Prep Baseball Report

CA State Games: Day Three Recap

PBR California Staff

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LATHROP, CALIF. - The Second Annual California State Games moved into day two of the simulated competition portion of the event with three groups participating in simulated competitions that featured live pitching against hitters.

With three groups on hand throughout the day there were plenty of players that left an impression on our team of scouts. Below we take a look at some of the standouts from Day Three of the California State Games.

‘21 C/1B Darren Cho - Westview  - Cho certainly made the most of his time during the 3-day event. He has been playing all summer and it showed. Cho showed more consistency in his overall game than in previous viewings behind the dish and when he toed the box. It looks like he is taking the next step, and putting college recruiters on notice. He has serious power potential that plays at the catching position and first base. Cho has made a commitment to being more physical and has noticeably trimmed his body up.
‘21 MIF Edgar Rosales - LB Poly - Rosales has a strong, muscular, compact frame. Possesses defensive chops and arm strength to become an above average defender. He really stands out offensively where his compact stroke plays anywhere and will keep him at the top of any lineup and add value to any college program. He’s a doubles machine.
‘21 OF/RHP Jonah Storey - Mira Costa - After two years of observing Storey, it’s very clear that he is a model of consistency with his overall game. It was no different over the 3-day span of the State Games this weekend. His tools don't jump out at you but bottom line is, he hits and gives you a quality at-bat every time he toes the box; on the mound it's the same. I've never seen him throw away an at-bat. A heads up player that has a feel for the game and a high baseball IQ. He will add value to any high level college program. You must observe him multiple times to appreciate his skills set.
‘21 C Zach Crandall - Santa Margarita - A SoCal ProCase participant that has made tremendous gains in a short time. Has a prototypical catchers frame, broad shoulders, thick lower half.  Defensively he's still raw with improvement still needed but the physical tools make it easy to envision a future everyday catcher at the college level. At the plate, Crandall shows quality bat-to-ball skills, to go along with a leveraged, powerful swing. He's a quality catching prospect. 
‘21 OF/LHP Omari Barksdale - Serra (Gardena, Los Angeles) - A raw athlete currently, Barksdale has present baseball skills and will improve with repetition. Barksdale’s glove will earn him playing time as an outfielder. He made two major league plays this week displaying his athleticism and ability to read the ball off the bat and cover a lot of real estate. Takes an aggressive approach at the plate that will serve him well. I anticipate over the fence power potential.
‘21 3B Nick Hill - Cerritos - Hill has put college recruiters on notice with his performance this week. If you didn’t know, now you know. Has a projectable frame that you can dream on. Took ground balls at shortstop in the workout portion, but will most likely have a home at third base when it's all said and done. The bat plays and he shows length and extension in the swing. The most important part of Hill’s game is his approach at the plate and how he is able to conduct his at-bats. 
‘22 3B Jordan Jaffe - Calabasas - Came on strong on the final day of simulated competition posting two hits. We first saw Jaffe at the 2019 PBR Uncommitted Future Games where he impressed us with his ability to do a lot of things well. Since then he has made significant gains with his body composition and overall game.  Set-up in the box is busy, but gets the barrel on time with good bat speed.  Currently, his approach is geared towards hitting line drives...a good thing.  Reacts very well at third base with active feet, good first-step reads and has the ability to move well laterally.

‘22 SS/RHP Eli Gennis - De La Salle - Eli had one of the top pitching performances of the weekend. He put his full repertoire on display but his FB/CB mix really played. FB was 88-90 and CB was 73-75 both with well above average spin and he worked them well north/south. Has an athletic and efficient delivery and I like how he firms up the front leg at foot landing. Finished his outing with the most strikeouts on the weekend with 9 on just 1 hit and 1 walk through 3 innings.

