Wednesday, July 16, 2014

California Classic Schedule

The summer high school baseball tournaments are hitting full swing and one of the better tournaments in Southern California takes place this weekend.

The California Classic will take place July 18 - July 20 and feature some of the top teams in SoCal along with Fresno and Northern California.

Some of the top teams scheduled to participate include: Harvard Westlake, West Ranch, Orange Lutheran, JSerra, Buchanan (Fresno), Clovis West (Fresno), Alemany, Agoura, and Chatsworth among others.

Below is the full schedule.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

San Clemente Tournament Schedule

It's time for one of the best summer high school baseball tournaments in Southern California. The San Clemente Tournament annually hosts some of the top teams in the region along with top teams from out of state.

Along with the teams, the tournament showcases some of the best prospects in the region, many of whom are uncommitted at this time.

La Mirada, San Clemente, Orange Lutheran, LB Poly, Foothill, Edison, Marina, Canyon, Santa Margaria, El Toro, and Trabuco Hills are all chalk-full of uncommitted prospects on their rosters.

Below is the schedule along with game sites.

Game Sites
Aliso Niguel H.S. 28000 Wolverine Way Aliso Viejo 92656
Canyon H.S. 220 South Imperial Hwy. Anaheim 92807
El Modena H.S. 3920 Spring Street Orange 92689
Edison  H.S. 21400 Magnolia St. Huntington Beach 92646
Marina H.S. 15871 Springdale St. Huntington Beach 92649
Newport Harbor H.S. 600 Irvine Avenue Newport Beach 92663
San Clemente H.S. 700 Avenida Pico San Clemente 92673
Trabuco Hills H.S. 27501 Mustang Run Mission Viejo 92691

2014 South Coast Summer Classic Schedule

Thursday, July 17

@ San Clemente High School
2:00 PM San Clemente Vs. Basic

@ Aliso Niguel High School
2:00 PM Durango NV. Vs. So Cal Warriors
4:30 PM Aliso Niguel Vs. Forktrappers UT.

@ Trabuco Hills
2:00 PM Gorman 1 Vs. El Toro
4:30 PM Gorman 2 Vs. Trabuco Hills

@ Newport Harbor
4:30 PM Newoport Harbor Vs. North County Padres

@ Marina
2:00 PM Orange Lutheran Vs. Long Beach Poly
4:30 PM Marina Vs. Foothill

@ El Modena
2:00 PM Mater Dei11 Vs. El Modena
4:30 PM Mater Dei 2 Vs. Corona Del Mar

@ Edison
4:30 PM Edison Vs. La Mirada

@ Canyon
4:30 PM Canyon Vs. Santa Margarita

Friday, July 18

@ San Clemente High School
9:00 AM Durango NV. Vs. Forktrappers UT.
11:30 AM Durango NV. Vs. San Clemente
2:00 PM El Toro Vs. Forktrappers UT.
4:30 PM El Toro Vs. San Clemente

@ Trabuco Hills
9:00 AM Trabuco Hills Vs. Basic  NV.
11:30 AM So Cal Warriors Vs. Basic NV.
2:00 PM So Cal Warriors Vs. Long Beach Poly
4:30 PM Trabuco Hills Vs. Long Beach Poly

@ Newport Harbor
9:00 AM Newport Harbor Vs. Corona Del Mar
11:30 AM Gorman 2 Vs, Corona Del Mar
2:00 PM Gorman 2 Vs. Aliso Niguel
4:30 PM Newport Harbor Vs. Aliso Niguel

@ Canyon
9:00 AM Canyon Vs. Edison
11:30 AM Foothill Vs. Edison
2:00 PM Foothill Vs. Mater Dei 2
4:30 PM Canyon Vs. Mater Dei 2

@ El Modena
9:00 AM El Modena Vs. Gorman 1
11:30 AM Orange Lutheran Vs. Gorman 1
2:00 PM Orange Lutheran Vs. La Mirada
4:30 PM El Modena Vs. La Mirada

@ Marina
9:00 AM Marina Vs. Santa Margarita
11:30 AM North County Pads. Vs. Santa Margarita
2:00 PM North County Pads. Vs. Mater Dei 1
4:30 PM Marina Vs. Mater Dei 1

Saturday, July 19

@ San Clemente
9:00 AM San Clemente Vs. Forktrappers UT.
11:30 AM North County Pads. Vs. Forktrappers UT.
2:00 PM North County Pads. Vs. Gorman 1
4:30 PM San Clemente Vs. Gorman 1

@ Edison
9:00 AM Edison Vs. Basic NV.
11:30 AM Corona Del Mar Vs. Basic NV.
2:00 PM Corona Dal Mar Vs. So Cal Warriors
4:30 PM Edison Vs. So Cal Warriors

@ Trabuco Hills
9:00 AM Trabuco Hills Vs. Foothill
11:30 AM El Toro Vs. Foothill
2:00 PM El Toro Vs. Mater Dei 1
4:30 PM Trabuco Hills Vs. Mater Dei 1

@ Aliso Niguel
9:00 AM Aliso Niguel Vs. Durango NV.
11:30 AM El Modena Vs. Durango NV.
2:00 PM El Modena Vs. Mater Dei 2
4:30 PM Aliso Niguel Vs. Mater Dei 2

@ Marina
9:00 AM Marina Vs, Orange Lutheran
11:30 AM Gorman 2 Vs. Orange Lutheran
2:00 PM Gorman 2 Vs. La Mirada
4:30 PM Marina Vs. La Mirada

@ Canyon
9:00 AM Canyon Vs. Newport Harbor
11:30 AM Santa Margarita Vs. Newport Harbor
2:00 PM Santa Margarita Vs. Long Beach Poly
4:30 PM Canyon Vs. Long Beach Poly

Sunday, July 20th

@ San Clemente
9:00 AM Semi-Final 1
11:30 AM Semi-Final 2
2:00 PM TBD
4:30 PM Championship Game

@ Aliso Niguel
10:00 AM TBD

@ Canyon
10:00 AM TBD

@ Edison
10:00 AM TBD
1:00 PM TBD

@ El Modena
10:00 AM TBD
1:00 PM TBD

@ Newport Harbor
10:00 AM TBD

@ Marina
10:00 AM TBD

@ Trabuco Hills
10:00 AM TBD

-- Les Lukach

Monday, June 30, 2014

15U WWBA Player Notes

I'm in Georgia for the Perfect Game WWBA National Championships. Last week was the 15U division and featured over 180 teams. I saw over 30 games in six days of the tournament after arriving on the second day of the event.

