Prep Baseball Report

First Look: Upperclass Preseason All-State

Ryan Ozella
Special Contributor

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LINCOLN, CALIF. - After almost a year-long hiatus, it was nice to be back out on the field with the PBR CA Crew for the Preseason All-State at McBean Field in Lincoln, CA. During the event there was a standout group of Upperclass (2021-2022) players I hadn’t seen before, leaving a lasting first impression. Below is a short breakdown of nine players that jumped out to me during the event. You can find more about the players including previous coverage, video, rankings, and stats by clicking the player’s names and checking out their profiles. 

2021 1B/OF Justin Trimble (Arroyo Grande) - UCSB Commit.

Before the 60’s were run, Trimble was one of the first guys to stand out with a physical and athletic, 6-4, 220 frame. Running a 7.13 60 kicked off a positive day and then backed that up with a loud round of batting practice. The set-up is easy and relaxed allowing Trimble to explode with a quick and tight swing where the barrel consistently impacted the baseball. The pull side power is real and was backed up when he took a 86 MPH CHG deep to RCF during the gameplay with the ball getting out in a hurry. The eyes and metrics show a hitter that should be on the MLB Draft radar this Spring (59% On Plane Efficiency, 100.12 Max EV/93.27 Avg EV, 80% Hard Hit, 81.5/79.1 MPH Max/Avg Batspeed,  26.8g/22.56g Max/Avg Rotational Acceleration).  The athleticism was backed up on defense where Trimble handled the bag well on Infield throws before being able to bounce off and make accurate throws from a plus arm for the position (88 MPH). With his athleticism, arm strength, and bat to ball skills, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Trimble be able to play a corner OF spot as well this Spring and cement himself as an impact name for the 2021 Draft class.

2021 RHP Sky Jones (Alpha Charter) - SDSU Commit.

The 6-1, 195 frame is thick, athletic, and well defined, and on the hill the arm is electric. The delivery is compact and high tempo going full effort with Jones pitching effectively wild having a ball jump to the backstop before turning around and dotting one down and away. The FB was live into and through the zone (90.2-93.13 MPH, 2523 Max Spin Rate, 23.7 Max IVB) and matched well with his biting SLD (77.3-81.6 MPH,  2325 Max Spin Rate, -12.4/-16.4 IVB/HM Max). Add in a firm CHG (85-87 MPH) and hitters were not happy on their day (3 K’s). The one pitch he wished he had back was the hanging change to Trimble and even that swing didn’t faze his aggressive approach on the hill. With his build, lightning arm speed, and pitch repertoire, Jones looks like the type of guy who could quickly develop into a game-closing back-end bullpen arm. 

2021 SS/OF Daniel McElveny (Bonita Vista) - SDSU Commit.

The lone 2021 SS, McElveny is an athletic middle infielder (6-0, 190, 6.79 60 yd) and started the day putting together a professional round of BP with a wood bat. Hitting in a group filled with some of the best hitters in the state, McElveny showed off his barrel control and ability to impact the baseball then matched it with his defense showing clean and flowing footwork. During his round, he moved up and back in the box, took pitches, and showed the ability to make solid hard contact wherever he was. Finishing the last 5-6 in the round with driven balls deep into the LCF gap and over the fence was an impressive way to show his hit tool is solid and that there’s some juice in the bat as well. On defense, McElveny was very good, gliding through the baseball and wasting nothing transferring the ball into a natural arm motion. There’s plenty of arm strength to stick at the position (86 MPH) and with his speed and glove actions looks to be a very good MIF prospect for scouts to follow over the next few years. 

2021 RHP Stephen Kwak (Bellarmine) - Pomona-Pitzer College Commit.

One of the better arms of the day, Kwak attacked hitters with a three-pitch mix and a quick easy arm during his two-inning stint. At 6-3, 205 the large, squared up frame has some current strength but still projects to improve in that area as he continues to mature and stay focused on it. From an over-the-top slot, Kwak located a darting fastball (86-89, T90 MPH) setting up hitters before mixing in a sharp-breaking 12/6 curveball (72-74 MPH, 2731 Spin, 37 Bauer Units) and diving change (68-69 MPH). The ball jumped out of his hands after his deliberate tempo delivery having many hitters confused during their AB’s. He finished his outing with 5 K’s on the day including 3 looking. I loved his attacking demeanor and ability to set up hitters before putting them away, two things that translate well no matter what level he’s pitching at. With his frame and the ease of the arm, I would not be surprised to see another velo jump for Kwak and the projection to be an early weekend guy at the next level. 

