Prep Baseball Report

Area Code Games: All CA Team

Ryan Ozella
N. California Area Scout

Blair Field, Long Beach, CA - After sitting on both California teams (Brewers, Athletics) for a full week at the Area Code Games I got an extensive look at our deep and talented 2020 class. Today I bring to you the All-Area Code Team showcasing the players who stood out to me from the state of California. Tools, Production and Projection all factored into this list with all stats mentioned coming from my personal notes during the week being as accurate as possible. Let’s look at the standouts: 

MVP: 2020 C Tyler Soderstrom (Turlock), 6-2, 190, L/R - UCLA commit.
Soderstrom did just about everything this past week in Long Beach showing the tools to be a future star. From the plate Soderstrom consistently found barrels on his way to going 4-for-10 with a walk, double and triple. From a quiet and relaxed set up, the loose and easy swing comes from quick hands showing plus bat speed and the ability to turn around high velocity. During BP, Soderstrom flashed plus raw power driving balls over the fence deep in RCF. In game Soderstrom hunted fastballs early in the count consistently finding them and doing damage with multiple hard contacts; even some of his outs were balls that were squared up ending up right at Outfielders. The athletic actions show up all over the field with strong run times (4.36 H-1st, 4.47T), lateral agility to block touch pitches behind the plate or to make plays in the infield. Behind the plate he showed a relaxed glove hand able to manipulate the baseball around the zone and helping his pitchers steal strikes. The arm is above-average consistently keeping the ball on the bag (1.87-2.09 pop) leading to few attempting to test the arm. The upside for Soderstrom is present with a high floor and high ceiling available. 

C: 2020 C Kevin Parada (Loyola), 6-0, 200, R/R - Georgia Tech commit.
Parada was one of the most consistent hitters for the Brewers squad showing the type of bat that can be a big run producer in the middle of an order at the next level. In batting practice, Parada showcased easy loft from a balanced, even hand setup showing plus bat speed and the ability to work deep into gaps. In game, Parada showed that same bat-to-ball skills regularly keeping his hands inside the baseball for multiple hard extra base hits going 3-for-8 with two doubles. Behind the dish, Parada shows a strong arm with the ability to get rid of the baseball as he caught a couple runners with throws having life to second base (1.90-2.14, 2.07 caught). His blocking skills were consistent and the glove shows promise rounding out a strong set of defensive tools.

INF: 2020 INF Nick Yorke (Archbishop Mitty), 6-0, 195, R/R - Arizona commit. 
Yorke’s hit tools is special showing great zone understanding and the ability to manipulate the barrel and drive the ball all around the field. During batting practice, Yorke showed plus bat speed working balls all around the field before creating more leverage and showing the ability to pull the ball out of the ballpark flashing slightly above-average raw power. In game, Yorke was regularly on base picking up five walks going 3-for-7 and stealing a couple bases as well with strong run times (4.27-4.46 H-1st). On defense his athletic ability gives him the ability to fit at multiple spots in the infield with consistent glove skills and the arm to make the throws needed in game. 

INF: 2020 INF Drew Bowser (Harvard Westlake), 6-3, 205, R/R - Stanford commit.
Bowser passes the eye test immediately and showed his ability to get the bat to the ball during the week going 4-for-8 with two walks and a double. Bowser’s bat has some serious juice in it with multiple balls hits over 95 exit velocity staying right on top tier pitching. From a compact, upwards swing the barrel is quick into the zone showing some adjustability on pitches while having a plan being ready to hit. In the infield, the arm is above-average and loose able to make the throws from the left side with ease. He shows athletic ability moving easily through the baseball and with the frame, power, and arm looks like a future third baseman. 

INF: 2020 INF D’Andre Smith (San Dimas), 5-8, 170, R/R - USC commit.
In a loaded infield, D’andre Smith showed he shouldn’t be looked over consistently finding holes on his way to going 7-for-15 with a double, two stolen bases and multiple RBI’s. Smith shows instincts that make the tools play up easily reading throws and taking bases busting out of the box and looking to put pressure on the defense. From a low hand setup, the quick bat is compact with direct hands able to spray the ball with line drives and flashing some sneaky pop during batting practice into the gaps. The glove is consistent and fits best at 2B in the future, but showed his ability to handle the SS position showing strong first step reactions and the quick release keeping throws on a line across the infield. His energy is contagious and the type of player who can kickstart an offense with his bat-to-ball skills. 

INF: 2020 INF Jacob Gonzalez (Glendora), 6-2, 180, L/R - Mississippi commit. 
Gonzalez is the type of player who could get to college and be a big time producer vaulting his stock. The frame is lean, powerful and still has some space to project showcasing a sweet swing from the left side. Slightly crouched at the plate, Gonzalez shows a quiet setup with quick hands able to show feel for the barrel and flashing some pop to the pullside during batting practice. In game, he worked with an advanced approach taking pitches and showing patience as he picked up three walks while going 3-for-9 with a double while reaching on multiple errors caused by hard hit balls. His quick feet allow him to stick in the middle of the diamond working low through the baseball with flashes of an above average arm. Showed the ability to play on the move making some tough plays look easy. 