I was at the new Perfect Game fields at LakePoint while the tournament took place at some 20 locations. Due to the amount of games being played at the new facility, the powers-that-be at Perfect Game decided that players were only allowed to used turf shoes or molded cleats.

Below are notes on some of the top 15U players I saw during the week.

Name Position (Bats/Throws) Grad Year  High School City Notes
Ben Jordan RHP,1B (L/R) 2017 West Carter County Olive Hill, KY At 6'8" he's a towering presence on the mound. Add his over-the-top delivery and the ball gets on hitters in a hurry. FB was 86-88 (T90) which he commands to both sides of the plate and has some run. CB was 70-72 and tight with great command. 
Brady Jones C/RHP (R/R)  2017 Central Baton Rouge, LA Very good defensive catcher who pops 1.92-2.04 consistently in-game. Moves well and blocks very well. Line drive hitter which shows occasional pop. Above average speed on the bases. On the mound uses a high 3/4 slot to command a FB that sits 87-89 and runs into RHH with loose, easy actions. 
Buddy Kennedy 3B (R/R) 2017 Memorial Millville, NJ Power hitter with the quickest bat speed I saw at the tournament. 5'11" 190 of solid muscle. Shows advanced defensive skills at 3B with good feet and body positioning. Has plus arm strength and instincts and makes every play. Will add more power. (Video)
Connor Konishi CF,LHP (L/L) 2017 Helix San Diego, CA Outstanding range in OF with plus arm strength. Great instincts for reading ball of the bat and positions himself very well to make plays. Plus speed on the bases with a smooth swing that gets the barrel in the zone. FB sat 80-83 with run in on RHH's. CB was 66-69 with tight spin that was loopy and unhittable. 4.23 to 1B from left side. 
Devin Ortiz RHP, 3B,OF (R/R) 2017 St. Joseph Regional Nutley, NJ Slick fielding player with a very quick exchange and strong arm across the diamond. Showed plus instincts with great body control. Positions himself very well and makes all the plays. Uses a high leg kick trigger to start his swing and shows a sound approach with good plate coverage. Disciplined hitter.
James Kirklin III CF (R/R) 2016 North Cobb Kennesaw, GA Flashes plus speed on the bases and in the field. Very good defensive CF with plus arm strength. Positions himself well to make strong, aggressive throws. Line drive hitter who repeatedly squares up the ball. Disciplined approach with great plate coverage. 
Jaree Pledger OF (R/R)  2017 Walnut Grove Monroe, GA Plus speed on the bases - 3.19 on a steal of 2B on wet turf wearing turf shoes. 4.13 to 1B on a line drive to RCF. Gap-to-gap hitter who keeps the barrel in the zone a long time. Swing gets a little handsy at times.
Jason Rooks OF,RHP (R/R) 2017 Walton Marietta, GA Disciplined hitter with current power. Hit the deepest HR I saw during this tournament. Average runner on the bases but good OF quickness with very good defensive instincts and a strong arm. 
Javier Valdes 3B (R/R) 2017 John A. Ferguson Miami, FL Protoypical power hitting corner INF as evidenced by his multiple HR's during the event. Disciplined hitter who doesn't bite on bad pitches. Covers the plate with a slightly closed stance. Strong defensive skills with good lateral movement and a strong arm. 
Joshua McKnight RHP,IF,OF (L/R) 2017 Central  Roaring Springs, PA Long, lean frame at 6'1" 160. Uses his long arms to produce a loose, clean delivery that is very repeatable from a high 3/4 arm slot. FB sits 82-84, CB 64-65. 
Justyn-Henry Malloy RHP,3B (R/R) 2018 St. Joseph Regional Bergenfield, NJ At 6'1" 185 he a physical presence for an incoming 9th grader. Flashed a FB that sat 80-82 with a lot of run. A high leg kick helps to hide the ball from hitters. A true 12-6 CB sat 72-73 and was unhittable in his 6IP. Was 1.19 to the plate w/runners on 1B. 
Logan Adams  C (R/R) 2017 Knoxville Christian Knoxville, TN One of the top three defensive catchers I saw at the tournaments. Moves very well laterally to block balls out of the zone. Showed very good feet and popped 2.02 - 2.13 consistently and in game. Defense is ahead of the bat but he put very good swings on the ball. 
Ma'Khail Hilliard RHP,OF (R/R) 2017 Central Baton Rouge, LA Live arm with loose actions. Varies arm slots on all pitches. High 3/4 cutter sits 79-81. Over-the-top FB sits 82-84. 3/4 CB is tight and sits 69-71. Long arms & legs with a short torso. Big time competitor on the mound. 
Matt Ruddick OF,LHP (L/L) 2017 Scripps Ranch San Diego, CA Despite a diminuitive frame (5'8" 155) Ruddick is a player. On the mound he shows a clean and easy delivery that resulted in a FB that sat 84-86 which he commands to both sides of the plate. CB sat 73-74 and kept hitters off balance all game. (Video) Shows great range in the OF to go with a very good arm. His best tool is his bat. Gets and keeps the barrel in the zone. One ACC head coach in attendance told me "he's swings like a grown man." Enough said. (Video)
Miguel Reyes 3B (R/R) 2017 Lafayette Lafayette, LA Arguably the most dangerous hitter at the tournament. Had multiple home runs and all of them were no doubters. Great mistake pitch hitter who covers all of the plate with great bat speed. Good defensive 3B with a strong arm, but it's obvious his bat is what will be his ticket. 
Richard Gilbert LHP,1B (S/L) 2017 Johnson  San Antonio, TX On the mound there is a lot to like of this southpaw. Sitting 82-84 with run on his FB, he features a true 12-6 CB that was 72-73. Showed incredible command with both pitches working them in and out. Compact delivery with a high leg kick, he stays closed and is very disciplined. Was 82 on his 76th pitch in the 7th. 
Sam Miller RHP (R/R) 2016 Cathedral Catholic Carlsbad, CA FB sits 83-85 with late tail. CH was 73-74 with late movement to it. Wore down later in the game but at 6'4" 180, there is a lot to like about the frames ability to add strength. 
Stone Scoppettuolo OF (R/R)  2016 La Jolla La Jolla, CA Stood out for his defensive ability and arm strength. Made a throw from the warning track to 3B on the fly. Showed great range in the OF and has above-average speed. Defense is a little ahead of the bat, but signs are there that the bat will catch up. 
Trei Cruz SS (R/R) 2017 Westminster Christian Miami, FL The son of former Major Leaguer Jose Cruz, Trei showed the genes definitely run in the family. Smooth actions at shortstop pair with a strong arm and innate instincts for the position. Cruz flashed plus speed on the bases with a balanced swing that gets and keeps the barrel in the zone. 
Tyler Solomon C,1B (S/R) 2017 Battlefield Haymarket, VA Big time power from both sides of the plate from a 6'4" 200lb frame. Smooth swing from a slightly closed stance with hands close to the body. Barrel gets and stays in the zone throughout the swing. Body projects to move to 1B permanently although he popped 1.91 - 2.02 in-game. Flat out ballplayer. 
Weston Bizzle RHP,2B (R/R) 2017 Crawford Mosley Lynn Haven, FL Threw an 87 pitch perfect game in which he sat 85-87 with the FB and touched 90. CB was a tight spinning pitch with deep break at 73-75. Commanded both pitches and only had two 3 ball counts. 
Zach Sehgal MIF,3B (R/R) 2017 Francis Parker La Jolla, CA Great defensive instincts with good lateral movement and a strong arm. Positions himself very well to make all plays from the SS position. Quick bat that shows line drive capability. Frame shows ability to pack on muscle in the future. 
Zack Brockman RHP,3B (R/R) 2017 Savannah Christian Savannah, GA FB sat 82-84 with run. Ball explodes out of his hand and looks, and sounds, a lot firmer. Very clean mechanics give the impression that there is more in there. CB was 68-69 and tight, deep movement. 
Zack Kokoska LHP/OF (L/L)  2017 Greater Latrobe Latrobe, PA Clean, repeatable delivery that had scouts taking notice. While the FB was at 82-83 it had plenty of run in on RHH's. Ball comes out of his hand easily. CB was 66-67 with tight spin that he located to both sides of the plates. There is a whole lot more in there.  (Video)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Don Barbara Hired as St. John Bosco Baseball Coach

