Prep Baseball Report

CA State Games: 10 to Know

Les Lukach
State Scouting Director

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LATHROP, CALIF. - The Third Annual California State Games took place at beautiful Islanders Field in Lathrop where PBR California hosted over 70 of the top under and upperclassmen from around the state. While some were committed prospects, the bulk of the participants were uncommitted prospects hand picked for this exclusive event. 

The three-day event featured a workout on Friday followed by games on Saturday and Sunday. 

We will begin to roll out data leaderboards, stats leaders, notes and scouting reports in the coming days. 

And of course there are far more standouts we'll be discussing, but until then we wanted to highlight 10 uncommitted players from the California State Games in this edition of Quick Hits. 

Click here for full sortable stats from the workout portion of the event including Trackman and Blast Motion data. 


2023 1B/OF Wyatt Tucker - Del Oro HS

Tucker showed very well with the bat and glove the entire weekend beginning with this BP round that saw him punish the gaps with line drives. He carried that over to the game portion of the event where he hit the ball hard consistently. While the results were varied, one thing was consistent and that was Tucker getting the barrel on the ball. With a 95 mph exit velo during BP and a max bat speed of 72 mph, Tucker has the foundations of a future power hitter. Defensively he showed some athleticism that belies his size. Moves well around the bag at first and showed that he can handle the outfield - particularly right field - where he understands angles and flashed good reads. 

2024 SS Luke Baker - San Ramon Valley HS

Baker was one of the standouts from the underclass portion of the event thanks in large part to innate ability to be where he needs to be when he needs to be there defensively along with his ability to handle the bat from both sides of the plate. A switch-hitting shortstop who showed he can hit from both sides, Baker was comfortable from both sides showing some power during BP with consistent barrels in-game. Looks to use all fields and has the hand speed to catch up to pitches. Defensively his footwork was on point and the arm strength - 82 mph - is above average for a rising sophomore. Very athletic actions playing through the ball. 

2022 OF/INF Jack Sampson - San Joaquin Memorial HS

Speed is the name of the game with Sampson who clocked a 6.80 laser-time 60 to open up his weekend. Once you get past the speed what you find is a very talented player who appears to be getting better and better with each viewing. A left-handed hitting OF/INF, Sampson was consistently catching our attention. Very good feel for the barrel with the ability to manipulate it’s plane and get it to the ball, Sampson’s approach at the plate stood out. His pitch selection was very good; didn’t offer a pass at pitches out of the zone. The video below gives you an indication of his speed on the basepaths. 

2023 RHP Brodie Purcell - JSerra HS

Having seen Purcell a number of times both in a game setting and a showcase setting, we were excited to see how his stuff played at the State Games. And while he gave up one big hit on a pitch he left up to a very good hitter, his stuff plays and continues to get better. At 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, Purcell possesses a frame to dream on, and when you factor in the stuff, what you have is a high ceiling pitcher with a relatively fresh arm considering the limited innings he threw in the spring. Fastball flashed very good spin at 2352 rpm while working in the 85-87 mph range and touching 89 with an IVB of 24 inches. The curveball has a chance to be a special pitch and we’re already seeing an uptick in velocity in the 72-74 mph range with a -16.5” of IVB and 2291 rpm spin rate. It’s 12-6 shape induced plenty of swing-and-miss in his outing. Purcell’s changeup may be his most effective pitch at 81-83 mph. He threw it in any count, landing it for strikes consistently during his outing. The more you see Purcell the more you appreciate what his ceiling could be. The frame, the stuff, the demeanor, the focus, the projection; It all adds up to what should be a breakout spring in 2022 at JSerra for Purcell. 

2022 3B/1B Ryan Skjonsby - Long Beach Poly HS

One of the better uncommitted hitters in his class from SoCal, Skjonsby is coming off a big spring for Long Beach Poly where he was a mainstay in their lineup. It’s a simple stroke from the left side that creates ample power, particularly to the pull side while also showing the ability to hit for power the other way. Uses his present hand speed (21 mph) to get the barrel through the zone efficiently and on-plane consistently generating 90+ mph exit velocities. Made a play in foul territory while playing third base that saw him range to his right and come up firing which opened some eyes as to the possibility of him staying there in the future. Moves well for his size and his athleticism plays up at first base. But in the end, the bat and it’s projectable power are the carrying tool for Skjonsby. 

