The New York Nine is honored to announce the collegiate commitments of some members of our class of 2017. We congratulate these student-athletes and their families and know they will represent the organization professionally at the next level.
Daniel Alfonzo INF – Adelphi University
After carrying Bayside High School offensively to the 2017 PSAL “B” Division Championship in New York City, the offensively explosive Alfonzo opted to remain closer to home, spurning larger out of state offers, and will bring his talents to Garden City. Alfonzo possesses tremendous raw power, as he was selected to represent New York City in the prestigious Power Showcase at Marlins Park in Miami in late December. With playable middle infielders hands, he has the potential to become an above average corner defender, while his ability to turn around any fastball will make him a draft selection at some point during his amateur career, possibly as early as June.
Brendan Brooks INF – UC Irvine
With elite middle infield tools, Brooks drew more “did he really just do that?” than anybody. Brendan has exceptional barrel to ball skills and is a good base runner due to his plus instincts and better than average speed. He is also capable of helping on the mound with a high 80s fastball and a knuckleball that will give him a chance to play the game long term should he ever want to focus on its development. Brendan was committed to UC Irvine prior to his arrival for the summer 2016 season.
Austin Cole RHP – Adelphi University
The 6’7″ Cole possesses a loose, clean arm and the type of lanky frame that collegiate coaches and pro scouts search for. Still in his pitching infancy, Austin will continue to get better as he begins to hone his mechanics and gets stronger. Even though there is more work to do, Austin is already up to 91 mph and possesses the type of upside the collegiate and pro communities look for. He is an easy going kid and is as coachable as they come with the translatable athleticism to play the game at the professional level.
Michael Garcia INF/P – University of Rio Grande (OH)
Four year George Washington High School varsity starter Mike Garcia will bring his passionate play and on field leadership to the University of Rio Grande in Ohio in the fall of 2017. Garcia plays the game hard every time out and inspires his teammates through his individual efforts and his vocal encouragement. Whether a key bunt, hit or high pressure defensive play, Garcia doesn’t shy away from the key moment in the game where many would feel “pressure”. To top it off, the Trojan closer competes with an aggressive mid 80’s fastball and solid slider combination which gives the Red Storm an incoming dual threat.
Shandon Herrera RHP/OF – Lubbock Christian (TX)
“Chango” is one of the more interesting roster members of our Scout team. Extremely humble and a fantastic teammate, Herrera offers one of the most athletic sets seen by the Nine in recent years. After passing on offers from major D1 programs, he decided help alleviate the financial burden of college on his parents as well as compete as a two-way player. A super competitive RHP who has been up to 93 with a loose, quick arm and a plus slider, Herrera projects as a player who should one day see 96 plus. Couple that with all around plus offensive tools and desire to be the best player on the field, Shandon may not be much longer for amateur athletics.
Preston Milano INF – Queens (NY) College
St. Francis Preparatory’s defensive leader Milano will transition from a Terrier to a Knight in the fall of 2017 as he looks to solidify Chris Reardon’s infield at Queens College. Milano is a “set it and forget it” middle infielder who is as reliable as they come. Milano is able to anchor both middle infield spots as well as offer an athletic option with plus hands at the hot corner. Preston is the type of selfless player who will do whatever is needed with a team first mentality. A tough out, Milano’s strength is a gap to gap approach that will wear out the right center field gap when he going well.
Mark Novello LHP – Adelphi University
Novello, from Archbishop Molloy HS in Queens, New York won’t be venturing to far to continue his education and athletic development. The southpaw will be heading to Garden City’s Adelphi University and playing under head coach Dom Scala. Novello features a deceptive three pitch arsenal in which he is able to repeat his mechanics and deliver any offering at any time. Slight in stature, Mark is a highly focused and driven competitor who has repeatedly proven the ability to get the other team’s best hitters out.
Dimitri Papazoglou LHP – Queens (NY) College
The LHP Papazoglou pitched Bayside HS to the PSAL “B” division crown in 2016, not allowing an earned run throughout the entire playoff stretch. At 6’2″ 155 lbs there is plenty of projection as the low 3/4 slot, low 80s fastball will improve drastically once he gets bigger and stronger. Dimitri also offers an 11 to 5 curveball and tighter slider that projects to improve as he gains strength to go with a solid average changeup. A fierce competitor who has the desire to constantly improve, Papazoglou will make his mark this year as one of the city’s premier port side arms as well as his next four years for the Knights.
Rory Smith C – Cal Baptist University
The Riverside, California backstop provides a very advanced maturity and in game feel behind the dish. Smith will bring his on field leadership and plus defensive skills to the Lancers in the fall of 2017. Offensively, Smith stays in the power alleys with solid barrel feel and occasional long ball power. Rory was committed prior to his summer 2016 arrival.
Nate Webb C/UTIL – UC Riverside
Webb is a strong and stockily built athletic high energy athlete with present plus power, who is a textbook “gamer” by definition. Self confident and aware, but far from arrogant, Webb possesses a loose, quick arm on the bump which has allowed him to see 92mph with more in the tank as well as a low 1.8s POP time from behind the dish. A middle of the order staple, Webb is capable of delivering a tape measure blast at any time. Nate was committed to UC Riverside prior to his summer 2016 arrival.