Prep Baseball Report

NorCal Notes: 2022 Draft Prospects

Blaine Clemmens
Northern California Director

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA - Over the last week, starting with the Boras Classic North, I've had a chance to see many of the top draft prospects in the state, including players ranked #1, #3, #5, #10, #14, #18 in our most recent 2022 ranking. These reports are ordered by those rankings, but I do not think this is the order they will go off the board in the 2022 MLB Draft. Each of these players performed in the Boras Classic North, but I wasn't able to be present on the day Braeden Sloan pitched there, so I went to see him on 4/19/22.

Based on what I saw and ONLY what I saw of these players in the last week, the order for me would be Charles, Bolte, Coffey, Sloan, Kelly, Barnett.

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Henry Bolte OF / Palo Alto, CA / 2022

6-foot-3, 200-lbs; R/R; Texas commit; The top ranked player in the state, his tools justify that ranking. The run tool is a plus, particularly as a base-stealer, had him go 4.25 down the line on a ground ball to the left side. He throws easy and it shows up after he tracks down a deep fly ball and flicks the ball back into the infield, the raw power showed up with two home runs against Sacred Heart (in the video), and ultimately, having what can be graded as four future plus tools (run, throw, field, raw power), the MLB organization that feels best about their ability to develop his hit tool will be the club that invests in Bolte. It's no secret that there are some swing and miss questions, as is the case for just about all HS hitters. He banged a ball of his left foot/ankle in his second game but showed his toughness and willingness to compete the rest of the tournament, even in wet conditions.

Cutter Coffey SS / P / Liberty, CA / 2022

6-foot-2, 185-lbs; R/R; Texas commit; Passes the eye test, moves around the diamond with confidence and athleticism, takes the game seriously and respects every rep he gets, all of which can be seen outside of actual game action. Now, the qualifier to this report is that I didn't see him pitch and there are those who LOVE him on the mound, with a low-90s FB and a wicked slider. Add that to his slick-fielding, plus arm, ability to play on the move, w/clean actions and footwork, there is a lot to like. The run tool can be graded as average, nothing wrong with that. He showed extra base power, with the ability to get to it in a 2-strike count. The overall two-way abilities make him an athlete a MLB organization can invest in, with some 'insurance' that if he doesn't hit, there is always the mound.

Braeden Sloan LHP / Woodcreek, CA / 2022

6-foot-4, 183-lbs; R/L; USC commit; Long and rangy, had a fantastic outing in the first game of Boras Classic North vs Clayton Valley, w/scouts telling me up to 93, sitting upper-80s/low-90s. Given that prospects aren't robots, what I saw on 4/19/22 as a little off the performance the previous Monday. Topped at 89 mph, sat 86-87, control was spotty and just seemed to be fighting his delivery a bit. Didn't look uncomfortable, just not 100% in sync. The curveball was 73-75 mph, with his best ones at the lower velocity, with big steep biting action and legitimate swing and miss potential. The change-up was 74-75 mph and flashes at above average. He's had a strong spring, though there are still 3 months until the draft, so he will have to bounce back from this outing, which given what he's shown most of the spring, seems like a good bet to happen.

Austin Charles SS / P / Stockdale, CA / 2022

6-foot-6, 218-lbs; R/R; UC Santa Barbara commit; This was my first extended look at Charles, seeing him both as a position player and pitcher and consider me very impressed. Of these players, he's the top prospect for me. As a position player I do think he can play SS, even at his size. He is rangy, plays on the move, has a big arm but also can throw with touch and on the run, showed soft hands and feel for defense. The bat is impactful and plays from the extreme pull side to the right-center gap, with power to all fields. Balanced hitter, the swing is compact for a big young man. On the mound he was 90-91 mph, T93, w/a 80-82 mph breaking ball that is more of a short power CB vs a slider. The arm works EASILY, the carry he gets in his outfield warm-up is exceptional. Given the ceiling at the plate and also on the mound, I'm tempted to consider him the top 2022 prospect in California.

Lucas Kelly 3B / P / Sacred Heart Cathedral, CA / 2022

6-foot-3, 220-lbs; R/R; Texas A&M commit; Has performed in the DH capacity all spring as he recovers from elbow surgery. When healthy he displays SS level skills in a body that has most projecting him at 3rd base. Also had more than a handful of pitching outings in 2021 that had some scouts preferring him on the mound, or at least, turning him in as a position player w/pitching talent if the bat doesn't pan out. Seems to be a common theme for the position players reported on here. Kelly has flattened out his attack angle a bit from last year and it's a good adjustment for him. His raw power and ability to drive the ball in the middle of the field are significant talents and fit the 3rd base profile, where he's got well-above average glove and arm talent. For a MLB organization that trusts the bounce back of the arm, it's a bat that certainly can be invested in as an upper round selection.

Michael Barnett RHP / College Park, CA / 2022

6-foot-4, 180-lbs; R/R; UCLA commit; As the spring has moved along, Barnett has steadily moved up the pref lists, at least among the high school pitchers in Northern California. He's remained healthy as others have fallen to injury, he's flashed velocity up to 92 mph, on a frame that clearly has a lot of physical projection remaining. With tight spin on the curveball and now using a slider as well, he's got at least one breaking ball to project as average. Also has usable change-up, so we are talking about a 3-4 pitch pitcher, with flashes of raw stuff and a highly projectable body. In this look he was 88-90 mph in the 1st inning (T91), CB 70-72, SL 75-77, CHG 76-77. Allowed three runs in a tough first inning, then held on to go 6.2 IP (11 K, BB, 5 H, 3 ER, 113 pitches), giving his team a chance vs talented the Liberty HS line-up. A testament to his guts and tenacity.


NorCal Rising Stars: Delta Region CA 04/24 McBean Stadium
SoCal Rising Stars: Inland Empire CA 04/24 Corona High School
NorCal Rising Stars: Bay Area CA 05/08 Canada College
SoCal Rising Stars Games CA 06/04 O'Malley Field
Orange County State Games ID CA 06/11 Hart Park
Orange County Top Prospects ID CA 06/21 Hart Park
Inland Empire Top Prospects ID CA 07/06 Corona High School
LA Top Prospects ID CA 07/12 O'Malley Field
California State Games CA 07/30 Hart Park