Long Beach State Baseball Hall of Famer, Don Barbara, has been hired as the new head coach at St. John Bosco. He replaces Mario "Moon" Cordero who resigned from the position at the end of the 2014 season.

After an All-American season at first base and the Division I hitter of the year, Barbara was selected in the 24th round of the 1990 draft by the Anaheim Angels. He played seven seasons of professional baseball reaching AAA before returning to Long Beach State to begin his coaching career.

His coaching stops include Long Beach State, Sacramento St., and most recently, the University of Pacific where he was the recruiting coordinator and hitting instructor.

While at Long Beach State, Barbara recruited Troy Tulowitzki, Evan Longroia, Jeremy Reed, Bobby Crosby, Paul McAnulty, and Termel Sledge, all of which reached the Major Leagues.

-Les Lukach

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Player Notes 2014 Sunshine West Showcase

I worked the Perfect Game Sunshine West Showcase in San Diego, CA on June 7th and 8th. The event was based out of Southwestern College but games were held at a total of four sites. I was there in the role of scout where I had the opportunity to see every player go through the position specific workouts and batting practice.

While I didn't get to see every player play games, I did discuss every player with other scouts in attendance. Below is a list of players that stood out to me with some notes on each. I did not include players who are currently committed to colleges of which there were 13. Players are listed by graduation year with 2018 at the top.

If you're are interested in discussing players in more detail, you can reach me on Twitter @leslukach. 

