I wanted to do was go to the gym or hit or anything.” He was trying to become a switch hitter and being injured hurt that process a little bit. “He lost such valuable time,” says Brent, “But I have no doubt he is going to bounce back bigger, stronger and faster.”

His parents kept him grounded through the process. “Knowing me, I’d want to get out and play no matter what. My parents are helping me to not do something dumb.” And this hard work paid off. Zach is back to being 100%. He beat the odds and has already participated in his first summer event since the injury. He played at the Summer Rivalry Games in Boston hosted by the Yankees and Red Sox. He was up against some tough competition which is good after such a long time off. He had his batting skills back and he threw a player out at the plate. He also hit successfully from both sides of the plate.

Zach’s quick recovery is a testament to his strong training regimen. His pursuit of his dream is a thing that anyone, athlete or not, can aspire to. Everyone has some form of adversity in their way. For some people it’s an injury that keeps them from their sport. All of us have something like this, and like Zach, all we can do is carry on. “It is safe to say I'm back,” says Zach, “and ready as ever for fall ball!”

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Beginner's Guide to Scouts

By: Ron Palmieri

For most athletes, being able to make a profession out of their sport is a dream come true. The quickest and sometimes only way to achieve this dream is with the help of a scout. It’s true, just the thought of a scout let alone one appearing at a game or event can be intimidating for a young athlete. But, with the right attitude, training and a few tips, you can look to a groups of scouts with excitement and a drive to show them everything you’ve got.

Every athlete who plans to play at a professional level has heard that all too important adage, “You’re always being scouted.” This is a phrase that should always be at the front of any aspiring athlete’s mind. Whether on the field or off, you are under constant scrutiny. But there is another thing that all young athletes should remember. They key to impressing scouts can be broken down into 3 steps. Be honest. Be humble. Sell yourself.

Being honest is simple. All you have to do is be yourself. That is beyond a baseball skill and just a good way to live your life. Scouts watch so many athletes that it’s easy for them to tell when someone is being genuine or just “showing off for the cameras”. You also want to keep honest when talking to a scout. If someone asks about your skills, tell them the truth. There’s no sense in embellishing your fastball, because they’re going to see it eventually. Talking to a scout can be a great way of making a connection and putting your personality and face behind your name. Don’t ruin that trying to appear a little better than the next guy.

The next step is being humble. A scout’s job is very difficult. They travel to so many events and games and try to seek out individual players. They follow their numbers, they ask coaches and other scouts about the players and one day they get to finally meet their athlete. It could turn out that the players skills are not as honed as is information suggested. It could be that the player’s attitude or behavior isn’t in the right place. In both of these scenarios, the scout has spent a great deal of time on something that just won’t pan out. All of this makes scouts a very skeptical group.

They don’t want to be told how good someone is. They want to see it with their own eyes. When you or your parents go to a scout and tell them how great your bat is or how fast you can throw, you’re not telling them anything they probably haven’t heard from many other people. If they wanted to rely on other people’s opinions they wouldn’t have come out to see you, but they did. So show them how great your bat is. Show them how fast you throw. These actions will speak volumes louder than your words.

The third and final step is a very big one. Once you set your sites on the major leagues, you essentially become a product. You have to sell yourself to the scouts. This includes everything, from on field matters like your skills and how you carry yourself, to off the field matters such as your academics and behavior.

The first test you have to pass is the eye ball test. Scouts come out to the field and make judgments about you very quickly out of pure human nature. Is your uniform clean and well fit? Are your cleats clean? Do you have the major league “look”? You should treat an experience with a scout like a job interview, because that’s exactly what it is. You should introduce yourself, shake their hands and tell them a little about yourself. This is where things can become difficult. You want to tell them about your skills enough to sell yourself while still remaining humble. Remember, let your skills do the big talking for you. You more want to show them that you can carry a conversation. It’s your job to sell yourself to a scout because the scout has to sell you to his major league team or university. You want to show them you’re someone worth spending time with.

And the scout will want to talk to you, not your parents. At the age where players are attracting scouts’ attention, it starts to become time for them to handle situations like this on their own. Mom and Dad can still be a big part of the decision making and encouragement, but the one on one with scouts should be left to the players. An overbearing parent can be a real detriment to a player-scout relationship.
Once you’ve shown the scouts who you are outside the game, show them your skills inside of it. You’ve practiced for years so this part should come most natural to a player. Refer back to the first tip on this one and just be honest, be yourself. Brent Ronan, the director of Nine Baseball, says certain scouts look at things differently. “One scout can look at a player getting angry on the field after a bad pitch and see a player who’s competitive. Another scout can look at that same action as a behavior problem and a write-off from the start.” You can’t predict the way a scout will view your on field behavior, so it’s best just to play the game the way you always have and try your best to stand out. It’s important to show that you are a team player and that you work well with others, but when your time comes to make people stand up and take notice, you take that opportunity.  

