Much like avid Major League Baseball fans who will be closely monitoring social media for any breaking news before Friday’s trade deadline, local high school stars have been using Twitter and the like to publicize their college commitments this summer.
The Class of 2016 — considered by some to be the most talented collection of baseball players in the Lower Hudson Valley in recent memory — has been getting scooped up by well-known Division I programs. Each week has brought more good news for the locals, with the growing list of future D-I players becoming more impressive by the day.
“I’ve definitely taken notice,” said Mamaroneck third baseman Peter Matt, who recently gave a verbal commitment to the University of Pennsylvania. “I would say most kids follow it closely and word spreads quickly about the commitments soon after they happen. Almost everyone posts on Twitter right after it happens and then everyone knows about it.”
Traditionally, many of the top players in the area have stayed in the northeast for college — which Eastchester’s Greg Satriale and John Jay’s Justin Drpich will do after committing to Binghamton this month — but a handful from the Class of ’16 have decided to migrate south.
Byram Hills star Frankie Vesuvio, who was named The Journal News’ Westchester/Putnam player of the year last month, recently committed to West Virginia. Pleasantville right-hander Drew Marino will be heading to the University of Houston, while Fox Lane right-hander Aaron Winkler has settled on the University of Richmond.
Proud to announce I’ve committed to play D1 baseball at the University of Richmond #GoSpiders
— aaron winkler (@Awinkler88) July 10, 2015
Harrison left-hander Dean McCarthy decided on Elon University last week, where he’ll become teammates with high school rival George Kirby of Rye. And two from Iona Prep — catcher Chris Dutra (Duke) and right-hander Matt Mancino (Clemson) — also made their decisions this summer.
Proud to announce that I will be continuing my baseball career at Duke University! Huge thank you to everyone who helped me get here
— Moose (@ChrisDutra13) July 14, 2015
A pair of the most high-profile recruits from the Lower Hudson Valley are teammates at Connecticut’s Brunswick High. Right-hander Ted Sabato, a Rye Brook resident, has committed to North Carolina and left-hander Ryan Popp, a Rye resident, has decided on Villanova.
“I think it’s awesome how many people from this area are going to amazing colleges,” Winkler said. “I don’t remember hearing this many kids committing to great schools in past years. It’s really exciting and I’m looking forward to see where else people commit. The 2016 class definitely has a multitude of talent.”
Verbally committed to play baseball at Clemson University. Thank you to everyone who has helped me get to where I am today #GoTigers
—Matthew Mancino (@matthewmancino) July 17, 2015
What is convincing southern coaches to give local players a serious look?
A big part of it is the collection of arms that the Class of ’16 has produced. Kirby, Vesuvio, Marino, Sabato and Popp make it five locals who have reportedly been clocked at 90 mph, and college coaches love guys who can bring the heat.
But the best of the best from the Lower Hudson Valley have also made an effort to be seen. That means devoting their summers to attending showcases around the country.
“As soon as the high school season was done, I had a week off and then I went south for three weeks,” Vesuvio said. “It started at the ‘Perfect Game National Showcase’ (in Fort Myers, Fla.). We played almost every day and traveled the East Coast until we finished in Atlanta. There were tons of scouts at every game and plenty of phone calls.”
— Frankie Scene (@frankievesuvixo) July 24, 2015
While several of the best soon-to-be seniors in the area have been claimed by D-I colleges so far this summer, there should be a few more to follow. But before these players take their talents to the next level, they have one final high school season to look forward to next spring.
It should make for another exciting year after Mamaroneck and Byram Hills captured state championships in 2015, particularly in a league which will feature four Division I pitchers. Vesuvio, Kirby, Satriale and McCarthy form a quartet of aces that should make League II-D — which includes Byram, Rye, Eastchester and Harrison — among the most competitive in Section 1.
“It’s definitely a strong group of pitchers, and we’re all still growing and getting better,” Kirby said. “For me, I can’t stand losing to Byram, so that should be a nice battle next year.”