Prep Baseball Report

NorCal Fall Ball Coverage

Ryan Ozella
N. California Area Scout

San Mateo, CA - Fall coverage continues as I got a chance to follow up on a talented group of committed and uncommitted 2020-2022 players from the Trosky Fall Scout team as they matched up against one of the better JC programs at the College of San Mateo on 9/28/19. Today we look at some players who stood out. Be sure to click profiles for videos and previous coverage of players. 

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SO OF Cole Gabrielson (Woodside) - R/R, 6-0, 180
Athletically built with length in the limbs and strength across the upper half, Gabrielson was the first offensive player to catch my attention with great rounds of batting practice showing off a compact swing with fast hands driving line drives all around the OF with easy carry into the gaps. As he worked, he flashed some pullside pop as well before getting into the game and regularly squaring up the baseball. It’s a wide-balanced stance with hands high including a high back elbow; a simple load back with the hands starts the momentum before the quick bat works flat through the zone finishing high behind the back and against a firm front side. His ability to control the barrel was evident in the games; long fly out to CF twice, 1B to RCF, line drive right at the 3rd baseman. The athleticism is evident with his ability to steal bases showing a great first step and the ability to transfer it over to defense. In CF, Gabrielson showed strong first-step reactions with the ability to track balls into each gap and the compact, accurate arm to fit in any spot in the OF; pushes above-average. Colleges looking for a guy who can slide in and help a squad will want to keep Gabrielson on their radar. 

SO 3B Justin Torres (St. Francis) - L/R, 5-10, 185
Physically mature and muscular in the upper half with width in the shoulders, Torres showed agility on defense and the extra base power to be a threat in the middle of the lineup in 2020. From a slightly open stance, the hands have a bounce off the back shoulder before working back with a slight foot lift regularly being in time with pitches and landing in a strong balanced position. Torres showed the ability to drive the backside on contact and even when taking pitches had the trigger ready to go. During the games he doubled over the CF’s head having the ball jump off the bat; the bat works upwards through the zone with strength in the wrists showing that same extra-base power to the gaps during batting practice. After the double he showed his baseball instincts taking 3rd when the pitcher didn’t look at him and while not the fastest player, has good instincts and agility. At 3rd, Torres moves well making plays on the run and showing the lateral agility needed for the position; he made a great play on a top ball putting a strike to 1st to get a good runner. The arm plays compact with a high release and keeps throws firm across the diamond; arm is average flashing more when needing to get rid of the ball. 

SO RHP Carlo Lopiccolo (Burlingame) - R/R, 5-11, 175
Lopiccolo started the game for College of San Mateo and set the tone for the pitchers dominating in his one inning using only the fastball on his way to a quick inning with two strikeouts and an easy ground ball. Long and lean with some space to still add strength, Lopiccolo has a high waist and showed athleticism on the mound. Stays tall over the rubber with his hands working down and back up on a very high, tucked front knee allowing him to flow down the rubber finishing with a firm front leg; the athleticism in the delivery is present following the equal-and-opposite principal with his clean hand break. The arm is compact with a 3/4 release showing the ability to repeat the swing and release point. FB 88-89 moving the pitch to both sides of the plate looking to jam hitters and flashing cut when going glove side; life in the zone having good hitters late on the pitch. Not seeing the change or breaking ball limits my ability to talk about the overall profile, but when you work with the FB the way Lopiccolo did it’s hard not to take notice. 

SO RHP Alex Benavides (Gilroy) - R/R, 6-5, 190
XL frame with long, lanky build including very long arms; projectable build that has space for some more strength. Benavides worked a strong 1.2 innings striking out 3 and showing a loose repeatable, mid-slot arm that created heaviness through the zone and uncomfortable AB’s for hitters. The delivery shows a quick knee lift working in time with his long, loose arm out of the glove as the body works with tilt before finishing over a firm front side; the mid-slot works with limited effort. FB 84-86 heavy showing run to the arm side and coming out of the hand with zip; projects to be higher velo as he works into Spring season. CHG 80 straight with some sink playing well off the heavy FB and leading to some swing and miss during the game. 