Even just getting out to the right event can help you chances greatly. There are numerous events going on all over the country at any given time. The fact of the matter is that some events are better than others. Do some research on the events you plan to attend. Ask your friends and coaches what events they think would be best suited for you. If you feel out exactly what events are going to fit you best, you can avoid spending a lot of money on events that might not help you to excel.
That being said, going to events is a great way of making connections and growing your skills. It gives the scouts a chance to see each skill as it typically is, uninfluenced by in game factors that can vary. Remember, scouts want to see things for themselves. The radar gun and stat lines are great tools but nothing compares to being able to see it right in front of them.

Beyond this, the rest is pretty simple. Keep your grades up, don’t get into disciplinary trouble, and generally remember, you’re always being scouted.

With all of these lists of attributes, you’d imagine it would be easy to write a player off fairly quickly. The idea is to stay at the top of as many of these lists (skills, behavior, maturity, academics, etc.) as possible. It’s not always easy. Organizations like Nine Baseball can do a great deal of service to a young athlete trying to make sure he gives himself the best edge when it comes to scouts. It is definitely a tough thing to do on your own.

All in all, scouts want to see you do well. If you’re a nice guy, almost everyone does. Scouts have to be careful though. Once they back a player, scout are connected to them for a long time. If a scout has too many busts, it can hurt their career. But, if you maintain a proper work ethic, develop your skills, and keep your off the field life in line, you can show any scout that you’re worth the risk. Someday, they’ll be glad they took a chance on you.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

College coaches attending Nine events in August

Thanks to all of the college coaches that attended our events in August. 

Nine Select Showcase
Seton Hill
Virginia Tech
Penn State
St Vincent
Virginia Commonwealth
Mount Aloysius

Nine Baseball PA State Travelball Championships
Seton Hill
Penn State
Wake Forest

Top Performances 2012 Nine Select showcase

he Nine Baseball Select Showcase was held on August 4th at Altoona’s beautiful Peoples Natural Gas Field.  The professional style showcase featured some of the best High School baseball players in the region.  The participants had the opportunity to show off their skills for a variety of college coaches.  Colleges in attendance were Winthrop, Penn State, Millersville, Seton Hill, Shippensburg, Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth, St Vincent and Mount Aloysius.  

The coaches in attendance were very impressed with the overall quality of player across the board.  The coaches and scouts at the park for the workout, take down their own numbers in evaluating the players up close.  The Nine Baseball staff compiles as much measurable information as possible for your feedback.  Keep in mind that Peoples Natural Gas field with its soft and thick natural grass surface is a slow track.  Most players 60 times were above what they are used to running due to the surface.  Scouts and coaches always take the surface into consideration in their evaluation.  The radar readings for position players are often not considered by evaluators, who prefer to grade arms from the field by vision alone.  This year I have gotten more interest than ever from schools that could not make the event, as well as schools in attendance that wanted more information on the players attending.  There were a number of 2013 grads that solidified their place as  college recruits and a number of younger players that put themselves on the radar of the baseball world.  

The Nine staff has gone over the video and talked with college coaches.  Here are our thoughts on the top Nine performances of the day.  (In no particular order)

David Vaccaro 2013 SS 5’10” 180lbs Fairpoint HS, Penfield, NY
David showed the skills of a complete player.  He doesn’t wow scouts with one tool in particular but had an outstanding batting practice spraying line drives all over the field.  David ran a solid 7.05 and threw 82 across the diamond.  Still uncommitted, David would be an outstanding addition to any ballclub.  

Steve Sada 2013 MIF/OF 5’8” 155lbs Saegertown HS, Saegertown, PA
Steve turned in a very fast 6.75 and has displays very good game use of his speed.  His 80 mph from the field indicates enough arm to stay in the middle of the diamond.  Steve’s approach at the plate is perfect for a top of the lineup catalyst at the college level.  He is uncommitted at this time.

Travis Blankenhorn 2015 SS 6’1” 185lbs  Pottsville HS, Pottsville, PA
Nine Select had some of the best 2015 recruits on the east coast, Travis is definitely on that list.  He consistently squares up the ball, making consistent hard contact.  A slick fielder he may outgrow shortstop but will be athletic enough to stay there

JJ Matijevic 2014 Corner Inf  6’1” 195lbs  Norwin HS, North Huntington, PA
The left handed hitting Matijevic was simply the best bat at the Nine Select event and one of the best power prospects in the East.  More athletic than last year, he has the arm and the look of a high level Division 1 3B.  JJ has participated in Perfect Game Junior National in Minneapolis and was East MVP of the PG National Game in San Diego.  

Darian Herncane 2013 OF 6’ 185lbs  State College HS, State College, PA
Darian turned in a electric performance that had people talking after the Nine Select event.  His 6.67 60 yard dash was the best of the day.  He blistered the ball in batting practice, especially to his pull side.  He has a strong, accurate arm should keep him in centerfield on the college level.  He is among the best remaining uncommitted players in the 2013 class on the east coast.  