Name Position B/T Grad Year High School Notes
Zack Prajner SS,RHP R/R 2018 San Marcos (San Marcos, CA) Quick first step and good lateral movement allows him to get to many balls others wouldn't. Quick release and strong, accurate arm. Not much pop at the plate currently but shows a keen understanding of the zone and plate coverage. On the mound he was 82-84 and flashed solid and consistent CB and Changeups. A true three-pitch guy.
Grant Burton OF, LHP, 1B L/R 2018 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA) One of the biggest standouts at the event, Burton showed a strong arm during OF workouts throwing 82 MPH to 3B from RF with accuracy. At the plate, Burton uses his lower half very well which allows him to keeps his hands inside the ball and generates very good bat speed. Big physical player (6'0" 180) has power potential and showed it with some deep balls during BP. Showed very good plate discipline while covering the outer half very well. Also showed speed during in game AB's.
Bradley Polinsky C S/R 2018 Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, CA) Good setup and a quick exit allowed him to pop 2.02 - 2.1 consistently and accurately. At the plate he's short to the ball and attacks the inner half with a high leg kick and quick hip rotation. Uses the lower half very well. 
Sterling Hayes MIF,3B R/R 2018 Francis Parker (San Diego, CA) Good build at 6'0" 160. Shows very good lateral quickness and above average footwork. Has enough current arm strength to make all throws. Gets to all balls he should and some he shouldn't. Bats with high hands and a semi-open stance. Uses quick hands to get the barrel through the zone where it stays through entirety of swing. Will add strength which will translate into more line drives.
Nick Donnelly 1B,3B R/R 2018 Poway (San Diego, CA) Donnelly is still growing into his body and it shows a bit on defense where his feet are a bit awkward at times. The glove plays now at 1B. At the plate, the 6'1" 182 freshman-to-be shows big power potential with a quiet, neutral stance and fast hands that gets, and keeps, the barrel in the zone throughout the swing. Also flashes some speed as evidenced by his in-game standup 3B to RCF. 
Jacob Allred OF,RHP L/R 2018 Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, CA) An incoming freshman that looks like an upperclassman on the field. Showed a strong arm that was accurate during OF workouts. Great body control that was smooth. At the plate he showed + bat speed with quick hands from a balanced approach. Maintained balance throughout the swing. 
Jared Jackson RHP,3B,OF R/R 2018 La Costa Canyon (San Diego, CA) A very live arm that shows some accuracy inconsistencies, the long, lean athlete shows incredible instincts from the OF where he has the best chance to play. At the plate he sets early and uses very fast hands to get and keep the barrel in the zone. Needs to add strength, but shows a very good understanding of the zone. 
Ben Martz C R/R 2017 Thousand Oaks (Thousand Oaks, CA) Using a good low base along with solid footwork, Martz popped 2.08-2.19 routinely. A strong, accurate arm made him stand out. While there are some things to clean up, he showed he has big time potential behind the dish. At the plate the 5'11" 160 Martz used his lower half very well. He rocks a bit into his swing with high hands but gets them through the zone quickly. 
Abbot Haffar RHP,3B,OF R/R 2017 Simi Valley (CA) The 2017 multi-position player stood out for a number of reasons. Firstly he showed a very strong, accurate, loose arm from the OF. In the INF he showed the same arm strength along with very good footwork. The bat stood out where he flashed power potential by barreling up all pitches during BP. In game he continued to show an advanced approach with very good plate coverage and discipline. 
Matthew Rudick OF,LHP L/L 2017 Scripps Ranch (San Diego, CA) Strong, accurate arm from the OF despite a smallish frame (5'7" 145). Takes very good routes to the ball with great body control. On the mound he sat 83-84 with the FB and flashed a two-plane CB that sat 72 and was unhittable. At the plate is where he'll make his name. Gets the barrel through the zone with very fast hands from an open stance. A line drive hitter, he was peppering balls to all fields all weekend. Was 3-4 against #1 overall pick, Brady Aiken, during the regular season. 
Brett Borgogno SS,OF R/R 2017 Chino Hills (Chino Hills, CA) Smooth actions in the INF workouts to go with a strong arm, body control, and very good lateral movement and instincts. Has a wide base with quick hands at the plate and flashes line drive potential. 4.42 runner to 1B.
Justin Ledgerwood 3B,1B R/R 2017 Christian (Alpine, CA) Showed well in the MIF workouts with smooth glovework. Showed better at 1B where the glove was one of the top 3 at the position. At the plate he showed a low crouching stance that allows him to explode into the ball with fast hands and good bat speed. Line drive hitter to all fields. 4.86 runner to 1B.
Jonathan Schiffer 3B,OF,RHP R/R 2017 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA) Schiffer continues to impress with consistent and smooth actions with the glove to go with a strong arm across the diamond. Uses an upright stance to generate good bat speed and gets barrel on the ball more often than not. When he fully extends he hits the ball a long way.
Blake Wagenseller OF,3B R/R 2017 Poway (San Diego, CA) Long, lean athletic speedster who was 4.37 to 1B from the right side showed a very advanced approach at the plate. Using high hands and a leg kick, he drives the ball to all fields with quick hands and a wide base. 
Kyle Hurt RHP,1B R/R 2017 Torrey Pines (San Diego, CA) Hurt is a big, physical presence at 6'2" 205 who reaches back and lets it fly touching 85 with the FB and an advanced changeup at 73-75. At 1B he shows good footwork along with solid glovework. At the plate his swing is a little long from an upright stance but flashes big time power potential. 
David Niddrie 3B,RHP R/R  2017 Torrey Pines (San Diego, CA) Flashed good glove and footwork during INF workouts to go with a strong, but sometimess erratic, arm. In game though he made all the throws and showed incredible range to both sides. Has power potential resulting from a high leg kick and power from the lower half. Showed great plate coverage both in BP and in game. 4.7 runner to 1B. 
Cole Mueller INF,C,RHP R/R 2016 Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, CA) Solid INF who shows advanced glovework to go with good feet and lateral movement. The arm is good not great. Uses an open, upright stance where he loads early and hitches his hands as his trigger. Consistent hitter in BP and in games. 
