The Snow Cats finished the 2020 Interstate Collegiate Baseball League campaign with the best regular season record. The Orioles reigned in the playoffs. Phil Ferranti, AJ Gartland, Tyler Holmes, Mark Trotta and Pat Bigham earned end-of-the-season honors. Here is rundown of some of the season’s top performers.
John Gassler: 6-foot-1, 190-pound LHP (New York University)
Gassler is one of the more overpowering pitchers in the league. He sits 87-90 with his fastball and pairs it nicely with a variety of slurvy breaking balls. Gassler boasts the best spin rate (2300) on his breaking ball amongst all qualified ICBL pitchers. He posted gaudy strikeout numbers as he fanned 46 hitters in 20.0 innings of work. Gassler had punched out 20 of the first 21 batters he had faced to begin his season. Gassler has a relentless work ethic which will definitely work in his favor. He is an intriguing college prospect to watch over the next couple of years.
Santino Rosso: 5-foot-10, 185-pound 3B/SS (Hofstra University)
One of the more toolsy players in the ICBL. Rosso is a switch hitter who has shown the ability to hit for power from both sides of the plate. Rosso led the Cardinals with his three home runs and 19 RBI. He has defensive versatility, although his best position is third base. He has plus arm and has a knack for making athletic plays in the field. He rounds out his skill set with plus speed as a runner. Rosso has put himself in the conversation to be the best all-around position player in the league.
Noah Campanelli: 6-foot-1, 170-pound INF (St. John Fisher College)
Campanelli is one of the more patient hitters in the league. He has a distinctive eye at the plate allowed him to lead the league in walks (29). In the field, he has played all over the diamond at 2B/3B/SS. He profiles more as a second baseman given the arm strength. Overall, he is one of the more intriguing young players at St. John Fisher College.
Chris Sleeper: 6-foot-1, 180-pound RHP (Rush-Henrietta High School)
One of the youngest players in the league, the West Virginia Commit will be entering his senior year at Rush-Henrietta High School. Sleeper can run his fastball up to 91mph and as result was able to overpower hitters. He struggled with his command which led his high walk rate. Overall, Sleeper has tremendous upside and should be one of the best pitchers Section V has to offer in the spring.
Jeff Wilson: 5-foot-10, 185-pound OF (LeMoyne College)
Wilson is one of the more complete offensive players in the league. His hit tool is the strongest of them all. He consistently elevated the ball which led to his tremendous offensive production. Wilson hit three home runs during the summer, which came as no surprise given his hot start at the plate during the spring at LeMoyne. Wilson profiles more as a RF with a plus arm. He will look to build on his hot start last spring at LeMoyne.
Jackson DeJohn: 6-foot-3, 185-pound C/RHP (St. Bonaventure University)
DeJohn is an excellent defensive catcher. He possesses a plus-plus arm and receives the baseball well. DeJohn has adopted receiving pitches from his knee in an effort to steal strikes for his pitching staff. Given the plus arm strength, DeJohn also limits the run game. On the mound, he has a bright future on the mound as his low 90’s high spin fastball overpowered hitters all throughout the summer.
Will Porter: 5-foot-9, 160-pound OF (Rochester Institute of Technology)
Porter patrolled centerfield for the ICBL Cardinals. His best tools are his speed and bat to ball skills. Porter’s plus speed allowed him to chase balls down in centerfield as well as wreak havoc on the base paths. He possesses a knack for getting a good jump on the ball off contact. Porter stole a league high 18 bases. He consistently made contact and put the ball in play and showed the ability to bunt for a base hit.
Tyler Holmes: 5-foot-11, 215-pound C (University of Hartford)
Holmes combines plus arm strength with a seamless transition of ball from mitt to release, uncanny knack for accuracy on delivery to second base (after throwing a pair of runners early in the season, would-be base stealers stayed close to the bag at first). He has elite level blocking skills behind the plate as evidenced by his ability to easily go from crouch using his shin guard to keep sliders in the dirt in front of him. He controls the game through his pitch-calling and previously mentioned arm strength. A vocal leader on the field, he understands and communicates cut-off plays and first and third defense, elite-level framing ability.
Jagger Nucci: 6-foot-1, 190-pound INF/RHP (St. Bonaventure University)
Nucci was one of the best defensive-minded infielders. His soft hands, quick transfer and range allows for him to be an excellent middle infielder. Nucci also showed upside on the mound posting 2.23 ERA and baffling hitters with his curveball. He is an intriguing prospect heading into his freshman campaign at St. Bonaventure.
Tyler Griggs: 5-foot-9, 180-pound INF (Central Arizona College)
Griggs is a high energy player and shows numerous tools. Griggs is one of the better all-around hitters in the league as he consistently made hard contact. He also possesses a distinctive eye at the plate. Griggs played all over the infield, but most of his time came at third base. He has a plus arm which would allow for him to stick at the position. His plus speed allowed him to steal bases and leg out extra base hits.
Dylan Mackenzie: 6-foot, 180-pound INF (SUNY Cortland)
Mackenzie proved that his bat is a force to reckon with. Going into the final week of the season, Mackenzie had blasted a team leading four long balls and had driven in 18 runs. Aside from the homers, he showed the ability to consistently hit the ball gap to gap. In the field, Mackenzie mainly played shortstop and showed plus range and plus arm strength.
Nick Serce: 6-foot-1, 265-pound LHP/1B (Alfred State)
Serce is another two-way player who excelled at both positions. After a slow start at the plate, Serce found his groove and made consistent hard contact driving the ball into the gaps. On the mound, Serce sat in the low 80s with his fastball and paired it nicely with his 72-mph changeup and finished with a 1.87 ERA.
