Prep Baseball Report

2020 Preseason Preview: Hart Indians

Ryan Ozella
NorCal Area Scout


At The Yard Podcast

The Road to the California State Games begins with the 2020 California high school baseball season. With the season just around the corner, our Staff has begun putting out team previews from all around the state getting you prepare for another year of exciting coverage.

In this edition we will take a closer look at the Hart Indians (Newhall, CA), a team looking to rebound in the Foothill League and make a run in the Southern Section Playoffs.

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Hart Indians

HEAD COACH (years at school)

Jim Ozella (21)




Southern Section/Division 1












Looking to bounce back from a poor 2019, the 2020 Hart Indians are rebuilding the culture with younger players and returners alike who’ve bought in and are ready for 2020 to be a vast improvement. The team returns two of the top starters in the Foothill League and how the pitching and defense go should determine the outcome for Hart. The offense will have bright spots, but will need to execute and count on their middle of the lineup to produce and drive in the runners on base. Speed atop that lineup should be on base regularly and there is some power in the middle; how all that comes together will determine the outcome. The Foothill League will be a challenge with four teams at the top who will all be looking to make a run in the 2020 Southern Section Division 1 Playoffs. 


‘20 RHP Dan Parra - 6-1, 215, R/R - CSUN Commit.

The big righty is coming off a strong summer including pitching well in the Area Code Games and should be counted on for the Indians. Parra has tightened the frame and with the pitches to be a force for opposing offenses all season.

‘20 RHP Warner Rhodes - 6-0, 160, R/R - Chapman Commit.

After an injury early in 2019, Rhodes came back and was one of the best pitchers for the Indians and they’ll be counting on him to form a 1-2 punch with Parra as top starter. Rhodes has a clean arm and commands the zone well with all three pitches. When he pitches to his potential, will be tough to beat. 

‘20 1B/RHP Isaac Kim - 6-4, 225, R/R - Pomona-Pitzer Commit.

Physical RH bat will be counted on in the middle of the lineup as well as in late innings on the mound. Deep gap strength and burgeoning power shows he will be the RBI guy hitting behind on-base threats. On the hill shows strength in the arm matching FB with late diving Split-Change looking like a closer type. 

‘20 C/UTL Jackson Down - 6-0, 180, R/R

Another middle of the lineup bat has improved his defensive chops behind the plate and should spell there when needed. Could see time at multiple defensive positions, but bat will be his weapon and provide depth in lower middle of the lineup. 

‘21 SS Ryan Benz - 6-0, 150, R/R

Smooth ranging middle infielder will be the catalyst for the offense and has shown a compact bat made to drive balls through the middle of the field. Flashes above-average running skills (6.8 60y) and sure glove to stick in the middle of the diamond. 

‘21 OF/LHP Eddie Tejada - 5-11, 170, L/L

Can go get the ball out in the middle of the outfield (6.7 60y) and will be a consistent threat on the base paths. Flat bat path able to drive balls into gaps and utilize speed to turn base hits into extra bases. Will be counted on in relief on the hill where his LH arm can come in to eat up innings. 

‘21 3B/RHP Ben Niednagel - 5-9, 150, L/R

Defensive stalwart at 3rd base with the arm strength to come in and impact games on the mound. LH swing made to work all parts of the field with contact oriented approach. Should get big innings late in games. 


‘22 C Matt Quintanar - 5-11, 180, R/R

Glove whiz behind the plate and bat that has the ability to drive the ball all over the field. Will be counted on as a Sophomore to be a key piece on both defense and offense and has a bright future all around. 


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