Cameron Deere 3B R/R 2016 Harvard Westlake (Studio City, CA) Showed very good footwork despite a thicker, physical build. Flashed easy, smooth actions with a strong, accurate arm in the INF. Attacks the ball with a wide base and a slight lung/kick. Gets and keeps the barrel in the zone and flashes power potential. Is a little pull happy at the moment but showed he can go the other way. 4.93 runner to 1B.
Josh Hartman INF,RHP R.R 2016 The Webb Schools (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) Showed very good feet and a strong arm along with smooth INF actions with the glove during workouts. In game he showed incredible range to both sides while playing 3B. He's quick through the zone with a quiet approach that covers the outer half well. 
Adam Lopez 3B,RHP,1B R/R 2016 Grossmont (San Diego, CA) Showed good bat speed which allowed him to barrel everything up. Flashed some power potential on some deep fly balls in game. More of a 1B than a 3B, Lopez has smooth footwork to go with a reliable glove. 
Anthony Inatsugu SS,C S/R 2016 Santa Monica Showed excellent body control during the INF/OF workout session along with above average footwork and a solid glove. Behind the plate he showed well with pops ranging from 2.01 - 2.14. Uses an upright stance and showed the ability to adjust to pitches. 
Nathan Walker C,RHP R/R  2016 Carlsbad (San Diego, CA) Popped 1.95-2.0 all weekend with great feet and a very quick transfer with every throw on the bag. During BP Walker showed big power potential hitting line drives all over the yard with a quiet approach and great weight transfer. On the mound he was 86-89 with an easy/repeatable delivery that intimates there is a lot more in there. 
Tommy Riggs MIF R/R 2016 Chaparral (Scottsdale, AZ) Plays the ball very well and aggressively. Current arm strength is a +. Uses high hands and big leg kick but is short thru the ball and keeps the barrel in the zone throughout. 
Griffin Keller 1B,OF R/R 2016 Millikan (Long Beach, CA) One of the top 3 1B at the event, he showed a strong, accurate arm across the diamon to go with great body control and a smooth glove. At the plate he uses a wide base with a slight lunge and high hands. He keeps his weight back and attacks the ball with quick hands and keeps the barrel in the zone. 
Joe Hernandez 3B,RHP R/R 2016 Rancho Buena Vista (Vista, CA) Made all throws from the OF workout although the body control was a bit sloppy. From the INF though, he showed excellent body control coupled with good hands and a strong arm. At the plate he opened eyes with big power potential and consistent hard line drives to all fields. Big, physical body (6'2" 230) should continue to develop more strength. 
Max Mehlbaum LHP,OF L/L 2016 Taft (Los Angeles, CA) Intriguing prospect on the mound where he shows a fast, quirky delivery that kept hitters off balance during his 3 IP. In the OF he lets it fly with accuracy. Throws were all on ropes. Ultimately, his future is on the bump where he is certain to add velocity with physical maturation.
Geoff McCalley OF,INF L/R 2016 Scripps Ranch (San Diego, CA) From the OF he showed a very strong, accurate arm with all throws on the bag on a rope. At the plate he's an all-fields hitter that flashes big power potential. Uses the lower half very well and keeps the barrel in the zone a long time. 
Chase Sandman LHP,OF L/L 2016 Mountain Ridge (Peoria, AZ) Big accurate arm from the OF during workouts and in game. Throws were on a rope. At the plate he showed very quick hands along with very good plate coverage. Kept the barrel in the zone with a level plane swing. 
Connor Lunn RHP,3B R/R 2016 Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, CA) At 6'3" 205, Lunn looks the part once he steps on the field, then he steps on the mound and confirms the gut feeling. Sitting 86-88 with downhill slope on his FB, he compliments it with a slider at 75 that shows a lot of depth. While he didn't throw a CB he says he's working on improving that pitch. Here is video from Steve Fiorindo from April 24, 2014. 
Charlie Verrone MIF,RHP R/R 2016 Los Osos (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) An interesting prospect in that if he showed more consistency he'd be one of the most sought out recruits in his area. Flashes very advanced glove and footwork to go with a strong arm but at times makes the routine look difficult. Accurate throws on the run are a regular and he shows good body control from both the INF and OF. Threw 90 MPH from RF - 3B. Shows a balanced open stance that allows him to get his hands inside and the barrel through the zone. 4.82 runner to 1B.
Anthony Acosta MIF,RHP R/R 2016 Simi Valley (CA) Acosta showed + glove and footwork along with a strong arm during the workout portion of the showcase. In the BP portion he flashed fast hand which produced + bat speed. A line drive hitter he showed some power potential. A bit of a pull hitter, he was 4.82 to 1B. On the mound he sat 79-82 with his FB and a sharp CB at 75 with 11-5 break. 
Jake Suddleson OF,RHP R/R 2016 Harvard Westlake (Studio City, CA) A starter for the Wolverines in the OF this past season, Suddleson shows a lot of potential at the plate and in the OF. Starts with a good base and a leg kick trigger, he keeps his hands inside the ball and gets the barrel through the zone nicely. Throws his hands and head flies open at times, but his approach is very consistent. Strong, accurate arm during the OF workouts. 
Thomas Savich INF,OF S/R 2015 Rancho Buena Vista (Vista, CA) Very quick release with a strong, accurate arm one he has the ball in glove. Showed good lateral movement and is smooth with the backhand. At the plate he has a balanced, neutral stance. Uses his hand movement as his trigger. 
Shane Nobiesky C,RHP,OF S/R 2015 Granite Hills (San Diego, CA) Very athletic catcher where he popped a whopping 1.71 during workouts. The switch hitter has a quiet approach where he uses his lower half well and generates + bat speed. A line drive hitter, he appears a bit more comfortable from the left side. 
Tyler Durna 1B L/L 2015 Ayala (Chino Hills, CA) Unquestionably the best all-around 1B at the event. Smooth, effortless actions defensively to go with a very strong, accurate arm across the diamond. Appears that the game slows down for him when on defense. + glove, + footwork around the bag. Take charge type of guy on plays he's involved in. All fields hitter that flashes power potential. Gets and keeps barrel in the zone throughout swing. 
Chris Ceballos C,3B,OF R/R 2015 Chino Hills (Chino Hills, CA) The big bodied Ceballos showed very well at all positions but made his mark with his bat. During a loud round of BP he repeatedly hit balls hard to all fields. Uses his lower 1/2 half very well and keeps the barrel in the zone which produced line drives all weekend. Popped 1.87 - 1.93 during the catching workouts with a quick release and very good footwork. 
