Prep Baseball Report

High School Roundup 3/26/21

Les Lukach
State Scouting Director

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SoCal - Three games into the second week of the season has provided plenty of opportunities to see many players around the region. While many of them remain uncommitted for the time being, it would seem only a matter of time until they receive their deserving opportunity to play beyond high school in the case of many of the seniors. For the underclassmen that remain uncommitted they’re building their body of work for college coaches to continue to evaluate. 

The week started with Yucaipa v Mission Viejo followed by Millikan v St. John Bosco then Servite v Damien. The week provided an opportunity to see where these teams will slot into their respective leagues along with where players stand today. One thing is for certain, these six teams do not have a lack of talent on their rosters. 

So let’s dive into some standouts from the week. 

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For Mission Viejo, an upperclassmen laden team, it was a quartet of seniors that made a lasting impression. Catcher Jimmy Zakhar continues to improve on his skillset behind the plate where the catch-and-throw is much better since our last viewing. His blocking skills are also much improved...Catcher/Pitcher Conner Dietsch has the look of a college player at 6’2” 185-pounds with a simple approach at the plate and barrel feel. He didn’t chase bad pitches and stuck to his plan, and while he didn’t have anything to show for three at-bats, he showed enough with the bat to convince me of his deservedness of an opportunity...Third baseman Jacob Hambel sports a 4.75 GPA and showed that school isn’t the only thing he’s good at. He can play third base with the athleticism of an outfielder. His at-bat that resulted in a sac fly RBI showed his ability to manipulate the barrel in the zone as he went down to get the barrel on a low pitch….Outfielder Scott Young is a 6’5” left-handed hitting outfielder that plays with the confidence of a multi-year varsity starter. Put together one of the best at-bats where he drew a 9 pitch walk to keep the rally going for Mission Viejo. Also had a base hit and a stolen base...For Yucaipa, senior shortstop Caiden Huber has drawn plenty of attention from MLB scouts and for good reason. The USC commit is a sure handed shortstop with a rocket arm, and while he didn’t produce at the plate in this game, his is a name we will likely hear in July’s MLB Draft because of his upside at the position...Freshman OF Wes Hickey has made significant gains both physically and in his approach at the plate since my last viewing. At 5-foot-11, he has a long, lean frame with a very good understanding of hitting as demonstrated by the multiple pitches he spoiled in strikeout counts. One to follow moving forward...For St. John Bosco junior outfielder Caleb Brandon possesses many skills that will make him a desirable draft prospect next year and at the top is his speed both on his feet and in the bat. Smacked an RBI single up the box and was 4.34 with a turn around the bag from the left side...For Millikan junior shortstop Sam DeCarlo is one on the faster side with a 6.87 60, he’s also one of the more prudent batters you’ll see. Very selective at the plate he drew two walks that he was able to cash in for runs for Millikan. A slick fielding shortstop, there’s plenty of arm strength and ability to stay at the position in the future….For Servite, junior 1B/LHP Mikiah Negrete appears to be in the best shape of his high school career and it’s beginning to pay dividends at the plate with more consistent barrels to gap as we saw last weekend. In this game it was his patience at the plate that paid off in the form of two walks, one of which he was able to cash in for a run....Junior outfielder Trevor Schmidt has added strength to his frame since my last viewing and the result is a faster bat through the zone. In a game where hits were at a premium, Schmidt reached via a throwing error on a bunt and drew a walk scoring once...For Damien, senior Alec Beck was impressive as the obvious leader of the infield where he controlled the tempo and direction of the team from second base. He also had a base hit for the Spartans who had three on the day. 


‘23 SS Will Burns - Mission Viejo

The No. 4 player in his class made a strong case for being the top player in the 2023 class in California. An uber-projectable 6’3” 175-pound shortstop with the type of hands, feet, and bat-to-ball skills that will undoubtedly make him a highly sought after draft prospect in the 2023 MLB Draft, Burns showed off his power with a home run to RCF which he followed by a missile to center field that hit two feet from the top of the 15-foot fence. Shows the ability to make all the plays and throws from the shortstop position. 

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Login to read notes and see video on more standouts including Jacob Reimer, Owen Egan, Daniel Arambula, Niko Riera, Dylan Lina, Jaden Alba, Gannon De La Cruz, Ben Miltko, and Kaden Moeller. 

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