Ryan Karstetter 2015 SS 6’3” 192lbs  State College HS, Port Matilda, PA
Karstetter passes the “look” test before he even takes the field.  When he does take the field he stands out even more, as a potential big time recruit, with one college coach mentioning “he might as well be wearing a polka dot uniform out there.”  Surprisingly fast and athletic for his size, it is not hard to see him staying at shortstop on the next level, but profiles as the traditional power hitting 3B.  

Kyle Datres 2015 SS 6’ 170lbs  Loyalsock HS, Williamsport, PA
Datres has emerged as a top talent in the 2015 class in PA.  Strong armed and athletic he profiles as a high level D1 shortstop.  Consistent hard contact with the barrel of bat with an advanced approach, he can develop into an offensive force at shortstop.  

Luca Farina 2014 OF 6’1” 210lbs  Pittsburgh Central Catholic, Murraysville, PA
Strong armed and surprisingly athletic for his size, Luca ran a 7.1 (coming off a hamstring pull) and threw 86 from outfield.  A legitimate switch hitter, he could be a premium college bat from the left side.  Luca was selected to the Perfect Game Jr Nationals in Minneapolis earlier in the summer.  

Culver Hughes 2015 Rhp 6’3” 160lbs  West Chester East HS, Exton, PA
Culver topped out at 83 mph with his fastball and showed the beginnings of quality off-speed pitches.  Advanced with his mechanics and easy arm action, he can develop into a big time college recruit as he gets bigger and stronger.  

nine more to watch......

Jason Costa 2013 C/inf  6’2” 180lbs  State College HS, Port Matilda, PA
Jason is an athletic catcher, that is very solid behind the plate.  Strong armed and barrels the ball well.  Would be a solid addition and add versatility to a quality college program.  

Dan Fry 2013 OF/Rhp  5’11” 180lbs  State College HS, State College, PA
Fry showed a complete repertoire of quality stuff on the mound and pitched above his radar gun readings, topping out at 83 mph.  Dan also turned in a solid 7.01 60 time and has a quality bat from the left side.  He brings legitimate two way potential to a college program

Colin Janov 2014 OF 5’10” 170lbs  Franklin Regional HS, Murraysville, PA
Colin turned in a very fast 6.76 on a slow track.  He showed enough arm to use his speed in centerfield on the college level.  

John McGinley 2015 Rhp/MIF 5’8” 160lbs  Altoona HS, Altoona PA
Athletic and with arm strength McGinley put himself on the college radar with his performance.  

Brandon Kinneman 2013 1b/Lhp 6’3” 190lbs  West York HS, York, PA
A traditional “pitchability” Lhp and with some pop at the plate Brandon is going to be a steal for a program that lands the uncommitted 2013.  Leader in West York’s run to the PIAA State Championship.  

Brett Kinneman 2015 OF/Lhp  5’11” 170lbs  West York HS, York, PA
Another quality 2015 prospect.  Athletic with an advanced approach from the left side
of the plate, Brett will be a high level D1 prospect.  

Dylan Gutierrez 2013 Rhp/C  6’ 185lbs  Waverly HS, Waverly, NY
The strongest arm at the event, Dylan was hindered by a sore arm, Dylan is capable of hitting 90 on the mound.  New to catching, he shows interesting ability at the position

Eli Nabholz 2015 Rhp  6’5” 210lbs   Pottsville HS, Pottsville, PA
Eli has the frame of a big time Rhp.  Hitting 84 mph he has the makings of power arm with quality secondary stuff.  

Ben Snyder 2014 C/3B 5’10” 195lbs  Red Land HS, Etters, PA
Ben is a solid catcher in the traditional mold.  Quality movement behind the plate with a strong arm.  Good approach at the plate with the ability to barrel the ball to all fields.    

More names to know...
Justin Datillo 2013 C  North Allegheny HS, Pittsburgh, PA
Connor Bawiec 2014 Rhp  Cedar Crest HS, Lebanon, PA
Nolan Myers 2013 C Hempfield HS, Landisville, PA
Cam Ott 2014 C Montoursville HS, Montoursville PA
Noah Smith 2014 Rhp/OF Norwin HS, Irwin PA
Tanner Cook 2014 OF Huntington Area, Huntington PA
Caleb Walls 2015 OF State College HS, State College PA
Trenton Martin 2015 Rhp/Inf  Altoona HS, Altoona PA
Brady Lloyd 2015 Inf Miflinburg HS, Miflinburg, PA
Jaret Beardinelli 2015 C/Inf  Altoona HS, Altoona PA
Zach Helsel 2015 OF/Rhp  Altoona HS, Altoona PA
Kyle Peterson 2015 Rhp State College HS, State College, PA
Nathan Bearer 2013 Rhp Cambria Heights HS, Carrolltown, PA
Hunter Bordner 2015 3b/Rhp Tri Valley HS, Hegins, PA
Logan Goodnight 2016 MIF, Wheeling, WV
Ben Finlan 2013 Rhp, State College HS, State College, PA
Michael Osinski 2014 Rhp, Vestal HS, Vestal, NY
Mike Owens 2013 Rhp, Pope John Paul, Pottstown, PA
Derek Cursio 2016 Lhp, Bishop Guilfoyle HS, Altoona, PA