Jake Peloquin SS,2B R/R 2015 Basha (Chandler, AZ) Strong, accurate arm with throws all at the chest of the 1B. A max effort defender who shows good lateral movement and body control. At the plate he barrels everything up from a high hands, quiet, neutral base. Power potential. 
Adre Riveroy INF,OF R/R 2015 Orange Lutheran (Orange, CA) Some of the smoothest hands at the event during INF workouts. Flashed a strong arm and good footwork as well. From the OF he showed a strong, accurate arm on all throws. He plays the ball well rather than sitting back on it. At the plate he showed quick hands with a slight load. Swing is a little choppy but he gets barrel on it more often than not. 
Michael Guerena SS,3B R/R 2015 Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, CA) Smooth feet with a reliable glove pair with a strong arm to make Guerena an intriguing prospect. More of a 3B than a SS because of uncertain range potential, Guerena's bat plays at either position. Shows an early load then attacks the inner half consistently which allows him to barrel everything up. Pepper the opposite field all weekend. 
Patrick Vizcaino MIF R/R 2015 Don Lugo (Chino Hills, CA) Showed good footwork and arm strength during INF workouts making plays to both sides. At the plate he shows a wide base with a slight back load that allows him to use his quick hands to get through the zone. An all field hitter.
Harry Gard 1B,RHP R/R 2015 Sandra Day O'Connor (AZ) Showed + glovework and range at 1B. Handled bad throws with ease. A quiet line drive swing keeps the barrel in the zone a long time and flashes power potential and regularly produces line drive hits. 
Chandler Weisz C R/R 2015 La Jolla Country Day (San Diego, CA) Receives very well with very good footwork behind the plate. Frames pitches very well. Popped 1.94 during workouts. At the plate has a quiet/balanced approach to go with quick hands. Barrel stays in the zone throughout his swing. All fields hitter.
Justin Bardwell C R/R 2015 Chino Hills (Chino Hills, CA) Popped 1.95-2.0 consistently. Stays low, even during his release. A quick transfer and regular throws on the bag made him stand out. Flashed pullside power during BP and in game AB's. 
David Evans C R/R 2015 Desert Mountain (Scottsdale, AZ)  Popped 1.87 - 2.01 all weekend despite average mechanics. A little slow out of his crouch but has a cannon for an arm that produced throws on the bag routinely. Shows power potential and produced gap-to-gap hits during BP and in game. Gets a little top hand heavy at times. 
Chasen Wilson INF S/R 2015 St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA)  Long, lean athletic build shows a smooth glove with light feet which lends itself to great range to both sides. A strong arm let him make all the throws. An upright quiet approach with quick hands allows him to turn on balls and get the barrel through zone. A line drive hitter who projects some power if the body fills out. 
Pikai Winchester INF L/R 2015 Iolani (Kapolei, HI) Great body control and lateral movement couples with a strong arm across the diamond makes him an interesting prospect. Uses an open/wide stance with quick hands to get inside the ball and pepper the opposite field. 
Justin Mellano OF R/R 2015 Sonora (Fullerton, CA) Good catch and release guy with good instincts and body control. Uses his speed to track down balls in the gaps and down the line. Uses a small step trigger to get his swing going. Is a little hipsy at time but keeps hands inside consistently. Long, lean, athletic body (6'1" 170).
Francisco Chavez SS,OF R/R 2015 Otay Ranch (San Diego, CA) Good body control with a smooth glove and strong arm, Chavez also showed the ability to get to ball deep in the hole as well as deep backhands. At the plate he stays closed with the left shoulder and shows neutral hands. Has a bit of a long extension, but he keeps the barrel in the zone. 
Zach Martinez C,OF R/R 2015 Lakewood (Lakewood, CA) During OF workouts he showed a strong, accurate arm with very good feet and body control. Balls came out and arrived on ropes. Behind the plate he has a quick exit and release but the transfer was a bit sloppy. Popped 2.01 - 2.21. Big power potential with quick hands. 4.72 runner to 1B.
Matt Hudgins OF L/R 2015 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV) Don't be fooled by the small frame (5'9" 190), Hudgins is a ballplayer. Showing a very strong/accurate arm, he kept balls on a rope during OF workout drills touching 86 to 3rd base from RF. Using an open stance, the thick OF gets the barrel in the zone and flashes big power potential. At times gets a little handsy with this swing. Was 4-5 with 2 HR, 2 1B and 2 SB in one game. 
Connor McCollum RHP,INF R/R 2015 Marina (Huntington Beach, CA) Didn't show too much at the plate or in the infield. Then he took to the mound where he sat 88-90 (T91) with a seviceable CB in the 73-76 range. Commanded both sides of the plate with the FB that features some run into RHH. Impressed enough on the mound to earn an invite to the PG National. 
Dametri Evans C,3B,OF R/R 2015 Tahquitz (Hemet, CA) Despite some sloppy mechanics behind the plate, Evans showed the most accurate arm on throws to 2B that popped in the 1.94 - 2.1 range. Big, physical body with good hands allows him to hammer balls gap-to-gap. I was told he was up to 90 on the mound recently. 
Ryan Watts OF R/R 2015 Orange Lutheran (Orange, CA) Coming off an incredibly hot second half of the season, Watts showed his big time power potential during the BP session squaring up balls repeatedly. Using a wide stance the big bodied OF keeps his weight back but gets a little handsy at times. From the OF he showed a strong, accurate arm. 
Dylan Robertson INF R/R 2015 La Jolla Country Day (San Diego, CA) Above average defender with a strong arm from 3B who shows good lateral range to both sides. Takes charge on bunts and pop ups. Balanced, quiet neutral stance allows him to use his quick hands to get the barrel through the zone which repeatedly produces line drives. 
Dillon Paulson 1B,LHP L/L 2015 Santa Fe Christian (San Diego, CA) A big, physical player (6'3" 195) who is very smooth around the bag. Handled all balls hit in his direction with very good footwork and a smooth glove. At the plate Paulson is the prototype 1B. Uses lower half well to generate power to all fields. Barrel stays in the zone throughout his swing with a quiet approach. On the mound, he showed a heavy FB that topped at 82 from a high 3/4 delivery. Also showed a 2-plane CB that topped at 71. Easy/repeatable delivery. 
- Les Lukach

