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The top pitcher due to arrive at NU next fall is RHP Dennis Colleran of North Attleboro (Mass.).

He's starting to blow up as he's pitched for Perfect Game and currently pitching for the Northeast Regional team (Yankees) in the Area Code games ...

His fastball has reached 96 mph already and he's only 16 years old.

This is video from a few days ago in Georgia ...


This is from New England Baseball Journal ...

Dennis Colleran

Pitcher, North Attleboro High
North Attleboro, Mass.
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 197

Colleran cemented his case over the last two weeks to earn an invitation to any showcase event he wants to attend in August. His fastball topped out at 95 mph on the Holman Stadium radar gun, and he froze American International College incoming freshman Sam Tanous with an 84-mph breaking ball. If Colleran hasn’t emerged as the top pitcher in the Northeast over the last two weeks, he’s certainly in the top tier with prospects like Roman Kimball (New Hartford, N.Y.). With the way the Northeastern commit has cruised through Futures League batting orders, there is little doubt he’ll be able to contribute at the college level right away. Scary to think he could join a pitching staff that includes Sebastian Keane (North Andover, Mass.) and Cam Schlittler (East Walpole, Mass.) in the spring of 2022.


From Baseball America ...

Colleran is still 16 and doesn't turn 17 until Aug. 20, so he's one of the youngest high school players in the 2021 class and will still be 17 on draft day. A Northeastern commit, Colleran doesn't have as high of a profile as some of the other pitchers in the region, but he has been trending up. He pitched in Brockton on July 13, when in three innings he struck out three of the 11 batters he faced with no walks, with the one run he allowed coming on a solo homer to the first batter of his appearance. He threw one inning in Nashua, retiring all three hitters he faced with two strikeouts. Colleran has a large, sturdy build for his age (6-foot-3, 230 pounds) with a long, deep arm stroke and an 89-93 mph fastball. He attacked hitters with a fastball-heavy approach in Brockton, then sprinkled in more of his offspeed stuff in Nashua. His low-80s slider flashed the most promise, ahead of a firm mid-80s changeup that he showed some feel for as well. Given his age, Colleran is an intriguing pitcher to follow to see if he has a pop in his stuff over the spring. If he does go to school, he could also develop into one of the better starting pitchers in the Colonial Athletic Association.
NU also has a power-hitting OF from Trumbull, CT in 2021 Luke Masiuk.

Perfect Game rated him a 9.5 out a 10.


And a high rated RHP from Chelmsford in Jack Beauchesne, who is rated a 9 by PG ...

Colleran is now the top New England Draft prospect according to New England Baseball Journal.

He's reached 97 mph on his FB and is expected to go high in the upcoming amateur draft. In other words, this is another Keane sweat and hope he honors his commitment.

The difference is, Keane's family had a $1M price tag to break his NU commitment. Nothing like that so far with Colleran...


North Attleboro ace Dennis Colleran Jr. is the top New England draft prospect

By Dan Guttenplan  

Unlike many Americans, Dennis Colleran Jr. isn’t in any hurry to flush out 2020.

It’s been a good year for the 6-foot-3, 220-pound power pitcher from North Attleboro, Mass. Colleran lost his junior season at North Attleboro High School due to the pandemic, only to emerge from his home-training facility in his basement as one of the hardest-throwing right-handed pitchers at any level in New England.

While showcasing his skills at the elite showcase circuit for incoming seniors this summer, Colleran topped out at 97 mph and looked every bit the part of a top pro prospect against some of the nation’s best at the Area Code Games, East Coast Pro Showcase and Perfect Game World Championship.

Among all New England high school prospects, perhaps no one other than Dexter Southfield senior Joshua Baez is better positioned to earn an early selection in the 2021 MLB Draft.

[Image: Dennis-Colleran-4.jpg]

Colleran spent the spring without organized high school baseball training in his family basement, which was originally designed as a training facility for his sister, Meg, a former UMass ace softball pitcher and 2017 Atlantic 10 Championship Most Outstanding Player.

Dennis became the primary client in the basement gym after his sister’s college graduation in 2018, and he continued his workouts this winter with a weighted-ball program and weight lifting, along with two outdoor bullpen sessions per week. When he got back on the mound in June, his fastball velocity was up about 5 mph since last summer, when he eclipsed the 90 mph barrier at the Underclass Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif.

“My biggest thing is being very flexible in terms of my legs, arm and core,” Colleran said. “It all has to be flexible, but it all has to be strong and compact. You have to have control over your body. The biggest thing that helped with the big velocity jump was putting in a program with something every day and maintaining it through baseball season. I’ve talked to dozens of pitching coaches and listened to many lectures. I’ve taken little things from all and pieced together something that works really well for me.”

