LOWELL, Mass. -- LeLacheur Park hosted an East Coast Pro/Prospect Development Pipeline event Wednesday, when Major League scouts had the chance to observe some of the top high school baseball prospects in the New England area.:: Complete 2018 Prospect Development Pipeline coverage ::The event was part of a multi-day tryout
LOWELL, Mass. -- LeLacheur Park hosted an East Coast Pro/Prospect Development Pipeline event Wednesday, when Major League scouts had the chance to observe some of the top high school baseball prospects in the New England area.
:: Complete 2018 Prospect Development Pipeline coverage ::
The event was part of a multi-day tryout for the East Coast Pro team. Players who make the team will compete in a showcase tournament in August, when they will get more exposure to scouts.
USA Baseball and Major League Baseball partnered to develop the PDP program to help amateur baseball players be identified and developed as they work to advance their playing careers. The scouts saw New England prospects take part in 60-meter sprints, batting practice, pitching, and throwing and fielding exercises. Throughout those drills, six players stood out among the rest.
Here are some of the names to remember from the PDP event in Lowell:
Trejyn Fletcher, OF
Fletcher, a Vanderbilt commit from Portland, Maine, is no stranger to showcase events. He also competed in a showcase at Yankee Stadium last year, demonstrating to scouts he can compete -- and succeed -- against older players. One scout said he was impressed with Fletcher's speed, clocking his 60-yard sprint at 6.65 seconds. And Fletcher's long, athletic frame suggests he has the potential to develop into a stronger player. A scout also noted that Fletcher had a strong arm, with plenty of carry on his throw, projecting him for success as an outfielder.
Evan Sleight, OF
Sleight showed promise in the PDP. However, scouts said his future might not be in center field. One scout said he fit the profile of a corner outfielder better because of his strong, sturdy build. To be successful in that role requires a powerful arm and swing, and Sleight fits the bill, especially with his arm, one scout said. The Virginia commit from Framingham, Mass., impressed with his throws from the outfield to the plate.
Kellan Tulio, 1B/LHP
Tulio may be experienced at first base, but a scout said he envisions the Louisville commit as a full-time pitcher because of his exceptional arm. Tulio whipped a fastball from the high three-quarter slot that touched 90 mph, but it was his curveball that set him apart. At 72-76 mph, Tulio's curve turns with a hard downward break and strong spin. Combined with his muscular build, Tulio, an Emmaus, Penn., native, stood out on the mound.
Shawn Rapp, LHP
Clocking in with an 85- to 86-mph fastball, Rapp, a North Carolina commit from Mendham, N.J., left a notable impression on scouts. But one scout said his curveball was the highlight. The 72- to 73-mph pitch sweeps across the zone from the left side with impressive spin. Rapp delivers his pitches from the low three-quarter slot, making his offerings naturally more deceptive to hitters.
Bobby Zmarzlak, OF
Off all the prospects to step up to the plate, one scout lauded Zmarzlak as the most powerful hitter of the bunch. The scout was impressed with Zmarzlak's swing and ability to drive the ball deep into center field. Zmarzlak, a Maryland commit, is from Stamford, Conn. While the scout said Zmarzlak's arm needs some refining, it is his powerful swing that will likely define him as a player. If the young outfielder can strengthen his wiry frame, that power will only build.
Kenny Schechter, RHP
Schechter stood out right away for his long, sturdy frame, suggesting a high ceiling for his strength and build. Scouts praised his 87- to 90-mph fastball, which sinks away from the arm and makes it tougher to hit. The way Schechter's slider cuts across the zone with depth left scouts impressed by the pitcher from Newtown, Mass. The best part? The young hurler threw strikes during his stint on the mound, which, one scout said, was a promising sign of what could come from him in the future.
Blake Richardson is a reporter for MLB.com.