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

JSerra Prospects

JSerra HS (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) is chalk-full of top prospects in all classes. The Lions have players committed in the senior, junior, and sophomore classes. They also have a couple of freshman who will be college players.

I had an opportunity to see JSerra this week against Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) in a game they won 3-0 in which Quentin Longrie (UCLA) threw a complete game five-hitter with nine strikeouts.

After the game I called a scout who has JSerra in his territory to talk about some of the notable prospects on their roster. Below are his comments.

2014 Parker Joe Robinson RHP/1B (Texas): "There is a lot to like about this guy. I mean, you can't coach that size. There is some question about where he plays because I don't know that he has the full arsenal on the mound yet to come in a make an impact. The bat is pretty good, though, which will give him a shot at being a two-way guy if he goes to school."

2015 Jake Pries OF (UCLA): "I'm a big fan of this guy. Prototypical corner outfield who has several tools. If there is one he lacks, it's speed. Not the fastest guy down the line yet he gets to a lot of balls quickly. His bat has improved over the last year and his arm strength and size (listed at 6'4") make him stand out. He's a different player physically this year compared to last."

2015 Quentin Longrie LHP (UCLA): "If this guy was 6'2" he'd be talked about as a top-two round guy. He struggled in the early part of the season, but he has really found his stuff in the last month. I had him touching 92 last week and his command has gotten a lot better. His curve ball has potential to be a plus pitch and the changeup is a nice change-of-pace pitch. Needs to show more consistency, but could make a name for himself nationally with a big summer."

2016 Chase Strumpf SS (UCLA): "Showed a lot of power this summer with Team USA but that hasn't really shown itself so far this season. His defense is improved although there are questions about what position he plays in the long run. Some say third base, others say second. For me, he's a second baseman. Arm strength and speed are minor concerns, although you can't deny his ability to hit."

2016 Brady Shockey OF/2B (USC): "I didn't know too much about him until he transferred into JSerra this year. Right away you can see his aggressive approach at the plate which flashes big-time power. I like the way he plays in the outfield and when he unleashes his arm, it's pretty special. Size (listed at 6'0") may hinder him from a draft perspective, but this kid is a player."

2016 Lyle Lin C/3B/RHP: "This guy is interesting. Moved he from Korea and he brings that style of play to his team. Don't know too much about him yet as he hasn't played in many games that I've seen, but he's definitely a guy to keep an eye on."

2017 Jack Owen LHP/OF: "This is a kid who is quickly becoming a favorite for scouts. Here is a kid who is smallish (listed at 6'1" 170) in size but is a complete bulldog on the mound. Has a very good understanding of how to pitch. Doesn't have the power to come in and challenge guys, but he has the ability to paint-the-black and his offspeed stuff is good already. Definitely a guy I'll be tracking the next couple years."

2017 Royce Lewis INF: "This guy could ultimately be the best infielder on the team. Incredibly smooth actions for a freshman. Will need to add strength, but defensively he's good already. Offensively, he'll get better too, but he doesn't waste as many at-bats as a you would expect from a freshman. His speed is phenomenal and has a very good understanding of baserunning." 

--Les Lukach

Monday, April 28, 2014

OC Top 10 4/28/14

Fountain Valley caused quite the stir last week in defeating former number one Huntington Beach twice to take over first place of the Sunset League. As a result, the Barons jumped all the way to number three in this weeks polls.

JSerra reclaims the top spot after a 2-1 week in the Trinity League with their only loss coming in walk-off fashion to new number 10, Orange Lutheran.

Dana Hills jumps to number three after a 2-0 week which included a sweep of Laguna Hills.

Below is the rest of this weeks Top 10 with previous rankings in parentheses.

1. JSerra 15-5 (2): The Lions lost a heart breaker in their final meeting of the season with Orange Lutheran. The good news for JSerra is that Quentin Longrie appears to be rounding into form heading into the final weeks of the season. JSerra has a chance to make a statement this week and go for the season sweep.

Up Next: 4/29 & 5/02 v Servite

2. Dana Hills 18-5 (3): The Dolphins got the sweep of Laguna Hills by outscoring the Hawks 9-3. The pitching held up in game two which was a 1-0 victory to move to 7-1 in league, good for first place. Dana Hills will finish the Edison tournament before facing of against a gritty league opponent this week.

Up Next: 4/28: Covina; 4/30 & 5/02: San Juan Hills

3. Fountain Valley 15-6 (NR): The reason I had the Barons unranked was because they hadn't beaten a quality opponent (in my opinion) to date. Well, they certainly changed that perspective last week with a two-game sweep of then number one, Huntington Beach. Pitching was the big question coming into the season for Fountain Valley, but led by Scott Shultz (9-0), the Barons have both pitching and a quality lineup to make a deep run in the postseason.

Up Next: 5/02: Newport Harbor

4. Huntington Beach 16-4 (1): The Oilers 14 game win streak was bound to come to an end sooner or later, what surprised many last week was the fashion in which it ended. Huntington Beach's offense went quite in game two against Fountain Valley last week after pounding out seven runs in game one. Look for Hungtington Beach to bounce back from last weeks disappointment and be there in the end.

Up Next: 5/02: Marina

5. Aliso Niguel 14-8 (7): Coming off a sweep of then number 10 Capo Valley, the Wolverines appear to be getting things going in the right direction. Using solid pitching and timely hitting, Aliso Niguel heads into this week with a chance to gain some ground on league leading Dana Hills. They'll need some help from other league teams if the Wolverines are to catch the Dolphins as the two teams have finished their season series.

Up Next: 5/02: Laguna Hills

6. Beckman 18-2 (6): The Patriots continue to win games in a quiet, unassuming fashion while riding an 11 game winning streak. Beckman went 4-0 last week beating Irvine and Katella twice apiece and will have a chance to build on their league leading 8-1 record and their winning streak.

Up Next: 4/29 & 5/02: Corona Del Mar

7. San Clemente 19-6 (4): The Tritons slipped a bit this week but not because of poor play but as result of the quality of opponents they faced. San Clemente went 2-1 against one teams that would be on the outside looking-in, and another that would squeak in if the playoffs were to start today. The Tritons can't get caught looking ahead to their huge showdown next week against Dana Hills, because this weeks opponent could beat them.

