Prep Baseball Report

North Coast News (CA)

PBR Northern CA Scouting Staff

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BENICIA & LAFAYETTE, CA. - Our scouting staff got out to a couple of games last week, Rodriguez HS (Fairfield) at Benicia HS and Foothill HS (Pleasanton) at Acalanes HS (Lafayette). Here are reports on players who stood out, seven four year college committed players in all, including a pair of Vanderbilt commits; 2020 RHP Ben Hansen & 2021 SS Davis Diaz.

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Rodriguez vs Benicia

2022 RHP Diego Menjivar (Benicia HS - uncommitted) Menjivar (4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) was impressive. He is one of the younger members of the Panthers staff but looked like he’d been around for a while. Has a live, quick arm action (5-foot-11, 175-pounds) and his fastball really jumped on hitters. Fastball sat 82-83 mph (T84) and was able to generate a lot of swings and misses with it. His curve was his most impressive pitch (69-71 mph). While inconsistent with it, when he threw it right, it had a sharp bite and diving action and all of his strikeouts through the 2nd inning were on the curveball, with several of them the looking variety. He also featured a change-up (75-76 mph) with downward movement. He does fall off quite drastically to the first base side, which might explain his inconsistency with the curve, and he did pull off the fastball a number of times. When runners were aboard, he was a bit wobbly but was able to navigate around them, with the ability to generate weak contact throughout his outing. If he can work on turning his hips before the front foot lands, there is no telling how effective he could be.

2020 SS Jayshaun Wise (R/R - Benicia HS - Washington State commit); Wise (1-for-3) had a solid day. He smashed a single past the shortstop for his only hit of the day in his first at bat and made solid contact in his next two. He is a big kid (6-foot-1, 185-pounds) with a thick lower half but moves around well and has good instincts. He’s not a phenomenal runner but uses his long strides to make up for it. He has a quick, sidearm release, allowing him to keep his throws on a level plane. At the plate, he’s deep in the box with a wide open stance with hands held high and generates a big swing, one that is going to produce a lot of power. Wise no doubt has the tools to continue playing at the next level and looks to have potential be an impact player.

2020 RF Shane Martin (R/R - Benicia HS - uncommitted); Martin (1-for 3) is a dynamic player and one of the team captains. He’s aggressive at the plate but shows plate/zone discipline as well. He stands wide with some movement as he loads back to swing but keeps his head still and the bat remains on a flat path. That aggressiveness carried over to the base paths, evidenced when he stole second base. He’s quick out of the box and is a solid runner (4.43-4.48). Martin didn’t get a chance to show off his arm during the game but he has a terrific one. Throws were accurate with life.

2021 CF Jason Booker (R/R - Rodriguez HS - Air Force commit); Booker had a rough day at the plate (0-for-4, 3K) but nevertheless showed an array of tools. He showed patience at the plate and really only swing at pitches in the zone. He was fooled on a curve in an at bat but the pitch may have been a bit outside. He is an above average runner with his lanky frame allowing him to generate speed (4.40). He displayed that speed by running down a ball deep in the gap in left-center and showed a quick first step when he went back on the ball. He also recorded the first out of the 7th inning by running down a shallow fly ball, showing closing speed. Booker is a dynamic player and has played on varsity all three years. Consistency with the bat will have to be a key for him to reach his ceiling.

2020 RF Angad Takhar (R/R - Rodriguez HS - uncommitted); Takhar had an all around solid day. While the batting line isn’t exceptional (0-for-2, 2 BB, 1 K), he quietly put together good at bats and displayed his tools and athleticism. He stands deep in the box with an open stance and slight crouch and holds his hands low and generates above average bat speed with a flick of the wrists. He worked the count in each of his plate appearances and drew walks in two of them. He was very selective and handled offspeed pitches well. Takhar was rung up on a curve for his only strikeout of the day but then was able to lay off them the rest of the way, with the lone exception being a high one that didn’t break. He also stayed back on a CB and drove it to deep center his last time up. He showed a strong arm in pregame but didn’t get a chance to see it during the game and his foot speed was on full display multiple times. He stole second after a walk and then later showed terrific range by tracking down a shallow fly ball while playing close to no-doubles defense late in the game.

