Prep Baseball Report

Inside the Clubhouse: Trent Caraway

Brian Alvarado

New Episode LIVE now! At The Yard Podcast

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CALIF. - Senior Trent Caraway of top-ranked JSerra High School (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) has always tried to navigate through the ins-and-outs of the game on his own. The Oregon State signee is in the midst of his final high school season, and his success on the field thus far has him at the forefront of draft conversations.

“I don't really have a hitting coach or an infield coach. It's just all on my own, figuring it out myself,” Trent said. 

His ability to find out what works on his own speaks to just how talented of a ball player Caraway is.

Ranked No. 4 in the state of California by Prep Baseball Report, the Dana Point native is a prolific right-handed hitter that brings a plethora of power and physicality to the table at 6-foot-2, 200 lbs. If he isn’t hitting balls out of the park, he’s still barrelling baseballs all over the yard to the point where even his outs are loud. 

His head coach at JSerra, Brett Kay, remembered a hit last season at Servite that opened his eyes in regards to Caraway’s true potential offensively.

“He had a hit off the facing of the wall in dead center at Servite, and I don't know if I've seen a ball hit harder,” Kay said. “That's when I knew that he had arrived because you just don't do that. You don't hit it through the wind at Servite. You don’t just piss on a ball like that.”

On the defensive side, Caraway has mainly been taking reps at shortstop. He’s got great footwork, which also gives him the capability to handle some games at third as well. On special occasions, he can patrol the outfield or even take the mound when needed.

Last season, he hit .338 and earned a spot in The Orange County Register’s All County Second Team. His performance helped the Lions capture a CIF Southern Section title and a spot in the Southern California Regional championship game. 

“Winning CIF, that was an unreal experience seeing all those people coming to watch us,” Caraway said. “Winning the first one for the program, and especially not being there that long—that was pretty cool.”

After what many would call a breakout year, Caraway has drawn the interest of many scouts. While many teenagers could struggle to cope with that type of attention in a positive manner, Caraway uses the extra eyes to fuel his game.

“I kind of like it,” Caraway said. “I get more people at my games coming to watch me play, but I feel like I flip it on them instead of having all that pressure on me. I feel like I do better when I have people coming to watch me.”

You might recognize his brother Tate, who is seven years older and currently the national program director for a southern California based club program. The one trait Tate has noticed the most about his younger brother is his mental approach to the game. 

“He’s always been a really special athlete and he's taking it to the next level with his mentality. That's been his biggest separator throughout his high school career,” Tate said. "My parents were in race car driving growing up and that put us in a competitive mindset to find the smallest of edges you can find to outdo the competition. That’s the stuff that he’s always ran with.”

Last season, Trent had to utilize that mental strength as he made a difficult decision to transfer schools within the Trinity League, going from Santa Margarita to JSerra. 

"Going to school for two and a half years with all my good buddies at Santa Margarita and leaving them was tough, but JSerra made the transition pretty easy,” Trent said. “It was weird at first because it's a big rivalry, but I still have all my friends at Santa Margarita and we still hang out all the time."

Trent also had to deal with CIF’s sit-out period before he got to participate in any games for JSerra last year. There’s either one of two ways players can go during that time off, but Kay said Trent stayed ready to go and handled the entire situation the best way possible.

“It’s a hard thing to go through as a kid, and it's hard as a coach because those are your arch rivals. It was difficult for him but I thought he handled it with class and I thought his family handled it with class,” Kay said. “I think that he tried to prove himself here early and he had to sit out 14 games. Most kids in South Orange County when they sit 14 games, there's a lot of humming and hawing. I have never seen that from him."


Although Trent’s competitive spirit is something he’s had with him throughout his life, you wouldn’t notice it in the way he carries himself on and off the field.

The senior goes about his business in what seems to be a nonchalant way, but in reality, Trent is just a laid-back kid that doesn’t show too much on the outside.

“He's cool, calm and collected. I haven't seen anger or frustration out of him yet,” Kay said. “He's not a big rah-rah-type guy or in your face, and he’s not going to show emotion. He's just going to do his work. He's not a question mark in the clubhouse either. I don't ever have to think, 'what's Trent doing?'”

When it comes to working on his game, Trent’s decision to find his own way might have people wondering why. Tate, who has also been one of the few people that’s worked with Trent on his swing, put things into perspective as to why Trent has wanted to take this route his whole life.

“When we were younger, we’d heard it from other people that played at a high level, that if you're a good athlete and you figure out how to hit, it's a lot better to go that way,” Tate said. “You see kids at a young age getting all these hitting coaches and you kind of turn into a robot a little bit. For him, it's a very simple approach and we just figure stuff out together. My job has just turned into throwing BP most of the time, but ever since he was a young kid, it was us figuring out his swing and where it was going to go. It’s mostly just refining stuff.”

As far as training goes, Trent still puts in the work regardless of having specific coaches or not. He’ll spend extra time in the cages after practice while still making the 6 a.m. strength and conditioning workouts with his trainer. 

One unique tool Trent utilizes for his hitting is a product that’s been used by the Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants. This gadget, for some unknown reason, is still mostly a secret to the baseball world, but Trent attributes a lot of his offensive prowess to this machine.

“I use this thing called the ‘Little Red Machine.’ Matt Olson swears by it. It's literally a red machine that spits out crazy RPM curveballs, and that's really helped me,” Trent said. 


As the 2023 season gets into full swing, JSerra comes into the year as the top high school baseball program in the country.

Prep Baseball Report had the Lions No. 1 in the entire nation in its most recent rankings. Aside from Trent, the Lions are loaded with talent, with 17 other players who are committed or signed to D1 college programs. This has created a culture that Trent feels is benefiting him tremendously.

"It all has to do with the players and Brett Kay,” Trent said. “You’ve got guys all around you and you’ve got to compete. It pushes everyone to work much harder. I feel like we're going to have a lot of people after us this year since we won CIF last year as well. We want to win it again this year, and that’s a big goal for us.”

With goals set in place for his final season at JSerra, there are decisions still to be made beyond high school, which is typical of any highly-touted prospect. There’s true first-round potential with Trent, but he’s focused on not overreacting.

“The feeling's hit me, but I don't really want it to affect me that way, like ‘oh I'm going to get drafted’ or something. I'm just trying to stay even keeled,” Trent said. “Honestly, I'm just feeling it out and taking things day by day, having fun, and enjoying being a high school kid. If the right opportunity comes, if that's college or the draft, I know all the support systems are there for me to make that decision.”

Wherever Trent’s baseball career takes him next, you can bet that his free and easy personality will play a pivotal role in how he’ll be able to deal with all the distractions, pressure and attention that will come with competing at the next level.



Rising Stars ID: Los Angeles CA 03/05 O'Malley Field
Rising Stars ID: Sacramento CA 03/12 McBean Stadium - Lincoln
Rising Stars ID: San Diego CA 03/19 Eastlake
Rising Stars ID: Inland Empire CA 04/16 Santiago High School
Rising Stars ID: Bay Area CA 04/23 College of San Mateo
SoCal Rising Stars Game CA 05/21  
CA FUTURE GAMES TRYOUT CA 06/03 Fullerton College
SoCal-NV-AZ-ProCase CA 06/04 University of Southern California - Dedeaux Field
NorCal Rising Stars Game CA 06/06 Islanders Field
OC State Games Open ID CA 07/11 Hart Park