Up Next: 4/30: Tesoro

8. Edison 15-5 (8): The Chargers new head coach, Cameron Chinn, will likely get a lot of votes for coach of the year for what he's done with this team. Coming off an atrocious season in 2013, Edison is primed for a playoff spot with a young roster. Many people feel they're doing this a year early, which makes the prospects of the 2015 season even greater for the Chargers. After this weeks series, Edison will face Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley to close out the season.

Up Next: 4/30 & 5/02: Los Alamitos

9. Servite 13-8 (10): The Friars split with Santa Margarita and beat St. John Bosco last week to stay in the hunt for the third and final guaranteed playoff spot out of the Trinity League. While the road will be anything but easy, this may be the most complete Servite team in the last five years. The Friars have pitching along with a stout lineup and you can always count on any Jeff Sears team to play fundamentally strong defense. The Friars will have a huge opportunity to shake up the league standings this week.

Up Next: 4/29 & 5/02: JSerra

10. Orange Lutheran 8-11 (NR): Any time you go 3-0 in one week of Trinity League play you're going to open some eyes. Any time you do it against JSerra and Mater Dei, you're going to get votes for the Top 10. The Lancers used a walk-off to beat then number two, JSerra, before pounding Mater Dei in game one and using yet another walk-off to beat the Monarchs in game two. Coach Eric Borba and his staff deserve a lot of credit for not letting the season slip away after a rough start. Orange Lutheran is tied with Servite for third place in league standings, but currently own the tiebreaker.

Up Next: 4/29 & 5/02: Santa Margarita

Others: Santa Margarita, Laguna Beach, Cypress, Tesoro

--Les Lukach

Monday, April 21, 2014

OC Top 10 - 4/21/14

Coming out of the spring break tournament action, we head back into league play with several races heating up right out of the chute. As a result of most tournament formats (four games in four days), there isn't much movement in this weeks Top 10.

Huntington Beach continues to impress in all facets of the game going an impressive 4-0 in the National Classic en route to the championship. JSerra used the off-week from league to face Cypress in a double header which they split using as many arms and lineup combinations as possible. Dana Hills scored a late run to beat Aliso Niguel 3-2 before being pounded in game two later in the week.

Servite returns to the Top 10 this week and Capo Valley makes its season debut at number nine in the poll.

The rest of the Top 10 is below. Previous rankings in parentheses.

1. Huntington Beach 18-2 (1) - The Oilers were impressive in every game of the National Classic en route to the title. Huntington Beach is a team that likes to pressure their opponents and pounce on their mistakes, as evidenced by this video.

Up Next: 4/23 & 4.25 vs Fountain Valley

2. JSerra - 13-4 (2) - After splitting a double header with Cypress last week, the Lions return to Trinity League play this week. They'll get a chance to gain a little cushion at the top of the league this week against two teams at the bottom of the standings.

Up Next: 4/21 @ OLu; 4/23 & 4/25 v St. John Bosco

3. Dana Hills 16-5 (3) - The Dolphins used a late run to beat Aliso Niguel who had replaced Kyle Molnar by that point in the game. After dropping game two against Aliso Niguel, the Dolphins beat Mira Costa over the weekend. The Sea View League may have three-of-the-best teams in Orange County at the top of the standings, with Dana Hills leading the way.

Up Next: 4/22 & 4/24 v Laguna Hills

4. San Clemente 17-5 (5) - The Tritons swept Laguna Hills in their only two games last week. The big names are beginning to heat up for San Clemente which could be trouble for league opponents over the next few weeks. Infielder Kent Burkle committed to LMU last Wednesday.

Up Next: 4/23 & 4/25 v San Juan Hills

5. Trabuco Hills 16-3 (4) - The Mustangs aren't very flashy in any facet, but they simply get the job done. They got a no-hitter from Matt Torretto to start the Ryan Lemmon Invitational (video by Jonathan Khamis - and had a good showing in the tournament. They'll have an opportunity to gain some separation in league this week against a very good opponent.

Up Next: 4/23 & 4/25 v Tesoro

6. Beckman 14-2 (8) - The Patriots are one of the counties best kept secrets, and I'm sure they don't mind that one bit. After going 4-0 in the Beach Pit Classic, including a 7-3 win over a quality Canyon team, Beckman eases back into league play this week against Irvine who is at the bottom of the league standings. Pitching and offense is the name of the game for the Patriots, and they have plenty of both to make a deep run in the postseason.

Up Next: 4/22 & 4/25 v Irvine

7. Aliso Niguel 12-8 (8) - The Woverines should have swept two against Dana Hills, instead they settled for a split against the #2 team on this poll. Aliso Niguel will have an opportunity this week to make a statement against a team as hot as anyone in the county.

Up Next: 4/23 v Capo Valley (Double Header)

8. Edison 14-5 (9) - The Chargers beat Tesoro 2-1 in their only game last week. They'll have an opportunity to move up the Sunset League standings this week but it won't be easy. The league, considered by many as the best in Orange County, could see a lot of shuffling this week as the top teams face of against one another.

Up Next: 4/23 & 4/25 v Newport Harbor

9. Capo Valley 13-8-1 (NR) - The Cougars have won 8-of-their-last-10 after a slow start to the season. Capo Valley takes a break from league this week in order to face Aliso Niguel in a double header and Paramount in a single game. A good week will give the Cougars plenty of momentum heading into league play next week.

Up Next: 4/23 v Aliso Niguel (Double Header); 4/26 v Paramount (Edison Tournament)

10. Servite 11-7 (NR) - The Friars return to the Top 10 after a double header split with Don Bosco Prep (NJ) last week. They return to the gauntlet of Trinity League with a chance to move up the standings as they face off against a team with a one-game lead in the standings, although Servite beat them the first time through.

Up Next: 4/21 v St. John Bosco; 4/23 & 4/25 v Santa Margarita

Others: Santa Margarita; Tesoro; Cypress; Pacifica; Mission Viejo; Laguna Beach

--Les Lukach