OF: 2020 OF Isaiah Greene (Corona), 6-1, 180, L/L - Uncommitted.
Long, lean and very athletic, Greene shows his plus speed can impact the game on both sides with great range in the middle of the OF and projectable bat-to-ball skills. Using a compact and flat quick bat, Greene went 5-for-14 with two triples and multiple RBI’s. His speed on the basepaths caused issues for opposing defenses and his ability to get out of the box (4.10 H-1st, 4.27T) makes outfielders have to get the ball in quickly. Greene’s defense was fantastic during the week showing first step reads on his way to multiple diving catches with the closing speed to come in and take away hits. The arm fits best in CF with an accuracy that prevents runners from trying to take extra bases. 

OF: 2020 OF Carson Yates (Leland), 6-4, 200, R/R - Uncommitted.
Yates shows multiple tools and as a two sport athlete the type of high ceiling rawness that continues to intrigue coaches for the next level. The frame is powerful and explosive keeping even hands from a slightly open stance as his compact swing shows a quick bat with direct hands. The bat-to-ball skills were consistently solid and as he learns to use leverage more consistent power will come from the frame. Going 2-for-6 with a walk, multiple RBI’s and multiple stolen bases, Yates showed instincts in game being able to help his team with Sac Fly’s and using his speed on the bases to easily score from anywhere; plus speed down the line (4.19 H-1st). In the OF his arm is solid average with some length out of the glove and showing the agility to open his hips and run tracking balls into both gaps while playing both corner spots. 

OF: 2020 OF Petey Halpin (St Francis), 6-0, 175, L/R - Uncommitted.
Halpin continues to show as a guy who is an advanced player flashing multiple above-average tools. From a slightly opened, even hands set up Halpin has a gradual load allowing him to adjust to offspeed and manipulate the barrel for hard contact flashing loft and power to the pull side. The quick hands stay tight and Halpin regularly battled off tough pitches as he worked counts and looked for his pitch to drive. Going 2-for-7 with three walks, a HBP, a triple and two stolen bases Halpin moves well out of the box using an easy stride to glide down the line (4.4 H-1st, 4.57T). In the OF his arm is strong being solidly average for the corners and playing up in CF where he threw out a runner at the plate showing the carry and accuracy. In CF he showed quick reactions able to work over his head and to the gaps tracking down balls and helping his pitchers out. 

SP: 2020 LHP Kyle Harrison (De La Salle), 6-2, 205, R/L - UCLA commit. 
In a class loaded with pitching, Harrison to me is the best one showing command of a three pitch mix during his three inning outing. During the outing Harrison struck out six, walked and hit one as he gave up three weak hits and zero runs. The athletic delivery allows for his long, loose arm to work from a 3/4 release having some deception as the ball is hard to pick up and jumps on hitters at the plate. FB 88-90 T92 working with arm-side run on both sides of the late and attacking the inner part of the plate on hitters. SLD 75-78 showing late tilt using the pitch on both sides and flashing depth; feel for the pitch and the ability to get swing and misses. CHG 80-81 showing hard dive through the zone and working as a solid third pitch. Harrison’s understanding of how to pitch makes all of his pitches tick up and the velocity projects to continue to improve as he keeps strengthening the frame. 

P: 2020 RHP Max Rajcic (Orange Lutheran), 6-0, 200, R/R - UCLA commit.
Rajcic made sure he wasn’t overlooked during the weekend going three strong innings on his way to striking out three and walking one inducing 5 easy ground balls as he got ahead and stayed ahead attacking hitters with the FB. The delivery works with rhythm allowing the high front knee and the compact, strong H-3/4 arm to stay inline and create above-average angles to the bottom half of the zone. FB 89-91 T92 worked with above-average angle to both sides of the plate being able to consistently repeat the down and away location. CB 76-78 was sharp working at a 12-to-5 shape with feel showing the ability to manipulate the shape’s depth to get swings working through the zone. The frame has the build to be a workhorse as he was able to maintain his velocity and sharpness on the breaking ball throughout the outing. 

P: 2020 RHP TJ Nichols (Oakmont), 6-3, 170, R/R - Uncommitted. 
Nichols is long and lean with length in the limbs showing projectable space to keep strengthening the frame as he matures. The compact and fast arm works from a H-3/4 release with a hands down/up motion that allows him to create momentum and extension down the hill. The delivery can get overly erratic, but shows the athleticism to project once he’s done being a two-way high school player. Over two outings and three innings pitched, Nichols was able to maintain velocity and showed he can adjust on the fly improving his control from the first to second outing. All together, Nichols struck out five giving up two hits, a run and walking three. FB 92-94 T96 with riding life up through the zone and showing angle down to the bottom of the zone. It’s a swing and miss fastball with hitters consistently being late to the baseball and rarely making hard contact. SLD 79-82 showed as above-average with late tilt and bite being able to throw the pitch for strikes or out of the zone as needed. The feel for the pitch is advanced and had a couple that were wipeout backfooters breaking on hitters. CHG 78-80 straight; wasn’t used much and can continue to improve to be a solid third option. As he cleans up the delivery, Nichols could make another jump pushing to be one of the best pitchers in the state.

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