‘21 SS/3B Jack Johnson - Westlake - Crisp and smooth defensively all weekend making non-routine plays look easy. His athleticism showed as he has the right footwork and takes the right first steps while making strong and accurate throws to first. Was also a guy that took a good round of batting practice on Friday. On Sunday he showed a solid two-strike approach on a ball low in the zone and barreled it up for a line drive single to left. 

‘22 1B/RHP Jack Gurevitch - Notre Dame - It has been about two months since we saw him last and it is clear that he has made advances on the mound. Gained 2-3 mph on his fastball and was using his curve quite effectively as a chase pitch which induced weak contact. I like the quicker tempo delivery that gets hitters off time and really decelerates well from that quickness by foot landing. He also impressed at the plate this weekend. His Friday workout BP had him above average on all the blast metrics and on Sunday he showed an ability to adjust and barrel despite being off-balance.

‘22 RHP Mason Shultz - Rancho Cucamonga - Showed some of the cleanest mechanics of the weekend although stuff doesn’t blow you away. Keeps clean and consistent mechanics from pitch to pitch. Showing great pitchability with the ability to locate all three of his pitches. His swing and miss tumbling splitter stood out among the rest as it had 600-700 spin. Also snapped off a couple of nice CB’s with above-average spin as well. Totaled six strikeouts and only allowed two hits in three innings. Lower body shows potential for an uptick in velocity. 

‘22 C/1B James Whitman - Helix - After this weekend he established himself as a top uncommitted 22’ Catcher. Had three hits on the weekend including a home run on Sunday. Flashed some effortless bat speed that explodes in the zone on a slightly upward path. Showed a more advanced swing and approach than when we last saw him at our Preseason All-State. Seems like he is also starting to fill out his large frame. Flashed athleticism and agility behind the dish throughout the weekend.

‘23 SS/OF Colin Johnston - Granada - young infielder who experienced some success against the older class players. Ran a 7.34 sixty-yard dash. Showed feel defensively at shortstop and second base, displaying prep step pre-pitch actions and understanding of defensive positioning. Arm velocity from shortstop clocked at 74 mph. Singled on an 87 mph fastball up and in. Exit velocity off the tee of 88 mph. Infield and outfield skill set should suit him well in his high school career. 

‘23 RHP/3B Spencer Lee - Pleasant Valley - the young right-hander impressed with above-average command of his curveball. Ranging from 67-68 mph with an average of 2200 RPM, Lee was able to locate the pitch to both sides of the plate. Command of his secondary pitches helped play up his fastball at 78-80 mph. Fastball development along with his secondary stuff could make him an arm to watch down the line. 

‘23 3B/RHP Drew Turley - Thousand Oaks - it is rare to see a pitcher at any level capable of throwing a knuckleball but Turley is able to do so and with success. Turley’s knuckleball was executed well enough that the Trackman device was unable to pick up the spin on the pitch because there was no spin. Knuckling at 70-72 mph with tumbling action that garnered multiple swings and misses. FB 80-82 mph with an average RPM of 2200. Flashed a slider at 64-66 mph that complemented his knuckleball well. High baseball IQ as seen in the video below. 

‘21 C Blake Penso - Huntington Beach - the kid has proven that he can hit and with power. Shifting the focus to the defensive side of his game. Pop-time ranged from 2.00-2.10 throughout the three days. Catchers throwing velocity of 78 mph. Received well, working low to high with a calm and strong glove hand. Blocked at an average clip and did not allow a passed ball. Hustled to back up first base, called out fly balls, positioned his defenders and led his pitchers. Overall, made his presence felt from the catching position. 

‘21 OF Michael Nutter - Lincoln - some athleticism to the lanky outfielder at 6-foot-2 181 pounds. Ran a 7.30 sixty-yard dash. Outfield throwing velocity of 83 mph. Exit velocity off the tee of 90 mph. Struggled day two against slower velocity pitching and excelled in day three against higher velocity pitching with two singles off of fastballs in the upper 80s. Swing shows smooth left-handed hitting feel and showed extension and rotation ability. His success against higher velocity is a good indicator for next level success.