Pictured: Kolby Pascarelli was the winning pitcher for Coginchaug when it captured the CIAC Class S championship in June. (Photo by Paul Augeri)
By Paul Augeri
UConn commit Kolby Pascarelli is one of 13 New England prospects who will represent the Boston Red Sox scout team at an upcoming showcase event in Florida.
Pascarelli, who starred at Coginchaug and pitched the Blue Devils to the Class S championship in June, is rostered as a pitcher and first baseman for the WWBA World Championship, which runs Oct. 7-11 at the spring training complex in Jupiter shared by the Cardinals and Marlins.
The showcase is billed as the top scouting attraction in all of amateur baseball. More than 700 Major League Baseball scouts and college coaches are expected to attend. Teams are guaranteed to play four games. Wood bats are used.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity,” said Pascarelli, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound left-hander. “My team has two who are uncommitted who are there for college attention, but the rest of us want to get draft looks.”
Pascarelli is currently a postgrad at St. Thomas More in Montville. He went the fifth-year route because the UConn roster had a number of pandemic-holdover players returning in 2022, and also to improve his academic standing before starting college.
“I wanted to make sure too, that I had an extra year with my arm to get it where I want it to be,” said Pascarelli, who is on scholarship at UConn as a pitcher.
St. Thomas More has weekday practices in the fall. Pascarelli, who is not playing fall ball, said he uses the weekends for weight training and to finetune his pitching mechanics at Cressey Performance in Massachusetts. The velocity on his fastball has ticked up from 84 to 88 mph during his senior season at Coginchaug into the 86-89 range, he said.
The biggest strides have been made with his off-speed pitches. And he’s added a changeup as well.
“I haven’t really been attacking my velocity training, I’ve been more dissecting my move on the mound to create more velocity in the long run,” Pascarelli said. “My off-speed pitches have been developing really well. My slider went from 75 to 80, which has made my pitching arsenal way different. What we’ve focused on before this (Florida) tournament is getting my slider up.”
Since having Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2019, he said his arm strength is 100 percent.
“We’re being smart with it,” said Pascarelli, who was 11-0 with an ERA around 1.60 during Coginchaug’s run last spring to its first state championship in 49 years. “After this (Florida), I’m going to shut it down for two months to give my arm time to recover from the high school season and this tournament.”
The Red Sox scout team is one of just two at the showcase based out of New England – the other is Northeast Baseball National, a club team — although players from the region are on rosters elsewhere. Pascarelli is the only player from Connecticut on the Red Sox’s team.
“I’m there mostly to pitch,” said Pascarelli, “but if I have a good day with the bat too, hopefully that gets attention too.”