Colleran always has been big for his age; North Attleboro coach Mike Hart remembers the pitcher standing out among his peers as a freshman during tryouts for the high school team.

“I remember walking in the gym and asking, ‘Who’s that big kid over there?’ He was probably 6-feet; now he’s almost 6-4. But he’s always had the same build. Seeing him throw for the first time … he threw across the diamond on a ground ball drill, and he had really impressive arm strength.”

Still, it took the freshman in a man’s body some time to get command of his coordination and nutrition. He pitched only one varsity inning as a freshman, making a relief appearance in a playoff loss. That summer, he attended a Perfect Game Tournament and raised plenty of eyebrows when he hit 88 mph on the radar gun. Suddenly, the 14-year-old who didn’t make his public school team’s varsity roster was fielding offers from Division 1 coaches.

He committed to Northeastern, feeling most comfortable with the school’s robotics program, the proximity to home, and the coaching staff led by Northeastern alumnus Mike Glavine.

“It’s a train ride away,” Colleran said. “My father went there and got his MBA. I was able to get a lot of info from him.”

In what is a natural consequence of the pandemic, Colleran will enter his senior season at North Attleboro next spring with a relatively thin list of high school accomplishments. He spent much of his sophomore school year trying to give his body a makeover. In his final season as a high school wrestler, he entered the season at 210 pounds, needing to get down to 195 pounds for a varsity spot.

“I’ve become a much better omelette and egg cooker,” Colleran said. “I eat a lot of protein. I don’t go out of my way to eat sugary foods.”

While Colleran had some dominant outings for North Attleboro as a sophomore in 2019, he didn’t get the benefit of much run support. As a result, his pitching record suffered. Still, his emergence as a top pro prospect after the pandemic isn’t exactly a story of rags to riches. He did create plenty of buzz on the showcase circuit before his junior year.

“He’s never been out of shape, but it was definitely nothing like the shape he’s put himself into now,” said Colleran’s travel coach, Chris Welch of GBG Northeast. “He’s made a full commitment to his body and health. He’s always been cerebral. He and his dad have a plan, and his biggest strength is the organized structure. He always has a routine when it comes to baseball. He’s a fun, easygoing kid off the field, but when it comes to baseball, he’s very structured.”

That structure appears to have given Colleran plenty of confidence when he steps onto the mound against New England’s top pro prospects. With a strong base and a repeatable motion, he looked every bit the part of an ace while pitching against top Futures League players in Area Code Games tryout events.

If Colleran does end up at Northeastern rather than signing a pro contract after this season, he could be part of a scary pitching rotation that includes potential high draft picks Sebastian Keane (North Andover, Mass.) and Cam Schlittler (East Walpole, Mass.).

“He was under the radar for a little while as a public school kid from North Attleboro,” Welch said. “Not anymore. He’s gone down south and played in the Perfect Game World Championship in Fort Myers (Fla.). Every pro team has seen him three or four times by now. My phone was ringing with pro scouts wanting to know when he’s pitching next. His ceiling is extremely high. He came on late, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s throwing 100 mph in May.”

Get a good look at Colleran on the mound, and the 100 mph prediction certainly doesn’t seem to be outside the realm of possibilities. He is the rare high school pitcher who can make 96 mph look effortless. In fact, it’s a fluid pitching motion that leaves observers wondering if 100 mph might even be in the tank right now, if he really decided to cut it loose.

“It’s very tempting with all of the radar guns on you to rear back and not care where it goes,” Colleran said. “My dad always taught me being able to locate the ball is the top priority. Speed and having a breaking pitch will come after. It doesn’t matter if it’s 75 mph or 105 mph if it’s 10 feet over the batter’s head. The biggest thing is throwing strikes and getting outs.”

Hart certainly hopes Colleran has plenty left in his arm at the high school level, as the coach feels almost cheated out of seeing the fireballer miss the 2020 high school season. Hart has no doubt Colleran will have a choice between going to Northeastern and signing a pro contract at the conclusion of the 2021 season.

But first? The coach just wants to see his senior ace enjoy one more season of high school ball.

“He just loves to pitch. He loves it,” Hart said. “He loves competing on the mound. If he makes a mistake, he knows it — even if it doesn’t hurt us. In our league, it’s not the worst thing if he leaves a ball over the plate. He’s reserved in some ways off the field, but he enjoys being in school with his friends, and there’s nothing he loves more than being on the mound.”

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