Prep Baseball Report


California Staff

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LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - As our scouting staff got in a significant amount of games in the fall/winter along with deep looks at several top players in our Preseason Invitational we felt ready to put out a new release of our PBR California 2023 Class Rankings

With this release we breakdown the top three players in the state, rankings risers who have seen their stock tick upward, and a couple of the top uncommitted players remaining on the market. 


The Top 3

1. Ralphy Velasquez, 1B/C, Huntington Beach HS

- The last few months have been kind to Ralphy where his performance at the plate has put him in the #1 spot in CA for the first time. Throughout HS he has always hit, but recently, it’s been as consistent of loud contact as anyone in the country. He put it on display at Area Code select at Dodger Stadium right before the HS season and continued that display into our Preseason Invitational. The simple swing and approach combined with the minimal chase/whiff give him one of the best offensive packages out there. There are still some questions on where he lies defensively, but his catching ability has been solid enough in these early HS looks to not write him off behind there just yet.



2. Roman Martin, SS, Servite HS

Roman stays near the top of this list as he is simply the best defensive SS in the state. It’s as sure-handed and SoCal smooth as it gets where there’s little to no doubt that he’s a SS at the next level. The bat has slowed down a bit in our most recent looks as some of the swing/miss that was prevalent this past summer has leaked into this early spring. However, the raw bat speed is still there as he’s very capable of running into one at any time. If the bat gets on track and puts together a similar spring to last year’s where he won Trinity League MVP he should be in a good shape come draft time.

3. Will Gasparino, CF, Harvard Westlake HS

Gasparino is currently dealing with a hand injury but before that injury, he was arguably seeing the biggest draft buzz/helium in the country. The bat was starting to show more consistency and he was pairing that with some already standout bat speed and power. When it comes to Gasparino it's always been about the outlier projection and athleticism. He’s a 6-6/215lb OF that moves like a gazelle out in CF as he can track down balls with the best of them. If the bat shows itself like it was before the season started, a 1st round selection doesn't seem to out of reach.

Rankings Risers

Kehden Hettiger, C/3B, Sierra Canyon HS

- Hettiger moves from #32 to #16 in this release. This is the spot where Hettiger probably would've already been if it weren't for a knee injury that hindered him from doing a full summer circuit. However, his performance this past winter and this early HS season has elevated him to the #16 spot. He’s the highest-ranked switch hitter in CA as he has proved himself consistent from both sides of plate. However, the LH swing is as smooth and pretty as it gets as he whips the barrel through the zone showing an innate ability to loft with power to the pullside. He’s getting eased back behind the plate this spring, but if he is able to show he can handle himself back there, as well as put together a strong offensive season in the Mission League, he will see considerable draft helium/buzz. 

Grant Gray, CF, Norco HS

Gray sees a considerable rise in this release moving from #83 to #17. Since getting back on the baseball field, Gray has seen some quick draft helium, prevalent with the scout presence that has turned out to see him especially at our Preseason Invitational. The 4-star wide receiver checks off the athleticism box of the scouting report quite easily and brings with that standout tools. One of those is the speed he brings to both sides of the ball along with some whippy bat speed at the plate. The bat skill is still raw but has been impressive in these early looks especially given his limited ABs coming off football as he's shown consistent barrels against higher quality arms. If the bat proves itself against some of the other tougher competition Norco faces this spring, Gray can certainly play himself into high-round conversations. 

Eric Segura, RHP, Soledad HS

- The buzz has been building for over a year now. We first saw Eric back on 2/21/21 at an open scout day and looking back, it was certainly a glimpse of things to come as he's now up to #20 overall. He's since committed to Oregon State and who knows if he's going to be given an opportunity as a 3B/P at OSU, but he certainly possessed talent as both a position player and pitcher to stand alone as either. However, it's been his development on the mound that has him among the top 2-3 pitching prospects in a top-heavy high school pitching class in Northern CA. From peaking at 88 mph that February, he's now touching 95 mph with movement, settling in a bit lower. The strength of the body, the athleticism, the body control and clean delivery, along with feel and life on the curveball and change-up, all have his arrow pointed STRAIGHT up and it would not be a surprise if he's the second high school pitcher selected from the region. A look back at what we saw two years ago, the life/movement stands out.



Uncommitted Risers

Richard Tejada, C, Orange Lutheran HS

- With Karson Bowen graduating in 2022, Tejada has had the chance to get a large percentage of starts behind the plate for OLU and has shown well. The catching skillset is solid in all facets whether that's with his receiving, catch/throw ability, blocking, game management, etc. He’s a true leader behind the plate that pitchers enjoying throwing too. The bat has also been on the upswing where it's showing more consistency as well as some added power. There are simply not many better catchers in SoCal.

Conner 'Bear' Harrison, C/P, De La Salle HS

- Making a steady move up the rankings is a player who will be in the middle of a lot of action and presumably success for the De La Salle Spartans. Harrison is going to once again be depended upon to be a middle of the order run producer and leader on the team, two roles he's well-equipped to handle. Our awarness of his hitting prowess, strong arm behind the plate, and tenacious and willing effort in the dirty work that a catcher does is what we've come to expect. Well, there is MORE! He's recently begun pitching and has been up to 91 mph in scrimmage action... Stay tuned!

Isaiah Walz, SS, Yucaipa HS

- There is a lot to like when taking a look at Walz’s overall skillset. Firstly, there's his athleticism where he runs around a 6.6-6.7 consistently and he showed off some + jump data (via. swift) at a recent showcase back in January. That athleticism translates to the defensive side of the ball where he shows light/quick feet, a 90 mph arm, and a solid glove at SS. At the plate, it's a simple/compact stroke that finds consistent barrels and also translates to some sneaky power in-game that he displayed of late with a HR in our Preseason Invitational. Being only a slender 5-10/150 there is some strength yet to be tapped into and with some already existing tools, he has solidified himself as one of the top 2023 uncommitted players left on the market. 


Rising Stars ID: Los Angeles CA 03/05 O'Malley Field
Rising Stars ID: Sacramento CA 03/12 McBean Stadium - Lincoln
Rising Stars ID: San Diego CA 03/19 Eastlake
Rising Stars ID: Inland Empire CA 04/16 Santiago High School
Rising Stars ID: Bay Area CA 04/23 College of San Mateo
SoCal Rising Stars Game CA 05/21  
CA FUTURE GAMES TRYOUT CA 06/03 Fullerton College
SoCal-NV-AZ-ProCase CA 06/04 University of Southern California - Dedeaux Field
NorCal Rising Stars Game CA 06/06 Islanders Field
OC State Games Open ID CA 07/11 Hart Park