Prospects In Person: Lafayette College

March 20, 2024

So, as a bit of a caveat on what you’re about to read here, Lafayette’s visit to Rutgers to play at Bainton Field on Wednesday afternoon wasn’t the easiest for any sort of evaluator. Cold and windy conditions with some occasional rain that featured some occasional downpours aside, while the Leopards have produced some recent MLB Draft picks like Jake Bloss and Justin Johnson (both of whom transferred to bigger schools after three years) just two years ago, their Patriot League program is currently not on the same level as that of the Big 10’s Scarlet Knights, who were arguably a snub from the NCAA Tournament over the last few years and are inarguably on a serious uptick.

An 18-6 final score in favor of Rutgers in a game in which it was mutually agreed upon by both teams to end it after just six and a half innings — it was 18-1 at one point — is a fair representation of what was seen.

Lafayette pitching recorded just three strikeouts, and five of their ten hits at the plate came over the last two innings off of some arms that you might typically see in such a game situation. With all that said, there were a handful of players who still managed to stand out.

Easton Brenner is a 5-foot-10, 185-pound junior outfielder who served as the designated hitter, and racked up both of his base hits against Rutgers starter Ben Gorski, who was likely the best arm they had on display. Athletic frame, showed good approach in taking offspeed through the left side on his first AB and a fastball also to his pull side the second time through. Average to slightly above runner. Would have liked to have seen in outfield. Hard to see as pro prospect moving forward with little sustained production and no true standout tool, minimal pop, but competes at the plate. Might be a “show me” type as a fourth outfielder in an indy league suited to players coming out of college, like the Frontier League.

Blaze Fadio is perhaps a bit more interesting with more to work with on a six-foot, 195-pound frame, but is also a senior with little in the way of sustained, long-term production that would attract enough interest at the next level. Lafayette’s starting left fielder on Wednesday, Fadio performed well at the plate with two hits and didn’t look out of place defensively despite primarily serving as his club’s regular second baseman this year. Showed line drive approach with runner on in the first, taking one to his pull side, and wasn’t fooled by deceptive sidearmer Sam Portnoy later in the game, working in the middle of the field with hard contact back up the box. Versatility is a plus. Likely another player who would have to go the indy route to try to get a chance.

Past that? There truthfully wasn’t much to pass along, with most of the lineup struggling against a higher echelon club, and the arms mostly sitting in the mid to high 80’s.

Mike Ashmore
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