Foothill at Acalanes 

2021 SS Davis Diaz (R/R - Acalanes HS - Vanderbilt commit); Athletic 5-foot-11, 175-pounds, compact frame, solid build with proportional strength throughout. One of the top shortstops in his class in the region. All around solid offensive contributor. Successfully laid down sac bunt and later launched a fly ball to deep left center for a double. Mechanically sound. Calm, quiet stance. Stands deep in the box, which allows him to recognize pitches with little body movement. Quick hands. Good bat speed. Good weight transfer, doesn't have much of stride and keeps hands back, allowing ball to travel. Does a good job of keeping head still when swinging. Has a flat swing, with a gap-to-gap approach. Shows patience while staying aggressive to what he wants to hit. Defensively sound as well. Quick feet and quick release. Made all plays. Throws were accurate and strong. Always moving in the field. Ran 4.28 home to 1st. Stole third and scored on bad throw. Showed versatility by catching the last inning. 

2020 2B Cole Murgia (L/R, Acalanes HS - uncommitted); 5-foot-10, 165-pounds, compact, lean build, with strong lower half. Stands deep in box with feet spread wide apart. Holds hands high out over plate.  Short, compact swing allows him to be quick to ball. Aggressive early, slapped opposite field single in first at bat on first pitch. Used whole field. Went oppo again with RBI single later in game. Above average speed, 4.15 on slow grounder & 4.63 with turn on single. Solid fielder, wasn’t tested much though did make error late in game on a challenging ground ball. Made all plays in pregame. Energetic player and table setter type.

2020 LHP Logan Hurd (Acalanes HS - Loyola Marymount commit); 6-foot-3, 170-pound frame, long, lanky build with plenty of room to fill out. Clean, quick arm action. Repeatable delivery. High 3/4 release with armside run on FB. Works quickly. Throws both four and two-seam fastball. Four seamer is straight but he locates it well and two-seamer looked to be the better of the two, with  explosive armside run and late movement, keeping hitters off balance. Curve is plus pitch, very sharp bite with 1/7 action. Used change-up often and recorded all three strikeouts in 1st inning with that pitch. Had a tough time finishing pitches in the next inning and was done after the 2nd.

2020 MIF/3B Niko Mollat (Foothill HS - Cal State East Bay commit); Not a big player but at 5-foot-6, 170-pounds he's got a compact, muscular build. Athletic and strong. Scrappy player, messed with pitcher while on base. Good speed, 7.89 seconds 2nd to home on base hit. Made infielder rush a throw on a play he beat out on infield single. Hustled out of box on walk, yet another indication of his energy. Open stance, stands close to plate and up in the box. Quiet mechanics, small leg kick, hands high with slight load and explosive swing that creates above average bat speed. Solid fielder, displays easy, smooth actions. Good arm but probably better suited for SS or 2B vs 3rd base. Solid overall player.

2021 OF Caleb Lammle (Foothill HS - UC Santa Barbara commit); 5-foot-11, 180-pounds, athletic, muscular frame. Terrific arm strength that stood out during pregame warm-ups and translated to the game. Was able to hold runner at 2nd base on deep fly ball to left-center gap. Throws were accurate and very strong. Above average speed in outfield and on the bases. Ran 4.19 on infield single and 6.97 2nd to home. Solid hitter as well. Stands close to plate, holds hands high with mostly square stance. Very quiet stance, small load, uses toe tap, and produces above average bat speed. Didn’t have great swing discipline and went after high fastball for a strikeout in his second at-bat and fished for change-up, lining out in his 3rd at-bat. Would like to see a more controlled approach but he has time to work out the approach and plenty of bat talent.

2020 RHP/1B Ben Hansen (Foothill HS - Vanderbilt commit); At 6-foot-5, 200-pounds, he's got a muscular, proportional body type with strength throughout. Dominating mound presence. Uses mound to create downward plane. Smooth, repeatable, simple delivery. Plants front foot just before hips turn, falls off some. Not much deception but ball jumps on hitters. Good 3-pitch mix, FB, CB, CHG. Fastball is fairly straight and gets on hitters quick with life through the zone. Really liked to use his CB but left it up quite often and hitters were fouled off many of them. Flashed the change-up but didn’t use much. Got into bases loaded, zero out jam in 2nd inning but limited the damage. Tended to leave pitches up in the zone with runners on and was out of the game after the 3rd inning, then played 1st base for the remainder of game.

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