Ed Hall: 6-foot-3, 180-pound INF/RHP (McQuaid Jesuit)
Hall is an intriguing high school prospect. The wiry Hall has a plus arm and bat. He showed the ability to play all infield positions. Hall possess a plus hit tool and has the potential to grow into his power as he matures. On the mound, his fastball runs into the mid 80s. Overall, Hall is a prospect to keep an eye on going into next spring.
Carter Clark: 6-foot-3, 235-pound 1B (Hilton High School)
Clark has plus power. As one of the younger hitters in the league, he showed the ability to consistently put the ball in the air and drive the ball to all fields. He has a simple approach at the plate which allows for him to be on time. Given the size, Clark profiles as a first baseman with plus power moving forward.
AJ Gartland: 6-foot-1, 200-pound LHP (Alfred State)
Gartland showed to be one of the more polished pitchers. The 6-foot-1 lefty throws from a low three quarters angle and consistently sat 83-85 with his fastball. Gartland’s pitch ability is what stands out the most. He is able to hit his spots consistently and baffles hitters with his curveball. Gartland led the league with his sparkling 0.20 ERA and 48 strikeouts.
Rojo Prarie: 5-foot-11, 195-pound RHP (William & Mary)
Prarie used his low 90’s fastball almost exclusively during the summer. Prarie was able to dot the black and racked up the strikeouts (47). He also showed a slider in the low 80’s. Prarie was used mainly in relief but in his only start he took a no-hit bid into the fifth inning.
Alec Teska: 6-foot, 170-pound RHP (St. John Fisher College)
Teska flashed a solid 3-pitch mix. He used an upper 80’s fastball to get ahead of hitters and pairs it nicely with his off-speed and breaking pitches. The changeup generated the most swings and misses. Teska has a smooth repeatable motion and a feel for pitching. He profiles as a front-line starter for the Fisher Cardinals.
Tyler Smith: 5-foot-11, 175-pound RHP (Monroe CC)
Similar to Gassler, Smith is one of the more sabermetrically inclined pitchers in the league. Smith’s velocity was down at the beginning of the season but was able to rebound and consistently increase his velocity each appearance. Smith punched batters and posted 38 strikeouts in 25.2 innings. The JUCO product will be an intriguing prospect for a four-year program.
Will Taylor: 5-foot-10, 135-pound LHP (McQuaid Jesuit)
The sixteen-year-old Taylor was unfazed by the collegiate competition. Taylor’s mature approach and pitch ability allowed for him to be successful. His curveball was one of the best in the league as he consistently baffled hitters. Taylor induced a lot of weak contact and that was due to the fact that he misses barrels and keeps the ball out of the heart of the plate. As Taylor fills out, his fastball should see an uptick in velocity and make his two pitch mix even more
Braden Consaul: 6-foot-1, 220-pound RHP (Fairport High School) Consaul’s most impressive outing came against the Blue Jays when he took a no-hitter into the fifth inning. Consaul punched out ten hitters including striking out the side after walking the bases loaded. Consaul has a projectable frame and consistently was able to hit 88 mph with his fastball. If he is able to develop more competitive secondary pitches, Consaul certainly has the potential to evolve into a complete pitcher.
Sean Flannery: 5-foot-11, 175-pound INF
Flannery played an important role on the league champion Orioles. He is a high-energy ballplayer. Flannery played shortstop for the ICBL Orioles and put together a fine season at the dish. He had 26 hits on his way to slashing .441. He showed advanced range and a plus arm.
Phil Ferranti: 6-foot-1, 200-pound C (Mercyhurst University)
The MVP of the ICBL, Ferranti proved the be one of the best catchers in the league. He mashed a team leading four home runs and 22 RBI. He showed excellent leadership abilities behind the plate. Defensively, Ferranti receives the ball well and also showed a plus arm behind the dish. Ferranti will look to continue his successful summer campaign at Mercyhurst.
Mark Trotta: 6-foot-1, 185-pound INF (William & Mary)
Trotta shows an advanced approach at the plate. He showed the ability to consistently barrel balls up as well as showing a distinctive batter’s eye at the plate. In the field, Trotta saw most of his time on the left side of the infield and used his plus arm to his advantage.
Gage Ziehl: 6-foot, 200-pound P/DH (Penfield High School)
The University of Miami commit has one of the highest ceilings in the league. Given a mild shoulder strain, Ziehl was limited to hitting. As a hitter, Ziehl consistently hit hard line drives from gap to gap. His top exit velocity for the summer was 100mph. Ziehl will return to Penfield for his senior year.
Allen Murphy: 6-foot, 185-pound P/OF (St. John Fisher College)
Murphy graduated from Fisher in the spring and has since been a part of numerous professional showcases. Murphy bat is his best tool. He has power to all fields. He consistently punished pitchers and deposits baseballs over the fence. Murphy also saw time on the mound. He was able to run his fastball up to 93mph. Murphy’s has an excellent off field make up which makes him an easy player to root for.
Lucas Sulimowicz: 6-foot-1, 185-pound OF/C (Finger Lakes CC)
After missing all of his junior and senior year due to injury and COVID, Sulimowicz paced himself as one of the best hitters in the league. He displayed power to all fields during the summer. He led the Monarchs in RBI (12). The FLCC commit will look to build on his stellar summer season heading into the fall.
Garrett Bell: 6-foot, 180-pound RHP (Ithaca College)
Bell was another impressive pitcher on the loaded Snow Cats roster. Bell was also used primarily in relief. He ran his fastball up to 88mph. He also saw time in the field and posted over a .300 OBP percentage.
Luke McNamara: 6-foot, 180-pound C (Rochester Institute of Technology)
McNamara, similar to Jackson DeJohn, is an excellent defensive catcher. McNamara sets up in a low stance and is able to steal strikes for his pitchers. He also blocks the ball well and controls the run game.