By Jerry Del Priore
Last week, Rawlings Sporting Goods Company and Perfect Game (a baseball recruiting service) announced its annual Rawlings-Perfect Game Preseason All-American and All-Region Baseball Squads, that recognizes the top senior high school baseball athletes in the U.S.
Four local student-athletes from the New York/New Jersey area made the 3rd Team, including No. 8 — middle infielder Andrew Compton (N.J.); No. 12 — right-handed pitcher Jason Diaz (N.Y.); No. 28 — shortstop Nick Maldonado (NJ); and No. 36 –outfielder Stephen Reid (NJ).
Andrew Compton (No. 8)
Headed to Georgia Tech in the fall on a verbal commitment, Compton is a switch hitter with good bat speed and is a solid defender who mans both third base and shortstop for his high school team, Governor Livingston in Berkley Heights, N.J.
Compton has good size at six-foot-two, 195 pounds, but high school baseball insiders believe he can fill out his athletic frame even more in the future.
Jason Diaz (No. 12)
Diaz, who lives in Franklin Square, N,Y., and attends Kellenberg Memorial HS on Long Island, sports a fastball that tops out at 93 mph.
Additionally, Diaz has a very good change-up with impressive arm speed that seems to fool left-handed batters. A nice, short breaking slider to right-handed hitters keep them on their toes.
Diaz is a good student who’s verbally committed to Miami University, with nice size at six-foot-two and 210 pounds.
Nick Maldonado (No. 28)
Maldonado hails from New Jersey and plays at Seton Hall Prep in West Orange.
The right-handed six-two, 195-pound student-athlete is an interesting prospect, as he’s a solid two-way prospect committed to Vanderbilt University, where he’ll play with Delbarton’s Jack Leiter and Anthony Volpe, both of who made Rawlings-Perfect Game Preseason All-American and All-Region Baseball First Team Squads.
Maldonado’s heater has peaked at 92 mph but he showed more feel for his secondary pitches. With that being said, he features a good curveball with tight rotation, and sports nice drop on his change-up.
As for his bat, he has a loose and fluid swing, with gap-to-gap power.
Defensively, Maldonado displays good hands and nice footwork, with ample arm strength suited for either third base or shortstop.
Stephen Reid (No. 36)
Reid attends the same high school as Compton (Governor Livingston), making for a formidable squad in the New Jersey high school diamond ranks this year.
His impressive bat speed has translated into raw pull power, and he could be a big time home run hitter as he develops.
The six-foot-one, 210 pounder seems to be ticketed for left field at the next level, which is Georgia Tech, where he’s verbally committed to, and will be a teammate of Compton’s.
Reid shows solid speed and executes his throws from the outfield with accuracy.