2021 RHP Eli Rainey (Chico) - Uncommitted

At 6-4, 198, Rainey stood out both physically and with the stuff of a guy who could be less than a year away from being a big-time starting arm for a college program. The XL frame is long and athletic with space to still gain 10 lbs and add to his already impressive stuff. In his 4 batter outing, Rainey was constantly on the attack and dominated with 3 K’s all on the Slider. The athletic delivery shows a slight turn on the high front knee and that allows the full 3/4 swing to be easy and on time through its slot. The extension he carried on both the FB and SLD made it tough for hitters to see either one early and try and guess one pitch. FB was 84-86 MPH with ease out of the arm and he spotted it to the glove side well; a jump to the higher 80’s isn’t far off. When needing to change eye levels the pitch showed good vertical ride (18.7 IVB) and great angle when wanting the pitch down in the zone. The SLD (76-80 MPH) has a chance to be a true weapon. The numbers won’t jump off the page (2280 Max Spin, -5.8 HB), but its continuous and fluid break late off the FB look makes it a highly effective pitch. Add in his ability to consistently throw it in any count or any spot of the zone and you can see why it stands out. As one of the lone uncommitted 2021 arms, a team would be very lucky to add Rainey this late in the process. 

2022 SS/RHP Cutter Coffey (Liberty) - Arizona Commit.

As the #2 Ranked player in the 2022 Class, Coffey has been on the radar for years while continuously showing his talents. I’m surprised it took this long for me to catch a look, but the wait was worth it. Lanky with an athletic lean-strength build (6-2, 190, 7.16 60 yd), Coffey looked the part as a two-way prospect with the arm strength and hitting talents that will translate to the next level or MLB Draft come 2022. Offensively, Coffey’s ability to stay connected and over the plate before unleashing his violent hands through the zone was very evident during BP as he consistently launched balls deep gap-to-gap and pullside (89.13 AVG EV, 319 AVG Distance, 87.5% Fly Ball %). Defensively the quick and easy actions were there snatching balls off the infield turf and matching it with a loose and easy arm that made all the throws even as he was on the move. There were times during the workout where he looked like he was playing too fast, but during gameplay, that was gone with him regularly on time and making plays. Coffey finished the day on the hill and showed the arm was for real as he pounded the zone with an explosive FB and sharply tilted SLD. With an athletic high front leg and the ability to keep the arm and body rotating together to produce late arm speed, Coffey’s whippy, loose 3/4 release was consistently attacking the zone. The FB (88-90 MPH) has bits of two-seam run that he used on both side of the plate and played well off his very sharp and tight SLD (81-83 MPH, 2638 Max Spin); TrackMan called it a CB based on the depth/break produced (-8.1 IVB, -6.7 HB). Where Coffey ends up (SS or RHP) should he make it to the PAC-12 is still to be determined, but the athleticism and tools shown should have lots of eyes on him over his final two years of High School. 

2022 OF/2B Austin Overn (Foothill) - USC Commit.

When you start the day running a laser timed 6.28 60 yd (Handheld at 6.28), that’s an easy way to make a dramatic first impression. Overn is built like a track star with long, lean muscles and the twitch was evident in all parts of his game. At the plate, Overn was able to create easy loft on the baseball and showed a surprising amount of pop for his 6-1, 165 frame. He stays narrow and tight allowing the upward bat path to be on time and drive balls to the pullside gap and over the fence that way as well (88.9% Line Drive/Fly Ball %). During gameplay he got all of a FB driving it off the top corner of the RF wall and easily gliding into 3rd base with a stand-up triple; with his speed, he’s going to take a lot of extra bases at the next level. On Defense, he showed the makings of a true CF with a quick first step and rangy coverage. The footwork and glove actions were evident in workouts and the arm strength will be an asset (85 MPH) in the middle of the outfield. After that first look, Overn showed he should be in talks as one of the top OF’s in the 2022 class. 

2022 OF/1B Justin Roulston (Culver City) - Long Beach State Commit.

Doing first looks at players, Roulston was one I kept coming back to as the 6-3, 215 frame has present strength in it with still space to project a bit more. The athleticism was another thing that stood out, running a 6.74 60 yd and using that athleticism while in the OF during the entire day. In the OF the long, athletic strides were on display, and his ability to break down and through the baseball was evident allowing him to make accurate throws to every base. The arm fits better to LF/CF (81 MPH) but plays up because of its ability to produce good backspin and stay true to its locations. At the plate, Roulston stood out with a strong round of BP where he was consistently balanced and controlled allowing himself to work behind the front side and drive liners all over the OF. His ability to stay connected and tight allowed him to rotate well (20.6 Max Rotational Acceleration) and see the ball late. Roulston had a great day and looks like a guy who is still far from reaching his high ceiling. 

2022 C/OF Andrew Sloan (Jesuit) - Uncommitted

Sloan put together a very good day showing a bevy of tools in a strongly trimmed and athletic frame (5-11, 190, 6.8 60-Yd). Calm and relaxed, Sloan put together a professional BP finding the ones he wanted regularly working behind the baseball and driving liners gap-to-gap. The metrics back up the eyes here with data supporting a hitter that can impact the baseball (70% On-Plane Efficiency, 90.79 Avg EV/97.9 Max EV, 72.7% Hard Hit). The defensive metrics also showed well with one of the top arms (81 MPH, 1.99-2.05 Pop) and the ability to work and be athletic behind the plate. During gameplay, he handled RHP Sky Jones very well calling pitches, setting up hitters, and blocking some good sliders. With these types of skills on display, Sloan looks like one of the better uncommitted 2022 Catchers in the State.


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