FR RHP Ryan Baum (Los Altos) - R/R, 6-3, 180
Long and lanky frame with wide shoulders and firm build projecting well. Baum was a guy I saw during my 2019 spring coverage at Los Altos and continues to show as a guy who projects with a clean arm and stuff that has ticked up since the spring season. Showed well in his one inning, getting around a HBP by striking out two and getting an easy ground ball. Stays tall on the mound as the hands work down to his waist and holds through an average front knee getting drive from the back leg down the hill and gaining extension with the front leg. The long, loose arm works cleanly showing the ability to carry through the arm-slot and creating tight backspin. FB 86-88 with angle attacking the glove-side; really pounds the zone with the pitch. CHG 78-79 with hard bottom; able to locate inside the zone or get it through the zone for swing-and-miss. A strong spring after two above-average seasons at Los Altos could see him being a highly coveted piece for a team.


2020 RHP Rowan Trosky (Carmel) - Santa Clara commit
Coming off a big summer that saw him pitching in the Area Code Games showing off his quick loose arm, Trosky looked good in his three innings of work. Long and high waisted frame with lean muscle and athletic build Trosky worked from the stretch only with the hands away from the chest. The athletic lift and drive motion generates torque and speed down the hill from a 3/4 release after a high glove side. In this three inning stint, Trosky showed off all three pitches striking out two, walking one and giving up two runs on two hits. The second inning was the only one where he had any issues, giving up the runs, walk and hits. FB 87-90 T92 extending the plate on both sides with good through the zone angle. CHG 77-80 having some arm side run early in counts before going to a heavier version when ahead in the counts. CB 71-74 with 3/4 late bend having firm break and flashing late sweep; swing and miss showing back foot version when needing it. The CB was particularly effective especially when he located the FB up through the top of the zone. Will be a high follow for 2020 season. 

2021 INF Dominic Giuffre (Archbishop Mitty) - Uncommitted
Medium framed with strongly built upper half, the athletic Giuffre continues to show the defense playing around the infield with a middle of the field, line drive stroke. Standing at the plate with high hands and balanced posture, the compact swing got on plane early picking up two hits being in a strong hitting position all day and using the strength in his frame; singled to CF and LF squaring up a third one right at the CF ending the day 2-for-3. On defense he showed his tools making plays at 3B ranging into foul territory and being able to keep the ball on the line across the diamond. The footwork was solid during pregame taking ground balls at 2nd and showing smooth transitions from turns. Will definitely be a name to follow in Spring.  

2020 C Hayden Driggs (Clovis West) - Saint Mary’s commit
Driggs continues to bring strong catch and throw skills, and the projectable young frame has space to keep shaping as he matures. Behind the plate Driggs is an above-average receiver showing a strong glove hand and consistently accurate arm. He caught a runner during the game with a great throw keeping it on the bag in a spot for a quick tag. In two viewings this fall I’ve seen Driggs regularly in a strong blocking position and working well with different pitchers during the outings. At the plate, the low hands produce a late, heavy barrel that when on time allow the ball to jump off the bat; picked up a clean single to RF. Flashed some harder contact during BP and if his bat can make some jumps Driggs should have a solid 2020 season. 

2020 OF/LHP Carl Johnson (St. Mary’s-Stockton) - Uncommitted
Johnson is another player who after multiple viewings continues to impress with his play. The smaller frame has strength and quickness showing athletic actions and some projection for the next level. During BP he was regularly working the oppo gap and middle field with line drives that translated over to games where he was right on good FB’s all day. The high hand set up has more of a rocking load allowing for quick turns producing an upward bat path; when he gets the barrel out front he can whip it to the pullside as well. In his first AB he was right on good FB’s, fouling off a couple before ultimately swinging through a CHG; long fly-out in 2nd AB to drive in a run. In the OF the athleticism was there being able to open the hips and move fluidly; can continue to remove the drift back on the ball, especially when the wind is whipping like it was during the game. I like the profile more for the middle of the field, but have seen him make plays in both RF/LF as well.

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