2023 SS/2B Luke Viola - Bishop Amat HS

There are players that don’t wow you with flashiness but are consistent in everything they do and Viola is one of them. The rising junior middle infielder showed again that his bat plays now while the defense has always been a calling card. He’s athletic and rangy despite his 5-foot-9 frame. With several 90+ mph exit velos he has sneaky power in the bat that should only continue to shine through as he matures physically. Ran a 7.06 60 (we’ve had better times in past) with little effort before pounding balls during BP. There’s hand and bat speed presently, but it’s his pitch recognition and ability to catch up to balls that really stood out. Had multiple hits over the course of the weekend once again demonstrating that the bat is one of his carrying tools. There’s a simple rhythm to his approach at the plate and he’s able to sync his lower and upper body consistently to generate the power in his stroke. 

2024 C Ricky Maya - Christian Brothers HS

One of the better performances turned in by an underclass catcher came from Maya who showed power at the plate during BP and flashes of that power in-game. Showed the ability to go the other way on a line with feel for the barrel and a stick-to-itiveness with his approach never wavering from what he was trying to do. Hit behind runners when needed; took pitches out of the zone; spoiled pitches on two-strike counts showing his advanced baseball IQ. A strong defensive catcher with a quiet setup and hands, Maya had pop-times 2.11-2.19 with accuracy on throws. 

2023 OF Carmelo Rivera - Valley Christian HS

Left-handed outfielders with speed to burn and the ability to drive balls to all fields are a high priority for college recruiters which is exactly what Rivera is and should be. Opened with a 6.81 60 before putting on a hitting display during his two rounds of BP. In his first round he hit balls primarily to the pull side showing his burgeoning power. In his second round he hit two balls to RCF, two balls to CF/LCF before closing out his round with more pull side shots. The same approach was on display during his in-game at-bats that saw him consistently barrel pitches regardless of the result. His speed and defensive acumen was on display in game one where, while playing left field, he sprinted approximately 35 yards before going full extension parallel to the ground in an effort to make a play. While the ball popped out, it was as impressive a defensive effort as we saw all weekend. 

2023 OF/2B Isaiah Landry - El Cerrito HS

When you open your weekend with a 6.85 you’re going to get people's attention and that’s exactly what Landry did. His BP that followed continued to add to the intrigue as drove balls to all fields with fast hands that resulted in max exit velocity 95.6 mph. Went off the wall twice and hit what would’ve been seven extra base hits were it a game setting. That same approach carried over to the games where his patience at the plate resulted in multiple hits with at least one to each field. None was better than the inside-the-park he hit to deep RCF that showed multiple tools highlighted by his strength and speed, the two present carrying tools. In a previous at-bat he smashed a two-hopper through the left side, slipping out of the box and recovering easily enough to make the turn at first. The defense was also nothing to sneeze at as he made play after play in the outfield but none better than the one in right where he sprinted towards the line before making a sliding catch. It was a high level athletic defensive play, one of many we saw from Landry all weekend. 

2022 C/3B JP Smith - Granite Bay HS

When we saw Smith in the spring he was the starting third baseman and hitting fourth for a very good Granite Bay team. Fast forward to the State Games and Smith showed that he has the goods behind the dish in addition to the hot corner.  The positional versatility to go with the frame and hitting ability offers Smith a lot of projection and tools. At 6-foot-1 230-pounds Smith has an obviously large frame, however there is a great deal of strength on that frame presently with room for more. Working out from third base, Smith showed agile footwork while gathering grounders out front and flashing his strong (85 mph), accurate arm along with the ability to make the slow roller play easily. Behind the dish his agility really plays up with balls in the dirt and recoveries. He’s nimble and loose for a bigger frame. At the plate Smith offers as much projection as he does physically and positionally, if not more. Power is evident, but he pairs that with exceptional hand-eye coordination and hand speed allowing him to consistently barrel balls. He hit the State Games' only over-the-fence home run on a mistake up in the zone (video below) but it was the pitch before where he fouled 87 mph straight back that impressed because he showed the ability to catch up to the fastball up in the zone way behind (1-2) in the count. The next pitch was a home run. Paired with his BP rounds Smith showed that he is a more than capable hitter now and moving forward.  


2021 PBR Future Games (California Invite) CA 07/28 LakePoint Sports
PBR Junior Future Games NATIONAL 07/28 LakePoint Sports
PBR West Coast Games (California Invite) CA 08/13 UNLV & College of Southern Nevada
Northern California Academic Games CA 10/16 Menlo College